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

Mar 05 - China's first hog breeding ETF listing capitalizes on pork industry boom
China's first hog breeding exchange traded fund (ETF) makes its debut on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Friday, the first of three tied to the country's booming pork sector that is rebuilding after African swine fever decimated herds in 2018. Penghua Fund Management Co's CSI Livestock Breeding ETF, as well as similar funds to be listed by Guotai Fund Management Co and Ping An Fund Management Co, are China's first funds tracking the CSI Livestock Breeding Index, consisting of listed hog breeders, pig feed suppliers and vaccine makers.

Mar 05 - India merchants almost halt exports to Iran as its rupee reserves fall - officials
Indian merchants have almost entirely stopped signing new export contracts with Iranian buyers for commodities such as rice, sugar and tea, due to caution about Tehran's dwindling rupee reserves with Indian banks, six industry officials told Reuters. "Exporters are avoiding dealing with Iran since payments are getting delayed for months," said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading house.

Mar 05 - China to raise grain purchase prices, expand corn area in 2021
China's government said on Friday it will raise its minimum purchase price for wheat and rice and expand corn planting areas this year, reiterating earlier plans to boost grain output after prices soared last year. The moves, outlined by Premier Li Keqiang and the state economic planning agency in annual reports to parliament, also come after the COVID-19 pandemic last year fuelled food security jitters in the world's most populous country.

Mar 05 - Cargill to boost U.S. soy crush capacity, plant efficiency as food, biofuel demand rises
U.S. agricultural commodities trader Cargill Inc is expanding soybean processing capacity at two large Midwest crush plants and increasing efficiency at five other U.S. facilities to meet growing demand for food and fuel, the company said on Thursday. Cargill's $475 million investment in seven states comes as U.S. processors are already crushing soybeans at a record pace amid soaring demand for livestock feed.

Mar 05 - Argentine soy crop forecast could fall if no rain soon - exchange
The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday that it could cut its harvest forecast for Argentina's 2020/21 soy crop, currently 46 million tonnes, if it does not rain sufficiently in key producing areas over the weeks ahead. Argentina is the world's leading exporter of soymeal livestock feed and soyoil. Dryness that had afflicted the Pampas grains belt since mid 2020 was relieved by substantial rainfall early this year, but some parts of the soy belt are still dry.

Mar 05 - Condition scores for Argentina’s thirsty crops may not be what they seem - Braun
February and March are perhaps the two most important months for Argentina’s corn and soybeans to receive ample rainfall, though last month was unusually dry and this month could follow suit, according to the latest weather forecasts. Yields in the No. 3 corn and soybean exporter are not projected to be great anyhow, though the poor timing of the latest dry spell could reduce potential even further. Crop condition ratings may also be sending mixed and potentially faulty messages to the market.

Mar 05 - Ukraine expects record 2021 grain crop

Most Ukrainian winter grain crops are in excellent condition thanks to favourable weather that could lift the 2021 harvest to a record high above 75 million tonnes, a senior government official said on Thursday. "We understand that the weather will affect the volume, but as of now ... if we do not predict any force majeure, we see a very positive result," Taras Vysotskiy, deputy economy minister in charge of agriculture, told Reuters.

Mar 05 - Mild winter dramatically improves condition of Russian winter grains
A mild Russian winter has dramatically improved the condition of winter grain sowings, which were previously hit by a dry autumn, weather forecaster Hydrometcentre said on Thursday, signalling brighter prospects for the country's 2021 crop. The portion of winter grain sowings in poor condition was at a 7-year high of about 22% in early December as farmers in one of the world's largest wheat exporters planted in dry soil.

Mar 05 - French farmers protest against low earnings, deplore high suicide rate

French farmers hung dozens of inflatable dummies clad in overalls from nooses in trees in Paris on Thursday in a protest against a squeeze on earnings they say is suffocating the agricultural industry. Farming union representatives have this week been in talks with retail giants. The unions say farmers are not earning enough to cover costs. Retailers argue consumers cannot afford to pay more. 

Mar 05 - Brazil feeds some 10% of world's population, research finds
Farmers in Brazil fed some 10% of the world's 7.76 billion population last year, a study released on Thursday by state-run agricultural research agency Embrapa found. The study focused on Brazil's grains and oilseeds production as these are considered basic food staples that can be either used for direct human consumption or as animal feed for meat processing, Embrapa's statement said.

Mar 05 - Fonterra says it would pay farmers more for milk on strong China demand
Fonterra on Friday raised the outlook for prices it would pay farmers for the 2021 season, for the second time in just over a month, citing strong demand for New Zealand dairy products in China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The dairy producer lifted its 2020/21 farmgate milk price forecast range to NZ$$7.30-NZ$7.90 per kilogram of milk solids (kgMS), from NZ$6.90-NZ$7.50 per kgMS.

Mar 04 - Algeria bought durum wheat in tender - traders 
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased durum wheat in a tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said on Thursday. The volume bought was unclear but was thought to be between 180,000 and 240,000 tonnes, traders said in initial assessments.

Mar 04 - Renewable diesel boom highlights challenges in clean-energy transition

For 17 years, trucker Colin Birch has been hitting the highways to collect used cooking oil from restaurants. He works for Vancouver-based renderer West Coast Reduction Ltd, which processes the grease into a material to make renewable diesel, a clean-burning road fuel. That job has recently gotten much harder. Birch is caught between soaring demand for the fuel - driven by U.S. and Canadian government incentives - and scarce cooking oil supplies, because fewer people are eating out during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mar 04 - Trade estimates for USDA March U.S. grain end-stocks

The following are analysts' estimates ahead of the March crop supply/demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which will estimate U.S. 2020-21 ending stocks for wheat, corn and soybeans. The USDA is scheduled to release the report on Tuesday, March 9, at 12 p.m. EST (1700 GMT). Reuters surveys analysts for their expectations on what the USDA will report, and for analysts' own estimates. Reuters publishes these sets of numbers separately. 

Mar 04 - Tight EU rapeseed supplies to suck in imports - Oil World
Soaring prices of rapeseed in the European Union due to a sharp fall in supplies is likely to boost EU imports of the oilseed in the first six months of 2021, Hamburg-based analysts Oil World said on Wednesday. Paris rapeseed futures on Tuesday hit their highest since September 2012 on tight European inventories and firm international oilseed markets.

Mar 04 - Bunge to step up monitoring of soy suppliers in Brazil's Cerrado biome 
The Brazilian unit of Bunge Ltd is launching an effort to make sure that soybean growers in the Cerrado area who indirectly supply the company are producing their crops in an environmentally responsible way, according to a statement on Wednesday. The Cerrado biome is a vast tropical savanna or biodiversity hot spot where the bulk of Brazil's oilseeds are planted.

Mar 04 - Ukraine grain exports down 21.3% so far in 2020/21 season
Ukraine's grain exports have fallen almost 21.3% to 32.2 million tonnes so far this season, which runs from July 2020 to June 2021, economy ministry data showed on Wednesday. Traders sold 13.77 million tonnes of wheat, 13.96 million tonnes of corn and 3.96 million tonnes of barley, the data showed.

Mar 04 - Argentina bumper grains inflows brake FX slide, slow reforms
Argentina has seen a strong uptick in foreign currency inflows on the back of high global grains prices, reducing the risk of a sharp near-term devaluation of the peso currency and giving the government breathing room to slow pedal economic reforms. The South American country, a major producer of soy, corn and wheat, has acted to protect the peso and foreign reserves with strict capital controls since a market crash in 2019. That had stoked fears of a sudden correction.

Mar 04 - Zimbabwe expects maize output to more than triple this year
Zimbabwe expects to harvest up to 2.8 million tonnes of the maize this year, three times 2020 output thanks to higher than usual rainfall, official data showed on Wednesday. The southern African nation endured devastating droughts in the past two years, which cut maize harvest to 900,000 tonnes in 2020, half its annual requirements.

Mar 03 - U.S. dominance in global grain markets has faded despite robust exports - Braun
The United States for many decades had been known as the world’s breadbasket, leading the way in corn, soybean and wheat exports. But although trade volumes remain historically high, the country’s relative impact on global exports is smaller than ever. High grain and oilseed prices, increasing global demand and weaker currencies have all contributed to the decline in U.S. export dominance. In recent years, U.S. crop shortfalls between 2010 and 2012 permanently reduced the country’s market share and contributed to the rise of competing producers.

Mar 03 - China to crack down on counterfeit seeds in food security push
China's agriculture ministry on Tuesday said it had called for a nationwide crackdown on the production and sale of counterfeit, low-quality seeds as the government makes the seed sector a pillar of its food security push. Rice-producing regions in southern China should strictly control seed quality, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement, adding that Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the provinces of Guangdong and Shandong, should focus on inspecting imported seeds.

Mar 03 - Some U.S. meatpackers announce vaccine plans, but many workers still waiting
COVID-19 vaccines are making their way into the arms of U.S. meat and agriculture workers, but companies and union officials say progress needs to be faster after coronavirus outbreaks idled slaughterhouses and sickened thousands of workers. Vaccinating food workers could help prevent further production disruptions that sent meat prices soaring in spring 2020 and forced retailers like Kroger Co to restrict customers' purchases of ground beef and other products.

Mar 03 - China confirms swine fever in piglets in Yunnan province
An outbreak of African swine fever has been confirmed in piglets being illegally transported through Funing county in China's southwestern province of Yunnan, the farm ministry said. The case comes amid growing concern that a severe wave of disease in recent months has hit China's hog herd, the world's largest.

Mar 03 - Ukraine has used 78.3% of season's wheat export quota so far
Ukraine has used 78.3% of its 17.5 million tonnes wheat exports quota for the 2020/21 season, the economy ministry data showed on Tuesday. Ukrainian wheat exports totalled 13.7 million tonnes as of Marc. 1, down almost 2.86 million tonne from the same date a season ago, the data showed. The volume included 700,000 tonnes of wheat exported in February.

Mar 03 - Russia could reduce poultry import tax for Brazil, RIA reports
Russia could reduce tax on poultry imports from Brazil if rising domestic prices do not stabilise, the RIA news agency reported on Tuesday, citing an industry source. Moscow has imposed grain export curbs and other measures in an attempt to slow food inflation amid the COVID-19 pandemic and falling household incomes.

Mar 02 - European butter and WMP rise

On major western European markets, there have been price gains for both butter and WMP over the past week, suggesting that demand for milkfats from cheese manufacturers is increasing and pulling overall prices higher.

Butter continues to be traded at comparatively low prices. Despite having risen substantially since the start of the year, the EU average butter price, at EUR3,550/tonne, is still currently lower than at any point in 2018 and 2019, and on a par with the level seen for much of 2020.

Traders clearly believe there is further upside for butter, which is competitive with New Zealand product on the world market. The latest EEX futures prices show a value of EUR3,950/tonne for November 2021 delivery – a premium of almost EUR300 on the February price.

On the French AgriMer exchange, the butter price is up 2.0% w/w at EUR3,590/ tonne, while the Dutch PZ exchange has seen a rise of 1.4%, to EUR3,650/tonne. In Germany, the price for industrial (bulk) butter on the Kempten exchange is 1% higher, at EUR3,730/tonne, although retail (packaged) butter is unchanged at EUR3,400/tonne.

Whole milk powder has similarly seen gains in all three countries, and is now testing the EUR3,000-mark for the first time in almost twelve months.

Mar 02 - EU pig market jumps to new 3-month high

The long-awaited turnaround in the EU pig market appears to be underway, with prices responding at last to a marked reduction in pressure of oversupply.

Benchmark EU pig prices rose by more than 1% in the week ending 21 February to reach EUR131.07 per 100kg. This is the biggest week-on-week increase in around a year – as the overall tone of the market shifts from surplus to equilibrium.

Although German pigmeat is still shut out of the Chinese market due to concerns over African Swine Fever, the backlog of slaughter-ready pigs on German farms, which at one point exceeded one million head, is now down to less than 200,000 units.

Moreover, warmer weather in much of Europe has encouraged an increase in domestic pigmeat consumption, while exports to Asia from Spain, the EU’s leading pigmeat exporter, are continuing to flow well.

Adding to the optimistic tone, the German national pig producer association has increased its semi-official reference price from EUR121 to EUR130 per 100kg for the week to 3 March. This means that a further increase in the overall EU value is likely this week.

Mar 02 - U.S. crop insurance price guarantees point to higher soy, corn acres
Crop insurance policies that guarantee prices for the 2021 growing season are the highest in seven years for corn and the highest in eight years for soybeans, bolstering expectations for record combined acreage of both crops, analysts said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the guarantees, which act as the floor price below which farmers with insurance receive payments, at $4.58 per bushel for corn and $11.87 a bushel for soybeans across most of the U.S. crop belt.

Mar 02 - Sovecon ups forecast for Russia's 2020/21 wheat exports by 1.2 mln T
Russian agriculture consultancy Sovecon said on Monday it had raised its forecast for Russia's 2020/21 wheat exports by 1.2 million tonnes to 39.1 million tonnes due to the fast pace of shipments in recent months. Russia doubled its wheat export tax to 50 euros ($60) per tonne from Monday in an attempt to curb high food price inflation amid the coronavirus pandemic. The tax was at 25 euro/tonne on Feb. 15-28.

Mar 02 - Biofuel leaders highlight policy, feedstock innovation in industry's future

Industry leaders talked up the future of biofuels in the energy transition at IHS Markit's virtual CERAWeek conference on Monday, noting that policy incentives and feedstock innovation will be crucial going forward. The transition to an electric vehicle fleet is expected to be a long one, making renewable fuels a growth market for refiners and others seeking out road transport options that will emit fewer greenhouse gases.

Mar 02 - Australian wheat production to fall 25% as La Nina eases
Australian wheat production will fall 25% next season as farmers reduce acreage and yields fall after rains caused by La Nina ease, Australia's chief commodity forecaster said on Tuesday. Australian wheat output is on course to hit a record 33.34 million tonnes this year after La Nina soaked the east coast.

Mar 02 - EU 2020/21 soft wheat exports 17.56 million tonnes by Feb. 28
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2020/21 season that started last July had reached 17.56 million tonnes by Feb. 28, data published by the European Commission showed on Monday. That was down from 21.48 million tonnes cleared by the same week last season, the data showed.

Mar 02 - Tyson to offer vaccinations to thousands of Iowa meat plant workers
 

Tyson Foods Inc, the largest U.S. meat processor, said on Monday it would offer COVID-19 vaccinations to thousands of its frontline workers at its Iowa meat processing plants this week. Tyson, which has previously said it would offer vaccines at its facilities, expects many of the company's 13,000 Iowa employees to be inoculated during vaccination events later this week.

Mar 02 - Predicting growth, Saudi's Ma'aden to boost fertiliser capacity
Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden), the Gulf's largest miner, plans to boost the capacity of its major fertiliser project in the north of the country this year as it expects demand to rise, its chief executive told Reuters on Monday. Ma'aden, which is 65% owned by the Saudi sovereign fund, the Public Investment Fund, is seen as central to Saudi Arabia's plan to more than triple mining's contribution to the nation’s economic output by 2030 as it diversifies from hydrocarbons.

Mar 01 - China's soybean futures hit record high as supply, acreage tighten
China's soybean futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange hit a record high on Monday, on tight supply and as some farmers are expected to reduce soy acres in favour of corn on higher profit potential. The most actively traded soybean futures on Dalian Commodity Exchange for delivery in May rose as much as 2.5% to 6,058 yuan ($937.23) per tonne in early trade.
 
Mar 01 - Funds stand firm in sizable CBOT corn and soy longs
- Braun
When speculators rack up unusually bullish bets in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds, market participants often brace for the potential sell-off that can soon follow. But investors have maintained historic optimism since late last year as doubts persist that supply tightness will ease. In the week ended Feb. 23, money managers trimmed their net long in CBOT corn futures and options to 361,151 contracts, a reduction of 4,634 on the week, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Mar 01 - Spanish government says all cattle on pariah ship should be killed
More than 850 cows that have spent months on a ship in the Mediterranean are no longer fit for transport and should be killed, Spain's Agriculure Ministry said on Saturday, confirming an earlier Reuters report. The cows were kept in what an animal rights activist called "hellish" conditions on the Karim Allah, which docked in the southeastern Spanish port of Cartagena on Thursday after struggling to find a buyer for the cattle during the past two months.

Mar 01 - China's soymeal futures plunge on pig disease concerns
China's soymeal futures slid nearly 5% in their sharpest decline in eight years on Friday, as investors took profit and new African swine fever outbreaks stirred concerns over demand. The most actively traded soymeal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange for May delivery fell 4.86% to 3,485 yuan ($539.57) per tonne following four days of gains, amid worries the new pig disease cases would hit demand for the major feed ingredient.

Mar 01 - Indonesia Jan-Apr 2021 unhusked rice output seen up 27% y/y - stats bureau
Indonesia's unhusked rice output in January-April 2021 is expected to climb to 25.37 million tonnes, up nearly 27% from the same period last year, boosted by a larger rice-producing area, statistics bureau data showed on Monday. Around 4.86 million hectares (12.01 million acres) is expected to be used to produce rice this year, up from around 3.84 million hectares last year, as some areas recover from extreme wet weather and flooding in early 2020.

Mar 01 - French wheat and barley mostly in good shape after winter
Most wheat and barley crops in France, the European Union's biggest grain producer, remain in good condition as they reach the end of winter, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday. An estimated 87% of French soft wheat crops were in good or excellent condition by Feb. 22, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal crop report.

Fev 26 - From the hinterland to Hollywood: how Indian farmers galvanised a protest movement
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is struggling to beat back his biggest political challenge in years from a protest movement which began with disgruntled farmers travelling to New Delhi on tractors and is now gaining wider support at home and abroad. Simmering in makeshift camps housing tens of thousands of farmers since last year, the movement has seen a dramatic growth in recent weeks, getting backing from environmental activists, opposition parties and even A-list Western celebrities.

Fev 26 - China to hike corn acreage by more than 667,000 hectares in 2021
China will step up its corn planting acreage and treat more polluted land in 2021, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday, as part of an overarching plan to bolster food security for the world's largest population.  The policy statement, which dates from Jan 8, came out after China strengthened its focus on food security in an annual rural policy blueprint issued on Sunday.

Fev 26 - Unusual strength in new-crop corn, soy futures weigh on spreads - Braun
Nearby Chicago corn and soybean futures continue to trade at abnormally large premiums to the new-crop contracts, but those deferred prices are on a much different trend than what's been seen in other past years with strong old-new crop inverses. CBOT soybean futures hit contract highs on Thursday, both in the most actively traded May contract and in the new-crop November one. However, the recent uptrend in new-crop beans has been stronger as the oilseed battles for U.S. acres against competitors like corn, cotton, sorghum and wheat.

Fev 26 - Canadian farmers reap record profits as crop prices soar
Canadian farmers reaped record profits last year and are on track to do the same this year, the federal agriculture ministry said on Thursday, as prices for its top crops soared. Prices of canola hit all-time highs this month, rallying with oilseed rival soybeans, on brisk Chinese buying to produce feed for that country's rebuilding hog herd. Farm exports in general were stronger last year, the ministry said in a statement.

Fev 26 - IGC raises forecasts for 2020/21 global wheat crop
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecast for global wheat production in the 2020/21 season, partly reflecting upward revisions for crops in Australia, Kazakhstan and Russia. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body increased its global wheat crop forecast by 5 million tonnes to 773 million tonnes.

Fev 26 - Hit by Brazil shipment delays, Chinese soybean crushers forced to shrink output
Chinese soybean crushers are expected to curtail operations sharply in the coming months due to harvest delays in top exporter Brazil, pushing up prices and likely leading to a rundown in inventories. The shortage will be widely felt and probably last till at least mid-April, analysts, crushers and traders told Reuters, and comes just days after Beijing issued a major policy document stressing the importance of food security in the world's most populous country. 

Fev 26 - Malaysia's FGV posts higher Q4 profit, eyes 'eventful' year ahead 
The world's largest producer of crude palm oil, Malaysia's FGV Holdings, reported on Friday a rise of 87.9% in fourth-quarter profit, boosted by higher crude prices and better sales, but flagged caution over an "eventful" 2021. FGV said profit for the October-December period rose to 134.9 million ringgit from 71.8 million ringgit from a year earlier.

Fev 26 - Hot weather in Argentina puts soy, corn yields at risk
- BsAs exchange
Forecasts of a dry, hot week ahead in Argentina could cut the yields of late-planted corn and soybeans, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, although it kept its harvest forecast for both crops unchanged at 46 million tonnes. After a wet February brought relief to farms hit by unusually hot weather since mid 2020, growers remain on alert for damage that could yet be done if prolonged dryness returns.

Fev 26 - African swine fever detected in S.Africa's Western Cape
South Africa's Western Cape region has reported its first cases of African swine fever at two small farms, after outbreaks in other parts of the country, the provincial head of agriculture said. Recent outbreaks have also been reported in the Free State, Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces, agricultural authorities said.

Fev 26 - The Long Trail - after months at sea over infection worries, Spanish cattle ship returns to port
A shipload of Spanish cattle that had been drifting for months due to concerns over the bovine bluetongue disease docked in Spain on Thursday, the government said, but the fate of the animals remains unclear.  The Karim Allah left the Mediterranean port of Cartagena on Dec. 17 carrying 895 cattle destined for sale in Turkey. A second ship, the ElBeik, set sail the next day from Tarragona with a cargo of nearly 1,800 cows.

Feb 25 - India expected to harvest record wheat, rice crops this year
India is likely to harvest a record 109.24 million tonnes of wheat this year, the farm ministry said, further boosting stocks at government granaries that are fast running out of storage space due to more than a decade of bumper production. Wheat output in India, the world's second biggest producer, is expected to go up by 1.3% in the crop year to June 2021, the Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Ministry said in its second crop forecast for 2020/21.

Feb 25 - New Chinese study finds milder variants of African swine fever virus 

New variants of the African swine fever virus circulating in China appear to cause a milder form of the disease, making it less deadly but harder to detect and to get under control, a study published this week showed. The paper by a team at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is the second this month to report on natural mutations in the virus which ravaged China's pig herd during 2018 and 2019 and continues to kill pigs in the world's biggest pork producer.  

Feb 25 - German pig prices up again after disruption to exports, slaughterhouses
German pig and piglet prices increased again this week as markets recover from the impact of import bans on German pork and reduced slaughterhouse capacity, the association of German animal farmers VEZG said on Wednesday. German pig prices rose to 1.30 a kg slaughter weight from 1.21 euros last week, the association said.

Feb 25 - Brazil rancher groups oppose importing live cattle from Paraguay
A trade group representing Brazilian meat-packers has asked the agriculture ministry for authorization to import live cattle from Paraguay, drawing criticism from ranchers, two farming associations said on Wednesday.  The request to import live cattle from Paraguay, made by a trade group based in Mato Grosso do Sul, which borders Paraguay to the east, comes as Brazil's cattle availability has fallen in recent months due to strong demand from meat processors.

Feb 25 - Fonterra raises lower end of profit view on strong demand for dairy products
Dairy producer Fonterra on Thursday raised the lower end of its full-year profit outlook on strong demand for its products. The company narrowed the expected range to between 25 and 35 New Zealand cents per share from 20 and 35 New Zealand cents per share. 

Feb 25 - Kazakh president orders ban on foreign ownership of farmland
Kazakhstan will permanently ban foreigners from owning or renting farmland in the vast Central Asian nation, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Thursday, ending a lengthy dispute that once prompted anti-government protests. Kazakhstan is a major producer of grains, oilseeds and meat in the former Soviet region sandwiched between China and Russia and five years ago, its authorities decided to attract foreign investment into agriculture by opening up the farmland market.

Feb 25 - Philippines believed to pass in 145,000 tonne wheat tender
- trade
Importers in the Philippines are believed to have rejected all offers and made no purchase in a tender for up to 145,000 tonnes of milling wheat and animal feed wheat which closed on Wednesday, European traders said in initial assessments of the result on Thursday. Prices were regarded as too high.

Feb 24 - Evaluating USDA’s acreage pegs as U.S. planting season rapidly approaches - Braun
The upcoming U.S. corn and soybean planting season has shaped up to be among the most highly anticipated ones in history due to unusually tight stockpiles and elevated prices. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture tentatively slated 2021 corn and soybean plantings at 92 million and 90 million acres, respectively, primarily based on economic analysis.  That was slightly fewer corn acres and more soy acres than the market expected, though both would be up on the year. 

