Grains, Seeds, Vegoils & Meals

Jun 28 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Rise on Better Soy Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil future prices are trading a bit stronger on Tuesday aided by improving U.S. soy markets that lifted palm prices. Benchmark palm-oil futures for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange are up 7 ringgit to trade at 2,386 ringgit ($582) per ton. However, weak demand and lackluster exports have dampened the mood of the market. Monthly palm-oil export data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the June 1-25 period were down 9.58%. David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures expects prices to trade in the range of 2300 ringgit per ton and 2450 ringgit per ton over the next few days.

Jun 28 - Kraft, Mondelez must face wheat price-rigging lawsuit - U.S. judge 

A federal judge in Chicago on Monday refused to dismiss a lawsuit in which wheat futures and options traders accused Kraft Heinz Co and Mondelez International Inc of illegally manipulating the grain's price at their expense.U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang said traders may pursue claims that a large and, in their view, unnecessary late 2011 purchase by Kraft Foods Inc of wheat futures contracts violated the Sherman antitrust law and the Commodity Exchange Act. click here .

Jun 28 - Belarus to sell India potash at lowest price in a decade 

Belarus has agreed to sell potash to India at the lowest price in a decade and about a third less than last year's level as global supplies of the crop nutrient exceed demand.One of India's biggest fertiliser importers, Indian Potash Limited (IPL), will buy 700,000 tonnes of potash at $227 per tonne on a cost and freight (CFR) basis with a credit period of 180 days, Belarusian Potash Company, Belarus's state-controlled trader of this fertiliser, said in a statement on Monday. click here .

Jun 28 - U.S. farmers acreage changes unlikely to meet rising demand

U.S. farmers' adjustments to corn and soybean acreage - made to take advantage of surging prices - are unlikely to boost production enough to keep up with rising demand.The U.S. Department of Agriculture's plantings report, set for release on Thursday, is expected to show that farmers increased soybean seedings by 1.598 million acres from their original plans, according to a Reuters poll of analysts. click here .

Jun 28 - Indonesia lowers export tax for crude palm oil in July to zero 

Indonesia will lower the export tax for crude palm oil (CPO) to zero in July, down from $3 per tonne in June, a Trade Ministry official said on Tuesday.The tax will be scrapped for next month as the government expects its reference price for CPO to fall for the period of July, the official said. click here .

Jun 28 - South Africa likely to leave maize output forecast unchanged - Poll

South Africa will leave its 2016 maize output forecast mostly unchanged thanks to recent improvements in rains in the drought-hit grain belt, a Reuters poll of five analysts showed on Monday.The Crop Estimates Committee (CEC), which will provide its sixth production forecast for the 2016 crop on Tuesday, is seen pegging the harvest at 7.11 million tonnes, the survey showed. click here .

Jun 28 - France's Avril targets wood panel industry with rapeseed-based resin 

French oilseed group Avril announced on Monday a joint venture to invest 72 million euros ($79 million) in producing a resin ingredient from rapeseed that it says will let the wood panel industry make savings on traditional chemicals.The joint venture with Israeli start-up Biopolymer Technologies and state investment bank BPI France is the latest effort by Avril to find new markets for oilseed crops produced by the French farmers that control the group. click here .

Jun 27 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Lower on Sluggish Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil future prices end a tad lower Monday, pulled down by weak exports. Monthly palm-oil export data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the June 1-25 period fell 9.58% on-month at 872,738 metric tons. The estimate is below the 881,263 metric tons estimated by another cargo surveyor SGS (Malaysia) Bhd during the same period. Weak demand from top importers India and China has sent the palm-oil prices in negative territory, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. "The imposition of the export tax coupled with fading seasonal demand is putting pressure on demand," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. The palm-oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange finished down 1 ringgit at 2,379 ringgit per ton on Monday.

Jun 27 - British Vote Could Bolster EU Farmland Prices (Dow Jones)
Britain's vote to leave the EU could boost farmland prices, says estate agent Knight Frank. Prices have been dragged lower by weak commodity prices, but a weaker pound will make EU exports more competitive. Additionally, it promises to make U.K. land cheaper for overseas investors buying in other countries. Further ahead, Knight Frank says changes to farm subsidies in the absence of the Common Agricultural Policy could lead to a shake-out in the farming sector, with more land coming to market, and predicted strong demand from "ambitious and entrepreneurial farming businesses" who see opportunity in the removal of EU regulations.

Jun 27 - Egypt's supply ministry rejects wheat fraud allegations 

Egypt's Ministry of Supplies on Sunday dismissed allegations that its wheat procurement figures were inflated and promised penalties for domestic suppliers that misreport stocks.The ministry announced a government-led inspection of wheat silos this month after an unusually high procurement figure prompted widespread fraud allegations from top industry officials, traders and parliamentarians.  click here .

Jun 27 - Russia plans to supply 0.5 mln T of grain to China in 2016 

Russia plans to export around 500,000 tonnes of grain to China in 2016, Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev was quoted as saying on Saturday.Russia was likely to supply wheat and barley and was also negotiating access to the Chinese meat market, TASS news agency quoted Tkachev as saying.  click here.

Jun 27 - Does La Niña allow us to see as far as 2019? -Braun 

Most weather forecast models have reliable accuracy only one week into the future - but what if La Niña gives us insight as far ahead as 2019?Commodity markets have been fixated on the development of La Niña, or the cooling phase of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures. The agriculture market is more focused toward La Niña impacts on U.S. summer weather for corn and soybeans, while the energy industry is already looking ahead to what the winter months may have in store. click here.

Jun 27 - India monsoon to end late, benefit farmers 

Monsoon rains are likely to end in India later than usual this year, with plentiful showers towards the latter stages of the season helping farmers recover from two straight droughts, the chief of the country's weather office told Reuters on Friday.Monsoon rains are the lifeblood of India's agriculture-dependent economy and a week's delay in their onset this year has caused the planting of summer-sown crops such as cotton, rice, soybean and sugar cane to drop by nearly 24 percent.  click here.

Jun 27 - Vietnam's H1 rice exports drop 9.8 pct y/y to 2.7 mln T 

Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter after India and Thailand, will export an estimated 2.69 million tonnes of the grain in the first half of 2016, down 9.8 percent from a year ago, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.Revenue from the January-June rice shipments, headed mostly for China, Indonesia, Ghana and the Philippines, is estimated at $1.21 billion, down 5.9 percent from the same time last year, the ministry said in its monthly report. click here .

Jun 27 - June U.S. hog herd unexpectedly climbs to record high 

The U.S. hog herd in the March-May quarter rose 2 percent to a record high versus a year ago, according to Friday's U.S. Department of Agriculture report, which exceeded most analysts' forecasts.Farmers added to their herds due to affordable feed, strong U.S. pork export demand and gradual price improvement for their animals, analysts said following the report. click here.

Jun 27 - EU officials to decide on Roundup herbicide after political impasse 

An impasse between EU nations on whether to allow Monsanto's Roundup and similar weed-killers to continue to be sold means that the European Commission, rather than national politicians, will decide the issue next week.With most EU attention focused on Britain's shock decision to quit the bloc, everyday work continued in Brussels on Friday where an "appeal's committee" of representatives from the 28 member states failed to agree on whether to extend the licence for the herbicide glyphosate after it expires next week. click here .

Jun 27 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Higher on Investor Optimism (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures rebound from losses to trade higher on Monday, supported by a weaker ringgit against the U.S. dollar. The strength in investor sentiment also comes after Prime Minister Najib Razak's announcement on Friday he didn't expect Brexit to have a major impact on the Malaysian economy. However, prices will "continue to swing over the next few days before trading environment gets back to normalcy," a Kuala Lumpur-based trader says. Traders will be looking out for palm-oil export data due to be released later today. Benchmark palm-oil futures for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange is trading 15 ringgit higher at MYR2394 a ton on Monday.

Jun 24 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures End a Tad Lower After U.K. Vote (Dow Jones)
Asian crude-palm-oil prices end slightly lower on Friday as Britain's vote to leave the European Union triggered panic in major markets, according to a Kuala Lumpur-based analyst. "Malaysian palm-oil prices have been no exception to the Brexit spillover effect," says David Ng at Philip Futures brokerage. However, "a weaker ringgit will support the market and limit the downside," he says. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said the U.K. vote isn't expected to have a major impact on the Southeast Asian country's economy as Britain isn't among its top 10 trading partners and accounts for only about 1% of its trade. Benchmark palm-oil futures for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 2 ringgit lower at 2,379 ringgit a metric ton.

Jun 24 - Malaysian Palm-oil Futures Slip After Brexit Vote (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures prices return to losses on Friday under the impact of Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Early results of the referendum have already triggered increased volatility in global markets, which have "weighed down consumer confidence as a spillover effect," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. The market has remained "cautiously subdued" during last few days, he adds. Benchmark palm oil futures for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange is currently down 2 ringgit to trade at MYR2382 a ton.

Jun 24 - Britain votes to leave EU in historic divorce 

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, results from Thursday's landmark referendum showed, an outcome that sets the country on an uncertain path and deals the largest setback to European efforts to forge greater unity since World War Two.World financial markets dived as nearly complete results showed a 51.7/48.3 percent split for leaving. Sterling suffered its biggest one-day fall of more than 9 percent against the dollar, hitting its lowest level in three decades on market fears the decision will hit investment in the world's 5th largest economy. click here.

Jun 24 - Legal snag delays Egypt ergot decree, U.S. shipment rejected 

An Egyptian decree to allow a small amount of ergot in wheat shipments, aimed at resolving a long-running dispute over the country's import requirements, has been held up by a legal snag.Egyptian quarantine authorities' refusal to let in a single grain of wheat infected with ergot, a common fungus, has wreaked havoc on the world's largest wheat buyer's tenders for months and is at odds with a more commonly accepted international standard of up to 0.05 percent. click here .

Jun 24 - India imports cotton from Pakistan as domestic prices climb 

India, the world's biggest cotton producer, has contracted to import 20,000 bales from Pakistan for shipment this month after Indian prices jumped because of limited supply, industry officials told Reuters.The move is a role reversal from earlier this year, when Pakistan was buying cotton from India after its output had been hit by bad weather. click here .

Jun 24 - Brazil's Paraná cuts 700,000 t from corn view after frost 

Paraná, Brazil's second largest corn producing state after Mato Grosso, reduced on Thursday its projection for its winter corn crop to 11.4 million tonnes after frosts earlier in June, 700,000 tonnes below the volume projected in May.It was the first projection released by the state after unusually strong frosts hit several agricultural areas in Brazil just before the beginning of the hemisphere's winter solstice. Paraná was the worst hit by the frosts. click here .

Jun 24 - Belarus may revive potash cooperation with Uralkali 

The Republic of Belarus said it might cooperate with Uralkali, the first sign the two sides might work together since the Russian potash producer broke off an alliance in 2013 and triggered a drop in global prices.Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko's comments on Thursday sent shares of rival potash companies higher as previous co-operation between the world's two biggest miners of the crop nutrient helped manage supplies and underpin prices. click here .

Jun 24 - Argentina reaches agreement over inspection of Monsanto soy 

Argentina's government will oversee the testing of soybean crops under a deal aimed at satisfying demands by U.S. seed company Monsanto that its genetically altered technology be protected, the nation's agriculture minister said on Thursday.Monsanto wanted export companies to inspect shipments as they do in neighboring Brazil but Argentine farmers opposed that system and clamored for government control. click here .

Jun 24 - French parliament scraps planned extra tax on palm oil 

France's National Assembly has scrapped plans for an additional tax on palm oil, which had caused outcry among major producers, after the government put forward an alternative proposal that would include other vegetable oils used in food.Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's two largest producers, had said the plan, which was aimed at encouraging the sector to reduce the environmental damage palm oil plantations can cause, was discriminatory and broke international trade rules. click here .

Jun 24 - Zimbabwe to import 250,000 tonnes of maize from Mexico 

Drought-hit Zimbabwean will import more than 250,000 tonnes of maize from Mexico to fill the shortfall caused by the severe drought sweeping through the southern Africa, the agriculture minister said on Thursday.Joseph Made said Zimbabwe would also import the staple crop from neighbours South Africa and Zambia, as well as from the Ukraine but did not give precise figures for these imports. click here .

Jun 24 - Stocks of U.S. biofuels credits seen plunging, lifting prices -analyst 

Prices in a niche market for biofuels compliance credits could jump in 2017 as supplies dwindle, ClearView Energy Partners LLC analysts said on Thursday, likely to fuel oil refiners' opposition to the hotly-debated U.S. renewable fuels program.Carryover inventories of the paper credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are likely to be bigger this year than previously expected as manufacturers pump out record levels of ethanol, but are likely to drop sharply in 2017 due to proposed higher requirements for biofuels use. click here.

Jun 24 - Poland to export poultry to South Africa from June 

Poland will launch poultry exports to South Africa for the first time from this month in a deal granting one of the EU's top poultry producers unlimited access to Africa's most industrialised country, a Polish trade official said.Imported chicken has been a contentious issue in South Africa, with local producers accusing their overseas counterparts of "dumping" their unwanted chicken in the country and flooding the market with an uncompetitively priced product. click here.

Jun 23 - Asian Crude Palmoil Trades Lower on Weak Fundamentals (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures continue their downward slide on Thursday under the impact of thin demand. Trade is sluggish with the downside contributed by weak soybean oil prices and concerns of palm-oil demand from major buyers China and India, say traders. "Trade activity has been quiet for a few weeks now so sentiment is not so strong," says a Kuala Lumpur-based analyst. The palm-oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange is trading 9 ringgit down at 2,365 ($585) ringgit per ton on Thursday.

Jun 23 - Bayer, Dupont join ag-tech investment boom to ease grain pain 

Dupont and Bayer AG have teamed up to invest in a new fund that will back agricultural technology startups, becoming the latest companies to pile into the multibillion-dollar industry as farm profits shrink.The two chemical and seed companies along with venture capital firm Finistere Ventures and two others have launched a $15 million accelerator fund, called Radicle, that will back early-stage agricultural-tech companies, the fund said in a statement on Wednesday. click here .

Jun 23 - Argentina to announce deal with Monsanto on royalties inspections 

Argentina's Agriculture Ministry will announce on Thursday an agreement with seed company Monsanto Co over the inspection of shipments of genetically modified soybeans, a ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday.Monsanto and President Mauricio Macri's government have been at loggerheads since March over how to make sure farmers pay royalties on soybean seed technology. click here .

Jun 23 - French parliament scraps planned extra tax on palm oil 

France's National Assembly on Wednesday scrapped plans for an additional tax on palm oil, which had raised an outcry in major producing countries, after the government said it would propose a new tax scheme for vegetable oils used in food. The world's two largest palm oil producers, Indonesia and Malaysia, had said the tax, which aimed at encouraging the sector to reduce the environmental damage palm oil plantations can cause, was discriminatory and against international trade rules. click here .

Jun 23 - Egypt's local wheat purchases thrown into question amid fraud allegations 

Egypt has launched a government-led recount of its wheat silos after an unusually high procurement figure spurred widespread fraud allegations from top industry officials, traders and parliamentarians.Egypt said last week that in the latest procurement season it bought nearly 5 million tonnes of local wheat from its farmers, the second highest figure on record and well above the 3-3.5 million tonnes per year farmers had delivered in the past decade. click here .

Jun 23 - Russia's Uralkali hopes producers will sign new supply deal with India in June 

Russia's Uralkali hopes potash producers will sign a new supply contract with India, one of its largest customers, by the end of this month, Uralkali head of sales Vladislav Lyana told a conference call on Wednesday.The deal, if reached, would be a rare instance of India signing a potash supply contract with a major producer before China. Contracts with China usually set a price floor and benchmark for other markets. click here.

Jun 23 - Canada seen easing wheat plantings, maintaining canola area

Canadian farmers planted slightly less wheat for harvest this year than they did last year, and about the same area of canola, according to a Reuters survey of 13 traders and analysts.Statistics Canada will report on crop plantings on June 29, based on a farmer survey.Farmers are rotating canola plantings into their fields as often as possible due to favorable returns, and spring wheat prices looked less attractive prior to spring, said Lawrence Klusa, senior market coach at consulting firm Agri-Trend. click here.

Jun 23 - Brazil to take steps to assuage shortage of beans, corn 

The Brazilian government will cut taxes and scrap import controls on certain key staples to mitigate the impact of slowing production, senior officials said on Wednesday.Some of the steps include raising minimum corn prices and eliminating bean import limits from China and Mexico, Agriculture Minister Baliro Maggi said at a news conference in Brasilia. Prices for beans, one of Brazil's most consumed staples, have tripled this year in the wake of a production shortage.  click here .

Jun 23 - Russia plays down threat to ban Belarus dairy imports 

Russia played down on Wednesday its threat to ban dairy supplies from Belarus, its largest supplier.The threat came during a dispute over the price for Russian gas sold to Belarus. Russia has in the past used trade restrictions issued by its food safety watchdog when relations with other countries have worsened.Russian state food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Wednesday it had told its Belarussian counterpart to take emergency measures to address poor quality supplies of dry dairy products. click here .

Jun 22 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Trade Lower (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices are trading lower Wednesday as bearish palm fundamentals and declining rival oils continue to weigh on the market. Traders are expecting an increase in production in the coming months, while exports are seen to fall. Demand peaked during the Ramadan festival. Sluggish demand from top importers India and China has impacted market sentiment, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The palm-oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange is trading down 28 ringgit at MYR2,372 per ton on Wednesday.

Data for Malaysian cash market prices for palm oil are unavailable today, due to a holiday.

Jun 22 - Egypt PM signals end to wheat fungus saga, decree expected Wednesday 

Egypt's prime minister said on Tuesday that authorities would allow wheat shipments with up to 0.05 percent levels of ergot fungus, potentially ending a months-long conflict over import requirements that has hamstrung the country's ability to buy from abroad. A disagreement over the amount of ergot, a common grain fungus, allowed in wheat imported by the world's largest buyer, disrupted state purchase tenders earlier this year. click here.

Jun 22 - Rains could hit wheat quality in the Black Sea bread basket 

Russia and Ukraine's wheat crops will be of lower quality than expected before recent rains, analysts and traders said on Tuesday. The rainy weather has reduced protein levels in Russian wheat and raised concerns over fungal disease while also reducing the proportion of milling wheat in Ukraine. click here.

Jun 22 - No La Nina needed for U.S. corn, soy troubles - Braun 

The agriculture market has been anticipating the entrance of La Nina for several months, and even though it has not officially arrived yet, the associated risk is already present. La Nina, characterized by cool temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, will begin soon and is expected to bring unfavorable weather to the United States grain belt this summer, including both damaging heat and prolonged dry spells. click here.

Jun 22 - West Europe set for big wheat crop but French worries persist 

Western Europe remains on track for a big wheat crop this year but a rain-drenched spring in France has raised doubts about the overall size and quality of this summer's harvest. The risk of damage from torrential rain has led analysts to cut expectations for France and Germany, the European Union's top two wheat growers, although this has been broadly offset by improving prospects in other countries, like Spain. click here.

Jun 22 - Indian state firms in $3 bln venture to revive mothballed fertilizer plants 

India's cash-rich state coal, power and oil firms will jointly invest nearly $3 billion to revive three mothballed fertilizer plants, a government official said on Tuesday, as the country aims to increase local production of crop nutrients and cut imports. India produced 24.5 million tonnes of urea in the financial year ended March 2016, but also imported 8.5 million tonnes to boost productivity at its farms, which account for about 15 percent of its $2 trillion economy and employ three-fifths of its 1.3 billion people. click here.

Jun 22 - Thai cabinet approves $1.3 billion in measures to help rice farmers 

Thailand, the world's second-biggest rice exporter, approved a raft of measures worth around $1.3 billion to help the country's beleaguered rice farmers ahead of a harvest season, the finance minister said on Tuesday. The Southeast Asian nation has for months faced what some experts called its worst drought in decades. The drought has reduced Thai rice output by 1.82 million tonnes since October 2015, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. click here.

Jun 22 - Price, demand to guide K&S potash output from Canada - CFO 

German fertilizer and salt producer K&S AG will adjust potash production from its new Canadian mine according to price and demand, and will not necessarily maximize output during the industry's worst slump in nearly a decade, Chief Financial Officer Burkhard Lohr said on Tuesday. The fifth-largest global potash producer, finishing construction of its C$4.1 billion Legacy mine near Bethune, Saskatchewan, will provide competition for Canada's three existing producers, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc. click here.

Jun 21 - Asian CPO Ends Lower on Weak Demand, Biodiesel Uncertainty (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil future prices continue to slide lower, weighed by ambiguity in the implementation of a biodiesel program coupled with waning demand putting pressure on palm-oil prices. Malaysia's so-called B10 program seeks to raise the minimum biodiesel bio-content for the transport sector to utilize additional palm-oil for blending. But reports in local newspapers about the B10 program being suspended until further notice dragged down prices. David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures, expects price to trade in the range of MYR2350 per ton and MYR2500 per ton during the next few days. The benchmark September Bursa Malaysia-traded palm-oil futures ends 28 ringgit lower at MYR2372/ton on Tuesday.

Jun 21 - Malaysian Palm Oil Drops on Weak Export Estimates (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices continue their downward slide as exports stay weak. Investors are trying to recover from the poor monthly export estimates during the June 1-20 period released by cargo surveyors Intertek Agri Services and SGS (Malaysia) on Monday, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The benchmark September Bursa Malaysia-traded palm-oil futures is trading 9 ringgit lower at 2391 ringgit/ton on Tuesday. It ended at 2399 ringgit/ton on Tuesday.

Jun 21 - CME to kick off long-awaited EU wheat futures in September

CME Group, owner of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), will launch its long-planned European Union wheat futures in September as it challenges Euronext in the world's biggest wheat production zone.CME has been working on an EU wheat contract for several years to add to its U.S. futures, which are a global benchmark. But it has faced hurdles in getting French grain silo operators to agree to act as delivery points.  click here .

Jun 21 - Monsoon rains cover half of India; to accelerate sowing 

Indian monsoon rains have covered nearly half of the country, the weather department said on Monday, accelerating planting of summer crops like paddy rice, soybeans, cotton and pulses.The June to September monsoon is crucial for farm output and economic growth in India, where just over half of arable land is fed by rain. The farm sector makes up about 15 percent of the $2-trillion economy that is Asia's third biggest. click here.

Jun 21 - EU crop monitor cuts 2016 soft wheat yield on weather woes 

The European Union's crop monitoring unit on Monday lowered its forecast for the average soft wheat yield in this year's EU harvest, mainly due to cuts in the EU's two biggest producers France and Germany as wet weather brought pests and disease.The MARS service now sees the EU's average soft wheat yield for the 2016 harvest at 6.07 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), down from 6.11 (t/ha) estimated in May. This is 3.4 percent below last year's yield but 4.1 percent above the five-year average. click here .

Jun 21 - Australia cuts 2016/17 milk output forecast by 3 pct 

Australia said it expects milk production in 2016/17 to fall 3 percent short of previous estimates as slaughter of animals in the country due to weaker farm-gate prices curbs supply.Lower milk output at the world's fourth-largest dairy exporter could help support global prices that have more than halved since early 2014 amid a glut in world supplies and sluggish demand growth. click here .

Jun 21 - Bayer crop unit apologizes to farmers after Twitter gaffe 

Bayer AG's crop science division apologized on Monday for a tweet that suggested reduced meat demand could benefit the environment, in a bid to appease outraged farmers who buy the company's seeds and chemicals. The tweet, published on the official Bayer Crop Science (@Bayer4crops) account on Sunday, linked to a Vox.com article that said "going vegetarian can cut your food carbon footprint in half." click here .

Jun 21 - Chile's government implementing stricter norms for salmon industry 

Chile's government said on Monday that it is putting in place stricter regulations for salmon farmers to combat wide-spread infections that have killed millions of fish and caused hefty financial losses for companies in recent years.The regulatory changes are aimed at having salmon farmers in Chile, the world's second-biggest salmon producer after Norway, reduce the density of fish in pens and space farms further apart. click here .

Jun 21 - Israel's "Cornflakes Law": crunch time for high food prices?  

For generations of Israelis, brand names like Heinz Ketchup, Skippy peanut butter and Kellogg's Cornflakes were a costly luxury -- available in stores but often passed over in favour of cheaper, locally made products.Now, after decades of coddling domestic manufacturers, Israel is about to revise one of its oldest protectionist policies, allowing freer competition for some food imports in response to public outrage over high prices. click here .

Jun 20 - Crude Palmoil Ends Lower on Weaker Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end lower, hurt by lackluster exports performance. Monthly data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the June 1-20 period were down 8.7% sequentially at 717,407 metric tons. The estimate, however, was above the 711,367 metric tons estimated by another cargo surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd., for the same period. Weak demand from top importers India and China and the headwinds faced by the crude palm-oil market have "sent trading out of gear," says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The palm-oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange finished down 51 ringgit at MYR2,399 ($592) a ton.

Jun 20 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Trade Lower on Investor Pessimism (Dow Jones)
Malaysia palm-oil futures edge lower on Monday amid declining exports, an increase in output and weakness in vegetable oils. "Bearish palm-oil fundamentals have taken a toll on the market," says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. He predicts a rise in output in the coming weeks. Palm-oil futures for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange are down 20 ringgit at MYR2,430 per ton on Monday.

Jun 20 - Early cut to U.S. soy stocks signals further tightening ahead 

The U.S. government's quick cut to its domestic soybean stocks forecast suggests that supplies, currently under pressure from rising export demand, will remain tight for more than a year.The U.S. Agriculture Department earlier this month lowered its outlook for 2016/17 U.S. soybean ending stocks by 14.8 percent to 260 million bushels. The reduction - the USDA's biggest-ever cut for soybeans in June - came just one month after it issued its initial forecast for the marketing year. click here .

Jun 20 - Stable rouble to hamper Russia's 2016/17 grain exports - analyst 

A steadier rouble could make it harder for Russia to increase grain exports in the 2016/17 season, when analysts expect the largest wheat crop in the post-Soviet era.A weaker rouble, weighed down by low oil prices and Western sanctions against Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine, helped to lift Russian grain exports to record levels in 2015/16. click here .

Jun 20 - Euronext says wheat silos to keep higher quality standards 

The French grain silos that take delivery of wheat traded on the Paris-based Euronext futures market will maintain extra quality requirements next season, the exchange said on Friday, as traders worry that torrential rain will damage crop quality.Storms and heavy rain since late May have lashed French wheat crops and raised the risk that more of the harvest than usual will end up as lower-grade livestock feed wheat. click here .

Jun 20 - Argentine corn area to increase 20 pct in 2016-17, minister

Argentina's area planted with corn could increase 20 percent during the 2016-17 growing season, raising production by between 10 million and 15 million tonnes from the previous year, the country's agriculture minister said.The boost to corn in the world's fourth-largest exporter of the crop would come at the expense of soy, Agro-Industrial Minister Ricardo Buryaile said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's Latin America meeting in Colombia late on Thursday, as the two grains compete for cultivation space. click here .

Jun 20 - Malaysia in talks to move startup of B10 biodiesel programme to July 

Malaysia is in talks with oil companies about moving the start of its B10 biodiesel mandate to July, a month later from an earlier plan to begin the programme in June, aiming to complete full implementation of the new standard by August.This takes into account time needed for oil companies to reset blending ratios and procure enough palm methyl ester (PME), said the ministry of plantation industries and commodities in an email reply to Reuters, referring to the bio component of biodiesel that comes from palm oil. click here .

Jun 20 - India extends 25 pct tax on wheat imports - food minister 

India has extended a 25 percent tax on wheat imports, the food minister said on Friday, to help curb cheap shipments with domestic stockpiles rising at the world's second-biggest wheat producer.India in March extended the 25 percent import tax on wheat by three months to June 30. The government has approved a further extension of the import tax, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said in a tweet, without specifying any timeline. click here .

Jun 17 - Asian CPO Ends Higher on Bargain Hunting (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end stronger Friday amid bargain-hunting after a few successive days of losses, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. Palm-oil prices have been weighed by sluggish exports and mounting inventories. A decision this week by the Malaysian government to raise the export tax on palm-oil put additional pressure on prices. Mr. Ng expects prices will trade in the range of MYR2400/ton and MYR2520/ton. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark September contract settles 34 ringgit higher at 2450 ringgit a ton. It settled at 2416 ringgit a ton on Thursday.

Jun 17 - Asian CPO Trades Higher Guided by Vegetable Oils (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil future prices trade higher on Friday, supported by overnight gains in competing vegetable-oil prices. Soybean oil is used as a substitute for palm-oil so the prices often move together. Investors have been worried by slowing demand for palm-oil and swelling inventories. Plus, the Malaysian government's decision this week to raise the palm-oil export tax to 6% in July has added to investor worries. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark September contract is 19 ringgit higher to trade at 2,434 ringgit a ton. It settled at 2,416 ringgit a ton on Thursday.

Jun 17 - Mosaic eyeing Vale's fertilizer unit - sources 

Mosaic Co, the world's top producer of concentrated phosphate, has entered talks to buy Vale SA's fertilizer unit, in a renewed push to grow in South America and Africa, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.Although both companies are discussing what structure would best suit their interests, the first source said a cash-and-stock deal remains the favorite option at this point. click here .

Jun 17 - Monsanto to form sorghum joint venture with private company 

U.S. seed and agrochemicals company Monsanto Co said on Thursday it is selling its U.S. sorghum production assets to Remington Holding Co LLC and will roll its sorghum breeding business into a joint venture with the privately held company, in transactions valued at about $169.5 million.Monsanto's global sorghum breeding business will be a part of the joint venture called Innovative Seed Solutions LLC, which will initially be focused on sorghum, a drought-tolerant grain crop that is used as animal feed and to produce ethanol biofuel. Remington will contribute cash to the venture. click here.

Jun 17 - Chinese companies increase competition for grains in Brazil - analyst 

The larger presence of Chinese commodities companies in Brazil has increased competition for grains and is one factor behind a recent corn shortage, a leading consultant said on Thursday."We have seen more competition for grains in the center-west, where the Chinese now have storage space," MB Associados partner José Roberto Mendonça de Barros said during a presentation at the BM&F Bovespa agricultural outlook seminar. "That partly explains the corn problem." click here .

Jun 17 - Asian millers face tight feed grain supply as rain disrupts Argentina exports 

Asian millers that churn out animal feed are expected to face a squeeze in supplies of key ingredients corn and soymeal in coming weeks as heavy rains disrupt shipments from major exporter Argentina.Cargoes from the South American nation have been facing delays for the past few weeks due to strong rainfall, but millers have been able to operate using exports that were already en route and inventory, two trade sources told Reuters. click here .

Jun 17 - Strategie Grains cuts EU 2016/17 wheat export outlook 

Strategie Grains left its estimate for this year's soft wheat production in the European Union unchanged from last month but cut its export outlook in 2016/17 on quality concerns after heavy rainfall last month and higher supplies from Russia.The consultancy has pegged the EU soft wheat harvest at 146.7 million tonnes, down 3 percent on last year's record of almost 151 million tonnes. click here .

Jun 17 - Malaysia biodiesel plan faces squeeze from low crude oil prices 

A new mandate in Malaysia to use more biodiesel will not create enough new demand to drain surplus output of crude palm oil (CPO) in the world's second-biggest producer as exports slow in coming months, planters say.Malaysia said in May it will increase the minimum biodiesel content for the transport sector to 10 percent from 7 percent. It will also introduce a 7 percent mandate for the industrial sector. click here.

Jun 17 - Canada's Saskatchewan may scrap potash royalty review -minister 

Saskatchewan is considering whether to end a review of its potash royalty system, the economy minister of the Canadian province said, as producers of the crop nutrient struggle with low prices.The province had said any changes would be revenue-neutral to its treasury, but Potash Corp of Saskatchewan  raised concerns last year when the cash-strapped government took an interim step to boost its revenues. click here .

Jun 17 - 'Unorthodox' agriculture policies to cost Egypt $860 mln -USDA 

Egypt, the world's top wheat importer, faces $860 million in extra costs and lost export opportunities this year because of "unorthodox agricultural measures," including a zero-tolerance policy on ergot fungus in wheat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday in a report.The report, from a USDA attache in Cairo, criticized the government's policy on ergot, which has upset global grain trading and sparked a legal challenge against the government from global trader Bunge Ltd. click here .

Jun 16 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Trade Weaker on Demand Worries (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures are trading lower in quiet trade Thursday amid high inventory levels in the country and bearish sentiment of palm-oil prices. Lower export estimates for the first half of June released by cargo surveyors Intertek Agri Services and SGS (Malaysia) have also raised worries over inventory levels in the country. Monthly palm-oil export data released by cargo surveyor SGS (Malaysia) estimated Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the June 1-15 period fell 3.4% on-month at 555,116 metric tons. The estimate is below the 566,212 tons estimated by another cargo surveyor, Intertek Agri Services. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark September contract is currently trading 41 ringgit lower at MYR2419 a ton. It settled at MYR2468 per ton on Wednesday.

Jun 16 - France to ship first wheat cargo in 25 years to Vietnam 

A vessel is due to load around 66,000 tonnes of French wheat for Vietnam, port data showed on Wednesday, as good competitiveness on world markets helped France clinch its first wheat shipment to the southeast Asian country in 25 years.The Indian Harmony panamax vessel is due to call on Saturday at the northern port of Dunkirk, according to the data.  click here .

Jun 16 - Russian wheat export prices up on quality concerns 

Russian wheat export prices rose further last week on concerns that recent rains could hit crop quality, analysts said.Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $184 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $4 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here .

Jun 16 - Serbia harbours big potential for Black Sea grain market - Braun 

Serbia is already an important player on the Black Sea grain market, but the country may not be reaching its full potential when it comes to crop production.Corn is the key export for the former Yugoslav country, and the GMO-free quality of the grain captures the interest of buyers all over the globe.  click here .

Jun 16 - Egypt's local wheat purchases reach around 5 million tonnes 

Egypt's government has bought around 5 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the season on April 15, the Ministry of Supplies said on Wednesday, the last day of the harvest."Today, Wednesday, will be the closing day for receiving local wheat from farmers after two months (of harvest) and receiving around 5 million tonnes of local wheat which is 25 percent above the target of around 4 million tonnes," the statement said.  click here .

Jun 16 - Commodities trader ADM to raise stake in Singapore's Wilmar 

Commodities trader Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) is raising its stake in Singapore's Wilmar International Ltd to about 22 percent for about S$428.8 million ($316.6 million), according to a stock exchange filing. ADM agreed to buy about 127 million shares at S$3.3765 per share, the exchange filing late on Tuesday showed. ADM held about a 20 percent stake before the transaction. click here .

Jun 16 - U.S. soy processors notch busiest May ever - NOPA 

U.S. soybean processors boosted their pace of crushing by more than expected during May, supported by robust export demand for soymeal, the National Oilseed Processors Association said on Wednesday.The crush level was the highest ever for the month of May. Overseas buyers have looked to U.S. suppliers to meet their soymeal needs this spring as problems with the Argentine soybean harvest have limited shipments from that key exporter. click here .

Jun 16 - Westpac commodity finance division expects revenue growth this year

The structured commodity finance division of Australia's Westpac bank expects revenues to grow by a third this financial year as new products gain momentum, but business is likely to level out next year as the global economy falters.Westpac Banking Corp set up its Hong Kong and Singapore-based commodity financing business in 2013-2014 to tap trade flow from its home market to China and to capture demand from Asia's urbanisation drive, just as many global banks, stung by increasing regulatory costs, quit the sector. click here .

Jun 15 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Lower on Slowing Exports (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end lower, pulled down by weaker exports. Monthly palm-oil export data released by cargo surveyor SGS (Malaysia) Bhd estimated Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the June 1-15 period were down 3.4% on-month at 555,116 metric tons. The estimate is below the 566,212 tons estimated by another cargo surveyor, Intertek Agri Services. Slowing demand from top importers and the headwinds faced by crude palm-oil market have persistently rattled investors, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The palm oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange finished down 14 ringgit at 2,468 ringgit per ton on Wednesday.

Jun 15 - Scenting success: some Chinese investors switch from stocks to garlic 

Yang Fei doubled his money last year buying and selling in the unofficial garlic capital of the world. He did pretty well the year before, too, and the year before that.One of a few dozen garlic agents in Jinxiang, in China's eastern Shandong province, 34-year-old Yang is at the centre of a trade that has attracted a small group of retail investors, mainly wealthy businessmen, seeking a surer bet than China's volatile stock and real estate markets. click here .

Jun 15 - Indonesia's palm output in May likely rises for first time in 9 mths - Reuters survey 

Indonesia's crude palm oil output in May likely rose for the first time in nine months as improvement in rains helped production, according to a Reuters survey.CPO production probably rose to 2.188 million tonnes in May from 2.132 million tonnes in the previous month, according to the median estimate in a survey of three industry associations, a state palm research firm and a top planter. click here .

Jun 15 - China sees slight increase in soybean imports this year - grain official 

China, the world's biggest soy buyer, expects to import 85 million tonnes of soybeans in 2016/17, up from the prior season, although bumper stocks in storage should limit the increase, a senior official said on Tuesday.Li Xigui, division director with state-run China National Grain & Oils Information Center (CNGOIC), told the IGC grain conference in London, soybean imports were expected to reach 82 million tonnes in the 2015/16 year on an October-September season. click here .

Jun 15 - Australia raises 2016/17 wheat forecast after autumn rains 

Australia on Wednesday raised its forecast for wheat production during the 2016/17 season as favourable weather in key growing regions drive production to a four-year high in the world's fourth largest exporter.Production of wheat, Australia's largest winter crop, for the season ending July 1, 2017 is now expected at 25.4 million tonnes, said the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). click here .

Jun 15 - Price rise to boost U.S. soy plantings - USDA chief economist 

U.S. farmers are likely to have boosted soybean plantings after the recent run-up in prices at the expense of corn although the extent of the rise is likely to be modest, U.S. Department of Agriculture chief economist Robert Johansson said on Tuesday."It was probably more of a marginal change than a wholesale change," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the International Grains Council's annual conference. click here .

Jun 15 - Argentina sees soybean losses of up to 4 mln tonnes due to floods 

Argentina has lost around 3.7 million to 4 million tonnes of soybeans due to floods and another 1 million tonnes have suffered quality damage, a government official said on Tuesday.Jesus Silveyra, under-secretary of Agricultural Markets, said production in the current season would fall to 57.6 million tonnes, from 61.4 million in the previous season, following record rains in the northern part of the soy belt. click here .

Jun 15 - U.S. farm loan funds running out as credit crunch deepens 

The U.S. government's $2.65 billion operating loan program for farms is close to running out of funds as cash-strapped grain farmers and cautious banks have rushed to shore up capital to survive the industry's worst downturn in more than a decade.The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency funding for direct loans or guarantees are expected to be depleted by the end of June, about three months before the next year's program restarts Oct. 1, USDA officials told Reuters on Tuesday. click here .

Jun 15 - Food riots kill one more in Venezuela - legislator

A man was shot dead on Tuesday during looting and food riots proliferating round crisis-hit Venezuela, an opposition legislator said, bringing to at least four the number of fatalities from this month's wave of unrest.Milagros Paz said that as well as the fatality, another 27 people had been injured during a day of chaos and violence in the eastern Caribbean coastal town of Cumana that she represents for the Justice First party. click here .

Jun 14 - Asian Crude-Palm Oil Settles Lower on Soy, Crude Oil Weakness (Dow Jones)
Asian crude-palm-oil prices ended lower as weakness in soy-oil prices is putting pressure on the market. In addition, the "recent weakness in the crude-oil market is causing further weakness," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage. Investors are looking to palm-oil-export data due Wednesday, which will "set the tone of the market," he adds. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ended 47 ringgit lower at 2,481 ringgit ($607) a metric ton Tuesday, compared with Monday's close of 2,528 ringgit a ton.

Jun 14 - In rare move, Cuba buys U.S. soyoil as S. American supplies tighten 

Cuba made its first U.S. soyoil purchase in more than five years this month, the latest sign that drought and heavy rains in South America have tightened supplies and disrupted longstanding trade patterns.Buyers of soybeans and soy products have increasingly turned to the United States after rains reduced Argentina soy crop quality and stocks ran low in Brazil. Brazil is the top soybean exporter while Argentina ships the most soyoil and soymeal. click here 

Jun 14 - Serbia: A grain market worth watching - Braun  

It may be worth keeping a closer eye on the Serbian grain market, but the reasons may not be immediately obvious.Serbia, located on the Balkan Peninsula, borders four European Union countries – Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria – but is not an EU member itself. Therefore it often gets overlooked in the European grain picture. click here .

Jun 14 - NOPA May crush seen at 149.670 million bushels - Poll

U.S. soybean processors likely boosted crush levels to the highest ever for the month of May due to stepped-up demand for U.S. soymeal stemming from problems with the South American crop, analysts said.Analysts were expecting the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) to report that its members crushed 149.670 million bushels of soybeans in May, based on the average of estimates given by seven analysts. click here .

Jun 14 - Ukraine 2016 grain crop set to fall 4.2 pct to 57.6 mln T - analyst 

Ukraine's grain harvest is likely to fall by 4.2 percent to 57.6 million tonnes in 2016 mostly due to a sharp drop in wheat output, analysts APK-Inform said on Monday.A severe drought over the summer and autumn, affecting half of Ukraine's grain region, forced farmers to halt winter grain sowing, leading to concerns about a poor harvest in 2016. click here.

Jun 14 - Indonesia set to import record volume of wheat in 2016 - Assoc 

Indonesia's wheat imports could climb 35 percent to a record 10 million tonnes in 2016, up from 7.4 million tonnes a year ago, amid growing demand from the feedmill industry, the Association of Flour Producers in Indonesia (APTINDO) said on Tuesday.From January to March Indonesia imported 2.9 million tonnes of the grain, about 500,000 tonnes of which went to feed mills, APTINDO chairman Franciscus Welirang told reporters. click here.

Jun 14 - All but one Lebanese wheat import samples pass test - govt 

All wheat import samples tested by Lebanon's public prosecutor met required standards except one that contained a higher-than-permitted level of the carcinogen ochratoxin, the government said on Monday.The public prosecutor's office conducted the tests on an unspecified number of samples from the port of Beirut after Ministry of Public Health checks in March found a contaminated batch of wheat. click here .

Jun 14 - Green Plains, others line up for Abengoa's U.S. ethanol assets 

Green Plains Inc and other firms have offered to pay $350 million for four of Abengoa SA's U.S. ethanol plants, court documents showed, reflecting resurgent appetite for biofuel assets as prices stage their biggest rally in years.The parent of the U.S. business has been seeking to strike a debt restructuring deal with creditors and avoid becoming Spain's largest corporate failure. click here .

Jun 13 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Continue to Suffer on Sluggish Demand (Dow Jones)
Asian crude-palm-oil prices slid on mounting concerns of weak demand for palm oil, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader says. Lower palm-oil exports have weighed on market sentiment, says David Ng at Philip Futures brokerage, adding that overnight weakness in competing vegetable-oil prices also added to pressure. Soybean oil is used as a substitute for palm oil, so the prices often move together. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ended 55 ringgit down at 2,528 ringgit ($619) a metric ton Monday. Mr. Ng says he expects palm-oil prices to hover between 2,500 ringgit to  2,650 ringgit a ton this week.

Jun 13 - Egypt to end local wheat buying on Wednesday 

Egypt will end local wheat buying on Wednesday, earlier than usual, due to exceeding its target of 4 million tonnes, the supplies ministry said on Saturday. "Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi pointed out that the door for receiving local wheat from farmers will close at the end of Wednesday due to lowering local procurement rates," the ministry said in a statement. click here .

Jun 13 - Bayer waiting for Monsanto to engage after spurned bid - sources 

Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, has still not opened its books more than two weeks after it rejected Bayer AG's $62 billion acquisition offer but left the door open to a possible deal, according to people familiar with the matter. The impasse shows that little progress in negotiations has been made since Monsanto on May 24 turned down its German peer's $122-per-share cash offer but said it was open to "continued and constructive conversations." click here.

Jun 13 - USDA slashes corn, soy supply view on S. American crop troubles 

Domestic supplies of corn and soybeans will be tighter than expected in the United States as problems with crops in Brazil and Argentina have raised demand for U.S. supplies from overseas buyers, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday. In its monthly supply and demand report, the government cut its new-crop and old-crop ending stocks outlooks for both corn and soybeans by more than analysts had forecast.click here.

Jun 13 - China's COFCO Agri hiring grain traders, opening Canadian office 

Chinese state-owned agricultural trader COFCO Agri, is opening a trading office in the Canadian grain hub of Winnipeg, adding to the aggressive expansion of its North American agriculture business. COFCO Agri is hiring three grain traders and an operations manager to expand export and domestic trading, according to the company's postings on professional networking site LinkedIn. Efforts to reach COFCO spokespeople and the company's U.S. human resources director for further details were unsuccessful. click here.

Jun 13 - India's 2016/17 wheat imports could surge to a decade high - ITC exec 

India's wheat imports could surge to a decade high in 2016/17, forcing the country to look at cutting import taxes after back to back droughts has reduced output amid rising demand, a leading consumer products company said on Friday. India may import 5 million tonnes of wheat in 2016/17, while the country's output of the grain could decline by an annual 2.3 percent to about 85 million tonnes, said S. Sivakumar, group head of agri and IT businesses at ITC Ltd. click here.

Jun 13 - Investors turn bullish on U.S. ethanol shares 

After a weak start in 2016, investors are rediscovering shares of biofuels companies that make ethanol, a grain alcohol that can be used as fuel. Demand and profit margins are up, regulators are helping the industry, and consumers are embracing ethanol for new uses, including on commercial flights. click here.

Jun 13 - Ukraine farmers complete 99 pct of 2016 spring sowing 

Ukrainian farmers have almost completed their 2016 spring sowing, seeding 7.2 million hectares or 99 percent of the planned area, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. The ministry forecasts the 2016 spring grain area at 7.3 million hectares, having reduced it from an original forecast of 7.5 million hectares. click here.

Jun 10 - U.S. corn export sales outpace year ago as Brazil woes fuel demand 

Export sales of U.S. corn to be shipped ahead of the fall harvest have topped last year's pace for the first time this season, government data on Thursday showed, fueled by competitive prices and a lack of available grain from Argentina and drought-hit Brazil.Buyers from at least 31 different countries booked U.S. corn shipments last week, the most diverse pool of buyers since a record 32 unique destinations made purchases in the week ended Oct. 11, 2007, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. click here .

Jun 10 - Brazil meat industry resorts to wheat as stopgap for scarce corn 

Brazil's troubled poultry and pork producers are resorting to feeding their animals wheat as an emergency substitute, a rare step for the industry as it struggles with the worst-ever shortage and record prices of corn, experts say.The practice, not seen in a decade by one of the world's largest animal protein industries, underscores how soaring local corn prices and an unexpected supply crisis are spilling over into other commodities markets and forced the industry to seek alternatives.  click here .

Jun 10 - China pork demand has investors high on U.S. lean hogs 

Bets on U.S. lean hog futures hit a nearly two-year peak, CME Group data showed on Thursday, as investors gambled record-high pork prices in top consumer China will force the country to boost imports and as surging animal feed prices raise costs for U.S. hog producers.Prices for Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hogs for July delivery  reached life-of-contract highs of 87.750 cents per lb while deferred contracts for delivery in the summer of 2017 also climbed to their highest levels ever.  click here .

Jun 10 -FranceAgriMer cuts wheat stocks, lifts exports again 

The French farm office FranceAgriMer on Thursday cut its forecast for soft wheat stocks at the end of the 2015/16 marketing year as it raised projected exports for a third consecutive month underscoring strong late-season demand.The stockpile in France, the European Union's biggest wheat grower, would still be up sharply from last season, but improved exports are expected to absorb some of a huge surplus generated by a record 2015 harvest.  click here .

Argentine 2015-16 soy harvest at 86.7 percent of land planted 

Argentine farmers have brought in 86.7 percent of land planted with soybeans this season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, adding 8 percentage points during the week but lagging last year's harvesting tempo by 9.9 percentage points due to rains.Harsh early April storms wrecked the crop in parts of southern Cordoba, Santa Fe and Entre Rios provinces, leaving other areas too wet to be harvested on schedule. While those areas are drying up enough to harvest, parts of the bread-basket province of Buenos Aires were hit hard by showers.  click here

Jun 10 - ADM, biofuel supporters say EPA underestimates use of higher-ethanol fuels 

Archer Daniels Midland Co and other supporters of biofuels on Thursday said U.S. regulators grossly underestimated the amount of higher-ethanol fuel blends at pumps when requirements for next year's use of renewables were proposed.The comments came as oil companies, biofuels producers and farmers gathered at a Kansas City, Missouri, hearing to weigh in on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) latest plan for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires the agency set annual targets for use of ethanol and other renewable fuels in gasoline. click here .

Jun 10 - Morocco raises soft wheat import custom duty to 65 pct 

Morocco will raise the custom duty on soft wheat imports to 65 percent from 30 percent from June 15 to August 15 to stabilize prices at 2,800-2,850 dirhams ($290.85-$296.04) per tonne, the government said in a statement on Thursday.The move comes as a surprise after the agriculture minister told Reuters in April that Morocco would retain its 30 percent customs duty on imported soft wheat until the end of 2016 after a severe drought hit the local harvest this year.  click here .

Jun 10 - Canada targets U.S. truck washes in fight against killer pig virus 

Canadian farm groups are blasting U.S. truck washes for being too dirty to prevent the spread of a virus that has killed millions of piglets in recent years, exposing a dispute over the effectiveness of such facilities in North American agriculture.The brewing battle over trucks comes as Manitoba, which slaughters more swine than any other Canadian province, has reported its first new cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) in 16 months.  click here .

Jun 10 - Malaysia May CPO Output 1.36 Million Tons; Up 4.9% on Month - MPOB
- Malaysia's End-May Palm Oil Stocks 1.65 Million Tons, Down 8.8%
- Malaysia's May Palm Oil Exports 1.3 Million Tons, Up 9.3%
- Malaysia's End-May Palm-Oil Stocks 1.65 Million Tons, Down 8.8%
- Malaysia's palm-oil exports rose 9.3% on month to 1.28 million metric tons in May, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said Friday.

Jun 09 - Asian CPO Ends Weaker on Stronger Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices close lower, hurt by a stronger ringgit. "A stronger ringgit may affect demand as it may lose competitiveness in the global market," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He expects crude palm-oil to trade between MYR2550/ton and MYR2650/ton. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ends 7 ringgit lower at MYR2587/ton.

Jun 09 - Glencore sells down further agri unit stake for $625 mln 

Glencore has agreed to sell a 9.99 percent stake in its agricultural business to British Columbia Investment Management Corp for $624.9 million, as it continues a push to sell up to $5 billion worth of assets this year to help cut debt.Glencore Agri would also take on $3.6 billion in debt currently funded by Glencore, the Swiss-based mining and trading firm said, helping to pare debt on Glencore's books. The debt would be financed without recourse to Glencore.  click here .

Jun 09 - Egypt returns to zero tolerance of ergot fungus in wheat 

Egypt has rejected two shipments of wheat for containing trace levels of the ergot fungus, backtracking on a government pledge to apply international standards and alarming traders looking to do business with the world's largest buyer of the grain.Earlier this year traders boycotted state wheat tenders after the country's agriculture quarantine authority began to apply a zero tolerance policy for ergot, a common grain fungus.click here .

Jun 09 - Brazil meat industry resorts to wheat as stopgap for scarce corn 

Brazil's troubled poultry and pork producers are resorting to feeding their animals wheat as an emergency substitute, a rare step for the industry as it struggles with the worst-ever shortage and record prices of corn, experts say.The practice, not seen in a decade by one of the world's largest animal protein industries, underscores how soaring local corn prices and an unexpected supply crisis are spilling over into other commodities markets and forced the industry to seek alternatives. click here .

