National Ag News for May 9, 2022

Food Prices Slightly Lower in April

World food prices took a small step down in April after reaching a record high in March. Reuters says global food security is still a big concern because of challenging conditions in world markets. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index, which tracks the most globally-traded food commodities, averaged 158.5 points in April compared to 159.7 in March. FAO’s chief economist Maximo Cullen says the small decrease in the index is a welcome relief. “However, food prices are still close to their recent highs,” Cullen says. After dropping from the March high point, the April index is still almost 20 percent higher than last year. The cereal price index fell 0.7 percent in April after jumping 17 percent higher in March. The vegetable oil index dropped 5.7 percent in April because of demand rationing. Sugar prices increased three percent, meat rose two percent, and the dairy index was up 0.9 percent.

Senate Committee Passes WRDA 2022 Last week

Last week, the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously passed its Water Resources Development Act of 2022. WRDA provides improvements for the nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure. It’s good news for farmers who transport their crops through the infrastructure system and will allow them to remain competitive in the global market. A proposal within the bill would permanently adjust the inland waterways cost-share to 75 percent general revenue and 25 percent Inland Waterways Trust Fund. It would also eliminate the sunset provisions to preserve these changes in perpetuity. The American Soybean Association says it supports the cost-share proposal and continues to advocate for investments to fund lock and dam construction and rehabilitation. They say upgrading the aging lock-and-dam systems along the inland waterways is critical to increasing barge capacity for shipping bigger loads of soybeans to international customers.

Beef Export Value Sets Another Record, Pork Exports Improve

U.S. beef exports soared to another new value record during March. The U.S. Meat Export Federation says March pork exports were the largest so far this year but well below the record-large totals in March 2021. Beef exports totaled almost 126,300 metric tons in March, one percent higher than last year and the third-largest on record. The value climbed 33 percent higher to a record $1.07 billion. First-quarter exports were six percent higher than last year. USMEF CEO Dan Halstrom says rising inflation and less disposable income may represent a potential demand headwind in the April and May export data. March pork exports hit 222,600 metric tons, their highest total since November 2021. That’s still almost 25 percent below the record volume of last year. The pork export value hit $615.3 million, also the highest since November but still 23 percent lower year-over-year. First-quarter pork exports were 20 percent lower than last year’s total. ***********************************************************************************
2022 World Food Prize Winner is a NASA Climate Scientist

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig is a climatologist, agronomist, and former farmer. She’s also the 2022 World Food Prize Award winner for her work in modeling the impact of climate change on world food production. Rosenzweig was recognized as the leader of the global scientific collaboration that produced the methodology and data used by decision-makers around the world. She wins $250,000 as the founder of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, or the AgMIP, a global network of climate and food system modelers. The AgMIP is dedicated to advancing methods for improving predictions of the future performance of agricultural and food systems in the face of climate change. Her leadership has directly helped decision-makers in more than 90 countries enhance their resilience to climate change. “I’m proud to announce Dr. Rosenzweig as the winner, given her tremendous contributions over the last four decades,” says Barbara Stinson, president of the World Food Prize Foundation.

Nutrien Announces Higher Earnings, Increased Potash Production

Nutrien says its first-quarter earnings in 2022 totaled $1.4 billion. The first-quarter net earnings per share were $2.70. Nutrien says global agriculture and crop input markets are being impacted by many  unprecedented supply disruptions that have contributed to higher commodity prices and heightened concerns about global food security. “The situation proves the need for long-term solutions that support a sustainable increase in global crop production,” says Ken Seitz, interim president and CEO of Nutrien. “We are responding by safely increasing potash production and utilizing our global supply chain to provide customers with the crop inputs and services they need for this critical growing season. He also says the company expects higher earnings and cash flows this year, which provides them an opportunity to accelerate strategic initiatives that Nutrien believes will advance sustainable agriculture practices. It includes the potential to expand their low-cost fertilizer production capacity and enhance their global distribution network.

Overseas Corn Sales Lower, Wheat and Soybean Sales Rise

U.S. corn export sales were lower during the week ending on April 28 while wheat and soybean sales climbed. China bought the most corn at 466,000 metric tons, but the total overseas sales were reported at 782,500 metric tons, 10 percent lower than the previous week. It’s also 19 percent lower than the prior four-week average. Sales for the 2022-2023 marketing year that starts on September 1 came in at 737,900 metric tons, and exports rose 22 percent to a marketing-year high of 1.9 million metric tons. Wheat sales rose to 118,000 metric tons, a sizeable gain from the prior week and 53 percent above the average for this time of year. Mexico was the top buyer at 88,400 metric tons. Soybean sales hit 734,600 metric tons, 53 percent higher than the previous week and 28 percent above the four-week average. Sales for delivery in the next marketing year dropped 21 percent week-to-week.


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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