Feb 24 - Pilgrim's Pride pleads guilty to chicken price-fixing charge, to pay $107.9 mln fine

Pilgrim's Pride Corp, one of the largest U.S. poultry producers, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $107.9 million fine on Tuesday to settle federal charges it conspired to fix chicken prices and passed on the costs to consumers and other purchasers. Chief Executive Fabio Sandri entered the guilty plea on the company's behalf at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore in Denver. A plea agreement had been reached in October.

Feb 24 - U.S. Senate confirms Tom Vilsack as Biden's agriculture secretary 

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture, returning the former Iowa governor to the job he held under ex-President Barack Obama. The 100-member Senate approved Vilsack 92-7. He needed a simple majority in the Democratic-controlled chamber to be confirmed.

Feb 24 - Brazil 2020/2021 corn crop to reach record 108.2 mln tonnes - poll 
Brazil may produce a record corn crop of 108.2 million tonnes this season as farmers expand plantings amid good prices for the cereal, according to the average forecast of a Reuters poll of 11 analysts on Tuesday. The corn area will grow by around 1 million hectares to 19.44 million hectares (48 million acres), the poll showed.

Feb 24 - Egg supply tightens in Poland as EU bird flu crisis hits industry
 

Avian influenza in Europe is now approaching levels last seen in 2016 with egg supply shrinking in Poland, one of the hardest hit countries due to the loss of laying hens, in a sign that the virus is starting to strain the poultry industry.  The disease, commonly called bird flu, has been found in several European countries, decimating flocks with bruising losses for farmers already hit hard by Covid-19.

Feb 24 - Ukraine grain stocks at 18.2 mln T as of Feb. 1
Ukraine's grain stocks totalled 18.2 million tonnes as of Feb. 1, 3.5 million tonnes less than by the same date in 2020, the APK-Inform consultancy said on Tuesday, citing data from the State Statistics Service. Stocks at large and medium-sized agricultural companies included 5.1 million tonnes of wheat.

Feb 23 - Argentine barley exports to China smash records amid Australia spat
Argentina's barley exports to China are set to soar to a record 1 million tonnes in 2021, industry sources and sales data show, as Beijing looks beyond its traditional top supplier Australia amid a lengthy diplomatic standoff between the two countries. The sales bonanza, revealed by industry sources in Argentina and China, underscores how the South American grains powerhouse is plugging the supply gap that opened last year after diplomatic tensions led China to slap a 80.5% tariff on Australian barley.

Feb 23 - U.S. may need to look beyond 2022 to solve historic tightness in soybean supply - Braun
Less than two years ago the United States was drowning in excess soybean supplies, mostly due to trade interruptions with top buyer China.  But relative to domestic demand, U.S. stockpiles are forecast to be record-tight later this year, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not even a record crop this summer can ease the situation much by mid-2022. USDA on Friday tentatively slated U.S. soybean acres to rise 8% on the year, which could lift the 2021 harvest to a new record when combined with the second-largest ever yield. 

Feb 23 - Cold weather had limited impact on EU winter crops - monitor
The negative impact from cold snaps in January and February is expected to be limited because most of the affected areas were protected by snow cover, the European Union's crop monitoring service MARS said on Monday. There have been three cold spells in Europe since the beginning of January, with the third being the most pronounced and affecting the largest area, it said in a report.

Feb 23 - Rains in Argentina boost expectations for good soy, corn crops
Showers on Argentina's Pampas grains belt in recent weeks have helped make up for the dryness that parched soy and corn crops from the middle of last year, weather experts said on Monday. Farmers are now hoping for enough rain to boost yields after the country's two main cash crops were hit by an unusual lack of precipitation before a resurgence of wet weather in January.

Feb 23 - U.S. EPA says it agrees with court's decision casting doubt on biofuel exemptions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday it agrees with an appeals court's decision last year that cast doubt on a program that granted oil refiners exemptions to U.S. biofuel blending laws.  The announcement signals that the agency could dramatically limit the number of exemptions given to refiners under the program going forward. The move would upset some in the oil industry who say exemptions are needed to keep small refiners afloat under pricey blending requirements but would be a huge win for the corn lobby. 

Feb 23 - Meat lobby to Brazil: trade talks with Indonesia hinge on halal WTO compliance
Brazil should only begin free trade talks with Indonesia if it adopts recommendations made by a World Trade Organization panel in 2017 after a dispute over halal chicken, Brazil's meat lobby ABPA said in a letter sent to three government ministries. "We don't oppose a free trade agreement with Indonesia," Ricardo Santin, head of ABPA, said on Monday with reference to the letter sent to the foreign relations, economy and agriculture ministries on Jan. 26, but not previously reported.

Feb 23 - S.Africa's 2021 maize output expected to rise 10%
South African maize farmers are expected to harvest 10% more of the staple crop in the 2020/2021 season compared with the previous season, despite heavy rainfall in parts of the country, a Reuters survey showed on Monday. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to peg maize production at 16.872 million tonnes for the 2020/2021 season, up from the 15.300 million tonnes planted last season, an average estimate of five traders and analysts surveyed showed.

Feb 23 - China suspends imports of poultry from Algeria due to H5N8 bird flu 
China has stopped poultry imports from Algeria from Feb. 20 due to a highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu, the General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday. The move came after China banned poultry imports from France in January and shipments from Ireland in December, also due to bird flu.

Feb 22 - China steps up focus on food security in major policy document
China will put greater pressure on its regions to boost grain yields and step up support for its domestic seed industry as it strengthens its focus on food security after the COVID-19 pandemic, a major policy document issued late Sunday showed. The annual rural policy blueprint, known as the "No. 1 document", placed greater emphasis on food security than in prior years, calling for all provinces to improve grain yields during the 2021-2025 period.

Feb 22 - Funds' bullish CBOT grains views tracking anomalous 2011 strength - Braun
Speculators’ unusually bullish bets combined across Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds have been largely unchanged since late December based on thinning stockpiles and strong demand, especially for soybeans and corn. That trend compares well with the same period in early 2011 and is near the historical max, but funds had slowly reduced bullishness into March and April of that year.

Feb 22 - Russia drafts law to tighten control over imported seeds
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, has drafted a law to tighten control over the quality of imported seeds for grain, vegetable and other crops, Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko said in a statement on Saturday. Russia has boosted grain production over the last 20 years but still imports seeds despite becoming self-sufficient in other areas of its agricultural industry, such as fertilisers.

Feb 22 - As U.S. pork plant speeds up slaughtering, workers report more injuries
One of America's leading pig slaughterhouses is running faster than ever as meatpackers hustle to keep pork in grocery stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plant worker Hector Ixquier says it's time to slow down. Ixquier said he sought medical treatment in January for tendons he strained in his right arm while draining blood from pigs in a Seaboard Foods pork plant in Guymon, Oklahoma.

Feb 22 - Argentina oilseeds union announces cotton workers strike over wages
Argentina's Federation of oilseeds workers has announced a new strike action by cotton processing workers demanding wage increases that will start on Monday morning, the latest in a string of farming sector standoffs in the country. The union said workers in cotton processing, or ginning, plants had seen real wages fall amid persistently high inflation and that firms in the sector had made "ridiculous salary offers" that meant a substantial loss in purchasing power.

Feb 22 - Russia reports world's first case of human infection with H5N8 bird flu
Russia has registered the first case of a strain of bird flu virus named A(H5N8) being passed to humans from birds and has reported the matter to the World Health Organization (WHO), Anna Popova, head of consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said on Saturday. Outbreaks of the H5N8 strain have been reported in Russia, Europe, China, the Middle East and North Africa in recent months but so far only in poultry. Other strains - H5N1, H7N9 and H9N2 - have been known to spread to humans.

Feb 22 - Ukraine wheat export prices flat over past week
Ukrainian soft milling wheat export prices remained almost unchanged over the past week, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Monday. Asking prices for Ukrainian-origin 12.5% protein wheat stood at $278 to $285 per tonne FOB Black Sea, the consultancy said in a report.

Feb 22 - Protesting Indian farmers vow to amass more supporters outside capital Delhi

More than 100,000 farmers and farm workers gathered in India's northern Punjab state on Sunday in a show of strength against new farm laws, where union leaders called on supporters to amass outside the capital New Delhi on Feb. 27. Tens of thousands of Indian growers have already been camped outside Delhi for nearly three months, demanding the repeal of the three reform laws that they say will hurt them and benefit large corporations.

Feb 22 - Brazil traders commission tool to gauge farmers' soy contract compliance
Brazilian oilseeds trade lobby Abiove is launching a tool to monitor farmers' fulfillment of soy contracts, as global merchants seek to secure deliveries of grains sold in advance in the 2020/2021 cycle. The initiative comes as Brazilian farmers presold half of their soy crop by last August, an unprecedented amount, sparking fears among trading companies that some could fail to deliver grains and force a contract renegotiation. 

Feb 19 - Texas ranchers scramble to keep animals alive in unusual cold 
 

Texas ranchers worked overtime to haul water and hay to cattle to keep them alive during a freak winter storm, but some cows have already succumbed to unusual icy temperatures that also killed chickens, idled meat plants and threatened crops. The deaths of baby cows in the top U.S. cattle state and struggles to care for surviving livestock are the latest challenges for ranchers who over the past year have dealt with COVID-19 cutting demand for meat at restaurants and shuttering slaughterhouses.

Feb 19 - U.S. forecasts record combined U.S. soy, corn acreage for 2021
U.S. farmers will plant 182 million acres of corn and soybeans in 2021, the highest combined total for the two crops on record, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast on Thursday at an annual outlook forum. Robust demand from exporters as well as domestic users has sent prices for both crops soaring to multi-year highs in recent months. The United States is the world's top corn exporter and the No. 2 soybean supplier after Brazil.

Feb 19 - Unusually dry February renews risk to Argentina’s soybeans and corn - Braun
After plentiful January rainfall that saved Argentine corn and soybeans from potential disaster, this month is on pace to be the country's second-driest February in more than three decades, once again raising harvest concerns. Bumper crops were never expected in 2021 for the No. 3 corn and soybean exporter, but last month’s rainfall had some estimates on the uptrend. Crop conditions remain stable, though forecasts suggest Argentina is nearly two weeks away from its next substantial rainfall opportunity. 

Feb 19 - Sovecon cuts Russia's 2021 wheat crop forecast due to bad weather, taxes
Russian agriculture consultancy Sovecon said on Thursday that it had downgraded its forecast for Russia's 2021 wheat crop to 76.2 million tonnes from 77.7 million tonnes due to unfavourable weather conditions and upcoming state export taxes. "Russia could produce a substantially lower wheat crop in 2021. The main issue is that plants entered the current winter in the worst shape in a decade after an abnormally dry autumn. January was generally favourable for the new winter wheat crop but February weather is not," it said. 

Feb 19 - Euronext suspends Jan. 2023 maize futures to review position

Euronext has suspended trading in its maize (corn) futures and options for January 2023 pending a review of that expiry month, the market operator said on Thursday. The suspension took effect from the close of trading on Wednesday, Euronext said in a market notice. "Several market participants, as well as the yearly Euronext Matif survey, demonstrated that the liquidity and usefulness of the January corn expiry are open to discussion," it said.

Feb 19 - Brazil soy harvest moves slowly, corn advances despite early-season drought 
Brazil's soybean harvesting progressed in the period through Feb. 12, but still lagged last year's pace and the historical five-year average, agribusiness consultancy Datagro said on Thursday. Brazil, the world's largest soy producer and exporter, had harvested 9.1% of the soy area since this year's harvest began around January, less than half of the 21.4% harvested at the same point in 2020 and compared to a historical average of 19.7%, Datagro said.

Feb 19 - Investors seed indoor farms as pandemic disrupts food supplies
Investors used to brush off Amin Jadavji's pitch to buy Elevate Farms’ vertical growing technology and produce stacks of leafy greens indoors with artificial light. "They would say, 'This is great, but it sounds like a science experiment,'" said Jadavji, CEO of Toronto-based Elevate. Now, indoor farms are positioning themselves as one of the solutions to pandemic-induced disruptions to the harvesting, shipping, and sale of food. 

Feb 19 - From fertiliser to fuel, Norwegians join forces to produce green ammonia
Norway's Statkraft and Aker Horizons, a unit of investment firm Aker, have joined chemicals firm Yara in electrifying and decarbonising a plant in Norway to produce zero carbon ammonia, the companies said on Thursday. Yara, one of the world's largest producers of nitrogen fertilisers, aims to eliminate CO2 emissions from the 500,000-tonnes-a-year plant in Porsgrunn in southern Norway.

Feb 19 - Potash fertilizer producers eye surging demand but keep lid on supplies
Global sales of potash fertilizer look to hit record highs this year, helped by a spike in crop prices, but cautious North American producers are keeping a lid on supplies. Canada's Nutrien Ltd and U.S.-based Mosaic Co have benefited as crop prices climbed to multi-year highs, helped by strong Chinese demand.

Feb 19 - Kazakh state grain trader plans rouble bond - banks
Kazakh state-owned Food Contract Corporation plans to offer a Russian rouble-denominated bond on the Russian and Kazakh markets, deal organisers said on Friday. Investment banks Halyk Finance and VTB Capital and the Eurasian Development Bank said in a bourse filing the issuer would hold a presentation for potential investors on Feb.24. The banks did not disclose the size of the possible deal.

Feb 18 - Back-to-back black swan events complicate 2021 U.S. corn, soy planting puzzle - Braun
It has been three years since U.S. farmers experienced a normal spring planting season, as extreme flooding in 2019 and a pandemic in 2020 derailed the initial plans, resulting in dramatically thinner supply levels than originally projected.  The extraordinary underproduction of corn and soybeans over the past two seasons has helped Chicago-traded futures reach multi-year highs, increasing projected profitability for the 2021 harvest. Corn, soybeans and competing crops are no longer "hot potatoes" in farmers’ eyes as they have been in recent, low-price seasons.

Feb 18 - Cargill says Texas meat plants idled after cold snap
Cargill Inc said on Wednesday that meat plants in three Texas cities will be idled through Thursday because a local utility company has curtailed natural gas availability after a cold snap hit the state. Cargill hopes to run the facilities in Waco, Fort Worth and Round Rock, Texas, this week, according to a statement.

Feb 18 - Argentina accuses Danone, Bunge, P&G of output curbs amid pricing crackdown
Argentina is investigating consumer firms including Danone, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, along with food producers like Bunge, over accusations they have deliberately held back production amid a government clampdown on rising prices. The country's production ministry in a statement alleged that the firms and others had been "holding back production volumes" and had not abided by a resolution to increase output to the "highest degree of their installed capacity."

Feb 18 - Malaysia's Sime Darby Plantation posts Q4 profit, optimistic for 2021
Malaysia's Sime Darby Plantation flipped to a profit in the fourth quarter and is optimistic for a good performance this year as crude palm oil prices are expected to rise, it said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday.The world's largest palm oil planter by land size posted a net profit of 149 million ringgit ($36.91 million) for the Oct-Dec period, versus a net loss of 58 million ringgit in the year earlier quarter.

Feb 18 - German pig prices rise after disruption to exports, abattoirs
German pig prices increased this week in their first rise since November, the association of German animal farmers VEZG said on Wednesday. The market is starting to recover after being hit last year by widespread import bans on German pork after African swine fever (ASF) was found in the country and reduced slaughterhouse capacity after coronavirus outbreaks.

Feb 18 - Nutrien beats quarterly profit expectation on strong potash sales
Canadian fertilizer maker Nutrien Ltd posted fourth-quarter profit above analysts' estimates on Wednesday as potash demand rose amid rising crop prices, sending its U.S.-listed shares up 4.5% in extended trade. Fertilizer producers have benefited from high U.S. crop exports, including record-large corn sales to China. With crop prices touching multi-year highs, farmers are poised to plant more acres in 2021 and would require more fertilizers for their plantings.

Feb 18 - ED&F Man names new chairman, CFO leaves
ED&F Man has appointed ex-Glencore executive Chris Mahoney as chairman, effective March 15, the agricultural commodities merchant said on Wednesday in a statement which also announced the departure of chief financial officer Lukas Paravicini. CEO Rafael Muguiro currently also holds the role of chairman.

Feb 18 - Artisan Partners urges France's Danone to split some businesses 
U.S. investment firm Artisan Partners on Wednesday called on French food group Danone to separate its medical nutrition business from its baby foods unit and offload its Asian water brand Mizone to boost returns. Danone, touted as a prime target for an activist fund, has come under pressure in recent weeks to make management changes as some investors criticised weak returns at the food group and demanded it split the roles of chief executive and chairman.

Feb 17 - NOPA January soy crush jumps to 184.654 million bushels, second biggest on record
U.S. soybean processors recorded their second-largest monthly crush on record in January, the latest in a string of historically active months of soy processing, according to data released by the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) on Tuesday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 184.654 million bushels of soybeans last month, up from 183.159 million bushels in December and 176.940 million bushels in January 2020.

Feb 17 - EU wheat crops not seen suffering big hit from cold spell
Severe cold across Europe in the past week is unlikely to have inflicted significant damage on wheat crops that had built up winter sturdiness and were often insulated by snow, analysts and traders said. Although frost impact cannot be fully determined until crops emerge from winter dormancy, the expected absence of major losses in the European Union could keep the exporting region on track for a larger harvest this year, particularly after a rebound in sowing in top EU grower France. 

Feb 17 - Kraft Heinz, Conagra may raise some product prices as grains, edible oil costs surge
Kraft Heinz Co and Conagra Brands Inc said they may choose to raise prices this year on some products that use wheat, sugar and other commodities that are becoming increasingly expensive due to high demand. Conagra CEO Sean Connolly said the company, which makes Duncan Hines cake mixes and Marie Callender's pulled pork mac and cheese bowls, will need to implement inflation-justified price increases this year so it can also continue to fuel sales growth through innovation. 

Feb 17 - Abu Dhabi's ADQ lines up banks for $1 bln Louis Dreyfus acquisition loan - sources
Abu Dhabi's state-owned ADQ has lined up a small group of banks for a loan of about $1 billion to back its acquisition of a 45% stake in commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Co (LDC), three sources familiar with the matter said. ADQ said in November it had signed an agreement to acquire an indirect 45% equity stake in LDC, in what would be the first outside investment in the family-owned commodity merchant's 169-year history.

Feb 17 - Some U.S. ethanol producers reduce production to sell natural gas for a profit 
Sky-high U.S. natural gas prices have prompted some Midwestern ethanol producers to reduce processing in the last week, hoping instead to sell off some of their natural gas to take advantage of current high spot prices caused by the spike in cold weather, industry sources said. Ethanol margins in the Corn Belt have dropped sharply due to the frigid weather, falling to negative-$3.92 a gallon, lowest since at least 2010, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. Natural gas prices have soared because of power needs, hitting their highest levels in years due to the cold snap. 

Feb 17 - Finland to allow seasonal farm workers to enter country
The Finnish government said on Tuesday it would allow seasonal farm workers to enter the country to help with the upcoming growing season, even though strict border restrictions are in force to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The decision - which does not specify the number of workers to be allowed in - will enable Finnish farmers to employ short-term employees starting in spring.

Feb 17 - South Korea's MFG tenders for up to 140,000 tonnes corn 
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 140,000 tonnes of corn, European traders said on Wednesday. Tender deadline is also Wednesday, Feb. 17, they said.

Feb 16 - France's BNP to halt financing soybean clients on converted Amazon land - Agricensus
French lender BNP Paribas said on Monday it will no longer provide financing services to customers who grow or buy Brazilian soybeans or beef on Amazonian rainforest land that has been cleared or converted since 2008. France’s largest listed bank said that as a financial institution exposed to the Brazilian agricultural sector, it must contribute to stop deforestation in the Amazon. It added that it will encourage its clients to not produce or buy beef or soybeans from land cleared or converted from January 1 this year in the Cerrado – the vast tropical savanna that is being eyed as potential land for Brazil's agricultural expansion.
“BNP Paribas will not finance customers producing or buying beef or soybeans from land cleared or converted after 2008 in the Amazon,” the bank said in a statement issued on Monday.
BNP said Brazilian beef and soybean production has accelerated deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado which “legal or illegal, jeopardises the ecological integrity and future of these two biomes”.
The bank will require all its clients to commit to full traceability of their beef and soy supply chains, direct and indirect, by 2025.
Financial products or services will only be provided to companies with a strategy to achieve zero deforestation in their production and supply chains by 2025 at the latest.


Feb 16 - Russian wheat export prices down with global benchmarks
Russian wheat export prices fell for the fourth consecutive week last week amid a decline in prices in Chicago and Paris and rising supply in the domestic market, analysts said on Monday. Moscow's wheat export tax and a grain export quota, launched on Monday as part of efforts to reduce food inflation amid the coronavirus pandemic, have already been priced in, they said.

Feb 16 - Funds retain strong CBOT corn, soy optimism on slimming supplies -Braun
Despite some volatile trading days, speculators have not largely altered their unusually bullish views in Chicago corn over the last month, though they had turned a little friendlier toward beans in the latest week.  Optimism faded in recent sessions, however, as the U.S. government projection of domestic corn supply was heavier than predicted. In the near term, investors are focused on the required record export pace, but next year’s supplies are also on the radar as the upcoming marketing year is just around the corner

Feb 16 - Australia to harvest record amount of wheat in 2020/2021 season - chief forecaster
Australian farmers will harvest a record amount of wheat during the 2020/21 season, the country's chief commodity forecaster said on Tuesday, after heavy rains in the country's key producing regions boosted yields. With harvesting nearly complete, output will total a record 33.34 million tonnes in the season ending in July 2021, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said, surpassing the previous all-time high of 31.8 million tonnes in the 2016/17 season.

Feb 16 - India's arrest of activist tied to Greta Thunberg's movement sparks outrage
Indian politicians and activists on Monday condemned the arrest of a 22-year-old climate campaigner accused of sedition for helping edit an online document that Sweden's Greta Thunberg had promoted in support of farmers protesting in the country.  Thunberg had shared a "toolkit" or an action plan on Twitter which listed ways to help Indian farmers, who have been protesting agricultural reforms they fear will ruin their livelihoods. 

Feb 16 - Algeria issues tender to buy milling wheat, traders say
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy optional-origin milling wheat, traders said, with a Tuesday deadline for bids. The tender indicated shipment from main supply regions such as the European Union could take place over March 21-31 and during the whole of April. For South American and Australian supplies, shipment should take place from Feb. 21 up to the end of March, traders said.

Feb 16 - Egypt's GASC seeks vegetable oils in tender on Thursday 
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC,) said on Monday it was seeking vegetable oils in an international purchasing tender for arrival April 1-15. GASC said it wanted at least 30,000 tonnes of soyoil and 10,000 tonnes of sunflower oil and the deadline for offers was Thursday.

Feb 16 - EU 2020/21 soft wheat exports 16.25 million tonnes by Feb. 14
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2020/21 season that started last July had reached 16.25 million tonnes by Feb. 14, data published by the European Commission showed on Monday. That was down from 19.53 million tonnes cleared by the same week last season, the data showed.

Feb 15 - Some 3,000 Brazil grain trucks stranded outside Northern transshipment station - Abiove
Thousands of trucks loaded with grains for export are stranded close to a cargo transshipment station located on the Tapajós river as Brazil begins to haul its new soy crop through northern ports, according to oilseeds trade group Abiove on Saturday. The line with roughly 3,000 trucks formed on an unpaved 7-kilometer stretch of the BR-230 highway on the west of the Amazonian state of Pará, Abiove told Reuters.

Feb 15 - Britain's wheat imports accelerate during December
Britain's wheat imports rose in December and are running at more than double last season's pace, customs data showed on Friday. Wheat imports for the month totalled 332,458 tonnes, up from 208,948 tonnes in November.

Feb 15 - Algeria issues tender to buy milling wheat – traders
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC on Sunday issued an international tender to buy optional-origin milling wheat, traders said, with a Tuesday deadline for bids. The tender indicated shipment from main supply regions such as the European Union could take place over March 21-31 and during the whole of April. For South American and Australian supplies, shipment should take place from Feb. 21 up to the end of March, traders said.

Feb 15 - Meatpacker JBS says nearly 700 U.S. pork plant workers get COVID-19 vaccine
Meatpacker JBS USA said on Friday that nearly 700 workers at a pork production plant in Beardstown, Illinois, had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on site, calling it one of the largest vaccination efforts for food workers. The workers at the plant would get the second dose in March, the company said. The plant employs more than 1,900 people.

