The 16 Month-long Blip in Soybean Prices

On July 9, 2018, reader CoRev disparaged futures prices as accurate predictors of future spot prices for soybeans, writing:

no one has denied the impact of tariffs on FUTURES prices. Those of us arguing against the constant anti-tariff, anti-Trump dialogs have noted this will probably be a price blip lasting until US/Chinese negotiations end. We are on record saying the prices will be back approaching last year’s harvest season prices.

On 3/22, after Trump’s announcement of the Section 301 action against China, the August 2019 soybean futures contract closed at 1030. As of today, the contract closed at 852.

Source: Barchart.com accessed 8/4/2019, 7:30PM Central. Dashed line at 3/22/2018.

That’s a 17.3% decline in the soybean price (as documented in Chinn and Coibion (2015), the futures expiring in one year is an unbiased predictor of the spot price one year hence; thus no need to worry about contango/backwardation). The “blip” has thus lasted 16 months, with no end in sight.

Trump’s latest comments seem to suggest no resolution until after the 2020 elections. If so, then that would be a “blip” of 31 months.

So…tired…of…winning…

Update: And now, China has let their currency depreciate, big time…blows past 7!

Source: tradingeconomics.com.

 

66 thoughts on “The 16 Month-long Blip in Soybean Prices

      1. Moses Herzog

        I was gonna go on one of my long philosophical yarns and then my comp shutdown on me. Maybe God’s way of telling me to STFU. But I’ll just spare you and tell you that John Huston was the man who wrote those lines that everyone has gotten such a chuckle out of paraphrasing. Always been a fan of John Huston’s work and have been fascinated by his personal background over the years. A seemingly “amoral” man, but a man with a razor sharp mind:
        https://youtu.be/u1Y3CxD1DEM?t=2

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwvHAbBJHuo

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh0exWqvxeI

        Reply
  1. Ed Hanson

    About the update. It shows over the weekend, the CP has managed to make 1.3 billion people poorer. And they call that winning. But then again, the elite of the CP can protect themselves, and so it is better for them to depreciate then to agree to follow international norms for trading.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Ed – the update here only noted that the dollar now buys 7 yuans. WTF is “the CP”? Seriously – learn to write in the English language. And nothing I see here “shows” that the citizens of China are necessarily poorer. There is gibberish and then there is the nonsense you excel in!

      Reply
      1. baffling

        have to agree with pgl here. while i am not a fan of the communist party, seems ed has made an argument lacking any evidence of support. more of an ideological argument being passed off as fact.

        Reply
      2. Bruce Hall

        whoever, oddly I find myself agreeing with you, at least regarding today’s yuan valuation change. An exchange rate going from 6.98 to 7.05 yuan to the dollar is hardly earthshaking. Although, as Bloomberg reports:
        DAY RANGE
        6.9766 7.0536 (1.1%)

        52 WEEK RANGE
        6.6546 7.0536 (6.0%)
        which could either be an indicator that there is less confidence in the yuan or that the Chinese government has been responding to tariffs with a weakening for a longer period (although various article at Econbrowser dismiss this notion of the Chinese government manipulating its currency).

        Reply
        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Bruce Hall: I don’t allow that at various times the Chinese government has been manipulating the CNY. However, I was making the point that significant CNY undervaluation was a hard case to make over the past three years. There is a distinction, which you have just elided.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Hall

            Running on the ragged edge of being called out? https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/business/economy/trump-china-currency-manipulation-trade.html (note: just a few months into Trump’s administration)

            I have no doubt that China will do what is in their best interests. And for quite the long time, the U.S. has pretty much gone along with that because, after all, cheap labor is cheap labor and what did we care if the state was getting wealthy on the backs of its workers. But along with that wealth came power to pull a lot of levers to disrupt and it seems to me that the Chinese government is quite happy to be disruptive (albeit attempting to be subtle or seemingly restrained).

