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

Jun 04 - U.S. soybeans sold to unknown buyers, analysts point to China
U.S. exporters booked deals to ship 186,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations, which analysts on Wednesday said was likely China, even though tensions are mounting between the two countries over trade, Hong Kong and the novel coronavirus pandemic. "Everybody is thinking that it is China," said Bevan Everett, a risk management consultant at INTL FCStone. "Those purchases match up with what they were sniffing around for yesterday."

Jun 04 - Brazil labor prosecutors seek closure of JBS plant due to COVID-19 
Brazilian labor prosecutors on Wednesday filed a petition with a local court demanding closure of a JBS SA pork plant in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, according to a copy of the legal request seen by Reuters. A decision is still pending, according to one of the three prosecutors who filed the suit to close another meat facility after JBS failed to stem outbreaks of the novel coronavirus on its production units.

Jun 04 - Kazakhstan opposes extension of Russia-led seed export ban 
Kazakhstan will oppose any extension of the agriculture export restrictions a Russia-led trade bloc has so far imposed until June 30, its agriculture minister Saparkhan Omarov told reporters on Wednesday. The Eurasian Economic Union, which comprises Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan as well as Kazakhstan and Russia, restricted exports of sunflower seeds, buckwheat, rice, rye and soybeans outside the union in April to protect its own supplies as the coronavirus outbreak disrupted food chains. 

Jun 04 - Cargill halts public reporting of quarterly results 
Privately held U.S. agribusiness Cargill Inc said on Wednesday it will no longer issue public releases on quarterly earnings, halting the disclosures that the company has provided since 1996. Cargill, the largest privately held company in the United States, said it will continue to publicly disclose annual revenue and the percent of operating cash flow that is reinvested back into the company.

Jun 04 - Will Brazil's soybean depletion become an opportunity for U.S. exporters? - Braun 
Brazil’s recent soybean exports have been astronomically high, but assuming there is a finite supply of the oilseed in the top exporter, that should give the United States a chance to notably increase shipments in the months ahead, something it desperately needs. Although it seems logical, there are a few kinks in that plan, such as the trade tensions between the United States and China and Brazil’s seemingly bottomless inventory.

Jun 04 - U.S. court blocks sales of Bayer's dicamba herbicide 
German agrochemicals group Bayer AG has been blocked from selling its dicamba herbicide in the United States after an appeals court rejected a federal regulator's permit for the product. The U.S. Appeals Court said on Wednesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) substantially understated the herbicide-related risks and entirely failed to look into other risks related to dicamba.

Jun 04 - Brazil meatpackers bought cattle linked to deforestation, says Greenpeace 
Brazilian meatpackers JBS SA, Marfrig and Minerva purchased thousands of cattle linked to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest since 2018, advocacy group Greenpeace Brasil alleged in a report published on Thursday. The report provides a window into so-called cattle laundering, in which steer raised on illegally deforested land are moved between farms to obscure their origins. 

Jun 04 - Ukraine 2020/21 grain export seen falling 3%, agri consultancy ProAgro says 
Ukraine's grain exports are likely to fall 3% to 55.2 million tonnes in the 2020/21 July-June season, from 56.9 million tonnes expected in the current season that ends this month, the ProAgro agriculture consultancy said on Thursday. In a report, the consultancy said a smaller grain harvest was the reason for the possible decrease.

Jun 04 - India to let farmers sell produce directly to traders, retailers 
India is to allow farmers to sell produce directly to bulk buyers such as trading companies, food processors and large retailers, the farm minister said on Wednesday. This would obviate the need for farmers to bring their produce to India's more than 7,000 regulated wholesale markets and let buyers buy from the fields, Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jun 04 - Pilgrim's Pride CEO indicted over alleged U.S. chicken price-fixing
The chief executive of Pilgrim's Pride Corp, a major U.S. poultry company, was indicted along with three other current and former industry executives on charges of seeking to fix the price of chickens, the Justice Department said on Wednesday. The charges are the first in a criminal probe of price-fixing and bid-rigging involving broiler birds, which account for most chicken meat sold in the United States.

Jun 03 - JBS sued over alleged violation of Brazil indigenous rights during pandemic
Meatpacker JBS SA is being sued for alleged violation of indigenous workers' rights after firing 40 members of the Kaingang tribe from a plant in southern Brazil, according to a court document. The suit filed on June 1 by the labor prosecutor's office alleged that JBS discriminated against these workers as the novel coronavirus pandemic escalated in the country.

Jun 03 - California court hears appeal of $289 mln verdict against Bayer in first Roundup cancer trial
A California appeals court on Tuesday heard arguments in the first case that went to trial over allegations that Bayer AG's glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, resulting in a $289 million judgment against the company. The August 2018 jury verdict in favor of groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, later reduced by a judge to $78 million, launched massive litigation over the weed killer that has led Bayer's stock price to tumble more than 30%.

Jun 03 - Analyst ups Ukraine 2020 grain harvest forecast to 74.43 mln T 
Ukrainian ProAgro agriculture consultancy on Tuesday revised up its forecast for the country's 2020 grain harvest to 74.43 million tonnes from the previous outlook of 72.52 million due to better weather. The consultancy also raised its estimates for Ukrainian wheat harvest to 26.65 million tonnes from 25.36 million, and for corn - to 37.58 million tonnes from 37.3 million tonnes a month earlier.

Jun 03 - India steps up efforts to curb locust infestation 
Battling its worst desert locust outbreak in decades, India is ordering new equipment to control the swarms before summer crop-sowing gathers pace in the middle of this month. India has brought the locusts under control at 399 locations in five states and has placed an order to buy 60 new insecticide spraying machines, two government sources said.

Jun 03 - Syria tenders again for 50,000 T soymeal, 50,000 T corn - trade 
A Syrian state purchasing agency has issued a new international tender to purchase 50,000 tonnes of soymeal and 50,000 tonnes of corn, European traders said on Wednesday. The tender from Syria's General Foreign Trade Organisation closes on June 24, they said.

Jun 03 - EU 2019/20 soybean imports at 13.8 mln T by May 31, rapeseed 5.6 mln T 
European Union soybean imports in the 2019/20 season that started last July had reached 13.83 million tonnes by May 31, official EU data showed on Tuesday. That was 0.2% below the volume cleared by May 26 last year, the data showed. 

  Jun 03 - Vietnam aims to export 7 million tonnes of rice this year - govt
Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, aims to ship 7 million tonnes of the grain this year, greater than last year's volume, the government said on Tuesday. The Southeast Asian country fully resumed rice exports in May after it briefly banned shipment of the grain in March and limited April shipments to 500,000 tonnes.

Jun 03 - Compromise on fisheries with EU a possibility, says UK industry chief 
Britain and the European Union might be able to reach a compromise on fisheries by settling on the bloc being handed access to UK waters in exchange for higher quotas for the United Kingdom, industry chiefs said on Tuesday. As the two sides launch a fourth round of virtual negotiations to try to secure a free trade deal and on their future relationship, fisheries looks set to dominate negotiations which run until Friday.

Jun 02 - China buys U.S. soybeans after halt to U.S. purchases ordered - sources 
State-owned Chinese firms bought at least three cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Monday, even as sources in China said the government had told them to halt purchases after Washington said it would eliminate special treatment for Hong Kong to punish Beijing. The purchases, totaling at least 180,000 tonnes of the oilseed, were for shipment in October or November, the peak U.S. soy export season when American soybeans are usually the cheapest in the world, three U.S. traders with knowledge of the deals said.

Jun 02 - In single Brazilian state, some 2,400 meat plant workers catch coronavirus, officials say 
More than a quarter of the confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul are among meat plant workers, the labor prosecutors' office said on Monday. The prosecutors said in a statement that an estimated 2,399 employees from 24 slaughterhouses in 18 municipalities of the state have been infected. That equates to 25.7% of the 9,332 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Rio Grande do Sul as of Sunday, according to health ministry statistics.

Jun 02 - Russian wheat prices stable as yields still unclear 
Russian export prices for the new wheat crop, which is due to be harvested this summer, were stable last week as the market assessed crop conditions and yield potential, analysts said on Monday.Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loaded from Black Sea ports and for delivery in July was at $202 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, unchanged from a week earlier, SovEcon consultancy said in a note.

Jun 02 - Ukraine sees 2020/21 wheat exports falling to 14.9 mln T 
Ukraine's 2020/21 wheat harvest is likely to fall around 18% to 23.2 million tonnes and exports by more than a quarter to 14.9 million tonnes, Ukrainian traders quoted preliminary data from the economy ministry as showing on Monday. Ukraine harvested 28.3 million tonnes of wheat in 2019, and exports could reach a record 20.5 million tonnes in 2019/20 season which ends on June 30.

Jun 02 - Crop Watch: Warmth desperately needed for slow-growing corn, soy - Braun 
The U.S. growing season began on a much better note than last year's extremely delayed start, but 2020 has presented its own unique set of circumstances that the Crop Watch farmers are navigating, with replanting and slow early growth common themes thus far. The first week of June should feature well above-average temperatures for most of the Corn Belt, and the Crop Watch producers see this significantly helping their lagging crops.

Jun 02 - Taiwan's MFIG tenders to buy up to 65,000 tonnes corn 
Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group has issued an international tender to buy up to 65,000 tonnes of corn which can be sourced from the United States, Brazil, Argentina or South Africa, European traders said on Tuesday. The tender closes on Wednesday, June 3, they said.

Jun 02 - India raises local purchase price for summer crops by 50% 
India has raised the price at which it could buy new-season summer crops, including rice by up to 50%, farm minister told a news conference after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government announces the so-called minimum support prices (MSPs) for various crops to set a benchmark. But state agencies buy limited quantities of staples such as rice and wheat at those prices, restricting the benefits of guaranteed prices to only around 7% of the country's 263 million farmers, according to various studies.

Jun 01 - China may buy less American farm products if U.S. issues severe HK response - sources 
China may reduce its imports of agricultural products from the United States if Washington issues a severe response to Beijing's push to impose national security laws on Hong Kong, three sources said. China has pressed ahead with national security legislation for Hong Kong, raising fears over the future of the financial hub.

Jun 01 - USDA April soybean crush seen at 182.5 million bushels 
U.S. soybean crushings likely totaled 5.477 million short tons in April, or 182.5 million bushels, according to the average forecast of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report. Estimates ranged from 182.0 million bushels to 184.1 million bushels, with a median of 182.4 million bushels.

Jun 01 - Indonesia sets export levy on crude palm oil at $55 per tonne
Indonesia will charge a blanket export levy of $55 per tonne on crude palm oil (CPO) shipments from June 1, a Finance Ministry regulation showed on Saturday, as the government seeks to raise funds for a domestic biodiesel programme. Indonesia, the world's largest palm oil supplier, also set new tariffs for other refined palm oil products, ranging from $25 to $45 per tonne.

Jun 01 - Funds' bearish corn bets swell further with low risk to U.S. supply - Braun 
Speculators continued to sell Chicago-traded corn last week, establishing their most bearish end-of-May position on record with U.S. corn supplies set to soar to 33-year highs. In the week ended May 26, money managers increased their net short position in CBOT corn futures and options to 276,203 contracts from 245,386 in the prior week, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  

Jun 01 - Ukraine's 2019/20 grain exports at record 54.1 mln T
Ukraine's grain exports have reached a record 54.1 million tonnes so far in the 2019/20 season that began last July, up 17.4% year on year, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said on Friday. The exported volume included 20.2 million tonnes of wheat, 28.4 million tonnes of corn and 4.8 million tonnes of barley, it said in a statement.

Jun 01 - French soft wheat rating stays at 9-year low as dryness persists
French soft wheat crop ratings declined slightly last week to remain at their lowest since 2011 for the time of year, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, as weather turned dry again in the European Union's biggest grain producing country. For the week to May 25, 56% of soft wheat was rated good or excellent against 57% the previous week, FranceAgriMer said on Friday in a cereal report.

Jun 01 - Iraq has only 190,000 tonnes of rice left for food programme - ministry
Iraq has only 190,000 tonnes of rice available in its coffers for its food rationing programme, the trade ministry said in a statement late on Saturday. The country needs around 1-1.25 million tonnes of rice a year to support the programme.

Jun 01 - JBS gets court nod to reopen Brazil plant closed over COVID-19 outbreak 
A Brazilian labor court on Saturday ruled that JBS SA can reopen its chicken processing plant in the southern state of Santa Catarina, according to a copy of the decision seen by Reuters. The plant, which employs about 1,500 people and had been closed since May 18 following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, can process about 135,000 birds per day. 

May 29 - IGC sees global grains surplus in 2020/21 as crop outlook raised  

A global grains surplus is expected for the 2020/21 season, the International Grains Council said on Thursday, raising its production forecast while also cutting its consumption outlook. The IGC, in a monthly report, raised its grains production forecast by 12 million tonnes to 2.230 billion tonnes while consumption was trimmed by 4 million tonnes to 2.218 billion.

May 29 - Los Angeles union, joined by 'Pandemic Pig,' demands meatpacking plant closure
The union representing workers at a meatpacking plant near Los Angeles where at least 153 employees have come down with COVID-19 called on Thursday for the plant's immediate closure, saying measures to control the outbreak were not working. The outbreak has hit over 10% of the workforce at the Smithfield-owned Farmer John plant, said John Grant, president of the local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers union. 

May 29 - Asian buyers set to resume wheat purchases after 2-month hiatus-sources
Asian grain buyers are ready to re-enter the market after a pause of about two months caused by the coronavirus lockdowns, seeking wheat from Black Sea suppliers, two trade sources said. Millers across the region, including the no. 2 global importer Indonesia, are looking for new-crop Black Sea wheat for July-August shipment.

May 29 - Parched Parana River likely to hit Argentine grain exports through September
Shallow water in Argentina's Parana River will slow exports and hurt the country's soy crushing margins at least through September, officials said, as more cargo ships are needed to carry the same amount of commodities. Drought has pushed the Parana to its lowest level in decades, complicating transportation and soymeal production.

May 29 - Ukraine imports soybeans for the first time in years
Ukraine, a major exporter of soybeans, has agreed to its first soybeans imports in many years and industry sources said on Thursday such deals could be repeated in future if domestic output continues to shrink. The 20,000 tonnes of Brazilian soy is to arrive on three vessels, two of which have already departed, at Ukraine's Sea of Azov's Berdyansk port.

May 29 - Brazil grains trader sees rising demand as Argentine river shipments hit snag
Global demand for Brazilian grains is growing as Argentina and Paraguay struggle with low water levels in a key river for agricultural shipments that is preventing ships from being fully loaded, a Brazilian trading company told Reuters on Thursday. Chief Executive Frederico Humberg of trading firm AgriBrasil said the company has sold three shipments of Brazilian corn where the buyer had initially sought to buy from Argentina.

May 29 - EU makes steep cut to wheat harvest outlook
The European Commission on Thursday sharply lowered its forecast for common wheat production in the European Union's 27 member countries in 2020/21 to 121.5 million tonnes from 125.8 million estimated a month ago. That would be 7% below estimated EU-27 production of common wheat, or soft wheat, of 130.8 million tonnes in 2019/20, the Commission's monthly supply and demand data showed.

May 29 - Fonterra says China dairy imports jump in March as lockdowns ease
New Zealand's Fonterra said on Friday China's global dairy import volumes climbed 10.1% in March after two consecutive months of declines, as the world's second-largest economy reopens after coronavirus-induced lockdowns. The jump in China dairy imports, however, may not be sustained as inventory levels are rebuilt. New Zealand also reported a 13.6% drop in dairy exports, dragged down by lower demand from Thailand, China and Saudi Arabia, according to global dairy data from Fonterra.

May 29 - Russia to boost grain exports in the new season – SovEcon
Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, is expected to increase grain exports in the 2020/21 marketing season which starts on July 1, one of Moscow's leading agriculture consultancies, SovEcon, said in a note on Thursday. SovEcon expects the country's exports to be the second largest in its history after shipments reached an all-time high in the 2017/18 season, when it harvested a record crop.

May 29 - Brazil court orders JBS to guarantee physical distancing to reopen chicken plant
A Brazilian court has ordered JBS SA to keep 1.5 meters (4.92 ft) of distance between workers at its chicken processing plant in the town of Ipumirim, according to a statement from the state labor prosecutor's office on Thursday. The labor prosecutor's office in the southern state of Santa Catarina said the court also stipulated in an injunction that JBS should send workers suspected of having the new coronavirus on paid leave, even if they are asymptomatic, for a minimum of 14 days.

May 29 - China backs away from U.S. chicken during COVID-19 recovery - Sanderson Farms
China will be out of the market for U.S. chicken in June as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, in a reversal from a recent surge of imports, the president of American poultry company Sanderson Farms Inc said on Thursday. "China is out because they bought so much product," said Lampkin Butts, Sanderson's president. "They were anticipating their economy reopening, which it has, but the restaurants are not back to anything close to normal."

May 28 - Potential meat plant closures could hit Brazil's BRF production levels - CEO
Brazilian food company BRF SA said the potential closure of slaughterhouses due the spread of the novel coronavirus at meat production sites would make it impossible to keep output at current levels. There are no BRF plants closed due to the outbreak, but at one point, the company's Lajeado facility in Rio Grande do Sul state had been shut by authorities to contain the spread of the disease among workers. 

May 28 - China's top pig farmer aims to triple pig sales by 2024
China's biggest hog producer Wens Foodstuffs Group Co Ltd built nine new pig farms in the first quarter and has dozens more under construction, the company's honorary chairman said, as it aims to triple output over the next four years. Like other major producers, Wens is pouring billions of yuan into new pig farms, aiming to seize market share as the sector rebuilds after disease wiped out about 60% of the country's hog herd last year. 

May 28 - USDA's surprise corn ratings suggest average start to season -Braun
U.S. corn conditions on Tuesday were neither above nor below market expectations because analysts were not expecting to see those numbers at all, but the initial prognosis is relatively positive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistics service (NASS) on Tuesday rated 70% of the corn crop in good or excellent condition as of Sunday. That is somewhat middle-of-the-road compared with most prior years, but it does suggest that good yields may be on the way if summer weather is supportive.

May 28 - COFCO to turn Santos port terminal from grains to sugar – statement
Chinese commodities trader COFCO International said on Wednesday it will use its 12A terminal in Brazil's Santos port to move sugar instead of grains beginning in July and through the end of the year. COFCO, which manages four sugar and ethanol facilities in Brazil, said the change was a result of higher sugar production in the country this year.

May 28 - JBS beef plant ordered closed in Brazil's Rondônia state due to pandemic
A labor court in Brazil's remote state of Rondonia ordered the closure of a beef plant operated there by JBS SA until the company tests all employees in the unit for the coronavirus, according to a statement sent to Reuters on Wednesday. In his ruling on Tuesday, according to the court statement, Labor Judge Wadler Ferreira said JBS's unit in the town of São Miguel do Guaporé "is the main source of contamination and spread of the virus." 

May 28 - Key Brazil port resumes loading grains after COVID-19 case halted ops
Loading of grains and other products at the port of Paranaguá, Brazil's second largest, resumed normally on Wednesday after a case of COVID-19 paralyzed work in berth 214 for about 24 hours, according to the port authority. Soybean loading at that berth was halted after a crew member of a vessel tested positive for the respiratory illness. 

May 28 - New Zealand's Synlait cuts dairy price forecast as COVID-19 stokes uncertainty
Synlait Milk revised downward its milk price forecast for the current season on Thursday, citing lower dairy prices in tandem with a global slump in commodity prices during the new coronavirus pandemic. The New Zealand-based dairy company said it now forecasts base milk price for the 2019-2020 season to be NZ$7.05 per kilogram of milk solids (kgMS), versus $7.25 kgMS earlier this year. 

May 28 - Climate-friendly almond farmers coax life from drying Spanish soil
In one of the driest corners of Europe, Manuel Barnes has watched the soil become healthier since he started growing almonds using techniques aimed at bringing new life to the land. Barnes and his neighbours in southern Spain are turning to pre-industrial methods they hope will avert the risk of their land turning into desert to grow crops that command higher prices from increasingly environmentally-aware consumers.

May 28 - S.Africa's 2020 maize harvest expected to be 38% higher from previous season
South Africa will likely harvest 38% more maize in 2020, thanks to favourable weather conditions and higher yields in the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Wednesday. Giving its fourth production forecast for the 2020 crop, the CEC estimated output at 15.589 million tonnes compared with 11.275 million tonnes harvested in the previous year.

May 27 - Brazil's JBS being sued by labor prosecutors over COVID-19 outbreak
Brazilian labor prosecutors are suing meatpacker JBS SA seeking damages and better work conditions after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a meat plant in Ipumirim, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, according to a prosecutors' statement on Wednesday. This is the second time in just over a month labor prosecutors have sought legal action against the meatpacker over its alleged inability to stem outbreaks of the novel coronavirus at meat production sites. 

May 27 - 'How about next June?' Small meat processors backlogged as virus idles big plants
Inside the small-scale Iowa abattoir Stanhope Locker and Market, owner Shaunna Zanker yawns with exhaustion as she listens to yet another farmer asking her to slaughter his pigs. "I'm so sorry, but we're booked through March of next year," Zanker said on the phone. "How about next June?" Slaughter operations like Zanker's are booming as novel coronavirus outbreaks at major U.S. and Canadian meat plants force farmers and meat-loving consumers to seek out alternatives to a crucial supply-chain link. 

May 27 - New wave of locusts raises fear for summer crops in India
A new wave of locust attacks has alarmed India's farmers and experts warn of extensive crop losses if authorities fail to curb fast-spreading swarms by June when monsoon rains spur rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean sowing. Desert locusts have engulfed around 35,000 hectares in India's seven heartland states, threatening some vegetable and pulse crops, government officials and farm experts said.

May 27 - Brazil 2019/2020 second corn output forecast slashed by 3 mln tonnes – Agroconsult
Brazil's 2019/2020 second-corn output forecast was revised to 71.7 million tonnes, 3 million tonnes lower than predicted on March 31, according to a statement from agribusiness consultancy Agroconsult on Tuesday. The consultancy said average Brazilian yields are seen 10.8% lower, at 90.1 bags per hectare, due to the effects of a drought in key regions. Agroconsult also revised the second corn crop planted area to 13.3 million hectares, a 5.2% rise from the forecast released in late March.

May 27 - Ukraine set for smaller 2020 winter wheat crop – forecasters
Ukraine's winter wheat harvest is likely to fall to 23.3 million tonnes this year due to poor weather during sowing and growing, the state-run weather forecasting centre said on Tuesday. The centre said the 2019 winter wheat harvest was estimated at more than 26 million tonnes. 