Feb 12 - Today is New Year for many Asians:

Happy Losar to Tibetan friends; Happy Tet to Vietnamese friends; Happy Seollal to Korean friends; and Happy Lunar New Year to Chinese friends. Wish you all a prosperous year 2021.

Happy New Chinese Year of the White Metal Ox.

It is a calm animal, but let’s see if will not become a bull for grains and oilseeds.

Zodiac is telling us:

- For people born in 1961 it will be a good year;

- Thursdays are lucky days - do not trade any other day...;-)

- fertile years;

Feb 12 - NOPA January U.S. soy crush seen at 183.087 million bushels - survey
U.S. soybean processing plants likely turned in their third-largest monthly crush on record on January and the largest-ever crush for the first month of the year, according to analysts polled ahead of a National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Tuesday. NOPA members, which handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, were estimated to have crushed 183.087 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates from nine analysts.

Feb 12 - Tyson Foods shares drop as quarterly sales miss estimates
Tyson Foods Inc reported lower-than-expected first-quarter sales on Thursday amid weak meat demand at restaurants during the pandemic, sending shares down as much as 7.5%. The biggest U.S. meat company by sales expects demand will improve as COVID-19 vaccinations prompt people to eat out more often. So far, though, increased meat sales at grocery stores have not been enough to offset the decline at food-service businesses.

Feb 12 - Lawsuits likely in Mexico over proposed corn import, glyphosate bans
The Mexican government's plan to stop importing genetically modified (GMO) corn as well as the widely-used herbicide glyphosate will likely face legal challenges this month to reverse the proposal, according to the new head of Mexico's top farm lobby. Juan Cortina, president of Mexico's Farm Council (CNA), told Reuters late on Wednesday that he thinks the lawsuits are needed to get the government to back down.   
 
 

Feb 12 - Israel's ICL Q4 profit up slightly, sees favorable commodity prices
Israel's ICL (ICL) reported on Thursday slightly higher fourth quarter earnings that topped estimates, and said it sees favorable commodity prices going into 2021. The fertiliser and speciality chemicals company posted quarterly adjusted earnings per share of 5 cents, up from 4 cents a year earlier. Boosted by a 25% rise in potash sales, revenue climbed to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion.

Feb 11 - Bunge Q4 profit tops expectations on strong demand, forecasts solid 2021
U.S. agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday and said its full-year adjusted profit would top estimates due to strong demand and tight commodity supplies. Shares climbed to $76.45 in early trading, the highest in nearly three years.

Feb 11 - FranceAgriMer ups wheat export forecast but keeps stocks stable
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday increased its forecast of French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season on brisk overseas demand but kept its stocks estimate stable. France, the EU's biggest grain producer, was now expected to ship 7.45 million tonnes of soft wheat outside the EU's 27 countries in 2020/21, up from 7.27 million tonnes estimated last month, FranceAgriMer said.

Feb 11 - Africa's miners and winemakers toast China's row with Australia
For South African winemaker Vergenoegd Löw, the pandemic could have been a disaster but a bitter trade war between China and Australia has thrown the 325-year-old estate a lifeline. Bottles of its reds, whites and roses piled up when South Africa banned alcohol sales under a strict lockdown and visitors who once flocked to the vineyard near Cape Town to sip wine and snap photos of its famed Indian Runner ducks vanished.

Feb 11 - Argentina defuses farm export tax hike fears after crunch talks
Argentina's government has decided not to go ahead with proposals to hike taxes on farm exports or limit how much grain can be shipped abroad to curb rising food prices after warnings from farmers that they would protest the measures. "We can convey to our producers that there will be no increase in export taxes and no intervention," said Jorge Chemes, president of Confederaciones Rurales Argentinas (CRA), after leaving a meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez. 

Feb 11 - Tyson Foods to face investor pressure over lobbying, human rights at shareholder meeting
Tyson Foods Inc faces pressure from nuns, the Teamsters union and asset managers to disclose more about its lobbying and human-rights policies, after meatpacking workers were ravaged by COVID-19 last year. Investors at Tyson's annual meeting on Thursday will vote on shareholder proposals asking the largest U.S. meatpacker by sales to prepare separate reports on political contributions and worker protections. 

Feb 11 - Biden's EPA pick to review options for biofuel blending law beyond 2022
U.S. President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency said he will confer with legal and policy teams to understand the options available for setting mandates to blend biofuels into the nation's fuel mix beyond 2022. Michael Regan also said he has had conversations with other members of the Biden administration, including Biden's pick for the Agriculture Department, to discuss the role biofuels can play in combating climate change, according to written responses from Regan to questions submitted to him by Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa.

Feb 11 - Ukraine barley exports prices hit new high on strong demands
Ukrainian barley export prices have risen to an all-time high supported by demand from China and expected export restrictions in Russia, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Wednesday. Barley bid export prices rose to $243-$249 per tonne CPT (carriage paid for) Black Sea, the consultancy said in a report.

Feb 11 - India's Modi invites protesting farmers for talks on farm bills
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invited protesting farmers for talks to address growers' concerns about three new agricultural laws that seek to deregulate the country's vast farm sector. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on main highways on the outskirts of New Delhi for more than two months in a bid to force the government to withdraw the new laws they say benefit private buyers at their expense. 

Feb 11 - Brazil meatpacker Aurora boosts poultry processing, eyes stronger China sales
Brazil's third-largest meat processor, Cooperativa Central Aurora Alimentos, plans to expand chicken processing and maintain the size of pork operations as it seeks to boost sales to markets such as China and tackle rivals in Brazil, its chief executive said on Wednesday. CEO Neivor Canton said in an interview with Reuters that Aurora, a privately held company competing with Brazil-based heavyweights JBS SA and BRF SA, wants to expand its poultry capacity by 20% in two years and will invest 500 million reais ($93 million) in 2021 to achieve that goal.

Fob 10 - Rising exports eat into already tight U.S. corn, soy stockpiles - USDA
Strong export demand will cut into already tight U.S. supplies of corn and soybeans by more than previously forecast, the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) said on Tuesday. If realized, the U.S. corn and soybean stockpiles would be the smallest in seven years before the next U.S. crop is harvested. Forecasts for low supplies have spurred importers and domestic processors to buy up crops ahead of potential shortfalls. 

Fob 10 - U.S. farmers eye range of good planting options after biggest grains rally in years
Illinois farmer Fred Helms is so eager for his next soybean crop he invested in a faster-maturing variety of soy seeds in hopes of beating other farmers to harvest the crop in mid-September, more than a month earlier than usual. Other U.S. farmers told Reuters they are signing contracts to sell the corn and soy crops they will harvest in autumn, months before they have even planted them, looking to take advantage of boom times after years of oversupply, trade wars and low prices. Some are waiting to sell, betting on even higher prices. 

Fob 10 - Argentine truckers end 20-day strike, freeing barley headed for China
Argentine truckers ended a 20-day strike that had blocked access to ports in Buenos Aires province, agricultural industry sources said on Tuesday, following a deal struck with local officials to increase freight-hauling rates. Trucks owners grouped in the informal TUDA association (Transportistas Unidos de Argentina) began blocking highways last month, making it particularly hard for barley to reach export terminals in the Buenos Aires port of Necochea.

Fob 10 - USDA’s monthly update rejects market narrative on Chinese corn stocks - Braun
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply and demand update on Tuesday did not exactly deliver the supportive news that corn bulls were hoping for, sending Chicago-traded corn futures on their steepest fall following a major government report since July. China's strong corn prices and increased purchases of the yellow grain and other feed ingredients have long suggested thinning inventories in the country. 

Fob 10 - China finds illegal work on genetically modified corn, cotton seed
China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday it had found eight companies and research institutes that illegally produced or carried out research on genetically modified (GM) seeds. The companies included two seed marketing companies in northeast Liaoning province and two corn breeders in northwest Xinjiang province who were producing GM corn seed. 

Fob 10 - U.S. lawmakers introduce legislation to help Black farmers
Lawmakers introduced two bills to help minority farmers this week, aiming to address longstanding injustices in the agricultural sector. Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock on Tuesday introduced a $5 billion Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief stimulus package. 

Fob 10 - France raises winter soft wheat area outlook; cuts barley, rapeseed
France's farm ministry on Tuesday raised its estimate of the country's 2021 winter soft wheat area to 4.86 million hectares (mln ha) from 4.73 mln ha in its initial outlook in December. This would now be up 15.2% from the 2020 area and 0.7% higher than the average of the previous five years, it said in a crop report, confirming a rebound in wheat sowing after a rain-hit campaign the previous year.

Fob 10 - India's edible oil consumption to shrink for second year as prices rally
India's edible oil consumption is expected to contract for the second straight year in 2020/21 as a rally in vegetable oil prices to multi-year highs curbs retail buying, industry officials told Reuters. Lower demand in India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, could limit a rally in benchmark Malaysian palm oil prices which are trading near their highest level in a decade.

Fob 10 - Malaysia palm oil inventories rise more than expected in January as exports slump
Malaysia's palm oil inventories rose more than expected in January as exports plunged to a near 14-year low while output continued to decline, data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed on Wednesday. Stockpile in the world's second largest producer increased 4.7% to reach 1.32 million tonnes at the end of January from the month prior, rising for the first time in four months. 

 
Fob 10 - Indian police arrest man suspected of leading farm protest violence
Police in the Indian capital arrested a man on Tuesday accused of leading a group of farmers who clashed with police and stormed the historic Red Fort last month during the worst day of violence in months of protests against agriculture reforms. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on main highways on the outskirts of New Deli for more than two months in a bid to force the government to withdraw new agricultural laws they say benefit private buyers at the expense of growers.

 

Feb 09 - UK formally applies to join huge Pacific free trade area CPTPP

- The UK is formally applying to join one of the world’s largest free-trade areas, deepening trade ties with some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.Joining the CPTPP would deepen the UK’s access to fast-growing markets and major economies, a market of nearly 500 million people with eleven countries signed up to it: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

- About CPTTP : Joining the £9 trillion partnership will cut tariffs for UK industries including food and drink and unlike EU membership, joining does not require the UK to cede control over laws, borders, or money. UK trade with the group was worth £111 billion in 2019, growing by 8% a year since 2016. Benefits that CPTPP membership will bring for businesses include:
- Modern digital trade rules that allow data to flow freely between members, remove unnecessary barriers for businesses, and protect commercial source code and encryption.
- Eliminating tariffs quicker on UK exports including whisky (down from 165% to 0% in Malaysia) and cars (reducing to 0% in Canada by 2022, two years earlier than through the UK-Canada trade deal).
- Easier travel for businesspeople between CPTPP countries, such as the potential for faster and cheaper visas.

- International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:“Joining CPTPP will create enormous opportunities for UK businesses that simply weren’t there as part of the EU and deepen our ties with some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.
“It will mean lower tariffs for car manufacturers and whisky producers, and better access for our brilliant services providers, delivering quality jobs and greater prosperity for people here at home.
“We’re at the front of the queue and look forward to starting formal negotiations in the coming months.”

The UK will publish its negotiation objectives, scoping analysis, and consultation response in advance of negotiations expected to start this Spring.

Feb 09 - Russia approves formula-based grain export tax system
The Russian government on Monday approved a formula-based export tax system for wheat, corn and barley that is designed to help combat domestic food price inflation. The system will come into force on June 2, according to an order signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. 

Feb 09 - Surging shipments, China sales support higher U.S. corn exports from USDA - Braun
The slow start to the marketing year for U.S. corn exports had many industry participants doubting whether U.S. exporters could hit the record U.S. government prediction, especially after a massive string of sales to China at the end of January. But shipments have notably picked up in recent weeks, and the current and potential pace of exports could probably accommodate an even higher forecast than most were originally expecting.

Feb 09 - Argentine oilseed crushers ease export tax hike fears with deal
Argentina's oilseed crushers have struck a deal with the government to hold down domestic edible oil prices in a potential salve to tensions after the country's president threatened to increase food export taxes to contain inflation. The CIARA oilseed crushers chamber on Monday said the agreement on sunflower oil and sunflower-soy oil mix would help ease government concerns about inflation, which a central bank poll recently forecast would be about 50% this year. 

Feb 09 - EU 2020/21 soft wheat exports 15.81 million tonnes by Feb. 7
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2020/21 season that started last July had reached 15.81 million tonnes by Feb. 7, data published by the European Commission showed on Monday. That was down from 18.86 million tonnes cleared by the same week last season, the data showed.

Feb 09 - Brazil farmers harvest 4% of soy area, a quarter of last year's total – AgRural
Drier weather in parts of Brazil's Center-West allowed the 2020/2021 soybean harvest to gather momentum last week after disruptions caused by excessive rainfall, according to agribusiness consultancy AgRural on Monday. As of Feb. 4, Brazilian farmers had managed to double the area harvested to 4%, from 2% in the previous week. 

Feb 09 - Food price spikes see inflation rear its head in emerging markets
For Cleanne Brito Machado, like millions of people in developing countries around the world, shopping for staple foods such as rice, beans, oil or potatoes now means making hard choices. "The shopping cart is getting much smaller and we're paying much more," said the 41-year old, who works as a maid in Brazil's capital Brasilia. 

Feb 09 - Protesting Indian farmers to call in reinforcements during harvest season
Indian farmers have drawn up plans to continue their protests during the harvest season from March by bringing reinforcements from thousands of villages, a top union official said on Monday. "We have worked out detailed plans to ensure that our movement does not lose steam even during the next harvest season when farmers will gather their wheat and other winter crops," Rakesh Tikait, a prominent leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union, one of the largest farmers' unions, told Reuters in an interview.

Feb 08 - Buyers shun major Malaysian palm oil producers after forced labour allegations
Major palm oil buyers are seeking to block FGV Holdings and Sime Darby Plantations from their global supply chain after the United States banned imports from the two Malaysian producers, four sources told Reuters. U.S. food company General Mills said it has issued global 'no buy orders' for both the companies, and the sources said other buyers have also requested suppliers to reduce or exclude FGV and Sime Darby products for supplies entering not only the United States, but also Europe, Australia and Japan.

Feb 08 - Funds trim CBOT corn bullishness ahead of USDA update - Braun
Speculators eased optimism in Chicago-traded corn futures last week as the historic, multi-month futures rally slowed ahead of the U.S. government’s next supply and demand update due on Tuesday. In the week ended Feb. 2, money managers reduced their net long position in CBOT corn futures and options to 345,147 contracts from 364,229 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Feb 08 - Ukraine wheat export prices fall under Russian export pressure
Ukrainian soft milling wheat export prices have fallen by $10-$11 per tonne over the past week mostly due to a jump in Russian grain exports ahead of forthcoming exports restrictions, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Monday. Asking prices for Ukrainian-origin 12.5% protein wheat stood at $280 to $288 per tonne FOB Black Sea, the consultancy said in a report.

Feb 08 - Russia risks repeating Argentina's mistakes with grain export tax
Russia's plan to control food inflation by curbing grain exports is following a potentially damaging path trod by rival producer Argentina, threatening valuable sales to major customers such as Egypt, traders and analysts said. With global food prices at their highest in more than 6 years as economies battle fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, some governments have already taken action to tackle surging domestic prices.

Feb 08 - U.S. 2020 farm good exports to China miss Phase 1 trade goal – USDA
The United States exported $28.75 billion of agricultural goods and related products to China in 2020, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed on Friday, missing the $36.5 billion targeted under the Phase 1 trade deal. Beijing and former U.S. President Donald Trump signed the deal in January 2020 after two years of acrimony and a steep slump in imports by one of the biggest buyers of U.S. farm goods.

Feb 08 - Rains to disrupt Brazil soybean harvest this month – analysts
Rains in Brazil that have slowed harvesting and transportation of the 2020/2021 soybean crop will continue throughout February, causing potential disruptions in the world's largest producer and exporter of the oilseed, analysts said. The heavy rains, which can cause trouble for Brazil's truck-dependent soy shipping, may give an edge to soy farmers in rival exporters such as the United States. 

Feb 08 - India's Modi urges farmers to end protests over agriculture laws
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged farmers to end their over two-month long protest against agricultural reforms, assuring them that a mechanism of floor prices for key crops would remain in place. Demanding the repeal of three new farm laws that they say will hurt them to the benefit of large corporations and allow the government to discontinue buying food grains at a minimum support price (MSP), tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of Delhi since late 2020.

Feb 08 - Ukraine grain exports down 20.5% so far this season
Ukraine's grain exports have reached 29.4 million tonnes so far this season, which runs from July 2020 to June 2021, down 20.5% from the same period of the previous season, economy ministry data showed on Friday. Traders have sold 13.09 million tonnes of wheat, 11.8 million tonnes of corn and 3.95 million tonnes of barley, the data showed.

Feb 05 - Russia to introduce formula-based wheat export tax on June 2
Russia is accelerating plans to switch to a formula-based tax on wheat exports, the economy minister said on Thursday, as Moscow strives to curb food inflation in the COVID-19 pandemic. The switch to a formula, which will now take place on June 2, a month earlier than previously planned, will mean the tax will automatically rise in response to any increase in prices.

Feb 05 - Argentine corn crop estimate cut to 46 mln tonnes due to dryness – exchange
Argentina's 2020/21 corn crop is expected at 46 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, citing lower-than-expected yields caused by dry weather as the reason for cutting its earlier estimate of 47 million tonnes. "The water deficit during December affected the potential yield of early-planted corn in the provinces of Cordoba, Santa Fe and part of Buenos Aires," the exchange said in its weekly crop report.

Feb 05 - India lines up deepwater port for rice, exports to surge amid global shortage
India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh will use a deepwater port to export rice for the first time in decades amid a global shortage of the grain, according to a government order seen by Reuters, which could raise shipments this year by a fifth. The order, issued late on Wednesday, allows Kakinada Deep Water Port to handle rice until more capacity is created at the adjoining Anchorage Port.

Feb 05 - Global food inflation fears grow as UN index hits 6-1/2-year high
Global food prices rose for an eighth consecutive month in January to their highest since July 2014, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday, as economies continue to battle fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 113.3 points last month December's 108.6, revised up from 107.5. Jumps in cereals, sugar and vegetable oils led the rise, the agency said.

Feb 05 - Argentina does not rule out an increase in grains export taxes – media
The Argentine government has not ruled out the possibility of increasing taxes on food exports as part of its effort to control high inflation, the president's Deputy Chief of Staff Cecilia Todesca said in a local radio interview on Thursday. Consumer prices in the grains exporting country rose by more than 36% last year, heaping economic problems on families also hit by a recession that started in 2018 and fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Feb 05 - Brazil's agriculture minister confirms big grain crop expectations
Brazil's Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias on Thursday confirmed the government expects to harvest bumper soybean and corn crops in spite of planting and harvesting delays in 2020. A drought late last year delayed sowing of Brazil's soybeans, and excess rainfall disrupted harvesting in January. This delayed delivery of grain to trading companies and affected Brazil's ability to export. 

Feb 05 - Malaysia end-Jan palm oil stocks seen rebounding as exports, output plunge
Malaysia's palm oil inventories at the end of January likely ticked up for the first time in four months, as a deep plunge in exports offset output which tumbled to near 5-year low, a Reuters survey showed on Friday. Stockpiles in the world's second largest producer is seen rebounding 1.75% from the previous month to 1.29 million tonnes, according to a median estimate of 11 planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters. 

Feb 04 - Price agreements for sunflower oil, sugar being fulfilled - Reshetnikov
- Agreements regulating prices for sunflower oil and sugar are being fulfilled, Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said during a working meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The indicative prices that have been designated are generally being met; the tax service controls this; and the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) confirms it. Our sugar prices have declined from the peak in mid-December, and prices for sunflower oil have now stabilized," Reshetnikov said during the meeting.
As previously reported, prices for sugar and sunflower oil are regulated according to agreements signed between producers and retailers on December 16, 2020. As per the agreements, the wholesale price for sugar must not exceed 36 rubles per kg, 46 rubles/kg retail; and wholesale of 95 rubles per liter for sunflower oil, 110 rubles/liter retail.

Feb 04 - Strategie Grains hikes EU, UK 2020/21 rapeseed import forecast to 6.7 mln T 
Strategie Grains has increased its forecast for rapeseed imports into the European Union and Britain in the current 2020/21 season by 800,000 tonnes to a record 6.7 million tonnes, the consultancy said in an oilseed report. The sharp upward revision from its previous outlook in early December reflected attractive crushing margins that were fuelling demand in Europe, and also a bumper Australian harvest that was offering short-term availability, Strategie Grains said.

Feb 04 - China's appetite for barley sucks in French and Canadian new crop
China is scooping up millions of tonnes of barley from France and Canada that have yet to be harvested, as its appetite for animal feed grain spills over into orders for next year's crop. China has bought huge volumes of foreign crops to feed a pig herd that is rebuilding after the deadly African Swine Fever epidemic led to the culling of hundreds of millions of hogs. 

Feb 04 - Russia may launch its own benchmark for calculation of formula-based grain export tax - Ifx
Russia may launch its own price benchmarks for calculation of a formula-based export taxes for wheat, barley and corn, which officials are discussing, Interfax new agency reported on Wednesday, citing Eduard Zernin, the head of the Russian union of grain exporters. Moscow is trying to reduce wheat exports to help curb rising domestic food prices. 

Feb 04 - Winter disease surge hampers China's hog production recovery
A surge in hog disease outbreaks this winter in China, the world's biggest pork producer, will slow the industry's rapid recovery since the African swine fever contagion three years ago, according to industry participants and analysts. China's pig herd rose 31% in 2020, according to official data, as the industry rebuilt. 

Feb 04 - Road block protests disrupt Argentine grains export operations
Argentine agricultural exports were disrupted on Wednesday as truckers blocked roads around the Buenos Aires ports of Bahia Blanca and Quequen and authorities cleared roads near the main export hub of Rosario. Concern over the road blocks still meant reduced numbers of cargoes arrived at Rosario, raising doubts about future shipping flows from the hub that ships some 80% of Argentina's grains exports. 

Feb 04 - Argentina's corn and soy crops pull away from stricken 2018 harvest - Braun
Argentina’s upcoming corn and soybean harvests will not be among the country’s best on record, but they certainly seem to have averted possible disaster a la 2018 after a historically dry start. Above-average rainfall in January went against the general dry trend common across Argentina during a La Nina, the cool phase of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. 

Feb 04 - Indian farmers to scale up protests as Rihanna weighs in
Indian farmers' leaders on Wednesday outlined plans to scale up months of protests against agricultural reforms, as their cause gained high-profile supporters in the West. Demanding the repeal of three new farm laws that they say will hurt them to the benefit of large corporations, tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of Delhi since late 2020.

Feb 04 - Brazil court weighs claims holding up Bunge soy acquisitions
A Brazilian appeals court on Wednesday could clear up a legal hurdle delaying Bunge's plans to take over two soy processing plants following a deal in May with crusher Imcopa. Wednesday's hearing will focus on two Panama-registered firms that claim, as indirect creditors of Imcopa, which is in bankruptcy protection, to have rights to some of the proceeds from the sale, according to court filings seen by Reuters.

Feb 04 - Bayer reaches $2 bln deal over future Roundup cancer claims
Bayer AG struck a $2 billion deal to resolve future legal claims that its widely used weedkiller Roundup causes cancer, the German company said on Wednesday. Bayer has been struggling to finalize the settlement of claims that Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. Bayer inherited the business and the litigation as part of a $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto in 2018.

 
Feb 04 - Corteva sees 2021 profit above estimates on strong corn, soybean demand
Corteva Inc forecast 2021 core earnings above analysts' estimates on Wednesday as sharp gains in prices of soybean and corn crops boost demand for the seed and pesticide maker's products. The company's upbeat outlook comes just a couple of weeks after activist investor Starboard Value LP slammed Corteva's weak financial performance and nominated eight directors to its board, seeking to oust its chief executive officer.

Feb 03 - Mounting stockpiles show China corn users prepared to pay up for supply security
Stocks of corn held by Chinese feed makers and other commercial grain users have jumped to multi-year highs in some areas, indicating that heavy corn users remain concerned about crop shortages even in the wake of the recent harvest. China's industrial corn users have snapped up the grain to feed a fast-recovering hog sector since 2019, propelling local corn prices 50% higher during 2020 and triggering record crop imports, including China's largest ever U.S. corn deal just last week. 

