Food Service Demand Up and Ag Lending Strong
**Foodservice demand is revving up for a torrid summer.
In fact, restaurant and bar seasonally adjusted spending in May totaled a record $67 billion, up from $66 billion in February.
Michael Swanson, chief ag economist at Wells Fargo, tells www.thepacker.com, May had limited capacity and a lot of bars and restaurants are still understaffed, holding back sales.
Swanson says consumer demand for dining out will persist for months, as consumers rebook travel and have more social gatherings.
**Despite the global economic slowdown during the 2020 pandemic, total agricultural lending by U.S. farm banks remained strong at $98.6 billion, decreasing by only 1.8% from the year before.
According to www.agrimarketing.com, the American Bankers Association's annual Farm Bank Performance Report attributed the change to a 6.7% decline in ag production loans.
By contrast, outstanding loans secured by farmland increased 2.1% to $56.7 billion.
**A sharp decline in China's pork prices is a significant concern for the world's pork exporting countries, including the U.S.
U.S. Meat Export Federation Economist Erin Borror says the key to maintaining overall export growth is rebuilding pork consumption in markets outside of China.
Borror says when China's pork demand surged following African Swine Fever outbreaks, pork consumption pulled back in other major markets.
She says, as the least “China-reliant” pork exporter, there are excellent opportunities to rebuild that demand.