According to a February 2015 article at the DailyAdvocate.com, things are looking pretty good for the agriculture industry in the New Year. Lower fuel and grain prices coupled with an expected increase in meat consumption in China is good news for U.S. farmers, as well as American consumers who will likely see lower prices on groceries in the future.
Earlier this month, The Ohio State University hosted a 2015 Agriculture Outlook meeting where information was presented on “crop program decisions, land values, cash rents, costs and profits as well as the outlook for the grain market.”
As the economy in China has improved, more citizens are including more meat in their diets compared to previous years. Last year, the country consumed more than 60 million metric tons of swine, 80 million metric tons of cattle, and nearly 10 million metric tons of poultry.
According to information provided at the meeting, China imports more than one fourth of the total soybeans the U.S. grows just to feed their livestock. China is currently the world’s leader in swine production.
In addition to increased soybean production, U.S. farmers should also benefit from lower fuel costs which will reduce input costs. Propane levels are also up from last year.
Finally, grain prices have fallen to their lowest point in four to five years which should help livestock farmers replenish their inventories after the drought in 2012 that forced many of them to get rid of their swine, cattle, and poultry because they couldn’t afford to feed them due to higher prices. As farmers build up their inventories, consumers can expect prices on chicken, pork and beef to drop over the next 18-36 months.
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