May 27 - Crop Watch: Some kinks emerge after quick start; N. Dakota ditches corn - Braun
Most of the U.S. Crop Watch farmers got an early start to corn and soybean planting this year, but cool, wet conditions have held back growth, and in Indiana, the early start to soybean planting unfortunately did not pay off. The North Dakota corn was planted on May 23, the 14th Crop Watch field sown, though only 9% of the field could be completed due to extremely wet conditions. 

May 27 - Soy loading halted at berth in Brazil port due to COVID-19 case
Soybean loading operations were set to resume late on Tuesday at a berth at Brazil's Paranaguá port after a ship was ordered into quarantine following a positive COVID-19 test on a crew member, authorities said. Loading at the berth was halted after the positive test, the Williams shipping agency said, adding that it was the first confirmed case of the disease at the port since the coronavirus outbreak began.

May 27 - Iowa to give aid to farmers who euthanize hogs during pandemic
Iowa, which produces about a third of U.S. pigs, will become the first state to provide financial aid to farmers who must dispose of hogs euthanized because of the coronavirus pandemic, the state's agriculture department said on Tuesday. Farmers have killed pigs and chickens as the pandemic shuts or slows operations at slaughterhouses and upends the food supply chain, leaving producers without markets for their animals, room to keep them or money to feed them. 

May 27 - InVivo picks ex-Cargill trader Lipatoff to head grain unit
French agricultural group InVivo has appointed Pierre Lipatoff, a long-serving trader with U.S.-based Cargill, as head of its grain trading unit, the company said on Tuesday. The appointment ends a year-long search by InVivo for a trading chief following the departure of previous head Stephane Bernhard. 

May 27 - EU ready to ease fisheries demands in Brexit talks - sources
The EU is willing to shift its stance on fisheries in negotiations with Britain next week, sources said, in what would be the first major concession from the bloc in talks on their new relationship after Brexit. Fishing is particularly politically sensitive for France, and the 27-nation bloc says it would not seal a new trade deal with Britain without a stable agreement on that issue.

May 26 - China's April soybean imports from top supplier Brazil rise 2.6%
China's soybean imports in April from top supplier Brazil rose 2.6% from a year earlier, customs data showed, as cargoes delayed by bad weather in the South American country began to arrive at ports. China, the world's top soybean buyer, brought in 5.939 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in April, up from 5.786 million tonnes last year, according to General Administration of Customs data released late on Monday detailing the origin and destinations of commodity shipments. 

May 26 - Chinese minister says Australia regularly launches trade cases
China has responded to concern its decision to impose heavy tariffs on Australian barley was retaliation for a diplomatic dispute, saying Australia had launched 100-times as many trade investigations against China. China's Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said China's anti-dumping investigation into Australian barley that imposed tariffs of 80.5 per cent had complied with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

May 26 - Brazil BRF meatpacking plant hit with more than 300 coronavirus cases
Nearly 340 meatpacking workers at a single BRF SA plant in southern Brazil have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company said on Monday. Brazilian meatpacker BRF said in a statement that 6.6% of its 5,132 workers at its Concórdia plant in Santa Catarina state had tested positive for the virus.

May 26 - Funds wage CBOT selling spree as big U.S. crops and China tensions loom - Braun
Speculators were big sellers of Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds last week, as prospects for newly planted U.S. corn and soybean crops looked positive and risks mounted for agricultural exports as U.S.-China tensions escalate. Funds have grown especially bearish toward corn just as the U.S. growing season is ramping up, and that has led to short-covering rallies in past years. But corn faces unique challenges this year with U.S. stockpiles set to expand by more than 50% over the next year to 33-year highs, driving futures to the lowest pre-harvest levels since 2006.

May 26 - Bayer says it makes progress in settlement talks over weedkiller
Bayer said on Monday it had made progress seeking a settlement over claims its glyphosate-based Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, after Bloomberg reported the company reached a verbal agreement on about 50,000 to 85,000 cases. The drugs and pesticides group is keen to draw a line under the legal dispute, which it inherited via its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto in 2018. 

May 26 - Ukraine new crop wheat prices rise amid fears of smaller harvest
Ukrainian export prices for 2020 wheat harvest have climbed, buoyed by fears over the crop's condition in the Black Sea region and Europe, the APK-Inform consultancy said on Monday. The new crop 12.5% protein wheat bid price rose by as much as $6 per tonne in the past week to $197-201 per tonne FOB Black Sea with delivery in July-August, the consultancy said in a report.

May 26 - Weak rupee leads Indian trade body to lift cotton export estimate
India's cotton exports could rise to 4.7 million bales in 2019/20, up 12% from the previous estimate, as a fall in the value of the rupee to a record low made shipments competitive, a trade body forecast. Higher exports by the world's biggest cotton producer could put pressure on global prices, which are trading near their highest level in more than two months.

May 26 - Old-fashioned milkman makes the rounds as U.S. shoppers stay home
The milk truck can be heard more than a block away, chugging along the narrow tree-lined streets of Washington's historic Capitol Hill neighborhood. Milkman Seth Burmeister is making the first of the day's 150 home deliveries of milk, eggs and ice cream produced at South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland, some 60 miles (100 km) away.

May 25 - Reminder : Ascension Day on Thursday, the end of Ramadan on Friday and a Bank Holiday on Monday (LDN & NY closed)

May 25 - China's pork imports in April jump 170% to record high 
China, the world's top pork consumer, imported a record 400,000 tonnes in April, up nearly 170% from a year earlier, customs data showed, as buyers took advantage of low prices to stock up on meat. China imported 1.35 million tonnes of pork in the first four months of this year, surging 170.4% from the same period a year ago, after a plunge in domestic production kept prices much higher than other markets. 

May 25 - Biofuel group urges U.S. government to reject retroactive waiver requests
A U.S. biofuel trade group asked the Trump administration on Friday to deny requests from refiners seeking retroactive biofuel blending waivers after an Energy Department official said the department will review such "gap-filings". Refiners are seeking to be consistent with a court decision earlier this year that ruled that any exemptions to biofuel blending laws granted to small refineries after 2010 had to take the form of an "extension." 

May 25 - Egypt procures 3 mln tonnes of local wheat in harvest - ministry
Egypt has procured 3 million tonnes of local wheat during the harvest season, the supply ministry said in Sunday. The ministry has said it aims to procure 3.6 million tonnes this season, and President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi has urged farmers to sell as much as possible to the government.

May 25 - Ukraine's wheat sales close to reaching 2019/20 export quota limit
Ukraine's wheat sales have reached 19.925 million tonnes as of May 22, leaving only 275,000 tonnes available for export over the rest of the season which runs until June 30, economy ministry data showed on Friday. The ministry said this week it would not increase the wheat export quota for the current season which is 20.2 million tonnes. 

May 25 - Deere signals recovery as U.S. farmers to benefit from relief program
Deere & Co on Friday topped quarterly sales and profit estimates and forecast a smaller-than-expected fall in farm equipment sales for the year, signaling a recovery in demand for its harvesters and tractors. Shares of the company, which withdrew its outlook in March due to an escalating COVID-19 pandemic, rose as much as 4% in early trading.

May 22 - China to draft food security plan amid global coronavirus epidemic
China will draft and carry out in 2020 a response plan for ensuring food security amid the global coronavirus pandemic, the country's state planner said on Friday. Beijing will also draw up a new national medium-to-long-term plan in the new year to secure food supplies, China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an annual report to parliament.

May 22 - U.S. sees progress with China over farm products under Phase 1 trade deal
The United States on Thursday said it saw positive signs with Beijing over agricultural products as part of the Phase 1 trade agreement, saying certain U.S. farm products could now be exported to China. China has also updated its list of U.S. facilities that could export meat and other products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement.

May 22 - U.S. meat inventories tightened as virus shut slaughterhouses - USDA 
U.S. frozen pork inventories fell in April, when they typically rise, and beef inventories dropped more than normal as the coronavirus pandemic shut slaughterhouses and prompted grocers to limit customers' buying, government data showed on Thursday. About 20 meat plants shut last month while consumers were stocking freezers during state-imposed lockdowns. U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the plants to stay open after meatpackers warned of shortages. 

May 22 - Trading house Gemcorp plans to export more Russian wheat in 2020/21
Grains trader Gemcorp Commodities Trading is planning to boost the volume of Russian wheat it supplies to its African clients in the new season on hopes that rains will help crops meet quality requirements. UK-based Gemcorp, founded by former Goldman Sachs and VTB Capital executive Atanas Bostandjiev in 2013, agreed a new deal to supply 200,000 tonnes of wheat to drought- and locust-hit Ethiopia this week. 

May 22 - Holy cow! Despite closed borders, Argentina to fly in rabbis to certify kosher meat 
Argentina, which has enforced one of the world's toughest travel bans against the coronavirus, plans to help charter a private flight to bring in rabbis from Israel to certify meat at the country's packing plants for kosher markets around the world. The trip is key to Argentina being able to maintain beef exports to key buyer Israel, which has become increasingly important with exports stalled to the European Union and sharply down to major buyer China.

May 22 - Australian wool prices plummet as Chinese mills seize control of bidding 
Wool prices in Australia, the world's dominant exporter, have fallen more than 25% since early March after trade routes were abruptly cut amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Chinese wool mills in control over bidding. The slowdown is so severe that wool auction houses across Australia have cut the number of trading days after the usual demand from high-end European tailors dried up. 

May 22 - JBS resumes chicken slaughtering at Brazil plant after COVID-19 outbreak - statement 
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA said on Thursday that operations at its plant in Passo Fundo, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, were allowed to resume after the facility was closed by authorities due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Slaughtering resumed on Wednesday at the plant that has the capacity to process 320,000 birds per day, the company said in a statement sent to Reuters. It had been closed since April 24. 

May 22 - Jordan issues new tender to buy 120,000 tonnes wheat 
Jordan's state grain buyer the trade ministry is tendering to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Friday. The tender closes on May 28.

May 22 - World Bank approves record $500 mln to battle locust swarms 
The World Bank on Thursday approved a record $500 million in grants and low-interest loans to help countries in Africa and the Middle East fight swarms of desert locusts that are eating their way across vast swaths of crops and rangelands. Four of the hardest-hit countries - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda - will receive $160 million immediately, Holger Kray, a senior World Bank official, told Reuters. He said Yemen, Somalia and other affected countries could tap funds as needed.

May 21 - China-Australia row to reshuffle trade in bulging barley market 
A prohibitive Chinese import tariff on Australian barley will benefit other suppliers without changing the bleak global outlook caused by large stocks and depressed beer demand, analysts and traders said. Beijing said on Monday it would apply an 80.5% tariff on Australian barley imports for the next five years, a move expected to all but halt flows from its main supplier. 

May 21 - China to receive rare U.S. ethanol shipment on Friday - sources 
A rare ethanol shipment of U.S. origin is expected to arrive in China this month, according to three industry sources and shipping data, probably the first such cargo since the two countries struck an initial trade deal in January. The market has been watching closely for signs of renewed trade in biofuel after China waived some additional tariffs on 696 American products, ethanol among them, to support purchases of U.S. farm goods, after the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal. 

May 21 - Russia downgrades its 2020 grain crop forecast 
Russia will harvest about 120 million tonnes of grain in 2020, slightly less than in 2019 as yields are going to decline in several southern regions of the country, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev told a government meeting on Wednesday. Russia and Ukraine - major exporters of wheat from the Black Sea region - were hit by dry weather in April, though beneficial May rain fixed most of the damage for the upcoming crop. 

May 21 - Malaysia to strengthen trade ties with India after palm oil purchases 
Malaysia voiced its commitment to further strengthen diplomatic and trade ties with India, after the world's largest edible oil buyer renewed purchases of Malaysian palm oil, in a sign of improving relations between the two countries. Indian buyers contracted up to 200,000 tonnes of Malaysian crude palm oil for June and July, after a four-month gap following a diplomatic row. 

May 21 - EPA draft would lift US biofuel blending mandates slightly in 2021 - sources
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed lifting the amount of biofuels that refiners must blend into their fuel next year to 20.17 billion gallons, from 20.09 billion this year, according to two sources familiar with the details of an agency draft proposal. The 2021 volumes would include 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels like ethanol and 5.17 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, according to the sources. The advanced biofuels mandate would include 670 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, up from 590 million gallons in 2020, they said.

May 21 - U.S. ethanol running out of recovery time to avoid more lost corn demand - Braun 
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, most analysts believed U.S. corn supplies would swell to 30-year highs in 2021. But those prior stock expectations are now much too low considering the sharp loss in corn demand by way of ethanol, and inventory stands to bulge even further if ethanol output does not recover in a timely fashion.

May 21 - NZ's Fonterra cuts farmgate milk prices as virus hits demand 
Fonterra said the coronavirus pandemic was "like nothing we've experienced before" as the world's largest dairy exporter cut the price it pays farmers for milk for the upcoming season with demand crumbling due to virus-led restrictions. "COVID-19 has affected virtually every country, market and industry, and as a result, the global dairy market is volatile and the outlook is uncertain," Chief Executive Officer Miles Hurrell said in a statement.

May 21 - Bunge's Brazil unit signs contract to acquire two soy plants from Imcopa 
Bunge's Brazil unit has signed a contract to acquire two soy crushing plants from Imcopa, according to a statement sent to Reuters on Wednesday, marking another step to consolidate its position as Brazil's largest soybean crusher. Imcopa, which is operating under bankruptcy court protection, confirmed the signing of the contract and said the aim of the sale is to keep the plants running and protect jobs, according to a separate statement. 

May 21 - U.S. April cattle placements seen down 22.6% as virus shut meat plants - analysts poll
The following are analysts' estimates for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly Cattle on Feed report, which is due on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT (1900 GMT). Cattle placements and marketings in April dropped from a year earlier as slaughterhouses closed temporarily or slowed operations due to outbreaks of the new coronavirus among plant workers, analysts said. The disruptions caused cattle to back up in feedlots, while restrictions due to the pandemic limited transactions at sales barns, they said.

May 21 - Germany tightens abattoir rules after coronavirus outbreaks 
Germany will tighten up rules on abattoirs, banning the subcontracting of meatpacking work through agencies after a rash of coronavirus outbreaks, Labour Minister Hubertus Heil said. The cases have caused outrage in the home countries of the sector's predominately foreign workers.

May 21 - Namibia suspends maize and pearl millet imports to protect local farmers 
Namibia will provisionally suspend white maize imports starting June 1, in a bid to protect local producers from foreign competition. The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) announced on Wednesday that maize and pearl millet imports will not be allowed entry into the country until the local harvest has been taken up by millers, sometime in November.

 May 20 - India resumes purchases of Malaysian palm oil - traders 
Indian buyers have resumed purchases of Malaysian palm oil after a four-month gap following a diplomatic row, with buying spurred by a fall in domestic inventories and discounted prices, trade sources said. The renewed purchases come amid improving trade relations between the two countries after the formation of a new government in Kuala Lumpur, with Malaysia signing a deal last week to buy a record 100,000 tonnes of Indian rice. 

May 20 - Trump floats halt to U.S. cattle imports as pandemic hurts ranchers 
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States should consider terminating trade deals under which it imports cattle as he looks to help U.S. ranchers hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. The United States imports cattle from Mexico and Canada to supplement domestic supplies at lower prices and to slaughter in American plants run by companies like Tyson Foods Inc and JBS USA. Bans could reignite trade disputes. 

May 20 - Small oil palm farmers face survival crisis in risk to future output 
When Shell engineer Incham Serdin quit his job four years ago to start a small palm plantation in his native Malaysia, prices of the fleshy fruit bunches used to make the world's most-consumed vegetable oil were bubbling near their peak. But prices have since halved for smallholders like Incham, falling 30% this year alone as the COVID-19 pandemic slashes demand and wipes out profits for many farmers with 100 acres (40 hectares) of land or less.

May 20 - Australian barley growers lose big on China spat, but U.S. benefits limited -Braun 
It was bad news for Australian barley growers on Monday as China applied an 80.5% import tariff on the grain, likely a similar gut-punch felt by U.S. soybean farmers when their trade was all but choked off with China two years ago. The effective banning of Australian barley into China may benefit U.S. growers, but the potential dollar value will be minimal up against huge trade targets outlined in the Phase 1 trade deal.

May 20 - USDA sets coronavirus aid payments for corn, soy and wheat 
U.S. farmers that grow crops including corn and soybeans will receive coronavirus assistance payments based on either half of their 2019 production or the supplies they had on hand as of Jan. 15, the government said on Tuesday. The coronavirus aid is the latest in a round of government payments that farmers have come to depend on for survival as the agricultural economy has soured. Growers already have received $28 billion during the past two years to weather the Trump administration's trade wars. 

May 20 - As weather falters, Brazil second-corn output forecast cut again -AgRural 
Drier-than-normal weather conditions in Brazil have prompted agribusiness consultancy AgRural to cut its forecast for corn production for the second time since February, according to a statement on Tuesday. AgRural now predicts farmers in the center south of Brazil will produce 66.7 million tonnes of the so-called second corn, which is planted after soybeans are harvested and account for about 75% of Brazil's total output in the season.

May 20 - EU mulls fertiliser cut to curb farming emissions
The European Commission is mulling targets to cut fertiliser use in the European Union over the next decade to bring the agriculture sector into line with its climate policy aims, according to a draft document seen by Reuters. The draft, due to be published on Wednesday, proposes EU rules on sustainable food production and consumption which the Commission said would help drive the sector's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. It would cut its contribution to climate change and curb the EU's rising obesity rates, it said.

May 20 - UK sets out post-Brexit tariffs to underpin trade talks 
The United Kingdom announced a new post-Brexit tariff regime on Tuesday to give it leverage in trade talks, maintaining the European Union's 10% duty on cars but cutting levies on tens of billions of dollars of supply chain imports. The new tariff regime, which would come into effect from January 2021, aims to simplify what some UK officials call an overly complex EU system and help Britain negotiate trade deals with the United States, the Brussels-based bloc and others.

May 20 - Release of water from Paraguay dam to help soy barges get to Argentina 
Paraguayan soy barges stuck on the Parana River will be able to continue to journey to the crushing plants of Argentina thanks to the discharge of water from the Yacyreta dam, representatives of the agro-export sector said on Tuesday. The release is aimed at temporarily increasing the level of the Parana, the region's grains cargo superhighway, which empties out into the shipping lanes of the south Atlantic. The level of the waterway has been dramatically reduced by drought, putting global trade flows at risk.

May 20 - Brazil's BRF told to test all workers in Santa Catarina plants 
Brazilian meat processor BRF SA has been told by health authorities in Santa Catarina state to reinforce measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus on production units, according to a statement sent to Reuters on Tuesday. These measures include testing all workers at BRF's Concórdia plant, which processes pork and poultry and is the company's biggest in the state by number of employees, around 5,000, a press representative said by telephone.

May 19 - China hits Australia with barley tariff in latest blow to relations 
China added to tensions with Australia on Monday by announcing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5% on Australian barley imports from May 19, which is expected to all but halt a billion-dollar trade between them. China's Ministry of Commerce said it had confirmed dumping by Australia and significant damage on its domestic industry as a result, following an inquiry which began in 2018.

May 19 - China's New Hope sees hog output recover in 2021, prices to fall 
New Hope Group, one of China's biggest pig breeders, expects the country's hog output to recover from last year's disease epidemic by 2021, while prices will start to fall after a rush of new entrants into pig farming, chairman Liu Yonghao said on Monday. The fatal pig disease African swine fever reduced China's huge hog herd by around half last year, but the government has offered incentives to farmers to spur a recovery. 

May 19 - U.S. corn planting 80% complete, soybeans 53% - USDA 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said U.S. farmers planted 80% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, slightly below the average of analyst estimates of 81% in a Reuters poll. In a report released on Monday, the USDA said corn planting progress was up from 67% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 71%. Pre-report trade estimates from 13 analysts surveyed by Reuters for the week ended May 17 ranged from 79% to 87%. 

May 19 -  EU monitor cuts 2020 yield forecasts for nearly all crops 
The European Union's crop monitoring service MARS on Monday cut its yield forecasts for nearly all crops this year following two months of unusually hot and dry weather across the bloc. MARS cut its projected EU soft wheat yield average for 2020 to 5.72 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) from an estimate of 5.87 t/ha in April. The new forecast was 4.7% below last year's yield and 0.9% below the average over the past five years.

May 19 - Crop Watch: Early corn, soy prospects favorable, but N. Dakota troubles continue - Braun 
U.S. corn and soybean planting has been ahead of normal pace so far this year, and that often sets up for a great growing season. Some of the Crop Watch growers are very pleased with their crops at this point, but the North Dakota producer has yet to start as conditions remain largely too wet. Excessive moisture has also recently been an issue for the Ohio grower, who just started planting. But for some of the earlier planted crops, especially the Indiana soybeans, a cold spell earlier in the month has caused some concerns. 

May 19 - Lucky U.S. chickens fly the coop as pandemic hits egg demand 
About 1,000 lucky chickens flew on two chartered cargo planes to a California sanctuary from an Iowa farm that has been euthanizing its flock as the coronavirus outbreak slashes restaurant demand for eggs, an animal rights group said.Farmers have killed off pigs and chickens as the pandemic shuts slaughterhouses and upends the food supply chain, leaving producers without markets for their animals, room to keep them or money to feed them. 

May 19 - Ukraine 2019/20 season grain exports at record high 52.7 mln T 
Ukraine's grain exports have reached a record 52.73 million tonnes so far in the 2019/20 season that began last July, up around 17% year on year, the economy ministry said on Monday. The exported volume included 19.8 million tonnes of wheat, 27.5 million tonnes of corn and 4.8 million tonnes of barley, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said.

May 19 - Brazil soybean exports in first two weeks of May at 8.8 mln tonnes - Govt trade data 
Brazilian soybean exports in the first two weeks of May reached 8.8 million tonnes, according to government trade data released on Monday, indicating demand from top customer China remained strong. In the first four months of the year, Brazil exported 36 million tonnes of soybeans, according to shipping agency Cargonave, with China alone importing 26.5 million tonnes from Brazil.

May 19 - Brazil's JBS to take legal action to reopen poultry plant in Santa Catarina 
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA will seek legal remedies after a local labor authority ordered it to close a poultry plant in southern Brazil to curb the coronavirus, JBS said on Monday. The plant in the town of Ipumirim in Santa Catarina state employs more than 1,400 people and processes some 135,000 chickens per day, the company said in a statement to Reuters.

