Grains, Seeds, Vegoils & Meals

Mar 24 - Asian CPO Ends Lower as Likely Stock Build Continues to Weigh (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices ended the session slightly lower. The market increasingly expects to see stocks start to rebuild over the coming months now that production levels are returning to normal levels and demand to remain soft. Not helping is expectations that the oilseed market will also be well supplied over the coming month. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark palm oil contract is trading down 16 ringgit at 2,755 ringgit a ton.

Mar 24 - EU asks Brazil to suspend meat shipments amid scandal - sources 

The European Union has asked Brazil to voluntarily suspend all shipments of meat to its member countries to avoid imposing a ban that would take time to lift, but the Brazilian government has not agreed, EU diplomats in Brasilia told Reuters on Thursday. Brazilian meat exports have in any caseground almost to a halt following a police investigation into corruption involving food-sanitation inspectors and accusations that rotten products were sold. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - Will China's soybean appetite disappoint in 2017/18? -Braun

China is the main driver of global soybean demand by a long shot, but the growth rate of the country’s imports has slowed in recent years and may do so again in 2017/18, and this could be a drag on soybean prices into next year. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture attaché in Beijing said domestic soybean imports would reach 89 million tonnes in the 2017/18 marketing year, which for China begins on Oct. 1.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - U.S. asked to slap duties on biodiesel from Argentina, 

U.S. biodiesel producers on Thursday asked the U.S. government to impose antidumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia that it says have flooded the U.S. market and violated trade agreements. The move by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) trade group comes after two years of tension between U.S. and foreign producers over soaring imports that the group says have threatened the profitability of domestic producers. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - Meatpacker JBS suspends Brazil beef output amid import bans 

Brazil's JBS SA, the world's biggest meatpacking company, announced on Thursday that it had suspended beef production at 33 of its 36 plants amid the corruption scandal that has caused some of the country's biggest export markets to ban Brazilian meats. Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said a police investigation, which alleges that meat processors paid bribes for inspectors to turn a blind eye to unsanitary or irregular activity, was exaggerated and wrongly challenged the quality of one of the country's most important exports. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - China accepts more Australian beef exporters as leaders meet 

China removed the last remaining restrictions on imports of Australian beef on Friday and announced early-stage plans to co-develop a major mine, rail and port project, in contrast to a growing global trend of trade protectionism. The policies - announced during a visit to Australia by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang - advance the trade relationship between the two countries at a time of rising tensions between Australia and its traditional ally, the United States.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - Asia fast-food chains pull meat off menus as Brazil scandal deepens 

Major fast-food chains in South Korea and Hong Kong have pulled chicken, beef and pork off their menus as they scramble to reassure customers about food safety as Brazil's meat scandal crisis intensifies. The drastic steps by Burger King and Mom's Touch in South Korea, and Hong Kong's top fast food chain Cafe de Coral are aimed at avoiding a customer backlash after Brazilian police accused inspectors in the world's biggest exporter of beef and poultry of taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - Argentina soy crop estimate rises to 56.5 mln tonnes - exchange 

Argentina's 2016/17 soy crop was estimated at 56.5 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, citing better-than-expected yields as it raised its forecast from the previous outlook of 54.8 million tonnes. "Harvesting has begun in the main soy belt and north-central Cordoba province, registering good yields that put upward pressure on production expectations in the country's central farm region," the exchange said in its weekly crop report. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - Moroccan phosphate exporter OCP posts 53 pct slide in net profit 

Morocco's Office Cherifien de Phosphate (OCP), the world's leading phosphate exporter, posted a 52.8 percent fall in full-year net profit, the company said on Thursday. State-run OCP, a major foreign currency earner for Morocco, has been hit by a slide in phosphate and fertiliser prices, prompting efforts to increase production and cut costs to counter falling revenue. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 24 - Asia Palm-Oil Prices Remain Under Pressure (Dow Jones)
Asia palm-oil prices are lower ahead of the release of export estimates from cargo surveyors. Recent forecasts have showed demand has dropped off in recent weeks, which has the market expecting to see supplies of the commodity start to rebuild. The Bursa Malaysia palm-oil contract is down 0.5% at MYR2,756/ton.

