Thursday, May 30, 2019

FDIC sees increase in past-due farm loans in early 2019

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s quarterly banking report found an increase in the share of farm loans that are past due. "It’s the latest data point in the broader trend of worsening conditions in the farm economy, which is grappling with Trump’s trade wars, a five-year drop in income and the highest levels of farm sector debt since the 1980s crisis," Ryan McCrimmon reports for Politico.

The rate of farm loans that are more than 90 days behind in payments at FDIC-insured lenders was 1.26% in the first quarter of 2019, the highest rate since 2012. According to Diane Ellis, director of FDIC's insurance and research division, community banks in the Midwest are seeing slightly higher rates of past-due loans than the national average, at 1.28%, McCrimmon reports. The Midwest has been beset by historic flooding for the past several months.

"Farmers have been able to borrow against their property, and farmland values have held steady, but FDIC officials warned that won’t always be the case," McCrimmon reports. "The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank last month said there’s 'potential for lower farmland values moving forward.'"

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