Doane Spotlight: Highlights of the Annual Fall Outlook Conference
• Chinese soybean consumption has soared since 1995 but production was barely steady. That’s why China has become such a huge export customer for U.S. beans.
• Chinese cotton usage is dropping faster than production; reserves are now thought to cover any production/consumption deficit six years into the future!
OTHER DRIVERS AND WILDCARDS FOR THE U.S.
• U.S. feed use is not likely to recover. Cattle on feed will be down; hog numbers will be down; broiler production declining and even milk cow numbers are declining.
• Ethanol future is fairly solid due to 1) mandated usage of 15 billion gallons by 2015; 2) Clean Air Act requires an oxygenate in gasoline; 3) Refiners and blenders find it profitable to use ethanol to boost octane.
• Shifting from ethanol to some other octane booster would be too expensive.
1) Crop supplies are very tight, but a) more land is available, b) yield growth is not slowing and c) global per capita demand growth is modest.
2) China is key to continued growth in global corn demand.
3) The U.S. needs to earn a bigger share of rising global grain export markets.
4) The farm sector is still generally healthy despite the drought (Net farm income likely peaked in 2012 at $140 billion; will likely back off about 14 percent, to just more than $120 billion in 2013; but still the third highest ever.