Mar 24 - Brazil Meat Scandal Not Yet Benefiting US Cos (Dow Jones)
While global concern about the safety of Brazilian meat could ultimately help foreign producers, the situation will likely take weeks to play out, says Smithfield CEO Ken Sullivan. A number of countries have banned Brazilian meat imports, and "if that ban goes on for more than weeks at a time, then those buyers will look for different suppliers." Even so, "there are a lot of emails flying around (Smithfield) but I haven't seen any orders five days in." Smithfield, America's largest pork processor, was purchased in 2013 by China's WH Group (0288.HK). Brazilian authorities have said some of the country's largest meat producers bribed government inspectors to turn a blind eye to unsafe meat-handling practices. WH has jumped 11% this week to turn higher for 2017.

Mar 24 - China to End Restrictions on Aussie Beef Imports (Dow Jones)
China has agreed to drop restrictions on Australian beef imports during a down-under visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. PM Turnbull says the agreement would open exports from 11 Australian firms to an unlimited number. "This new agreement will drive significant future growth," he adds. Australia's beef exports to China were worth more than A$8 billon (US$6.1 billion) last year, and the move comes as a tainted meat scandal in Brazil has prompted countries including China to seek other meat sources. China has been the biggest buyer of Brazilian meat.

Mar 24 - NZ Dairy Sector Heading Back to Black (Dow Jones)
The worst looks to be over for New Zealand's dairy farmers. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is tipping an opening farmgate milk price forecast for the 2017/18 season toward the upper end of a range of NZ$5.00-NZ$6.00/kilo of milk solids. That compares to NZ$6.10-NZ$6.15/kg in 2016/17, which is above Fonterra Cooperative's NZ$6.00/kg forecast. "With breakeven for the sector in the low-NZ$5s, the sector is moving back into the black, though hardly flush with cash," ANZ says. A big focus will be debt repayment from the poor 2015/16 season, it says. The sector accumulated around NZ$1.50/kg of debt during this period, which needs to be reduced to improve financial metrics that will be further eroded when interest rates rise.

Mar 23 - Asian CPO Falls Sharply, Mirroring Moves in Oilseed (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices fell sharply following moves lower in both canola and soybeans overnight in the US. Oilseeds around the globe are under pressure with Brazilian supply coming onto the market, increasing the availability of oilseeds. Commonwealth Bank of Australia says that oilseeds will continue to trade in a sideways, rangebond manner ahead of next week's planting report. Bursa Malaysia benchmark palm oil contract ended down 58 ringgit a ton at 2771 ringgit a ton.

Mar 23 - Brazil scandal tests JBS, BRF push for overseas units IPOs

Brazil's two largest food processors are striving to restore confidence in their quality controls as they pursue plans to list overseas units after a scandal over alleged bribery of health officials that triggered bans on Brazilian meat exports. On Friday, police named Brazil's JBS SA, the world's top meatpacker, and BRF SA, the largest poultry producer, alongside dozens of smaller peers in a probe into alleged payments to officials to forgo inspections and overlook practices including processing rotten meat.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Egypt to keep higher wheat moisture limit till November - French exporters

Egypt's state grain buyer will maintain an increased limit for moisture in imported wheat until at least November in order to boost competition between different origins, a French export group said on Wednesday. Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) had said in mid-February it would apply a tolerance for moisture content of up to 13.5 percent, above its standard 13 percent limit, without indicating the duration of the change. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Australia, China to boost trade with beef making the cut

Australia and China are expected to sign new bilateral agreements on beef exports, energy and security during a four-day visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that began on Thursday. Li, the first sitting Chinese premier to visit Australia in 11 years, was welcomed to parliament in Canberra by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull amid extra security in the capital in the wake of an attack outside Britain's parliament by a suspected Islamist-inspired attacker. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Chinese supermarkets pull Brazil meat from shelves as food safety fears grow

Some of China's largest food suppliers have pulled Brazilian beef and poultry from their shelves in the first concrete sign that a deepening scandal over Brazil's meat processing industry is hitting business in its top export market. The moves by Sun Art Retail Group, China's biggest hypermarket chain, and the Chinese arms of global retail giants Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Metro AG come days after China temporarily suspended Brazilian meat imports. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - China February barley imports up 208 pct at 806,456 tonnes - customs

China imported 806,456 tonnes of barley in February, up 208.1 percent year on year, customs data showed on Thursday. Imports of sorghum were up 29.7 percent at 735,252 tonnes, while corn imports jumped 128.9 percent to 142,556 tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Brazil's gov't says meat industry may lose 10 pct market share

