Market Update: Non-Food Agricultural Products


Market Update: Non-Food Agricultural Products

Tim hammerich

With California Ag Today, I’m Tim Hammerich.

Agriculture is more than just growing food. Non-food agricultural products like timber, cotton and flowers are also important. Here’s a quick update on these markets courtesy of the California Farm Bureau.

The effects of the pandemic have altered both supply and demand for lumber, pushing up record prices. Analysts say lumber production has slowed due to stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines affecting factories. At the same time, individuals bought more lumber to work on home repair and expansion projects. Lumber prices have fallen sharply since mid-September, but remain above previous records set in 2018.

As they approach half of their harvest, California cotton farmers say the harvest market may stabilize. Farmers had already reduced cotton acreage due to water shortages and trade uncertainties, when the pandemic further disrupted markets by reducing demand for cotton products. Farmers say prices have started to rebound a bit and are reporting a harvest of good quality California cotton with above-average yields.

The cheap flowers from Central and South America have pushed many California flower growers out of business – and representatives say a new move could accelerate that trend. The US Trade Representative’s office has said it will allow roses from Ecuador to enter the United States duty-free. The California Cut Flower Commission describes its members as disappointed and says imports have already pushed more than three-quarters of U.S. rose growers out of business.

[Source: California Farm Bureau Federation]

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