May 18 - China urges food companies to boost supplies on fears of further COVID-19 disruption 
China has asked trading firms and food processors to boost inventories of grains and oilseeds as a possible second wave of coronavirus cases and worsening infection rates elsewhere raise concerns about global supply lines. Both state-run and private grain traders as well as food producers were urged to procure higher volumes of soybeans, soyoil and corn during calls with China's Ministry of Commerce in recent days, three trade sources told Reuters.

May 18 - NOPA April crush drops from March record; soyoil stocks near 7-yr high 
The monthly U.S. soybean crush fell 5.3% from its all-time record during April but still topped market expectations for the fifth month in a row, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Friday. The heavy pace of crushing boosted soyoil stocks to their highest since June 2013. NOPA said its members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 171.754 million bushels of soybeans last month, down from the record 181.374 million bushels in March but up from 159.990 million bushels in April 2019. 

May 18 - Funds boost bullish soy bets, await more U.S. sales to China -Braun
Speculators' bets on Chicago-traded corn and soybeans have been diverging for weeks, with the gap reaching the widest in 2-1/2 years last week, as global corn supplies are set to expand over the next year while soybean stocks are seen shrinking. In the week ended May 12, hedge funds and other money managers boosted their net long position in CBOT soybean futures and options to 32,465 contracts from 8,908 in the previous week, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. 

May 18 - 'The worst may be behind us': U.S. ethanol industry says inching back from collapse 
The U.S. ethanol industry is showing some signs of recovery as government officials ease stay-at-home orders that depressed fuel demand, while a vote Friday in Congress could bring the industry one step closer to federal aid, industry officials said. Fuel demand collapsed by about a third with the spread of the novel coronavirus this spring, and U.S. ethanol production capacity halved as around 150 facilities either idled or reduced rates. Now as restrictions ease and gasoline demand inches higher, about 140 facilities are idled or running at reduced rates, Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper said on Friday.

May 18 - China in communications with Australia over trade disputes: commerce minister
China's commerce minister Zhong Shan said the two countries are in communication when asked about Australia's request to discuss beef and barley trade issues, amid escalating tensions over the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in May, Australia's trade minister Simon Birmingham requested a telephone call with Zhong after four large beef exporters were suspended by Chinese customs authorities.

May 18 - U.S food aid program launches with companies scrambling to deliver
Texas-based CRE8AD8 LLC bid for a federal government contract to quickly rescue food from struggling farmers and deliver it to U.S. food banks as fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has put millions of Americans out of work and driven many to seek help putting food on the table. But after the U.S. Agriculture Department awarded CRE8AD8 one of the most lucrative slices of its new $1.2 billion aid package, the company turned to its Facebook followers to find farmers and food banks and to hire people for every role needed to fulfill the $39.13 million contract by June 30.

May 18 - Iraq buys 1.09 mln tonnes local wheat so far this season 
Iraq’s grain board said on Saturday it has procured more than 1.09 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the harvest season last month. The agriculture ministry has said it expects local production to reach 6 million tonnes in the April-May harvest season.

May 18 - BRF's coronavirus-hit chicken, pork plant in Brazil to reopen ahead of schedule 
Operations at a Brazilian chicken and pork plant owned by BRF SA are expected to gradually resume starting on Friday, about a week ahead of schedule, after a shutdown due to a novel coronavirus outbreak, the company and an industry group said. The reopening of the plant in the town of Lajeado in Rio Grande do Sul state was announced by Francisco Turra, president of Brazilian poultry and pork processor association ABPA. 

May 18 - Liberia's largest palm oil project lays off 10% of workforce 
Liberia’s largest palm oil company, Golden Veroleum, has laid off 443 employees, more than 10% of its workforce, due to persistently low prices and the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, a company spokesman said on Saturday. Golden Veroleum is owned by the U.S.-based Verdant Fund LP, whose sole investor is Singapore-listed palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources, the world’s second-largest palm oil plantation company.

May 15 - India's farmers gather record wheat crop, but cannot move it
Late last month, Sukrampal had to beg and borrow farmhands from nearby villages to gather his part of the country's largest-ever wheat harvest in Haryana state near New Delhi. Now the 50-year-old Indian farmer has a bigger problem: how to sell his crops when the three wholesale grain markets serving growers in his hometown of Gharaunda, near the heart of what is known as India's breadbasket, are operating with a skeleton staff.

May 15 - U.S. soybeans set to pass the excess-supply baton to corn in 2021 - Braun
United States soybean supplies surged above 900 million bushels in 2018 when China shunned U.S. beans at the start of the trade war, setting a new high for domestic soybean stocks. Prior to that, discussion of volumes over 600 million bushels was extremely rare. But now, U.S. soybean supply projections for August 2021 are on par with pre-trade war levels and corn stocks have become the eye-popping figure. 

May 15 - USDA limits review requirements of some biotech farm products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday a rule that will simplify or waive agency reviews of certain biotech farm products, including plants and seeds that have been genetically modified or engineered. As a result, some products could be sold to farmers without a USDA review - a move that comes despite concerns by consumer groups over biotech crops.

May 15 - Malaysia cuts crude palm oil export duty for June to zero
Malaysia has lowered its export duty on crude palm oil to 0% for June from 4.5% in May, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Friday, citing the national customs department. The world's second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil calculated a reference price of 2,122.77 ringgit per tonne.

May 15 - Canadian farmers rush to grab government credit as pandemic hits cash flow
Canadian farmers and agriculture businesses have claimed most of the C$5 billion ($3.55 billion) in extra credit offered by Ottawa to boost their cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic, in less than two months. Some 4,800 farmers and businesses have used options to defer payments on loans totalling C$4 billion ($2.84 billion) and established credit lines worth another C$500 million, the federal agriculture ministry said in a release on Thursday.

May 15 - Argentine soy harvest 87.4% completed; corn 40% in - BsAs exchange
Soy harvesting in Argentina is 87.4% complete, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in a report on Thursday, having advanced 9.2 percentage points over the preceding seven days on its way to a total projected 2019/20 crop of 49.5 million tonnes. "Areas remaining to be harvested are concentrated in Buenos Aires province," the exchange said in its weekly crop report.

May 15 - Black Sea producers back on track for large 2020/21 wheat exports
Beneficial May rain put Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan - all major Black Sea producers - back on track for large wheat exports in the new marketing season after a dry April, analysts said on Thursday. A large wheat crop, which remains subject to weather in the coming months, would also reduce concern about the three countries' own food security in the 2020/21 season starting on July 1, having limited exports during the coronavirus pandemic.

May 15 - Brazil's JBS reports steep Q1 loss as forex swings hurt bottom line
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA on Thursday reported a steep 6 billion reais ($1.03 billion) net loss in the first quarter largely due to foreign exchange impact and warned the COVID-19 pandemic may affect results going forward. Excluding foreign exchange effects, the company's net profit would have been 803 million reais. In the first quarter of 2019, JBS recorded a net profit of about 1 billion reais.

May 15 - Strategie Grains raises EU wheat export forecast, cuts harvest outlook
Strategie Grains raised its forecast for European Union soft wheat exports in 2019/20 on Thursday, citing strong demand and lower competition, and cut its end of season stock estimate. The French-based consultancy's monthly report forecasts EU soft wheat exports of 34.3 million tonnes, an increase from the 32.4 million tonnes it predicted in April.

May 15 - Russia sends second wheat cargo to Saudi Arabia
Russia has sent a second shipment of wheat to Saudi Arabia after its first export cargo arrived in the Gulf kingdom earlier in May, Saudi state grain buyer SAGO said on Thursday. The cargo is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia later this month, SAGO said, confirming an earlier report from Reuters.

May 14 - China likely to speed up buying of U.S. farm goods - COFCO exec
China is likely to speed up the buying of U.S. farm goods, an executive at state-owned agriculture trading house COFCO said at an online industry conference on Thursday. Soybeans are the top U.S. agriculture export to China.

May 14 - China hands out more grain import quotas to increase purchases – sources
China is allocating more low-tariff import quotas for corn this year and may expand its use of wheat quotas as it seeks to step up farm purchases from the United States and meet a pledge to comply with global trade rules, according to three sources. China has a 95% self-sufficiency target for its rice, corn and wheat consumption, but allows a certain volume of imports through a tariff rate quota (TRQ) system.

May 14 - More Mexican beef headed to U.S. dinner tables as American supply crunch bites
More Mexican steaks and other beef cuts are headed north of the border after the coronavirus outbreak has hobbled U.S. meat processing plants, potentially offsetting fears of shortages affecting businesses from fast-food chains to grocery stores but angering American ranchers. The Mexican industry chalks up the export growth to new safety measures adopted by plants, as well as relatively smaller-scale operations that have so far kept infections at bay and business humming.

May 14 - Australia's GrainCorp flags higher exports, swings to first-half profit
Australia's GrainCorp pointed to higher grain exports in the second half of the year on Thursday as restructuring efforts helped the bulk grain handler return to a first-half profit, sending shares up 18%. After battling a three-year drought that ravaged farms across eastern Australia and wilted output, GrainCorp said it was now well placed after the sale of its Australian bulk liquid terminals business and the demerger of its malting division. 

May 14 - Big U.S. corn stocks could swell further as more gaps may lurk in old-crop demand - Braun
There are just under 16 weeks left in the 2019-20 U.S. corn marketing year, and balance-sheet shakeups are still in progress, particularly amid the unprecedented fall in ethanol production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently made some aggressive changes to projected corn demand as a result, with the latest adjustments coming on Tuesday. 

May 14 - UK plans to cut tariffs on U.S. agricultural imports – FT
The United Kingdom is planning to cut tariffs on U.S. agricultural imports to advance progress on a free trade agreement, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. The Department for International Trade was considering a "big concession package" to negotiators from the United States over the coming months to cut the cost of certain agricultural imports, the FT reported, citing government officials. 

May 14 - NOPA April U.S. soy crush seen at 170.483 million bushels - survey
U.S. soybean crushings in April fell from the prior month's record level due to narrowing crush margins and a slowdown in demand for soymeal and soyoil, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Friday. The monthly crush, however, is still expected to reach the highest ever level for April, and the ninth highest for any month on record.

May 14 - FranceAgriMer raises non-EU soft wheat export forecast to record high
FranceAgriMer raised its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union to a record high on Wednesday, lifted by hefty sales to China and expected shipments to Morocco after it extended its suspension of import duties. In supply and demand estimates, the office put French soft wheat shipments outside the bloc at 13.3 million tonnes, up from 13.2 million estimated last month and now 38% above last season.

May 14 - Algeria buys around 500,000 tonnes wheat in tender - trade
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC purchased around 500,000 tonnes of milling wheat in an import tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said on Wednesday. The prices paid were thought to be between $218 and $218.50 a tonne, cost and freight (c&f) included, the traders said.

May 14 - Brazil-Paraguay dam to release water to aid Argentine grain shipments
The Itaipu hydroelectric dam, a joint venture between Brazil and Paraguay, said on Wednesday it will release water through its spillway to raise low water levels in the Parana river, a key waterway for Argentine and Paraguayan grain shipments. The governments of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have been negotiating for more than a month about Itaipu providing potential relief for the drought and the low water levels.

May 14 - Ukraine's grain exports at a record high 52 mln T so far 2019/20
Ukraine's grain exports have reached a record 52 million tonnes so far in the 2019/20 season that began last July, up around 19% year on year, the economy ministry said on Wednesday. The exported volume included 19.3 million tonnes of wheat, 27.2 million tonnes of corn and 4.7 million tonnes of barley, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said.

May 14 - Relaxing coronavirus lockdowns to help ethanol demand – CropEnergies
German bioethanol producer CropEnergies said on Wednesday demand for bioethanol is expected to recover as the relaxation of coronavirus lockdowns in Europe enable more people to use their cars. It was not yet possible to forecast to what extent increased demand for bioethanol for hand sanitizers would offset the reduced demand for use in vehicle fuels, CEO Joachim Lutz said in a conference call with journalists.

May 13 - Huge plantings, record crop to push U.S. corn supplies to 33-year high – USDA
U.S. corn supplies will rise to their highest in 33 years due to massive plantings and what is expected to be a record crop - a bounty so big that it will outweigh export demand and increased ethanol usage as the biofuel sector recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. government said on Tuesday. The U.S. Agriculture Department, in its first forecast for the 2020/21 marketing year based on its March plantings outlook of 97 million acres, pegged corn stocks at a massive 3.318 billion bushels. 

May 13 - U.S. lawmakers include biofuels aid in latest proposed relief bill
U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a relief bill that would include aid to biofuel producers after demand for the fuel plummeted because of the coronavirus pandemic, causing mass shutdowns in the industry. The bill, introduced by House Democrats, would reimburse producers that suffered unexpected market losses because of the pandemic from January 1 through May 1. It is not clear whether the bill as proposed will be passed into law.

May 13 - Brazil wheat stocks to hit record low amid COVID-19 pandemic - Conab
Brazil, a net importer of wheat, will buy more of it than ever as the global COVID-19 pandemic increases domestic appetite for bread and other flour-based products, an official at government food supply and statistics agency Conab said on Tuesday. Brazil is beginning to plant its 2020 wheat, and output from last year was low after frosts and droughts caused crop losses in some regions, Thomé Guth, agribusiness products manager at Conab, told Reuters.

May 13 - Cargill registers six COVID-19 cases at Brazil plant - statement
A plant operated by U.S. grain trader Cargill Inc in southeast Brazil has so far registered six COVID-19 cases, according to a statement sent to Reuters on Tuesday. In the statement, Cargill said "most" of the employees diagnosed with the respiratory disease at its plant in Uberlândia had already returned to work after receiving medical attention and permission to do so.

May 13 - Global commercial fishing falls 6.5% to end-April due to coronavirus
Global commercial fishing activity for 2020 fell by around 1 million hours as of end-April, a 6.5% decline over the two previous years, the result of plummeting demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns, according to Global Fishing Watch. Fishing fleets spent 14.4 million hours on the water for the year so far to April 28, a decline from an average of 15.4 million hours for the same year-to-date periods of 2018 and 2019, according to the nonprofit organization that tracks fishing operation worldwide.

May 12 - China buys at least four U.S. soybean cargoes, seeking more - traders
Chinese importers bought at least four cargoes, or about 240,000 tonnes, of U.S. soybeans on Monday for shipment beginning in July, two traders familiar with the deals said. More sales are possible as a Chinese state owned firm had sought offers for up to 20 cargoes shipped from July to November from terminals along the U.S. Gulf Coast or the Pacific Northwest, the traders said.

May 12 - Farmers planting mountain of U.S. corn as prices collapse
U.S. corn farmers are facing steep losses this year as prices collapse to the lowest in more than a decade after they had purchased seeds and fertilizers and started planting the second-biggest crop since the Great Depression. At the same time, demand for corn in the world's largest producer has plummeted with the collapse of the biofuel market, normally the destination of over a third of U.S. corn, as residents stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.

May 12 - Australia says China suspension of beef imports not tied to call for COVID-19 inquiry
China decision to ban imports from four of Australia's largest beef processors was not a response to Canberra's call for independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, Australia's Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham said on Tuesday. Birmingham had earlier said in a statement that Kilcoy Pastoral Company, JBS's Beef City and Dinmore plants, and the Northern Cooperative Meat Company have been banned from exporting beef to China due to issues with labelling. 

May 12 - Brazil's BRF says COVID-19 outbreaks may disrupt operations at some plants
Outbreaks of the COVID-19 respiratory disease in different regions of Brazil could disrupt operations at the country's largest chicken processor, a BRF SA executive said on Monday. With the escalation of the public health crisis in Brazil, where most BRF plants are located, worker absenteeism and potential orders from health authorities to close meat plants constitute threats.

May 12 - Philippines sees end-2020 rice stocks at 3.3 mln T, highest in 10 years
The Philippines will end the year with a rice inventory of 3.3 million tonnes, a government official said on Tuesday, as the world's biggest rice importer ramps up purchases of its staple food while also trying to boost domestic output. An inventory of that size would be the Philippines' biggest year-end stockpile in 10 years, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

May 12 - Brazil chicken exports fall yet prospects good due to China, halal market
Brazilian chicken export volumes fell in April as excessive holidays affected shipment flows, meat group ABPA said on Monday, yet demand from China and key markets in the Middle East suggest prospects remain good. Last month, Brazil exported 343,300 tonnes of chicken, down 4.7%. Between January and April, the country exported 1.36 million tonnes of chicken, up 5.1% by volume, ABPA figures showed.

May 12 - Indonesia's 'rice ATMs' provide staple amid corona crunch
The global pandemic has left millions of Indonesians struggling to make ends meet. Now the authorities are rolling out "rice ATMs" in a bid to ensure greater access for those in need to the essential Asian staple. This month Linda Syafri, a 28-year-old expectant mother was among the many who lined up in masks at a military base in Depok, on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta, for their 1.5 kilogram (3.3 lb) rice ration.

May 12 - India suspends 39 import licenses for refined palm oil
India has suspended 39 licences to import 452,303 tonnes of refined palm oil after a surge in duty-free purchases from neighbours such as Nepal and Bangladesh which are not key producers, government and trade sources told Reuters. The suspension could reduce India's palm oil imports in the next few months and pressure Malaysian palm oil futures, but could lift shipments of soyoil and sunflower oil. 

May 12 - Togo reports an outbreak of African swine fever
Togo reported an outbreak of African swine fever in a farm northwest of the capital Lome, where 44 pigs have died of the disease since April 18. "Analyses at the Lome central veterinary laboratory have confirmed the presence of the African swine fever virus in this breeding farm," said the agriculture ministry in a statement.

May 11 - As U.S. meat workers fall sick and supplies dwindle, exports to China soar
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered meat processing plants to stay open to protect the nation's food supply even as workers got sick and died. Yet the plants have increasingly been exporting to China while U.S. consumers face shortages, a Reuters analysis of government data showed. Trump, who is in an acrimonious public dispute with Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act on April 28 to keep plants open. 

May 11 - U.S. next week to start purchasing $3 bln worth of farm goods - Trump
President Donald Trump on Saturday said the United States will next week begin purchasing $3 billion worth of dairy, meat and produce from farmers as unemployment soars and people are forced to food lines. "Starting early next week, at my order, the USA will be purchasing, from our Farmers, Ranchers & Specialty Crop Growers, 3 Billion Dollars worth of Dairy, Meat & Produce for Food Lines & Kitchens," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

May 11 - Rains arrive too late for crops of some of Russian regions - SovEcon
Russian wheat export prices for the old crop were stable this week in quiet trade due to the long May holiday, limited export demand and thanks to rains which arrived to Russia's south after dry weather, the SovEcon agriculture consultancy said. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, saw persistent dry weather in April, which was replaced by rains in May. However, Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said these rains arrived too late to fix some of the damage.

May 11 - Cargill to shut Quebec beef plant temporarily, cites coronavirus outbreak
The Canadian arm of U.S. agribusiness Cargill said on Sunday it would soon temporarily shut a meat-processing plant in the province of Quebec after 64 workers tested positive for the coronavirus. The plant is in Chambly, a suburb of Montreal, one of the worst hit cities in Canada. Cargill said it was winding down production and hoped the facility would be fully closed by the middle of the week so all employees could be tested.

May 11 - Hit by oil crash, Indonesia set to delay B40 biodiesel, stay with B30 for now
Indonesia is likely to delay plans to raise bio-content in palm oil-based biodiesel to 40%, and keep going with an already ambitious 30% content, a senior official said, amid speculation that low crude prices could force a government re-think. The biodiesel programme is a key part of the government's strategy to soak up excess supplies of palm oil and curb expensive fuel imports, one of the main contributors to the country's current account deficit problem. 

May 11 - Philippines seeking another 300,000 T rice imports amid pandemic
The Philippines is seeking another 300,000 tonnes of rice imports to boost state stockpiles while battling the coronavirus pandemic and ahead of its own lean season in the third quarter, a senior official said on Monday. A government-to-government deal of this volume would raise Philippine rice imports so far this year to a record 3 million tonnes. Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement the government has already sent inquiries to Asia's biggest producers in Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Cambodia. 

May 11 - Speculators increase corn net short position - CFTC
Large speculators increased their net short position in Chicago Board of Trade corn futures in the week to May 5, 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 trimmed their net short position in soybeans.

May 11 - Ukraine's grain exports at a record high 51.5 mln T so far 2019/20
Ukraine's grain exports have reached a record 51.47 million tonnes so far in the 2019/20 season that began last July, up around 19% year on year, the economy ministry said on Friday. The exported volume included 19.19 million tonnes of wheat, 26.88 million tonnes of corn and 4.72 million tonnes of barley, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said.

May 11 - Canadian growers look to Ontario's reopening garden centers to salvage dire year
Hard-hit Canadian flower and nursery growers hope a surge in demand from budding gardeners in Ontario, the country's biggest market, can help the industry avert disaster caused by the coronavirus with retailers reopening on Friday in the populous province. Most non-essential businesses in Canada were shut in mid-March as officials urged people to stay home, but in recent weeks many of the country's 10 provinces, with the exception of Ontario, have allowed garden centers and nurseries to operate.

May 11 - Australia expects China to keep barley, COVID-19 issues separate
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday he expects Beijing to keep its judgment on whether Australia dumped barley into China separate from protests over Canberra's call for an inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus. Several major Australian grain groups on Sunday said they have been told China is proposing tariffs on barley from Australia after an 18-month inquiry into whether they have been dumping the grain into the Asian nation. 

May 08 - Missing Bangkok, Paris tourists omen of global wheat demand collapse 
In Bangkok's usually bustling Sukhumvit district the coronavirus pandemic has decimated the tourist trade at the restaurant Permruedee Labnongsaeng owns, cutting daily sales to 5% of normal. The missing tourists from top destinations like Bangkok - the world's most-visited city - Paris and Rome, gone because of the travel restrictions to prevent the coronavirus spread, also means no demand for the noodles, pastries and pasta usually scoffed down there by hungry travellers. 

May 08 - 'Whole new business': Farmers innovate to get food from field to plate
From Europe to Asia and across the Americas, farmers and others in the global food supply chain are innovating to keep the world fed when populations are told to stay home, street markets are closed and labourers cannot travel to work in the fields. Didier Lenoble has gone online to sell vegetables grown on his farm near Paris as the usual street stalls he supplies are temporarily shut because of the coronavirus crisis.

May 08 - European wheat crops get rain relief but drought still feared 
Rain in the past week across Europe has averted significant damage to wheat but regular rainfall is needed to stave off drought as crops go through key spring growth stages, analysts and traders said. A very dry start to spring had raised fears of crop stress and reinforced expectations of a smaller European wheat harvest this year after torrential rain last autumn led to a sharp fall in sowing.

