Gro COVID-19 Monitoring Kit

Monitor Coronavirus Impact on Global Agriculture


The Coronavirus outbreak has disrupted global shipping and consumer demand at a time when the agricultural economy is already facing a series of major supply shocks. These events together have the potential to generate ripple effects through the broader macroeconomy for some time to come. In response, Gro has assembled a COVID-19 Monitoring Kit that provides near real-time insight into this dynamic situation. To use this kit to forecast likely effects of the outbreak on global agricultural markets, view our webinar recording on YouTube .

The tool kit includes a collection of displays in Gro and insights from our analyst team, which are free to all users, as well as predictive models and data series only accessible through the Gro API - those displays will show "no data" if you don't have the appropriate permissions. Please contact us at to request API access. Links to all displays and insights can be found in this article, and displays can be found by searching Gro. Simply log in, visit Gro Curated Displays (in the left navigation bar) and search for “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19".

Gro’s COVID-19 Monitoring Kit contains four main sets of tools - for supply forecasting, monitoring trade and inventory, tracking prices, and understanding the situation in China. Together, these four perspectives provide a forward-looking picture of the situation. 

Supply Forecasting

With early indicators pointing to a rocky 2020 growing season for the Northern Hemisphere, supply forecasting is even more important than usual. Floods are expected in the US for the second year in a row; East Africa and parts of South Asia are being ravaged by locusts; and Fall Armyworms are spreading in China again, threatening corn, rice, wheat, and sugarcane production.

Monitor Trade and Inventory

While trade usually serves as a good proxy for demand under normal market conditions, the current situation also requires careful monitoring of inventories. Many countries, including China, have been unable to import enough to satisfy their needs because of shipping disruption, and have started drawing down reserves to meet demand.

  • Track trade balances in near real-time, including Brazilian soybean exports, to understand the size of the soybean glut building up in South America, which will influence the US planting intentions.

  • Weekly data on bilateral trade flows between the US, Japan, and Korea will signal if demand is being depressed by coronavirus worries.

  • Monitor export prices from major origins to predict shifts in the global trade balance.

Tracking Prices

Prices are the leading indicator of shifts in market perception of supply and demand fundamentals. Price movements not only provide information about what is happening on the ground, but are essential for forecasting future decisions by farmers, importers, and processors.  Keeping close track of price data worldwide is doubly important in the challenging and dynamic environment created by COVID-19.

  • Track free-on-board prices of commodities from major exporters to forecast exports and trade flows.

  • Compare daily updates from Gro’s wheat yield model against futures and export prices. Crop yield is the most significant price driver during the growing season.

  • Analyze price histories to predict shifts in market share and monitor the impact of logistical disruptions caused by COVID-19. South America is harvesting a record soybean crop and export prices are likely to remain below US export prices for some time.

  •  Utilize the Gro API for daily cash prices that are essential to follow China’s progress rebuilding its devastated hog industry. African swine fever has caused unprecedented price moves in the Chinese hog market.


Additional Resources

Understand the effect of COVID-19 on Chinese Agriculture

China, the world’s largest agricultural player, has been hit particularly hard by the combination of ASF and the Covid-19 outbreak. Agricultural activity has been substantially disrupted, and being able to predict the start and trajectory of any recovery will be key. The Gro API provides access to a wealth of data, including:

  • Ground-level insights into China’s soybean industry for a full picture of industry activity and an early indication of the strength of China’s animal protein industry.

  • Granular price data for livestock that clarify the interaction of ASF and Coronavirus in the market.

  • Data about China’s vegetable oils industry for another perspective on China’s import demand.

  • A forthcoming Gro China Agriculture price index using 110 different products, allows near real-time inflation and economic health monitoring across China.

Additional Resources

Please note that some key components are only available to those with access to the Gro API. Contact us at to discuss access.


Want to learn how to put it all together?

View the recording of Gro’s COVID-19 Monitoring Kit webinar on YouTube to learn how to anticipate ripple effects and derive deeper insights.