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Global soybean imports are projected to grow 30 percent by 2027 with China leading the way

Friday, March 9, 2018

World soybean trade is projected to rise rapidly during the next 10 years according to USDA’s Agricultural Projections to 2027, climbing 48 million tons (30 percent) to 205 million tons by 2027. China, the world’s leading soybean importer, is expected to increase imports by 41 million tons over the projection period. China’s soybean imports have risen steadily since the late 1990s. In 2017, China accounted for about 64 percent of world soybean trade. China’s imports are projected to increase from 102 million tons in 2018 to 143 million tons in 2027, accounting for 86 percent of the total increase in trade. China’s share of global soybean imports would reach nearly 70 percent by 2027 if the projections are realized. The projections assume that China will continue to meet rising demand for edible vegetable oils and protein in feed by importing soybeans, while supporting domestic production of food and feed grains. China continues to add oilseed-crushing capacity that contributes to continued growth in soybean imports. The leading international soybean suppliers are Brazil and the United States, both of which should benefit from the additional demand from China and other trade partners. This chart is drawn from data in the USDA report, USDA Agricultural Projections to 2027, released in February 2018.

Soybean planted area is projected to surpass corn for the first time in 2019/20

Monday, February 26, 2018

For the first time, the area of soybeans planted in the United States is expected to exceed the area planted for corn in USDA’s newly released Agricultural Projections to 2027. The two crops are the most widely produced in the United States, accounting for more than half of all acres planted. There are many reasons for the growth in soybean area relative to corn. Corn production has benefited from sustained growth in yield per acre, allowing farmers to dedicate less land to corn while maintaining the same output. While soybean yields also improved, the relative gains are not as large. As corn yields grow, overall area planted to corn is projected to trend lower. Additionally, soybean demand is heavily tied to domestic and international demand for meat. Soybean meal is a primary component of animal feeds across species. Rising incomes in many emerging economies have translated to increased meat consumption and international demand for soybeans. This rising demand is expected to place upward pressure on soybean prices and increase producer return, incentivizing further plantings. This chart is drawn from data in the USDA report, USDA Agricultural Projections to 2027, released in February 2018.

Driven by growing per capita consumption in West Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to be a major rice consumer

Friday, October 20, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has undergone economic, social, and demographic transformations over the past 10-15 years. Among the poorest regions in the world, it faces major political and economic challenges and low food security. However, it has a young, fast-growing population and prospects for economic growth. Expanding urbanization and a rising middle class with higher incomes are driving changes in consumption patterns and preferences away from traditional staples and toward rice and other commodities. Rice consumption has expanded in the diets of many SSA consumers at the expense of sorghum, millet, and roots and tubers. On a per-capita basis, West African nations, collectively known as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have seen the largest increases in rice consumption. Excluding Nigeria, which reduced its rice consumption because of declining oil revenue and limited foreign exchange reserves, the remaining ECOWAS countries recently surpassed the global per capita rice consumption average. These countries are projected to increase their rice consumption further to nearly 70 kilograms per person by 2026. If the projections are realized, SSA as a whole has the potential to become the world’s leading rice importer. This chart appears in the October Amber Waves feature, "Sub-Saharan Africa Is Projected to Be the Leader in Global Rice Imports."

U.S. per capita consumption of beef and pork projected to rise over the next decade

Monday, September 26, 2016

USDA baseline projections provide a long-term view of the U.S. farm sector. These projections show that production of beef and pork will expand steadily between 2016 and 2025, driven by lower feed costs and strong meat demand domestically and abroad. As a result of this greater production, beef and pork prices are projected to drop 10.6 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively, over the same period. Cheaper prices will help reverse a multiyear decline in meat consumption in the United States. Per capita consumption of beef is also forecast to increase 2.7 percent by 2025, outpacing growth in consumption of broilers (2.3 percent) and pork (1.7 percent). USDA expects this will increase the total amount of meat consumed per person in the U.S. from 211 pounds in 2015 to nearly 219 pounds by 2025. This chart appears in the ERS Amber Waves finding U.S. Beef and Pork Consumption Projected to Rebound released September 2016.

