World Grain - July 2024 - 44

FEATURE: IGC SPEAKER LAMENTS REGULATORY ROADBLOCKS
Input price volatility
In a session on trade finance, Seth
Meyer, chair of the Agricultural Market
Information System (AMIS) of the US
Department of Agriculture, noted that
in 2023-24, while carryout stocks of
wheat and soybeans were rising, wheat
had stayed tight.
" We'd seen those implied volatility
measures heading back to the 10-year
average, " he said, noting that following
a tremendous amount of input price
volatility in 2022-23, US farm incomes
were " very strong. "
" That's not to say there was not a lot
of anxiety among producers about input
prices volatility, " Meyer said. " Those
high input prices remain sticky. "
He added that " the ag markets are
used to weather risk. The latest geopolitical
shock over in Ukraine also added
Pat O'Shannassy,
chief executive
officer, Grain
Trade Australia,
discusses how
deregulation
has benefited
the Australian
grain industry.
the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the destruction
in the supply chains. "
" Political stability is built on food security, " he said.
" We've got to make sure that trade becomes a critical
component of food security. "
He urged delegates to " scratch a little bit deeper
about nutritional security, " underlining as an example
that " it staggers me that we don't have 100% flour
fortification. "
He lamented the " regulatory incoherence that we
have around the world on these biotechnology traits
that are coming through, " noting that " you can have all
the science in the world, all the facts and figures, everything, "
but there remains a need to " bring the hearts
and the minds of the consumers and the governments
around to doing it. "
" That's something that as a global grain trade I think
we didn't do well 10 or 15 years ago, " he said. " We
need to make sure that we communicate because that is
going to be important. "
Gerald Masila, executive director of the Eastern
African Grain Council (EAGC), explained the region
imports a lot of grains even though it has over 60% of
the world's arable land that has yet to be cultivated.
However, intra-African trade is limited.
" We don't trade with each other, " he said. " If you
look at the eastern African region, we produce enough
food for that region, but we still have serious pockets of
food shortage because food cannot move across these
borders. "
Masila said there are many regulations and border
controls, as well as export bans, logistical problems,
currency issues and conflicts.
44
to the input price shock. "
" The market doesn't care what it costs you to produce
that crop, " he said. " The market doesn't care if
you're losing money. "
Mélanie Raymond, director of investment and international
development analysis, Global Affairs Canada,
also highlighted volatility in grains and fertilizers.
" One will feed the other, " she said, pointing out that
for nitrogen, the pandemic had increased prices by
300%. " We had another shock with the invasion, but
prices have been going down. "
Raymond said 10 countries account for 73% of fertilizers,
while 10 countries export 70%.
" Six countries are in both groups, " she said, highlighting
the concerns over the effect of fertilizer costs
on global food security.
COCERAL President Ted Swinkels, the managing
director of Cefetra, said grain is one of the most political
commodities.
" Recent geopolitical tensions have enormous impact
on our markets, " he added, but insisted that the main
driver for volatility was " managed money. "
Speculative funds were short 8 million tonnes of soybeans
at the beginning of the year. Now they are long
6 million tonnes.
" The impact of this managed money is just massive, "
he said.
Chris Lyddon is World Grain's European correspondent.
He may be contacted at: cajlyddon@gmail.com
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World Grain - July 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - July 2024

World Grain - July 2024 - Intro
World Grain - July 2024 - 1
World Grain - July 2024 - 2
World Grain - July 2024 - 3
World Grain - July 2024 - 4
World Grain - July 2024 - 5
World Grain - July 2024 - 6
World Grain - July 2024 - 7
World Grain - July 2024 - 8
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