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Agribusiness Intelligence from S&P Global Commodity Insights offers the essential intelligence you need to make smart business decisions. Our clear, actionable insights blend the right data with connected technologies and deep expertise, helping you compete and thrive in a global agricultural value chain.
More than an agricultural information provider, Agribusiness Intelligence combines expertise, authoritative analysis, rigorous pricing methodologies, trusted proprietary data, and accurate forecasts with tailored consulting. And we go deeper, assessing global developments and policies that impact the full agribusiness value chain – from farm to fork.
Whether you are seeking smart investment opportunities, anticipating global supply and demand patterns, strategizing new avenues for sales, sourcing new commodities, or discovering ways to infuse sustainability into your organization, we can help. Agribusiness Intelligence offers the unique insights and essential intelligence you need to make timely, critical decisions with conviction.
In today’s interconnected world of global supply chains and markets, companies operating in the agribusiness sector need more than just data to make timely, informed decisions. S&P Global Commodities Insights Agribusiness provides our customers with business intelligence across the full agribusiness value chain, as well as an interconnected view of the industries and policies that influence it.
Retailers are buying more than they need to overcome supply chain shortages. Buyers are seeing large cost increases across the board.
Questions we can answer: What is happening in Agriculture? Should I hedge my position, on what? Can I push back against this supplier? How do I explain to my leadership team cost is rising? Will I need more storage? Is this a sign of a permanent shift?
After several years of being mostly flat, food prices have rallied sharply. All food prices, as measured by the FAO Food Price Index, are up 47% since the 2020-low and 23% in 2021. This is the largest sustained food price inflation in more than 10 years. Key drivers include the overall macroeconomic inflationary environment; higher energy prices supporting ag commodities; the surge in demand from China; the use of Ag commodities to decarbonize the fuel system; an inflow of investment money in Ag commodities; the rising feed costs leading to higher meat prices; labor wages leading to higher processing costs; increased transportation and logistics costs; more frequent weather shocks and political instability at major producers.
Questions we can help answer: What will my product cost me to buy in the future? What price/ ingredient is driving my cost fluctuations? How does this effect my pricing strategy for that product line? What will likely be driving prices in the future and where are prices likely to go?
With climate change remaining a global imperative and ESG considerations rapidly shifting competitive pressures, there will be continued scrutiny of carbon emissions along food and agriculture supply chains. An understanding of the opportunities as well as the challenges within this unique food chain is a key first step in developing your organizations strategy.
Our in-depth reports, authored by industry experts, provide clarity of the key challenges and opportunities facing your business and industry. Spanning crop protection, animal health, fertilizers and commodities, they help you to understand how your business could be impacted.
Whether you are seeking smart investment opportunities, anticipating global supply and demand patterns, strategizing new avenues for sales, sourcing new commodities, or discovering ways to infuse sustainability into your organization, we can help. Agribusiness Intelligence offers the unique insights and essential intelligence on the entire agribusiness value chain.
From pandemic induced lows established during 2020, agriculture prices began to rise in response to demand from the end of Covid-induced lockdowns and weather-related crop problems in areas such as South America and Southeast Asia. This demand surge was reinforced by a surge in demand for feedstuffs (primarily corn and soybean meal) in China that began in mid-2020 as China began to rebuild hog herds that were devastated by African Swine Fever (ASF). As we progressed into 2021 and 2022, ESG actions around decarbonization began to have a significant impact, initially in the renewable diesel area that boosted real and perceived demand for vegetable oils. Into this context came the Russia-Ukraine conflict that interrupted traditional supply chains and removed, at least temporarily, access to commodities such as corn, wheat, sunflowers and sunflower oil which further increased prices. As of July 2022, prices have retraced much of the increases that occurred during the initial phases of the Russia-Ukraine conflict but remain elevated above levels that prevailed from 2016 to 2020.
A recent poll of clients in the agriculture space indicated that because of high prices of energy products such as natural gas and crude oil, decarbonization efforts (including the movement away from fossil fuels), will be paused as the markets adapt and replace lost resources. However, it needs to be pointed out that high energy prices are expected to encourage segments such and biofuels and bioenergy that are connected with decarbonization as high energy prices improve the economics around some of these projects. High oil and gas prices also significantly incentivize investment in carbon-free energy sources. In their response to at risk supplies of oil, coal and natural gas from Russia the EU has ramped up sources of these commodities from other origins but in the long-term has recommitted to moving away from fossil fuels and more general decarbonization efforts.
