Quarterly Research Reports
The Quarterly, from the CoBank Knowledge Exchange, provides a broad view of the rural industries financed by CoBank.
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The long-awaited period of pent-up, exuberant demand is here. And for all the benefits to businesses and consumers, bumps are unavoidable – labor shortages, price inflation, supply chain disruptions, and uncertainty about what a new steady-state economy will look like. They loom large, even as we celebrate a return to normalcy.
Anticipation of a return to normal is in the air. But for the economy and rural industries, there will be no going back to pre-COVID conditions.
2021 has quickly altered the political and market landscape. And optimism, particularly about the second half of the year, is rising. But to get there, all of us must muddle through for a few months more.
The coronavirus pandemic has now impacted all four quarters of 2020, and seemingly every aspect of life and business.
Over the past four months, every rural industry has grappled with how to adjust its business to remain relevant and sustainable in the pandemic. Agricultural supply chains have been massively disrupted and lost revenue. Water and power suppliers have adapted as commercial and industrial customers went dark and demand shifted to residential customers. And the communications industry is seizing a moment when home broadband access has become vividly essential, to help expand access to everyone, everywhere.
The beginning of a new quarter finds us in unparalleled times – a pandemic ravaging the world, the U.S. economy in shutdown, millions of Americans out of work, and financial markets in turmoil.
The fourth quarter is ending with much more optimism on trade and the economy compared to how it began.
Uncertainty over trade policy, weather and African Swine Fever dominated agricultural markets last quarter.
Global economic growth continues to slide, as tariffs drag on global trade and manufacturing.
U.S. agriculture is poised for serious challenges for the remainder of 2019.
Agriculture and its farmer cooperatives will face a challenging environment in 2019. Commodity markets have steadied, but resolution of ongoing trade disputes and completion of recently concluded trade negotiations will be critical to restoring optimism for the year ahead.
The escalating trade war with China is the leading risk for U.S. agriculture. Retaliatory actions taken by China and other trading partners have raised concerns of long lasting effects on agricultural supply chains.
The risk of an escalating trade war is the greatest threat to the U.S. and agricultural economies in the near term. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports are sold to destinations that are under active negotiations or embroiled in trade disputes.
An impending trade war, continued large global supplies, and negotiations over a new farm bill and tax extenders continue to present challenges for U.S. agriculture and farmer cooperatives. Reduced harvests in Argentina and potential droughts in some parts of the U.S. have steadied grain and oilseed market prices but there remains a potential for significant volatility.
Uncertainties over U.S. trade policies have made some foreign buyers reexamine their supply chain dependency on U.S. products and provided an opportunity for U.S. competitors to aggressively pursue bilateral trade agreements.
The U.S. dollar has weakened roughly 10 percent from its recent high, benefiting U.S. exporters. But U.S. economic growth will be difficult to sustain beyond 2.5 percent.
The grain industry continues to grapple with large inventories. Strong demand and pockets of weather concerns, however, give reason for optimism.
The U.S. is now the epicenter of global uncertainty, amidst questions and concerns about the direction of its economic, trade, and foreign policies.
Agricultural producers across the U.S. all face a common challenge consisting of a widening imbalance between demand and supply, growing dependence on exports, and the attendant downward price pressures.
Growers and grain handlers in the U.S. are bracing for record corn and soybean harvests this fall following a healthy wheat harvest that now occupies a substantial amount of grain storage space. U.S. agriculture will likely test the effectiveness of the safety net provided by the 2014 Farm Bill, and U.S. growers will find the next year or two to be even more challenging than the previous two years.
Despite ample grain and oilseed inventories in the U.S. and throughout the world, fears of hot and dry growing conditions associated with La Niña at least temporarily reversed months of continual downward market pressure, and priced in a risk premium.
The torrent of bearish news continues for U.S. agricultural producers. The U.S. dollar remains elevated relative to world currencies, severely hampering U.S. commodity exports which are now widely seen as much lower than the USDA’s latest projections.