New Releases

China Commodity Markets

China is contributing to a tighter world market in wheat, corn, and soybeans. China has cut back on corn and wheat exports and appears poised to increase wheat imports. China has emerged as the world’s largest soybean importer, and its huge appetite for soybeans is contributing to soaring world prices and tight supplies. Two recently released reports—China’s Wheat Economy: Current Trends and Prospects for Imports and Is China’s Corn Market at a Turning Point? —provide up-to-date information on policy, trade, supply and demand trends. A third report on soybeans is forthcoming. Fred Gale

How Rural Areas Differ: The New ERS County Typology

ERS recently released a new county classification that captures the broad economic and social diversity among rural areas. Earlier ERS typologies have been widely used by policy analysts and public officials to determine eligibility for and effectiveness of Federal programs to assist rural America. The new county typology identifies six discrete economic types of nonmetro counties based on the primary economic activity of the county—farming, manufacturing, mining, service, Federal/State government, and nonspecialized. The typology also identifies seven county types that distinguish important policy themes, including persistent poverty, persistent population loss, housing stress, retirement destination, recreation, low education, and low employment. Also, for the first time, this classification identifies both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties by county type. See the County Typology Codes data product for more information.