Jun 09 - Historic spring grain rally shifts focus to U.S. crop weather 

Grain prices have climbed this month to their highest point of the year, in one of the steepest U.S. planting-season rallies on record, propelled by a perfect storm of acute demand, crop weather concerns, currency gyrations and speculative buying.Now U.S. farmers are nearly finished planting what could be another massive corn and soybean crop, while the market is no longer surprised by Brazilian and Argentine crop losses that helped ignite the rally. So investors are growing nervous about the possibility of a sharp price pullback. click here .

Jun 09 - Dairy industry reshaped by Asian deals as milk price sours 

The global dairy industry is being reshaped by a wave of dealmaking driven by low milk prices and growing demand for products like yoghurt and baby formula in Asia and the Middle East.Prices for dairy ingredients like milk and butter have fallen sharply for more than two years, hit by a global oversupply, squeezing the finances of farmers and producers and pushing many towards consolidation in search of economies of scale.  click here .

Jun 09 - Agrium sees opportunities as seed, chemical companies talk mergers 

Agrium Inc, North America's largest retail seller of products for crop farming, could benefit if some of the biggest makers of seed and agricultural chemicals merge, Chief Executive Chuck Magro said on Wednesday.Responding to a question during a company investor day in Toronto about how possible tie-ups of ChemChina and Syngenta AG or Bayer AG and Monsanto Co could affect Agrium, Magro said assets could become available if the companies need to raise capital or satisfy anti-trust concerns.  click here .

Jun 09 - BASF says not backed into a corner by Bayer's Monsanto swoop 

BASF, which has so far kept out of a consolidation push among global seeds and pesticides groups, said its business model was not affected by rival Bayer's plans to buy Monsanto."We are not backed into a corner by what is happening in the market," the group's deputy chief executive Martin Brudermueller said at a news conference on BASF's research and development efforts at its headquarters in Ludwigshafen in southern Germany. click here .

Jun 08 - Monsanto develops plan for GMO U.S. soy lacking EU import approval
Monsanto Co is developing plans to prevent a new variety of biotech U.S. soybeans from entering European markets where they are not approved, leaders of two agricultural trade groups said, in a sign of the growing impact of regulatory delays on the world's largest seed maker.The company is working with representatives of the U.S. farm sector on a strategy to keep Xtend soybeans separate from varieties approved in all major export markets, said Jim Sutter, chief executive officer for the U.S. Soybean Export Council. The plan could be used if Europe does not clear imports before harvesting starts in August. click here

Jun 08 - India's colonial-era monsoon forecasting to get high-tech makeover
India's forecasting of the monsoon - the crop-nourishing seasonal rains that are the lifeblood for farmers in the country of 1.3 billion people - is getting a high-tech makeover. Jettisoning a statistical method introduced under British colonial rule in the 1920s, India's meteorology office is spending $60 million on a new supercomputer to improve the accuracy of one of the world's most vital weather forecasts in time for next year's rains. click here

Jun 08 - Palm plantations shaken by the green body they helped create
In 2004, Malaysian palm oil producer IOI Group became a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and later an executive board member in what seemed like a cosy arrangement.Twelve years later, IOI attempted to take legal action against RSPO over an environmental ruling that has cost the company sales in the United States and Europe.click here

Jun 08 - China auctions imported wheat from state reserves - trade center
China auctioned 8,380 tonnes of imported red winter wheat from state reserves on Wednesday, according to an online statement posted by the National Grain Trade Center.The sold amount represented 17 percent of the total volume for auction, and transacted at an average price of 2,523 yuan ($384.15) per tonne. click here

Jun 08 - Frost heads for Brazil corn areas in Parana state
Forecasts are calling for freezing temperatures over corn fields in Parana state, Brazil's No. 2 producer of the grain, putting yields at risk when the meat industry is counting on harvest of the new crop to push down record high feed prices.Frost is most likely to appear in the southern half of Parana on the early mornings of Thursday and Friday, according to forecasts generated on satellite data on Thomson Reuters' Weather Dashboard.Some of the state's corn growing regions are in the path of the freezing temperatures expected this week.click here

Jun 08 - U.S. farmers fret as property taxes soar amid souring incomes
Collapsing prices for U.S. corn and soybeans have made it harder for some farmers to pay their property taxes, at a time when these tax bills are soaring and the rate of farm bankruptcies is growing.Over the past three years, farmland property taxes have jumped as much as 400 percent in parts of the United States, according to state and federal government data. One farmer in Ohio said his property tax bill has skyrocketed to more than $100 an acre from less than $20 seven years ago. click here

Jun 08 - Canada weighs options as farmers spar over U.S. milk proteins
Canada is working on a plan to shore up its sheltered dairy industry, including measures to counter fast-rising imports of milk proteins from the United States, according to the country's agriculture minister.Any new support risks widening a trade dispute among North America's dairy farmers over $150 million worth of U.S. milk protein isolates used to make cheese and yogurt. click here

Jun 08 - Russia says not planning big grain purchases in 2016/17
Russia's Agriculture Ministry is not planning large grain purchases on the domestic market in the upcoming 2016/17 marketing year, a ministry official told a grain conference in the Black Sea city of Gelendzhik on Tuesday.The Russian government buys grain on the domestic market for its stocks every year in what is known as interventions. click here

Jun 07 - Asian CPO Declines Further on Stronger Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices close lower Tuesday as a stronger ringgit weighed on investor confidence. A "stronger currency may deter buying as crude palm-oil prices will become expensive," says David Ng at Philip Futures. He predicts prices to range between MYR2550/ton and  MYR2700/ton. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ends 62 ringgit lower at 2598 ringgit per ton.

Jun 07 - Early harvested corn pushes down record Brazilian prices
Early harvested corn hitting Brazil's grain markets is lowering record high prices, which have hurt the country's massive poultry and pork industries, specialists said on Monday.Despite the small size of the lots coming early from the fields of Mato Grosso and Parana, Brazil's biggest producer states of the grain, their arrival has driven down the stratospheric prices seen over the past months in the near absence of the main animal feeds ingredient on the spot market. click here

Jun 07 - EU countries refuse to back new licence for glyphosate weed-killer
EU nations refused to back a limited extension of the herbicide glyphosate's use on Monday, threatening withdrawal of Monsanto's Roundup and other weed-killers from shelves if no decision is reached by the end of the month.Contradictory findings on carcinogenic risks have thrust the chemical into the centre of a dispute among EU and U.S. politicians, regulators and researchers. Citizen and environmental groups have urged governments to exercise caution. click here

Jun 07 - Russian new wheat export prices up on quality concerns
Russian wheat export prices rose last week on concerns over new crop quality caused by persistent rain and stormy weather, analysts said on Monday.Black Sea prices for Russian new-crop wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were $180 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $1.5 from a week earlier, agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here

Jun 07 - France sees smaller rapeseed crop as rain hits yields
France's farm ministry on Monday forecast that the country's winter rapeseed production would fall this year after wet weather favoured disease development, warning that other crops could also see yields affected in this summer's harvest.In its first production estimates for the 2016 harvest, the ministry put 2016 winter rapeseed output at 5.1 million tonnes, down 3.7 percent from last year and 2.0 percent below the 2011-2015 average.click here

Jun 07 - NZ dairy company Synlait to pay farmers slightly more than Fonterra
New Zealand dairy company Synlait Milk said it expects to pay its farmer suppliers slightly more than market leader Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd  this season, as it warned the dairy sector faced another tough period.Dairy was until recently the backbone of New Zealand's economy, representing around 25 percent of exports but dairy prices have been hard hit by China's economic slowdown and global oversupply. click here

Jun 06 - Ringgit Strengthening Hits Malaysian Palm Oil (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices end slightly lower Monday pulled down by a stronger Malaysian currency. "The ringgit strengthened after the U.S. dollar index dipped last week amid weaker economic numbers," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. He expects palm-oil to trade between 2600 ringgit/ton and 2700 ringgit/ton. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia  derivatives Exchange ends 7 ringgit lower at 2659 ringgit per ton Monday.

Jun 06 - Record Brazil corn prices shrink poultry, hog producers

Stubbornly record-high corn prices in Brazil, the world's No. 2 exporter of the grain, are compelling pork producers to slaughter sows they cannot afford to feed and poultry processors to close plants.Southern states that are the traditional home to pork and poultry plants have been hardest hit by soaring corn feed prices and a plunge in demand for meat, with companies closing at least three slaughter houses to cut supply, said Francisco Turra, president of Brazil's Animal Protein Association (ABPA).click here .

Jun 06 - U.S. Plains weather seen drier, aiding wheat harvest, quality 

Warmer and drier weather expected for the southern U.S. Plains next week should jump-start the harvest of the region's hard red winter wheat crop and ease concerns about grain quality, meteorologists said on Friday."By late next week we will be in the upper 80s and 90s (degrees Fahrenheit). That will certainly help dry things out," said Andy Karst, a meteorologist with World Weather Inc. click here .

Jun 06 - Egypt's purchases of local wheat reach 4.711 mln tonnes 

Egypt's government has bought 4.711 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the season on April 15, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.The government had originally set a target of 4 million tonnes but said after reaching that volume that it would continue to buy from local farmers. click here.

Jun 06 - China auctions 1.79 mln tonnes of corn from state reserves - national trade centre 

China auctioned 1.79 million tonnes of corn from its government stockpile on Friday, according to a statement posted on a national trade centre website.The total volume of corn auctioned was about 60 percent of what had been planned, according to the statement posted late on Friday by the National Grain Trade Center. click here.

Jun 06 - U.S. ethanol exports hit 4-year high in April - USDA 

U.S. ethanol exports hit the highest levels in more than four years in April, led by large shipments to China, monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed on Friday.Exports of the corn-based biofuel totaled 95.5 million gallons (361.7 million liters), up less than 1 percent from March and the largest shipments since the record monthly sum of 178 million gallons in December 2011. click here.

Heavy rains expected to drive Australian wheat production above estimates 

Forecast heavy rains over Australia's east coast next week are expected to boost wheat production above official estimates in the world's fourth largest exporter, analysts said on Friday.As much as 100 millimetres is forecast to soak most of Queensland, New South and Victoria states over the next eight days, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Friday.click here.

Jun 03 - Heavy rains expected to drive Australian wheat production above estimates
Forecast heavy rains over Australia's east coast next week are expected to boost wheat production above official estimates in the world's fourth largest exporter, analysts said on Friday. As much as 100 millimetres is forecast to soak most of Queensland, New South and Victoria states over the next eight days, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Friday.  click here.

 Jun 03 - Bayer expands financing group for Monsanto bid-source
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer AG, which has made a $62 billion bid for U.S. seeds company Monsanto Co, has added more banks to its acquisition financing package, according to a person familiar with the matter. HSBC Holdings Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co have joined existing Bayer advisers Bank of America Corp and Credit Suisse Group AG in the loan facility, the person said on Thursday after the German newspaper Handelsblatt first reported on the news. click here.

 Jun 03 - Record Brazil corn prices shrink poultry, hog producers
Stubbornly record-high corn prices in Brazil, the world's No. 2 exporter of the grain, are compelling pork producers to slaughter sows they cannot afford to feed and poultry processors to close plants. Southern states that are the traditional home to pork and poultry plants have been hardest hit by soaring corn feed prices and a plunge in demand for meat, with companies closing at least three slaughter houses to cut supply, said Francisco Turra, president of Brazil's Animal Protein Association (ABPA). click here.

 Jun 03 - Black Sea wheat exports to fall 10 pct in 2016/17 - Poll
Wheat exports from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will fall 10.1 percent in the upcoming 2016/17 marketing year due to a smaller sowing area and dry autumn in Ukraine, a Reuters poll showed. The three global wheat exporters via the Black Sea, supplying customers mainly in North Africa and the Middle East, are forecast to export 42.7 million tonnes in the 2016/17 marketing year that starts on July 1, the poll of 14 traders, analysts and officials showed. click here.

 Jun 03 - What's the deal with soybean meal? -Braun
Anyone who placed big bets on soybean meal a couple of months ago might now be feeling like a lottery winner, but the gain-filled trading sessions of late may be numbered. July soybean meal futures have risen nearly 50 percent between early April and the contract high last Thursday, although price gains have since eased for the first time since the start of the rally. click here.

 Jun 03 - In New Zealand, kiwifruit comeback offsets dairy downturn
Five years ago, the future of New Zealand's celebrated kiwifruit industry looked dire as a previously unseen disease decimated orchards, forcing growers to rip up vines and sending production plunging. But helped by a new disease-resistant variety and the soaring popularity of the nutritionally-packed berry, kiwifruit exports are now helping prop New Zealand's economy amid struggling sales of its major agricultural product, dairy. click here.

 Jun 03 - HC2 Holdings broadens offer for U.S. grain handler Andersons
HC2 Holdings Inc broadened its offer to buy pieces of The Andersons Inc on Thursday, days after the loss-making U.S. grain handler said an earlier proposal to break up its business units was dead on arrival. HC2, a holding company run by former hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, said it would pay $1.15 billion for Andersons' grain, rail and ethanol operations in its latest attempt to take control of the company. click here.

 Jun 03 - U.S. ethanol prices at 18-month highs raise expectations of rising output
The rise in U.S. ethanol prices, which hit their highest in 18 months on Thursday, could be about to lose steam as the move draws more production back into the market and potentially puts off buyers, traders and experts said. Cash prices have been following futures prices for ethanol, corn and gasoline higher. click here.

 Jun 03 - Argentine soy harvest could be hit by more heavy rains - Grain Exchange
Rains this week in Argentina's top agricultural province, which was previously unaffected by recent wet weather, may further damage the 2015/2016 soybean harvest, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said on Thursday. Argentina is the world's top exporter of soy oil and soymeal and the third largest supplier of raw beans. click here.

Jun 02 - Asian CPO Closes Higher on Weaker Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil price end higher on Thursday lifted by a weaker ringgit. Persistent weakness in the currency may boost exports in the short-term, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. He expects prices to range between MYR2550/ton and MYR2630/ton. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settles up 45 ringgit at 2643 ringgit per ton, versus Wednesday's close of 2,598 ringgit per ton.

Jun 02 - Gains for Crude Palm, Oil Lift Malaysia Shares (Dow Jones)
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index ends higher on Thursday as higher palm oil and crude oil prices boosted share prices. The benchmark index closed up 0.25% to 1,630.53. Oil prices rise ahead of the weekly U.S. crude inventory data and the biannual OPEC meeting, both scheduled for Thursday. The palm oil prices rallied following fall in Indonesian palm oil stock. UMW Oil & Gas (5243.KU) closed 6.5% up while its parent, UMW Holdings (4588.KU), finished 0.2% higher. Petronas Dagangan's (5681.KU) counter closed up 0.2%. Plantation stocks rebounded during the day following the release of Indonesian crude palm oil stock data. Sime Darby closed 1.06% higher while IOI Corp (1961.KU) ended the day 0.5% higher. IHH Healthcare (5225.KU) is down 0.2% as sovereign wealth fund Khazanah decides to sell some of its stake in the company.

Jun 02 - Potash output cuts seen hindering industry's long-term recovery
North America's big potash miners have doubled down on a production cut strategy they hope will lift the fertilizer's price from a near decade low, even as some investors warn this threatens their long-term profitability and props up weaker rivals. Shares of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan and Mosaic Co, major players who have trimmed output when prices weakened, are down nearly 50 percent from a year earlier following their most recent production cuts.  click here.

 Jun 02 - Talks ongoing in Monsanto, Argentina gov't GMO soy dispute
Monsanto Co, eager to get royalties from growers in Argentina on genetically modified soybeans, said on Wednesday it was still trying to resolve a dispute with the government over inspections, while an agricultural ministry source said a deal may be reached in the coming days. Monsanto and the government have been at loggerheads over the company's request that Argentine exporters inspect soybean shipments to ensure growers pay royalties. click here.

 Jun 02 - Asian feed mills snap up wheat cargoes, replace corn for 2nd year
Asian mills that churn out animal feed are buying large volumes of wheat for a second year, shifting away from corn as supplies of that grain dwindle following drought in key exporter Brazil. Indonesia has bought over 1 million tonnes of feed wheat this year, while Thailand has locked in close to 2 million tonnes with the country booking cargoes right up to December, according to three trade sources. That compares to limited shipments a couple of years ago.  click here.

 Jun 02 - Palm oil to trade between 2,500-2,700 rgt/T through August - survey
Palm oil is expected to trade until August within the same band its stayed in for 2016, as gains are capped by lower post-Ramadan demand and supply recovers on seasonal increases and as the El Nino's dry weather impact ebbs, a Reuters survey shows. Benchmark prices may trade between 2,500 ringgit and 2,700 ringgit per tonne in the next three months, based on a poll of ten planters, traders and analysts. click here.

 Jun 02 - China pork prices sizzle as frozen reserves fail to cool market
Pork prices in China are climbing at a blistering pace despite government moves to cool markets in the world's top consumer of the meat by selling chunks of its frozen reserves. Government data released on Wednesday showed Chinese pork prices hit record levels this week, driven up as farmers hold back pigs from slaughter to rebuild herds following widespread culling in 2014 when prices were low. click here.

 Jun 02 - Taste for gourmet burgers seen heating up U.S beef demand
As U.S. consumers, especially millennials, look for hamburgers with more flavor and fresher beef, more restaurants are catering to the taste for "better burgers," a market where one expert said sales could double in five years. Sales at companies offering gourmet or "better burgers," which typically use fresh meat rather than frozen and often include exotic ingredients, jumped 15 percent last year over 2014 to $5 billion, according to Technomic, a research firm based in Chicago, home of the world's largest livestock futures trading market.  click here.

 Jun 02 - India's guar seed area to fall as shale gas producers' cut purchases
The area under guar seed production in India, the biggest producer of the tiny seed used to extract shale gas in fracturing, could drop 20 percent in the coming sowing season due to falling global oil prices. "Guar seed farmers are unhappy. They are likely to shift to pulses. We could see as high as 15-20 percent reduction in guar seed area," said K N Rahiman, chief research officer at Ruchi Soya, a leading guar gum exporter. click here.

 Jun 02 - Cargill acquires specialty food maker Five Star Custom Foods
U.S. agricultural trader Cargill Inc said Wednesday it has signed an agreement to acquire Five Star Custom Foods, Ltd, a Texas-based company specializing in cooked protein products, soups and sauces for restaurants and food processors. Cargill did not disclose terms of the deal, but said it expected the transaction to be finalized this summer after a regulatory review. click here.

Jun 01 - Asian Crude Palmoil Closes Lower, Tracking Soy Bean Losses (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices close lower, guided by losses in the crude oil and soy bean oil market, dampening investor spirit. However, a weaker ringgit may offer some support to the palm-oil prices in the short-term, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He predicts prices to range between MYR2550/ton and MYR2680/ton. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settled down 22 ringgit at 2,598 ringgit per ton Wednesday.

Jun 01 - U.S. farmers rush to sell soybeans early as prices rally
U.S. farmers have sold nearly double the usual amount of new-crop soybeans this spring, taking advantage of a 14 percent rally in the futures market to lock in profits on a crop that most have not even finished planting yet. The sales could depress soybean basis bids - the difference between the futures market and the cash price - at grain terminals around the U.S. Midwest during harvest. click here.

 Jun 01 - Brazil June soybean shipments to fall 20 pct after record exports
The lineup of ships loading soybeans at Brazilian ports in June should fall 20 percent, after record exports in the past few months, data from a shipping agency showed, but firm premiums indicate that demand is still strong. Soybean loadings are forecast at 5.11 million tonnes in June, including ships with unconfirmed departure dates, down from 6.43 million tonnes a year ago, according to Williams agency data compiled by Reuters. click here.

 Jun 01 - USDA April soybean crush seen at 156.8 mln bushels - Poll
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's upcoming monthly report on oilseed crushings will likely show that 4.704 million short tons, or 156.8 million bushels, of soybeans were processed during April, a poll of seven analysts showed on Tuesday. Analysts' estimates for the April soybean crush ranged from 155.6 million to 157.5 million bushels. The median forecast was 156.95 million bushels. click here.

 Jun 01 - Malaysia to implement B10 biodiesel programme for transport, B7 for industrial sector
Malaysia will raise its biodiesel mandate to 10 percent for the transport sector, and to 7 percent for the industrial sector beginning June, the ministry of plantation industries and commodities said on Tuesday. The so-called B10 programme with its 10 percent mandate aims to raise the minimum bio-content of biodiesel from the current 7 percent, mopping up more palm oil for blending purposes and increasing domestic demand. click here.

 Jun 01 - Sunny June weather seen speeding up Argentine soy harvest
Argentine soy harvesting should accelerate next month thanks to predicted sunny weather, but it will arrive too late to save the crop in areas still waterlogged after April floods. Several million tonnes of soybeans have been left to rot, with growers' 30-tonne harvesters parked along washed-out roads. The losses in the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and the No. 3 supplier of beans have pushed international prices higher. click here.

 Jun 01 - India starts talks on new potash import contracts - industry officials
Indian buyers have started talking with potash suppliers on new import contracts, trying to settle them at a steep discount to last year's price, two industry officials told Reuters, as plentiful supplies gave purchasers new bargaining power. Contracts signed by India and China are considered benchmarks in Asia, and are closely watched by other potash buyers such as in Malaysia and Indonesia. click here.

 Jun 01 - Brazil to help free up $5.8 bln in funding for farmers
Brazil's government vowed on Tuesday to free up as much as 21 billion reais ($5.8 billion) in additional credit for farmers and cattle ranchers, in an effort to help pull Latin America's largest economy out of a two-year recession. In a statement, the National Monetary Council, Brazil's top economic policymaking body, allowed farmers to use proceeds from the sale of securities backed by agricultural receivables for purposes beyond short-term operating activities, while raising the threshold on agricultural credit from state development bank BNDES. click here.

May 31 - Asian CPO Closes Lower on Weaker Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures extend gains Tuesday on a drop in the ringgit. In addition, an announcement by Malaysia's Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities to implement its program for biodiesel to have a bio-content of at least 10% from June also lifted the mood of the market. The announcement indicates that Malaysia is determined to increase palm-oil blending in biodiesel, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. "It will help in bringing down inventory in coming months," he adds. The palm oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settled up 20 ringgit at 2,620 ringgit per ton.

May 31 - Rabobank bearish on soybeans, corn after supply-risk price surge  
Soybean and corn traders have priced in risks from the impact of adverse weather on output in South America, and markets for the two could now face downward pressures, the chief executive of Rabobank Singapore said on Monday.Unseasonal rains in Argentina's key producing regions ahead of the bean harvest in March and April sparked a rally in soybeans and soymeal on worries about crop yields. click here.

 May 31 - India to finalise rice export deal with Indonesia soon - trade secretary
India, the world's biggest rice exporter, will soon finalise a non-basmati rice exports contract with Indonesia in a rare government-to-government deal, Trade Secretary Rita Teaotia said on Monday, as rice prices started firming up following drought in key producing countries.India could ask the state-run Food Corporation of India to sell around 1 million tonnes rice from its stockpile to Indonesia, the world's leading rice importer, industry officials said. click here.

 May 31 - Vietnam's 2016 drought-hit rice output to fall 1.5 pct - govt official
Vietnam's rice paddy output will likely fall this year for the first time since 2005 following the worst drought in 90 years, but the decline will be limited as farmers expand planting in the current and final crops, a government official said.The Delta's winter-spring output fell 10.2 percent on last year, but total production could fall just 1.5 percent to 44.5 million tonnes, said Tran Cong Dinh, deputy head of the Agriculture Ministry's Crops Department.  click here.

 May 31 - China auctions 10,841 tonnes of wheat from state reserves
China auctioned 10,841 tonnes of wheat from state reserves at an average price of 2,489 yuan ($378.14) per tonne, according to an online statement posted by the national trade center.During the auction, one type of white wheat produced in 2013 and one type of mixed wheat produced in 2013 failed to sell, while a 2014 produced mixed wheat transacted at 10,841 tonnes with an average price of 2,489 yuan per tonne. click here.

 May 31 - Chile's red tide outbreak recedes, giving fishermen a break
An unusually widespread and deadly "red tide" outbreak in southern Chile's fishing-rich waters is abating, a top scientist said on Monday, giving some reprieve to communities that depend on the Pacific Ocean for their livelihoods.The red tide - an algal bloom that turns the sea water red and makes seafood toxic - is a common, naturally recurring phenomenon in southern Chile. But abnormally high water temperatures spurred by the El Niño weather system this year helped fuel the current outbreak to levels not seen in recent memory. click here.

 May 31 - Hailstorms badly damage French vineyards, mainly Cognac
Severe weather, including hailstorms, caused serious damage at the weekend in some French wine-producing regions, notably Cognac where up to 8 percent of the vineyard has been badly damaged, producers said on Monday.Other regions hard hit where Chablis and Beaujolais."These hail bursts ravaged many vineyards, making future harvests uncertain or impossible," FNSEA, France's largest farm union, said in a statement. click here.

May 30 - Asian CPO Settles Higher on Weaker Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end higher as a weaker ringgit buoys investor sentiment. David Ng, an analyst at Phillip Futures, says persistent weakness in the Malaysian currency "will be beneficial for palm-oil exports coupled with a stronger seasonal demand" ahead of the coming peak Ramadan season. He predicts prices to range between 2,500 ringgit and MYR2,650 a metric ton over the next few days. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark August contract finishes MYR40 higher at MYR2,600 a ton Monday.

May 30 - How four words rewrote Bayer-Monsanto deal script   
"There is nothing there." Monsanto Co President Brett Begemann uttered those words last week to a small group of investors and a Reuters reporter when asked how the world's largest seed company he helps lead might fit with German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer AG.Those four words, said on the sidelines of a New York conference, set off a series of events leading to the disclosure of Bayer's confidential, $62 billion bid for Monsanto, the largest all-cash corporate takeover offer on record.  click here.

 May 30 - Egypt's local wheat buying reaches 4.328 million tonnes
Egypt's government has bought 4.328 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the season on April 15, the minister of supply said in a statement on Saturday.The agriculture ministry said in a statement last week that the government was committed to receiving all the wheat from farmers who wished to sell until the season ends. click here.

 May 30 - U.S. seeks WTO dispute panel in chicken dispute with China
The Obama administration on Friday asked the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute settlement panel to rule on U.S. claims that China is unfairly continuing anti-dumping duties on U.S. broiler chicken products.The U.S. Trade Representative's office said in a statement it made the request after consultations with Chinese officials on May 24 failed to resolve the dispute over the duties. click here.

 May 30 - EU on course for big barley crop, disease in France raises yield risk
Western Europe remains on course for a large barley crop after moderate weather during much of the growing season, but widespread disease affecting winter barley in France could trim yields in this summer's harvest, analysts said.The European Commission on Thursday raised by 500,000 tonnes its forecast for 2016 barley production in the European Union to 62.2 million tonnes, above an estimated 60.6 million last year. click here.

 May 30 - New Zealand's NZX launches milk futures to tepid early demand
Financial exchange operator NZX Ltd on Friday launched New Zealand's first milk futures contract, offering dairy farmers in the country a new tool to manage risk as they grapple with plunging prices.Early takeup of the contract was slow with just two trades in the first session, but dairy industry officials and analysts said liquidity would grow as more farmers looked to lock in forward pricing. click here.

May 27 - IGC raises 2016/17 world wheat, corn crop forecasts
The International Grains Council raised its forecasts on Thursday for both world wheat and corn production in the upcoming 2016/17 season. "The outlook for 2016/17 grains production continues to improve with output potentially the second highest ever," the IGC said in a monthly report. click here.

 May 27 - New Philippine president to face early test over food security
While Philippine elections this month were dominated by talk about crushing crime, the next president faces another critical early test: ensuring there is enough rice for the country's more than 100 million people. The Philippine crop is suffering mounting drought damage, just as the country's big Asian rice suppliers also suffer from an El Nino weather pattern. click here.

 May 27 - New Zealand's NZX launches milk futures to tepid early demand
Financial exchange operator NZX Ltd on Friday launched New Zealand's first milk futures contract, offering dairy farmers in the country a new tool to manage risk as they grapple with plunging prices. Early takeup of the contract was slow with just two trades in the first session, but dairy industry officials and analysts said liquidity would grow as more farmers looked to lock in forward pricing. click here.

 May 27 - China's COFCO Agri set ups U.S. ethanol trading desk - sources
Chinese state-owned agricultural trader COFCO Agri has hired an ethanol trader from rival Louis Dreyfus to set up a U.S. trading desk, four sources told Reuters, as it aims to secure a foothold in the United States, the world's top biofuels producer. Aaron Parrish joined Cofco's Stamford, Connecticut, office earlier this month from Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV, four U.S. and Brazilian traders said. click here.

 May 27 - Consultant tempers expectations for Russian wheat sales to China
Russian wheat supplies to China are likely to remain fairly modest in coming years despite an agreement to expand exports as grain will only be admitted from a few of the main producing regions, the independent SovEcon agriculture consultancy said. Russia and China signed accords on grain quality control in December, technically opening the Chinese market to Russian grain after years of talks. But major supplies are yet to materialise. click here.

 May 27 - From hardy pigs to super-crops, gene editing poses new EU dilemma
Heat-tolerant Angus beef cattle designed for the tropics with white coats instead of black or red. A button mushroom that doesn't turn brown. Pigs that don't fall sick. These are all ideas thrown up by gene editing, the new technology taking the biomedical world by storm, and one which also promises a revolution down on the farm. click here.

 May 27 - EU lifts wheat crop outlook, cuts stocks on extra exports
The European Commission on Thursday raised sharply its forecast for this summer's soft wheat harvest in the European Union but trimmed projected stocks next season as increased export demand offset extra supplies. In monthly supply-and-demand projections posted on its website, the Commission put 2016 usable soft wheat production at 145.1 million tonnes, up from 142.8 million tonnes estimated last month although still well below record production of 151.6 million tonnes in 2015. click here.

 May 27 - South African wheat prices hit record high on import tariffs
South African wheat prices hit an all time high on Thursday as the market reacted to an expected 30 percent hike in import tariffs due to a weak rand and falling global prices. Africa's most industrialised economy is set to increase the tariff to 1,591.40 rand ($102.58) from 1,224.30 rand currently, according to a notice on the South African Grain Information Services website published on late on Wednesday. click here.

 May 27 - Argentine soy harvest going well due to dry weather - Grain Exchange
Argentina's 2015/2016 soybean harvest is going well, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said on Thursday, after drier weather in recent weeks following severe rains last month which paralyzed the process and sent prices climbing on fears of a shortage. Argentina is the world's top exporter of soy oil and soymeal and the third largest supplier of raw beans. click here.

 May 27 - U.S. watchdog to review cattle pricing, high-speed trading
A U.S. watchdog agency will launch a review of cattle pricing, including the impact of high-frequency trading on futures, after ranchers complained about a sharp price drop last year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has accepted a request from the Senate Judiciary Committee to study the reasons for the decline, an agency spokesman said on Thursday. click here.

May 26 - Corn glut in China set to pressure U.S. wheat market
China's efforts to cut its domestic corn stocks by shunning imports and alternatives have already roiled U.S. sorghum and renewable fuel markets, and are now poised to hit U.S. wheat prices just as a bumper harvest rolls in. China announced two months ago that it planned to scrap its corn stockpiling system, which had left it with the biggest corn supplies in the world, put premiums on domestic prices and brought a flood of corn and alternative feed imports. click here.

 May 26 - Brazil's corn crisis could boost rivals as exports seen sinking
Brazil will export less corn than expected this year as the supply crisis in the world's No. 2 exporter deepens, giving rival producers a rare chance to boost sales abroad amid a global glut weighing on world prices, a Reuters poll showed. Expectations for Brazil's corn exports in the commercial year that started in February have fallen to 26.1 million tonnes, down from 28.9 million tonnes in a Reuters' poll in November, the survey showed. click here.

 May 26 - Argentina seen losing 4 mln to 8 mln tonnes of soy due to floods
Flooding in Argentina has cut into the country's expected soybean output by 4 million to 8 million tonnes, even as higher-than-expected yields in dryer areas offset some of the losses, local farm analysts said on Wednesday. Chicago Board of Trade soymeal futures have surged 51 percent since early April, hitting their highest since November 2014 as concerns about the Argentine floods mounted. click here.

 May 26 - Egypt local wheat buying tops 4 million tonnes
Egypt's agriculture ministry has bought 4.076 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the season on April 15, it said on Wednesday. The world's largest wheat importer had said it planned to buy 4 million tonnes domestically in a local buying season which usually ends around July. click here.

 May 26 - Royal London says backs Bayer-Monsanto deal if priced at $130-$135/share
Bayer shareholder Royal London Asset Management said on Wednesday that the German company's bid for U.S. rival Monsanto made sense strategically and that it would support a deal if it was priced at around $130-$135 a share. RLAM fund manager Andrea Williams said she would not, however, like the board of Bayer to offer as much as $150 a share. click here.

 May 26 - Russia's Phosagro sees 2016 output up 7-10 pct, boosts Q1 net profit
Russian fertiliser producer Phosagro plans to boost its output by between 7 and 10 percent in 2016, it said on Wednesday, after reporting a 60 percent rise in first-quarter net profit. Like many other Russian exporters, Phosagro, which competes with U.S. firm Mosaic, has been helped by rouble weakness, which holds down its costs in dollar terms and partially offsets a decline in fertiliser prices. click here.

 May 26 - Brazil to lift limits on foreign ownership of land
Brazil's government plans to lift current limits on foreign ownership of agricultural land, Secretary of Investment Moreira Franco, the person behind privatization for the new administration, told Reuters on Wednesday. Franco called the restriction on sales of agricultural land to foreign individuals and companies "nonsense" and said interim President Michel Temer will reconsider the issue. click here.

 May 26 - Ruchi Soya and Adani Wilmar plan joint venture in India
India's Ruchi Soya and Adani Wilmar said on Wednesday they planned a joint venture in India to tap into the country's growing food demand and purchasing power. The new company will produce and distribute products including vegetable oils, soy foods, grains and biodiesel and hopes to reduce costs across logistics, supply chain management, manpower and distribution, the companies said in a statement. click here.

May 25 - Monsanto rejects Bayer bid, but open to more talks
Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG's $62 billion acquisition bid as "incomplete and financially inadequate" on Tuesday, but said it was open to engage further in negotiations. Monsanto's decision, first reported earlier on Tuesday by Reuters, puts pressure on Bayer to decide whether to raise its bid, even as the company faces criticism from some shareholders that its $122-per-share cash offer is already too high. click here.

 May 25 - India's soybean area seen falling as farmers switch to pulses
Indian farmers are set to reduce the area given over to soybeans by up to 10 percent this year in response to falling prices, pushing up likely imports of edible oils such as palm oil and soyoil. Soybean is the main summer-sown oilseed crop for the world's biggest importer of edible oil, but prices have dropped 10 percent in the past two years, while the prices of pulses such as red gram have nearly tripled over the same period. click here.

 May 25 - South Africa seen cutting maize forecast by over 2 percent
South Africa will cut its 2016 maize forecast by 2.2 percent as drought continues to impact major producers in the western areas of the grain belt, a Reuters poll of six traders and market analysts showed on Tuesday. The government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC), which will provide its fifth production forecast for the 2016 crop on Thursday, is seen pegging the harvest at 6.9 million tonnes compared with last month's estimate of 7.05 million tonnes. click here.

 May 25 - ADM soy plant in Frankfort, Indiana, idled for maintenance
Archer Daniels Midland Co's soybean processing plant in Frankfort, Indiana, was shut down temporarily for maintenance, a spokeswoman said in an email on Tuesday. She added that the company's processor in Decatur, Illinois, was not shut down. Trade sources earlier said the Illinois plant also was idled. click here.

May 25 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Prices Trade Lower on Demand Worries (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures are trading lower on Wednesday as investors continue to remain concerned about high inventory levels. Analysts are hoping palm-oil prices will stabilize with improved demand during the Ramadan festival. The month-long event of fasting and feasting spurs higher palm-oil demand for cooking. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark August contract is trading 13 ringgit lower at 2489 ringgit a ton. It settled at 2502 ringgit a ton on Tuesday.

May 24 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Higher on Weaker Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices close higher Tuesday, supported by a weaker ringgit. A weaker currency is beneficial for overall exports," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. Investors will be watching for information as palm-oil demand as cargo surveyors Intertek Agri Services and SGS (Malaysia) Bhd are set to release monthly data on Wednesday. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark August contract closes 11 ringgit higher at 2502 ringgit a ton Tuesday.

May 24 - Bayer defies critics with $62 billion Monsanto offer
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer AG has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, defying some of its own shareholders in a bid to grab the top spot in a fast-consolidating farm supplies industry. Monsanto Co's stock ended trading up 4.4 percent at $106 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, well below Bayer's $122 per share cash offer price, in a sign that it faces a tough task convincing the St. Louis-based company to sign off on the deal. click here.

 May 24 - India puts off GM cotton seed order, easing pressure on Monsanto
India has temporarily withdrawn an order capping royalties on any new variety of genetically-modified (GM) cotton seeds, a government source said on Monday, bringing relief to U.S.-based Monsanto Co, the market's sole supplier. "We are temporarily withdrawing the order," said the source, who is involved in the decision-making process but didn't wish to be named because he is not authorised to talk to the media. click here.

 May 24 - EU crop monitor holds wheat yield forecast steady
The European Union's crop monitoring service on Monday left unchanged its forecast for above-average yields in this year's EU soft wheat harvest, pointing to broadly favourable growing conditions despite some cold, wet spells. The MARS service kept its estimate of the soft wheat yield in the 28-country bloc at 6.11 tonnes per hectare (t/ha). This was 2.6 percent below the level seen last year, when the EU reaped a record harvest, but 4.8 percent above the five-year average. click here.

 May 24 - Strongest El Nino in nearly 20 years ends - Australian weather bureau
The strongest El Nino in nearly 20 years, which damaged crop production in Asia and caused food shortages, has ended, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday. Climate indicators associated with El Nino, which emerged in 2015, have now returned to neutral levels, the BOM said. click here.

 May 24 - Ukraine 2016 spring grain sowing near end - ministry
Ukrainian farmers have almost completed their 2016 spring sowing, seeding 7.0 million hectares or 96 percent of the planned area, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. This year, the ministry forecast the 2016 spring grain area at 7.5 million hectares but later reduced that forecast to 7.3 million hectares. The ministry gave no explanation for the change. click here.

 May 24 - Chile begins new arbitration against SQM over contract dispute
Chile said on Monday it had begun a new arbitration procedure against fertilizer supplier SQM over what it said were "serious contract breaches," threatening to further darken an already fraught relationship between the government and the company. SQM, which was privatized in the 1980s under Augusto Pinochet and is still controlled by a businessman with family links to the ex-dictator, is one of the world's largest suppliers of nitrates and lithium, with access to vast brine deposits in northern Chile. click here.

 May 24 - Cambodia takes solace from plough ceremony amid worst drought in 50 yrs
As the worst drought in half a century delays rice planting in Cambodia, a pair of oxen on Tuesday delved into rice, corn and bean bowls at an annual ploughing ceremony in an omen for good harvests for those crops in the year ahead. Annual rains have come late to Cambodia, exacerbating the drought and forcing farmers to wait before planting this year's crop of rice. click here.

 May 24 - Fertilizer maker CF Industries, OCI end merger deal
U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc and Dutch rival OCI NV ended their merger agreement on Monday, following the U.S. Treasury's steps to curb tax avoiding inversion deals. CF Industries had agreed to buy OCI NV's North American and European plants for $6 billion in August, in addition to assuming $2 billion of OCI's debt, to create the world's largest publicly traded nitrogen company.  click here.

May 24 - Asian Crude Palm Rises on Soybean Gains, Pre-Ramadan Bump (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices open higher, aided by gains in soybean oil prices. Traders are hoping an improvement in demand ahead of the festival of Ramadan. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange open 20 ringgit higher at 2510 ringgit per ton. It ended down 33 ringgit at 2495 ringgit per ton.

May 23 - Weaker Demand for Pulls Down Malaysian Palm-Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end lower Monday hurt by weaker demand ahead of the key Ramadan festival. The imposition of the export tax may further crimp a bit of demand," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, announced last week that it will raise its crude palm-oil export tax to 5.5% from June 1 from 5% in May. Palm-oil shipments were tax free from May 2015 through to May 2016. Ng expects crude palm-oil prices to trade between 2400 ringgit per ton and 2580 ringgit per ton. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ends down 33 ringgit at 2495 ringgit per ton.

May 23 - Asian Crude Palmoil Trades Lower, Tracking Soybean Oils (Dow Jones)
Malaysian crude palm-oil futures are trading lower Monday, weighed down by a decline in competing vegetable oils. Soybean oil is used as a substitute for palm oil so the prices often move in tandem. The palm-oil contract for August delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange is trading down 29 ringgit at MYR2,499 per ton.

May 23 - Bayer announces $62 billion cash offer for Monsanto
German drugs and chemicals group Bayer AG said it had made an offer to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto Co for $122 per share in cash, or a total value of $62 billion including debt, to create the world's biggest agricultural supplier. Bayer said on Monday that the proposal made to Monsanto's management represented a 37 percent premium over the closing price of Monsanto shares on May 9, before rumours of a planned bid emerged. click here.

 May 23 - India tightens rules over sale of Monsanto's GM cotton seeds
India has tightened rules for the sale of genetically-modified cotton seeds, a government order said, in a move that will cap royalties for any new variety that the market's sole supplier - U.S.-based Monsanto Co - decides to develop and sell. The farm ministry in March cut royalties that local seed firms pay to Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) (MMB), a Monsanto joint venture with India's Mahyco, following complaints from domestic firms that the venture was overcharging for a gene that produces its own pesticide. click here.

 May 23 - Late burst of EU wheat exports set to rein in stocks
Cheap wheat supplies in the European Union are attracting brisk export demand at the end of the 2015/16 season, including French shipments to Asian markets, which could help the EU bring down hefty stocks after a record harvest last year. The 28-country bloc is collectively the world's biggest wheat grower and exporter. click here.

May 23 - South Africa to limit farm sizes to speed land redistribution
South Africa's government is planning to impose limits on farm sizes to free up parcels of land to hand over to blacks, a minister said on Saturday, giving an insight into the workings of a divisive redistribution scheme. Gugile Nkwinti, the minister of rural development and land reform, told Reuters the government was planning to set a range of limits - from a 1,000-hectare (2,470-acre) "small-scale" farm, up to the largest allowed, at 12,000 hectares. click here.

 May 23 - Bayer's Monsanto approach sparks shareholder uproar
Bayer's  takeover approach for U.S. rival Monsanto triggered an investor backlash on Friday, with one of the German pesticides and drugs company's major shareholders calling it "arrogant empire-building". Investors are nursing losses after an 8.2 percent fall in Bayer's share price following news of its bid, which John Bennett of Henderson Global Investors, described as an "immediate destruction" of shareholder value. click here.

 May 23 - Prices, logistics to spur planting in Brazil's main grain state
High corn prices in Brazil should prompt producers in the main grain state of Mato Grosso to expand planting of the grain for the 2016/2017 season that starts in September, the state's deputy agriculture secretary Alexandre Possebon told Reuters. Improved transport options via new roads and ports to the north of the state will also fuel expansion of soybean planting as the region gains quicker, cheaper access to export markets, he added. click here.

 May 23 - Russia's 2016 grain crop may reach 105 mln T
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, may harvest a grain crop of 100 million to 105 million tonnes this year, the head of the state weather research centre said on Friday. Russia, a major wheat supplier to North Africa and the Middle East, is widely expected to reap a large grain crop of more than 100 million tonnes for the third year in a row. click here.

May 20 - Rush for ag-chem megadeals clogs regulatory path, worries farmers
As Bayer AG joins the agricultural sector's scramble to consolidate, its bid for Monsanto Co may be a tipping point for U.S. farmers, federal lawmakers and regulators concerned the tie-ups may harm the farm economy. If Monsanto accepts Bayer's unsolicited offer, experts say, the deal would inevitably trigger a review by federal antitrust regulators. But that review would be slowed down by the fact that two other major mergers of the companies' rivals are also underway. click here.

 May 20 - China's COFCO Agri seeing high interest in U.S. partnerships
Chinese state-owned agricultural trader COFCO Agri is finding plenty of interest from potential U.S. crop handling partners who are eager to boost sales to China, its chief executive said on Thursday. "Most of the other companies are western companies looking east, trying to participate in China," said CEO Matt Jansen on the sidelines of a BMO investor conference in New York. "On our side, we are China at the origin, from the roots." click here.

 May 20 - Soy price jump likely to boost U.S. plantings of both soybeans, corn
Rallying prices for soybeans are likely to encourage U.S. farmers to plant more of the oilseed this spring and could turn expected losses into profit. They may also prompt growers to devote additional acreage to corn. Historically, big gains in soybean acreage stemming from a spring price rally have gone hand in hand with additional corn seedings, with farmers cutting back on specialty crops that require more care on hopes that corn prices will catch up to the gains in soy. click here.

 May 20 - Potash Corp sees Chinese supply contract settling within weeks
Potash supply contracts with Chinese buyers should be settled in two to four weeks, the chief executive of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said on Thursday, setting a badly needed global price floor for the slumping crop nutrient. Potash prices have fallen to their lowest in a decade, weakened by declining U.S. farmer incomes, falling currencies in consuming markets such as Brazil and bloated mining capacity. click here.

 May 20 - Dry weather, firm prices induce early Brazil winter corn harvest -  tour
Producers in isolated parts of Brazil's main grain state of Mato Grosso started harvesting the winter corn crop earlier than expected to take advantage of near record prices, as the drought that has curtailed yields also accelerated the crop's maturation. Reports of winter corn harvesting are still isolated in the center-west state of Mato Grosso, according to agronomists on the Rally da Safra crop tour in which Reuters is embedded on Thursday. click here.

 May 20 - Argentina govt sees 5.3 mln hectare wheat planting for 2016/2017 season
Argentina's government said on Thursday that it expects the grains-exporting country to plant 5.3 million hectares of wheat for the 2016/2017 season, the largest planting in nine years, thanks to tax changes and an easing of export caps. Additionally, the Agriculture Ministry increased its forecast for corn production to 37.9 million tonnes for the 2015/2016 season, from a prior projection of 37 million tonnes. click here.

 May 20 - Cargill in talks to sell two European soy crushing plants-sources
Agricultural commodities trader Cargill Inc is in talks to sell two crushing plants in Western Europe, sources with knowledge of the matter said. The assets included a soyabean crushing plant of around 600,000 tonnes capacity per annum in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, as well as a soyabean and rapeseed crushing plant of around 300,000 tonnes capacity in Brest, France. click here.

 May 20 - Fertilizer maker ICL sees fit with Chile's SQM, if it's willing
Fertilizer maker ICL Israel Chemicals Ltd is interested in investing in Chilean lithium and potash producer SQM, but it is unclear if the company and key shareholder Potash Corp of Saskatchewan are eager, ICL's chief executive said on Thursday. "SQM would be a good fit to us," Chief Executive Stefan Borgas said on the sidelines of a Bank of Montreal investor conference in New York, adding that it is too big for ICL to buy outright. click here.

 May 20 - Ex-Louis Dreyfus CEO leaves board in latest shakeup
Global agricultural trader Louis Dreyfus Co announced board changes on Thursday in which former CEO Serge Schoen will leave the group, another step in a leadership shakeup under main shareholder Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. Schoen oversaw rapid growth at the trading house as CEO between 2005 and 2013. Last year, Louis Dreyfus promoted former Asia head Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena, ending a protracted search for a permanent successor as chief executive. click here.

May 19 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Drop on Export Tax Worries (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end lower Thursday weighed down by an export tax this week that has hurt investor sentiment. The "imposition of the export tax for a second consecutive month may cap demand ahead of the Ramadan festival," says David Ng at Philip Futures brokerage. Malaysia raised its export tax on crude palm oil to 5.5% for June, a government circular showed on Tuesday. The world's second-largest palm oil producer set the export tax at 5% for April and May. Palm-oil shipments were tax free from May 2015 through to May 2016. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark August contract close 42 ringgit lower at 2519 ringgit a ton Thursday.

May 19 - Bayer makes move for Monsanto in global agrichemicals shakeout
German drug and chemicals giant Bayer AG has made an unsolicited takeover offer for Monsanto Co, the world's biggest seed company, as high inventories and low commodity prices spur consolidation in the global agrichemicals industry. Monsanto disclosed the approach on Wednesday before Bayer confirmed its move, though neither released proposed deal terms. click here.

 May 19 - Argentina could export 25 pct less soy this year after flooding
Argentina could export up to 25 percent fewer soybeans this year than last, analysts said, after severe rains left many fields underwater, damaging oilseed quality. In April, floods inundated key farm areas of Argentina, the world's third-biggest exporter of raw soybeans, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to slash its forecast for soybean output to 56.5 million tonnes this year. click here.

 May 19 - Computing 2016/17 U.S. soybean carryout scenarios -Braun
The United States' soybean carryout shocker among the government's initial 2016/17 estimates last Tuesday has sent analysts and traders scrambling back to their own balance sheets to re-crunch the numbers. At the close of the next marketing year in August 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that the United States will have 305 million bushels of soybeans left over, down nearly 25 percent from the 400 million bushels slated for the current year. click here.

 May 19 - U.S. EPA biofuels plan disappoints refiners, farmers alike
U.S. regulators on Wednesday proposed a modest increase in the amount of corn-based ethanol and biofuels that fuel producers must mix into diesel and gasoline in 2017, disappointing two major industries: Big Corn and Big Oil. Unveiling the latest stage in its controversial biofuels program, the Environmental Protection Agency called for 18.8 billion gallons to be blended into the nation's fuel supply in 2017, up 4 percent from the 18.11 billion gallons set for this year. click here.

 May 19 - EuroChem eyes potash distribution assets in China, other regions
Swiss-based EuroChem is looking to build distribution channels in four key potash markets including China during the next few years as it builds two new mines, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday. EuroChem is nearly halfway through the $7-billion construction of two mines in Russia that will add to a global surplus of capacity that has helped pressure potash prices to decade-lows. click here.

 May 19 - Blumberg Grain to sign wheat silos deal with Algeria in weeks
Blumberg Grain is looking to sign a deal within the coming weeks with Algeria's state grain agency OAIC to build high-tech wheat silos that can store up to 1 million tonnes of the grain. "We are looking to sign something within the next few weeks, before the start of Ramadan," David Blumberg, CEO of Blumberg Grain Middle East and North Africa, told Reuters on the sidelines of the Global Grain conference in Dubai. click here.

 May 19 - Yara eyeing Vale's fertilizer business, other buying opportunities
Norway's Yara International sees Vale SA's fertilizer business as one of several investment opportunities, as the company eyes potential further acquisitions in Brazil, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday. Vale said in an April securities filing that it "continues to work to form a strategic partnership in fertilizers, with the aim of divesting and raising cash." Fclick here.

 May 19 - U.S. grain handler Andersons rejects HC2's $1 bln bid
Loss-making U.S. grain handler Andersons Inc on Wednesday rejected a $1 billion takeover offer from HC2 Holdings Inc as too low, calling the bid an attempt to capitalize on a sharp downturn in the agricultural economy. With the U.S. farm sector drowning in supplies that have depressed crop prices, the Ohio-based agribusiness said it was better off remaining a "standalone entity" than selling to the holding company run by former hedge fund manager Philip Falcone. click here.

 May 19 - Louis Dreyfus seeking logistics investments in Egyptian ports
Commodity trading group Louis Dreyfus Company said on Wednesday it is looking for investments in port logistics in the Middle East, especially Egypt, as the sector continues to lag behind market growth. "The markets are growing and in most cases the ports remain largely governmental and have probably been a little bit slower to move than the private sector," James Wild, head of Louis Dreyfus Middle East and East Africa told Reuters. click here.

May 18 - Monsanto suspends new soybean technologies in Argentina
Monsanto Co said on Tuesday it would suspend future soybean technologies in Argentina, a move that could limit output of the country's main cash crop, after a disagreement with the government over inspections of genetically modified soybeans. The dispute blew up after Monsanto asked Argentine exporters to inspect soybean shipments to ensure growers had paid royalties for using the company's products. The Argentine government told the world's largest seed company that such inspections must first be approved by the government. click here.