Feb 03 - Argentine grain exports hit as truckers' strike set to widen
Argentine grains exports were disrupted by roadblocks set up by truckers around ports in Buenos Aires province, with the protests expected to move north to the country's main shipping hub of Rosario, local industry sources said on Tuesday. The pickets by drivers demanding lower taxes, tolls and fuel prices as well as set fee schedules to be paid by farmers for transportation, were set to reach the main agricultural export hub of Rosario at midnight, the truckers said.

Feb 03 - USDA can steer farm aid money to fight climate change, Biden ag secretary nominee says
The White House wants to tap a pool of funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to support on-the-farm efforts to fight climate change, Tom Vilsack, President Joe Biden's nominee to run the USDA, said on Tuesday. The Depression-era program of up to $30 billion in annual funding was tapped by the Trump administration to distribute billions of dollars in aid to cover farmers' lost sales due to trade wars, primarily with China. 

Feb 03 - With social media solidarity, protesting Indian farmers win global attention
Protesting Indian farmers won global attention on Wednesday with prominent Western activists joining pop superstar Rihanna in support of their months-long campaign against agriculture reforms they say will benefit big business at their expense. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped out on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, since late last year, braving the winter chill to show opposition to three new laws the government says will make the sector more efficient.


Feb 03 - Mexican corn imports to dip 9% this year, government forecasts
Mexico's corn imports could fall by about 9% this year, as the government seeks to discourage the use of genetically modified grains and boost its local crop, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. Agriculture Minister Victor Villalobos made what he said was a preliminary forecast at a news conference. Speaking alongside him, Santiago Argüello, a senior ministry official, said that would amount to a drop of about 1.5 million tonnes of grain.

Feb 03 - Lawsuit says Tyson Foods misled shareholders about COVID-19 protocols
U.S. meat and poultry processor Tyson Foods Inc was sued on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding shareholders with misleading disclosures about its ability to combat the spread of the coronavirus in its facilities. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in Brooklyn federal court by Mingxue Guo, who lives in Canada, and seeks unspecified damages for Tyson shareholders from March 13 to Dec. 15, 2020.

Feb 03 - Indonesia to import 80,000 tonnes of water buffalo meat, no rice this year
Indonesia will import 80,000 tonnes of water buffalo meat and no rice in 2021, the chief executive of the country's food procurement agency Bulog said on Wednesday. Imports of water buffalo meat this year will double compared to the 37,000 tonnes imported last year, when imports faced disruptions due to COVID-19 restrictions in India, chief executive Budi Waseso told a virtual new briefing.

Feb 02 - India's tax increase on crude palm oil imports could reduce shipments
India has imposed an additional tax on crude palm oil imports as the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils tries to build domestic agriculture infrastructure by taxing imports, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday. India cut the basic import tax on crude palm oil to 15% from 27.5%, but imposed a 17.5% "cess" - a separate tax - on the imports, Sitharaman said in her federal budget speech.

Feb 02 - Record new-crop U.S. soybean sales fly under radar versus China’s corn haul - Braun
China bought an astounding amount of U.S. corn last week and some market-watchers believe even more sales are possible, but these historic deals have somewhat overshadowed the fact that domestic export demand for the upcoming marketing year is already on a record pace. This increases pressure on new-crop supplies and this year’s U.S. harvest, where soybean acres will be battling against those of corn as farmers weigh the profitability potential. 


Feb 02 - China starts 2021 with robust imports of major commodities: Russell
China's imports of major commodities are expected to show strong growth in January data, a reflection more of short-term factors, however, that are topping off a solid economic underpinning. Imports of crude oil, iron ore and coal are all expected to show gains from prior months, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) will hold near December's record high. 

Feb 02 - U.S. Congress panel investigating COVID-19 worker safety at meatpacking firms
A U.S. congressional panel is investigating three large meatpacking companies for possible worker-safety violations following reports that hundreds of industry workers have died of COVID-19, the subcommittee said on Monday. The House of Representatives' coronavirus subcommittee asked JBS USA, Tyson Foods Inc and Smithfield Foods Inc to provide records of inspections, complaints and other internal documents. 

Feb 02 - Brazil soy harvesting at slowest pace in 10 years – AgRural
The collection of Brazil's 2020/2021 soybean crop reached 1.9% of the cultivated area through Jan. 28, the slowest pace for this time in the season since the 2010/2011 cycle, as planting delays and rains are disrupting harvesting work. In a statement on Monday, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said the amount harvested is about 2.5 million tonnes, most of it in Mato Grosso state. This compares with 11.7 million tonnes collected at the same time last year, when farmers had reaped 8.9% of the area planted with soy nationwide.

Feb 02 - AgriBriefing acquires Strategie Grains owner Tallage
Agricultural information group AgriBriefing has acquired French consultancy Tallage, well known in the crop sector for its Strategie Grains reports on grain, oilseed and biofuel markets, the two companies said on Monday. AgriBriefing, created in 2012, owns a range of news, market data and pricing outlets including Agrimoney, Farmers Guardian, Urner Barry's Comtell and Feedinfo.

Feb 02 - India budget ignores farmers' plight, protest leaders say
Indian farmers angry at agricultural reforms said on Monday the annual budget failed to address their concerns, with no mention of raising incomes or generating jobs, and vowed to press on with their protests. Tens of thousands of farmers have camped out on the outskirts of New Delhi in protest against the laws introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in September.

Feb 02 - Argentina farm exports rebound in January after strikes lifted
Argentina's farm exports rose 32.63% year-on-year in January after strikes and standoffs with unions had snarled shipments at the end of last year before agreements were struck, the CIARA-CEC chamber of crushers and exporters said on Monday. The chamber, which brings together companies that represent 40% of Argentina's grains exports, said that $2.14 billion of trade was settled in the first month of the year, a rise of 26.6% compared with December.

 
 
Feb 02 - Ukraine has used 74.3% of season's wheat export quota
Ukraine has used 74.3% of its 17.5 million tonnes wheat exports quota for the 2020/21 season, the economy ministry data showed on Monday. Ukrainian wheat exports totalled 13 million tonnes as of Feb. 1, down almost 2.9 million tonne from the same date a season ago, the data showed.

 
Feb 02 - Most Ukraine winter grain in good condition – scientists
Weather conditions in January were mostly favourable for Ukrainian winter grain crops, Ukrainian agrarian scientists said on Monday. "Threats for winter crops were not observed," the national agrarian academy said in a report.

Feb 01 - Russia may impose formula-based wheat export tax from June 1, sources say
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is considering a formula-based tax on the wheat it sends abroad from June 1, a month earlier than previously stated, two sources familiar with government talks told Reuters on Saturday. Moscow is attempting to reduce wheat exports to help curb rising domestic food prices after President Vladimir Putin criticised food inflation amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Feb 01 - Funds' bullish corn bets backed by colossal U.S. sales to China - Braun
Speculators’ bullishness in Chicago corn paused a couple weeks ago with futures trading at more than seven-year highs, but an incredible run of U.S. corn sales to China last week may have refreshed investor optimism. The week ended Jan. 26 was very volatile for CBOT corn futures and included a historic plunge in prices followed by a strong rebound, and the most-active contract finished the period up 1.2%. 

Feb 01 - Exports empty Canada's canola bins, driving prices to near records
Canada, the world's biggest canola grower, is running short of the oilseed six months before the next harvest, with strong export demand driving prices to nearly 13-year highs last week. Supplies of major commodity crops are dwindling worldwide as buyers hoard food supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. China is loading up on grains and oilseeds that it can feed to animals, raising food inflation and causing some nations to restrict exports of their crops. 

Feb 01 - India's budget likely to increase food subsidy allocation by 4%-6% for 2021/22 - sources
India is likely to increase allocations toward its annual food subsidy spending by 4%-6% in the budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1 to cover the cost of running the world's biggest food welfare programme, said two government sources. For the 2021/22 fiscal year, India's total outlay toward the food subsidy is expected to cross 2.1 trillion rupees ($28.7 billion), but the budgeted allocation is likely to go up by only 4%-6% from 1.16 trillion rupees earmarked in the previous year, said the sources with direct knowledge of budget discussions, who asked not to be named as the talks are private.

Feb 01 - China books biggest deal yet for U.S. corn
China booked its biggest purchase of U.S. corn yet, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday, as the country tries to meet a surge in demand for animal feed. USDA said that private exporters reported the sale of 2.108 million tonnes of corn for delivery to China in the 2020/21 marketing year. It was the second-biggest daily sale on record, eclipsed only by a deal for 3.72 million tonnes to the USSR in January 1991.

Feb 01 - India slashes base import price of crude palm oil by $36/T
India slashed the base import price of crude palm oil by $36 to $1,013 per tonne, the government said in a statement late on Friday. The government revises base import prices of edible oils, gold and silver every fortnight and the price is used to calculate the amount of tax an importer needs to pay.

Feb 01 - India police block roads into Delhi to stop farmers disrupting budget day
Indian police and paramilitary dug ditches and spread razor wire across main roads into New Delhi on Monday to prevent protesting farmers entering the capital as the finance minister prepared to deliver the government's annual budget in parliament. Internet and messaging services were blocked in several neighbourhoods on the outskirts where protests turned violent week, and security was stepped up around parliament and other important government offices in the central district.

Feb 01 - Brazil meat lobby wants slaughterhouse workers prioritized for COVID-19 shots
Brazilian beef lobby Abrafrigo, which represents firms including Marfrig Global Foods, is requesting the inclusion of slaughterhouse workers in priority lists for immediate vaccination against COVID-19, according to a statement on Friday. Abrafrigo said it made the request in letters sent to the health and agriculture ministers. Neither ministry had an immediate comment on the petition. 

 
Feb 01 - U.S. biodiesel output falls to 151 million gallons in November -EIA
U.S. biodiesel production fell to 151 million gallons in November from 160 million gallons a month earlier, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report on Friday. Soybean oil remained the largest biodiesel feedstock, with 683 million lbs used in November, or about 60 percent of the total. In October, soyoil used in biodiesel production was 723 million lbs.

 
Feb 01 - Belarus raises price in its new potash supply contract with India
Belaruskali, the world's largest producer of potash, has signed its new annual contract to supply 800,000 tonnes of potash to India's largest importer of the crop nutrient, Indian Potash Limited, at a higher price than a year ago, it said on Friday. The Belarusian potash monopoly has kept its output stable despite months of political crisis in Belarus with some of its workers taking part in mass protests, demanding a leadership change in the country.

Jan 29 - U.S. oil industry seeks unusual alliance with Farm Belt to fight Biden electric vehicle agenda 
The U.S. oil industry is seeking to forge an alliance with the nation's corn growers and biofuel producers to lobby against the Biden administration's push for electric vehicles, but is so far meeting a cool reception, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions. The effort to promote liquid fuels and combat expected federal subsidies for electric vehicles marks an unusual attempt by the petroleum industry to join with its long-time rivals, reflecting the scale of its concern over President Joe Biden's measures to combat climate change and tamp down fossil fuels. 

Jan 29 - China goes on pricey U.S. corn shopping spree amid thin supply at home - Braun
China had been relatively quiet in the U.S. corn market since its record buying streak last summer, but a string of much more expensive bookings this week would seem to be proof of the country's dire need for the yellow grain. No one knows exactly how big China’s corn stockpiles are, but the sudden deficit of usable grain in the country appears to have manifested in rising prices, extremely active state corn auctions and record imports.

Jan 29 - India could unveil plan to boost oilseeds output, cut veg oil imports -sources
India is likely to announce a five-year plan to cut expensive vegetable oil imports worth $10 billion a year in next week's federal budget by providing farmers with financial incentives to switch to oilseeds from grains, said three senior government officials. Higher oilseed production in India, the world's biggest buyer of cooking oils, will cut palm oil imports from Malaysia and Indonesia and trim soyoil and sunflower oil purchases from Brazil, Argentina, Russia and Ukraine.

Jan 29 - Argentina 2020/21 soy crop estimate cut slightly to 46 mln tonnes - exchange
Argentina's upcoming soy crop is expected at 46 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, citing dry, hot weather as its reason for shaving a preliminary estimate of 46.5 million tonnes. The country is the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed used to fatten hogs and poultry from Europe to Southeast Asia. But this season Argentina's famously fertile Pampas farm belt has been stricken by months of unusually dry weather.

Jan 29 - Non-energy commodity prices rise at fastest rate since 2011: Kemp
Commodity prices are rising rapidly as the manufacturing side of the global economy bounces back from the first wave of the coronavirus epidemic and lockdowns last year. By November, global manufacturing activity had recovered all of its pandemic-related losses and merchandise trade volumes were more than 1% higher than prior-year levels. In contrast, much of the service sector across North America, Europe and even Asia remained closed. 

Jan 29 - U.S. farmers expected to expand soy and corn acreage - USDA economist 
U.S. farmers are expected to increase acreage of both soybeans and corn this year in response to high prices, Cynthia Nickerson, deputy chief economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), said on Thursday. In an initial projection in November, the USDA had forecast an increase in the soybean area and slightly lower corn acreage in 2021. It will update its forecasts next month. 

Jan 29 - Euronext plans Ukraine wheat futures to tap Black Sea market
Euronext is developing cash-settled futures for Ukrainian wheat to cater for the growing Black Sea grain export market, the European market operator said on Thursday. It is working with commodity pricing agency Argus Media to develop the product, which will offer futures and options, Nicholas Kennedy, head of commodities at Euronext, told the Paris Grain Day conference.

Jan 29 - USDA December soybean crush seen at 193.9 million bushels
U.S. soybean crushings likely rose to 5.817 million short tons in December, or 193.9 million bushels, according to the average forecast of 10 analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Estimates ranged from 192.0 million bushels to 195.0 million bushels, with a median of 194.1 million bushels.

 
Jan 29 - Mexico's Pemex absorbs fertilizer unit linked to graft scandal
Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said on Thursday it has wound up and absorbed its fertilizer unit, which was linked to a high-level corruption investigation into a former boss of the state oil company. Pemex board members earlier this month voted to dissolve Pemex Fertilizantes and carry over the unit's operations to its industrial arm, Pemex TRI, Pemex said in a statement.

 
Jan 29 - Indian farm protesters reinforce after standoff with police
Thousands of Indian farmers marched overnight to reinforce protesting colleagues camping out on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, to press the government to withdraw three new farm laws that they say will hurt their livelihoods. In a stand-off between riot police and the farmers, authorities tried to clear a protest site in the city's east but most farmers refused to move and their leaders said any retreat would constitute surrender. 

 
Jan 29 - Brazil soybean harvesting delays seen in February; crop to reach 132 mln tonnes – analyst
Harvesting delays in Brazilian soybean fields should continue throughout February after a drought pushed back plantings of the oilseeds, Thaís Italiani, market intelligence coordinator at Hedgepoint Global Markets, told a webinar on Thursday. The situation may delay deliveries of this year's crop to global trading companies, as this is a season marked by strong pre-sales of Brazil's most prized agricultural commodity.

 
Jan 29 - S.Africa's 2020/21 maize planting area up 6% on good weather, higher prices
South African maize farmers are forecast to have planted 6% more hectares of the staple crop for the 2020/2021 season boosted by favourable weather conditions and higher maize price, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Thursday. The CEC pegs the area at 2.777 million hectares of maize in the 2020/21 farming season, compared to the 2.611 million hectares planted last season.

 
Jan 29 - Six killed in liquid nitrogen leak at Georgia state poultry plant
At least six people were killed and 12 hospitalized on Thursday after a suspected liquid nitrogen leak at a poultry plant in the U.S. state of Georgia, police and fire services officials said. Five people died at the Foundation Food Group plant in Gainesville, about 60 miles (97 km) northeast of Atlanta, and one died after being transferred to hospital, the officials said.

Jan 28 - Record China grain imports to keep U.S. prices rising - AgResource
Expected record Chinese imports of corn and soybeans in the coming seasons will continue to absorb U.S. supplies and keep prices on an upward trend, Chicago-based consultancy AgResource Co said on Wednesday. Chinese demand has fuelled a rally in grain markets in the past year and sparked a jump in U.S. corn futures on Tuesday as massive exports of U.S. corn and corn-based ethanol were reported. 

Jan 28 - Argentina works to ensure domestic wheat supply, export cap rumors swirl
Argentina is looking for ways to ensure ample domestic wheat supplies without resorting to shutting down exports, a top official said on Wednesday, as farmers fretted about possible state intervention in the markets. The government, worried about food price inflation, recently tried to limit corn exports, but the idea was beaten back by growers. Now the focus is on wheat, with rumors swirling around the Pampas grains belt that export limits might be on the way.

Jan 28 - U.S. ethanol output slips as China rumored to be back in the market - Braun
U.S. ethanol output has remained generally weak in January amid shabby profitability, though a shot of optimism arrived this week on a report that China, which somewhat shunned the American biofuel four years ago, has already secured a record annual haul for 2021. China has never been a leading player on the U.S. ethanol export front and the corn-based biofuel historically accounts for a small portion of American farm product trade. 

Jan 28 - U.S. soybean crushers buy up extra beans as supply scramble looms
U.S. soy processors, fresh off their busiest year on record, have booked soybean purchases well beyond their normal few weeks of supply due to soaring export demand, rising prices and fears of soy shortages later this season, traders and analysts said. The aggressive buying foreshadows an expected battle for beans between exporters and processors this spring and summer that will likely increase prices further and could result in rare imports to the United States, the world's No. 2 soybean producer and exporter. 

Jan 28 - USDA suspends debt collection from farmers affected by COVID-19
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it was temporarily suspending some debt collections from farmers facing financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move is expected to affect 12,000 farmers who owe money under the government's Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency.

Jan 28 - AgResource sees Brazil soybean crop at 128 mln T as rain causes concern
AgResource sees Brazil's 2020/21 soybean crop reaching 128 million tonnes following a field tour, the consultancy said on Wednesday. The forecast was 5 million tonnes below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast of the harvest and AgResource saw downward potential to its estimate given excess rains in some regions that were causing concern, Dan Basse, the consultancy's president, told the Paris Grain Day conference.

Jan 28 - Indian farmers call off march to parliament on Budget Day following deadly violence
Indian farmers on Wednesday postponed a march to parliament on Feb. 1, the day of the government's budget announcement, following violent clashes with police a day earlier that left one person dead and hundreds injured. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of New Delhi for two months to protest against reforms of the agriculture sector, which they say benefit big private buyers at the expense of growers. 

Jan 28 - South African barley farmers face bleak outlook as alcohol ban hurts demand
South African barley farmers are bracing for a tough market ahead as demand for the grain used to make beer falls and stockpiles grow after a ban on the sale of alcohol was reinstated as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases. The government in December enforced its third ban on alcohol sales since the outbreak of the virus to alleviate pressure on strained healthcare facilities after a rise in infections. 

 
Jan 28 - China corn imports seen at 25-27 mln T in 2020/21 – AgResource
Chinese corn imports could climb to between 25 million and 27 million tonnes in the current 2020/21 crop year, including 18-20 million from the United States, president of Chicago-based consultancy AgResource Co, said on Wednesday. Chinese corn imports could grow to up to 40 million tonnes per year in the coming years, driven by the rebuilding of the country's pig herd, he told the Paris Grain Day conference.

 
Jan 28 - Within hours, Indian farm protests turned from carnival to violent clashes
A line of tractors stood ready at dawn on Tuesday to move out of a protest site near New Delhi where thousands of farmers had been camping for the last two months and rallying against farm reforms they say will hurt them and benefit large private firms. Within hours, the huge tractor procession that started in a carnival spirit had smashed through barricades, reached the heart of the city and turned violent.

Jan 27 - ADM quarterly profit jumps 36% on strong exports, soy crush margins 
U.S. agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland Co reported a 36% jump in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday on strong soy processing margins and solid exports, particularly to China. The company projected further profit growth in the year ahead, led by its core agricultural services and oilseeds unit amid growing global demand for food and feed as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Jan 27 - China buys 1.36 mln tonnes of U.S. corn, most since July-USDA 
Chinese buyers bought 1.36 million tonnes of U.S. corn, their fifth largest purchase of U.S. supplies of the grain, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday. The deal was China's first major purchase of U.S. commodities since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Under the Trump administration, exports to China slowed for years due to a trade war before surging in 2020 after the two countries inked a Phase 1 trade deal. 

Jan 27 - Argentine soy, corn weather improving but a dry February could hurt yields  
Rains in Argentina have improved prospects for recently planted soy and corn, but worries about potential crop yields persisted ahead of February, usually one of the driest months of the year, analysts said on Tuesday. The South American grains powerhouse is the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and the No. 3 supplier of corn. 

Jan 27 - Indian farm protesters battle police to plant flags at historic Red Fort 
Thousands of Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms on Tuesday overwhelmed police and stormed into the historic Red Fort complex in New Delhi after tearing down barricades and driving tractors through roadblocks. Police fired tear gas in an unsuccessful bid to force the protesters back. One protester was killed, a witness said, and Delhi police said 86 officers had been injured across the city. 

Jan 27 - Rains slow Brazil soy harvesting, push back second corn plantings 
The return of rains over Brazilian soybean-growing areas is disrupting harvesters, slowing down field work in the world's largest soy producer and potentially delaying planting of the country's second corn crop. Agribusiness research firm AgRural estimated Brazilian soy farmers had harvested just 0.7% of the planted area through Jan. 21, a 0.3 percentage point rise from the previous week, limited by heavy rainfall.  

Jan 27 - Sinclair confirms it secured Trump EPA's last biofuel waivers, defends them in court 
Sinclair Oil Corporation confirmed on Tuesday it secured biofuel blending waivers for its refineries from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shortly before the departure of the administration of President Donald Trump last week. The company made the statement in a court filing defending the waivers against a challenge from the biofuel industry, which wants to prevent the EPA from processing them. The company said the administration granted the waivers on Jan. 14. 

Jan 27 - Ukraine wheat, corn prices down - APK-Inform
Ukrainian soft milling wheat export prices decreased by $3-$4 a tonne on Monday following the global downward trend, analyst APK-Inform said on Tuesday. Ukrainian-origin 12.5% soft wheat asking prices were at $287-$299 per tonne late on Monday compared with $290-$303 on Friday, the consultancy said in a report. 

Jan 27 - Czech poultry markets, outside flocks banned over bird flu 
The Czech Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday shut poultry markets and exhibitions and banned farmers from keeping flocks of fowl outside after fresh cases of bird flu were detected in the country's south. Veterinarians confirmed the H5N8 avian influenza in seven wild ducks and swans near the city of Ceske Budejovice and in the district of Pisek south of Prague, adding to previous cases in wild swans and one domestic poultry flock detected in the past week.  

Jan 27 - Iraq's local rice purchases fall to 260,000 T for 2020-2021 season - ministry  
Iraq, a major Middle East rice importer, said on Tuesday it had ended its local purchasing season for 2020-2021 at around 260,000 tonnes. The local buying season of rice ended on Jan. 25, a statement by the trade ministry said.  

 
Jan 27 - China bought 'roughly 200 mln gallons' of U.S. ethanol for H1 2021 - ADM  
China has bought "roughly 200 million gallons" of U.S. ethanol for the first half of 2021, matching its previous record for annual imports of the corn-based biofuel, Archer Daniels Midland Co CFO Ray Young said on Tuesday. The accelerated imports are among several positive signs for the ethanol sector which has been hard hit by years of oversupply and, more recently, a sharp drop in demand as the coronavirus pandemic slashed fuel use.

Jan 26 - Russia approves higher wheat export tax from March 1
The Russian government has formally approved a proposal to impose a higher export tax on wheat from March 1, it said on Tuesday, in another push to curb a rise in domestic food prices triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. Russia is one of the world's largest wheat exporters. Global wheat prices jumped after the proposal to raise the tax was first announced by Russian officials earlier in January on expectations that it could make buyers prefer wheat from other countries.

Jan 26 - Grains supply to Argentine export hub normalizing after truckers strike - sources
Delivery of grains and oilseeds to Argentine export hub Rosario was slowly returning to normal on Monday after a week of protests by truckers who blocked roads leading from the farm belt to port, two industry sources told Reuters. Drivers are demanding a review of their costs, including tolls, insurance rates, taxes and fuel prices. 