Dynamic growth projected for world poultry trade

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Poultry meat imports by major importers are projected to increase by 2.5 million tons (34 percent) between 2013 and 2023, led by rising import demand in North Africa and the Middle East (NAME), Mexico, and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).? Similar factors are expected to drive import growth in each region. Rising incomes and the low cost of poultry meat relative to other meats are projected to favor growth in poultry meat consumption among the low- and middle-income consumers in each region. At the same time, limited local supplies of feed grains and feed protein in all three regions are expected to continue to limit the expansion of indigenous poultry meat production.? The NAME region currently accounts for 47 percent of imports by the major poultry importers, and is projected to account for nearly 80 percent of the increase in their poultry meat imports between 2014 and 2023. In contrast, little import growth is projected for Russia, where policies continue to deter imports in favor of domestic producers, and for China, where domestic production is projected to keep pace with demand. Find this chart and additional analysis in USDA Agricultural Projections to 2023.

U.S. wheat market share projected to continue to slip

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Although global and U.S. wheat exports are projected to rise over the next decade, the U.S. share of the world market is projected to continue to decline because of competition from other exporters. Global demand for wheat is expected to expand, driven primarily by income and population growth in developing country markets, including Sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Algeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brazil. The number of major exporting countries has, however, expanded in recent years from the traditional wheat exporters--the United States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, and the European Union--to include Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Although variable, the wheat export volume of those three Black Sea exporters together now rivals that of the United States. Low production costs and new investment in the agricultural sectors of the Black Sea region have enabled their world market share to climb, despite the region?s highly variable weather. Competition from the Black Sea region, as well as from traditional exporters, has resulted in a decline in the U.S. share of expanding world exports from an average of about 39 percent in the first half of the 1980s to an average of about 20 percent over the last 5 years. Find this chart and additional analysis on the Wheat topic page.

Developing-country agricultural imports to account for a growing share of consumption

Thursday, September 1, 2016

According to USDA?s baseline projections, developing-country demand for agricultural products is expected to increase faster than production in those countries, leading to continued growth in import demand. Developing countries are projected to account for 92 percent of the total increase in world meat imports, 92 percent of the increase in total grains and oilseeds imports, and nearly all of the increase in world cotton imports. The growth rate for developing-country consumption of total grains and oilseeds is projected to be about 17 percent faster than the rate for production. As a result, the gap between consumption and production will continue to widen, and these countries will become more import dependent. While these trends will create new opportunities for the United States to expand agricultural exports, they also present new challenges to U.S. exporters. Instead of a limited number of large importing countries, the global market now includes more countries with smaller import needs, requiring new marketing strategies by U.S. and other exporters. This chart can be found in Developing Countries Dominate World Demand for Agricultural Products in the August 2013 Amber Waves.

Expected falling crop receipts lead decline in 2014 forecast for net farm income

Thursday, September 1, 2016

USDA?s initial forecast for 2014 net farm income is $34.7 billion lower than current expectations for 2013, but is $8 billion higher than the average of the previous 10 years. Lower crop cash receipts, and, to a lesser degree, a change in the value of crop inventories and reduced government farm payments, drive the expected drop in net farm income. Crop receipts are expected to decrease more than 12 percent in 2014, led by an expected $11-billion decline in corn receipts and a $6-billion decline in soybean receipts. Elimination of direct payments under the Agricultural Act of 2014 and uncertainty about program enrollment during 2014 result in a projected $5.1 billion decline in government payments. On the other hand, total production expenses are forecast to decline $3.9 billion in 2014, which would be only the second decline in the last 10 years. Livestock receipts and value of inventory change also are expected to increase a combined $3.5 billion in 2014, largely due to higher dairy receipts and the potential for expansion of the beef cattle herd for the first time since 2007. This chart is based on the data available in Farm Income and Wealth Statistics, updated February 11, 2014.

