Will China and Brazil maintain global ag influence?

April 18, 2023
Nelson Neale, head of CHS global research, discusses what shifts in China and Brazil mean to the future of U.S. agriculture.

Agriculture is a global business, and changes around the world have a direct impact on U.S. farmers. Nelson Neale, head of CHS global research, explains how conditions in China and Brazil could shape the future of agriculture in the United States.

China plays a significant role in global markets

China plays a broader role in agriculture beyond being a major importer of many commodities. Neale says China remains the largest producer of active ingredients used in crop protection and that influences product availability for U.S. farmers.

“China also influences global fertilizer trade flows, so there’s a worldwide impact based on how they manage that position. Moving forward, China will continue to play a major role in U.S. agriculture’s future,” explains Neale.

Brazil helps meet global crop demands

Brazil is another key player in the global agriculture arena as the largest soybean exporter and a significant corn producer. Neale says Brazil is well-positioned to continue to play a critical role in the agriculture export value chain.

“Brazil certainly has the land available to expand row crop production, and its yields continue to improve. If the U.S. turns more domestic acres away from the export markets and into soybean crush for renewable diesel production in the coming year, I expect to see the global shortfall filled by Brazil,” he says. 

Global markets affect farmer outcomes

Neale urges farmers to pay attention to global market conditions. “Whether it’s corn being shipped from Brazil to China or U.S. trade relationships with Mexico, farmers need to understand how global circumstances affect their businesses. Many of these factors will manifest themselves in market pricing, which may impact margin opportunities,” says Neale.

This article is part of a six-part series on the trends shaping the future of agriculture by Nelson Neale, head of CHS global research. Read the full series here:

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