Grains, Seeds, Vegoils, Meals, Softs, Agri News

Feb 15 - South Korea takes corn buying to 855,000 mt as Cargill sells again (AgriCensus)
- South Korea’s NOFI has tendered and bought a 69,000 mt cargo of corn from Cargill at $205.48/mt, according to market sources, becoming the latest in a string of feed manufacturers to capitalise on relatively low prices in a week-long buying spree.
With the tender again well contended – including offers from 17 different companies with over 1 million mt on show – private deals are thought to have followed the tender, taking the total volume to 855,000 mt in a week. Cargill’s sales during that time include five cargoes – some 345,000 mt – with the latest cargo, for June 25 arrival, taking NOFI’s buying to 207,000 mt, all from Cargill.
- Fellow feed major MFG has currently clocked up 275,000 mt over the week.
- KFA and FLC have also made recent forays into the market picking up 183,000 mt and 65,000 mt respectively, with both thought to have been active privately to hoover up cargoes after this tender closed. KFA is thought to have secured a 60,000 mt cargo from Olam at $206.63/mt, loading May 17 through June 5 on a PNW basis and set for Busan.
- FLC has picked up a further 65,000 mt cargo from Mitsui for June 25 arrival, according to market sources, at $205.48/mt.
The cargos are again expected to be sourced out of the US Pacific Northwest.The volume of corn on offer meant that further private deals were likely to be picked up late in the day.

Feb 15 - Leading Russian state bank tightens grip on Black Sea grain export hub 

Russia's second-biggest bank VTB is buying one of the biggest grain terminals at the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, in a surprise move that gives the state lender more control over the country's main deep-sea grain export hub. VTB, which already owns a stake in another grain terminal at the port, said on Thursday that it was buying 100 percent of Novorossiysk Grain Terminal from Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NSCP). Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - China to exempt some Brazilian chicken imports from tariffs 

China will exempt 14 Brazilian firms including BRF and JBS Group from anti-dumping tariffs on imports of chicken products, provided sales are made above an undisclosed floor price. The exemptions follow months of negotiations between Brazilian chicken producers and China, as Brazil sought to resolve an anti-dumping probe launched in August 2017. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Barley 'price war' sparked by China, Saudi demand drop - analyst

A drop in demand from China and Saudi Arabia sent barley prices tumbling in recent weeks, despite low global supply, and price pressure may continue if harvest prospects for next season remain good, analysts at Strategie Grains said. The barley market rallied earlier in the 2018/19 season with weather-hit crops in Europe and Australia expected to contribute to a fall in global stocks, which the U.S. government sees hitting a 35-year low. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Foggy outlook for U.S. soy market persists without a China deal: Braun 

Although uncertainty is a fixture, even a necessity, in commodity markets, it has perhaps never been greater for agriculture traders than so far in 2019 as the future of trade between the United States and China remains unclear. Negotiations between the two countries are ongoing, but if they are dragged out much past March 1, the 2019 U.S. growing season – and farmers’ planting decisions – could be at risk. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Iran, Russia move closer to organising finance for wheat deal 

Iran, Russia and Kazakhstan are making progress on organising finance for a long-planned wheat deal that could double or triple supplies to Iran, the secretary general of Iran's Federation of Food Industry Associations said. Talks started a year ago, but stalled due to a lack of financing. The deal involves Russia and Kazakhstan supplying wheat to Iranian millers, who in turn would supply flour to Iraq - a market dominated by Turkey and other countries. Click here to read full stories.

 

Feb 15 - IEG Vantage raises U.S. 2019 corn seedings view; trims soy - document 

Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, on Thursday projected U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 91.591 million acres, up slightly from its Jan. 23 forecast of 91.504 million acres. The firm forecast 2019 corn production at 14.908 billion bushels based on a yield of 177.0 bushels per acre, according to an IEG client note seen by Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Argentina soy crop forecast at 52 mln tonnes despite loss due to rain - exchange 

Argentina's soy crop is battling storms that have flooded some marginal growing regions while helping yields in prime farm areas, with one grains exchange increasing its harvest forecast while another warned it may cut its 2018/19 planting estimate. The country's soy crop should reach 52 million tonnes this season, up from 50 million tonnes previously forecast, the Rosario Grains Exchange said late on Wednesday. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange followed on Thursday with a report saying excessive rains may cause it to cut estimated planting area. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 15 - Brazil may raise farm subsidies despite belt tightening 

Brazil could double spending on subsidized farm insurance in 2020 and may expand subsidized loans, the country's agriculture policy secretary said on Thursday, even though the new government's economic team has pledged to cut spending. The negotiations on next year's farm subsidies highlight the powerful agribusiness lobby's struggle to preserve benefits at a time when Economy Minister Paulo Guedes is pushing for belt-tightening efforts including cutting state-subsidized loans in favor of lending on the open market. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Russian milling wheat offers slide as competition, ruble weakness bite (AgriCensus)
- Russian milling wheat offers are falling in a bid to remain competitive on the global stage, with prices dropping to their lowest levels in a month as exporters try to fight off competition from around the world and the ruble slumps to month lows, market sources told Agricensus Thursday. Russian 12.5% protein milling wheat was heard traded for March at $240/mt FOB Kavkaz, down another $1/mt from a deal earlier in the week and well below offer levels at $252/mt FOB last week. The wider Russian market has dropped as sellers have cut their offers, while a weaker ruble has also contributed to its competitiveness.
"It’s who will surrender first," a grain trader told Agricensus Thursday, referring to growing competition between Russian and French wheat sellers discounting to hit bid levels.
- Offers for 12.5% protein wheat fell to $244-245/mt FOB for March, while 11.5% milling wheat is now at parity with French sellers at $233/mt FOB. Russian wheat has spent much of 2019 priced out of the international market as domestic supply dwindled and has been bitten by a series of government measures intended to combat inflation. The ruble, meanwhile, has fallen to month-lows as the US and EU prepare to hit Moscow with a fresh bout of sanctions.
- Russia is the world’s biggest wheat exporter and its prices are closely watched by the industry as a barometer of the market’s health.

Feb 14 - China Jan soybean imports slip 13 pct on year, tariffs on U.S. cargoes weigh 

China's soybean imports fell 13 percent in January from the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, as a hefty duty imposed on shipments from the United States, its second-largest supplier, curbed purchases. China brought in 7.38 million tonnes of soybeans in January, down from 8.48 million tonnes a year earlier, preliminary data from the General Administration of Customs showed. January's imports were up 29 percent from 5.72 million tonnes in December. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - USDA official hopes year-round E15 gas approved soon, but sees fallback

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's deputy secretary said on Wednesday he is "hopeful" the administration will complete its rule allowing year-round sales of a higher ethanol blend of gasoline by summer, but the government should use "discretionary enforcement" of the summertime ban if there is a delay. "I see this as a fallback plan in the event we don't make the deadline," the deputy secretary, Stephen Censky, said at a biofuels conference in Florida. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Russian agricultural firms raided over suspected tax evasion 

Meat producer Cherkizovo and farming conglomerate Rusagro were among agricultural firms across Russia targeted in a sweeping investigation into suspected tax evasion on Wednesday. The Tax Service said so far five potential breaches had been uncovered in inspections carried out with the Federal Security Service (FSB) at agricultural holdings across 13 regions. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - France raises rapeseed area estimate but sees risk of losses

France's farm ministry on Wednesday increased its estimate of the area sown with winter rapeseed for the 2019 harvest, but the level remained well down on last year and the ministry warned more crops may be lost due to the effects of drought. The winter rapeseed area was pegged at 1.3 million hectares, up from 1.2 million in an initial outlook in December. That was 16.8 percent below the 2018 area and 11.3 percent less than the average of the past five years, the ministry said in a report. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Indonesia defends palm oil after EU targets 2030 phase-out in road fuel

Indonesia, the world's biggest producer of palm oil, will not accept an EU plan to curb the use of crops that cause deforestation, and argued that its higher production yield made it better placed to meet global demand, a senior Indonesian official said. A European Union draft due to come into effect after four weeks of public consultation, concluded that palm oil cultivation results in deforestation and its usage in transportation fuel should be phased out by 2030. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - 'Tinder for cows' matches livestock in the mood for love

A Tinder-inspired app is helping farmers match up potential partners for their cattle.

Called "Tudder" - a mix of dating app Tinder and udder - it lets farmers swipe right on cattle they like the look of. They are then directed to a page on the SellMyLivestock website where they can browse more pictures and data about the animals before deciding whether to buy. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - South Africa's 2018 maize crop falls from record harvest - goverment

South Africa's 2018 maize output was 26 percent lower than the record crop in the previous year after a dry spell in the western part of the maize belt and delayed crop plantings in other parts, the Crop Estimates Committee said on Wednesday. The committee said the 2018 harvest totalled 12.510 million tonnes maize, down from the 16.82 million tonnes harvested in 2017 after favourable weather conditions boosted yields. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Republican senators pressure Trump's EPA pick over biofuels

Five Republican senators are warning President Donald Trump's new pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, that their support for his nomination may hinge on his biofuels policy. The senators, all from states hosting oil refineries, said they want to be assured that Wheeler would work to reduce the regulatory costs for oil companies of complying with the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard before they decide on whether to back him as permanent chief of the EPA. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Egypt to allow imports of Serbian wheat - agriculture ministry

Egypt's agriculture ministry said on Wednesday it would allow the imports of Serbian wheat into the country. The world's largest wheat buyer had been studying allowing Serbian wheat back into its market, the statement said, and the decision came as the export of Egyptian potatoes and grapes to Serbia were also unlocked. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Argentina soy crop seen reaching 52 mln tonnes-Rosario Grains Exchange 

Argentina's soy crop is expected to reach 52 million tonnes during the 2018-19 season, up from 50 million tonnes previously forecast, the Rosario Grains Exchange said on Wednesday. The country's corn crop for the season is now seen at 46.5 million tonnes, compared to the 44 million tonnes estimated before, the exchange added. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Brazil's BRF recalls chicken export products over salmonella fears

Brazilian food processor BRF SA recalled almost 500 tonnes of fresh chicken products on Wednesday due to salmonella contamination worries, in a move affecting several key export markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The recall deals another blow to the food processor, which is struggling under trade bans in the European Union after accusations that it colluded with health inspectors and accredited laboratories to evade food safety checks. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 14 - Ukraine grain exports rise to 30.2 mln tonnes so far in 2018/19 

Ukraine's grain exports have risen to 30.17 million tonnes so far in the 2018/19 season, up from 24.88 million tonnes at the same point in the previous season, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Ukraine has said it harvested a record 70 million tonnes of grain last year, up from 61.3 million in 2017. The ministry said exports could rise to at least 47 million tonnes in the July 2018 to June 2019 season from 39.4 million the season before. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - Rain takes steam out of South Africa’s corn, but crop fears remain (AgriCensus)
- South Africa’s main corn growing regions around the north and east of the country have received steady rains over the week with further rain expected in the days ahead, cooling market fears over the state of the upcoming crop, market sources have told Agricensus.
“We had some good rains this weekend, and you’re seeing the effects on the maize market,” one market source said, with prices for yellow corn and white corn prices easing and the spread between the two grades narrowing.
“If you look at South Africa’s weather services, they are saying that they expect above normal rainfall in the main planting areas,” agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the country’s Agricultural Business Chamber Agbiz, Wandile Sihlobo told Agricensus.
“If what they say is anything to go by, then one would expect a bit of a good improvement on the crops,” he said.
South Africa’s corn production has been hit by a prolonged dry spell that first raised fears over supply prospects back in December 2018, when farmers delayed planting on a lack of moisture.
- Farmers were pushed out of their optimal window for corn with much of the planting starting in January, raising fears that they may switch to other crops or that yields will be undermined by the conditions. Domestic prices spiked high enough to see the country switch from a net exporter to an importer at the start of the year, with Cape Town accepting the first 50,000 mt cargo of Brazilian corn imports in nearly two years. The country’s Crop Estimate Committee eased some of the concerns when it updated its corn forecast at the end of January, trimming its likely corn acreage by a lighter-than-expected 200,000 hectares to 2.2 million ha.
- However, the impact of drought remains significant, warned Sihlobo, with question marks still over the total area planted.
“I don’t think this changes much… I do think that, yes, we might have planted more than what we estimated, but I still believe it’s about 1.98 million hectares,” Sihlobo said.
“The focus is now the yields (and) if we can get to over 4 mt per hectare," he said, which would could take the crop 8 million mt.
That level of production, along with domestic stocks, is likely to see South Africa largely self-sufficient for the 2019/20 season.

Feb 13 - Brazil's next soy crop survey likely to show further decline - official 

Brazil's next survey of the 2018/19 soy crop is likely to show a further decline in estimated output resulting from dry weather in January, Eduardo Sampaio, farm policy secretary at the Agriculture Ministry, said on Tuesday. The current survey showed a drop of roughly 3.5 million tonnes in output, from a previous survey in January, to 115.3 million tonnes of soy for the crop year, according to figures released by agriculture statistics agency Conab on Tuesday. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - USDA rips up past estimates of S. American soybean stocks: Braun 

Brazil’s nine-month string of record soybean exports has had many market participants wondering how inventory had not yet dried up in the world’s top supplier. Sky-high supply forecasts for Argentina have also been mysterious, especially following last year’s drought-stricken soybean harvest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture apparently had the same questions, and the only logical answer the agency could find was that its previous forecasts must be incorrect. This prompted USDA to make historical revisions to both countries’ soybean ledgers in its latest monthly update that was issued on Friday. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - High ethanol stocks keep prices in check in Brazil, boost demand 

High stocks of ethanol in Brazil, a result of a switch away from sugar production by local mills, are keeping prices for the biofuel in check, allowing for demand to continue strong in the country, cane industry group Unica said on Tuesday. The group said that sales of hydrous ethanol, the type that competes directly with gasoline for the preference of flex fuel car owners, reached 1.3 billion liters in January, the highest ever volume for that month, and 32 percent more than in January 2018. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - Funds surprisingly lukewarm toward CBOT corn futures: Braun 

Since mid-January, speculators have come very close to dumping bullish bets in Chicago-traded corn futures and options, but the extent of that situation may not have been clear for market participants until Tuesday. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been staggering data releases between Tuesdays and Fridays ever since the record-long U.S. government shutdown ended on Jan. 25. Tuesday’s Commitments of Traders report from CFTC covers market activity through Jan. 15. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - Biosev 2018/19 crop year loss up 8.4 pct through Dec 

Biosev SA, the Brazilian sugar and ethanol maker controlled by commodities trader Louis Dreyfus, said its loss in the 2018/19 cane season through December rose 8.4 percent from the previous season to 892.6 million reais ($240.40 million). Biosev on Tuesday reported a loss of 230 million reais in the third quarter ended in December, mostly due to the depreciation of the Brazilian currency. The loss was 17 percent smaller than in the same period a year earlier. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - EPA opts for single E15 rule after considering separating trading curbs 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to release a single draft rule to expand sales of higher ethanol blends of gasoline and curb biofuel credit speculation, after having contemplated separating the measures, a senior official at the administration told Reuters on Tuesday. The EPA was thinking about releasing the measures separately to allow it to focus on finishing its rule to lift a summertime ban on sales of so-called E15 gasoline in time for the U.S. driving season, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 13 - EU exempts eight Argentine biodiesel producers from duties 

Eight Argentine biodiesel producers will be allowed to export to the European Union without paying duties as long as they sell at a set minimum price, the EU's Official Journal said on Tuesday. Argentina and the European Union agreed last month to end a dispute over biodiesel exports from the South American country to the bloc. Argentina is the world's top producer of soyoil, the main ingredient used to make biodiesel. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - Conab cuts Brazil soybean production estimate 3% (AgriCensus)
- Brazil’s food statistics agency cut its projection of the current Brazilian soybean crop to 115.3 million mt on Tuesday, down from its January estimate of 118.8 million mt. Conab cut the projection on lower than expected yields following the past two months of dry weather.
The projection takes this year’s crop down about 4 million mt on last year’s, although it still remains the second highest on record.
- Exports are expected to be 71.5 million mt, a 12-million mt cut on the year as Brazil expects a smaller harvest this year at the same time as crush is expected to rise 1.4 million mt to 44 million mt and the country will rebuild stocks. Private analysts had estimated the crop to be between 112.5-117 million mt, leaving Brazil’s official estimate at about average. Market sources talking to Agricensus expected a projection of about 114-116 million mt. In terms of corn, Conab said it expected production of 91.7 million mt, up 500,000 mt on its previous guess. Early planting and harvesting of soybeans is expected to allow more corn to be planted in ideal growing conditions.

Feb 12 - How a Philippines regulator stymied DowDuPont's global seed launch 

A Philippines regulator poses an unexpected obstacle to DowDuPont's launch of a new line of genetically engineered soybeans in the United States as the company challenges Bayer AG's decades-long dominance of the U.S. seed market. China's January approval for imports of DowDuPont's Enlist E3 soybeans - amid the U.S.-China trade war - had raised hopes that the seeds would be broadly available for the U.S. spring planting season. It took more than five years for the company to win China's approval. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - Russia's agriculture ministry to set up new grain exporters' union 

Russia's agriculture ministry will set up a new grain exporters' union to better understand the needs of the market, it said on Monday after its routine meeting with local grain traders. Traders interpreted it as a result of the close attention with which Russian officials have been monitoring how big exporters are faring given a lower 2018 crop since September. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - Brazil's 2018/19 soy crop expected to be smallest in 3 years - AgRural 

Brazil's 2018/19 soybean crop estimate was cut by almost 4.5 million tonnes, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday, as it cited unfavorable climate conditions in key producing states. AgRural now predicts Brazil's output at 112.5 million tonnes this season, down from a forecast 116.9 million tonnes last month, due to hot and dry conditions in soybean fields. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - Malaysia to double palm oil used in transport biodiesel to 20 pct in 2020 - minister 

Malaysia aims to double the palm oil content in biodiesel used for the transport sector to 20 percent next year, as Southeast Asia's third-largest economy looks to cut record stockpiles and boost prices, a government minister said on Tuesday. The government will also raise the palm oil content in biofuel for the industrial sector to 10 percent next year from a 7 percent quota being rolled out this July, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said, speaking at a conference. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - Bayer's Monsanto wins arbitration ruling over royalties from Indian seed company 

German drugmaker Bayer AG's Monsanto unit has won proceedings against Indian seed maker Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL) in a royalty dispute, lawyers familiar with the matter said. The lawyers, who did not wish to be named as the decision was not public, did not disclose the terms of the arbitration ruling. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - EU targets palm oil for road fuel phase-out, but with exemptions 

The European Commission has concluded that palm oil cultivation results in deforestation and its use in transport fuel should be phased out, but environmentalists criticised it on Monday for allowing a number of exceptions. The Commission published its proposed criteria for determining what crops caused harm at the weekend, following a law passed by the European Union last year to end the use of feedstocks in biofuels that damage the environment. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 12 - U.S. EPA may issue E15 gasoline plan without biofuel credit trade limits - sources 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering releasing its draft proposal to expand sales of higher ethanol blends of gasoline without including simultaneous measures it promised the oil industry to curb biofuel credit speculation, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The move would help the agency lift a summertime ban on sales of so-called E15 gasoline in time for the U.S. driving season, but is likely to anger oil refiners that had been asking the Trump administration for biofuel credit market reforms to reduce their costs. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 11 - Russia moves to reassert control over grain exports with new body

Russia’s government has moved to further tighten its control over grain exports, announcing that a new trade body is to be set up in the coming months to coordinate information sharing between the state and private sellers. The announcement comes following a meeting between the ministry and exporters on Monday.

“We need to understand the general trends, the general demands of the market, which is why it is necessary to form a strong association that will represent the interests of the main exporters… (It) will be created closer to April of this year,” Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said.

While details were scant on what shape the new body will take, Patrushev was quoted urging industry participation in setting the organisation up. It is the latest step in a major shakeup for the Russian grain export industry this year, with the state taking a more assertive role in managing the industry after overseas sales surged despite a smaller crop. Fearing a threat to domestic bread prices and wider inflation, authorities stepped up port inspections and started to meet regularly with exporters to keep tabs on the pace of sales. Trade sources were initially confused by the logic behind creating a new exporters’ body when asked Monday.

“Let them do what they want, (but) there are already two such unions,” a Russian grain exporter told Agricensus, referring to the Russian Grain Union (RZS) and the National Association of Exporters of Agricultural Products (NAESP).

Separately, the agriculture ministry reiterated its expectation of 2018/19 marketing year grain exports at 42 million mt, with wheat at 37 million mt. Russia has exported 32.6 million mt of grain since the start of the marketing year in July, 3% higher than at the same stage last year, while wheat exports are up 11% at 27.3 million mt.

Feb 11 - Can "Big Brother" technology clean up palm oil's image ?  

Some of the world's major palm oil users, including Nestle, Unilever, and Mondelez, are trying out new satellite technology to track deforestation, as pressure grows on them to source the ingredient responsibly. They say the monitoring systems allow them to target people felling trees in producing countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, where forests are shrinking, more efficiently than policing supply chains on the ground. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 11 - U.S. soy supplies surge, winter wheat acreage falls to 110-year low 

U.S. soybean supplies as of Dec. 1 were the biggest on record as demand for the oilseed fizzled amid a trade war between the United States and China, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday. USDA also said that farmers seeded the smallest winter wheat area - 31.290 million acres - since 1909. An abundance of cheaper supplies around the globe has made U.S. wheat less desirable to overseas buyers in recent years. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 11 - Brazil farmers halt soy sales as real strengthens, China buys U.S. supplies 

Farmers have halted sales of Brazil's soybeans as port premiums swooned, the real currency strengthened and a pause in a trade war prompted top importer China to purchase soy from the United States, growers and trading companies said. Poor market conditions are also affecting planting decisions for Brazil's 2019/2020 crop that will be sown starting from September. Farmers generally buy inputs like seeds and fertilizers through barter arrangements with traders, used as a form of credit until the crop is harvested, and such deals are way behind schedule, farmers and companies said. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 11 - Malaysia's Jan palm oil stocks ease from highest on record 

Malaysia's palm oil inventories in January eased back from a near two-decade high at end-December as demand increased amid falling production, official data showed on Monday, although the stocks still hovered just above 3 million tonnes. January stocks in Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer and exporter, declined for the first time in eight months, falling 6.7 percent to 3.001 million tonnes, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 11 - Brazil soy farmers say Bayer violating court ruling in patent dispute 

Germany's Bayer AG is in violation of a Brazilian court order obliging it to deposit in escrow royalties paid by Mato Grosso state farmers for its Intacta RR2 Pro soy seed technology, farmers claimed on Friday. Instead of depositing the royalties in full, Mato Grosso grain growers association Aprosoja told Reuters that the value transferred by Bayer into an escrow account between July and December of last year represents just 4 percent of what state growers paid in the period. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 11 - Egypt's GASC buys 300,000 tonnes of wheat for late March shipment 

Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 300,000 tonnes of wheat on Friday at an international purchase tender for shipment March 21-31, traders said. GASC said it booked 120,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red wheat, 120,000 tonnes of French wheat, and 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 11 - Brazil's Marfrig, Minerva Uruguay plants cleared to sell beef to Japan 

Brazilian food processors Marfrig Global Foods SA and Minerva SA said on Friday that all seven of their plants in Uruguay have been authorized to export fresh beef to Japan. Marfrig and Minerva meat processing units in Uruguay will benefit from an agreement signed in December between the governments of Uruguay and Japan that ended a 19-year hiatus in fresh beef trade between the two nations. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - EU to cash $70bn in from trade war, Brazil to benefit $10bn (UN)
 

- The European Union will profit the most from changes in global trade due to the US-China trade war, with Brazil cashing in $10.5 billion annually if the world’s two largest economies expand the trade war, a UN report published this week showed.
The study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development shows that the EU will benefit from $70 billion worth of increased trade, equivalent to 0.9% of the bloc’s total exports. Of that headline figure, $50 billion will replace Chinese exports to the US, with $20 billion capturing US exports to China.
- President Trump has warned that if no deal is reached by March 1, the additional tax rates on Chinese goods will increase from 10% to 25% with China to react reciprocally. The UN estimates that of the $250 billion of Chinese exports taxed by the US, 82% will be snatched up by firms in third countries, with 12% to be retained by Chinese firms and just 6% by US companies. Conversely, of the $110 billion of US exports taxed by China, 85% will go to other countries, with US firms holding on to 10%, and Chinese companies only seeing a 5% increase.
“The reason is simple: bilateral tariffs alter global competitiveness to the advantage of firms operating in countries not directly affected by them,” UNCTAD concluded.
- The EU is able to step into the void as it is best placed to offer the goods and services at a competitive rate while having the economic capacity to do so.
“Our analysis shows that while bilateral tariffs are not very effective in protecting domestic firms, they are valid instruments to limit trade from the targeted country,” UNCTAD’s head of international trade division, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, said.
- Brazilian beans
Brazil, who became China’s number one soybean supplier in 2018 following the trade war, will benefit to the tune of $10.5 billion, equivalent to a 3.8% increase in annual exports and making it the eight largest beneficiary from the trade war. Yet, only 20% of that increase is due to Chinese tariffs on US goods, meaning that the largest benefits for Brazil are to be reaped from additional trade with the US, such as metals and machinery, rather than additional soybean sales to China. While higher cash prices for soybeans were welcomed by Brazilian farmers, industry concerns remain over what will happen when the trade war ends and tariffs imposed on US beans are lifted.
“Because the magnitude and duration of tariffs is unclear, Brazilian producers have been reluctant to make investment decisions that may turn out to be unprofitable if the tariffs are revoked,” the study said.
In 2018, Brazil exported 69 million mt of soybeans to China worth $27.5 billion, up from $20.3 billion the year before, Brazilian customs data showed. Mexico, Japan and Canada were other large beneficiaries, following the EU, and each captured more than $20 billion.

Feb 08 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for March 21-31 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 21-31. GASC Vice Chairman Ahmed Youssef said the authority was seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Paraguay. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - India's cotton imports to surge as output hits 9-year low - trade body

India's cotton imports are likely to jump 80 percent from a year ago as production could fall to the lowest level in nine years due to low rainfall in key growing region, a senior industry official told Reuters on Thursday. Higher imports by the world's biggest cotton producer could support global prices, trading near their lowest in more than a year. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - U.S.-China trade war jitters may cloud USDA’s Friday data dump - Braun

A bit of normalcy will be restored in the agriculture market on Friday as monthly U.S. government reports will resume after being on hiatus since December. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture has only been back in business for two weeks after the record-long partial government shutdown, so it is unclear how and if any recent information gaps might affect Friday’s forecasts. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - U.S. farm finances 'relatively stable' despite China trade war - Nutrien

U.S. farmers are in "relatively stable" financial health despite a bruising trade war between the United States and China that has weakened crop prices, the chief executive of farm supplier Nutrien Ltd said on Thursday. Farmer bankruptcies in 2018 were lower than the previous year, and below the 10-year average, CEO Chuck Magro said on a quarterly conference call. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - Tyson Foods quarterly sales miss on lower pork sales

Tyson Foods Inc reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter sales on Thursday as the largest U.S. meat processor was stung by weaker pork prices and sales volumes and lower chicken prices. Shares of the maker of Ball Park hotdogs and Jimmy Dean sausages fell about 2 percent to $59.66. Tyson is grappling with a drop in U.S. demand for chicken and declining prices for pork due to trade tensions between the United States and some trading partners. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - Shares of Brazil's BRF dive as cash-raising effort falls short

Brazilian food processor BRF SA on Thursday fell short of raising 5 billion reais at the end of an asset sale program, causing shares of the world's largest chicken exporter to drop by almost 5 percent. In a securities filing, BRF said it had completed all divestitures after agreeing to sell its units in Europe and Thailand to Tyson Foods for $340 million. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - U.S. EPA wins new chance to argue against pesticide ban

The Trump administration has persuaded a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its recent decision ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos, which critics say can harm children and farmers. In an order on Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it will again review former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's March 2017 refusal to ban chlorpyrifos for use on food crops such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 08 - New Brazil government backs former outlaw indigenous farmers

Brazil's new right-wing government is backing an indigenous tribe that was fined under the previous administration for commercial farming practices banned on tribal land, saying they are an example to be followed as it pushes to open reservations to agriculture. The Parecis in western Mato Grosso state had partnered with local farmers to produce soy and were using genetically modified crops (GMO), both practices that are banned on reservation land. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Widening Argentina-Brazil soybean cash spread opens arbitrage (AgriCensus)
- The widening spread between the price of Argentinian and Brazilian soybean cash prices at ports is tempting Chinese buyers to switch out of Brazilian beans and into Argentinian beans in a move that could firm up the price of beans out of Rosario. Three sources told Agricensus that buyers had tried to sell back soybean cargoes bought from Brazil and source the beans instead from Argentina after the price gap for May and June shipments between the two locations widened.
- “I’ve heard [buyers] have asked to switch out from Brazil to Argentina for May and June and there has been some business,” said one market source, who added that higher prices in Brazil caused by a lack of farmer selling had opened the arbitrage opportunity.
The price spread between the two locations has risen from $16.50/mt in mid-January to $22/mt as a lack of farmer selling in Brazil has pushed up premiums while offers out of Argentina have stayed static. That means, despite Argentinian soybeans being $7-8/mt more expensive to ship and a worse protein quality that can often mean discounts of $10/mt, they are still cheaper than Brazilian beans. A second trader in Brazil confirmed that some switching had taken place as the buyer wanted to take Argentinian and Uruguayan beans for stocks. A third trader said he had heard that some buyers may be seeking to re-sell Brazilian beans if the sellers would not or could not switch to Argentinian ports, such were the cost savings.
- Prices in Brazil have firmed relative to US and Argentinian beans over recent weeks due to reluctance by farmers to sell due to uncertainty over the crop, higher freight costs and what they deem to be low prices at a time when they are cash rich from profitable sales last year. And with many exporters forced to buy beans due to existing take-or-pay contracts on freight, according to a fourth source, that can “force exporters to support domestic prices without necessarily being able to transfer them to the domestic market”.
However, the fourth source warned that volumes are not likely to be huge.
- On Wednesday, May shipments basis ex-Santos were heard marked at around 55 cents per bushel over the May contract versus beans from Up River, Argentina being offered at a price equivalent to a 3 cent premium. Fifty-five cents per bushel equates to about $20/mt.

Feb 07 - Long, strange trip: How U.S. ethanol reaches China tariff-free

In June, the High Seas tanker ship loaded up on ethanol in Texas and set off for Asia. Two months later - after a circuitous journey that included a ship-to-ship transfer and a stop in Malaysia - its cargo arrived in China, according to shipping data analyzed by Reuters and interviews with Malaysian and Chinese port officials. At the time, the roundabout route puzzled global ethanol traders and ship brokers, who called it a convoluted and costly way to get U.S. fuel to China.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - French non-EU wheat export forecast raised after Egypt comeback

Farming agency FranceAgriMer on Wednesday increased its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the EU this season after a rare sale to Egypt but cautioned the country was struggling to recover lost market share elsewhere in Africa. The European Union's biggest wheat exporter is now expected to ship 8.85 million tonnes of soft wheat outside the bloc in the 2018/19 season to June 30, up from the 8.7 million projected last month and 9 percent above last season's volume, the agency said. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Will U.S. farmers plant too many soybean acres in 2019? -Braun

After the trade relationship soured last year between the United States and its top soybean buyer, it was difficult to imagine U.S. farmers excitedly rushing out to plant the oilseed in 2019. A possible explosion of domestic supplies beyond 1 billion bushels later this year, on the heels of 2018's record-large harvest, should also support a sizable drop in soybean acres, at least in theory. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - French, German farmers destroy crops after GMOs found in Bayer seeds

Bayer said on Wednesday that farmers in France and Germany were digging up thousands of hectares of rapeseed fields after traces of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) banned for cultivation were found in seeds sold by the company. GMO crops are widely grown across the world, but they remain controversial in Europe, where very few varieties are authorised for growing and some countries like France have completely outlawed their cultivation, citing environmental risks. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Malaysia Jan palm oil stockpiles forecast to fall from record high

Malaysia's palm oil stockpiles at the end of January are forecast to fall from the previous month's record high as production eases and exports increase, according to a Reuters survey. Falling inventories will add to the recovery in benchmark palm oil prices since last November when they fell to their lowest in three years. Palm futures were up 1.6 percent at 2,342 ringgit ($574.58) a tonne at the midday break on Thursday, the highest since June 29.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Russian grain exports to slow in short term - ministry

Russian grain exports will slow down in the short term as high domestic prices make it harder for exporters to offer competitive prices abroad, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Grain exports from Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, are already slowing down due to seasonally lower supply, but this decline has so far happened more slowly than some analysts anticipated. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Return of French farmer's case keeps Monsanto in legal spotlight

A decade-old lawsuit in which a French farmer with neurological problems accuses Monsanto of not providing adequate safety warnings for a weedkiller returns to court on Wednesday, adding to health claims faced by the Bayer-owned firm. Paul Francois, who says he fell ill after inhaling vapour from weedkiller Lasso in 2004, won rulings in 2012 and 2015 that found Monsanto liable for the intoxication, before France's top court overturned those decisions and ordered a new hearing. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 07 - Nutrien's 2019 profit forecast misses estimates

Canadian fertilizer maker Nutrien Ltd forecast 2019 profit below analysts' estimates, citing continued pressure on crop prices from record 2018 yields and the impact of the US-China trade dispute. An escalating trade war has weighed on demand for soybeans and corn, dragging crop prices lower. Crop prices are a major factor in spending on fertilizer and other supplies. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Japan begins pig cull as it looks to quell swine fever outbreak (AgriCensus)
- Japanese health and agriculture officials have started to cull part of its pig population in a bid to prevent the spread of classical swine fever throughout the country, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.
- Authorities started the cull of 6,640 pigs in the city of Toyota in central Japan on Wednesday, a report on the agriculture ministry’s website said, with ongoing observations expected to detect further outbreaks across the region.
- Multiple instances of the virus were detected in Japan throughout January, having spread across Europe and Asia over the past two years.
- An outbreak of African Swine Fever in China caused alarm as it spread rapidly across the country, with precautionary measures halting the transport of livestock and resulting in as much as 15% of its pig population being culled. There has been a significant dent in feed demand as a result, with agribusiness major ADM saying Tuesday that it expected the outbreak to have cut China’s soybean consumption 2-3%.

Feb 06 - ADM 4th-qtr profit misses as U.S.-China trade war stings, shares drop

U.S. grains trader Archer Daniels Midland Co on Tuesday reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter 2018 earnings as the U.S.-China trade war roiled global agriculture, sending its shares down more than 6 percent. Three of its four business units reported lower results, including ADM's grain trading origination business, where adjusted operating profit slumped 30 percent to $183 million despite higher volumes of North American corn and soybean exports to markets outside of China. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Stray cows add to Modi's farmer woes as Indian election looms

As night fell on the bucolic northern Indian hamlet of Mahaban, Gopi Chand Yadav gathered blankets and a flashlight to spend the night sitting on a wooden platform in his field. His task: to use bamboo sticks to ward off stray cattle from intruding and eating a maturing mustard crop. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - China buys 2.6 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans - USDA

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday said that China bought 2.603 million tonnes of soybeans, the second confirmed sale since the world's top buyer of the oilseed announced last week it would buy 5 million tonnes of U.S supplies during trade negotiations between the two countries. The soybeans will be shipped to China during the current marketing year, which ends on Aug. 31. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - EU moves to make UK charge VAT on commodity trading include ICE Europe

Moves by the European Commission to make Britain charge value-added tax on commodity derivatives trading will include ICE Futures Europe, the London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM) and the London Metal Exchange (LME), trading sources say. The Commission has been looking at zero-rated VAT on commodity derivatives trading in the UK for some years, but sources say recent activity is part of a drive to pressure Britain ahead of its European Union withdrawal in March. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Brazil's Paraná harvests 25 pct of soy crop area, little damage from drought

Brazil's soy harvest in the second-largest producing state of Paraná is well ahead of last season, with limited damage to the fields from a drought in December, state agricultural research body Deral said on Tuesday. One-quarter of the 2018/19 soy area has been harvested in Paraná, according to Deral. At the same time last year, no soy had been harvested in the state because of poor weather early in the crop season that had delayed planting and rains in January that further held up the harvest. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Indonesia's 2018 total palm oils exports rise 8 pct - GAPKI

Indonesia's 2018 exports of palm oils, including oleochemical and biodiesel shipments, rose 8 percent from a year earlier to 34.6 million tonnes, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said on Wednesday. Crude palm oil output last year rose 12.5 percent to 43 million tonnes, GAPKI chairman Joko Supriyono told reporters. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Egypt accepts Chinese, Vietnamese rice samples in tender

Egypt has accepted samples of Chinese and Vietnamese rice presented at an international purchase tender for two shipment periods between March and April, a trade source said on Tuesday. One sample of Indian rice on offer was rejected, the source told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - Speculators switch to net short position in cotton in week to Dec. 31 - CFTC

Speculators flipped to a net short position in cotton on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Dec. 31, U.S. government data showed on Tuesday in a report whose publication had been delayed by the partial government shutdown. Speculators sharply increased their bearish stance in raw sugar, lifted their net short position in arabica coffee, and slashed their net short position in cocoa futures and options, the data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 06 - ADM Q4 profits slump despite surging crush margins (AgriCensus)
- Agribusiness major Archer Daniels Midland posted a 60% slump in profits in the fourth quarter of last year, falling from earnings per share of 139 cents in Q4 2017 to just 55 cents in Q4 2018. ADM reported earnings per share of 88 cents on revenue of $15.95 billion for the fourth quarter last year, falling short of analyst estimates of 92 cents and $16.8 billion.
The results came despite soaring profits in its oilseeds and origination business, which more than doubled to $432 million from $201 million in the fourth quarter last year as the company cashed in on low soybean prices in the US and high global soymeal prices.
- Lower revenues from the company’s origination business, which includes grain trading and handling, hit profits after China slapped a tax on US soybeans, seeing a collapse in trading volumes in the US.
“Looking forward, the crush environment in 2019 will not be as spectacular as 2018. Given global demand and the strength we have outside China this business will maintain crush margins well above average over the last five years,” Juan Luciano, ADM CEO, told investors Tuesday.
- Operating profit in the company’s carbohydrate solutions business, which includes its biofuels production, fell 31% due to poor ethanol margins amid record US supply.
ADM has been investing downstream in the feed chain in an attempt to gain a foothold in higher margin businesses.
- In terms of soybean crush margins, ADM said it had locked in gross margins of $30-35/mt at its crushing facilities in the US with high utilisation rates. Meanwhile, in canola, margins were in the region of $42-45/mt.
- In terms of rapeseed crush in Europe, the company said meal replacement from China as well as good demand in Europe had kept meal prices high, leaving margins at around $35/mt.
Finally, in Brazil it said its crush facilities at ports had locked in margins of $10-15/mt and $25-30/mt gross margins at “facilities that are geared towards the domestic market”.

