Lingering high prices are expected to take a bigger toll on the economy in 2024. CoBank says the biggest problem for farm margins heading into 2024 is the elevated cost of production. While fertilizer prices have fallen, other production costs remain high.
However, ag commodities will benefit from more upside price risk than down in 2024. Global grain and oilseed stock inventories are tight by historic measures, and the northern hemisphere will likely have a strong El Niño weather pattern during the growing season for the first time since 2015. The dollar will likely continue its recent decline, and global demand should return to a long-term growth trend.
Also, the renewable diesel boom and the smaller U.S. soybean harvest of 2023 will drive an expansion of soybean acreage next year. Profitability for the livestock sector should modestly improve in 2024 as lower feed costs and domestic demand offset weak global exports.