            I am still of the opinion that Chinese interests and American interests diverge significantly and that our long-term interests might be better served focusing on trade with India, Japan, and South Korea (we can throw in the Philippines and Vietnam) where low-cost labor is a significant issue. http://www.asiabriefing.com/news/2013/05/china-india-wage-comparison/

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Bruce Hall: I don’t understand your comment about being called out. I have a body of (peer-reviewed) work on the subject of currency misalignment/undervaluation. I’ve *written* on various occasions that the CNY was undervalued, certainly from a basic balance perspective, also from a macroeconomic balance approach (a la IMF’s CGER). But it hasn’t been for quite some time, certainly not so over the period after the peak in fx reserves (2014).

            You can go to my research page to read the various papers: https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~mchinn/research.html

          3. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            Speaking as a night owl degenerate, and a man highly agitated that Apple doesn’t make Macs more capable to soften screen brightness better than they do (to the point of wearing amber glasses often when reading on internet) I mean really….. don’t you think it’s very streamlined and more effective time-management for Bruce to assume an American of Chinese ethnicity MUST have always and perenially argued that China’s currency is overvalued and/or fairly valued than bothering to skim his writings beforehand?? Really, I mean DAMN Menzie!!!! Can’t you be more considerate to others ophthalmological health when they indict you for biased motives?!?!?!? Have some empathy for Christ’s sake!!!! Geez Menzie, your lack of consideration to others is shocking….

          1. pgl

            “Bruce Hall
            August 5, 2019 at 11:59 am
            Running on the ragged edge of being called out?”

            You remind me of CoRev – only more pathetic. Look – just because you do not understand what our host writes does not give you the right to write such insulting sh$t.

          2. pgl

            “I am still of the opinion that Chinese interests and American interests diverge significantly and that our long-term interests might be better served focusing on trade with India, Japan, and South Korea (we can throw in the Philippines and Vietnam) where low-cost labor is a significant issue. ”

            Bruce “no relationship to Robert” Hall clearly has not being reading Brad Setser. We are buying a LOT more from places like Vietnam. Come on Bruce – do some real research for once in your Fox and Friends life.

          3. Bruce Hall

            whoever, “We are buying a LOT more from places like Vietnam. Come on Bruce – do some real research for once in your Fox and Friends life.”

            Yes, we are buying “a lot more” from Vietnam (mainly soft goods), but that doesn’t mean trade (and even outsourced manufacturing) couldn’t be ramped up much more with India which has a middle class (for India) of in excess of 200 million with some estimates (India’s) as high as 600 million. That doesn’t mean they compare in wealth or education with the U.S. middle class, but it does provide a large platform for expansion of trade and manufacturing with a country that has a greater strategic alignment with U.S. interests than China (and would piss off the Chinese government, too). We already outsource call centers among other services to India and they have a solid technological and educational base to expand their capabilities..

            China is not going to fold its tents regardless of what we do. Our transfers of wealth and technology have ensured they can continue without U.S. input. The U.S., too, has other options, India being near the top of the list, and should be taking steps to implement them. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2019/06/21/as-pompeo-heads-to-delhi-the-us-india-relationship-is-at-a-critical-juncture/

            By the way, just a thought on soybeans. Tariffs have impacted China’s willingness to buy from the U.S., but there may be another factor in play: you don’t need to feed dead hogs. https://news.yahoo.com/cargill-shuts-animal-feed-mills-200419958.html

    2. 2slugbaits

      Ed Hanson I think you and the rest of Team Trump need to get your stories straight. As I recall it wasn’t that long ago when Team Trump was accusing the Chinese of depreciating the yuan in order to boost China’s exports at the expense of US businesses. And that was at a time when the Chinese weren’t actively manipulating the yuan. Now that they are devaluing the yuan you are claiming this hurts 1.3B Chinese. So earlier your argument was that depreciation helped 1.3B Chinese and now you’re saying that depreciation hurts 1.3B Chinese. Which is it? Sorry, but between you and CoRev I’m having a hard time keeping up with your continually evolving stories. I know, I know….consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

      Reply
      1. pgl

        Term of the day – malleable opinions. I need to find the text of that court decision in DHL v. Commissioner. Ed Hanson and CoRev as “expert” witnesses in transfer pricing cases. As the judge also wrote “the bane of transfer pricing”!