May 08 - The great potato giveaway: U.S. farmers hand out spuds to avoid food waste 
When Tina Yates pulled her truck up to a mall in western Washington state on Thursday, workers waved her past hundreds of cars waiting to pick up free russet potatoes. "You get a VIP pass!" Yates, a bus driver in her 50s, said the workers hollered, as she loaded 1,800 pounds (816 kg) of potatoes into her gray Chevy Silverado, bound for the Salvation Army, local food banks and homes throughout western Washington.

May 08 - North America bulges with cattle as virus closes packers, leaving retailers hungry for beef 
There is no room on the range for cattle, as shuttered slaughterhouses across North America due to the pandemic leave farmers nowhere to ship their animals. Now fast-food chain Wendy's says it is running out of beef, while Kroger and Costco limit sales of some meat items, underlining the growing dislocation in the meat supply chain.

May 08 - Iran hunts for grains as coronavirus compounds economic woes 
Iran is scrambling to buy millions of tonnes of wheat, corn and soybeans to shore up its reserves, Iranian officials and traders said, despite President Hassan Rouhani's assertions that the coronavirus would not endanger food supplies to the Middle Eastern country worst hit by the pandemic. Iran's bumper grain crops will guarantee citizens ample staple foods to the end of the Iranian year in March 2021 as the impact of the pandemic has not spread to farming, Rouhani told parliament in a televised address on the state of the coronavirus crisis on April 15.

May 08 - Last week's U.S. pork sales to China were the largest of 2020: Braun 
Restoring trade with China has perhaps been the top goal for U.S. agriculture in 2020, but losing meat production because of a virus outbreak was not on the list of expectations. China, the world’s leading pork consumer, is by far the top destination for U.S. pork so far this year, and that was precisely the desired effect of the Phase 1 trade deal signed between the two countries back in January. China also needs the meat to fill extreme shortages caused by the devastating outbreak of African swine fever in its hog herd.

May 08 - Strong Chinese sales still needed for U.S. soy export breakthrough: Braun 
U.S. soybean exports have been historically sluggish in recent months, but although industry expectations are already low, full-year shipments are in danger of falling even further without more bookings from China. Based on data published on Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States shipped 2.57 million tonnes of soybeans in March, a five-year low for the month and down 31% from last year’s record.

May 08 - Brazil's Itaqui port open despite coronavirus lockdown, grain shipments up 
Brazil's Itaqui port, from where more than 10% of the country's soybeans were exported last year, has not been affected by lockdown measures imposed this week in Maranhão state due to the novel coronavirus, an official said in an interview on Thursday. Port activity is considered exempt from the order and personnel, rail services and trucks continue to have normal access to the port area, said Ted Lago, the port's president.

May 08 - Brazil 2020 beef exports undeterred by novel coronavirus - Abiec 
Brazilian beef exports in 2020 will likely set a new record in terms of volume and value despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, Antônio Camardelli, president of beef group Abiec, said on Thursday. No beef plants in Brazil were paralyzed because of the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, he said during a live video session, adding that demand from China remained strong. 

May 08 - Canadian farmers expected to plant less canola, more wheat in 2020 
Canadian farmers plan to seed less canola and more wheat in 2020, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, but noted the coronavirus crisis meant the agency's survey data was collected under "exceptional circumstances" that resulted in a lower response from farmers. The survey of about 11,500 farmers was conducted from March 2 to March 20. Statscan said it had to suspend some collection methods, like telephone interviews, as of March 16 because of the coronavirus, which affected the survey's typically high response rate.

May 07 - China's April soybean imports slide 12% amid hangover from Brazil shipment delays 
China's April soybean imports fell 12% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, with analysts citing the impact of bad weather delaying cargoes from top supplier Brazil. China, the world's top soybean buyer, brought in 6.716 million tonnes of the oilseed in April, down from 7.64 million tonnes a year ago, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the General Administration of Customs.

May 07 - EU wheat exports surge, record French shipments expected 
European Union wheat exporters are set to record their best export season for years with record shipments expected from top exporter France, traders said on Wednesday. For the current July 2019/June 2020 season, the EU Commission this week raised its monthly forecast for exports of soft wheat, or common wheat, from the EU plus Britain to 31.8 million tonnes, a four-year high. 

May 07 - Trump asks Justice Department to look into meat price disparities 
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had urged the Justice Department to look into allegations that the meatpacking industry broke antitrust law because the price that slaughterhouses pay farmers for animals had dropped even as meat prices rose. "I've asked the Justice Department to look into it. ... I've asked them to take a very serious look into it, because it shouldn't be happening that way and we want to protect our farmers," the president told reporters at a White House event attended by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

May 07 - Bunge reports loss, cuts 2020 outlook as coronavirus hits demand 
Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd reported a first-quarter loss on Wednesday and lowered its full-year forecast as the coronavirus crisis hammered demand for fuel and upended global food supply chains, sending shares plunging 11%. Demand for edible oils fell toward the end of the January-to-March period as the crisis shuttered restaurants and suspended travel, while crashing Brazilian ethanol prices and whipsawing currency markets dented Bunge's outlook for its sugar and bioenergy unit.

May 07 - Late-week frost in U.S. Midwest threatens winter wheat, emerging corn 
Frosty temperatures expected in the U.S. Midwest on Saturday could threaten newly planted corn crops and developing soft red winter wheat, meteorologists said on Wednesday. The United States is the world's biggest corn exporter and the No. 3 wheat supplier. Benchmark July corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 3 cents at $3.14 a bushel late in Wednesday's session, hovering above a contract low set last month as expectations for a large U.S. crop and uncertain grain demand amid the coronavirus pandemic hung over the market.

May 07 - European ethanol makers fear influx from U.S. and Brazil 
An influx of cheap U.S. and Brazilian ethanol threatens Europe's producers as businesses resume operations, companies have told the European Commission, urging it to act to protect an industry reeling from depressed demand. Sharp falls in driving and air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic have hit the biofuel sector worldwide, forcing companies to dtastically cut output and prices, notably in top producers the United States and Brazil. 

May 07 - Morocco to extend soft wheat duty suspension till year end- document 
Morocco will extend its suspension of import duties on soft wheat to December 31 to ensure price stability and regular supply amid low domestic output, a draft decree showed. The decision will be made official at a government council on Thursday. 

May 07 - Ancient mill rises as Britain bakes at home 
Shipton Mill, which was milling flour when the Normans conquered England nearly a thousand years ago, has seen a rare boon from the novel coronavirus outbreak - soaring demand for its organic flour from a new generation of locked-down home bakers. Nestled at the end of a lane among woods on a tributary of the River Avon, Shipton Mill offers dozens of ancient flours - some still stoneground and some from ancient English wheat varieties - to baking beginners and professionals.

May 07 - U.S. company looks past pandemic, makes deal to build corn ethanol plant in Brazil 
U.S. corn ethanol machinery maker Lucas E3 on Wednesday announced an agreement with Brazilian company Maracaja Bioenergia to build a corn-based ethanol plant in the Mato Grosso state, optimistic that fuel demand will improve by the time construction is finished. Lucas E3 said the Brazilian company will invest 500 million reais ($87.53 million) to build the plant in the roadside of BR-163 highway, the main export corridor for soybeans and corn produced in Mato Grosso going north to river ports in Para state.

May 06 - French wheat shipments remain high in April despite lockdown 
French soft wheat shipments outside the EU last month reached a four-year high for April, Refinitiv data showed, as exporters continued to ship high volumes during the coronavirus pandemic. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 1.56 million tonnes, the highest April volume since the 2015/16 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

May 06 - China buys more U.S. soybeans despite tariff threat 
Chinese buyers booked deals to purchase 378,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday, even as the Trump administration considers new tariffs to punish China for the coronavirus outbreak. Private exporters reported to the government that 136,000 tonnes of soybeans were for delivery in the 2019/2020 marketing year and 242,000 tonnes were for delivery in 2020/21.

May 06 - U.S. faces meat shortage while its pork exports to China soar: Braun 
Meatpackers and livestock producers in the United States have spent at least a year adjusting to the surge in business to China, which has faced a severe pork shortage in the wake of its battle against African swine fever. But now, as the United States is on the brink of its own meat crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, American pork supplies are being shipped off to China at a breakneck pace, creating the perfect recipe for additional U.S.-China tensions. 

May 06 - Ukraine to decide next wheat export cap in July 
Ukraine, one of the world's leading wheat exporters, will agree an export cap with traders for the 2020/21 season in July, Economy Minister Ihor Petrashko said on Tuesday, aiming for a balance between food security and foreign currency earnings. The government typically signs a memorandum on wheat exports with traders, which Petrashko said had helped keep domestic supplies stable this season despite disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

May 06 - Argentina biodiesel exports fully halted due to pandemic – chamber head 
Argentine biodiesel exports have ground to a complete halt due to the coronavirus pandemic hammering demand in Europe, the head of the local industry chamber told Reuters. Last year, biodiesel exports amounted to around 1 million tonnes worth $775 million. The top destination was the European Union, which has quotas for blending petrol with biodiesel. The drop in fuel consumption there during the pandemic has paralyzed the Argentine biodiesel industry, which has generated up to around $1.7 billion in yearly revenue.

May 06 - Oklahoma wheat crop seen at 96.5 million bushels -industry tour 
A group of Oklahoma crop experts on Tuesday projected Oklahoma's 2020 winter wheat harvest at 96.524 million bushels, with an average yield of 33.16 bushels per acre, following an annual tour of the state. The figures from the No. 3 U.S. winter wheat state offered an early glance at wheat prospects in the United States, the third-largest global exporter of the food grain.

May 06 - Brazil's corn farmers face scarce rains, losses - weather forecasters 
Brazilian corn farmers hoping for relief from drought were disappointed by weaker than expected rains this week, while frost expected in the state of Parana could bring further losses, weather forecasters said on Tuesday. Much of the center-south of Brazil received below average rains in the past 30 days, a critical period for growing the country's second annual crop of corn that accounts for about three-quarters of the country's output, they said. 

May 06 - Brazil's JBS says labor judge authorizes reopening of southern poultry plant 
Brazilian meat producer JBS SA has been authorized by a labor court to reopen a plant in Rio Grande do Sul state that had been closed because of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, according to a statement late on Monday. The company said the plant would be reopened on Thursday, citing a decision by Labor Judge Luciano Cembranel.

May 06 - Beyond Meat plans U.S. discounts, hopes to replace beef on summer grills 
Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat plans to offer large value packs and discounts to some U.S. retailers this summer, hoping to grab a greater share of the market as prices for beef rise amid production disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The value packs, which will be frozen, and the greater-than-normal discounts are aimed at narrowing the price gap between Beyond's plant-based burgers and beef, an issue some financial analysts see as slowing widespread adoption of Beyond's burgers. 

May 06 - Zero-emission tractors, cattle that belch less gas can help curb global warming - McKinsey 
Using zero-emission farm machinery, breeding cattle that produce less methane and employing other new technologies could significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from farms, a report by consultancy McKinsey said on Wednesday. Agriculture, one of the world's biggest greenhouse gas contributors, is projected to account for about 20% of total emissions in the next 20 years, mostly methane produced by belching cattle and rice paddy fields.

May 05 - Coronavirus will constrain U.S. meat supply despite Trump order - Tyson Foods 
The coronavirus crisis will continue to idle U.S. meat plants and slow production, Tyson Foods Inc said on Monday, signaling more disruptions to the U.S. food supply after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered facilities to stay open. Tyson reported lower-than-expected earnings and revenue for the quarter ended on March 28, before processors shut massive slaughterhouses as the respiratory illness spread among workers. Shares fell more than 8% as Tyson also said meat sales will fall in the second half of the year because the outbreak has reduced restaurant demand.

May 05 - EU raises soft wheat export outlook, cuts forecast for domestic use 
The European Commission increased its forecasts for soft wheat exports from the European Union this season and next while scaling back its projections for domestic use of the cereal. For the current 2019/20 season, the Commission raised its outlook for exports of soft wheat, or common wheat, from the EU plus Britain to 31.8 million tonnes from 30 million estimated a month earlier. 

May 05 - U.S. corn planting 51% complete, soybeans 23% - USDA 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said U.S. farmers planted 51% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, above the average of analyst estimates of 48% in a Reuters poll. In a report released on Monday, the USDA said corn planting progress was up from 27% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 39%. Pre-report trade estimates from 12 analysts surveyed by Reuters for the week ended April 26 ranged from 42% to 58%. 

May 05 - Brazil soybean exports hit record in April - govt data 
Brazilian soybean exports in April reached 16.3 million tonnes, an all-time record for a single month and an increase from 9.4 million tonnes in same month last year, according to average daily export data released on Monday by the government. The previous record was 12.35 million tonnes, set in May 2018. Brazil, the world's largest exporter of soybeans, had shipped 11.64 million tonnes of soybeans in March, according to government data, as local farmers finish collecting another bumper crop. 

May 05 - EU set for rapeseed deficit despite biodiesel slump - consultancy 
The European Union is on course for a rapeseed supply deficit at the end of this season and 2020/21 despite a coronavirus-related slump in biodiesel demand, consultancy Strategie Grains said on Monday as it lowered its forecast for this year's harvest. In monthly estimates, the consultancy pegged the 2020 rapeseed harvest in the European Union and Britain at 17.02 million tonnes, down from 17.59 million tonned estimated a month ago and 17.85 million tonnes forecast in early March.

May 05 - Funds revive bullish soy bets just as U.S.-China tensions resurface: Braun 
Speculators did not drastically alter their views toward Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds last week as industry participants continued to assess changes to demand due to the coronavirus, but worsening trade relations between the United States and China soured the mood on Friday. Commodity funds were net buyers of soybeans and corn in the week to April 28, but they were sellers of wheat and soy products, according to data published on Friday by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

May 05 - Brazil prosecutors target BRF, raise specter of meat plant closures 
Brazilian state prosecutors sought to close two meat plants on Monday, raising the specter of more meat packers suspending operations because the novel coroanvirus has spread among workers and surrounding communities. Prosecutors in Rio Grande do Sul filed a lawsuit to close the plants for at least 15 days to contain the virus and protect meatpackers' employees and their families, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office. 

May 05 - Smithfield starts to reopen U.S. pork plant shut by coronavirus - union 
Smithfield Foods Inc, the world's biggest pork processor, resumed limited operations on Monday at a massive South Dakota slaughterhouse it closed last month because of the coronavirus pandemic, the union representing plant employees said. The closure of the plant and other slaughterhouses due to coronavirus cases among employees has led to temporary shortages of U.S. meat products and left farmers without markets for their hogs, forcing some to euthanize livestock.

May 05 - Brazil fears agriculture protectionism amid pandemic - draft report 
Brazilian officials expect the coronavirus outbreak to spark a rise in global agricultural protectionism as countries seek to secure local food supplies, according to a draft report from the agriculture ministry seen by Reuters. The report flags a range of concerns related to "agriculture nationalism," including the possibility of countries imposing export restrictions, subsidies and other policies to favor domestic agriculture industries. 

May 05 - Malaysia April end-stocks seen rising 10% as output surges to six-month high 
Malaysia's palm oil inventories for April likely rose 10% from March as coronavirus-driven lockdowns around the world sharply reduced demand, while plantations ramped up production of the edible oil, a Reuters survey showed. Median April end-stocks likely jumped to 1.91 million tonnes, its highest since December 2019, according to the median estimate of 8 planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters. 

May 05 - Indonesia's farms, plantations to face "drier than usual" dry season 
Indonesia will likely face a "drier than usual" dry season in key agricultural regions this year, President Jokowi Widodo said on Tuesday, adding that measures must be put in place to ensure food security and price stability. Indonesia, which is the world's top producer of palm oil, coconut and the fourth biggest exporter of coffee, will face harsher dry seasons in 30% of its regions, Widodo said, citing the national weather and climate agency, BMKG. 

May 04 - As meat plant infections rise, Canada lets packers choose when to close 
In Cargill Inc's High River, Alberta plant, supplier of more than one-third of Canada's beef, 391 workers were sick with coronavirus when the company suspended operations, according to provincial health officials. But Maple Leaf Foods decided to idle a poultry plant for eight days, in Brampton, Ontario, after just three workers were infected. In Canada's fight against the pandemic, public health officials are mostly leaving decisions on closing meat plants to the companies, even though the authorities have power to do so. 

May 04 - Russian wheat prices down in muted trade - SovEcon 
Russian wheat export prices for the old crop fell in muted trade because the official April-June export quota has been reached, the SovEcon agriculture consultancy said. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loaded from Black Sea ports and for the nearest delivery was down $2 at $228 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of the week, SovEcon said in a note. Barley was steady at $180 a tonne.

May 04 - India's coronavirus lockdown curbs buffalo meat exports, hitting Ramadan supplies 
For more than a decade Kuala Lumpur street vendor Abu Zahrim Ismail has seen brisk sales of daging dendeng, a spicy buffalo meat jerky, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. But this year, the spread of coronavirus pandemic has slashed shipments of Indian buffalo meat, driving prices higher and hitting sales.

May 04 - Egypt buys 1 mln tonnes of local wheat so far in harvest season 
Egypt's supply minister said on Sunday the government had purhcased 1 million tonnes of wheat from local farmers in the first two weeks of the harvesting season. Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, started its local harvest season on April 15. The government has said it expects to procure 3.6 million tonnes.

May 04 - Algeria's Jan-Feb cereals import bill down 8.5% 
Algeria's expenditure on cereals imports fell 8.5% in the first two months of 2020 from the same period last year, official data showed on Sunday. The North African country is one of the world's largest grain importers, but the government has been trying to reduce spending on food and other goods after a sharp drop in energy earnings hit state finances. 

May 04 - Kroger limiting ground beef, pork purchases in some stores 
Supermarket chain Kroger Co said on Friday it has put purchase limits on ground beef and fresh pork at some of its stores following growing concerns over meat shortages due to coronavirus-induced supply disruptions. The world's biggest meat companies, including Smithfield Foods Inc, Cargill Inc, JBS USA and Tyson Foods Inc, have halted operations at about 20 slaughterhouses and processing plants in North America as workers fall ill, stoking global fears of a meat shortage.

May 01 - Malaysian Cash Market Prices for Palm Oil closed on Friday, May 1
The Malaysian AM & PM Cash Market Prices for Palm Oil will not be available on Friday, May 1 due to International Labour Day. They will resume on Monday, May 4.

May 01 - China buys at least 300,000 tonnes U.S. soybeans - traders 
Chinese state-owned importers bought at least five bulk cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Thursday, or at least 300,000 tonnes, for shipment mostly from U.S. Gulf Coast export terminals in August and September, two traders with knowledge of the deals said. Importers were also inquiring about prices for U.S. Pacific Northwest soybeans shipments, but traders could not immediately confirm that such purchases had been finalized.

May 01 - Checking up on China’s U.S. ag commitments in wake of Phase 1 deal - Braun 
Agriculture market-watchers have been somewhat skeptical about the feasibility of the Phase 1 trade deal the United States signed with China back in January, which suggested that U.S. farm product exports to China in 2020 would exceed 2017 levels in value by 50%. However, China has stepped up U.S. agricultural purchases in recent weeks, perhaps in an "under the radar" way, since the purchases have not involved eye-popping volumes or many big-ticket items as might be expected with such a lofty target. 

May 01 - U.S. calls ingredients in some ethanol-based hand sanitizers unsafe 
The Trump administration has tightened restrictions on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer, citing safety concerns and forcing some suppliers to halt sales at a time of soaring demand, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters. The crackdown is meant to protect consumers from potentially dangerous impurities in hand sanitizer, but could worsen shortages at a time when households, hospitals and nursing homes need sanitizer to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

May 01 - ADM sees increased cardboard demand, weak ethanol use during pandemic 
The coronavirus pandemic is fueling demand for cardboard boxes - a boon for global food company Archer Daniels Midland Co's industrial starches business - as consumers rush to order goods online amid widespread shutdowns, company executives said on Thursday. The starches, made from corn or wheat, are used as an adhesive in making corrugated cardboard. Demand for ethanol biofuel the company produces has plummeted along with gasoline use, meanwhile, as the pandemic wrecks havoc on the global economy. But biodiesel demand was strong in North America as big-rig trucks raced to haul goods to warehouses as airlines grounded planes.

May 01 - Unfazed by coronavirus, Egypt's farmers harvest their wheat 
Egyptian farmers have begun to harvest their wheat without the coronavirus disruptions hitting other growers globally, and with a plea from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to sell the government as much of their crop as possible. Egypt has imposed a nationwide nightly curfew to curb the spread of the disease, but farmers are exempt and work into the night after breaking their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

May 01 - Confirmed coronavirus cases surge in reopened JBS Colorado beef plant; worker dies - union 
COVID-19 cases at a JBS meatpacking plant in Colorado have more than doubled "in a number of days" and a sixth employee died of the virus, a union official said on Thursday, underscoring the risks of U.S. meat plants reopening.  The beef plant in Greeley, Colorado, started operating last Friday after it was closed for about two weeks following an outbreak among workers. 

May 01 - IGC cuts forecast for 2020/21 global wheat crop 
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday trimmed its forecast for global wheat production in the 2020/21 season, driven partly by downward revisions for Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut its global wheat crop forecast by 4 million tonnes to 764 million tonnes "as less than ideal conditions are harming crop prospects in Europe and the Black Sea region."

May 01 - Argentine soy harvest advances to 68.2% of total planted area - exchange 
Argentine farmers have harvested 68.2% of this season's soy crop, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in a report on Thursday, with most progress over the last week made in northern growing area that escaped recent torrential rains. The exchange forecasts 49.5 million tonnes of soy to be harvested this year and 50 million tonnes of corn.

May 01 - Russia's VTB finds partners for growth of grain business 
Russia's second-largest bank VTB has sold half its Russian grain business, consolidated in Demetra Holding, to two Russian firms for an undisclosed sum, as it expands the business further, it said in a statement on Thursday. The state-controlled bank became the largest operator of Russia's grain export infrastructure and a major grain trader after a series of acquisitions in 2019. It has said it plans to expand its grain business further and then exit. 

May 01 - French cereal crop ratings fall again, maize sowing 70% complete 
The condition of French soft wheat and barley crops declined for the third week in a row in the week to April 27, farm office FranceAgriMer said in a report on Thursday. For soft wheat, 57% of crops were rated good or excellent against 58% a week earlier, it said. The condition of barley crops declined more sharply, with winter barley rated 53% good/excellent against 57% the previous week and spring barley rated 65% good/excellent against 69%previously, FranceAgriMer said.