Feb 05 - Brazil seeks Chinese export permits for dozens of soy, cotton crushers

Brazil-based grain processors are negotiating export permits with the Chinese government for dozens of soybean and cotton processing plants as crushers seek to boost capacity utilization and sell higher-value products, a trade group said. Daniel Amaral, an economist at crushers association Abiove, said on Monday the entity is seeking permits for between 30 and 35 soy and cotton crushing units to trade in soymeal and other oilseeds byproducts with China. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - Loss of Egyptian tender puts brakes on Russian wheat price growth

A rise in Russian wheat export prices stalled last week after three weeks of growth as the country lost a major purchasing tender in Egypt, its largest wheat buyer, analysts said on Monday. Egypt's state grain buyer GASC bought 360,000 tonnes of French and Romanian wheat in its tender last week. The Russian wheat on offer was too expensive to be competitive.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - USDA November soybean crush seen at 177 mln bushels

U.S. soybean crushing in November likely totaled 5.309 million short tons, or 177.0 million bushels, according to the average forecast of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Estimates ranged from 176.4 million bushels to 177.2 million bushels, with a median of 177.1 million bushels. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - Countries cutting Polish beef imports after meat scare - lobby

Several countries have started to cut the amount of beef they import from Poland after a TV documentary showed an abattoir killing sick cows, the head of the meat producers lobby said on Monday. An undercover reporter got a job in a slaughterhouse outside Warsaw and broadcast footage last month of ill animals being mistreated, killed and sent on for human consumption. Click here to read full stories.  

Feb 05 - What's in a drink? Corn farmers sour on Bud Light after Super Bowl ad - Braun

Bud Light's advertisement about beer and corn syrup on Sunday night during the Super Bowl angered corn farmers and surprised many others with the fact that beer would be linked with the sweetener. In a one-minute commercial during the National Football League championship game, Bud Light shamed competitor Molson Coors Brewing Co for its Miller Lite and Coors Light brews containing corn syrup. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 05 - Pakistan tenders to export 250,000 tonnes of wheat - trade

A state agency in Pakistan is tendering to sell and export 250,000 tonnes of wheat in the latest stage of a government programme agreed in November, European traders said on Monday. The tender from the Punjab regional government is expected to close on Feb. 18, they said. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - China Sinograin seeks US soybean cargoes for June, July shipment: sources

Despite a Chinese national holiday this week, China’s Sinograin was heard seeking US cargoes of soybeans for the second successive day on Monday as it seeks to fulfil a political pledge made by Chinese President Xi to buy US agricultural products. The state-owned stockpiler was said to be looking for panamax-sized cargoes of soybeans loading June and July in the US Gulf and for loading June through September out of Pacific Northwest ports, three sources said Monday.

Reports suggest between 1 and 2 million mt were bought.

The request for offers comes after Sinograin and state-owned agribusinesses Cofco on Friday were said to have purchased between 2.5-3 million mt – a day after China’s pledged to buy 5 million mt of soybeans from the US to help smooth negotiations towards a new trade deal. On Saturday, both companies put out identical press releases claiming to have purchased “millions of tonnes”.

According to one source, deals were heard out of the Pacific Northwest at 65 cents per bushel FOB for June through September. US soybeans were last heard offered at 28-30 cents per bushel over July futures for June and July loading out of the US Gulf, with freight estimated at around $1 per bushel.

Feb 04 - China's COFCO buys million-tonne batch of U.S. soybeans

The Chinese state agricultural conglomerate COFCO Group recently purchased a batch of soybeans amounting to "millions of tonnes" from the United States, it said in a notice on Saturday. The purchase was part of the company's efforts to implement a "consensus" on trade agreed between China and the United States, it said in a notice on its website. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - Funds cling to CBOT soybeans on optimism over U.S.-China trade -Braun

U.S. soybean supply is hovering at record-high levels but speculators do not appear to be ready to give up on Chicago-traded soybean futures just yet in hopes that that the United States and China may be near to clinching a trade deal. As of Friday, commodity funds are estimated to hold a net long position of about 6,000 contracts of CBOT soybean futures and options. That compares with an estimated net short of around 18,000 contracts in the middle of January. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - Swine fever outbreak may bury China's small pig farmers

For farmers Zhang Shiping and Bai Fuqin in northeast China, there is little to celebrate this Lunar New Year. Since African swine fever struck a farm in nearby Shenyang city last August, the couple has racked up about 300,000 yuan ($44,712.72) in debt, 10 times what they make in a good year raising pigs. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - EU agrees no-deal Brexit compensation for Irish farmers - report

The European Commission has agreed to compensate Irish farmers for a collapse in beef and dairy prices in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Irish edition of the Sunday Times newspaper said, quoting Irish government and EU sources. Farmers would be in line for hundreds of millions of euros in emergency aid to offset a market collapse and the loss of British customers, the newspaper reported.  Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - EU rapeseed harvest seen hitting new low in 2019 after sowing woes

Rapeseed production in the European Union is set to shrink further this year to its lowest in over a decade after drought disrupted sowing, speakers at a grain conference said on Friday. Summer drought that continued into early autumn forced European farmers to abandon some rapeseed sowing plans while leaving other fields in poor condition. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - Bangladesh wheat import tender draws lowest offer of $299.07/T

A Bangladesh tender to import 50,000 tonnes of wheat drew its lowest offer from Singapore-based Agrocorp on Sunday at $299.07 a tonne, officials at the state grains buyer said. Three other trading houses competed for the tender issued last month by the Directorate General of Food, Bangladesh's state grains purchasing agency. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - Speculators slashed bullish stance in cotton in week to Dec. 24 - CFTC

Speculators sharply reduced their bullish stance in cotton on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to Dec. 24, U.S. government data showed on Friday in a report whose publication had been delayed due to the government shutdown. Speculators lifted their net short position in arabica coffee, trimmed their net short position in cocoa, and increased their bearish stance in raw sugar futures and options, the data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - Modi's promised handout to Indian farmers gets lukewarm response

"Peanuts" was how one rural politician described a 6,000 rupee ($84) yearly handout to small farmers promised in Friday's budget as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to secure the support of rural voters in a forthcoming election. Recent polls predict Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to emerge as the biggest party in the vote which is due by May, but that it will fall short of a majority as the main opposition Congress party gains ground. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 04 - EU to send inspectors to Poland over suspect meat

The European Commission said on Friday it will send a team of inspectors to Poland, a beef exporter, after a TV report showed a company killing sick cows and selling the meat for human consumption. Poland produces about 560,000 tonnes of beef a year, with 85 percent exported to countries within the European Union including Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 02 - China punishes firms over soy and corn GMO regulation breach (AgriCensus)
Several Chinese companies have been fined by the government due to illegal testing and processing of genetically modified (GM) soybean and corn as China flexes its muscle following tightener regulations on the cultivation of GM crops last year.
According to a statement from the Chinese ministry of agriculture published Friday, seven violations were regarding GM corn, one was found related to GM soybean and the other two were reported for GM cotton.
The violations included testing of GM corn without appropriate measures or approval from the government, leakage of GM soybeans during transportation and producing and trading GM corn seeds without certification from the government. These ten companies were fined between CNY70,000 ($10,386) and CNY1.25 million ($185,460) depending on the volume of illegally handled crops. Companies that illegally produce and traded GM corn seeds face confiscation of their products from the government on top of financial penalties.
In addition, China’s top academic institution Zhejiang University was asked to stop testing of GM corn by the Chinese government due to a lack of “existing control measures in place”, the government said. China announced tougher regulations on GM crops last year, meaning only designated companies are eligible to test, trade and process GM crops in China.
Soybean and corn importers are required to obtain certificates from the government before signing contracts for import.

Feb 01 - Bolsanaro takes aim at freight rates, decries 'conspirator' truckers (AgriCensus)
- One month into his first term, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has taken his first swipe at the country’s minimum freight rates policy that was set up under the previous government to end an 11-day truckers strike in May of 2018. In an official letter from the Economy Ministry to the Supreme Court Justice Luiz Fux, who is overseeing legal challenges to the new freight rates law, the new government called last year’s strike an “abuse of the right to strike” on the part of the trucking companies and labeled the truckers as “conspirators”. The letter went on to say that former President Michel Temer was coerced into creating the policy of minimum freight rates to meet the truckers’ demands for them to end the strike last year.
“Fixing prices, protecting markets and guaranteeing economic benefits… for those in question in the process of price formation institutionalises a cartel,” the letter added.
- Bolsonaro was elected in October 2018 with strong support from Brazil’s agricultural sector, which has opposed the minimum freight rates, saying they raise the sector’s transport costs by 100% or more in many cases. The letter adds that “the legislation’s creation (of the minimum freight rates) was a private sector initiative, lacking public participation, to bring about the will of the conspirators.” The letter to the high court also addressed Brazil’s anti-trust agency CADE and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, calling on them to investigate the alleged illegal conduct of the trucking industry and to impose sanctions and criminal penalties when justified.
- Justice Fux is overseeing three principal appeals of the new freight rate law at the high court, which is due to decide on its constitutionality in the coming weeks to months. As part of former President Temer’s concessions to the truckers to end the strike last year, the government granted subsidized discounts on the price of diesel, since the high price of the fuel was the main complaint of the truckers during the strike. The new chief executive of the state-run oil company Petrobras, Castello Branco, also criticised the previous government’s decision to subsidise fuel prices saying it damaged the traded company’s image in investors’ eyes.
The subsidy ended on January 1.

Feb 01 - India's buffalo meat exports to plunge amid China clampdown on illegal imports 

India's buffalo meat exports are set to plunge 15 percent to their lowest in six years, a leading industry body told Reuters, as world No.1 meat consumer China clamps down on food smuggling. China does not allow imports of Indian buffalo beef due to fears over foot-and-mouth disease, but the meat is often smuggled into the country through neighbouring nations along with other foods that have also been prohibited by Beijing. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - China offered to buy 5 mln tonnes of U.S. soybeans in trade talks - official 

China offered to purchase 5 million tonnes of soybeans from the United States as part of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, a White House official said on Thursday. The transaction would not necessarily be one single purchase, the official said. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Indonesia to challenge 'discriminative' EU directive on palm oil 

Indonesia intends to challenge an EU directive on renewable energy at the World Trade Organization, arguing the plan to curb the use of crops that cause deforestation will unfairly target palm oil, a senior Indonesian official told Reuters. The world's top producer of the oil is also reviewing its relations with the European Union over the issue and urging other Southeast Asian nations to defer plans to upgrade EU ties, said Mahendra Siregar, special staff at the foreign ministry. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Absence of USDA data could drag beyond expectations - Braun 

Agriculture market participants are finally getting their hands on U.S. government data that went on hiatus during the partial shutdown, but with another potential Washington closure looming, it could be several weeks or longer before meaningful data is revealed. The government could shut down again on Feb. 15 if the dispute over U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding is unresolved. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Poland to employ more inspectors to prevent suspect meat exports

Polish authorities will install cameras in slaughterhouses and employ more health inspectors to prevent exports of contaminated beef to other EU countries, chief veterinarian Pawel Niemczuk said on Thursday, after a TV report showed sick cows being taken for slaughter. "Video surveillance will be available 24 hours a day, but there should be someone with medical and veterinary knowledge that would (be able to) come and assess if the animals are unloaded in line with regulations," Niemczuk said. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 01 - Brazilian fertilizer firm Heringer restructures, closes plants 

Brazilian fertilizer company Fertilizantes Heringer SA has decided to close several of its plants and distribution centers as part of a restructuring plan to lower its debt burden, two sources told Reuters on Thursday. Heringer, one of the largest players in the Brazilian fertilizer market, sent a message to workers on Thursday in at least 10 installations, including plants and regional offices, advising them that they faced closure, according to a e-mail message seen by Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - EU to impose duties on Argentine biodiesel producers (AgriCensus)
EU member states on Wednesday agreed to impose import duties on Argentine biodiesel, but will exempt several exporters if they honour a commitment to sell above an agreed floor price. In a meeting of the EU’s Trade Defence Instrument Committee, a majority of member states agreed to accept an undertaking from Argentine producers that they would sell above a particular price, while those exporters who fail to do so would be subject to the anti-subsidy duties.
“The Commission’s proposal to accept a commitment from several Argentinian suppliers to export to Europe at an agreed sustainable price level was also broadly supported by the Member States,” a European Commission source told Agricensus.
“The commitment will exclude these Argentinian producers from anti-subsidy duties to be imposed by the European Commission, while at the same time restoring the level playing field for European producers.”
It is understood that this “sustainable price” has not yet been specified, but that the annual volume of Argentine biodiesel that could be exempted from EU anti-subsidy duties — provided that a minimum price threshold is adhered to — would be 1.2 million mt.
Argentina exported around 1.3 million mt of biodiesel to the EU between September 2017 and late 2018, according to EU producers, citing trade data.
- Quarterly limits
The European Biodiesel Board, the main lobby for EU-based producers, said the EU Commission had also set limits on imports of no more than 37% of annual volume per quarter and any imports above the 1.2 million mt threshold would be taxed at 30%.
Traders said that much of the impact of the decision had already been factored in from earlier this month, when the European Commission said it will be willing to accept the deal, which has the backing of the Argentine government.  
"I believe that the market already has it [the EU-Argentina deal] priced [in] and that's why we do not see a reaction in today's market, it was a decision that was expected for the most part to have a positive end for Argentina," said Pablo Pochettino, a broker with Argentinian brokerage Intagro. The European Commission had proposed in December that duties ranging from 25% to 33.4% should be imposed, depending on which companies are the source of the imports.
- Major players
Previous sets of duties on Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel were reduced and then removed by the EU in late 2017, in view of rulings by the European Court of Justice and the World Trade Organisation. Wednesdsay's decision will have consequences for the country's crush and biodiesel industry, with major international agribusiness companies such as Cofco, Bunge, Louis Dreyfus and Cargill all owning production capacity in the country. Many of Argentina’s large biodiesel producers are thought to have backed the commitment to sell at a minimum price. The EU initiated an anti-subsidy investigation a year ago into claims from European producers that Argentine exporters had benefitted from a range of subsidies that enabled them to sell well below the costs of production for EU producers.

Jan 31 - Oink, moo and brrr: Polar vortex strikes U.S. farm belt 

Farmers from North Dakota to Iowa buckled down for some of the coldest weather in a generation on Wednesday, throwing extra rations to pigs or building igloos for chickens in the teeth of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds. Some, like Kurt Line in Indiana, joked about the forecast. Line said he was working on his tax returns, something he usually puts off, rather than braving the cold to load corn for a local processing plant. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Australia's west set for hot, dry spell in risk to wheat outlook 

Australia's west coast is facing hot, dry weather over the next three months, the country's bureau of meteorology said on Thursday, denting the outlook for wheat production in the world's fourth-largest exporter. There is only a 20 percent chance that the state of Western Australia will receive average rainfall between Feb. 1 and April 30, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest three-month outlook. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Brazil soy farmers pause sales, gamble on losses 

Some Brazilian soybean farmers in the state of Goiás have decided to pause sales of the crop that is currently being harvested, betting on improved prices ahead due to output losses seen in parts of the country, they told Reuters during a crop tour. Goiás is one of the three agricultural powerhouses in Brazil's center-west region, along with Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. It is Brazil's fourth largest soy producer, expected to harvest 11.3 million tonnes of the oilseed. But parts of the state, particularly in the south, were hit by a dry spell in December that hurt fields. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - USDA says will resume publishing key export sales data on Jan. 31  

U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday that it will on Thursday resume publishing reports of weekly export sales, whose announcements were suspended during the partial government shutdown that lasted more than a month. U.S. federal government reopened last Friday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Portugal ships first cargoes of pork to China 

Portugal shipped 270 tonnes of pork to China, first cargoes from the European country to the world's top pork market, state media Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday. The shipments, worth 1 million euros ($1.15 million), were due to arrive at China's central Hunan province in a month, according to Xinhua. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Argentina says clinches deal to resume biodiesel exports to EU 

Argentina and the European Union (EU) reached an agreement to end a dispute over exports of biodiesel from the South American country to the bloc, the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. The deal establishes price and volume limits to be announced next month, the ministry said in a statement. The deal marks the end of a long trade dispute and could help bolster Argentina's critical soybean sector. Argentina is the world's top producer of soyoil, the main ingredient used to make biodiesel. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Ukraine grain exports rise to 27.5 mln tonnes so far in 2018/19 

Ukraine's grain exports have risen to 27.5 million tonnes so far in the 2018/19 season, from 23.8 million tonnes at the same point in the previous season, the agriculture ministry said. Ukraine has said it harvested a record 70.1 million tonnes of grain last year, up from 61.3 million in 2017. The ministry said exports could rise to 47.2 million tonnes in the July 2018 to June 2019 season from 39.4 million the season before. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Extreme cold forces shutdowns at U.S. pork plants, grain elevators

Hog slaughterhouses and grain elevators were shut down in the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday as the coldest temperatures in years gripped the region. Temperatures in the Northern Plains and Great Lakes plunged to as low minus 42 Fahrenheit (minus 41 Celsius), making parts of the Midwest colder than the South Pole. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Brazil to pave key agriculture road BR-163 this year - minister

Brazil will finish paving the key agricultural highway BR-163 and another small stretch of roadway connecting it to the river port of Miritituba by the end of this year, Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Freitas said on Wednesday. Freitas told reporters the road likely would be put up for auction to privatize its operations by 2020. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Chinese pork prices to rebound next quarter, world's top exporter predicts 

The Chinese pork market, currently flooded by domestic supply, is expected to recover in the second quarter, the head of the world's top pork exporter said on Wednesday. China's government this month encouraged pig farmers to quickly replenish their herds and said it would buy more pork for its reserves as it sought to curb price rises later in the year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 31 - Tyson recalls chicken nuggets on possible rubber contamination 

Tyson Foods Inc is recalling some chicken nuggets it manufactured because of possible contamination with rubber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said late on Tuesday. About 36,420 pounds of Tyson's 'White Meat Panko' chicken nuggets will be recalled after several consumers complained of extraneous material in the purchased product, the FSIS said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - GASC pays less as it books first French wheat cargoes in 18 months (AgriCensus)
Egypt’s state grain buyer, GASC, returned to the market and bought its first French wheat in more than a year and a half as it picked up a total of 360,000 mt at a tender that closed Tuesday, sources said. GASC booked three 60,000-mt cargoes from France and three 60,000-mt cargoes from Romania, with delivery scheduled for March 11-20. The average destination price was $262.77mt CFR – down $2.14/mt from what it paid three weeks ago. It paid an average $247.80/mt FOB for the French cargoes from Glencore and Soufflet and $250.88/mt FOB for the Romanian cargoes from ADM, Cofco and Cargill.
It was the first tender since GASC secured a new credit facility, updating its payment terms in a bid to drum up greater selling interest and to lower costs at its tenders, with the lower prices coming despite global cash markets having been on the rise since then.
At its previous tender on January 9, GASC booked 415,000 mt of Russian-origin wheat, paying an average $249.56/mt FOB Russia and $264.91/mt CFR.

Jan 30 - EU seeks to soothe U.S. by clearing soybeans for biofuel 

The European Commission said on Tuesday it had concluded that U.S. soybeans can be used in biofuels in the European Union, part of the bloc's push to improve strained trade relations with the United States. However, industry sources said it was unlikely to lead to a flood of additional U.S. soybean imports into Europe. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Ag market on edge over resumption of U.S. gov't data -Braun 

The agriculture market data blackout has finally ended as U.S. government workers returned to work on Monday, though it may take some time to fill in all the missing items, and it is uncertain how traders will respond to the sudden flood of information. After a record 35-day shutdown, Congress finally agreed to a three-week spending deal on Friday to reopen the government while lawmakers discuss how to address security along the U.S.-Mexican border. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Egypt says strategic wheat reserves cover more than five months 

Egypt's supply ministry said on Wednesday it had enough strategic wheat reserves to cover more than five months of demand. Egypt, the world's largest importer of wheat, purchased 360,000 tonnes of French and Romanian wheat in an international purchasing tender on Tuesday.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Thai rice exports to fall 14 pct in 2019 - industry body 

Thailand's rice exports are expected to fall 14 percent in 2019 to 9.5 million tonnes as a stronger currency makes shipments more expensive for overseas buyers, the country's rice exporters association said on Wednesday. The world's second-biggest rice exporter shipped 11 million tonnes of rice last year, but demand from overseas buyers has slowed in recent months as the Thai baht has strengthened. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - U.S. soybean exports may gain from Latam crop damage - Oil World 

Weather damage to South American soybean crops could start pushing more soybean export business to the United States and U.S. export shipments could benefit from March, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World forecast on Tuesday. “South American soybean export supplies will be smaller in calendar year 2019,” Oil World said in a report. “The United States should benefit and raise exports beyond expectations in March/August 2019.” Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - French fuel price revolt boosted ethanol use - industry officials

Public anger in France over increasing fuel prices, which gave rise to the anti-government "yellow vest" movement, has further boosted demand for crop-based ethanol fuel from motorists seeking cheaper deals, industry representatives said on Tuesday. Ethanol, which is blended with gasoline as part of renewable energy policy targets, had already benefited from a favourable environment in France in the past two years. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - Iraq sees wheat crop up to 3 mln tonnes on better rainfall

Iraq, a major Middle East grain importer, said on Tuesday it sees local wheat production for the 2018-2019 season reaching almost 3 million tonnes due to higher rainfall. The total area of wheat planted using irrigation methods has shrunk from one million hectares in the 2017-2018 season to 550,000 hectares this season, but better rainfall will up the crop from the 2.17 million tonnes produced in 2018, Mahdy al-Jabouri, an undersecretary at the ministry, told Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - South Africa's maize planting area down on dry conditions 

South African maize farmers are projected to have planted less hectares of the staple crop this season due to lower rainfall and warmer temperatures, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Tuesday. Farmers are estimated to have planted 2.269 million hectares of maize in the 2018/19 farming season, 2 percent lower compared to the 2.319 million hectares planted last season. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 30 - CN Rail profit beats on higher crude, grain shipments, raises dividend 

Canadian National Railway Co beat analysts' estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday, as it transported higher volumes of petroleum crude and Canadian grain. A lack of pipelines to the United States and oversupply have led Canadian energy producers to look for alternatives such as railroads to ship crude. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 29 - Russia’s 2019/20 wheat production forecast at 67m mt: minister (AgriCensus)

Russia’s 2019/20 wheat production will come in at around 67 million mt at its current trajectory, which would be a fall of about 4% from last year’s output, the country’s agriculture minister said in a meeting Monday.
“We will probably have about 108-110 million mt (of grain) … We plan to collect around 67 million mt of wheat,” Minister of Agriculture, Dmitry Patrushev, told President Vladimir Putin in a meeting transcript released by the Kremlin on Monday.
When asked about the target for the 2018/19 season’s exports, Patrushev estimated total grain exports of 42 million mt with wheat contributing 36 million mt. Patrushev stressed the goal of becoming an exporter of “high quality wheat”.
The meeting comes on the same day Russia’s agriculture ministry was due to publish its weekly grain export figures, although it was yet to publish at the time of writing. The pace of wheat exports this marketing year has been controversial, with the government looking at informal ways of slowing sales that have raced ahead despite output falling by about 20% year-on-year. The most recent data, published a week ago, put wheat exports 11% higher year-on-year at 25.3 million mt.

Jan 29 - USDA extends deadline for farm aid to Feb. 14 after shutdown 

U.S. farmers now have until Feb. 14 to apply for federal aid designed to offset the impact of retaliatory Chinese tariffs on American crops, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday, after delays caused by the month-long government shutdown. The previous deadline for the aid program, officially known as the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), was Jan. 15. But a partial 35-day government shutdown that ended last Friday had delayed the application and payment processes for the aid. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - Egypt's GASC tender attracts 4 offers for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice - traders 

Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), on Sunday received four offers at its first international purchase tender for rice in 2019, traders said. The offers presented were for Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian rice, the traders said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - USDA to publish Feb. 8 crop report if staff return Monday - economist 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief economist said he expects the agency will release a monthly crop supply/demand report as planned on Feb. 8, if USDA offices reopen on Monday. More information regarding other key crop reports that were delayed due to the partial U.S. government shutdown "will be forthcoming ... once all USDA staff return to work," USDA chief economist Robert Johansson told Reuters on Friday in an email. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - France's glyphosate exit to be 80 pct complete by 2021 - minister 

France expects to have cut the use of weedkiller glyphosate by 80 percent by early 2021, its agriculture minister said on Friday, less than previously anticipated due to the number of farmers who will qualify for an exemption. In November 2017, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to ban glyphosate in France within three years, rejecting a European Union decision to extend its use for five years after a heated debate over whether the weedkiller, developed by Bayer-owned Monsanto, can cause cancer. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - Sovecon ups forecast for Russia's 2018/19 grain exports 

Russia's Sovecon agriculture consultancy said on Friday that it had raised its forecast of Russia's 2018/19 exports of grains and pulses to 44.6 million tonnes from the previously expected 43.8 million tonnes. SovEcon raises its forecast for 2018/19 wheat exports to 35.6 million tonnes from 35.1 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - China corn futures jump on signs of tightening supply 

China's most actively traded corn futures jumped 1.6 percent on Friday to 1,863 yuan ($275.54) per tonne, the biggest daily rise in more than a year, after a government statement calling on state firms to actively purchase the grain to support farmers. The National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said on its website on Friday that larger volumes of corn produced in China's northeast, the country's grain basket, were still unsold compared with previous years. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - Rail moving fluidly through Vancouver after congestion ends - CN Rail 

Congestion at Port Metro Vancouver, Canada's busiest port, has been resolved and rail operations are now "fluid," Canadian National Railway Co said on Friday. Canadian National and rival Canadian Pacific Railway were rationing space on trains travelling in the Vancouver area and prioritized some commodities over others to deal with congestion, causing complaints from shippers. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - South African maize planting area seen down 14 pct from last season - poll

South African maize farmers are expected to plant 14 percent less of the staple crop in the 2018/2019 season compared with the previous season after dry conditions delayed plantings outside the optimum window. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast the planted area at 1.998 million hectares, down from the 2.318 hectares planted last season, according to an average estimate of five traders and analysts polled by Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - S. Africa farmers seek $220 million in drought aid 

South Africa's agricultural industry body AgriSA will approach banks, agribusiness and government to raise 3 billion rand ($220 million) to help farmers hit by severe drought, its executive director said on Friday. Farmers have faced dry conditions over most of the nation for the last year, even as they are still recovering from a disastrous El Nino-induced drought in 2015. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - Fire damages vital wheat silos in Yemen's Hodeidah - UN

Wheat silos in Yemen's port city of Hodeidah have been damaged by a fire caused by suspected mortar shelling, threatening food supplies for millions of hungry people, the United Nations said. The blaze damaged two silos at the Red Sea Mills grains facility, which holds 51,000 tonnes of World Food Programme (WFP) wheat -- enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month in the war-torn country. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 28 - Crop-eating armyworms hit Sri Lanka's rice and maize output

Sri Lanka is facing what could be its worst pest infestation in history, potentially cutting the country's rice and maize output and forcing the island nation to import the commodities, government officials said on Friday.  Crop-eating army worms, first confirmed in October, have spread across the country and damaged crops, they said. Click here to read full stories.

Jun 26 - Spread of ASF slows as restrictions cut in 84% contaminated areas (AgriCensus)
The spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in China is showing signs of slowing as most contaminated areas in the country have had transport restrictions removed by the government, while no new outbreaks have been reported since last week. Based on data from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, 88 out of 105 areas that had reported ASF outbreaks since August last year have removed their restrictions on transporting pigs into or out of the area under the approval from the Chinese government. This means more than 80% of the ASF contaminated areas in China are now considered safe by the government. The latest removal of transport restrictions was reported this Friday for a small pig farm in China’s major pig farming region – Sichuan province – six weeks after an ASF outbreak was first found there.
Since the start of the year 18 areas have been cleared for transport.
Since the first ASF outbreak in China in August last year, the Chinese government has requested access to the contaminated area to be restricted until no signs of ASF are evident for six weeks, with all pigs in the area to be culled to prevent further spreading.
Moreover, no new outbreaks have been found since last Sunday. Despite the optimism given by the official data, medium-to-large size pig farms – those with herds of 5,000-75,000 – have not yet had transport restrictions lifted. The spread of ASF is closely followed by the soybean industry in China as soymeal is a major source of protein for China’s huge 400 million pig population.

Jan 25 - Feed firms eye soymeal as Huawei arrest delays rapemeal imports (AgriCensus)
- An international spat between China and Canada over the arrest of a senior executive at telecommunication company Huawei may be indirectly impacting demand for soymeal, trade sources said this week. Prices of soymeal, the main protein source for animal feed in China, have risen almost 3% over the past week, with market sources claiming feed companies are seeking alternatives to imported Canadian rapemeal. Last week, rumours in the market suggested up to nine cargoes of Canadian rapeseed were either waiting at ports to unload or were unloaded - but were prohibited from being crushed, with sources speculating the cause was worsening political tensions between Canada and China.

“[The rise in demand] is possibly due to a Canadian rapeseed issue. Rapeseed vessels are prohibited from crushing,” a China-based soymeal trader at an international trading house told Agricensus on condition of anonymity. “Rapeseed vessel offloading is slow [due to] all kinds of inspection requirements,” one Chinese soymeal trader from an international crusher said, adding that this was providing additional demand for soymeal.

- Last month, at the request of the US government, Canadian officials arrested Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at China’s biggest telecommunications firm Huawei alleging the official used a subsidiary company to evade sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014, a claim she and Huawei have denied.
The arrest triggered a tit-for-tat response, with Chinese officials incarcerating two Canadian businessmen in response to the arrest. And earlier this month, Chinese courts sentenced a Canadian citizen to death for drug smuggling, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said was a “arbitrary application” of the law. Any increase in demand for soymeal will be welcomed by exporters of Brazilian soybeans, which have contracted to take volume from farmers but have been struggling to find markets due to a fall off in Chinese demand due to African Swine Fever.

Jan 25 - China's 2018 soybean imports from U.S. hit lowest since 2008 

China's soybean imports from the United States plunged 99 percent in December to just 69,298 tonnes, customs data showed on Friday, taking its full-year 2018 imports to the lowest level since 2008 amid an ongoing trade war. It was the second month in a row when Chinese imports from the United States ground to a virtual halt amid the tit-for-tat dispute, although some buying has since resumed as talks between the world's two largest economies continue. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Funds likely keep bullish corn views, mull optimism in soy, wheat -Braun 

Market participants have now endured more than a month without critical data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding hedge fund managers’ positioning in Chicago Board of Trade futures and options. However, daily estimates of fund activity – both recent and historical – and the futures price action of late might suggest the market has not missed any big moves in speculative sentiments. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - IGC raises forecasts for 2018/19 world wheat, corn crops 

The International Grains Council on Thursday raised its forecasts for world wheat production in the 2018/19 season, partly driven by upward revisions to crops in Russia and India. The intergovernmental body, in a monthly update, increased its wheat crop forecast by 8 million tonnes to 737 million although that remained below the prior season's 767 million, the first year-on-year decline in six years. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - China's U.S. pork imports plunge in 2018 as trade war bites 

China's imports of pork from the United States more than halved to about 263,000 tonnes in 2018, customs data showed on Friday, after Beijing imposed hefty tariffs on the meat as part of a trade war. The 55 percent fall was across both quality cuts and offal, where the United States has previously accounted for about a third of China's imports. U.S. offal shipments fell 58 percent to 177,041 tonnes, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the General Administration of Customs. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Singapore's Olam plans $1.6 bln in divestments; to sell rubber, fertiliser units 

Singaporean commodity trader Olam International said on Friday it will sell its sugar, rubber, wood products and fertiliser businesses and other assets to release $1.6 billion of cash to reinvest as part of a six-year strategic plan. The company plans to invest $3.5 billion in the period to 2024 in 12 prioritised businesses, including edible nuts, cocoa, cotton, coffee, grains and animal feed, it said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - U.S.-Russia wheat price spread narrows as Black Sea supplies tighten

The spread between U.S. and Russian wheat is narrowing rapidly as supplies in the Black Sea region tightened following a hectic export campaign since the middle of last year, boosting hopes of higher sales of North American cargoes. Even though Russian wheat is still cheaper than U.S. grain, the spread between the two has narrowed to about $15 a tonne on a free-on-board basis, from more than $50 a tonne in August, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Russia's agriculture ministry requests weekly grain export data from ports 

Russia's Agriculture Ministry has asked the country's ports to start supplying it with grain export data and export plans on a weekly basis, it said in a letter to managers of port terminals, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters. The letter, first reported by RIA news agency on Thursday, has been interpreted by some market players as a move by the world's largest wheat exporter to step up controls over grain supplies due to a smaller crop. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Ukraine grain exports rise to 26.5 mln tonnes so far in 2018/19

Ukraine's grain exports have risen to 26.5 million tonnes so far in the 2018/19 season as of Jan. 23, from 22.9 million tonnes at the same point in the previous season, the agriculture ministry said. Ukraine has said it harvested a record 70.1 million tonnes of grain last year from 61.3 million in 2017. The ministry said exports could rise to 47.2 million tonnes in the July 2018 to June 2019 season from 39.4 million the season before. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - Blanket ban on glyphosates in France not possible - Macron 

It will not be possible to do without glyphosate-based weed killers in certain French agricultural sectors in three years because some sectors would not be able to survive economically, President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. Macron has previously said glyphosate would be banned in France by 2020 apart from limited exemptions, rejecting a European Union decision to extend its use for five years after a heated debate over whether the Monsanto-developed weed-killer causes cancer. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Companies rush to offer Jordan barley as prices continue to fall (AgriCensus)

Global barley prices are continuing to slump from multi-year highs, with Jordan’s state buyer taking advantage and picking up a new crop cargo for $35/mt less than it did last week, according to market sources. MIT agreed to pay $223.20/mt CFR for 60,000 mt of feed barley from Glencore with delivery for the second half of June. That would make it the first 2019/20 marketing year parcel to be bought at tender if the optional origin cargo is sourced from the northern hemisphere. The price paid is $35.30/mt less than it paid Aston last week, and it means prices have fallen almost 20% since MIT forked out $276/mt in October. Having previously failed to drum up interest in its tenders due to high prices and strict conditions, MIT received a deluge of offers from the trade – with 10 submitted between $223.20-264.90/mt CFR.

Offered origins were believed to include the Black Sea, France and Australia. And with MIT only booking half of the volume it had tendered for, it suggests it may see further scope for barley prices to fall. Separately, Jordan Silos & Supply General Company (JSSGC) opened a tender Wednesday to buy 25,000 mt of March delivery milling wheat with bids to be submitted by February 11.