        Reply
      2. pgl

        “Which is it? Sorry, but between you and CoRev I’m having a hard time keeping up with your continually evolving stories. I know, I know….consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

        This SO captures the views of monetary policy from the likes of Judy Shelton and Stephen Moore. Gold bugs when Obama was President and we needed low interest rates and currency devaluation to recover from the Great Recession. But now that Trump is President – time for lower interest rates and massive dollar devaluation.

        Malleable opinions indeed!

        Reply
      3. Ed Hanson

        Possible I argued for depreciation of Chinese currency, but I have no memory of it. Please if you don’t mind, link or at least give me a hint where I said so.

        Beyond that, Slug, I doubt if I ever made my monetary feelings very public. I support a stable currency. Neither actively depreciating nor appreciating. Keep the value in a small range by limiting the amount of new money produced. Which, of course, is easier said than done.

        Ed

        Reply
  2. pgl

    Using Fred we can see what the exchange rate was at the beginning of 2017:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DEXCHUS

    A dollar bought 6.95 yuan back then and now it buys 7 yuan. The really story is that the yuan appreciated for a while with the more recent devaluations reversing that. Of course this is a bilateral nominal rate. It would be interesting to see this in real terms.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      If we go back 15 years – a dollar would but 8.27 yuan. Now it only buys 7 yuan. OK – that is a nominal comparison over time between only 2 currencies. FRED provides this real broad based exchange rate for China:

      https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RBCNBIS

      Note the yuan appreciated in real terms quite dramatically from 2005 to 2015. Since then there has been a modest real devaluation.

      Reply
  3. CoRev

    What a fascinating year this has been re: agriculture reporting here on Econbrowser. Menzie has quoted me so many times now I should be listed as a contributor. 😉

    As a reminder his July 9, 2018 quote above was preambled with this:
    “…I’m surprised someone from the Upper Midwest doesn’t realize the basics of Ag pricing. Tariffs or other trade barriers/restrictions only are part of what makes up the price. As an economist you are ignoring annual supply and demand.

    Ag especially is dominated by weather (world-wide) and area planted. Every planting season is a crap shoot with harvest amounts that can range from amounts too little to spend money on fuel for the equipment or all the way to bumper crop worrying about storage. For the Farmer one severe storm, early or late frost, too much rain, too little rain, rain at the wrong time, fire, etc. can wipe out a year’s worth of work. Only after the crop is being harvested or in planning what to plant can the farmer really worry about prices….”
    CoRev
    June 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Then along came the 2019 Midwest planting season. You the US consumer will be feeling its effects soon, if you are not already seeing it.
    “…Most-active corn futures Cv1 hit a five-year high in July and are now trading around $4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, up 7% from a year ago. Farmers have seen prices climb even more in cash markets in areas where rains washed out plantings.

    “It’s only going to get worse and it’s all because of the weather,” Heimerl said. ”
    and
    “Poky Feeders, which raises about 125,000 cattle on three feedlots in Kansas, changed its grain rations to be half wheat from all corn in July, said Chief Executive Joe Morgan. Cattle gain weight well when they eat wheat, he said.

    “Most of the time it’s just too high compared to corn,” Morgan said about prices. “Right now, it’s not.” ”
    https://dailycaller.com/2019/08/02/farmers-feeding-cows-pigs-leftover-baked-goods/

    You might ask what does this have to do with soybeans? Soybean meal is a major hog feed component, yet it wasn’t mentioned, because it too is in short supply for the same WEATHER which caused the corn shortage. A cow can consume only limited amounts, ~15% of its total feed. Soybeans are the main ingredient for mature hogs. While corn has done this: https://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/corn-price
    soybeans have done this: https://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/soybeans-price

    What will happen to our meat prices this Fall and Winter? In the shorter term they should fall as farmers off load stock they can not economically feed. We’ll have to wait for this Fall’s harvest numbers to see if and how much of these crops will be diverted for internal consumption. The question will be is there enough feed for out own meat supplies?

