Agricultural trade witnessed a big shift in Global Tender Volumes in 2023

Examining the trends, notable global players in ag trade for the last year as well as some potential growth avenues coming up in the year ahead.

The global agricultural trade sector experienced a notable shift in tender volumes in 2023, despite lower prices. According to a report from Agricensus, trading decreased by 29 percent at a value of $16 billion in the last year compared to the 2020-2022 average. The agricultural insight platform primarily attributes the decline to changes in buying patterns influenced by global conflicts and climate changes.

Agricensus highlighted a significant transformation in purchasing behaviors, emphasizing a trend of fewer vessels carrying larger volumes. Noteworthy buyers such as Egypt, South Korea, Japan, and Algeria made substantial purchases, while key industry players like Viterra, Cargill, Olam, and ADM played crucial roles in tender sales.

Despite the overall decline, Randy Spronk of the U.S. Meat Export Federation identified potential growth opportunities in exports for 2024. He underscored the importance of exploring markets in Latin America, South America, and Central America, envisioning collective growth that could rival exports to Mexico. Spronk emphasized the need for free trade agreements and tariff reductions to unlock the full potential of these markets.

In an interview, Spronk discussed the significance of differentiation in U.S. agricultural products, particularly pork, in global markets. He emphasized the role of sustainability practices, including feed sourcing, tillage, fertilizer practices, and cover crops. The critical role of check-off programs, supported by funding from organizations like the USDA, was highlighted as essential for marketing U.S. products internationally.

Spronk concluded by emphasizing the substantial returns for producers, especially in the beef industry, where exports contribute over $400 per head.

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