Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fantastic Exports

The US agriculture industry is enjoying something I've never seen in my lifetime.  Exports have boomed and are booming even with a very strong dollar.  We were told both can't happen at the same time but they have and they still are happening.

It amazes me California can do this with very little water.  The drought in California is very serious and still the state leads the way in ag exports.

Our non GMO soybean exports from Ohio keeps our little state near the top ten exporting states which is also very amazing to me.  That has been a very important market for us in this region and most of my soybeans have been exported to Asia over the past 11 years.

The longshoremen's strike in Oregon is slowing this trend down.  I hope it is settled quickly but it doesn't look that way.  Hanjin has already pulled out of Portland in a major news flash this week.

Trade makes the world go round as each region can grow something the rest of the world needs.  Shipping has become a major business over my lifetime and was never more important than it is today.  Truck driving was reported as the number one job in many states and that also made the news this week.  Whether that is true or not, most of our products are moved by truck.

We are enjoying fantastic exports in agriculture and I see no reason why it should not continue.



  1. Ag exports represent billions of dollars for the top producers, but while exports of human food such as coffee or banana will continue, it is less certain for cheap bulky commodities such as corn or soybean.

    Rising transportation costs will make such exports costlier over time, and there is also a growing trend to "go local." China is already the number 2 producer for corn. Soybean is a different matter though: China is number 4, yet they only produce 6 times less than the USA or Brazil, and they need more and more high protein animal feed. Still, it probably makes more sense for China to import cheap ag commodities from the profits of their industrial exports than grow the stuff themselves, especially given the problems they have with polluted soil.

    What I don't understand is that commodity prices are global, yet it still makes more financial sense for European animal farmers to import soybean from Brazil than purchase home-grown beans. I must be missing something...

  2. Geographical advantage and currency exchange changes the whole game! I wonder if we are shipping beans when SA beans are cheaper but when you add the extra transportation costs it evens things up?