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Grain Traders Say Crops, China and Biofuels to Headline 2022

Escalating inflation and global shipping costs also top the list of things to watch

Fuel pump gas biofuel VIA PIXABAY Nov 2021

In a recent column for Reuters, Karen Braun stated unforeseeable events pop up every year, but market participants over the next 12 months will likely remain focused on top importer China as well as the increasing demand for renewable fuels and the impact on agriculture.

The always-crucial U.S. growing season could be a shorter-term aspect.

Those are not dissimilar to the leading topics from a year ago, but global prices are stronger now. Chicago corn, soybean and wheat futures in 2021 all hit their highest levels since 2012-13.

Currently, most-active corn futures are trading about 35% above the year-ago levels, soybeans 4% above, and wheat 30% above. All three ended 2020 on their yearly highs, but prices have eased off the 2021 tops, soybeans by the most at around 24%.

U.S. ACRES: U.S. farmers’ 2022 plantings will be a significant factor on prices because the range of acres currently in discussion could easily be the difference between the safe building of supplies and another year of tightness and uncertainty.

CHINA: China has long been in the driver’s seat in the soybean market, but it is now central in corn since it became the top importer of the yellow grain last year. However, future demand remains unclear.

BIOFUELS AND RENEWABLES: The push for reducing global carbon emissions has increased U.S. interest for renewable fuels, leading to considerable investment. Several projects to build new plants or convert existing petroleum refineries into renewable ones are already under way.

Other topics will be of top importance into 2022, especially escalating inflation. Global shipping costs back in October reached the highest levels since 2008, and although they have fallen significantly since then, they are at 12-year highs for the date.

Read the full column here.

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