May 01 - Fast-food chicken demand nears pre-pandemic levels - Pilgrim's Pride 
Chicken demand from U.S. quick service restaurants has bounced back to near where it was before the coronavirus outbreak caused consumers to isolate at home, poultry company Pilgrim's Pride Corp said on Thursday. Restaurant demand for meat and poultry tumbled as the pandemic shut dining rooms, shifting sales to grocers. The recovery at quick-service restaurant (QSR) chains signals some consumers are resuming more normal activities such as ordering from fast-food drive-thru windows.

Apr 30 - ADM Q1 profit beats estimates, as CEO cites 'many unknowns' of pandemic 
Global grains trader Archer Daniels Midland Co reported a drop in first-quarter revenues on Wednesday but topped Wall Street profit estimates, helped by growth in its nutritional businesses and as its agricultural services group got a boost from robust Brazilian farmer selling. ADM's results offer the first look at how the pandemic is impacting the world's largest grain traders, as global food supply chains are breaking, U.S. meat plants are shuttering, farmers are forced to destroy crops and animals, and thousands of U.S. meat and food-processing workers have been infected with the coronavirus.  

Apr 30 - U.S. ethanol demand spiked in latest week, but it's still far from normal - Braun 
U.S. fuel ethanol production hit another record low last week, but stocks came off their record highs, their first decline in five weeks, a sign that demand is slowly coming back and that production has either bottomed or is very close to doing so. Global fuel consumption has fallen sharply ever since the coronavirus pandemic escalated in mid-March, sending oil prices into a tailspin. This has delivered an unprecedented blow to U.S. corn demand, as fuel ethanol production accounts for roughly 40% of annual use.

Apr 30 - USDA March soybean crush seen at record 191.5 million bushels 
U.S. processing plants likely crushed a record 5.746 million short tons of soybeans in March, or 191.5 million bushels, according to the average forecast of nine analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report. Estimates ranged from 191.0 million bushels to 192.5 million bushels, with a median of 191.5 million bushels.

Apr 30 - JBS reopens U.S. pork plant to put down pigs, dispose of carcasses, not produce meat 
Meat producer JBS said on Wednesday it was reopening a Minnesota pork plant shuttered by the pandemic to euthanize up to 13,000 pigs a day for farmers, not to produce meat for consumers. U.S. farmers have been forced to cull livestock as they run short of space to house animals after some of the largest U.S. slaughterhouses closed due to outbreaks of the coronavirus among workers. 

Apr 30 - Cargill saw Brazil trading, processing volumes rise in 2019 
The volume of agricultural commodities originated, processed and traded in Brazil by Cargill Inc rose by 12% in 2019 as the U.S.-based firm makes the most from its presence in one of the world's largest breadbaskets. Cargill said in a statement on Wednesday volumes rose to 36 million tonnes last year while the consolidated net revenue at a division known as Cargill Agrícola, present in 17 states, rose by 6.7% last year to 48.6 billion reais.

Apr 30 - Do your bit for farmers and eat more fries, Belgians urged 
With potato farmers and processors struggling, Belgians are being urged to eat more fries to offset a slump in demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Belgium is the world's largest exporter of fries and other frozen potato products, its processors converting 5.3 million tonnes of potatoes into fries, mash and crisps per year and sending them to customers in more than 160 countries.

Apr 30 - Fonterra says Jan-Feb dairy exports to China fell 1.4% on year on coronavirus curbs 
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra's exports to no. 1 market China slid 1.4% in the first two months of the year from the same period a year ago, it said on Thursday, citing public health measures imposed to counter the coronavirus pandemic.  The world's largest dairy exporter had warned in February that the coronavirus outbreak "will potentially impact" shipments to China from January. 

Apr 30 - S.Africa's 2020 maize harvest expected to be 35% higher than previous season - CEC 
South Africa will likely harvest 35% more maize in 2020 boosted by higher yields in the Free State and Mpumalanga, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Wednesday. Giving its third production forecast for the 2020 crop, the CEC estimated production at 15.221 million tonnes, compared with 11.275 million tonnes harvested in the previous year when dry conditions affected plantings.

Apr 29 - Trump orders U.S. meat-processing plants to stay open despite coronavirus fears 
President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered meat-processing plants to stay open to protect the food supply in the United States, despite concerns about coronavirus outbreaks, drawing a backlash from unions that said at-risk workers required more protection. With concerns about food shortages and supply chain disruptions, Trump issued an executive order using the Defense Production Act to mandate that the plants continue to function. 

Apr 29 - Argentine storms interrupt soy, corn harvest but bode well for wheat planting 
Argentine farmers have suspended soy and corn harvesting in the country's central grains belt due to heavy rains, while the extra moisture was expected to help wheat planting scheduled to start in May, growers and analysts said on Tuesday. Harvesting had benefited from a month of sunny weather that allowed farmers to bring in more than half the 2019/20 soy crop and a third of the season's corn before unusually harsh storms started pelting the Pampas grains belt over the weekend.

Apr 29 - Bayer faces second investor reckoning over glyphosate litigation 
Bayer on Tuesday faces its second annual investor reckoning over its handling of a wave of U.S. lawsuits claiming its glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer. Criticism from investors at this year's annual shareholders' meeting - held in a virtual format with gatherings banned due to the coronavirus - will likely be less scathing than it was in 2019.

Apr 29 - EU milk producers suffer export, consumption slump due to coronavirus
EU plans to help the dairy sector weather the coronavirus crisis by storing surplus milk have come under fire from milk producers as prolonging rather than solving the problem. The European Commission proposed last week financial support for storage costs for milk powder in private facilities in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It also allowed the milk sector collectively to plan production, exempting it from certain competition rules for up to six months.

Apr 29 - Big week for corn, soy planting in top states bodes well for U.S. crops - Braun 
U.S. farmers have gotten a solid start on their corn and soybean planting efforts this spring after making impressive progress last week, which is much welcomed after last year's historic difficulties. The window of opportunity for planting will not be completely wide open this week as rain will be a nuisance in Illinois and the eastern areas, but even an on-time planted crop is very much in the running for a record yield.

Apr 29 - Dutch lift bird flu restrictions on poultry farms 
The Netherlands will from Wednesday no longer require commercial poultry farmers to keep their birds confined indoors as the risk of bird flu has eased, the agriculture minister said. The measures to keep the birds indoors were taken on Feb. 12 after an outbreak in neighbouring Germany of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus. 

Apr 29 - Vietnam PM says to fully resume rice exports from May 
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday agreed to fully resume the country's rice exports from May, the government said.  "From May 1, rice export activities will be resumed as normal," Phuc said in a statement on the government's website. 

Apr 28 - Piglets aborted, chickens gassed as pandemic slams meat sector 
With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant sows, one by one, that would cause them to abort their baby pigs. Van Beek and other farmers say they have no choice but to cull livestock as they run short on space to house their animals or money to feed them, or both. The world's biggest meat companies - including Smithfield Foods Inc, Cargill Inc, JBS USA and Tyson Foods Inc - have halted operations at about 20 slaughterhouses and processing plants in North America since April as workers fall ill, stoking global fears of a meat shortage.

Apr 28 - Saudi Arabia makes first wheat purchase from overseas farmland investment 
Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO said on Monday it bought 60,000 tonnes of Ukraine wheat from investment firm SALIC, marking its first purchase from agricultural investments overseas aimed at enhancing the country's food security. Gulf states, dependent on imports for around 80% to 90% of their food, have poured cash into buying tens of thousands of hectares of cheap farmland and other agricultural assets elsewhere to shore up their food security for over a decade.

Apr 28 - U.S. corn planting 27% complete, soybeans 8% - USDA 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said U.S. farmers were able to plant 27% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, above the average of analyst estimates of 22% in a Reuters poll. In a report released on Monday, the USDA said corn planting progress was up from 7% a week earlier and surpassed the five-year average of 20%. Pre-report trade estimates from 12 analysts surveyed by Reuters for the week ended April 26 ranged from 18% to 27%.

Apr 28 - U.S. slaughterhouse bottleneck creates grief for livestock, grain farmers - Braun 
The abrupt halting of the U.S. economy last month closed restaurants overnight and led to a huge shift in consumer demand toward retail, a huge blow for meatpackers and food processors with a primary focus on food service. The rise in retail meat sales was never expected to fully replace the demand losses in the hospitality industry, but now meat supply at the grocery store could come under pressure as COVID-19 has forced the closure of several U.S. slaughterhouses. 

Apr 28 - Funds’ bearish corn bets hit seven-month high as futures flirt with $3 mark - Braun 
Speculators increased their pessimism toward Chicago-traded corn last week as unprecedented disruptions in demand had front-month futures dangerously close to a sub $3-per-bushel price, which has not happened since 2009. In the week ended April 21, hedge funds and other money managers expanded their net short position in CBOT corn futures and options to 161,057 contracts from 137,571 in the previous week, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Apr 28 - EU monitor expects dry spring in Western Europe to hamper crops 
One of the driest starts to spring in Western Europe since 1979 is having a negative impact on the sowing and emergence of spring and summer crops, the European Union's crop monitoring service said on Monday. With almost no rain since mid-March, the dry weather could hamper an expected increase in the spring crop area in Britain and France as farmers sought to replace winter crops that had not been sown due to unfavourable conditions, MARS said.

Apr 28 - Ukraine decides against corn export limits - deputy minister 
Ukraine, a major grain producer and exporter, will not limit its corn exports this season, deputy economy minister Taras Vysotskiy told Reuters on Monday. The country's economy ministry said last week that the government was considering limiting corn exports for this season despite a record high harvest and expected decrease in prices and demand. 

Apr 28 - China's ICBC closes commodity-linked products to new investment 
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has suspended access for new investors to retail products linked to commodity futures due to extreme market volatility, including U.S. oil futures crashing below zero.  Investors already holding ICBC's commodity-linked retail products will not be able to add to their positions from Tuesday, but existing positions can be traded as normal, the bank said on its website on Monday

Apr 28 - Vietnam trade ministry proposes fully resuming rice exports from May 
Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked the prime minister to remove a quota on rice exports to fully resume the country's shipments of the grain from May, the ministry said on Tuesday.  The Southeast Asian country, the world's third-largest rice exporter, banned rice exports in March and limited shipments for April to 500,000 tonnes to make sure the country has sufficient food during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Apr 28 - Bayer takes tough stance in glyphosate settlement talks due to downturn 
Bayer said the economic downturn and the need to preserve cash means it is taking a tougher stance in talks to settle claims over accusations that its glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer, even as its earnings rose. The pandemic has significantly slowed the mediation process, the German drugs and pesticides company said in a statement on Monday. 

Apr 27 - China's March soybean imports from Brazil fall on cargo delay 
China's March soybean imports from top supplier Brazil fell 24.8% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Sunday, after rains delayed cargoes.  China, the world's biggest soybean buyer, imported 2.1 million tonnes soybeans from Brazil, down from 2.79 million tonnes in March of last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Apr 27 - Russia will be shipping grain from its already depleted Q2 export quota 
Russia will suspend grain exports until July 1 only after the grain it has declared in its second-quarter quota has been shipped, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.  Russia previously set the quota for grain exports of 7 million tonnes for April through June following the outbreak of the new coronavirus. This online grain export quota ran out on Sunday, data from the ministry showed.

Apr 27 - U.S. Labor Department issues new guidance for meatpacking workers 
The U.S. Labor Department issued new guidelines on Sunday for U.S. meatpacking and meat-processing plants that have seen a rash of coronavirus outbreaks, saying employees should be spaced at least 6 feet (1.8 m) apart and screened before they start working. The interim guidance from the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration also recommended temperature checks and the wearing of cloth face coverings as a protective measure.

Apr 27 - U.S. food banks run short on staples as hunger soars 
It’s pitch black in El Paso, Texas, when the minivans and pickups start lining up at 4 a.m., snaking for more than a mile down the desert roadway leading to the city’s largest food bank. When rations are finally distributed five hours later, many boxes are filled with too many castoff beefsteak tomatoes but no pasta. Nor is there any rice, beans or other dry or canned goods.

Apr 27 - China gets go-ahead to start trading hog futures 
China is set to become the second market in the world after the United States to trade live pig futures after the securities regulator said on Friday the Dalian Commodity Exchange could launch a contract in the world's top pork producer. The new contract, which has been under discussion for more than a decade and awaiting a green light for three years, comes as Beijing tries to jump start its economy amid growing worries about a long and deep contraction. 

Apr 27 - Bunge's takeover of Brazilian soy crushers blocked by court injunction 
A previously unreported Brazilian court injunction last month has thrown a wrench into Bunge Ltd's plan to take over two soy processing plants from local crusher Imcopa, according to court filings seen by Reuters. The injunction was granted on behalf of two Panamanian entities identified in the filings as "third parties." It effectively suspended a bankruptcy court auction in which Bunge had bid a combined 50 million reais ($9.16 million) for the plants.

Apr 27 - Argentina's ebbing Parana River costs grains sector $244 mln - exchange 
The water level on Argentina's Parana River is at a near 50-year low, hampering export traffic on the grains superhighway and causing local industry $244 million in losses over the past four months, the Rosario Grains Exchange said on Friday. With farmers now harvesting corn and soy, Argentina's two main cash crops, problems caused by the river's decline at the key ports hub of Rosario come just as the government needs export dollars and tax revenue to stay solvent and bolster an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Apr 27 - Brazil JBS workers catch COVID-19 in latest meat plant outbreak 
A JBS SA poultry plant in southern Brazil was hit by an outbreak of COVID-19, according to labor prosecutors, marking the first large-scale infection at a Brazilian meat plant. The respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus affected 20 workers at the meat-processing facility in the town of Passo Fundo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, according to a representative from the state's labor prosecutor's office on Friday. 

Apr 27 - Here's why you can't find frozen fries, while U.S. farmers are sitting on tons of potatoes 
Shopper Lexie Mayewski is having a hard time finding frozen french fries in Washington, D.C.-area supermarkets in the wake of coronavirus-fueled stockpiling.  On the other side of the country, Washington state farmer Mike Pink is weighing whether to plow under 30,000 tons of potatoes worth millions of dollars that would have been turned into french fries for fast-food chains like McDonald's Corp, Wendy's Co and Chick-fil-A.

Apr 27 - Hungry Venezuela's crops rot in fields for lack of fuel 
With millions of people hungry in Venezuela, acute fuel shortages are forcing farmers to let crops rot in fields or feed them to livestock since they cannot transport food to market during the coronavirus quarantine. Irrigation systems are halted in the western Andean highlands and laborers cannot get to fields for harvest. The fuel shortages have worsened in recent weeks as Washington has tightened sanctions on the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Apr 24 - Amid coronavirus, China looks to U.S. crops for state reserves - sources
China is preparing to buy more than 30 million tonnes of crops for state stockpiles to help protect itself from supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and make good on pledges to buy more U.S. crops, three sources told Reuters. China plans to add about 10 million tonnes of soybeans, 20 million tonnes of corn and 1 million tonnes of cotton to its state reserves, said two of the sources, who were briefed on the government plan. 

Apr 24 - More than 5,000 U.S. meat, food-processing workers exposed to coronavirus -union
More than 5,000 U.S. meat and food-processing workers have been infected with or exposed to the new coronavirus, and 13 have died, the country's largest meatpacking union said on Thursday. The statistics reflect how the contagious respiratory illness has spread widely through slaughterhouses where large groups of employees often work shoulder to shoulder in difficult conditions. 

Apr 24 - Crop Watch: U.S. growers pleased with field conditions as planting begins - Braun
U.S. corn and soybean growers did not necessarily get off to a fast start with planting this year, but good field conditions have allowed some Crop Watch growers to get an earlier start than usual, a huge relief after last year’s record delays. With memories of last year fresh on the brain, some growers are not waiting for perfect conditions to start planting. If that approach is sufficiently widespread, it could accelerate weekly progress more than expected. However, conditions are not far from perfect in some of the most highly productive areas.

Apr 24 - Indian rice rates ease as rupee flounders, labour woes hit Bangladesh
Rice export prices in India eased from a eight-month peak this week on the rupee's record fall, while the coronavirus lockdown has raised concerns about a shortage of labour to harvest the summer crop in neighbouring Bangladesh. Top exporter India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety was quoted $374-$379 per tonne this week, down from $375-$380 per tonne quoted last week.

Apr 24 - ADM to temporarily idle ethanol output at 2 facilities on lower gasoline demand
Grains trader Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Thursday it will temporarily idle ethanol production at two of its corn dry mill facilities due to lower gasoline demand. The decision affects the corn dry mill facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Nebraska and ADM said it plans to furlough about 90 employees in each facility for four months. 

Apr 24 - Weather unfavourable for Ukrainian crops in first half of April-analysts
Ukraine faced unfavourable weather conditions in the first half of this month and very dry air reduced already low moisture reserves in the soil, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Thursday. "As a result, poor agro-meteorological conditions have developed over most of the country for the growth and development of all agricultural crops," the consultancy said in a report.

Apr 24 - Brazil's Cosan CEO sees increased difficulty for some sugar companies
Sugar and ethanol company Cosan SA expects increased financial difficulties for some Brazilian companies in the sector as demand for the biofuel falls and prices for the sweetener hover around a 12-year low. Cosan Chief Executive Officer Luis Henrique Guimaraes said during a call with analysts and investors on Thursday that opportunities for acquisitions will probably arise as a result of low prices and falling demand, but added the company is not looking at consolidation right now. 

Apr 24 - How Africa risks reeling from a health crisis to a food crisis
In Nigeria's Benue state, the food basket of the country, Mercy Yialase sits in front of her idle rice mill. Demand is high across the nation, but she already has mounds of paddy rice that are going nowhere amid the COVID-19 lockdown. "I can't mill because the marketers are not coming," Yialase said, referring to wholesale buyers, as she sat at a market stall in the city of Makurdi with dozens of other millers.

Apr 23 - China buys U.S. soybeans as prices sink to 11-month lows
Chinese importers signed deals to buy at least three bulk shipments of U.S. soybeans this week after prices sank to an 11-month low as part of a broad-based commodities sell-off due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to government and private sources. The deals come amid heightened concern about global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and as China works to fulfill trade deal commitments to dramatically accelerate purchases of U.S. farm goods.

Apr 23 - U.S. pork supplies tightened before coronavirus shut slaughterhouses
U.S. supplies of frozen pork fell in March before the coronavirus pandemic forced meat processors to close slaughterhouses, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday, setting the stage for inventories to tighten further. Processors have closed major pork and beef plants following the spread of the new virus among employees, reducing U.S. meat output and causing livestock to back up on farms. 

Apr 23 - EU sets out support for struggling farmers
The European Commission proposed measures on Wednesday to support farmers hit by the coronavirus restrictions, including aid to store surplus dairy and meat products. Under the proposals, the Commission will grant aid for private storage of milk powder, butter and cheese as well as beef, sheep and goat meat for a minimum of two to three months and a maximum of five to six months.

Apr 23 - India cuts potash subsidy to lowest in a decade
India on Wednesday cut subsidies for potash-based fertiliser by 9% to the lowest in a decade, as the world's leading importer of the crop nutrient tries to contain a fiscal deficit. The reduction in government support amid a slide in the rupee currency could lead to higher retail prices for farmers and potentially dent consumption and imports.

Apr 23 - Coronavirus forces Tyson Foods to shutter two major U.S. pork plants
Tyson Foods Inc is shuttering two pork processing plants, including its largest in the United States, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, further tightening meat supplies after other major slaughterhouse shutdowns. The closures are limiting the amount of meat the United States can produce during the outbreak and adding stress on farmers who are losing markets for their pigs. 

Apr 23 - Taiwan’s MFIG buys about 117,000 T of corn in tender
Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group bought about 117,000 tonnes of corn expected to be sourced from Brazil and South Africa in an international tender that closed on Wednesday, European traders said. The tender had sought shipment in July and August, depending on origin supplied, they said.

Apr 23 - Albanian seasonal workers could go to Greece in May - PM
Albania and Greece, whose borders are closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, agreed to work on paving the way to allow Albanian seasonal agriculture workers to go to Greece by mid-May, Albania's prime minister, Edi Rama, said on Wednesday. Rama said he had talked with Greece's prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, about fighting the virus, reviving the economy and "specifically the mutual interest in helping the interaction about seasonal employment."

Apr 22 - Asia pivots towards plants for protein as coronavirus stirs meat safety fears
Demand for plant-based protein foods is surging in Asia, suppliers say, as suspicion over possible links between wild animal meat and the new coronavirus drives some consumers, particularly in Hong Kong and mainland China, to rethink diets. Though still a tiny business compared to Asia's giant meat supply chain, vegetarian alternatives to meat, dairy and seafood are gaining growing custom from people like Hong Kong-based fitness trainer Mike Lee.

Apr 22 - Brazil's lofty corn and soy hopes punctured by dry weather - Braun
Although record harvests are still expected, dry weather has prevented Brazil’s current corn and soybean crops from reaching the eye-popping levels that many market analysts believed would be possible. Almost all of Brazil’s soybean fields are harvested, but the second-crop corn is still in the vulnerable stages of growth. Rainfall has been disappointing in some regions, and if the recent dry pattern does not clear, corn output could fall from expectations. 

Apr 22 - G20 agriculture ministers say corona measures should not disrupt food supply
Agriculture and food ministers from the Group of 20 countries agreed at a virtual meeting on Tuesday that emergency measures to stop the spread of the new coronavirus must not upend global food supply chains. Their extraordinary meeting came as coronavirus lockdowns across the world slow global food supply chains, leaving some farmers unable to get their produce to consumers and major producing countries restricting exports.

Apr 22 - Canada sees no beef shortage, but prices may rise due to coronavirus
The Canadian government is not expecting a beef shortage despite the spread of the novel coronavirus in certain meat-packing plants, though prices may rise, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. Trudeau added that beef producers are placing a priority on supplying the Canadian market before exporting products.

Apr 22 - Dryness speeds Argentina's soy harvest while slowing River cargo traffic
Dryness in Argentina has helped farmers speed collection of this season's soy, before heavy rains expected next week cause likely harvesting delays in the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and its No. 3 supplier of corn and raw soybeans. Three weeks of good weather has helped farmers collect soy and corn by making fields firm enough to support heavy harvesting combines. But the dryness has contributed to logistics bottlenecks further down the export chain. 

Apr 22 - Bunge to sell 35 U.S. grain elevators to Zen-Noh Grain
Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd said on Tuesday it will sell 35 of its interior U.S. grain elevators to Zen-Noh Grain Corporation, dramatically reducing its grain origination network in the United States. Financial details of the sale with the subsidiary of Japan's Zen-Noh Group were not disclosed, and the deal is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, Bunge said.