Demand growth projected to support recovery of the U.S. livestock sector

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The U.S. livestock sector is slowly recovering from high feed prices and drought in the Southern Plains of the United States over the last few years.? Improving returns have provided incentives for increased production in the livestock sector.? As a result, total U.S. red meat and poultry production is projected to grow over the next decade.? Low cow inventories are expected to limit recovery from recent drought conditions for several years and reduce beef production through 2016, but production is projected to grow in the longer term as returns support continued herd expansion and higher slaughter weights.? In the near term, declining feed costs are expected to lead to increased hog farrowing, and pork production is projected to rise over the next decade, supported by continued (albeit slower) productivity gains in the breeding herd and increased slaughter weights.? Poultry production is expected to expand over the next decade, but at lower rates than in the 1980s and 1990s.? Increasing demand is expected to strengthen broiler prices, although poultry is expected to face competition from increasing red meat production beyond 2016. Find this chart and additional analysis in USDA Agricultural Projections to 2023.

Global meat consumption generally increases with higher incomes

Thursday, September 1, 2016

According to USDA?s baseline projections, developing countries will account for much of the increase in projected growth in global consumption of meats and crops in 2013-22. For meats?including beef, pork, and poultry?developing countries are projected to account for 81 percent of projected growth in global consumption and 92 percent of the total increase in world imports between 2013 and 2022. Rising incomes, along with urbanization and changes in consumer preferences, are key factors in both the historical and projected growth in meat demand and trade. As incomes rise, consumers in low- and middle-income countries not only buy more food but also tend to eat more varied diets, increasing their consumption of meat, dairy products, eggs, vegetable oils, and processed foods. Over the next decade, increases in meat consumption in developing countries are projected to average 2.4 percent annually, compared with 0.9 percent in developed countries. Per capita poultry meat consumption in developing countries is projected to rise 2.8 percent per year during 2013-22, much faster than that of pork (2.2 percent) and beef (1.9 percent).? This chart can be found in ?Developing Countries Dominate World Demand for Agricultural Products? in the August 2013 Amber Waves.

Strong projected growth in global poultry meat imports

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The United States is the world?s second largest poultry meat exporter behind Brazil, with U.S. exports valued at $4.2 billion and accounting for 20 percent of U.S. broiler meat production in 2012. According to USDA?s long-term projections, world import demand for poultry meat is expected to grow 1.56 million tons over the next 10 years. Brazil?s poultry exports?aided by relatively low production costs?are expected to grow 27 percent by 2022, compared with 11 percent projected growth in U.S. exports.? Strong growth in poultry imports is projected for much of the world, except for Russia and the EU.? Continued growth is projected in the Africa and the Middle East region?including Sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Other North Africa and Middle East?which now accounts for more than 40 percent of poultry imports by major importers.? In this and other developing regions, rising consumer incomes, population growth, urbanization, and the typically low cost of poultry meat relative to other meats are key drivers of expanding poultry demand.? This chart can be found in Assessing Growth in U.S. Broiler and Poultry Meat Exports, LDPM-231-01, released November 8, 2013.

China the key to the medium-term outlook for global cotton trade

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Although world cotton trade is projected to expand at a rapid 3.8-percent growth rate between 2014/15 (August/July marketing years) and 2023/24, cotton trade is expected to contract in the medium term as China reduces its imports. China?the world?s largest cotton importer?is expected to slow its imports through 2016/17 because of its announced intention to reform? cotton price supports, likely reducing its currently large cotton stocks.? China?s cotton imports are projected to initially decline to less than 40 percent of peak levels, but resume growth by 2017/18 and support the expansion of world cotton trade to record levels by 2020/21 and beyond.? China?s reforms are expected to allow it to recover part of the share of world cotton consumption that it lost between 2009 and 2013 when, because of relatively high prices of Chinese cotton, some textile production and cotton import demand shifted to other countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Vietnam, and Pakistan. China is projected to remain the world?s largest importer in 2023, followed by Bangladesh, Turkey, and Vietnam.? Find this chart and additional analysis in USDA Agricultural Projections to 2023.