 May 18 - No hang-ups for Brazilian soybean exports -Braun
Brazil’s soybean export season is off to a stellar start, and there are no signs of a slowdown anytime soon. Brazil, the world’s No. 1 soybean exporter, tallied record monthly volume in April, totaling 10.1 million tonnes. That figure was up 20 percent from March and more than 50 percent from one year ago. click here.

 May 18 - New Philippines farm minister to bar private traders from importing rice
The new Philippines administration will bar private traders from importing rice and aims to stamp out rampant smuggling of the grain in the world's third-biggest importer, incoming Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said. The task of importing rice to ensure food security will now be solely in the hands of the state grains agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), Pinol said in a radio interview after the announcement of his appointment by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday. click here.

 May 18 - Syngenta offer deadline extended as regulators probe deal
The deadline for shareholders in Swiss pesticides maker Syngenta to accept a $43 billion takeover bid from state-owned ChemChina has been extended to allow for some outstanding regulatory approvals, the company said on Tuesday. Syngenta said the offer will now run from May 24 to July 18. "We don't have all the regulatory approvals yet," a Syngenta spokesman said, adding the company still expected the deal to close by year end. click here.

 May 18 - Brazil corn crop losses will require contract renegotiations
Producers of winter corn in Brazil must renegotiate delivery contracts for forward sales, curtailing exports of the grain, after dry weather caused severe losses to the crop, specialists said. Farmers will begin harvesting the winter, or second, corn crop in the coming weeks, and the heaviest losses are expected in the leading two producer states of Mato Grosso and Goias, which together account for half of the national output. click here.

 May 18 - HC2 offers $1 bln to buy U.S. grain handler Andersons
HC2 Holdings Inc, a company run by former hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, said on Tuesday it has made a bid to buy U.S. grain handler Andersons Inc for about $1 billion in cash. Andersons is not looking to be acquired, the company's new chief executive told Reuters a day earlier. "As a public company, we like where we're at," CEO Patrick Bowe said in an interview. A spokeswoman for Andersons did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. HC2's offer of $37 per share represents a 42 percent premium to Andersons' closing price on Tuesday. HC2, a diversified holding company, said it would also assume $402 million of Andersons' debt. click here.

 May 18 - U.S. grain handler Andersons plans rail expansion
U.S grain handler The Andersons plans to significantly expand its rail business, the company's new boss told Reuters on Monday, as the agricultural sector grapples with low crop prices and massive supplies. Patrick Bowe, who became chief executive and president in November, said he also wants to broaden a business handling organic and non-genetically modified grain for overseas buyers and domestic food manufacturers. click here.

 May 18 - Benin cotton sector wary as government hands back control
A decision by Benin's new president to loosen the government's grip on the West African nation's cotton industry has been met with caution by some in the sector who fear a repeat of mistakes made during a previous privatisation. Known as the "King of Cotton" for having made a fortune from Benin's leading cash crop, Patrice Talon won elections in March after promising to revive the industry. And last month his new government handed control of the sector back to the professional cotton association, the AIC. click here.

May 18 - Asian Crude Palm Dips on News of Malaysia Export Tax Increase (Dow Jones)

Asian crude palm-oil prices end weaker Wednesday after news of an increase in the palm-oil export tax. Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, will raise its crude palm oil export tax to 5.5% from June 1 from 5% in May, a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed on Tuesday. Palm-oil shipments were tax free from May 2015 through to May 2016. The news of an increase in the tax on palm-oil exports has dampened investor sentiment, traders say. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark three-month palm oil contract ends 36 ringgit lower at 2600 ringgit a ton.

May 17 - Asian CPO Closes Higher on Improved Demand (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices continue an upward trend, supported by improved demand from buyers China and India. Demand is expected to strengthen ahead of the Muslim holy celebration of Ramadan, which starts in early June this year, a Kuala Lumpur-based trader says. The monthlong event of fasting and feasting spurs higher palm-oil demand for cooking. Monthly data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm-oil exports up 16.3% during the May 1-15 period, while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd., showed exports up 14.9% sequentially, according to data released Monday. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark August contract closes 12 ringgit higher at 2,599 ringgit ($646) a metric ton Tuesday.

May 17 - USDA to join U.S. panel reviewing ChemChina's Syngenta deal -sources
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to join the U.S. government panel that is reviewing state-owned ChemChina's planned $43 billion acquisition of Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta AG, people familiar with the matter said on Monday. The move will subject the deal to additional government scrutiny. It comes after lawmakers wrote to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in March to ask that the USDA be involved in the review so that the potential impact of the transaction on domestic food security could be better assessed. click here.

 May 17 - Russian wheat export prices up on strong demand
Russian wheat export prices rose further last week on strong demand from traders who need to fulfil obligations on earlier signed contracts, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $193.5 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $3 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

 May 17 - Argentine wheat exports leap on Macri policies; plantings seen up
Argentine wheat exports more than doubled in the first quarter, government data showed, as farmers rushed to sell stockpiles ahead of an expected jump in plantings spurred by the open-market policies of new President Mauricio Macri. The surge in Argentine supply is hitting an oversaturated world market and putting downward pressure on wheat prices already near their lowest levels in six years. click here.

 May 17 - India's monsoon delay not to affect crop sowing - weather office
India's weather office said on Monday the late arrival of the monsoon will not delay crop sowing and that rains are expected to make rapid progress after their arrival around June 7. Laxman Singh Rathore, chief of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), also told Reuters he was sticking to the original forecast of above-average rainfall this year after two straight years of drought that cut farm income. click here.

 May 17 - U.S. April soybean crush slows to 147.614 mln bushels - NOPA
U.S. soybean processors cut back on their pace of crushing during April, with slowdowns in major production areas of the Midwest overcoming year-on-year increases at southern plants, the National Oilseed Processors Association said on Monday. But the April crush was still the second biggest ever for the month and in line with trade expectations. click here.

 May 17 - Malaysia raises June crude palm oil export duty to 5.5 pct
Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, will raise its crude palm oil export tax to 5.5 percent in June from 5 percent in May, a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed on Tuesday. The Southeast Asian nation calculated a reference price of 2,625.18 ringgit ($654) per tonne for June. A price above 2,250 ringgit incurs a tax, which starts from 4.5 percent and can reach a maximum of 8.5 percent. click here.

 May 17 - Australian milk production to fall as processors slash farm-gate prices
Australia milk production will fall during the 2016/17 season after processors in the world's fourth largest exporter slashed prices paid to suppliers, forcing farmers to slaughter cattle, analysts said on Monday. Global milk prices have tumbled 60 percent since early 2014, due to a global supply glut, and lower Australian production may alleviate some pressure, said analysts. click here.

May 16 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Higher on Rising Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end higher, supported by stronger exports. On Monday, monthly data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm oil exports up 16.3% at 563,172 metric tons during the May 1-15 period while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. showed exports at 574,548 metric tons, up 14.9% on month. "Higher exports reflect a pick-up in demand ahead of the Ramadan season," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He predicts prices to range between MYR2520/ton and MYR2700/ton in the coming days. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark August contract close 26 ringgit higher at 2586 ringgit a ton Monday.

May 16 - Malaysia's Felda says 2016 palm output to drop 17 pct as El Nino bites
Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Berhad, the world's third largest palm plantations operator, said its palm oil output would likely drop 17 percent this year as dry conditions from the El Nino weather pattern hit crops. A broad decline in harvests around the key-producing region of Southeast Asia will boost crude palm oil prices by up to 10 percent by August and then by as much as 20 percent further down the road, Felda's newly-appointed chief executive Zakaria Arshad said on Monday. click here.

 May 16 - Egypt to buy 1 million tonnes local rice as reserve
Egypt's supply ministry said on Monday that it would buy 1 million tonnes of local paddy rice in the next month as a strategic reserve. The government's failure to stock up earlier this season has left it at the mercy of traders, some of whom have been unwilling to sell their rice to the state in an attempt to push prices up. click here.

 May 16 - Egypt to import 80,000 tonnes of rice ahead of Ramadan
Egypt's government has directed state grains buyer GASC to import 80,000 tonnes of rice "immediately" ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the cabinet said in a statement on Friday. Egypt produced 3.75 million tonnes of rice in the 2015 season and held over 700,000 tonnes from 2014. Annual rice consumption is generally about 3.3 million tonnes. click here.

May 16 - Indonesia April palm oil output likely fell to 14-month low - Reuters survey
Indonesia's crude palm oil output (CPO) in April probably declined to the lowest in 14 months because of forest fires and drought caused by the El Nino weather pattern, though exports probably rose, according to a Reuters survey. April CPO production probably fell to 2.132 million tonnes, down from 2.15 million tonnes in March, according to the median estimate in a survey of three industry associations, a state palm research firm and one of the country's largest planters. click here.

May 13 - Monsanto, once M&A instigator, now in awkward role as possible
A year after Monsanto Co  sparked a massive consolidation race in the agrochemical industry by bidding for a rival, the world's largest seed company now finds itself in the uncomfortable role of takeover target. Monsanto  shares rallied as much as 12 percent on Thursday on new reports that Bayer AG and BASF SE were interested in the St. Louis-based company, highlighting the drive for more marriages in the sector. click here.

 May 13 - Pricey protein: Asia feedlots caught short by soymeal rally
Several Asian traders and end-users of soymeal will be forced to pay sharply more for the key animal feed ingredient after being wrong-footed by an almost 40-percent surge in prices in less than a month. Crop-damaging rains in major soy grower Argentina and a drop in potential U.S. plantings began pushing prices higher from early April, with the rally fanned as hedge funds flipped a record net short position in March to a 54,000-contract long position. click here.

 May 13 - China sells more cotton in 1 week than all of 2015 as mills face crunch - USDA
China's cotton reserve auctions are off to a rapid start, outpacing last year's sales in the first week alone, a sign of a shortage of high-grade supplies in the world's top textile market, the U.S. government said a report published on Thursday. Beijing sold 120,350 tonnes (over 550,000 480-lb bales) in its first week of sales that began May 3, 2016. The bales sold, mostly imported, represented nearly the entirety put up for sale and almost double the total volume sold in 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) attache in Beijing said in a report dated May 9. click here.

 May 13 - Philippines to aim for rice self-sufficiency in 1-2 yrs - Duterte spokesman
The administration of Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will aim to make the country self-sufficient in rice production within one to two years, but will still allow imports until the goal is achieved, his spokesman said. "We will work for rice self sufficiency. But that will not be immediate so we will continue to import if we have a shortfall," spokesman Peter Lavina told Reuters on Friday. Duterte will become president next month. click here.

 May 13 - French Senate suspends palm oil tax, delays pesticide ban
The French Senate on Thursday adopted a revised version of its biodiversity bill in which Senators scrapped an additional tax on palm oil and delayed until 2020 a ban on pesticides blamed for harming bees. The decisions are not final as the two houses of the French parliament now have to reach an agreement, or the bill will end up at the National Assembly, which has the final word. click here.

 May 13 - Workers set to push ahead with strike at major Argentina grains port
Workers at the Rosario grains export hub in Argentina will go ahead with plans to start a strike on Friday to demand higher salaries, a union leader said late on Thursday. Reuters has seen a copy of a letter written by the country's labor ministry asking workers at the port, the largest in one of the world's top grains producers, to call off the strike. click here.

 May 13 - U.S. lawmakers put pressure on EPA over handling of glyphosate review
U.S. lawmakers have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to explain why it published - and then withdrew - documents related to its review of glyphosate, the chemical in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The documents, which included a report that said glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans, were posted by the EPA on April 29 and taken down from a website the government agency manages on May 2. click here.

 May 13 - UN Food agency says Zimbabwe imported 350,000 tonnes of maize to end of April
Zimbabwe imported 350,000 tonnes of maize between January and the end of April to meet shortages caused by a drought, the UN World Food Programne (WFP) said on Thursday. Briefing journalists in Johannesburg, WFP Zimbabwe country director Eddie Rowe said Zimbabwe needs to import 1.3 million tonnes of maize this season compared to national demand of 1.8 million tonnes. click here.

May 12 - Asian Crude Palm Oil Ends Weaker, Tracking Soybean Oils (Dow Jones)
Malaysian crude palm-oil futures end lower, weighed down by a fall in competing vegetable oils. Soybean oil is used as a substitute for palm oil so the prices often move together.  The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closes down 32 ringgit at 2,646 ringgit per ton at the close of trade Thursday.

May 12 - China warps 2016/17 world wheat carryout - Braun
The market expected bearish wheat news from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new-crop supply and demand report on Tuesday, but the news was way more bearish than anyone had surmised. However, the new wheat balance sheets may be slightly distorted because of China. USDA projected world wheat reserves to climb to a record 257 million tonnes by the end of the 2016/17 marketing year. The figure topped the high end of the pre-report range of estimates from analysts and traders by a couple million tonnes. click here.

 May 12 - Argentina dominates Brazil corn imports, U.S. still absent
Corn shipments from neighboring Argentina have dominated imports into Brazil since the country was forced to import larger amounts of the grain in March, including into the distant Northeast where some analysts thought U.S. corn could arrive. Data from the Brazilian agriculture ministry showed this week that no U.S. corn arrived in Brazil in the last three months, even after the government eliminated an import tax on shipments from countries outside the Mercosur trade bloc in April. click here.

 May 12 - FranceAgriMer cuts wheat stocks on exports, farmer retention
Farm office FranceAgriMer sharply cut its forecast for French wheat stocks at the end of the 2015/16 season, as it raised its outlook for export demand and predicted farmers would hold on to much more crop than usual, data showed on Wednesday. The office put soft wheat carryover stocks available to the market at 3.9 million tonnes, against 5.45 million seen last month and 2.5 million at the end of last season. click here.

 May 12 - Indonesian importers bought about 90,000 tonnes feed wheat - trade
Indonesian importers have this week purchased about 90,000 tonnes of optional-origin feed wheat thought likely to be sourced from Ukraine, European traders said on Thursday. It was for June shipment in two consignments. The wheat was purchased at around $203 a tonne c&f for shipment to large Indonesian ports and at about $208 a tonne c&f for unloading in smaller ports, they said. click here.

 May 12 - China's Zhengzhou exchange to raise fees on some rapeseed meal contracts
China's Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange said on Wednesday it would effectively lift transaction fee for some institutional investors for rapeseed meal futures contracts from the night trading session on May 13. The exchange said that it would stop offering a 50 percent cut in transaction fees for certain institutional investors. click here.

 May 12 - Texas fertilizer plant blast that killed 15 was criminal act - ATF
A blast that killed 15 people three years ago triggered by a fire at a Texas fertilizer plant was a criminal act, U.S. agents said on Wednesday after conducting extensive tests that eliminated accidental and natural causes. "The only hypothesis that could not be eliminated ... and was confirmed by extensive testing ... is incendiary," Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigator Rob Elder, special agent in charge for the Houston field office. He spoke at a news conference on the blast that ripped through the city of West, about 75 miles (120 km) south of Dallas, in 2013. click here.

May 11 - Asian Crude Palmoil Closes Higher Guided by Currency Moves (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil ends higher Wednesday, supported by a weaker ringgit. Higher exports have also helped lift the market sentiment, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. He expects prices to range between MYR2550/ton and MYR2700/ton. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closes up 19 ringgit at 2680 ringgit per ton at the close of trade Wednesday.

May 11 - USDA slashes soy supply view amid S. America crop woes, prices surge
World and U.S. soybean supplies will be tighter than expected for the next two years due to reduced harvests in South America and rising global demand, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday. The report jolted the soy market, with the most active Chicago Board of Trade futures soybean contract surging 4.5 percent and hitting its highest since August 2014. Soymeal futures rallied to a 16-1/2-month peak. click here.

 May 11 - Russian wheat export prices up on strong demand
Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week on high demand from traders needing to fulfil previously signed deals, analysts said. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $192.5 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $1.50 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.  click here.

 May 11 - USDA lags Brazil, Argentina in soybean harvest cutbacks
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's cuts to expected South American soybean production in its report on Tuesdaywere not as deep as those in local estimates, suggesting more trimming ahead and giving short-term cover for bullish investors, analysts said. "The South American numbers can still move," said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa. "That is partly what the market is on fire about." click here.

 May 11 - Ivory Coast cotton farmers wary ahead of 2016/17 season
Farmers in Ivory Coast said on Tuesday they were reluctant to plant for the 2016/17 cotton season after last year's poor crop saddled them with debts, potentially endangering an expected rebound in production. Ivory Coast, the world biggest cocoa producer, was also one of Africa's major cotton exporters, producing around 400,000 tonnes each year before a 2002-2003 civil war split the country in two and halved production. click here.

 May 11 - U.S. launches second WTO complaint in China chicken trade dispute
The Obama administration on Tuesday brought a fresh challenge to China's anti-dumping duties on U.S. broiler chicken products at the World Trade Organization in an effort to bring the long-running trade dispute to a close. The U.S. Trade Representative's office said it is making claims that China's anti-dumping and countervailing duties violate WTO rules, partly because China failed to properly calculate U.S. poultry production costs. click here.

 May 11 - GrainCorp posts half-year profit fall, welcomes rains
Australia's GrainCorp Ltd reported a decline in first half underlying net profit on Wednesday, hurt mainly by a downturn in its oils business, but pointed to recent welcome rains across the east coast. The country's largest listed bulk grain handler has been hit by several consecutive years of poor seasonal conditions, reducing harvests and damaging the bulk grain handler's storage and trading businesses. click here.

 May 11 - Euronext says to launch fertiliser futures this year
Euronext will launch nitrogen fertiliser futures for the European market this autumn, the exchange operator said on Tuesday, as it further expands its presence in agricultural commodities. The futures, priced in euros, will be based on urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) solution and physically deliverable in Rouen, in northern France, Euronext said in a statement.  click here.

 May 11 - Egypt sets price for local cotton and corn crop
Egypt said on Tuesday it will pay 1,250 Egyptian pounds ($140.77) per qintar(160 kg) for its cotton, a small drop from the 1,300 offered last year, and 2,100 pounds per tonne for yellow corn. Egypt predominantly grows a high-quality and extra-long staple cotton, once known as "white gold", but output has been shrinking for years. click here.

 May 11 - Argentina's farmers take hit as fuel prices surge
Argentina's farmers are facing a sharp increase in transportation costs after fuel prices were hiked in recent months, dismaying a sector that has been one of center-right President Mauricio Macri's biggest allies. Shortly after taking the reins of Latin America's third-largest economy in December, free-market proponent Macri dropped the trade and currency controls applied by his leftist predecessor, Cristina Fernandez. click here.

May 10 - Malaysian Palm-oil Closes Higher on Stronger Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices closed marginally higher after trading lower during early hours supported by a weaker ringgit and improved exports. Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the May 1-10 period are estimated to rise 21.8% from the previous month at 391,222 metric tons, cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services said Tuesday. Besides, the key crop report released by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board showed a decline in inventories, raising the mood of the market, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. However, an increase in crude palm-oil output may worry investors that could impact prices in the next few days, he adds. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closes up 6 ringgit at 2668 ringgit per ton at the close of trade Tuesday.

May 10 - Staying one step ahead of USDA's 2016/17 carryout predictions - Braun
Traders are only hours away from learning whether they have made good bets in the global grain markets for the new crop year. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its monthly supply and demand report, but it will be the first one that includes estimates for the 2016/17 marketing year. click here.

 May 10 - France sees maize area falling nearly 5 pct on 2015
France's farm ministry estimates the area sown with maize will fall another 4.7 percent this year to 1.49 million hectares, it said on Monday, down 9.7 percent on the five-year average. In its first estimate for the 2016 maize area, the ministry noted maize sowings, like sunseed and sorghum, had been delayed by cool and wet weather. click here.

 May 10 - Saudi grains agency SAGO looking to sell stake, picks HSBC as advisor - sources
Saudi General Grains Organisation (SAGO) is looking to sell a stake to a strategic buyer as part of its privatisation for which HSBC's Saudi Arabian arm has been chosen as its advisor, sources aware of the matter said. The agency in charge of the kingdom's extensive wheat-buying programme is one of the first to appoint an advisor as the kingdom eyes the privatisation of a host of state bodies under its recently-announced Vision 2030 economic plan, a move to bridge budget shortfalls caused by lower oil prices. click here.

 May 10 - Egypt aims to produce 9 mln tons of wheat in 2016 - agriculture ministry
Egypt aims to produce 9 million tonnes of wheat in 2016, an agriculture ministry spokesman told Reuters on Monday. State television earlier quoted the agriculture minister as saying Egypt aimed to receive 9 million tonnes of wheat from local farmers. The spokesman said the minister was talking about the amount Egypt would produce and not the amount the government planned to procure locally, which is 4 million tonnes. click here.

 May 10 - Tyson Foods beefs up profit forecast on strong cattle supply
Tyson Foods Inc, the biggest U.S. meat processor, raised its earnings forecast for the year citing healthy supply of cattle and hogs, and reported record high quarterly margins helped by lower feed and livestock costs. Shares of the company were up 3 percent at $69.13 on Monday, after touching a record high of $70.44 in early trading. click here.

 May 10 - U.N. agency says half of rural Zimbabwe will need food aid by next March
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said on Monday up to 4.5 million people, half of Zimbabwe's drought-stricken rural population, will need aid by next March as the agency seeks to plug a funding gap of $290 million for assistance. An El Nino-induced drought has hit southern Africa and cut the output of the staple maize crop. In March, the government said 4 million Zimbabweans required food aid, almost 30 percent of the national population.  click here.

May 10 - Malaysia April CPO Output 1.30 Million Tons; Up 6.7% on Month - MPOB
- Malaysia's palm oil exports fell 12.8% on month to 1.16 million metric tons in April, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said Tuesday.
- The country exported 1.33 million tons of palm oil in March.
- In its monthly report, the MPOB said crude palm oil output rose 6.7% to 1.30 million tons in April. CPO output totaled 1.21 million tons in March.
- Palm oil stocks totaled 1.8 million tons at the end of April, down 4.5% on month.
- At the end of March, palm oil stocks were at 1.88 million tons.
- The following are details of the April crop data and revised numbers for month, issued by MPOB:


                            April         March      Change
                                                     On Month
Crude Palm Oil Output     1,301,159     1,219,483    Up    6.7%
Palm Oil Exports          1,164,649     1,335,919    Down   12.8%
Palm Kernel Oil Exports      84,253        85,639    Down  1.6%
Palm Oil Imports             41,798        74,452    Down 43.8%
Closing Stocks            1,800,201     1,885,664    Down  4.5%
Crude Palm Oil              970,571       955,445    Up    1.5%
Processed Palm Oil          829,630       930,219    Down 10.8%


(All figures are in metric tons)

May 09 - Asian Crude Palmoil Closes Higher Guided by Soybean Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end higher, lifted by gains in the soybean oil prices. "Traders may position positively ahead of the key crop report due to release tomorrow," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He predicts prices to range between MYR2520/ton and MYR2680/ton during this week. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closes 33 ringgit at 2661 ringgit per ton at the close of trade Monday.

May 09 - China soybean imports set new April record; iron ore rises
Chinese soybean imports surged 33 percent higher in April from a year ago, setting a monthly record, amid strong demand for soymeal and soyoil. Iron ore imports also climbed last month on a recovery in steel production in the second quarter. China imported 7.07 million tonnesof soybeans in April, up 15.9 percent compared to the previous month, preliminary figures issued by the General Administration of Customs showed on Sunday. This is a record for April imports. click here.

 May 09 - U.S. traders reject GMO crops that lack global approval
Across the U.S. Farm Belt, top grain handlers have banned genetically modified crops that are not approved in all major overseas markets, shaking up a decades-old system that used the world's biggest exporting country as a launchpad for new seeds from companies like Monsanto Co. Bold yellow signs from global trader Bunge Ltd are posted at U.S. grain elevators barring 19 varieties of GMO corn and soybeans that lack approval in important markets. click here.

 May 09 - Tight finance, lack of storage may dent Russian state appetite for grain
Tight finance, a lack of storage and existing large stocks may dampen the Russian government's appetite to buy grain on the local market in 2016/17, analysts and traders said. Russia, a major wheat exporter to North Africa and the Middle East, buys grain on the domestic market for state stocks every year in a scheme known as intervention purchases, pitting the government against exporters in years of high demand. click here.

 May 09 - China 2016 corn output to fall 2.9 pct as stockpiling ends - think tank
China's corn production in 2016 is expected to decline 2.9 percent from last year to 218 million tonnes, as farmers in the northeast are expected to switch crops, a state-backed think tank said on Monday. China decided in March to end a corn stockpiling programme that supported domestic prices for farmers and at the same time spurred imports of cheaper substitutes like sorghum and distillers' grains. click here.

 May 09 - Canada wheat supplies hit 3-year low after brisk exports
Canadian wheat stockpiles have fallen to the lowest in three years, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday, following a smaller harvest and heavy winter exports tied to the weaker Canadian dollar. Supplies of wheat, canola, field peas and lentils all were lower as of March 31 than at the same time in 2015, the data showed. However, the figures were largely in line with analyst expectations, minimizing impact in futures markets. click here.

 May 09 - Glencore in talks to sell further 9.9 pct stake in agriculture unit - sources
Commodity trader and miner Glencore is in talks to sell a further 9.9 percent stake in its agricultural unit, negotiating with bidders that missed out on the 40 percent sold to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), two sources with knowledge of the matter said. Glencore declined to comment. Bidders include a different Canadian pension fund, state-backed Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co (SALIC) and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the sources said. click here.

 May 09 - Brazil farmers close forward sales of 2016-17 soy crop
Brazilian farmers are taking advantage of a favorable combination of rising global soy prices and a weak local currency to close record volumes of forward sales for the 2016-17 crop, traders and analysts said. According to analyst Informa Economics FNP, 16 percent to 17 percent of the crop that will be planted starting in September has already been sold, compared to just 4.7 percent of the previous crop sold at this time last year. click here.

May 09 - Palm Oil Prices Jump in Asia, Taking Cue From Crude Rally (Dow Jones)
Palm oil prices jumped in early Asian trading following moves upwards the crude oil prices early in the session. Crude-oil prices climbed in early Asian trade as the market honed in on China's strong crude imports last month. This light sweet crude futures for delivery in June trade to $45.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and July Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose $0.72 to $46.09 a barrel. The Bursa Malaysia three-month benchmark palm oil prices are trading up 36 ringgit at 2664 ringgit a ton.

May 06 - Dreyfus may sell stake in new Brazil grains terminal - source
Agricultural commodity trader Louis Dreyfus may sell a stake in a new northern Brazil grains terminal to book profits from its early participation in the project, a company source said on Thursday.The Tegram terminal, at Itaqui port in Maranhão state, is one of the new terminals under development in north-northeastern Brazil that put cargoes closer to some export markets. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

May 06 - Kansas crop tour finds above-average wheat yield prospects
Wheat crop prospects in Kansas, the top U.S. producer of the grain, are well above average as crop-saving rains last month should more than offset the impact of an earlier drought, scouts on an annual tour said on Thursday.The scouts on the three-day Kansas wheat crop tour estimated the average yield at 48.6 bushels per acre, topping last year’s U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate of 37.0 bpa and a five-year Kansas tour average of 39.3 bpa. click here.

May 06 - Russia criticises Bangladesh over its wheat testing system
Russia's grain-quality watchdog said on Thursday Bangladesh had violated international trading standards in the way it tested samples of imported Russian wheat.Bangladesh said last week it would reject a cargo of 50,000 tonnes of Russian wheat over concerns about its quality. It previously refused two shipments totalling 100,000 tonnes for the same reason. click here.

May 06 - China’s spiraling pork prices and global markets: James Saft
The forces that prompted China to tap its strategic pork reserve may explain more than just the price of pig in Beijing.They might also, when it comes to it, help to explain much else that’s happened in financial markets in recent months, from a rebound in the price of oil to a recovery in riskier assets. click here.

May 06 - World food prices edge up in April, 10 percent lower year/year
World food prices rose slightly in April, up for the third month in a row but they remained almost 10 percent lower than a year earlier, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 151.8 points, up 0.7 percent from March. click here.

May 05 - China's corn planting area to fall for first time in 13 years
China has estimated the country's corn planting area will fall by 1.33 million hectares (3.29 million acres) this year, the first drop in 13 years, as Beijing encourages farmers to grow alternative crops to cope with massive stockpiles. China said in March that it would end its corn stockpiling programme, which had driven up domestic prices and spurred record imports of cheaper substitute products like sorghum and distillers' grains. click here.

 May 05 - Digital farming could spell shake-up for crop chemicals sector
Global pesticides, seeds and fertiliser companies may be forced to re-engineer their business models as farmers adopt specialist technology that helps maximise harvests while reducing the use of crop chemicals. New businesses are springing up that promise to tell farmers how and when to till, sow, spray, fertilise or pick crops based on algorithms using data from their own fields. click here.

 May 05 - Analysts slash Brazil winter crop forecast by 5.4 pct -survey
Dry weather plaguing Brazil's center-west corn belt in recent weeks has weighed on forecasts for the winter crop, which have fallen on average by 5.4 percent in a one month-period, a Reuters survey showed. Brazil's winter harvest, also known as the second corn crop, which accounts for two-thirds of annual production, will reach 54 million tonnes in 2015/16, according to the average of 11 estimates by analysts and government bodies since April 6. click here.

 May 05 - EU rapeseed crop to fall after Polish frosts, insect damage
The European Union's rapeseed harvest will fall this summer after frost hit crops in Poland while insect damage is causing concern in France and Britain, experts said on Wednesday. "A smaller 2016 crop would raise EU import demand from Ukraine, Australia and Canada," a trader said. "Ukraine's crop is also looking small so supplies will be harder to find." click here.

 May 05 - France exported 1.4 mln T soft wheat outside EU in March - customs
France exported 1.4 million tonnes of soft wheat outside the European Union in March, with Algeria and Morocco the biggest destinations, customs data showed on Wednesday. The March volume took the total since the start of the 2015/16 season in July to 8.2 million tonnes, up 1 percent from 8.1 million in the July-March period last season. click here.

 May 05 - South Africa imports 1.96 million tonnes of maize in 2015/16 season
South Africa imported 1.96 million tonnes of maize during the 2015/16 marketing season which ended April 30, compared with just 65,000 tonnes in the previous season, data released by the Grain Information Service (SAGIS) on Wednesday showed. Africa's biggest producer of the staple grain is generally a net maize exporter of maize but the crop has been scorched by drought in the past two seasons, triggering shortages. click here.

 May 05 - Philippines lifts rice output losses by a third as drought bites
The Philippines said on Wednesday that drought had caused the country's rice output to drop by about 300,000 tonnes, or a third higher than its estimate last month, and there was a risk heavy rains later in the year could inflict more crop damage. The Philippines is one of the world's biggest importers of rice and there is a growing risk it will miss its target of producing 18 million tonnes after one of the three strongest El Nino weather patterns in the last 20 years. click here.

May 04 - Rebound in Asian Crude Palm Tracks Ringgit Weakening (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices rebound from losses to end higher Wednesday supported by a weaker ringgit. "The depreciation in the currency caused the strength in palm-oil prices that rallied after a consecutive streak of losses," says Davig Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. Soybean oil price gains also lent support, he adds. Ng expects crude palm-oil prices to range between 2,500 ringgit/ton and 2,680 ringgit/ton over the next few days. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rises 77 ringgit at 2616 ringgit per ton at the close of trade Wednesday.

May 04 - Informa pares Argentina, Brazil soy crop forecasts - trade sources
Informa Economics, a private analytics firm, on Tuesday lowered its estimate of 2015/16 soybean harvest in Brazil and Argentina, trade sources said. In a monthly report, the firm projected Argentina's 2015/16 soybean harvest at 55.0 million tonnes, down from 59.5 million previously, they said. click here.

 May 04 - ADM trading desk suffers quarterly loss, earnings fall
Sharp moves in crop prices caught Archer Daniels Midland Co wrong footed in the first quarter, leaving its global trading team with a loss and contributing to a 53 percent decline in profit, its chief executive officer said on Tuesday. "Our positions were not immune to the end of the quarter movements," CEO Juan Luciano told analysts on a conference call. click here.

 May 04 - Argentine farm exports rocket 68 pct higher in first quarter
Argentine farm exports rocketed 68 percent higher in the first quarter versus the same 2015 period thanks to new policies that prompted growers to sell stockpiles built up under the previous administration, the government said on Tuesday. The surge in shipments from the South American grains powerhouse will likely weigh on global food prices, which are near a seven-year low and expected to fall farther due to slowing growth in the global economy. click here.

 May 04 - Ukrainian analysts too pessimistic on wheat crop, again - Braun
Ukraine has been one of the only sore spots on the global wheat front in terms of crop prospects, but recent conditions suggest that the market could be strongly underestimating the crop. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Kiev attaché pegged the 2016-17 Ukraine wheat crop at 24.5 million tonnes. click here.

 May 04 - Canada canola, wheat stocks seen shrinking to multi-year lows
Canadian stockpiles of wheat and canola dwindled to multi-year lows ahead of planting season after a brisk winter of exports, according to a Reuters survey of 11 traders and analysts. On Friday, Statistics Canada will estimate crop supplies as of March 31, 2016 from commercial and farm storage. The report is based on a farmer survey and government data. click here.

 May 04 - Without GMOs, South African maize yields would be lower - industry group
South Africa's maize crop, scorched this season by a blistering drought, would be in far worse shape if it were not for the country's embrace of genetically-modified (GMO) varieties and new farm technologies, an industry group said on Tuesday. South Africa's Agricultural Biotechnology Industry (ABI) said during the last serious drought in 1991/92, before Africa's biggest maize producer adopted GM crops, the average maize yield was 0.85/tonnes per hectare. click here.

 May 04 - Malaysia's Felda pulls environment certificates from 58 palm mills
Malaysia's Felda Group, the world's third-largest palm plantation operator, has withdrawn certificates of environmental sustainability from all of its 58 processing mills that had them, it said on Tuesday. The group said it and subsidiary Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd had withdrew the certificates granted by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). click here.

 May 04 - Fertilizer maker Agrium's profit misses estimates
Canadian fertilizer producer Agrium Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut its 2016 profit forecast as nutrient prices remain weak. The company's U.S.-listed shares were down 2 percent at $83.88 in after-market trading on Tuesday. click here.

 May 04 - Russian wheat export prices up on stronger rouble, lower stocks
Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week as the rouble strengthened and stocks fell in Russia's southern regions ahead of the new harvest, analysts said. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $191 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $1 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

 May 04 - Australian company seeks potash mining licence in Eritrea
Australia mining group Danakali Ltd has applied to Eritrea for a mining licence for its Colluli Potash Project, which is expected to start production in 2019, the company's chief executive said. Eritrea, which became independent from Ethiopia in 1991 after years of fighting, wants to establish a mining industry to help to bolster its economy. click here.

 May 04 - Iraq's Etihad Food Industries seeks crude edible oils for new refinery
Iraq's Etihad Food Industries is actively seeking contracts for the import of crude edible oils ahead of the planned start-up of its refinery early next year, the company said on Tuesday. Etihad is negotiating contracts with three global suppliers but is seeking more because it will need a little more than one million tonnes a year when operating at full capacity, Commercial Director Haidar al-Noumany told Reuters. click here.

May 03 - EU raises 2016/17 wheat, maize, barley stocks forecasts
The European Commission raised by one million tonnes its estimate for soft wheat stocks in the European Union at the end of the 2016/17 season, a revision mainly due to a 600,000 tonnes rise in its forecast for this season's carryover. The Commission now estimates EU soft wheat stocks in 2016/17 at 18.9 million tonnes and 2015/16 ones at 18.3 million tonnes. The rise in this month's stocks estimate for next season was also due to a nearly 400,000 tonnes increase in the 2016 crop production forecast in the EU bloc to 142.8 million tonnes. click here.

 May 03 - Brazil soybean exports back in driver's seat with April record
Brazil shipped an unprecedented 10.1 million tonnes of soybeans in April, eclipsing the previous record of 9.8 million tonnes set in June 2015, Trade Ministry data showed on Monday. The new record by the world's No. 2 soybean producer compared with exports of 8.4 million tonnes of soybeans in March and 6.6 million tonnes in April 2015. click here.

 May 03 - Bangladesh to reject 50,000 T of Russian wheat on quality woes
Bangladesh will reject yet another cargo of 50,0000 tonnes Russian wheat on concerns over grain quality, a senior official at the state grains agency said, barely two weeks after it refused two shipments totalling 100,000 tonnes for the same reason. Bangladesh imports around 3 million tonnes of wheat annually to meet growing demand as the country's domestic output has stagnated at around 1 million tonnes. click here.

 May 03 - EPA takes offline report that says glyphosate not likely carcinogenic
 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday pulled a report offlinethat concluded glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans, saying the document was inadvertently published and the agency had not finished its review of the chemical, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto's herbicides. The 86-page report, seen by Reuters and published on Friday on the regulations.gov website that the EPA manages, was from the EPA's cancer assessment review committee (CARC). It found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world's mostly widely used weedkiller, was "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans." click here.

 May 03 - Floods wipe out 15 pct of Argentine soy crop - climate agency
Argentina lost an estimated 9 million tonnes of soy in the April storms that swamped the Pampas farm belt, an analyst with the state weather agency said on Monday, forecasting a 15 to 16 percent drop in production from the world's No. 3 exporter. The sun has come out but too late to help the hardest hit areas. Big importers like China are already looking to the U.S. Midwest to make up for a likely drop in Argentine supply. click here.

 May 03 - USDA says corn use in ethanol down from last year in March - Reuters News
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday said 431.0 million bushels of corn were used in March in production of fuel ethanol, down from 437.8 million bushels used in March 2015 and up from 420.8 million bushels in February. The USDA said 9.631 million cwt of sorghum was used in ethanol production, down from 11.861 million cwt used last month. USDA did not report any sorghum use in ethanol in March 2015. click here.

 May 03 - Canada to compensate dairy farmers for Europe trade deal
The Canadian government said on Monday it would compensate the country's dairy farmers for increased European imports allowed under a pending free trade deal. The government will meet with the dairy industry within the next 30 days to discuss compensation, said Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland in a joint statement. Talks will include help for farmers and processors, they said. click here.

May 02 - As Asia's rice crop shrivels, food security fears resurface
Nearly a decade after a spike in global food prices sent shockwaves around the world, Asia's top rice producers are suffering from a blistering drought that threatens to cut output and boost prices of a staple for half the world's population. World rice production is expected to decline for the first time this year since 2010, as failing rains linked to an El Nino weather pattern cut crop yields in Asia's rice bowl. click here.

 May 02 - South African winter weather forecast uncertain, chances of rainfall seen
The winter forecast for drought-hit South Africa has become increasingly uncertain as an El Nino weather pattern persists but chances remain for above-average winter rainfall for most of the country, the South African Weather Service said on Friday. Winter rainfall would be welcome to top up dam levels and restore moisture to grazing lands and farms parched by a drought that saw South Africa last year record its lowest annual rainfall levels since comprehensive records began in 1904. click here.

 May 02 - Argentine corn exports double in Q1 as Macri reforms hit home
Argentine corn exports doubled in the first quarter and further increases are expected as new government policies unleash a wave of supply onto the global market, stiffening competition for U.S. growers already hurt this season by a strong dollar. President Mauricio Macri eliminated corn export curbs in December after being elected on a market-friendly platform, prompting farmers to sell stockpiles that had accumulated under former leader Cristina Fernandez, who tightly controlled trade. click here.

 May 02 - Agr Brasil cuts Brazil corn crop forecast on dry hot
Analyst AGR Brasil cut its forecast for Brazil's 2015/16 corn crop to 79.6 million tonnes from 85.1 million tonnes in March, saying a second of two annual crops that should come to market in May or June was hurt by hot dry weather. AGR Brasil lowered the forecast for the second crop by 5.5 million tonnes to 52.1 million tonnes. Brazil is facing a corn shortage, causing local prices to rice sharply and hurting margins of local poultry producers. click here.

May 02 - USDA March soybean crush seen at 165.5 million bushels
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's upcoming monthly report on oilseed crushings will likely show that 4.966 million short tons, or 165.5 million bushels, of soybeans were processed during March, a poll of eight analysts showed on Friday. Analysts' estimates for the March soybean crush ranged from 164.7 million to 166.7 million bushels. The median forecast matched the average, at 165.5 million bushels. click here.

 May 02 - Argentine rains cause damage, disease to soy crop
Unusually heavy El Nino rains in Argentina this month have left large parts of the country's soy crop affected by fungi and disease, forcing producers to sell at a discount, industry experts told Reuters. Heavy downpours in the first three weeks of April left more than half of Argentina's agricultural region under water at the peak of the harvest season, leading global soy prices up and potentially benefiting U.S. farmers. click here.

May 02 - Malaysian cash market prices for palm oil are unavailable due to a holiday.

Apr 29 - Asian Crude Palmoil Closes Lower on Concerns of Weaker Demand (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil close lower Friday pulled down by investor pessimism over weaker demand. "The spread between palm-oil and soybean oil is set to narrow further shifting some demand from palm-oil to soybean oil," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage. He expects prices to range between MYR2500/ton and MYR2650/ton. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ends 9 ringgit lower at MYR2592/ton.

Apr 29 - U.S. grain market to stay on wild ride this year? -Braun
The Chicago grains market's wild ride of the last few weeks may be a recurring theme this year, especially given the weather outlook for the summer growing season. Corn and soybean futures have rallied sharply over the past month, with the most significant gains coming last week, particularly for soybeans. Funds took on bullish positions late last month and have expanded the net long position in CBOT soybeans to the largest volume since mid-2014. click here.

 Apr 29 - U.S. corn export sales hit 4-year high on Brazil woes
U.S. corn export sales surged 80 percent to the largest levels in four years, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed on Thursday, as tight supplies and dry growing conditions in Brazil prompted importers to buy from the United States. Sales of 2.6 million tonnes for the week ended April 21, for delivery during the existing marketing season and the season beginning on Sept. 1, included the largest weekly corn sales to Japan in more than two years and the biggest sales to unknown destinations since January 2015. click here.

 Apr 29 - IGC raises 2016/17 world wheat, corn crop forecasts
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecasts for 2016/17 world wheat and corn crops, with total supply potentially reaching a record level. The IGC's monthly update increased the forecast for world wheat production by 4 million tonnes to 717 million tonnes, saying that beneficial weather was improving the outlook in both the European Union and Russia. click here.

 Apr 29 - French wheat exports await Indonesia approval
French wheat exports to Indonesia are on hold as traders await the approval of a food safety agreement between the two countries, something exporters say is being delayed by Indonesia in retaliation against a French palm oil tax plan. A farm ministry official from Indonesia, the world's largest producer of palm oil, said the delay was a procedural one, and denied any link to the proposed tax. click here.

 Apr 29 - Australia blocks land sale to Chinese for second time in six months
The Australian government on Friday blocked the sale of S. Kidman & Co, the country's largest private land holding, to a Chinese-led consortium for the second time in six months, again saying the sale is not in the national interest. Treasurer Scott Morrison said he had given China's Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming Co Ltd, and Shanghai CRED Real Estate Stock Co Ltd until Tuesday to address the government's concerns over the A$371 million ($288 million) offer. click here.

 Apr 29 - Dry weather may cut Brazil's winter corn crop, exports - Bunge CEO
Dry weather in Brazil may reduce the country's winter corn crop by 5 million to 10 million tonnes, resulting in a similar drop in exports from the world's No. 2 supplier of the grain, Bunge CEO Soren Schroder said on Thursday. Brazil's second corn crop, known as the safrinha crop, is in its crucial pollination stage when hot, dry conditions can hurt yield potential. Analysts and forecasters had expected a record-large crop as recently as last month, but an early halt to summer rains has eroded prospects and prompted some to cut estimates. click here.

 Apr 29 - Potash Corp cuts 2016 profit forecast, dividend seen at risk
Canada's Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the world's biggest fertilizer company by capacity, cut its full-year profit forecast on weak demand and lower prices on Thursday, raising concerns of another dividend cut. The company in January cut its dividend by 34 percent to $1 on an annual basis as potash prices plunged due to overcapacity and weak currencies in major consumers such as India and Brazil. click here.

 Apr 29 - Bunge quarterly profit beats forecast; warns of Q2 headwinds
U.S. agricultural trader Bunge Ltd said Thursday it expects a rough second quarter due to shrinking crop prospects in South America, home to many of its elevators and processing plants. The warning came even as the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on strong exports from the continent as weak currencies propelled demand for grain shipments from Brazil and Argentina. click here.

 Apr 29 - Canada may delay foreign worker limits as packers, farms face squeeze
Canada may delay implementing new restrictions on the use of foreign workers as farmers and meat processors warn of severe labor shortages in one of the world's biggest agricultural exporters, the employment minister said. Employers have reported difficulty finding workers despite a 7.1 percent unemployment rate. Many Canadians resist jobs involving manual labor and rural living, a trend that has driven up labor costs and hurt productivity. click here.

Apr 28 - Asian Crude Palm Slides on Expectations of Higher Output (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices closed lower Thursday amid concerns of higher output. A weakness in the El Nino weather pattern has strengthened prospects of better production in the coming months, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. Overnight price drops in soybean oil also contributed to palm oil weakness, he adds. Ng expects palm oil prices to trade in the range of 2,500 ringgit/ton and 2,680 ringgit/ton during the next few days. The palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ends 31 ringgit lower at 2,602 ringgit per ton.

Apr 28 - Apollo, Vale in talks for broad Brazil fertilizer venture - sources
Vale SA is considering spinning off its fertilizer assets into a joint venture controlled by Apollo Global Management LLC  if they succeed in a joint bid for Anglo American Plc's fertilizer operations in Brazil, three sources with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters on Wednesday. The creation of the joint venture, which would group Vale's fertilizers and phosphate business with Anglo-American's, has been under discussion for weeks, said the first source, who requested anonymity since talks are ongoing. click here.

 Apr 28 - Belaruskali potash exports could sink 18 pct this year - exec
Belarussian potash producer Belaruskali may export 18 percent less of the crop nutrient in 2016 unless the global economy improves and demand revives, the head of the state-owned company's trading division said on Wednesday. Potash exports by Belaruskali, the second-biggest global producer, will range from 7.5 million to 9.3 million tonnes this year, compared with last year's 9.2 million, said Elena Kudryavets, director general of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC). click here.

 Apr 28 - A 3rd of Argentine soy farms waterlogged; 5 mln tonnes feared lost
A third of Argentina's soy farms remain swamped after early April storms, with crop loss estimates at 5 million tonnes as harvesting starts in areas dry enough to support the 30-tonne carbines used to bring in the beans, experts said on Wednesday. Flooding on the Pampas grain belt could end up benefiting U.S. farmers. The weather is improving, but big importers like China are already looking to the Midwest to make up for a likely drop in supply from the South American soybean powerhouse. click here.

 Apr 28 - Rain expected to boost Australia crops, help farmers
Australia is expected to see higher rainfall than average from May to July, watering crops and boosting the fortunes of farmers in one of the world's top exporters of commodities ranging from grains to beef. As the strongest El Nino in the last 20 years eases, there is a 70-percent chance much of Australia will see above average rainfall over the next three months, the country's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Thursday. The El Nino weather pattern typically brings dry weather to many regions. click here.

 Apr 28 - Indonesia palm oil tax increase may reduce exports, revenues
Indonesia on Wednesday raised its palm oil export tax for the first time since October 2014, a move that threatens to dent shipments and export revenues from the world's top producer of the edible oil. Indonesia will set the crude palm oil (CPO) tax at $3 per tonne in May, Nurlaila Nur Muhammad, the director of export of agriculture and forestry products at the Trade Ministry, said on Wednesday. click here.

 Apr 28 - Vale eyes restart of Argentina potash project
Brazilian miner Vale SA  is considering a restart of its Rio Colorado potash project in Argentina after a long delay, the company said on Wednesday, the latest sign that international investors are eyeing a return to the country. Vale suspended work on its Rio Colorado project in the western province of Mendoza in 2012, having already invested $2.2 billion, as prices for the key crop nutrient crashed and after the former government refused to offer tax concessions to mitigate soaring costs related to Argentina's inflation and exchange rate. click here.

 Apr 28 - Fonterra reports strong growth in dairy imports by China, other markets
New Zealand-based Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's top dairy exporter, said it was seeing a strong growth in imports by China, Asia and Latin America, offering a glimmer of hope for dairy farmers hit hard by a global oversupply. Around 85 percent of New Zealand dairy farmers are operating at a loss as prices have more than halved since early 2014 amid slower growth in China and a global surplus. But purchases by the key consumer have perked up this year on a drop in domestic stockpiles, analysts say. click here.

 Apr 28 - Morocco to keep 30 pct soft wheat customs duty through 2016
Morocco will retain its 30 percent customs duty on imported soft wheat until the end of the year to ensure adequate supplies for the domestic market, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday. Morocco harvested a record 11 million tonnes of the grain after good rains last year, but this year's crop is expected to fall sharply after the worst weather in a decade. click here.

Apr 27 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Lower on Sluggish Demand Concerns (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end lower Wednesday amid concerns of weaker demand. Investors remain worried about sluggish demand as discount between palm-oil and soybean oil gets narrower, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. "This might lead to palm-oil prices becoming less competitive compared to soybean thus causing a shift in demand," he adds. Mr. Ng expects palm-oil prices to trade between MYR2600/ton and MYR2750/ton this week. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ends 41 ringgit lower at 2634 ringgit per ton.

Apr 27 - Water trains bring scant relief to drought-ravaged Indian state
Haribhau Kamble, an unemployed labourer in India's richest state of Maharashtra, is forced to queue for hours in scorching heat to fetch water even as the government puts on trains to ship water to the region parched by back-to-back drought years.Like Kamble, millions of Indians have been hung out to dry in the state with the worst drought in four decades ravaging crops, killing livestock, emptying reservoirs and slowing hydroelectric power output. Mismanagement of water resources, with powerful politicians pushing for bigger supplies to industries, have made the situation worse, experts say. click here.

Apr 27 - Brazil allows 100,000 tonnes tariff-free corn imports per company
Brazil has given grain trading companies an initial quota of 100,000 tonnes of tariff-free corn on purchases outside of the Mercosur trade bloc, the trade ministry stated in the official gazette on Tuesday.The gazette gave details on duty-free imports from outside Mercosur that were announced last week as Brazil faces a shortage of corn for feedstock after exporting most of its first of two annual crops. Corn imports from the Mercosur trading bloc are already tax free.  click here.

Apr 27 - Argentina's ethanol makers seen increasing output by up to 60 pct
Argentina's corn ethanol producers are ready to increase output by up to 60 percent depending on how much the government boosts the minimum amount of the fuel required to be used in gasoline, according to the head of the local corn industry chamber.In April, the government raised the amount of ethanol used by motorists by 2 percentage points to 12 percent. The move boosted the country's sugar industry, which has been battered by low international prices. click here.

Apr 27 - EU crop monitor ups winter grain yields after favourable weather
The European Union's crop monitoring service MARS on Tuesday raised its forecast for average winter cereals yields in this year's harvest as favourable weather in major producing countries helped crop development.MARS pegged the average soft wheat yield for the 2016 crop at 6.11 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), up from 5.96 t/ha estimated last month. The new forecast was now 2.7 percent lower than last year but 4.9 percent above the five-year average. click here.

Apr 27 - Russian wheat export prices up on higher benchmarks, lower stocks
Russian wheat export prices rose last week following higher global benchmarks and thanks to lower stocks in Russia's export-focused southern regions, analysts said on Tuesday.Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $190 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $5 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

Apr 27 - Iraq reports first bird flu outbreaks in 10 years
Iraq this week reported six outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu that happened from mid-December to early February, its first occurrence of the disease in nearly 10 years, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Tuesday.Nearly 720,000 birds died as a result of the outbreaks which were mostly on farms, the Paris-based OIE said, citing information from Iraq's agriculture ministry. Of these 77,101 birds died of the virus and the others were killed in protective culls. click here.

Apr 27 - More short covering extends CME live cattle futures gains
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle future's rallied again on Tuesday, led by more short-covering and sentiments that last week's selloff was overdone, traders said.April live cattle closed 1.250 cents per lb higher at 126.800 cents, and June ended 2.150 cents per lb higher at 118.750 cents."We saw short-covering because there was really no reason for the market to be as low as it was," said Oak Investment Group president Joe Ocrant. click here.

Apr 26 - Asian Crude Palmoil Closes Stronger on Weaker Currency (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end higher Tuesday reinforced by a weaker ringgit. "A weaker ringgit will boost exports,' says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the April 1-25 period are estimated to have risen 0.4% from the previous month at 889,944 metric tons, cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services said Monday. Ng expects palm-oil to trade between 2,650 ringgit/ton and 2,750 ringgit/ton. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ends 20 ringgit higher at 2,675 ringgit per ton.

Apr 26 - Syrian food crisis deepens as war chokes farming
Syria's war has destroyed agricultural infrastructure and fractured the state system that provides farmers with seeds and buys their crops, deepening a humanitarian crisis in a country struggling to produce enough grain to feed its people.The country's shortage of its main staple wheat is worsening. The area of land sown with the cereal - used to make bread - and with barley has fallen again this year, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told Reuters. click here.

 Apr 26 - Thailand plans to sell 11.4 mln T of stockpiled rice within two months
Thailand plans to sell the remaining 11.4 million tonnes of rice in government stockpiles within two months, the country's rice management board said on Monday, starting next week. The world's second-biggest rice exporter after India has been reducing stocks left over after the end of a rice-buying scheme under the previous, civilian government. click here.

 Apr 26 - Palm oil industry group orders company to halt Peru planting
A palm oil industry body on Monday ordered a member company with a 5,000 hectare (12,355 acre) concession in Peru to stop developing new plantations until it can prove it has not cleared any primary forest.The dispute comes amid growing concerns from environmentalist and indigenous communities about the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations in the Peruvian Amazon in recent years. click here.

 Apr 26 - Rains to return to Brazil this week, corn losses still seen
A cold front is expected to hit Brazil's agricultural belt this week, bringing rain to end a dry spell that has damaged the second of two annual corn crops, a meteorologist said on Monday."With the advance of this meteorological system to Brazil's interior, this week rain is expected in almost all regions of the country," Marco Antonio dos Santos of Somar Meteorologia said in a phone interview. click here.

 Apr 26 - Costco eyes expanding business with Pilgrim's Pride
Costco Wholesale Corp plans to expand business with chicken supplier Pilgrim's Pride Corp even after building its own poultry processing plant in Nebraska, a senior executive at the retailer told Reuters.Shares of Pilgrim's Pride have fallen more than 5 percent since April 14 when a development council in Nebraska unveiled plans for the Costco plant, reflecting investor concerns that it could eat into the supply from a Pilgrim's Pride plant in Alabama. click here.

 Apr 26 - Warm, wet weather improves Ukraine winter grains state - analyst
The condition of Ukrainian winter grains has improved over the last six weeks thanks to warm and wet weather, analyst UkrAgroConsult said on Monday.A severe drought during the summer and autumn, affecting half of Ukraine's grain region, forced farmers to halt winter grain sowing, leading to concerns of a poor harvest in 2016. click here.

 Apr 26 - Nigeria to tap strategic wheat reserves to rein in food prices
Nigeria will tap its strategic grain reserves to rein in food prices, President Muhammadu Buhari said, as Africa's biggest economy faces its worst economic crisis in decades fueled by a collapse in crude oil prices.Annual inflation in the continent's top oil exporter rose to a near four-year high of 12.8 percent in March from 11.4 percent in February, driven by a rise in food prices. click here.

Apr 26 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Price Jumps on Higher Exports (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil futures jump in morning trade on Tuesday, rebounding from losses a day ago, as improving exports support the market. Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the April 1-25 period are estimated to have risen 0.4% from the previous month to 889,944 metric tons, cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services said Monday. "Palm oil shipments from Malaysia showed rising export demand, even with an export tax in place," says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rises 11 ringgit to trade at 2666 ringgit per ton. It settled at 2655 ringgit per ton on Monday.

Apr 25 - Malaysian Palm-oil Ends Lower on Weaker Soybean Prices (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil close lower, weighed down by weakness in the soybean oil market. The prevailing premium between soybean oil and palm-oil is below the long-term average of $100, suggesting palm-oil may lose its competitiveness," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage. He expects palm-oil to trade between MYR2600/ton and MYR2750/ton. The palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 35 ringgit to close at 2655 ringgit per ton.

Apr 25 - Mystery corn cargo sparks rumors Brazil is buying U.S. grain
The grains market is abuzz with speculation that drought-hit Brazil has bought its first major cargo of U.S. corn in two decades, as the world's third-largest corn grower scrambles to secure feedstock with no sign of the supply crisis easing. The talk comes after Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, last week scrapped import taxes on corn from countries outside the Mercosur trade bloc, its latest effort to curb record domestic prices and boost supplies. click here.

 Apr 25 - Egypt buys 57,000 tonnes of local wheat since start of season –ministry
Egypt's Supply Ministry said on Sunday it had purchased 57,000 tonnes of local wheat from farmers since the start of the season on April 15. Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is planning to buy 4 million tonnes of Egyptian wheat in the local season which started on Friday. click here.

 Apr 25 - China's Zhengzhou Exchange to raise margins, limits for cotton, coal
China's Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange will raise the trading limit and margin on some futures contracts, including cotton, thermal coal, and rapeseed meal, effective on April 26, the bourse said on Friday. The new trading limit for cotton contracts will be raised to 5 percent from the current 4 percent move in either direction. The trading margin will be set at 7 percent compared with the current 5 percent, it said in a statement. click here.

 Apr 25 - Russia to test its wheat with Bangladesh after 2 cargoes rejected
Russia's grain-quality watchdog said on Friday that it and Bangladesh's state grain buyer have agreed to carry out joint tests of a cargo of Russian wheat that has just arrived in the South Asian country. Bangladesh, the fourth-largest buyer of Russian wheat, had previously rejected two cargoes totalling 100,000 tonnes of Russian wheat on concerns over the quality of the grain, officials and traders said. click here.

 Apr 25 - Canada extends grain transportation rules one year
Canada's new Liberal government on Friday extended by one year rules put in place in 2014 to speed movement of grain by rail, after an unprecedented backup of grain on the Western Prairies that year. The former Conservative government took drastic steps to ease the backlog, including giving U.S. railways greater access to Canadian shipments and requiring minimum grain shipments by the country's two main railways, Canadian National Railway Co and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. click here.

 Apr 25 - French maize sowing still slow - farm office
French farmers had sown 11 percent of the grain maize area for this year's harvest by April 18, down sharply from 47 percent at the same date last year, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday, suggesting recent rain was holding up field work. Maize sowing in France, the European Union's biggest grain grower, had advanced from 4 percent complete the previous week. click here.

 Apr 25 - Speculators go long ICE cotton contracts, cut bullish sugar bet
Speculators switched to their first net long position in cotton contracts on ICE Futures U.S. since early February while also cutting their bullish bet in raw sugar for a third straight week, U.S. government data showed on Friday. The noncommercial dealers hiked bullish bets in cocoa and arabica coffee futures and options, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. click here.

 Apr 25 - JBS considers reactivating idled beef plants in Argentina
JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, is considering the gradual reopening of slaughtering and meatpacking facilities in Argentina, where a new government scrapped a tax on beef exports that hampered the industry for years, a senior executive told Reuters. São Paulo-based JBS currently has a plant operating below capacity in Rosario, Argentina's third most populous city. The company will wait for full ramp-up at that plant before reactivating another four beef processing plants, said Enéas Pestana, the head of South American operations. click here.

 Apr 25 -Burkina Faso 2015/16 cotton output down 18 pct on poor weather
Burkina Faso produced 581,000 tonnes of raw cotton in the recently ended 2015/16 season, down 18 percent from the previous harvest and well short of its aim of a record crop of 800,000 tonnes, the national cotton association said on Friday. The Inter-professional Cotton Association of Burkina (AICB), which groups together the country's three cotton companies and the national cotton farmers union (UNPCB), said the drop in output was due to poor weather conditions. click here.

Apr 22 - Overnight Soy Oil Losses Wing Asian Crude Palm (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end lower, pulled down by losses in the overnight soybean oil market, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. Sluggish purchases by palm oil importers, including top-buyer India, have also hurt the sentiment of the market. Ng expects palm oil to trade in the range of 2600 ringgit per ton and 2750 ringgit per ton. The palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 46 ringgit to close at 2689 ringgit per ton.

Apr 22 - Argentina soy crop estimates slashed due to rain-swamped farms
Argentina and one of its main grains exchanges slashed their soy harvest forecasts on Thursday, citing fierce storms that have swamped parts of the Pampas farm belt and helped boost benchmark prices to eight-month highs. The flooding could end up benefiting U.S. farmers. Big importers like China have already started looking to the Midwest to make up for an expected fall in Argentine supply. click here.

 Apr 22 - Palm oil industry fumes as Indonesia gets tough on forest fires
Palm oil firms have slammed Indonesia's move to prohibit the use of new land to boost production, saying President Joko Widodo's latest effort to tackle forest fires could slash jobs and cripple output in the world's top producer of the commodity. Palm oil is a major growth driver for Indonesia, but the industry is facing criticism for deforestation and its slash-and-burn forest-clearing techniques that send vast plumes of smoke across Southeast Asia every year, described by climate officials as a "crime against humanity". click here.

 Apr 22 - Buying spree from corn to copper spurs biggest rally in a year
Freak weather, a weak dollar and stronger demand from China, the world's top user of industrial materials, have spurred the biggest buying spree in commodities in a year, the latest sign the beleaguered sector is back in vogue after a year-long rout. On Thursday, silver soared to 11-month highs as the dollar hit its lowest level since August, and soybean and corn futures reached their highest point since July as investment funds continued to pile in on concerns about adverse weather in South America. Copper jumped to a four-week high after robust import data from China. click here.

 Apr 22 - South Africa boosts crop forecast accuracy with satellite imagery
South Africa's estimates for key crops such as maize have become increasingly accurate thanks to satellite imagery and as farmers' often biased input has been cut out of the picture, a conference was told on Thursday. South Africa's maize crop has been hard hit this season by a scorching drought, bringing into sharp focus the need for accurate forecasts of the harvest's size to guide government policy and markets. click here.

 Apr 22 - AgroGeneration holds out for Ukraine grain export windfall
Farm operator AgroGeneration stands to benefit from a boom in Ukrainian grain exports and a recovery in commodity prices after using non-bank financing and crop rotations to get through a turbulent two years, its vice-chairman said. The Paris-listed company expects grain markets to stay tough in 2016 in the face of large global supplies, but sees itself as on a solid footing after posting an operating profit for the second year in a row in 2015, Pierre Danon told Reuters. click here.

 Apr 22 - Canadian farmers seen planting less canola than expected
Canadian farmers intend to plant less canola than expected, and will sow record-large areas with pulse crops, according to the government's first farmer survey of crop sowings for 2016, released on Thursday. Wheat seedings are also expected to decline, but not as much as traders and analysts expected on average. click here.

Apr 21 - Asian Crude Palmoil Closes Higher in Soybean Gains (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices close higher Thursday, aided by gains in soybean oil and rise in the crude oil market, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. Prices of soybean have witnessed a recent rise due to worries about the adverse impact of wet weather in Argentina. The Bursa Malaysia three-month palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange strengthened 25 ringgit Thursday to settle at 2735 ringgit per ton.

Apr 21 - EU wheat crop mostly looking good after mild winter
The European Union's wheat crop is developing well after a mild winter and Europe is on course for a good harvest but below last year's record, experts said on Wednesday. "Poland is the main problem area but otherwise the picture is broadly looking good," a German analyst said. click here.

 Apr 21 - Surging U.S. grain futures confuse traders, delight farmers
A burst of frenetic buying sent U.S. corn and soybean futures sharply higher on Wednesday after months of sluggishness, rewarding farmers with prices they thought were unattainable just weeks ago due to massive crop inventories. But traders said the soybean rally could be short-lived. They cited a sharp jump in the premium of near-term contracts over those for later delivery. click here.

 Apr 21 - Russian grain experts in Bangladesh to discuss wheat cargo problem
Russian grain experts are in Bangladesh to carry out tests and discuss reported problems concerning a Russian wheat shipment, Russia's food safety watchdog said on Wednesday. Bangladesh has been the fourth largest buyer of Russian wheat this season after Egypt, Turkey and Iran. click here.

 Apr 21 - Avril to cut biodiesel output in France on weak demand
French oilseed group Avril plans temporarily to reduce production at its five biodiesel plants in France due to a steep fall in orders, it said on Wednesday. Under proposals submitted to worker representatives, Avril's Saipol division is to cut biodiesel activity from August until the end of the year, it said in a statement. click here.

 Apr 21 - Floods hit Argentine soy, exports may be cut, good weather ahead
Much of Argentina's soy crop has been swamped by 20 days of merciless rain, threatening a loss of supply from the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and its No. 3 supplier of beans, meteorologists said on Wednesday. A weak harvest from such a major supplier would put upward pressure on world food prices and be bad news for new President Mauricio Macri, who needssoybean export tax revenue to help straighten out the fiscal mess left by his predecessor. click here.

Apr 20 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Higher on Improved Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end higher Wednesday after data on palm-oil shipments from Malaysia showed rising export demand for the first half of April, even with an export tax in place. Malaysia raised its crude palm oil export tax to 5% for April and May, ending a duty free policy held since May last year. Data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm oil exports up 3.5% at 737,685 metric tons during the April 1-20 period while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. showed exports at 724,169 metric tons, up 0.9% on month. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange strengthened 21 ringgit at 2709 ringgit per ton at the close of trade.

Apr 19 - Indonesia March palm oil output set to fall for seventh month - Reuters survey
Indonesia's crude palm oil (CPO) production is expected to fall to its lowest level in 13 months in March as a drought caused by an El Nino weather event continues to curb output, according to a Reuters survey. March CPO production could fall for a seventh month in a row to 2.15 million tonnes, according to the median estimate in a survey of three industry associations and one of the country's largest planters. click here.

 Apr 19 - Brazil may return to buying corn soon due to dry spell
Brazilian corn imports have dropped back after surging to their highest levels in a decade recently, but the country could return to buying soon, with U.S. corn potentially on the menu, if a dry spell hitting the local winter crop persists. Analysts and livestock industry leaders expect Brazil's second and larger winter corn crop that begins harvesting around mid-year to boost supplies, but these forecasts have not considered that drought may cause significant crop losses. click here.

 Apr 19 - Canadian farmers turn to pulse crops to satisfy India
Canadian farmers intend to plant more peas and lentils than ever before, as strong Indian demand stokes interest in pulse crops, according to a Reuters industry poll ahead of a government report. Pulses amount for a fraction of Canada's planted area compared to wheat and canola, the country's largest crops. But this year they have been the talk of the western Prairies as farmers made seeding plans. click here.

 Apr 19 - Turkey slaps dumping duties on U.S. cotton imports
Turkey has slapped anti-dumping duties on U.S. cotton imports, a U.S. industry trade association said on Monday, fraying relations between one of the world's top fiber growers and one of its biggest customers amid weak global prices and demand. Imports on a cost, insurance and freight (CIF) basis will incur dumping duties of 3 percent effective immediately, the NCC said, the first official confirmation of the move. click here.

 Apr 19 - POLL-U.S. corn planting progress seen reaching 14 percent
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report is expected to show U.S. corn planting at 14 percent in the latest week, according to an average of estimates by 13 analysts polled on Monday. Estimates in the Reuters survey ranged from 11 percent to 18 percent planted. click here.

 Apr 19 - Is your weed killer carcinogenic?
The latest dispute to blow up around the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concerns glyphosate, an ingredient in one of the world's most widely-used weed killers, Roundup, made by Monsanto. In March 2015, an IARC monograph concluded that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic." Yet seven months later the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an independent agency funded by the EU, published a different assessment, saying glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans." click here.

 Apr 19 - Russian wheat export prices up on strong demand, firm rouble
Russian wheat export prices rose last week on high demand from traders buying wheat to fulfil previously agreed contracts and thanks to a strengthening rouble, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were $185 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

 Apr 19 - Agritel raises Ukraine wheat crop forecast to 19.3 mln T
French consultancy Agritel on Monday increased its forecast for 2016 wheat production in major exporter Ukraine to 19.3 million tonnes, after favourable weather and spring sowing improved harvest prospects following a poor start to the growing season. The new forecast, which followed a crop tour in Ukraine earlier this month, compared with Agritel's initial assessment in December when it gave a main estimate of 17.2 million tonnes and a high-end scenario of 18.1 million. click here.

Apr 19 - Zambia to start regulating maize meal prices - presidency
Zambia's government will start regulating the price of staple maize meal milled from subsidised grain bought from its Food Reserve Agency, a presidential spokesman said on Monday. The price of breakfast maize meal has risen by about 21 percent to 85 kwacha per 25 kg bag from March last year, raising fears of public discontent before a general election in August. click here.

Apr 18 - Asian Crude Palmoil Rises on a Weaker Currency (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices edge higher, strengthened by a weaker ringgit, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. Going ahead, "a depreciating ringgit will spur purchases," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage. He expects crude palm-oil to trade in the range of 2600 ringgit per ton and 2720 ringgit per ton this week. The palm-oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rises 27 ringgit to settle at 2668 ringgit a ton at the end of the trading day Monday.

Apr 18 - Delta drought gives glimpse into bleak future for mighty Mekong
While China has been releasing water from a hydro-electric dam in the upper Mekong River to help relieve drought down river in Southeast Asia, little of it has flowed to Nguyen Van Thach's sugarcane farm in southern Vietnam. After feeding his six cows with grass uprooted from a village nearby, Thach took a knife and cut a slice of sugarcane from his withered crop. "It's too salty," the 62-year-old farmer said, grimacing as he licked the piece of cane. "Even cows can't eat this." click here.

 Apr 18 - French court hands symbolic win to GMO maize supporters
France's top administrative court overturned a 2014 ban on a type of genetically modified (GMO) maize in a symbolic victory for GMO supporters that will not allow such crops to be grown in France because of subsequent legislation reinforcing the ban. GMO crops are widely grown in the world but remain controversial in Europe and have been strongly opposed by France which has pointed to potential environmental risks. click here.

 Apr 18 - China to start annual cotton sales to cut stockpile - state planner
China will start annual cotton sales, set to occur from May to August, in order to reduce its massive state reserves down to a "reasonable level," the country's state planner said on Friday. For this year, the reserve sales will begin on May 3 and continue until Aug. 31, with total sales not exceeding 2 million tonnes, according to a joint statement by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the finance ministry. click here.

 Apr 18 - Singapore's Olam forms joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp
Olam International Ltd formed a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp to supply sustainable agricultural and food products to Japan, in the first tie-up between the two since the Japanese firm bought a stake in the commodity trader. The joint venture, MC Agri Alliance Ltd, will import and distribute coffee, cocoa, sesame, edible nuts, spices, vegetable ingredients and tomato products. Mitsubishi will hold 70 percent of the venture and Olam the remaining 30 percent. click here.

 Apr 18 - Brazil's Vale reiterates looking for partner in fertilizers
Brazil's Vale SA reiterated on Friday it is looking for a partner in the fertilizer sector, responding to a Reuters report that the miner is preparing a joint bid with U.S. private equity firm Apollo for Anglo American's niobium and phosphates business in Brazil. The world's largest producer of iron ore said in a securities filing it "continues to work to form a strategic partnership in fertilizers, with the aim of divesting and raising cash." It did not give further details. click here.

 Apr 18 - Saudi's SAFCO Q1 net profit dips 51.5 pct, misses estimates
Saudi Arabia Fertilizers Co (SAFCO) missed analysts' forecasts and extended its earnings slump, reporting a 51.5 percent decline in first-quarter net profit on Sunday. SAFCO, a unit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), made a net profit of 286 million riyals ($76.3 million)in the three months to Mar. 31, down from 590 million riyals in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse statement. click here.

 Apr 18 - Speculators sharply cut bearish cotton stance to 2-month low
Speculators slashed their bearish stance in cotton contracts on ICE Futures U.S. to the smallest in two months in the week ended April 12, as prices surged nearly 5 percent amid a positive supply-demand outlook, government data showed on Friday. The non-commercial dealers cut their net long positions in raw sugar, cocoa and arabica coffee futures and options, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. click here.

 Apr 18 - Brazil poultry, pork producers face tight margins
Aurora Cooperative, one of the largest producers of chicken and pork in Brazil, is facing tight margins because of lack of corn available and higher prices for the main ingredient of animal feed, its vice president said. Aurora buys 1.5 million tonnes of corn per year to supply thousands of cooperatives in southern Brazil. click here.

Apr 15 - Fund money heats up U.S. grain markets burdened by big supply
Hedge funds and commodity investors are turning up the heat in U.S. grain markets, with open interest, volume and prices surging as traders plow money into a sector that has been dull, burdened by an oversupply of crops. Managers of trend-following funds have flocked to the farm markets as recent advances in crude oil and weakness in the U.S. dollar have encouraged investments in other physical commodities, traders said. In corn and soybeans, they see the potential for volatility and prices to increase from low levels, presenting opportunities for funds to make money. click here.

 Apr 15 - Strategie Grains lifts EU wheat crop forecast on good weather
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday raised its forecast for this year's soft wheat production in the European Union by just over a million tonnes as crops continued to benefit from favourable weather conditions. The French-based firm now sees 2016 soft wheat output in the 28-country EU at 144.7 million tonnes, compared with 143.6 million projected last month. click here.

 Apr 15 - India launches e-trading platform for farmers
India launched an electronic trading platform for farm goods on Thursday to improve transparency in wholesale markets and help farmers fetch better prices for their produce. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurating the platform,said it would trade products from 365 wholesale markets initially but aims to increase that to 585 by March 2018. click here.

 Apr 15 - Argentina says grain checks need govt approval amid Monsanto dispute
Argentina, the world's No. 3 soy exporter, said on Thursday the government must authorize any grain inspection, dealing a blow to Monsanto Co which wants exporters to check cargoes to make sure farmers had paid to produce its genetically modified soybeans. Monsanto responded in an email that it sought to comply with all laws, but noted that Argentine farmers had benefited substantially from its Intacta technologyand called for "all producers to pay ... if they decide to use it." click here.

 Apr 15 - Despite Brazil crisis, EU to restart Mercosur trade talks in May
Europe and South America will try to revive stalled trade talks in mid-May despite Brazil's political crisis and reticence from France, the European Union and Argentina said on Thursday. While Argentina's new pro-business government offers the Mercosur trade bloc its best chance in years to reach an accord, Brazil's president faces impeachment and a group of nine EU countries led by France reject opening up their farm sectors. click here.

 Apr 15 - Brazil political crisis hits grains trade; all eyes on currency
Brazil's forward sales of commodities such as grains and sugar have nearly ground to a halt as producers, trading companies and consultants assess the impact of the possible impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. After a year-long boom in sugar and corn exports, commodity merchants and farmers are bracing for continued strengthening of the real if Rousseff is ousted, reducing the price advantage of Brazilian commodities and possibly curbing foreign sales. click here.

 Apr 15 - Vietnam's H1 2016 rice exports may rise 12 pct from year ago -govt
Vietnam could export more than 3 million tonnes of rice in the first half of 2016, up 12 percent from a year ago, on rising demand from China and other Southeast Asian nations amid supply concerns caused by drought, the government said on Friday. Rice shipments in the three months ending June are projected at 1.6 million tonnes, including sales to China, the government reported on its website citing the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). However, the VFA lowered their projection by 11 percent amid a drought in Vietnam's main rice-growing region, the government said. click here.

Apr 14 - China trader COFCO seeks N. America expansion, sees 2019 listing
Chinese state-owned agricultural trader COFCO is in talks over potential partnerships or acquisitions in North America, its president said, as it builds on deals that have already catapulted it into the league of top global traders. COFCO has embarked on an aggressive expansion into international grain trading, having invested over $3 billion to buy Noble Group's agribusiness and a large stake in Dutch grain trader Nidera, giving it assets in some of the world's top grain and vegetable oil producing regions. click here.

 Apr 14 - Bean rally should not topple U.S. corn acres - Braun
Despite the recent rally in Chicago soybean futures, U.S. farmers may not be switching from corn to soybeans as much as the corn bulls may have hoped. The U.S. Department of Agriculture shocked analysts on March 31 when it reported 3.6 million more corn acres than the market had expected in its annual Prospective Plantings report. click here.

 Apr 14 - Brazil government shift to hit commodities flow - FCStone
Brazil should see significant changes in the amounts of commodities it exports and imports if Congress approves a request to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, consultancy and brokerage firm INTL FCStone said in a report on Wednesday. FCStone projected that a change in the government, with current Vice-President Michel Temer taking over, would lift Brazil's real to 3.10 to the dollar compared to 3.54 currently, strongly affecting the competitiveness of some products abroad. click here.

 Apr 14 - FranceAgriMer cuts grain stocks forecasts on high Moroccan sales
Farm office FranceAgriMer cut its forecast for France's grains stocks at the end of the current 2015/16 marketing season on Wednesday, mainly due to an expected rise in wheat and barley exports to drought-hit Morocco. In its monthly supply and demand outlook for cereals, the office cut total French soft wheat stocks to 5.45 million tonnes from 6.0 million seen in March, as it lifted its forecast for soft wheat exports outside the European Union by 500,000 tonnes to 11.5 million tonnes. click here.

 Apr 14 - Global 2015/2016 palm oil output seen down 700,000 tonnes - analyst Mielke
Global palm oil output is seen falling by 700,000 tonnes in 2015/16, as the dry weather impact of an El Nino dents output and shores up prices, said leading edible oil analyst Thomas Mielke on Thursday. Benchmark palm oil prices were last trading at 2,658 ringgit per tonne, up 0.8 percent on Wednesday evening after posting six straight sessions of falls. click here.

 Apr 14 - Argentina to plant 25 pct more wheat in 2016-17 crop - exchange
Argentine farmers are likely to plant 4.5 million hectares with wheat for the 2016-17 crop, up 25 percent from last year's 3.6 million hectares due to the lifting of export barriers, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange forecast on Wednesday. The grains exchange said that recent rains were also driving planting activity as farmers aim to soak up humidity in their fields with the new crop. Dryness in the northwest growing region could limit planting there, the exchange added. click here.

 Apr 14 - China clarifies rules for online imports of infant formula
Infant milk formula imports to China through international websites will need official approval by 2018, the finance ministry said, in a reprieve for firms concerned the rules would take immediate effect and limit their ability to do business. China raised tariffs on online retail imports last Friday, but also published a "positive list" which tightened restrictions on some products including milk powder being imported through cross-border websites. click here.

 Apr 14 - India's wheat imports to hit decade high as weather woes curb output - survey
India's 2016/17 wheat imports are expected to surge more than five-fold to the highest in a decade, as a severe drought linked to an El Nino weather event and unseasonal rains push domestic output down to the lowest since 2011, a Reuters survey shows. A spike in overseas purchases by India, the world's second largest producer and consumer of the grain, could take some pressure off benchmark wheat prices that are mired near five-year lows of $4.42-1/4 a bushel amid ample world supplies. click here.

 Apr 14 - NOPA March soy crush expected at 156.2 mln bu
The National Oilseed Processors Association's monthly soybean crush report due on Friday should show the U.S. crush for March at 156.248 million bushels, up 6.9 percent from February, a Reuters poll of seven analysts showed. Estimates ranged from 152.9 million to 158.6 million bushels, with a median of 156.470 million bushels. click here.

 Apr 14 - Zambia lifts maize export ban, has stocks to last until August
Zambia on Wednesday lifted the ban it imposed last week on the export of maize after a physical verification revealed that the southern African nation has enough stocks to last until August, a government official said. Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa said in a statement the country has 600,433 tonnes of maize enough to last the country until August. click here.

 Apr 14 - U.S. ethanol futures highest since November as output declines
Ethanol futures on the Chicago Board of Trade gained 2 percent, or about 3 cents, to a five-month high of $1.55 per gallon on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a steep drop in output. The EIA said ethanol production fell 38,000 barrels to an average rate of 938,000 barrels per day, lowest since September. Stockpiles of the corn-based biofuel increased 103,000 barrels to 22.32 million barrels, near the record-large stocks of 23.307 million barrels from about a month ago. click here.

 Apr 14 - Indonesia to probe palm producers' environmental pledge - anti-monopoly agency
Indonesia will investigate suspected cartel practices by palm oil companies that are signatories to the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), an agreement aimed at curbing deforestation, the country's anti-monopoly agency (KPPU) said. "The IPOP agreement has the potential to become the means of a cartel that will give rise to monopoly practices and or unhealthy business competition," KPPU spokesman Dendy Sutrisno said in a statement issued late on Wednesday. "Because of this, the KPPU states that the IPOP agreement cannot be implemented." click here.

Apr 13 - Brazil aims to suspend 10 pct import tariff on corn
Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday it will ask to suspend a 10 percent tariff on imports of the grain from non-Mercosur origins such as the United States with corn prices hovering at record levels due to tight supplies. Brazilian poultry and pork producers, who are struggling with high feed costs, recently closed deals to import 500,000 tonnes of corn in the coming months, most of which will come from Argentina and Paraguay. click here.

 Apr 13 - USDA boosts wheat, corn supply view; trims soy stocks outlook
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday raised its outlook for domestic wheat supplies to the highest since 1987 due to weakening demand in the feed sector. U.S. soybean supplies will be smaller than expected due to bigger imports by China, the world's top buyer of the oilseed, the government said in its monthly supply and demand report. click here.

 Apr 13 - China soybean imports hit 6.1 mln T last month, record for March
China's March soybean imports climbed to 6.1 million tonnes, setting a record for the third month of the year as attractive hog breeding margins and flows of newly harvested supplies from South America lifted demand. Imports by China, which buys around 60 percent of the total soybeans traded worldwide, jumped 35.3 percent from 4.51 million tonnes in February, figures from the General Administration of Customs of China showed on Wednesday. click here.

 Apr 13 - Global GMO crop area dips in 2015 in first-ever decline
The world scaled back biotech crop planting for the first time ever in 2015, led by a decline in the United States, which has fueled rapid expansion of genetically modified crops since their commercial launch two decades ago, according to an annual report released on Wednesday. The decline was blamed largely on lower crop plantings overall due to lower commodity prices, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), the group that released the report, said. click here.

 Apr 13 - India's monsoon rains seen above average in 2016, to revive demand
India's crucial monsoon rains are expected to be above average in 2016, the weather office said on Tuesday, easing fears over farm and economic growth after two straight droughts hit rural incomes and agricultural output. Rains in 2016 would be 106 percent of the long-term average, Laxman Singh Rathore, chief of the India Meteorological Department, told a news conference. click here.

 Apr 13 - Indonesia to limit 2016 feedmill corn imports to 1 mln T - agri ministry
Indonesia will limit maximum corn imports for feedmills to 1 million tonnes this year as domestic supply is expected to cover demand, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Southeast Asia's largest economy, which mainly imports corn from Argentina and Brazil, imported 2.5 million tonnes during January-October last year, the ministry has previously said. click here.

 Apr 13 - Vale prepares joint bid with Apollo for Anglo's Brazil fertiliser business – sources
Brazilian miner Vale is teaming up with U.S. private equity firm Apollo to bid for Anglo American's niobium and phosphates business in Brazil, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. A sale of the assets, used for making fertilizers, could fetch around $1 billion for Anglo American. click here.

 Apr 13 - France confirms large wheat crop area, sees more sugar beet
France's farm ministry on Tuesday put the soft wheat sowing area for this year's harvest at 5.24 million hectares, which is the largest since 1935 and sets the EU's top producer on course for another big crop. The expected area, including a small amount of spring wheat, was 1.2 percent higher than in 2015 and 4.7 percent above the average of the past five years, the ministry said in a note featuring its first estimates for spring sowings. click here.

 Apr 13 - China targets 60 pct increase in soy output by 2020 to meet protein demand
China is looking to boost its soy output by nearly 60 percent by the end of the decade compared with last year as the world's biggest consumer of the oilseed races to meet rising demand for protein-rich food. The plan to expand China's soy acreage comes as the country plants less corn to reduce its massive state reserves. But the soy output target will be a challenge, analysts say, due to high labour and input costs. click here.

 Apr 13 - Ukraine's early spring grain sowing 86 pct complete
Ukrainian farmers had sown 2.1 million hectares of early spring grain or 86 percent of the initial area as of April 12, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry has said the spring grains, mostly maize and barley, could eventually cover about 7.5 million hectares, including 2.5 million hectares of early spring crops. click here.

 Apr 13 - Russia has completed buying last year's grain crop on home market
Russia's Agriculture Ministry has completed its current programme of buying last year's grain crop on the domestic market, it told Reuters on Tuesday. Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters to North Africa and the Middle East, currently has 3.2 million tonnes of grain in these state stocks. It buysgrain on the domestic market every year in what are known as interventions. click here.

 Apr 13 - Germany backs EU plan to approve weedkiller glyphosate
Germany plans to back an EU proposal that would allow the continued use of glyphosate in weedkillers, according to a letter from the agriculture ministry. Glyphosate is used in many herbicides including Monsanto's Roundup, but has provoked a dispute between EU and U.N. agencies over whether it might cause cancers. click here.

Apr 13 - Malaysia Palm Oil Rally Follows Lead of Soybeans, Crude Oil (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil prices rally in early trade, supported by higher soybean prices in the U.S. market and by an improvement in the oil market. Soybeans are used to produce soyoil, a substitute for palm oil. Soybean futures extended their rally overnight after the U.S. Department of Agriculture revised U.S. soybean stocks lower on the back of a stronger exports--largely driven by strong Chinese demand, says Tobin Gorey, analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note. The Bursa Malaysia three-month benchmark palm oil contract is trading up 33 ringgit to 2669 ringgit a ton.

Apr 12 - Asian CPO Closes Lower on Worries of Higher Output (Dow jones)
Asian crude palm-oil futures end lower Tuesday, weighed down by higher-than-expected output in Malaysia. Palm-oil production data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board on Monday reported a 16.9% rise in production for the month of March. "If this trend continues, inventories will start rising," says David Ng, an analyst with Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. He expects prices to range between 2600 ringgit per ton and 2750 ringgit per ton. The palm-oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange falls 28 ringgit to settle at 2638 ringgit a ton at the end of the trading day Tuesday.

Apr 12 - CME adjusts Black Sea wheat market as Euronext threat looms
CME Group Inc will list three new contract months in its Black Sea wheat futures market and eliminate a delivery location as the U.S. exchange operator faces a potential challenge from European rival Euronext NV. Chicago-based CME Group on April 27 will list contract expirations for July, September and December 2016, according to a notice sent to customers on Monday. Starting with the July 2016 contract, the company will remove Crimea's Port of Sevastopol as a delivery location. click here.

 Apr 12 - Building dryness threatens Brazil's record corn crop
Forecasts for a record winter corn crop in Brazil look overly optimistic after summer rains ended sooner than expected, which could prolong the country's recently aggressive imports of the grain and even trim the area planted to soybeans in September. The Agriculture Ministry's Conab crop supply agency is expecting a record 57.1-million-tonne winter corn harvest in the coming months, up from 55.3 million tonnes last year. Mato Grosso state is forecast to account for 20 million tonnes alone. click here.

 Apr 12 - India's 2016 monsoon rains seen above average – Skymet
India's annual monsoon rains are likely to be above average, the country's only private weather forecaster said on Monday, snapping two straight years of drought that cut farm output and farmers' income. The July to September monsoon delivers nearly 70 percent of annual rains and waters half of India's farmlands that lack irrigation facilities. click here.

 Apr 12 - Drought could hit rice stocks at exporters, fuel price crisis - analyst
Crippling drought brought on by the El Nino weather pattern could cut rice stocks among the world's top exporters to levels not seen since 2008, potentially fueling a price crisis similar to one seen that year, an industry expert warned. Total stocks in top shippers of the grain India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and the United States are likely to fall to 19 million tonnes by the second half of the year, from a peak of nearly 41 million tonnes in 2013, said Samarendu Mohanty, head of the social sciences division at the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute. click here.

Apr 12 - Senate committee to take up bill on U.S. commodities regulator
A U.S. Senate committee will soon consider legislation on the country's commodities and derivatives regulator that is intended to keep financial-sector restrictions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law from applying to farmers and ranchers because their derivatives trading helps them manage operational risks. On Thursday, the Agriculture Committee will mark up legislation reauthorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees the $400 trillion U.S. swaps market as well as trading in agriculture, metals and energy. click here.

 Apr 12 - Russian new crop wheat prices seen down 4 percent
Russian wheat export prices are expected to fall 4 percent from current levels when the new crop is delivered to the market, IKAR, one of the leading Moscow-based agriculture consultancies, said on Monday. Russia is expected to harvest a crop of more than 100 million tonnes of grains for the third year in a row, adding to a global surplus and increasing pressure on already weak global prices. click here.

 Apr 12 - UK wheat exports maintain strong pace in February
UK wheat exports maintained a strong pace in February with Spain the largest buyer while other destinations included Algeria and Japan, customs data showed on Monday. Exports totalled 297,699 tonnes, down slightly from the prior month's 309,640 tonnes but still the second highest monthly total so far in the 2015/16 season which started on July 1, 2015. The total included 152,715 tonnes to Spain. click here.

 Apr 12 - Craft beer fans face squeeze with hops in short supply
Fans of craft beers could soon face higher bar bills as small, independent brewers face a potentially serious shortage of a vital ingredient: hops. Last summer's hot and dry weather blighted the European hop harvest and strong demand for increasingly popular craft beers, which use a lot of hops, is putting small brewers' profit margins under pressure and forcing them to raise their prices. click here.

Apr 12 - Kuala Lumpur Kepong to Benefit From High Crude Palm Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
Malaysia's palm oil inventories may drop to the critical level of 1.50 million metric ton and this would propel crude palm oil prices to reach 3,000 ringgit per ton by the end of June, predicts MIDF Research said in a report. "We maintain our bullish view," analyst Alan Lim says. MIDF keeps its positive ranking for the plantation sector, and says its top pick is Kuala Lumpur Kepong (2445.KU), one of Malaysia's largest palm-oil producers. Lim keeps his target price of MYR27.38 for the stock. KLK's earnings will likely benefit from high CPO prices due to its high exposure to the palm oil business, MIDF says.

Apr 11 - Asian Crude-Palm Oil Ends Lower on Worries of Higher Output (Dow Jones)
Asian crude-palm-oil prices ended marginally lower, weighed by higher-than-anticipated production numbers despite a pickup in demand. Data released Monday by Malaysia's Palm Oil Board showed a further tightening in the market in March, despite a larger-than-expected rise in production, Capital Economics says in a research note. "A return to more normal output over the second half of the year, coupled with strong competition from soy oil, is likely to put renewed pressure on the price of palm oil," it adds. Palm-oil exports jumped 23% on month in March, lending support to the market. The palm-oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 12 ringgit to 2,668 ringgit a metric ton Monday.

Apr 11 - In Iowa corn fields, Chinese national's seed theft exposes vulnerability
Tim Burrack, a northern Iowa farmer in his 44th growing season, has taken to keeping a wary eye out for unfamiliar vehicles around his 300 acres of genetically modified corn seeds. Along with other farmers in this vast agricultural region, he has upped his vigilance ever since Mo Hailong and six other Chinese nationals were accused by U.S. authorities in 2013 of digging up seeds from Iowa farms and planning to send them back to China. click here.

 Apr 11 - Euronext says working on Black Sea wheat futures
The rising influence of Black Sea markets on world prices prompted Euronext to start working on developing futures contract that would allow price hedging in one of the world's largest export zones for the grain, it said on Friday. Production swings in the Black Sea and European Union have become the main drivers of world wheat prices to the detriment of Chicago futures as U.S. farmers increasingly turned to corn and soybean crops, analysts and traders said. click here.

 Apr 11 - China citizens protest ChemChina-Syngenta deal amid GMO worries
Around 400 Chinese citizens have signed a letter to protest the purchase of Swiss-based seeds and pesticides company Syngenta by state-owned ChemChina, saying the deal would eventually lead to genetically modified crops being sown across swathes of the country. Critics of genetically modified organisms argue the technology poses risks to public health and the environment, while advocates say such fears have not been scientifically proven and that high-yielding genetically altered crops would help ensure food security as the world's population grows. click here.

 Apr 11 - South Africa's corn crop dilemma and the likely fixes –Braun
While most of the world sits on a generous corn stockpile, the situation for South Africa is vastly different. The country faces one of the worst corn harvests ever on the back of a devastating, historic drought. Even though South Africa produces only 12 million tonnes of corn on average, it is usually a net exporter. It is also Africa’s largest corn producer and is relied upon by neighboring Sub-Saharan nations to bolster their own corn supplies and feed their people. click here.

 Apr 11 - France to ban some glyphosate weedkillers amid health concerns
France's health and safety agency is poised to ban weedkillers that combine chemicals glyphosate and tallowamine because of concerns over possible health risks, it said Friday. The ANSES agency sent a letter this week to manufacturers informing them that it intends to withdraw the authorisation for such products, Francoise Weber, the ANSES deputy director-general, told Reuters. click here.

 Apr 11 - Weather nightmare may continue for South African corn -Braun
To add insult to a growing season that has already been injured by drought, South African corn farmers could well be grappling with frost damage in the coming months. The historic drought afflicting South Africa has already cut its corn crop in half. Although the country is typically a net corn exporter, the crop losses already incurred this year will have it seeking to import several million tonnes of the grain. click here.

Apr 11 - Oilseeds Market Looking at Malaysian Palm Oil Data for Guidance (Dow Jones)
The oilseeds markets will be looking to Malaysian palm oil inventory data for guidance, says Tobin Gorey, analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. "Vegetable oil markets have rallied on concerns over supply tightness, but buyer demand has been subdued of late." He adds the palm oil market will be looking for a chunky fall in stockpiles today to justify current price levels.  The palm-oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange last traded down 31 ringgit at MYR2679 a ton Friday.

Apr 08 - Asian CPO Closes Lower Tracking Vegetable Oils (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end lower Friday amid a stronger ringgit and worries of slowing exports. Trading was mostly thin as investors await March data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board scheduled, to be released Monday, as well as export estimates of palm-oil from Malaysia for the first 10 days of April. The palm-oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange last traded 31 ringgit down at 2679 ringgit a ton Friday. It settled at 2710 ringgit a ton on Thursday.

Apr 08 - AgResource sees corn, wheat prices fall to 10-year lows
Hefty supplies and large expected crops will weigh on grain prices later this year with corn and wheat set to drop to 10-year lows as harvest nears, consultancy AgResource said on Friday. In its first price forecast for 2016, the U.S.-based consultancy pegged Chicago Board of Trade December corn to fall 25 percent to $2.80 per bushel as the harvest nears and it becomes the market's front month. That would be the lowest since October 2006 on a front-month contract. click here.

 Apr 08 - Blumberg's high-tech attempt to ease Egyptian grain drain
At the far corner of a faceless government building in Cairo an unusually high-tech attempt to stem Egypt's waste-and-theft-riddled wheat market is quietly coming online this month. A dimly lit room awash with the soft glow of CCTV feeds from around the country, Blumberg Grain's command and control centre is the central nervous system of a fast-expanding network of grain storage facilities the company says will save Egypt nearly $2 billion in five years. click here.

 Apr 08 - EU deal yet to bear fruit for Ukrainian exporters
Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union was meant to lure the bread basket of the former Soviet Union away from its longstanding ties with Russia by offering better access to the EU market. But debate about it was the spark that lit the Maidan street protests in 2013 and a pro-Russian insurgency that led to more than 9,000 deaths. The disruption sent exports to Russia into freefall and depressed sales to the European Union. click here.

 Apr 08 - Modi's rural income promise leaves Indian farmers, experts cold
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to need a big rise in economic growth and a run of good weather to have a chance of fulfilling his promise to double farmers' incomes by 2022. He may also have to allow farm gate prices to rise fast, agricultural and economic experts said, jeopardising a key policy of his first two years in office: keeping inflation in check to appeal to India's swelling middle class. click here.

 Apr 08 - China may pay more for canola if standard changes - Richardson Int'l
Richardson International, one of Canada's two largest grain handlers, may raise the price of canola shipments to China to reflect Beijing's costly higher standard, its chief executive said on Thursday. The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said in March that China had delayed to Sept. 1 its new standard for no more than 1 percent of foreign material, such as straw and other plant seeds, per Canadian canola shipment. The current maximum is 2.5 percent. click here.

 Apr 08 - Cargill 3rd qtr profit up, company warns of tough markets
U.S. agricultural commodities trader Cargill Inc on Thursday reported a rise in third-quarter profit on stronger results in food ingredients and grain handling but warned about headwinds from oversupplied grain markets and low commodity prices. The privately held company is exiting lower-margin operations including its U.S. pork business and expanding deeper into food ingredients and aquaculture to capture higher margins and capitalize on consumer trends. It is also in the midst of a corporate restructuring. click here.

 Apr 08 - Lebanon says contaminated wheat imports were not Russian
Wheat imports into Lebanon said to be contaminated were misidentified as Russian, Lebanon's minister for public health told Reuters on Thursday, as a delegation from Russia's food safety service visited the country to discuss the issue. Tests carried out in February by Lebanon's Ministry of Public Health on wheat thought at the time to be imported from Russia showed higher than permitted levels of ochratoxin, a carcinogen. click here.

 Apr 08 - U.S. aims to toughen rules on organic egg production
The U.S. government is set to shake up the $500 million organic egg industry with rules that for the first time will mandate specific space requirements for hens and spell out what it means for them to have access to the outdoors. Proposed requirements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released on Thursday, aim to increase confidence among consumers about what it means when food products carry an organic label. click here.

Apr 07 - Asian CPO Closes Lower on Output Worries (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end lower driven down by concerns of higher output and sluggish export demand. Traders expect palm-oil shipments will be impacted this month by Malaysia's decision to impose a 5% tax on crude palm-oil exports, ending a duty-free policy held since May last year. Besides, expectation of better production in April has added to the woes. The palm-oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 12 ringgit to 2710 ringgit a ton at the end of the trading day Thursday. It ended at 2722 ringgit a ton Wednesday.

Apr 07 - China pledges to cut corn planting in north after policy shakeup
China said on Thursday it aims to reduce corn planting in parts of its northern and northeastern farming belts by about 8.2 million acres (3.3 million hectares) by 2020, while boosting soybean production for human consumption in the country. The ministry of agriculture said a statement around 1.6 million corn acres would be reduced this year alone, with the cuts targeted in areas that were not suitable for corn growing, while the acreage in core growing areas would be stabilised. click here.

 Apr 07 - Glencore sells agri unit stake for $2.5 bln to Canadian pension fund
Commodity miner and trader Glencore has agreed to sell 40 percent of its agricultural unit to Canada's state pension fund for $2.5 billion, the company's latest step to cut debt and soothe investor concerns about the impact of weak commodity prices. The sale values the agricultural unit as a whole at close to the initially expected $10 billion, including $0.6 billion in debt and $2.5 billion in inventories, and comes after Glencore said last month it was stepping up its debt reduction plan by unloading more assets. click here.

 Apr 07 - Monsanto cools on large-scale M&A outlook, profit falls
Monsanto Co on Wednesday effectively pulled itself out of the mergers-and-acquisitions flurry in the seeds and agrochemicals industry, nearly a year after making a bid for rival Syngenta AG. The St. Louis-based company, which also reported a drop in second-quarter earnings, now sees its best dealmaking opportunities in smaller acquisitions, licensing deals and partnerships, its CEO Hugh Grant said. click here.

 Apr 07 - Corn refiners group drops push to change U.S. sugar program
A lobbying group representing corn syrup makers like Archer Daniels Midland Co and Cargill Inc has dropped a push for changes to the U.S. sugar program after making a rare move last year in launching a bid to reform the program. The Corn Refiners Association (CRA), part of the powerful U.S. corn lobby, has halted its efforts push to reform the U.S. farm program for sugar, an intricate network of price supports and import quota often criticized by free-trade advocates. click here.

 Apr 07 - Moroccan wheat trade seeks longer import window after drought - sources
Millers and wheat importers in Morocco have asked the government to extend an import window and allow an earlier start to next season's imports, as a severe drought threatens to slash the local grain harvest, trade sources said. Cereal production in Morocco is expected to slump from a record 11 million tonnes last year to between 3 and 4 million in 2016, officials and analysts say. click here.

 Apr 07 - Egypt's GASC says seeks wheat for May 10-20 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from May 10-20. Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of GASC, said the authority is seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. click here.

 Apr 07 - Informa Economics raises Argentina crop estimates - trade
Informa Economics, the private analytics firm, on Wednesday raised its estimates of 2015/16 corn and soybean production in Argentina while lowering its estimate of Brazil's soybean crop, trade sources said. In a monthly report, the firm projected Argentina's 2015/16 corn harvest at 27.5 million tonnes, up from 27.0 million previously. Informa estimated Argentina's soybean crop at 59.5 million tonnes, up from 59.0 million last month. click here.

 Apr 07 - Brazil's Vale, Yara deny in talks over fertilizer unit stake
Vale SA denied a report on Wednesday that it was negotiating a sale of fertilizer assets to Norway's Yara International as the Brazilian miner seeks to raise cash following its biggest quarterly loss in decades. Valor Economico, a Brazilian business newspaper, reported Vale could sell a minority stake in its fertilizer unit by the end of the year and suggested the Norwegian firm would be a good match for the assets. Citing unnamed sources, Valor said the deal could yield Vale $1.2 billion. click here.

Apr 06 - ADM starts expansion of Santos grain terminal in Brazil
U.S. trader Archer Daniels Midland said on Tuesday it has begun work on expanding its bulk grains terminal and silo space at Brazil's port of Santos. Greg Morris, ADM's head of processing, said in a statement the work will raise the company's capacity to move grains through the terminal to 8 million tonnes from a current 6 million tonnes annually. click here.

Apr 06 - Glencore in talks to sell stake in agri business to CPPIB - WSJ
Miner and commodity trader Glencore Plc is in advanced talks to sell a stake in its agricultural business to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The CPPIB would take a stake of up to 40 percent, valuing the business at about $6 billion, the Journal reported on Tuesday, citing a source. click here.

Apr 06 - South Africa expects to source enough white maize this year - minister
Drought-stricken South Africa should be able to import enough white maize to meet the needs of consumers who regard the yellow variety as only fit for livestock, Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said on Tuesday. In South Africa, white maize is made into what is known locally as "pap", the main source of calories for many households, but a critical shortage looms after the country experienced its driest year on record in 2015. click here.

 Apr 06 - POLL-Analysts see U.S. wheat ratings at 57.6 pct good/excellent
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's first weekly national crop progress report for 2016 is expected to show the U.S. winter wheat crop in better-than-average condition, according to a survey of eight analysts on Tuesday. Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast that the USDA will rate 57.6 percent of the winter wheat crop as good to excellent, compared with 44 percent for this time last year and the five-year average of 42 percent. click here.

 Apr 06 - Brazil takes Indonesia, Thailand to WTO over beef and sugar
Brazil has launched two complaints at the World Trade Organization to challenge Indonesia over its restrictions on Brazilian beef and Thailand over support given to its sugar sector, the WTO said on Tuesday. Brazil is challenging an effective import ban on certain bovine meat products in Indonesia, which Brazil said discriminated against its imports, the WTO said. click here.

 Apr 06 - U.S. ethanol exports drop sharply in February, raising concerns
U.S. exports of fuel ethanol totaled 253.7 million liters (67 million gallons) in February, plunging by more than 20 percent year-over-year, government data showed on Tuesday, raising worries among some traders over stagnating demand as inventories swell. Total exports also were down over 20 percent from the prior month. That came as demand from China, which was the top consumer in January dropped by nearly 70 percent to 33.7 million liters, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed. click here.

Apr 05 - Malaysian Palm-oil Futures End Lower on Export Concerns (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices close lower Tuesday, weighed by weak investor sentiment on worries of sluggish exports. The "pace of exports may slow down as export tax comes in," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia imposed a 5% tax on crude palm-oil exports from April, ending a duty-free policy held since May last year. Benchmark June crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives end MYR13 lower at MYR2757/ton.

Apr 05 - Farmer belt-tightening threatens U.S. ag companies' profits
North Dakota farmer Randy Thompson plans to apply 30 percent less nitrogen fertilizer to his corn this year to save money in the face of crashing crop prices. In Minnesota, Andy Pulk is trucking crop nutrients to his farm from 350 miles (563.3 km) away because he found a better price than his local cooperative could offer. He has also halted purchases of machinery. click here.

 Apr 05 - Poor weather may cut east European wheat harvest
Bad weather during winter and spring sowing campaigns is likely to reduce the wheat harvest in top east European wheat producers Russia, Ukraine and Romania, analysts and forecasters said. The wheat crop in Ukraine is likely to fall 35 percent to around 17 million tonnes this year, the state weather centre's Tetyana Adamenko said, adding that of the 6 million hectares sowed for the 2016 winter wheat harvest, only about 5 million hectares is likely to be threshed. click here.

 Apr 05 - Burkina Faso seeks $84 mln from Monsanto over GM cotton strain
Burkina Faso's cotton association is seeking 48.3 billion CFA francs ($83.91 million) in compensation from U.S. seed company Monsanto after it said genetically modified cotton led to a drop in quality, association members said on Monday. Cotton is the second-biggest source of revenue for the impoverished West African country after gold. click here.

 Apr 05 - Russian wheat export prices flat on weak demand
Russian wheat export prices were flat last week due to weak demand and the rouble's volatility, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $182 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, unchanged from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

 Apr 05 - France's Saipol changes rapeseed contracts in bid to cut costs
France's largest rapeseed buyer Avril has raised the oil content benchmark in its contracts for next season, as it seeks to reduce the quality premium it pays, but the move has stalled forward sales with suppliers reluctant to follow. In a bid to cut costs amid struggling crushing and biodiesel activities, Avril's vegetable oil branch Saipol, told suppliers it would use an oil content basis at 42 percent in contracts for the 2016/17 season, up from a commonly used 40 percent, Avril Deputy CEO and Saipol Chairman Yves Delaine said. click here.

Apr 05 - Malaysia's end-March palm oil stocks seen at 1-year low
Malaysian palm oil inventories in March are forecast to have dropped below 2 million tonnes, breaching that level for the first time in a year, with production coming in at the weakest for the month since 2007, a Reuters survey showed. Shrinking stockpiles at the world's No.2 palm oil producer as a crop-damaging El Nino weather pattern crimps output could underpin benchmark prices of the tropical oil, which have risen over the past two months and reached a two-year high of 2,793 ringgit ($713.05) per tonne last week. click here.

Apr 04 - Malaysian Palm-oil Futures End Higher on Investor Optimism (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures close higher Monday as investors continue to be optimistic about a fall in crude palm oil production. The market sentiment has been guided by expectations of slower output owing to adverse weather conditions, contributing to declining inventories in the country, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He expects palm-oil futures to range between MYR2650/ton and MYR2800/ton. Benchmark June crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives last traded MYR25 higher at MYR2773/ton.

Apr 04 - As China reforms its corn market, farmers switch to growing soybeans
Wang Zhonghai, a 49-year-old farmer in China's top corn producing province of Heilongjiang, plans to switch 80 percent of his land to cultivate soybeans this year as the government ends a near decade-old corn price support scheme. China announced last week it will stop its corn stockpiling programme and allow markets to set prices - a move that should transform the agricultural landscape as farmers shift to more lucrative crops like soybeans, rice and peanuts. click here.

 Apr 04 - IGC sees record grain supplies in 2016/17 season
Global grain supplies should remain at record levels in the upcoming 2016/17 season which begins in July, the International Grains Council said on Friday. The IGC, in a monthly update, projected world corn (maize) production would climb to 993 million tonnes, up from the prior season's 972 million but still below a record 1.02 billion harvested in the 2014/15 season.  click here.

 Apr 04 - As Indonesian forests burn, new anti-fire agency feels heat
As forest fires raged like never before across Indonesia last year, President Joko Widodo announced he was setting up a special agency to tackle the annual scourge that shrouds parts of Southeast Asia in choking haze. But, with this season's fires already blazing, the Peatlands Restoration Agency has barely got off the ground and has a huge task ahead of it. click here.

 Apr 04 - Egypt's GASC postpones international rice tender until Tuesday
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said it postponed an international rice tender until Tuesday. The tender was postponed in order to complete letters of guarantee from suppliers, its vice chairman Mamdouh Abdel told Reuters. click here.

 Apr 04 - French soft wheat ratings still at five-year high
Some 92 percent of France's soft wheat crops were in good or excellent condition as of March 28, unchanged from a week earlier and still the highest level for the period in five years, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday. The latest weekly rating was slightly above the year-ago rating of 91 percent, FranceAgriMer said in a weekly crop report. click here.

 Apr 04 - Brazil pivots from corn to soy in early start to grain export season
In an early start to Brazil's grain export season, soybeans have overtaken corn at the country's ports in March and are expected to dominate bulk loading for the coming several months, trade data showed on Friday. Corn export still dominated grain exports in the first quarter after record shipments in the past several months, Trade Ministry said in its March trade report. Corn exports totaled a record 11.8 million tonnes from January through March, up from 4.9 million tonnes over the same period a year ago. click here.

Apr 04 - Asian CPO Trading Weaker, Hurt by Stronger Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil futures decline Monday as a stronger ringgit pulls the market down. A stronger Malaysian currency makes palm oil more expensive for foreign currency holders, as vegetable oil is traded in ringgit. Prices ended higher in the previous session on optimism about a fall in production. Benchmark June crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives are trading MYR19 lower at MYR2729/ton.

Apr 01 - As El Nino lingers, some Australia farmers may have to 'dry sow' wheat
Farmers in the east of Australia may be forced to sow wheat in dry land as much-needed rains are yet to arrive due to a lingering El Nino weather pattern, threatening output in one of the largest growing regions of the world's No.4 grain exporter. Last month, east coast wheat production was expected to rebound in the 2016/17 season following two years of dry weather, with the impact of El Nino seen easing as the weather phenomenon fades towards June. click here.

 Apr 01 - U.S. farmers' acreage plans not set in stone as corn price drops
U.S. farmers could plant more soybean acres than suggested in the government's acreage forecast issued on Thursday as recent gains in the futures market tempted them to alter their corn-heavy seeding plans, growers and analysts said. The U.S. Agriculture Department report showed farmers intend to plant 93.601 million acres of corn this spring, the third most since 1944. That forecast raised the prospect of adding more supplies to an already huge stockpile, sending corn prices into a tailspin and causing growers to question their seeding choices. click here.

 Apr 01 - U.S. soybean export premiums hit 4-1/2-year low on abundant supply
Cash premiums for export-bound soybeans at the U.S. Gulf Coast, the country's largest bulk grain port, slumped to their lowest in 4-1/2 years on Thursday as recent waves of farmer sales have flooded the market with beans at a time when demand is waning. Despite the drop in prices, U.S. Gulf soybean exporters are still struggling to compete with cheaper shipments of newly harvested South American soybeans, traders and analysts said. click here.

Apr 01 - Egypt will ban rice exports amid shortages
Egypt will ban rice exports from April 4 in order to preserve stocks for the local market and to combat rising prices, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said in a statement on Thursday. Egypt lifted a previous ban on the crop last October due to an expected surplus and imposed an export tariff of 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($255.43) a tonne, but that decision is set to expire on April 3.  click here.

Mar 31 - Malaysian Palm-oil Futures Edge Lower on a Stronger Currency (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end weaker Thursday, pulled down by a stronger ringgit. "A strengthening ringgit could further deter demand for crude palm-oil," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He expects prices to range between 2620 ringgit a ton and 2,800 ringgit a ton. Benchmark June crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives close MYR24 lower at MYR2721/ton.

Mar 31 - Sour time for China's hog farmers swells pork imports
An exodus of small pig farmers in China is prolonging an industry downturn that will see the world's biggest pork producer and consumer challenge Japan as the top importer in 2016 for the first time. Despite a recent surge in pork prices, millions of small farmers quit the industry last year after two years of low prices and the introduction of tough new environmental rules. Their exit has reduced the number of breeding sows and curbed China's ability to quickly rebuild its herd. click here.

 Mar 31 - Brazil imports record corn, sells stocks to contain prices
To ease near record prices for corn, Brazil's government on Wednesday announced it would sell public stocks and proposed dropping import taxes for the grain, while the livestock industry said it booked imports of 500,000 tonnes through May. The Agriculture Ministry's coordinator of grains, Silvio Farnese, said a total of 160,000 tonnes of corn from government stockpiles would be sold at local market price to small livestock producers, with a focus on the northeast and south of the country. click here.

 Mar 31 - South Africa's 2016 maize crop seen down nearly 30 pct on drought
South Africa will likely harvest 7.1 million tonnes of maize in 2016, 29 percent less than the 9.95 million tonnes reaped last year because of a drought and late plantings, a government agency said on Wednesday. The forecast harvest, which the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said would be the smallest crop since 2007, is above market expectations of 6.77 million tonnes, according to a Reuters' poll of traders. click here.

 Mar 31 - Egypt's GASC says adds Bulgaria as wheat supplier in tenders
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) will add Bulgaria to the list of potential suppliers of wheat starting with its next import tender, GASC Vice Chairman Mamdouh Abdel Fattah said on Wednesday. Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, generally seeks to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Romania. Poland was the last country added to the list, in 2012. click here.

 Mar 31 - Drought cuts output of Zimbabwe's top export earner tobacco
Production of tobacco, Zimbabwe's biggest export earner, is expected to fall 15 percent to 160 million kilogrammes this season following a drought that has left millions facing hunger, an industry survey showed on Wednesday. Zimbabwe earned $855 million from tobacco sales in 2015, nearly a third of its total exports and far outpacing receipts from platinum or gold. click here.

Mar 30 - Asian Crude-Palm Oil Ends Lower on Stronger Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude-palm-oil prices closed lower Wednesday, weighed down by a stronger ringgit. "The stronger currency may dampen exports," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He says he expects palm-oil futures to trade between 2,650 ringgit ($669) a metric ton and MYR2,780 a ton. Benchmark June crude-palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed MYR30 lower at MYR2,749/ton.

Mar 30 - End of China's corn stockpiling threatens global feed - grain trade
Grain traders worried on Tuesday about the risk for reduced demand from China after the government said it would scrap its corn stockpiling program at a time when global markets are awash with excess supplies. Traders said importers in China would likely reduce purchases of farm products used to feed livestock, including sorghum and the ethanol byproduct distiller’s dried grains (DDGs). They said the policy shift is expected to bring domestic corn prices in line with cheaper foreign supplies. click here.

 Mar 30 - Brazil demand for Argentine corn seen as short-term
After surprising grain markets this week with its biggest purchase of Argentine corn in over 15 years, traders said Brazil's import needs were not likely to persist beyond the start of winter harvest due onstream in the second half of 2016. For the coming few months, however, Brazil's demand should help support corn futures prices, which have gained 5.6 percent in March to close up at $3.73 a bushel on Tuesday. click here.

 Mar 30 - Rain delays corn planting in the U.S. Delta, Midwest could be next -Braun
The U.S. 2016 spring crop sowing campaign is officially underway and corn is already behind schedule, with recent heavy rains being the likely culprit. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that corn planting progress is significantly lagging average pace in the southern Mississippi Delta states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. click here.

 Mar 30 - China delays new Canadian canola standard after talks
China has delayed implementing a tougher standard on Canadian canola shipments, just days before it was to take effect, as a result of talks between the countries. For six years, Beijing has raised concerns about possible transmission of blackleg disease, caused by a fungus, to Chinese crops, putting at risk some C$2.1 billion ($1.60 billion) in Canadian exports. click here.

 Mar 30 - Euronext to add more wheat silos at ports, mulls inland warrants
Euronext is to expand the number of port delivery points for wheat traded on its Paris-based futures market and is considering a system of storage certificates to cater for inland grain operators, the European exchange said on Tuesday. Its steps to reinforce its wheat futures, a price benchmark for the European market, come after it scrapped a short-lived premium wheat product, and as CME Group is moving closer to launching a rival European wheat contract.  click here.

 Mar 30 - Danone ends sale of Karicare infant formula in China
Danone Nutricia has cut sales to China of a baby formula brand that was caught up in the 2013 botulism contamination scare, the company said on Wednesday. "Danone Nutricia has recently stopped supplying Karicare," a Danone Nutricia spokeswoman said in an email, referring to the company's China sales of the New-Zealand made infant formula. click here.

 Mar 30 - K+S to suspend production at Hattorf and Unterbreizbach mines
German potash miner K+S said that limits imposed by local authorities on salt waste water disposal are forcing it to temporarily suspend production at two mines. Potash production at the Hattorf and Unterbreizbach sites will be temporarily suspended from Friday, April 1, it said in a statement on Tuesday. click here.

 Mar 30 - WTO rules for some Argentina claims in EU anti-dumping biodiesel duty row
The World Trade Organization ruled on Tuesday in favour of several claims by Argentina against anti-dumping duties imposed on its biodiesel imports by the European Union, but said the EU regulation at the heart of the dispute did not violate WTO rules. The ruling by a WTO dispute panel in the case, begun in late 2013, called on the EU to bring its measures into conformity. Both sides have 60 days to appeal. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Mar 29 - Asian CPO Ends Higher; Lower Production Expected (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil futures continue to push higher in anticipation of lower output. Investors are hoping that "inventories may continue to decline for another month," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He expects palm-oil prices to range between 2650 ringgit a ton and 2780 ringgit a ton. Benchmark June crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives close MYR19 higher at MYR2781/ton.

Mar 29 - China says to end state corn stockpiling, free up prices
China plans to scrap its nine-year-old corn stockpiling system and allow markets to determine prices for the grain, pushing to end a widening gap between domestic and international prices that has led to a surge of cheaper imports. The government will instead subsidise corn growers and encourage commercial firms to buy grain from farmers at market prices, the State Administration of Grain said in a statement on Tuesday. click here.

 Mar 29 - Ramadan unlikely to save slumping Muslim palm oil demand
Malaysia's palm oil exports to predominately Muslim countries have been falling as rising prices for the tropical oil and weak domestic currencies are limiting imports, and the high-consumption period of Ramadan is unlikely to turn the trend. This could limit gains for benchmark palm oil prices that have rallied to a two-year high on concerns that output from the main Southeast Asian growers will fall this year because of drought caused by the El Nino weather pattern. Prices have gained 8 percent this month, rising for a second month in a row.  click here.

 Mar 29 - Facing losses and grain glut, U.S. farmers to plant more corn
Three years into a grain market slump, U.S. farmers are set to plant more corn, taking a calculated gamble that higher sales will help them make up for falling prices without triggering even more declines. Forecasts suggest that at current prices growers will be able to cover their variable expenses such as seed and fertilizer. By planting more and scrimping on everything from labor to crop chemicals, farmers hope to cover a portion of hefty fixed costs, including land rents. click here.

 Mar 29 - China's milk stockpile leaves New Zealand dairy farmers struggling
China once helped drive global dairy demand but its stockpiling of powdered milk sent prices plunging and has left farmers in the world's top milk exporter, New Zealand, struggling to stay afloat and its agriculture-dependent economy facing risks. New Zealand's dairy sector was until recently the backbone of the economy, representing around 25 percent of exports, but in the past two years farmers have had NZ$7 billion ($4.74 billion) wiped off their collective revenue. click here.

 Mar 29 - China, Canada in talks as tougher canola standard nears
Canada and China are in talks about Beijing's plans to toughen its standard on Canadian canola imports, an industry official said on Monday, just days before the change takes effect. China's quarantine authority, AQSIQ, notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) last month that it would allow no more than 1 percent of foreign material, such as straw and seeds from other plants, in canola shipments starting April 1. The current limit is 2.5 percent. click here.

 Mar 29 - U.S. hog herd ekes out new quarterly high as pig virus impact abates
The U.S. hog herd in the December-February quarter modestly grew from a year earlier to a record high for that quarter, according to Friday's U.S. Department of Agriculture's quarterly hog report. Farmers cautiously added to herds while shoring up their bottom lines following the surge in hog numbers as the industry recovers from a deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), said industry economists following the report. click here.

 Mar 29 - Egypt's GASC again cancels tender to buy rice
Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Monday it had cancelled an international tender to buy an unspecified amount of rice. GASC Vice chairman Mamdouh Abdel Fattah did not give a reason for the cancellation. click here.

 Mar 29 - Unable to sell cattle, Indian farmers have a beef with Modi's BJP
A ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter in India's richest state is threatening to push millions of farmers into penury, deepening distress in the countryside and fanning resentment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party. Slaughter of cows, considered sacred in Hinduism, has historically been banned in most states but was rarely enforced in India, the world's largest exporter of beef. click here.

 Mar 29 - Russian wheat export prices up slightly last week
Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week following a recent strengthening of the rouble against the dollar, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for supply in April were at $183 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

Mar 25 - MIDF Upgrades Crude Palm Forecast With El Nino Impact in Mind (Dow Jones)
MIDF upgrades its forecast on average crude palm oil (CPO) prices for this year as it sees
severe stockpile depletion in the second quarter of this year as dry weather pattern El Nino strikes. The Kuala Lumpur-based research house upgrades its average crude-palm price forecast for 2016 by 6.5% higher to 2,450 per metric ton from 2,300 per metric ton previously. MIDF adds that the U.S may produce less soybean than previously estimated, and that low crude oil price are not expected to affect CPO prices. MIDF maintains positive on Malaysia's plantation sector with IOI Corp (1961.KU) as its top pick.

Mar 24 - New titans on the block: ABCDs lose top Brazil grains spot to Asian rivals
The world's top grain trading houses Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge Ltd Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, have lost their century-old dominance of Brazil's grains export market to their Asian rivals, data shows. An analysis of shipping data by Reuters found that Asian trading houses, including China's state-owned COFCO, bought 45 percent of the country's soybean, corn and soybean meal exports last year. By comparison, the share purchased by the traders known collectively by the acronym "ABCD" was 37 percent. click here.

 Mar 24 - Egypt supply minister says close to wiping out graft in wheat sector
Egypt's supply minister said the world's top wheat buyer is close to eradicating graft in its strategic sector, defending the country's management of the system against criticisms that it is vulnerable to corruption. He said authorities distribute 6 billion loaves of bread to citizens each month and that a smart card system rolled out in 2014 had virtually ended graft in the system. click here.

 Mar 24 - CME closer to EU wheat contract after silo breakthrough - sources
CME Group has moved closer to launching long-planned European Union wheat futures after resolving contract issues with grain silo operators in France, trade sources said. CME, the world's largest futures exchange, could announce its EU wheat market within weeks, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the plans are still confidential. click here.

 Mar 24 - USDA regulators clear two GM corn traits from Monsanto, Syngenta
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will no longer regulate a genetically-modified corn developed by Monsanto Co to resist its dicamba herbicide, the agency said on Wednesday. The move by the agency's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), means it can now be planted without permits or any additional regulatory oversight from the agency. click here.

 Mar 24 - South Africa seen cutting maize forecast by almost 7 percent
South Africa will cut its 2016 maize forecast by almost 7 percent as late rains have failed to provide enough relief for a crop scorched by drought, a Reuters poll of five traders and market analysts showed on Wednesday. Maize is South Africa's staple food and the price of the white variety, used for human consumption, doubled last year and is pressuring inflation, which accelerated to 7 percent in February, its highest in seven years, from 6.2 percent in January. click here.

 Mar 24 - More wheat than projected may be hiding out in Europe - Braun
This year’s wheat harvest in the European Union is likely to add even more to the global wheat glut than industry estimates would have you think. On Monday, EU’s crop monitoring service, MARS, released its first yield estimates for this year’s grain and oilseed crops in the EU, which produces more wheat than any single country in the world. The message on wheat was similar to recent outlooks from other agencies - namely, that conditions are good but yields are expected to fall from last year’s record levels. click here.

 Mar 24 - Argentina forecasts record corn crop, far exceeding estimates
Argentina will harvest a record 37 million tonnes of corn this season, the government said on Wednesday, blowing past all previous estimates after a surge in late planting spurred by the lowering of export barriers by President Mauricio Macri. The forecast, which included an unspecified amount of corn used as livestock feed, dwarfed the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 27 million-tonne estimate for Argentina's 2015/16 corn harvest. click here.

 Mar 24 - ADM sues Canadian Pacific over 2013-14 rail service disruptions
Archer Daniels Midland Co has filed a lawsuit against Canadian Pacific over service disruptions in 2013 and 2014 at crop-processing plants in North Dakota and Minnesota, alleging they stemmed partly from cost-cutting and the Canadian railroad's pursuit of merger partners. Chicago-based ADM, one of the world's largest grain traders and processors, filed suit against CP in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois last Friday, seeking damages "resulting from one of the worst and most persistent railroad service failures experienced by ADM in many years." But that same day, the railroad filed a claim against ADM in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota seeking payment of overdue charges. click here.

Mar 23 - Asian Crude-Palm Oil Ends Lower on Stronger Ringgit (Dow Jones)
Asian crude-palm-oil prices closed lower Wednesday, hurt by a stronger Malaysian ringgit. "Going forward, a strong currency may hamper demand," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He says he expects crude-palm-oil prices to range between 2,580 ringgit ($646) and MYR2,730 a metric ton. Benchmark June crude-palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed MYR13 lower at MYR2,700 a ton.

Mar 23 - Big Corn finds unlikely allies in US biofuel push: carmakers and drivers
U.S. corn producers may have found two unlikely allies in their decade-long battle with big oil to get ethanol into the nation’s fuel stream: automobile manufacturers and American drivers. The auto industry's slow, somewhat grudging acceptance of government policy on renewable fuels and bumper car sales will ultimately challenge the petroleum industry's concept of a "blend wall" - a 10 percent saturation point for ethanol in motor fuel if there is no overhaul in vehicles and at the pump. click here.

 Mar 23 - Fonterra advances dividends on profit surge, but NZ farmers seen struggling
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra promised to bring forward dividends on Wednesday, as the same slide in milk prices that helped it more than double first-half profit continues to eat into revenue for the co-operative's farmer-shareholders. "There's unprecedented pressure on them (farmers), it's very tough for those families," said Fonterra chairman John Wilson. The firm earlier reported lower milk purchase costs helped its July-December net profit jump 123 percent to NZ$409 million ($276 million), in line with estimates. click here.

 Mar 23 - Russian wheat export prices up slightly on stronger rouble
Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week as the rouble strengthened against the dollar, analysts said. The recent rise in the rouble is making wheat from Russia, a major global exporter to North Africa and the Middle East, less competitive with supplies from rivals such as France, Romania and Ukraine. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $180 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

 Mar 23 - ConAgra to disclose GMOs on labels throughout U.S.
ConAgra Foods Inc on Tuesday joined other food giants in plans to use labels that disclose the presence of genetically modified organisms or GMOs in its food throughout the United States. ConAgra and other food companies such as Campbell Soup Co, General Mills Inc and Kellogg Co have decided to use such labels nationwide, finding it to be the easiest way to comply with a Vermont law. click here.

 Mar 23 - Lebanese health ministry refers contaminated wheat import case to prosecutor
Lebanon's public health ministry referred a case of contaminated Russian wheat imports to a branch of the public prosecutor's office on Tuesday, the state news agency said, following a dispute with the economy ministry over test results showing unacceptable levels of a toxin. Public Health Minister Wael Abu Faour has said tests carried out by his ministry in February showed unacceptable levels of a carcinogenic substance, ochratoxin, in wheat imports from Russia. click here.

 Mar 23 - We can't pay: Zimbabwe farmers resist compensating evicted white landowners
Zimbabwe's plan to win back international funding by paying compensation to white farmers forced off their land faces a major snag: the black farmers expected to stump up the cash say they don't have it. The new occupants working the land, many of who had few farming skills when they were resettled, say they can barely make ends meet, let alone pay an extra levy.  click here.

 Mar 23 - France finds suspected mad cow case
France has found a suspected case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the northeastern region of Ardennes, the farm ministry said on Tuesday. If confirmed, it would be the first case of BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease, in France since 2004. That could hit beef exports at a time when livestock farmers are already struggling. click here.

 Mar 23 - Growing U.S. cattle herd, beef demand offer hope to struggling feedlots
Cheaper feed and more cattle should help stem losses for U.S. feedlots this year, livestock analysts say, keeping beef supplies flowing just as demand starts to pick up. That should translate into lower prices for hamburgers and steaks for consumers, as it could help keep feedlots in operation and avoid costly bottlenecks in beef production. click here.

Mar 22 - Asian Crude Palm Oil Prices End Higher (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end higher Tuesday lifted by hopes of a fall in palm-oil output in top-producer Malaysia. "Persistent dry conditions may continue to hamper production growth in the country," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He expects crude palm-oil prices to trade between 2650 ringgit a ton and 2750 ringgit a ton. Benchmark June crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives close MYR27 higher at MYR2712/ton Tuesday.

Mar 22 - Philippines expects to miss Q1 rice, corn output forecasts
The Philippines' rice and corn harvests in the first quarter are expected to be below its forecasts due to insufficient water supply and intense heat brought about by the El Nino weather phenomenon, the government said on Tuesday. Unmilled rice output in the March quarter is estimated at 4.07 million tonnes, 1.9 percent below a previous forecast of 4.15 million tonnes, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a report, citing a survey of standing crops as of February 1. That would be 6.8 percent lower than the volume in the same period last year. click here.

 Mar 22 - EU crop monitor sees 5 pct drop in wheat, winter barley yields
Soft wheat and winter barley crops in the European Union should see yields fall nearly 5 percent this year, while those of maize could jump by nearly 11 percent after a severe drought last year, the EU's crop monitoring service MARS forecast on Monday. In its first forecasts for this year's harvest, the unit put the average soft wheat yield in the 28-country bloc at 5.96 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), down 4.8 percent from 6.26 t/ha in 2015. click here.

 Mar 22 - Weekend freeze in U.S. Plains nips hard red winter wheat crop
A cold snap this weekend likely hurt hard red winter (HRW) wheat in a portion of the southern U.S. Plains, but the extent of any damage will not be known for several days or more, meteorologists and crop experts said on Monday. Temperatures dropped into the teens Fahrenheit (minus 10.5 to minus 7.2 Celsius) in portions of the Plains for several hours on Saturday and Sunday, colder than forecasters had expected. click here.

 Mar 22 - Louis Dreyfus profits fall, seeks partners
Louis Dreyfus is seeking partners for some of its businesses to help the commodity trading group to weather a market downturn that hit full-year profits. Lower prices, plentiful supply and faltering economic growth in emerging economies have put pressure on commodity traders like Louis Dreyfus that collect, export and process crops. click here.

 Mar 22 - India could impose penalties for delay in settling crop insurance claim
The Indian government is looking at imposing penalties for delaying farmers' settlement claims under the new crop insurance plan, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal said on Tuesday. click here.

Mar 21 - Asian Crude-Palm Oil Ends Higher on Robust Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude-palm-oil futures ended marginally higher Monday, supported by stronger export numbers from cargo surveyors. Data released by Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm-oil exports rose 19.8% on month to 712,954 metric tons during the March 1-20 period, while SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. projected exports rose 23.2% to 717,670 tons. But Philip Futures analyst David Ng in Kuala Lumpur cautioned that the ringgit's appreciation "will continue to exert pressure on delivery." Benchmark June crude-palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed 5 ringgit ($1.23) higher at MYR2,684 a ton.

Mar 21 - Monsanto shows interest in Bayer's crop science unit - sources
Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed producer, has approached Bayer AG to express interest in its crop science unit, including a potential acquisition worth more than $30 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The move underscores Monsanto's unabated expansion drive after Switzerland's Syngenta AG rejected its takeover approaches last year and agreed earlier this year to be acquired by ChemChina for $43 billion. click here.

Mar 21 - China to start state cotton sales after mid-April - official
China's government may begin selling its bulging state cotton reserves starting from the middle of April, with a priority to offer good-quality cotton, including imported fibre, a government official said last week. Yin Jian, a division chief with the National Development and Reform Commission, told an industry conference on Friday that the sales would be held regularly, with the additional aim of reducing the financial burden to the government. click here.

Mar 21 - India hopes to harvest at least 93 mln T wheat despite rains - minister
India expects to harvest at least 92 million tonnes of wheat this year despite rains and hail pummelling the crop, the farm minister said on Saturday, almost in line with the previous government forecast. "The recent untimely rains and hailstorms in some parts of the country have caused some damage but, as per the present assessment, production of wheat in the country will still be around 92-93 million tonnes," Radha Mohan Singh said in a statement. click here.

 Mar 21 - Argentine corn exports surge, challenge No.1 world supplier U.S.
Argentine farmers are racing to sell their corn stockpiles at a record pace after the new government ditched years-old export controls, unleashing fresh supplies onto a saturated global market and potentially hurting prices. Due to a surge in late-season planting, Argentina's usual corn export window will be delayed by two months into August, providing further competition for U.S. growers already pressured by the strong U.S. dollar and supplies from top South American grower Brazil. click here.

 Mar 21 - EU wants stricter position limits for food commodities
Tougher market share limits on food commodities traded in the European Union from January 2018 are needed, the bloc's executive body said in a letter this week. Position limits come under the umbrella of a new EU law called Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), with rules being fleshed out by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).  click here.

 Mar 21 - India's rapeseed output to rise 16 pct to 5.8 mln T - trade body
India is likely to produce 5.8 million tonnes of rapeseed in 2015/16, up 16 percent from a year ago, thanks to beneficial weather conditions in key producing northern states, the head of the Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade (COOIT) told Reuters on Sunday. Rapeseed is the main winter-sown oilseed in India and higher production will help the country to limit edible oils imports. click here.

 Mar 21 - Euronext suspends illiquid premium wheat futures
Euronext is suspending trading in its premium milling wheat futures and options after Friday's close due to a lack of liquidity and will not issue any new delivery positions, the European exchange said. "All listed delivery months of the Premium Milling Wheat Futures and Options contracts have no open interest," it said in a statement. "Euronext has decided to suspend trading on these delivery months with immediate effect." click here.

 Mar 21 - France moves towards full ban on pesticides blamed for harming bees
French lawmakers approved plans for a total ban on some widely used pesticides blamed for harming bees, going beyond European Union restrictions in a fierce debate that has pitched farmers and chemical firms against beekeepers and green groups. The EU limited the use of neonicotinoid chemicals, produced by companies including Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, two years ago after research pointed to risks for bees, which play a crucial role pollinating crops. click here.

Mar 18 - Malaysian Palm Oil Producers Blast France's 'Discriminatory' Tax (Dow Jones)
The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) says Friday it condemns efforts by the governing party of France, the Socialists, to impose a "discriminatory" tax on palm oil produced in the developing world. A new analysis commissioned by the MPOC finds no economic rationale for the new tax and, in fact, finds it to be disproportionate and discriminatory, it says in a press statement on Friday morning. France on Thursday decides to slap an additional tax of 90 euros per metric ton, to 194 euros, on palm oil used in food from 2017 onwards, to penalize producers for the environmental damage caused by palm oil plantations, according to reports. "The proposed tax is based on the flimsy ground that palm oil is under-taxed in France," MPOC chief executive officer Yusof Basiron says. "This action clearly undermines the national development goals of developing countries. The differential tax proposal is a clear violation of both World Trade Organization and European Union rules," he adds.

Mar 18 - Higher French Tax Won't Impact Crude Palm Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
France's decision on Thursday to slap an additional tax of EUR90 per metric ton to EUR194 on
palm oil used in food from 2017 onwards won't likely impact crude palm oil prices, says MIDF Research. Justification for the increase is to reflect the environmental damage palm oil plantations can cause, according to reports. Malaysia palm oil exports to France last year totalled just 11,156 tons, or less than 0.1% of Malaysia's total palm oil exports of 17.45 million tons, the research house says. "Separately, the proposed new tax...is also lower than the initial proposal of 300 Euro," MIDF says. It remains positive on the nation's plantation sector, and says its top pick in the sector is still IOI Corp (1961.KU)

Mar 18 - French assembly adopts softer tax on palm oil used in food
France's plans to impose an additional tax on palm oil used in food from 2017 moved a step closer on Thursday as the National Assembly approved the levy, which has been vehemently opposed by top producers Indonesia and Malaysia.However, the extra tax aimed at encouraging the sector to reduce the environmental damage palm oil plantations can cause, has been sharply reduced from an initial proposal in January and now excludes oils produced in a sustainable way. click here.

 Mar 18 - Strategie Grains lifts EU 2015/16 wheat export view on Polish sales
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday increased its forecast of European Union soft wheat exports this season, mainly due to strong Polish shipments, but said the extra demand made little difference to a bearish supply outlook in the EU.Strategie Grains put EU soft wheat exports in the current 2015/16 marketing season at 28.8 million tonnes, up from 28.3 million projected last month although still well below a record volume last season estimated at 32.5 million. click here.

 Mar 18 - India cancels corn import tender, puts off plans to buy more-sources
India has cancelled a tender to import 240,000 tonnes of corn, trade and government sources said, hoping for a bigger-than-expected local summer harvest and following uncertainty over the availability of non-genetically modified corn as demanded.Global traders such as Agrocorp, Concordia, Noble, Starcom and Daewoo International submitted bids on Feb. 12 to supply 240,000 tonnes of corn in a range of $194.62 and $221.50 per tonne. click here.

  Mar 18 - U.S. Senate blocks bill that would override state GMO labeling laws
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday blocked a bill that would nullify state and local efforts requiring food makers to label products made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, as the industry races to stop a Vermont law from taking effect July 1.The proposed legislation, from Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, comes amid growing calls for transparency in the U.S. food system. Labeling advocates oppose the bill because it leaves the decision to disclose GMO ingredients to the companies whose products contain them. click here.

Mar 17 - Asian Crude Palm Tracks Oil Higher (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices rally to another high for the month lifted by positive sentiment over the energy market, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. Hopes for a production drop amid the dry season also boosts market sentiment, he adds. He expects prices to hover between 2550 ringgit a ton and 2700 ringgit a ton. Benchmark June crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives close 43 ringgit higher at 2654 ringgit/ton Thursday.

Mar 17 - Future of Egypt's wheat supplies hangs on FAO analysis - Ag minister
Egypt will allow wheat imports with trace levels of the common ergot fungus, the country's agriculture minister said, while government agencies try to resolve a dispute that has disrupted shipments to the world's biggest wheat buyer.Essam Fayed also told Reuters that no timeframe had been given to an official from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), drafted in to resolve the row on a scientific basis."I will not pressurise anyone," Fayed said in an interview in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi, where he was on an official visit. click here.

 Mar 17 - Australia's CBH says open to change amid takeover battle
Australia's largest grain exporter, Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH), said on Thursday it is open to options with regards its structure, heading off a consortium that is aiming to gain enough shareholder support to revive a takeover bid.Australian Grains Champion (AGC) - a consortium backed by GrainCorp Ltd - is attempting to garner support of 10 percent of CBH's 4,200 shareholders to force an emergency general meeting to demand a vote on the takeover proposal, sources told Reuters earlier this week. click here.

 Mar 17 - India "not scared" if Monsanto leaves, as GM cotton row escalates
U.S. seed company Monsanto is welcome to leave India if it does not want to lower prices of genetically modified cotton seeds as directed by the government, a minister said on Wednesday, in a sign the rift between New Delhi and the firm is widening.The comments come as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist government expects to develop its own genetically modified (GM) cotton varieties early next year to end Monsanto's dominance; it controls over 90 percent of cotton seed supply. click here.

 Mar 17 - U.S. Senate blocks bill that would override state GMO labeling laws
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday blocked a bill that would nullify state and local efforts requiring food makers to label products made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, as the industry races to stop a Vermont law from taking effect July 1.The proposed legislation, from Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, comes amid growing calls for transparency in the U.S. food system. Labeling advocates oppose the bill because it leaves the decision to disclose GMO ingredients to the companies whose products contain them. click here.

 Mar 17 - USDA chief says farmers looking ahead to possible Cuba markets
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that farm officials want to lay the groundwork so American agricultural exporters can seize new opportunities in Cuba if the trade embargo on the country is lifted.The normalization of trade relations would allow U.S. farmers to use lower transportation costs to edge in on the European Union's food exports to Cuba, Vilsack said. click here.

 Mar 17 - Australia dumps "backpacker tax" over farm, Asia export concerns
Australia on Wednesday walked back from a planned tax hike on foreign travellers who work in the country, following concerns from farmers that their supply of "backpacker labour" at harvest times may dry up and undermine Australia's ambitions of being Asia's delicatessen. Australian fruit exports are set to hit a record A$2.27 billion ($1.69 billion) next season, up 10 percent from the previous 2014/15 season, and backpackers on working holiday visas make up the bulk of fruit pickers during harvests. click here.

Mar 16 - How Egypt is struggling to end corruption in wheat
When Egyptian lawyer Ahmed Gad stepped out of a cafe on the outskirts of Cairo to take a call last October, a gunman on the back of a motorcycle trained a semi-automatic rifle on him and opened fire.Three bullets ripped into Gad's right side before his attackers sped off.Gad, who survived, said the men were trying to silence him for his attempts to expose corruption in one of Egypt's most important commodity markets: wheat. click here.

 Mar 16 - U.S. Feb soybean crush tops range of market forecasts - NOPA
U.S. soybean processors slowed their pace of crushing by less than expected last month, notching the third busiest February on record, the National Oilseed Processors Association said on Tuesday.NOPA said that its members crushed 146.181 million bushels of soybeans in February, down from 150.453 million during January. In February 2015, the NOPA crush was 146.970 million bushels. click here.

 Mar 16 - UK wheat exports hit more than 4-year high helped by weak sterling
Britain's wheat exports rose to their highest in more than four years in January buoyed by currency weakness, customs data showed on Tuesday.Exports of 309,640 tonnes marked the highest monthly total since December 2011. Shipments included 175,332 tonnes sent to Spain and 49,737 tonnes to the Netherlands. click here.

 Mar 16 - Rejected suitor for Australia's CBH to push for EGM to revive deal
A takeover consortium spurned by Australia's largest wheat exporter, Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH), will seek to force an emergency meeting of the grain handler in an attempt to revive its bid, two sources said on Tuesday.CBH on Monday rejected a proposal by GrainCorp Ltd backed consortium, Australian Grains Champion (AGC), to acquire and immediately list the bulk grain handler, in a deal value by analysts at up A$3 billion ($2.2 billion). click here.

 Mar 16 - USDA chief says farmers looking ahead to possible Cuba markets
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that farm officials want to lay the groundwork so American agricultural exporters can seize new opportunities in Cuba if the trade embargo on the country is lifted.The normalization of trade relations would allow U.S. farmers to use lower transportation costs to edge in on the European Union's food exports to Cuba, Vilsack said. click here.

 Mar 16 - New Zealand central bank flags dairy risk to lenders
The slump in global dairy prices could put pressure on New Zealand bank earnings under worse-case scenarios modelled by the central bank and released on Wednesday, as China's slowdown wreaks havoc on one of the country's top export earners.The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said stress tests it conducted late last year showed banks would report losses ranging between 3 percent and 8 percent of their dairy exposure, depending on the severity of the price plunge. click here.

 Mar 16 - FAO chief expects food prices to fall further as growth slows
World food prices are seen falling further this year having settled near their lowest in 7 years pressured by slowing economic growth, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) director general said on Tuesday.The FAO's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, has fallen in each of the last four years. click here.

Mar 15 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures End Higher (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures finish higher Tuesday, driven by robust exports that boost investor confidence. Monthly data released by Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm oil exports up 10.55% at 451,499 metric tons during the March 1-15 period. However, figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. showed exports drop marginally 1.1% at 415,686 metric tons on the month. David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur, says the current palm-oil stocks with top-producers Indonesia and Malaysia remains high. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settle MYR18 up at MYR2611/ton Tuesday. It settled at MYR2593/ton Monday.

Mar 15 - Russian wheat exporters seen pressing farmers to downgrade prices
Russian wheat exporters are putting pressure on farmers to reduce domestic prices in response to the strengthening rouble, which makes Russia, a major wheat exporter, less competitive on the global market, analysts said on Monday.Domestic prices in rouble terms are already declining in Russia's southern regions but that does not offset the two percent growth of the rouble currency against the dollar last week.  click here.

 Mar 15 - Malaysia hikes April CPO export duty after 11 months of zero tax
Malaysia raised its tax on crude palm oil (CPO) exports to 5 percent for April, a government circular showed on Tuesday, ending a duty-free policy held since May 2015.The higher tax could dent exports from the world's No.2 palm oil producer after Indonesia and drag benchmark Malaysian prices of the tropical oil, which hit one-month highs this week amid output worries due to a crop-damaging El Nino weather event. click here.

 Mar 15 - NOPA February soy crush seen down as exports slow - poll
U.S. soybean processors likely slowed their crushing pace by 4.8 percent during February, due to weakening demand for soymeal from overseas buyers, analysts and traders said.Analysts were expecting the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) to report that its members crushed 139.942 million bushels of soybeans in February, based on the average of estimates given by six analysts. click here.

 Mar 15 - Egypt's GASC targeting 4-4.5 mln T of local wheat buying in 2016
Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) aims to purchase 4-4.5 million tonnes of domestic wheat this year, GASC Vice Chairman Mamdouh Abdel Fattah told Reuters on Monday.Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, annually fixes a local procurement price for Egyptian wheat that is above global prices in an attempt to encourage farmers to grow the crop. click here.

 Mar 15 - India's GSFC backstops first phase of Karnalyte's Canada potash mine
India's Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd  has agreed to guarantee payments on $700 million in debt to finance the first phase of Karnalyte Resources Inc's Canadian potash mine project, Karnalyte said on Monday, adding supply even as other miners cut production.The company's shares jumped 76 percent in Toronto to C$1.55. click here.

 Mar 15 - Hail threatens Indian farmers with fourth straight crop loss
Hail and rain have damaged ripening wheat, chickpea and rapeseed in India's key farm belts, potentially cutting output and exposing millions of farmers to a fourth crop loss in a row.Torrential rains at the weekend lashed Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, states which account for the bulk of wheat output in India, the world's biggest producer after China, flattening crops and flooding farms. click here.

 Mar 15 - Peru lifts trade barriers to U.S. beef - USDA, USTR
Peru has agreed to lift its remaining safety barriers to U.S. beef exports, further opening one of the fastest -markets in Latin America to U.S. ranchers, Obama administration officials said on Monday.U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the agreement with Lima will remove certification requirements that have been in place since 2003 due to fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as "mad cow" disease. click here.

Mar 14 - Asian Crude Palmoil Closes Lower on Weaker Demand (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end lower, hurt by weaker demand from importing countries. Trade is slow with the downside contributed by weak soybean oil prices and demand concerns for palm-oil as China imports slow. "Trade activity has been slowing for a few weeks now so sentiment is weak," says David Ng, an analyst with Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia  Derivatives settle MYR14 lower at MYR2593/ton Monday.

Mar 14 - Australia's CBH rejects listing proposal; to review structure
Australia's largest wheat exporter, Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH), on Monday rejected a proposal to buy and list the group, but said it would review its structure and had received expressions of interest from other parties.CBH said the plan to buy and immediately list the co-operative was not in the best interests of its 4,200 famer members, while it was deterred by the presence in the purchasing consortium of east coast grain handler GrainCorp. click here.

 Mar 14 - France's Axereal picks ADM cocoa manager to head grain trading
French cooperative Axereal has appointed Nicolas Poyade, previously head of Archer Daniels Midland Co's cocoa business in Ghana, as its new director of grain trading, Axereal said on Friday.Poyade, 37, has worked for ADM's cocoa business for his whole career to date and brings experience of international trading, logistics and industrial processing, Axereal said in a statement.Poyade, who is due to join Axereal at the start of May, will be in charge of the Granit Negoce unit that is one of the biggest exporters of French grain. click here.

 Mar 14 - World Bank approves $70m loan for Tanzania agriculture
The World Bank has approved a $70 million loan to Tanzania to support up to 500,000 smallholder farmers and help the agricultural sector, which has long suffered from low productivity and a lack of financing.About 75 percent of Tanzanians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture contributes to 25 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 34 percent of export earnings, according to government estimates. click here.

Mar 11 - Asian CPO Closes Stronger Aided by Lower Palm-oil Production (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices finish higher Friday on robust investor sentiment buoyed by lower output. "With a cut in production, inventory in the country is seen at a low," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. Besides, higher export data by cargo surveyors released Thursday also lifted the mood of the market. Monthly data released by Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm oil exports up 31.1% during the March 1-10 period, while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. showed exports rise 56.5% on month. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settle MYR61 higher at MYR2608/ton Friday versus Thursday's close of MYR2546/ton.

Mar 11 - Stick to science in canola trade dispute, Canada minister tells China
Canada is urging Beijing to stick to scientific facts in its plan to toughen standards on canola shipments, Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said on Thursday, as China seeks to slow imports in a dispute about the blackleg fungus.China's quarantine authority, AQSIQ, notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency last month that it would allow no more than 1 percent of foreign material, such as straw and seeds from other plants, in canola shipments starting April 1. The current allowable range is 2 percent to 2.5 percent. click here.

 Mar 11 - EU soft wheat export licences boosted by data correction
The European Union granted export licences for 991,000 tonnes of soft wheat this week, but the big weekly volume, the third-largest this season, was partly inflated by a data correction, the European Commission said on Thursday.The correction came after a member country previously declared some export certificates as durum wheat instead of soft wheat, an official said. click here.

 Mar 11 - Brazil soy export premiums surge as ship lineup swells
Brazilian soybean export premiums surged over the past week even as the lineup of vessels waiting to load soybeans at local ports swelled, raising demurrage costs as the harvest peaks, shipping agents and traders said on Thursday.Export premiums for soybeans from the main southern ports of Santos and Paranagua rose sharply over the past week, even as Brazil enters the peak of a record harvest of a 101 million tonne crop.  click here.

 Mar 11 - China should release its massive corn stocks soon - delegate  
China's government should release its massive state corn reserves as soon as possible as the stockpile scheme has dried up domestic supplies and pushed up prices, a delegate of parliament proposed on Thursday.Tong Yi, who is also the head of state-owned food processor COFCO in the northeast province of Jilin, made the proposal to the National People's Congress (NPC), or parliament, during its ongoing annual meeting that started Saturday. click here.

 Mar 11 - South Africa importing Argentine, Ukrainian yellow maize, orders Mexican white
South Africa, which needs to import millions of tonnes of maize this year because of drought, will source hundreds of thousands of tonnes of white maize in the coming months from Mexico, likely beginning in May, local and foreign traders said.White maize is the staple source of calories for most South African households but shortages are looming, driving up domestic food prices and inflation. click here.

 Mar 11 - Zambia's 2016 maize harvest seen lower due to poor rainfall
Zambia is likely to produce 2.4 million tonnes of maize in the current 2015/2016 crop season, down from 2.6 million tonnes the previous season due to drought, its minister of agriculture said on Thursday.Given Lubinda said poor rainfall in some parts of the southern African nation at the start of the 2015/2016 season had led to poor crop. click here.

 Mar 11 - U.S. soy supply outlook raised as domestic demand wanes
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday raised its outlook for domestic soybean supplies by more than expected as it cut its estimate of the amount that will be crushed due to falling soymeal demand.The government left its U.S. corn and wheat stocks estimates unchanged in its monthly supply and demand report. Analysts had been expecting a slight increase in domestic grain supplies. click here.

Mar 11 - Malaysian Palm Oil Market Continues to Tighten (Dow Jones)
Data released today by Malaysia's Palm Oil Board suggests that the market for palm oil continued to tighten in February, as falling production precipitated a further drawdown of stocks, says Simon MacAdam, assistant economist at Capital Economics. "It therefore looks like the negative effects of last year's El Niño are becoming increasingly apparent." MacAdam says however, that he still expects downward pressures due to weak external demand and sustained oversupply of soybeans. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settled 9 ringgit lower at 2546 ringgit per ton on Thursday.

Mar 10 - Asian Crude Palm Drops on Report of High Malaysian Inventory (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices finish lower Thursday as investor sentiment weakens on reports of high palm oil inventories. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board in its monthly report released Thursday showed palm oil stocks at 1.25 million tons at the end of February. "The high inventories reflect signs of slowing demand despite cargo surveyors posting positive numbers," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. Monthly data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm oil exports up 31.1% during the March 1-10 period while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) showed exports were up 56.5% on month. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settle 9 ringgit lower at 2546 ringgit/ton Thursday.

Mar 10 - U.S. soy supply outlook raised as domestic demand wanes
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday raised its outlook for domestic soybean supplies by more than expected as it cut its estimate of the amount that will be crushed due to falling soymeal demand.The government left its U.S. corn and wheat stocks estimates unchanged in its monthly supply and demand report. Analysts had been expecting a slight increase in domestic grain supplies. click here.

 Mar 10 - French wheat stocks still seen at 17-yr high in gloomy market
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday left unchanged its forecast for French soft wheat stocks at a 17-year high, seeing little scope for the stockpile to shrink unless the euro slides and boosts exports in a well-supplied world market.The office kept its outlook for French soft wheat stocks at the end of the 2015/16 season on June 30 at 6.0 million tonnes, as it also held its forecast of soft wheat exports outside the European Union at 11.0 million tonnes. click here.

 Mar 10 - Russian wheat export prices broadly flat as rouble strengthens
Russian wheat export prices were broadly flat last week as the rouble strengthened, making it more difficult for traders to drop their prices in dollar terms, analysts said on Wednesday.Russian wheat traders are trying to return to more competitive levels amid a decline in global benchmarks, but domestic sellers are reluctant to agree to significantly lower wheat prices while the rouble is strengthening, analysts have said. click here.

 Mar 10 - India cuts Monsanto cotton seed royalties despite threat to quit
India cut the royalties paid by local firms for Monsanto's genetically modified cotton seeds by nearly 70 percent on Wednesday, ignoring a threat by the world's biggest seed company to leave if it did.The move follows complaints from local seeds companies that Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India)(MMB), a Monsanto joint venture with India's Mahyco, was charging high royalties. This prompted India's farm ministry to form a panel to look into the matter, whose recommendation the government has now accepted. click here.

 Mar 10 - Cargill Germany to close rapeseed plant in Mainz
Cargill's German subsidiary is to close down its rapeseed crushing plant in Mainz, it said on Wednesday.A company spokeswoman said no date has been set for the closure, which is due to overcapacity in the European rapeseed market. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Mar 10 - South Africa importing Argentine, Ukrainian yellow maize, orders Mexican white
South Africa, which needs to import millions of tonnes of maize this year because of drought, will source hundreds of thousands of tonnes of white maize in the coming months from Mexico, likely beginning in May, local and foreign traders said.White maize is the staple source of calories for most South African households but shortages are looming, driving up domestic food prices and inflation. click here.

 Mar 10 - Chile's salmon farms losing up to $800 mln from algal bloom
A deadly algal bloom has hit the world's second biggest salmon exporter, Chile, where nearly 23 million fish have already died and the economic impact from lost production is seen soaring to $800 million, industry and government sources told Reuters. There are so many dead fish, they could easily fill 14 olympic-size swimming pools, said Jose Miguel Burgos, the head of the government's Sernapesca fisheries body. click here.

Mar 10 - Malaysia Feb CPO Output 1.04 M Tons; Down 7.7% on Month (MPOB)
- Malaysia's palm oil exports fell 15.2% on month to 1.09 million metric tons in February, the Malaysian
Palm Oil Board said Thursday.
- The country exported 1.28 million tons of palm oil in January.
- In its monthly report, the MPOB said crude palm oil output fell 7.7% to 1.04 million tons in February. CPO output
totaled 1.13 million tons in January.
- Palm oil stocks totaled 1.25 million tons at the end of February, down 3.9% on month.
- At the end of month, palm oil stocks were at million tons.
- The following are details of the February crop data and revised numbers for January, issued by MPOB:

                            February     January      Change

                                                     On Month
Crude Palm Oil Output     1,042,857     1,129,836    Dn  7.7%
Palm Oil Exports          1,085,254     1,279,187    Dn 15.2%
Palm Kernel Oil Exports      65,296        85,281    Dn 23.4%
Palm Oil Imports             67,583        36,642    Up 84.4%
Closing Stocks            2,168,798     2,308,538    Dn  6.1%
Crude Palm Oil            1,250,498     1,301,851    Dn  3.9%
Processed Palm Oil          918,300     1,006,687    Dn  8.8%


(All figures are in metric tons)

Mar 09 - Egypt quarantine authority to ban ergot until new laws passed
Egypt's agriculture quarantine authority will continue to apply a zero ergot policy on wheat shipments until new legislation is issued, the new head of the authority told Reuters on Tuesday.Former quarantine chief Saad Moussa's zero-tolerance policy on common grains fungus ergot resulted in shipments to the world's biggest importer of wheat being rejected. Moussa was replaced on Sunday by Ibrahim Imbabi. click here.

 Mar 09 - French wheat exports in January boosted by Morocco, Egypt
France exported 1.1 million tonnes of soft wheat outside the European Union in January, the second-highest monthly volume since the start of the 2015/16 season, helped by hefty sales to Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, customs data showed on Tuesday.In December France shipped a season high of 1.3 million tonnes outside the 28-country EU. click here.

 Mar 09 - Break fee for Syngenta reduced in ChemChina deal - prospectus
The break fee Swiss group Syngenta would have to pay should it back out of an agreed takeover by ChemChina has been cut to $848 million from the $1.5 billion first envisaged, a prospectus for the $43 billion deal published on Tuesday showed.China made its boldest overseas takeover move yet when state-owned ChemChina agreed last month a cash bid for the Swiss seeds and pesticides group with the aim of improving domestic food production. click here.

 Mar 09 - U.S. HRW wheat sitting pretty despite recent dryness - Braun
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's statistics agency on Monday released the first weekly crop summaries for Kansas and Oklahoma, which together produce half of the United States’ hard red winter (HRW) wheat.At this point, the outlook for this year's HRW crop is about as good as it has been in recent years, though the recent lack of rainfall in the Southern Plains has added a slight wrinkle. click here.

 Mar 09 - Global palm oil output to fall over 2 mln T on El Nino, La Nina - Fry
Global palm oil production could fall by over 2 million tonnes this year because of the drought caused by the El Nino weather event and further declines may occur due to heavy rains from the La Nina event later this year, a leading industry analyst said.Concerns of falling palm oil output has lent support to benchmark prices that have risen 1.8 percent this week after hitting a one-month low on Thursday. Palm traded around 2,551 ringgit ($617) per tonne on Wednesday afternoon. click here.

 Mar 09 - Cargill says to cut antibiotic use in cattle by 20 percent
Cargill Inc, a top U.S. meat processor, is trimming the use of antibiotics in its cattle supply amid concerns among some doctors and consumers about risks to humans from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.The company on Feb. 26 started eliminating 20 percent of antibiotics deemed important for human medicine and farm animals from its four feed yards in Texas, Kansas and Colorado, according to the company. It is making the same reductions at four feed yards operated by Friona Industries, which supplies Cargill with cattle. click here.

Mar 08 - Asian Crude Palm Oil Closes Lower (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil closed marginally lower Tuesday as investors waited for fresh catalysts ahead of a key price review tomorrow. David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur, expects crude palm oil prices to trade between 2450 ringgit a ton and 2620 ringgit a ton. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settle MYR8 lower at MYR2528 a ton Tuesday.

Mar 08 - China Feb soy imports rise 6 pct on year amid holiday - customs
China's soy imports rose 5.9 percent in February from a year earlier, official customs data showed on Tuesday, slightly above expectations.China, the world's top buyer of the oilseed, shipped in 4.51 million tonnes of soy in February, which included the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, down 20.3 percent on January's imports of 5.66 million tonnes. click here.

 Mar 08 - Egypt to allow 0.05 pct ergot fungus, work with FAO on laws
Egypt will allow wheat imports with trace levels of the ergot fungus of up to 0.05 percent, the agriculture ministry said on Monday, a day after the head of its agriculture quarantine authority was changed.Former quarantine head Saad Moussa's zero tolerance policy on ergot had lead to shipments to the world's biggest importer of wheat being rejected. Moussa was replaced on Sunday by Ibrahim Ahmed Imbabi. click here.

 Mar 08 - Indonesia 2016 biodiesel output to miss target - industry official
Indonesia may produce about 2.5 million tonnes of palm oil-based biodiesel in 2016, about a third of its targeted volume, because of the widening spread between biodiesel and gasoil, a Malaysian industry official said on Tuesday.Indonesia, the world biggest palm oil producer, requires a 20 percent blend of biodiesel into gasoil in 2016 as it aims reduce its crude oil import bill, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create more demand for the edible oil.click here.

 Mar 08 - Africa's richest man eyes Morocco phosphate deal, rice production
Dangote Group, the company owned by Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote, said on Monday it planned to buy phosphate from Morocco and potash from Congo-Brazzaville to feed a planned fertilizer plant.Dangote has raised a $3.3 billion loan to develop a $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy and top oil producer. The group has invested $3.5 billion of its own equity.click here.

 Mar 08 - Heavy rain seen for U.S. Delta wheat belt; part of Plains to stay dry
Heavy rains are forecast this week for the Mississippi River Delta soft red winter (SRW) wheat area, while dryness should build in portions of the U.S. Plains hard red winter (HRW) wheat belt, a meteorologist said on Monday.Storms were forecast to generate 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) of rain Tuesday through Thursday, said David Streit, an agricultural meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group. The heaviest amounts in Arkansas and northern Louisiana will raise the risk of localized flooding.click here.

Mar 07 - Egypt replaces head of agriculture quarantine authority
Egypt has appointed a new head of its agriculture quarantine authority, the ministry of agriculture said on Sunday, replacing Saad Moussa, who has been at the centre of a controversy over the country's wheat imports.As head of the agricultural quarantine agency Moussa imposed a zero tolerance policy on ergot, a common grains fungus. This was at odds with the ministry of agriculture and supply backing a more common international standard that allows trace levels. click here.

 Mar 07 - Don't get bullish on 2016/17 rapeseed just yet - Braun
As grain and oilseed stocks continue to swell worldwide, rapeseed supply has been waning and is expected to tighten further in 2016/17.The global stockpile of rapeseed has shrunk by 30 percent over the last year, and with lacklustre harvest prospects for this year, analysts have proposed that rapeseed prices are likely to rise through mid-2017. click here.

 Mar 07 - Indian farmers see Modi's budget as all promise, no delivery
Farmer Ram Pal Singh voted for Narendra Modi's promise of "better days" in India's 2014 general election, but he won't be backing the prime minister again even after last week's budget promised more aid to the countryside. Growing discontent in rural India, home to two-thirds of the country's 1.3 billion people, bodes ill for Modi as he tries to bounce back from a heavy defeat in a state election last year in Bihar and build a support base to keep power in the 2019 general election. click here.

 Mar 07 - China farm sector needs supply-side reform - agriculture minister
China's agriculture sector needs to undertake supply-side reform, especially in corn production, given bumper harvests and surplus grain stockpiles, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said on Monday.Han told a news conference in Beijing that China will no longer pursue increased grain output over the next five years, after 12 consecutive years of increasing harvests. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Mar 07 - Australian grain consortium steps up lobbying, CBH deal seen in balance
A consortium seeking to buy Australia's biggest wheat exporter, Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH), is stepping up lobbying for its offer amid concerns the deal may be snubbed and reports of a rival Chinese bidder.The Australian Grains Champion (AGC), which includes farmers and some former directors of CBH, wants to acquire and list the Western Australia co-operative in a deal that analysts say would be worth up to A$3 billion ($2.2 billion). click here.

 Mar 07 - Philippines 2016 coconut oil exports seen down 11 pct on El Nino - source The Philippines' 2016 coconut oil exports are expected to drop 11 percent from a year ago as an El Nino weather pattern crimps domestic output, a top industry official said on Friday.Lower shipments by the world's top coconut oil supplier may underpin global prices of the commodity, which fell 6 percent last year when the Philippines' exports exceeded industry forecasts. It may also boost demand for palm oil-based alternatives from top suppliers Indonesia and Malaysia.  click here. 

Mar 04 - Asian CPO Closes Higher Aided by Soybean Prices (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices CPO close marginally higher Friday due to stable soy bean prices. However, investor sentiment has not been robust due to lack of new direction. David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur expects crude palm-oil prices to trade between 2450 ringgit a ton and 2620 ringgit a ton. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settle MYR4 higher at MYR2507/ton Friday versus Thursday's close of MYR2501/ton.

Mar 04 - Australian grain consortium steps up lobbying, CBH deal seen in balance
A consortium seeking to buy Australia's biggest wheat exporter, Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH), is stepping up lobbying for its offer amid concerns the deal may be snubbed and reports of a rival Chinese bidder.The Australian Grains Champion (AGC), which includes farmers and some former directors of CBH, wants to acquire and list the Western Australia co-operative in a deal that analysts say would be worth up to A$3 billion ($2.2 billion). click here.

 Mar 04 - Ukraine 2016/17 wheat harvest seen down 20 pct on dry planting weather - broker
Ukraine's 2016/17 wheat harvest is expected to drop by about 20 percent from a year ago to 19-20 million tonnes as dry weather at the time of planting takes a toll on yields, an agricultural broker said on Thursday.A severe drought during the summer and autumn affecting half of Ukraine's grain region forced farmers to halt winter grain sowing, leading to fears of a poor harvest. click here.

 Mar 04 - Egypt may stop sending inspectors abroad to clear imported wheat - sources
Egypt's agricultural quarantine authority may stop sending delegations to inspect imported wheat at ports of origin, trade sources said on Thursday, a development that may further disrupt the country's massive wheat import programme.Egypt's quarantine authority has rejected a series of wheat shipments over traces of a common grain fungus, ergot, raising concerns over the country's tough new quality rules and causing many suppliers to shun international purchase tenders by state grain buyer GASC. click here.

 Mar 04 - China's canola meal supply may fall as import rules to tighten - analysts
China may suffer a shortage of canola meal, a protein-rich feed ingredient, after Beijing plans to toughen the import standards for the oilseed from major exporters, industry analysts said.China will allow no more than 1 percent of foreign material in canola shipments starting April 1, the country's quarantine agency said last month. The higher standard may be costly for Canadian exporters, resulting in the country taking a more cautious approach to selling canola to China. click here.

 Mar 04 - Large Russian wheat crop to intensify competition in satiated global market
Major wheat exporter Russia is likely to harvest a big crop this summer, intensifying competition in an already oversupplied global market which is expected to start the 2016/17 season with record stocks.Russia began this year's spring grain sowing campaign two weeks earlier than usual and, if the weather continues to be favourable, its grain crop will top 100 million tonnes. click here.

 Mar 04 - Canadian wheat rejected in Egypt re-exported to Europe - trade
A shipment of Canadian wheat rejected in Egypt over concerns it contained traces of the ergot fungus has been re-exported to Europe after Egypt's agricultural quarantine rejected a petition from the supplier, trade sources said on Thursday.Egypt's quarantine authority has rejected a series of wheat shipments over traces of the common grain fungus ergot causing concerns over the country's tough new quality rules which have disrupted its massive wheat import programme. click here.

 Mar 04 - Beef exporter Argentina clears way to import cattle from Uruguay
Argentina clinched a deal this week to import Uruguayan cattle for fattening and slaughter, underlining a push by new President Mauricio Macri to step up beef production as part of his farm sector reform plan.Macri, elected in November on a free-markets platform after eight years of protectionism under his predecessor Cristina Fernandez, promises a huge increase in farm output. Soon after his December inauguration, he ditched the taxes that had been put on beef, corn and wheat shipments and lifted other export curbs. click here.

Mar 03 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Higher on Soybean Gains (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices closed higher Thursday, lifted by gains in soybean prices. Earlier, prices were trading in negative territory due to a strengthening ringgit, says David Ng, analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He expects crude palm-oil prices to trade between 2450 ringgit a ton and 2580 ringgit a ton. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settled MYR12 higher at MYR2501/ton Thursday.

Mar 03 - Monsanto sees currency, grain price headwinds through 2016
Monsanto Co expects to face headwinds from weak commodity prices and currency fluctuations through 2016, its executives said on Wednesday, as the seed and agrochemical company slashed earnings guidance amid a slumping farm economy.Monsanto shares fell more than 7 percent and are now down almost 30 percent over the past year, which has been marked by a steep decline in grain prices that has slashed farm income and cut spending on inputs like seeds and pesticides. click here.

 Mar 03 - Delayed La Nina seen buoying U.S., Asia crops - MDA weather
A delay in the onset of the La Nina weather pattern this year is likely to buoy crops across key growing regions in the United States, Australia and India, a leading weather forecaster said on Thursday.Another year of bumper production of crops such as corn, wheat and soybeans would boost global inventories that have risen near record levels following successive large harvests. click here.

 Mar 03 - Bureaucrat and old fungus law hold Egypt's wheat supplies hostage
A global grain glut should make purchasing wheat cheap and easy for Egypt, the world's biggest importer, but traders say one bureaucrat has made it anything but.Saad Moussa, the head of the agricultural quarantine agency, refuses to let in a single grain of wheat infected with ergot, a common fungus that can lead to hallucinations and irrational behaviour in large quantities but at trace levels is of no harm to humans. click here.

 Mar 03 - Canada's Paterson taps brakes on China canola sales
Canadian crop handler Paterson Grain is taking a more cautious approach to selling canola to Chinese buyers, after China said it would toughen its standard on canola shipments from Canada, the chief executive of parent Paterson GlobalFoods said.China's quarantine authority, AQSIQ, told Ottawa last week it would allow no more than 1 percent foreign material in canola shipments starting April 1. click here.

 Mar 03 - Black Sea wheat yields seen climbing - broker Vicorus
Wheat exports from the Black Sea region, which have climbed nine-fold in the past 20 years, could see further growth in the decade ahead, as the area has potential to boost yields as much as 2-1/2 times, a leading grains brokerage said on Wednesday.Black Sea wheat exports were one of the biggest challenges faced last year by U.S. producers, weighing on benchmark Chicago futures, which slid this week to their lowest since 2010. click here.

 Mar 03 - Malaysian palm oil refiners call for removal of export duty
Malaysia should scrap export duty rates for processed palm oil products to help its refining sector, which is losing market share to the world's biggest palm producer Indonesia, a Malaysian industry body said.Malaysia's exports of refined, bleached, deodorised (RBD) palm kernel oil have fallen 26 percent in the past four years, D. Chandramohan, chairman of the Palm Oil Refiners Association Of Malaysia (PORAM), told Reuters. click here.

 Mar 03 - BTG Pactual loses top grain traders amid commodities rout
BTG Pactual has lost two top grain traders as the Brazilian investment bank tries to restore investor confidence after its billionaire founder was arrested last year.The departures come during a commodities rout that is shaking up the leadership of global trading firms and making it more difficult for companies like BTG Pactual to boost profits. click here.

 Mar 03 - South Africa grain group says government maize estimate too high
The South African government's forecast of a 7.2-million-tonne maize harvest this year is "optimistic" and will almost certainly be revised down, the country's largest grain producer group said on Wednesday.A scorching drought has decimated the maize crop in South Africa, curbing economic growth, pushing prices to record highs and fanning inflation at a time when the central bank is in a tightening cycle. click here.

Mar 02 - Asian CPO Ends Lower, Dragged On by Weak Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil futures end lower on sluggish export demand from China and India. A Kuala Lumpur-based trader says estimates from cargo surveyors show shipments to China and India have both slowed, damping market sentiment; spot-market purchases from the two countries are similarly tepid. Monthly data released earlier this week by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm oil exports down 17.68% during the Feb. 1-29 period, while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) Bhd., showed exports plunged 16.9% sequentially. Benchmark May crude palm-oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives settle MYR47 lower at MYR2490/ton Wednesday.

Mar 09 - Russian wheat export prices down, track global benchmarks
Russian wheat export prices fell last week as traders were trying to return to more competitive levels amid a decline in global benchmarks, analysts said on Tuesday.Russian exporters face a difficult time in the coming weeks as domestic sellers are reluctant to agree to significantly lower wheat prices while the rouble is strengthening, they added. click here.

 Mar 09 - Hard-hit potash miners aim to cut, barter their way to better times
Drastic moves by potash producers, from idling mines to bartering with farmers, may pay off soon for the hard-hit industry, company executives said on Tuesday.Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the third-largest potash producer, expects demand for the crop nutrient to pick up after significant supply cuts, Chief Executive Jochen Tilk said on Tuesday. click here.

 Mar 09 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for April 5-14 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Tuesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from April 5-14.Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of GASC, said the authority is seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Romania. click here.

 Mar 09 - U.S. EPA moves to end use of Bayer, Nichino insecticides
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday it was moving to halt the sale of insecticides from German chemicals company Bayer and Nichino America containing an active ingredient called flubendiamide found to pose risks to the environment.Bayer CropScience, the agricultural arm of Bayer AG, had anticipated the action after rejecting the EPA's request to voluntarily pull the insecticide from the marketplace last month. click here.

 Mar 09 - CGG Trading sees Brazil's grain exports shifting from corn to soy
Brazilian trading house CGG expects the country's main ports to shift grain exports away from corn, which remained firm last month, to soybeans starting in March as harvest of the crop picks up in the interior of the country.Brazil's Trade Ministry reported that corn exports reached 5.4 million tonnes in February, a record for that month and the third highest month on record after the country shipped an all-time high of 6.3 million tonnes in December. click here.

 Mar 09 - French grain maize area to fall 6 pct in 2016 - growers
The area sown with grain maize in France is expected to shed 6 percent this year due to unattractive prices and little hope of recovery, maize producers group AGPM said on Tuesday.In 2015/16 the grain maize area in the European Union's largest producer had already fallen by 5.6 percent on the previous year to 1.58 million hectares in 2015. click here.

 Mar 09 - Global dairy prices recover slightly in overnight auction
International dairy prices recovered slightly in the overnight GlobalDairyTrade auction held by New Zealand's Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter. The GDT Price Index climbed 1.4 percent, with an average selling price of $2,253 per tonne, in the auction held overnight Tuesday. Whole milk powder, which makes up the bulk of the auction, rose 5.5 percent to $1,974. click here.

Mar 01 - Weak Malaysian Export Data Flags Sinking Demand for Asian CPO (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices end lower Tuesday as investor sentiment over weaker exports weighs on prices, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. Monthly data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimates Malaysia's palm oil exports fell 17.68% at 943,135 metric tons during February 1-29 while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia), showed exports at 955,604 metric tons, down 16.9% on month. Investor sentiment will "continue to remain weak unless demand for palm-oil improves, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark May contract closes 12 ringgit down at 2548 ringgit a ton.

Mar 01 - Australia sees agriculture output boost as El Nino fades
Australia's agriculture production is set to rebound as the strongest El Nino in nearly 20 years that wilted crops and triggered bush fires subsides, the country's official commodity forecaster said on Tuesday.Production of staples such as wheat, cotton and milk are all expected to rise during the 2016/17 season, according to the Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Rural Sciences (ABARES), although beef output in the world's third-largest exporter is set to fall due to low supplies. click here.

 Mar 01 - The value behind USDA's early U.S. crop predictions - Braun
Predicting the future with precision is tough unless you are a psychic, a trait that most grain analysts, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, do not possess.Last Thursday and Friday the USDA released preliminary projections for 2016/17 U.S. crops at the annual Agriculture Outlook Forum, where the corn and soybean forecasts are always a sought-after matter. click here.

 Mar 01 - China to cut domestic corn price to fight imports - official
China will unveil its state corn price policy as early as next month to make domestic prices low enough to keep imports outside the country, a senior government official said over the weekend.Chen Xiwen, deputy director with the Communist Party's Central Rural Working Leading Group, did not say how low the state corn price will be, but said Beijing will announce it after next week's National People's Congress meeting but before the planting season which normally starts in April. click here.

 Mar 01 - Australia deputy PM urges local investment in agriculture
Australia's deputy prime minister on Tuesday urged the country's A$1.8 trillion ($1.3 trillion) pension fund industry to boost its investment in agriculture as the sector gears up to meet strong demand from Asia.While foreign interest in Australian agriculture has soared, Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was baffling that local pension funds had just 0.3 percent of their total investment portfolio in the growing sector. click here.

 Mar 01 - Intrepid Potash shares crash after auditor flags risks
Intrepid Potash Inc  said on Monday its auditor has expressed doubts about its ability to stay in business, sending its shares plunging by more than half.The U.S.-based miner, which reported its third straight quarterly loss on Monday, also said low potash prices could cause a breach in its loan covenants. click here.

Feb 29 - Malaysia Palm Oil Prices Lower as Crude Oil Under Pressure (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil prices are trading slightly lower in early trading. Crude oil prices are under pressure and export estimate data released Monday show palm oil exports from Malaysia continue to fall. The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences said in a report earlier that, because of lower forecast Southeast Asian palm oil production due to El Nino, world vegetable oil prices are forecast to rise over the
short term. "Over the medium term, palm oil production is projected to increase and an increased supply in world vegetable oil markets is expected to lead to lower world canola prices in real terms." Bursa Malaysia three-month palm oil prices are trading down 17 ringgit at 2531 ringgit a ton.

Feb 29 - U.S. corn, wheat supplies seen rising in 16/17; soy stocks to fall
U.S. corn supplies are forecast to rise to 12-year highs during the 2016/17 crop year as production gains following large plantings will outstrip demand hikes, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday.Wheat stocks were expected to rise despite sharply lower plantings due to improved yields and an increase in supplies at start of the marketing year. Soybean stocks were seen falling slightly due to a rebound in supplies used for crush and exports. click here.

 Feb 29 - Gavilon names former ADM exec as CEO in management reshuffle
Gavilon LLC has hired a former executive at rival Archer Daniels Midland to take the helm as part of a major management reshuffle that is the latest sign a commodities rout is forcing changes at global grains merchants.Gavilon, owned by Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp, named Lewis Batchelder as chief executive officer to replace Jim Anderson, making him the company's second boss in less than two years. click here.

 Feb 29 - Facing looming bills, U.S. farmers sell corn, soy; cash price slides
U.S. farmers grabbed the highest grain prices in a fortnight to offload some of their massive stocks of corn and soybeans early this week as they sought cash to pay for spring expenses like seed and farmland rent, trade sources said.By the end of the week, those sales had helped replenish supplies at many Midwest elevators and processors, as well as at Gulf Coast export terminals. The supplies outstripped tepid demand, cash grain traders said, and premiums slipped back. click here.

 Feb 29 - Wheat's eroding premium vs corn may entice U.S. livestock producers
The rejection of a French wheat cargo and subsequent cancellation of tenders by Egypt, the world's biggest wheat buyer, helped send U.S. prices to five-year lows and could prompt livestock producers to use cheap wheat as animal feed.Comparatively more stable corn prices pushed the closely tracked wheat-corn spread to the lowest level since 2013. New lows could be forthcoming as wheat's premium to corn often hits seasonal lows during the summer wheat harvest. click here.

 Feb 29 - Canadian farmers return to vegetable patch as currency slumps
Canadian farmers are cashing in on the highest vegetable prices in years, helped by the country's weak currency and soaring costs of U.S. imports that have made them unexpected winners in a bearish commodity world.Soft wheat and canola prices may diminish Canadian farm incomes by 9 percent this year. But it is the best of times for carrot and beet growers, part of a niche industry best-known for stocking farmers' markets. click here.

 Feb 29 - Thailand plans measures worth $285 mln to help drought-hit rice farmers
Thailand, the world's second-biggest rice exporter, on Friday announced measures worth around $285 million to help farmers in the country who have been hit hard by a severe drought and low prices for their crop.The Southeast Asian nation is facing what some experts say is its worst drought in decades. While this has crimped rice output, it has not buoyed prices given huge stocks of about 12 million tonnes that Thailand is trying to offload, the legacy of a subsidy scheme undertaken by the previous government. click here.

 Feb 29 - Indian government report backs hybrid seeds in boost for GM food
India should look to introduce high-yielding hybrid seeds to lift its lagging farm productivity, a finance ministry report urged on Friday, in what is being seen as government support for cultivation of genetically modified food crops now banned.Indian authorities are considering whether to allow commercial growing of genetically modified (GM) mustard, which uses a technology that could improve yields but draws strong opposition over fears of safety. click here.

Feb 26 - Fungus dispute, big stocks seen behind China-Canada canola conflict
A "scientific disagreement" between Canada and China over the risk of transmitting the blackleg fungus is behind China's move to raise its standard for Canadian canola imports, an industry official involved in discussions said. But some traders say the real reason for a higher standard that may slow Chinese imports is the country's large rapeseed oil stockpiles. Reuters reported on Tuesday that China's quarantine authority, AQSIQ, told the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) it would allow no more than 1 percent foreign material - called dockage - in Canadian canola shipments as of April 1. click here.

 Feb 26 - Shedding light on Ukraine's spring crop area - Braun
Ukrainian farmers have gotten a head start on the spring planting campaign thanks to record warmth this month. The Black Sea country fell far short of its intended sown winter grain area, leaving nearly 20 percent more fields than last year available for spring sowing. Several Ukraine winter and spring crops are key in the world export market. click here.

 Feb 26 - IGC raises forecast for 2015/16 world corn crop
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecast for global corn production in 2015/16, adding to grain stocks which are expected to be at the highest level in almost 30 years at the end of the season. World corn production in 2015/16 was seen at 969 million tonnes, up from the prior month's projection of 959 million though still below the previous season's 1.016 billion. click here.

 Feb 26 - U.S. farmers push ahead with corn, soy acreage despite price drop
U.S. farmers facing the worst price environment in nearly 30 years will keep pressing on with their usual acreage bets in 2016 even though these are likely to make losses, because there are hardly any alternatives that might make any money.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted on Thursday that farmers would seed 90.0 million acres of corn, a 2 million bump from 2015. Soybean seedings were seen at 82.5 million, which would be the third-highest on record and down just 200,0000 acres from a year ago despite a 14.5 percent price decline in 2015. click here.

 Feb 26 - Egypt's GASC buys 300,000 T wheat in tender
Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), has bought 300,000 tonnes of wheat in a tender, it said on Thursday. Of the total, GASC bought 60,000 tonnes of French wheat, 120,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat, 60,000 tonnes of Argentine wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Ukraine wheat, GASC Vice Chairman Mamdouh Abdel Fattah said.  click here.

 Feb 26 - Australia's GrainCorp sees smaller crop, bigger competition
Australian wheat exporter GrainCorp Ltd said it expects volumes to shrink in the 2016 fiscal year, generating net profit broadly in line with the previous year, thanks to a below average winter crop and fierce competition globally. In a statement on Friday, the company said it expects to export 3 million tonnes during the current year, down from 3.5 million tonnes in 2015. The company had not previously given a forecast for 2016. click here.

 Feb 26 - Analyst Agroconsult raises Brazil soy forecast after field trip
Brazilian analyst Agroconsult revised up on Thursday its estimate for the country's 2015/16 soy crop after field checks revealed that unfavorable weather had not damaged the crop as much as expected. The consultancy said Brazil's 2015/16 soy crop should reach 101.6 million tonnes versus 99.2 million tonnes seen in January, on the high end of most forecasts for the crop. click here.

 Feb 26 - EU farm chief ready to back help for livestock
The EU's top agriculture official said on Thursday he was ready to work with France to take further steps to help struggling livestock farmers after weeks of protests by farmers over low prices in the European Union's biggest agricultural economy. French farmers say thousands of them could go out of business as a Russian embargo on Western food and a downturn in global dairy markets exacerbate competition from neighbours such as Germany and Spain which they see benefiting from lower taxes and lighter regulation. click here.

Feb 25 - CME Group wheat reports expected to reveal U.S. quality problems
CME Group Inc is likely to confirm quality problems in U.S. wheat supplies with new reports on plant fungus levels in grain delivered against futures contacts, traders and merchandisers said on Wednesday. The prediction came a day after CME, which owns the Chicago Board of Trade and other markets, said it will begin publishing the levels of the fungus vomitoxin that are listed on receipts for wheat deliveries, starting with the March 2016 contract month. The first report could come as early as Friday. click here.

 Feb 25 - Some Russian farmers sow corn instead of wheat due to export tax - lobby group
Some Russian farmers have switched to sowing corn (maize) instead of wheat due to costs imposed by a wheat export tax, Arkady Zlochevsky, the head of Russia's Grain Union, told reporters on Wednesday. Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, originally imposed its wheat export tax a year ago. Pressure on prices later eased, allowing the government to lower the tax in the autumn. The Agriculture Ministry this month proposed keeping the tax as a means of regulating the market, while cutting it to near zero. click here.

 Feb 25 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for March 26-April 4 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from March 26 to April 4. Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of GASC, is seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Romania. click here.

 Feb 25 - Canada confirms China raised canola-shipment standard
The Canadian government confirmed on Wednesday that China has toughened its standard for canola shipments, an action that traders say may discourage sales to the country. China, Canada's top canola export market, notified Ottawa on Tuesday of the new measures, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau said in an email statement. Reuters reported exclusively on Tuesday that China's quarantine authority, AQSIQ, told CFIA it would allow no more than 1 percent foreign material - called dockage - in Canadian canola shipments as of April 1. click here.

 Feb 25 - Australia's CBH raises "concerns" about GrainCorp-backed buyout offer
Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH), Australia's largest wheat exporter, said it was concerned a buyout offer from a consortium backed by rival GrainCorp Ltd could lead to an eventual full takeover by the east coast grain handler. Last week, GrainCorp joined the consortium that aims to buy and list CBH, valued at up to $2.1 billion. Australian Grains Champion (AGC), a grower-led initiative that includes farmers and some former directors of CBH, is leading the consortium. click here.

 Feb 25 - Cargill joint venture to build grain terminal in Ukraine
U.S. agriculture giant Cargill and Ukraine's M.V. Cargo said they would build and operate a grain terminal at Ukraine's Black Sea port of Yuzhny under a $100 million joint venture agreement signed on Wednesday. The terminal, near Ukraine's biggest port city of Odessa, will have an annual loading capacity of 5 million tonnes of grain and other commodities, Andriy Pivovarsky, Ukrainian infrastructure minister, said after the signing ceremony. click here.

Feb 24 - China to toughen standard on Canadian canola shipments
China plans to toughen its standard for imported Canadian canola starting April 1, reducing the amount of foreign material it allows per shipment, an industry group warned Canada's exporters and processors on Tuesday. China's quarantine authority, AQSIQ, notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on Tuesday that it will soon allow no more than 1 percent dockage, or the amount of foreign material per canola shipment, Canola Council of Canada President Patti Miller said in an email seen by Reuters. click here.

 Feb 24 - Philippines expects to finalise GMO rules in next few days, misses Weds target
The Philippines expects to finalise a new set of rules on genetically modified organisms over the next few days, after a top court demanded an overhaul of previous regulations in the nation that has been seen as a trailblazer for GMO in Asia. The government had hoped the new rules would be signed by five ministers on Wednesday, but Merle Palacpac, chief of the plant quarantine service at the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), told Reuters there had only been one signature so far as other officials were travelling. click here.

 Feb 24 - Australia names first agricultural commissioner to competition regulator
Australia appointed its first agricultural advisor to its competition regulator on Wednesday as the country seeks to protect farmers who have long complained that profits are squeezed by the country's dominant supermarkets and processors. Supporting farmers is seen as critical to Australia's goal of becoming the "delicatessen of Asia" by capitalising on strong Asian demand for high-end produce that has seen the value of the country's agricultural exports rise to about A$45 billion ($32 billion) last year. click here.

 Feb 24 - Britain's troubled farmers see silver lining in soft pound
A weak pound has boosted export prospects for Britain's troubled farmers who have been battered by winter storms, hit by low prices and are facing the uncertainties of a referendum on European Union membership. The British currency has fallen against both the euro and dollar and sank by nearly 2 percent on Monday after the defection of a handful of senior ruling Conservatives to the "Brexit" campaign, raising expectations that June's vote on EU membership would at the least be very close. click here.

 Feb 24 - U.S. farmers seen betting on corn amid weak price outlook
As low prices render corn and soybeans unprofitable in the United States, farmers are nonetheless expected to grow more of the country's top two crops this year as they scramble to stay solvent, a Reuters poll of analysts indicated. "With the coming year, you can't make money growing anything. You might be able to eke out a little income in corn, if you can get your costs down," said Roy Huckabay, an analyst with the Linn Group, a Chicago brokerage. click here.

 Feb 24 - Record U.S. pork stocks spell affordable Easter hams, robust bacon demand
Efforts by hog farmers to corral a killer pig virus paid off in January, with U.S. warehouses recording the most pork ever for that month, based on Tuesday's U.S. Department of Agriculture Cold Storage report. Record pork storage will likely make Easter ham prices easier to swallow, analysts said. It also reflects continued brisk bacon demand. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 23 - Chinese investor is first under new Australian tax rules
A Chinese investment firm has won approval to buy Australia's oldest dairy farm, making it the first overseas company to be subject to new rules aimed at ensuring foreign companies pay tax on their Australian earnings. The Australian government on Monday introduced new regulations under which foreign investors would have to comply with Australian tax laws and tax office directions to provide information or face sanctions. click here.

 Feb 23 - Tightening credit heralds more pain in U.S. farming downturn
Steve Irish used to farm 450 acres of rich crop fields in east-central Illinois, but that 15-year chapter of his life ended with a recent conversation with his banker. The banker was blunt. Irish was deep in debt from the farm equipment he bought, and needed to pay back the money he owed. So now Irish's tractor, combine and other machinery needed to run a grain farm is up for sale in an online auction. click here.

 Feb 23 - Iraq gets offers in tender for 90,000t of U.S. rice-trade
The lowest offer in an international tender from Iraq's state grain buyer to purchase at least 90,000 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States was $597 a tonne c&f free out, European traders said on Monday. No decision about a purchase was believed to have been made in the tender which closed on Feb. 21 with offers having to remain valid until Feb. 25, traders said. The lowest offer was made for only 30,000 tonnes, they said. click here.

Feb 23 - Time running out for EU wheat exports after lost Egyptian sales
Wrangling over terms for sales to Egypt and slow demand from Middle Eastern buyers hit by low oil prices have dampened hopes for a rush of European Union wheat exports to trim large stockpiles, traders and analysts said. Competition from Russia, Ukraine and Argentina in a world awash with record wheat supplies has also limited the scope for EU exports to accelerate after a tepid start to the July-June marketing season. click here.

Feb 22 - Malaysian Palm Oil Ends Lower (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil prices ended slightly lower Monday, but stayed rangebound. Capital Economics said palm-oil prices surged in recent weeks on concerns about production caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon. It said that prices remain well above their 50- and 200-day moving averages and continue to trend upward. The Bursa Malaysia three-month palm-oil price ended down 20 ringgit at MYR2,566 ($609.68) a metric ton.

Feb 22 - Russian grain exports to remain high in March - SovEcon
Russian grain exports are expected to remain high in March after record supplies in January and February due to the weakening of the rouble, SovEcon agriculture consultancy said in a note. In February, grain exports are expected to reach a record level for the month of 2.2 million tonnes, including 1.5 million tonnes of wheat, 200,000 tonnes of barley and 450,000 tonnes of corn (maize), it said. click here.

 Feb 22 - Egypt's strategic wheat reserves to last until start of June - minister
Egypt's strategic wheat reserves are enough to last until the start of June, Supply Minister Khaled Hanafi said in a statement on Saturday. Egypt's state-owned General Authority of Supply Commodities (GASC) bought 240,000 tonnes of wheat from France and Russia in a tender on Friday. click here.

 Feb 22 - Argentina declares flood emergency in six key farm provinces
Six of Argentina's main farm provinces were declared flood emergency areas by the government on Friday, making special credit lines and tax breaks available to affected growers in the soy and corn exporting powerhouse. The resolution, announced in the government's morning gazette, covers the provinces of Cordoba, Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Chaco, La Rioja and Corrientes. Argentina's top grains producing province of Buenos Aires was not included in the emergency, but floods were reported there as well. click here.

 Feb 22 - Canadian farm incomes set to fall this year from record high - gov't
Canadian farm incomes look set to fall in 2016 after a year of record profits, but will still reach above-average levels, according to a report from the federal government. Rising receipts for crops and livestock have boosted incomes in recent years, due to greater demand in developing countries and a weak Canadian dollar, a report from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said on Friday. Lower crude oil prices have also cut farmers' expenses. click here.

 Feb 22 - Yemen central bank stops guarantees for rice, sugar imports - sources
Yemen's central bank has told traders and local banks it will no longer provide lines of credit for the import of sugar and rice at the official exchange rate, merchants and local bankers said on Friday. The move takes immediate effect and is likely to further deepen the country's humanitarian crisis. Yemen is in the midst of a war between the Iran-allied Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa, and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government, which is backed by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia. click here.

Feb 19 - Cargill joins grain traders backing away from fertilizer
A sharp drop in crop prices has the world's biggest grain traders further distancing themselves from the global fertilizer business to reduce risk. Cargill Inc on Wednesday said it will stop selling fertilizer, along with crop chemicals and seeds, to farmers in Central and Eastern Europe by the end of May, its latest cutback after beginning a restructuring last year. click here.

 Feb 19 - El Nino 101: What everyone needs to know - Braun
If you have never heard the term "El Nino", you might have been living under a rock. The common informed person is probably somewhat aware that we are amidst a record-setting El Nino, and rumours of a possible switch to La Nina later this year have also danced into the public's ear, particularly those with an interest in commodity markets. But comprehension of such a scenario, and what it may mean, is quite difficult without an understanding of what El Nino and La Nina actually are and why they exist. click here.

 Feb 19 - FranceAgriMer raises French wheat stocks forecast to 17-yr high
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Thursday raised its forecast for total French soft wheat stocks at the end of the 2015/16 season to 6.0 million tonnes, from 5.8 million estimated last month, the highest level in 17 years. The higher estimate was mainly due to a cut in forecast exports outside the European Union - now pegged at 11.0 million tonnes against 11.3 million last month - due to lower sales prospects in Egypt where shipments have been delayed by confusion over import terms. click here.

 Feb 19 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for March 15-25 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Thursday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from March 15-25. Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of GASC, is seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Romania. click here.

 Feb 19 - Strategie Grains hikes 2016/17 EU wheat export forecast
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday increased sharply its forecast for European Union soft wheat exports in 2016/17, underlining an expected recovery in exports that it sees bringing down EU stocks next season. In a monthly report, Strategie Grains put EU soft wheat shipments in 2016/17 at 30.6 million tonnes, up 1.7 million from its previous estimate and 2.3 million above the 28.3 million tonnes of exports it forecast for this season. click here.

 Feb 19 - Nestle on "high alert" after JAB's spate of coffee deals
Nestle, which owns the world's largest coffee business, is stepping up investment there as it seeks to put more distance between it and fast-growing No. 2 player JAB Holding Co. JAB in December agreed with other minority investors to buy Keurig Green Mountain for about $14 billion, the latest in a spate of coffee deals that would give its owners, Germany's billionaire Reimann family, control of 21 percent of the global market, data from Euromonitor International shows. click here.

Feb 18 - Cargill to stop selling seeds, crop chemicals in Black Sea region
Cargill Inc will stop selling seeds, fertilizer and crop chemicals to farmers in the Black Sea region, as the global trader continues to cut back operations in the face of sliding commodity prices.The 150-year old company, one of the world's largest privately held corporations, is in the middle of a restructuring aimed at improving the way it responds to market swings. click here.

 Feb 18 - France to cut farmers' taxes by 500 mln euros to defuse unrest over prices
France will cut social security taxes paid by farmers, a measure worth 500 million euros ($556 million), to help ease financial pressure on them wrought by persistently low dairy and meat prices, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday.The government has been trying to defuse weeks-long protests by farmers over depressed prices for their products, partly the result of a Russian embargo on European Union foodstuffs. click here.

 Feb 18 - India antitrust body suspects Monsanto JV abused dominant position
India's antitrust regulator has ordered an investigation into a Monsanto joint venture, saying it suspected the company had abused its dominant position as a supplier of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds.The case arose as Indian authorities consider whether to allow commercial growing of the country's first genetically modified food crop, a technology that promises to improve yields but sharply divides public opinion in India. click here.

 Feb 18 - Egypt sends letter to wheat suppliers on ergot, hoping to win confidence
Egypt's Agriculture Ministry sent a letter to traders saying it will allow an ergot fungus tolerance level of 0.05 percent in wheat imports, hoping suppliers will make offers in international purchase tenders for the strategic grain.Disputes about ergot content level have disrupted top buyer Egypt's wheat imports in recent weeks, leaving traders wary. click here.

 Feb 18 - U.S. farmers wary of buying new equipment as crop prices stall
Nathan Applebee's family in Seneca, Illinois has farmed using John Deere equipment since the 1930s. The family still owns his great-grandfather's 1938 Model A, one of the first row-crop tractors.All the equipment down to the lawnmower on the Applebee farm comes in Deere & Co's signature green. This year, though, he said his loyalty will not translate into any purchases of new Deere equipment. click here.

 Feb 18 - Warm spell seen for southern U.S. Plains wheat; north stays dry
A warm spell in the U.S. Plains this week will cause a portion of the region's hard red winter wheat to break dormancy and lose some of its winter hardiness, but forecasts showed no immediate threat to the crop, meteorologists said.Temperatures should reach the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit (21 to 32 degrees Celsius) across the Plains wheat belt on Thursday, cooling to the 50s and 60s in the central Plains and the 60s to 70s farther south on Friday and Saturday. click here.

 Feb 18 - Sinking prices, soaring inventories plague U.S. ethanol market
U.S. ethanol producers and traders are bracing for a bleak spring as sinking prices and record inventories punish margins, forcing some companies to suspend loss-making output and extend maintenance, executives said at a conference on Wednesday.One of the only glimmers of hope is the export market, but conditions will get worse before the summer driving season starts, boosting demand and helping to erode stockpiles and bolster razor-thin margins. click here.

 Feb 18 - France's Avril to develop protein-rich rapeseed with Dow unit
French oilseed producer Avril announced a partnership with Dow Chemical Co unit Dow AgroSciences on Wednesday to develop protein-rich rapeseed.The deal will be based on non-genetically modified (GMO) seed technology developed by Dow AgroSciences in Canada, which boosts protein content by 20 percent, Avril's Deputy Director General Michel Boucly told reporters. click here.

 Feb 18 - Arla CEO says world dairy market in crisis, upturn seen end-2016
Arla Foods, one of Europe's biggest dairy companies, said on Wednesday the global milk market was in crisis due to oversupply, but it expected demand, particularly from China, to pick up at the end of the year.Headquartered in Denmark, Arla is Britain's largest and the world's seventh-largest dairy company. It reported net profit falling nearly eight percent to 295 million euros ($329 million) on revenue of 10.3 billion euros in 2015. click here

Feb 17 - GrainCorp joins bid to buy Australia's biggest grain exporter
Australia's GrainCorp will join a consortium that aims to acquire and list the country's largest wheat exporter, valued at up to $2.1 billion, potentially putting Graincorp in the box seat to take over its west coast rival. The proposal to list Western Australia-based Co-Operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH) is being led by Australian Grains Champion, a grower-led initiative that includes farmers and some former directors of CBH. click here.

 Feb 17 - China prepares to sell ageing corn from bulging stockpiles
China is preparing to sell ageing corn from its bulging national reserves to companies that can use it to churn out products such as ethanol or starch, industry sources said on Wednesday. The move would come even as a stockpiling scheme to support farmers is expected to add record amounts of new grain. click here.

 Feb 17 - Bunge seeks to resell French wheat cargo rejected by Egypt - trade
Bunge Ltd is seeking to resell a cargo of French milling wheat that was rejected by Egypt in December over trace levels of ergot fungus, traders said on Tuesday. The tender to sell the wheat is set to close on Thursday, the traders said. click here.

 Feb 17 - Asia watches as GMO legal challenge threatens Philippines food supply
A legal challenge to the Philippines' rules on genetically modified organisms is threatening to spark a food crisis in the country and could cloud the outlook for GM technology around Asia. Government agencies are scrambling to set new regulations on GMOs by Feb. 23 after the Southeast Asian nation's top court late last year demanded an overhaul of existing rules, halting GM planting and issuance of new GM import permits until that was done. click here.

 Feb 17 - China's major cotton-growing region to cut cultivation area
China, the world's No. 2 cotton producer, is targeting a 6.5 percent reduction in cotton cultivation in its top growing region this year, as it attempts to create conditions more favourable to a release of some of its huge state stocks. China's northwestern Xinjiang region, producer of more than 60 percent of the nation's cotton, will reduce planting of the fibre by 1.5 million mu, or 100,000 hectares, to 23 million mu in 2016, according to local media reports citing an agriculture work conference held late last month. click here.

 Feb 17 - EU wheat eases as export worries
European wheat futures turned lower on Tuesday after touching their highest in more than a week as traders worried that recent gains could limit export sales needed to trim hefty stocks in western Europe. May milling wheat on Euronext was down 1.25 euros at 160.75 euros a tonne by 1702 GMT, after earlier reaching its highest since Feb. 5 at 163.50 euros. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 16 - India's target to import GMO-free corn - mission impossible?
As India prepares to import corn for the first time in 16 years, at least one stipulation in its international tender has become much tougher to meet - that shipments of the crop are completely free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Asian country of 1.2 billion people does not allow cultivation of any genetically modified food, and has rules that are supposed to ensure that imports contain no trace of GMOs. click here.

 Feb 16 - Global wheat exports: The winners and the losers - Braun
When it comes to the global wheat trade, some exporters are thriving this year even amidst record supply and reduced demand, though not all participants are so lucky. Last year's record world wheat harvest and the lack of concern for the current wheat crop have slowed the market, but weak currencies have propped up trade for many major wheat exporting nations, excluding the United States based on the strong dollar. The European Union plus six other countries will make up 85 percent of global wheat trade in 2015/16, but some are having better luck than others. The Black Sea is cementing itself as top wheat exporter, while recent policy changes in Argentina have also tipped the scales in its favour. click here.

 Feb 16 - Brazil ports' lineup of ships to load soy, corn surges
The current lineup of ships to load soy and corn at Brazilian ports has grown to twice the number seen a year ago as excessive rains delayed loading and the weak currency boosts export sales. There are currently 163 ships waiting to load soy and corn at Brazilian ports, according to data from shipping agency Williams compiled by Reuters, with total grains volume of an estimated 9.73 million tonnes. click here.

 Feb 16 - Egypt rejects U.S. soybean cargoes - traders
Egypt’s agricultural quarantine authority has rejected four cargoes of U.S. soybean due to higher-than-permitted levels of a fungus called ambrosia, traders told Reuters on Monday. "The four vessels are around 30,000 tonnes each and are all of U.S. origin, the problems all happened this month," one Cairo-based trader said. "The official rejection letters are soon to be issued," another trader said. click here.

 Feb 16 - France fails to win immediate EU action on farming crisis
France failed to secure further relief measures for its struggling livestock farmers at a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers on Monday, as it tries to contain protests sparked by persistent low prices. French dairy and meat farmers have been staging protests for weeks, blocking roads, dumping manure, straw and earth in front of public buildings and supermarkets. click here.

Feb 16 - Iraq grain board chief to be investigated in graft case - ministry Iraq's acting trade minister has referred grain board chief Haitham al-Khishali and 16 unnamed individuals for investigation over suspected transportation of illegal wheat shipments, a ministry statement said on Monday. The grain board is responsible for purchasing billions of dollars worth of commodities internationally and from Iraqi farmers to be used in the nationwide ration programme, making it one of the world's biggest importers of wheat and rice. click here. 

Feb 15 - China Jan soy imports fall 17.7 pct on year - customs
China's soy imports fell 17.7 percent in January from a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday, while analysts expect imports to ease further this month due to traditional holidays. China, the world's top buyer of the oilseed, imported 5.66 million tonnes of soy in January, down 38 percent from December's imports of 9.12 million tonnes. The December figure was the second-highest monthly level on record. click here.

 Feb 15 - Sigma to launch Egypt's exchange for grains trading - CEO
Jordan-based Sigma Investments will partner with the Egyptian government to launch the region's first grains exchange by end 2016, the firm's chief executive said on Sunday in an interview. Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat, purchasing about 10 million tonnes of the grain each year from global markets. click here.

 Feb 15 - Subsidy sham: Fertilizers reach Indonesia plantations, not small farmers
Millions of dollars worth of subsidised fertilizers meant for small Indonesian farmers are being sold to big plantations, such as palm oil and rubber, at huge profits by state-backed retailers, a government report viewed by Reuters shows. A shortage of cheap fertilizers at a time when an El Nino weather event is threatening harvests could hurt food supplies in Southeast Asia's largest economy, scuppering President Joko Widodo's self-sufficiency targets that are already under pressure due to rampant corruption in the farm sector. click here.

 Feb 15 - Egypt's GASC says wheat tender cancelled, cites unsuitable prices
Egyptian state grain buyer GASC has cancelled a tender to buy an unspecified amount of wheat because the prices were not suitable, it said on Sunday, suggesting that the world's largest wheat importer is still struggling to secure grain after weeks of confusion over quality control. The cancellation comes after GASC told suppliers who originally made offers in a Saturday tender to extend the validity of their offers until Sunday. click here.

 Feb 15 - Carrefour offices searched in French agriculture pricing investigation
French retailer Carrefour has had its offices searched as part of an investigation into its commercial practices, the company said on Sunday, two days after the government warned companies against squeezing further price cuts from farmers. Milk and meat producers in France have held repeated demonstrations in protest at being forced to operate at a loss because of overcapacity and aggressive pricing pressure from retailers. click here.

 Feb 15 - Syngenta deal could pave way for biotech acceptance from China users
ChemChina's purchase of Syngenta could remove some of the suspicion around genetically modified crops and ultimately lead to more rapid user acceptance of biotechnology in food production in China, Syngenta's Chief Operating Officer Davor Pisk told Reuters. The $43 billion all-cash deal is the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese firm, and marks a massive upgrade to China's crop production potential. click here.

 Feb 15 - Argentine farmers take Monsanto seed complaint to regulators
Argentina's main farm group on Friday took complaints against Monsanto Co to local regulators, accusing the company of abusing its dominant position in the market by ordering exporters to inspect soy cargos for second-generation genetically modified seeds. Monsanto's Intacta soybeans have a gene that allows the soybean plant to protect itself against crop-devouring worms. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 12 - Bunge takes legal action to deliver rejected French wheat to Egypt
Bunge Ltd is seeking to complete the delivery of a rejected cargo of French wheat to Egypt through legal action against the country's state grain buyer, the global trader's chief executive said on Thursday.Bunge started legal proceedings against Egypt's grain importing body, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), after the cargo was turned away at delivery in December for containing too much of a fungus called ergot. click here.

 Feb 12 - Malaysia crude palm oil export tax may resume in March - traders
A recent rise in crude palm oil prices is expected to trigger a resumption of Malaysia's palm oil export tax in March, prompting a potential shift in exports towards processed palm products.Crude palm oil (CPO) prices have been rising due to concerns about lower production as an El Nino weather pattern brings scorching heat to Southeast Asia, reducing plant yields and cutting output. click here.

 Feb 12 - Russia's AgMin proposes wheat export duty near or at zero - agencies
Russia's Agriculture Ministry would like to keep the wheat export duty as a means of regulating the market but would like to see it close to zero or at zero, Interfax news agency cited the ministry's First Deputy Minister Yevgeny Gromyko as saying on Thursday."We have proposed to maintain the duty mechanism - it's a safety regulation measure," Gromyko said. "But (it should be) brought close to zero or, in fact, at zero."  click here.

 Feb 12 - Egypt's GASC says seeks wheat for March 10-20 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Thursday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment March 10-20.GASC canceled its previous two wheat tenders amid confusion over the allowed limits of ergot, a common grain fungus.A Feb. 1 tender received no offers while the next, on Feb. 4, attracted four offers of wheat at relatively high prices, reflecting traders' wariness about ergot specifications.  click here.

 Feb 12 - Mosaic looks for bargain buys as fertilizer sector slumps
U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co, grappling with falling prices and profits, is looking for acquisitions that could be bargain-priced in a weak commodity sector.The world's largest producer of finished phosphate products on Thursday forecast lower selling prices for potash and phosphate in the current quarter. The Plymouth, Minnesota-based company also reported fourth-quarter profit that fell less than expected, and announced a $75 million share repurchase program. click here.

 Feb 12 - Bumper Australian feed grain crop slows beef export
Higher feed grain supply has slowed an expected drop in Australian cattle exports as feedlot operators are using the cheap grain to fatten animals impacted by a three-year drought to sell to lucrative markets in Japan and Korea.The cheaper feed, the result of poor barley crops unfit for human use and bumper grain harvests, has helped feed-lot operators boost herds at the expense of grass-feeding cattle farmers. The surging feedlot cattle herds should offset a drop in Australian cattle exports to a three-year low in the 2015/2016 season as grass-fed herds have been culled because of a lack of food and water due to the drought. click here.

 Feb 12 - La Nina expected in next months for the first time since 2012
Even as the El Nino weather phenomenon continues to impact global temperatures and crops, its counterpart La Nina is increasingly expected to emerge in the coming months for the first time in four years.The return of La Nina, Spanish for "the girl" and characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures, is possible later this year, the U.S. government forecaster said Thursday. It joined other forecasters in projecting La Nina could follow on the heels of one of the strongest El Ninos on record. click here.

 Feb 12 - South Africa's 2015 maize output falls to lowest in 8 years
South Africa's 2015 maize output fell to its lowest level in eight years after an El Nino-induced drought scorched crops across key planting areas, a government agency said on Thursday.The Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said in its final figures maize totalled 9.955 million tonnes compared with 14.25 million tonnes a year earlier. click here.

 Feb 12 - Credit demand rises in U.S. farm economy as incomes fall
Demand for bank loans, loan extensions and renewals is surging among U.S. farmers, and farm incomes are forecast to fall for a third year, as grain and livestock prices remain stubbornly low, according to reports from Federal Reserve Banks on Thursday.Access to such credit tightened in the fourth quarter, and is expected to continue to be squeezed in 2016, as the rate of farmers repaying existing loans slows and the value of their land falls, according to the quarterly farm economy surveys from the Fed banks of St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago. click here.

 Feb 12 - France's Hollande says to cut farmers' payroll taxes
French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that the government would reduce payroll taxes to help struggling farmers.Prime Minister Manuel Valls "will announce before February 17 a new decline in payroll taxes, straight away, for all farmers," Hollande said in a televised interview after a cabinet reshuffle.Valls said on Monday that France wants new market regulation measures to help farmers hurt by low milk and pork prices and has submitted proposals ahead of a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers later this month. click here.

Feb 11 - Australian cuts to climate change research may hit drive into Asia
Funding and job cuts at Australia's climate change research body could undermine the country's goal of dominating the Asian premium food market by placing farmers at a disadvantage to U.S. and European competitors.Australia's extreme weather means farmers rely heavily on climate change forecasts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to mitigate the impact of bushfires, cyclones and droughts. click here.

 Feb 11 - Palm oil price to rise as El Nino dents 2016 output, but gains capped - Poll
Palm oil prices are set to rise in 2016 for the first time in five years, driven by lower output growth from the El Nino's dry weather, but large global oilseed supplies and low crude oil prices will limit gains, a Reuters poll showed.Benchmark prices for crude palm oil (CPO) will average at 2,400 ringgit ($584.23) per tonne in 2016, up 5.5 percent from 2,275 ringgit last year, based on a median estimate from a poll of 14 analysts and traders. click here.

 Feb 11 - France keeps 2016 winter wheat area at 80-year high
France's farm ministry on Wednesday left almost unchanged its estimate of the area sown with winter soft wheat for the 2016 harvest, estimating the biggest planted area in 80 years.Grain belts had also seen good conditions for sowing and crop development, the ministry said, raising the prospect of another big harvest this summer after a record 2015 volume that has left traders wrestling with high stocks. click here.

 Feb 11 - U.S. cotton imports damaging Turkish production, Turkey probe finds
Turkey said it has concluded that U.S. cotton imports are damaging domestic output after a more than year-long review, dealing a potential blow to the world's No. 3 grower of natural fiber amid concerns Ankara could resort to anti-dumping duties."Cotton imports originating from the United States have caused material damage to local production," the Economy Ministry said in an interim investigative report. click here.

 Feb 11 - Russia to replace U.S. soya with Latin American imports - minister
Russia will replace U.S. soya imports with supplies from Latin America, Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev told Rossiya 24 TV on Wednesday.Agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that Russia will ban imports of corn and soya from the United States starting from Feb. 15. click here.

 Feb 11 - Canadian dairy Agropur eyes further U.S. acquisitions
Canada's second-biggest dairy, Agropur Cooperative, said it is looking to grow in the United States, possibly through acquisitions, in the face of an expected erosion of its market share at home due to recent international trade deals.Agropur, whose brands include Iogo yogurt and Oka cheese, and larger rival Saputo Inc have already built U.S. businesses through acquisitions, looking for profits outside Canada's managed-supply system. click here.

 Feb 11 - CME Group to reduce livestock futures, options trading hours

CME Group, the world's largest futures market operator, plans to shorten trading hours for its livestock futures and options contracts effective Feb. 29, the exchange said in a statement on Wednesday.The exchange said the proposed changes, pending CFTC approval, for live cattle, feeder cattle and lean hog futures and options are designed to "further enhance its livestock markets" based on customer requests. click here.

Feb 10 - Bunge challenges Egypt over rejected French wheat cargo
Bunge Ltd has launched legal proceedings against Egypt's state grain buyer over a rejected cargo of French wheat, highlighting uncertainty among suppliers who are already charging a risk premium to the world's largest wheat importer.Egypt, which buys wheat to provide its poorest citizens with bread, has in recent weeks fueled confusion in the global grain market because different government agencies have made conflicting statements about whether the country would accept shipments with any presence of ergot, a fungus. click here.

 Feb 10 - Monsanto to pay $80 mln in U.S. SEC settlement over Roundup earnings
Monsanto Co  will pay $80 million to settle civil accounting violations after it allegedly misstated its earnings in connection with its top-selling Roundup product, U.S. securities regulators said on Tuesday.The Securities and Exchange Commission also said that three accounting and sales executives have also agreed to settle charges in connection with the case. click here.

 Feb 10 - Malaysia's Jan palm oil end-stocks fall to lowest in 5-months
Malaysia's palm oil inventories in January fell to their lowest in five months, data from the industry regulator showed on Wednesday, as output of the tropical oil took a hit from a severe El Nino weather event.Falling stockpiles could provide additional support to benchmark palm oil prices, which rallied to the highest in nearly 21 months on Friday at 2,604 ringgit per tonne. The contract was down 0.4 percent at 2,571 ringgit at the mid-day break on Wednesday amid worries over weak exports. click here.

 Feb 10 - Brazil agricultural waterway reopens after 20-month drought - paper
Brazil's Tiete-Parana waterway, a key transport corridor for soybeans, corn, cellulose, fertilizer and other agricultural products, has reopened after a 20-month closure due to drought and the use of water for electricity, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported late Tuesday.On Monday a barge train passed downstream on the Tiete River through the locks at the Nova Avanhandava hydrodam for the first time since 2014, the paper said. click here.

 Feb 10 - Fertilizer maker Agrium's forecast disappoints, shares fall
Agrium Inc, a Canadian fertilizer and farm products retailer, joined rival Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc in forecasting a weaker-than-expected 2016 profit, as prices for crop nutrients remain weak.Agrium's Toronto-listed shares fell as much as 5.2 percent to C$110.89, its lowest in a year, as investors ignored a better-than-expected quarterly profit. click here.

Feb 10 - U.S. corn, wheat supplies to rise as exports wane - USDA U.S. corn and wheat ending stocks will be higher than previously expected at the end of the marketing year due to a drop in already weak demand for U.S. supplies on the export market, the government said on Tuesday.The U.S. Agriculture Department in its monthly supply and demand report also raised its soybean ending stocks outlook due to a slowdown in the pace of crushing at domestic processors. click here. 

Feb 09 - Malaysia January CPO Output Down 12.4% on Month to 2.31 Million Tons - MPOB
Malaysia's palm-oil stocks contracted for the second consecutive month in January, with palm-oil exports down 12.4% from the previous month to 2.31 million metric tons, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said Wednesday.
- The country's palm-oil stocks totaled 2.63 million tons in December.
- In its monthly report, the MPOB said crude-palm-oil output fell 19.3% to 1.13 million tons in January. CPO output totaled 1.40 million tons in December.
- Palm-oil exports for the month were down 13.8% to 1.28 million tons.

The following are details of the January crop data and revised numbers for December, issued by MPOB:


                            January      December      Change
                                                     On Month
Crude Palm Oil Output     1,129,835     1,399,383    Down 19.3%
Palm Oil Exports          1,279,069     1,484,211    Down 13.8%
Palm Kernel Oil Exports      85,129        91,170    Down  6.3%
Palm Oil Imports             36,642        83,486    Down 56.1%
Closing Stocks            2,307,843     2,633,940    Down 12.4%
Crude Palm Oil            1,301,818     1,593,073    Down 18.3%
Processed Palm Oil        1,006,025     1,040,867    Down  3.4%


(All figures are in metric tons)

Feb 09 - Iran hopes for agricultural boom post-sanctions
Iran plans to turn itself into a major food exporter, hoping the lifting of sanctions will boost international trade and allow investment in the agricultural sector, an official in Iran's state grain buying agency said. "We are ready for a big leap in the post-sanctions era. We hope by removing the shackles of sanctions from our farmers' hands, we can see an increase in production and even exports," Amir Hossein Shahmir, head of international trade at the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) told Reuters. click here.

 Feb 09 - France asks EU for "market regulation" to help struggling farmers
France wants new "market regulation measures" to help farmers hurt by low milk and pork prices and has submitted proposals ahead of a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers later this month, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday. The government called on the European Commission to do more to help its struggling livestock sector, seeking to defuse protests in which farmers have blocked highways and supermarkets. click here.

 Feb 09 - Ukraine raises grain export forecast on rising maize demand
Ukraine has raised its grain export forecast for the 2015/16 season to around 37 million tonnes from 36 million, buoyed by rising maize demand from abroad and expectations of a good crop next year, the agriculture minister told Reuters on Monday. Maize exports may total 16.7 million tonnes this season compared to an earlier estimate of 16 million, Oleksiy Pavlenko said. He added that wheat growers who suffered crop losses as a result of a severe drought last year and frost in winter would likely reseed much of the affected fields with maize. click here.

 Feb 09 - Russian wheat export prices fall on Egypt policy confusion
Russian wheat export prices fell last week, undermined by worries about future supply contracts to world No. 1 importer Egypt, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $181 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $1 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. click here.

 Feb 09 - CME Group says delists 2019 soymeal contracts, reviews specifications
The CME Group on Monday said it was delisting all three of its 2019 soymeal futures contracts as the exchange conducts customer outreach ahead of potential changes in the contract specifications. The exchange has been looking into reducing the protein content specification for soymeal futures to more accurately reflect product available in cash markets. The exchange in a release said it was delisting the July, October and December 2019 contracts, adding that the contracts eventually will be relisted. click here.

Feb 09 - Data Palmoil Malaysian cash market prices are unavailable due to Lunar New Year Holiday.

Feb 08 - Egypt seeks to reassure wheat market after two cancelled tenders
Egypt sought to reassure wheat markets on Sunday after weeks of confusion over the allowed limits of ergot fungus rattled traders and forced the state grain buyer to cancel two tenders. Egypt, the world's largest importer of wheat, has sent confusing messages to exporters in recent weeks. Egypt's Supply Ministry and its grain importing body, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), have assured suppliers their shipments can contain up to 0.05 levels of ergot, a common global standard, even as agriculture authorities have insisted there should be none. As a result, suppliers have stayed away. click here.

 Feb 08 - Palm oil prices to rise on tight stocks, may hit 2,700 rgt in Q2 - Mistry
Palm oil prices could jump more than expected to 2,700 ringgit per tonne in the second quarter, the highest since early 2014, as seasonally lower output and dry weather dent inventories across Southeast Asia, vegetable oils analyst Dorab Mistry said. Concerns that dryness linked to an El Nino weather pattern will lower fresh fruit bunch yields in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia have already lifted palm oil prices to a near 21-month top of 2,604 ringgit ($626.71) per tonne. click here.

 Feb 08 - Monsanto and BASF may reap more from partnership after Syngenta sale
Monsanto could seek to expand in agricultural chemicals by deepening its partnership with Germany's BASF after losing out to ChemChina in its bid to buy seeds and pesticides firm Syngenta. A growing world population, limited farm land, higher meat consumption and biofuel use are driving demand for anything that improves agricultural productivity and BASF is also keen to expand in the normally high-margin growth market. click here.

 Feb 08 - U.S. cotton farmers seen boosting acreage 6.2 pct this year
U.S. cotton farmers are expected to boost acreage by 6.2 percent this year as weak market prices for competing crops including corn and soybeans lead them to devote more area to the fiber, an industry group concluded after a survey. The National Cotton Council, or NCC, expects plantings in the world's biggest exporter to rise to 9.1 million acres (3.7 million hectares) in 2016, slightly lower than median expectations of 9.7 million acres (3.9 million hectares) according to a Reuters poll. click here.

 Feb 08 - Bayer rejects EPA request to pull insecticide from U.S. market
The agricultural unit of German chemicals company Bayer AG said on Friday it will fight a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request to pull one of its insecticides from the marketplace amid concerns that it could harm organisms in streams and ponds. Bayer CropScience will instead ask for an administrative law hearing from the EPA's Office of General Counsel to review the registration of flubendiamide, the active ingredient in Bayer's Belt pesticide. click here.

 Feb 08 - China cracks down on illegal GM crops ahead of Syngenta deal
Chinese officials have issued warnings to seed dealers and farmers not to use unapproved genetically modified seeds in the country's main crop belt, shortly after Greenpeace said it had found widespread GM contamination in corn. The unprecedented action by rural authorities also comes as state-owned ChemChina agreed a $43 billion deal for seed and agrichemicals giant Syngenta AG, a move seen as bringing leading technology and know-how to China's fragmented seed industry as it grapples with a divisive GM policy. click here.

Feb 08 - Malaysian Cash Market Prices for Palm Oil Unavailable
Data for Malaysian cash market prices for palm oil are unavailable due to Lunar New Year Holiday.

Feb 06 - Brazilian Markets 1st to 5th of February 2016 (Ricardo Lorenzet )
Harvest is accelerating in Brazil. Despite some weather delays in parts of MT, east of MS and PR, combines are rolling and estimates are that around 10% of Brazilian soybean acreage is harvested at the moment, now a bit ahead of LY pace.
- AG Rural, reported a 6% advance in the week to 10% harvested. França Junior is working with 10.6% harvested, versus 9.2% LY and 8.4% average. Safras & Mercado has a more “cautious” number with 8.4% harvested versus 7.8% LY and 7.9% average (PR 19%; MT 14%; MS 12%; GO 3%; MG 1%).
- First crop corn harvest is evolving well in south states with DERAL estimating 10% harvested early in the week in PR and EMATER 30% in RGDS, both ahead of LY pace for this time of the year.
- This harvest flow is allowing second crop corn seeding around the country with 11% seeded in MT versus 12.7% LY (IMEA), 30% in PR (DERAL) and 17% in MS (Safras & Mercado).

This week we had the new CONAB estimate of Brazilian harvest to the 2015/16 season, and soybean forecast was lowered to 100.9 mi. MT from 102.1 in January. They still have an average yield higher than LY. Despite this week's reports of better yields harvested in some regions, which are supporting an estimate of 98 mi. MT, higher than LY yields seems not in agreement with fields reality.
- To corn, CONAB estimate came out with an increase of first crop from 27.8 to 28.3 mi. MT reflecting better yields in SP and RGDS. All corn harvest is forecasted at 83.33 mi. MT versus 82.3 in January. LY harvest was 84.67 mi. MT. The government is projecting second crop harvest almost the same as LY at 54.99 mi. MT (54.59 LY). Market is expecting, with weather help, an increase in second crop production.
- Besides CONAB numbers, we had Safras & Mercado updating farmer selling estimates this week. The company projects that 99% of LY harvest is already sold. At same time, for the 2015/16 season, farmers have already sold 51% of the projected harvest versus 45% LY and 44% average. State by state we have: MT 57%; GO 65%; MG 55%; BA 56%; MS 48%; PR 45% and RS 38%. França Junior, ex Safras reported similar numbers: 49% sold for the 2015/16 crop year.
- And talking about the market, the week was generally slow form the farmer side in the soybean front after a slump of around R$3,00/bag reflecting a strong BRL and a weak tone in the FOB market. In the corn market, the situation was similar. Despite the government auction, the flow of business was generally slow but prices kept a firm tone.
- Despite the weakness in soybean basis in Brazil, Argentina's slow farmer selling (even in front of a weak peso) and negative crush margins, firmed soybean complex products markets there which reflected into Brazilian markets. The move was also helped by a strong demand appetite, especially in the oil leg, again by India.

Feb 05 - India may decide on GM food as China makes big leap with Syngenta buy
Officials may decide on Friday whether to allow what could be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, mustard, spurred by food security concerns and as China makes a big bet on the technology with a $43 billion bid for seed firm Syngenta.Permitting GM food crops is a big call for a country that spends tens of billions of dollars importing edible oils and other food items every year. click here.

 Feb 05 - Brazil's Conab lowers soy, raises corn forecast
Brazilian government crop supply agency Conab cut its forecast for a still-record 2015/16 national soybean harvest by 1.2 million tonnes on Thursday to 100.9 million tonnes because of lower yield estimates in top-growing state Mato Grosso.Conab, which last month had forecast a crop of 102.1 million tonnes, lowered its estimate primarily due to irregular rainfall in Mato Grosso. Average yields there will probably be 4.2 percent lower than last year, the agency said. click here.

 Feb 05 - Egypt's GASC again seeks wheat for March 2-11 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Thursday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from March 2-11.GASC on Tuesday canceled an earlier tender for the same dates due to a lack of offers. Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of GASC, is seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Romania. click here.

 Feb 05 - Cargill buys soymeal from ADM, slows Indiana crush - traders
Cargill Inc has slowed the crush at its soybean processor in Indiana and instead bought soymeal from rival Archer Daniels Midland Co to ship railcars to feed markets in the southeastern United States, cash traders with knowledge of the deals said on Thursday.Crush margins that measure the profitability of buying soybeans, then selling soymeal and soyoil have declined for months. Average margins bottomed out at a 17-month low of 23 cents per bushel last month, before rebounding this week to 50 cents, seen by traders as a break-even point, Chicago Board of Trade data shows. click here.

Feb 05 - Malaysia's end-Jan palm oil stocks seen hitting 5-mth low
Malaysian palm oil inventories are forecast to have dropped to a five-month low in January, as production fell faster than a slowdown in exports, a Reuters poll showed.Shrinking stockpiles in the Southeast Asian nation could further boost benchmark palm oil prices, which rallied to a 20-month high of 2,578 ringgit ($623.20) a tonne on Friday. click here.

Feb 05 - Dry Weather Makes It Rain for Malaysian Palm Oil (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil reached its highest since May 2014 as investors soak up supply ahead of lunar new year, says a Kuala Lumpur based trader. He says there are concerns that data due out next week from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board will show that palm oil stocks fell in January as production was hit by the impacts of dry weather in the second half of 2015. Bursa Malaysia three-month contracts are trading up 38 ringgit to 2569 ringgit a ton, up 37 ringgit a ton. It earlier touched a higher 2578 ringgit a ton.

Feb 04 - ChemChina's Syngenta swoop: a 12-year crush, a 12-month courtship
A frenetic year of negotiations and setbacks preceded China National Chemical Corp's (ChemChina) blockbuster $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides giant Syngenta.But state-owned ChemChina boss Ren Jianxin's dream of snapping up either Syngenta or its U.S. rival Dow Chemical Co goes back much further - to just after his firm was officially established in 2004. click here.

 Feb 04 - China approves Monsanto GMO soybean variety for import
Monsanto Co said on Wednesday it received import approval from China for its new genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and that it will begin selling the seeds in the United States and Canada.China, the world's biggest soybean importer, does not allow imports of new genetically modified crops until they are approved by government regulators. click here.

 Feb 04 - Slowing Chinese sorghum demand ends boom for Australian, U.S. growers
Slowing Chinese demand for sorghum is set to exacerbate tough market conditions for grain farmers in the United States and Australia, as one of the few bright spots in global markets over the past two years starts to fade.Imports by top buyer China more than tripled in 2015 to above 10 million tonnes, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows, as Chinese regulatory changes affecting corn boosted demand for sorghum for use in animal feed. click here.

 Feb 04 - Egypt's agriculture ministry to accept wheat with 0.05 pct ergot
Egypt's agriculture ministry will allow wheat imports with up to 0.05 percent levels of ergot, a common grains fungus, it said on Wednesday, reversing a zero tolerance policy that prompted traders to boycott the state's wheat tender this week.The supply ministry and the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has baffled traders in recent weeks by assuring them their shipments would be permitted with ergot levels up to 0.05 percent, a common international standard, even as agricultural authorities have rejected shipments above zero. click here.

 Feb 04 - U.S. ethanol supplies rise to near-record high on demand ebb -EIA
U.S. ethanol prices fell on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration said stockpiles jumped 4 percent last week to the highest levels in roughly four years due to slowing demand.Ethanol supplies rose 926,000 barrels to 22.36 million in the week ended Jan. 29, the most since the record-large stockpiles seen in March of 2012, EIA data showed. click here.

 Feb 04 - CME Group to again list new live cattle futures, options contracts
CME Group Inc plans to resume the listing schedule for live cattle futures and options contracts, effective Feb. 18, the exchange said in statement on Wednesday.CME will post the June 2017 live cattle futures and options contract that was originally scheduled to be listed on January 4. click here.

Feb 03 - Asian CPO Close Higher on Hopes of Lower Stocks (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices rallied for another day on expectation of a fall in palm oil inventories. Investors are hoping a "drastic fall in palm oil stocks" ahead of a key crop report to be released by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board next week, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. The April benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 32 ringgit higher at 2547 ringgit a ton Wednesday.

Feb 03 - ChemChina makes $43 bln agreed bid for Switzerland's Syngenta
China's state-owned ChemChina will make an agreed $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta, the companies said on Wednesday, marking the largest ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm. The deal accelerates a shakeup in the global agrochemicals industry and is a setback for U.S. seed company Monsanto, which made an unsuccessful $45 billion move for Syngenta last year. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 03 - Ethanol pioneer ADM's struggle reflects deepening industry woes
When Archer Daniels Midland opened two of the country's largest ethanol plants in Nebraska and Iowa six years ago, the biofuels market was on the cusp of a boom with prices and profits on the rise. Now, the plants are more of a headache for the Chicago-based company, considered an industry pioneer, amid crushed margins and weak prices as the financial success of its almost 40-year- old business fades. In the industry's first major capitulation to depressed market conditions, ADM's chief executive, Juan Luciano, on Tuesday said he would consider options, including a sale, for those two plants as well as another in Peoria, Illinois. click here.

 Feb 03 - Egypt edges toward wheat supply crisis as traders boycott tender
Rattled by stringent new import rules, Egypt's wheat suppliers boycotted en masse a state tender on Tuesday, pushing the world's biggest purchaser of the commodity towards a crisis that could threaten its strategic grain reserves. Wheat supplies, critical to a bread subsidy programme that feeds tens of millions, are a red line in Egypt, the most populous Arab country. When Egyptians rose up against autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, a signature chant was "Bread, freedom and social justice". click here.

Feb 03 - Canada canola, wheat stocks seen smaller at year end
Canadian stockpiles of canola and wheat at the end of 2015 shrank from the previous year, according to a Reuters survey of 10 traders and analysts ahead of a Statistics Canada report. All-wheat stocks in commercial and on-farm storage dipped 15 percent to 21.8 million tonnes as of Dec. 31, 2015, according to the average estimate. Those supplies would be the smallest in three years. click here.

Feb 02 - Malaysian Palm Oil Hits Highest Level Since May 2014 (Dow Jones)
Malaysia palm oil hit its highest level since May 2014 as a fall in the ringgit supported prices in the market, says a Kuala-Lumpur based trader. The Bursa Malaysia Derivatives three month contract hit a 21-month high of 2,523 ringgit a metric ton on Tuesday, before ending the session at 2514 ringgit a ton. The Bursa Malaysia was closed Monday for a national holiday. The trader added that moves higher in soybean prices overnight in the U.S. had also helped palm oil prices due to soyoil, produced from soybeans, being a substitute for palm oil.

Feb 02 - Ample grain stocks could dampen impact of El Nino/La Nina shift
When El Nino gives way to its little sister, La Nina, this year, as meteorologists are forecasting, the disruptive weather patterns may still be unable to disperse the bearish clouds that have hung over U.S. grains markets for years.Corn and soybean futures have gone haywire in past transition years, with prices soaring as yields withered. click here.

 Feb 02 - Egypt to launch agricultural commodities bourse by year-end
Egypt plans to launch an agricultural-focused commodities trading exchange, the first of its kind in the Middle East, by the end of 2016, Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi said on Monday.Speaking at a press conference announcing the completion of a feasibility study on the new bourse, Hanafi said its launch would protect small farmers from volatile price swings and help to connect their output to supply chains. click here.

 Feb 02 - Food imports rise as Modi struggles to revive rural India
India's prime minister held a late night meeting with food and farm officials last week to address falling agricultural output and rising prices, and traders warn the country will soon be a net buyer of some key commodities for the first time in years.Back-to-back droughts, the lack of long-term investment in agriculture and increasing demands from a growing population are undermining the country's bid to be self-sufficient in food. click here.

Feb 02 - Vilmorin buys U.S. vegetable seed firm as Syngenta hopes wane
Vilmorin has acquired Genica Research Corporation to boost its place as the second-largest vegetable seed maker after concluding Syngenta's activities were no longer for sale.Genica Research Corporation, headquartered in California, specializes in research, breeding, production and distribution by delegation of hybrid vegetable seeds, mainly sweet and hot peppers, cucumber, summer squash and tomato. click here.

 Feb 02 - Government policy may be biggest threat to Indian wheat - Braun
Despite weather concerns surrounding India’s current wheat crop, history suggests that India’s food security relies mainly on policy.The potential for a wheat shortage in India this year may invoke memories of the 2006/07 marketing year during which India imported nearly 7 million tonnes of wheat, the largest volume since 1975/76. click here.

 Feb 02 - Iran bans state imports of all foreign wheat for a the coming year
Iran banned state imports of wheat for a year starting on March 20, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday, ordering officials to stop registering new purchase orders."There is no need for wheat imports in coming year. Please avoid registering any order for wheat (imports) from this date," Iran's Ministry of Agriculture, Mahmoud Hojjati asked Mohammadreza Nematzadeh, the minister of industry and trade last week in a letter published on Tasnim today. click here

Feb 01 - Russia expected to leave its grain tax scheme intact
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is not expected to change its current regime of taxes on grain exports, sources said on Friday, following proposals to change them.Concerns over the possibility of tougher limits on Russia's foreign sales of wheat sent global prices to a one-month high earlier this week. click here.

 Feb 01 - Online cattle auction aims to shake up U.S. meat market
A proposal for an online auction that could shake up the U.S. pricing model for cattle is set to make its public debut on Friday after a test run last week, with the support of a unit of the world's largest meatpacker.Producers have worried for years that the country's existing method for pricing cattle headed to slaughter can undervalue animals because it is based partly on a declining market of cash sales that are concentrated in certain geographic areas.  click here.

 Feb 01 - Indecision rules after low prices crimp U.S. wheat acres
Faced with unappealing prices for most major crops, farmers in the southern U.S. Plains are struggling with what to plant this year. The region, stretching from Texas to Nebraska, is traditionally one of the world's leading producers of wheat and cattle. click here.

 Feb 01 - Egypt's GASC says French wheat shipment rejected after re-testing
Egypt rejected a French wheat shipment it said did not meet strict new import rules, rattling traders who said the move could drive up the cost of supplying the world's largest buyer and endanger its ability to provide its poorest citizens bread. The 63,000-tonne shipment arrived to Egypt in December and was initially rejected by agricultural quarantine for containing ergot, a common grains fungus. click here.

 Feb 01 - Louis Dreyfus ring fences some units, considers options-source
Louis Dreyfus Commodities is ring-fencing its fertilisers and inputs, metals, juice and dairy units and is considering options ranging from joint ventures to the sale of certain assets, a senior company source said.In December, Reuters reported the trade house had been seeking buyers for its juice and fertiliser units for some months, as it focused on higher-margin activities. click here.

 Feb 01 - Thailand to sell 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes of rice from stockpiles
Thailand will sell 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes of rice from government stockpiles for human consumption and industrial use, the commerce ministry said on Monday.Thailand, the world's second-biggest rice exporter after India, has stocks of about 13 million tonnes following the rice-buying scheme under the previous government of Yingluck Shinawatra that cost the state billions of dollars and ended in 2014. click here.

 Feb 01 - Speculators trim corn net short position - CFTC
Large speculators trimmed their net short position in Chicago Board of Trade corn futures in the week to Jan. 26, regulatory data released on Friday showed. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, trimmed their net short position in CBOT wheat and increased their net short position in soybeans. click here.

 Feb 01 - Snow, rain for U.S. Farm Belt next week; cold spell to follow
A storm crossing the U.S. Plains early next week should bring heavy snow that will help insulate the region's winter wheat from a cold spell that will follow, agricultural meteorologists said on Friday."A pretty potent storm should develop across central Plains by Monday. Then it really pushes into the Midwest Tuesday and Wednesday," said Don Keeney, a meteorologist with MDA Weather Services. click here.

Jan 29 - Brazilian Markets 25th to 29th of January 2016 (Ricardo Lorenzet)
- Farmers focused on soybean harvest in the “center-north” of the country (as well as in the north of PR) and fungicide spraying in the south (after the rains in RGDS) and late seeded fields in other regions (BA, MG and MAPITOBA) during the week. In regions of second crop corn, seeding was also active when the weather permitted.
- Generally speaking soybean harvest activity is late than LY, but on par with average and corn seeding a bit late than usual in MT but ahead in PR and MS. Soybean yields are being lower than LY as expected.
- AgRural projected on Friday 4.0% of Brazilian soy acreage is harvested, almost on par with average for this time of the year.
- Safras & Mercado have 3.9% harvested versus 5.0% LY and 4.0% average. PR (7%), MS (7%), GO (1%) and MT (8%).
- IMEA-MT reported 8.2% of soybean acreage harvested, a 4.5% evolution WOW. LY 10.3% was harvested in the end of Jan.
- França Junior, ex-Safras & Mercado, estimates that 5.6% of acreage is harvested versus 6.6% LY and 4.3% average.
- IMEA-MT estimates that 5.4% of Safrinha corn acreage is seeded versus 8.0% at same time LY. In PR, Deral projects 13% seeded versus 11% LY.

Market was generally slow from the farmer side, with prices not oscillating much for both Corn and Soybeans.
- Soybean farmers are “well sold” and tend to keep a slow approach going forward, in front of internal political/economics uncertainty and the expectations of new waves of BRL weakening.
During the week ANP held the 47o Biodiesel Auction, which registered another relevant volume traded, supporting oil basis in a moment that crushers are not being able to take early harvested beans in front of export players appetite. Crush margins are negative in Brazil and Argentina at the moment.
- Corn market is firm, but traded volumes small with players expecting early next week Conab auction.
- In FOB markets, not much happening. Soybeans were stable/firm during the week with China booking cargoes from Brazil for FEB, MAR loadings. Meal basis were firm in the nearby on slow soybean flow. Corn registered some firmness in early safrinha cargoes.

Jan 29 - Asian CPO Closes Lower on Sluggish Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil futures end lower, weighed on by slowing exports and a stronger ringgit. Palm oil prices had been trading a bit higher during the past few weeks on a likely drop in production in top producers Indonesia and Malaysia due to dry weather effects. However, sluggish exports are putting pressure on palm oil. The April benchmark palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settles 36 ringgit lower at MYR2,443 ($588) a metric ton.

Jan 29 - India faces possibility of record wheat imports - Braun
Unfavorable weather and dwindling stocks may cause India to import a record volume of wheat over the next year. Following the second consecutive below-average monsoon, India has been facing dry conditions for this year’s wheat crop. Periodic heat spells since planting have also added extra stress to the plants. Indian wheat farming relies heavily on a sufficient monsoon prior to the start of planting in October. The monsoon, or rainy season, typically lasts from July through September. click here.

 Jan 29 - Iran aims to be self-sufficient in wheat - minister
Iran aims to be self-sufficient in wheat in future by improving yields but will continue to be reliant on imports for maize and barley, Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati said during a visit to Paris on Thursday. Iran has been a major wheat importer in recent years as the country aimed to guarantee local food supplies and curb political tensions, although its needs have varied partly due to erratic domestic production. click here.

 Jan 29 - El Nino rains could complicate harvests for Brazilian farmers
Brazilian grain farmers are expected to face wetter conditions from the lingering effects of El Nino as the bumper harvests of summer soybeans and corn unfold in the first half of 2016, weather forecasters said on Thursday. Brazil's sugar cane and coffee belt, which only start harvest in the second quarter will benefit if a final burst of moisture helps crops fill out in late stages of crop development. But if heavier than usual rains persist after April they will complicate harvest for the crops. click here.

 Jan 29 - China vows tougher regulation of genetically modified crops
China aims to crack down further on the cultivation of illegal genetically modified crops, a senior agricultural official said on Thursday, following instances of the planting of unapproved strains of corn and soybeans. The agriculture ministry began a nationwide investigation last year amid media reports that farmers in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang were planting unapproved GMO varieties of soybeans. As much as 93 percent of samples from cornfields in Liaoning, another northeastern province, tested positive for GMO contamination, a survey by environmental group Greenpeace shows. click here.

 Jan 29 - Potash Corp forecasts bleak year ahead, slashes dividend
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan forecast its bleakest year in a decade and slashed its dividend, due to tanking fertilizer prices. Shares of Potash Corp, which also reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, bounced off earlier losses, climbing 1.9 percent in New York by afternoon. On Monday they tumbled to a nine-year low. click here.

 Jan 29 - EU again facing low rapeseed harvest in 2016
The European Union's 2016 rapeseed crop is likely to stay around the low level of 2015, with stable harvests expected in France and Germany but uncertainty about crops in Poland and Britain, experts said on Thursday. The EU could harvest around 22.0 million tonnes of rapeseed in 2016 against 22.1 million in 2015, said Thomas Mielke, chief executive of Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World in preliminary estimates. click here.

 Jan 29 - South African maize prices fall as govt production estimate beats expectations
South African maize prices eased further from recently-scaled record peaks on Thursday after the government's first estimate for the 2016 harvest exceeded market expectations about the drought-stricken crop. The March futures contract for white maize fell 2.4 percent to 4,896 rand ($300) a tonne, 9 percent lower than the all-time high of 5,376 rand reached on Tuesday, according to Thomson Reuters data. Prices for the yellow variety of the grain also fell, with the March contract 0.53 percent lower at 3,761 rand a tonne, a drop of over 7 percent from its historic high of 4,055 rand obtained on Jan 19. click here.

Jan 29 - Malaysian Palm Oil Prices Lower on Ringgit Move (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil prices are under pressure, likely due to a sharp rise in the Malaysian ringgit against the USD in early trading which follows significant appreciation in the currency over the last week, says a Kuala Lumpur- based trader. ING adds in a note that the ringgit rallied after the release of the revised Malaysian budget and comments from Prime Minister Najib the Malaysian ringgit was undervalued. Bursa Malaysia three-month palm oil prices are trading down 39 ringgit to 2443 ringgit a ton.

Jan 28 - Asian CPO Close Lower on Currency Moves (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil settles lower following a series of gains dragged down by a stronger ringgit. Besides, weakness in crude oil prices and ample soybean supplies will continue to impact demand, analysts say. A Kuala Lumpur-based trader expects Malaysian palm-oil futures to trade in the range of 2380 and 2530 ringgit a ton. The April benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 23 ringgit lower at 2481 ringgit a ton Thursday. It settled at 2503 ringgit a ton Wednesday.

Jan 28 - China to cut domestic corn prices to spur demand, cut imports
China, the world's second-largest corn consumer, will cut domestic prices to spur demand from downstream industry and reduce cheaper imports, a senior government official said on Thursday. China has instituted a crop stockpiling policy to protect its rural population from fluctuating prices and prop up incomes. But corn reserves are now at record highs. Demand for cheaper overseas supplies has spiked because the stockpiling elevated domestic prices, with imports of corn and corn substitutes hitting a record high last year. click here.

 Jan 28 - Russia to consider wheat export tax cut; may slap fees on barley, corn
Russia will consider removing or cutting an export tax on wheat and imposing one on barley and corn (maize) exports, First Deputy Agriculture Minister Evgenii Gromyko said on Wednesday. Concerns over possible tougher limits on Russia's foreign sales of wheat had helped Chicago prices of the commodity hit a one-month high on Tuesday. "The Agriculture Ministry has proposed cutting export duties. For now we are talking about wheat only," Gromyko told reporters in Moscow, adding the ministry had also proposed removing the wheat tax. click here.

 Jan 28 - Australia's Merricks Capital bullish on palm oil, soybeans
Merricks Capital says there is money to be made on the buyside in palm oil, wheat and soybean options in 2016, as these markets do not yet fully reflect the impact of supply and currency fluctuations that the Australian fund expects. Merricks, one of few Asia-based hedge funds specializing in agriculture markets, believes crop-damaging weather will open up investment opportunities in palm oil, yields for which are likely to be hit by dryness linked to an El Nino weather event. click here.

 Jan 28 - South Africa's 2016 maize crop seen 25 pct down on drought
South Africa will likely harvest 7.44 million tonnes of maize in 2016, 25 percent less than the 9.94 million tonnes reaped last year because of a scorching drought, a government agency said on Wednesday. The forecast harvest, which the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said would be the smallest crop since 2007, was 8.5 higher than market expectations of 6.86 million tonnes, according to a Reuters' poll of traders. click here.

 Jan 28 - Thailand plans to sell rice to Iran, sending trade delegation
Thailand plans to sell 300,000 tonnes of rice to Iran and a trade delegation will visit the country next week to seek more opportunities following the lifting of international sanctions, government officials said on Wednesday. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak will head a government and private sector delegation to Oman and Iran on Jan. 31, his office said. click here.

 Jan 28 - Fonterra cuts forecast payout for New Zealand farmers on sluggish demand
New Zealand's Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd on Thursday lowered its forecast dairy payout to farmer shareholders, citing sluggish global demand. Fonterra will pay its shareholders NZ$4.15 per kilo of milk solids in the current season versus a prior forecast of NZ$4.60. The move strips around NZ$800 million out of farmer income. click here.

 Jan 28 - Egypt's GASC cancels rice tender
Egypt's main state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said on Wednesday it had canceled a tender to buy an unspecified amount of rice, its second canceled tender in as many days. GASC Vice Chairman Mamdouh Abdel Fattah said the tender was canceled to give more time to suppliers to issue necessary paperwork. click here.

 Jan 28 - Soaring prices spur agrochemical theft in Brazil grain belt
A spike in pesticide prices in Brazil, after a slump in the country's currency has spurred numerous thefts on farms in Mato Grosso, the country's top grain-producing state, stoking grower concern as the region's soy harvest begins in earnest. The cases of agrochemical theft in Mato Grosso, mainly from on-farm storage rooms, jumped 82 percent in 2015, to 51 cases, from 28 in 2014, data from the state police compiled for Reuters showed. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Jan 27 - Asian Crude Palm Oil Ends Higher on Signs of Reduced Output (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices close higher amid signs of weaker production, says a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based analyst. "We are expecting a decline in palm-oil production for the month of January," says David Ng, an analyst at brokerage firm Phillip Futures. He says Malaysian palm oil futures will continue to trade in a range between 2,400 ringgit ($565) and MYR2,550 a metric ton. The April benchmark palm oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settles MYR27 higher at MYR2,503 a ton.

Jan 27 - Egypt's ergot fungus saga leaves wheat traders in limbo
One Egyptian official's tough stance on wheat imports carrying a fungus that wreaked havoc in the Middle Ages is baffling global grain traders and putting a spotlight on policy-making disarray in the world's biggest purchaser of the commodity. Alarm bells began ringing in Egypt when a 63,000 tonne wheat shipment from France arrived in December. click here.

 Jan 27 - Canada aims to leapfrog U.S. in global wheat trade
Canada is aiming to supplant the United States as the Western Hemisphere's dominant wheat exporter, as its invigorated grain-exporting sector cashes in on weakening currency and cheap freight rates. Canada overtook the United States in 2014/15 in wheat export volumes for the first time, exporting 24.1 million tonnes. It is forecast to fall short of eclipsing U.S. shippers in 2015/16, with both countries trailing top exporter Russia. click here.

 Jan 27 - China 2015 ethanol imports surge to record on cheaper overseas prices
China's 2015 ethanol imports were 25 times larger than a year ago, as buyers sought to profit from low global prices and meet rising demand, customs data showed on Tuesday. China imported a record 686,904 cubic metres of ethanol last year, jumping from just 26,717 cubic metres in 2014, the data showed. Imports of 180,984 cubic metres in December far surpassed the previous monthly record set in November. click here.

 Jan 27 - Russian wheat export prices fall further on weak rouble
Russian wheat export prices fell further last week and early this week due to a continuing decline in the rouble, which makes Russian grain more competitive on the global dollar-denominated markets, analysts said on Tuesday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $181 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of Monday, down $0.5 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.  click here.

 Jan 27 - China 2015 corn, corn substitutes imports at record due to cheap prices
China imported a record volume of corn and corn substitutes, including distillers' dried grains (DDGS) and sorghum, in 2015 driven by cheap overseas prices, but imports this year could fall by more than 50 percent, traders and analysts said. China shipped in a record 6.82 tonnes of distillers' dried grains (DDGS) in 2015, a rise of 26 percent from the year before, official customs data showed on Tuesday, as feed mills replaced expensive domestic corn with the cheaper dried grains. click here.

 Jan 27 - Philippines could delay rice imports amid ample stocks - grains agency
The Philippines, one of the world's top rice importers, could delay its planned additional purchase of up to 400,000 tonnes of the staple food as local supply remains adequate, the state grains stockpiler said on Wednesday. The Southeast Asian nation's rice stocks stood at around 900,000 tonnes as of last week, enough to cover 29 days of local consumption, with an additional 500,000 tonnes of grain imports from Vietnam and Thailand expected to arrive within the first quarter, the National Food Authority (NFA) said. click here.

 Jan 27 - France has 290 mln eur to help livestock farmers - Le Foll
France announced a 290 million euro ($314 million) plan on Tuesday to help livestock farmers protesting against a slump in pork and milk prices, and poultry farmers facing a freeze in output due to the spread of bird flu. French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll announced that the government would also provide an additional 500 million euros in cash advances. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Jan 26 - South Africa seen cutting maize forecast to 6.86 mln tonnes as drought bites
South Africa will forecast its smallest maize crop in a decade this week in the face of a searing drought that has forced farmers to scale back planting and is hitting yields, a Reuters poll of five trading houses showed on Monday. The Crop Estimates Committee (CEC), which will give its first production forecast for the 2016 crop on Wednesday, is seen pegging the harvest at 6.86 million tonnes, which would be the lowest since 2006 and a 31 percent decline from last year. click here.

 Jan 26 - China to let market decide its corn prices - senior official
China will let the market decide its domestic state corn prices to help cap the country's rising imports and record high level of state reserves, a senior official was cited by state media as saying on Monday. "The direction of corn reform is ... to let the market decide prices, and (state support) prices will no longer play a role in subsidising farmers," Chen Xiwen, deputy director with the Central Rural Work Leading Group, was cited by the People's Daily as saying. click here.

 Jan 26 - Destination Asia: Argentina, Australia set for face-off in farm exports
After years of being sidelined by punitive taxes on shipments, Argentine exporters of farm products are back with a vengeance and are set to steal market share from Australia as the two agricultural powerhouses go head-to-head in Asia. The Latin American country's farm sector has been dealt a good hand by new president Mauricio Macri, who since taking office in December has axed most crop and beef export taxes and allowed the peso currency to depreciate about 40 percent, giving its shipments a big advantage in an amply supplied world market. click here.

 Jan 26 - Cargill subsidiary Black River spins off private equity firm
Cargill Inc subsidiary Black River Asset Management LLC announced on Monday the spinoff of a private equity firm focused on food, agriculture, mining and metals investments primarily in developing countries. With more than $2.1 billion in assets under management, Minnesota-based Proterra Investment Partners is one of three independent companies emerging from Black River after Cargill announced its subsidiary's breakup in September. click here.

 Jan 26 - India's PEC buys 225,500 T Ukrainian corn in tender - trade
Indian state-run trading company PEC has made a purchase of 225,500 tonnes of yellow corn likely to be sourced from Ukraine in an international tender which closed earlier in January, European traders said on Monday. The corn was bought from South Korean trading house Daewoo International for January/February shipment, they said. click here.

Jan 25 - Cooked in Indonesia: phoney rice data threatens food supply
Indonesian agriculture officials routinely inflate rice harvest data to present a rosy picture to the government and keep farm subsidies flowing, but their latest phoney numbers could lead to a severe shortage of the staple in coming months, officials say. If the data had been correct, Indonesia would be awash with rice supplies and the country's president would have less to worry about. The number rigging, critics say, flies in the face of food self-sufficiency targets that Joko Widodo has been aggressively pursuing since taking office in 2014. "These numbers are so exaggerated," said a senior government official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. "We're scrambling right now to build stocks in case there's a failed harvest in February and March." click here.

 Jan 25 - Export-happy Brazil may have created a corn shortage for livestock - Braun
A rush to export a record Brazilian corn crop may send domestic prices higher over the next few months which could ultimately drive up poultry prices internationally. Brazil exported over 11 million tonnes of corn in the last two months of 2015, according to Williams Shipping Agency, more than doubling the volume observed during the same period in 2014. Almost 1 million tonnes of this increase was devoted to North Africa following disappointing Ukrainian and European corn harvests. click here.

 Jan 25 - EU wheat buoyed by outside markets, supply outlook still grim
Paris wheat futures rose on Friday, supported by a weaker euro and an accelerating rebound in commodities and equities, but hefty supplies kept the market not far from contract lows hit earlier in the week. March milling wheat, the benchmark on Euronext, was up 0.25 euros, or 0.2 percent, at 164.25 euros a tonne by 1659 GMT. Over the week it was down 1 euro and remained near Wednesday's contract low of 163.25 euros. click here.

 Jan 25 - Amid mounting bills, farmers forced to sell grain at low prices
Facing mounting bills and nervous creditors, U.S. farmers are beginning to sell off their crop stockpile - sometimes at a loss - and easing a months-long logjam prompted by the lowest grains prices in at least five years. Farmers now looking for cash to pay off debts and buy seeds for next season have been lured to sell by a four percent rise in corn futures over the past two weeks. That rise came after speculators with huge short positions were caught off guard when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cut its corn and soybean harvest views on Jan. 12. click here.

 Jan 25 - Philippines rushing new GMO rules to avert import disruption
The Philippines is set to issue new rules next month on GMO imports, seeking to avert food supply disruptions when a court-ordered stoppage kicks in as import permits for animal feed expire this year, government officials said. In a landmark ruling in December, the country's Supreme Court struck down a 2002 government regulation that allowed the import of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and imposed a temporary ban until new rules were formulated. click here.

Jan 25 - Brazilian Markets 18th to 22th of January 2016 (Ricardo Lorenzet)
Hot and dry week in RGDS. Not good to be in the fields. Corn and Soybeans are suffering quite a bit due the high temperatures and superficial root system developed in a wet environment in Dec. As we have been discussing, I cannot agree with the expectation of the same than LY soybean yield in the country, even in face of an increase use of RR2 (which Monsanto tells that, by a re-arranging of gens, delivers an increase in yield potential, that for me it wasn't the case in last 2 years field tests) . Not because the recently situation in RGDS, but by:
- Late seeding in the north of MT and MAPITOBA (many fields re-seeded);
- Excessive rains in the South of Brazil during the seeding, impacting general stand of fields.

I expect however, that even with reports of weak yields in early fields, as the harvest progress we still will have something around 96-97 mi. MT harvested in the country.
Other points to summarize the week and reiterate what we have been talking:
- Safrinha corn acreage and production will increase;
- In Argentina, late farmer decisions favored corn over beans;
- Early delivery problems are evident. Soybean market will work with big inverses;
- Line-Ups are evidencing the seasonal changing from corn to soybean loading focus. Even though, corn loadings are still significant for this time of the year.
- Consider around 55% of the soybean crop marketed by farmers.

Soybean weekly estimates:
- AgRural projected on Friday that 0.5% of Brazilian soy acreage is harvested;
- Safras & Mercado works with 0.7% harvested versus 3.2% LY and 2% average;
- Imea to MT reported 3.7% harvested, just 1.7% evolution WOW and below the 7.5% harvested at same time LY;
- In MS local agency (SIGA) projected 2% harvested during the week. In PR, DERAL estimates 1% harvested. In both states, the week was favorable to harvest work;
- França Junior, ex-Safras & Mercado, released on Friday a new estimate to the country soybean harvest at 96.97 mi. MT versus 97.9 projected in December and 2% below LY (at his view 97.3 mi. MT).

Corn weekly estimates:
- França Junior corn estimate is at 88.6 mi. MT, 1 thousand MT over December estimate and 2% above LY (86.9).
- IMEA-MT estimates that 1.3% of forecasted acreage is seeded versus 3.1% at same time LY.
- In Paraná, Deral works with 3% of second crop seeded.
- Soybean farmer selling increased a bit in the second half of the week in face of the weakening BRL.
- Corn market have another slow week, but with more stable prices reflecting some harvest flow in RGDS and PR and the expectation of a CONAB auction early in FEB. In terms of basis, meal and soy basis weakened in Brazil in face of the BRL move and farmer selling. For Oil, export demand kept a firm tone to nearby positions.

With that being said, I finish this week hoping the forecast to the return of rains to RGDS on Tuesday materializes. Forecasts are not in consense, but MJO phases changes are supporting the idea of another round of wet South, dry North in the next 10-30 days period. Long term models released this week are calling to this pattern to persist in the FMA quarter.

Jan 22 - Asian CPO Settle Higher on Higher Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end higher Friday aided by a rebound in crude oil and soybean oil prices, says a Kuala Lumpur-based analyst. "There were short-covering activities as investors unwind their positions ahead of the long weekend," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage. He says Malaysian palm-oil futures will continue to trade in the range of 2380 and 2480 ringgit a ton. The April benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 37 ringgit higher at 2460 ringgit a ton Friday.

Jan 22 - IGC sees global grains stocks climbing to 29-year high
Global grain stocks at the end of the 2015/16 season could reach their highest level in 29 years, the International Grains Council said on Thursday, due to generally favourable harvest prospects.The IGC raised its forecast for grain stocks at the end of the 2015/16 season by 1 million tonnes to 455 million, up from 447 million a year earlier. click here.

 Jan 22 - Varying local climate in top Brazil soy state complicates forecasting
A highly irregular climate in Brazil's top soy-growing state Mato Grosso has made forecasting difficult, meaning doubts remain about Brazil's soy output even though harvesting is well underway.The unusual climate, in which one farmer reported 20 to 40 days without rain in November and December while a neighbor received average rainfall, is blamed at least in part on the El Nino climate phenomenon. click here.