Yes. And in fact, the “substitution effect” of various inputs is a regular feature of the dynamics of the agriculture market whereby an increase in the price of one input relative to another related input causes demand to decrease for the input that has increased in price and to increase for the related input. For example, disruptions from Ukraine led to higher wheat prices, incentivizing wheat to be removed from feed rations as approximately 15% of wheat in the world is used for feed. Substitution also occurs as renewable diesel facilities capture vegetable oils such as soybean oil. As the price of soybean oil increases relative to other edible oils, users will look to alternatives such as palm oil to meet their needs.
No, there is not enough oilseed crushing capacity in markets such as the US to meet the current demand for soybean oil demand for food and renewable diesel needs. But more crushing facilities are being built and more planned. To the extent that these new facilities are soybean crushing facilities and are being built mainly in response to increased demand for soybean oil, the question is what is going to happen soybean meal produced? Clearly it will need to be fed to local livestock populations or exported. In the long-term, we could see a movement toward more high oil content oilseeds (e.g., canola) or crops that are wholly devoted to oil content.
It is important to say that in aggregate there is enough soybean crushing capacity globally to satisfy demand for capacity. However, the whole global crushing industry was built to solve a different problem than today. It developed over many years to produce high protein meals for animal feed, particularly in China. This has put excess capacity in China and the US with the capacity to crush only about half of their soybean production. The rest of the soybeans get exported, largely to China.
At a global level the simple answer is ‘yes’. There is, however, a “but…”. Two significant occurrences over the last two years have changed established supply dynamics. Covid has heightened governments’ awareness of food security and has highlighted the emergence of some resource nationalism. In October 2021 China decided to restrict exports of fertilizer to ensure it had enough produce for domestic demand: China has been a major global exporter of urea and phosphate fertilizers. Russia also went down the same route in Q1 2022, albeit setting export quotas rather than completely exiting the export business. Secondly the war in Ukraine has also disrupted established supply routes; globalization in fertilizer supply has been thrown into question, either because of active sanctions or because of the more deep-seated concerns of being reliant on supply from a country with which the receiver shares few cultural values. So there has been enough investment at a global level, but with new capacity in both China and Russia potentially not sustainably accessible, that may now be thrown into question.
Climate change plays out over a very long time period and the impacts from climate change are hard to separate from what are normal fluctuations in weather impacting agriculture production. It can be said that trend yields of basic agriculture crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat have continued to increase with these increases driven by technology advancements, and we expect this technology driven yield increases to continue. However, we are closely watching the evolving weather pattern changes and these changes are being incorporated into our long and short-term outlooks. For example, thirty years ago in North America there was very little corn or soybean production in places like the State of North Dakota and the Province of Manitoba but these crops are commonly grown there now both as a result of improved genetics and a generally more favorable environment (as in a longer growing season). The same could be said for the Black Sea region. At the same time, certain parts of Africa and regions such as the Western US have suffered repeated droughts that have negatively impacted crop production and put into question their long-term viability as major agriculture producing areas. Our research teams are well-positioned to monitor these changes and assess their impacts.
No. Palm oil is a tree crop, which is vastly different than an annual crop like grains and oilseeds. With a tree crop investments are made to plant new trees on a plantation, those trees produce little or nothing for the first three years but will then remain productive for 25 years or so. This means a new generation comes only once every 25-28 years or so. It would take a huge leap in productivity for a plantation owner to cut down trees prematurely, foregoing three years of production until the new tree is mature. Annual crops are bred, and improvements are made in the seeds every year. For this reason, productivity gains in annual crops (grains and oilseeds) tend to be more predictable and reliable than in tree crops (palm oil, coffee, and cocoa). And, the technology and resource base exists for yields to continue to increase. However, there are factors that could negatively impact crop yields moving forward. But, there are some risks to think about in row crop production. For example, the full adoption of organic farming practices, given current varieties and breeds of agriculture crops, would likely lead to slow or no growth in yields for traditional row crops. In addition to this risk, as we look at the long-term consequences of the Ukraine-Russia conflict as there is a risk the Russian invasion of Ukraine could set back these two countries’ crop production for several years. The impact from the obvious disruption in Ukraine will last years and sanctions, while not directly impacting Russia’s exports of commodities such as wheat, will make activities such as crop financing and access to needed technology more difficult thus impacting yields.
Agricultural production is highly responsive to price and in general, high prices will encourage production. That said, some barriers to higher production need to be noted. First, while prices farmers get might go up, so do prices for inputs such as fertilizer, seed, crop protection and fuel. If the increase in these inputs more than offset revenues, production will be impeded. In addition, regulatory constraints can also impede what would otherwise be an environment conducive to higher production. And the impacts can be very regional. In geographies such as the EU and US where cropped areas are at a maximum, there is limited ability to increase production outside of yield gains. South America and in particular Brazil has available acres that can be brought into production however the regulatory environment needs to be closely monitored to see if this is possible.
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