Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer Slips in April Report

The latest measure of producer mindset dipped lower in April. The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell to 125 last month, which was ten points lower than a month earlier and 15 points below its February reading. Organizers say the sharp drop in the ag producer sentiment index was attributable to producers’ weakening perceptions of current conditions in the production agriculture sector, along with a decline in their expectations for future economic conditions. Respondents indicated they are becoming more pessimistic about agricultural trade, citing the declining price expectations for soybeans. Soybean prices are particularly vulnerable to disruptions in trade with China, as China’s share of U.S. soybean exports is approximately 30 percent. The monthly index surveys 400 producers from across the United States. A measure greater than 100 indicates positive sentiment by producers regarding the ag economy, while a measure under 100 suggests the opposite.