A police investigation into alleged unsanitary and corrupt practices has badly damaged the reputation of Brazil's meatpacking industry and could wipe more than 10 percent off its global market share, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said on Wednesday. Maggi, a former state governor and a billionaire soy farmer, told a Senate Committee that his main concern was that China and Hong Kong have not yet taken a definitive stance on their bans of meat from Brazil, the world's biggest producer of beef and poultry. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Russia says Turkey's action over Russian wheat hindering relations

Ankara's action against Russian wheat, maize and sunflower oil suppliers is hindering restoration of ties between the two countries, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek by phone on Wednesday. Turkish buyers have put purchases of these products from Russia onhold, despite denials from Ankara that it has effectively banned imports from Moscow, trade and industry sources said on Monday.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - German companies interested in train crossing South America - officials

Dozens of German companies including Siemens attended meetings in Bolivia this week to discuss building a coast-to-coast railway through Brazil, Bolivia and Peru that could speed up the export of corn and soybeans to Asia, German and Bolivian officials said on Wednesday. The massive, $10 billion project would involve building a 3,700-kilometer (2,299-miles) rail line across the continent, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, through mountains and jungles. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - Palm Oil Under Press as Production Recovers (Dow Jones)
Palm oil prices will likely stay under pressure as production recovers and demand remains subdued, says Rabobank in a note. However it adds that the low inventories seen during the high consumption period of Ramadan will limit prices decrease in the second quarter of 2017. "The Muslim festival typically sees higher demand for palm oil used in cooking leading up to Eid al Fitr. Palm oil consumption normally increases in preparation for and during Ramadan, while will limit the pace of palm oil stock build-up in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2Q 2017." The Bursa Malaysia benchmark palm oil contract trades flat at 2,830 ringgit a ton.

Mar 23 - China Soybean Imports Set to Rise Further (Dow Jones)
China, already the world's largest soybean importer, will see soybean imports rise some 3% this season and roughly the same in the coming one, says the USDA. "Rising incomes, urbanization and the modernization of the domestic feed and livestock sectors will continue fostering Chinese oilseed consumption." That as China's production remains constrained by limited arable land and stagnant yields. Output is seen being more than 35% less than imports for the 2017-8 season. But the agency cautions that forecasting China's meal and oil use, and total oilseed demand, remains a challenge as "data differs greatly depending on the source."

Mar 22 - Asian CPO Ends Slightly Higher Following Moves in Soybeans (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil prices ended the session slightly higher following a move higher in substitute soybean futures in overnight trade. However, price moves remain limited by expectations that production is improving and the demand for palm oil has come off in recent weeks. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark palm oil contract ended up 18 ringgit at 2,827 ringgit a ton.

Mar 22 - Brazil's agriculture ministry, police say meat problems not widespread

Brazil's federal police and agriculture ministry said late Tuesday that sanitary and corruption problems found in the nation's meatpacking industry were isolated incidents, an attempt to tamp down a scandal that has led the Latin American nation's biggest export markets to ban its meats. Since police launched raids on processing plants and company offices in seven states on Friday, President Michel Temer's government has sought to downplay the crisis in the meatpacking sector, one of the bright spots of an economy struggling with its worst recession on record. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Rainy end to March cheered by most U.S. farmers, but not all - Braun

The United States will close out March under a particularly active weather pattern, and the associated rainfall will be welcomed by many farmers across the country. But not everyone is cheering the downpours. Over the next two weeks, almost the whole country is likely to experience above-average precipitation, according to forecast models as of midday Tuesday. This comes on the heels of an extremely dry February and early March for many of the grain and oilseed producing states. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Turkey says imports of Russian wheat could halt despite lack of ban

Turkey has not banned purchases of wheat and similar products from Russia but imports may halt as Turkish companies prefer to avoid buying from Moscow, the economy minister said on Tuesday. Turkish buyers have put purchases of Russian agricultural products - mainly wheat, maize and sunflower oil - on hold, despite denials from Ankara that it has effectively banned imports from Moscow, trade and industry sources said on Monday.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - China approves fewer GMO crop imports, hampering trade-US industry group

China is approving fewer new biotech crops for import than before, hampering the launch of new products globally and hurting trade, an American industry group said on Tuesday. China does not permit the planting of any genetically modified varieties of staple food crops amid deep-seated consumer opposition. But it does allow the import of GMO crops, such as soybeans for use in its huge animal feed industry. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Off the pulse: India farmers switch crops as lentil prices plunge

Millions of Indian farmers look set to switch from growing pulses and oilseeds after a government campaign to boost output became a victim of its own success by flooding markets with the crops, used in everything from fragrant curries to sticky desserts. Storehouses are overflowing with commodities such as lentils and soybeans after waves of farmers answered Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call last summer to ramp up local production to cut a hefty import bill, driving prices sharply lower.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Brazil new soy frontier Matopiba contributing to record crop

