NEW YORK — Lower price levels in 2015 should encourage growth in consumption, which will support prices and bring balance to agri commodity markets, Rabobank said in its outlook for the global agri commodity markets in 2015.
Key variables to watch in 2015 include strength of the U.S. dollar, uncertain Chinese demand growth, slowing biofuel demand and weak oil prices. Key market drivers through 2015 include farmer selling and planting decisions, global demand and weather-related production risks.
“2015 will be another interesting year for agri commodities,” said Stefan Vogel, global head of Rabobank Agri Commodities Markets Research. “Macro drivers remain very much in play and price swings from supply and demand shocks are still likely, given that the stocks for most commodities are not yet at levels necessary to provide an adequate buffer.”
The United Kingdom and the United States are bright spots for tempered economic growth in 2015. However, Rabobank expects a downward turn for China’s 7.5% annual growth rate.
Rabobank reported a bullish outlook for prices for live cattle. Tight supply and continued strong demand will support prices. Cattle herds are projected to decline an additional 2% to 3% year-over-year.
Prices for lean hog futures are expected to ease in 2015 as U.S. pork production recovers from losses due to spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, according to Rabobank. The outlook for pork production is 3% growth.Meanwhile, corn prices are expected to climb slightly through 2015. Rabobank noted that widespread crop shortage and declining planted acres are supportive of higher prices.