China's corn yields continue to lag behind U.S. yields

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Data sources indicate that China?s corn yields continue to lag behind yields achieved in the United States (the world?s leading producer) with implications for China?s ability to meet future corn demand through domestic production. Both China?s official yield estimates provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and alternative survey-based estimates provided by China?s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) show China?s average corn yields to be both lower and growing more slowly than U.S. average yields. A key factor constraining yield growth in China is slow progress in breeding appropriate varieties to build on past gains achieved from the adoption of hybrid corn. While fertilizer use is already high by world standards, improvements in pest protection and drought resistance?potentially through the adoption of genetically modified varieties?may offer yield gains.? Current USDA corn supply and demand projections for China indicate that demand is likely to outpace production, leading to expanding corn imports.? Find this chart and additional analysis in Prospects for China?s Corn Yields and Imports.? ?

Continued growth projected in China's meat imports

Thursday, September 1, 2016

While USDA projects robust increases in China?s meat production and imports of feed grains, China?s meat imports are also projected to rise. Pork imports are projected to show the most growth, rising from about 750,000 tons in 2013 to 1.2 million tons by 2023. The United States, Canada, and European Union are the main suppliers of pork to China. China?s meat consumption is expected to expand at a pace similar to the trend of the past decade. Pork will continue to play a central role in China?s meat economy (China accounts for half of world production and consumption), however, poultry is gaining in popularity, largely because it is cheaper than pork. Restaurants, fast food chains, and cafeterias play a key role in diversifying meat consumption, since many feature specific kinds of meat or chicken. Beef and mutton are important parts of popular ethnic cuisines becoming popular among the broader population.? Although China is expected to continue producing most of its own meat, China?s livestock sector is under pressure from rising costs, disease, environmental regulations, and resource constraints, which could lead to China?s meat imports rising even further if production cannot sustain its current pace of growth. Find this chart and more analysis in the April Amber Waves feature article "China in the Next Decade: Rising Meat Demand and Growing Imports of Feed."

Global demand and rising costs support projected U.S. crop prices

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Although market responses to high crop prices in recent years, both in the United States and in other countries, are projected to lower U.S. crop prices over the next couple of years, in the longer term prices for corn, wheat, and soybeans are projected to remain high relative to historical prices. The continuing influence of several long-term factors?including global growth in population and per capita income, a low-valued U.S. dollar, increasing costs for crude petroleum, and rising biofuel production?underlies these price projections. Corn prices are projected to decline through 2015/16, but then begin increasing in 2016/17 as ending stocks tighten due to growth in feed use, exports, and demand for corn by ethanol producers. Soybean prices are expected to initially fall from recent highs but then rise moderately after 2015/16, reflecting strengthening demand for soybeans and soybean products. Wheat prices are projected to fall through 2016/17, in response to rising wheat stocks and falling corn prices, but strengthen in the longer term due to export growth, moderate gains in food use, and declining stocks. Find this chart and additional analysis in USDA Agricultural Projections to 2023.

Soybeans and soybean products projected to lead growth in global bulk agricultural commodity trade

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Soybeans and soybean products?including soybeans, soybean meal, and soybean oil?is projected to lead the growth in world bulk agricultural commodity trade over the next decade (2014-2023).? Trade in soybeans and soybean products has increased rapidly since the early 1990s, surpassing trade in wheat and coarse grains (corn, barley, sorghum, rye, oats, millet, and mixed grains). Continued strong growth in global demand for vegetable oil and protein meal, particularly in China and other Asian countries, is expected to maintain soybean and soybean products trade above both wheat and coarse grain trade during the next decade.? World coarse grain trade is projected to increase 25 percent over the next 10 years, with corn expected to gain an increasing share of the coarse grain market. The expansion of livestock production in feed-deficit areas, including China, Mexico, and Africa and the Middle East, continues to be the principal driver of growth in coarse grain trade. World wheat trade is projected to expand 19 percent over the decade, with growth in imports concentrated in developing countries in West and Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, Indonesia, and Pakistan. Find this chart and additional analysis in USDA Agricultural Projections to 2023.