Brazil's newest soy frontier, the Matopiba region stretching across four northern states, is contributing to a record crop this year as good weather spurs a recovery in agricultural yields after several drought-hit seasons. Matopiba - a word formed by the initials of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia - has just started the soy harvest, later than the main soy regions in Brazil. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - U.S. farm heartland lobbies to steer Trump away from Mexico trade war

 Farmers in the U.S. agricultural heartland that helped elect Donald Trump are now pushing his administration to avoid a trade dispute with Mexico, fearing retaliatory tariffs that could hit over $3 billion in U.S. exports. The value of exports at risk is based on a Reuters analysis of a tariff list which Mexico used in a trucking dispute six years ago and which Mexican officials have said could serve as a model if President Trump sets new barriers to Mexican goods. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - UK group expanding campaign to curb antibiotics in meat production

A shareholder coalition founded in the U.K. is recruiting investors for a campaign to convince KFC parent Yum Brands Inc and other food companies to protect public health and corporate profits by reducing the use of antibiotics in the meat they serve in the United States and around the world. Scientists warn that the routine use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent illness in healthy farm animals contributes to the rise of dangerous infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs, which kill at least 23,000 Americans each year and pose a major threat to global health. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Fonterra profit rises but guidance cut on forecast volatility

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra reported a 2.2 percent rise in half-year profit on Wednesday, lifted by earnings gains for its high-value consumer products. But the world's largest world's largest dairy exporter cut its guidance for the full year because of dairy market volatility, reducing forecast earnings per share to 45 to 55 cents per share, from a range of 50 to 60 cents. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Algeria's Cevital plans $350 mln Ethiopian oilseeds, sugar processing complex

Algeria's largest private firm, Cevital, is looking for banks to back its plans for a sugar refinery and oilseeds processing complex in Ethiopia, Cevital's chairman Issad Rebrab told Reuters on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum in Geneva. "All in all, the figure will be about $360 million in total, but that's just in Ethiopia, without counting the logistics platform at the port in Djibouti," Rebrab said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - Uganda Backs GMO Crops as Drought Hits Yields (Dow Jones)
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni wants parliament to pass a long delayed biosafety legislation to introduce genetically modified crops, to boost harvests as the region grapples with widespread crop failure following a severe drought. The legislation stands to boost yields of grains, fruits and cotton, through modern research and technology, the presidency says. Uganda plans to follow in the footsteps of South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan as GMOs gain traction on a continent dogged by decades of low agricultural yields. It's encouraging news for agrichemical companies such as Monsanto, which is currently trying to firm up their presence in Africa. Museveni says the ruling party dominated parliament plans to finalize the legislation "very soon," to help Africa's top coffee grower "resolve problems in its agriculture sector."

Mar 22 - NZX Whole Milk Powder Prices Rise on Improved Auction Result (Dow Jones)
NZX whole milk powder futures are sharply higher early in trading, following a better than expected Global Dairy Trade auction overnight. "The combination of lower prices and Argentinian floods have tempted additional Latin American buyers back onto the GlobalDairyTrade platform," says ASB agri-economist Nathan Penny in a note. "This was a source of demand that the dairy futures market pricing had not factored in." The NZX whole milk powder future contract is currently trading up US$230 a metric ton at US$2,880 a metric ton.

Mar 22 - China's Ban on Brazil Beef Sets up Opening for Competitors (Dow Jones)
The decision by China to suspend Brazilian beef as well other meat products due to a scandal over the selling of tainted meat "will create opportunities for other beef exporters," says Westpac economist Sarah Drought in a note. However, she adds that the significance of the impact will depend on the length of the suspensions. She notes that, with a ban on some US beef products removed last year, US suppliers could benefit from the potential supply gap in the Chinese market.

Mar 21 - Hard to Quantify Impact of Brazil Meat Probe on Global Trade (Dow Jones)
The potential impact Brazil's probe into allegation that tainted meat was sold by meat packers on the global meat market is difficult to quantify, says Tobin Gorey, analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note. Analysts are asking whether suppliers from the US or Australia, for example, might capture some of Brazil's lost global market share. "Firstly it will depend on how long these restrictions last--perhaps Brazil will be able to prove to its overseas customers that this incident was, as they are saying, the exception rather than the rule." However he notes that regulators have one hurdle. "Consumer trust, once lost, can be difficult to regain. And consumers are likely to be less forgiving when they believe their health has been jeopardized."