 Jan 22 - Export-happy Brazil may have created a corn shortage for livestock - Braun
A rush to export a record Brazilian corn crop may send domestic prices higher over the next few months which could ultimately drive up poultry prices internationally.Brazil exported over 11 million tonnes of corn in the last two months of 2015, according to Williams Shipping Agency, more than doubling the volume observed during the same period in 2014. Almost 1 million tonnes of this increase was devoted to North Africa following disappointing Ukrainian and European corn harvests. click here.

 Jan 22 - Potash Corp mine closure may shelve Canpotex port plans -CEO
The suspension of production at an eastern Canadian mine may lead Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc to shelve plans to build a new West Coast shipping terminal with partners Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc, Potash Chief Executive Jochen Tilk said on Thursday.Canpotex Ltd, owned by the three companies, has been considering construction of the terminal at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. click here.

 Jan 22 - EU wheat prices rise as commodity markets rebound
European wheat futures rose on Thursday as a fall in the euro and a broad rebound in commodities and equities helped the market come off contract lows.March milling wheat, the benchmark on Paris-based Euronext, closed 0.50 euros, or 0.3 percent, higher at 164.00 euros a tonne, edging away from Wednesday's contract low of 163.25 euros. click here.

 Jan 22 - Monsanto sues to keep herbicide off California list of carcinogens
Monsanto Co stepped up its defense of a widely used weed killer on Thursday by filing a lawsuit in California seeking to prevent glyphosate, the main ingredient in its Roundup herbicide, from being added to the state's list of known carcinogens.The seed and agrochemicals company said it filed the suit against the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the agency's acting director, Lauren Zeise, in California state court, according to the filing seen by Reuters. click here.

 Jan 22 - U.S. corn acres to rise, soy to fall in 2016-Farm Futures
U.S. farmers plan to increase their corn acreage and cut back on soybean plantings in 2016, with low prices threatening profitablity of both crops, according to a producer survey released on Thursday by Farm Futures magazine.Corn seedings were seen at 89.5 million acres while soybean seedings were seen at 82.2 million acres, the survey said. In 2015, farmers planted 88 million acres of corn and 82.7 million acres of soybeans. click here.

Jan 21 - Asian CPO Edge Lower on Weak Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices end lower Thursday weighed down by lacklustre export performance and declining global crude oil prices. Investor sentiment will continue to be weak unless oil prices improve, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The April benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 31 ringgit lower at 2422 ringgit a ton Thursday.

Jan 21 - China soymeal demand to drive soybean imports to another record year
China, the world's top buyer of soybeans, is likely to import record volumes of the oilseed again this year as crushers take advantage of cheap overseas supplies to meet nearly all the demand for protein-rich meals, industry analysts said. Feed mills, the major consumers of soymeal, are using the soy product to replace other protein sources such as rapeseed, cottonseed and distillers dried grains (DDGS), even as hog stocks - which account for more than 40 percent of China's use of livestock feeds - have fallen to their lowest in years. click here.

 Jan 21 - White or yellow? South Africans face corn conundrum as drought hits crop
South Africa's rainbow nation faces a drought-induced corn conundrum about the colour of its staple, a starchy cake-like mixture derived from maize: white, yellow or a mix of the two? In South Africa, white maize is made into what is known locally known as "pap", the main source of calories for many households. The yellow variety is used almost exclusively as animal feed. click here.

 Jan 21 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Feb. 20-March 1 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from Feb. 20 to March 1. Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of GASC, is seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Romania. click here.

 Jan 21 - China 2015 cotton imports hit multi-year low, to drop more in 2016
China's cotton imports dropped to their lowest in at least 9 years in 2015, according to Reuters calculations based on trade figures released on Wednesday. Imports by the world's top consumer of the fibre have been slowing as the gap between domestic and international prices narrows and after Beijing reduced the availability of low-tariff import quotas to boost consumption of domestic supplies. click here.

 Jan 21 - Cold snap improves outlook for west EU wheat crops
A drop in temperatures has improved the outlook for winter wheat in France, Germany and Britain, preventing crops from becoming too advanced and thus curbing the threat from pests and disease. Crops in Poland, where temperatures have dropped as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius at night, may have suffered some winterkill although the impact is not yet known. "I am taking a relaxed view of the frosts as most of Germany has deep enough snow cover to prevent significant damage," one German grains analyst said. click here.

 Jan 21 - Indonesia 2016 palm oil exports seen lower, first drop in 5 years
Indonesia will export less palm oil this year as it uses more of the commodity at home to blend into biodiesel, an industry group said on Tuesday, putting the country on track for its first drop in overseas sales of the tropical oil in five years. The world's top producer and exporter of palm oil is seen shipping out 23-24 million tonnes of the edible oil this year, said Fadhil Hasan, executive director of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), as much as 9 percent below year-ago levels. click here.

 Jan 21 - Weak pig market to lead drop in EU feed output this year
Animal feed demand in the European Union's struggling pig sector is expected to fall sharply this year, driving an overall drop in industrial feed production in the 28-country bloc, the EU feed manufacturers association said on Wednesday. Total feed output would also be curbed by a further decline in demand from the cattle, linked to good grassland conditions following mild weather well into winter, outweighing another expected rise in poultry feed consumption, FEFAC said. click here.

Jan 20 - Iran's GTC weighs cut in wheat reserves to 3 mln tonnes
Iran's state grain buying agency, the Government Trading Corporation (GTC), said on Tuesday it was considering a 2 million tonne cut in its strategic wheat reserves after the lifting of sanctions to save on storage costs. Iran's large wheat reserves were built up to guarantee local food supplies during past years of heated political tension. click here.

 Jan 20 - Global palm oil output growth to slow in 2016 -Mielke
Growth in world palm oil output is expected to slow this year due to unfavourable crop weather and an overall decline in yields, a leading industry analyst said on Tuesday. A smaller rise in production could propel further gains in benchmark palm oil futures that are currently near a three-week top of 2,495 ringgit ($571.92) per tonne. click here.

 Jan 20 - Potash Corp shuts Canadian mine, sees weak market continuing
Weak conditions in the potash market will not improve any time soon, the chief executive of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said on Tuesday as the crop nutrient company announced it would suspend operations "indefinitely" at a Canadian mine. Potash Corp said it was putting its Picadilly mine in the Canadian province of New Brunswick on care and maintenance, resulting in the loss of 420 to 430 jobs. click here.

 Jan 20 - South Africa to investigate soaring maize price following trade union group complaint
South African competition authorities said on Tuesday they would investigate allegations that soaring maize prices were being manipulated by traders to the detriment of the poor majority. The move followed a complaint from trade union federation Cosatu that it wanted an expediated investigation expedited and "perpetrators to be jailed for undermining South Africans' food security through price manipulation". click here.

 Jan 20 - EU wheat steadies after lows but mood still bearish
European wheat futures edged up on Tuesday, recovering from contract lows a day earlier as they got support from higher prices in Chicago and a broad rally across commodity and equity markets on hopes for stimulus measures in China. But Euronext's gains were tepid as the fundamental outlook for grain markets remained bearish. Potential support from freezing weather in northern hemisphere wheat belts was curbed by snow cover protection for many crops, traders said. click here.

 Jan 20 - Brazil analyst Agroconsult cuts soy, corn forecasts
Brazilian analyst Agroconsult cut its forecast for the country's 2015/16 soybean crop to 99.2 million tonnes on Tuesday from 100.6 million tonnes in October and said climate problems in top growing state Mato Grosso could cause further losses there. "There are parts of Mato Grosso where the crop is much worse than it was last year," said Andre Pessoa, head of the consultancy, referring to Sorriso in the state's north. click here.

 Jan 20 - Global dairy prices continue to fall at Fonterra auction
International dairy prices continued to fall in this month’s second auction held by New Zealand's Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter. The GDT Price Index, which covers a variety of products and contract periods, dropped 1.4 percent, with an average selling price of $2,405 per tonne, in the auction held on Tuesday. Whole milk powder, which makes up the bulk of the auction, fell 0.5 percent to $2,188. click here.

Jan 19 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Edge Higher on Hopes of Lower Output (Dow Jones)
Benchmark Malaysia palm-oil future prices close higher on expectation of a fall in palm-oil output in Malaysia. Palm oil output in Malaysia, the world's second-biggest producer of the tropical oil, is expected to slightly decline to 19.8 million tons this year from 19.96 million tons in the previous year, Thomas Mielke, editor of Hamburg-based newsletter Oil World, said Tuesday. The drying effects of El Nino and an extended drought will also likely lower the palm-oil production, says David Ng, an analyst with Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. The April benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 7 ringgit higher at 2478 ringgit a ton Tuesday versus Monday's close of 2470 ringgit a ton.

Jan 19 - Malaysia says committed to B10 biodiesel despite low oil prices
Malaysia is committed to its plan to raise its biodiesel mandate to 10 percent, undeterred by a slump in global fossil fuel prices, in a bid to boost demand for palm oil, the country's plantation and commodities minister said on Tuesday.The so-called B10 programme, which mandates a minimum 10 percent of bio content in diesel, will help mop up more palm oil for blending purposes in the world's No.2 producer of the tropical oil and underpin benchmark prices that are near a three-week top of 2,495 ringgit ($568.99) per tonne. click here.

 Jan 19 - U.S. deploys newly minted bird flu plan to protect humans, poultry
U.S. farm and health officials are racing to assess the threat that a type of bird flu never before seen in the country poses to humans and poultry, employing emergency plans drawn up in the wake of a devastating outbreak in birds last year.The federal government sprang into action on Friday after confirmation overnight that the virus had hit an Indiana turkey farm, alerting other states to the danger and putting workers who might have been exposed to the virus under surveillance. click here.

 Jan 19 - Delayed French wheat cargo leaves for Egypt, another about to load
One of three ships due to deliver French wheat to Egypt left on Sunday night following weeks of delays, a sign that exports are resuming to the world's largest importer of the grain, shipping data showed on Monday.A second cargo was due to start loading at the northern port of Dunkirk later on Monday, shipping sources said. click here.

 Jan 19 - Daily rains forecast in Brazil's top soy state amid harvesting
Strong rains are forecast in Brazil's center-west grain belt this week, meteorologists said, helping some late-planted areas recover from dryness late last year but concerning farmers who are ready to harvest.Daily rains are expected until at least Feb. 2 in the northern part of Brazil's top soy state Mato Grosso, with 143 millimeters (5.6 inches) likely accumulating in the next 15 days, according to the Thomson Reuters Weather Dashboard. click here.

 Jan 19 - Russian wheat export prices fell further on weak rouble
Russian wheat export prices fell further last week as the rouble dropped close to a record low against the dollar on weak oil prices, analysts said on Monday.Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $181-182 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $2-$3 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.  click here.

 Jan 19 - Thailand aims for 25 mln T rice paddy output 2016-17, down on yr
Thailand aims to produce 25 million tonnes of rice paddy in the 2016-2017 crop year, a top official at the commerce ministry said on Monday, down from output of 27.06 million tonnes a year earlier.Thailand, the world's second biggest rice exporter after India, is holding stockpiles of about 13 million tonnes of rice bought at higher-than-market prices under a previous government that spent billions of dollars to subsidise farmers. click here.

Jan 19 - Malaysian Palm Oil Prices Little Changed, Remain Supported (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil prices are little changed as they continue to be supported by expectations that drops in production are going to more than offset expected lower demand from China over the coming months. The next major event for the market will be the release of Malaysian palm oil export estimates for Jan. 1-20 due Wednesday. Bursa Malaysia benchmark three-month palm oil prices are trading down two ringgit at MYR2,468 ($563) a metric ton.

Jan 18 - Growing appetite for soybeans to crimp China's palm oil needs
Growth in China's palm oil imports, under pressure due to a slowing economy, will suffer another setback this year as the country taps into ample global supplies of the rival oilseed soybean to feed its expanding livestock sector.Any dent to palm oil purchases by the world's No.2 consumer will add to pressure on benchmark prices of the tropical oil that are currently near one-month lows. The market has shed 3 percent this month in the absence of an expected rise in Chinese demand ahead of Lunar New Year celebrations in February. click here.

 Jan 18 - Weather concerns slow Brazil soybean sales in Dec - AgRural
Sales of Brazil's current 2015-16 soybean crop were slowed by producers' concerns over irregular rains in December in the early harvesting center-west regions of the grain belt, local analysts AgRural said on Friday.The analyst estimates that 48 percent of the prospective crop that is in the early stages of harvest has been sold. That is still up from the 44 percent average sold by the end of the year, but sales advanced a meager 4 percentage points from the end of November. click here.

 Jan 18 - Fire blocks truck access to one side of Brazil's Santos port
Trucks carrying commodities and other exports were unable to reach the Guaruja side of Brazil's largest Port of Santos on Friday, a day after containers holding chemicals caught fire and sent poisonous gases into the sky.A port spokeswoman said access would be restricted while firefighters snuff out the blaze that hit up to a dozen containers at the terminal operated by logistics company Localfrio. click here.

 Jan 18 - Egypt's GASC buys 35,500 tonnes of sunflower oil in tender
Egypt's state buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said on Sunday it bought 35,500 tonnes of sunflower oil in a tender.The oil is for shipment Feb. 10-20, GASC vice chairman Mamdouh Abdel Fattah said.No soyoil was purchased in the tender, he said. click here.

 Jan 18 - Fearing wave of bankruptcies, U.S. corn belt wants new debt cap
With agricultural lenders fearing a tidal wave of farm bankruptcies as soon as this spring, lawyers in the Midwest say they want U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa to raise the debt limit for so-called "family farmer" bankruptcies.Farmers in states like Illinois, Indiana and Iowa are scrambling to secure lending for the 2016 growing season at a time when prices for their corn have halved from three years ago. click here.

 Jan 18 - U.S. finds first case of deadly bird flu in poultry since June
An Indiana turkey flock has been infected with a deadly type of bird flu in the first new case of the disease in U.S. poultry since June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday.The flock in Dubois County, Indiana, was infected with a strain known as H7N8, which is different from strains that caused more than 48 million chickens and turkeys to die last year, according to the USDA. click here.

 Jan 18 - Cadbury maker Mondelez to switch to cage-free eggs by 2020 in US
Mondelez International Inc, the maker of Cadbury chocolates and Oreo cookies, said it would stop using eggs laid by caged hens for its products sold in the United States and Canada by 2020.Mondelez joins a slew of companies shifting to cage-free eggs amid pressure from consumers and animal-rights groups. click here.

Jan 18 - Brazilian Markets 11th to 15th of January 2016 (Ricardo Lorenzet)
- Weather volatility confirms the expectations of lower than last year soybean yields.

- Harvest is underway in some fields in MT and PR at same time, there is guys still planting (re-planting) in MT, BA, MG and spots of MAPITO. It’s a crazy year. In the meantime, in RGDS, with the new year, we have also a new weather pattern. As we could expect, the return of rains to the north, drastically reduced rain events here and as the forecast has another 10 days of it, we could expect losses in some fields of corn and soybeans. I can’t help, but makes no sense to expect same of LY soybean average yield this season. I keep working with something around 96-97 mi. MT.

- On Thursday, IMEA reported 2% harvested in MT versus 4% LY (2.6% average). Rains are in the forecast for next week. In PR, things are just starting. Early harvest reports are not good, but as I have stated last week, things tend to improve going forward. On Friday, Safras & Mercado slightly reduced their soybean harvest estimate to 99.8 mi. MT from 100.4 mi. MT in December. Safras estimate for 2014/15 harvest was 95.7 mi. MT. The company also released a new corn harvest estimate at 89.98 mi. MT. Numbers are below December estimate (89.3 mi. MT) but higher than LY (88.4 mi. MT). The company expects, despite a reduction of first crop production, an increase in acreage (7.7%) and yields of second crop corn, specially linked to recently higher prices.

- Market movement was slow during the week in South America from the farmer side. In Brazil, despite some pricing were reported after the USDA report (400 KMT), farmer is keeping a cautious approach in terms of soy sales in face of the already significant priced volume, weather volatility and economy risks (inflation and political mess). Basis were generally strong this week for soybeans and products, mainly for nearby positions reflecting late harvest/loadings.

- Corn market, kept the craziness during the week, but here also, traded quantities were small (available volumes). Not an easy situation for internal consumers and exporters (Line up of 5.5 mi. MT). There were even talks of Brazilian guys booking Argie corn due the internal market mess, which could happen, for north cabotage (nothing confirmed for now).

- In Argentina, soybean farmer pricing has been slower than market expectations (around 700 KMT in the week), firming basis (specially nearby positions also helped by renewed demand for these positions) and pressuring crush margins. In the corn market, farmer sales is being reported, but not at enough volumes to prevent firming prices in face of strong exporters needs. Basis were strong during the week there for the cereal too.

- It’s really hot here today and we are spraying to the rust just at night. Forecast is calling for another 10 days of dry and hot weather. The worst time to have this weather situation here after all the rains received in Nov. and Dec. Corn crop is being hurt as well as some early seeded soybean fields.

Jan 15 - Asian CPO Settle Higher Boosted by Higher Exports (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil prices end marginally higher lifted by improved palm-oil export performance. Monthly data released by cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimated Malaysia's palm oil exports up 4.3% at 486,846 metric tons during the January 1-15 period while figures by another surveyor, SGS (Malaysia) showed exports at 489,468 metric tons, up 5.6% on month. Despite a rise in exports, the market fundamentals will "continue to be on the downside as negative sentiment on crude oil complex is keeping pressure on prices," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. He says Malaysian palm-oil futures will continue to trade in the range of 2300 and 2450 ringgit a ton. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 9 ringgit higher at 2412 ringgit a ton Friday.

Jan 15 - Crude oil tumble hits Southeast Asia's biodiesel ambitions
The world's top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia may have to curb plans to channel more of the commodity into biodiesel as tumbling crude oil prices render the edible oil twice as expensive as its fossil fuel alternative.Indonesia expects to raise the minimum bio content of gasoil in the country by a quarter to 20 percent in 2016, while Malaysia has said it plans a 10-percent blend, up from the 7-percent targetted in 2015. click here.

 Jan 15 - Big consequences for corn, soybeans after winter wheat seedings - Braun
Bullish news finally arrived for the wheat market with the release of the Winter Wheat Seedings report in the United States on Tuesday.Issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the report is the first official estimate of winter wheat acreage for the 2016 harvest, and these figures have fairly strong implications for spring crops, particularly corn and soybeans. click here.

 Jan 15 - Egypt supply ministry seeks to clarify wheat fungus rule
Egypt's supply ministry moved to clarify rules on wheat imports on Thursday, saying it would allow shipments with traces of the grain fungus ergot to enter the country.Wheat traders have been concerned that uncertainty over payment and inspection terms in Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, would dampen export demand. click here.

 Jan 15 - Vietnam's 2016 rice exports seen flat at 6.5 mln T - report
Vietnam has set an initial target to export 6.5 million tonnes of rice this year, excluding the grain to be sold to top buyer China via border trade, a state-run newspaper reported on Friday, levels little changed from 2015 shipments.The target, almost the same as the 6.57 million tonnes shipped in 2015, was released at a Vietnam Food Association meeting on Thursday in Ho Chi Minh City, to which foreign media were not invited, the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper reported. click here.

 Jan 15 - Argentine 2015-16 corn area seen at 3.1 mln hectares - exchange
Argentina is expected to plant 3.1 million hectares of corn in the 2015/16 season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, citing surprisingly beneficial ground moisture as the reason for boosting its previous 2.85 million hectare estimate."The increase in planting area is linked to the improvement in ground moisture reserves during the first weeks of the year," the exchange said in its weekly report. click here.

 Jan 15 - Late rains bring some hope to South Africa's parched maize belt
South African farmer Chris Schoonwinkel is taking a gamble: two months late, he is planting maize in a pair of his fields, pinning his hopes on a mid-summer rain."We had literally no rain in November and nothing in December. But we got an inch two nights back so I have to go for it," he told Reuters on Wednesday as he stood in one of his fields in the western part of South Africa's maize belt. click here.

Jan 15 - Malaysian Palm Oil Prices Jump 0.8% on Export Estimates (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil prices jump 0.8% after closely watched Malaysian export estimate data for Jan 1-15 was stronger on month with exports to China up sharply, says a Singapore based trader. Cargo surveyor Intertek Agri Services estimates Malaysian palm oil exports during the January 1-15 period rose 4.3% on month at 486,846 metric tons, with exports to China up sharply to 81,605 metric tons from 18,250 tons. The benchmark Bursa Malaysia three-Month contract is currently trading up 18 ringgit at 2420 ringgit a ton.

Jan 14 - French wheat stocks to swell further on tough exports
France's farm office sharply raised its forecast for soft wheat stocks on Wednesday amid tough export competition from countries like Argentina and Britain, which is making it difficult for the EU's biggest grain producer to shift a record wheat crop.In monthly supply-and-demand data, FranceAgriMer projected total soft wheat stocks at the end of the 2015/16 season in June at 5.8 million tonnes. That is up from its projection last month for 5.2 million and more than double last season's estimated 2.5 million tonnes. click here.

 Jan 14 - Big consequences for corn, soybeans after winter wheat seedings -Braun
Bullish news finally arrived for the wheat market with the release of the Winter Wheat Seedings report in the United States on Tuesday.Issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the report is the first official estimate of winter wheat acreage for the 2016 harvest, and these figures have fairly strong implications for spring crops, particularly corn and soybeans. click here.

 Jan 14 - China 2015 soybean imports at record high on feed demand
China imported 9.12 million tonnes of soybeans in December, the second highest monthly level on record and taking total 2015 imports to a record high of 81.69 million tonnes, official customs data showed on Wednesday.December soybean imports were up 6.9 percent on a year ago, while 2015 shipments rose 14.4 percent, according to data from the General Administration of Customs, reflecting strong demand for soymeal, a key ingredient in animal feed production. click here.

 Jan 14 - EU food safety watchdog hits back at scientists in glyphosate row
The head of Europe's food safety watchdog has written to a group of nearly 100 senior scientists strongly rejecting their criticisms in a row about the safety of weed-killer ingredient glyphosate.The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises European Union policymakers, issued an opinion in November that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. That was at odds with a view from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), sparked outrage among environmental campaigners and divided the scientific community. click here.

 Jan 14 - Delayed French wheat cargo due to start loading on Thursday - sources
One of three ships waiting off the coast of France to load wheat for top importer Egypt since last month will start loading on Thursday after the exporters received letters of credit, shipping sources said.Delays in receiving the letters from Egypt have kept the three cargoes of more than 180,000 tonnes of wheat parked at the northern French port of Dunkirk since December. click here.

 Jan 14 - Warm winter may cut India's wheat output for second straight year
India's wheat output is expected to fall for a second straight year in 2016 after a series of bumper harvests since 2007 due to an unusually warm winter in central and northern India.India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, will likely weather the storm as it is sitting on surplus stocks. But lower wheat output will deepen the crisis in the countryside where adverse weather conditions have been a bane of late. click here.

Jan 13 Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures Finish Stronger on Soybean Gains (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end higher aided by gains in soybean oil prices. They will continue to trade in the range of 2300 and 2450 ringgit a ton amid signs of optimism about prices stemming from weather uncertainty, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures brokerage in Kuala Lumpur. He says inventories in the country will continue to decline "adding to overall optimism in the market." The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 31 ringgit higher at 2411 ringgit a ton Wednesday.

Jan 13 - USDA pegs U.S. winter wheat seedings at six-year low
U.S. farmers planted the smallest number of acres to winter wheat since 2010, and plantings of one class, hard red winter wheat, were the lowest in at least 30 years, according to government data released on Tuesday.The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated U.S. winter wheat seedings for 2016 at 36.609 million acres, down 7.2 percent from 2015. The figure fell more than 2 million acres below the low end of the range of trade estimates. click here.

 Jan 13 - USDA grains report catches speculators leaning the wrong way
Grains market speculators who had built massive short positions in recent months were caught leaning the wrong way after the U.S. government cut its corn and soy harvest views, as well as its wheat planting estimate, in reports released on Tuesday. Although the overall fundamental picture remains bleak, the bearish bets became a risky proposition when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports provided bulls with a glimmer of supportive data, sparking a round of short covering. click here.

 Jan 13 - India develops new rapeseed variety to help cut veg oil imports
India has developed a new variety of rapeseed as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push to cut imports of vegetable oils, the country's third-biggest import item after crude oil and gold.The new rapeseed variety will have higher oil content and lower erucic acid, a harmful compound, government-backed Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said in a statement on Tuesday. Indian farmers plant rapeseed in October-November, with harvests from March. click here.

 Jan 13 - China 2015 soybean imports at record high on feed demand
China imported 9.12 million tonnes of soybeans in December, the second highest monthly level on record and taking total 2015 imports to a record high of 81.69 million tonnes, official customs data showed on Wednesday.December soybean imports were up 6.9 percent on a year ago, while 2015 shipments rose 14.4 percent, according to data from the General Administration of Customs, reflecting strong demand for soymeal, a key ingredient in animal feed production. click here.

 Jan 13 - Once wedded to EU, some British farmers think it's time to cut loose
After decades of generous subsidies from Brussels, some British farmers are starting to think the unthinkable -- that they might be better off outside the European Union. Farmers were strong supporters of EU membership when Britons last voted on it in 1975, and for years they flourished as funds flowed into the sector to encourage ever-rising production. click here.

 Jan 13 - Swiss government asks voters not to ban farm derivatives trade
Switzerland's government on Tuesday urged voters to reject a campaign to ban trading in agricultural derivatives, saying the well-meaning attempt to alleviate world hunger would not succeed and only jeopardise Swiss jobs and tax revenue.The "No Speculation with Food" initiative is subject of a binding referendum on Feb. 28 under Switzerland's system of direct democracy. click here.

Jan 12 - Weak Crude Oil Prices Continue to Dog Palm Oil Futures (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil future prices extend losses Tuesday weighed down by plunging crude oil prices. Brent crude oil was down 0.7% to $31.65 a barrel, bringing losses to more than 15% for the year. Declining production data from a government body did little do boost market sentiment as concerns over bulging stockpiles continue to rattle investors, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange last traded 15 ringgit lower to 2383 ringgit a ton Tuesday. It settled at 2398 ringgit a ton Monday.

Jan 12 - Credit letters issued in Egypt's delayed French wheat deal - trade Letters of credit have been issued for three delayed French wheat cargoes booked by top importer Egypt, but there was still uncertainty as to when shipments would be completed amid wrangling over health and safety rules, trade sources said on Monday.Two Cairo-based traders said the letters of credit, which act as a guarantee of payment for the seller of a commodity, had been issued for the cargoes purchased by Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) and which had been due to sail during December. click here. 

Jan 12 - Russian wheat prices down along with rouble
Russian wheat prices fell at the end of last week compared with the end of December due to lower global prices and renewed weakening of the rouble, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said on Monday.The Russian rouble continued to fall against the dollar since the start of the year along with crude oil, which dropped to a new 12-year low on concerns about China's economy. click here.

 Jan 12 - Xinjiang cotton at crossroads of China's new Silk Road
The Youngor cotton spinning factory is one of the biggest employers in Aksu, an agricultural town on the edge of the Taklamakan desert in China's restive Xinjiang region.Youngor, one of China's largest shirt-makers, opened the plant in 2011 to be closer to the main cotton-growing region in Xinjiang. Soon it will be joined by others: Beijing wants to create 1 million textile jobs in Xinjiang by 2023. click here.

 Jan 12 - EU drug regulators review use of last-resort antibiotic in farming
European drug regulators launched a review on Monday of the use in farming of a key last-line antibiotic called colistin after international research found alarming evidence of a gene that makes bacteria resistant to the drug.The London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it was responding to a European Commission request to update its advice on the use in animals of colistin, which is one of the last-resort antibiotics capable of treating humans with certain bacterial infections. click here.

 Jan 12 - Some Smithfield U.S. hog plants hit by tech glitch
Smithfield Foods Inc, the world's largest pork processor and hog producer, is dealing with a technology issue at the company's data center that has affected hog production at a number of facilities, a company spokeswoman told Reuters in an email on Monday."Our IT teams are vigilantly investigating and repairing the issue. Once the issue has been resolved, we hope to mitigate production losses through running additional shifts wherever possible," said Kathleen Kirkham, Smithfield Foods' director of corporate communications. click here.

 Jan 12 - Argentina lifts beef export quotas, agriculture secretary says
Argentina's new government has informally lifted restrictions on beef exports imposed by the previous government in a bid to ensure reasonable prices at home, the secretary for agriculture, livestock and fisheries told Reuters on Monday.Argentines are among the world's most voracious beef eaters and local beef prices are a hot-button political issue. But farmers say the restrictions are not the solution, adding they have damaged profitability and prompted them to cut investment. click here

Jan 12 - Malaysian Palm Oil Prices to Remain Supported Over First Half (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm oil prices are expected to trade between MYR2,300 to MYR2,6000 ($522-$590) over the first half supported by the impact of "El Nino which should limit productions," says June Ng, an analyst at Nomura. "Further upside for the crude palm oil price will depend on whether La Nina follows after the peak of El Nino in 1Q16,"  she says. This would raise the risk of dryness in U.S. corn and soybean this summer and could support palm oil. Ng says Malaysian palm oil stock figures released Monday were in line with Nomura's expectations and she expects inventory levels to fall gradually over the next few months following slower production growth in 1Q16. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 35 ringgit lower to 2398 ringgit a ton Monday.

Jan 11 - Asian Crude Palm Slides on Demand Concerns (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil closes weaker amid concerns of negative performance in the crude-oil market. Investors have been nervous about persistent weak demand despite export estimates released earlier today showing a pick-up in export demand. On the other hand, Malaysia's palm-oil stocks showed a decline of 9.5% to 2.6 million metric tons at the end of December, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. In its monthly report, the MPOB said crude-palm-oil output fell 15.4% to 1.4 million tons in December. CPO output totaled 1.7 million tons in November. The market continues to be impacted by weak demand and weak supply, says a Kuala Lumpur-based trader. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 35s ringgit lower to 2398 ringgit a ton Monday.

Jan 11 - China must cut corn prices to clear stockpile - state media
China must lower corn prices to reduce its massive corn stockpile and curb imports of corn substitutes including barley, sorghum and distillers' grain, state media quoted a senior agricultural official as saying.Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, said China needed to modify its reserve-based crop price support mechanism to curb the mounting grain stockpile, state-run China Daily newspaper reported on Saturday. click here.

 Jan 11 - Brazil soy farmers ask government to file WTO complaint against U.S.
Brazilian soybean farmers have asked their country to file a complaint against the United States at the World Trade Organization alleging that U.S. farm subsidies give an unfair advantage to the world's top soybean producer.Brasilia-based farm group Aprosoja says those subsidies might be costing Brazilian farmers $1 billion a year in lost business, according to Endrigo Dalcin, president of the association's local branch in Mato Grosso, the nation's top soy-growing state. click here.

 Jan 11 - Argentine corn sowing booms on optimism over new government
A late-season corn planting flurry in No. 4 world exporter Argentina could push output to the same level as the previous crop year, thanks to the policies of the new government, the director of the local maize industry chamber said on Friday.Growers across the Pampas farm belt applauded the November election of Mauricio Macri, a free-markets advocate who during his first month in office has reversed many of the market controls imposed by previous President Cristina Fernandez. click here.

 Jan 11 - Switzerland's ADM offers $215.87/T in Bangladesh wheat import tender
Switzerland's ADM International offered to sell 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh for $215.87 a tonne, the lowest offer in a tender that opened on Sunday, an official of the Bangladesh state grains buyer said.Eight trading companies competed for the tender, which was the second issued by the Directorate General of Food since the current financial year started in July. click here.

 Jan 11 - Egypt's GASC seeking cargoes of soyoil, sunflower oil
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said on Saturday it was seeking cargoes of unspecified amounts of soyoil and sunflower oil in an international tender.The oil will be for shipment Feb. 10-20, GASC vice chairman Mamdouh Abdelfattah said. Deadline for offers is Jan. 16, he said. click here.

Jan 11 - Campbell Soup becomes first major company to start GMO labeling
Campbell Soup Co is to start disclosing the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in all its U.S. products, becoming the first major food company to respond to growing calls for more transparency about ingredients in food.The world's largest soup maker broke ranks with peers and said late on Thursday it supported the establishment of federal legislation for a single mandatory labeling standard for GMO-derived foods and a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging. click here.

Jan 10 - Malaysia Dec CPO Output 1.4M Tons; Down 15.4% on Month - MPOB
Malaysia's palm-oil stocks fell 9.5% to 2.6 million metric tons at the end of December, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said Monday.
- At the end of November, palm-oil stocks were at 2.9 million tons.
- In its monthly report, the MPOB said crude-palm-oil output fell 15.4% to 1.4 million tons in December. CPO output totaled 1.7 million tons in November.
- The following are details of the monthly crop data and revised numbers for the month, issued by MPOB:

                            Dec         Nov          Change
                                                     On Month
Crude Palm Oil Output     1,399,383     1,653,946    Dn 15.4%
Palm Oil Exports          1,483,214     1,499,517    Dn 1.1%
Palm Kernel Oil Exports      91,683        81,284    Up 12.8%
Palm Oil Imports             82,493       121,819    Dn 32.3%
Closing Stocks            2,631,612     2,908,950    Dn 9.5%
Crude Palm Oil            1,593,073     1,753,226    Dn 9.1%
Processed Palm Oil        1,038,539     1,155,724    Dn 10.1%

(All figures are in metric tons)

Jan 08 - Brazilian Markets 4th to 8th of January 2016 - from a farmer standpoint (Ricardo Lorenzet)

- Rains stabilized crop conditions in the center-north of the country. After a year-end of worries due the dry weather in the center and north of Brazil, farmers are starting 2016 at a better environment. As shown in the map below, the core of center and north production regions received good rains and despite the precipitation was too late for a good portion of fields, crop prospects have stabilized. Losses are consolidated, but at least, the risk of a big problem went out for now. At same time, the south “belt” is reporting good crop conditions. Of course, the emergence and stand are not ideal, as well as disease severity, but in general things are OK here.

- With all that, in a continental country like ours with soybean being cultivated from the "Chui" to "Oiapoque" have a final harvest estimate is a hard task, especially in face of all recently weather volatility. First fields harvested in MT, GO and PR are reporting lower than last year yields, but as the harvest activity increases I expect things to improve. I working at the moment with a lower than 100 mi. MT estimate, between 96 and 98. What is fact however is that Brazilian S/D is tight. The late crop development will complicate even more this scenario, especially when you take into account huge volumes sold by the farmer (as well as by exporters) for early deliveries/loadings. It will be interesting to watch cash inverses. In top of that, in the south (also valid to Argentina), cloudy skies tend to result again in lower protein contents.

- In terms of market movement, the first week of 2016 was generally slow in the cash soybean market as have been the case in the end of 2015. Prices are firm in face of a weak BRL. Safras & Mercado estimated that 49% of the upcoming harvest is already sold by the farmer. Despite an increase of just 3% MOM, this is a record for this time of the year. At same time in 2015, 32% was sold. In the year before 38%, and the average for early Jan is 39%. In Argentina farmers were more active on sales this week with crushers taking most part of volumes. Meal export registrations were expressive. In the FOB market, soybean complex basis were firm in South America last week on meal and the grain especially for nearby positions. Oil however were weak. Significant traded volumes were reported both in Brazil and Argentina during the week (especially in the second half).

- First corn crop is being harvested in PR and RGDS with good yields. The firm demand in both internal and external front are keeping a firm tone to this market, also trying to entice farmers to plant the second crop in the center-north and PR. I think that despite all the reported problems/risks around our safrinha (inputs cost, late soy harvest), the farmer tend to seed it. With long term models suggesting a fast migration to a LaNina pattern, I expect another nice corn crop in Brazil. In Argentina, corn market have another week of good farming selling with significant volumes of export registrations reported by the government.

Jan 08 - Malaysian Palm-oil Futures End Higher on Expected Drop in Stocks (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil future prices close marginally higher Friday on expectation of a decline in palm-oil stocks in the country. Investors are expecting a significant drop for the first time amid elevated inventories ahead of a key crop report due to be released early next week, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. A seasonal fall in output in the coming months may help further trim stockpiles and counter sluggish demand from buyers China and India. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle 11 ringgit higher at 2435 ringgit a ton Friday.

Jan 08 - China 2015/16 soy imports revised up to 80 mln T - think tank
China, the world's top soy buyer, will import 2 million tonnes more in the 2015/16 marketing year at 80 million tonnes, an official grains think tank said in a revised forecast, up 2.1 percent from 2014/15 due to higher-than-expected crushing demand. Imports of soy in the previous marketing year that runs from October to September stood at 78.36 million tonnes.click here.

 Jan 08 - Cargill 2nd-qtr profit drops 13 pct amid commodities slump
Slumping commodities prices and weak demand in some markets took their toll on profits for global commodities trader Cargill Inc in the quarter ending Nov. 30, sending earnings and revenue down 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Privately held Cargill, celebrating its 150th birthday this year, is in the midst of a restructuring aimed at transforming the company to be more responsive to commodities market swings. click here.

 Jan 08 - Argentina 2015-16 wheat output seen at 10.1 mln tonnes – exchange
Argentina's 2015-16 wheat output is now forecast at 10.1 million tonnes compared with a previous estimate of 9.5 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly crop report on Thursday. The exchange cited higher than expected yields as the reason for the revision. click here.

 Jan 08 - Africa takes fresh look at GMO crops as drought blights continent
A scorching drought in Southern Africa that led to widespread crop failure could nudge African nations to finally embrace genetically modified (GM) crops to improve harvests and reduce grain imports. The drought, which extends to South Africa, the continent's biggest maize producer, has been exacerbated by an El Nino weather pattern and follows dry spells last year that affected countries from Zimbabwe to Malawi. click here.

 Jan 08 - Malaysia's palm oil stocks to ease in Dec, first drop in six months
Palm oil stocks in Malaysia likely dropped in December, their first monthly decline since June 2015, as lower output due to a crop-damaging El Nino weather pattern offset a weakness in exports, a Reuters poll showed. Shrinking end-stocks in Malaysia, the world's No.2 producer and exporter after Indonesia, could boost benchmark prices of palm oil that are already near 18-month highs on worries unfriendly weather will further dent production. click here.

 Jan 08 - Food prices plunge in 2015 on high supply, low demand, strong dollar
Global food prices plunged 19 percent in 2015 following a fresh decline in December on the back of plentiful supplies and a slowing global economy, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday. It was the fourth consecutive annual fall in food prices. click here.

 Jan 08 - Mali suspends most cotton ginning after January rain
Mali's state-run cotton company will suspend ginning in most regions after unseasonable rains, the latest setback for the West Africa nation's crop in a season hit by unusual weather, the company said on Thursday. Mali should be in its dry season but two days of heavy rain have drenched crops in the fields and rendered them temporarily unfit for processing, the deputy director of the CMDT cotton company, Abdoulaye Dolo, told national radio on Thursday. click here.

 Jan 08 - U.S., South Africa resolve farm trade dispute
South Africa has resolved a dispute with the United States over farm exports, allowing agricultural goods to be exported to the world's top economy without penalties, the trade minister said on Thursday. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Nov. 5 that he would revoke the duty-free status of South African agricultural produce unless Pretoria took action by the end of last year to loosen restrictions on U.S. farm exports. click here.

Jan 07 - Malaysian Palm-Oil Futures End Lower (Dow Jones)
Malaysian palm-oil futures end lower Thursday weighed down by worries of slow demand from China. "The market sentiment was poor after the Chinese stock market halted trading for the day which cause pessimism across all the board," says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures. The mood is unlikely to improve as traders weigh slowing Chinese demand against an expected fall in palm oil production. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange last traded 25 ringgit lower at 2423 ringgit a ton Thursday.

Jan 07 - Egypt's new wheat requirement could delay supplies
Egypt, the world's largest purchaser of wheat, has imposed restrictive import requirements, an agricultural authority official told Reuters, alarming traders who threatened to boycott tenders for the politically sensitive commodity. The new requirement - for a complete absence of ergot, a common fungus found in grains - could disrupt the country's supply chain for bread, traders said. click here.

 Jan 07 - Chinese farmers are illegally growing GMO corn – Greenpeace
Farmers are illegally growing genetically modified corn in China's northeast, said environmental non-profit Greenpeace on Wednesday, in a report that may generate further distrust of the government's ability to ensure a safe food supply. Beijing has spent billions of dollars to develop GMO crops that it hopes will ensure food supplies for its 1.4 billion people but has not yet approved commercial cultivation amid deep-seated anti-GMO sentiment. click here.

 Jan 07 - Brazil starts soy harvest with concerns over dry soil in Mato Grosso
Soy harvesting has started in Brazil's top two growing states Mato Grosso and Parana, with farmers concerned over irregular rains causing damage in the center-west soy belt. Harvesting is probably less than 1 percent complete in top growing state Mato Grosso, behind this time last year, said Endrigo Dalcin, president of state growers' association Aprosoja. click here.

Jan 07 - Grain body says South Africa may need to import 5 mln tonnes of maize
South Africa may need to import as much as 5 million tonnes of maize this year, roughly half of its requirements, because of its worst drought in three decades, the country's largest producer group said on Wednesday. The drought in the continent's biggest maize producer has been exacerbated by an El Nino weather pattern and follows dry spells last year that reduced the crop by a third to 9.94 million tonnes, the lowest since 2007. click here.

 Jan 07 - Monsanto increases job cuts as corn, chemical sales slump
Monsanto Co said a souring farm economy and currency woes will push its 2016 earnings to the lower end of expectations, while a cost-cutting drive will lead the world's largest seed company to slash more jobs. Low commodity prices also should lead to more consolidation in the agricultural sector, Chief Executive Hugh Grant said, about a month after rivals Dow Chemical Co and DuPont said they would merge. click here.

 Jan 07 - Indonesia prepares rural flood defences to protect crops
Indonesia is bolstering its rural flood defences to help farmers protect crops from monsoon waters and the La Nina weather pattern, its agriculture minister said on Wednesday. Indonesia is a top producer of cocoa, palm oil and coffee, as well as a major importer of rice and raw sugar. It has forecast that the La Nina weather pattern will strengthen from mid-2016. click here.

 Jan 07 - Informa raises Argentina corn forecast, lowers India wheat view
Informa Economics, the private analytics firm, on Wednesday raised its estimate of Argentina's 2015/16 corn production and left its forecast of the country's soybean crop unchanged, trade sources said. In a monthly report, the firm projected Argentina's corn harvest at 22 million tonnes, up from 21 million previously. Informa forecast Argentine soybean production at 58.5 million tonnes, unchanged from last month. click here.

 Jan 07 - Widely used pesticide can harm bees in some cases -EPA
An insecticide widely used on cotton plants and citrus groves can harm bees that come into contact with those crops under certain conditions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday. The agency said a preliminary risk assessment of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide chemically similar to nicotine, found that chemical residues of more than 25 parts per billion would likely harm bees and their hives and result in the bees producing less honey. click here.

 Jan 07 - Dairy giant Fonterra exports record volumes in December
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra Co-operative Group said on Thursday it had exported record monthly volumes in December. The world's largest dairy exporter said it had shipped more than 300,000 tonnes of dairy products to overseas markets, around 10 percent more than its previous record month in December 2014. click here.

Jan 06 - Asia Crude Palm Traders Hold Fire; Awaiting Key Crop Report (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil futures end flat Wednesday in cautious trade ahead of a key crop report to be released early next week. Investors are expecting production and inventories to come down, says David Ng, an analyst at Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. However, weaker exports may continue to weigh on market sentiment, he adds. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settle at 2448 ringgit a ton Wednesday. It ended at 2454 ringgit a ton Tuesday.

Jan 06 - Chinese farmers are illegally growing GMO corn - Greenpeace
Farmers are illegally growing genetically modified corn in China's northeast, said environmental non-profit Greenpeace on Wednesday, in a report that may generate further distrust of the government's ability to ensure a safe food supply. Beijing has spent billions of dollars to develop GMO crops that it hopes will ensure food supplies for its 1.4 billion people but has not yet approved commercial cultivation amid deep-seated anti-GMO sentiment. click here.

 Jan 06 - U.S. grain shippers await El Nino dryness after unseasonable flood
The clear Midwestern skies that El Nino cycles typically bring could be a boon to the U.S. heartland this spring, after recent record rain levels soaked the region, swamping farmland and disrupting grain export shipments on swollen rivers. Farm fields across the Midwest are saturated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But with fairly limited snow cover, and a history of El Nino bringing drier- and milder-than-normal conditions to the Mississippi River's watershed in the upper Midwest, grain shippers could see a less severe spring flood season in 2016, said federal and state climatologists. click here.

 Jan 06 - Winter wheat still faces risk of cold-weather scenario - Braun
Cold-weather hype and associated concerns for wheat emerge every winter, and even though that risk has recently been absent in the Northern Hemisphere, frigid conditions may return at any point over the next two months. Wheat is among the most resilient crops in adverse weather, but it can be seriously damaged or even destroyed if subjected to extreme cold. click here.

 Jan 06 - Brazil to export record 57 mln tonnes soybeans in 2016 – Anec  
Brazil will likely export a record 57 million tonnes of soybeans in 2016, with new northern ports shipping most of the four million tonnes increase from last year, cereal exporters association Anec said on Tuesday. Brazil's largest port of Santos is operating at full capacity and rains in southern Brazil triggered by El Nino are expected to slow shipments from Rio Grande, São Francisco do Sul and Paranaguá ports, Anec said in a report. click here.

 Jan 06 - Grain handler Viterra to crush canola at Washington plant
Grain handler Viterra Inc, a unit of Glencore PLC, said on Tuesday that it has struck a supply and marketing agreement to crush canola at Pacific Coast Canola LLC, a plant in Warden, Washington. A Viterra affiliate, Glencore Grain Investment LLC, has increased its ownership in PCC to 50 percent from a minority stake, for no cash consideration, Viterra said in a release. McKinstry Holdings Inc acquired the other 50 percent. click here.

 Jan 06 - Former head of China's COFCO named Sinochem chairman
The former head of China's top food processor and grain trader COFCO Group Ltd has been appointed as the chairman of Sinochem Group, the country's fourth-largest oil company said on Tuesday. Ning Gaoning replaces long-serving Sinochem chief Liu Deshu, who is leaving due to reaching a government-set retirement age, Sinochem said, without giving further details.  click here.

 Jan 06 - Wal-Mart supplier recalls 90,000 lbs of potentially contaminated meat
A supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, has recalled about 90,000 pounds of beef products that may be "contaminated with extraneous wood materials", the U.S. Agriculture Department said in a release on its website. The recall involves Sam's Choice Black Angus Vidalia Onion brand beef patties supplied by the Minnesota-based Huisken Meat Company, according to the release dated Monday. Sam's Choice products are sold exclusively in Wal-Mart stores. click here.

 Jan 06 - Global dairy prices unexpectedly fall in overnight auction
Global Dairy prices unexpectedly eased in the overnight GlobalDairyTrade auction, a platform established by New Zealand's Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter. Fonterra's GDT Price Index dipped 1.6 percent, with an average selling price of $2,458 per tonne, in the auction held on Tuesday. Whole milk powder prices fell 4.4 percent to $2,210. The NZX Dairy Futures market had anticipated a lift in prices. click here.

Jan 05 - CME declares force majeure for CBOT soy shipping stations
CME Group Inc declared force majeure for all soybean shipping stations until further notice because of flooding on the Illinois River, a notice from the exchange operator said on Monday. A majority of facilities on the river, which are delivery points for soybean futures traded on CME's Chicago Board of Trade, are unable to load crops due to high water levels, according to the notice. click here.

 Jan 05 - Payment snag delays French wheat cargoes for Egypt – sources
Three ships due to load more than 180,000 tonnes of French wheat for Egypt were still waiting off France's northern port of Dunkirk on Monday because exporters had not received letters of credit, trade and shipping sources said. The shipments are part of tender purchases made by Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), with one cargo due for shipment on Dec. 11-20 and two on Dec. 21-31. click here.

 Jan 05 - Drought-hit Indian farmers seek support in federal budget
India needs to increase budgetary allocations for irrigation projects and offer higher procurement prices for crops to support farmers hit by two years of drought, farmer associations said on Monday. Drought in many parts of the country has hit production of rice, cotton and other crops, hurting the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose party recently lost village council elections in Gujarat, a state he ran for over a decade. click here.

 Jan 05 - Wheat ratings decline in Illinois, improve in Oklahoma - USDA
Condition ratings for winter wheat in Illinois declined during December after heavy rains flooded part of the state, but more than half the crop was still seen as good to excellent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. The government rated 58 percent of the Illinois winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition for the month ended Dec. 31, down from 67 percent in its previous state report, which was for the week ended Nov. 29. click here.

 Jan 05 - Argentine soy sales after tax cut disappoint government
Argentina's center-right government said on Monday it was disappointed by the volume of soy stocks sold by farmers in the three weeks since it reduced the tax on soybean exports. President Mauricio Macri cut the tax on shipments of soybeans, the country's main cash crop, from 35 percent to 30 percent days after assuming power, while scrapping export taxes on corn and wheat. click here.

Jan 05 - Rains to improve conditions in Brazil soy belt - meteorologists
Rain in center-west and northern Brazil this week should ease concerns about the soy crop before harvesting, meteorologists said on Monday. Somar meteorologists forecast more than 150 millimeters (6 inches) of rain in the Araguaia Valley, northern Goias, Tocantins, Bahia, and in southern Maranhao a Piaui. click here.

Jan 05 - Cold snap not seen hurting Ukrainian winter crops – analyst
A cold snap which has gripped Ukraine over the last week is unlikely to affect winter crops such as grain thanks to the protection provided by a blanket of snow, analyst UkrAgroConsult said in Monday. The air temperature has fallen to 23 degrees Celsius below zero (-9.4 Fahrenheit) in eastern regions, raising concerns over the 2016 winter grain harvest. click here.

 Jan 05 - South Africa maize prices scale new peaks as drought bites
South African maize prices maintained their record run into 2016, scaling historic highs on Monday amid growing drought concerns and rand weakness. The March contract for white maize added almost 2.6 percent to a new record of 4,781 rand a tonne while the same contract for the yellow variety climbed 1.8 percent to 3,677 rand a tonne. click here.

Jan 04 - Asian Crude Palmoil Ends Lower (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices end lower, tracking losses on the soybean complex, says a Kuala Lumpur-based analyst. There has been "negative sentiment across all regional equity indices after China reported a lower manufacturing number," says David Ng at Philip Futures brokerage. The March benchmark palm-oil contract on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settles 52 ringgit lower at 2436 ringgit a ton Monday.

Jan 04 - Smallest agricultural markets biggest winners in commodities rout
Some of the smallest niche agricultural commodities were the biggest winners this year as weather and disease raised concerns about tightening supplies, spurring a buying spree as an exodus of institutional cash punished oil, metals and grains markets. Cocoa, cotton, sugar and frozen concentrated orange juice on ICE Futures U.S. were on track to be the only gainers this year in the 19-component Thomson Reuters Core Commodity Index. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Jan 04 - U.S. grain prices soar as floods shut waterways, threaten crops
U.S. grain farmers scrambled to find shelter for their crops and handlers hunted for alternative transportation routes, as widespread floods shut waterways from Illinois to Missouri and spurred a surge in physical prices of corn and soybeans. The sudden jump in prices could complicate a months-long stand-off between farmers who are unwilling to sell their bumper crop at low prices and buyers who have refused to budge on their cash offers amid plentiful supplies. click here.

 Jan 04 - India will soon allow duty-free imports of 500,000 T corn - sources
India will soon ask state-run traders to import half a million tonnes of duty-free corn after a second straight drought cut output, in what would be the country's first overseas purchase in 16 years, two government sources said on Thursday. India has agreed to allow state-run traders such as PEC Ltd to import corn to curb rising prices and avoid shortages, said a government official directly involved in the decision-making process. The official requested anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media. click here.

 Jan 04 - South African white maize prices more than double in 2015 on drought jitters
South African white maize prices more than doubled in 2015 to record highs on mounting concerns about a scorching drought, which has been exacerbated by an El Nino weather pattern. South Africa's central bank, which is in a tightening cycle, has frequently expressed concern about the impact of the drought and food price pressures on inflation in Africa's most advanced economy. click here.