    Tariffs have an effect on prices, but WEATHER ALWAYS effects them. Bad weather especially so.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: You are a favorite to quote because you represent the canonical case of a person who pontificates on technical issues he/she does not understand (stochastic trends, out-of-sample forecasting, mean squared error for heaven’s sake!). Hence, you represent a target rich environment for bad “analysis” (if it can be called that).

      For the gazillionth time, bad weather *raises* prices.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        i think it is also worth emphasizing that when corev began his argument, he was arguing that this would all resolve by the end of the 2018 harvest. he could not even comprehend that this could move through the end of the 2019 harvest. it was not even on his thought radar. now he has twisted and tortured his responses to overlook or dismiss this issue, but the fact remains when corev made his arguments, his assumption was that this would all be over by the end of 2018 harvest. that is why he called it a blip.

        Reply
        1. pgl

          We did learn something amazing from CoRev. It goes like this. If it is Tuesday, bad weather raises prices by shifting the supply curve inwards. But if it is Thursday, bad weather still shifting the supply curve inwards lowers prices. When starts with the warp mind of CoRev – all things are possible!

          Reply
    2. 2slugbaits

      CoRev Tariffs have an effect on prices, but WEATHER ALWAYS effects them. Bad weather especially so.

      Oh my. I thought we finally got you to understand that bad weather tends to raise prices. A few weeks ago you said that you understood that and agreed. Now you’ve reverted back to form and are claiming that bad weather is bad for prices…”especially so.” Have you talked to your physician about your frequent loss of memory?

      BTW, last summer you asked me to predict the price of soybeans for any time of my choosing in the late harvest season. I predicted $8.95 for end of November. The 30 November 2018 spot price was….wait for it…$8.95. I’m not a farmer but you claim to be a hobby farmer and quite knowledgeable about farm operations. How is it that I, an agriculture ignoramus, could accurately predict the 30 November soybean price but you couldn’t?

      Reply
      1. pgl

        There is a marvelous passage in one of the footnotes for the Trial Court opinion in DHL v. Commissioner (leading transfer pricing case ala 20 years ago) where the judge blasted the “expert” witnesses on both sides for having “malleable opinions”. CoRev missed his calling. Tax attorneys pay BIG BUCKS for “experts” adapt to prostituting themselves with such malleable opinions!

        Reply
      2. baffling

        corev is more than a hobby farmer. he is a climate expert. a nobel economist. and he once wanted me to thank him for his contributions to technology, such as lasers, satellites, computers and the internet. seriously, i was supposed to thank him for inventing the internet! what a fool that boy is. he believes technology would not exist if not for his contributions!

        Reply
      3. noneconomist

        Tis the season for a baseball metaphor, slugs. Considering your admitted agriculture ignorance (though you’re hitting well) you are but a minor league ignoramus. Class AA at best (as an undrafted high school would be player–not even rookie league caliber– I’m still envious)
        But for pure ignorance, you’ll have to admit CoRev is major league. It’s been a meteoric rise through the minors into the bigs. .And in this league, he’s no mere journeyman. He’s a star. Given his vast knowledge, he’s a five tool player. Cooperstown material, for sure.

        Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          @ noneconomist
          Speaking of major league talent, you’re gonna have to give some political analysis on California come mid to late February on this here blog. After 2016 Nate Silver just isn’t what he used to be. Come hell or highwater you’re gonna put your ear to the ground there and visit with all the locals at the popular breakfast diner there and tell us how Kamala and the rest of these schmoes are gonna do in the Cali primary. If you outdo the local papers you’ll become legend in the blogosphere.

          Reply
      4. CoRev

        2slugs, and Menzie did you completely miss the point of how the bad weather was raising prices for meat because feed was scarce???????