Jan 26 - Russian wheat export prices down after sharp growth
Russian wheat export prices fell last week after sharp growth earlier in the month as a result of an official proposal for higher wheat export tax from March 1, analysts said on Monday. Moscow is expected to approve the higher wheat export tax soon as it seeks to curb domestic food inflation triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Jan 26 - Brexit butchers EU trade for Scottish beef producers
Brexit has dealt a blow to Andrew Duff's business. His burgeoning sales of high end Scottish beef to Europe are on hold because his business is too small to navigate the post-Brexit customs border for now. The 32-year-old had been on the verge of expanding the family business, using his social media marketing skills to promote the rare beef that has been reared on farms across the Scottish lowlands and borders for centuries. 

Jan 26 - EU crops mostly gain winter strength; southeast still mild - monitor
Grain crops in the European Union have mostly acquired greater frost resistance during cold spells since December, but an unusually mild winter in the southeast of the bloc was limiting plant sturdiness there, the EU's crop monitoring service said. So-called winter crops typically gain hardiness in order to withstand freezing conditions before resuming their growth in spring.

Jan 26 - Ukraine to limit 2020/21 corn exports to 24 mln T - ministry
Ukraine's economy ministry and agricultural unions agreed on Monday to limit corn available for exports in the 2020/21 season to 24 million tonnes, aiming to prevent a jump in feed prices, the ministry said. Earlier this month local livestock and poultry producers' associations asked the government to limit corn exports in 2020/21 to 22 million tonnes. 

 
Jan 26 - S.Africa's maize planting area seen up 7% on higher prices and good weather
South African farmers are expected to plant 7% more hectares of maize in the 2020/2021 season compared with the previous season as higher prices and favourbale weather conditions encourage plantings, a Reuters survey showed on Monday. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast the planted area at 2.78 million hectares of maize, up from the 2.61 million hectares planted last season, an average estimate of five traders and analysts surveyed showed.

Jan 25 - Brazil soybean farmers to collect record crop even as drought disrupted planting - poll
Brazilian farmers are poised to reap a record harvest of 132.2 million tonnes of soybeans in 2021 despite a drought that delayed plantings, according to the average of estimates in a poll of 13 analysts on Friday. In December, the consensus forecast showed farmers would harvest 131.79 million tonnes of soybeans, which is Brazil's most prized export commodity. Last year, farmers produced almost 125 million tonnes, according to government data.

Jan 25 - Funds retreat from massively bullish Chicago corn bets -Braun
Speculators last week began to turn the corner in their historic bullishness toward Chicago corn after futures hit multi-year highs on shrinking stockpiles, but they may have unloaded a lot more of the yellow grain on Friday as prices underwent a historic downward correction. In the week ended Jan. 19, money managers reduced their net long position in CBOT corn futures and options to 349,495 contracts from 374,714 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Jan 25 - Bangladesh to buy Myanmar rice, putting aside Rohingya crisis
Bangladesh will buy 100,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar, putting aside a rift over the Rohingya refugee crisis as the government races to overcome a shortage of the staple food for the country's more than 160 million people. High rice prices pose a problem for the Dhaka government, which is ramping up efforts to replenish its depleted reserves after floods last year ravaged crops and sent prices to a record high. 

Jan 25 - Global farm ministers urge free food trade during pandemic
Agriculture ministers from more than 70 countries urged governments to keep world food trade open to ensure food supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, a communique after a virtual meeting on Friday said. The meeting was part of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture conference in Berlin and the communique said that despite COVID-19, global food supply and international markets have been relatively stable. 

Jan 25 - Sovecon raises Russian 2021 wheat crop forecast
Sovecon has raised its Russian 2021 wheat crop forecast to 77.7 million tonnes from 76.8 million citing improved weather conditions in January, the agricultural consultancy said on Friday. "Heavy snowfall in recent weeks is likely to boost moisture reserves, which were abnormally low after a dry autumn," Sovecon said in a note.

Jan 25 - Boeing says its fleet will be able to fly on 100% biofuel by 2030  

Boeing Co said on Friday it will begin delivering commercial airplanes capable of flying on 100% biofuel by the end of the decade, calling reducing environmental damage from fossil fuels the "challenge of our lifetime." Boeing's goal - which requires advances to jet systems, raising fuel-blending requirements, and safety certification by global regulators - is central to a broader industry target of slashing carbon emissions in half by 2050, the U.S. planemaker said.

Jan 22 - New China swine fever strains point to unlicensed vaccines
A new form of African swine fever identified in Chinese pig farms is most likely caused by illicit vaccines, industry insiders say, a fresh blow to the world's largest pork producer, still recovering from a devastating epidemic of the virus. Two new strains of African swine fever have infected more than 1,000 sows on several farms owned by New Hope Liuhe, China's fourth-largest producer, as well as pigs being fattened for the firm by contract farmers, said Yan Zhichun, the company's chief science officer.

Jan 22 - Biden should revisit China trade deal to weed out problem spots for U.S. agriculture - Braun
U.S. grain and oilseed producers cheered when the United States signed the Phase 1 trade deal with China a year ago, as it suggested one of their most crucial customers would be back in the American market in a bigger way than ever before. But while the deal delights U.S. farmers and exporters, its short-sighted nature could end up being harmful to domestic users of grain and other commodities, and those effects could ultimately hurt consumers.

Jan 22 - Trump's EPA granted Sinclair Oil last-minute biofuel waivers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Sinclair Oil Corporation waivers that exempt both its refineries in Wyoming from biofuel blending requirements for the 2019 compliance year, two sources familiar with the matter said, making it the only company to have received exemptions for that year so far. The EPA had announced it granted two 2019 waivers to refining facilities on Tuesday night, hours before the departure of the administration of President Donald Trump, but did not identify the recipients. Some 30 other waiver applications for that year remained unanswered.

Jan 22 - CFTC chair steps down, academic Chris Brummer in lead to replace him - sources
Heath Tarbert stepped down as Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chair on Thursday, with Georgetown University academic Chris Brummer emerging as a leading candidate to replace him, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions. The White House is expected to make a decision on that and other financial regulator roles soon, one of the people said. A White House spokesman and Brummer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jan 22 - U.S. meatpacker JBS offers $100 to employees who get COVID-19 vaccine
Meatpacker JBS USA and chicken company Pilgrim's Pride Corp said on Thursday they will pay $100 to U.S. employees who voluntarily receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The bonus is intended to encourage employees to get inoculations, after thousands of U.S. meatpacking workers became infected with the coronavirus last year. Outbreaks of the disease temporarily shut slaughterhouses in the spring, pushing up meat prices and tightening supplies for consumers.

Jan 22 - Argentine showers help corn, soy planting, more rain needed -exchange
Argentine soy and corn planting sped forward over the last week, helped by rain that moistened fields parched by months of dry weather, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday. More moisture was needed over the short term to ensure good yields for the 2020/21 crop, the exchange said in a report.

Jan 22 - Independent directors of Malaysia's FGV oppose state firm's takeover offer
The independent dir ectors of Malaysian palm oil giant FGV Holdings urged investors on Friday to reject a takeover bid by top shareholder Felda, saying its offer price was unfair, though an external adviser called it reasonable. Last month state-owned Felda, or the Federal Land Development Authority, said it would boost its stake in FGV, as it moves towards taking control of the world's largest producer of crude palm oil.

Jan 22 - Farm Bureau says USDA crop reports need more transparency
The American Farm Bureau Federation, an agricultural trade group, says confidence is fading in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most market-sensitive crop reports, and the government should respond by modernizing its technology and improving transparency. The Farm Bureau released recommendations on Thursday following a four-month review by 10 of its farmer members into key reports released by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Jan 21 - Feed fight: African consumers hit as Asia gobbles up rice supplies
Tightening global supplies of basic foodstuffs and disruptions to shipping caused by the coronavirus pandemic are driving up the cost of rice, the most important staple food for billions of people worldwide. Rising food prices are a worrying trend in countries that depend on imports, while the cost of rice is politically sensitive in many parts of Asia and Africa. A spike in the price of the grain led to unrest in several countries during the world food crisis of 2008.

Jan 21 - Facing green push on farm, fertilizer makers look to sea for growth
Two of the world's biggest fertilizer producers, CF Industries Holdings Inc and Yara International Asa, are seeking to cash in on the green energy transition by reconfiguring ammonia plants in the United States and Norway to produce clean energy to power ships. The consumption of oil for transportation is one of the top contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and fertilizer producers join a growing list of companies adjusting their business models to profit from a future lower-carbon economy.

Jan 21 - Argentine corn sales pick up on concern over possible export limits
Argentine farmers have dramatically accelerated sales from the upcoming 2020/21 corn harvest, due to concern that the government may yet again try to limit international sales. The agriculture ministry has caused uncertainty by going back and forth in recent weeks on policies seeking to ensure ample food supplies by limiting international shipments of corn. Argentina is the world's No. 3 exporter of the grain.

Jan 21 - Indian govt offers to suspend farm reforms; farmers may call off protests
India's government on Wednesday offered to suspend implementation of three new farm laws that have triggered the biggest farmers' protests in years, which farm union leaders said they would now consider calling off. The cornerstone of the reform, introduced in September, allows private buyers to deal directly with farmers.

Jan 21 - China's U.S. grain haul sparks flashbacks to 1972 'grain robbery' - Braun
China within the last year has bought historic volumes of U.S. corn and soybeans at prices significantly lower than those today, conjuring up memories of an American trade fiasco involving the Soviet Union a half-century ago. The two events are distinctly different, though they seem to share at least one theme: the resulting arrangement played right into the hands of the Soviets and Chinese, both of whom used their own weaknesses to their advantage.

Jan 21 - China lifts pandemic-related bans on three Brazil meat plants
China has lifted trade bans on three Brazilian meat plants, meatpackers JBS SA and Aurora Alimentos said on Wednesday, as the East Asian country relies on imports while it works to restore hog herds decimated by African swine fever. The world's largest meatpacker JBS SA said China ended restrictions on one of its pork and one of its chicken processing facilities in southern Rio Grande do Sul state, after they were banned months ago over coronavirus concerns.

Jan 21 - Ukraine wheat export prices exceed $300/T - APK-Inform
Ukrainian milling wheat export prices exceeded $300 per tonne on Wednesday supported by a sharp upward trend in Russia, analyst APK-Inform said on Thursday. Asking prices for 12.5% milling soft wheat added $2 a tonne and were quoted between $292 and $303 per tonne FOB Black Sea, the consultancy said in a report.

Jan 21 - Indonesia to import cattle, beef to plug domestic supply gap
Indonesia will import 502,000 cattle and 85,500 tonnes of beef to help plug a supply gap of meat in the domestic market, Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rasa, an Agriculture Ministry director said on Thursday. In addition, Indonesia is also planning to issue import permits for 100,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef and water buffalo meat from India, he said in a statement.
 

Jan 21 - Ignore or enforce? Biden's dilemma on China's commodity purchases: Russell
President Joe Biden inherits a problematic trade deal with China and the unpalatable choices of trying to make Beijing meet its commitments on purchases of U.S. commodities, renegotiating, or simply ignoring China's failure to meet the terms. The so-called Phase 1 trade agreement, signed in January last year between the administrations of former President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, was most likely doomed to fail from the start.
 

Jan 21 - Logaviv and Griffin to launch first agriculture OTC market in Europe
French IT services provider Logaviv and market operator Griffin will launch Europe's first agricultural commodities over-the-counter (OTC) market, with contracts initially targeting wheat, corn and rapeseed, they said on Wednesday. The new organized trading facility (OTF), to be launched on the LOG-TRADE trading platform on March 11, aims to offer an alternative for agricultural industry participants looking to hedge on financial markets, the companies said in a statement.
 

Jan 20 - China's 2020 U.S. soybean imports surged though likely missed trade target
China's soybean imports from the United States in 2020 rose by 52.8% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, though the stepped up buying likely fell short of what was needed to fulfil last year's trade deal between the countries. The world's top soybean buyer last year brought in 25.89 million tonnes of the oilseed from the U.S., its second-largest supplier, up from 16.94 million tonnes in 2019.

Jan 20 - Traders oppose call to limit corn exports from Ukraine
Ukrainian grain traders said on Tuesday they saw no grounds to restrict corn exports for the 2020/21 season, a move requested by animal feed and meat producers to avoid higher feed prices. Ukraine's economy ministry and agricultural unions will decide on Jan. 25 whether to limit corn exports for the 2020/21 marketing season to 22 million tonnes.

Jan 20 - Agro-export companies in Argentina concerned by truckers' protest 
Agro-export companies in Argentina are concerned about independent truck owners who are blocking roads as part of a protest over what drivers say are exorbitant taxes and highway tolls, the CIARA-CEC export industry chamber said on Tuesday. Owners and drivers, grouped in the informal TUDA association (Transportistas Unidos de Argentina), began blocking highways over the weekend, making it hard for grains to reach port terminals. The protest adds uncertainty to a sector that was racked by several Argentine port workers' strikes last month.

Jan 20 - U.S. EPA grants three biofuel waivers to refiners before Trump leaves office

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday granted three waivers to oil refiners that exempt them from U.S. biofuel blending obligations, a last-minute move before President Donald Trump leaves office on Wednesday. The agency granted two waivers for the 2019 compliance year and one waiver for the 2018 compliance year. The announcement followed four years of controversy around the waiver program under the Trump administration, but left many questions unresolved. Some 30 waiver requests remain outstanding for 2019 and 15 for 2020, which the incoming administration of Joe Biden will need to deal with.

Jan 20 - Malaysia initiates WTO dispute over EU palm oil measures
Malaysia has filed a complaint against the European Union over its palm oil measures at the World Trade Organization, the WTO website showed on Tuesday. The complaint concerns measures by the EU and its member states France and Lithuania.

Jan 20 - Tyson Foods reaches more settlements in chicken price-fixing litigation
Tyson Foods Inc agreed to settle price-fixing litigation with two more groups of plaintiffs accusing it of illegally conspiring to inflate prices in the $65 billion chicken industry. The settlements with so-called "end-user" consumers and with more than 30 commercial purchasers were disclosed in filings on Tuesday in federal court in Chicago.

Jan 19 - China's corn, wheat imports in 2020 reach record highs 
China's grains imports soared to record highs in 2020, customs data showed on Monday, after tight domestic corn supplies pushed prices to multi-year peaks, driving demand for cheaper imports. China, the world's top agricultural market, bought a record 11.3 million tonnes of imported corn last year, including 2.25 million tonnes in December alone, according to General Administration of Customs data.

Jan 19 - Importers to pay the price as Russia hikes wheat export tax 
Russia's decision to raise and extend a tax on wheat exports deals a blow to importers and consumers, as higher prices for the staple stoke food inflation in economies reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank said last month that food price increases, combined with reduced incomes, had aggravated chronic and acute hunger, hitting vulnerable households in almost every country.

Jan 19 - Funds keep buying CBOT corn but are less enthused with soybeans -Braun 
Speculators last week continued their uber-bullish run in Chicago-traded corn while end users were forced to buy supplies at painfully high prices, though commodity funds were less friendly to soybeans despite the price surge. In the week ended Jan. 12, money managers boosted their net long in CBOT corn futures and options to 374,714 contracts from 349,888 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  

Jan 19 - Indonesia, Malaysia eye joint campaign in Europe to counter palm oil critics 
The world's top producers of palm oil, Indonesia and Malaysia, are looking to join forces for the first time to run an advocacy campaign in Europe, where increasingly tight regulations are threatening sales in their third biggest market. Through the platform of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), the two countries have sent out a request for proposals to hire an advocacy firm to run a campaign in Europe this year to counter criticism, three sources familiar with the matter said. 

Jan 19 - Philippines now free of H5N6 bird flu, but monitoring another strain 
The Philippines is now free of the highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu virus, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday, citing a declaration by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). "As of Jan. 8, the country is now free of the last remaining A(H5N6) strain of the avian Influenza," having resolved the outbreaks in Pampanga province and a village in Rizal, near the capital region, it said in a statement. 

Jan 19 - France backs non-GMO regulation for crop gene-editing in EU 
France sees crops developed using gene-editing techniques as different to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and opposes a European Union court decision to put them under strict GMO regulations, the country's agriculture minister said. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in 2018 that mutagenesis, among so-called New Breeding Techniques (NBT) based on targeted editing of genes, fall under rules applying to GMOs that incorporate DNA from a different species. 

Jan 19 - Brazil soy harvesting off to slow start after planting delays 
Brazilian soy farmers, who started planting late because of dry weather in the final months of 2020, have harvested only 0.4% of the cultivated soybean area this season, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said on Monday. Brazil had harvested 1.8% of the sown area at this time last year, AgRural's statement said, though the country sowed a record high of more than 38 million hectares (93.9m acres) for the 2020/2021 cycle. 

Jan 19 - Ukraine's grain exports down 18.6% so far in 2020/21 season 
Ukraine's grain exports have fallen 18.6% to 27.57 million tonnes this season, which runs from July 2020 to June 2021, economy ministry data showed on Monday. Traders sold 12.75 million tonnes of wheat, 10.52 million tonnes of corn and 3.89 million tonnes of barley, the data showed. Ukraine accounts for about 16% of global grain exports, and sold about 57 million tonnes of grain to foreign buyers in the 2019/20 season. 

Jan 19 - Ukraine will decide on Jan. 25 whether to limit corn exports 
Ukraine's economy ministry and agricultural unions will decide on Jan. 25 whether to limit corn exports in the 2020/21 marketing season, a move called for by animal feed and meat producers, the ministry said on Monday. Domestic livestock and poultry producers' associations last week asked the government to limit corn exports in the 2020/21 season to 22 million tonnes to avoid a shortage of animal feed. 
 

Jan 19 -Philippines plans to triple pork imports as local prices soar 
 

The Philippines is aiming to triple pork imports this year, the agriculture minister said on Monday, after domestic prices jumped more than 50% from a year earlier as African swine fever decimated hog populations. The Southeast Asian country, the world's seventh-biggest pork importer before local demand fell due to the pandemic, plans to lift purchases to 162,000 tonnes, Agriculture Secretary William Dar told a media briefing.

Jan 18 - Russia plans to raise wheat export tax from March 1, global prices rise 
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, plans to impose a higher export tax on wheat from March 1, its economy minister said on Friday, in another push to curb a rise in domestic food prices triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. Wheat prices in Chicago and Paris jumped after the proposal, which the Russian government has yet to sign, on expectations the higher tax could make buyers prefer wheat from other countries.  

Jan 18 - Ukraine corn export prices hit seven-year high - APK-Inform 
Ukrainian corn export prices have hit a seven-year high, supported by a jump in demand, Argentina's decision to suspend shipments and Russian plans to impose export duties on grains, analyst APK-Inform said on Saturday. Asking prices have risen by $23-$26 per tonne so far in January, reaching a record $256-$264 per tonne FOB Black Sea. The current level is $6-$10 higher than the previous record registered in May 2014, the consultancy said in a report. 

Jan 18 - China pork output recovers sharply in 2020, down 3.3% y/y - stats bureau 
China's pork output fell in 2020, but recovered sharply from the year before as government support and industry investment helped revive a sector ravaged by disease in 2019, official data showed on Monday. China's 2020 pork output fell 3.3% from a year earlier to 41.13 million tonnes after plunging 21% in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics said. 

Jan 18 - Malaysia takes WTO legal action against EU over palm biofuel curbs 
Malaysia is taking legal action at the global trade watchdog against the European Union and member states France and Lithuania for restricting palm oil-based biofuels, the government said. The world's second largest palm oil producer, which has called a EU renewable-energy directive "discriminatory action," is seeking consultations under the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Mechanism, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry said in a statement on Friday.  

Jan 18 - Bangladesh to turn to Ukraine for wheat as Russia plans to raise export tax 
Bangladesh will step up wheat purchases from Ukraine to make up for any shortfall in supplies from Russia which has announced plans to impose a higher export tax on the grain from March 1, a senior Dhaka-based government official told Reuters. Russia's economy minister announced the plans on Friday, in another push to curb a rise in domestic food prices triggered by the COVID-19 crisis.

Jan 18 - Indian government, protesting farmers make no headway in talks, to reconvene Tuesday 
A ninth round of talks between the Indian government and protesting farmers over three new contentious farm laws made no headway on Friday, but a government minister and union leaders said they would resume discussions on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has said that the laws introduced in September will unshackle farmers from the obligation of selling produce only at regulated wholesale markets. But the farmers say the bills are designed to benefit private buyers. 

Jan 18 - Brazil soy firms commit to zero deforestation from 2020 
Brazilian soy traders CJ Selecta, Caramuru and Imcopa have committed to zero deforestation in their respective supply chains, adding pressure on larger traders to accelerate environmental commitments. Their pledge involves a ban on trading soy grown on land deforested after August 2020 in all of Brazil, going beyond a previous agreements among traders that only applied to the Amazon rainforest. 

Jan 18 - NOPA December soy crush rises to 183.159 million bushels, second largest ever 
The monthly U.S. soybean crush rose to the second highest monthly level on record in December, capping the busiest year of processing ever for the industry, according to data released by the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) on Friday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 183.159 million bushels of the oilseed last month, up from 181.018 million bushels in November and 174.812 million bushels in December 2019. 

Jan 18 - Speculators raise corn net long position - CFTC 
Large speculators raised their net long position in Chicago Board of Trade corn futures in the week to Jan. 12, regulatory data released on Friday showed. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's weekly commitments of traders report also showed that noncommercial traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and cut their net long position in soybeans.

Jan 18 - Bans on GMO corn, glyphosate in Mexico would shrink food supplies, industry says
The Mexican government's push to wean itself off a massive dependence on genetically modified corn imports would upend the country's food supply, including its big livestock sector, industry officials warn. A Dec. 31 degree banning the use of genetically modified corn over three years has sparked a frenzy of lobbying urging officials to reconsider.

Jan 18 - USDA unveils $2.3 bln in new COVID-19 aid, mostly for livestock farmers 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday it will pay an additional $2.3 billion in COVID-19 aid to farmers, directing more money to livestock producers suffering from disruptions in slaughtering and restaurant demand for meat. The aid, which comes from money allocated to USDA from previous pandemic stimulus legislation, follows record U.S. government subsidies for farmers last year.  

Jan 18 - Outgoing Trump admin mulls industry-wide biofuel waiver for oil refiners 
The Trump administration is considering requests from the oil refining industry and its backers for a sweeping nationwide waiver to exempt them from their obligations to blend biofuels, a measure they argue would help them weather the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment on the potential general waiver for the 2019 and 2020 compliance years and also is proposing a new rule that would remove or alter the labeling for retail gasoline that contains higher ethanol blends, according to notices to be published to the Federal Register on Tuesday. 

Jan 18 - Namibia suspends poultry imports from 10 European countries due to bird flu  
Namibia halted imports of live poultry from 10 countries on Friday following outbreaks of bird flu in Europe. The suspension affects imports from the Netherlands, Germany, Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Sweden and France, the Directorate of Veterinary Services said in a statement. Cooked poultry meat products for commercial purposes may be imported under a veterinary permit, it said.

Jan 15 - IGC cuts forecast for 2020/21 global grains production 
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday cut its forecast for a record global grains production by 9 million tonnes to 2.21 billion tonnes in 2020/21 and also trimmed its projection for consumption during the season. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut its forecast for corn (maize) by 13 million tonnes, partially offset by an upward revision in the outlook for wheat.

Jan 15 - Parched Argentine soy, corn fields seen benefiting from better rains 
Argentine soy and corn fields have benefited from recent rains, with more showers expected that could slowly improve crop yields after they were threatened by dry weather earlier in the season, local climate experts said on Thursday. Concerns that Argentine production might falter amid tightening global supplies of grains and oilseeds have sent benchmark corn, soy and wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade to their highest levels since at least 2014.

Jan 15 - U.S. EPA eyes extending refinery biofuel deadlines, no action on waivers 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it would propose to extend deadlines for refiners to prove compliance with biofuel laws, but signaled it would not decide on a slew of pending waiver requests submitted by the industry. The agency's proposal represented mixed news for refiners hard hit by slumping energy demand during the coronavirus pandemic and eager to sidestep regulatory costs associated with U.S. biofuel blending policy. It also marks one of the last actions from President Donald Trump's EPA before he leaves office on Jan. 20.

