Soybeans: Victory Is Around the Corner

On July 9, 2018, about 14 months ago, reader CoRev wrote:

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.

Hah, hah, hah, hah! Time to look at prices relative to March 23, 2018, when Trump announced imposing Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods…



In other words, soybean prices remain 15.5% below March 26 levels.

So…much…winning. I can’t bear it any more.

58 thoughts on “Soybeans: Victory Is Around the Corner

  1. Moses Herzog

    I realize that you’re trying to make the graph simple so people like CoRev and Ed Hanson can understand. And I agree making it simple is the best way to settle an “argument” or hammer the nail on the “obvious”. But this lazy and obnoxious reader always likes to see if he can get the over-worked Prof to do more menial blog work. I’m not sure what the proper analogous comparison would actually be. But I was thinking if you could overlay the domestic price of soybeans in Brazil expressed in U.S. dollars and put it in a differentiating color like hot pink it would be educational.

  2. CoRev

    Hey Menzie, Can YOU or anyone succinctly write down the complaint against Trump in this latest attempt to smear? If it’s ethical it must be measured against the 2016 Democrat activities. If it is legal it must be identified by Federal Code. If it is shown illegal then it must also be compared to Biden’s actions.

    1. pgl

      Russia may produce a lot of food but their production is not exactly up to Ukraine standards. That China is buying so much from Russia – it is no wonder Putin wants to annex Ukraine. I’m sure he’s glad he put Trump in the White House!

    1. pgl

      Gee John – Menzie provided a 45 year chart of soybean prices which I guessed you never really checked so here goes again:

      Note in the summer of 2012, soybean prices actually exceeded $17.50 in nominal terms. Now you may want to inflation adjust prices over time like Menzie asked you to do!

      But no – it was not Obama’s policies that led to that spike in soybean prices. After all – all sorts of things affect the soybean market. Even CoRev gets that (sort of).

        1. pgl

          Of course soybean prices started falling soon after John Kerry replaced Hillary Clinton as Sec. of State. It seems Hillary’s misdeeds go way back. But be reassured that Bill Barr is all over this scandal!

    2. Dave

      “So soybean prices today are about what they were in 2009, under Obama.”


      You are clearly a partisan hack. But surely even you understand that we were just getting over GW Bush’s global financial crisis in 2009. Prices of all sorts of thing were depressed. Even under that terrible economic climate, when adjusted for inflation, prices are no where near what they were in 2009, under Obama.


  3. Barkley Rosser

    Trump made a trade agreement with Shinzo Abe of Japan last week in New York. Much of it focuses on Japan opening up to various ag goods from the US, including beef, pork, and a lot of fruits and vegetables. I saw no mention of soybeans on the list, and clearly there has been no noticeable change in soybean prices very recently. Indeed, the agreement opens up the US to soy sauce imports, which might hurt the Kikoman soy sauce production facility in Walworth, Wisconosin in Rock County near the Illinois line. This might actually hurt US soybean prices.

    Most of what is in this agreement was in the TPP, which Trump pulled out of. So this sort of resembles his revision of NAFTA, which was also mostly getting back to what would have there if we had stayed in TPP.

    The one loose item not settled on in this agreement is the big one: autos, left for later negotiation.

  4. CoRev

    Today’s soybean price for November 2019 closed at $9.19. INO here:

    An explanation of what has been happening is here:
    Recap for September 30

    U.S. soy complex futures advanced Monday after China purchased more U.S. supplies of the oilseed and the U.S.D.A. reported crop stockpiles were smaller than traders had expected…. November soybeans gained 23c to close at $9.06 a bu. October soybean meal added $6 to close at $295.90 a ton. October soybean oil advanced 0.37c to close at 28.99c a lb. …”

    And everyone always ignores the caveat: “… this will probably be a price blip lasting until US/Chinese negotiations end. …”

    At the same time US household median income is up ~6.8% during Trumps administration which is almost 4 times the increase during the total Obama administration.

      1. Moses Herzog

        There are little moments on this blog, that make all the friction and contention totally worth it.

      2. CoRev

        Menzie, from you: “and typically temporary deviation from a general trend.” Typically is not always, and in a production cycle time frame of annual duration, it doesn’t make sense to judge a blip in a fraction of a singe cycle. As you have done for a year. It also doesn’t make sense to ignore al the other events occurring since your starting point.