        Menzie as you noted: “For the gazillionth time, bad weather *raises* prices.” and you “…represent the canonical case of a person who pontificates on technical issues he/she does not understand…” , namely agriculture products. My comment was about feed stock. Do you yet get it?
        Here’s a reminder of my subject: “What will happen to our meat prices this Fall and Winter? In the shorter term they should fall as farmers off load stock they can not economically feed. We’ll have to wait for this Fall’s harvest numbers to see if and how much of these crops will be diverted for internal consumption. The question will be is there enough feed for out own meat supplies?” and my position from the beginning:
        “Tariffs have an effect on prices, but WEATHER ALWAYS effects them. Bad weather especially so.”

        Supply and demand- good weather improved supply and lower prices for the core product and for those products for which it is used. Bad weather – lowered supply and higher prices for the core product and for those products for which it is used. The third condition almost everyone ignores for soybeans is that China’s ASF outbreak lowered demand from our biggest export market and has lowered prices for soybeans. Which may end up helping prices for our meat supply, but weather will be the determinant here. Is that so hard to comprehend, that the only factor considered is the tariffs?

        Farmers certainly know and understand this. Economists and wanna be economists not so much. The farmer is also intimately aware of these factors effects on his income.

        Reply
    3. pgl

      You do write a lot of words but to suggest you have contributed? Oh yea – contributed to the efforts of Team Trump to dumb down everything. Got it!

      Reply
  4. Hans

    Now, Professor Chinn has begun to travel the dark
    road of censorship.

    It took a while but I am not surprised.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Hans: Your post was deleted because it used faux-black language “dat” instead of “that”. Racism and xenophobia has no place on this blog, and that you insist on the posting of your racist rant on the day after a racist-driven massacre speaks volumes.

      Reply
      1. pgl

        Even Donald Trump declared “hate has no place in our country”. Of course if he really meant that – he would go back to Germany (assuming they would take him).

        Reply
  5. pgl

    In CoRev’s defense, he is a lot better at economics that Bruce “no relationship to Robert” Hall. Bruce’s latest is that exports are not an important part of our economist. Noneconomist is having a field day with this by citing data from Michigan – Bruce’s alleged home state. I noted to Brucie that exports represented 12.2% of GDP whereas residential investment was a mere 4% of GDP. This matters in part because Brucie thinks evidence from the residential investment market is an important thing to consider. No doubt even if I reminded Brucie that sales of EXISTING homes do not represent residential investment. His whining after that was incredibly funny to watch. But not as funny as his latest:

    ‘Bruce Hall
    August 5, 2019 at 3:47 am
    whoever, 12.2% might be considered important, but not driving the economy. Consumer spending was six times that. Perhaps our perspectives are different.’

    Well yea – consumption/GDP is indeed quite high. So I guess we can ignore everything else? Government purchases do not matter. Exports do not matter. Investment does not matter. Lord – the macroeconomic model of Bruce “no relationship to Robert” Hall must be a wonder to review!

    CoRev – do us a favor. Please become Bruce’s economic mentor. He needs a LOT of help!

    Reply
  6. baffling

    so now china halts all ag purchases. in the world of corev economics, this should push soybean prices back up to previous highs, right? just how long will those trump farmers continue to take a beating and still support the orange menace? or do i see another round of socialist farmer welfare coming up before the election? corev, are we going to continue to subside us farmers for failing trump policy?

    Reply
    1. pgl

      “so now china halts all ag purchases. in the world of corev economics, this should push soybean prices back up to previous highs, right”.

      Inward shift of demand raising prices? It must be Monday. By Friday, CoRev will inform us that the inward shift of demand lowers prices. Malleable opinions are wonderful!

      Reply
    2. CoRev

      Baffled, another who can’t comprehend what he reads. Animal feed, some of which is from soybeans but is also from corn and other grain products, has gone up due to WEATHER.

      You also asked: “corev, are we going to continue to subside us farmers for failing trump policy?” I hope so! Otherwise you in the liberal strong holds will get hungry and many prices for ag. products will be pricey if you can get your cellophane wrapped needs. Don’t forget that ole ethanol augmented gasoline or the soy oil augmented bio-diesel used to deliver them.

