Market Information Sources Available Through the Internet: Daily to Yearly Market and Outlook Reports, Prices, and Commodities and Quotes

by
Jean-Charles Le Vallée, Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University
Questions, Comments? Write to levallee@msu.edu

2.1 Internet Sources on Market Information:
Market Reports and Prices

This sub-section covers all sites which offer market data and information from daily closing prices to weekly, monthly and yearly market reports. They differ by the information, data-banks and reports provided at each Internet site, by their sources of information, by the regions covered or by commodities. This Market Reports sub-section has five areas: (1) USDA market wire service, agricultural marketing service, and economics and statistics system, (2) international and world markets, (3) Africa, (4) within the United States of America, and (5) specific commodities such as grains (including rice), soybeans, fruits and vegetables, hogs, cattle and livestock (including forages), seafood, cotton, nuts and fertilizer market information.

2.1.1. USDA Market Wire Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, and Economics and Statistics System

The USDA AMS Market News Service. For current U.S. price and sales information, start your search here. One of the best sources for daily to weekly reports for all kinds of commodity prices, bids, imports and exports in the U.S., from dairy, feedstuffs, fruit and vegetables, futures, grains, hay, livestock, meat, poultry, tobacco. Reports cover both domestic and international markets. Other reports include information on volume, quality, condition, and other market data on farm products in specific markets and marketing areas. You can reach them at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/marketnews.htm

USDA reports and Ag. Market Information - The complete set of reports. Updated daily. This information for grain and other commodities is organized by state and nationally by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources' web site at: http://ianrwww.unl.edu/markets/

The Mann Library has set up historic data series, and indexes on U.S. prices received by commodity. Published by N.A.S.S., the indexes of prices received by farmers includes monthly and annual prices, most for 1908-92. Click on the Connect button.

To obtain market information reports and data-sets from the Economic Research Service (ERS), the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the World Agriculture Outlook Board (WAOB), go to the Albert R. Mann Library at Cornell University. Set up in collaboration with the USDA Economics and Statistics System, their web site can be reached at: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/usda.html

This site includes more than 140 agricultural data-sets, most in spreadsheet format. You can find data on subjects such as worldwide textile fiber production, farm production expenses, European Community wheat supply, milk and dairy product sales, food spending in American households, U.S. meat supply and consumption, fertilizer use, ozone records for the Northeast, and so on. The site also includes more than 100 report series. Searching the system, you can find reports about U.S. agricultural income and finance, farm production expenses, dairy production, industrial uses of agricultural materials, agricultural trade update, livestock inventory, and also world agricultural supply and demand estimates and outlook reports.

Looking at wheat for example, monthly update and outlook reports can be found on supply, disappearance, tariffs, quotas, area, price, stocks, inspections, trade and cash prices for leading classes of wheat at U.S. markets. Many annual reports are also available.

For those interested in world agricultural supply and demand estimates, full-text monthly reports provide the most current USDA forecasts of U.S. and world supply-use balances of major grains, soybeans and products, cotton, and much more. All of these reports may also be emailed directly to you free of charge. More information on this service can be found in section 2.4.

Another good web site is the Market Information System (MIS) developed by the University of Florida. It provides agricultural market information received from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). It covers many commodities such as grain, and data is given by city. You may find their site at: http://gnv.ifas.ufl.edu/~marketing/market.html

2.1.2. International and World Markets

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) offers regularly many current commodity analysis reports on world markets and trade for different commodities such as grains and tropical fruit. The site is worth visiting from time to time to see what is newly available. It may be found at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/commodity.html

You may also search through their market research page, where you can find country reports prepared by FAS attaches covering nearly 130 countries (see attache reports). You may also look through their "Trade Leads" section reported daily, and read their food market overviews which provide valuable information about some of the United States' most important export markets. You can also find out how to subscribe to the "Foreign Buyers List" compiled by FAS overseas staff, or review their market-specific reports providing detailed information on marketing certain products in specific countries. These web pages can be found at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/agexport/exporter.html

Another interesting tool at the FAS web site is the U.S. import and export statistics for bulk, intermediate and consumer-oriented foods and beverages (BICO). You may search by specific commodity or by country. Their web page can be found at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/ustrade/

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has also a very good web site. Available through the site are many great features and related information sources. For example, follow their Global Watch series of pages, and in one you will find global information on early warning systems for sub-Saharan Africa: food outlook, food shortages, food crops and supplies, crop prospects and situations, as well as Sahel weather and special alerts. Also, world food outlook reports on cereals come out every two months. Be sure to look up their web pages on the World Food Summit held in Rome in November 1996.

Another great web page at the FAO site is the FAOSTAT Agriculture Statistics Database which contains time-series data (starting from 1961) for over 210 countries and 1500 items on the production and trade of primary and derived crops and livestock products; agricultural machinery; fertilizer, pesticides and insecticides (trade only); land use, population and food aid. For example, if you wanted to compare FAO statistics for wheat production over the last five years between the U.S., Canada, Argentina and Australia, you can simply request this information from their database and within a minute(s), the application gives the comparison between production, area harvested, yield, and so on, of those countries in the order selected. You can then download a copy in worksheet form!

Finally, among other related sources and links, the FAO has started setting up web pages on agricultural marketing, food outlook and yearly commodity market reviews. The Agricultural Support Systems Division of FAO (AGS) carries out work in agricultural marketing, agricultural machinery, tools and equipment, agricultural processing, farming systems and farm management, post-harvest management and rural finance. For example, they helped set up the web site on market information in Zambia. In the food outlook section you will find quarterly information on the world cereal situation, supply and demand, current production and prospects, trade, carryover stock, fertilizer data, export prices and freight weights. And in the commodity market review section, you can access economic data from the past few years with reasons for the variations and changes as well as some forecasting. These web pages cover many commodities such as beverages, sugar, bananas and citrus, cereals and cassava, oilseeds, oils and oilmeals, livestock and milk products, agricultural raw materials such as for cotton, fishery products and forestry products.

Statistics: Looking for statistics on a certain country? The FAO's Agricultural Statistics Information Links (ASIL) web page is a good start: select the region and country and they will link you to the statistical division or department of that country.

Pink Sheet. The World Bank offers some commodity price data in their data, analysis and forecasts section, in what is known as the "Pink Sheet." These monthly reports offer only a few data on food and represent annual averages over the last three years. Of interest, you may also find some interesting data on global economies, social indicators, balance of payments, and so on. http://www.worldbank.org/prospects/pinksheets/

Also from the World Bank, the Global Commodity Markets section provides coverage of major primary commodities, including price forecasts, regional price indices, transportation costs, and access to the World Bank's Macroeconomic Outlook. It replaces Commodity Markets and the Developing Countries, which was discontinued as of December 1998. It is published four times per year (January, April, July, and October). Each 80-page issue, which will be available in both print and electronic form, will contain price forecasts for 46 primary commodities (for the next three years, and for 2005 and 2010), detailed market reviews for 27 major commodities, and newly expanded sections covering global and regional price indexes. Although subscription is necessary for full copy (highly recommended!), you can view the summary and the featured article for free. The link is: http://www.worldbank.org/prospects/gcmonline/index.htm

From agricultural commodities to metals and energy, get the latest market news and analysis from the Financial Times.

For the latest information on Commodity, Energy and Financial Futures, go to the Reuters web site.

For up-to-date commodity futures prices and market news, select Bloomberg.com

Visit the International Grains Council's Monthly Grain Market Report Summary.

Although in French, the Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement or CIRAD, produces statistical sheets with price trends in international markets annually for several (hard to find on the net) tropical agricultural commodities. A good resource, well presented, the link is: http://www.cirad.fr/publications/documents/produitstrop/sommaire.html

Another web site contains baseline projections produced by the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) for the U.S. agricultural sector and international commodity markets. Their agricultural outlook reports cover many commodities in U.S. and world trade. Their web site can be reached at: http://www.fapri.missouri.edu/

2.1.3. Inside the U.S.

For the United States, many web sites exist that offer local state information for different commodities through university extension services, exchanges and boards of trade.

Outlook: These pages provide information on the likely price distributions of key commodities over the coming year. Such information helps farmers and traders make decisions on when and in what ways to market their grain (e.g., whether to sell at harvest, store on-farm in anticipation of higher prices later in the season, lock in a price at harvest via the futures market, buy or sell options). When combined with enterprise budget data, the information can also be used in deciding which crops to produce in the coming year.

For grain, a very good site is the Minneapolis Grain Exchange's web page on links to cash market reports, with data from the Minneapolis, Portland and St. Joseph, MO, AMS Offices as well as a link to all AMS Grain Market Reports. This site can be found at: http://www.mgex.com/

As well, weekly market data sheets for Missouri may be found through the University of Missouri's "Agricultural Electronic Bulletin Board" of its Commercial Agriculture Extension Program. Farm marketing and FAPRI are links of interest. Their site can be reached at: http://agebb.missouri.edu/

General The North American Agricultural Marketing Officials (NAAMO) try to promote education, communication and cooperation and enhance worldwide market opportunities for North American agricultural products. The NAAMO Discussion Area has been created for use by state (U.S.) and province (Canada) agricultural marketing officials as a means of communication through the Internet. It is intended to be a forum to post questions, views, problems, comments, and advice. Their site can be found at: http://www.naamo.org/

2.1.4. Canada

2.1.5. Latin America

2.1.6. Europe

2.1.7. Asia-Pacific

2.1.8. Africa

All in French, the Market Information System in Burkina Faso has a web site where you can download monthly average commodity data from 1992 to 1998 plus weekly data and monthly averages for 1999. The weekly bulletin covering 37 markets is available in the left column. The link is: http://www.statistika.net/tab_sem.html

Available in French, the Observatoire des Marché du Riz in Senegal has weekly market bulletins mostly on rice but includes some maize and millet.

Available in French and English, the Market Information System in Mali offers monthly bulletins, some good links, and materials on l'Observatoire Du Marché Agricole and l'Assemblée permanente des chambres d'agriculture du Mali.

Available in Portuguese, the market information system in Mozambique offers weekly market information bulletins called Quente-Quente, as well as monthly bulletins. All files are in pdf or Adobe Acrobat format. Strong analysis, many tables and graphics, they even include comments on foreign markets. The bulletins may be found at Michigan State University's food security project Mozambique web page, go to the bottom of the page. The link is: http://www.aec.msu.edu/fs2/mozambique/index.htm

In Zimbabwe, you may start on their homepage where you can find the links to market information, commodities, inputs and weather, as well as other related links at: http://www.samara.co.zw/CFU/index.html
For agricultural prices in Zimbabwe, for grains (weekly) go to: http://www.samara.co.zw/zimace/
For livestock (monthly), go to: http://www.samara.co.zw/CFU/marketing/livestock.html

For South Africa, the South African futures market (SAFEX) has a lot of information available and consists of financial and agricultural divisions. To reach the SAFEX web site, go to: http://www.safex.co.za/
But for those interested in obtaining the data directly, link to: ftp://mail.safex.co.za/pub/

Apart from SAFEX, other stock exchanges in Africa do exist. Although market information is hard to find, for those interested, exchanges for over 18 countries are listed at Mbendi's site: http://mbendi.co.za/exaf.htm

For other links to agricultural resources in South Africa, the best place to start would be the National Department of Agriculture. It has links to regional departments and related SA agricultural sites. The URLs are: http://www.agric.za/

Other sources of information on Africa can be found on other well organized web sites depending on what you are looking for. The USAID has an excellent site for regional information on Africa. Available through their site is the Africa Data Dissemination Service, AfricaLink, Famine Early Warning System, Horn Information Exchange, Initiative-Africa GII Gateway and information on natural resources management. Some market information is available such as food and calorie production, food aid, and so on. You may download agricultural statistics for each African country through their data dissemination service or find reports on food security, production or aid through other links, such as teff production for Ethiopia or calorie production in the Sahel. Through the famine early warning system, monthly country updates are available as well as special reports. For example, you can find a report on "Maize meal prices continue to fall in Zambia" for the month of July 1996. The AfricaLink section has good information on Internet service providers (ISP), connectivity and costs in Africa. Their web site is located at: http://www.info.usaid.gov/regions/afr/

The World Bank has set up web pages on Africa that offer special reports, based on recent bank-sponsored research, such as "Ensuring Food Security in Mali" in their Findings section, or you may also read infobriefs on best practices. Reports do not necessarily pertain to agriculture but cover many subjects. You may find their site at: http://www.worldbank.org/afr/findings/default.htm

The SADC Food Security Programme - SADC Food Security and Technical Administrative Unit (FSTAU) in Harare - Zimbabwe. At this Internet site, you will find food security quarterly bulletins, food security updates, agro-meteorological updates, monthly bulletins on the status of the growing season, local seeds system news, satellite images, database on food and agriculture in SADC and much more. You can access specific information for each of the SADC countries, based on the SADC FSTAU and FAO-GIEWS databases. You can also click on a map for individual country information. Other sections available from the web site are: SADC Regional Early Warning System, Famine Early Warning System, Remote Sensing Project, Food Security Training Programme, Small Scale Seed Production Project, Food Security Database Project, SADC EIS/GIS Technical Unit, Regional Food and Nutritional Information System, and the SADC Centre of Communication for Development. The URL is: http://www.sadc-fanr.org.zw/

2.1.9. Specific Commodities

Grains

Soybeans

Probably the best web site for soybean information is StratSoy. StratSoy is an information and communication system for the United States soybean industry, funded by the United Soybean Board, developed and maintained by the University of Illinois. Nice site, their URL is: http://www.stratsoy.uiuc.edu/

Palm Oil

The Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council offers daily, weekly and monthly market information for the country's palm oil industry, including FOB prices in US$. Select the Market and Statistics link. You may also find a good number of statistics and prices at the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia or (PORIM).

Fruits and vegetables

Sugar

A great resource of news, prices, and reports on sugar. But best of all, they have set up a great number of links by country, very useful. Visit Sugar Online.com. Be sure to visit the rest of the web site as they have an amazing number of related links. A real one-stop site on sugar.

Hogs

A good site to start is the Packer's Trading Company's hog marketing forecast web page. Based in Chicago, they use the Chicago Mercantile exchange for settlement prices. They can be found at: http://www.agfutures.com/index.html

Cattle and Livestock

Seafood and more

One of the rare and few places where you find market trends and conditions for seafood. Click Seafoodnet.com, developed by Urner Barry Publications Inc.

Cotton

Nuts, Dried Fruit, Seeds, Pulses and Grains

Fertilizer Market Information - Commercial:

Fertilizer Market Information - Free: