Rising Output Compressing Ag Margins

Strong growth in both the U.S. and global economies will support increased demand in domestic and export markets through the end of the year. However, U.S. competitiveness is currently constrained by trade uncertainties and the high value of the U.S. dollar, further placing pressure on the agricultural economy as output in most industries rises.

The latest Quarterly Rural Economic Review from CoBank indicates that any significant farm price improvements over last year’s prices will be limited, particularly with record U.S. yields for many of the major crop commodities adding to available supply levels. Meanwhile, the animal protein and dairy sectors continue to benefit from strong domestic demand and the promise of better access to Mexico and Canada, but will need more export market growth to absorb their current pace of output and expansion.

A CoBank spokesperson says that while recently negotiated trade deals show upside, “Global demand for output from the U.S. agriculture sector is being outpaced by current U.S. production.”