The Federal Reserve is discovering it more durable to chill the economic system than nearly anybody anticipated. Most corners of the U.S. economic system are performing very nicely contemplating the Fed has been aggressively elevating charges for seven months. Manufacturing continues to broaden, shopper spending stays sturdy, the labor market remains to be extraordinarily tight and Q3 GDP knowledge will doubtless present stable progress.
Whereas the speed will increase have completed little to chill spending and tamp down inflation, critics are growing their requires the Fed to cease elevating charges. The argument is that additional financial tightening may have catastrophic results on the U.S. and international economies, and that inflation is about to fall precipitously. In line with a brand new Quarterly report from CoBank’s Information Trade, the Fed doesn’t see it that means, nor ought to it.
“Up to now, there isn’t a stable proof that inflation is on a steep downward path and there’s additionally little proof that increased charges are severely damaging the economic system,” stated Dan Kowalski, vp of CoBank’s Information Trade. “Finally, to get inflation ranges down, the willingness or skill of customers and companies to spend should additionally come down. Which means fee hikes will proceed till the Fed achieves its mandate of worth stability. Sadly, that will increase the probability of collateral injury coming within the first half of 2023.”
There are indicators of slowing, nevertheless, that are the primary cracks to kind from financial tightening, famous Kowalski. Client credit score is on the rise whereas financial savings charges are falling. And wage progress is falling whilst inflation stays excessive, decreasing shopper buying energy.
In distinction, the power and agri-food sectors have gained surprising ranges of pricing energy as provide shortages now look like medium-term challenges. Dangers and uncertainty stay exceptionally excessive, however elevated commodity costs additionally supply alternatives.
Grains, farm provide & biofuels
Grain costs remained risky all through the third quarter, ending largely increased. U.S. corn and wheat futures rose 11% and eight%, respectively, partly offset by a 2% drop in soybeans. On farm grain storage is above 2021 ranges for the three main crops, probably signaling a stronger harvest-time foundation this 12 months. Corn and soybean exports for the brand new crop advertising and marketing 12 months are up 13% over final 12 months. Nonetheless, grain transport bills might stay increased as low water ranges on the Mississippi River brought on a spike in barge charges. And Russia is now indicating it could not prolong its settlement to permit Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, which might ship grain costs upward.
Regardless of a sluggish begin to the spring planting season, ag retailers efficiently managed crop enter inventories and had an excellent summer season agronomy season. Home fertilizer costs fell by 5-16% in Q3 amid a large correction in power costs. Nonetheless, costs have been rising as harvest will get underway and farmers shift their consideration to fall software season. Russia’s conflict with Ukraine continues to affect international provides and costs for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilizers.
Ethanol manufacturing continued to pattern down as Q3 got here to a detailed, concurrent with recession fears, decrease gasoline demand and capital market volatility. Probably the most vital occasion of the quarter was on the coverage entrance, with the passing of the Inflation Discount Act of 2022. The laws offers sturdy present and future help for renewable power, and biofuels specifically.
Animal protein & dairy
The slowing international economic system and unrelenting meals inflation are considerations for pink meat and poultry demand into 2023. Client willingness to pay increased costs for meat and poultry for the reason that begin of the pandemic encourages optimism, nevertheless. USDA forecasts home per-capita pink meat and poultry consumption at a brand new report excessive of 225 kilos in 2022.
Per capita hen consumption will doubtless set new information in coming years given hen’s attraction to budget-minded customers. Whereas broiler chick hatchability has been a problem over the previous few years, weekly incubation charges have improved, and chick placements are up 5% year-over-year. Export markets stay favorable for broiler meat regardless of quite a few HPAI outbreaks, which industrial broiler amenities have largely averted.
Beef markets remained typically sturdy all through Q3, with costs for dwell cattle 13% increased than a 12 months in the past. Cattle slaughter numbers have surged in latest weeks and are operating 4% above the five-year common. Up to now, sturdy beef demand has largely overcome swelling retail costs. That is spurring optimism as cattle provides erode, which is able to inevitably pressure beef costs increased.
Whereas the hog market is softening, costs have been remarkably sturdy in Q3 with money lean-hog costs topping $1.20/lb. in early August. Pork cutout costs spent a lot of the quarter above $120/cwt., a degree about $50 above the five-year common. China continues to sluggish its pork imports, resulting in a 16% discount in complete U.S. pork exports year-to-date. Nonetheless, Mexico and different locations have helped decide up a few of these losses.
The U.S. dairy cow herd continues to point out solely incremental progress, regardless of report excessive milk costs and optimistic margins. Excessive feed and labor prices, mixed with tight heifer availability, are limiting herd progress. Class IV milk continues to carry a premium to Class III, elevated by rising butter costs which reached report highs final quarter. Butter provides remained extraordinarily tight, down 22% year-over-year. The USDA has raised its forecast for U.S. dairy exports to a report $9.5 billion in 2022.
The complete CoBank Quarterly may be accessed right here.