Mar 21 - Asian CPO Ends Higher, Likely on Bargain Hunting (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil futures ended the session up likely due to some bargain hunting after prices fell in recent weeks. Concerns remain about demand as exports from Malaysia have fallen off through March, which will likely cap significant moves higher. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark palm oil contract ended the session 31 ringgit a ton higher at 2,811 ringgit a ton.

Mar 21 - China, EU cut imports of Brazil meat amid scandal

China and the European Union curtailed meat imports from Brazil on Monday after police, in an anti-corruption probe criticized by the government as alarmist, accused inspectors in the world's biggest exporter of beef and poultry of taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats. As the scandal deepened, Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 21 - Argentine grains sector to get $1.7 bln in investment - chamber

Argentina's grains transportation sector is projected to receive $1.7 billion in private investment for the 2016-17 period, the country's CIARA-CEC exporters' chamber said on Monday. "Companies in the sector began an investment plan last year that will continue in 2017, aimed at making general logistics and grains processing more efficient. This is in line with forecasts of increased farm production," the statement said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 21 - Turkish buyers put Russia wheat deals on hold, despite denial of ban – sources

Turkish buyers have put purchases of Russian agricultural products - mainly wheat, maize (corn) and sunflower oil - on hold, despite denials from Ankara that it has effectively banned imports from Moscow, trade and industry sources said on Monday. Last week, import licences issued by the Turkish government no longer included Russia in a list of accepted tax-free origins, the sources said, suggesting an import tariff of 130 percent could be applied to supplies from Russia.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 21 - Brazil beef scandal leaves fewer options for global buyers

Global beef buyers will likely need to cobble together supplies from several nations if a scandal persists in Brazil's meat sector because supply constraints and politics are already limiting trade flows, market analysts said on Monday. China suspended imports of all meat products from Brazil, the world's top beef exporter, as a precautionary measure after inspectors there were accused of taking bribes to allow sales of tainted food. South Korea, the EU and Chile also curtailed meat imports from Brazil.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 21 - Paraguay says on track for record soy crop of over 10 mln tonnes

Paraguay's 2016/17 soy crop is estimated at more than 10 million tonnes, Agriculture Minister Juan Carlos Baruja told reporters on Monday, setting expectations for what would be a record harvest for the world's No. 4 soybean exporter. The crop should bring in more than $3 billion, he said following a meeting with President Horacio Cartes. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 21 - France sees bird flu crisis nearly over as spread slows

The spread of a severe bird flu virus that ravaged the duck industry in southwestern France since late last year has slowed in the past two weeks, suggesting the crisis could be ending, the farm minister said on Monday. France, which has the largest poultry flock in Europe, has been among the countries most severely hit by the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus that propagated in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Asian CPO Ends Lowers as Cargo Exports Estimated to Fall (Dow Jones)
Asian CPO ended the session slightly lower as export estimate data from SGS and Intertek shows that demand continues to fall for palm oil from Malaysia. Data from cargo surveyor SGS estimates that exports of palm oil fell 7.9% in the first 20 days of March, compared to estimates that showed palm oil exports for the first 15 days of March rising 1.1%. Bursa Malaysia benchmark CPO ended down 25 ringgit a ton at 2,778 ringgit a ton.

Mar 20 - Funds' bullish corn, soy bets crash under weight of S. America -Braun 

Bullish bets in Chicago grain and oilseed futures took a significant tumble last week as enormous South American crops weighed on the markets. Hedge funds and other money managers scrapped their long position in corn futures and options in the week through March 14, ending a two-month bullish stint.  Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Turkey denies reports of import ban on Russian wheat

Turkey denied reports that it has banned imports of certain products from Russia, after traders warned shipments of Russian wheat to its second-biggest export market face disruption. Trade and industry sources said on Thursday that import licences issued by the Turkish government no longer included Russia in a list of tax-free accepted origins as of March 15, effectively closing off the Turkish market to Russian wheat. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Workers at Argentina's agricultural ports hub announce 

Workers at Argentina's biggest agricultural port hub, Rosario, have voted to hold a 24-hour strike on March 30 to demand better wages and an end to dismissals, a union leader said Saturday. The stoppage will likely affect the shipment of grains and their by-products from global food supplier Argentina, where companies such as Cargill, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus  have their own terminals. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Ukraine says 11 pct of spring grains area sown so far

