The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) held a public meeting of its Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) on 5 April to discuss topics related to the agricultural economy. The meeting featured a panel discussion about sustainable biofuels production and presentations about data and macro trends in global agriculture markets. The meeting also featured a presentation about maritime issues impacting the agricultural economy.
CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam, sponsor of the AAC, said in his opening remarks that his goal for the advisory committee is to discuss as many issues as possible in 2023. While the AAC has no formal rulemaking authority, Behnam said the committee’s work may help guide future CFTC priorities and potential rulemakings.
The next meeting of the AAC is expected in July, and members suggested CME Clearing’s SPAN 2 framework, biofuel futures, and exchange market data as potential topics of discussion.
Agricultural data and analytics
In a presentation about the state of agricultural markets, Sara Menker, founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, said that global food inflation is a persistent global problem being driven by a combination of increases in global agricultural prices, local currency moves, and structural supply and demand issues exacerbated by COVID and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, fertilizer prices continue to decline and Gro Intelligence expects consumption of all macronutrients to increase in 2023 as a result.
The AAC featured a presentation on how biofuels have contributed to greater sustainability, reducing emissions and dependence on oil. Representatives from the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Sorghum Producers, and Green Plains led the discussion. On a federal and state policy level, there are opportunities and several examples of successful incentives for agricultural growers and producers to contribute to the development of lower carbon intensity fuels and feedstocks. It was noted that the fuel sector and traditional petroleum companies are seeking opportunities to expand renewable biodiesel production.
Maritime issues impacting the agricultural economy
Chairman Daniel Maffei of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) outlined the role of the FMC as an independent federal agency responsible for regulating the US international ocean transportation system for the benefit of US exporters, importers, and the US consumer. Buddy Allen of the American Cotton Shippers Association offered support for measures that would bring clarity to jurisdictional questions and expanded oversight of the FMC. Behnam noted that China is a huge importer of US goods and asked if there are any challenges that have presented themselves since the onset of COVID. Maffei acknowledged the importance of continuing to engage with China, from a trade perspective, and noted that the FMC engages with their Chinese counterparts regularly.
Official statements and resources
- Statement of Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero
- Statement of Commissioner Summer K. Mersinger
- Statement of Commissioner Caroline D. Pham
- Archived Webcast
- News & Commentary