Jan 24 - Brazil 2018/2019 soybean crop to be lower than expected due to drought - poll

Scant rains and high temperatures in Brazil's main soybean fields have dashed expectations of another record harvest in the 2018/2019 season, according to a Reuters poll of 10 analysts compiled on Wednesday. The average estimate of 10 consultancies including Brazil's food supply and statistics agency Conab shows the country, the world's largest exporter of soybeans, is now expected to produce 117 million tons of oilseeds in the current cycle. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Brazil eyes fix for grain export logistics, U.S. should take note -Braun

Brazil has unveiled a new plan for modernizing and expanding some of its infrastructure to better support grain and oilseed exports, a move that is long overdue as the country's dated logistics have somewhat capped growth in that sector. The full effect may not be realized for another decade or even longer. But if the plan succeeds, the logistical advantages that the United States and other competitors have enjoyed over Brazil’s export program will be whittled away or eliminated, and the upgrading could also tie top buyers like China more closely into the process. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - India to spend 6.5 pct more on food subsidies in FY 2019-20 - sources

India is poised to raise the subsidies for the world's biggest food welfare programme by 6.5 percent for the fiscal year beginning April 1, the smallest increase in three years, in the nation's interim budget next month, two sources directly involved in the decision told Reuters. The government is set to earmark about 1.8 trillion rupees ($25.28 billion) for food subsidies next fiscal year as it tries to contain its budget deficit ahead of the next general election due by May. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Jordan buys 60,000 tonnes feed barley in tender - trade

Jordan's state grain buyer purchased about 60,000 tonnes of animal feed barley to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender for up to 120,000 tonnes that closed on Wednesday, traders said. It made the purchases at $223.20 a tonne c&f for shipment in the second half of June. Trading house Glencore was believed to be the seller. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Brazilian poultry firm BRF aims to restore Saudi exports in three months

Brazilian poultry processor BRF said on Wednesday it expected to restore chicken exports to Saudi Arabia to previous levels in three months after one of its plants lost its certification to export to the Middle Eastern country. BRF said the suspended plant, known as Lajeado, had been exporting around 6,500 tonnes per month of chicken products to Saudi Arabia before the kingdom sharply reduced the number of authorized Brazilian exporters. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Malaysia could curb French purchases if palm oil use restricted

Malaysia will consider laws to restrict imports of French products if Paris does not withdraw plans to curb the use of palm oil in biofuels, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron. French lawmakers last month voted to remove palm oil from the country's biofuel scheme as of 2020, following longstanding concerns about the environmental impact of the crop that is mainly produced in Indonesia and Malaysia. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - IEG Vantage sees more U.S. corn acres, less soy in 2019 - document

Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, on Wednesday projected that U.S. farmers would add corn acres in 2019 while cutting back on soybeans and wheat. The firm projected U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 91.504 million acres, up from the 89.140 million acres planted in 2018, according to an IEG client note seen by Reuters. However, IEG Vantage lowered its 2019 corn figure by about 440,000 acres from its mid-December projection. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - Palm oil prices to rise in 2019 on robust demand, weaker output-growth

Average palm oil prices are set to climb this year, a Reuters poll showed, buoyed by slowing output-growth in top producer Indonesia and by robust demand for the commodity which is used to churn out products ranging from chocolate to biofuels. Benchmark palm prices will average 2,375 ringgit ($574.09) a tonne in 2019, up 3 percent from 2,308 ringgit last year, according to the median estimate from a poll of 18 analysts and industry players including planters, millers and refiners. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - U.S. soybean shipments to China spike to 10-month high -USDA

U.S. exporters last week loaded six soybean vessels bound for China, the most in any week since the start of the tariff war between Washington and Beijing and an encouraging sign for U.S. farmers hard hit by the trade fight. The shipments are among the first to load and depart for China since state-owned companies booked an estimated 5 million tonnes of U.S. soy over the past month and a half as the world's two largest economies try to resolve their trade conflict. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - CBOT grains, soy trading in historically tight range - Braun

Corn and wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade are sitting at the highest levels for the month in four years, and traders are apparently satisfied with those prices, which have had historically low movement so far in January. Soybean futures are notably lower than at this point in the past two years, but despite many uncertainties surrounding the oilseed, especially on trade, prices have also been confined to a small range. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Bunge appoints new acting CEO, cuts 2018 guidance

Global grains trader Bunge Ltd appointed one of a slew of new board members as its acting Chief Executive Officer on Tuesday and cut its 2018 earnings forecast as the U.S.-China trade war battered soybean prices and devalued the company's inventory in Brazil. Gregory Heckman, a founding partner of private investment firm Flatwater Partners and the former chief executive of grains trader Gavilon Group, was appointed acting CEO. Heckman joined the board as part of a deal to ease shareholder pressure on management late last year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - U.S. Department of Agriculture to reopen all farm agency offices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday it will reopen all Farm Service Agency offices on Thursday to offer services to farmers and ranchers during the partial government shutdown. Some Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices had been providing limited services since Jan. 17, but the move means all of the agency's offices will be open and will provide more services. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Bayer asks California judge to limit evidence in another Roundup cancer trial

Bayer AG unit Monsanto has asked a California judge in the litigation over its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup allegedly causing cancer to limit evidence by splitting an upcoming trial into two phases, a request previously successful with another judge. Monsanto in a previously unreported filing on Jan. 15 asked California Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith in Oakland to split a March trial by a California couple into two phases. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Canadian railways ration space as commodity congestion problems worsen

Canada's two major railways are rationing space on trains traveling to the country's biggest port and recently prioritized some commodities over others to deal with congestion, the latest indication of their struggle to meet demand from new trade deals. That move prompted Canada's transport regulator last week to start an investigation into rail services around Port Metro Vancouver, after shippers complained of "discriminatory treatment of certain commodities" by Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Malaysian palm producer FGV appoints new chief executive officer

Malaysian palm oil producer FGV Holdings Berhad has appointed Haris Fadzilah Hassan as group chief executive officer effective Wednesday, the company said in a bourse filing. Haris Fadzilah was until most recently a director at government-linked company MRT Corp, which develops and owns the mass rapid transit lines in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, and was previously head of downstream operations at Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, according to the filing. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - InVivo calls on French grain coops to join forces in exports

French grain cooperatives should work together more, including by merging trading activities, in order to reverse France's lagging competitiveness in export markets, the head of agricultural group InVivo said on Tuesday. France, the European Union's largest grain producer and exporter, has faced growing competition overseas from cheaper Black Sea suppliers like Russia, leaving French exporters increasingly reliant on Algeria as their main outlet. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 23 - Bunge cuts 2018 EBIT outlook on trade war, appoints new CEO (AgriCensus)

Bunge, one of the world’s biggest agribusiness companies, has cited the impact of the US-China trade war in lowering its income outlook for the full 2018 fiscal year ending in December, according to a statement released Tuesday. The company rolled the revision into an announcement over the appointment of a new CEO, with current board member Gregory A. Heckman revealed as the acting CEO with immediate effect. Adjusted EBIT will fall by about $90-$100 million in the Agribusiness segment and $60-$70 million in the Sugar and Bioenergy segment, compared to the low end of its previous forecast which was $1.045 billion.

“The Agribusiness shortfall was largely due to the reduction in value of the company’s Brazilian soybean ownership as factors related to China trade and demand caused Brazilian prices to converge with US prices,” the company said.

“The Sugar and Bioenergy shortfall was primarily due to lower Brazilian ethanol prices, and a weather-related reduction in yields as a poor crop year came to a close.”

The New York-based agribusiness has been suffering from a global glut of grains and oilseeds in the past year, with its share price falling over 30% in the past year. Despite the downward revision in its EBIT outlook, Bunge’s share price rose 1.5% Tuesday as the company also announced Heckman had replaced former CEO Soren Schroder who announced in December he was stepping down after five years in the role.

“I look forward to further collaboration with Kathi (Bunge’s Non-Executive Board Chair, Kathleen Hyle), the Board and our management team, focusing on ways to improve performance and create shareholder value,” Heckman said in response to his appointment.

At the end of October, Bunge - part of the industry’s ABCD quartet of agri-trading giants - agreed to add four directors to its board after pressure from investors to create a strategic review committee to examine the company’s operations. Last year, the company became a takeover target for Glencore and rival agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), but ADM’s CEO debunked that in a January interview with newswire Reuters saying it is the wrong time for “monster” acquisitions. In the 2017 fiscal year, Bunge’s turnover rose 7.3% to $45.79 billion, resulting in a total EBIT of $436 million, down nearly 61% on the year, with 60% attributed to its Agribusiness segment, and with the Sugar and Bioenergy making a loss of $12 million.

Jan 22 - Malaysian Palm Oil Hits 3-Month High (Dow Jones)
Malaysia palm-oil futures are at their highest level since October amid expectations that supplies there and in larger producer Indonesia will soon start falling. Industry analyst Dorab Mistry said over the weekend that inventories in the world's 2-biggest producers should fall to about 6 million metric tons by April-May from roughly 7 million presently. And at current ringgit levels, he sees futures getting to MYR2,400 by the end of March. After yesterday's holiday in Malaysia, the Bursa Malaysia benchmark contract is up 1% at MYR2,248.

Jan 22 - China accepts Brazil chicken exporters' offer to end anti-dumping case

China's Ministry of Commerce has accepted an offer made by Brazilian chicken exporters to resolve a dumping dispute, a lawyer told Reuters on Monday, lifting shares of Brazil-based chicken exporter BRF SA. Claudia Marques, a partner at MPA Trade Law who represents the Brazilian exporters, said China's decision to accept Brazil's "price undertaking" offer was communicated to the parties in the Ministry of Commerce's "disclosure report." Click here to read full stories

Jan 22 - Egypt's GASC to pay on-sight for wheat in international tenders

Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) will pay for wheat bought in upcoming international purchase tenders by opening letters of credit on sight, the supply ministry said in a statement on Monday. The state buyer's letters of credit - banking guarantees for on-time payment from a buyer to a seller - were typically issued prior to shipment, with payment guaranteed within 180 days. Click here to read full stories

Jan 22 - Lower supply and stronger rouble drive Russian wheat prices higher

Russian wheat export prices rose last week on seasonally lower supply, a stronger rouble and concerns over state plans to build up sectoral regulation, analysts said on Monday. Stronger controls on grain exports are being considered by Russia's state agriculture watchdog while the agriculture ministry plans to regulate domestic grain prices through subsidies on rail transport from remote regions and other previously used mechanisms. Click here to read full stories

Jan 22 - Massive maize imports keep EU livestock fed after drought

EU maize imports are running at a record pace, turning the bloc into a net cereal importer for the first time in a decade, as the livestock industry uses a bumper Ukrainian harvest to make up for a lack of forage caused by a torrid summer. Demand is such that the European Union is set in 2018/19 comfortably to beat last season's haul of about 18 million tonnes, already a record, and reinforce its status as the world's largest importer of maize, or corn.  Click here to read full stories

Jan 22 - Kernel sunoil sales surge 8.2% for H1 18/19, crush hits Q2 record (AgriCensus)

Kernel, the world's biggest sunseed crusher, saw the volume of oilseeds it processed rise 3.3% and its sunoil sales surge 26.2% in the three months ended December as the company set a new crushing record and ran its plants at full capacity, the company said in an announcement on Monday. The figures mean that for the first half of the company’s financial year, crushing reached 1.359 million mt, down 6.5% on the same corresponding period, while sunoil sales over the six months rose 8.2% on the year to 776,545 mt.

Avere, Kernel’s Geneva-based trading arm that is named after founder, chairman and former Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Verevskyy, reported physical trading volumes of 1.11 million mt of grain, oilseeds, meals and vegetable oils over the quarter, taking the total for the half year to 2.72 million mt. Avere, which also has offices in Miami, Florida, has been a major supplier of US soybeans to Argentina’s crushing facilities following the drought last year that hit the nation’s domestic supply.

Last month, Kernel attracted $250-million of project financing from the European Investment Bank to upgrade its existing oilseed processing plants, build a new one, build inland grain storage facilities and construct a grain handling and storage terminal in the port of Chornomorsk.

Jan 21 - Malaysian Cash Market Prices for Palm Oil Unavailable

Data for a.m. and p.m. Malaysian cash market prices for palm oil are unavailable due to Thaipusam holiday.

Jan 21 - China 2018 pork output surprises to downside, falls 0.9 pct

China's pork output fell 0.9 percent in 2018 from the previous year to 54.04 million tonnes, official data showed on Monday, surprising analysts who had expected an increase as farmers liquidated their herds amid an African swine fever epidemic. Output had gained slightly in the first three quarters of the year, and high slaughter volumes in the last quarter as farmers tried to cash in herds before being hit by the world's fastest spreading epidemic of African swine fever and before prices fell further had analysts looking for an annual rise. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 21 - Russia to use rail subsidies to regulate domestic grain prices

Russia's plans to regulate domestic grain prices refer only to the use of subsidies for rail transport from remote regions and other previously used mechanisms, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday. Russian news agencies earlier quoted Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev as saying the ministry aimed to regulate domestic grain prices to maintain stability on the local market. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 21 - Brazil shifting to self-monitoring of food, meat plants - minister

Brazil is moving toward a self-monitoring system for food processors, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Friday, including meatpackers still recovering from an inspection scandal that hurt trade with key markets. Dias said in an interview that the South American nation's new business-friendly government plans to send draft legislation on self-monitoring to Congress in the first half of this year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 21 - EU tariffs on rice a "weapon" against farmers, says Cambodia

European Union tariffs on rice from Cambodia are a "weapon" against impoverished farmers and will hurt millions of people struggling to escape poverty, Cambodia's government and ruling party said. The EU from Friday will impose tariffs on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar for the next three years to curb a surge in imports it said had damaged EU producers.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 21 - Snow, cold take aim at U.S. farm belt this weekend

A winter storm this weekend followed by a plunge in temperatures, coupled with another cold push late this month, could threaten livestock in the U.S. Plains and possibly winter wheat in parts of the Midwest, meteorologists said. The storm should bring 2 to 8 inches (5 to 20 centimeters) of snow from South Dakota to northern Ohio, with up to 10 inches (25 cm) in northern Iowa, according to National Weather Service maps.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 21 - EU open to discussing cars, not farming in U.S. trade talks

The European Union is willing to discuss car tariffs but will not remove duties on farm products in trade talks with the United States, its trade chief said on Friday, setting it on a possible collision course with Washington. The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 member European Union, published two negotiating mandates on Friday, which were notable more for what they left out than for what they included. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 21 - Drought, animal disease threaten South African farmers 

South African grain and red meat farmers are bracing for hard times after dry weather conditions and an outbreak of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease suspended meat exports, officials said on Friday. Maize prices have climbed amid concerns that dry conditions in the main part of South Africa's maize belt have delayed crop plantings outside the optimum planting window, threatening yields for the staple food that is also used in livestock feed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - Trade war shifts feed for U.S. hogs away from ethanol byproduct

A steep downturn in U.S. ethanol output linked to the trade war with China is raising costs for American farmers who feed a byproduct of the corn-based biofuel to hogs, cattle and chickens. Sales of the feed, known as distillers' dried grains, or DDGs, were one of the bright spots for ethanol makers such as Green Plains Inc, Valero Energy Corp and Pacific Ethanol Inc after China all but stopped buying corn ethanol, contributing to oversupply.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - Rebound in EU grain crop seen outweighing demand next season

The European Union faces higher stockpiles of grains next season as cereal production is expected to rebound after last year's drought-damaged harvest, outpacing rising demand, Strategie Grains analysts said. In a monthly report, Strategie Grains trimmed its forecast of 2019 EU production of soft wheat, the bloc's main cereal crop, by 600,000 tonnes to 146.4 million tonnes, but this was nonetheless up 15 percent from 2018.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - DowDuPont farm unit plans to launch Enlist E3 soy broadly in 2020

DowDuPont's agriculture unit, Corteva Agriscience, is gearing up to broadly sell farmers in North America and Brazil a new type of genetically modified soybean for planting next year in a challenge to rival Bayer AG. Corteva revealed its plans for Enlist E3 soy seeds on Thursday, after top global soy buyer China said last week it approved the crops for import.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - Cargill to invest $200 million in Pakistan, government says

Food and agriculture group Cargill Inc will invest some $200 million in Pakistan over the coming three to five years in sectors ranging from dairy, to edible oils and animal feed, the prime minister's office in Islamabad said on Thursday. "Cargill's proposed investments will support Pakistan's overall economic development and contribute to local employment," it said in a statement following a meeting between company executives and Prime Minister Imran Khan. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 18 - US-Thai DDGS dispute lingers as US gov shutdown delays resolution

An apparent impasse in US-Thai trade relations over the import of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) is being prolonged by the US government shutdown, as US government representatives have been accused of missing key meetings, market sources have told Agricensus Thursday. Reuters reported on January 11 that the import of the animal feed, which is derived from corn and typically produced as a by product to ethanol production, was suspended pending new fumigation requirements after beetles were discovered in a shipment last year.

“The issue is the fumigation chemical used, but the problem is that there’s no one available to sign off an agreement,” one market source said, with the issue thought to be straightforward to resolve but the shutdown meant no one was available to negotiate.

A second source, based in Singapore, said that representatives from the US agency charged with addressing the issues around fumigation, the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Services, had missed meetings on the issue. The deterioration in US-Thai trade arose after beetles were found in a shipment last year, with the Thai government imposing a January 1 deadline for ships to be fumigated with methyl bromide – a method that the US typically does not use and was behind a long-running dispute with Vietnam.

“The Thai industry and the US side is trying to get an extension to the January 1 date, but time is slipping by,” the second source told Agricensus, with the US pushing to use phosphine as its preferred method of fumigation.

According to the US Grains Council, Thailand imported 187,194 mt of US DDGS between September and October 2018 – the latest data available – with 964,234 mt imported in the 2017/18 marketing year. Officials at the USDA were approached for comment, but no response had been received at time of publication.

Jan 17 - ADM CEO says wrong time for 'monster' acquisitions

U.S. grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) has looked at buying rivals including Bunge Ltd. and dozens of other companies but decided the time is not right for "monster" acquisitions, the company's chief executive told Reuters. ADM's overture to Bunge last year, reported by Reuters and other media, fueled Wall Street speculation of further consolidation among the world's major trading houses that sell, store and ship crops. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - USDA recalls workers to help with farm loans, taxes; data uncertain

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will reopen about 980 Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for three days starting on Thursday to help process farm loans and tax documents during the partial federal government shutdown. About 2,500 FSA employees who have been furloughed by the partial shutdown that began on Dec. 22 have been called back to work without pay, the department said in a statement on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - China tells pig farms to restock amid worries over pork supply, swine fever

China's pig farmers should quickly replenish their herds and the nation plans to buy more pork for its reserves, a government official said, in steps to curb price rises expected to bite later this year in the wake of African swine fever outbreaks. Pork prices in the world's biggest producer of the meat are "very likely" to rise in the second-half of 2019 as the number of pigs has been falling, Tang Ke, director of the market and information department at the agriculture ministry, said on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Louis Dreyfus to exit dairy by mid-2019 as revamp continues

Louis Dreyfus Company said on Wednesday it would sell or wind down its small dairy business by the middle of this year as part of an overhaul to revive growth at the agricultural commodity giant. Privately held Louis Dreyfus had previously earmarked dairy as one of several activities to be sold or turned into joint ventures in order to focus on core products like grain and oilseeds. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - U.S. Farm Credit CEOs see more financial pain if no China trade deal

Lenders supporting tens of thousands of American farmers on Wednesday warned White House officials that 2019 could cause more producers financial losses if the trade dispute with China is not resolved. In a meeting with the National Economic Council, the chief executives of three Farm Credit institutions lending to the agriculture industry said the majority of American farmers have so far weathered depressed commodity prices and a supply overhang. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Brazil ethanol pipeline owner eyes corn-based fuel makers

Logum, the company operating Brazil's sole ethanol pipeline, is looking to expand the system into central Brazil to reach more plants and possibly the nascent corn-based ethanol industry, which is expected to grow. Chief Executive Wagner Biasoli told Reuters Logum has secured financing for an expansion to link new mills in the state of Minas Gerais, boost delivery to Sao Paulo state and reach total capacity of 6 billion liters per year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 17 - Jordan tenders to buy 120,000 tonnes wheat- trade

Jordan's state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Wednesday. The tender deadline is Jan. 22. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 16 - South Korea’s NOFI pays 2% less in feed wheat tender as board dips (Agricensus)

South Korean feed manufacturer NOFI has bought 65,000 mt of feed wheat paying $5.45/mt, or 2%, less than it did a month ago as US futures slid to their lowest level since the start of the year, according to market sources Wednesday. Korean buyers issued a raft of corn and wheat tenders on Wednesday morning after CBOT futures slid for two consecutive sessions at the start of the week, with wheat futures falling to their lowest level since the start of the month. Cargill sold the cargo at a price of $254.50/mt CFR South Korea, $5.45/mt less than its previous December tender, when it saw wheat prices spike, but still $9.50/mt higher than the cargo it bought back in October.

Jan 16 - On the autofarm: China turns to driverless tractors, combines to overhaul agriculture 

A brand new combine harvester buzzes up and down a field in eastern China without a driver on board, chopping golden rice stalks and offering a glimpse of what authorities say is the automated future of the nation's mammoth agricultural sector. The bright green prototype was operating last autumn during a trial of driverless farm equipment as the government pushes firms to develop within 7 years fully-automated machinery capable of planting, fertilising and harvesting each of China's staple crops - rice, wheat and corn. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 16 - French court cancels Monsanto weedkiller permit on safety grounds 

A French court cancelled the licence for one of Monsanto's glyphosate-based weedkillers on Tuesday over safety concerns, placing an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360 in the latest legal blow to the Bayer-owned business. Germany's Bayer, which bought Monsanto for $63 billion last year, faces thousands of U.S. lawsuits by people who say its Roundup and Ranger Pro products caused their cancer. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 16 - Trade war, sick hogs make China soy purchases hard to predict - Braun

China's December soybean imports dipped to the lowest levels for the month since 2011, unsurprising since the United States has shipped an uncharacteristically low volume to the Asian country ever since the trade dispute escalated mid-last year. Data from China’s General Administration of Customs shows that the country’s soybean imports in the final two months of 2018 plunged by 39 percent from the previous year, including no U.S. imports at all in November.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 16 - BNP Paribas to close U.S. commodities trading desk - source 

France's largest listed bank BNP Paribas is to close its New York commodities trading desk, offering its services from desks elsewhere, a source close to the matter said Tuesday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg report. The bank has decided to close the desk in New York but will remain active on the market in London and Singapore, the source said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 16 - Brazil soybean exports slow as China demand, early harvest disappoints (AgriCensus)

Soybean exports out of Brazil in January will not reach 2 million mt, according to Agricensus calculations using export and line-up data. Brazil exported just over 1 million mt of soybeans during the first two weeks in January with a further 800,000 mt in the line up data. And while that will eclipse last year’s record of 1.5 million mt exported over the whole month, it does not reflect recent expectations that exports will be much higher due to an early harvest in Brazil’s southern states. Sources say the trade war and the uncertain picture of Chinese demand has deterred buying of soybeans by private crushers, many of which have been impacted by negative crush margins. Typically, Chinese crushers would buy US beans for January shipments to cover March crush, but with US imports taxed at 25%, US bean sales have been limited to state-sponsored purchases of 5 million mt, leaving a big question of what China will do for March supply.

“It depends how much of that (5 million mt) finds its ways to crushers,” said one soybean trader at an international trading house, adding that if much of it does trickle out then buying will remain muted.

Brazil remains the cheapest origin for Chinese crushers to buy beans, but trade has been “very quiet” for weeks, according to Brazilian and Chinese sources, with about 20 cargoes being bought since December.

Jan 15 - China's trade data weak? Not if you look at commodities: Russell

Anybody reading the commentary on China's December trade figures would be left with the impression of an economy increasingly losing momentum amid a dispute with the United States. It was reasonable for analysts to zero in on the 4.4 percent drop in China's December exports from a year earlier, a huge miss when a rise of 3 percent had been forecast.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 15 - EU ready to accept deal to exempt duties on Argentine biodiesel

The European Commission is willing to accept a deal with producers of Argentine biodiesel to settle a long-running trade dispute over imports of the product into Europe. The Commission, which oversees trade policy in the 28-member European Union, said it had communicated to interested parties last week that it was willing to accept undertakings from producers that they would sell at a minimum price. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 15 - Trump defends trade policies to farmers, vows fair deal with China

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday defended his tough trade policies in front of thousands of farmers who have suffered because of his trade war with China, disappointing some who had hoped to hear a plan for a swift resolution. Trump dedicated much of his speech to explaining why he believes the United States needs a wall on its southern border, in his second consecutive visit to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention. He also said his trade policies would deliver long-term benefits for the American heartland. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 15 - South Africa set to miss 12.2m corn production estimate: chamber (AgriCensus)

South Africa’s agricultural business chamber, Agbiz, has warned that the country is unlikely to hit the 12.2 million mt corn production estimate that they had forecast, as dry weather is set to slash yields and planted area. In a research note, published Monday, head of agribusiness research Wandile Sihlobo, said the estimate “will not materialise” as the dry weather has pushed corn plantings out of their optimal window. While late December rains had seen some farmers pick up the planting pace in the new year, plantings across key regions range from between 35% through to 70% of the pre-drought anticipated area. Against that backdrop, Agbiz expects the Crop Estimate Committee’s outlook for the 2018/19 corn planting area – currently set at 2.44 million hectares – to be revised down by as much as 19% to 1.98 million ha, putting it in line with the area planted in the last drought-stricken year, 2015/16.

“At that time, South African maize production amounted to 7.8 million mt, turning the country into a net importer,” Sihlobo said, although the country’s current stock position means it has a buffer of some 3 million mt to cushion any shortfall.

Agbiz warned the country needs to produce around 8 million mt to meet its own domestic needs, but farmers may be encouraged to plant sunflower – which is still in its optimal planting window – rather than corn. The strong domestic prices have enabled at least one cargo of Brazilian corn to make the move to South Africa, with the bulk carrier Apj Jai believed to be heading to Cape Town and expected to arrive around January 21, according to ship tracking data. Meanwhile, concerns over the state of domestic planting pushed domestic prices higher, causing a suspension in the trading of futures contracts on the country’s exchange as prices hit their daily limits.

“The erratic weather conditions and uncertainty about the harvest size will continue to lift SAFEX maize prices and, in turn, add inflationary pressure on consumers and animal feed industries,” Sihlobo warned.

Jan 14 - China Dec soybean imports plunge 40 pct as U.S. trade war curbs buying 

China's December soybean imports plunged 40.1 percent from a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, as it cut purchases from the United States, its second-largest supplier, because of the trade war between the two countries. Imports last month dropped to 5.72 million tonnes, said the General Administration of Customs, the lowest for the month since December 2011. Click here to read full stories. 

Jan 14 - Funds seen standing firm on CBOT views despite USDA data void: Braun 

Speculators in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds on Friday wrapped up their third week of trading without key datasets from the U.S. government, though they do not appear deterred from their prior thinking due to the lack of the typical information stream. As of Jan. 11, trade sources suggest that commodity funds held a combined net long position of 22,188 futures and options contracts across CBOT corn, wheat, soybeans and soy products, anchored solely by optimistic corn bets. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 12 - Crop forecaster says USDA corn and bean crop projections to fall at least 5% (AgriCensus)

US crop forecaster Indigo on Friday said it expects Brazil’s corn and soybean crop to be 5.1% and 6.3% lower than the December forecast of the USDA due to “below average rainfall” hitting yields. Indigo, which says it has the capability to accurately reflect crop sizes using satellite technology, released its forecasts in lieu of USDA’s January WASDE report, which was due to be released Friday, but has been delayed due to the US government shutdown. The forecaster said it expected soybean production to be 7.3 million mt lower than the USDA’s estimate of 120.5 million mt of soybean and 4.9 million mt lower than the USDA’s 94.5 million mt projection of corn production. Indigo said the write-down was due to “unevenly distributed dry conditions in the country, resulting from below-average rainfall”.

“In some states, soybeans were planted soon after their permitted planting dates and the dry weather disrupted the plants during the crucial pod-filling phase. Indigo’s Crop Health Index for soybeans in Brazil was higher than normal in November and early December, but it is now below 10-year norms for this stage in the season,” it said.

But while the forecast for Brazil was bullish for prices, production in Argentina is not expected to significantly change for soybean from the USDA’s projection of 55.5 million mt. For corn it will increase 0.5 million mt compared with the 42.5 million mt the USDA predicted.

“Of note, Indigo’s models suggest popular sources are overstating the negative impact of some flooding and hail in the area,” the forecaster said, adding that soybean progress was behind the average 10-year norm, but by “a negligible amount.”

For the US, the forecasters said they expected yields to be below the 52.1 bushels per acre for soybeans and 178.9 bushels per acre for corn that the USDA projected in December, but did not say by how much.

“[We] predict the USDA’s year-end report will again make downward revisions when they ultimately close out the season after the government shutdown. Late-season flooding led to harvest issues negatively impacting an otherwise robust crop,” it said.

Jan 11 - South Africa turns corn importer as first cargo set for Cape Town (AgriCensus)

South Africa is poised to accept its first corn imports of the 2018/19 marketing year, with a Brazil-sourced cargo expected to arrive in the port of Cape Town later in January, market sources told Agricensus Thursday. The move comes as the country has flirted with import parity after a disastrous lack of rain stoked fears for the new corn crop’s plantings in the final months of 2018 and drove up domestic prices.

“I see some yellow corn coming into Cape Town… (The) first shipment is booked with an ETA of January 24 and importers are showing stock up until June… I think we might import until the new season,” one South Africa-based market source said.

Chinese trader Cofco is thought to be moving the cargo, but with Brazil at the tail end of its export season, further supply is likely to come from Argentina, according to the source. South Africa is typically an exporter of corn and started the new marketing year – which runs May through April – sitting on good stocks and anticipating a healthy harvest that initially drove a strong export outlook. Data from the South Africa Grain Information Service shows exports of yellow corn surging to 1.3 million mt by early October, approximately half way through the marketing year and some 400,000 mt ahead of the same stage of 2017/18. However, the country’s large supply of white food corn weighed on domestic prices and pushed them below yellow feed corn prices, driving most of the domestic feed sector to switch to cheaper white corn, according to the source. With the healthy pace of yellow corn exports and increased demand for white corn, the onset of dry weather as farmers approached the optimal planting window sparked worries that the country’s stocks would not be able to cope. That drove prices higher at a time when international prices were under pressure and framed an environment in which the country switched from export to import.

“The biggest white corn planting areas are having trouble planting because of the drought, so I think the market is trying to protect the stock we have remaining, and there is not much yellow corn left… thus the reason for imports,” the source said.

Exports dry up

From May-October 2018, the country sold 645,000 mt to Vietnam, 210,000 mt to South Korea, 106,000 mt to Taiwan and 100,000 mt to Italy, according to the SAGIS data. Since then, the export pace has slowed dramatically with just one 58,000 mt cargo sailing to Vietnam in early December and exports averaging 4,500 mt per week. The most recent data, released Thursday, shows just 1,804 mt left South Africa in the week ending January 4, sending the export pace below the equivalent week for 2017/18.

Jan 11 - After Monsanto patent ruling, Indian farmers hope for next-gen GM seeds

A court ruling in India this week that upheld a Monsanto patent on genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds has raised hopes among farmers that the company would now launch its next-generation seeds, the application for which it pulled two years ago. India approved Monsanto's GM cotton seed trait in 2002 and an upgraded variety in 2006, helping transform the country into the world's top producer and second-largest exporter of the fibre.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 11 - Trade estimates stand in for missing USDA data on Friday - Braun

Friday was meant to be a hectic day for grain analysts, who would have been juggling at least four major reports from the U.S. government, the largest single-day data dump of the year. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was forced to suspend indefinitely these reports amid the partial government shutdown, which entered its 20th day on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 11 - Brazil 2018/19 soybean crop forecast cut by 5.2 mln T - Agroconsult

Brazilian agricultural consultancy Agroconsult slashed its forecast for Brazil's 2018/2019 soybean crop by 5.2 million tonnes on Thursday, citing a dry spell that has hurt soy fields. During a press conference ahead of a crop tour that starts next week, André Pessoa, a partner at Agroconsult, said Brazilian soy farmers are now expected to produce 117.6 million tonnes of the oilseeds this season, down from 122.8 million in a prior forecast. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 10 - Russia returns to dominate first GASC wheat tender of 2019 (AgriCensus)

GASC, Egypt’s state grain buyer, returned to the market and picked up 415,000 mt of Russian-origin wheat for delivery February 20-28 and March 1-10, market sources said Wednesday. Russian sellers announced their return to work after the new year break, dominating the tender with a total of seven cargoes sold to GASC as US and French offers were priced out. On a destination basis, prices were only slightly higher than at GASC's last outing, with an average sale price of $264.91/mt CFR for both delivery windows.

At its previous tender on December 20, GASC bought 120,000 mt of Ukrainian and Romanian wheat at an average $263.90/mt CFR Egypt. The average origin price was $249.56/mt FOB Russia.

The tender came at a time when several other state buyers are on the hunt for wheat, with Wednesday’s deal part of a growing bank of evidence that a long-expected return of buyers is starting to materialise.

Jan 10 - Is China really on the brink of ramping up U.S. ag purchases? -Braun

U.S. officials said on Wednesday that China has pledged to purchase “a substantial amount” of U.S. agriculture, energy, and other manufactured products, just one day after Beijing gave five genetically modified crops (GM) the green light for import. Many market participants see China's new GM approvals, which include both corn and soybeans, as one more step toward finally ramping up purchases of U.S. grains and oilseeds.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 10 - French wheat export outlook trimmed as competition seen continuing

France's farming agency on Wednesday trimmed its forecast for wheat exports outside the EU this season, cautioning that competition would continue to be tough in key North and West African markets. Traders and analysts have seen scope for France, the European Union's largest wheat producer, to accelerate its overseas sales in the second half of the July-June marketing season as supply tightens in top exporter Russia. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 10 - Trump nominates acting EPA head, an ex-coal lobbyist, to run agency

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler to run the agency permanently, the White House said, placing a former energy lobbyist at the helm of the nation's top environmental regulator. The widely anticipated nomination provides Trump another avid supporter of his deregulatory and pro-fossil fuels agenda, but without the constant criticism over alleged mismanagement that plagued Wheeler's predecessor, Scott Pruitt. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 09 - EPA says it is committed to rule for higher ethanol blend by summer driving season

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday it would complete a rule to boost sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline by the summer driving season, despite a partial government shutdown. The statement from the environmental regulator came after the agency warned at least two lawmakers that the shutdown had delayed its timeline for initially rolling out the rule, according to two sources briefed on the matter. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 09 - Monsanto patent victory seen as a boost for biotech investment in India

India's Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Monsanto can claim patents on its genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds, a victory for the U.S. company that is expected to encourage biotechnology firms to step up investment in the country. The decision on appeal overturns an earlier ruling by the Delhi High Court that Monsanto - the world's biggest seed maker, which has been bought by Germany's Bayer AG - could not claim patents on GM cotton seeds. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 09 - Commodity markets back Beijing's stimulus, await trade talks: Russell 

Commodity markets appear to have delivered their verdict on China's plans to stimulate its economy, betting that Beijing's boost to infrastructure spending will work. China's central bank cut the amount of cash that banks have to hold as reserves for a fifth time in a year on Jan. 4, a move that will free up as much as $116 billion in new credit.  The looser monetary policy announcement came two days after the national rail operator said it planned 6,800 km (4,225 miles) of new track this year, a 40 percent lift on what was laid last year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 09 - Olam, one of Asia’s top trading houses, is exiting sugar trading at a time when the industry is facing lower margins. It follows Bunge, another top agri trading house, which got out of sugar trading last year.

Jan 09 - Ukraine's corn export fate hinges on critical first quarter demand

The first three months of 2019 may be the key period in determining how much of Ukraine’s giant new corn crop ends up in bins, and how much floods onto the export market, market sources have told Agricensus. At close to 35 million mt, Ukraine’s 2018/19 corn crop is the biggest in its history, with the USDA expecting the country to export as much as 28 million mt across the marketing year. But logistics, weather and competition – both from other origins and other feeds – mean that the country must make the most of the January through March period, when international competition is at its most restrained.

“During January through March Ukraine has only one competitor, the US, so for a wide range of positions they are fairly well positioned. I guess they could easily do another 10 million mt with the help of China and Iran deals,” one market source said.

Through the early part of the marketing year, Ukraine has already exported 9 million mt, according to government data, a record level that came despite concerns over the capacity of the country’s rail logistics to cope with the exodus. However, Ukraine was consistently amongst the cheapest origins globally for large parts of the final quarter of 2018, with US export competitiveness derailed by stronger soybeans as Chinese buying pushed up barge and rail freight rates.

“These couple of months are a good chance to sell as much as possible,” a second source agreed, as April will herald the return of Latin America supply, and particularly Argentina.

From then on, however, potential competition mounts and – if it can clear out 10 million mt – the country still needs to export around 10-12 million mt from April through to September before the new crop comes in.

“2.5 million mt per month should be feasible for April through to June, which leaves a maximum of 2.5 million for the July through September months,” the first source said – noting that the period is not Ukraine’s favoured exporting period.

But the demand, price and logistics will have to dovetail virtually flawlessly if a build in carryover stocks is to be avoided.

“So far, we do not have (demand from) Egypt and Iran… I doubt we can export all that, so we are going to have a bigger carryover,” the second source said.

Surefire buyers?

Through the early months of 2018, Ukraine’s biggest export customers were Egypt, China, the EU and Iran – its staple buyers – with Ukraine able to export 8.5 million mt between January and April. But there are concerns over the buy side – China has been flirting with the US over restored trade links, with rumours that the Asian superpower could pick up US corn volumes as leverage in restoring tariff-free trade with its biggest trading partner. Secondly, some Ukraine market sources have expressed wariness at selling into Iran in the light of beefed up US sanctions against the country, with business like to be complicated by new financial sanctions. Finally, traditional Ukrainian destination markets – such as Egypt – have seen the US dominate in recent months, with the US also nursing a large corn crop and looking to maintain its blistering start to its 2018/19 export campaign. Which leaves the EU – a market that has soaked up huge volumes of Ukrainian corn as the bloc recovers from a drought that slashed its own domestic corn production. However, the bloc is also courting US approval, trumpeting its recent soybean imports as evidence of its goodwill, while countries like Spain have stepped up US corn imports in recent months despite the heavy presence of GMO in US corn.

