USDA Ag Outlook Forum Key Washington Event This Week

Posted on 02/16/2020 8:38 PM

FOMC minutes | Analysts to meet with Perdue | Nevada caucuses

Lawmakers are on another recess all week, while USDA later this week hosts the annual Ag Outlook Forum.

USDA's annual Ag Outlook Forum takes place Thursday and Friday. It will provide USDA forecasters' assessment at what crops American farmers will plant this spring. While not based on actual survey responses from growers, the USDA data will show whether agency economists think the U.S./China trade deal will have an influence on what crops get planted as these will be the first forecasts for the 2020-21 marketing years. Link for forum details.

     As for the U.S./China agreement, it is becoming increasingly clear that demand forecasts, which were already murky before the coronavirus outbreak, are even more so now. And, the agreement is based on a calendar year, which means they cover more than one crop (marketing) year.

     On Wednesday, Feb. 19, some industry analysts and others will meet with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue regarding the state of agriculture. The by-invite-only group was spearheaded by USDA Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson.

The next Democratic presidential candidate debate is this Wednesday, in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, Feb. 22, and then a debate in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday, Feb. 25, before the primaries in the state on Saturday, Feb. 29.

     Qualifying for the Nevada debate is former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. But Michael Bloomberg is rising in the polls and could get there soon. Unlike in previous events, candidates don't have to meet a fundraising threshold to take part Wednesday in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has a large organization in the state, is trying to regain momentum in Saturday's caucuses. Of note, Nevada's influential Culinary Union has decided not to endorse a candidate.

Some events on tap this week include:


  • Thursday-Friday: USDA Ag Outlook Forum.


  • Thursday: U.S./China Economic and Security Review Commission holds public hearing to assess China’s military power projection and U.S. national interests.


  • Thursday: Paul Dabbar, Energy Dept.’s undersecretary for science, speaks at CSIS event on energy innovation.


  • Friday: G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs gather for meeting in Riyadh; through Feb. 23.


  • Wednesday: Democratic presidential debate, Las Vegas, Nevada.


  • Wednesday: Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Dan Berkovitz will talk about the agency's 2020 regulatory agenda at a fireside chat hosted by the District of Columbia Bar Corporation's Finance and Securities Law Community.

Economic reports and Federal Reserve appearances for the week include:

     — U.S. markets are closed for Presidents' Day.

     — Federal Reserve speaker: Neel Kashkari
     — National Association of Home Builders reports its NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for February. Consensus estimates are for a 75 reading, matching the January figure. This indicates that home builders are bullish on the housing market in the near term.
     — Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for February. Economists forecast a six reading, similar to the past seven months, suggesting sluggish growth for the region’s manufacturing sector.
     — Treasury International Capital

     — Federal Reserve speakers:
     * Loretta Mester
     * Neel Kashkari
     * Robert Kaplan
     * Tom Barkin
     — MBA Mortgage Applications
     — BLS releases the Producer Price Index (PPI) for January. Consensus estimates are for a 0.2% rise, after a 0.1% gain in December. The core PPI is also expected to climb 0.2%.
     — Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) releases minutes from its late-January monetary-policy meeting. Traders and analysts will be looking for how the Fed is thinking about potential economic risks, including those stemming from the coronavirus.
     — Census Bureau reports residential construction data for January. Expectations are for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million building permits, matching the December data. Housing starts are seen falling 13%, to an annualized 1.4 million.

     — Federal Reserve speaker: Tom Barkin
     — Jobless Claims for the week ended Feb. 15 is likely to have risen to 210,000 from 205,000 for the week ended Feb. 8.
     — Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for February is expected to show a reading of 12.0, following a reading of 17.0 in January.
     — Conference Board releases its Leading Economic Index for January. Consensus estimates are for a 0.2% rise, after a 0.3% decline in December.
     — Fed Balance Sheet
     — Money Supply

     — Federal Reserve speakers:
          * Robert Kaplan
          * Lael Brainard
          * Raphael Bostic
          * Richard Clarida
          * Loretta Mester
     — IHS Markit releases U.S. Mfg Purchasing Managers’ Index for February. Expectations are for a 52 reading.
     — National Association of Realtors reports existing home sales for January. Economists forecast a 2% decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.43 million homes sold. In December, the median home price was $274,500, a 7.8% year-over-year increase.

Key USDA & international ag and energy-related reports and events:

Monday, Feb. 17

     Ag reports and events:

  • U.S. holiday: Presidents' Day
  • Europe’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources monthly report on crop conditions
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data

       Energy reports and events:

  • JODI monthly oil output, export data

Tuesday, Feb. 18

     Ag reports and events:

  • Export inspections
  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook
  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook
  • Potato Stocks
  • Australian crop report from Abares, Canberra

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA Drilling Productivity report

Wednesday, Feb. 19

     Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery

     Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly US inventory report
  • Japan preliminary energy imports (January)
  • Genscape weekly ARA crude stockpiles

Thursday, Feb. 20

     Ag reports and events:

  • USDA Ag Outlook Forum
  • 2020 agricultural economic & foreign trade outlook, USDA Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson
  • USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue speaks on the Future of Agriculture
  • Other speakers at USDA Ag Outlook Forum include Jeff Broin, Founder, POET; Bruce Kettler, Director of Indiana State Department of Agriculture; Shari Rogge-Fidler, President of Farm Foundation; and Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner, Food Policy and Response
  • Agricultural Exchange Rate Data Set
  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade
  • County Estimates: Corn, Soybeans, Sunflowers, Sorghum
  • Farms and Land in Farms
  • Livestock Slaughter
  • Milk Production
  • Malaysia’s Feb. 1-20 palm oil exports data

     Energy reports and events:

  • API Monthly Statistical Report
  • EIA weekly U.S. Working Gas in Underground Storage Report
  • EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report including ethanol production & stocks
  • Singapore onshore oil-product stockpile data
  • Russia refining maintenance schedule

Friday, Feb. 21

     Ag reports and events:

  • USDA Ag Outlook Forum
  • Weekly Export Sales
  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report
  • Peanut Prices
  • Cattle on Feed
  • Deere reports quarterly results
  • FranceAgriMer weekly update on crop conditions

Energy reports and events:

  • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts


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