        More importantly repeatedly ignoring the associated caveat shows a willful need to make vainglorious points. This is evidenced by your unrelated comments to my question in the earlier thread, and then refusing my attempt to carry it over here.

        1. Dave

          CoRev wrote the most ridiculous thing “in a production cycle time frame of annual duration, it doesn’t make sense to judge a blip in a fraction of a singe cycle”

          Uhhh. Yes it does. Those soybeans were already planted. The larger context was whether this trade war was going to affect farmers. Harvest season is long over. Billions were lost. You were “on-record” that this reduction in soybeans FUTURES prices (which you still don’t seem to understand) were just a “blip”.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      I just checked Fred. During the Obama administration median family income rose about $10,000. Since Trump got into office it has risen about $3,000. Kind of looks like your numbers on this matter are not quite right.

      1. pgl

        Gee FRED makes this so easy:

        Real Median Household Income in the United States

        We see that recessions tend to bring down real median income and the Great Recession had a significantly negative effect. But since 2012, real median income had been rising quite rapidly. At least until Trump took office when the pace of this real increase slowed a bit.
        How on earth did CoRev get this SO incredibly wrong? Oh yea – he sucks at basic research!

    2. 2slugbaits

      CoRev At the same time US household median income is up ~6.8% during Trumps administration which is almost 4 times the increase during the total Obama administration.

      Is that a Fox Fact? The Census folks tell a different story.

      And if you’d care to look at the data in more detail check out Table H-6:

      1. pgl

        And I was just praising CoRev for being more capable than the always incompetent Bruce Hall. Neither one of them knows how to look up reliable data.

      2. CoRev

        Referencing the Census data gets us this quote: “The latest data from the Census Bureau’s monthly surveys tells a different story. Real median household income – the amount earned by those in the middle – hit $ 65,084 (in 2019 dollars) in the 12 months ending in July. That’s the highest level ever and a $ 4144 gain, or 6.8%, since Trump took office. By comparison, during President Obama’s 7½ years – from the end of the recession in June 2009 through January 2017 – the median household income increased only by around $ 1,000. “, and this chart:

        All from here:

        1. 2slugbaits

          CoRev Wow. Simply wow. You really need to take a statistics course. That chart was amazing. Imagine you were a sales executive and you presented a chart like that to your boss. You’d be out the door in a heartbeat. The worst part is that you vote. Your innumeracy is gobsmacking.

        2. pgl

          “That’s the highest level ever”.

          Lord I never realized your were THIS stupid. In even a dismally growing economy, real income per person this year is generally higher than real income per person in the previous year. Come on CoRev – please stop as even your dog is embarrassed.

        3. pgl

          Business glitz and the WSJ? Maybe a wee bit above Fox and Friends but not much. BTW – the bottom of the damage from the Great Recession was in 2012 not the summer of 2009. Even your stupid source’s chart shows that. Again CoRev – we will wait until you take your shoes off so you can do the math of the % increase since 2012.

          Also – FRED is a much better source than your right wing rags. Learn to use it!

        4. pgl

          “That’s the highest level ever and a $ 4144 gain, or 6.8%”.

          WRONG! You have calculated the nominal increase here not the real increase. My GOD – you are beyond STUPID. The nominal increase was a mere 2.2% not 6.8%.

          For the love of God – can you even try to get the facts right? GEESH!

        5. macroduck

          Rather than using official data, Corev has linked to Sentier Research data. Not the same. Not exactly apple and orange, but decidedly different. More like the rest of us are apple picking an CoRev is cherry picking.

          1. pgl

            Sentier Research misrepresent the inflation adjusted data which is a nice thing for a right wing troll like CoRev as it allows him to claim real median income rose by 6.8% over 2 years when the official reporting shows it rose by 2.27%. Yes – Sentier Research LIED and CoRev is too dumb to get it!

        6. pgl

          For the record, real median income rose by 10.52% from 2012 to 2016. From 2016 to 2018, real median income rose by only 2.27%. Those are the facts reported by Census, which you can confirm using my FRED link. But hey CoRev – please search around for some other right wing morons that understand less than you do and have a habit of lying to us about these things!