Jan 08 - China hands out long-awaited GM crop approvals amid U.S. trade talks

China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import on Tuesday, the first in about 18 months, a move that could boost future imports and ease pressure from the United States to open its markets to more farm goods. The United States is the world's biggest producer of GM crops while China is the top importer of GM soybeans and canola. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 08 - Commodity markets back Beijing's stimulus, await trade talks: Russell

Commodity markets appear to have delivered their verdict on China's plans to stimulate its economy, betting that Beijing's boost to infrastructure spending will work. China's central bank cut the amount of cash that banks have to hold as reserves for a fifth time in a year on Jan. 4, a move that will free up as much as $116 billion in new credit. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 08 - As trade talks kick-off, Sinograin, Cofco buy more US soybeans (AgriCensus)

After much speculation, Chinese state-owned entities returned to the market on Monday to buy US soybeans, purchasing up to 25 cargoes (900,000 mt), according to several market sources. Just hours after trade talks between US and Chinese delegates kicked off in Beijing, several sources reported between 20-25 cargoes were bought by state-owned stockpiler Sinograin and Chinese agribusiness Cofco International. The panamax-sized vessels were bought for loading January and February out of the US Gulf and some vessels loading February and March were heard loading out of the Pacific Northwest.

“The price is estimated at 148 cents per bushel FOB US Gulf over March futures,” said one trader, equating to $394/mt.

A second source said the price for US Gulf was “150 cents per bushel” with PNW cargoes 10 cents per bushel ($3.70/mt) cheaper. While a third source said the price paid for beans off the Pacific Northwest for February and March loading was 142 cents per bushel over March futures ($392/mt). Cofco and Sinograin were unavailable for comment.

If true this would be the third round of buying in the past month, with estimates that between 4 and 5 million mt have now been purchased. In July, China slapped an additional 25% import tax on US soybeans in a retaliation for US taxing some of the nation’s technology exports – effectively blocking US suppliers from the world's number one buyer of soybeans. But after talks between President Xi and President Trump last month at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, President Xi pledged to buy more US agricultural goods while negotiations to find a resolution to the trade spat were ongoing. Chinese state-owned buyers had been rumoured to be in the market last week, but with a government shutdown in the US preventing the release of export data, the market will have to wait for exact details.

Jan 07 - Guatemalan farms shift to palm oil, fueling family migration

In the poor, hot region of Guatemala that was home to a seven-year-old migrant girl before she died in U.S. border custody last month, palm oil cultivation is taking over from subsistence farming, adding to pressure on people to leave. Many villagers around the municipality of Raxruha have sold land to palm oil producers, residents and local officials say, helping to make Guatemala one of the world's biggest exporters of the versatile product in the space of just a few years. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 07 - Brazil soybean farmers brace for more crop losses - Aprosoja

Brazilian soy farmers face the prospect of more crop failures, a grain growers group said on Friday, as a leading agribusiness consultancy revised its forecast for the country's crop this year due to a drought that is hurting fields. In states such as Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul losses are known while in other regions they have not yet been accurately measured, said Bartolomeu Braz, the head of grain growers group Aprosoja Brasil. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 07 - U.S. delays key agriculture reports due to government shutdown

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) delayed several major domestic and world crop reports because of the two-week-old partial government shutdown, the agency said on Friday. New release dates for the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report and other data originally scheduled for Friday, Jan. 11, will be set once government funding is restored, USDA said. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 07 - China to launch rubber, cotton and corn options on Jan 28

China will launch options for rubber, cotton and corn on Jan. 28, the country's securities regulator said at a press briefing on Friday, adding to the tools available to hedge on price risks in the world's largest agriculture market. The regulator approved the launch of corn and cotton options in June last year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - USDA says it will not publish WASDE, other key data next week

The USDA says it will not publish a slew of key economic data next week due to a “lapse in federal funding” and the “lead time required for the analysis and compilation” of the reports. The USDA was scheduled to publish its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for January on Friday – a key report that produces what would likely be the final numbers for this year’s US soybean and corn production and exports amid a trade war with China. Alongside the WASDE, the USDA will not publish crop production reports or stock reports, the USDA said in a press release.

“Those reports will not be released on January 11, 2019 as originally scheduled even if funding is restored before that date. The date of … [the] releases will be determined and made public once funding has been restored,” the USDA said.

The WASDE report often has a key bearing on futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade as it is the official US forecast of global crop production and trade. The US has entered its 14th day of government shutdown amid a dispute over whether to fund a key election pledge by President Trump to build a wall along the US and Mexico border. The Democratic Party, which now controls the House of Representatives, is against the plan while the Republican Party, which controls the Senate, is in support of the policy.

The USDA is one of several government departments hit by the shutdown.

Jan 04 - China warns pig trade against African swine fever cover-ups as Taiwan concerns grow

China has warned the country's pork industry that covering up cases of African swine fever is a crime, days after a dead pig was found on a Taiwanese beach prompting Taipei to claim Beijing was not sharing accurate information on the disease. China's animal husbandry and veterinary affairs bureau is stepping up investigation and punishment of illegal activity in the pig industry, said a statement published on the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs website on Friday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - Cargill net drops 20 pct, revenues fall as trade fight bites

Grains trader Cargill Inc on Thursday reported a 20 percent drop in its fiscal second-quarter 2019 net earnings, as global trade tensions hit the bottom line along with challenges in the Chinese hog sector and a struggling U.S. dairy business. Three of the company's four business units reported results that were below the same period a year earlier. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - As loans and aid dry up, U.S. farmers face fresh challenge from shutdown

U.S. farmers, already battered by the U.S.-China trade war, are facing increasing anxiety as the partial government shutdown nears the two-week mark, leaving crucial aid and loan payments in limbo. The shutdown has blocked assistance for many farmers, who at this time of year apply for federal loans as they pay bills due from the previous year and begin budgeting for next season's planting. It is also affecting aid payments promised to allay the effects of the trade war. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 04 - EU reinforces position as grain importer as maize keeps coming

The European Union reinforced its newly acquired position as a net cereal importer at the end of December as a record pace of maize imports continued to outstrip faltering wheat and barley exports, official data showed on Thursday. As of Dec. 30, the 28-country EU had imported 14.8 million tonnes of cereals since the start of the 2018/19 season in July, compared with cereal exports of 13.6 million tonnes, the data from the European Commission showed. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 03 - Fear sends equity and commodity prices tumbling in 2018: Kemp

Fear became the dominant sentiment in 2018, especially in the second half of the year, as growing pessimism about the future gripped policymakers, business leaders, investors and journalists. Those best able to articulate, amplify and exploit concerns about the economy, migration, security and the impact of technology proved the most influential. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 03 - China strengthens slaughter regulations to combat African swine fever

China's agriculture ministry said on Wednesday that slaughterhouses will need to run African swine fever virus tests for pig products before selling them to the market, in a move to control spread of the highly contagious disease. Slaughterhouses must slaughter the pigs from different origins separately, and can only sell the products if blood from the same batch of pigs is tested negative for African swine fever virus, according to a new regulation published on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 03 - Funds view CBOT grains, oilseeds much more favorably than year ago - Braun

Speculators rang in 2019 with a much less pessimistic take on Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds than a year earlier, though trade tensions and the lapse in U.S. government data are providing the market with plenty of uncertainty. As of Wednesday, trade sources suggest that commodity funds held a very slight combined net long position of 688 futures and options contracts across CBOT corn, wheat, soybeans and soy products, anchored by optimistic corn bets.  Click here to read full stories.

Jan 03 - Brazil farmers receive windfall amid global trade tensions - 2018 data

Brazil's farmers experienced an export-led bonanza in 2018, with soybean sales reaching a record amid global trade jitters and rising coffee exports driven by strong demand from buyers like the United States and Germany. Soybean growers in Brazil, already the world's largest exporter of the oilseeds, sold some 83.8 million tonnes of that grain last year in global markets, up 23.1 percent from 2017, according to foreign commerce data for 2018 released by Brazil's government on Wednesday. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 02 - Palm opens higher on India import tax cut, but gains seen limited

Malaysian benchmark crude palm oil futures opened firmer on the first day of trading for 2019 on Wednesday, supported by a cut in Indian import taxes, but traders expected gains to be short-lived due to high inventory levels. India, the world's largest importer of edible oils, said late on Monday it would lower the duty on crude palm oil imports to 40 percent from 44 percent, while a tax on refined oils was cut to 50 percent from 54 percent.

Dec 28 - Chinese soybean prompt offers chase bids lower (AgriCensus)

Offers for soybean cargoes loading in January for delivery on a CFR China basis have fallen 3.4% in the past week amid poor crush margins that have kept buying to a minimum. According to Agricensus data, offers for cargoes loading out of the Brazilian port of Santos have fallen on a flat price basis of $388/mt on a CFR basis to just $375/mt on Friday. Meanwhile, offers for soybeans loading in March have fallen just 2.3% over the same period, with the main drive behind that decline being a fall in soybean futures.

"The first new crop cargoes are being loaded and people are keen to sell," said one trader.

The lower offers come as Chinese crushers prepare to wind down buying for January ahead of the Chinese New Year in February. And with current margins in the red due to low soymeal demand, there is little incentive to buy, sources said. According to Agricensus crush rates based on soymeal and soyoil futures on the Dalian exchange and imported soybeans from Brazil, crush margins remain negative by at least $7/mt for the first quarter.

Dec 27 - Severe rains could hit more than half of wheat acreage in Buenos Aires province (BCR)

A total of 1.5 million hectares of wheat in Argentina’s Buenos Aires province are threatened by three days of severe rains, according to a study by the Rosario Board of Trade (BCR). The study said that these severe rains, which are forecasted to start on December 27 will affect parts of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, La Pampa, Entre Rios and Cordoba provinces. The study said that a total of 90% of the planted area in the north of Buenos Aires has been already harvested. However, only 25% of wheat planted area in the province’s centre-west region has been harvested, according to the study. Wheat harvest in Buenos Aires’s central region has just started.

According to BCR, a total of 2.59 million hectares in Buenos Aires have been planted with wheat during the 2018/19 crop cycle. Argentina is expected to produce approximately 18.7 million mt of wheat during the 2018/19 crop, according to data from the Rosario Board of Trade (BCR).

Of that figure, some 14 million mt is expected to be exported during the 2018/19 season, with nearly 6 million mt already booked by exporters, according to government data.

Dec 21 - Russian grain industry meeting dampens export limit speculation (Agricensus)

A closely-watched meeting between the Russian agriculture ministry and grain exporters on Friday has given no sign of impending government moves to limit exports, dampening speculation that supply from the world’s biggest wheat exporter could be constrained in 2019.

“We … asked the regions for current balances, and, based on the updated figures, the Ministry of Agriculture raised the outlook for grain exports in the current agricultural year to 42 million mt,” Oksana Lut, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said in a statement seen by Agricensus.

Russia has exported 22.6 million mt of wheat since the start of the 2018/19 marketing year on July 1, up 12% from the same stage last year, according to ministry data. Total grain exports were said to be 4% higher year-on-year at 26.8 million mt, which – at the current export pace and with consistent proportions – would allow for weekly wheat exports in the region of 450,000 mt to the end of the marketing year in June. Average weekly wheat exports so far have been closer to 870,000 mt. However, sales rates are expected to slow in the second half of the year, with the grain export pace expected to halve in the second half of the 2018/19 marketing year.

“The Russian market will have enough grain and sufficient carryover stocks to maintain stable prices,” the ministry said in a statement.

“A grain shortage in the country due to high export rates can be ruled out and all the needs of the domestic market will be met,” Nikolay Demyanov, deputy general director of trader Glencore Agriculture, was quoted as saying in the government’s statement.

Watching

The pace of wheat sales is being closely monitored by officials, as a smaller crop this year and a blistering start to the export campaign threatened to push prices in the domestic market higher. Regular meetings between exporters and the government were scheduled for the first time in August, and some have speculated that Russia’s health watchdog has tightened its checks since in order to slow exports from some ports. A follow up meeting between the ministry and exporters has been scheduled for February 2019.

Dec 21 - China poised to buy more U.S. soybeans - sources 

China plans to make a third round of U.S. soybean purchases within days, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, after a trade war truce between Washington and Beijing this month triggered two waves of buying. China bought U.S. soybeans for the first time in six months after U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met on Dec. 1 and set a 90-day negotiating window to resolve their trade differences. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 21 - China trade war rattles investors in new U.S. soy processing plants 

The U.S.-China trade war is spooking potential investors in soybean crushing plants planned for Wisconsin and New York state, developers said, casting doubt on the future of a sector that had been a rare bright spot in the U.S. farm economy. Crushers in the United States have been posting near-record profits by snapping up cheap and plentiful soybeans no longer purchased by China and making soymeal and soyoil for export to Europe and Southeast Asia.  Click here to read full stories.

Dec 21 - Russia misses out in Egyptian wheat tender as prices keep rising 

Egypt on Thursday bought no Russian wheat in an import tender for the first time in six months, in a sign of rising prices in Russia after a blistering start to its export season. Egypt's the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said it bought 120,000 tonnes of wheat in its latest tender, including 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 21 - China begins anti-subsidy probe on Australian barley 

China's commerce ministry on Friday launched an anti-subsidy probe into Australian barley imports, ramping up pressure on suppliers and increasing uncertainty in the market after an anti-dumping probe announced last month. The added trade measure came as relations between China and Australia remained tense over questions of influence in Pacific island nations, and followed renewed rapport between Beijing and Washington that led to a trade truce. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 20 - Brazil soybean premiums rise on improving currency, good demand (AgriCensus)

Cash premiums for cargoes in Brazil’s soybean market ticked higher on Thursday, as the real firmed against the dollar and good demand was seen from Mexico and Bangladesh due to higher premiums in the US. The Brazilian real versus the dollar firmed 1.8% on Thursday, which typically sees sellers command higher premiums in dollar terms, while good demand for cargoes loading March through June was reported. Premiums for cargoes loading in the summer months on an FOB Paranagua basis were 3-5 cents higher on the day, with March bid at 42 cents per bushel over March futures and April bid at 37 cents over may futures.

“The rest of the world is coming to Brazil since China decided to overpay for US beans for political reasons,” said one market source amid estimates that between 500,000-700,000 mt had been bought in the past few days

“I heard yesterday there were some sales to Bangladesh for February through April loading,” a second market source confirmed, adding that he had heard some sales to Mexico.

Typically, Mexico is a big importer of US soybeans, importing 90% of its needs with 80% of that coming from across its northern border from the US. However, US cash prices have spiked over the past few days on Chinese state-sponsored buying. And with a big crop coming in Brazil, Brazilian-origin beans are cheaper to source than the US.

Dec 20 - Trump takes the 2019 outlook for commodities hostage: Russell 

Forecasting the year-ahead outlook for commodities, while popular among analysts, is a bit of a mug's game at the best of times, but the view for 2019 is made even more complicated by one volatile factor: Donald Trump. While there are other drivers of commodity prices next year, the mercurial U.S. president looms large over the sector, and the actions of his administration will either amplify or partially nullify the established trends. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 20 - Exxon Mobil secured U.S. hardship waiver from biofuels laws -sources 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted oil major Exxon Mobil Corp a financial hardship waiver this year temporarily freeing its Montana refinery from U.S. biofuel laws, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Exxon, which reported earnings of almost $20 billion in 2017, became the largest known company to be awarded a such a waiver by the Trump administration's EPA under a program meant to protect the smallest fuel facilities from going bust. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 20 - China's Sinograin confirms U.S. soybean purchases 

China's Sinograin said it had recently bought a few batches of soybeans from the United States, amid a truce in a trade war between the two nations. The state stockpiler made the purchases "to implement the consensus achieved by China and the United States' heads of state", it said in a statement dated Dec. 19 that was published on its website. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 20 - US soybean offers retrace after Chinese buying spree (AgriCensus)

Offers of soybeans out of the US Gulf moved higher late Tuesday after Chinese state-owned companies initiated a second-round of politically-motivated stockpiling. Offers for US Gulf and Pacific Northwest cargoes on an FOB basis have moved 7-25 cents per bushel ($2.5-$9/mt) higher since Friday after Chinese state-owned buyers were rumoured to have purchased 20-25 cargoes this week – 1.2-1.5 million mt. According to market sources, FOB offers for January loading were now 42 cents per bushel over January futures from the US Gulf, up around 7 cents per bushel on Friday’s levels. And offers out of the Pacific Northwest were at 80 cents per bushel for February loading, up 25 cents over the same timeframe. The bulk of Chinese purchases last week were said to be for the Pacific Northwest, but with January beans sold out from that location, the majority of Tuesday’s purchases were said to be from the US Gulf.

“PNW has been cleaned out,” said one US source.

Futures demand?

Chinese buyers typically agree to buy cargoes of soybeans at a price differential to futures, which is meant to reflect logistics costs of loading at ports versus delivering at Chicago warehouses, as well as supply and demand factors at locations. In order to “lock in” the flat price and protect from upside risk, buyers will typically then buy the futures contract on CBOT – hence Chinese buying of soybeans should lead to higher futures prices. However, since China started buying US soybeans in the cash market on Thursday, futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade have actually fallen from a high of $9.28/bu on Wednesday to current levels of $9.08/bu. That has led to speculation that either the futures have not been hedged yet by China, leading to pent up demand, or that they were hedged earlier last week before the cash price was agreed.

“The market is telling you that they already bought the futures,” said Charlie Sernatinger, a futures broker with ED&F Man.

And with uncertainty over exactly how much the Chinese have bought, it is unclear whether there will be any more hedging to be done on the Board by China for US material.

How much?

As part of the ongoing trade war, in July China’s government slapped a 25% import tax on US beans, effectively bringing a halt to the $12-billion annual trade in US soybeans to China. However, following a truce between China and the US at the G20 talks earlier this month, Chinese state-owned entities Cofco and Sinograin have reportedly agreed to buy 5 million mt of soybeans as the world’s two biggest economies seek to broker a new trade deal. Last week, the two companies were said to have bought up to 40 cargoes (2.4 million mt), although the true figure should emerge on Thursday when the US publishes its net export sales data for the week. And rumours of exactly how much was bought on Tuesday vary from 14-43 cargoes - equivalent to 840,000 mt to 2.6 million mt. That means if the highest end of those estimates proves true, Chinese state-owned buyers may have already finished buying US beans and hedging them on the exchange. Rumours in China persist that the government may suspend the import tax for a limited number of purchases by private crushers.

However, according to observers, that alone may not see a return to buying as the prospect of a big and early harvest means Brazil-origin is cheaper from February onwards once freight and quality differentials are taken into account.

Dec 19 - China embarks on second round of soy buying post Trump-Xi truce 

Chinese importers returned to the U.S. soy market on Tuesday for their second round of purchases since the two countries agreed to a truce in their trade war, four traders with knowledge of the deals and the U.S. Soybean Export Council said. The purchases are the latest evidence that China is making good on pledges to buy U.S. agricultural goods as part of the 90-day trade detente agreed to by U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 19 - Smaller soy exporters on the rise amid global demand boom -Braun 

When it comes to soybean exports, Brazil and the United States lead the discussion, as an average of 84 percent of the world’s soy shipments have originated in one of the two countries over the past 50 years. But global soybean exports have doubled within the last decade based on rapid demand growth worldwide, and this has made room for other countries to build up export markets of their own. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 19 - Australia's GrainCorp says needs more information on $1.8 bln takeover proposal 

Australia's GrainCorp Ltd still does not have enough information about a A$2.38-billion ($1.76-billion) takeover offer from a little-known asset manager to recommend the deal to shareholders, the nation's largest listed bulk grains handler said. The company wants information including the identities of the financial backers behind the all-cash proposal made on Dec. 3 by asset manager Long-Term Asset Partners (LTAP), which offered a near-43 percent premium to the stock's previous closing price. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 19 - Heavy rains in Argentina could be good news for soy-hungry China

Rainstorms are sweeping Argentina's soy belt, building soil moisture needed to guarantee good yields when crops blossom in February and providing some cushion for China to buy should its trade war with the United States continue to limit U.S. supplies. Bolstered by strong showers in key parts of the Pampas farm region, which meteorologists expect to continue over the week ahead, Argentina's harvest should reach 55.5 million tonnes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 19 - China's swine fever outbreak may benefit Brazil, U.S. exporters - JBS exec 

An outbreak of a deadly virus threatening pork production in China may be a boon to Brazilian and U.S. exporters, meat processor JBS SA's chief executive said in a live webcast on Tuesday. Gilberto Tomazoni said the swine fever outbreak could change the overall landscape for protein trade, affecting not only pork markets but potentially other meat types like poultry and beef. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 18 - China buys five US soybean cargoes, up to 14 talked: sources (AgriCensus)

Chinese state-owned industries returned to buy US beans on Tuesday, with at least five cargoes being snapped up off both the Pacific Northwest ports and in the US Gulf, market sources said, with some estimates as high as 14 cargoes have been bought. At least three cargoes were purchased out of Oregon with a further two bought from the US Gulf, according to sources, who refused to confirm the price paid. The shipments are thought to be for the first quarter of next year.

"I heard 14, mostly [from the] US Gulf," said one source at a trading house.

"[They are] still bidding," said a second source at a brokerage.

Last week, Chinese state-owned companies Sinograin and Cofco purchased at least 1.43 million mt of soybeans after a five-month boycott of beans, although market estimates suggest that the true figure is a lot higher. In July, China slapped a 25% tax on US soybean imports as part of a tit-for-tat trade war between world's two biggest economies, effectively bringing a halt to trade between the two nations. However, earlier this month China promised to buy US agricultural products in a bid to ease tensions between the two countries.

Soybean exports are worth $12 billion a year to the US economy.

Dec 18 - U.S. ethanol producers seek pricing reform as markets plunge, ADM sells 

U.S. ethanol producers stung by collapsing prices are seeking changes to the way benchmark values for the biofuel are established, arguing the current system used by exchanges is vulnerable to manipulation, according to sources. The push comes as the key farm belt industry struggles with weak demand growth, a loss of export markets due to the U.S. trade war with China, and aggressive selling by global commodities giant Archer Daniels Midland Co that have pushed ethanol prices to 13-year lows. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 18 - EU becomes net grain importer for first time in more than 10 years 

The European Union has become a net importer of grain for the first time in more than a decade following a drought-affected wheat harvest, strong competition in exports from Russia and a record pace of maize imports. As of Dec. 16, the EU has imported 13.15 million tonnes of grain so far in the 2018/19 season, compared with exports of 12.64 million tonnes, European Commission data showed on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 18 - NOPA November soy crush falls to 166.959 mln bushels after prior-month record 

The U.S. soybean processing pace slowed in November following a record-large crush the previous month, while soyoil stocks declined for a seventh straight month, the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said on Monday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 166.959 million bushels of soybeans last month, the group said. That was down from the record 172.346 million bushels processed in October but above the 163.546 million bushels crushed in November 2017. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 18 - Trump approves second round of trade aid payments for U.S. farmers 

President Donald Trump on Monday said he authorized a second round of payments from an aid package of up to $12 billion designed to help farmers stung by the U.S. trade war with China, billing it as a promise kept to a key constituency. "Today I am making good on my promise to defend our Farmers & Ranchers from unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations," Trump said in a Twitter post. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 17 - Funds pile into CBOT corn but remain wary on soybeans - Braun 

Speculators' have become less pessimistic about prospects for Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds after the recent easing of U.S.-China trade tensions, especially when it comes to corn. Sentiment about U.S. agriculture generally has improved ever since U.S. and Chinese leaders agreed on Dec. 1 to work toward a trade deal by March 1, with the U.S. side saying Beijing agreed to start purchasing U.S. agricultural products immediately.

Dec 17 - China pork prices may rise in 2019 due to swine fever - official 

China's pork prices are likely to climb in 2019 due to tight supply caused by the further spread of African swine fever, an official at the National Development and Reform Commission said in remarks published on Sunday. "If the outbreak of African swine fever can't be effectively controlled or even further spreads after the Chinese New Year, pork will be in short supply as farmers won’t be willing to replenish their herds," Lu Yanchun, head of the prices monitoring centre at the state planner, was quoted as saying by Chinese financial publication Caixin.

Dec 17 - Real impact of swine fever to be felt in China next year (AgriSensus)

Pork prices in China could see a spike in 2019 due to a potential pig supply shortage caused by the ongoing African Swine Fever (ASF) incident in the country, according to government and market sources. A government official from the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said at an industry event in China on Saturday that, unless controlled quickly, the spread of the fatal disease could have a long-term impact on meat prices. A shortage of pig supply may occur “if the disease cannot be effectively controlled or [if it] spreads even further, causing farmers’ willingness to replenish stock to be weak,” the chief from the price-monitoring centre at NDRC told Chinese private newswire Caixin.

Two new ASF outbreaks were found in both western and north-eastern parts of China on Sunday, taking the total number of outbreaks this year to 92. However, the impact of more than 600,000 dead pigs has been deemed minimal for China’s pig supply in the short-term, but will have a bigger impact next year.

“The culling of pigs has little direct impact on pig stocks as China produces more than 700 million a year and culls 2 million pigs on average per day,” a China-based analyst from an international crusher told AgriCensus.

“It mainly effects stock replenishment. The replenishment declines 10% if there is no margin. The long-term effect is bigger,” he added.

China’s soybean crushers have been closely watching the potential impact of ASF on pig supply as soymeal – the main product from crushed soybean – is a main source of protein in pig feed.

“The impact on soymeal demand will firstly depend on pig stock level and secondly rely on the margin [for pig farmers],” the same analyst said.

China's government says it will import 84 million mt of soybeans in the 12 months starting October, down about 10% on a year earlier and the first time that China has seen a substantial reduction in imports since records began.

Dec 16 - Ivory Coast cocoa arrivals seen at 836,000 T by Dec. 16 - exporters

Cocoa arrivals at ports in top grower Ivory Coast totalled 836,000 tonnes between Oct. 1 and Dec. 16, exporters estimated on Monday, up about 26 percent from 662,000 tonnes in the same period last season. About 32,000 tonnes of beans were delivered to Abidjan port and 38,000 tonnes to San Pedro between Dec. 10 and Dec. 16 for a total of 70,000 tonnes, down from 78,000 tonnes during the same week last season. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 15 - Wheat market eyeing Argentina, Russia for next moves (AgriCensus)

Two issues have resonated with the wheat market more than any other this week, with wet weather in Argentina and renewed rumours of a Russian export ban combining to catch a market that was heading into holiday mode off guard.

Rain

Heavy rains started in Argentina’s northern wheat growing region on Tuesday, temporary halting harvest progress and registering as a blip on traders’ radars. As those rains continued to fall, however, interest turned to alarm with some starting to question the quality and condition of the unharvested crop. That wet weather has combined with recent frosts and has left local analysts trimming their output forecasts this week by around 200,000 mt to about 18.7-19 million mt. That has meant cash prices have spiked at a time when they should typically be on the slide, with Agricensus 12% protein marker up more than 5% this week to $228/mt FOB Up River on Thursday. It is a story that is not over, even as more than 100mm (four inches) has fallen in some parts of the country.

“With additional heavy rainfall expected in Santa Fe and Entre Rios through early next week, wetness and flooding will increase further,” meteorological consultants Radiant Solutions wrote in a client note Friday.

Rumours

At the same time as the rains, rumours re-emerged from Russia that the government could step in to limit the pace of exports to prevent domestic food price price inflation. A recurring theme in the wheat market this year, similar stories have precipitated spikes and crashes that have left some in the market scratching their heads, and this week’s movements were no different. The first clue was a tender from the Egyptian state buyer on Wednesday, with GASC paying almost $6/mt more than a week before as traders expect increasing scarcity into the new year as farmers hold onto their stock and wait for higher prices. That move then pushed export levels higher on the private market, with January cargoes trading $3-4/mt higher and adding to the market’s momentum. A local media story on Thursday then announced that the government will meet with exporters on December 21, which – when combined with increasing cash prices – left some believing something was happening behind the scenes.

“It’s a routine monthly meeting, but every time they come up everyone panics,” a broker told Agricensus.

Those attending the meeting also seemed unfazed by it when asked by Agricensus.

“It’s just an ordinary meeting, they will discuss the export pace and nothing more,” a Russian trader said.

Even though the trade has downplayed the risk of a Russian export ban, domestic prices are getting firmer as farmers become increasingly reluctant to sell, which is in turn translating into higher export prices. Agricensus’ 12.5% protein marker has increased almost 6% since the start of the month to $239/mt FOB Novorossiysk.

Paper

And while the board reacted to these unfolding events – rising almost 2% on the SRW and HRW – the most bullish bet of the day was seen in the Black Sea paper market where the December contract was bid up $4.25/mt to $238/mt. But with eight trading days left before the contract settles, Platts’ underlying assessment will have to increase more than $7/mt – and average at $245/mt every day – just for that position to break even.

“They’re going to struggle to make anything out of that, even if the Russian market goes crazy,” one broker told Agricensus.

Dec 14 - U.S. confirms China soybean purchase, but no clarity over more sales 

U.S. government officials on Thursday hailed China's first meager purchase of U.S. soybeans since its trade war with the United States began in July and said they hoped for, but could not guarantee, more to come. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced private sales of 1.13 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, a figure that farmers and grain traders said was not large enough on its own to lift slumping prices or absorb a huge surplus that has accumulated across the farm belt. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 14 - China says corn output falls 0.7 pct, soybeans up 4 pct in 2018

China produced 257.3 million tonnes of corn in 2018, a drop of only 0.66 percent on last year's crop, official data showed on Friday, despite efforts to encourage farmers to plant other grains and soybeans. The world's No. 2 producer of corn harvested 259 million tonnes in 2017, according to the recently revised National Bureau of Statistics data. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 14 - High stocks, low prices clog palm oil supply chain in Southeast Asia 

Palm oil suppliers across Southeast Asia are struggling to cope with record output, with plantations delaying harvest and mills stalling on deliveries as storage tanks overflow, multiple industry sources said. Inventories of the edible oil, used to make consumer goods like shampoo, ice cream and cosmetics, usually peak between the third and fourth quarters of the year as seasonal production peaks, but slower demand this year has accelerated stockpile growth and driven prices to multi-year lows. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 14 - Strategie Grains sees 2019 EU wheat crop rebound to four-year high 

European Union grain crops will jump in 2019 with soft wheat, the main crop cultivated in the bloc, hitting a four-year high due mainly to a sharp rise in projected yields after a severe drought this year, Strategie Grains said on Thursday. In its first estimate for next year's crop, the consultancy estimated the EU soft wheat harvest at 147 million tonnes, up 16 percent from a poor 127 million tonnes in 2018. The area sown was seen rising 6 percent while yields would gain 9 percent. Click here to read full stories. 

Dec 13 - Analysts, traders may trim Brazil crop expectations on dry weather (AgriCensus)

Analysts at brokerages and trading houses in Brazil are debating whether to pare back their expectations for this year’s soybean crop in key growing states due to prolonged dry weather, market sources told Agricensus Thursday. A lack of rain and baking hot temperatures of up to 35C were reached across areas of Mato Grosso do Sul and western Parana in the past 10 days – states that account for a quarter of total soybean production. And the prospect of a lack of rain and above normal temperatures over the next 10 days has led some analysts to shave their forecasts of production in Parana, which was expected to reach up to 20 million – around 16% of the 120.5 million mt production forecast.

“I'm worried with crops in Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul. In the western [part of the country] there is a cut [of] about 20% in the crop. Parana could produce 20 mmt, now we're estimating 18.5-19 million mt. We need rains in the next 7 days, else the cuts will get bigger,” said one analyst at a brokerage.

Last week influential Brazil-based consultants AgRural said that there were concerns over the crop in the region, but said it was still too early to calculate yield losses.

“What we see right now, both in Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul, is a loss of potential. But, if it rains in the second half of December, they won’t face big losses. On the other hand, if rains don’t come, a crop failure will be very possible,” Daniele Siqueira of AgRural told Agricensus.

On Tuesday the US revised upwards its forecast of Brazilian production this year to 122 million mt, making it one of the more optimistic forecasters, with others expecting a crop of around 120.5 million mt. Either way, it will be a record for Brazil, eclipsing last year’s crop of 119 million mt.

One trader said: “We're monitoring the situation in Parana, also south of Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraguay… if we have rains during the weekend and next week, there'll be some relief.”

Weather forecasters Radiant Solution said in a report Thursday that: “Above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall is expected to continue across Mato Grosso do Sul, Sao Paulo, and northern Parana for at least the next week, which will increase stress on the corn and soybean crops.

“However, showers should begin to increase in south central Brazil by the end of the 6-10 day period and may become widespread by the 11-15 day period.”

AgRural will publish its forecast of the crop on Friday.

Dec 13 - Don't be fooled by China's soybean buy; crude, LNG, coal are the big fish: Russell 

There is a risk that investors will get carried away with optimism over an easing of the U.S.-China trade dispute on the back of China resuming purchases of U.S. soybeans. This is especially the case given there is yet no sign of new imports of crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal, the energy commodities that will provide a far better signal of any detente in the trade spat. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 13 - China makes first big U.S. soybean purchase since Trump-Xi truce 

China on Wednesday made its first major purchases of U.S. soybeans since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping struck a trade war truce earlier this month, providing some relief to U.S. farmers who have struggled to find buyers for their record-large harvest. Trump told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday the Chinese were already buying a "tremendous amount" of U.S. soybeans and would also soon cut tariffs on U.S. autos. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 13 - China finally to the rescue of the U.S. soy market? Not yet -Braun 

China finally returned to the U.S. soybean market on Wednesday after a six-month hiatus, sending analysts into a frenzy of speculation on what it could mean for the future. But there are some important things to consider before celebrating the top consumer’s reappearance. Chinese state-owned companies bought at least 1.5 million tonnes of the U.S. oilseed on Wednesday, though there was talk that the country is seeking up to 3 million tonnes for now. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - China buys at least 30 cargoes of US soybeans: sources (AgriCensus)

Chinese state-owned buyers are rumoured to have bought up to 30 cargoes of US soybeans, according to three market sources, demonstrating a thaw in trade relations between the US and China. The cargoes were rumoured to have been bought by state-owned companies Sinograin and Cofco, with loading in January, February and March, with the majority off the Pacific Northwest ports.

“We hear about 2 million mt [has been bought],” said one market source, saying the rumoured price was 130 cents per bushel over March futures on a CFR China basis.

“CIF is rallying. Margins are widening. Seems some PNW beans trading,” said a second market source, identifying the sellers as Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Marubeni and “possibly CHS and ADM”.

“There is talk Sinograin and Cofco bought 30 cargoes of US beans overnight from Cargill, Dreyfus, and Marubeni for loading in January through March, mostly off the Pacific Northwest,” said a third source.

One source close to the transaction confirmed that there were more than a dozen that were contracted late Tuesday, early Wednesday, while two other sources in China and in the US said there were 30 from PNW and a further 10 from the US Gulf. There was also talk that a further 40 would be contracted this week, taking the total to just under 5 million mt. None of the companies themselves were willing to confirm any of the deals, but several sources in China said that cargoes loading in PNW were being offered at the same price of 130 cents per bushel over March futures on Tuesday and Wednesday. Each cargo is about 60,000 mt.

That price nets back to a 30 cent per bushel premium over futures on an FOB basis – around 5 cents higher than where it was offered on Tuesday. The purchases, if true, will show up next Thursday in net export sales figures published by the USDA, and will represent the first time since July that Chinese companies have purchased US soybeans.

Soybean futures have traded higher all day as the market speculated that buying had returned after President Trump told Reuters in an interview late Tuesday that China was buying soybeans in “tremendous amounts”.

Dec 12 - Trump says China 'back in the market' for U.S. soybeans 

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that China was buying a "tremendous amount" of U.S. soybeans and that trade talks with Beijing were already under way by telephone, with more meetings likely among U.S. and Chinese officials. Trump told Reuters in an interview that the Chinese government was "back in the market" to buy soybeans after a Dec. 1 truce in the U.S.-China trade war. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - White House delays new farm aid payments on China trade hopes - sources 

The White House is delaying additional payments from a $12 billion aid package for farmers stung by President Donald Trump's trade war with China because it expects Beijing to resume buying U.S. soybeans, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The move comes despite a lack of evidence in agricultural markets of any return by China to the U.S. soy market. China last year purchased about 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports, but it has not inked any new soybean deals since Beijing imposed tariffs on U.S. supplies in July. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - Soy market remains patient on U.S.-China trade, but clock is ticking -Braun 

Ever since China's pledge to "immediately" return to the U.S. agriculture space following talks between the two national leaders, market participants have adopted friendlier views toward Chicago-traded ag commodities, specifically soybeans. But 10 days have passed since that agreement and with no tangible progress, market optimism over the potential trade deal may be nearing its expiration date. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - USDA keeps domestic soy stocks view steady; raises world forecast 

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday left its estimate for domestic soybean supplies unchanged but boosted its outlook for world stocks amid rising expectations for the South American crop. U.S. soybean ending stocks for the 2018/19 marketing year were pegged at 955 million bushels, the government said in its monthly supply and demand report. USDA had boosted its soybean ending stocks view in its five previous monthly reports. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 12 - China-driven Brazil beef bonanza seen lasting - Abiec 

Brazilian exporters are poised to sell record volumes of beef for two consecutive years, driven by strong demand from China, Abiec, an association of more than 30 Brazilian meat-packing companies, said on Tuesday. Brazil will export an estimated 1.626 million tonnes of beef in 2018, the highest volume in history, Abiec said. Next year, the figure may be a new record of 1.8 million tonnes, Abiec President Antonio Camardelli said at a news conference. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 11 - Drought, currency & El Nino combine to panic South Africa’s corn market (AgriCensus)

South Africa’s domestic corn prices have spiked as fears mount over the impact of dry weather during the critical planting period and as the country’s currency depreciates on the international market, sources have told Agricensus Tuesday. The move is enough to again bring the country close to import parity and has seen limits applied to trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s corn futures contract.

