Top Crop Traders See ‘Mini-Supercycle’ on China and Biofuels

Source: By Andy Hoffman, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, June 20, 2021

Two of the world’s top agricultural traders said crop markets are in a “mini-supercycle” that could last half a decade, driven by increased demand for biofuels and continued grains buying from China.

“Yes we are in a supercycle,” Alex Sanfeliu, group leader of Cargill Inc.’s world trading group, told the FT Commodities Global Summit. “Let’s call it a mini-supercycle.”

The high prices could last for two to four years, said Sanfeliu. Rising demand for biofuels will drive a massive jump in vegetable oil and waste feed stock demand of 15 million to 16 million tons over the next five years.

“It’s like adding another India,” Sanfeliu said.

A rebound in the world’s largest economies as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out is stoking demand for metals, food and energy when supplies are still constrained. The Bloomberg Grains Spot Index rose to an eight-year high in May.

After spiking in 2020 and 2021, growth in China’s corn demand will likely slow to 1% to 2% a year, the Cargill executive said.

David Mattiske, chief executive officer of Viterra, Glencore Plc’s food-trading arm, agreed agricultural markets are in a mini-supercycle, with strong demand for plant-based fuels and grains lasting four to five years.

“We are in a higher-priced environment for a few years yet,” he said.

— With assistance by Megan Durisin

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