Sunday, July 17, 2016
The fall-out from lower commodity prices is still in process
There has been more talk about rising commodity prices and that these markets are back after the end of the super-cycle. Granted commodities as measured by a broad-based index have been the best performing asset class this year, but there still is a shake-out occurring in the market. Capital expenditure have fallen in oil and natural gas and other markets have started consolidation, but there still has to be further adjustments to get a better balance between supply and demand.
Just look at farm net income in the US as measure by the Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (ERS). Farm income as fallen by 33% percent since highs in 2012. Land prices have softened and capital expenditures have declined. Any increases in the cost of production will further erode income which will affect the ability to increase productivity. Farmer are still better off than from before the Financial Crisis, but their room to maneuver is diminished. Times are not great for farmers in the US.