“Things are not looking great on the weather this side, the market is in a bit of a panic,” one trading source said, as rains that were expected in the last few weeks have failed to materialise.

“It is still early days, but the optimistic outlook at the opening of the season has changed,” Wandile Sihlobo, head of agribusiness intelligence at South Africa’s agricultural business chamber, said in a note and the dryness hampering planting could shave 5% off the country’s corn crop.

Sihlobo currently expects the corn crop to come in at around 12.2 million mt, with the USDA forecasting production of 12 million mt.

El Nino

However, the anticipation of an El Nino weather pattern forming through the latter stages of 2018 and beginning of 2019, which typically brings less rainfall to South Africa, is also fostering fears for the coming key crop development stages.

"There are fears of an El Nino later in the 2019 summer season... this implies that the summer crop growing areas could experience more acute dryness from the end of February," Sihlobo said. 

Worries around planting progress – with some states already out of the optimal planting window – have also driven domestic fears, with the December and March corn futures contract seeing trading suspended as prices surged through the daily limit. According to JSE data, the March contract rose by ZAR100/mt ($5.60/mt) on both Friday and Monday, for the first time since early 2017, to reach ZAR2,776/mt ($193.29/mt) at Monday’s close with the December contract climbing even more sharply to ZAR2,789/mt ($194.19/mt).

On December 4, the March contract had ended at ZAR2,470/mt, and December at ZAR2,393/mt.

“We’re very close to booking yellow corn shipments for imports in March,” the trading source said, with Agricensus assessing Argentina FOB Up River corn prices at $171.75/mt, while sources put freight at around $30/mt.

“White maize prices are higher on the back of a lack of rain and of course the weakening rand,” an email from the JSE said, with the rand moving from around 13.691 to the US dollar on December 3, to reach 14.385 against the dollar by December 10.

The higher prices may encourage farmers to plant later into the season, however, as they try and capitalise on the increase and amid hopes that rains will come in the days ahead.

“If we only plant 65% at an average yield, we should have enough stock,” the source said, with the country already seeing a build in stocks as exports have slowed. 

“If prices stay at these levels, we could expect farmers planting deep into January, if they receive rain".

Dec 11 - Bunge CEO Schroder to step down amid investor pressure 

Bunge Ltd Chief Executive Officer Soren Schroder is stepping down after five years at the helm of the global agribusiness following months of pressure from shareholders to shake up the company amid a prolonged grain market slump. The management change is the latest event to rattle the two-century-old commodities trader after a stretch of particularly weak earnings results beginning last year that left the company vulnerable to takeover attempts by rivals Glencore Plc and ADM. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 11 - China set to triple its ethanol production capacity - govt researcher 

China is set to more than triple its ethanol production capacity by 2020, a government researcher said on Tuesday, with demand for the commodity expected to surge as the country shifts towards cleaner fuels. The nation is currently building or seeking approval for new ethanol plants with capacity to produce 6.6 million tonnes of the biofuel a year, Dou Kejun, a researcher at the China National Renewable Energy Centre, told an industry event in the country's south. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 11 - China's commodity import volume surge tells a different tale to slack value growth: Russell 

The prevailing market narrative after China's overall November trade data was that the world's second-biggest economy is softening and starting to show the strains of the trade dispute with the United States. After all, both imports and exports undershot forecasts for the month. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 11 - Louis Dreyfus, Olam big gainers in Brazil's soy export boom - data 

Louis Dreyfus Company and Olam International Ltd have reaped big rewards from a surge in Brazilian soybean exports in 2018 on the back of a U.S.-China trade war that sharply boosted shipments to the Asian nation. According to data from global maritime agency Williams Shipping compiled by Reuters on Monday, relative to the largest commodities traders operating in Brazil, Dreyfus and Olan had the highest percentage increases in soybean exports out of the South American nation in the January-November period, compared to a year earlier. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 11 - Funds pounce on CBOT corn, soy in wake of U.S.-China talks -Braun 

Signs of a trade truce between the United States and China last week unexpectedly spurred speculators’ third-largest buying week of the year in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds. In the week ended Dec. 4, hedge funds and other money managers purchased a total of 165,032 futures and option contracts of CBOT corn, wheat, soybeans and products, and Minneapolis-traded wheat. Only the weeks of Jan. 30 and March 6 featured heavier buying this year. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 10 - Brazil truckers strike against Supreme Court freight ruling  (Agricensus)

Independent truckers in two of Brazil’s most important states, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, went on strike on Monday in protest against a recent decision by the Supreme Court to suspend fines against companies that violate the new minimum freight rate regulations.

The strike, which so far has largely failed to spread to other states as the massive 11-day nationwide protest did in the second half of May, is not affecting the movement of goods at Santos, according to Codesp, the port authority.

“There’s no interruption to traffic. It’s a peaceful demonstration without any blockade of the highways,” the Codesp communications department said.

A few minor bottlenecks have been reported by highway police in some major corridors between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Last week, Supreme Court Justice Luiz Fux, who is in charge of reviewing some 60 appeals, temporarily suspended the ability of the highway regulator ANTT to impose fines on companies that do not adhere to the minimum freight rates that it sets nationally.

Fux said the ANTT should not be handing out fines until the high court has weighed in on the constitutionality of the new freight rate law.

Most of the appeals against the new rates were filed by industry and farming associations, which say that the new regulations have raised transport costs for many industries by 150%.

Truckers originally went on strike in May as local diesel prices began setting almost weekly record highs and squeezing their margins.

Late last week, Tarcisio de Freitas, the future infrastructure minister of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, said the incoming administration would revise the new minimum freight regulations to accommodate the transport sector, industry and farming, with plans to bring all sides to the negotiating table to hammer out a more viable solution than the current one, according to the ministry’s press representative.

Freitas also said that the new government plans to privatize the upkeep and management of Brazil’s northern soybean road BR-163, which left hundreds of soybean trucks stranded for weeks in the lower Amazon state of Para in early 2018 when the road was washed out by rain.

The 1,500 km highway, which connects the soy- and corn-rich state of Mato Grosso to the so-called northern arc of ports in the lower Amazon basin, is almost entirely paved but for about 70 km and even this segment is currently passable.

Movement of grains along the highway has been growing rapidly and is expected to grow 30% next year to 12 million mt, according to the transport association, Movimento Pro-Logistica.

Dec 10 - China November soybean imports plunge 38 pct y/y on tariff war 

China imported 5.38 million tonnes of soybeans in November, down 38 percent from a year ago and the lowest monthly number in two years, customs data showed on Saturday, after buyers avoided U.S. soybeans amid a tariff war with the United States. The world's top soybean buyer usually gets most of its oilseed imports from the United States in the final months of the year when the U.S. harvest comes to market. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 10 - Bunge preparing to replace CEO Schroder - WSJ 

Bunge Ltd is preparing to replace its Chief Executive Officer Soren Schroder as the global grains trader faces investor pressure, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing sources. The company is expected to announce the CEO's departure in the coming days, the report said citing people familiar with the matter. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 10 - Brazil's Bolsonaro brokering deal to end trucker, farmer feud 

Brazil's next government is working to strike a deal between farmers and truckers over minimum freight prices by revising the policy, rather than throwing it out as many have demanded, the country's future infrastructure minister said on Friday. The minimum freight rates were imposed as part of a deal to end a truckers strike in May that crippled the countries roadways, preventing food and other essential items from making it to market. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 07 - Brazil's truckers mull strikes, as Supreme Court halts freight rate fines (AgriCensus)

- In a victory for Brazil’s agricultural export sector, Supreme Court Justice Luiz Fux suspended the powers of the country’s highway transport regulator (ANTT) to financially punish companies that pay truckers below the national minimum freight rates set by the agency.

- In August, Fux, who is in charge of the high court's review of more than 60 legal challenges against the minimum freight rates that went into effect in June, decided to leave the minimum rates in place until the full court weighed in on the issue but to suspend the fines that ANTT had threatened to hand out to violators. The suspension of the fines effectively removes the teeth from the minimum rates policy and could trigger sales of raw commodities on the physical markets that have been held up by uncertainty regarding the rates.

- Fux’s decision late on Thursday to strip the ANTT of its power to fine violators handed agroindustry and the commodities export sector a temporary victory in the six-month fight over the new minimum rates.

- President Michel Temer negotiated the rates as a way to get truckers to end a national strike in late May that paralyzed the country. Industrial and agricultural associations immediately filed legal appeals over the imposition of the minimum rates, which they said would cause them billions of dollars in losses yearly.

- Agricultural think-tank Esalq-Log, which is linked to the University of Sao Paulo, estimated that the new rates would raise transport costs for Brazil’s agricultural commodities sector by more than 150% and cause losses of 25 billion reais ($3.6 billion) annually, including soybeans, corn, sugar, coffee and animal protein. Thiago Pera, the coordinator of Esalq-Log, who praised the suspension of the fines, said, “This minimum freight table is overly simplistic.”

- In an open letter signed by 75 industry associations to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who will take office in January, Brazil’s grain crushing industry Abiove said the minimum rates represented a policy approach that failed in Brazil’s past during its struggle with hyperinflation.

- Truckers went on national strike in May over soaring fuel prices, which have since eased as the 30% decline in international oil prices peaked in October and amidst modest recent gains by the Brazilian real against the US dollar. Truckers are beginning to discuss a new strike on social media in response to the Supreme Court justice’s decision but no firm decisions have yet been made.

Dec 07 - Argentina soybean exports may hit record high next year-exchange

Argentine soybean exports to China could jump to a record 14 million tonnes this season if the trade war between China and the United States continues, the Rosario grains exchange said on Thursday, as output rebounds from last year's drought. China has all but stopped buying soybeans from the United States. This has driven down the price of U.S. beans. As a result, U.S. soy crushers are shipping to soymeal markets previously supplied by Argentina, which in turn is exporting more raw beans, mainly to China. Click here to read full stories

Dec 07 - U.S. corn, Brazil, steal thunder of U.S. soy exports in October - Braun

October is usually the busiest month for U.S. soybean shippers, but this year corn exports outpaced those of soybeans during the month for the first time since 2007. China’s shunning of U.S. soybeans amid the ongoing trade war between the two countries left a gaping wound on October shipments of the oilseed, opening the door for top exporter Brazil to steal business that traditionally belonged to the United States. Click here to read full stories

Dec 06 - Algeria’s ONAB buys 40,000 mt of Argentina corn from Glencore (AgriCensus)

Algeria’s ONAB has bought a single 40,000-mt corn cargo at tender, with market sources saying international trader Glencore was the seller at $204.37/mt, equating to an FOB Up River value of 50 cents over the March contract. The tender closed Wednesday and sought a total of 80,000 mt of corn, spread across two cargoes for second half December shipment.

It is the second tender from ONAB in recent days, and the second consecutive that one seems to have been only partially fulfilled. ONAB tendered for up to 120,000 mt of corn spread across three 40,000 mt cargoes on November 28 for first half December loading, but secured just one cargo at a price of somewhere between $196 and $198/mt, with scant details on the seller of the earlier cargo. ONAB also tendered for a cargo of soymeal for first half January loading, again with Argentina as the origin.

The aggressive timeline associated with the tender, at a time when Argentina is approaching the end of its typical export season, is likely to have made the volume harder to secure, according to market sources. “We were asking for backing yesterday, but we couldn’t get offers from here,” one Argentina-based broker said, with the timing and lack of abundant supply making it difficult to source competitive volume.

Agricensus assessed the January loading Argentina FOB Up River corn market at 52 cent premium to the March contract, on Wednesday

Dec 06 - China sees greater competition for Brazil soybeans as prices slump (AgriCensus)

Chinese crushers are for the first time in months seeing serious competition to buy Brazilian soybeans after an 11% price slump in the cost of Brazilian beans has made shipments for March cheaper than any other supplier, according to sources and Agricensus data.

Last week Japanese buyers were heard to have purchased two cargoes of Brazilian soybeans and this week one cargo was rumoured to have been sold to Taiwan, as freight- and quality-adjusted prices for new crop soybeans from Brazil loading in March onwards are now below US values.

“Seems from March onwards, Brazil is cheaper than the US, so Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and Mexico are all making enquiries,” said one market source.

Other market sources confirmed that Taiwan was looking to issue a tender to buy soybeans.

According to Agricensus data the spread between soybean cargoes loading in Santos and the US Gulf on an FOB basis in March has fallen to just 29 cents per bushel ($10.65/mt) from almost 80 cents per bushel ($29.40/mt) just two weeks ago.

Once additional freight to Asia of about $7/mt and a protein premium of around $7/mt is taken into account, buyers predominantly in Asia are looking at Brazilian origin for soybeans.

The figures show a similar pattern for April, May and June.

Record crop

With the US starting at a record crop of 125 million mt, news that non-Chinese buyers are looking at buying Brazilian beans instead of US supply will hurt US farmers who had been hoping to mop up non-Chinese demand.

However, the prospect of a resolution to the trade war has seen Brazilian prices crash. This has been on the expectation that Chinese crushers would once again start to buy US soybeans – a dynamic that has yet to emerge.

On Monday, US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters he expected to see Chinese buyers come back to the market for US beans in January.

However, Chinese demand for soybeans in the 2018/19 marketing year has been hit by an outbreak of African Swine Fever and a lower threshold for protein in pig feed. Demand is expected to be about 9 million mt, or 10%, lower than the previous marketing year.

To meet US exports forecasts of 51.71 million mt this year, US suppliers need to make net sales of 730,000 mt each week.

According to USDA data, they have only made that total three times in the first 13 weeks of the marketing year, which started in September.

In October, 95% of Brazil’s exports headed to China, according to government figures.

"This year we focused more than 90% of our volume to China, but next year we will need to open our minds [and] develop other destinations," said a third source.

The USDA will next week unveil its last forecast for agricultural supply and demand and a keenly-watched figure will be the US carryout stocks.

Dec 06 - Caught in Russia-Ukraine storm: a cargo ship and tonnes of grain 

When the Island Bay cargo ship arrived from Beirut at the Kerch Strait, gateway to the Azov Sea, it sailed into a perfect storm of geopolitics and bad weather. The following day, Russia opened fire on three Ukrainian naval ships, impounded them and detained their sailors, some of them wounded. It then blocked the strait by putting a tanker underneath a new bridge it has built linking the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula it annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 06 - Traders say Egypt delays wheat payment guarantees, ministry dismisses criticism 

Egypt has not issued letters of credit for 16 recently purchased wheat cargoes which effectively means a delay in payment, sources said on Wednesday, although the authorities said appropriate payment guarantees had been or would be made. The payment issues affect cargoes ordered by the world's largest wheat buyer for 945,000 tonnes of wheat, traders told Reuters, adding that the purchases in state tenders were for shipment to Egypt during Nov. 11-20, Dec. 1-10 and Dec. 11-20. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 06 - Argentina clinches China soyoil export deal, soymeal talks fizzle 

China will ramp up imports of Argentine soyoil after Argentina begins harvesting its next soy crop in March, a government official told Reuters, but talks toward reaching a deal to sell soymeal livestock feed to China have fizzled. The soyoil agreement is good news for Argentine crushing plants that manufacture soyoil and have been hard hit by the U.S.-China trade war. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 05 - China trade truce could benefit more U.S. ag than just soy -Braun 

The recent meeting in Argentina between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping seems to have gone better than expected by many agriculture market participants, as it suggested a possible end to the ongoing trade war and a prospective boost to U.S. exports. The White House announced over the weekend that Beijing had agreed to buy an unspecified but “very substantial” amount of U.S. commodities, and that purchases of agricultural goods would start “immediately.” Click here to read full stories.

Dec 05 - Brazil's 2018/19 soybean crop could reach 130 mln T - Céleres 

Brazilian farmers could produce between 123 million tonnes and 130 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2018/19 crop cycle, a historic record, Anderson Galvão, chief executive at agribusiness consultancy Céleres, said on Tuesday. Other countries in South America are poised to collect a large harvest, Galvão said at an industry event, indicating benchmark prices were not likely to surpass $9 per bushel in 2019. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 05 - Malaysia Nov palm oil stocks seen at 3 mln tonnes 

Malaysia's palm oil stocks at end-November are likely to touch the 3-million-tonne mark, their highest in recent years, as the drop in exports outweighed leaner production, according to a Reuters survey. Based on the median estimate of eight planters, traders and analysts, stockpiles are expected to jump 10.8 percent from the previous month to 3 million tonnes, their strongest levels in nearly 18 years, according to Refinitiv data. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 05 - Grain markets are mixed as traders monitor the news for developments between President Trump and Chinese President Xi after the two leaders agreed on a 90-day truce on tariffs during G-20. "Traders will continue to watch for any signs of tariff relief and/or export sales from China in the next few days," Allendale analysts say. US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Monday that China will likely start buying US soybeans again but it is still unclear whether China will remove tariffs on imports of US soybeans as part of the truce. Soybean futures are up 0.6%, corn futures are up 0.3% and wheat futures are down 0.3%.

Dec 04 - Brazil to export 83m mt of beans as November shipments double (AgriCensus)
- Brazilian soybean exports during November more than doubled on the year to 5.07 million mt as Chinese buyers cleared out Brazil’s storage bins, customs data showed.
- The figure is a new record for the month and surpasses the previous record hit last year of 2.14 million mt.
- Chinese crushers have shifted their Q4 soybean purchases from the US to South America after President Xi Jinping hiked import taxes on US beans as part of a tit-for-tat trade war with the US.
- The data means that Brazilian soybean exports during the first 11 months just came in under the 80 million mt at 79.63 million mt, while another 3.17 million mt is lined up at Brazilian ports to leave during December with most vessels bound for China. That will mean that Brazil will have exported an estimated 83 million mt of beans by the end of the year, or 14.7 million mt more than over the same period last year, which was a record in itself.
- Meanwhile, corn exports during November were up on the year as well, following disappointing monthly export figures over the past few months as ports focussed on soybeans instead. November exports came in just under 4 million mt, 13.6% up on the year, bringing total 2018 exports so far to 19.9 million mt, with another 2.82 million mt lined up, mainly in the port of Santos, to leave during December. That would place 2018 exports at 22.72 million mt, some 6.55 million mt behind last year’s progress.

Dec 04 - Soybeans surge to near 4-mth high, analysts wary of G20 bounce (AgriCensus)
- Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade surged to their highest level since August in early trade on Monday after President Xi pledged to buy agricultural products from the US at G20 talks over the weekend.
- January futures opened above $9/bu for the first time since mid-October and rose to a high of $9.23/bu on the expectation that Chinese crushers may once again start to buy US soybeans.
- On Saturday, the White House issued a statement saying that it would row back on plans to lift the 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imported goods to 25%.
In return China agreed “to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States” to cut the trade balance.
- In addition, the statement said that both parties would “immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture.”

Dec 03 - Little-known asset manager makes $1.8 bln bid for Australia's GrainCorp 

Australia's largest listed bulk grain handler GrainCorp Ltd said on Monday it received an unsolicited A$2.38 billion ($1.8 billion) takeover approach from a little-known asset manager, catapulting its shares nearly a third higher. GrainCorp said privately held Long-Term Asset Partners (LTAP) made an all-cash approach of A$10.42 a share, a near-43 percent premium to the stock's closing price on Friday. Confirming the approach, LTAP said it was an asset manager for a trust whose beneficiaries were Australian investors. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - U.S. agency lifts 2019 biofuels mandate, drawing mixed reaction 

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency on Friday lifted its annual blending mandate for advanced biofuels, drawing praise from the U.S. biofuels industry, but disappointment that the government had not done more to protect the agricultural market. Under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, oil refiners must blend increasing amounts of biofuels into their fuel each year or purchase blending credits from those that do. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - Brazil farmers on course to collect new record soy crop

Brazil is expected to harvest a record soybean crop in the 2018/19 season as good weather and strong Chinese demand set farmers on course to produce a new bumper crop, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. Farmers are poised to collect nearly 121 million tonnes in the current cycle, a 1.2 percent increase from last year, according to the average estimate of 13 forecasters. Harvesting is set to begin as early as December thanks to a favorable climate in Brazil's agricultural heartland, analysts have said. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - How cynical should you be about the Trump-Xi deal? Watch commodities: Russell 

Perhaps the most interesting thing to try and calculate after the seeming trade ceasefire between the United States and China is the level of cynicism that will greet the new detente. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to halt imposing additional tariffs on each other's imports while they try to reach a deal to end their trade dispute within 90 days. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - USDA October soybean crush seen at 182.9 million bushels 

U.S. soybean crushings in October likely totaled 5.488 million short tons, or 182.9 million bushels, according to the average forecast of eight analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Estimates ranged from 181.0 million to 184.4 million bushels, with a median of 183.2 million bushels. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - Funds change mind on corn, but not soy ahead of G20 summit - Braun 

Through the final trading session ahead of the weekend’s highly anticipated G20 summit, speculators regained some optimism toward Chicago-traded grain and oilseed futures, though they had been less enthusiastic earlier in the week. The Saturday dinner on the sidelines of the Group of 20 between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was expected to yield productive talks about the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries. The outcome has been considered critical for the soybean market since China, the world’s top buyer, has imposed tariffs on and shunned U.S. supply. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - Sanderson Farms to curb human antibiotic use in chicken supply 

Sanderson Farms Inc by March will stop using antibiotics vital to fighting human infections to prevent diseases in chickens, the company said on Friday, becoming the last major chicken producer to step away from the drugs. The move by the third largest U.S. poultry producer addresses concerns that the overuse of antibiotics in chickens may diminish their effectiveness in fighting disease in people. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - What will U.S. corn and soybeans yield in 2019? - Braun 

It might be comically early to start debating yield scenarios for a crop that is still several months away from planting, but the U.S. government's early projections for 2019 and beyond hold some interesting ideas for the years ahead. Each February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture publishes its long-term projections that provide a single representative scenario of the agriculture sector over the next decade. These predictions are both model- and judgment-based, and they assume no domestic or external market shocks. The latest data runs through 2028-29. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - Palm oil body says it finds exploitative labour practices at Malaysia's FGV 

A global palm oil industry watchdog rapped Malaysia's biggest palm oil producer, FGV Holdings, for "exploitative" labour practices, dire living conditions for its workers and lax oversight of contractors that hire its foreign labour. The findings are part of an investigation by a panel at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) following a Wall Street Journal report in 2015 that detailed abuses faced by foreign workers hired by contractors for FGV plantations. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - China looks to boost agricultural exports to India -Xi 

China was looking to boost agricultural exports to India while increasing imports of rapeseed and soymeal, President Xi Jinping told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a G20 meeting on Friday. Xi also indicated greater trade in the pharmaceuticals sector between China and India, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, who was travelling with Modi, said. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 03 - China soymeal futures open 2.2 pct lower after U.S.-China trade truce 

China soymeal futures opened 2.2 pct lower on Monday, hitting their lowest since June, following the agreement of a truce in the trade war between China and the United States. The most actively traded soymeal futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange, for delivery in January, fell more than 2 percent to 2,991 yuan ($430.00) per tonne. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Spoils of trade war: Argentina loads up on cheap U.S. soybeans 

A ship named the Torrent is nearing the end of a 5,000-mile trip carrying soybeans from the U.S. Great Lakes to Argentina - a journey that only makes economic sense because of the U.S.-China trade war. The ship is scheduled to dock in the Rosario grains hub on Dec. 4, days after the leaders of the world's two largest economies, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, hold high-stakes trade talks in Buenos Aires. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - What will U.S. corn and soybeans yield in 2019? - Braun 

It might be comically early to start debating yield scenarios for a crop that is still several months away from planting, but the U.S. government's early projections for 2019 and beyond hold some interesting ideas for the years ahead. Each February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture publishes its long-term projections that provide a single representative scenario of the agriculture sector over the next decade. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Russia does not expect Ukraine crisis to have big impact on grain exports 

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine in the Azov Sea should not significantly affect Russia's grain exports because it is low season, TASS news agency quoted the Russian agriculture ministry as saying on Thursday. "The Azov route is being actively used for Russian grain exports during the river navigation period, so in the autumn-to-winter time, volumes of shipments via this route go down," TASS quoted the ministry as saying. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - China buys U.S. pork despite trade tariffs as hog disease spreads 

China is loading up on U.S. pork, despite import tariffs imposed due to the trade war, as a highly contagious swine disease ravages the Chinese hog herd. The world's top hog producer and pork consumer last week placed its largest order for American pork since the trade war began, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - U.S. farm sector stockpiles Chinese chemicals before scheduled tariffs 

U.S. agriculture suppliers are stockpiling the Chinese chemicals that farmers need to kill crop pests and boost yields - before tariffs on them more than double on Jan. 1. The additional tariffs, threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump, are part of an eight-month trade war between the United States and China affecting $250 billion worth of Chinese products and $113 billion in U.S. goods. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Russia's Sovecon sees 2019 grain harvest rising to 121 mln T 

Russia may harvest 121 million tonnes of grain in 2019, 77.3 million tonnes of it wheat, Andrey Sizov, the head of SovEcon agriculture consultancy, said on Thursday, citing preliminary estimates. This year, Russia is expected to harvest 110 million tonnes of grain, 70 million tonnes of it wheat, according to SovEcon's earlier forecasts. The final data will be available at the end of December. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - EPA lifts advanced biofuel mandate for 2019 - document 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lifted its annual blending mandate for advanced biofuels by 15 percent for 2019, while keeping steady the requirement for conventional biofuels like corn-based ethanol, according to an agency document seen by Reuters on Thursday. The mandate includes 4.92 billion gallons for advanced biofuels that can be made from plant and animal waste, an increase from the EPA's initial proposal in June of 4.88 billion and above the 4.29 billion that had been set for 2018, according to the document. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - U.S. lawmakers seal Farm Bill agreement in principle 

U.S. lawmakers have struck a deal in principle on the Farm Bill, the top agriculture lawmakers and senators said on Thursday, capping months of bitter partisan debate over the legislation to fund $867 billion in food and agriculture programs. "We are pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill," a joint statement from the chairmen and ranking members of Senate and House Agriculture Committees said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Angry Indian farmers march on parliament to denounce their plight 

Tens of thousands of Indian farmers and rural workers marched to the Indian parliament in the capital, New Delhi, on Friday in a protest against soaring operating costs and plunging produce prices that have brought misery to many. The protest is one of the biggest displays of frustration with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which faces a tough general election due by May next year. India's 263 million farmers make up an important voting bloc. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Penny for your corn? Stingy trade-war aid irks U.S. farmers 

Iowa corn farmer Bob Hemesath jokes that the government check he expects as compensation for his trade-war losses will soon allow him to splurge on upscale coffee in town instead of his usual burnt gas-station brew. Rob Sharkey, an Illinois farmer, hopes his corn trade aid check will be big enough for that margarita machine he and his wife have been eyeing – but they doubt they'll be any left over for the booze. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - China's soybean crush margins turn negative for first time since August 

Soybean crush margins in China have turned negative for the first time since early August, pressured by lower demand for the soymeal they churn out following an outbreak of African swine fever and high domestic bean inventories. African swine fever, deadly to pigs but not harmful to people, has spread rapidly through China, with more than 70 cases reported across farms since early August. Soymeal is used to make animal feed.Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Soy market awaits game of deal or no deal between Trump and Xi - Braun 

In one of the more highly anticipated dinner parties of recent years, U.S. President Donald Trump will dine with Chinese President Xi Jinping this Saturday to discuss trade relations while commodity market participants anxiously await the outcome. Soybean market-watchers might be particularly on edge, as they hope the rendezvous on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires will get the ball rolling toward a resolution over recent trade issues, which have caused the world’s top soybean buyer China to snub U.S. soybeans. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Angry farmers could upset India's Modi in major state elections test 

Weak farm prices are threatening to hurt Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party as it faces a critical test in three state elections dominated by rural voters in the Hindi-speaking belt that is its traditional stronghold. On a visit last week to the most crucial of the three states, Madhya Pradesh, which was voting on Wednesday, Reuters spoke to 134 rural voters along a 400 km (250 miles) corridor - 89, or about two-thirds, said they would vote for the opposition Congress party rather than the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Ukraine says martial law not affecting Azov Sea grain exports but outlook unclear 

The imposition of martial law is not affecting Ukrainian grain shipments from ports on the Azov Sea so far and if necessary they can be diverted to the Black Sea, Ukraine's acting agriculture minister told Reuters on Wednesday. More broadly, the prospects for grain exports from the Azov Sea are unclear at this point, Maksym Martyniuk said in messaged comments. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Australia poised for sweltering summer, threatening cattle industry 

Australia is set for a hotter-than-average summer, the country's weather bureau said on Thursday, threatening one the world's largest cattle industries and stoking the risk of bushfires. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said there was an 80 percent chance the vast majority of the country would record warmer-than-average temperatures between Dec. 1 and Feb. 28. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Farm Bill deal 'very close,' U.S. senators say 

U.S. lawmakers are very close to reaching a consensus in days on the Farm Bill, two senior senators said on Wednesday, after months of bitter partisan debate over the legislation to fund $867 billion in food and agriculture programs. "We have finally reached a point where I think we're very close and very encouraged," Republican Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas, who heads the Senate's Agriculture Committee, told reporters. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Malaysia keeps Dec crude palm oil export tax at zero pct 

Malaysia maintained its export tax on crude palm oil for December at zero percent, according to a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board's website, citing the national customs department. The export tax was at zero percent in November. Malaysia is the world's second-largest producer of palm oil. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Single word keeps some farmers from getting Trump's aid to offset tariffs 

A Republican lawmaker wants to change a single word in the Trump administration's farm aid program saying some soybean growers in Louisiana cannot qualify for the payments designed to offset farmers' losses from tariffs against China. Representative Ralph Abraham said his bill would allow the $12 billion in farm aid payments to be made based on "planted acres" instead of "harvested acres."  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Crop drop: China swine fever outbreak to curb its soybean imports 

China's imports of soybeans are set to drop as an outbreak of African swine fever hits its huge pig herd and saps demand for the animal feed ingredient, making it easier for buyers to keep shunning U.S. cargoes amid the Sino-U.S. trade war. African swine fever, deadly to pigs but not harmful to people, has spread rapidly through China, with more than 70 cases reported across farms since early August. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Pulp Friction: Pulp futures pummelled on Shanghai debut 

Pulp futures endured a dismal trading debut on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) on Tuesday as a combination of weak demand and high inventory levels caused prices to plunge by the maximum permitted 10 percent. The contract for the paper-making raw material is China's 50th commodities futures contract, Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said at a launch ceremony in Shanghai that was also attended by Timothy Brown, vice president of the Pulp and Paper Products Council. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Ukraine 2018 grain crop reaches 68.2 mln T, exceeds expectations 

Ukraine's 2018 grain harvest reached 68.2 million tonnes as of Nov. 27, exceeding the previous forecast of 68 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said farmers had harvested 14.5 million hectares of grain with a yield of 4.7 tonnes per hectare. The 2018 sown area totals 14.84 million hectares. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - EPA will not reallocate waived biofuel volumes to 2019 mandate - official 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected requests from the corn lobby to reallocate biofuel volumes waived under its small refinery exemption program into its 2019 mandate, an agency official told Reuters on Tuesday. The official also said the 2019 biofuel mandate figures, due to be released this week, would be largely in line with the agency's June proposal of 19.88 billion gallons, which includes 15 billion gallons of convention biofuels like ethanol. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Sovecon ups forecast for Russia's 2018/19 grain, wheat exports 

Sovecon, one of the leading agricultural consultancies in Moscow, said on Tuesday it had upgraded its forecast for Russia's 2018/19 grain exports to 43.2 million tonnes from a previously expected 42.6 million tonnes. It increased its wheat exports forecast to 34.7 million tonnes from 34.2 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - China, Spain sign export accord for Iberian ham - government sources 

China and Spain will on Wednesday sign an accord on the export of Iberian ham to China, a Spanish government source said on Tuesday, in a deal that will include coveted, on-the-bone legs of pork. The two countries have been negotiating a protocol on the export of pork products from Spain to China since 2016 and the agreement aims to include a wide range of pork products, according to the Spanish agriculture ministry. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Dairy issue nags as U.S., Canada prepare to sign trade pact - sources 

Dairy remains a sticking point between the United States and Canada as the countries prepare to sign a new North American trade pact this week, according to four sources familiar with the matter. U.S. objections to Canada's protected internal market for dairy products was a major challenge facing negotiators during talks on the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and the issue remains a problem. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Malaysia's FGV posts qtly loss, palm price outlook "bearish" 

FGV Holdings Bhd, Malaysia's largest palm oil producer, posted a second straight quarterly loss on Wednesday, dragged down by low crude oil prices and impairments, and flagged a negative end to the year. Palm oil prices hit a more than three-year low this week on weak demand and oversupply, while FGV has been hit by impairments relating to the 2014 acquisition of an oil plantation group. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 27 - Argentina says it is close to inking a beef deal with U.S.  

Argentina is on the verge of signing a deal with the United States that would allow two-way trade of fresh beef for the first time in nearly two decades, the South American country's international trade secretary, Marisa Bircher, said. The agreement, expected to be signed within days, would simultaneously open beef imports to both countries, Bircher told Reuters in an interview. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 27 - Dry soil hampers emergence of grains in parts of EU - MARS 

Dry weather in early autumn hampered the sowing and development of grains in central Europe, but crops in most parts of the European Union have started the season well, EU crop monitor MARS said on Monday. "Favourable conditions for the sowing and emergence of winter crops prevailed in most parts of western and northern Europe," MARS said in a monthly report. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 27 - Funds ditch optimism for CBOT corn, soymeal - Braun 

Investor optimism in Chicago-traded corn fizzled just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, which coincided with general pessimism across the board for CBOT grain and oilseed futures. The overall negativity continued in the days after, except for in the wheat market. In the week ended Nov. 20, hedge funds and other money managers flipped to a net short position in CBOT corn futures and options of 7,845 contracts according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 27 - Removing Indonesia palm oil levy will not help prices - refiner group 

An Indonesian government decision to lower the levy on crude palm oil (CPO) exports to zero would remove incentives for local refiners, a palm industry refiner body said on Tuesday. Facing low palm prices, the government on Monday said it will temporarily lower export levies on CPO and palm oil products to zero, from a range of $20 to $50 per tonne, aiming to make its products more competitive. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 27 - Brazil's Minerva Chile unit IPO could pave the way for deals 

Brazilian meatpacker Minerva SA, which plans to list shares of a Chilean subsidiary next year, will consider acquisitions elsewhere in South America once the transaction is complete, executives said on Monday. The listing of Athena Foods, which accounts for about 40 percent of Minerva's gross sales, will allow the group to keep diversifying its export base in South America, where production costs are lower than in markets such as the United States, the executives said during a company presentation. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 27 - NZ's Fonterra says COO of consumer & foodservice business resigns 

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra on Tuesday said the chief operating officer (COO) of its consumer and foodservice business, Lukas Paravicini, has resigned. Paravicini is set to leave the company in January 2019 and he and his family plan to return to Europe, Fonterra said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 26 - Malaysia says to fully implement new biodiesel programme from Feb 

Malaysia on Monday said it would start to phase in a higher biodiesel mandate from next month, with the new rule coming into full force from February in an effort to bolster palm oil prices The so-called B10 biodiesel programme will raise the minimum bio-content that local producers must put in biodiesel to be used in transport to 10 percent from 7 percent, potentially boosting demand for palm oil as a feedstock. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 26 - Indonesia's palm oil output edges lower in Oct - Reuters survey 

Indonesia's palm oil production and exports fell in October from the previous month following the peak of the harvest season, while domestic consumption rose on demand for biodiesel, according to the median results of a Reuters survey Palm oil output fell to 3.99 million tonnes in October, from 4.25 million tonnes in September, according to a survey of two palm oil groups and a state palm research firm. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 26 - China approves Kazakhstan barley, corn to diversify imports 

China approved imports of barley and corn from Kazakhstan, the customs administration said on Friday, in a move aimed at diversifying the country's sources of grain shipments. The approval came the same week that China launched an anti-dumping probe into barley imports from Australia, its top supplier of the grain, amid strained ties between Beijing and Canberra. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 26 - South Korea's NOFI tenders for up to 69,000 tonnes corn 

South Korea's largest feedmaker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 69,000 tonnes of corn, European traders said on Monday. The tender deadline is also Monday, Nov. 26. The corn was sought from optional origins for arrival in South Korea around April 10, 2019. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 26 - China confirms new African swine fever outbreak in Hubei province 

China's agriculture ministry confirmed a new African swine fever outbreak in Hubei province on Monday. The fresh outbreak, found on a pig farm in Huangshi city, Hubei, killed five of the 63 pigs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement published on its website. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 26 - Brazil's soybean farmers may start harvesting in December - AgRural 

Brazilian soybean farmers in the key state of Mato Grosso may start harvesting the crop before the end of December, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Friday, as the pace of sowing has been the fastest in history. Mato Grosso farmers, who have enjoyed great weather and an excellent start to the season, have basically finished planting. Brazil's overall soy planting reached 89 percent of an estimated 35.8 million hectare area in the 2018/19 season, compared with a historical average of 78 percent, AgRural said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Argentine bid to win access to China soymeal market stalled - chamber 

Talks to allow Argentine soymeal livestock feed to enter China are progressing at a slower-than-hoped pace amid bureaucratic issues, including Chinese demands to inspect local crushing plants, the head of Argentina's soy industry chamber said on Thursday. Luis Zubizarreta, president of Argentina's ACSOJA soy industry chamber that represents farmers, exporters and seed companies, said the country was keen to clinch an export deal that would secure access to the world's biggest hog- and pork-producing country. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Russia eyes new wheat export frontiers in challenge to EU, U.S.  

