Gro Launches US and China Agricultural Price Indices to Monitor COVID-19 Impact

23 March 2020

In response to recent macroeconomic developments, Gro Intelligence has launched two new agricultural price indices focused on China and the US. Based on high-frequency price data and modeling of consumer spending on food (grains, vegetable oils, fresh produce, proteins, etc.), these new additions to the Gro platform allow our users to monitor critical economic indicators well in advance of official government statistics. Both price indices are available exclusively via the Gro platform. A video providing more detail behind the indices and our methodology can also be found on our YouTube page.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented supply chain disruptions worldwide, as well as significant commodity price volatility. The pandemic first brought China, and now the US, to a grinding halt. Yet backward-looking government indicators of economic activity remain woefully inadequate for real-time analysis, particularly when the situation changes so dramatically every day. For example, our China Agricultural Price Index anticipates China’s official food CPI by two months.

Gro’s agricultural price indices were specifically designed to solve this critical market deficiency. Click on the chart below to go to a display of the indices on the Gro web app.

Each index is built on the Gro data platform, which contains hundreds of thousands of unique price series at the national, regional, and local levels (e.g., cities, processing facilities, grain elevators, and ports). We aggregate this local price data for each country, using a basket that represents the food consumption expenditures within the economy. Daily updates provide near-real-time insight into local changes in supply and demand conditions as they unfold.

Agricultural price indices are an important tool for anyone managing global supply chains, trading agricultural commodities, or tracking inflation. For supply chain managers, price indices can identify bottlenecks and surplus periods. Analysts can also forecast commodity prices along with prices for their complements and substitutes. Food inflation is especially important in China because food accounts for such a large share of total household expenditures.

Both of Gro’s indices can be tailored to the needs of companies and investors, by either reweighting items or adjusting the items in the basket. For example, comparing company-specific supply chains to their national averages enables decision-makers to better manage associated risks.

Sign up for a free Gro account to access both the US and China Agricultural Indices. To better understand how they can be adapted to reflect your organization's requirements, please contact us at intel@gro-intelligence.com.

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