Farmers in Ukraine have sown 11 percent, or 273,000 hectares, of the country's planned spring grains area since the season began on March 8, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Ukraine, the world's third-largest grain exporter, expects to sow 7.2 million hectares of spring grains this year, up from 7 million hectares last year. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - India's rapeseed output to jump 20 pct to 3-yr high - trade body

India rapeseed production in crop year 2016/17 is likely to jump by as much as 20 percent to the highest in three years at 7 million tonnes as farmers expanded the area planted with the oilseed due to ample rainfall and higher prices. Rapeseed, a type of mustard, is the main winter-sown oilseed in India and higher production will help the country in trimming its edible oils imports. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Alabama waits for U.S. verdict on bird flu; importers limit trade

U.S. trading partners on Friday limited shipments of poultry from Alabama, a top producer of chickens for meat, over bird flu concerns as the state's wait for federal confirmation of two suspected cases stretched past a week. The European Union, Kazakhstan and French Polynesia restricted shipments from Alabama counties with presumed cases of the disease, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website. The moves came a day after the state reported the agency's national animal-health laboratories had confirmed a separate case of bird flu there. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 20 - Asian CPO Tad Up; All Eyes on Export Estimate Data (Dow Jones)
Asian palm oil is slightly higher in early trading as the market waits for export estimated data from both cargo surveyors Intertek and SGS. Capital Economics notes that the narrowing spread between palm oil and rival--and premium--soy oil weighed on palm oil prices Friday after the commodity rallied early in the weeks on signs of strong demand and fears that an El Nino weather phenomenon might develop later in the year. The Bursa Malaysia benchmark 3-month palm oil contract is trading up 7 ringgit at 2810 ringgit a ton.

Mar 20 - Soybean Prices Set to Stay Capped (Dow Jones)
Soybean prices are set to remain under pressure at least the next several weeks after breaking below multimonth support at $10.25/bushel as a record harvest in South America weigh on prices and downstream products such as soymeal prices have eased since January as Chinese soybean-crush margins have turned negative for the first time since September, says BMI Research. Meanwhile, "the current soy/corn ratio will encourage US farmers to increase soybean acreage, also putting pressure on prices." BMI sees support holding around $9.50/bushel.

Mar 20 - Traders Barely Blink at Indonesia's Huge Palm Oil Revision (Dow Jones)
The Indonesia Palm Oil Association, or Gapki, has revised sharply higher Indonesia's estimated palm oil stocks for 2016 year, upending views that this market was tightly supplied. The association estimates that Indonesian palm oil stocks were 3.75 million metric tons at the end of 2016, compared with a previous forecast of just 1.07 million metric tons. That's a massive data revision but it's not moving the market much--the Bursa Malaysia benchmark contract is trading down just 14 ringgit to 2789 ringgit per metric ton. That's partly because the Gapki data is not as closely watched as the data released by the Malaysia Palm Oil Board, which are seen as more reliable. In December, palm oil prices hit their highest level in 4.5 years due to concerns about shortages in the market as production had not recovered from the dry weather associated with the El Nino at the start of 2016.

Mar 17 - Asian CPO Ends a Bit Higher on Production Concerns (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil price futures ended slightly higher Friday driven by expectations of lower production, keeping the general sentiment upbeat. David Ng of Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur says production might be weaker in the month of March due to irregular weather in top-grower Malaysia. Palm oil exports are likely to improve in the months to come, Ng adds. Benchmark palm-oil futures for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia derivatives Exchange ends MYR8 up at MYR2804/ton.

Mar 17 - As austerity-hit Egyptians turn to bread, wheat imports hit new highs 

Egypt has been buying wheat on global markets at a breakneck clip in recent months in what grain traders say is an effort to keep up with its cash-strapped population's growing reliance on subsidised bread. The acute political sensitivity of the availability and price of the staple leaves the government with little choice but to ensure supplies, despite an economic crisis caused by six years of drift since an uprising ended Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Turkey removes Russian wheat from import scheme - sources 

Turkey has removed Russian wheat from an import licence scheme in an unexpected move that could disrupt Russia's shipments to its second-biggest wheat export market, according to trade sources. New import licences issued by the Turkish government did not include Russia among accepted origins as of March 15, the sources said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Strategie Grains upbeat on EU winter cereals, cuts maize area 

Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday nudged its forecast for this year's European Union soft wheat and barley crops slightly higher, but the outlook for maize was cut sharply on a downward revision to planting expectations. Conditions for winter cereals such as wheat were mostly favourable, with rainfall in late February and early March alleviating dryness after low levels of precipitation since autumn, the consultancy said in a monthly report. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Bird flu hits another U.S. farm that supplies Tyson Foods 

Bird flu that is highly lethal to poultry has infected a second commercial chicken farm in Tennessee that supplies Tyson Foods Inc, company and state officials said on Thursday. The finding expands an outbreak near the major chicken-producing states of Alabama and Georgia, and is the second in the type of breeder flock crucial for keeping the chicken-meat industry supplied with birds. A case of less dangerous bird flu was confirmed in Alabama on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Agriculture leaders slam Trump's USDA budget cut proposal

Agriculture leaders including lawmakers from President Donald Trump's Republican Party on Thursday criticized his planned 21 percent cut to discretionary spending at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), saying it could take a toll on the rural communities that helped elect him last November. Trump has proposed slashing the USDA's discretionary budget by $4.7 billion to $17.9 billion by halting funding for rural clean water initiatives and rural business services, reducing some USDA statistical services and cutting county-level staff. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - China rejigs cotton policy for top grower Xinjiang 

China will set target prices for cotton in the top growing region of Xinjiang every three years instead of annually, the government said on Friday, the latest shake-up of the region's subsidy programme as part of Beijing's farm reform. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement it has set its 2017-2019 target price for cotton at 18,600 yuan ($2,695) a tonne, unchanged from its 2016 goal even as domestic and global prices have soared. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Brazil may peg farming loans to benchmark rate, paper says 

The Brazilian government is considering pegging borrowing costs on farming loans to the benchmark overnight Selic interest rate in another step toward reducing costly credit subsidies, newspaper Valor Econômico said on Thursday. According to Valor, which did not say how it obtained the information, policymakers would fix at 85 percent the weight of the Selic on interest charged on farming loans. Several types of farming credit bear a 50 percent to 70 percent Selic component, the newspaper said. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Argentine soy and corn benefiting from good weather - exchange 

Argentine corn and soy should benefit this season from high yields brought by good weather, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, adding that it may increase its harvest estimate above the current 54.8 million tonnes. The South American grains powerhouse is the world's third biggest exporter of both crops. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 17 - Asian CPO Opens a Tad Lower, Guided by Rival Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm oil price futures open a tad lower Friday, weighed down by overnight losses in the soy bean oil complex. Prices of both palm oil and soy oil influence global markets and often follow each other. Traders say palm oil prices may improve on investor expectations of better demand. Benchmark palm-oil futures for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange are down 8 ringgit at MYR2,788/ton. It opened at MYR2778/ton.

Mar 16 - Asian CPO Settles Higher on Better Demand, Production Worries (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil price futures ended Thursday's trading session higher on continued investor optimism about improved demand. "Anticipation of anticipation of stronger exports in weeks to come has kept the palm-oil prices high," says David Ng of Philip Futures in Kuala Lumpur. Export estimates released by cargo surveyor SGS (Malaysia) showed Malaysia's palm-oil exports during March 1-15 rising 1.1% on month to 507,491 metric tons. Analysts say concerns of a drop in production this month due to weather uncertainty has also supported prices. Benchmark palm-oil futures for the new June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange ended up MYR52/ton at MYR2,793/ton.

Mar 16 - S. American corn in great shape but not in the bag yet -Braun

The South American corn crop has been consistently underestimated at this time of year by many analysts, though it is still unclear whether this trend will hold again this year. Within the past week, several groups – including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Brazil’s agricultural statistics agency Conab, and Argentina’s Rosario Exchange – boosted outlooks for the 2016/17 corn harvests in Brazil and Argentina. Click here to read full stories. 

Mar 16 - EU chemical agency says weed killer glyphosate not carcinogenic 

Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, should not be classified as a substance causing cancer, the European Chemical Agency concluded on Wednesday, potentially paving the way for its licence renewal in the EU. A transatlantic row over possible risks to human health has prompted investigations by congressional committees in the United States, and in Europe has forced a delay to a re-licensing decision for Monsanto's big-selling Roundup weed killer. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - U.S. wildfires ravage ranches in three states 

When the Schwerzenbach family saw a wildfire racing toward their remote ranch in Lipscomb, Texas, there was no time to run. "We had a minute or two and then it was over us," said 56-year-old Nancy Schwerzenbach. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - Favourable weather boosts hopes for Russia, Ukraine grain crops 