Russia, already the world's leading wheat exporter, is bent on taking further market share from the European Union and United States with a new attempt to crack what have traditionally been its most difficult destinations. Successful marketing campaigns in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Algeria would cement Russia's leading position in the wheat markets of the Middle East and North Africa. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - IGC trims 2018/19 world corn forecast on lower US output 

An improved crop outlook in Ukraine is expected to mostly offset lower output from the United States, with the International Grains Council on Thursday only slightly lowering its global corn production forecast for the 2018/19 season. In a monthly report, the inter-governmental body trimmed its forecast for world corn (maize) production in the 2018/19 season by 1 million tonnes to 1.073 billion tonnes, reflecting a downward revision in the U.S. crop. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - France set for first wheat shipment to China in years 

A vessel is due to call at the northern French port of Dunkirk this week to load what would be the first cargo of French wheat for China in nearly five years, shipping data showed on Thursday. The Kypros Bravery, a panamax-sized bulk carrier, is scheduled to arrive at Dunkirk on Friday and expected to load 63,000 tonnes of milling wheat for China next week, the data showed. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - China says pig supplies, prices stable as African swine fever reaches capital 

China's hog supply and prices are stable, said an agriculture ministry official on Friday, as deadly African swine fever reached the capital Beijing for the first time. The ministry had said earlier in the day that the disease had been found on two farms in the city's southwest district of Fangshan. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - India to give 5 pct subsidy for non-basmati rice exports for 4 months - govt 

India, the world's biggest rice exporter, will provide incentives for non-basmati rice exports, the government said in an order reviewed by Reuters, as part of efforts to boost flagging overseas sales of the staple. The government will give a subsidy of 5 percent for non-basmati rice exports for the four months to March 25, 2019, the trade ministry said in the order dated Nov. 22. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - EU rapeseed sowings disrupted by drought, more imports possible 

A sharp cut in rapeseed sowings in the European Union’s main producers has raised industry fears of a smaller than expected 2019 crop and a larger import need. Dry autumn weather caused big cuts in rapeseed sowings in the EU’s top producers Germany, France and Britain while in Poland sowings are only expected to be the same as last year. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Indian farmers back in Mumbai to demand land rights, loan waivers 

Tens of thousands of farmers from India's western state of Maharashtra marched to the state capital Mumbai on Thursday to demand loan waivers and the transfer of forest lands to villagers who have farmed there for decades. It was the latest protest by farmers against a state government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, which faces a general election in May and a handful of state polls in the coming weeks. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Deere cautious on 2019 profit after missing 4th-qtr estimate 

Deere & Co on Wednesday gave a cautious profit forecast for fiscal 2019 after missing quarterly earnings estimates amid a U.S. trade battle with China that has depressed local farm commodity prices and hurt agriculture equipment demand. The world's largest tractor manufacturer remained optimistic about prospects for the U.S. farm economy for the coming year, forecasting higher wheat and corn exports offsetting soft demand for soybeans. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Ukraine grain exports reach 16.6 mln T - ministry 

Ukrainian grain exports have reached 16.6 million tonnes so far in the July 2018-June 2019 season, compared with 15.8 million by the same point of the previous season, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday. Ukraine has said it plans to harvest 68 million tonnes of grain this year versus 61.3 million in 2017, and the ministry has said exports could rise to 47 million tonnes in the July 2018 to June 2019 season from 39.4 million a season before. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Cotton prices gain on short-covering, equities rebound 

ICE cotton futures rose about 2 percent on Wednesday after two days of losses, as investors covered short positions ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, global stocks rallied on technology earnings, and crude oil prices climbed on strong data. The most active cotton contract on ICE Futures U.S., the March contract rose 1.44 cents, or 1.86 percent, at 78.87 cents per lb as of 1421 EST (1921 GMT). Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Cashew prices jump nearly 10 pct after Tanzania price hike 

The global price of cashew nuts has jumped nearly 10 percent over the past week, after Tanzania's government started buying the entire country's stock at a higher price, a trader said. Growers of cashews, the most valuable export crop for the East African nation, had been holding back from selling after prices fell below what they said it cost them to produce. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Germany applies to China to resume poultry exports – ministry 

The German government has applied for permission from China to resume imports of German poultry meat, Germany's agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. China in July agreed in principle to reopen its market to imports of German poultry meat which had been stopped after an outbreak of bird flu disease in Germany. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Harvesting in a trade war: U.S. crops rot as storage costs soar 

U.S. farmers finishing their harvests are facing a big problem - where to put the mountain of grain they cannot sell to Chinese buyers. For Louisiana farmer Richard Fontenot and his neighbors, the solution was a costly one: Let the crops rot. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - China keeps defying predictions that it would run out of soybeans - Braun 

When the U.S.-China trade dispute escalated earlier this year, most market participants assumed China could never completely cut U.S. soybeans out of its import program due to the sheer volume it consumes. However, the U.S. soybean season has reached its typical peak export week and Chinese buyers are still nowhere in sight, worrying analysts that China may have pulled off the impossible. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Australian drought, sporty shoppers push up prices of wool clothing 

A jump in the price of wool from drought-ravaged Australia, the world's top exporter of high-quality fleeces, is rattling through the global clothing supply chain, with some mills passing along costs and retailers cutting down on wool or raising prices. Italian clothmaker Botto Giuseppe, which supplies luxury brands Giorgio Armani SpA and Max Mara, says it has increased prices on average by 7 to 8 percent in the last year on wool fabric, while high-end Swiss-based sportswear label Mover has put up the retail price of its merino wool t-shirts by 15 percent. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - China cracks down on African swine fever reporting 

China on Wednesday issued new rules to tighten notification of cases of African swine fever, including incentives for whistleblowers, amid concerns that outbreaks of the highly contagious disease are being under reported. The notice comes as the world's top pork producer struggles to contain the disease with more than 60 outbreaks in 18 provinces since early August, leading to the culling of hundreds of thousands of pigs. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Chevron granted waiver from U.S. biofuel laws at Utah plant - source 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted oil major Chevron Corp a 2017 hardship waiver from U.S. biofuel laws for its Utah refinery earlier this year, according to a source familiar with the company's operations. Chevron, which reported a net income of $9.2 billion in 2017, becomes the largest known company to be awarded a hardship waiver from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires refiners to blend biofuels like ethanol into their fuel pool or buy compliance credits from competitors that do. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - EPA plans biofuel 'reset' as program misses U.S. Congress' targets

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose new targets for the final three years of thenation's renewable fuel program in January, replacing ambitious decade-old goals set by Congress with volumes closer to the industry's current output, two people familiar with the matter said. The planned reset of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard is likely to set up a fresh battle between two industries, with corn growers wanting the highest possible targets to spur investment, and oil companies eyeing the smallest to reduce costs. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - U.S. judge selects first case in federal Monsanto weed-killer litigation 

A U.S. judge overseeing the federal litigation against Bayer AG's Monsanto unit over glyphosate-based weed-killers allegedly causing cancer on Tuesday selected the first case to be tried in federal court in February 2019. U.S. District Judge Vince Chaabria in San Francisco in an order said the case of California resident Edwin Hardeman will be the first out of more than 620 cases pending in the federal litigation to go to a jury. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 20 - Malaysian Cash Market Prices for Palm Oil Unavailable
Data for a.m. and p.m. Malaysian cash market prices for palm oil are unavailable due to a holiday (Maulidur Razul)

Nov 20 - Mexico authorizes 26 new Brazil meat plants to export chicken 

Mexico has authorized 26 Brazilian meat plants to export chicken products into the country, Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said on Monday, as the two nations seek to strengthen commercial ties amid a realignment of global trade partnerships. The authorization, coming after a Mexican mission visited the plants in August, raised to 46 the total number of units in Brazil authorized to export chicken to Mexico. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 20 - Ukraine sea port grain exports fall 53 pct in Nov. 10-16 week

Ukrainian grain exports from sea ports fell to 665,000 tonnes in the Nov. 10-16 week from 1.4 million tonnes a week earlier, analyst APK-Inform said on Monday. The consultancy said in a statement that smaller shipments of wheat and barley were the main reason for the drop. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 20 - Green Plains stops offering byproduct feed from Nebraska ethanol plant 

Green Plains Inc said it has stopped offering distillers dried grains, a byproduct of ethanol production used as high-protein feed for animals, from its 121-million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant in Wood River, Nebraska. Company spokesman Jim Stark said the move was based on market conditions and denied market talk that it reflected a decision by the company to prepare to idle the plant. "Not offering dried distillers grains is a market decision, not a run rate decision," he said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 20 - Fertiliser maker Yara replaces CFO for second time in eight months 

Yara Chief Financial Officer Petter Oestboe has resigned with immediate effect amid poor relations with Chief Executive Officer Svein Tore Holsether, the Norwegian fertiliser maker said on Monday. "The cooperation between the two, the chief executive and the CFO, did not function well enough," Yara spokeswoman Kristin Nordal said of Oestboe's departure. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 20 - China says to take tough steps to fight African swine fever 

China will take tough steps to wipe out African swine fever and will crack down on any behavior that delays or covers up cases of the disease from being reported, a senior official at the agricultural ministry said. That came after the first case of the fever in Sichuan province, the country's leading pig-herding region, was confirmed last Friday. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 20 - Russian wheat export prices rise on supply dip 

Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week on seasonal declines in supply, analysts and traders said on Monday. The world's largest wheat exporter has already exported more than 22 million tonnes of grain since the start of the season, from the 38-39 million tonnes that Russia's agriculture ministry estimates to be available in the 2018/19 season. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 19 - China spooks grain trade with anti-dumping probe into Australia barley imports

China on Monday launched a probe into whether Australian barley suppliers dumped cheap imports into their biggest market over the past year, catching the grain trade on the hop just as drought shrivels Australian crops and drives prices higher. Coming amid strained diplomatic ties between Beijing and Canberra, the move by Beijing's commerce ministry comes after the China Chamber of International Commerce complained that Australian barley was sold at lower-than-normal prices for the 12 months through September 2018, hurting domestic suppliers. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 19 - USDA terminates Chinese-owned Smithfield farm aid contract

The U.S. Department of Agriculture terminated a $240,000 purchase contract with Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods that had been awarded under the Trump administration's agricultural trade bailout program, a move taken at the company's request, a department spokesman told Reuters on Friday. The move comes weeks after Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, one of the country's biggest farm states and the biggest hog-producing state, slammed Smithfield for receiving what he said was aid from the USDA that was meant to help American farmers hurt by China's trade tariffs. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 19 - French wheat crop ratings at lowest in years after drought

Initial conditions for newly sown French soft wheat are at their worst in six years, data from farming agency FranceAgriMer showed on Friday, as the European Union's biggest grain producer continued to feel the effects of this year's drought. In its first published rating of wheat sown for next year's harvest, FranceAgriMer estimated that 82 percent of soft wheat crop were in good or excellent condition by the end of last week. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 19 - New blow to China as African swine fever found in wild boar

China's efforts to stem the spread of African swine fever were dealt a fresh blow on Friday when the agricultural ministry confirmed it had found the first case in a wild boar, deepening a three-month-old crisis for the world's top pork producer. The country also confirmed the first outbreak in the southwest province of Sichuan, the country's leading pig-herding region, raising the likelihood of a major impact on pork supplies in coming months. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 19 - Tractor maker Deere aims to ride green revolution in Africa

U.S. Deere & Co expects to see demand for its farm equipment in Africa grow 8 to 10 percent annually in the coming years, driven by expansion in key markets like Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, a local company executive said. Farming accounts for around 60 percent of total employment in Africa, according to the World Bank. In Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, food production is projected to add more jobs than the rest of the economy combined through 2025. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 19 - Urban ranching: A socialist commune's response to Venezuela's crisis

A socialist commune has drawn the ire of its neighbors in a wealthy area of Caracas with an unusual response to the hyperinflation and food shortages afflicting Venezuela: turning its backyard into an urban cattle pasture. The leaders of the Apacuana commune, devotees of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, drove six hours to purchase 11 450-kilo (992-lb) cows. They set them to graze behind their 2,000-square meter (21,528 square-foot) home, donated by the state-owned telecommunications company two years ago. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Strategie Grains raises EU maize crop estimate again, now above 2017 

Consultancy Strategie Grains increased its estimate for this year's grain maize harvest in the European Union for the second consecutive month on Thursday and now expects it to be larger than last year's crop. The EU's grain maize production in 2018 is now seen reaching 60.0 million tonnes, up from 59.4 million estimated in October, with the main revisions in Romania, Hungary, Austria and France, Strategie Grains said in a monthly report. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - NOPA October soy crush hits record-high 172.346 mln bushels 

U.S. oilseed processors crushed a record volume of soybeans in October while soyoil stocks declined for a sixth straight month, the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said on Thursday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, crushed a record 172.346 million bushels of soybeans last month, up from the 160.779 million bushels processed in September and 164.242 million bushels in October 2017, the group said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Ukraine grain exports rise to 16 mln T so far in 2018/19 

Ukrainian grain exports have already exceeded last season's level and reached 16 million tonnes thanks to large corn sales, Ukraine's state service for food safety said on Thursday. Ukraine has said it planned to harvest 64 million tonnes of grain this year versus 61.3 million in 2017 and the agriculture ministry has said exports could rise to 42.5 million tonnes in the 2018/19 July-June season from 39.4 million last season. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - USDA says nearly $840 million in aid paid to farmers to date 

U.S. Department of Agriculture has paid out nearly $840 million to farmers to date as part of a promised $12 billion aid program rolled out by President Donald Trump last July to offset losses from the imposition of tariffs on American exports. A total of $837.8 million to date has been paid out with the top five commodities being soybeans, wheat, corn, dairy and hogs, USDA told Reuters. The five states that received the highest amount of aid were Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Indiana and Minnesota. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - California judge orders next Monsanto weed-killer cancer trial for March 

A California judge on Thursday granted an expedited trial for March in the case of a California couple suffering from cancer who sued Bayer AG's Monsanto unit, alleging the company's glyphosate-containing weed killer Roundup caused their disease. The order by Superior Court Judge Ioana Petrou in Oakland, California, comes on the heels of a $289 million verdict in the first glyphosate trial in San Francisco in which a jury found Monsanto liable for causing a school groundskeeper's cancer. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - India's 2017/18 palm oil imports drop on weak rupee, liquidity crunch 

India's 2018/2019 palm oil imports dropped 6.4 percent from a year ago to 8.7 million tonnes as rupee depreciation and a credit crunch dented refiners' ability to buy overseas, a leading trade body said on Thursday. India, the world's biggest importer of edible oils, buys palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, soyoil mainly from Argentina and Brazil, and sunflower oil from Ukraine. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - China confirms African swine fever in top pig region Sichuan 

China's agricultural ministry confirmed on Friday the first outbreak of deadly African swine fever in the southwest province of Sichuan, the country's top pig-producing region, raising the likelihood of a major impact to pork supplies in coming months. The outbreak was found on a farm of 40 pigs in Yibin city, in Sichuan's southeast. This is the 18th province or municipality to have reported an outbreak of African swine fever since the highly contagious disease was first detected in China in early August. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - U.S. generation of renewable fuel credits rise in October - EPA 

The United States generated higher numbers of renewable fuel blending credits in October compared with September, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday. Some 1.27 billion ethanol (D6) blending credits were generated in October, up from 1.22 billion in September, and 348 million biodiesel (D4) blending credits were generated in October, compared with 322 million a month earlier. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Green Plains shuts plant, faces ethanol downturn 

Green Plains Inc, the nation's fourth-largest ethanol producer, has permanently shuttered a Virginia production plant and cut output at several other facilities as it tries to navigate a supply glut that has pummeled biofuel profits. Green Plains announced on Thursday that it was closing a plant in the town of Hopewell that had capacity to produce 60 million gallons annually. Thirty-one jobs will be cut, it said in a news release. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Singapore's Wilmar may invest in soybean production in Russia 

Singapore-listed commodity trader Wilmar International Ltd may invest in soybean production and processing and transhipment of soybean concentrates in Russia's Far East, a regional ministry said on Thursday. Wilmar's long-term investment programme in the Far East has been developed with Russian support, the ministry for the development of the Far East said in a statement, summing up meetings between officials and potential investors on the sidelines of a regional conference in Singapore, which President Vladimir Putin attended this week. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - France sets out plans to tackle deforestation

France set out plans on Wednesday to tackle deforestation around the world, saying it would look to curb imports of products such as palm oil, soy, and beef which it said contributed to the problem of forest areas disappearing. Palm oil, a type of vegetable oil used in confectionery and other goods, is controversial because of the environmental impact of clearing forests to make way for plantations. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - World needs more U.S. wheat, China can hold off on U.S. soy - traders 

The global grain market needs more U.S. wheat to make up for tightening supply in other major exporting zones, but China will be able to keep shunning U.S. soybeans in its trade tussle with Washington, grain merchants said on Wednesday. U.S. soybean shipments to China have dried up in recent months after Beijing raised tariffs on the most valuable U.S. agricultural export to the country.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - U.S. farmers scramble to contain trade-war damage, find new markets 

Clouds crowded the Illinois sky as Nick Harre walked away from his combine at the peak of harvest to join four fellow farmers in greeting some unlikely visitors. Inside a nearby seed barn, they made their pitch to eight Sri Lankan government officials: Please buy our soybeans. The wooing of such a tiny market underscores the depth of U.S. farmers’ problems after losing their biggest customer, China, to a global trade war. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - Brazil record soy exports to China could expand further - official 

Brazil's record soy exports to China could grow further, an Agriculture Ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday, as the Asian nation's trade war with the United States boosts its demand for South American beans. Odilson Ribeiro e Silva, vice minister of international affairs, traveled to China this month and said he hopes the high demand will also open the country up to Brazilian soymeal. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - FranceAgriMer cuts forecast for French wheat exports within EU 

Farm office FranceAgriMer cut its forecast of French 2018/19 soft wheat exports within the European Union on Wednesday, mainly due to lower shipments to Spain where the harvest has rebounded after severe drought damage last year. In monthly supply-and-demand estimates, FranceAgriMer put French wheat sales to other EU member states at 7.8 million tonnes, down from 7.9 million tonnes seen last month and 16 percent below a record high last year. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - Malaysia doubles palm oil imports from Indonesia amid high stocks 

Malaysian palm oil imports from neighbouring producer Indonesia almost doubled in the past month and the import trend looks set to extend throughout November, despite local stocks that are near historical highs, industry sources said. Traders, analysts and importers told Reuters that high output and inventories are forcing Indonesian sellers to lower prices of the edible oil as demand remains weak, making the shipments cheaper than Malaysian oil even with shipping costs. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - China's top pig farming firm to follow new lower protein feed standards 

China's top pig farming company Wens Foodstuffs Group Co Ltd will comply with new government-backed guidelines on lower protein in animal feed, a company executive said, adding however that the impact on its operations would be minimal. China's Feed Industry Association last month approved new standards for pig and chicken feeds, with lower protein levels as Beijing seeks to reduce its consumption of soymeal amid an ongoing trade spat with major soybean supplier the United States. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - Ukraine soybean exports fall to record low on weak European demand 

Ukraine's soybean exports fell to a record low of 140,000 tonnes in the first two months of the 2018/19 season due to poor demand from European consumers, analyst APK-Inform said on Wednesday. "Weak demand from the EU was the main reason for the decline... only 2,200 tonnes of soybeans were shipped from Ukraine in this direction compared to 108,500 tonnes in the same period last season," the consultancy said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - Brazil prosecutors near decision on BRF corruption charges 

A sprawling Brazilian probe into alleged cheating on food safety checks by BRF SA and other firms is entering its final weeks, according to authorities and court documents, with more criminal charges potentially on their way before year-end. Prosecutors are slated to decide whether to charge BRF's former chairman Abílio Diniz and more than 40 others once a Nov. 20 deadline passes for police to gather evidence about what they say are pervasive violations of food safety protocols dating back to at least 2015. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - GrainCorp profit withers in east Australia drought, challenges ahead 

GrainCorp Ltd, Australia's largest listed bulk grain handler, said on Thursday its annual underlying net profit fell 50 percent, hurt by the drought in the eastern states. The company said underlying net profit came in at A$71 million ($51.37 million) for the year to Sept. 30, down from A$141.6 million the previous year and within the company's forecast range of A$60 million to A$75 million. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 15 - Japan considers scrapping age limit on US beef imports - reports 

Japan is considering scrapping import restrictions on U.S. beef purchases that were put in place after the first case of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003, local media reported on Thursday. Both the Nikkei business daily and Mainichi newspaper said officials are discussing removing the curbs that currently only allow beef from cattle that are 30 months-old or younger. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - LatAm farmers to boost soybean output amid U.S.-China trade war - analyst 

Farmers across South America are expected to produce more soybeans in 2018/19, an industry analyst said on Wednesday, as they take advantage of a trade war that has curbed U.S. exports to the world's top buyer China. Producers in Brazil are investing more resources to increase the planted area in 2018/19 to a record 36.2 million hectares, Andre Debastiani, partner at Brazil Agroconsult told an industry conference in Guangzhou. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - U.S. pigs out on bacon, ribs as trade wars cut chicken demand 

Americans are losing their taste for chicken and eating more beef and pork as President Donald Trump's trade wars reduce U.S. pork exports to China and Mexico and leave cheaper bacon and ribs at home. An expansion in the number of U.S. hogs and cattle is contributing to the change in diets by boosting supplies of pork and beef. Restaurants are seizing on the increases to promote hamburgers instead of chicken, while grocery stores have featured pork. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - China's 2018/19 soybean imports seen dropping to 91 mln T - Informa Economics 

China's soybean imports in 2018/19 are expected to drop to 91 million tonnes from 94 million tonnes a year ago, an official of private analytics firm Informa Economics said on Wednesday. China, which buys 60 percent of soybeans traded worldwide, is locked in a bitter trade dispute with the United States. It has curbed the country's purchases of U.S. beans. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - NOPA October U.S. soy crush seen at 170.026 mln bushels - survey 

U.S. oilseed processors likely crushed the second-largest volume of soybeans ever last month as they took advantage of good margins and ample supplies of newly harvested beans, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report. NOPA members, who handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, likely crushed 170.026 million bushels of soybeans in October, according to an average of estimates given by eight analysts in a Reuters survey. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - Stung by trade wars, U.S. farmers hope for quick progress on Farm Bill 

U.S. soybean farmer Mike Schlosser does not expect President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, the single biggest headwind to his business, to end any time soon. But he is among many in farm country who expect at least some good news this year - in the form of a new Farm Bill. Congress comes back on Tuesday for the lame-duck session after Democrats in last week's mid-term elections gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Lawmakers have said passing the critical piece of agricultural legislation is their highest priority. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - German rapeseed sowings for 2019 crop cut 18.1 pct 

Germany's winter rapeseed planted area for the 2019 harvest will be reduced by 18.1 percent on the year to around 1 million hectares, German oilseeds industry association UFOP estimated on Tuesday. A survey commissioned by UFOP of 4,411 German farmers indicated that unusually dry autumn weather following this summer's heatwave and drought meant the ground was too parched to carry out rapeseed sowings in some areas. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - China seen importing farm products from Belt & Road countries - official 

China expects to import land-intensive agricultural products from Belt & Road countries, a State Council official told an industry conference on Wednesday. "These countries have high potential in producing and exporting land-intensive agricultural products," said Ye Xingqing, Director of Department of Rural Economics, Development Research Center of The State Council. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - Brazil's JBS posts narrower-than-expected quarterly loss 

Brazil-based food company JBS SA on Tuesday posted a narrower than expected quarterly loss on the back of a strong performance by its Seara processed foods and Brazil beef divisions, and resilience in certain of its U.S. operations. Seara booked net sales of 4.9 billion reais last quarter, a 9 percent rise from a year earlier, as a result of higher sales prices both domestically and in export markets, JBS said in a securities filing. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - Indian palm oil imports unlikely to rise despite fall in prices 

India's palm oil imports are unlikely to climb over November to January even as prices for the commodity plumb their lowest in three years, reined in by ample local supply of rival oilseeds and as a liquidity crunch hits would-be buyers, traders said. The South Asian country is the world's biggest importer of palm oil and is a key factor in international benchmark prices, which have fallen nearly a fifth so far in 2018. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 14 - China's Tangrenshen says African swine fever not found in its animal feed 

Chinese animal feed maker Tangrenshen Group said on Tuesday that tests on feed made by one of its units had ruled out the presence of the deadly African swine fever. The company said on Sunday that authorities in eastern Anhui province had reported finding what they suspected was African swine fever in feed made by its 51 percent-owned subsidiary, Bili Meiyingwei Nutrition Feedstuff. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 13 - Brazil soy exports to surpass 80 mln tonnes in 2018 on Chinese demand 

Brazilian exporters are forecast to sell a record volume of soybeans this year as China's appetite for the oilseed remains strong amid a trade war with the United States, according to traders and shipping data on Monday. Shipments from Brazil, the world's largest exporter of the oilseed, are expected to surpass 80 million tonnes in 2018, according to data from shipping agent Williams. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 13 - Iraq trade minister says studying possibility of Russian wheat imports 

Iraq, a major Middle East grain importer, said late on Monday it wanted to allow Russian origin wheat imports in its state buying tenders. Trade Minister Mohammed Hashim al-Aani said he would send representatives to Russia to study its wheat quality and its suitability for use in Iraq's massive food rationing programme. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 13 - US says India paid bigger cotton subsidies than WTO allows 

India has paid out far more in cotton subsidies than the World Trade Organization allows, with payments "vastly in excess" of what it had officially declared, the United States said in a filing to the trade watchdog on Monday. The U.S. assessment of India's market price support (MPS) for cotton said New Delhi was allowed to pay out up to 10 percent of the value of production, but the actual figure had ranged from 53 percent to 81 percent since 2010. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 13 - China and Russia in talks to allow more Russian states to export wheat to China - ambassador 

Russia and China are in talks about more Russian regions being approved to export wheat to China, Russia's ambassador to China, Andrey Ivanovich Denisov, told Reuters on Monday. Russia exported about 18,000 tonnes of wheat to China in 2017, Chinese customs data shows, only 0.4 percent of the country's total imports. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 13 - Brazil's BRF turnaround will take at least 2 years - CEO 

Investors will not see the results of a turnaround in Brazil's BRF SA, the world's largest poultry exporter, in the short term, the company's chief executive officer Pedro Parente told Reuters on Monday. "Realistically, it will not happen in less than two years," Parente said in an interview in New York, adding that one of his biggest challenges as CEO is to "manage investors' expectations." Click here to read full stories.

Nov 13 - China confirms African swine fever outbreak in Hubei province 

China's agricultural ministry said on Tuesday it had confirmed an outbreak of African swine fever in central Hubei province. The disease was found to have killed six of a combined 147 pigs on two neighbouring farms in Wuxue city, the ministry said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 13 - Singapore's Wilmar Q3 net profit rises 11 pct 

Singapore-listed commodity trader Wilmar International Ltd on Monday posted a rise of nearly 11 percent in its third-quarter net profit, helped by stronger performance across its key businesses. The company, whose top shareholders include U.S. agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland Co, reported a net profit of $407.4 million for the three months ended September, compared with $368.1 million a year earlier. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 12 - Funds' CBOT views seen little changed after USDA bombshell - Braun 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply and demand report can often be mundane in November, but Thursday’s update was far from uneventful, with loads of moving parts. However, the new data did not appear to significantly change investors’ minds toward Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds. The report ultimately revealed an expected tightening of global grain supplies into mid-2019 and an expansion of soybean stocks, especially in the United States. However, the adjustment of historical data out of China made it difficult to quickly identify these trends in the grains. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 12 - Bunge sees Brazil 2019 wheat imports rising 11 pct on crop failure 

Brazil wheat imports are expected to increase 11 percent in 2019 to 7 million tonnes as the country grapples with crop failures this year, a senior manager for commodities trading firm Bunge Ltd  said on Friday. In Brazil, weather problems including rainfall during the harvest have contributed to the forecast for Brazil's 2018 wheat crop being cut to 5.3 million tonnes from the 6 million tonnes projected originally, said Edson Csipai, Bunge's manager of grain origination. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 12 - African swine fever found in animal feed raises China's contagion risk 

Major Chinese animal feed maker Tangrenshen Group reported on Sunday that feed produced by one of its units had been contaminated with African swine fever, raising fears of its spread further across the country. This is the first reported contamination of feed supplies in China and increases the concerns for pig farmers trying to avoid the disease. It also raises the economic pressure on feed manufacturers already struggling with low margins and slowing demand. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 12 - U.S. ethanol producers feeling the pinch from Trump trade war

U.S. ethanol producers drew a bleak picture of their industry in quarterly filings and analyst calls this week, detailing how the critical farm belt business has been devastated by President Donald Trump's trade war with China and biofuels management policies that they say have tilted toward oil refiners. The ethanol business had grown for years at breakneck speed but its outlook has dimmed due to Washington's aggressive protectionist stance and the administration's unpredictable management of its renewable fuel program. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 12 - Egypt's strategic wheat reserves sufficient for 4.3 months - minister 

Egypt's strategic reserves of wheat are enough to cover the country's needs for 4.3 months, the supply minister was quoted as saying on Sunday by state news agency MENA. The country has enough sugar to cover its needs for 5.3 months and enough vegetable oil for 3.3 months, Ali Moselhy said in an address in parliament. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 09 - USDA sees ballooning soy supplies as trade war roils exports

The U.S. soybean crop will be smaller than expected but stocks are forecast to rise sharply as a trade fight with China weighs heavily on exports, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday. The government also trimmed its outlook for domestic corn production in its monthly supply and demand report, with yields from the ongoing harvest coming in below expectations. Click here to read full stories

Nov 09 - Agribusiness giant ADM made buyout approach to Argentina's Molinos – sources

Top U.S. grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co has approached Argentine soy crusher Molinos Agro about buying the company's livestock feed and soyoil manufacturing plant, and talks may continue, three sources said. Molinos and other Argentine soy crushers have been pummeled by fallout from the U.S.-China trade policy war which has given U.S. crushers a competitive advantage. Click here to read full stories

Nov 09 - Tightening in global grain supply clouded by China, again -Braun

Agriculture analysts have gotten used to the routine of subtracting out China’s wheat stocks from the world total for a better portrayal of exportable world supply since the Asian country is a minimal participant in wheat trade. China's grain stocks have swelled in the last decade or so in a bid for food security and self-sufficiency, but this has led to the overproduction and hoarding of corn and wheat. Click here to read full stories

Nov 09 - French rapeseed area to slump 30-35 pct after drought - growers

The rapeseed area for the 2019 harvest in France is expected to drop by 30-35 percent from this year because of drought, the head of oilseed growers group FOP said on Thursday. The forecast, which would reduce the French rapeseed area to between 1 million and 1.1 million hectares, is far below estimates from the Terres Univia growers' technical centre, which had previously forecast that the area would drop to 1.5 million hectares.  Click here to read full stories

Nov 09 - Argentina biodiesel chamber: U.S. review of tariffs could revive halted exports

The U.S. decision to review its tariffs on Argentine biodiesel could mean a reversal of fortune for exporters whose shipments from the South American country have been practically nil, the biodiesel chamber of Argentina said on Thursday. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Wednesday there was "just cause" to review the taxes it applied at the end of 2017 to Argentine biodiesel, which cut off access to the main market for Argentina's product at the time.  Click here to read full stories

Nov 09 - U.S. agriculture coalition meets in Havana despite Trump crackdown

Representatives of U.S. agribusiness, the farming lobby and related industries opened a three-day conference in Cuba on Thursday aimed at increasing sales and cooperation with a country that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly lambasted and promised to tighten sanctions on. The U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba, which seeks increased trade with Cuba and the lifting of the trade embargo, is sponsoring the event. Click here to read full stories

Nov 09 - Brazil's BRF reports wider-than-expected Q3 loss in tough turnaround

Brazilian food processor BRF SA posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday as trade embargoes, a drop in sales volumes and higher feed prices weighed on management's efforts to turn the company around. In its second quarter after a corporate restructuring following a string of bad financial and operating results, BRF said it lost 812 million reais ($218 million). That was almost double the average loss of 443 million reais forecast by analysts, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Click here to read full stories

Nov 08 - China sharply revises higher corn output data from past 10 years

China, the world's No. 2 corn producer, sharply revised higher its corn output data for the past 10 years, a move that should have wide repercussions for global supply and demand scenarios. The data overhaul follows last year's agricultural census, China's first in 10 years, which led the National Statistics Bureau to revise a broad swathe of data, a bureau official said on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - China Oct soybean imports jump from yr before amid worries trade war will hit supply

China's soybean imports jumped by nearly a fifth in October from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, with buyers stocking up on Brazilian beans amid worries over tight supply in the fourth quarter due to the Sino-U.S. trade war. China, the world's top soybean buyer, brought in 6.92 million tonnes of the oilseed in October, up 18 percent from 5.85 million tonnes in the same month last year, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - Louis Dreyfus top shareholder gets finance to buy out minorities

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, top shareholder of commodity giant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), said she had secured financing for a deal that requires her to buy out family minorities, a move that has created uncertainty over the firm's funding. Minority family shareholders asked in 2015 to sell 16.6 percent of LDC's holding company to Margarita Louis-Dreyfus' Akira trust in a buyout estimated at $800-$900 million.  Click here to read full stories.

 

Nov 08 - Russia keeps 2018/19 grain export forecast at 38-39 mln T

Russia's agriculture ministry on Wednesday kept its grain export forecast for 2018/19 at 38-39 million tonnes, withdrawing an earlier lower forecast given by one of its officials. Russian news agencies earlier quoted First Deputy Minister Dzhambulat Khatuov as saying the ministry had cut its grain export forecast for the 2018/19 marketing season that started on July 1 to 35 million tonnes. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - Russia to start supplies of frozen poultry to China in 2018

Russia plans to start supplying frozen poultry to China by the end of 2018, the government said on Wednesday, ending several years of waiting for meat producers to gain access to the major market. Domestic producers have boosted their output since 2014 when Moscow banned most Western food imports in reaction to sanctions imposed on Russia over the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and other factors. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - Sisi's hot potato: Egyptians hit back after remarks on austerity

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi spoke daily at the World Youth Forum in the resort of Sharm al-Sheikh this week, touching on topics from Syria's reconstruction to religious tolerance - but it was a remark about potatoes that most stirred the pot. "Do you want to build your country and become a worthy state, or are you going to look for potatoes?" Sisi asked, after hinting that Egyptian civil servants would go without an annual wage increase this year due to increased government costs. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - U.S. to review antidumping duties on Argentine biodiesel - Argentina

The U.S. Commerce Department said it would begin a review of antidumping duties it placed last year on biodiesel imported from Argentina, the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. U.S. trade officials had shut down the sale of Argentine biodiesel with steep tariffs after finding in late 2017 that imports from the South American country were being sold at prices well below market value in the United States. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - Stalled farm bill could move fast after House win - senior Democratic lawmaker

Congress may swiftly resolve a drawn-out impasse on the U.S. Farm Bill now that Democrats are poised to retake control of the legislative body, the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee said on Wednesday. Collin Peterson, ranking member and presumptive new chair of committee, said passing the crucial agricultural legislation was going to be his top priority, with a deal possible as soon as next week during the lame-duck session. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - China's Heilongjiang province doubles soybean subsidies to boost output

China's top grain-producing province almost doubled its 2018 subsidies for soybean growers, an official news website reported on Wednesday, as Beijing seeks ways to reduce reliance on U.S. exports of the oilseed amid a trade war with Washington. China's Heilongjiang province set 2018 soybean subsidies at 320 yuan per mu, a Chinese measure of land equal to 0.06 hectare (0.14 acre), up from last year's 174 yuan per mu, the local official media website said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 07 - Argentina eyes soymeal export approval from China this month

Argentine soy crushing factories want to revive their business with a deal permitting them for the first time to export soymeal livestock feed to China, a pact that the government said was being hammered out this week in Beijing. The crushing plants that dot the banks of the Parana River, Argentina's main grains thoroughfare, are working at only about half their capacity due to fallout from the U.S.-China trade war. The government hopes to announce the soymeal-to-China agreement at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires later this month, the head of the local grains exporting chamber said on Tuesday. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - USDA may soon shed more light on U.S.-China soy trade -Braun

One of the biggest disconnects in the oilseed market today is the paltry volume of soybeans shipped from the United States in recent weeks versus the relatively lofty export predictions from the U.S. government. The reason U.S. soybean exports are lagging so badly is simple: top customer China slapped heavy tariffs on the U.S. product earlier this year, effectively banning its entry into the East Asian country. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - Germany seeking end date for glyphosate use - minister

Germany plans new conditions for pesticide approval and will seek an end date for the use of glyphosate-based weed killers, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said on Tuesday. Weed killers using glyphosate, made by Bayer AG's Monsanto, are the subject of a heated debate in Europe and the United States over whether they cause cancer. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - Brazil biodiesel group seeks 10-pct retention on soy export earnings

Ubrabio, a Brazilian association of biodiesel producers, presented on Tuesday a proposal for the government to retain 10 percent of earnings from soybean exports, in a program to help the local soybean crushing industry. The money collected would be distributed among crushers proportionately to their sales of soymeal, to help them compete in international markets and boost their capacity to buy beans in the domestic market, competing with exporters. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - Philippines farm output drops for first time in 7 quarters

The Philippines' July-September agricultural production dropped for the first time in seven quarters, dented by lower output of crops and fisheries, data from the statistics agency showed on Wednesday. Farm output fell 0.8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority said, with the output of crops, which accounts for nearly half of total agricultural production, contracting 3.6 percent. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - Ghana launches commodity exchange for agricultural products

Ghana launched a commodity exchange for agricultural products, the first in West Africa, on Tuesday in efforts to guarantee market access for farmers and boost their income, President Nana Akufo Addo said. He said the exchange would benefit around 1 million Ghanaian farmers by securing storage for their harvest over the next 18 months and aims to substantially reduce post-harvest losses. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - Ukraine oilseed meal exports to jump in 2018/19 - consultancy

Ukraine is likely to increase its exports of oilseed meal with a record 7 percent share in global exports, agribusiness consulting agency APK-Inform said on Wednesday. The consultancy said the export of sunflower meal could rise to 4.7 million tonnes in the 2018/19 September-August season, 11 percent more than in 2017/18. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - Canada's Nutrien eyeing expansion of nitrogen plants as prices climb

Nutrien Ltd, the world's biggest crop nutrient producer by capacity, is looking at expanding several nitrogen fertilizer plants in North America due to rising prices, Chief Executive Chuck Magro said on Tuesday. Nitrogen prices have climbed as China's shutdown of coal-fired plants and rising European costs of natural gas, a key ingredient in fertilizer production, have curbed capacity outside North America. Click here to read full stories

Nov 07 - Turkey may import more meat to cut down prices, Erdogan says

Turkey will import more meat to bring down surging prices if necessary, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, after food prices helped push inflation to a 15-year high in October. "I think the continued rise in meat prices is due to high demand. However, if necessary, we will import without thinking of the current account deficit to bring down these prices and balance the market," Erdogan said. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - Toxin in U.S. corn harvest poses latest headache for farmers

North American farmers are finding increased levels of a plant toxin known as vomitoxin in this year's corn harvest, adding insult to injury for growers already suffering as the U.S.-China trade war hurts soybean exports and crop prices. Vomitoxin sickens livestock and can also make humans and pets fall ill, and grain buyers can reject cargoes or fine farmers for shipments that contain it. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - Brazil in talks to boost soymeal exports to China

Brazil's soy processing executives are in talks with Chinese government officials over ways to increase soymeal exports to the Asian nation, industry group Abiove said on Monday. China already buys around 80 percent of Brazilian soybean exports. According to official data, Brazil exported 55 million tonnes of soybeans to China from January to September, while sales of soymeal - crushed soybeans used for animal feed - were 209,000 tonnes. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - Crop Watch: Corn harvest picked up pace in Western Belt - Braun

The U.S. Crop Watch farmers reported another busy week of harvesting, especially in the Western Corn Belt. As of Sunday, the corn harvest was notably lagging normal pace in the North Dakota and Nebraska locations, but otherwise the producers report that three-fourths or more of the area corn is done. The soybean harvest is at least 90 percent completed around all eight Crop Watch locations except for Kansas, which suffered heavy delays last month on record rainfall. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - Vietnam, Thailand skip Philippines' 203,000 T rice tender

Major rice exporters Thailand and Vietnam did not submit offers at a Philippines import tender for the supply of 203,000 tonnes of the grain, citing stricter terms, Philippine officials said on Tuesday. The tender by one of the world's top rice importers was held to meet unfilled orders after a tender on Oct. 18 for 250,000 tonnes of rice by Manila's state-owned National Food Authority (NFA) secured only 47,000 tonnes due to high offer prices. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - China battles to control African swine fever as it reports 50th case

China confirmed a new case of African swine fever on Monday, in southern Hunan province, marking the 50th outbreak of the highly contagious disease in the world's top pork producer. The disease, which can be deadly for pigs and has no vaccine, has reached 14 provinces and municipalities in China since it was first detected in early August. Most of the recent cases have been in the south, which has the country's highest pork consumption per capita. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - U.S. corn harvest seen 77 pct done, soy harvest 84 pct - poll

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report should show the U.S. corn harvest 77 percent complete and the soybean harvest 84 percent complete, according to the average estimate from 11 analysts polled by Reuters on Monday. The USDA plans to release its weekly update at 3 p.m. CST (2100 GMT) on Monday. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - Saudi Arabia buys 1.02 mln T of feed barley in big sale by Glencore

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest feed barley buyer, said on Monday it bought 1.02 million tonnes of the grain in an international tender, predominantly from Glencore. The barley was purchased at an average price of $266.83 per tonne, cost and freight, and the offered origins were from the European Union, Australia, the Black Sea, and North and South America, excluding Canada, state grain buyer, the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), said in a statement. Click here to read full stories

Nov 06 - France bans crop pesticide metam sodium after people fall ill

France's health safety watchdog Anses ordered a ban on products containing metam sodium, widely used in vegetable farming, on Monday after several people fell ill, saying it poses a risk to human health and the environment. The discovery of respiratory intoxications in recent weeks among farmers or farm neighbours following the use of metam sodium-based products in western France had prompted the government to temporarily ban its use pending an Anses opinion. Click here to read full stories

Nov 05 - As China soy demand wavers, U.S. farmers turn back to grains

Since the mid-2000s, North Dakota farmer Paul Thomas has planted more of his land with soybeans as China's demand for the oilseed grew. The shift culminated this year when Thomas planted 1,600 of his 5,000 acres with soybeans, the most ever. But Thomas and many farmers like him plan to return to the old U.S. farm belt staples in 2019: corn and wheat. The change will reverse a trend that saw U.S. farmers plant more acreage this year with soybeans than corn for the first time in 35 years. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 05 - U.S. farmers to seed more corn for 2019/20, less soy - USDA

U.S. farmers are likely to expand plantings of both corn and wheat while reducing soybean and cotton seedings for the upcoming marketing year, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday. The USDA's Office of the Chief Economist forecast that farmers will seed 92.0 million acres of corn in the 2019/20 crop year, up from 89.1 million for 2018/19. For soybeans, acreage will fall to 82.5 million acres, from 89.1 million. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 05 - Funds sour on CBOT grains, soy but renew interest late in week - Braun

Competitiveness on the global grain market and lousy export demand for U.S. soybeans led to speculative selling across the board through Oct. 30 in Chicago-traded grain and oilseed futures, but there was a resurgence of optimism late last week. Investors remained bullish in CBOT corn for the third week in a row, but with caution as U.S. supply builds amid the ongoing harvest. Overseas demand for U.S. corn has also faced some headwinds in recent weeks from South American and Black Sea rivals. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 05 - Malaysia Oct palm oil stocks seen rising to 3-year high

Malaysia's palm oil stocks at end-October are forecast to rise to the highest in three years at nearly 3 million tonnes amid a seasonal rise in output and a slip in export demand, according to a Reuters survey. Inventories are expected to climb for a fifth straight month, rising 14.1 percent from September to 2.90 million tonnes, based on the median estimate of eight planters, traders and analysts. That would be the highest level since November 2015, and the sharpest monthly gain in a year.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 05 - USDA, farm businesses head to South Korea in trade mission

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday it will lead a trade delegation of farm organizations and businesses to South Korea, in an apparent effort to boost opportunities for U.S. farmers in a key U.S. export market. The planned visit, scheduled for Nov. 5-8, comes after the United States and South Korea signed a revised free trade agreement on Sept. 24 and at a time when American farmers have been struggling due to the absence of Chinese buyers, their largest export market, due to a trade war between Washington and Beijing. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - Bloomberg Commodity Index to cut weightings for livestock, softs 

Bloomberg adjusted the weightings for its Bloomberg Commodity Index for 2019, cutting its weighting for the livestock and soft commodity sectors, the company said in a statement dated Wednesday. It cut its weighting for the livestock sector to 5.94 percent in 2019 from 6.39 percent this year, and the softs sector to 7.05 percent from 7.60 percent. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - Trump’s trade war looms over divided U.S. farm belt ahead of vote

Chuck Wirtz voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, inspired by the then-political outsider, but the veteran Iowa hog farmer now has buyer's remorse as the U.S. Republican president's trade policy exacts a heavy toll on his business. Wirtz, 56, estimates the tariffs resulting from the U.S. trade war with China and other nations have cost him $200,000 this year and forced the liquidation of part of his farm in northwestern Iowa. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - China soymeal futures fall most in almost six years after Trump-Xi phone call 

China's most actively traded soymeal futures fell by the maximum 5 percent at the market open on Friday, its biggest daily drop in almost six years, as traders reacted to positive comments after a phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Soy traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell to 3,105 yuan ($447.99) a tonne, a two-month low, in its biggest daily decline since February 2013, surprising some market observers. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - China's customs data release shows Sept soybean imports from Brazil jump 

China's purchases of Brazilian soybeans in September jumped 28 percent from the prior year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday, as buyers stocked up ahead of an expected shortfall in the fourth quarter. This is the first time that China has provided data on the country of origin for its commodity imports since the month of March. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - Brazil's Bolsonaro might keep agriculture, environment ministries apart 

Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday his future administration may keep the agriculture and the environment ministries separate, backtracking from a proposal to combine the two that had alarmed environmentalists. "We had an idea to combine the ministries but it seems both will remain separate, with one person focusing on environment protection," he said during an interview with Catholic TV stations. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - U.S.-China trade dispute may benefit palm oil demand - analyst Fry

Palm oil will see some benefit from the U.S.-China trade war as China will reduce supplies of soybean for its vegetable oil processing industry, said industry analyst James Fry on Thursday. Soybeans from the United States entering China have been subject to additional tariffs of 25 percent since July as Beijing retaliated in response to U.S. duties on Chinese goods. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 02 - White farmer's role highlights South Africa's land reform challenge

Earlier this year, Nick Serfontein wrote an open letter to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to take the views of white farmers on board as the government considers expropriating land without compensation to reduce rural poverty. Now Serfontein sits on a 10-person board advising the president where to go next, based on what he says is his own experience of trying to help black farmers who do not own land. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - U.S. soybean cargo heading to China switches destination amid trade row 

A vessel carrying soybeans from the United States to China changed its destination to South Korea on Thursday, shipping data showed, amid a trade war that has decimated U.S. shipments of the commodity to the world's top oilseed importer. The Star Laura, carrying 36,000 tonnes of American soybeans loaded in Seattle in late September, was due to arrive in the eastern Chinese port of Qingdao on Wednesday, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - Bunge expands board under activist pressure, shares drop 

Bunge Ltd said it will add four directors to its board and create a strategic review committee to explore options for the global grains trader, including a sale of the company, bowing to pressure from activist investors D.E. Shaw and Continental Grain Co. The White Plains, New York-based agribusiness company also reported a stronger-than-expected third-quarter profit, but lowered its 2018 earnings outlook by $100 million to $1.2 billion with cuts to guidance in two of its four business segments. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - USDA September soybean crush seen at 171.0 million bushels 

U.S. soybean crushings in September likely totaled 5.131 million short tons, or 171.0 million bushels, according to the average forecast of nine analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Estimates ranged from 170.2 million to 171.6 million bushels, with a median of 171.1 million bushels. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - Russia to resume some beef and pork imports from Brazil 

Russia's agriculture safety watchdog said on Wednesday it would allow imports of beef and pork from nine Brazilian plants to resume from Thursday, ending an 11-month ban triggered by food safety concerns. Russia's Rosselkhoznadzor had placed temporary restrictions on imports of pork and beef products from Brazil in December 2017 after it said it found ractopamine in some shipments, a feed additive that is permitted in Brazil but banned in Russia. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - EPA adds restrictions to use of Bayer, BASF weed killer linked to crop damage 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it would allow farmers to spray a controversial weed killer made by Bayer AG's Monsanto Co and BASF SE for two more years, with additional restrictions on use. The agency said the herbicide, called dicamba, is an important tool for controlling weeds in crop fields. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - China's WH Group seeks proof African swine fever found in subsidiary's sausage 

WH Group, China's top pork processor, said on Thursday it was trying to verify a Taiwan government statement that the African swine fever virus was found in a sausage made by a subsidiary that was brought to the island by a traveller. The findings in Taiwan suggests that pigs carrying the disease are still being slaughtered and processed in China. South Korea and Japan have also reported finding processed meat products imported from China containing the disease.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - Graincorp to cut jobs in eastern Australia unit because of drought 

Graincorp said on Thursday it planned to cut jobs at its eastern Australia grains unit after a devastating drought in the area severely hampered the region's grain harvest. Australia's biggest listed bulk grain handler said in a statement it would streamline operations and reduce management layers to cut costs. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 01 - Indonesia considers reducing its levy on palm oil exports 

Indonesia is considering reducing its levy on palm oil exports, a government minister said on Thursday, as the nation pushes to maintain its position in international markets for the commodity. Indonesia's coordinating minister for economic affairs, Darmin Nasution, said during a speech at an industry conference in Indonesia that an "adjustment" to the levy was among steps to be taken by the government, although he later told reporters that this was still being discussed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - Bunge finalizing agreements with investors, to consider sale - sources 

Bunge Ltd is finalizing agreements with activist investors D.E. Shaw and Co and Continental Grain Co to add four directors to its board and set up a committee to explore a sale, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The agreement was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which earlier this month said D.E. Shaw had raised its stake in the grain trader and was working with Continental Grain to make operational improvements at the company. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - U.S. grain handler Andersons eyes growth after Lansing deal 

Two years after fending off a hostile takeover attempt, U.S. grain handler The Andersons Inc is expanding its commodity shipping and ethanol businesses and eyeing small- to mid-sized acquisitions to stay profitable during a global supply glut that has hurt U.S. farmers. The Andersons this month said it was purchasing the remaining 67.5 percent stake in Lansing Trade Group LLC that the company did not already own by paying $175 million in cash, assuming $166 million in long-term debt and issuing stock in its largest-ever acquisition. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - CoreCommodity's De Chiara says bull cycle in commods starting 

Commodities from energy to metals and agriculture are in the early stages of a strong upward move, CoreCommodity LLC portfolio manager Adam De Chiara said on Tuesday, as interest rates start to rise and long-standing supply gluts start to dwindle. De Chiara, co-founder of the $4.2 billion CoreCommodity Management LLC, a privately owned investment manager, said global economic growth is the main reason he expects a sustained rally in energy markets including crude oil and natural gas, along with soft commodities like coffee and sugar. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - Less meat, more pasta: how the economic crisis is changing Argentina's diet 

Like most Argentines, Sabrina Pozo used to eat meat several times a week. But soaring inflation and the collapse of Argentina's currency, the peso, since April have forced her to abruptly change her diet. "My habits changed a lot. Before, maybe I made beef Milanese (breaded cutlet) once a week and roast beef once a week," Pozo, 36, said. Click here to read full stories. 

Oct 31 - Moderate deliveries expected against CBOT Nov soybean futures 

Soybean deliveries against Chicago Board of Trade November futures should be moderate on Wednesday, which is first notice day, traders and analysts said on Tuesday, citing weak cash values. Analysts' estimates of CBOT November soybean deliveries on first notice day ranged mostly from 200 to 500 contracts, although some analysts said deliveries could reach 1,000 contracts. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - China to buy more vegoils and meals in coming weeks - Oil World 

China is likely to buy a wider range of processed vegetable oils and animal feed meals on global markets in the coming weeks as the U.S./China trade war continues to reduce supplies of soybeans for China’s oilseeds processing industry, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday. “China is likely to become a more active buyer of vegetable oils and oilmeals on the world market to partly compensate reduced domestic production resulting from a smaller soybean crush,” Oil World said in its closely-watched weekly newsletter. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - Cargill's Dines named new CFO; Smits takes new role in Asia 

Cargill Inc said on Tuesday that David Dines, the head of its risk management business, would replace Chief Financial Officer Marcel Smits on Dec. 1 as part of a handful of changes in the grain trader's executive team. The company said Smits will be moving into a new role as the head of Cargill Asia Pacific - a region that Cargill says is a key focus of its growth going forward. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - Crop Watch: Big week for soybean harvest across the Corn Belt - Karen Braun 

U.S. farmers took advantage of favorable weather last week with many areas making huge strides in harvest progress, according to ground reports from the eight Crop Watch producers. As in the previous week, there was a large focus on soybeans, but to an even greater extent than in the previous week. As of Sunday, the local soybean harvest is predicted to range from 60 percent complete to fully complete across the eight Crop Watch areas. Corn progress is between 50 and 95 percent complete in six of the locations, but northeast Nebraska and east central North Dakota are further behind. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - Russian wheat export prices fall due to competition with U.S. wheat

Russian wheat export prices fell last week due to intensified competition with U.S. wheat for supplies to Egypt, the world's largest importer and the top buyer of Russian wheat, analysts said on Monday. Chicago wheat prices, the global benchmark, had been falling last week until Friday when they jumped as U.S. wheat became one of the winning origins - for the first time in many months - at a tender of GASC, Egypt's state buyer. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - Brazil poised for bumper soybean crop as planting advances – Reuters poll 

Brazilian farmers are likely to harvest another record volume of soybeans in the 2018/19 season, as good weather fuels expectations of yet another bumper crop in the world's largest exporter of the oilseed, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. Brazilian producers will harvest 120.39 million tonnes of soybeans in the season that began in September, a rise of 0.9 percent compared with the previous cycle, according to the average of 12 estimates collected by Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - UAE's strategic Fujairah grain silos 60 pct full 

The United Arab Emirates' strategic grain silos at the port of Fujairah, which can be reached without passing through the Strait of Hormuz, are 50 to 60 percent full on average, the managing director of the country's state Food Security Center said. In response to U.S. sanctions, Iran in July threatened to block all exports through the strait, a vital Gulf oil export and food import route, a similar threat to the one it made in 2012 as tensions rose with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - Brazil's Bolsonaro backs ethanol industry, pledges partnership 

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro backed Brazil's ethanol industry and pledged to be a partner of the biofuel sector, according to remarks aired on Monday during an international sugar conference in Sao Paulo. Right-wing Bolsonaro, who beat leftist Fernando Haddad in a run-off vote on Sunday, said in a video that he would like to see Brazil retake global leadership in ethanol production, which it lost to the United States some years ago. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - China soymeal, rapemeal futures fall on government plan, weaker demand 

China's soymeal futures fell more than 1.8 percent on Tuesday, as the market digested news of a government plan to reduce protein levels in animal feed. The plan, issued late on Friday, could see consumption of soybeans in China fall by 14 million tonnes a year, the agriculture ministry said, or about 13 percent. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - U.S. agriculture chief says no plan to extend farm aid to offset tariffs 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is not planning to extend an up to $12 billion aid package for farmers into 2019, Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Monday, to mitigate farmer losses due to the imposition of tariffs on American exports. "Farmers are very resilient and adept in making their planning and marketing decisions based on the current market," Perdue told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Washington. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 30 - Bulgaria detects bird flu at two duck farms 

Bulgaria's food safety agency reported an outbreak of the virulent bird flu virus on Monday on two duck farms in southern Bulgaria. All ducks in the farms in the village of Malevo and the village of Garvanovo will be culled to prevent the spread of the disease, which was confirmed by laboratory tests, the agency said in a statement, without specifying which strain of bird flu was involved. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 29 - China says new animal feed standards will cut chunk out of appetite for soy 

New standards on the protein content of animal feed in China will cut its annual consumption of soybeans by 14 million tonnes, the government said late last week, marking a drop of about 13 percent from the last crop year in the world's top buyer of the oilseed. The nation has been pursuing multiple ways to reduce its consumption of feed ingredient soymeal, made from soybeans, amid a festering trade war with the United States, its No.2 supplier of beans. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 29 - Hog industry worldwide getting slaughtered in trade war 

Ken Maschhoff, chairman of the largest U.S. family-owned pork producer, has watched profits fall as trade tensions rise between the United States and China. His company, The Maschhoffs, has halted U.S. projects worth up to $30 million and may move some operations overseas. Investing in domestic operations now would be “ludicrous" as China and others retaliate against U.S. agricultural goods, Maschhoff said from the firm’s Carlyle, Illinois headquarters. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 29 - Trade retaliations against the U.S. hit Canada farmers, too 

The United States' trade wars have allowed Canada's agriculture industry to pump up sales of soybeans and wheat to China, and pork to Mexico. But the same tariff battles are undermining commodity prices and eating into Canadian farmers' profit margins even as they grab more market share. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 29 - Egypt's GASC says buys 470,000 T of wheat in tender for Dec. 11-20 delivery 

Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Friday it has bought 470,000 tonnes of wheat in an international purchase tender. GASC bought 350,000 tonnes of Russian wheat, 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat for delivery Dec. 11-20. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 29 - Russia raises wheat exports estimate, risk of curbs eases

Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev raised the country's 2018/19 wheat export estimate at his Friday meeting with major traders, who interpreted it as another sign of an easing risk of export curbs. Russian officials along with their counterparts in Ukraine, another major Black Sea wheat exporter, are closely monitoring the activity of main exporters for this marketing season due to a lower crop. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 29 - France triggers disaster fund for drought-hit farmers 

France, Europe's biggest grain producer, announced aid on Friday for farmers hit by the severe drought that has afflicted the country since the summer, along with much of northern Europe. The government will tap an agricultural disaster fund for farmers as part of a broader aid package unveiled by Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume during a visit to eastern France, where he met grain and livestock producers. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Canadian farmers race to reap wheat while sun shines, but damage done 

Sunny skies may allow Canadian farmers to swiftly make up for harvest delays this week, wrapping up a nightmarish season for some. But while the harvest is finally on its way in the third-biggest wheat-exporting country, weather troubles look to dent farm incomes due to quality problems that are also forcing some millers to scrounge for supplies. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - U.S. soy trade may be thinner than meets the eye in China's absence -Braun 

October is typically the busiest month of the year for U.S. soybean shippers, and in recent years, an average of 76 percent of October’s exports head to China, the largest share of any month. The data will look vastly different this month, though, as the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies has virtually halted all sales and shipments of U.S. soybeans to the East Asian country. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - China's NE farming belt accused of livestock pollution failures 

Waste from poultry and livestock farms has contaminated land and water supplies in China's northeast farm province of Heilongjiang due to inadequate and poorly run treatment facilities, a government review said on Wednesday. Just 47 percent of the province's large-scale poultry and livestock farms had installed proper waste treatment facilities, and many weren't running those facilities correctly, the report published by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Russia's Agriculture Ministry ups forecast for 2018 grain crop - TASS 

Russia's agriculture ministry has raised its forecast for the country's 2018 grain crop to 109 million tonnes from a previously expected 106 million tonnes due to favourable weather for harvesting in Siberia, the minister, Dmitry Patrushev, was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency. A crop of 109 million tonnes would leave between 38 million and 39 million tonnes of grain available for exports, Patrushev added on Tuesday. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - China's Guangdong province bans transport of live hogs as swine fever spreads 

China's southern Guangdong province on Tuesday banned the transport of live hogs to other parts of the country after two outbreaks of deadly African swine fever were reported in a neighbouring area. Beijing has prohibited the transport of pigs from any provinces that have reported African swine fever cases, as well as from neighbouring regions.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Thailand forecasts 2019 rice exports at 10-11 mln tonnes 

Thailand expects to export between 10 million and 11 million tonnes of rice in 2019, the country's commerce ministry said on Wednesday. Thai rice exports in the current year, meanwhile, will meet the country's target of 11 million tonnes, the ministry said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Iowa lawmaker urges EPA to speed up rule expanding ethanol sales 

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must act quickly to allow year-round sales of higher ethanol gasoline blends if President Donald Trump aims to keep a campaign promise to corn farmers. Trump announced during a trip to Iowa this month his intention to lift the summertime ban on sales of so-called E15 gasoline to help corn growers stung by slumping prices. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - Ukraine 2018 grain harvest, sowing almost complete - ministry 

Ukraine's agriculture ministry announced on Tuesday the following data on its 2018 harvest and sowing. Farmers in Ukraine had harvested 54.5 million tonnes of grain as of Tuesday, with a yield of 4.19 tonnes per hectare. By the same date last year Ukraine had harvested 48.7 million tonnes. Farmers have threshed 13 million hectares of grains out of a total area of 14.8 million hectares. Farmers have harvested 19.5 million tonnes of corn from 2.9 million hectares, 62 percent of the sown area. The yield averaged 6.82 tonnes per hectare. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 24 - S.African pension fund buys majority stake in Africa's biggest cattle firm 

South Africa's state pension fund and a local black investment firm have bought a majority stake in Africa's biggest cattle company for 5.2 billion rand ($360 million). The Public Investment Corp. (PIC), Africa's largest investment fund and the biggest investor in South Africa's economy, said on Tuesday it had bought a majority share in Karan Beef alongside Pelo Agricultural Ventures, a black-owned agriculture investment firm. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 23 - China September sorghum imports down 77 pct on year at 90,000 T - customs 

China's imports of sorghum in September fell 76.9 percent from the year before to 90,000 tonnes, customs data showed on Tuesday, hit by steep Chinese tariffs on imports of the grain from the United States. Corn imports for the month came to 40,000 tonnes, down 83.4 percent on-year and the lowest volumes since November 2016, the data also showed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 23 - Dry weather threatens next EU rapeseed harvest - crop monitor 

Persistent dry weather is threatening to curb next year's rapeseed harvest in the European Union, after farmers were unable to sow some crops while many plants are struggling to develop before winter, the EU's crop monitoring service said. Low rainfall and warm temperatures in September and early October exacerbated a summer drought in parts of Europe during the sowing period for rapeseed, the MARS service said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 23 - U.S. judge affirms Monsanto weed-killer verdict, slashes damages 

A U.S. judge on Monday affirmed a verdict against Bayer AG unit Monsanto that found its glyphosate-based weed-killers responsible for a man’s terminal cancer, but said the $250 million punitive damages portion of the award had to be reduced. According to a ruling in San Francisco's Superior Court of California, Judge Suzanne Bolanos said she would slash the punitive damages award to $39 million if lawyers for school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson agreed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 23 - China drops ban on rapeseed meal from India 

China has dropped a years-long ban on rapeseed meal imports from India as the government seeks to diversify sources of protein used in animal feed, the customs administration said on Monday. Rapeseed meal shipments from India can resume from Monday if they meet certain inspection and quarantine requirements, the General Administration of Customs said on its website. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 23 - U.S. farmers, government fight risk of African swine fever 

U.S. hog farmers are ramping up safety procedures and leaving animal-feed ingredients imported from China in storage in an attempt to keep out a highly contagious swine disease that is sweeping through Asia and Europe. U.S. government officials said in interviews on Friday they are also increasing their ability to test for the disease, African swine fever, and drawing up plans to respond quickly if a case is identified. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 23 - Crop Watch: Better weather boosts harvest in Western Corn Belt -Braun 

It was a busy week for producers across the U.S. Corn Belt as favorable weather conditions finally allowed harvest progress to pick up speed after being delayed by frequent, soaking rains. For the growers of Crop Watch 2018, the focus was largely on beans. Three of the 16 Crop Watch fields were harvested in the week ended Oct. 21: soybeans in Minnesota, Kansas, and Indiana. Both Nebraska fields were in progress as of late Sunday. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - Brazil soy planting advances to 34 pct of area - consultancy 

Soy planting by Brazilian farmers for the 2018-19 season progressed to 34 percent of the expected area this week, way ahead of seeding at the same stage last year as favorable weather in most regions speeded up field work. An AgRural consultancy weekly report on Friday said overall soy planting in Brazil advanced 14 percentage points from the previous week. For comparison, at this time last year planting was at 20 percent of the area. The five-year average is 18 percent. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - Spike in big U.S. farm loans may add risk to ag banks - KC Fed 

A sharp jump in U.S. farmers seeking operating and equipment loans of at least $1 million fueled a spike in agricultural lending in the third quarter of 2018, as trade worries added to economic strain in the farm sector, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said on Friday. The increase in the size of loans also boosted the share of agricultural lending at large banks, adding potential risk to their loan portfolios as lenders are concerned about the longer-term impact of the U.S.-China trade war on their farmer customers, said Nathan Kauffman, the bank's lead economist. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - China finds first cases of African Swine Fever in country's south 

China's three-month old outbreak of African Swine Fever has spread for the first time to the country's south, its major pork-consuming region, after authorities on Sunday reported two cases in southwest Yunnan province. The news comes as China enters its peak pig production period ahead of the country's most important festival, the New Year holiday, which will be held in early February 2019. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - Ukraine ups 2018 grain crop forecast to 64 mln T - minister 

Ukraine's agriculture ministry has increased its forecast for the 2018 grain harvest to 64 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 63.1 million tonnes, acting minister Maxym Martyniuk said on Saturday. He said a higher than expected harvest of corn was the reason for the new forecast. A higher harvest would allow Ukraine to export 42.5 million tonnes of grain this season versus 39.4 million tonnes a season earlier, he said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - EU clear to start talks to increase U.S. beef imports 

European Union countries agreed on Friday to allow negotiations to start with Washington on increasing U.S. beef imports into Europe, in a move that could ease transatlantic trade tensions. The Commission, which negotiates on behalf of the 28 EU nations, said it would open formal talks in the coming days on increasing the United State's share of an existing 45,000-tonne quota. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - Brazil's BRF says cooperating with authorities in food safety probe 

Brazil's BRF SA the world's largest chicken exporter, said on Friday it has been cooperating with authorities handling a probe into whether it colluded with health officials to evade food safety checks, lifting its shares 1 percent in early trading. Reuters reported exclusively on Sept. 12 that federal prosecutors leading the probe were seeking cooperation from the firms involved in return for more lenient penalties. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - Morocco to suspend customs duty on soft wheat in Nov-Dec period 

Morocco will suspend customs duty on soft wheat from Nov. 1 until Dec. 31 and will impose a 30 percent duty starting on Jan. 1, 2019, the government's spokesperson said on Friday. On Thursday, spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi told a news conference that the government council decided to cut duties on soft wheat to 30 percent from Nov. 1 from 135 percent currently. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - India's groundnut output seen down 29 pct on scanty rains - trade body 

India's groundnut output from summer-sown crop is likely to fall 29.2 percent from a year ago to 3.74 million tonnes as scanty rainfall hit yields in the top producing western state of Gujarat, a leading trade body said on Monday. The drop in output could force the world's biggest edible oil importer to raise overseas purchases in the 2018/19 marketing year starting from Nov. 1. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 22 - Trump backs water projects in U.S. West as election nears 

President Donald Trump on Friday threw his support behind speeding up water projects for agriculture and hydropower in the arid U.S. West, a move aimed to help build support for Republicans in tight congressional races in next month's midterm elections. Trump signed a presidential memorandum that directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to "reduce regulatory burdens" and expedite environmental reviews for projects in the West that provide water for farmers and power generation. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - China has ample soybean supplies, big price moves unlikely - ag ministry 

China has ample supplies of soybeans and significant price fluctuations are unlikely, a senior agriculture ministry official said on Friday. Domestic soybean planting acreage has increased and China is set for a bumper harvest, supported by government subsidies and crop rotation policies, Tang Ke of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs told a press briefing. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Argentina transport union announces strike; could impact grain shipments 

Argentina's transportation union announced late on Wednesday night that it would go on strike next week to call for an increase in hauling rates, in a move that could disrupt the nation's grain shipments. More than 80 percent of the country's agriculture production is shipped by truck to ports. As a result, the strike could also impact some port activity, although it is currently the low season for grains. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - DowDuPont to take $4.6 bln charge in agriculture unit 

DowDuPont Inc said on Thursday it would write down the value of its agriculture business by $4.6 billion when it reports third-quarter results, as global seed makers face shifts in demand linked to the U.S.-China trade war. The charge sent DowDuPont shares down as much as 6 percent in extended trading. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Egypt's GASC announces first rice purchasing tender for 2018 

Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Thursday it was seeking cargoes of 25,000 tonnes of rice, plus or minus 5 percent, in an international purchasing tender. GASC said it was seeking short or medium grain milled white rice of any origin, with 10-12 percent broken parts. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - China says hog prices to rise ahead of Lunar New Year amid swine fever outbreaks 

China's hog prices are set to rise ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in February as outbreaks of African swine fever hit supply, the country's agriculture ministry said on Friday. The world's top pork producer has been grappling with the rapid spread of the disease, which can be deadly to pigs but is not harmful to humans. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - EPA chief says agency can expand ethanol sales without Congress 

The Environmental Protection Agency can allow sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline year-round without Congress, its acting administrator said on Thursday, adding that the oil industry should drop its threat of a lawsuit to halt the move. President Donald Trump announced last week he was directing the EPA to lift the summertime ban on sales of so-called E15 to help farmers suffering from slumping commodity prices. The oil industry said the move would violate the nation's biofuel policy and threatened to sue to block it. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Brazil court denies Monsanto bid to halt seed licensing to bankrupt firm 

A Brazilian appeals court denied a request this month by Monsanto's local unit to suspend licensing of its popular Intacta soy seed technology to privately owned seed maker Sementes Talismã, according to a ruling seen by Reuters. Monsanto sought to suspend the licensing of the genetically modified seed technology after Talismã filed for bankruptcy protection in January, one of the seed maker's lawyers, Daniel Amaral of DASA Advogados in São Paulo, said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - U.S. blocks pork from Poland over African swine fever 

The United States suspended imports of pork from Poland on Thursday over an outbreak of the highly contagious hog disease African swine fever in that country. African swine fever has spread rapidly in eastern Europe and China, the world's largest pork producer, where new cases are appearing and the disease is traveling far distances.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Scottish government identifies case of mad cow disease

Scotland's government said on Thursday that a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had been discovered on a farm in Aberdeenshire, the first in Britain since 2015. A quarantine area has been put in place around the farm while inspectors try to identify the origin of the disease. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 19 - Iran, Turkey cloud outlook for seed maker Vilmorin 

U.S. sanctions against Iran and a slide in Turkey's currency are contributing to an uncertain short-term outlook for seed maker Vilmorin as it seeks to recover from a disappointing past year, the French company said. Vilmorin, one of the world's largest suppliers of seeds for grain and vegetable crops, saw its shares tumble as much as 13.5 percent in Paris on Thursday after reporting weaker-than-expected profits for its financial year to June 30. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 18 - China soybean imports set for biggest drop in 12 yrs amid tariff conflict 

China's soybean imports are set to drop by a quarter in the last three months of 2018, their biggest fall in at least 12 years as buyers curb purchases amid the Sino-U.S. trade war and high domestic stockpiles. Soybeans, crushed to make protein-rich animal feed ingredients and vegetable oils, have been at the heart of the tit-for-tat trade dispute between the world's top two economies. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 18 - Vietnam may recall re-export order of wheat containing thistle seed -govt 

Vietnam could recall an order that goes into effect on Nov. 1 that requires companies to re-export wheat cargoes containing cirsium arvense seeds, known as Canada thistle, the government said on Wednesday. Vietnam, whose main wheat suppliers include Russia, Australia and Canada, has been battling with imports contaminated with thistle seed since May. The government is concerned that the contaminated cargoes could cause the Canada thistle weed to spread across the country and potentially harm domestic crop yields. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 18 - China urges more oversight of large pig farms amid disease epidemic 

China's vice agriculture minister said on Wednesday that local governments should step up their oversight of large-scale pig farms and breeding farms as another province reported a fresh outbreak of the highly contagious African swine fever. China has reported almost 40 separate outbreaks of the deadly disease in 10 provinces and municipalities since the first case in early August, leading to the slaughter of almost 50,000 animals. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 18 - Modified cotton could be human food source after U.S. green light 

U.S. regulators have cleared the way for farmers to grow a cotton plant genetically modified to make the cottonseed edible for people, a protein-packed potential new food source that could be especially useful in cotton-growing countries beset with malnutrition. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Tuesday lifted the regulatory prohibition on cultivation by farmers of the cotton plant, which was developed by Texas A&M University scientists. The plant's cottonseed cannot be used as food for people or as animal feed yet in the United States because it lacks Food and Drug Administration approval. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 18 - Ukraine grain exports at 11.1 mln T so far in 2018/19 

Ukraine has exported 11.1 million tonnes of grain since the season began in July, down from around 13 million tonnes at the same point last season, the agriculture ministry said. Ukraine has exported 6.7 million tonnes of wheat, 2.3 million tonnes of barley and 1.9 million tonnes of maize, it said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 18 - Financial investors raise net long position in Euronext wheat 

Non-commercial market investors increased their net long position in Euronext's milling wheat futures and options in the week to Oct. 12, data published by Euronext on Wednesday showed. Non-commercial participants, which include investment funds and financial institutions, raised their net long position to 84,420 contracts from 72,885 a week earlier, the data showed.

 

Oct 18 - Jordan buys 60,000 tonnes hard wheat in tender - trade 

Jordan's state grains buyer purchased 60,000 tonnes of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in a tender for up to 120,000 tonnes which closed on Wednesday, traders said. It was bought at $263 a tonne c&f for shipment in the second half of December.

 

Oct 17 - U.S. wheat exports to rise in second half of season - USDA official 

U.S. wheat exports look set for a strong second half of the 2018/19 season when shipments from Russia are expected to slow, the chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) World Agricultural Outlook Board said on Tuesday. The USDA is forecasting U.S. wheat exports in the 2018/19 season will rise to 27.9 million tonnes, up from 24.52 million tonnes in the previous season. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - Shades of 2014 lurking in CBOT soybean market - Karen Braun

When the Chicago Board of Trade closed for business on Monday, November soybean futures ended up 24 cents on the day, and nearly 80 cents off the contract’s all-time low from a month earlier. But last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture raised domestic soybean ending stocks for the 2018-19 marketing year to an eye-popping 885 million bushels, more than double the previous year’s inventory and 54 percent larger than the record high. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - Brazil mill says Russian wheat buy was good, would buy more at right price 

One of the three Brazilian wheat mills involved in a deal to import a cargo of Russian wheat this year, the first such deal since 2010, said the quality was good and that it would possibly buy again if the price is right. Earlier this year, Brazilian wheat mills J Macedo, Dias Branco and Grande Moinho Cearense made a joint purchase of 25,000 tonnes of Russian wheat via the Kaliningrad port for discharge in the Northeast Brazilian port of Fortaleza. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - Brazil front-runner's planned ministry merger could hurt farm trade - official 

Brazilian far-right presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro's proposal to merge the farm and environment ministries could hurt Brazil's quest for 10 percent of the global farm trade, the country's deputy agriculture minister said on Tuesday. Eumar Novacki said that he was not opposed to the idea of combining the ministries but that it would likely be viewed abroad as a step backward in the country's environmental protection and hurt consumer perceptions of its agriculture industry. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - Malaysia's biodiesel output, exports set to hit records - industry body 

Malaysian biodiesel production is likely to hit record levels this year and next, with 2018 exports on track to double from 2017, pushed up as higher oil prices boost the appeal of biofuels, the head of an industry association said on Wednesday. The Southeast Asian nation is the world's No.2 producer of palm oil, which can be used as feedstock to make the bio components of biodiesel. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - India aims to cut stubble burning in key states by 70 pct, but experts sceptical 

India aims to reduce stubble burning, a major source of pollution during the winter months, by 70 percent in its top two farm states this year, a top government official said on Tuesday, but experts questioned whether the target was credible. Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana fell between Sept. 30 and Oct. 14 by more than 28 and 44 percent respectively from the year-earlier period, the official said. He didn't wish to be identified in line with government policy. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 17 - China's Sept pig herd down 1.8 pct y/y - Agri ministry 

China's September pig herd fell 1.8 percent from a year earlier but was up 0.8 percent on-month, data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs showed Sow herds dropped 4.8 percent in September from a year ago, and slipped 0.3 percent from the previous month, the ministry said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - Egypt studying wheat hedging, still buying spot 

Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is studying the possibility of hedging against the rise in global prices of the grain, Supply Minister Ali Moselhy said on Monday. "Until now we are buying spot ... there is a working group formed within the finance ministry to study this (hedging) ... but to this moment no decision has been taken," Moselhy told a news conference in Cairo. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - NOPA September soy crush tops expectations at 160.779 mln bushels 

U.S. processors crushed a larger-than-expected 160.779 million bushels of soybeans in September, the largest-ever processing volume for the month, the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) said on Monday. The figure was up from the 158.885 million bushels processed in August and well above the September 2017 crush of 136.419 million bushels, according to NOPA, whose members handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - Brazil soy planting proceeds at record pace - consultancy 

Brazilian farmers are planting the new soy crop at a record pace, reaching 20 percent of the projected area by Thursday, consultancy AgRural said on Monday. The previous record pace was in 2016, when farmers had advanced to 18 percent of the area by this time of the year. Last season, they were at only 12 percent of plantings. The five-year average is 10 percent. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - China's Dabeinong reports suspected African swine fever case on related farm - media 

One of China's top animal feed producers said on Tuesday an affiliated firm has culled nearly 20,000 pigs due to a suspected case of African swine fever, according to a report by the China Securities Journal. Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd reported the information to investors in an online platform on Tuesday, the state-owned journal said. The company could not be reached for comment by Reuters. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - Crop Watch: Rain, snow stall harvest in Western Corn Belt: Karen Braun 

The five Crop Watch producers west of the Mississippi River reported minimal to no harvest activity over the past week due to saturated field conditions and more unwelcome precipitation. This includes central Kansas, southern Minnesota, northeast Nebraska, east central North Dakota and east central Iowa. The Ohio soybeans were cut on Wednesday with above average results, but expectations for the Minnesota corn and Nebraska soybeans declined on disappointing adjacent yields and crop damage, respectively. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - Hi-tech peer-to-peer networks let Nigerian farmers log on for cash 

It looked like the end had arrived for Adewale Fatai's chicken farm. Money was running out. Built to house 30,000 chickens, the farm was producing fewer than 2,000 chicks. His family had no funds to lend, and Nigeria's banks weren't interested. Instead, he went online. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - Expanding ethanol sales would have limited U.S. market impact - analysts 

The Trump administration's plan to allow year-round sales of higher-grade corn ethanol would have limited impact on the depressed U.S. ethanol market, with record supplies and prices for the fuel hovering near the lowest in a decade, analysts said. President Donald Trump announced the decision last week ahead of a campaign trip to Iowa, the top producer of corn and ethanol. With mid-term elections looming, Trump aimed to give a boost to corn producers in the Farm Belt, who helped secure his narrow 2016 election victory. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - Brazilian police refer ex-BRF executives to prosecutors in food probe 

Brazilian police have referred two former executives of food processor BRF SA to federal prosecutors in an investigation into food safety that disrupted meat production in 2017, documents seen by Reuters showed on Monday. The allegation is that former BRF Chairman Abilio Diniz and former Chief Executive Officer Pedro de Andrade Faria did not disclose damaging information when they were at the company. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 16 - Beer lovers face price spikes, shortages as climate changes - study 

Climate change will brew trouble for beer lovers in coming decades as it shrinks yields of barley, the top grain used to make the world's most popular alcoholic drink, a study published on Monday said. Extreme weather events featuring both heat waves and droughts will occur as often as every two or three years in the second half of the century if temperatures rise at current rates, the study said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 15 - Strategie Grains raises EU maize crop estimate on strong southeast 

Strategie Grains analysts increased sharply their estimate of this year's maize harvest in the European Union on Friday as bumper yields in southeast Europe were seen offsetting a drought-hit crop further west. The EU's grain maize production in 2018 was now expected to reach 59.4 million tonnes, Strategie Grains said in a monthly report, a 1 million tonne increase from its September forecast and now stable compared with last year's crop. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 15 - Funds flirt with bullish corn territory after U.S. yield cut: Karen Braun 

Speculators have nearly erased bullish views in Chicago-traded corn futures and options after the U.S. government late last week lowered its outlook for the domestic corn harvest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday reduced U.S. corn yield to 180.7 bushels per acre from the previous month’s 181.3, against market predictions of an increase. This, along with a boost in domestic demand, caused corn carryout to come in 5.5 percent smaller than expected.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 15 - China's resilient commodity imports show trade war yet to factor: Clyde Russell 

It's tempting to look at the relative resilience of China's imports of major commodities in September and conclude that the world's second-biggest economy is weathering the trade dispute with the United States quite well. The problem with this view is that while the trade conflict certainly looms as an issue in China's commodity trade, it's not yet the driving factor and any strength, or weakness, in various imports is largely a result of different dynamics. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 15 - Trump's ethanol plan: Hype now, legal fights later 

President Donald Trump's hyping of a plan to boost ethanol demand drew cheers at an Iowa rally on Tuesday, but the oil refining industry has promised a lawsuit to block the move, so victory for Midwest farmers is far from certain. Trump on Tuesday indicated that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should allow for a waiver for higher-ethanol gasoline, known as E15, to be sold all year, which has been prohibited due to smog concerns. He did not mention the threatened lawsuit and was not asked about it. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 15 - NOPA September U.S. soy crush seen at 157.406 mln bushels -survey 

The National Oilseed Processors Association's (NOPA) September soybean crush is expected to be the largest on record for the month as soy plants capitalized on good profit margins for crushing the oilseed, analysts said ahead of a monthly report. NOPA members, who handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, likely crushed 157.406 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to an average of estimates given by nine analysts in a Reuters survey. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 15 - Cambodia rice exports fell 8.4 percent in Jan-Sept 

Cambodia exported 389,264 tonnes of rice in the first nine months of the year, a fall of 8.4 percent compared with the same period last year, official data showed on Monday. Exports to China, Cambodia's top export market, accounted for 96,714 tonnes, data from the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality, a joint private-government working group on rice, showed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 15 - China reports new African swine fever outbreak in Liaoning province 

China's agriculture ministry said on Monday that 14 pigs have died in a fresh outbreak of African swine fever in the province of Liaoning. The outbreak in the city of Anshan is the fifth reported in the northeastern province. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - USDA makes surprise cuts to U.S. corn, soybean harvest outlooks 

The U.S. Agriculture Department surprisingly trimmed its forecasts for both domestic corn and soybean production on Thursday, with the soy cut stemming from a reduction in acres while the corn harvest will be lower due to smaller-than-expected yields. Soybean production was seen falling from the government's September estimate due to a decrease in harvested acres in key states such as Illinois and Minnesota. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - China's September soybean imports fall, but ahead of expectations 

China's soybean imports fell slightly in September from a year earlier but were ahead of market expectations, boosted by large volumes from Brazil as buyers tried to shore up stocks, customs data showed on Friday. Soybean imports are being closely watched after Beijing in July imposed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. products worth $34 billion, including soybeans, in response to U.S. penalties on Chinese goods worth the same amount. Click here to read full stories.

 

Oct 12 - Did USDA's U.S. corn yield peg post a rare high in September? - Karen Braun 

The corn market exhaled on Thursday as the U.S. government, against expectations, reduced its forecast for the U.S. crop, temporarily curbing fears over “runaway” domestic corn supplies. This was especially important after the Sept. 28 supply shock, in which data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed a much larger corn inventory than most market participants assumed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - Brazil grain production to rise on bumper corn crop - Conab 

Brazilian farmers are expected to harvest up to 238.54 million tonnes of grain in the 2018/19 season, the government said on Thursday, with the South American country potentially breaking its production record thanks to expected corn and soy bumper crops. In the prior season, Brazilian farmers harvested some 227.91 million tonnes of grains like soybeans and corn, said Conab, the government food supply and statistics agency. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - Russian watchdog to check grain loading points 

Russia will inspect grain loading at ports due to complaints from major buyers about falling crop standards, the head of agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency on Thursday.  The agriculture safety watchdog has been stepping up pressure on traders in recent weeks to pay more attention to the quality of grain in their supplies. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - Argentina may see thinner wheat crop in 2018-19 harvest - exchange 

Frost and a lack of rain could scale back Argentina's wheat crop for the 2018-19 season, which is currently seen at a record 19.7 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday. According to the exchange's weekly report, a lack of moisture in the soil in northern Argentine provinces and late frosts in the central agricultural region could affect crop yields. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - UK wheat crop falls to five-year low - farm ministry 

Britain's farm ministry on Thursday estimated this year's UK wheat crop at a five-year low of 14.09 million tonnes, down 5.1 percent from the prior season. The decline was driven by a 5.3 percent decline in yields to 7.8 tonnes per hectare, which was only partially offset by a marginal 0.3 percent rise in area to 1.80 million hectares. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 12 - Vietnam seeks to reduce reliance on Asian rice markets, raise exports to Africa, Americas 

Vietnam is seeking to reduce its reliance on Asian rice markets while boosting the output of high-quality grain to better position itself in the global market, the government said on Thursday. The Southeast Asian country aims to reduce its rice shipments to Asian markets to 50 percent of its total exports by 2030, from the current of 60 percent, the government said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - Trump trade war delivers farm boom in Brazil, gloom in Iowa 

The Bella Vita luxury condominium tower rises 20 stories over the boomtown of Luís Eduardo Magalhães in northeastern Brazil. Its private movie theater and helipad are symbols of how far this dusty farming community has come since it was founded just 18 years ago. Local soybean producers shell out upwards of a half-million U.S. dollars to live in the complex. Nearby farm equipment sellers, car dealerships and construction supply stores are bustling too. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - Rain slows U.S. corn, soy harvest; disrupts river barge traffic 

Excessive rains across the central United States over the past week have slowed the harvest of corn and soybeans, while rising water levels closed at least three locks on the Upper Mississippi River, a key artery for shipping Midwest grain to U.S. Gulf exporters. Cash bids for corn shipped by barge to the Gulf firmed on Tuesday, reflecting exporter demand and dwindling pipeline supplies as rising river levels slowed barge traffic.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - French wheat exports to gain from Russia supply drop - agency 

A brisk start to France's wheat export season and less competition from Russian supplies led farming agency FranceAgriMer to raise its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union in 2018/19. FranceAgriMer pegged French soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations at 8.75 million tonnes, up from its initial outlook of 8.5 million in September and well above 8.1 million in 2017/18. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - El Niño set to return before end of the year: John Kemp 

El Niño conditions are developing across the Pacific Ocean, with meteorologists now putting the probability of a full event developing by the end of the year at almost 75 percent. Sea surface temperatures are warming counter-seasonally across much of the equatorial Pacific and trade winds are slackening, both common precursors of an El Niño episode. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - Fat profits: Asian traders cash in as Europe thirsts for waste oils 

Once surreptitiously dumped down drains in the dead of night, Asia's used cooking oil is fast becoming one of the most sought-after commodities in Europe - as a feedstock for biodiesel. Aggressive green energy targets in the European Union that were bolstered further this year are pushing fuel makers to churn out biodiesel containing recycled cooking oils and fats, phasing out the use of fresh vegetable oils in the process by 2030. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - Bayer gets tentative ruling for new trial in weed-killer case 

Bayer AG's Monsanto unit on Wednesday received a tentative ruling for a new trial on the $250 million in punitive damages awarded by a jury to a groundskeeper who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer. According to a court filing in San Francisco's Superior Court of California, Judge Suzanne Bolanos was considering whether to grant the company's motion for a new trial on the punitive damages. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - Argentina wheat harvest expected to reach 19 mln tonnes in 2018-19 

Argentina's wheat harvest is expected to reach 19 million tonnes during the 2018-19 season, down from 21 million tonnes predicted previously, the Rosario grains exchange said on Wednesday. The exchange's predictions for soy and corn production remained unchanged at 50 million tonnes and 43 million tonnes, respectively. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 11 - Vietnam's rice exports in 2018 seen at $3.2-$3.3 bln, up 26.9 pct y/y 

The value of Vietnam's rice exports in 2018 may rise to between $3.2 billion and $3.3 billion, increasing up to 26.9 percent from $2.6 billion last year, the trade ministry said on Thursday in a statement on its official Facebook page. Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter after India and Thailand, is trying to increase the quality and variety of the rice it exports as well as branding of the grain to boost exports value. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Trump raises ethanol use in gasoline, appeases farmers ahead of elections 

U.S. President Donald Trump launched an effort on Tuesday to increase ethanol use in the nation's gasoline pool, delivering a long-sought political victory to the country's Farm Belt and angering oil refiners ahead of November's congressional elections. Trump announced the lifting of a ban on summer sales of gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, known as E15, at a closed-door meeting at the White House, Republican senators told reporters after the meeting. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Russia proposes to speed up plans to boost grain exports 

Russia's Agriculture Ministry has proposed speeding up an increase in the country's grain export capacity part of efforts by one of the world's largest wheat exporters to move into new markets. Russia aims to increase its grain export capacity by 25 million tonnes to 77.7 million tonnes by 2024, agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin and other officials on Tuesday. Click here to read full stories.

 Oct 10 - EU set to clear start of talks to boost U.S. beef imports 

European Union countries are on the verge of agreeing to start negotiations with the United States to allow more U.S. beef into Europe, in what could be a major move to defuse transatlantic trade tensions. The European Commission sought approval from its 28 member states at the start of September to open negotiations with Washington. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - U.S. Agriculture's Perdue says farmer aid could be less than first estimated 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's $12 billion package to offset farmers losses from the imposition of tariffs American exports could end up shrinking after an agreement to update NAFTA was struck, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday. "We will be recalculating along as we go," Perdue said in a phone interview with Reuters, regarding the second tranche of the planned compensation, estimated at about $6 billion, which was first announced in July after U.S. and China imposed trade tariffs on each other’s imports. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Brazil's leading candidate would cut environmental fines - advisor 

Brazilian farmers who break environmental laws in sensitive areas like the Amazon rainforest will face fewer fines for their infractions in a possible government of far-right front-running presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, his top agriculture advisor told Reuters on Tuesday. Nabhan Garcia, a one-time congressman and long-time conservative leader in the agriculture sector and whose name is being floated as Bolsonaro's pick to be his agriculture minister, also confirmed plans to merge Brazil's environment and agriculture ministries. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Malaysia's palm oil stocks hit 8-month high in September 

Malaysia's palm oil inventories edged up in September to their highest in eight months, surpassing market expectations as production levels came in higher than exports despite a surge in overseas demand, government data showed on Wednesday. Stockpiles in the world's No.2 producer and exporter of palm oil, used to make products ranging from cooking oil to chocolate, rose 1.5 percent from the previous month to 2.54 million tonnes, according to the data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 10 - Sumitomo takes full ownership of large Brazil ag chemicals seller 

Japan's Sumitomo Corp said on Tuesday that it had acquired the remaining 35-percent stake it did not already own in Agro Amazônia, a leading agricultural products supplier in Brazil's No. 1 soy producing state of Mato Grosso. Terms were not disclosed. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - Trump to lift ban on higher-ethanol gasoline ahead of Nov. elections 

U.S. President Donald Trump will seek to lift a federal ban on summer sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline on Tuesday, a senior White House official said, delivering on a move long-sought by anxious Midwest farmers ahead of November's elections. The move will be coupled with restrictions on biofuel credit trading sought by merchant refiners like Valero Energy Corp and PBF Energy Inc. Those rules would be aimed at retailers and oil majors accused by merchant refiners of driving up cost of complying with biofuels blending laws. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - Crop Watch: Corn, soy harvest stalled in soggy Western Belt - Karen Braun 

No U.S. Crop Watch corn or soybean field was harvested last week as heavy rains, fog and mist kept producers out of the fields for a second straight week. Six of the eight soybean fields will now be cut between two and three weeks later than originally planned due to the soggy conditions. For Crop Watch producers in the Western Corn Belt, including Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota, weekly feedback included harvest progress in the immediate area falling to multiyear lows and rain volumes and durations were unlike any previously seen. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - China bans pig imports from Japan, Belgium over swine fever 

China banned imports of pigs, wild boars and products from Belgium after an outbreak of African swine fever, as well as imports from Japan after a regular swine fever outbreak, the General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday. The move follows a similar ban on imports from Bulgaria on Monday, and comes as the northeastern province of Liaoning reported a second outbreak of highly contagious African swine fever in two days.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - Russian wheat export prices rise further on possible sales curbs 

Russian wheat export prices ended higher for the fourth week in a row, supported by speculation about potential export limits in Russia as the agriculture safety watchdog continued adding pressure on traders, analysts said on Monday. The watchdog last week said it could suspend operations of some grain-loading operations in two of Russia's top grain exporting regions. Some traders interpreted that as another step on Russia's way to potential grain export curbs.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - Louis Dreyfus profit slides as soy hedging adds to challenges 

Louis Dreyfus Company's first-half net profit dropped by more than a third as a soybean hedging loss added to pressure from persisting weakness in the commodity giant's core agricultural markets. The earnings slide comes at a sensitive time for the 167-year-old business. It has recently completed its latest management shake-up while controlling shareholder Margarita Louis-Dreyfus needs almost $2 billion to support debt-laden Brazilian sugar unit Biosev and buy out family minorities. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - Australia's weather bureau sees 70 pct chance of El Nino in 2018 

A recent warming of the Pacific Ocean has led to a 70 percent chance of an El Nino weather event developing this year, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday. An El Nino weather event can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world, and is associated with warmer, dry weather across the Asia Pacific. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - Brazil's BRF says CEO to step down; asset sale push goes on 

Brazilian food processor BRF SA on Monday said its recently named chief executive would step down by mid-2019, adding that it hoped to conclude by year-end asset sales he put in motion as part of a sweeping overhaul. Pedro Parente, a turnaround specialist who joined BRF in June after quitting the top job at state-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, will stay on as chairman, but said Chief Operating Officer Lorival Luz would succeed him as CEO, with the transition expected to be complete in the middle of next year. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 9 - Brazil's JBS invests $12 mln in expansion, eyes China market

JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, is expanding production capacity at two of its Brazilian units as Chinese demand for its beef exports remain strong, the company said in a statement on Monday. The plants, which received combined expansion investments of 45 million reais ($12 million), are located in the state of Minas Gerais, the statement said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 8 - Brazil soy forward sales way ahead of last year - consultancy

Forward sales of the new Brazilian soybean crop are well ahead of last year's levels, as farmers take advantage of favorable prices and the United States-China trade dispute to clinch deals early in the season, consultancy Safras & Mercado said on Friday. Brazilian soybean producers have sold 27.3 percent of the crop that will start to be collected around January, compared with 14.1 percent that had been sold at this time last year, Safras said in a report. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 8 - China soymeal futures rise 2.5 pct to record-high amid trade worries

China soymeal futures climbed more than 2.5 percent on Monday morning to record 3,457  yuan ($501.37) per tonne amid ongoing concerns about trade between China and the United States, a major supplier of soybeans. That would also mark the biggest daily gain since June for the most actively traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 8 - Commodity funds undeterred by huge U.S. corn, soy stocks - Braun 

The U.S. government’s heavy stocks data did not scare investors away from Chicago-traded corn and soybeans last week, as commodity funds covered a total of about 95,000 outright short positions through Oct. 2 in corn, soybeans and soybean oil. On Sept. 28, the U.S. Department of Agriculture placed corn and soybean inventory as of Sept. 1 above trade expectations by some 138 million and 37 million bushels, respectively. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 8 - U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil drop to nearly 3-year low

Exports of corn-based U.S. ethanol to Brazil sank to the lowest levels in nearly three years in August, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed on Friday. A big Brazilian sugar harvest pressured domestic biofuel prices, making imported ethanol comparatively more expensive than local sugar-based supplies, according to Geoff Cooper, chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Association trade group. Click here to read full stories.

 

Oct 8 - JBS sued by Kentucky woman over ground beef in salmonella recall

A Kentucky woman is suing the U.S. arm of Brazil's JBS SA , alleging she was hospitalized after consuming ground beef produced by the company that was tainted with Salmonella, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday in Arizona state court. The lawsuit comes one day after the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that JBS Tolleson Inc was voluntarily pulling 6.5 million pounds of ground beef and other raw beef products that had been shipped to stores across the country. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 8 - Wet start seen for South Africa summer rainfall areas, dry second half

South Africa's summer rainfall region, which includes the key maize belt, is expected to have good rain in the first half of the growing season followed by below-normal precipitation as the summer progresses, the Weather Service said on Friday. An El Nino weather pattern is seen occurring in the coming months, which generally heralds drought in southern Africa. The previous one three years ago triggered an historic drought which hit harvests and fueled food inflation in the region. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 8 - Fire hits palm plantation in Egypt's New Valley, 37 hurt -report

Egypt used air force helicopters on Saturday to fight a fire which swept through palm plantations in the southwest of the country, threatening residential areas, state news agency MENA reported. The agency said that at least 37 people were hurt, mostly due to smoke inhalation, by the fire which broke out on Friday near the New Valley provincial village of el-Rashda. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - Informa Economics boosts U.S. corn, soybean harvest estimates

Private analytics firm Informa economics raised its U.S. corn and soybean production forecasts, trade sources said on Thursday. Informa pegged the U.S. corn crop at 14.890 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 182.1 bushels per acre. Soybean production was seen at 4.677 billion bushels, with yields averaging 53.0 bushels per acre. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - U.S. arm of JBS recalls 6.5 mln pounds of beef on salmonella risk

A U.S. unit of Brazil's JBS SA is recalling 6.5 million pounds of beef products processed through an Arizona plant because the meat might be contaminated with salmonella, U.S. government officials said on Thursday. U.S. investigators have identified at least 57 people in 16 states who have become ill due to consuming contaminated ground beef products made from meat traced back to JBS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - What an impending El Niño may mean for Brazil's soybeans - Braun

Brazilian soybean growers have been blessed with good weather for the last couple of years, allowing harvest volumes to soar to unprecedented levels. But with El Niño on the way, could this trend be in danger? Not necessarily, as the year is off to a terrific start with a quick planting pace and good moisture. But the warm-water El Niño pattern in the Pacific Ocean has not always boded well later in the season for some of Brazil’s key growing regions. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - Brazil soybean exports seen at 79 mln tns in 2019/2020 mkt year - consultancy

Brazilian soybean exports will reach an estimated 79 million tonnes in the 2019/2020 marketing year, consultancy Safras & Mercado said in a statement on Thursday, referring to the period between February 2019 and January 2020. If the United States China continue to spar over trade, Brazilian soybean exports will continue to be strong in the 2018/2019 crop season, which is just starting in Brazil, Safras & Mercado said. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - U.S. working to diversify farm trade away from China - ag chief

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday that the United States "probably made a mistake" becoming too trade dependent on China and added that the administration was pursuing trade deals elsewhere. U.S. farmers have been hit hard by the Trump administration's ongoing trade dispute with China, which has shut off billions of dollars worth of agricultural trade between the giant economies. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - Canada dairy farmers unhappy after meeting Trudeau on trade deal

Canadian dairy farmers met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday to discuss his politically-risky move to open up the protected domestic market to U.S. industry but complained he had not given them details about compensation. As part of the talks to complete the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal, Canada offered 3.6 percent of its dairy market to the United States. It also promised to fully compensate farmers for any losses they might incur.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 05 - Argentina's 2018-19 wheat crop seen at record high - exchange

Argentina's 2018-19 wheat crop is expected to be a record-high 19.7 million tonnes, with heavy rains in the last week improving conditions, the Buenos Aires Grains exchange said on Thursday. Argentina's wheat harvest is expected to be 8.8 percent larger than last season due to favorable weather conditions and an expanded planting area of 6.2 million hectares, the exchange said in its weekly report. It added that 53.6 percent of the wheat planting area had adequate to optimal moisture conditions. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 4 - Russia has no immediate plans to suspend grain loading points in Krasnodar - RIA

Russia's agriculture safety watchdog has no immediate plans to suspend the operation of grain loading points in Black Sea ports near the city of Krasnodar, a regional office of the watchdog was quoted as saying by RIA news agency on Wednesday. Chicago wheat prices rose on Wednesday after the watchdog said on Tuesday it could temporarily suspend operations of 30 inland grain loading points in two of Russia's top grain exporting regions - Krasnodar and Rostov.  Click here to read full stories

Oct 4 - India raises winter crop prices ahead of 2019 elections

India raised state-mandated prices for winter crops such as wheat and rapeseed on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to defuse discontent among farmers ahead of elections in 2019. The government announces minimum support prices (MSPs) for most crops yearly to set a benchmark, although state agencies usually buy limited quantities of staples such as rice and wheat at those prices due to a lack of storage and funds. Market prices for many crops typically run well below MSPs. Click here to read full stories

Oct 4 - Storms drench Australia's parched interior, but won't break drought

The heaviest rain in years has fallen across parts of drought-parched inland Australia, bringing relief to struggling farmers but likely not enough water to break a big dry that has crippled the country's most productive farmland. "I just got home when the rain hit the house," said Greg Lawrence on the phone from 9 Mile Station, a sheep run just north of Broken Hill, a town 940 km (580 miles) west of Sydney. Click here to read full stories

Oct 4 - Deepening farm crisis in India could hurt Modi's re-election bid

The financial squeeze on India's farmers is set to worsen because of record high fuel prices and surging costs of fertilisers, posing a challenge to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an election that must be held by May. The rise in input prices could not have come at worse time for farmers, already grappling with falling domestic product prices due to rising yields and abundant harvests. Click here to read full stories

Oct 4 - Brazil antitrust watchdog approves Louis Dreyfus, Amaggi JV

Brazil's antitrust regulator Cade has given the green light to a joint venture between French commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Company and Brazilian soy processor and exporter Amaggi, the country's federal register showed on Wednesday. According to Cade, the tie-up will create a digital platform to offer integrated solutions for road freight for shippers and transporters. Click here to read full stories

Oct 4 - Watchdog sues Russian meat firm Cherkizovo over safety violations

Russia's agricultural watchdog said on Wednesday it had filed a lawsuit against meat firm Cherkizovo over safety violations. Rosselkhoznadzor, the watchdog, said it had asked the court to halt sales of products made by one of Cherkizovo's poultry units, citing the detection of Salmonella and listeria bacteria. Click here to read full stories

Oct 2 - U.S. lawmakers, at impasse on new Farm Bill, mull extension of old one

U.S. lawmakers are considering a short-term extension of the Farm Bill as talks over a new bill stalled, two Republican senators said on Tuesday, a move that would leave a critical heartland issue in limbo ahead of November congressional elections. The bill provides funding for an array of key programs, including crop subsidies and rural development. The latest one, passed in 2014, expired formally on Sept. 30 after talks over its replacement broke down. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Canada PM takes Quebec dairy gamble to preserve big trade deal

With his political future at stake, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will mount a charm offensive to placate dairy farmers who say he sold them out in order to win approval of a continental trade deal. Compounding Trudeau's challenges in the influential province of Quebec, where many dairy farmers are based, voters there tossed out one of his allies on Monday in favor of a new center-right party that opposes immigration and supports supply management, as Canada's dairy protection system is known. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Driest ever September deepens Australia's drought

Australia had its driest September on record last month, and though spring rains are forecast this week across parts of the continent's east that has seen the worst drought in years, the season is predicted to offer little relief from the dry weather. The country's east coast has recorded less than a fifth of its typical rainfall over the last three months to September and is barren, with winter crops failed and graziers buying in grain to feed their herds. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Russian watchdog may suspend work at some local grain loading points

Russia's agriculture safety watchdog said it may temporarily suspend operations of 30 in land grain loading points in two of Russia's top grain exporting regions - Krasnodar and Rostov. The watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, has been adding pressure on traders in recent weeks to pay more attention to the quality of grain in their supplies after complaints from major buyers about falling crop standards.  Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Trump plans Iowa visit next week to announce pro-ethanol measure - sources

President Donald Trump is expected to visit Iowa next week to deliver on a promise to lift a summer ban on higher ethanol blends of gasoline, according to two sources familiar with the plan, aimed at helping Farm Belt Republicans in tight congressional election races. The move would cap months of fractious negotiations initiated by the White House over ways to help the oil industry deal with the cost of complying with the nation's biofuel laws, without angering farmers in the nation's heartland.

Oct 2 - Russian wheat push for access to Algerian grain tenders 

Russian wheat exporters want to register with the Algerian authorities by the end of the year to start a process aimed at securing access to a market now dominated by France, the Russian authorities said on Monday. Russian wheat has been barred from international tenders in Algeria, one of the world's biggest wheat importers, for failing to meet the North African nation's strict bug damage controls. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Virus hurts hopes of fatter returns for Russian pork producers 

Russia's pork industry is being hampered by African Swine Fever (ASF) as outbreaks of the virus are preventing producers from exporting more to lucrative Asian markets and leaving them with falling prices at home, industry experts say. Russia first reported ASF in 2007 and has registered more than 1,300 cases since then as the highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs has spread from the southern Caucasus region to the country's northwest region and Siberia in the east. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Will U.S.-China trade war end up worthwhile for U.S. soybeans? - Braun 

China’s absence from the U.S. soybean market has put tremendous pressure on both soybean growers and Chicago-traded soybean futures over the last several months. But the United States’ new trade pact with Mexico and Canada may offer some hope for a similar outcome with major U.S. trade partner China. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - EU rapeseed area to fall 8 pct on drought, unattractive prices - analyst 

The area sown with rapeseed for the 2019 harvest in the European Union is expected to fall by 8 percent from this year's level as farmers face drought conditions and less attractive prices compared with cereals, consultancy Strategie Grains said. In its first estimate of oilseed sowing trends for next year's harvest, the firm's analysts forecast the rapeseed area would decline to 6.32 million hectares from 6.86 million hectares in 2018. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Brazil 2018-19 soybean crop seen surpassing 120 mln tonnes - poll

Brazil's 2018-19 soybean crop is seen reaching 120.4 million tonnes, a record, according to the average view from 10 analysts and consultants in a Reuters poll. In a previous poll in August, analysts had on average seen the crop at 119.76 million tonnes. They see the total soy planted area growing 2.8 percent in the new season to 36.14 million hectares (see table below). Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Cash, cuts and confusion; Trade deal spurs Canadian dairy fears 

Canada's dairy concessions to the United States helped secure a hard-won trade deal, but they spurred talk on Monday of compensation, confusion and curtailed milk production, as a protectionist system faces new threats. U.S. and Canadian negotiators on Sunday reached a tentative trade deal, following an earlier deal between the United States and Mexico, that preserves a trilateral pact between the three North American countries, newly named the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Click here to read full stories.

Oct 2 - Crop Watch: Wet, cool weather slows activity in all eight states - Braun 

Harvest activity and crop progress were slow for the Crop Watch corn and soybean fields last week as wet and/or cool weather plagued all eight producers in some way or another. That theme is likely to continue in many areas as the forecast for the next two weeks is much wetter than normal across the U.S. Midwest. Click here to read full stories.

 

Oct 1 - U.S. soybean, corn supplies bigger than expected ahead of harvest 

U.S. corn and soybean supplies were bigger than expected despite record usage during the summer, the U.S. government said on Friday. Weak prices for corn and soybeans, stemming from concerns about exports, stoked domestic demand from crushers and processors eager to run their plants as much as possible amid strong profit margins. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 1 - Funds cover CBOT corn shorts but get stung by heavy stocks - Braun 

Speculators had begun last week to reverse their heavily bearish attitudes toward Chicago-traded corn and soybean futures, but in an all-too-familiar fashion, U.S. government numbers took the wind out of the sails once again. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday published its quarterly stocks report, which reflects U.S. corn, soybean and wheat supply as of Sept. 1. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 1 - China to lift restrictions where 2nd African swine fever outbreak found 

China is set to lift restrictions on an area in central Henan province, where the country's second African swine fever outbreak occurred last month, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday. The local government in Zhengzhou plans to officially lift the blockade on Oct. 1, but it must take measures to prevent recurrence of the highly contagious disease, the ministry said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 1 - Saudi Arabia plans to allow private sector to import feed barley - SPA 

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest importer of feed barley, will restore a private sector role in the trade after two years during which it was handled solely by the state, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdel Rahman Al-Fadli was quoted as saying on Sunday. Saudi Arabia used to import its feed barley through the private sector but since 2016 the responsibility for imports has been held by the state grain buyer, the Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO). Click here to read full stories

Oct 1 - Palm oil prices seen trading at 2,200-2,600 ringgit/T in H1 2019 - analyst Mielke 

Crude palm oil prices are seen trading between 2,200 ringgit ($532) and 2,600 ringgit a tonne in the first half of 2019 as demand for the tropical oil grows from the biodiesel industry, leading analyst Thomas Mielke said on Friday. He added that there was limited downside potential at current price levels, and that palm would bottom out at about 2,100 ringgit. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 1 - Brazil to export 5 mil T soybeans to China in January - analyst Mistry 

Brazil is expected to export 5 million tonnes of soybeans to China in January, said a leading edible oils analyst, as a trade spat has China shifting its purchases from the United States to South America. Brazil's exports of soybeans in January are expected to come from Parana, its second-largest producing state, because its easy port access will enable quicker shipment to China, said Dorab Mistry on the sidelines of the Globoil India conference. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 1 - NZ regulator halts Tegel's purchase of land for huge chicken farm 

New Zealand's overseas investment regulator on Monday turned down an application by Tegel Group Holdings Ltd to buy land on which it planned to build a huge chicken farm in the country's north. Tegel, in the process of being acquired by the local unit of Philippines poultry supplier Bounty Fresh Food Inc, wants to construct a farm capable of raising 9 million chickens a year for meat in the town of Dargaville. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 1 - Fonterra's NZ milk production up 5 pct in August on favourable weather 

Milk producer Fonterra said on Monday its New Zealand milk production rose 5 percent in August from a year earlier due to ideal weather conditions. The company's Australian milk production dipped 4 percent in July on higher farm input costs and drought across parts of the country, Fonterra said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 1 - India's rapeseed output could jump 17 pct - Emami Agrotech CEO 

India's rapeseed mustard production in 2018/19 could jump nearly 17 percent from a year ago to 7 million tonnes as higher prices are likely to prompt farmers to expand areas under planting, a leading Indian edible oil importer said. "Mustard crop can grow to 7 million tonnes," said Sudhakar Desai, chief executive officer of Emami Agrotech, up from 6 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier. Click here to read full stories.