I’m Clinton Griffiths with today’s AgDay Minute.
A big day for the markets with major commodities surging, including soybeans, now at a six and a half year high. Soybean futures up 45-to-54 cents. Prices rising on the same issues that supported the surge last month. Weather concerns in South America, labor unrest in Argentina, and expectations for continued strong Chinese demand for U.S. Ag. Corn futures, pushing up to 11-cents higher also near the six and a half year high. Wheat, following corn and soybeans higher up 18-cents at one point. Another round of the Farmers to Families Food Boxes will soon be going out.
USDA announcing its plan to purchase an additional 1.5 billion dollars of food to distribute. The fifth round of purchases is thanks to the more funding provided in the latest COVID relief bill approved by Congress and just signed by the President. Deliveries are expected to begin later this month and run through April. The first four rounds of the program have distributed 128-million boxes to date.
We talk a lot about U.S. Ag exports, but over the last quarter-century, the U.S. has become one of the largest agricultural importers in the world. Take a look at this new graphic from USDA. It shows that imports have grown from 27-billion dollars in 1994 to 128-billion dollars in 2019. The volume of imports has risen across all commodities, but things such as fresh fruits and vegetables, beef products, and wine and beer have led the increase.
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