Favourable weather ahead of spring sowing in Black Sea grain producers Russia and Ukraine is boosting hopes of a large harvest, analysts, officials and traders said, although it will likely fall short of last year's record. Spring grain sowing in Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, started a few days ago and is 0.8 percent completed so far. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - German 2017 wheat and rapeseed harvests seen up on year

Germany's 2017 wheat crop is expected to increase 2.2 percent on the year to 25.13 million tonnes, the country's association of farm cooperatives said on Wednesday. The association forecast Germany's 2017 winter rapeseed crop at 4.86 million tonnes, up 5.6 percent on the year. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 16 - India Imports Less Vegetable Oil Due to Sluggish Demand (Dow Jones)
India's vegetable oils imports have dropped 8% to 4.68 million tons so far this year amid weak demand and high inventory of the commodity, a trade body said. Imports have come down due to a good summer oilseed crop last year and better domestic availability of edible oils, the Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors' Association of India said in a press statement. Further, the cash crunch after New Delhi's removal of high-value bank notes from circulation late last year hurt consumer purchases during the first quarter of the oil year that runs between November and October, the association added. India imported 5.09 million tons of vegetable oils in the same period last season. India's monthly requirement is about 1.65 million tons.

Mar 16 - NZX Whole-Milk-Powder Futures Pares Gains (Dow Jones)
NZX whole-milk-powder futures pull back some after Wednesday's noted gains. CBA says any further move higher would "push futures prices beyond competitive levels." The 3-month contract on the NZX is down 0.9% at US$2,725/metric ton.

Mar 16 - El Nino Concerns Provide Support for Palm Oil Prices (Dow Jones)
There's some upside risk in palm oil prices, given increased concerns over an early re-emergence of the El Nino phenomenon later this year. Meanwhile, there has been some recovery in Malaysia's palm oil exports, with estimates from cargo surveyor SGS showing these were up 1.1% in the first 2 weeks of March, says OCBC in a note. Furthermore, Malaysia has also reduced its export tax on palm oil to 7.5% from 8.0% this month, which should provide some support for prices. Benchmark palm-oil futures for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settles up MYR65/ton at MYR2,817/ton.

Mar 16 - Lactalis modifie la référence TB/TP (La France Agricole)
- Sur les dernières paies de lait, l’industriel indique désormais le prix de base pour un paiement du gramme différentiel à 41/33, au lieu de 38/32. Le montant versé à l’éleveur n’est pas modifié, mais le prix de base apparaît artificiellement beaucoup plus élevé.
- Dans la Région Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, le gramme différentiel est payé 2,6 € pour le TB et 6,6 € pour le TP. En passant de 38/32 à 41/33, Lactalis « gonfle » ainsi le montant du prix de base de 21 €/1 000 l.
- Les hypothèses sur ce changement vont bon train. Est-ce en réaction aux pratiques d’autres laiteries, qui indiquent désormais un prix toutes primes et incidences qualité comprises ? Pour que l’industriel se compare plus facilement aux cours allemand et néerlandais ? Pour afficher un prix à la production plus élevé, lors de ses négociations avec la grande distribution ?
Un affichage trompeur
- Les syndicats Jeunes Agriculteurs (JA) de la Bretagne et des Pays de la Loire y voient plusieurs inconvénients : « Cette nouvelle façon de présenter le prix payé pose le problème de comparaison entre producteurs de différentes laiteries » et « risque de mettre [Lactalis] artificiellement sur le podium des laiteries ayant un prix de base du lait le plus élevé. » Ils se demandent « quelle sera la prochaine étape ».
- Claude Bonnet, président de l’Unell, l’une des unions d’organisations de producteurs (OP) livrant à Lactalis, relativise un peu cette nouvelle pratique de l’industriel. « C’est seulement un affichage, une présentation, pas un changement des critères de paiement : la facturation reste sur une base 38/32. Nous avons été informés il y a un mois. »
- Néanmoins, le fait que la première question qui vienne à l’esprit de JA soit « mais que manigance Lactalis ? » en dit long sur l’état de défiance qui règne entre les éleveurs et leur collecteur.

Mar 15 - Asian CPO Ends Higher on Production Worries; Exports Remain Weak (Dow Jones)
Asian crude palm-oil price futures end Wednesday's trading higher amid concerns of weather irregularities later this year that might impact palm-oil production. Export estimates released by cargo surveyor SGS (Malaysia) Bhd. showed Malaysia's palm-oil exports during the March 1-15 period rising 1.1% on month at 507,491 metric tons. Another surveyor Intertek Agri Services showed