Lower U.S. farm sector income and higher debt-to-asset ratios are forecast for 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

National net farm income, along with the farm-sector debt-to-asset ratio (which is a measure of solvency), provide indicators of the economic well-being of the U.S. farm sector. As of February 9, 2016, U.S. net farm income is forecast to fall to $54.8 billion in 2016 after recently peaking in 2013, due largely to declines in commodity prices. In inflation-adjusted terms, since 1970 only 5 years have registered lower net farm income. With the exception of 2002, all of those years were in the early 1980s, a time of great farm financial stress. The sector’s debt-to-asset ratio has edged up the past several years but at 13.2 percent remains well below the ratio’s 1985 peak. Recent inflation-adjusted debt levels are near, but have not exceeded, early 1980s levels. Thus, the improvement in farm-sector solvency has hinged on farm-sector asset values, which have roughly doubled since 1985 in inflation-adjusted terms. About 80 percent of the value of farm-sector assets are attributable to farm real estate, and both farm real-estate and nonreal-estate assets are expected to experience modest declines in 2015 and 2016. This chart is based on data found in Farm Income and Wealth Statistics, released February 2016.

The dollar gained considerable strength in 2015

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The value of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies strengthened considerably in 2015, accelerating a trend that began in 2011. The agricultural trade-weighted exchange rate is a broad measure of the value of the dollar against 79 foreign currencies, weighted by their share of U.S. agricultural exports. The dollar exchange rate affects the price of U.S. commodities in foreign markets, with a stronger dollar making U.S. products more expensive in terms of the local currency of importing countries. On the other hand, a stronger dollar makes U.S. imports less expensive in dollar terms. Since the dollar exchange rate affects the relative price of U.S. and foreign commodities in global markets, it can have important implications for agricultural trade. With the strengthening of the dollar in 2015, agricultural exports are expected to fall below 2014 levels, while imports are forecast to increase. ERS exchange rate projections used for the USDA Agricultural Projections to 2025 report (the current Agricultural Baseline) suggest the dollar will continue to gain strength—but at a slower pace—in 2016 and 2017, before trending lower from 2018 through 2025. This chart is based on the International Macroeconomic Data Set.

India projected to remain the leading global beef exporter

Friday, October 9, 2015

Since 2009, India’s exports of beef—specifically water buffalo meat, also known as carabeef—have expanded, with India moving ahead of Brazil to become the world’s largest beef exporter in 2014. India’s beef exports grew about 14 percent annually between 2000 and 2015, and are expected to lead major exporters with about 6 percent annual growth during 2015-2025. India’s exports of relatively low-cost beef (primarily to low- and middle-income markets in Southeast Asia and the Middle East) reached a 24 percent global market share in 2015, and that share is projected to increase to 32 percent by 2025. The U.S. share of the global beef market has fluctuated, but averaged 12 percent during 2013-2015, and is projected to rise to 15 percent in 2025. This chart is based on data and analysis from USDA Agricultural Projections to 2024.

Higher sorghum prices supported by strong export demand

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In recent years, the price of sorghum has been supported by unusually strong export demand, particularly from China. Sorghum is a common substitute for corn in feed rations and is also used for ethanol production in the United States. In most countries, corn tends to be preferred over sorghum for livestock feed, so sorghum typically sells at a discount to corn in global markets. However, since sorghum does not face import quotas and other constraints that often delay or restrict shipments of corn and distillers dried grains (DDGS) from entering the country, China’s demand for U.S. sorghum has surged. Imports by China were negligible prior to 2013, but it is now the principal buyer of U.S. sorghum and is expected to account for more than 90% of the 350 million bushels of sorghum the United States is forecast to export in the 2014/15 marketing year. The strong increase in demand has pushed U.S. sorghum prices higher, resulting in a premium over corn that is expected to persist for the second consecutive marketing year. While not without precedent, the season average price of sorghum has exceeded the price of corn only in 4 previous marketing years since 1981/82, and only 18 times in the 96-year history of sorghum price reporting. This chart is based on the ERS report, Feed Outlook: May 2015,.

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