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Which Two Countries Will Rise as "Economic Power Muscles"?  - 23 July 2013

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Tuesday 23rd July 2013.
Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor


Which Two Countries Will Rise as "Economic Power Muscles"? 

Greetings!  Jim Wiesemeyer, senior VP, Farm and Trade Policy for Informa Economics, told farmers at the Wyffels Corn Strategies conference that they’re in the Golden Era of US Agriculture, and it’s going to continue, but that doesn’t mean a bull market every year.

He said if you produce protein, don’t let anybody try to convince you that you’re not in a growth market. Over the last few years, any bull market generally has been underpinned by China’s growth. However, they aren’t the only market that’s growing.

If you look around the world to the developing countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, Latin America - they’re not growing every year with double digits, but the first thing people always do when they increase their income is improve their diet, and that’s where the world’s farmers come in.

He calls this growth - the rise of the rest. He expects China and India to rise as “economic power muscles”, which plays right into the continued golden era of US agriculture because of the demand and less arable land in China and India. There is demand for Europe, Brazil and other Latin American products along with the growing export demand of protein products, but filling that demand depends on trade policy and also transportation policy.

“Is the US infrastructure in tune to pour forth a lot more exports? It isn’t right now,” he said. “We’re going to see a change in the priorities of where some government money goes, I think, in the decades ahead.”

More often than not, he said,  farmers are going to be in a growth market for corn, soybeans and anything protein. Today, 500 million Asians enjoy a middle class living standard.

“A middle class living standard in China and elsewhere is far different than it is here (US), but it’s middle class - you have more disposable income and history shows that you improve your diet,” Wiesemeyer said. “For centuries, under 1% of the world population had income beyond their basic must-have spending. By 1990, those earning more than $10 a day was one billion out of the total world population of 5 billion. By 2010, that was 2.5 billion people and by 2025, that’s going to show that a little over 4 billion people of the world population of 7.9 billion.”

He said that’s why farmers need to use the technology that’s available to them to build on their efficiencies and stay competitive.

Have a great week!

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