      You might re-consider your original questions: ” so now china halts all ag purchases. in the world of corev economics, this should push soybean prices back up to previous highs, right? just how long will those trump farmers continue to take a beating and still support the orange menace?” Correct your focus from just soybeans and tariffs. WEATHER effects all ag. products upon which you rely. Reduced Chinese demand can help you, but not necessarily the farmer.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        “Otherwise you in the liberal strong holds will get hungry and many prices for ag. products will be pricey if you can get your cellophane wrapped needs. ”
        not true if you believe in free markets. i thought conservative, libertarian, free market folks were against subsidies because they distorted the market. get rid of the distortions because it will deliver the proper and fair price, i have been lectured by them ad nauseam. corev, you really sound like a socialist desiring a centralized economy. in fact, dear corev, you appear to have communist tendencies.

        Reply
          1. baffling

            I guess that is your way of admitting to being a closet communist corev. But that appears to be your stated belief system. Or u have some more word salad to explain why u do not have a socialist solution for the farmers?

          2. noneconomist

            Simple fact: only growers of a few chosen crops, CoRev, receive subsidies. Major subsidies go to those who grow corn, wheat, rice, cotton, and SOYBEANS. In addition, the federal government generously pays for growers’ crop insurance. Those who do receive (and have received for decades) such subsidies often do quite well.
            One of those growers is my MC, Doug LaMalfa, CA 1. Since 1995 his rice farms have been the recipients of well over $5,000,000 in ag subsidies. During that same stretch, he has served in the California legislature and in Congress where he has earned yearly six-figure incomes and generous benefits. He has also profited from record rice prices in some of those years. His rice fields are insured by the same government he often criticizes.
            Bailing out soybean growers is obviously as much a political move as an economic one. As such, it has very little to do with making sure there’s enough inexpensive food on everyone’s table. California produces somewhere close to 15% of the nation’s food supply. I have yet to see the states almond growers, for one, (big exporters to China and others with crop values in the billions) so compensated.
            LaMalfa bills himself as a “real deal conservative.” As such he vigorously opposes subsidies. Oh, not the ones he collects. No, he’s opposed to SNAP benefits for poor consumers who might receive the government’s help in putting food on the table. Like his rice that has already been handsomely subsidized.
            Guys like him, of course, can point to their disdain for those mythical welfare queens driving Cadillacs. I refer to him and his ilk as welfare kings driving 4X4’s.
            BTW, there are plenty of crops in socialist California that don’t qualify for subsidies or the bailout but will likely be on most consumers’ plates sooner or later. Many of these crops are grown in red districts where the elected representatives are dyed-in-the-wool Trump toadies, For now.

          3. Dave

            CoRev nonsensically wails “Could have. Didn’t, because I was talking about US products and prices.”

            What an incredibly ignorant comment.

  7. baffling

    rick stryker looked up from the sink, washing the blood off of his hands, grinning as a said it was not the guns, bigotry and anti-immigrant innuendo that killed those people. it was the video games. if only they had armed themselves and fought back, they would be alive.

    hey steven kopits, are we still talking about increased accountability? perhaps those dead in el paso and dayton should be more responsible for their own lives? apparently they needed to be more accountable for their lives in kopits world view.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      “Princeton”Kopits is always for “accountability” when it applies to weak and vulnerable members of society. Now, asking those who knowingly and illegally employ illegals to be accountable??—-“Princeton”Kopits then thinks that accountability for those people is a very very horrid idea—so horrid in fact, “Princeton”Kopits refuses to discuss punitive action against those who knowingly employ illegals—it is in fact the only time Kopits withdraws from self-promotion of the great “policy analyst” he worships in the mirror every morning.

