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Soft Commodity Report August 2020 Global Harvest / Planting United States: Planting: Early March through June Harvest: Early July through ea...

Soft Commodity Report August 2020


Soft Commodity Report August 2020









Global Harvest / Planting

United States:
Planting: Early March through June
Harvest: Early July through early December

China:
Planting: Late February through June
Harvest: July through mid-October

European Union:
Planting: Mid-April through May
Harvest: Mid-September through November

Brazil:
Planting: October through June
Harvest: March through December

Argentina:
Planting: Mid-September through early December
Harvest: March through May


Cocoa
Prices jumped notably in recent weeks, rebounding from their near two-year low in early July. The stark fall in the USD in late July, coupled with concerns over dry weather in Cote d’Ivoire, likely supported prices. On 7 August, the spot price was USD 2,357 per metric ton, which was 13.8% higher than on the same day last month. While the price was down 4.1% on a year-to-date basis, it was 6.3% higher than on the same day last year. Looking ahead, prices are expected to be somewhat gloomy due to relatively weak demand prospects. Nevertheless, extremely volatile weather conditions in West Africa remain a key upside risk to prices. Our panelists forecast prices to average USD 2,251 per metric ton in Q4 2020 and USD 2,270 per metric ton in Q4 2021.


Coffee
Coffee prices have been on the rise over the past month, likely due to temporary tightness in supply and a weaker USD. On 7 August, Arabica coffee traded at USD 105 cents per pound, which was 17.6% higher than on the same day last month. That said, the price was down 17.8% on a yearto-date basis, but was 6.9% higher than on the same day last year. Prices are expected to rise over the remainder of the year due to a recovery in demand, although larger Brazilian crops pose a downside risk to prices. Our panelists expect prices to average USD 110 cents per pound in Q4 2020 and 110 cents per pound in Q4 2021.


Cotton
Cotton prices fell over the past month, likely due to relatively tepid demand and despite a weaker USD. On 7 August, cotton traded at USD 61.9 cents per pound, which was down 2.9% from the same day last month. The price was 10.4% lower on a year-to-date basis but was up 5.6% from the same day last year. This year, prices are expected to remain fairly downbeat due to soft global demand prospects and ample U.S. output. U.S.–China trade negotiations pose a key risk to the outlook. Our panelists project prices to average USD 64.2 cents per pound in Q4 2020 and USD 69.7 cents per pound in Q4 2021.


Corn
Corn prices fell in recent weeks and traded at USD 308 cents per bushel on 7 August, which was 10.4% lower than on the same day a month earlier. Moreover, the price was 20.6% lower on a year-to-date basis and was 24.3% lower than on the same day last year. The rampant spread of coronavirus in the U.S. recently has raised concerns that demand for corn could take a hit because of tighter restrictions that reduce ethanol consumption, thus weighing on prices. In addition, the USDA released fresh data showing exports from September 2019 to July 2020 remained substantially down in annual terms. Moreover, the USDA once again predicated in July a bumper global corn crop in the season ending next year. Corn prices should remain relatively low this year, as ample supply and bearish demand prospects keep prices depressed. That said, lower global soybean stockpiles—a substitute good—this year should support prices. FocusEconomics analysts see prices averaging USD 343 cents per bushel in Q4 2020 and USD 363 cents per bushel in Q4 2021.


Soybeans, Soya
The price of soybeans fell slightly in recent weeks. Soybeans traded at USD 866 cents per bushel on 7 August, which was 3.5% lower than on the same day last month. While the price was down 8.2% on a year-to-date basis, it was 1.4% higher than on the same day last year. Heavy rain and flooding in the south of China at the end of June appeared to trigger fresh new cases of African swine fever, the disease that led to the culling of hundreds of millions of pigs in China last year. This likely weighed on the price of soybeans, a staple for pigs. A new USDA report containing forecasts of a larger global soybean supply than previously expected in the harvest ending next year also seemingly dampened prices. The price of soybeans is seen gradually rising in the coming months. However, coronavirus-related demand concerns and U.S.-China trade policy uncertainty are key risks to this outlook. Panelists see the price of soybeans averaging USD 896 cents per bushel in Q4 2020 and USD 931 cents per bushel in Q4 2021.


Wheat
Prices for wheat rose marginally over the last month amid a weaker USD and as healthy U.S. exports pointed to stronger demand. On 7 August, wheat traded at USD 496 cents per bushel, which was 0.1% higher than on the same day in the previous month. That said, the price was down 11.3% on a year-to-date basis, although it was 1.5% higher than on the same day last year. Wheat prices rose in recent weeks, as U.S. wheat exports and shipments were above their weekly pace needed to meet the USDA’s projections for the 2020–2021 period. Moreover, U.S. supply projections remained downbeat, as unfavorable weather conditions, which are expected to continue, hampered harvesting operations. In addition, lower-thanexpected production coming out of the EU and the Black Sea region likely boosted prices. While a slight recovery in demand prospects should prop up prices by year-end, uncertainty over ongoing U.S.– China trade commitments will cap price gains. That said, a deteriorating supply outlook—particularly out of the EU and Russia—poses an upside risk to the market. Panelists forecast prices to average USD 529 cents per bushel in Q4 2020 and USD 532 cents per bushel in Q4 2021.




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