      3. pgl

        “Real median household income in the United States increased 0.8 percent between the 2017 ACS and 2018 ACS … Median household income for the nation has been increasing since 2013. The increase from 2017 is smaller than the prior 3 years, during which median household income increased between 1.8 percent and 3.3 percent annually.”

        So your source does this in inflation adjusted (real) terms. May we suggest CoRev read footnote 7 as I seriously doubt he gets the distinction between nominal v. real. But yea – the actual Census report says precisely the opposite of what CoRev tried to peddle.

        Now is CoRev back to lying to us? Or is he just too stupid to do basic research?

    3. pgl

      Hey CoRev – when Trump is impeached, I get soybean futures will soar on the anticipation that President Pelosi finally makes your deal with China! So there is hope for you yet.

      BTW – this is your usual stupidity:

      “At the same time US household median income is up ~6.8% during Trumps administration”

      In nominal terms maybe but what matters is real income. How much have prices increased? We’ll wait for you to take off your shoes so you can do the arithmetic.

        1. pgl

          I don’t read the BS from the WSJ oped page as it is even worse than that garbage you watch on Fox and Friends.

        2. Barkley Rosser

          Sorry, CoRev, but Sentier Research is notorious for being highly biased and extremely unreliable, although sometimes respectable newspapers screw up and cit them. Their off-the-wall data can make for good headlines.

          Dean Baker poked at the NY Times back in 2013 for relying on them for household income numbers that were totally flakey. See

          1. pgl

            Thank goodness for Dean Baker. I thought Sentier misrepresented this particular discussion. It seems they have been doing this kind of thing for a while. Which is exactly why CoRev peddled them as some allegedly reliable source!

  5. Ed Hanson


    Nice try. But you have to expect the following from leftist and socialist. They will refuse to read accurately any statement which might be interpreted against them and their ideas and propaganda. This string show this clearly.

    Note the response to John Smith, who made an accurate observation of the price of soybeans about a decade apart. It had to be attacked for two reasons. The obvious reason, it brought perspective to the current anti-Trump diatribe. By bringing up inflation rate (an important variable) is just way to simplified Other variables such as land values, seed cost, production cost, storage cost, and probably numerous other variable a true ag economist would evaluate. But, the second reason is more important. It might cause some to look at Menzie’s carefully timed chart by looking at its link.

    Obvious to anyone who cares about soybean prices, it was during the President Obama administration (before Menzie’s early date) when the greatest crash of soybean price occurred Two times (or greater) the price drop than during the President Trump administration.

    As for your straightforward and sensible analysis of the future of soybean price. As you write they continue to ignore what you wrote. But I congratulate you. You have challenged them enough times that they fear your message is getting through, so they now have gone to another leftist technique of redefining the words you write. Not that I doubt the Menzie quote from the Oxford Dictionary as being inaccurate, it just misleading. The words “minor” and “typically temporary” glare for understanding. Is the price change “minor?” No doubt many times this price change has been exceeded in the past, last time during the Obama Administration. At best it is a matter of interpretation needing historical context. “(T)ypically temporary.” In the world of agriculture I would agree in this case temporary being a relative term, is defined quite rightly by your referenced of the ending of negotiations.


    1. noneconomist

      Always nice to see a little backslapping between two guys whose feet are never far from their mouths.

  6. Paine

    Failed Forecasting proclamations
    Make for razz berry chorus time fun

    The macro community however
    Faces a shattered macro management paradigm

    Even as the long and TEPID recovery
    Reaches thru feeble expansion toward the next contraction

    Maybe we need to work on the next paradigm

    Let’s make it
    Payments based not loan based

    1. pgl

      Oh gee – Paine babbling. Well we have are funny little right wing trolls to mock so your left wing comic relief makes this “fair and balanced”. Come on Paine – learn to write in the English language. DUH!

  7. pgl

    The socialists at ADP have some dismal news:

    September private payrolls report shows the pace of hiring is slowing

    “Private payrolls rose by 135,000 in September, ahead of Dow Jones estimates for 125,000, according to ADP and Moody’s Analytics. That brought the monthly average for 2019 down to 145,000, compared with 214,000 a year earlier.”