      Reply
      1. pgl

        “Princeton”Kopits fanned the flames of racism towards Baltimore. So in a way he is as racist as Trump. And yes – he fanned the flames of hatred towards Hispanics. But will he acknowledge that the blood of the 22 who died in El Paso is on his hands or Trump’s hands? Of course not. In fact I fully expect one of his patented Princeton Policy blogs to shift blame onto someone else. Which of course will get Kopits another invite on Fox & Friends.

        Reply
  8. pgl

    ‘He said he did not really care, because the United States is taking in billions in tariffs. While Trump insists the tariffs are beneficial to U.S. Treasury coffers, in reality the costs are passed on to U.S. companies and consumers. “We haven’t even taxed China yet compared to what I can do,” he said. “We have tens of billions of dollars rolling in from China,” he said.’

    FRED?

    Federal government current tax receipts: Taxes on production and imports: Customs duties

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/B235RC1Q027SBEA

    This did rise to $73.5 billion per year as of 2019QI but not all of this was due to duties on imports from China. But this fell to $71.5 billion per year as of 2019QII. Huh? It is true that these tariffs are increasing the prices that Americans pay for goods. And last I heard demand curves to slope downwards. So maybe Trump will increase tariff rates, which will drive prices even higher and the physical quantity of goods imported from China down. But such Econ 101 concepts are above the mental capacity of the Idiot-in-Chief!

    Reply
  9. Moses Herzog

    I was just thinking we haven’t gotten any market updates from our North Dakota Extension guy in awhile, whose analysis is pretty good even if he does absolutely murder Chinese bureaucrat name pronunciations (I don’t think it’s THAT hard but fumbling over pinyin for a few years probably gives me a slight advantage). Maybe he is afraid if he tells the truth he’ll never get that nice job at the USDA he’s been dreaming of.

    Whenever he updates or a solid one updates I will put it in one of these threads. Although really I think Menzie could make (has made) the case futures prices get it pretty damned close. Though following supply patterns and what percentage in world markets Brazil has gained in the last 3 years could be a fascinating little hobby as well. I know American farmers are anti-socialism, so I keep waiting for the stories about U.S. farmers sending their trump USDA welfare checks back to the government uncashed, but still haven’t seen any yet. You guys let me know when you catch that story on FOX, because I know midwestern white farmers hate welfare, so I know they are gonna send that welfare back to the USDA.

    Reply
  10. Bruce Hall

    My comment of being “called out” was in reference to the quotes within the NYT article and a phrase used there.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Bruce Hall: You mean Setser’s? I can understand his viewpoint, still you should read Prasad’s quote. You have to ask yourself if it would’ve had the desired effect. I still don’t see why I’m being “called out” — the points made are largely consistent with those I’ve made.

      By the way, if you want to get informed, try reading something more in-depth; here is something requiring undergrad level understanding: https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~mchinn/CCF_VoxEU.pdf

      Reply
      1. Bruce Hall

        Menzie, I didn’t direct the “called out” toward you, but to the NYT article which suggested that the Chinese government should have been “called out” on manipulation long before Trump became president. Hope that clarifies it.

        “Though the requirement that the Treasury identify currency manipulators “gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade” dates back to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, China was never called out.”

        Reply
        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Bruce Hall
          Let’s see, 1988, that’s 31 years ago. Good catch!!!! Can you tell me if the Batman with Jack Nicholson was any good?? PLEASE, NO SPOILERS!!!!

          Reply
  11. baffling

    its a good thing that mitch mcconnell and rand paul have government provided health insurance to protect them. glad the us taxpayer could fix ol’mitch’s broken shoulder and remove lil’rand’s lung. personally i would rather they both receive their medical care through private insurers, though, rather than be bailed out by the us taxpayer.

    Reply
  12. baffling

    “By the way, just a thought on soybeans. Tariffs have impacted China’s willingness to buy from the U.S., but there may be another factor in play: you don’t need to feed dead hogs.”
    ok bruce. then how appropriate is it for the trump administration to try and force china to buy soybeans for dead hogs? why should china buy something they do not need, in order to placate the orange excrement? really, where does this demand fit into a democratic, free market world order?

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