Market Update: Non-Food Agricultural Products
Agriculture goes far beyond just growing food. Also important are non-food agricultural products like lumber, cotton, and flowers. Here’s a quick update on these markets courtesy of the California Farm Bureau.
Pandemic-related effects have changed both supply of lumber and demand for it—sending prices to record highs. Analysts say lumber production slowed due to stay-at-home and social-distancing guidelines affecting mills. At the same time, individuals bought more lumber to work on home repair and expansion projects. Lumber prices have declined sharply since mid-September, but remain higher than previous records set in 2018.
As they approach the halfway point in their harvest, California cotton farmers say the market for the crop may be stabilizing. Farmers had already reduced cotton acreage due to water shortages and trade uncertainties, when the pandemic further disrupted markets by reducing demand for cotton products. Farmers say prices have started to rebound a bit, and report a good-quality California cotton crop with better-than-average yields.
Low-priced flowers from Central and South America have driven many California flower growers out of business—and representatives say a new decision may accelerate that trend. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office says it will allow roses from Ecuador to enter the U.S. duty-free. The California Cut Flower Commission describes its members as disappointed, and says imports have already pushed more than three-quarters of U.S. rose growers out of business.
[Source: California Farm Bureau Federation]