Jan 15 - Reeling from coronavirus, Asia's poultry farmers battle bird flu outbreak 
Asia's chicken farmers are confronting the region's worst bird flu outbreak in years, with the deadly virus affecting farms stretching from Japan to India, roiling some poultry prices and showing no signs of easing. More than 20 million chickens have been destroyed in South Korea and Japan since November. The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus last week reached India, the world's No. 6 producer, and has already been reported in 10 states.

Jan 15 - Ukraine's grain exports down 18% so far in 2020/21 season 
Ukraine's grain exports have fallen 18% to 27.2 million tonnes so far in the season, which runs from July 2020 to June 2021, economy ministry data showed on Friday. Traders sold only 12.7 million tonnes of wheat, 10.3 million tonnes of corn and 3.9 million tonnes of barley, the data showed.

Jan 15 - Russia may keep taxing wheat exports in new marketing season - Interfax 
Russia may continue taxing wheat exports in the new marketing season, which starts on July 1, Interfax news agency reported on Thursday, citing a letter from the agriculture ministry to the Russian Union of Grain Exporters. Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is trying to stabilise domestic food prices with the wheat export levy as well as a grain export quota and a series of other measures after President Vladimir Putin criticised the impact of excessive inflation.

Jan 15 - U.S. soy, corn sales maintain standout pace, though shipments diverge - Braun 
Business for U.S. corn and soybean exporters has turned around drastically from last year’s dismal performance thanks to robust global demand, and the strong early sales paces have eased commitment pressure for the second half of the marketing year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday increased 2020-21 U.S. soybean exports by 30 million bushels to a record 2.23 billion bushels, a move traders largely expected based on strong sales and shipments.

Jan 15 - India's protesting farmers, government to hold new round of talk 
 

The Indian government will hold new talks with the leaders of tens of thousands of farmers camped on the outskirts of New Delhi for almost two months protesting for the repeal of new agricultural laws they say threaten their livelihoods. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been urging the farmers to end their protest over the laws introduced in September, but the farmers say they will not relent on their demands, as the bills are designed to benefit private buyers at the expense of growers.

Jan 15 - EU farmers could get cash to curb emissions from belching livestock 
Farmers should get European Union funding to reduce methane emissions from livestock or increase organic farmland, the European Commission said on Thursday, under plans to make agriculture greener. The EU is nearing the end of a two-year battle to overhaul its massive farming subsidies scheme, to attempt to align the agriculture sector - which contributes roughly 10% of EU greenhouse gas emissions - with the bloc's target to have net zero emissions by 2050.

Jan 14 - Brazil truckers invoke memory of 2018 amid Feb 1 strike action

The president of one of Brazil’s truck unions has warned in local media that upcoming strike action, scheduled for February 1, could be worse than in 2018 when national action over pay and conditions cut off essential supplies to major cities across the country. The president of the National Association of Autonomous Transport (ANTB) Jose Roberto Stringasci was quoted in a number of Brazilian media outlets warning that the protest over rising diesel prices is gathering support and could be bigger than 2018.

With few major railways, Brazil is particularly reliant upon truck transportation to move goods around the country, with the previous truck strike quickly bringing the country to its knees, damaging the then government of Michel Temer.

The ANTB claims to represent between 60-70% of Brazil’s transport, with the February 1 strike action supported by the national umbrella group the National Council for Road Freight Transport. Any widespread, prolonged strike action could spell catastrophe for Brazil’s new crop soybean production, which is expected to come to market in February and is already facing some concerns over delays.

Traders in China, the world’s biggest soybean importer, have already eyed delayed planting and poor weather during the crop’s development and extended buying of US beans during a period where Brazil typically dominates.

Jan 14 - China's 2020 soybean imports climb 13% to record as pig sector demand recovers
China's soybean imports jumped 13% to an annual record in 2020, customs data showed on Thursday, after crushers ramped up purchases amid improved margins and healthy demand from the country's rapidly recovering pig sector. China, the world's top soybean buyer, bought 100.33 million tonnes of the oilseed in 2020, up from 88.51 million tonnes in 2019, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Jan 14 - Reeling from coronavirus, Asia's poultry farmers battle bird flu outbreak
Asia's chicken farmers are confronting the region's worst bird flu outbreak in years, with the deadly virus affecting farms stretching from Japan to India, roiling some poultry prices and showing no signs of easing. More than 20 million chickens have been destroyed in South Korea and Japan since November. The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus last week reached India, the world's No. 6 producer, and has already been reported in 10 states.

Jan 14 - China 2020 meat imports close to 10 mln tonnes, up 60% on year
China imported 9.91 million tonnes of meat in 2020, customs data showed on Thursday, as the world's biggest consumer of meat stocked up on proteins after a further plunge in its pork output. Shipments were up 60.4% on the year before and came after China's output of pork, its staple meat, slumped 19% in the first half. That followed an even bigger drop during 2019 when the fatal pig disease African swine fever ravaged its vast hog herd.

Jan 14 - U.S. bans imports of all cotton, tomato products from China's Xinjiang region
The Trump administration announced an import ban on all cotton and tomato products from western China's Xinjiang region on Wednesday over allegations that they are made with forced labor from detained Uighur Muslims. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the order applies to raw fibers, apparel and textiles made from Xinjiang-grown cotton, as well as canned tomatoes, sauces, seeds and other tomato products from the region, even if processed or manufactured in third countries.

Jan 14 - Argentine farmers end sales strike after government rescinds corn export cap
Argentine farmers called off a three-day-old sales strike on Wednesday, hours before it had been scheduled to end, after the government agreed to free corn export from a recently decreed limit of 30,000 tonnes a day. The export cap that had been imposed at the start of the week was criticized by growers who said it would weigh on production. Argentina is the world's No. 3 corn exporter and its top international supplier of soymeal livestock feed.

Jan 14 - Rising new-crop corn, soy prices intensify U.S. acreage duel -Braun
There is no doubt that new-crop Chicago corn and soybean futures have risen to profitable levels for U.S. farmers in 2021, and that should support strong plantings in the spring. But the dwindling domestic stockpiles magnify the impending acreage showdown even further. U.S. Department of Agriculture data suggests domestic corn and soybean stocks-to-use for 2020-21 at 10.6% and 3.1%, respectively, both seven-year lows. Some industry analysts have suggested that with supplies that tight, the United States cannot return to a plentiful situation within the 2021-22 cycle, even with strong harvests.

 
Jan 14 - Ukraine wheat export price gains continue
Ukrainian milling wheat export prices have continued to rally this week, supported by an upward trend on the Russian market and a decrease in expected global wheat output, analyst APK-Inform said on Thursday. Bid-ask prices for 12.5% protein soft milling wheat added $4-$6 a tonne on Wednesday, reaching $280-$287 FOB Black Sea. Prices for 11.5% protein wheat also rose by $4-$6 to $278-$285 as of Jan. 13, the consultancy said in a report.

 
Jan 14 - U.S. biofuel industry expects outgoing EPA to grant majority of 2019 refinery waivers
The U.S. biofuel industry expects the outgoing Trump administration to approve most of the waiver requests it has pending from the oil refining industry for 2019, three sources familiar with industry discussions said. The waivers - which exempt refiners from their obligation to add ethanol to gasoline - have been at the center of a contentious debate between the oil and corn lobbies. Refiners say the waivers are needed for small cash-strapped facilities to reduce regulatory costs, but biofuels producers oppose the program, arguing it undermines biofuel demand.

 
Jan 14 - Russian ministry proposes higher wheat export tax from mid-March
Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, may impose a higher export tax on wheat and set one on barley and corn from mid-March, its agriculture ministry said on Wednesday, in a renewed push to curb domestic food price growth. A review by Moscow officials of previously approved state measures to slow down food inflation has supported wheat futures in Paris on expectations that European Union wheat would benefit from a higher Russian tax.

 
Jan 14 - InVivo in talks to acquire French agribusiness peer Soufflet
Cooperative group InVivo has entered exclusive talks to acquire family-controlled Soufflet in a deal that would create one of Europe's biggest agricultural businesses with 10 billion euros ($12.17 billion) in sales, the French firms said on Wednesday. The potential consolidation comes as France, the European Union's largest agricultural producer, is trying to embrace environmentally conscious farming practices while vying with cheaper grain suppliers such as Russia. 

 
Jan 13 - Russia’s ag ministry floats wheat, feed grain export tax increases
Russia’s agriculture ministry has proposed a €20/mt increase from March on a planned wheat export duty as the government looks for ways to stem rising food costs, with new duties on feed grains also floated under the scheme. The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that a €25/mt export duty on wheat that is set to come into force on February 15 and could rise to €45/mt from March 15.
Corn would be taxed at €25/mt and barley at €10/mt from March 15 under the scheme.
There was no mention of a levy on rye.

Jan 13 - Egypt's GASC cancels wheat tender as offers jump $30/mt
Egypt’s state grain buyer cancelled a tender to import milling wheat for February 18-March 5 shipment as traders pulled back from the market and the average offer jumped almost $30/mt compared to its previous tender last month. General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) received just four offers at Tuesday's tender.

Jan 13 - U.S. corn, soy supplies pressured by harvest cuts; prices surge
U.S. soybean and corn supplies in September will be smaller than previously forecast due to a reduced estimate of last fall's harvest, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday. The crop revisions will intensify fears of shortages in 2021, after governments tried to lock in extra food supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted global supply chains and thinned U.S. stockpiles.

Jan 13 - Argentine agriculture ministry says it lifts corn export limit 
Argentina said on Tuesday it lifted a 30,000-tonne-per-day limit recently placed on corn exports, which had caused farmers to go on a sales strike in protest. Growers have withheld crops from market since early Monday, angered by what they said was overzealous intervention in the markets. The government said the curb was intended to ensure ample domestic food supplies and stable prices.

Jan 13 - Jarring U.S. corn stock revisions are making USDA’s numbers unpredictable - Braun
Anyone looking for fireworks following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Tuesday forecasts was not at all disappointed, but for most market participants, the recent trend in some of the numbers might be downright unsettling. The U.S. corn figures were the most surprising in the data landslide published by USDA on Tuesday, particularly for quarterly stocks and 2020 crop yield. Both of those numbers fell considerably below the trade range of estimates, which were historically wide for yield.

Jan 13 - Mexico may raise U.S. farm concerns if energy dispute bites, minister says
Mexico could raise concerns over potential barriers to its agriculture exports to the United States in any future negotiations over the Mexican government's contentious energy policy, Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said. Since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in late 2018 vowing to strengthen the state's influence over energy policy, Mexico has been at increasing odds with international investors due to measures he has overseen to achieve that goal.

Jan 13 - Indian farmers to torch laws on bonfires in show of defiance
Indian farmers were due to burn copies of the government's new agricultural laws on Wednesday as they press on with their protest against the reforms despite the intervention of the Supreme Court, which said their grievances should be heard. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, for almost two months, protesting against what they say are laws designed to benefit large private buyers at the expense of growers.

Jan 13 - Mexico says could hit back on U.S. curbs on blueberry exports 
Mexico reserves the right to retaliate over any restrictions imposed by the United States over Mexican blueberry exports, the country's economy ministry said on Tuesday, citing protections under a new North American trade pact. Berry exports have been a source of sustained growth for Mexican farmers for years, a bright spot for Mexico's agricultural trade with major buyers in the United States, along with other farm products like avocados and beef.

Jan 13 - Ukraine's white sugar output from beet at 1.02 mln T so far in 2020/21  
Ukrainian sugar refineries have produced 1.02 million tonnes of white sugar from 7.7 million tonnes of sugar beet so far in the 2020/21 processing season that began on Sept. 1, the Ukrtsukor national sugar union said on Tuesday. The union has predicted that output of white sugar will fall in the full year to about 1.2 million tonnes, from 1.48 million tonnes the previous year, because of a weaker beet harvest. 

Jan 12 - China to approve further domestic GMO corn, soy crop varieties 
China said on Monday it was set to approve the safety of another genetically modified (GMO) corn variety and a GMO soybean, both produced by Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd. The move comes after China last year approved three domestically designed GMO crops as safe, the first in a decade, in a fresh push towards commercial planting of GMO crops in the world's top soybean importer and a major corn buyer.

Jan 12 - Argentine farmers continue sales strike despite new corn export policy
Argentine farmers said on Monday they would continue their ban on selling crops despite the government's decision to amend the corn export suspension that has triggered a sales strike in the South American grains powerhouse. The government replaced the two-month export suspension with a temporary daily limit of 30,000 tonnes of corn that can be sold into the international market. But the country's main farm groups said they objected to the new policy as well.

Jan 12 - Trump administration expected to grant biofuel waivers for some oil refiners - sources
The Trump administration is expected to grant waivers to some oil refiners that would exempt them from requirements to blend biofuels into their fuel mix for the 2019 compliance year, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The move would be one of the last actions by President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency to seek to balance the competing desires of the biofuel and oil industries over biofuel blending laws. 

 
Jan 12 - Russia considers increasing wheat export tax - exporters' union
Russia is considering raising its wheat export tax from the currently planned 25 euros ($30) per tonne between Feb. 15 and June 30, the head of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters, Eduard Zernin, told Reuters on Monday. Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is trying to stabilise domestic food prices with the wheat export levy as well as a grain export quota and a series of other measures after President Vladimir Putin criticised the impact of excessive inflation.

 
Jan 12 - India's top court chides government over impasse with protesting farmers
India's Supreme Court on Monday criticised the government for failing to break a deadlock with farmers protesting against reforms of the agricultural sector. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi, for more than a month, and have promised to march during Republic Day celebrations on Jan. 26, against what they see as laws benefiting large private buyers at the expense of producers.

 
Jan 12 - Beware U.S. corn, soy crop and stock scenarios ahead of USDA data - Braun
As if the grain markets needed any additional excitement to start off the year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be piling on with its largest annual data dump on Tuesday, and the expectations are mostly price-supportive. That goes along with the latest storyline of shrinking U.S. and global supplies, which has sent Chicago-traded corn, soybean and wheat futures to the highest levels in more than six years.

 
Jan 12 - China's live hog futures tumble on expectations of more supply
China's newly launched live hog futures tumbled to reach limit down on their second day of trading on the Dalian Commodity Exchange on expectations that the hog herd size will increase as new farms start up. The front-month September contract closed 8% down at 26,030 yuan/tonne ($4,019.95) on Monday, after falling nearly 13% on its debut on Friday.

 
Jan 12 - Pilgrim's Pride, Tyson Foods settle some chicken price-fixing litigation
Pilgrim's Pride Corp and Tyson Foods Inc said on Monday they have settled price-fixing litigation by a group of poultry buyers that accused them of violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to inflate chicken prices. Pilgrim's Pride, owned mainly by Brazil's JBS SA, will pay $75 million to settle claims by purchasers that bought chickens directly from the company. The size of Tyson's settlement with the same purchasers was not disclosed.

 
Jan 12 - U.S. grain trader ADM suspends political donations after Capitol riot
Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Monday it will suspend new political donations and review all of its donation policies after supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol last week. The Chicago-based grain trader said it will suspend new contributions until it completes the review, which is intended to ensure that donation policies reflect ADM's corporate values.

 
Jan 12 - Egypt has strategic wheat reserves sufficient for five months, cabinet says
Egypt has strategic wheat reserves sufficient for five months, the cabinet said on Monday. The country has strategic vegetable oil reserves sufficient for 4.7 months, and its sugar reserves are sufficient until the end of October, the cabinet said in a statement.

 
Jan 12 - Russian export prices for wheat rise ahead of export tax - IKAR
Russian wheat export prices have risen since late 2020 ahead of an upcoming wheat export tax, analysts at the IKAR consultancy said on Monday. One of the world's largest wheat exporters, Russia aims to stabilise food prices with a grain export quota and a wheat export tax from Feb. 15 to June 30.

 
Jan 12 - Ex-Solaris director Still to lead Swiss-based grain trader Rolweg
Swithun Still, a former head of Solaris Commodities, is to join another Swiss-based grain trading firm, Rolweg S.A., as its chief executive, he said in a Twitter post on Monday. Rolweg was established in 2018 as a subsidiary of Turkish milling group Ulusoy Un.

Jan 11 - Argentina lifts corn export ban, replaces with 30,000 tonne sales cap
Argentina has lifted a suspension on corn exports announced in December and will opt instead for a temporary 30,000 tonne daily cap on sales abroad, its agriculture ministry said on Monday, backing off the more restrictive measure that had infuriated farmers in the South American grains powerhouse. The world's No. 3 supplier of corn announced on Dec. 30 a two-month halt in corn exports in a bid to control domestic food prices amid a long recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jan 11 - Malaysia's Dec palm oil stocks hit 13-year low, imports at all-time peak
Malaysian palm oil inventories in December fell to their lowest in more than 13 years and imports touched a record high as production slumped while exports surged, data from the industry regulator showed on Monday. According to Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), palm oil end-stocks in the world's second-largest producer slumped 19% in December to 1.26 million tonnes on-month - the lowest since July 2007 when the country reported stocks of 1.31 million.

Jan 11 - Investors place record bets on corn; CBOT longs approach 1 million - Braun
Speculators and investors have kicked off the new year with record bullish views in Chicago-traded corn, as global stockpiles are set to shrink. Within the past week, CBOT corn, soybean and wheat futures have all notched prices not seen since 2014. Combined across CBOT corn, wheat, soybeans and soy products, and including Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat, speculators' total gross longs have hit a record 987,624 futures and options contracts. Prior to 2020, the high was 929,323 contracts in August 2012.

 
Jan 11 - Funds add nearly 30,000 contracts to bullish sugar bet – CFTC
Speculators increased their net long positions in raw sugar, cotton and cocoa futures on ICE in the week to Jan. 5, but cut a long position in arabica coffee, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed on Friday. Money managers and hedge funds sharply increased their bullish bet in raw sugar in the period, adding 29,220 contracts and bringing their net long position in the sweetener to 182,980 contracts.

 
Jan 11 - Supreme Court agrees to hear biofuel waiver case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a lower court ruling that severely limited the government's powers to exempt small refineries from the nation's biofuels law, rekindling a long-running dispute between the oil and corn industries. The decision came after appeals by refining companies that argued the 10th Circuit Court's decision last year had improperly deprived them of a method to avoid financial hardship granted by Congress.

 
Jan 11 - Indonesia refined palm oil exports to rise in 2021 on tax changes
Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer, will increase its refined palm oil exports after raising taxes, leaving Malaysia to become more competitive in crude palm oil (CPO) exports, a leading industry analyst said on Monday. The reordering of palm oil trading follows Indonesia's decision last month to raise the export levy to a progressive system of $55 to $255 per tonne of CPO, depending on price levels to generate funds for its palm-based biodiesel programme.

 
Jan 11 - Bird flu outbreak dents chicken sales in India, hits farmers
Broiler chicken prices in India have fallen by almost a third in a week with consumption dropping after an outbreak of avian influenza was reported in six states, industry officials told Reuters. The sudden drop in demand and prices is compounding the woes of millions of small poultry farmers in an industry that only recently started to recover from the coronavirus outbreak-led disruption that hit sales during 2020.

 
Jan 11 - France to cull more ducks in 'race against time' to halt bird flu
France is to extend mass culling of poultry as it faces a "race against time" to contain a bird flu virus sweeping through a duck-breeding area in the southwest, Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie said on Friday. France is among the European countries to have reported highly contagious strains of bird flu since late last year, raising fears in the poultry industry of a repeat of the crisis of 2016-17 when tens of millions of birds were slaughtered.

 
Jan 11 - Germany finds more African swine fever in wild boar, cases reach 480 
The number of African swine fever (ASF) cases found in wild boar in Germany has now reached 480, Germany’s agriculture ministry said on Friday, continuing an outbreak of the disease among wild animals which halted German pork exports to Asia. The cases have occurred since the first outbreak in September 2020 and were in eastern state of Brandenburg and Saxony around the areas of previous discoveries, the ministry said. But a new case in a wild boar is suspected in the Potsdam region near Berlin, the ministry added. No farm pigs affected.
 
Jan 08 - Argentine government says 'evaluating' corn export suspension  
Argentina's government said on Thursday it would review a decision to temporarily suspend corn exports after a meeting between the farming minister and the leaders of the country's main agricultural associations. The agriculture ministry said in a statement that agreements had been struck to guarantee the domestic supply of corn and cushion local prices against fluctuations in international markets.
 
Jan 08 - French wheat shipments outside EU ease in December  
French soft wheat shipments outside the European Union in December fell from a season's high the previous month as exports to China eased, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv data showed. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the EU totalled 797,000 tonnes in December, the sixth month of the 2020/21 season, the Refinitiv loading data showed. 

Jan 08 - China's Dalian live hog futures slump 10% on debut 
China's live hog futures tumbled in their debut on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, with analysts attributing the sell-off to the contract's high listing price and as expectations of increasing supply weigh on prices. The front-month September contract was last down 10% at 27,610 yuan ($4,271.28) per tonne on Friday versus its listing price of 30,680 yuan.

Jan 08 - Port-side Argentine grains inspectors end month-long strike, freeing exports 
The union representing Argentine port-side grain inspectors said on Thursday it had ended a month-long wage strike after reaching a contract deal with export companies that will allow international soy, corn and wheat shipments to return to normal. The deal was struck after a marathon negotiation session with Argentina's private ports chamber on Wednesday. The work stoppage by the union, known by its Spanish acronym Urgara, started on Dec.

Jan 08 - Argentine wheat crop seen at 17 mln T vs previous 16.8 mln estimate - exchange 
Argentina's 2020/21 wheat crop is expected at 17 million tonnes versus a previous 16.8 million-tonne estimate, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, citing better than expected yields in some areas as the reason for increasing its forecast. Wheat is planted on Argentina's Pampas grains belt in June and July with harvesting in December and January.

Jan 08 - Malaysia postpones biodiesel mandate rollout to 2022 - state media  
Malaysia will delay the nationwide rollout of its B20 palm oil biodiesel mandate to early 2022 to prioritise an economy that has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, state news agency Bernama reported late Thursday. The mandate to manufacture biofuel with a 20% palm oil component - known as B20 - for the transport sector was first rolled out in January last year, and was set to be fully implemented across the country by mid-June 2021.

Jan 08 - Indonesian palm group to seek review of export levy if palm prices top 4,000 rgt  
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said on Thursday it would ask the government to reformulate its biodiesel blending rates or revise the export levy if palm oil prices maintain their meteoric rise. Malaysia's benchmark crude palm oil prices started the year at near 10-year highs, trading at around 3,800 ringgit a tonne ($950.81) and further widening its premium over crude oil, making it a less sustainable option for biodiesel feedstock.

 
Jan 08 - U.S. soy exports still on record track, though corn clings on -Braun  
The U.S. government has maintained record export forecasts for domestic corn and soybeans in 2020-21, and while the progress lies at opposite ends of the spectrum, the underlying assumptions remain reasonable for now. China continues to be a prominent customer, as U.S. corn shipments to the Asian buyer in November were record-high for any month at 1.28 million tonnes. That is according to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.

 
Jan 08 - England launches plan to ease crop gene editing regulation post-Brexit  
England's farming and environment minister George Eustice said on Thursday he was launching a public consultation on gene editing in agriculture, with the prospect the technology will the regulated less stringently than genetic modification. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in July 2018 that mutagenesis-based gene-editing methods such as a tool called CRISPR/Cas9, which can rearrange targeted bits of DNA, fall under rules that now apply to genetic modification via strands of DNA from a different species.

 
Jan 08 - Philippines sees 2021 minimum rice import requirement at 1.69 mln T 
The Philippines, the world's biggest rice importer, will need to bring in at least 1.69 million tonnes of its staple food this year to fully cover domestic requirements, a government official said on Thursday. The Southeast Asian country is playing down the risks of domestic rice supply tightening this year, despite a global market grappling with shipping delays and a worldwide rush to stockpile food.

 
Jan 08 - World food price index rises for seventh month running in Dec - FAO 
World food prices rose for a seventh consecutive month in December, with all the major categories, barring sugar, posting gains last month, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 107.5 points last month versus 105.2 in November.

 
Jan 08 - Palm oil prices set for a volatile year led by soybean market, say leading analysts 
Palm oil prices are likely to remain high in the first quarter but "fall dramatically" during the second half of the year as palm and oilseed plantings pick up, two leading industry analysts said in a webinar on Thursday. Prices would be propelled by the soyoil market, with crop-stressing drought in South America squeezing global soybean supplies and China continuing its stockbuilding of commodities, they said.

