By Archie Flanders, Agricultural Economist
The September report for the supply and demand situation of field crops maintains market fundamentals that are resulting in low commodity prices. Supplies have historical cycles above and below equilibrium, and prices have corresponding trends. Current supplies with low prices will cycle to lower supply levels with favorable prices. Projected production increases of meat, poultry, and dairy products in 2017 will contribute to reducing excess supplies of feed crops. The U.S. has initiated a challenge to China’s “market price support” for wheat, corn and rice that is estimated to be nearly $100 billion above WTO limits and constitutes an artificial government incentive for Chinese farmers to increase output, lowering prices worldwide. In contrast, U.S. commodity programs are decoupled from production and are only triggered by low prices.