    But maybe this will be outset by all that agents that the FBI has hired to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

  8. baffling

    ” this will probably be a price blip lasting until US/Chinese negotiations end. ”
    lets put your quote into context, corev. this was not an arbitrary statement. at the time, it was implied in your argument the negotiations would not last long, and be finished by the harvest. you are trying to rewrite your argument to keep this “until” open for as long as possible. that was NOT your position. the blip you note was a reference to the timing of BOTH the PRICE and the NEGOTIATIONS. while you are trying to imply a link to the end of negotionations, to cover your poor prognosticating skills, your argument at the time was based upon the fact those negotiations would be handled quickly and smoothly by the master negotiator himself. you were wrong. do not try to rewrite your argument in better light upon failure.

    1. Willie

      Kinda seems like negotiations have ended. The Chinese seem to have decided that Trump is a flake, cannot be trusted, and isn’t worth the time of day. So, end of negotiations. Complete failure by Trump to add to his decades long string of abject failures. There’s that little issue that CoRev might consider.

      1. baffling

        fair point. i don’t think corev has fully thought out what the end of negotiations may actually look like, probably due to the one sided nature of his view of the world.

  9. pgl

    I posted the link to FRED’s Real Median Household Income in the United States, 2018 CPI-U-RS Adjusted Dollars, Annual, Not Seasonally Adjusted

    $63,179 in 2018 and $61,779 two years earlier. CoRev tells us that this is a 6.8% increase. Excel tells me it is a 2.27% increase.

    OK CoRev has a couple of charts drawn by someone dumber than he is. But no CoRev – you have this all wrong. And by now your dog has run away as he can’t take your stupidity any more.

  10. baffling

    off topic but probably important nevertheless
    old age has taken its first victim from the election. bernie loses much viability due to health concerns. a 78 year old male with heart issues is not electable today. as i have noted repeatedly, the democrats need to cultivate fresh young leaders if they want to control the future. as much as anything, hillary’s health issues in the past election probably were as big of a hurdle as the republican interference through the russians. democrats should be able to address both issues in the next election if they want to win.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        I hope he gets better too, but some of us have been saying that both he and Biden are too old to be president. They should both step aside and let the Native American and the prosecutor duke it out.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Let me call them the Professor and the Prosecutor. Mayor Pete might be a possibility, but he is the opposite of Bernie and Biden, too young, and he has not done a very good job as mayor, although he has a lot of appealing characteristics. Another year later.

          1. Willie

            Whatever you want to call them is fine with me. I want to see one of them nominated. Trump will find all kinds of things to call them. Harris might be the tougher one for Trump to deal with, for a number of reasons, but at this point, I expect Warren to be the nominee.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      And in fact those were completely trumped up, out and out fake news. With candidates who do have real health problems, yes, this will get used effectively against them. B and B both need to go. Sorry, because I happen to like and respect both of them.

  11. baffling

    jack dorsey is probably in the best position to rid the nation of the corrupt trump regime. trump has violated many terms of use related to twitter. his account should be frozen based upon this behavior. i appeal to mr dorsey to follow through with twitter regulations and ban donald trump from the platform. as an owner of twitter, i recognize the possible risk to the brand and stock performance. over the long run, however, it will help to clean up the platform as a legitimate source for honest and civil discourse and distribution of information. the time has come to stop enabling the behavior espoused by the president’s twitter feed.

  12. Moses Herzog

    Moscow Mitch has stated they must do impeachment proceedings if they vote to impeach in the House. However he is already strongly implying impeachment proceedings in his Senate will be short:

    I’m not sure it has “dawned on” Mitch McConnell how much “fun” donald trump is going to be if he’s still in the White House in 2021. If Moscow Mitch is afraid of donald trump now, what is donald trump going to be like to bearcat wrestle with in 2021?? If I was Moscow Mitch, I would let that thought sink into my cranium a little bit.

    1. baffling

      this is the conundrum many republicans are facing. they don’t want to admit they screwed up and supported a mentally deranged trump, however, they also understand life is miserable now, and would be unbearable if reelected. tough position to be in. i think many republicans silently hope trump commits a serious enough act that impeachment will be a slam dunk. they dare not say that out loud, but probably at the top of each wish list.

    2. Willie

      Moscow Mitch probably hopes the impeachment goes ahead, and that Trump takes his ball and goes home to mommy. Then he will have Pence, who is relatively tale, if slimy and phoney.

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