Jan 07 - French wheat shipments outside EU ease in December 
French soft wheat shipments outside the European Union in December fell from a season's high the previous month as exports to China eased, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv data showed. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the EU totalled 797,000 tonnes in December, the sixth month of the 2020/21 season, the Refinitiv loading data showed.

Jan 07 - Soybean market in 'rationing mode' amid dry Argentina weather, Cargill exec says
The soybean market has transitioned into "rationing mode" as tight global supplies and crop-stressing drought in Argentina have ignited the strongest soy market rally in years, Joe Stone, the head of Cargill Inc's agricultural supply chain, said on Wednesday. "We are going to need to ration. The extent of how much we're going to need to ration is probably going to be a function of the weather that we see in Argentina," Stone said during a webinar hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council.

Jan 07 - Clues for 2021 corn and soybean prices might be found back in 2011 - Braun
Chicago-traded corn and soybeans ended 2020 with a bang and the fireworks have continued into 2021. The unprecedented rally has many traders and analysts cautiously anticipating where prices will head next, and rewinding the clock by a decade might reveal some possibilities. CBOT corn futures are not as strong as they were at this point in 2011, though soybeans are close.

Jan 07 - Indian rice shipping delays come at bad time as consumer demand spikes
The global rice market is grappling with logistical disruptions at major supply ports caused by a lack of shipping containers at the same time a worldwide rush to stockpile food is spurring demand for the staple grain. The logistics difficulties illustrate the way the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the global trade in finished goods and raw commodities.

 
Jan 07 - Weather, labour crunch set to dent global crude palm oil output, says analyst
Weather disruption and labour shortages mean global palm oil production is unlikely to stay on trend to hit growth projections of more than 6 million tonnes this year, a leading sector analyst told a virtual conference on Wednesday. "If you plot long-run growth in crude palm oil output, if it regains its trend, production will rise by nearly 1 million tonnes in Malaysia, 4.5 million tonnes in Indonesia," James Fry said.

 
Jan 07 - Farmers block expressway near Indian capital to protest Modi's new laws 
Tens of thousands of farmers on tractors occupied a stretch of an expressway on the periphery of the Indian capital New Delhi on Thursday in one of the biggest shows of strength since they began a sit-in against deregulation of farm markets more than a month ago. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has held several rounds of talks with the farmers to placate them, offering concessions on the three laws it passed last year to bring private investment into the country's antiquated agriculture markets.

 
Jan 07 - Argentine grains inspectors set for talks aimed at ending month-old strike
The union representing Argentine port-side grain inspectors will meet on Wednesday with agro-export companies to try to clinch a wage deal that would end a strike that started on Dec. 9, a union representative said. The month-old work stoppage by the labor group, known by its Spanish acronym Urgara, has hit port operations in one of the world's top exporters of soybeans, corn and wheat. Argentina is also the top international suppliers of soymeal livestock feed.

 
Jan 07 - Smithfield Foods prepares for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to U.S. employees
Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork processor, said on Wednesday it is actively preparing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to employees and has medical capabilities at its U.S. plants. Meatpacking workers were among the groups hit hardest by the new coronavirus last year, as U.S. slaughterhouses became hot spots for outbreaks in the spring, helping spread the virus around rural America.

 
Jan 07 - Indonesia palm association says B40 biodiesel mandate may be delayed beyond 2022
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) on Thursday said government plans to roll out a B40 mandate that would require a 40% palm oil mix in domestic diesel could be delayed beyond the end of 2022. The world's top palm oil producer said in November its plans to raise the bio-content of palm oil-based biodiesel to 40% would likely not happen in 2021, and it increased export levies to finance its B30 programme after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a collapse in crude oil prices.

 
Jan 07 - Tyson Foods resumes slaughtering hogs at idled Iowa pork plant
Tyson Foods Inc said it resumed slaughtering hogs at an Iowa meat plant on Wednesday, three weeks after idling the facility because of a mechanical malfunction. Workers at the plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, will begin butchering the animals into cuts of pork on Thursday, spokeswoman Liz Croston said in an email. The company plans to increase production gradually, she said.

 
 
Jan 07 - India's biggest poultry producer hits 2-month low on bird flu outbreak
Shares of India's biggest poultry producer Venky's dropped more than 4% on Thursday to their lowest level in two months after an outbreak of avian influenza was reported in four states. Venky's shares fell for the fourth straight day on Thursday and were trading at 1,515.95 rupees, down 2.85%, after hitting a low of 1495.10 rupees earlier in the day.

 
Jan 07 - Ukraine grain exports down at 26.4 mln T so far in 2020/21
Ukraine's grain exports have fallen to 26.41 million tonnes in the year that runs until June from 31.49 million at the same date in 2020, economy ministry data showed on Wednesday. Traders sold 12.51 million tonnes of wheat, 9.73 million tonnes of corn and 3.78 million tonnes of barley, the data showed.

Jan 06 - Argentine farmers to strike over corn export suspension
Argentine farmers will hold a 72-hour strike from Monday to protest a government decision to temporarily suspend corn exports, three of the country's main rural associations said Tuesday. The South American grains powerhouse last week announced a two-month halt in corn exports from the world's No. 3 supplier in a bid to control domestic food prices amid a long recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jan 06 - Seafood producer Thai Union says operating normally after 69 COVID-19 cases 
The world’s top canned tuna maker, Thai Union Group Pcl, said on Wednesday its factories were continuing to operate normally after 69 out of more than 23,000 workers at its plants southwest of Bangkok tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement, the company said it had tested 85% of employees, or 23,630 workers, in Samut Sakhon province, where a cluster of cases emerged at a shrimp market late last year.

Jan 06 - Argentina grain inspectors, agro-export companies continue talks as strike drags on
Argentina's grain inspectors' union, Urgara, said on Tuesday it was continuing to negotiate with agro-export companies anxious to end a 28-day strike that has stalled operations in some of the country´s top agricultural ports. The union wants salary increases and a one-time bonus for workers who stayed on the job through the COVID-19 crisis. Its members walked off the job on Dec. 9.

 
Jan 06 - Most Ukraine winter grain crops in good condition - forecasters
Most Ukrainian winter grain crops are in good condition thanks to recent warm weather, weather forecasters said on Tuesday. However, insignificant areas in eastern Ukraine were covered by ice and some fields in the southern Kherson region have been damaged by pests, forecasters said in a report.

 
Jan 06 - Dry weather expected to keep pressuring Argentine soy, corn yields
Grains powerhouse Argentina is suffering a rainfall deficit of 150 to 30 milimeters with forecasts promising less moisture than necessary to fully refresh parched soy and corn fields, weather experts said on Tuesday as worry persisted about yield losses. Months of hot, dry weather have put the country's two main cash crops at risk. Argentina is the No. 3 international corn supplier and the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed used to fatten hogs and poultry from Europe to Southeast Asia.

 
Jan 06 - Malaysian palm oil stocks forecast lower, keeping prices high in 2021
Malaysian palm oil stockpiles are expected to remain low in 2021 because of strong demand from China and a lower Indian import duty amid sluggish output gains, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said on Tuesday. "The market outlook for Malaysian palm oil in 2021 looks bright despite the pandemic," Kalyana Sundram, MPOC chief executive told a virtual conference.

 
Jan 06 - Bangladesh's rice imports could surge to 2 mln T - govt source
Bangladesh's rice imports are likely to surge to 2 million tonnes in the 2020/21 financial year as local prices jumped to a record high on limited supplies, a senior government official said on Tuesday. Higher imports by Bangladesh, the world's third-biggest rice producer, could lift exports from neighbouring India, the biggest global exporter, as it has been offering the grain at competitive prices.

 
Jan 06 - Germany orders 62,000 poultry culled after bird flu found on farms
About 62,000 turkeys and ducks will be slaughtered after bird flu was found on more poultry farms in Germany, authorities said on Tuesday. Type H5N8 bird flu was confirmed in two farms in the Cloppenburg region in the northern state of Lower Saxony, the Cloppenburg local government authority said.

 
Jan 06 - Ingredients maker Ingredion stops ethanol output at Cedar Rapids facility
Ingredion Inc said on Tuesday it has stopped ethanol production at its manufacturing facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, making it the latest company to cut ethanol output after the coronavirus pandemic choked demand for fuel. The coronavirus pandemic battered the U.S. ethanol industry, at one point halving its production capacity. Production capacity as of Jan. 1, 2020 was 1.13 million barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

 
Jan 06 - France to cull 600,000 poultry to stem bird flu
France is to cull around 600,000 poultry birds as it tries to contain an avian influenza virus that is spreading among duck flocks in the southwest of the country, the farm ministry said on Tuesday. France is among European countries to have reported highly contagious strains of bird flu late last year, leading to mass culls as authorities try to limit transmission from wild birds to farm flocks.

Jan 05 - Vietnam buys Indian rice for first time in decades - industry officials 
Vietnam, the world's third biggest exporter of rice, has started buying the grain from rival India for the first time in decades after local prices jumped to their highest in nine years amid limited domestic supplies, four industry officials told Reuters. The purchases highlight tightening supplies in Asia, which could lift rice prices in 2021 and even force traditional buyers of rice from Thailand and Vietnam to switch to India - the world's biggest exporter of the grain.

Jan 05 - China suspends imports from Brazil pork plant over coronavirus concerns
China has suspended imports from a Brazilian pork plant operated by privately owned Aurora Alimentos over coronavirus concerns, according to a statement from a meat trade group on Monday. The Brazilian agriculture ministry confirmed that on Dec. 28 Chinese customs authorities enacted an import ban affecting Aurora's plant, according to a separate statement sent to Reuters.

Jan 05 - Thai rice exports to stay low in 2021 on global shipping container crunch
Thailand's rice exports are headed for another gloomy year after sinking to the lowest volume in two decades in 2020, exporters said, as a global shortage of shipping containers reduce the prospects of increasing shipments. The cargo crunch is the latest woe facing the world's second-largest rice exporter. According to data from the Commerce Ministry on Dec. 2, rice exports were 5.1 million tonnes through November 2020, down 28% from the same period a year earlier, on track for the lowest year since 2000.

 
Jan 05 - Argentine corn export suspension not expected to lower local food prices - meat chamber
Argentina's recently announced suspension of corn exports will not have its intended effect, which was to lower the cost of local staples like steak, the country's CICCRA meat industry chamber said on Monday. The cattle and poultry industry in Argentina uses corn to fatten chickens and cows.

 
Jan 05 - Brazil slowly starts reaping soy in top producer Mato Grosso
The Brazilian soybean harvest started timidly in some areas of top producer Mato Grosso state, especially on farms where growers risked planting it earlier to cultivate cotton afterwards, inside a favorable climate window. According to local farmers, harvesting work is behind last year's pace due to scarce rainfall earlier in the season.

 
Jan 05 - Funds pile in to CBOT corn, pushing bullishness to eight-year high - Braun
Chicago-traded corn futures have recently been on an unprecedented run partially due to supply concerns in South America, and speculators and other traders have further inflated their already very bullish bets in the process. The most-active CBOT corn contract surged 14% in the second half of December, something not seen in more than three decades. Corn neared $5 per bushel on Monday before ending a tick lower as investors took profits.

 
Jan 05 - Malaysia end-Dec palm oil stocks seen hitting over 13-year low as output falls
Malaysia's palm oil inventories likely tumbled in December to their lowest in more than 13 years, as production of the edible oil fell for a third consecutive month while exports jumped, a Reuters survey showed. Stockpiles in the world's second-largest producer were forecast to have declined 22% from the month before to 1.22 million tonnes, the smallest since June 2007, according to a median estimate of eight planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters.

 
Jan 05 - Ukraine wheat export prices hit six-year high - APK-Inform
Ukrainian milling wheat export asking prices hit a six-year high at $268 a tonne FOB Black Sea amid high demand from exporters and a significant rise in prices of Russian grain, analyst APK-Inform said on Monday. The country's wheat traded at $265 a tonne FOB in January 2016, it said in a statement.

 
Jan 05 - Indian govt, farmers fail to break impasse on farm laws
The Indian government on Monday refused to roll back farm reform laws, prompting farmers to threaten to step up their weeks-long protests, but the two sides agreed to meet again on Friday. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on roads around the capital, New Delhi, for 40 days, insisting that the government withdraw the reforms and guarantee a minimum support price for their produce.

 
Jan 05 - Indonesia's Jan-Nov 2020 biodiesel output at 7.91 mln KL - producers 
Indonesia, the world's top palm oil producer, recorded output of 7.91 million kilolitres (KL) of palm oil-based biodiesel from January to November 2020, data from the Indonesian Biodiesel Producers Association (APROBI) showed on Tuesday. In the same period, the Southeast Asian nation consumed 7.71 million KL and exported 16,331 KL, the data showed.
 
 

Jan 05 - US renewable fuel credits climb to 3-yr high as EPA misses deadline
U.S. renewable fuel credits rose on Monday to a three-year high, traders said, after the Trump administration failed for the second time to meet a deadline to propose rules on the amount of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel mix this year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been aiming for Dec. 31 to propose a rule on so-called Renewable Volume Obligations for 2021, according to its agenda on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' website. The EPA previously missed a Nov. 30 deadline, after the coronavirus pandemic complicated the rulemaking process.

 Jan 04 - U.S. blocks palm oil imports from Malaysia's Sime Darby over forced labour allegations
The United States has banned imports of palm oil from Malaysian producer Sime Darby Plantation from Wednesday over allegations of forced labour during production, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said. The ban on Sime Darby, the world's largest palm oil company by land size and seen as a leader in sustainably produced palm oil, is another blow to an industry that has faced mounting allegations of labour and human rights abuses.

Jan 04 - Tractors to Twitter: India's protesting farmers battle on highway, online
In a standoff between farmers from India's northern breadbasket and the government that has convulsed the country, the farmers have a 21st-century ally: a handful of supporters scattered around the world running a Twitter handle. The farmers have paralysed some traffic in and out of New Delhi, protesting recent agriculture laws that they fear could eventually eliminate government-guaranteed minimum prices for their crops.

Jan 04 - Volatile markets end 2020 strong with vaccines, stimulus in sight
Global commodity markets ended 2020 on a strong note, with recovering demand and widespread stimulus packages buoying prices after a roller coaster ride caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. Rollouts of vaccines to combat the virus and trillions of dollars' in fiscal support are expected to boost investment and spending in 2021, spurring demand for raw materials from oil to copper.

 
Jan 04 - Mexico farm lobby blasts ban on GMO corn; organic growers welcome it
Mexico's main agricultural lobby on Saturday criticized the government's decision to ban genetically modified corn, while organic growers hailed the move that should protect smaller farmers. Mexico will "revoke and refrain from granting permits for the release of genetically modified corn seeds into the environment," stated a decree issued Thursday evening, which also mandated the phase out of GMO corn imports by 2024.

 
Jan 04 - Chinese soymeal hits record high on strong demand, soybean prices
Chinese soymeal futures hit their highest levels on record on the last day of 2020, buoyed by strong international soybean prices and investor bets on robust demand from the livestock sector. The most actively traded soymeal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange for May delivery rose 4.2% to 3,423 yuan ($523.96) a tonne on Thursday. 

 
Jan 04 - Argentina suspends corn exports to ensure domestic food supplies
Argentina will suspend sales of corn for export until Feb. 28, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday, announcing the surprise move as part of the government's effort to ensure ample domestic food supplies. The move by the world's No. 3 corn supplier was a sign of tightening global food supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
Jan 04 - Argentina grain inspectors continue strike over weekend - union
Argentina's grain inspectors' union, Urgara, said on Thursday that its members will continue to strike over the weekend after failing to strike a wage deal despite two meetings with the Chamber of Private and Commercial Ports (CPPC). The strike comes after Argentina's soy crushing companies signed a contract with oilseed workers' unions on Tuesday night, ending a stoppage that delayed the loading of ships and stalled soy crushing since workers walked off the job on Dec. 9.

 
Jan 04 - Iran forecasts 13 mln tonnes of wheat output next Iranian year - report
Iran has forecast production of 13 million tonnes of wheat during the next Iranian year beginning on March 20, the Young Journalist Club, which is close to state television, reported on Friday. “Due to the increase in production efficiency, production is expected to reach over 13 million tons,” Ataollah Hashemi, the head of the National Wheat Farmers Foundation, was quoted as saying by the agency.

 
Jan 04 - Despite pandemic, cotton futures post biggest yearly rise since 2010
ICE cotton futures settled higher in holiday-thinned trade on Thursday, marking their biggest yearly rise since 2010 as a weaker dollar boosted demand for the natural fiber and as economies gradually opened after restrictions to fight the pandemic. Prices for the front-month contract have recovered more than 60% since falling as low as 48.35 cents per lb in April.

 
Jan 04 - China instructs oil firms to restore supply of ethanol-gasoline
China's energy watchdog on Thursday said oil and gas companies should restore supply of ethanol-blended gasoline as soon as possible, after learning some had stopped selling the fuel in parts of the country. The National Energy Administration (NEA) said it had dispatched investigators and issued rectification orders after hearing in October of the ethanol issue in cities in Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong and Hubei provinces.

 
Jan 04 - Peruvian president 'deplores' two deaths in farm workers protest, vows to sanction police
Peru's President Francisco Sagasti has vowed tough action against police after two people, including a teenager, were killed during protests by farm workers over a new controversial agrarian law. The two victims died on Wednesday after officers reportedly used live firearms against a protest blocking the main coastal road through La Libertad, a farming community 600 kilometres (370 miles) north of the capital Lima.

Jan 02 - Corn and soybeans edge higher and wheat closes slightly down, ending the year amid expectations of stronger demand as Covid-19 vaccination advances and fiscal stimulus is injected in the economy. China's demand for soybeans remains strong while dry weather threatens South American production. Wheat gives back some recent gains, which were fueled by speculation. Corn gains 2% to $4.84 a bushel, while soybeans rise 0.8% to $13.11 and wheat is unchanged at $6.40 1/2.

Jan 02 - Corn prices end the year on a high note, up 2% to $4.84 a bushel,
25% higher than a year ago. The strong buying comes in the wake of news that Argentina's government will halt export registrations, which will push more business to the US, Summit Commodity Brokerage says. The firm adds that South American stocks are expected to be historically tight "as we move into harvest and Brazil's interior corn market continues to add premium as supplies tighten."

Dec 31 - The US dollar continues to fall, weakening broadly against major currencies, including 0.4% against the euro, 0.3% against the yen. The ICE US Dollar Index declines 0.4%, its fourth loss in five sessions. US stocks inched higher today with the Dow settling at a fresh high.

Dec 31 - Palm oil prices ended the last trading day of 2020 higher, as the commodity extended its rally for a third straight day. The latest gains pushed the edible oil to its highest closing since 2014. While some analysts have warned of expensive levels, concerns over potential supply shortages and strong demand during the holiday season continued to support the commodity. The benchmark contract for March delivery added MYR14.00 to MYR3,602 a ton on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.

Dec 31 - Livestock futures trading on CME finish mixed, with most active live-cattle futures slipping 0.1% to $1.1445 a pound and lean-hog futures rising 0.6% to 67.6c. For hogs, demand continues to be the primary driver for rising prices. "If US exports can remain strong, demand will remain strong enough to clear the market at current price levels," RJO Futures says. "However, if export demand begins to slip, it will be more and more difficult to clear pork supply on the domestic market."

Dec 31 - Soymeal export sales are expected to be strong again this week, according to grains traders surveyed by WSJ. Sales of soymeal exports totaled 223,700 metric tons last week, and traders forecast that sales could be as high as 350,000 tons. Meanwhile, soybean export sales are forecast to be anywhere from 200,000 tons to 700,000 tons--and so could potentially be lower than soymeal sales, an unusual occurrence. Soymeal futures, much like soybeans, are trading at a 6-year high on the CBOT Wednesday, with most-active futures up 0.5% to $426.50 per ton Wednesday.

Dec 31 - Wheat futures trading on the CBOT are up to their highest level since December 2014, following the movement of corn and soybeans this week amid light volumes traded on the exchange. The movement higher appears to be a reaction to corn and soybean charting six-year highs this week. "While corn and beans are off gallivanting in new and exciting places, this market has been left behind," Dan Hueber of the Hueber Report says. Corn futures are up 0.5% and soybeans are virtually unchanged.

Dec 31 - US ethanol production fell more than was expected this week, according to data from the EIA. The EIA pegs US ethanol production at 934,000 barrels a day, which is down 42,000 barrels from the previous week. Meanwhile, ethanol inventories rose 335,000 barrels to a total of 23.5M barrels, the highest they've been since mid-May. This week's data is seen as bearish for corn futures, Terry Reilly of Futures International says. "Production was down more than 4 times trade expectations," Reilly says. 

Dec 30 - Argentina's soy crushing companies signed a contract with the country's oilseed workers unions late on Tuesday, ending a 20-day strike over wages that had paralyzed exports from the world's top supplier of soymeal livestock feed. The deal, following a more than 10-hour negotiation session, includes a two-part 25% increase in salaries from January to August. Increases for the rest of the year are to be determined by the inflation rate, Argentina's CIARA soy crushing chamber said in a statement.

Dec 30 - Even with Christmas 2020 in the books, ham cutouts stopped their decline--rising 92 cents per hundredweight to $57.12 per cwt Tuesday. Pork bellies are up as well, rising $11.66 per cwt to $105.06 per cwt. "Normally ham values fall off sharply right after Christmas, in part because processors are working reduced hours and demand falls off a cliff," says Steiner Consulting Group. However, cutouts may stay elevated for longer, the firm says--with Easter scheduled early in 2021, and accelerating the appetite for pork supply. Lean hogs closed 1.1% higher at 67.2 cents per pound, while live cattle closed down 1% to $1.14575 per pound.

Dec 30 - Corn futures are climbing Tuesday, and trading at their highest levels since 2014--with the most-active contract up over $4.67 per bushel. "Spot corn is challenging its highest levels in 6 1/2 years this morning as the old standby contract for the grains," says Arlan Suderman of StoneX. "Soybeans have the better fundamental story going into the January USDA reports in two weeks, but the end-of-year buying frenzy overrides regardless." Meanwhile, ethanol prices are down, amid speculation that usage in the US will continue to drop as Americans stay off of the road due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dec 30 - Live-cattle and lean-hog futures trading on CME are mixed, with live cattle down 0.1% and lean hogs up 1.8%. For lean hogs, today's trading so far erases yesterday's move lower. Meanwhile, cattle futures continue to gain momentum heading into 2021, amid expectations the proliferation of vaccines for Covid-19 will help rebound food-service demand next year. AgResource places its price target at $1.19 to $1.20 a pound, up 5 cents from its current level.

Dec 24 - China sees over 35 bln kg of annual "pre-consumption" grain loss - Xinhua
China, the world's top grain consumer, loses more than 35 billion kg of grain each year in the storage, transportation and processing stages, state-owned Xinhua News said late on Wednesday, citing a government report. The heavy pre-consumption loss is due to several factors, including outdated storage facilities, logistics equipment and processing techniques, according to the report, which was based on research by the National People's Congress (NPC). The Xinhua report did not give provide dates for the data.

Dec 24 - China November pork imports up nearly 40% on year
China imported 330,000 tonnes of pork in November, up 39.4% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as the world's biggest meat consumer stocks up after a steep drop in its own pork output. China's pork output plunged after fatal pig disease African swine fever devastated its huge hog herd during 2018 and 2019.

Dec 24 - Argentina port workers say they will spend Christmas on strike despite new pay offer
Argentine oilseed workers and grains inspectors said on Wednesday they will spend Christmas on strike, further bogging down agricultural exports by extending a work stoppage that started on Dec. 9. The latest offer from the CIARA-CEC chamber of soyoil manufacturers and exporters was issued late on Tuesday. It was rejected by the SOEA union of oilseed workers and the Argentine federation of oilseed workers.

Dec 24 - Russia to boost durum wheat output after Putin's criticism of pasta prices
Russia will more than double its output of durum wheat, used in the production of pasta and couscous, to 1.8 million tonnes by 2025, its agriculture ministry said, following President Vladimir Putin's criticism of rising pasta prices. Putin criticised a rise in food prices earlier in December as the COVID-19 crisis squeezes Russians' incomes. Officials responded with a list of measures to stabilise food price inflation, including a grain export quota and a wheat export tax. 

Dec 24 - Ukraine grain exports down 16% so far in 2020/21 season
Ukraine's grain exports have fallen 16% to 24.76 million tonnes so far this season, which runs from July 2020 to June 2021, economy ministry data showed on Wednesday. Traders have sold 8.34 million tonnes of corn, 3.75 million tonnes of barley and 12.29 million tonnes of wheat, the data showed.

