Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Sid Salter: Global Ag Market Has Substantial Impact on Mississippi Communities

Even before global headlines seized on the fact that for the first time in a half-century, China’s mammoth population was in decline, Fiscal Year 2023 U.S. agricultural trade projections were down overall and specifically down with China.

The latest information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service analysts offered this outlook:

U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year (FY) 2023 are projected at $190.0 billion, down $3.5 billion from the August forecast. This decrease is primarily driven by reductions in soybeans, cotton, and corn exports that are partially offset by gains in beef, poultry, and wheat. Soybean exports are forecast down $2.4 billion to $32.8 billion due to smaller production and increased competition from South America. Cotton exports are forecast down $1.0 billion to $6.0 billion based on lower unit values and subdued demand. Grain and feed exports are projected to decrease by $300 million to $46.2 billion.

“Agricultural exports to China are forecast at $34.0 billion, down $2.0 billion from the August projection, due to lower export prospects for soybeans, cotton, sorghum, and pork. China is expected to remain the largest market for U.S. agricultural exports,” the report summarized.

Why does that matter? China is the top U.S. agricultural export market with an export market value of $35.6 billion in 2021, according to USDA-FAS. Mississippi has a $9.72 billion agriculture industry. China is the third leading trading partner for Mississippi exports behind Canada and Mexico, with $759 million in value in 2020, representing a 63.8% increase over the previous year.

With one-fifth of the world’s population at 1.4 billion as the world’s most populous country, China buys food and feedstuffs on global markets to offset the nation’s limited arable lands and the dual negative impacts of pollution and climate change.

Chinese imports of soybeans, corn, rice, wheat and edible oils drive a great deal of the country’s global shopping lists as does an increasing national appetite for meat and poultry – with the widespread availability of meat (particularly for middle-class citizens) being a relatively recent development.

But economic forecasting and trade projections were both shaken in recent weeks by verified reports from the National Bureau of Statistics of China that at the end of 2022, the population of mainland China had decreased by 850,000 over the previous year.

That population decrease is believed to be the first such decline during the Chinese “Great Leap Forward” program that began in the late 1950s. Scholars saw the elimination of China’s notorious “one-child policy” in 2015 as an early signal that China’s long-term population strategy had gone awry.

Now, forecasters see India overtaking China as the world’s most populous country – and soon.  The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs said: “India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country during 2023.” UN forecasts the global human population will reach 8.5 billion in 2030 and 10.4 billion in 2100.

Agricultural trade development between the U.S. and India is not yet as substantial as it is with China – and the same is true for Mississippi ag exports to India. That, despite Mississippi’s prowess in soybean production and India’s status as the world’s largest importer of soybean oil.

Those dual trade relationships are compounded by the fact that China and India are in direct conflict over which of the two nations will be the hegemon or dominant nation in Asia – and for that matter with Asia comprising more than half the global population, the global hegemon. Both China and India see themselves as competitors with the U.S. for that designation.

For Mississippi’s agricultural economy, global trade is vital, and the world has had a clear lesson in Ukraine the impacts of regional military and economic conflict on large segments of the global economy. Whether considering markets for Mississippi poultry, timber, or soybeans – and the rest of our agricultural bounty - the world is smaller, our economic fortunes are more closely intertwined than ever, and risk is an inherent facet of reward.

Global foreign and economic policy matters not just at the U.N. or the G8, but at the grocery store and the gas pumps where we live and work. 

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see II Lieutenant Wikipedia Miner has reported again for duty. What a gravy racket this guy has, getting paid to “write” this regurgitate.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS