AGRI-MARKETERS' CONFIDENCE INDEX EDGES UP
May 1, 2014
Source: Agri Marketing magazine
The Agri-Marketers' Confidence Index (AMCI) edged up since it was last measured in October 2013.
The poll, conducted among corporate agribusiness managers in mid-April, showed they believe the current situation has improved for both their companies and for farmers and ranchers. However, there was little change in the index that points to expectations twelve months from now.
On a scale of 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest), the overall AMCI scored a 64, which compares to 62 when the poll was conducted in October 2013.
"Last fall, agri-marketers' outlook on both the present and the future had turned south," said Steve Custer, Executive VP/Chief Operating Officer at Farm Journal Media and Chairman of the American Business Media Agri-Media Council.
"Now that the 'future' hasn't turned out as bad as they thought, the outlook on current conditions has ticked up, but agri-marketers are still cautious down the road."
To view the report click here.
"Commodity prices are the #1 overall driver of the market outlook and we haven't seen - at least to date - the dire prices predicted 6-9 months ago," Custer added. "In fact, we've seen a recent uptick in prices with corn topping the $5 mark when this latest survey was conducted."
The AMCI for the current general outlook for U.S. farmers and ranchers was 74 compared to 72 in October 2013, while agri-marketers turned especially positive for the outlook for farmers/ranchers' 12 months from now--increasing from 40 to 53. This indicates this index has moved from negative to slightly positive (50 is neutral).
"In addition to better than expected commodity prices, I think some of the analysis concerning producers' general healthy financial position has also helped mitigate some concerns," Custer explains.
"It is also interesting to note that 79% of the respondents reported their organizations are planning to increase or leave their marketing communications budgets at the same level," says Lynn Henderson, Publisher of Agri Marketing magazine.
The poll was conducted by Agri Marketing magazine and the ABM's Agri-Council and was sent to 225 managers of companies that develop and sell products to North American crop and livestock producers. A total of 75 (33%) company representatives participated in the poll, including a very wide sampling of large and small enterprises, as well as both crop and livestock-oriented companies.
"The AMCI is modeled closely along the lines of the well-known consumer confidence studies regularly reported by The Conference Board," reports Custer.
"It is an indicator designed to measure the confidence or the degree of optimism among agribusiness marketers on the state of the agribusiness economy. It looks at both their outlook for their own business now and in the future, as well as their perception of the outlook for their customers - the nation's farmers and ranchers."
AMCI is calculated by looking at the percentage of positive versus negative responses.
To read how AMCI is calculated and its complete results, click here.
A few of the highlights include:
*65% think the current business conditions for their companies are positive, while 9% believe it is negative.
*23% think the agricultural market will be better in12 months,, while 15% think it will be worse. The large majority -- 67%-- expect conditions to be the same.
*18% think the general outlook for farmers and ranchers will be better 12 months from now, while 16% think it will be worse - a dramatic shift from last fall when 23% saw the future for farmers/ranchers improving, but 35% believed it would be worse.
Confidence Index Results