 
Dec 24 - Private equity firm IG4 concludes acquisition of grain terminal in Brazil
Private equity fund IG4 on Wednesday concluded the acquisition of Brazilian logistics company CLI, which operates one of the country's largest grain terminals in the northern port of Itaqui as part of a consortium. The deal is valued at roughly $240 million, including the acquisition of debt from CLI's controlling shareholder, CGG Trading, which was converted into equity, and some debt restructuring. 

Dec 23 - Brazil 2020/2021 soybean crop forecast slashed by 2 mln tonnes - Aprosoja
Aprosoja, an association representing Brazilian grain growers, has cut its forecast for the country's 2020/2021 soybean crop, citing an expectation of falling yields due to dryness in key producing states. In a new estimate disclosed on Tuesday, Aprosoja said it now expects farmers in the world's largest soy producing nation to harvest 127 million tonnes of the oilseeds, down from 129 million tonnes in its previous forecast.

Dec 23 - China's bid to establish global benchmark for palm oil futures seen an uphill battle
China, the world's No. 2 palm oil importer, opened its palm oil futures contract to overseas investors on Tuesday, but trading risks and Malaysia's more influential status as a producer mean it will struggle to become a global benchmark. Five Malaysia and Singapore-based traders told Reuters they had no immediate plans to trade the Dalian Commodity Exchange's yuan-denominated palm oil due to volatility and currency exposure risks, and will stick to the benchmark Bursa Malaysia Derivatives (BMD) contract.

Dec 23 - Argentine soymeal exports stalled as wage strike reaches 13th day
Wage talks between Argentine port workers and soymeal manufacturers were stalled on Tuesday, with a labor strike going into its 13th day, bogging down agricultural exports from one of the world's main bread baskets. Argentina is the top international supplier of soymeal, a livestock feed used to fatten hogs and poultry from Europe to Southeast Asia. 

 
Dec 23 - India's ruling party says 'no question' of repealing India farm laws
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party said on Tuesday there was no question of the government repealing agriculture laws fiercely opposed by farmers who are worried deregulation will reduce their incomes. Tens of thousands of protesters have camped out on the outskirts of New Delhi and blocked national highways for over three weeks to protest against India's biggest farm reforms in decades.

 
Dec 23 - Indonesia to allocate 9.2 mln kilolitres of biodiesel next year – ministry
Indonesia is back on track to allocate 9.2 million kilolitres of unblended biodiesel to companies next year as originally planned, the energy ministry said on Tuesday. The announcement comes a week after an official from the National Energy Council said the country may have to lower its biodiesel - palm oil biofuel - allocation next year to 8.5 million kilolitres due to an uncertain fuel consumption outlook due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 
Dec 23 - Cargill to reopen Canadian beef plant after coronavirus outbreak
Cargill Inc plans to begin reopening its Guelph, Ontario beef processing plant next week on Tuesday, days after it closed the facility due to an outbreak of COVID-19 infections among workers, the company said. Last week, Cargill voluntarily agreed to the temporarily closure as 82 workers tested positive for the virus and as a precaution, 129 other people were self-isolating. 

 
Dec 23 - Ukraine plans no changes in grain export rules - deputy minister
Ukraine's government does not plan any change in its grain export rules, deputy economy minister Tartas Vysotskiy said on Tuesday. "(We are) moving in normal mode, no changes have been discussed recently," Vysotskiy told Reuters.

 
Dec 23 - UK wheat crop estimate cut; now down more than 40%
The United Kingdom's wheat harvest this year is expected to be down 40.5% at 9.66 million tonnes, Britain's farming and environment ministry said on Tuesday in its final crop estimates. The estimate was slightly below the 10.13 million tonnes forecast in its preliminary report on Oct. 5. A sharp drop in wheat production had been expected after a wet autumn in 2019 forced many farmers to switch to spring-planted crops, such as barley, while yields had been expected to be below normal after a dry spring.

Dec 22 - More than 100 grains cargo ships delayed by Argentine port workers strike
More than 100 cargo ships were kept from loading agricultural goods in Argentina on Monday, as a wage strike by grains inspectors and oilseed workers stretched into its second week, paralyzing exports from one of the world's breadbaskets. Argentina is the No. 1 international exporter of soymeal livestock feed used to fatten hogs and poultry from Europe to Southeast Asia. 

 
Dec 22 - Russian soybean export tax to hit farmers near border with China - analysts
Russia's decision to impose an export tax on soybeans will hit farmers in its far eastern regions, who usually grow them to supply to neighbouring China, analysts and producers said on Monday. Russia decided to impose the export tax on soybeans to secure domestic supply amid rising global prices, its economy ministry said on Saturday.

 
Dec 22 - China to import record 100 mln T of soybeans in 2020 - COFCO exec
China is expected to import more than 100 million tonnes of soybeans in 2020, a record high, said an executive with leading state-owned grains trader COFCO on Tuesday, as rebuilding of the country's huge hog herd boosts demand for the protein. The country is expected to crush 92.6 million tonnes of the beans this year, Zhou Jishuai, deputy general manager of the hedging and trading department of COFCO Oils and Oilseeds, a unit of COFCO Group, told a conference in Guangzhou.

 
Dec 22 - Global 2021 palm oil output in 2021 seen jumping near 6% y/y - Malaysia council
Global palm oil output is expected to rise nearly 6% next year from the estimated output in 2020 as yields are increasing, an official with the Malaysian Palm Oil Council said on Tuesday. But there would be little growth in planted area expected for top producers Malaysia and Indonesia, Huang Huohui, chief representative at the council's Shanghai office, told a conference. 

 
Dec 22 - WTO confirms launch of Australia-China trade dispute over barley
Australia has requested dispute consultations with China concerning duties imposed by China on Australian barley imports, the World Trade Organization confirmed on its website on Monday. Australia said last week it had launched a formal appeal over China's action, starting a formal 60-day period for discussions between the two countries before an adjudicating panel is formed. 

 
Dec 22 - Ahead of Taiwan protests, U.S. says pork 'needlessly politicised'
A heated debate in Taiwan about U.S. pork imports has been "needlessly politicised" as all U.S. food exports are safe, Washington's de-facto embassy in Taipei said on Monday, ahead of two days of planned protests later in the week. President Tsai Ing-wen's decision in August to allow imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing additive banned in the European Union and China, has roiled Taiwan politics. 

 
Dec 22 - Indian government ready for talks with protesting farmers - minister
The Indian government is ready to hold further talks with farmers protesting for the repeal of agricultural reform laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been urging the farmers to engage in talks to end the deadlock over the three reform laws introduced in September but the farmers will not relent on their demands, saying the laws would hit them economically while benefiting big retailers.

 
Dec 22 - Ukraine wheat, corn export prices rise amid high demand
Ukrainian wheat export prices added $4 per tonne over the past week thanks to a strong demand from exporters, analyst APK-Inform said on Monday. Ukrainian 12.5% protein wheat traded at $255-$259 per tonne FOB Black Sea at the end of past week, the consultancy said in a report. For the lower-quality 11.5% protein wheat, prices were between $254 and $258 a tonne.

 
Dec 22 - Peruvian farm workers resume road blockades after reform bill founders
Workers from agricultural export companies in Peru renewed protests on Monday after Congress failed to reach an agreement to reform the sector and address their complaints over poor pay. Footage from local television showed hundreds of agricultural workers blocking the Panamerican highway that runs along the coast in the southern Ica region and the northern La Libertad region.

 
Dec 21 - Thailand to test thousands after shrimp market COVID outbreak
Thailand on Sunday began testing tens of thousands of people for coronavirus and extended curbs on movement, a day after locking down a province following the country's worst outbreak yet. The outbreak began at a shrimp market in Samut Sakhon, a province southwest of Bangkok and a centre of the seafood industry that is home to thousands of migrant workers. 

Dec 21 - Funds shunned CBOT corn last week but were light buyers of soy - Braun
Chicago-traded grain and oilseed futures continued rising last week, and while speculators were buyers of soybeans, soy products and wheat during the period, they trimmed bullishness in corn for the third consecutive week. CBOT corn futures rose more than 1% in the week ended Dec. 15, but money managers reduced their net long position to 250,260 futures and options contracts from 269,583 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Dec 21 - Russia to impose export duties on soybeans, scrap metal
Russia will impose tariffs on the export of soybeans and scrap metal to ensure domestic firms have sufficient raw materials, the Economy Ministry said on Saturday. The ministry said the 5% temporary export duty on ferrous metal waste and scrap, as well as a minimum price of 45 euros per tonne, was designed to counter the threat of shortages.

 
Dec 21 - Europe's cereal, rapeseed crops seen in good shape ahead of winter
Cereal and rapeseed crops in western Europe have seen good early growth after favourable autumn weather that contrasted with torrential rain a year ago, analysts and traders said. The benign weather has reinforced expectations for a sharp rebound in wheat production next year, although another difficult rapeseed sowing campaign in France and Britain could limit a recovery for the oilseed.

 
Dec 21 - Modi offers talks to end India protests against farm reforms
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday defended India's biggest farm reforms in decades but offered to "very humbly" hold further talks with farmers protesting against the laws they fear would erode their incomes. Tens of thousands of farmers have blocked roads leading into New Delhi for the past three weeks demanding a repeal of laws that give them the option to sell directly to private companies.

 
Dec 21 - Brazil aims to boost beef exports 6% in 2021, eyeing new markets
Brazil's beef producers aim to boost export volumes by 6% next year as they negotiate access to new markets in Asia and North America, industry group Abiec said on Friday. Abiec estimated that Brazil, the world's biggest beef supplier, could export 2.141 million tonnes next year, worth $8.789 billion, up from a record 2.020 million tonnes this year, worth $8.533 billion.

 
Dec 21 - NZ's Synlait expects 2021 profit to halve after a2 Milk cuts sales outlook
Dairy producer Synlait Milk said on Monday its full-year profit would halve as a result of key customer and shareholder a2 Milk trimming its guidance after the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand in China. Synlait now expects net profit after tax for fiscal 2021 to be about half of last year's result, and total consumer-packaged infant formula volumes to be about 35% lower.

Dec 18 - Grain traders complain of delays in getting Russian customs papers
Grain traders said on Thursday they are experiencing delays in obtaining export documents from Russia's customs service, leading to the late departure of several ships. Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is attempting to stabilise food prices with a grain export quota and a wheat export tax of 25 euros ($30.6) per tonne within that quota from mid-February to the end of June. 

Dec 18 - Cargill to close Canadian beef plant after coronavirus outbreak
Cargill Inc will begin to temporarily close its Guelph, Ontario beef processing plant on Thursday because of an outbreak of COVID-19 infections among workers, the company and a public health organization said. Cargill voluntarily agreed to the closure as 82 workers tested positive for the virus, the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health agency said. As a precaution, 129 other people were self-isolating.

Dec 18 - Little scope for EU to take wheat export business from Russia - Strategie Grains
Tight wheat supplies in the European Union will limit its scope to win more export business this season after Russia's decision to impose an wheat export tax, consultancy Strategie Grains said on Thursday. Moscow will apply a 25 euros ($30.57) per tonne tax on wheat exports from Feb. 15 until the end of the marketing season on June 30 as part of efforts to stabilise domestic food prices.

Dec 18 - Philippines lifts ban on importing Brazilian chicken, meat lobby says
The Philippines has lifted an embargo on importing Brazilian chicken products, the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) said on Thursday, ending a ban introduced in August over alleged detection of COVID-19 on food packaging. ABPA said in a statement that the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines had issued a memorandum this week to once again allow the import of chicken from Brazil, the world's largest chicken exporter. 

 
Dec 18 - EU raises 2020/21 maize crop estimate, cuts import forecast
The European Commission on Thursday raised its estimate of 2020/21 usable maize production in the European Union's 27 countries to 62.5 million tonnes from 60.2 million seen in late November. In supply and demand projections released on its website, the Commission lowered its forecast for 2020/21 EU maize imports to 19 million tonnes from 21 million projected last month.

 Dec 18 - Argentine soy planting slowed by dryness, reaches 67.8% of projected area – exchange
Argentine soy planting has been slowed by dryness, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly crop report on Thursday, reaching 67.8% of the 17.2 million hectares expected to be sown with the oilseed in the 2020/21 season. This year's planting tempo lags last year's by 2.5 percentage points, the exchange said in a statement.

 Dec 17 - U.S. decries 'disinformation' amid Taiwan pork import dispute
The de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan on Thursday decried "disinformation" from politicians about food safety, amid a contentious decision by the island's government to allow imports of U.S. pork treated with a leanness-enhancing additive. President Tsai Ing-wen's decision in August to allow imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine, which is banned in the European Union and China, has roiled Taiwan politics.

Dec 17 - Brazil keen to increase corn exports to China, but in no rush-industry association
Brazil and China are in talks to boost corn trade between the two nations, though raising exports to the Asian nation at this time is unfeasible due to inter-harvest supply shortages, Abramilho, a corn producers association, said on Wednesday. Only a fraction of Brazil's corn sales went to China last year, or 68,550 tonnes, according to Brazilian government data. Total exports were 42.7 million tonnes in the period. By comparison, China bought almost 80% of Brazil's soy, or 58 million tonnes last year.

Dec 17 - Will China boost corn output or become a permanent importer? - Braun
China in recent years has been notoriously absent from global corn trade, particularly when compared with its consumption rates, in its efforts to bolster food security and maintain self-sufficiency. However, Chinese corn prices surged this year as stockpiles dwindled, forcing the country to scoop up large quantities of foreign corn, especially from the United States. 

 
Dec 17 - Argentine oilseed workers, grains inspectors extend wage strike
Argentine grains inspectors and oilseed workers extended a wage strike into Wednesday after days of failed contract negotiations with the companies that make up the country's key soymeal export sector. The Urgara union of grains inspectors and the federation of oilseed workers went on strike last week to demand salary increases sufficient to keep up with the country's high inflation rate. 

 
Dec 17 - Indian farm widows join protests against agriculture reforms
Hundreds of Indian women, including many widows of farmers who were believed to have killed themselves over debt, joined a protest on Wednesday against government reforms that farmers say threaten their livelihoods. Farmers have been protesting for nearly a month over the reforms, enacted in September, to deregulate the agriculture sector, allowing farmers to sell to buyers beyond government-regulated wholesale markets.

 
Dec 17 - Indonesia spent more on biodiesel subsidies than funds collected in 2020
Indonesia spent more on biodiesel subsidies than funds it collected through export levies this year, Eddy Abdurrachman, president director of the country's Estate Crop Fund (BPDP) said on Thursday. BPDP, the government body in charge of subsidising Indonesia's palm oil programmes, estimated 17-18 trillion rupiah had been raised from levies this year, while 25.7 trillion rupiah ($1.82 billion) had been spent subsidising the price difference between crude oil and palm oil, he said. 

 
Dec 17 - No rush in Russian exports seen ahead of wheat tax
Grain exporters look unlikely to accelerate shipments of Russian wheat before an export tax is implemented in mid-February, with farmers expected to be in no rush to release supplies, particularly given poor prospects for next year's harvest. The planned levy has triggered volatility in international prices as the market has tried to figure out whether this could curb exports, or boost them, from leading supplier Russia. 

 
Dec 17 - Jordan tenders to buy 120,000 tonnes feed barley – traders
Jordan's state grains buyer has issued an international tender to purchase 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley, European traders said on Thursday. The tender deadline is Dec. 22. 

 
Dec 17 - Tyson fires seven managers after probe into COVID-19 wagering at pork plant
Tyson Foods Inc said on Wednesday it had fired seven managers at an Iowa pork plant after investigating allegations that they took bets on how many employees would catch COVID-19. The independent investigation, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, came in response to a lawsuit filed by the son of a worker at a Tyson facility in Waterloo, Iowa, who died in April of complications from the virus. 

 
Dec 17 - Ukraine to restore agriculture ministry in early 2021, says PM
Ukraine, a leading producer and exporter of agricultural goods, will re-establish its agriculture ministry as a standalone entity, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Wednesday. The country's agriculture ministry was combined with the economy ministry in 2019, drawing widespread criticism from producers and traders.

Dec 16 - Australia ups ante in China trade row with appeal to WTO over Beijing barley tariffs
Australia will launch a formal appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) later on Wednesday seeking a review of China's decision to impose hefty tariffs on imports of Australian barley, Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham said. Acknowledging the appeal may take years to be resolved, Birmingham told reporters that Australia had little choice after Beijing in May imposed five years of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5% on Canberra's barley - effectively stopping a billion-dollar trade in its tracks. 

Dec 16 - In Taiwan pig country, U.S. pork decision rankles, divides families
In southern Taiwan's pig-producing heartland, the government's contentious decision to ease restrictions on imports of U.S. pork is rankling some producers and dividing families. President Tsai Ing-wen's decision in August to allow imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine, an additive that enhances leanness but is banned in the European Union and China, has roiled Taiwan politics.  

Dec 16 - Argentine oilseed workers continue strike after in wage talks fail
Argentine oilseed workers continued their wage strike on Tuesday after the failure of recent contract negotiations, two unions representing soymeal factory workers and the CIARA chamber of manufacturers said. The country's key agro-export sector has been bogged down by work stoppages by employees of companies that manufacture soy-based livestock feed used to fatten hogs, poultry and cattle from Europe to Southeast Asia. 

 
Dec 16 - Bird flu spreads to a quarter of Japan prefectures
Japan's worst bird flu outbreak on record spread to new farms this week and has been found in around a quarter of the country's 47 prefectures, with officials ordering more cullings. About 32,000 birds will be slaughtered and buried in Sukumo city in Kochi prefecture in southwestern Japan after avian influenza was discovered at an egg farm, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. 

 
Dec 16 - Russia imposes wheat export tax, other steps to stabilise food prices
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed on Tuesday a list of orders aimed at stabilising food prices, including a grain export quota and a wheat export tax, the government said. The new measures, announced by officials on Monday, aim to combat rising domestic food prices after President Vladimir Putin criticised the impact of excessive inflation. 

 
Dec 16 - NOPA November soy crush at 181.018 million bushels, third largest ever
U.S. soybean processors notched their third largest monthly crush on record in November, while soymeal exports surged to the highest for any month in nearly eight years, according to data released by the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) on Tuesday. NOPA said its members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 181.018 million bushels of soybeans last month, down from a record 185.245 million bushels in October but up from 164.909 million bushels in November 2019.

 
Dec 16 - Goal of no deforestation next year in Brazil savanna unfeasible - soy association
Setting 2020 as a cut-off date to ban new deforestation and land conversion for soybean areas in Brazil's Cerrado savanna is not feasible, André Nassar, head of the country's oilseeds crushers' group, Abiove, said on Tuesday. He was responding to a letter from a group of international companies, which urged major commodities traders to stop supplying soy linked to deforestation from the Cerrado, a vast savanna region and vital carbon storehouse. 

 
Dec 15 - World's top soybean producer, Brazil seen relying on imports in new year
Brazil, the world's largest soybean producer, will likely import larger-than-usual volumes of the oilseeds next year to cater to domestic demand, oilseeds crushers' association Abiove told a news conference on Monday. At the same time, internal demand is heated, Brazil will continue supplying its most prized export commodity to global clients, leaving little to crush internally, Abiove said.

Dec 15 - China's pig herd nears normal levels, but hog prices still rising
China's pig and sow herds, ravaged by African swine fever over the past two years, recovered to more than 90% of normal levels by the end of November, the official news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday. Production capacity should fully recover by the first half of next year, said Xinhua, citing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Dec 15 - 2014 could offer possible scenario for 2021 soybean price trends - Braun
Chicago soybean futures have rallied more than 30% since the start of August and are set to finish the year on the strongest note since 2013, though U.S. farmers in the spring could initiate a price reset similar to 2014 with a boost in plantings. Most-active futures are trading off their $12 per bushel top from late November, though prices are still holding at 4-1/2-year highs with U.S. soybean stockpiles expected to tumble substantially over the next nine months.

 
Dec 15 - U.S. EPA aims for December for 2021 biofuel volume proposal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now aiming for Dec. 31 as the point by which it will propose rules on the amount of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel mix next year, after missing a deadline last month to release the proposal. Under the adjusted timeline, the agency will aim to finalize the rule on the so-called Renewable Volume Obligations in June 2021, according to the agency's agenda on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' website.

 
Dec 15 - Calyxt to sell 2020 gene-edited soybean grains to ADM
Calyxt Inc said on Monday it had agreed to sell all the gene-edited soybean grains it produced in 2020 to agricultural merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co amid a supply shortage in the United States. Rising demand from domestic grain processors and lower global stockpiles due to a months-long dry spell in Argentina, has led to an expectation that U.S. soybean ending stocks for the 2020/21 marketing year would be at their lowest level in seven years. 

 
Dec 15 - Sudan says U.S. has committed to providing wheat over four years, financial aid
Sudan's acting finance minister said on Monday that the United States had committed to providing support for wheat and other commodities over four years as well as for debt relief, as it removes Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Sudan's presence on the list had cut it off from much-needed financial assistance and foreign investment in the midst of an economic crisis marked by shortages in wheat and fuel.

Dec 14 - Russia considers wheat export tax and quotas, no final decision - sources 
Russian officials are considering imposing a wheat export tax of for Feb. 15-June 30 as one measure to stabilise domestic prices, four sources familiar with discussions told Reuters on Friday. The sources familiar with government plans said the tax could be set at around 2,000 roubles ($27.3) per tonne. 

Dec 14 - Funds continue to trim CBOT longs, though the wheat bulls may be back - Braun 
Speculators’ optimistic views of Chicago-traded corn and soybeans remain at historically high levels despite continued light selling last week, and although the wheat bulls had recently gone dormant, they have likely burst back onto the scene over Russian supply concerns. In the week ended Dec. 8, money managers reduced their net long in CBOT soybean futures and options to 185,655 contracts from 194,683 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.)

Dec 14 - Ukraine wheat export prices flat, corn down - APK-Inform 
Ukrainian wheat export prices remained unchanged over the past week due to a slight decrease in demand from key importers, analyst APK-Inform said on Monday. Ukrainian 12.5% protein wheat traded at $252-$256 per tonne FOB Black Sea at the end of past week, the consultancy said in a report. For the lower-quality 11.5% protein wheat, prices were between $251 and $255 a tonne.

 
Dec 14 - Brazil govt confirms two meat suppliers' exports to China suspended 
China has temporarily suspended meat imports from two Brazilian companies, Brazil's agriculture ministry said late on Friday. Earlier on Friday, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo said China halted imports from privately-owned Naturafrig Alimentos Ltda and Plena Alimentos after detecting traces of the novel coronavirus in food packaging.

 
Dec 14 - Argentine grains inspectors and oilseed workers extend wage strike 
Argentine grains inspectors and oilseed workers said on Saturday they would extend their wage strike, even as the CIARA-CEC chamber of export companies urged unions to return to the negotiating table. The URGARA union, representing port-side grains inspectors, and the country's Federation of Oilseed Workers walked off the job last week in the latest work stoppage linked to sputtering contract negotiations.

 
Dec 14 - Indian farmers step up pressure with hunger strike against reforms 
Leaders of protesting Indian farmers began a one-day hunger strike on Monday against agricultural reforms they say threaten their livelihoods, stepping up pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to withdraw the legislation. Farmers have been demonstrating for nearly three weeks against deregulation of the agriculture sector that will allow them to sell produce to buyers beyond government-regulated wholesale markets, where growers are assured a minimum price.

 
Dec 14 - Biden's agriculture secretary pick disappoints Black farmers 
President-elect Joe Biden has promised to address racial inequality in agriculture. But some Black farmers aren't so sure he picked the right man for the job after settling on former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for agriculture secretary. Vilsack led the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under former President Barack Obama. His likely return to the post comes at a time of racial reckoning in the United States, and Black voters won't soon forget they helped deliver Biden's victory.

 
Dec 14 - S.Korea issues temporary nationwide standstill order to contain bird flu 
South Korea's agriculture ministry issued a temporary nationwide standstill order for poultry farms and related transport on Saturday in a bid to contain a wider spread of highly pathogenic bird flu. The movement control order has been put in place for 48 hours, effective from 1500 GMT Friday - midnight in South Korea - for all poultry farms and livestock production facilities, including their vehicles and personnel, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.