Apr 22 - Belgian farmers struggle with absent workers, closed markets
Farmer Luc Warnez is very clear on the two issues threatening his business since the coronavirus outbreak - who will pick the strawberries in his fields and who will eat them? Farmers across Europe are looking out at ripening crops in a world changed by measures designed to stem the spread of the virus. 

Apr 22 - NZ's a2 Milk Co sees jump in quarterly sales on coronavirus-led stockpiling
New Zealand's a2 Milk Co Ltd on Wednesday raised the outlook for its full-year core earnings margin amid a surge in consumer stockpiling during the coronavirus outbreak. The dairy producer's lift to earnings expectations comes as food retailers across the world have benefited from panic-driven hoarding of essentials ahead of lockdowns to curtail the pandemic's spread.

Apr 21 - Russian wheat crop forecast cut by IKAR as dry weather persists
Dry weather is persisting in Russia's southern regions, the country's main area for wheat production and exports, analysts said on Monday, with one of them, IKAR, downgrading its forecast for the 2020 crop. Rains are expected to arrive to those regions soon and could yet improve the situation for the crop from the world's largest wheat exporter. The crop is still expected to be higher than in 2019.

Apr 21 - U.S. corn planting 7% complete, soy 2% complete - USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. farmers were able to plant 7% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, matching the average of analyst estimates in a Reuters poll. In a report released on Monday, the USDA said corn planting progress was up from 3% a week earlier but lagged the five-year average of 9%. Pre-report trade estimates from 11 analysts surveyed by Reuters for the week ended April 19 ranged from 5% to 12%.

Apr 21 - As U.S. fuel demand dries up, more ethanol producers turn to hand sanitizer 
An increasing number of U.S. ethanol plants trying to survive a drop in fuel demand brought on by the coronavirus outbreak have turned to making a product for which demand is soaring: hand sanitizer. At least two dozen producers of the corn-based fuel have switched some of their output to produce a high grade of alcohol required for hand sanitizer since late March, the head of the Renewable Fuels Association said on Monday.

Apr 21 - China pork prices may peak around September this year - official
China's pork prices may peak around September this year, an agriculture ministry official said on Tuesday. Supplies of the meat will be under pressure in the second quarter, because of a low production base, uncertainty in imports and recovering consumption, said Yang Zhenhai, head of the husbandry bureau under the ministry. 

Apr 21 - JBS shuts U.S. pork plant, Cargill idles Canadian beef plant on coronavirus
JBS USA said on Monday it would indefinitely shut a hog slaughterhouse that produces about 5% of U.S. pork, while Cargill Ltd said it was temporarily idling a Canadian beef-processing plant in the latest disruptions to the North American food supply chain from the coronavirus pandemic. JBS said it is closing a pork production facility in Worthington, Minnesota, that employs more than 2,000 workers and processes 20,000 hogs per day. It advised plant employees to follow a state order to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, until the facility in Nobles County reopens.

Apr 21 - KFC to sell plant-based fried chicken made by Cargill in China
Yum China's KFC fast food chain will begin selling plant-based fried chicken for the first time in China over a limited time period, it said on Monday. The nuggets will be supplied by U.S. agribusiness Cargill Ltd and will be sold at only three outlets in China in Shanghai and the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen between April 28-30, KFC said on its official Weibo account. 

Apr 21 - Brazil grains producer Terra Santa may sell land to reduce debt 
Brazilian grains producer Terra Santa Agro SA is considering selling part of its land to reduce debt, Chief Executive Officer Jose Humberto Teodoro Junior said on Monday. Terra Santa has noticed higher demand for land acquisitions by farmers, and may seize the opportunity to increase its liquidity, the CEO said in an interview with Reuters. But Terra Santa aims to sell the land and immediately rent it to keep its production levels. 

Apr 20 - U.S. announces $19 bln coronavirus aid for farmers, food buys for poor
President Donald Trump on Friday announced a $19 billion relief program to help U.S. farmers cope with the impact of the coronavirus, including $16 billion in direct payments to producers and mass purchases of meat, dairy, vegetables and other products. The U.S. Agriculture Department is partnering with regional and local distributors to purchase $3 billion in such farm goods to be distributed to food banks, churches and aid groups as millions of Americans face unemployment with much of the economy shut down. 

Apr 20 - Russia will suspend grain exports for 6 weeks if its quota runs out in mid-May
Russia, the world's biggest wheat exporter, will suspend grain exports until July 1 once its export quota is exhausted, which is currently expected to happen in mid-May, its deputy agriculture minister Oksana Lut said on Friday. Russia last fully banned wheat exports in 2010 when drought hit its harvest, rocking global markets. Turkey, Egypt and Bangladesh are the largest buyers of Russian wheat. 

Apr 20 - China's agriculture faces key disease challenges this year
China's farm production and market operations face grave challenges this year as it grapples with the double threats of imported coronavirus cases and African swine fever, an official of the agriculture ministry said on Monday. Pests, drought and floods also present harsher threats than usual to output this year, deputy minister Yu Kangzhen said during a video conference on the outlook for agriculture.

Apr 20 - Ukraine weekly wheat exports jump 47% despite government warning
Ukrainian wheat exports jumped nearly 50 percent in the week of April 11-17 despite a government warning that it could ban shipments if export rates are too high. Preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy on Sunday showed that Ukraine exported 319,000 tonnes of wheat last week, up from 217,000 tonnes a week earlier.

Apr 20 - French cereal crop ratings decline as dry spell continues
The condition of French soft wheat and barley crops declined last week, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday, hit by continuing dry weather in the European Union's biggest grain producer. For soft wheat, France's largest cereal crop, 60% was rated good or excellent by April 13, FranceAgriMer said in a weekly report. That compared with 61% the previous week and 81% a year earlier.

Apr 20 - Argentina says Brazil agrees to raise level of grains thoroughfare Parana River
Brazil has agreed to release water at the giant Itaipu hydroelectric dam to raise low water levels in the Parana River, a key thoroughfare for grains shipments, Argentina's Foreign Ministry said on Friday. Decade-low water levels on the Parana are forcing Argentine exporters to load less soy and other grains on ships bound largely for China, adding a new problem to a sector already beset by bottlenecks due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Apr 20 - NZ's Fonterra retains 2019/20 farmgate milk price forecast
Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd stood by its forecast milk payment to farmers for the 2019-2020 season, but urged them to exercise caution with on-farm decisions due to coronavirus-led uncertainty. "It's clear that the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to have an impact on the health and wellbeing of people and economies across the globe for an extended period, likely deep into 2021," Fonterra Chairman John Monaghan said in an email to farmers. 

Apr 20 - Home gardening blooms around the world during coronavirus lockdowns
Jaime Calder all but gave up on gardening after moving from the fertile soils of Illinois to dusty Texas, but the coronavirus changed her mind. The magazine editor and her family of five planted collard greens, chard, onions, blackberries, watermelons and peppers this year, expanding their garden while buckling down at home during the pandemic.

Apr 17 - China Q1 pork output falls 29% after pig disease decimates herd 
China's pork output in the first quarter fell 29.1% from a year ago to 10.38 million tonnes, official data showed on Friday, as the world's biggest producer continues to feel the impact of the African swine fever that decimated its hog herd. China's pork output hit a 16-year low of 42.6 million tonnes in 2019 after African swine fever, deadly to almost all pigs but not harmful to people, killed millions of hogs.

Apr 17 - Indian traders signing rice export deals again after 3-week pause 
Indian rice traders are signing new export contracts again after a gap of nearly three weeks, four industry officials told Reuters on Thursday. The resumption of shipments from the world's biggest exporter could cap global prices which surged after India suspended exports amid a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, allowing rival countries such as Thailand to rise prices and shipments.

Apr 17 - Egypt's GASC buys 240,000 tonnes of French, Russian wheat 
Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said on Thursday it had bought 240,000 tonnes of wheat at its latest international purchasing tender, as it looks to boost reserves during the coronavirus crisis. Of the total, GASC booked 180,000 tonnes of French wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat on a free-on-board (FOB) basis with payment using "at sight" letters of credit, which guarantee immediate payment on receipt of various shipment documents, rather than 180-day deferred payments.

Apr 17 - Germany's 2020 wheat harvest seen down, rapeseed up 
Germany's 2020 wheat crop will fall 1.4% on the year to 22.73 million tonnes, the country's association of farm cooperatives said in its second harvest estimate. This was down only slightly from 22.79 million tonnes in the first forecast in March.

Apr 17 - Ethanol nightmare has become U.S. corn's 'trade war' - Braun 
China dropped an enormous bomb on the U.S. soybean market in 2018 when it all but shunned the American oilseed at the start of the trade war, creating an unprecedented demand shock. Unfortunately, the corn market is getting a taste of that torture now as the abrupt collapse in world oil demand has led to previously unimaginable cuts in U.S. ethanol production. 

Apr 17 - Brazil's second-corn crop threatened by potential climate issues - INTL FCStone 
Despite a record second-corn crop area of 13.2 million hectares in the current planting season, Brazil's production potential could be reduced by weather issues in coming weeks, INTL FCStone said in a presentation on Thursday. Brazilian farmers are now expected to harvest 73.9 million tonnes of second corn in the 2019/2020 cycle, lower than the 74.3 million-tonne estimated output in the previous year, according to the agribusiness consultancy.

Apr 17 - Coronavirus spurs new clash between Big Oil and Big Corn over U.S. biofuels 
A fuel demand meltdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the United States has started up a new fight between the oil and agriculture industries over the nation's biofuel policy, this time over whether the policy should be suspended or expanded as a result of the crisis. The issue once again places Republican President Donald Trump in a tough spot between two important constituencies, both of which have been pushed to the brink of collapse by the coronavirus pandemic because of flagging consumption, disrupted supply chains and reduced workforces.

Apr 17 - Romania says wheat exports agreed before April 10 not blocked 
Romania's wheat export contracts sealed before April 10, when a military decree banning cereal exports to non-European destinations took effect, are not halted," Agriculture Minister Adrian Oros said on Thursday. Asked whether all wheat export deals to Egypt can go ahead, Oros told Reuters: "They are not blocked."

Apr 17 - Hazmats and home deliveries: how one Iberian ham producer is countering coronavirus 
Having lived through animal-related influenzas like SARS and H1N1, Iberian ham producer Joselito was quick to enhance quality controls with tougher sanitary measures when the coronavirus hit. But the near-total paralysis of its European exports, and the nationwide shutdown of its main client base - Spain's restaurants, bars, and hotels - still came as a huge shock.

Apr 17 - Ukraine wheat prices hit season's high amid strong export demand 
Ukrainian wheat export prices have risen to this season's high amid strong demand from foreign buyers, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Thursday.
The consultancy said in a report that export bid prices for 12.5% protein milling wheat as of April 16 rose to $227-$232 per tonne FOB Black Sea with delivery in late April, the highest level this season.

Apr 17 - Argentina's soy harvest speeds up, 37.8% collected so far - exchange 
Argentine farmers have brought in 37.8% of this season's soy crop so far at an average yield of 3.42 tonnes per hectare, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly report on Thursday. Weather conditions have been favorable, it said, with the harvest progressing by 21.6 percentage points over the preceding week, advancing 3.7 points faster this season than in the previous crop year.


Apr 16 - Ukraine ready to ban wheat exports if necessary - official 
Ukraine, one of world's top grain exporters, is ready to ban wheat exports if sales exceed limits agreed with traders, the deputy economy minister in charge of agriculture told Reuters on Wednesday. Any further restrictions of Ukraine's grain exports could speed up trade from Black Sea producers Russia and Kazakhstan, depleting their grain export quotas earlier than anticipated.

Apr 16 - China's soybean shortage abates at southern ports 
Soybean crushers in southern China have begun to receive beans again from South America, easing a supply shortage in the world's top market, crushers and analysts said. Chinese buyers bring in soybeans to crush into soymeal for the livestock sector and cooking oil, but rains in top supplier Brazil in late February have delayed the harvest and exports, reducing soybeans 

Apr 16 - NOPA March soybean crush jumps to record-high 181.374 million bushels 
U.S. soy processors crushed a record-large volume of soybeans in March, topping trade estimates for a fourth straight month, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Wednesday. NOPA said its members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 181.374 million bushels of soybeans last month, up from 166.288 million bushels in February and 170.011 million bushels in March 2019. The crush eclipsed the previous record monthly crush of 176.940 million bushels set in January 2020.

Apr 16 - French wheat exports outside EU seen at record high in 2019/20 
France is on course to export a record amount of soft wheat outside the EU this season as grain firms overcome logistical snags created by a coronavirus crisis to meet strong demand from countries such as China, farm office FranceAgriMer said. In monthly supply and demand forecasts on Wednesday, FranceAgriMer raised its projection of French soft wheat exports outside the European Union in the 2019/20 season to June 30 to 13.2 million tonnes from 12.7 million estimated last month. 

Apr 16 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for May 21-June 5 shipment 
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from May 21 to June 5. GASC Vice Chairman Ahmed Youssef said the authority was seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Paraguay and Serbia.

Apr 16 - Malaysia to delay nationwide rollout of B20 biodiesel mandate due to coronavirus curbs 
Malaysia aims to delay nationwide adoption of plans to step up the use of palm oil in biodiesel, the Malaysian Biodiesel Association said on Thursday, amid movement curbs imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The world's second-largest producer of palm oil, Malaysia has one of the highest numbers of infections in Southeast Asia with more than 5,000 cases, 85 of whom have died.

Apr 16 - States ask EPA for nationwide biofuel waiver to help oil refiners weather coronavirus 
The governors of five U.S. states have asked the Trump administration for a nationwide waiver exempting the oil-refining industry from the nation’s biofuel laws to help it survive a demand meltdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to letters seen by Reuters. The request places Republican President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, in a tough spot between the oil and agriculture industries, two important constituencies. They are being particularly hard-hit by the global pandemic as it decimates energy consumption, breaks transport supply chains and makes labor harder to come by.

Apr 16 - Temperature checks, protective suits: Argentine grains sector braces for 1st coronavirus case 
Argentina is braced for the first case of coronavirus to be confirmed among the thousands of port workers and grains handlers involved in the country's key agricultural export sector, local industry officials said. Argentina is the world's No. 3 supplier of corn and raw soybeans and the top exporter of soymeal livestock feed used to nourish hogs, poultry and cattle from Europe to Southeast Asia. The country has had 2,277 confirmed cases of the virus so far, 101 of which have been fatal, according to official data.

Apr 16 - Smithfield Foods shuts U.S. bacon, ham plants as coronavirus hits meat sector 
Smithfield Foods Inc, the world's largest pork processor, said on Wednesday it would shutter two U.S. plants that process bacon and ham, after closing a separate hog slaughterhouse because of an outbreak of the coronavirus among employees. The latest shutdowns show the domino effect that can occur when the closure of a major slaughterhouse removes raw materials that are turned into food for consumers.

Apr 16 - German farmers say they have enough crop pickers as travel ban lifted 
German farms are expected to have enough foreign workers to gather vegetable and fruit harvests this spring as thousands of crop pickers arrived following the relaxation of coronavirus travel restrictions, the German farming association DBV said on Wednesday. The German government announced on April 2 it will allow 80,000 foreign workers into the country in April and May to help harvest fruit and vegetable crops, relaxing previous travel restrictions imposed to combat the new coronavirus. 

Apr 16 - California farmer plows under lettuce after coronavirus shutters restaurant market
There should be tractors rumbling across Jack Vessey's ranch, pulling wagons full of fresh-cut romaine lettuce to be packed and shipped to restaurants and grocery stores across the United States. Instead, as the coronavirus outbreak upends the nation's food distribution network, a tractor and plow destroyed rows and rows of green produce on Wednesday.

Apr 15 - Cargill reduces beef production at Alberta plant as virus spreads 
Cargill Ltd has reduced production at one of Canada's biggest beef-packing plants, the company and the union representing workers there said on Tuesday, after several dozen workers became infected with the new coronavirus. The Canadian arm of U.S. agribusiness Cargill temporarily idled its second production shift at High River, Alberta, on Monday, spokesman Daniel Sullivan said. 

Apr 15 - Egypt buys less wheat than anticipated at tender to boost reserves 
Egypt, the world's largest wheat buyer, bought a smaller quantity of wheat than anticipated on Tuesday at a rare international purchasing tender held as the country's local buying season of the grain begins.  The state grain buyer said on Tuesday it bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat as the country looks to bolster its strategic reserves amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Apr 15 - Trump administration faces pressure to buy food for the needy, avoid waste 
The Trump administration is facing mounting pressure to buy more meat, dairy and produce for food banks as farmers destroy agricultural goods due to reduced restaurant demand during the coronavirus outbreak. The National Pork Producers Council, which represents U.S. hog farmers, on Tuesday called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase more than $1 billion in pork. The agency should buy products like hams and bacon that are packaged for restaurants and use it to supplement food bank programs facing increased demand due to rising unemployment, according to the industry group.

  Apr 15 - Romania's wheat export ban may hit loadings, market fallout limited - 
Romania's surprise ban on wheat exports will cause headaches for traders seeking to meet existing contracts but is not expected to cause major disruption to international supply, grain traders said on Tuesday. Romania has banned cereal exports to non-European Union destinations during a state of emergency until mid-May to cover its domestic needs during the coronavirus outbreak, Interior Minister Marcel Vela said last week.  

Apr 15 - China to auction 10,000 tonnes of pork from reserves on April 16 - notice  
China will auction 10,000 tonnes of frozen pork from its state reserves on April 16, according to a notice published by the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center on Tuesday. China has already released 270,000 tonnes of pork from its reserves this year in an effort to keep a lid on prices after an epidemic of African swine fever devastated its huge hog herd.

 Apr 14 - Value of China's farm imports from U.S. were $5.05 bln in Q1 
China brought in 35.56 billion yuan ($5.05 billion) worth of farm goods from the United States in the first three months of 2020, up 110% from last year, according to customs data.  China has committed to buy additional purchases of U.S. agriculture products totalling $32 billion over two years, under the Phase 1 trade deal. 

Apr 14 - 'Elbow to elbow:' North America meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs 
At a Wayne Farms chicken processing plant in Alabama, workers recently had to pay the company 10 cents a day to buy masks to protect themselves from the new coronavirus, according to a meat inspector.  In Colorado, nearly a third of the workers at a JBS USA beef plant stayed home amid safety concerns for the last two weeks as a 30-year employee of the facility died following complications from the virus. 

Apr 14 - China's March soybean imports fall on delays, coronavirus disruption 
China's soybean imports in March fell 13% from the previous year to their lowest in more than five years, customs data showed on Tuesday, after rains delayed cargoes from top supplier Brazil and as the coronavirus outbreak dented oilseed demand.  China, the world's top buyer of soybeans, imported 4.28 million tonnes of the oilseed in March, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data.

Apr 14 - China's March pork imports almost triple after pig disease 
China's pork imports almost tripled in March from last year, customs data showed on Tuesday, soaring to a record monthly volume as buyers sought to plug a huge supply gap after African swine fever decimated the country's pig herd.  China, the world's biggest consumer of pork, brought in 391,000 tonnes last month, up from 127,218 tonnes in March 2019, according to Reuters calculations based on data from General Administration of Customs.

Apr 14 - NOPA March U.S. soy crush seen at 175.163 million bushels - survey 
U.S. soybean processing plants likely notched their third-largest crush on record last month and their largest-ever March crush, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Wednesday. NOPA members, which collectively handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, likely processed 175.163 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates from nine analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Apr 14 - Trump administration to unveil $15.5 bln first phase of coronavirus farm aid - sources 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend up to $15.5 billion in the initial phase of its plan to bolster the nation's food supply chain against the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The plan, which could be announced this week, marks the Trump administration's first big push to ensure the pandemic doesn't trigger consumer food shortages as meat packers shutter, dairy producers dump milk, and farmers struggle to find workers to harvest, plant and deliver crops. 

Apr 14 - Dry weather adds to risks for Russia's grain crop 
Dry spring weather with little rain expected in the next two weeks is starting to raise concerns about this year's grain harvest among Russian farmers and analysts. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, is still expected to harvest a larger crop in 2020 than a year ago as farmers sowed a bigger area with winter grains, and their sowings remain in a healthy state after a mild winter. 

Apr 14 - U.S. corn planting 3% complete, wheat ratings steady - USDA 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. farmers were able to plant 3% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, matching the average of estimates from analysts surveyed in a Reuters poll. In a report released on Monday, the USDA said that this year's corn planting progress compared with 3% a year earlier and the five-year average of 4%. 

Apr 14 - Brazil aims to announce help for ethanol sector this week - minister 
Brazil plans to announce this week measures to support its ethanol sector, which has been battered by falling demand and a sharp drop in gasoline prices due to turmoil in oil markets, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Monday. Dias said Brazil was finalizing measures that may include a rise in the Cide tax on gasoline and the withdrawal of the Pis/Cofins levy on ethanol for an unspecified period of time.

Apr 14 - India modifies rules for refined palm oil imports 
India on Monday said imports of refined palm oil could recommence after being restricted in January, although with conditions attached.  The world's biggest importer of palm oil on Monday said in a statement that importers would need to furnish pre-purchase agreements and import the commodity within six months of receiving the licence, instead of 18 months previously. 

Apr 14 - 'Rice ATM' feeds Vietnam's poor amid virus lockdown 
A Vietnamese entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City has invented a 24/7 automatic dispensing machine providing free rice for people out of work following an ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Vietnam has reported 262 COVID-19 cases, and no deaths so far, but as a result of a 15-day social distancing programme that began on March 31 many small businesses have been shuttered and thousands of people temporarily laid off from work. 

Apr 13 - China's beef imports to drop as hotpot comes off the boil 
Just over two months ago, the Jinyuan Fucheng Beef Hotpot restaurant in northern Beijing had a long line of customers waiting outside its doors almost every night of the week.  Now, the restaurant that can seat 800 barely fills 20 tables a day, with most people still wary of dining out after the contagious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus killed more than 3,300 people in China and infected almost 82,000.

Apr 13 - Smithfield shutting U.S. pork plant indefinitely, warns of meat shortages during pandemic 
Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest pork processor, said on Sunday it will shut a U.S. plant indefinitely due to a rash of coronavirus cases among employees and warned the country was moving "perilously close to the edge" in supplies for grocers. Slaughterhouse shutdowns are disrupting the U.S. food supply chain, crimping availability of meat at retail stores and leaving farmers without outlets for their livestock.

Apr 13 - Funds sell CBOT futures but keep bullish soy, wheat bets - Braun 
Speculators' views toward Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds remain relatively mixed amid historic uncertainties in agricultural supply chains due to the virus, and those impacts have pushed futures prices to extreme levels. Most-active CBOT corn and soybean oil futures are at 14-year lows for the time of year, soybeans are at 13-year lows and soybean meal is at four-year lows. But CBOT wheat is trading at the highest April levels in six years, though open interest has fallen dramatically in recent weeks.

Apr 13 - Trump says he is speeding help to farmers hurt by coronavirus dislocation 
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he has directed his agriculture secretary to expedite help to farmers, especially small farmers, hurt by the economic disruption caused by the new coronavirus outbreak. On Twitter, Trump also said he expects Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue "to use all of the funds and authorities at his disposal to make sure that our food supply is stable, strong, and safe."

Apr 13 - Malaysia cuts crude palm oil export duty for May to 4.5% 
Malaysia has reduced its export duty on crude palm oil to 4.5% for May from 5% in April, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Monday, citing the national customs department. The world's second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil calculated a reference price of 2,460.89 ringgit per tonne.

Apr 13 - Ukraine weekly wheat seaport exports rise 20% - APK-Inform 
Ukrainian wheat exports from seaports rose 20% in the week of April 4-10 even as the government tries to retain as much of the grain amid the coronavirus crisis, preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy showed on Monday. Overall grain exports, which includes wheat, corn and barley, in the period also rose by 17% to 1.146 million tonnes from 978,000 tonnes.

Apr 13 - French soft wheat crop ratings unchanged, still well below 2019 
The condition of French soft wheat was stable in the week to April 6 with 62% of crops rated good or excellent, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday. The rating was well below an 83% score seen in the same week last year. Sowing of spring barley was complete while grain maize sowing was at 4% by April 6 vs 1% the previous week, FranceAgriMer said.

Apr 13 - India to export wheat to Afghanistan, Lebanon in diplomatic deals 
India will export 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan and 40,000 tonnes of the grain to Lebanon in diplomatic deals, the Indian farm minister said on Friday. Since India has produced more wheat than it consumes, New Delhi has decided to export the grain to Afghanistan and Lebanon after receiving requests from the two countries, Narendra Singh Tomar said in a Tweet.

Apr 09 - Plantations in Malaysia's largest palm producing state to remain shut for now
Malaysia's biggest palm oil-producing state, Sabah, will continue to close palm operations in six districts as part of its coronavirus containment measures until it has enough details that the plantations and mills are safe to reopen. Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the state's first priority was to save lives, and that it will only look at challenges facing businesses, factories and plantations after that.

Apr 09 - U.S. to probe surging beef prices, falling cattle prices during coronavirus pandemic
The U.S. Agriculture Department will investigate why a surge in beef prices because of coronavirus hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices for farmers, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday. The investigation adds scrutiny on the small group of meat companies like Tyson Foods Inc and Cargill Inc that dominate U.S. beef processing.

Apr 09 - Argentina's grains trade hit as decade-low river levels limit cargoes
Decade-low water levels in Argentina's Parana River, a key thoroughfare for grains shipments, are forcing exporters to load less merchandise on ships, adding a new problem to a sector already beset by bottlenecks due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Parana is Argentina grains superhighway, carrying Pampas grains belt agricultural exports from the Rosario ports hub to the shipping lanes of the South Atlantic. Argentina is the world's top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and the No. 3 supplier of corn and raw soybeans.

Apr 09 - Less than ideal start to U.S. corn planting could matter, but not yet -Braun
After last year’s planting troubles and especially with the recent low-price environment, agriculture analysts may be overly eager to scrutinize this year’s U.S. corn campaign, and imperfect field conditions across the Corn Belt could be a good place for them to start. Historically, how the U.S. planting season begins can impact both corn acres and yield, even with less extreme anomalies. But serious concerns over wet fields or chilly temperatures would not be warranted until next month, which is when more substantial shifts in acres or yield become more likely.

Apr 09 - Dry weather brings new risk for EU wheat after rain-hit sowing
A dry spell across Europe is starting to raise concern about stress for wheat crops recovering from a rain-disrupted sowing season that put the region on course for a smaller harvest. "Dry and warmer than usual upcoming conditions should improve the current state of wheat plants in regions with excessive wetness," said Aaron Grau, a crop analyst at Refinitiv Agriculture Research.

Apr 09 - Ukraine grain export jumps to record 47 mln T so far 2019/20
Ukraine's grain exports have reached a record 47 million tonnes so far in the 2019/20 season that began last July, up 21% year on year, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said on Wednesday. The exported volume included 18.1 million tonnes of wheat, 24 million tonnes of corn and 4.4 million tonnes of barley, it said in a statement.

Apr 09 - Brazil corn exports fall on strong domestic demand; overall ag sales strong - CNA
Brazilian corn exports slumped 51% by value in the first quarter, according to data compiled by farm lobby group CNA, reflecting strong demand for livestock feed in the domestic market and a sharp reduction in inventories. Overall Brazilian agribusiness exports in the first quarter of 2020 totaled $21.4 billion and were virtually stable compared with the same period last year, CNA said.

Apr 09 - French milk and wine makers need EU help in crisis - minister
France on Wednesday called on the European Commission to help milk and wine producers who face a surplus of production due to slack demand caused by the coronavirus crisis that has cut off vital restaurant and export trade. French dairy farmers fear the demand drop will lead to a major surplus of milk just as the spring grazing season boosts cows' productivity, with the risk of prices collapsing.

Apr 08 - Glencore offers $325 mln for Vicentin's stake in Argentine soy crusher Renova - sources 
Commodities trader Glencore Agriculture has bid $325 million for the minority stake in Argentine soy crushing plant Renova held by bankrupt family-owned company Vicentin, two sources close to the negotiations told Reuters. Rotterdam-based Glencore made an initial offer which expired at the end of March, the people said. It is now preparing to renew that offer, although the global coronavirus pandemic may impact the process, they added. Glencore and Vicentin declined to comment. 

Apr 08 - China releases 500,000 T of reserve soybeans to COFCO amid supply crunch - sources 
China's state stockpiler Sinograin has granted another 500,000 tonnes of soybeans from state reserves to the country's top state-owned crusher COFCO for commercial crushing, according to two sources briefed on the matter. The move comes after rains delayed cargoes from Brazil, China's top supplier of soybeans, and caused soybean inventories to fall to record lows, forcing some plants to curb operations.

Apr 08 - Cargill shuts U.S. meat plant that serves grocery stores due to COVID-19 
Cargill Inc closed a U.S. meat plant until further notice on Tuesday, the company said, disrupting the food supply for grocery stores that have seen demand surge as the country battles the new coronavirus. The facility in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, produces meat for retail food customers, Cargill said in a statement. The products include ground beef, steaks, beef roasts and pork products that are sold at grocery stores across the country, according to the company's website.

Apr 08 - U.S. court rejects oil refiners' challenge in EPA biofuel waivers case 
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected a request for rehearing from oil refining companies seeking to challenge the court's January ruling on biofuel waivers granted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The court's ruling effectively forces the EPA to dramatically reduce the number of waivers the agency can grant in the future to refiners exempting them from their obligations under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, in a major blow to the refining industry.

Apr 08 - Side effects: Fuel demand crash shuts U.S. ethanol plants, meatpackers lack refrigerant 
A slew of U.S. ethanol plants have shut down as fuel demand has collapsed during the coronavirus outbreak, and meatpackers have been hit by a worrying side-effect: less carbon dioxide is now available to chill beef, poultry and pork. "We're headed for a train wreck in terms of the CO2 market," said Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association industry group. The RFA said 29 of the 45 U.S. ethanol plants that sell carbon dioxide, or CO2, have idled or cut rates. The U.S. ethanol sector is the top supplier of commercial carbon dioxide to the food industry, accounting for around 40% of the market, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Apr 08 - Egypt's Sisi says 'no issue' with strategic wheat reserves 
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday the country had "no issue" with its strategic reserves of wheat and that it was willing to spend if needed to maintain it. Sisi previously encouraged authorities to boost the country's reserves of strategic commodities amid rising global fears for food supplies due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apr 08 - France expects 2020 soft wheat area to drop to 17-year low 
French soft wheat sowing for the 2020 harvest will drop 7.5% from last year to a 17-year low of 4.6 million hectares after adverse autumn weather, the farm ministry said on Tuesday. The 2020 estimate, which includes a small amount of spring wheat, would be 8% below the five-year average, it said. Last month the ministry had estimated winter wheat sowing at 4.7 million hectares.)

Apr 08 - Brazil meat processors will need corn imports as domestic prices soar - ABPA 
Brazil's chicken and pork processors will need to import corn starting in May as domestic prices of the cereal are historically high, according to projections by meat lobby group ABPA. Corn prices in the physical market surpassed 60 reais ($11.49) per 60-kg bag last week, the highest nominal value in history, reflecting low stockpiles after record exports in 2019.

Apr 08 - Jordan buys about 60,000 tonnes feed barley in tender 
Jordan's state grain buyer has purchased about 60,000 tonnes of animal feed barley to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender which closed on Tuesday, traders said. It was bought at an estimated $199.00 a tonne c&f for shipment in the first half of September. The seller was believed to be trading house GTCS.

Apr 08 - Import curbs premature, green reforms may be delayed - EU farm chief 
The European Union's chief agriculture official said on Tuesday it was premature to restrict imports of products such as beef to support European farmers as they battle with the fallout of the new coronavirus pandemic. He also acknowledged reforms to make farming more sustainable in line with EU efforts to move towards a climate neutral economy may need to be further delayed.

Apr 07 - French wheat shipments hit fresh high in March 
French soft wheat shipments outside the EU last month reached their highest level for March in at least 10 years, Refinitiv data showed, as exporters continued to meet brisk demand despite logistical headaches caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 1.63 million tonnes, the highest March volume in figures going back to the 2009/10 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

Apr 07 - Fading U.S. soybean exports threaten to expand stockpiles - Braun 
Given the recent, historically thin exports, it might take some extraordinary circumstances for U.S. soybean shipments to approach the government's full-year target. And without an extended turnaround in export demand, U.S. soybean stockpiles could swell to the second-highest levels on record by September, despite last year's short crop.

Apr 07 - U.S. winter wheat seen rated 56% good to excellent - survey 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its first weekly crop progress report for 2020 is expected to rate 56% of the U.S. winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, according to a survey of eight analysts on Monday. If realized, the estimate would be in line with winter wheat ratings from about a year ago. The USDA's first crop progress report of the season on April 1, 2019, rated 56 percent of the winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition, and the government rated 60% of the crop as good to excellent the following week, on April 8.

Apr 07 - Brazil soy crop revised lower on drought, but still on track for record - AgRural 
Brazilian agribusiness consultancy AgRural on Monday revised down the country's 2019/2020 soybean crop, according to a statement, as a drought hit the south of the world's largest exporter of the oilseed. Brazilian farmers are now expected to collect 500,000 fewer tonnes this season for a total of 123.8 million tonnes. That is lower than AgRural's previous estimate of 124.3 million tonnes but would still be a record.

Apr 07 - Saudi Arabia asks private sector to import 355,000 tonnes of wheat 
Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO is asking Saudi investors with farmland overseas to import 355,000 tonnes of wheat into the kingdom, as major food importers try to increase strategic reserves in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi, the world's top oil exporter, has long encouraged its private investors to pour money into agricultural investments overseas in order to enhance the country's food security, without tangible results so far in terms of imports for SAGO. 

Apr 07 - Four workers at ADM Clinton, Iowa, corn facility test positive for coronavirus 
Four workers at an Archer Daniels Midland Co corn processing facility in Clinton, Iowa, have tested positive for coronavirus, the company said on Monday. The employees and those they have come in contact with have been quarantined and the facility is being deep cleaned to prevent further spread, the Chicago-based grain trader and processor said.

Apr 07 - Canada, U.S. farms face crop losses due to foreign worker delays 
Mandatory coronavirus quarantines of seasonal foreign workers in Canada could hurt that country's fruit and vegetable output this year, and travel problems related to the pandemic could also leave U.S. farmers with fewer workers than usual. Foreign labor is critical to farm production in both countries, where domestic workers shun the hard physical labor and low pay. 

Apr 06 - Argentine grains export bottlenecks start to clear, pandemic uncertainty persists 
Bottlenecks recently hobbling Argentine agricultural exports started to clear on Friday, despite measures by some mayors defying an order exempting overland freight and other trade activities from a nationwide lockdown to slow the coronavirus. The pandemic has hit at a terrible time for Argentine farmers, who just started the Southern Hemisphere fall harvest of soy and corn, the country's two main cash crops.

Apr 06 - Coronavirus upends global food supply chains in latest economic shock 
In the fertile Satara district in western India, farmers are putting their cattle on an unorthodox diet: Some feed iceberg lettuce to buffalo. Others feed strawberries to cows. It's not a treat. They can either feed their crops to animals or let them spoil. And other farmers are doing just that - dumping truck loads of fresh grapes to rot on compost heaps.

Apr 06 - Indian rice exports suspended on supply chain disruption - industry 
Indian rice traders have stopped signing new export contracts amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, as labour shortages and logistics disruptions have hampered the delivery of even existing contracts, industry officials said. The halt in exports from the world's biggest exporter is allowing rival countries such as Thailand to raise shipments in the short term and lift global prices, forcing millions of poor consumers in Africa to pay higher prices.

Apr 06 - Egypt may change wheat buying terms ahead of anticipated purchase 
Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is considering changes to the way it buys the grain ahead of an anticipated purchase to boost strategic reserves, aiming to reduce trade risks arising from any possible export curbs by suppliers. Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had encouraged authorities to boost the country's reserves of strategic commodities last week amid rising global fears for food supplies due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apr 06 - Funds' bearish corn streak breaks record; open interest historically weak - Braun 
Speculators were mostly buyers of Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds in the last week of March, but serious demand concerns across all markets turned them back into sellers late last week, and open interest has made a marked decline from normal levels amid coronavirus uncertainties. Combined open interest across Chicago corn, wheat and soybean futures and options in 2020 had looked very similar to the previous year through the end of February, but that changed in early March as the impacts of the virus were becoming more apparent. That combined number as of March 31 was 3,169,793 contracts, down 14% from the same week a year earlier and a six-year low for the date.

Apr 06 - Ukraine weekly wheat seaport exports fall sharply - APK-Inform 
Ukrainian wheat exports from sea ports almost halved to 138,000 tonnes in the week of March 28 - April 3 from 277,000 tonnes a week earlier, preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy showed on Monday. However, overall grain exports in the period rose to 1.021 million tonnes from 845,000 tonnes thanks to higher corn shipments.‚Äč

Apr 06 - Russian grain trucks stuck near main export port due to coronavirus - IFX 
Trucks with up to 4,500 tonnes of Russian grain are stuck at the entry to Russia's main export port of Novorossiisk on the Black Sea due to a regime set up by regional officials amid the coronavirus outbreak, Interfax news agency reported on Friday. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter, which has so far reported 4,149 cases of the virus and 34 deaths, far fewer than some major western European countries.

Apr 06 - Egypt's GASC considers seeking wheat offers on cost and freight basis - traders 
Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is considering changing the terms of its international wheat purchasing tenders to ask suppliers to offer prices on a cost and freight (C&F) basis, traders said on Sunday. The country's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), currently asks for prices on a free-on-board (FOB) basis with freight offered in a separate tender. 

Apr 06 - U.S. biofuels industry seeks bailout to weather "collapsing demand" - letter 
The U.S. biofuel industry has asked the Trump administration for funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation to help it survive a demand slump triggered by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The funds could be used to offset a portion of the industry's corn and soy bean purchases, or as direct assistance to companies to help them retain staff, according to the April 1 letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Apr 06 - Ukraine sunflower oil exports jump 78% - APK-Inform 
Ukraine, the world's top exporter of sunflower oil, has increased its seaborne exports of the commodity by about 78% so far this season, preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy showed on Monday. Seaport exports of sunflower oil totalled 3.086 million tonnes so far in the 2019-20 season, which runs from August to September, up from 1.731 million tonnes in the same period of the previous season, according to APK-Inform.

Apr 06 - With no fries sold, Dutch farmers face billion kilo potato pile 
It's potato planting season, but many Dutch farmers are facing a mountain of a problem, with a million tons of potatoes left over from last season due to the coronavirus outbreak. Restaurants in the Netherlands, many serving popular deep fried "patat", have been closed since mid-March, with a ban on public gatherings set to last until June 1 at least. With their closure, the market for potatoes collapsed overnight.

Apr 06 - Swiss face shortage of ethanol for disinfectant after abandoning stockpile 
Switzerland faces a shortage of the raw material needed to make disinfectant to tackle the coronavirus pandemic after the country abandoned its emergency reserve of 10,000 tonnes of ethanol two years ago, newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported on Monday. Switzerland keeps emergency stockpiles of everything from coffee, wheat, rice and cooking oil. In 2018, the country ended it longtime practice of stocking ethanol as part of efforts to privatise the country's alcohol market, the Swiss newspaper said.


Apr 03 - Argentina beef shipments to EU, China stall amid virus
Shipments of beef from Argentina's famed cattle ranches to the European Union have plunged to almost zero amid the global coronavirus outbreak, while sales to top buyer China have tumbled from last year's levels, industry officials told Reuters. The slump in exports underscores how the pandemic is affecting global food supply chains, with demand dented by widespread closures of restaurants and transportation of goods stymied by measures to control the virus' spread.

Apr 03 - Russia sets grain export quota, to sell bulk of stockpile amid coronavirus
The Russian government has approved an agriculture ministry proposal to limit grain exports to 7 million tonnes from April through June amid the coronavirus outbreak, it said in an order published on Thursday. The quota is unlikely to have a strong market impact as 7 million tonnes is roughly what Russia was expected to export in the period, traders said.

Apr 03 - Bad weather weighs on Argentine soy crop estimate as pandemic dents exports
Bad weather and coronavirus are walloping Argentina's key soy export industry, with a grains exchange cutting its harvest estimate on Thursday as a long line of cargo ships dropped anchor in the Parana River, delayed by health inspections. Argentina is the world's No. 3 corn and soybean exporter, as well as its top supplier of soymeal livestock feed.

Apr 03 - Pigs fly in as China replenishes world's biggest hog herd
Six planes carrying more than 4,000 high-quality French breeding pigs have arrived in China so far this year, the first of an expected dozens of plane-loads as the world's top pork producer rebuilds its decimated hog herd. China is ramping up imports as it rushes to restock after an outbreak of African swine fever swept through the country from late 2018, killing tens of millions of pigs and reducing its sow herd by as much as 60%.

Apr 03 - World food prices fall sharply in March because of coronavirus, oil slump - U.N.
World food prices fell sharply in March, hit by a drop in demand tied to the coronavirus pandemic and a plunge in global oil prices, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 172.2 points last month, down 4.3% on February.

Apr 03 - Philippines gets Vietnam commitment to continuous rice supply
The Philippines, the world's top rice buyer, said on Thursday it has secured Vietnam's commitment for continuous supply of the staple foood, which may include a 300,000-tonne importation, under an existing bilateral trade agreement. The announcement comes after Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, stopped signing new deals as it checks whether it has sufficient domestic supplies to cope during the coronavirus outbreak.

Apr 03 - Brazil soy output, export forecast cut by 4 mln tonnes - consultancy
Brazil's production and exports of soybeans in the 2019/2020 crop year will come in about 4 million tonnes lower than previously forecast due to blistering temperatures and a drought in southern Rio Grande do Sul state, according to consultancy INTL FCStone. South America's largest economy is expected to produce 120.1 million tonnes of soybeans, FCStone said in an analyst note, down roughly 3% from its previous forecast. That still represents an increase of roughly 5 million tonnes compared to the prior crop year.

Apr 03 - Traders raise Ukrainian grain, oilseed export outlook
Ukraine's grain and oilseed exports in the 2019/20 July-June season are expected to rise to 57.2 million tonnes, the grain traders union UGA said on Thursday, raising its forecast of 55.6 million tonnes a month ago. Ukraine, a major grain exporter, had a record grain harvest of 75.1 million tonnes in 2019 and the government has said exports could total 52-55 million tonnes after 46 million tonnes of grain was exported in the first nine months of the season.

Apr 03 - Brazilian mills push to scrap wheat import tariffs amid pandemic 
Brazilian mills are turning to wheat suppliers outside of Argentina as they seek to avoid shortages during the coronavirus pandemic, Rubens Barbosa, president of milling group Abitrigo, told Reuters by telephone on Thursday. Brazil, which relies on imports for 60% of domestic wheat consumption, is pressing the government to lift sanitary restrictions on Russian wheat and temporarily drop a 10% import tariff on wheat from outside the South American trade bloc Mercosur, including Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Apr 03 - Coronavirus slows chicken production in top-producing U.S. state - Sanderson Farms
U.S. poultry company Sanderson Farms Inc on Thursday said it is reducing chicken production in Georgia, the top U.S. chicken-producing state, after ordering more than 400 slaughterhouse workers who seem healthy to stay home as a precaution against infection by the novel coronavirus. The move could eat into margins at the company and is an early sign of strain in the U.S. food supply chain at a time of surging consumer demand at grocery stores.

Apr 03 - Germany to relax coronavirus border controls for farm workers
Germany will allow foreign workers into the country to help harvest fruit and vegetable crops on farms, the government said on Thursday, relaxing previous travel restrictions imposed to combat the new coronavirus. Countries across the European Union, including Germany, have set up border controls to stem the spread of the virus, but with the side effect of preventing cross-border workers travelling to their jobs.

Apr 03 - Indian farmers feed strawberries to cattle as lockdown hits transport
As hundreds of millions of Indians remain locked down to stem the spread of coronavirus, some of its cattle are getting treated to strawberries and broccoli that farmers are struggling to transport and sell in cities amid the three-week lockdown. Demand for such premium farm produce typically jumps in the summer, but with India's farm supply chain in disarray, farmers are unable to get goods to market.

Apr 02 - Egypt's GASC cancels wheat tender shortly after announcing it 
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), on Wednesday cancelled a tender to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers shortly after announcing it, without giving a reason. Egypt, the world's largest wheat buyer, has said its wheat stocks are sufficient for around three months of consumption and is expecting the harvest season of its local crop to begin by mid-April.

 Apr 02 - China's fruit farmers hurt by lockdown losses as harvests rot 
China's fruit farmers, hurt by lost crops from coronavirus lockdowns and a slow recovery in demand, are looking to reduce plantings, switch crops or even take other jobs to cover their losses. Quarantine measures to curb the spread of the virus have disrupted supply chains and labour, preventing many farmers from harvesting produce or selling any they could salvage.

Apr 02 - U.S. corn acres could defy those who bet on their sharp decline - Braun 
Many market analysts believe that actual corn plantings in the United States will be notably lower than the stunningly high number that farmers reported to the government last month, though history suggests that bets for a large drop in plantings are not the safest. However, new-crop Chicago corn futures, a gauge of potential profitability, have fallen to extremely low levels and this could cause farmers to ditch corn more than they have in the past. But it could also cause them to stick with their original plan depending on their insurance situation.

Apr 02 - Coronavirus lockdown leaves no-one to harvest India's crops 
A severe shortage of labour, triggered by India's 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, will disrupt harvesting of winter crops in the world's second largest producer of staple food grains, such as wheat. The northern bread basket states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh rely on farm labourers from eastern India, but after the lockdown began on March 24, most of them returned home to their villages.

Apr 02 - Argentine farm export dollar revenue dives 6.9% in March due to pandemic 
Argentine grains shipments brought 6.9% less export dollar revenue into the country last month compared to March 2019, as the grains powerhouse locked itself down because of the coronavirus pandemic, the CIARA-CEC export chamber said on Wednesday. Disruption of grains shipments from Argentina, the world's top supplier of soymeal livestock feed and No. 3 exporter of corn and soybeans, could throw off global trade flows as European and Southeast Asian importers look to rival exporters Brazil and the United States to fill the supply gaps. 

Apr 02 - China cracks down on swine fever prevention as it urges higher production 
China will closely monitor swine fever prevention measures as it pushes farmers to restore hog production to achieve its full-year target, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Despite improvement in China's containment of African swine fever, it still takes time to restore pork output from hog stocks, the ministry told local governments in a video conference, adding that frequent transportation of piglets and breeding sows has raised the risk of resurgence of the disease. 

Apr 02 - Brazilian meatpacker BRF to hire 2,000 workers amid coronavirus outbreak 
Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA said on Wednesday it will hire an additional 2,000 workers, both in-house and outsourced, in order to maintain its production levels. BRF Chief Executive Lorival Luz said the hirings would take place in Brazil and other countries. The company will not fire workers in April or May, when the coronavirus outbreak is expected to worsen in Latin America, Luz said on a call with journalists.

Apr 01 - U.S. farmers plan huge corn crop despite price drop, ethanol collapse
U.S. farmers plan to plant their biggest corn acreage in eight years this spring, saying the grain is the best option in a tough farm economy despite weak demand from the biofuel industry as the coronavirus spreads. The U.S. Agriculture Department in its annual prospective plantings report, which is based on a survey of about 80,000 farmers taken during the first two weeks of March, on Tuesday forecast corn plantings of 96.990 million acres, topping already robust market expectations.
Apr 01 - China to allow some Canadian canola seed exports to continue - Ottawa
China has said it will allow some Canadian canola seed exports to continue, despite a year long trade dispute, provided the amount of foreign material in those shipments is limited, Canada's farm minister said on Tuesday. Last year, citing pest concerns, Beijing blocked canola seed shipments from Richardson International and Viterra Inc - Canada's two top exporters. China acted after Canada's detention of a top Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive.

Apr 01 - Brazil's March soybean exports could hit record 13.1 mln tons - Anec
Brazilian soybean exports in March are on track to hit a record 13.1 million tons, Lucas de Brito, an executive at the National Association of Cereal Exporters (Anec), told Reuters on Tuesday. That would break the previous monthly record of around 12 million tons, de Brito said.

Apr 01 - Coronavirus stalls Chinese approvals of new Brazil meat exports
China has not approved any new Brazilian meat plants for export this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, an official at Brazil's Agriculture Ministry told Reuters, adding that all approvals were on hold until the crisis eases. The freeze comes despite the fact that Brazil and China implemented a new system in January intended to speed up approvals, said Orlando Leite Ribeiro, international affairs secretary at Brazil's Agriculture Ministry.

Apr 01 - Thailand expects more rice exports as virus outbreak troubles competitors Thai rice exporters expect to increase sales as the spread of coronavirus sparks global food security concerns and major competitors face export bans or go into lockdown to battle the outbreak. Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter after India, started the year bracing for its lowest export volumes in more than seven years, after a strong baht and drought kept its 2019 prices uncompetitive against main rival Vietnam.

 Apr 01 - Australia to subsidise air freight for agri exports to offset virus freeze
Australia's government said on Wednesday it will spend A$110 million ($67.40 million) to subsidise air freight for exports of agricultural products after flights were severely disrupted due to the global coronavirus pandemic. About 90% of Australian air freight is usually transported in planes carrying tourists. But with scores of countries closing their borders to stop the spread of the virus, many Australian exporters have been unable to export their products.

Apr 01 - Russia to sell half of grain stockpile amid coronavirus
Russia will sell 1 million tonnes of grain from its state stockpile on the domestic market to ensure supplies and keep prices down amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry, which has 1.8 million tonnes of grain in the stockpile, mostly in Siberia, said last week it was preparing to tap into it. It has also proposed limiting Russian grain exports in April-June because of the virus outbreak.

Apr 01 - Egypt to resume wheat inspections at port of origin after lifting of travel restrictions 
Egypt, the world's largest wheat buyer, plans to resume inspections of wheat cargoes at their port of origin once coronavirus travel restrictions are removed, the head of the country's agricultural quarantine told Reuters on Tuesday. The North African country has wheat reserves to last for three months, said Ahmed al-Attar, adding that they are expected to rise to seven months after the local crop is harvested in two weeks.

Apr 01 - Fonterra's Feb milk exports from New Zealand drop 6% on lower demand
Fonterra said on Wednesday its New Zealand milk exports in February fell 6.1% and that it would ramp up ethanol production to help sanitizer manufacturers cope with a surge in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The Auckland-based company said it would make an additional 220,000 litres of high-grade ethanol, on top of the 375,000 litres it has already provided in recent weeks to help with the supply of sanitizer.

Apr 01 - Papua New Guinea confirms outbreak of African swine fever - OIE
Papua New Guinea has confirmed its first cases of African swine fever among village pigs, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said. The cases occurred in four villages in the Mendi Munihu district of the Southern Highlands province, with a total of 396 free-ranging pigs dying from the disease, the Paris-based OIE said in a note, citing a report from Papua New Guinea's veterinary services.

Apr 01 - Venezuela fuel shortages hinder food delivery amid coronavirus quarantine
Venezuela's fuel shortages are causing growing complications for the production and delivery of food to a crisis-stricken nation that is in quarantine to stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to ten food industry sources. President Nicolas Maduro's government is struggling to provide fuel to the OPEC nation's service stations due to chronic refinery problems and U.S. sanctions that have left most trading firms unwilling to ship gasoline to Venezuela.

Mar 31 - Coronavirus inspections of ships in Argentine contribute to soy supply woes
Argentine shipments of soymeal, soybeans, corn and other agricultural exports were delayed as the government ramps up inspections of incoming cargo ships to ensure crew members were free of coronavirus, industry sources said on Monday. While Argentine growers were harvesting Southern Hemisphere fall crops unimpeded by health measures taken against the pandemic, supply from the world's biggest exporter of soymeal livestock feed was slowed as some municipal authorities refused to let grains trucks drive through their jurisdictions.

Mar 31 - What USDA’s corn and soybean stocks could mean beyond Tuesday -Braun
Tuesday’s data from the U.S. government will indicate how much corn and soybeans were stored in the United States at the halfway mark of the 2019-20 year. Even though analysts see those volumes down substantially from last year, there are speed bumps that may prevent those stockpiles from continuing to dwindle as much as some expect over the next several months. History also suggests that the final trading day of March has the tendency to be a relatively volatile trading day, since it not only earmarks supply but gives a first glimpse into the 2020 U.S. planting season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will publish its quarterly grain stocks report along with planting intentions on Tuesday at noon EDT (1600 GMT).

Mar 31 - Russian wheat export prices jump; growth in domestic prices slows
Russian wheat export prices jumped alongside European benchmarks last week while domestic prices were tempered by higher supply from farmers selling to raise cash for spring sowing, analysts said on Monday. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content loaded from Black Sea ports and for the nearest delivery jumped by $10 to $217 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, SovEcon said. Barley was unchanged at $177 a tonne.

Mar 31 - Brazil fuel distributors to cut ethanol buying amid lockdown
Two of Brazil's largest fuel distributors said on Monday they are cutting the amount of ethanol they will buy from local suppliers to adjust to a slump in demand amid the coronavirus lockdown in Latin America's largest economy. Brazil's number 1 fuel distributor, BR Distribuidora, said it will reduce the amount of ethanol it buys from Brazilian mills to levels that are below the minimum defined in contracts, due to an "atypical situation" created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mar 31 - Malaysia's biggest palm oil state extends plantation shutdowns 
The Malaysian state of Sabah, the country's biggest palm oil producer, has extended a shutdown of palm oil plantations until April 14 and widened the order to six districts, a state government document showed on Monday. The state last week ordered palm oil plantations and factories in three districts to close until March 31 after seven estate workers tested positive for the coronavirus in an outbreak linked to a religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

Mar 31 - Philippines plans rice imports to boost stocks for coronavirus fight
The Philippine government is looking to import 300,000 tonnes of rice to ensure sufficient domestic supply of the staple while it seeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the Southeast Asian country, a senior official said on Tuesday. The Philippines became the world's biggest rice importer in 2019 with purchases estimated at a record 2.9 million tonnes. It usually buys from Vietnam along with some volumes from Thailand. 

Mar 31 - JBS cuts beef production at U.S. facility as precaution amid coronavirus concerns
JBS USA will reduce beef production for two weeks at a Pennsylvania facility after managers displayed flu-like symptoms, the company said on Monday, making it the first U.S. meat plant to cut operations due to worries over the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the senior management team at the facility in Souderton, Pennsylvania, were sent home to monitor their health as a precaution, JBS said in a statement.

Mar 31 - Egypt's Sisi calls for boost of strategic food reserves during coronavirus outbreak 
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has told the relevant authorities to boost strategic reserves of staple goods, a presidency spokesman said on Monday, as global concerns about food security rise amid the coronavirus crisis. Egypt reported 47 new coronavirus cases and one death on Monday, the health ministry said in a statement, bringing the total confirmed infections to 656 with 41 fatalities.

Mar 31 - Ukraine traders agree wheat export curb to protect bread prices
Ukraine's biggest grain traders agreed on Monday to an economy ministry proposal to limit wheat exports to 20.2 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season to avoid a rise in domestic bread prices. Although Ukraine is a major grain exporter and its harvest largely exceeds domestic consumption, the coronavirus pandemic has led some countries to consider feed export restrictions.

Mar 31 - Cambodia to ban some rice exports due to coronavirus
Cambodia will ban some rice exports to ensure local food security during the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday, the latest country to curb food exports because of the pandemic. Although Cambodia is not a major rice exporter, exporting only about 500,000 tonnes a year according to government figures, a food industry group on Monday cautioned against other governments' moves that could threaten global food security.

Mar 31 - 'The watermelons will rot:' U.S. visa confusion in Mexico keeps out agriculture workers 
It's watermelon season in Florida. But as the top U.S. watermelon-producing state prepares for harvest, many of the workers needed to collect the crop are stuck in Mexico, unable to secure visas. Restricted visa services, quickly evolving regulations and increased border controls risk wider labor shortages in the United States produce industry that may leave grocery stores scrambling for fruits and vegetables as spring and summer harvests spread across the United States.

Mar 31 - German vegetable crop threatened as virus shuts out workers -lobby
Germany’s fruit and vegetable harvest is under threat from travel bans that are preventing Eastern Europeans from working on German farms, the BOGK association of German fruit and vegetable processors said on Monday. Neighbouring Poland, the source of many of Germany's seasonal workers and an important transit country for such workers from other Eastern European countries, has restricted foreigners from entering its territory in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Mar 30 - Russia proposes grain export quota in response to coronavirus
Russia's Agriculture Ministry has proposed to limit grain exports for three months, it said on Friday, prompting concern among traders that the measures by the world's largest wheat exporter could be extended. In fellow Black Sea exporter Ukraine, the economy ministry on Friday said it was monitoring wheat exports daily and would take measures if needed. Bakers and millers in the country had earlier asked for grain exports to be limited to prevent a surge in bread prices if the spread of the coronavirus accelerates.

 Mar 30 - Funds purge CBOT wheat, soy and meal shorts amid virus uncertainties - Braun
Speculators nearly erased bearish bets last week in Chicago-traded soybeans and they brought their wheat bullishness back to life, though this was largely due to short covering, which was a very dominant theme across CBOT grains and oilseeds in the latest period. Hedge funds and other money managers flipped back to a net long position in CBOT wheat futures and options through March 24, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The new net long of 17,670 contracts compares with a net short of 5,659 in the previous week.

Mar 30 - Vietnam's ban on rice exports still in force, govt may set limit - traders
Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, has not yet lifted the ban on new rice export contracts, traders said on Monday, adding that they expect the government to remove the suspension this week and also impose a quota.  The government said last week it would halt signing new contracts until March 28 at the earliest under a review to ensure it has enough domestic supplies to cope with the virus outbreak.

Mar 30 - Supply of soy to Argentine livestock feed factories down by half, and falling
The supply of soybeans to Argentine crushing plants is down by half and falling, the Rosario grains exchange said on Friday, as municipalities citing health concerns defied a government order that they allow cargo trucks to reach the plants. Mayors of dozens of towns near the Rosario grains export hub have blocked ground transport as Argentina locks down against the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government has told municipal governments to unblock their roads, but many have defied the order, saying health must come before trade.

Mar 30 - French spring barley sowing picks up during dry spell
Spring barley sowing accelerated in France last week, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday, suggesting dry weather helped farmers catch up on field work after recent rain delays. Farmers had sown 72% of the expected area by March 23, compared with 40% a week earlier, FranceAgriMer's weekly cereal crop report showed.

Mar 30 - Indian farmers, consumers suffer as lockdown disrupts supply chain 
A three-week lockdown in India aimed at stopping the coronavirus is preventing perishables from reaching its teeming cities, pushing up prices and forcing some farmers to feed their ripening produce to their animals instead. The breakdown in the supply chain is especially hurting hundreds of millions of rural and urban poor in the world's second-most populous country, which is facing a spike of coronavirus cases with more than 700 infections and 17 deaths as of Friday.

Mar 30 - U.S. EPA waives fuel requirements, extends biofuels deadline to help refineries 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday unveiled measures to help oil refineries cope with fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, including waiving anti-smog requirements for gasoline and extending the deadline for small facilities to show compliance with the nation's biofuels law. The outbreak has touched off a massive global decline in demand for motor fuels and forced companies to reduce staffing levels to slow infection rates.

Mar 30 - Coronavirus curfew delays Vietnamese rice inspection in Iraq
Iraq's trade ministry said late on Friday the inspection of a Vietnamese rice cargo in its waters had been delayed by measures to control the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The delay is the latest example of how the fight against the spread of the virus globally has backed up logistics chains.

Mar 30 - Alberta beef plant halts slaughter due to positive COVID-19 test
Harmony Beef, an Alberta packing plant, halted cattle slaughter on Friday after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) kept some inspectors from work, due to a positive test for COVID-19 by a Harmony worker, the company said. The partial closure follows a positive COVID-19 test by a worker at U.S. chicken company Sanderson Farms Inc announced this week.

Mar 30 - Brazil deems truck stops 'essential' to keep grains flowing despite coronavirus
Brazil's Agriculture Ministry issued an order on Friday deeming truck stops, gas stations and highway diners as essential services, seeking to ensure cargo haulers keep moving grains, feed and meat to markets at home and abroad despite the coronavirus pandemic. States and municipalities have imposed strict quarantine measures to combat the fast-spreading disease, threatening to disrupt food production and the shipment of farm products to supermarkets and ports.

Mar 30 - Ukraine starts 2020 corn sowing on improved weather
Ukrainian farms have started the sowing of corn for 2020, taking advantage of favourable weather, Ukraine's Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said late on Friday. The ministry said the first 610 hectares of corn had been sown as of March 26.

Mar 27 - Fresh produce in Europe set to be more scarce as coronavirus strikes
Fresh fruit and vegetables will become increasingly scarce in Europe, suppliers warn, as the coronavirus pandemic hampers the global movement of produce and of the people needed to gather crops. Governments are looking at ways to ease any shortage, including "green lanes" to allow fresh produce to move quickly across EU borders, recruiting a "shadow army" of harvesters and loosening travel rules for migrant workers.

Mar 27 - IGC forecasts record world grains crop in 2020/21
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday forecast record world grains production in the 2020/21 season while warning projections were tentative until the progress and duration of the coronavirus pandemic becomes clearer. The inter-governmental body, in its first full assessment of the 2020/21 season, projected world grains production would rise to a record 2.22 billion tonnes, up 2% from the prior season.

Mar 27 - Food security concerns stoked as exporters curb sales, importers buy more
Global food security concerns are mounting as some governments contemplate restricting the flow of staple foods with around a fifth of the world's population under lockdown to fight the widening coronavirus pandemic. Panic buying of household items and store cupboard staples such as rice and flour has occurred in nearly every country hit by the virus, which has infected over 470,000 people across 200 countries. Empty shelves in supermarkets have been common.

Mar 27 - Cargill cancels quarterly earnings release due to coronavirus
Global commodities trader Cargill Inc has canceled its fiscal-third-quarter earnings release due to the coronavirus outbreak, a company spokeswoman told Reuters. The privately-held company will still hold a call with its lenders, as required, but will forego its March 31 public earnings release as it focuses on operations during the coronavirus pandemic, spokeswoman April Nelson said.

Mar 27 - China soybean crushers short of supplies fear coronavirus upheaval
Chinese soybean processors fear the spread of coronavirus in major exporters could lead to further supply shortages, with some plants in the world's biggest buyer already having to wind back operations, industry sources and traders said. Top producers Brazil and Argentina have warned of possible delays in getting beans to ports because of transport and other restrictions to control the virus. The moves come after delayed shipments from Brazil due to rains in late February have slashed Chinese inventories to record lows.

Mar 27 - U.S. refiners sell biofuel credits to raise cash as valuations tank
U.S. refiners sold renewable fuel credits last week in a bid to raise cash as their market capitalizations slumped amid the oil price crash, according to three industry sources. Refiners are under strain as the coronavirus pandemic has sapped global demand for gasoline and jet fuel, making it unprofitable to produce those products.

Mar 27 - U.S. egg prices hit record levels as pandemic buying boosts demand
Increased demand for eggs in the United States has sent egg prices soaring in recent weeks as consumers scramble to stock up on staples due to coronavirus shutdowns. Wholesale prices of "Midwest large" eggs hit an all-time high of $3.09 a dozen on Thursday, triple their level in early March, before President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, according to the Urner Barry market reporting service that provides daily monitoring of commodity egg prices.

Mar 27 - Brazil soymeal traders may gain from Argentina's logistics woes amid pandemic - soy crusher
Measures taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in Argentina, which have hampered local logistics capabilities, may end up benefiting Brazil in soymeal export markets, said Caramuru Alimentos, one of Brazil's largest soy processors. "Argentina placed transport restrictions much stricter than ours, and this can benefit our soymeal exports because we are direct competitors and they are the largest exporters in the world," Fabio Vieira Junior, Caramuru's commercial director, told Reuters on Thursday.

Mar 27 - Brazil meat processors want to keep output, food security
Brazil will continue to play a key role in guaranteeing global food security in the face of widespread lockdowns to contain contagion from the novel coronavirus, an industry group executive said on Thursday.  Franciso Turra, ABPA president, said governments are yet learning how to deal with the health crisis and adaptations to the coronavirus-related lockdowns are unavoidable.

Mar 27 - German asparagus season faces peril as coronavirus shuts out pickers
German growers of white asparagus, an expensive delicacy savoured by food lovers in spring, fear this year's harvest may go to waste as coronavirus lockdowns shut out seasonal pickers from Eastern Europe. Ernst-August Winkelmann, whose farm in Beelitz southwest of Berlin produces about 6,000 tons of asparagus each season, says he is short of 500 pickers and risks having no choice but to leave the finger-thick white spears to rot in the soil.

Mar 27 - Argentine grains port workers request exports be suspended due to pandemic
A labor union representing Argentine grains port workers on Thursday asked the government to suspend exports, a move that would put upward pressure on world soy prices and hobble the country's main source of revenue as it seeks to avoid default. The URGARA union, which represents inspectors who check the quality of grains before they are loaded onto ships, said the coronavirus pandemic was severe enough to justify suspending port activities in the world's No. 1 exporter of soymeal livestock feed and No. 3 supplier of corn and raw soybeans.

Mar 27 - Credit-strapped U.S. farmers to get coronavirus help with more flexible federal loans
Farmers financially hurt by coronavirus will have an easier time getting federal loans after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday it will relax its loan process. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) said it also is extending deadlines for producers to deal with loans, including allowing financially troubled or delinquent farmers to be considered for loan deferral.

Mar 27 - Meatpacker JBS sees steady trade flows but flags export woes amid coronavirus
Brazil's JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, has said the coronavirus epidemic could cause container shortages, port disruptions and other logistics issues, but said trade flows should stay strong thanks to Chinese demand. In a conference call to discuss earnings results on Thursday, JBS executives said its export operations had not been hit by any disruptions like those that have affected frozen container cargos arriving in China in recent weeks.

Mar 26 - U.S. coronavirus stimulus bill adds billions in support for farmers
The U.S. coronavirus stimulus bill would add $14 billion to the Agriculture Department's Commodity Credit Corp spending authority, and authorize another $9.5 billion for U.S. farmers hurt by the fast-spreading pandemic, according to a copy of the bill's text. The $2 trillion bipartisan legislation, set for a Senate vote on Wednesday, is aimed at alleviating the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mar 26 - Argentine farmers seen holding back on crop delivery as coronavirus sows uncertainty
Argentine soy and corn farmers were harvesting on Wednesday but looked increasingly unlikely to rush their crops to market, even after the government moved to resolve coronavirus-related problems that have slowed delivery to the country's export hubs. Growers said they may hold some crops back from buyers as uncertainty over the fast-spreading virus mounted along with expectations of higher commodities prices ahead.

Mar 26 - U.S. farmers ramp up corn, soybean acres amid historically low prices - Braun
New-crop corn and soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade have reached the lowest March levels in more than a decade with just a few weeks until the kickoff of the U.S. planting season. But despite the low prices, U.S. farmers are expected to boost acreage significantly over last year’s levels, which were dampened by historic rains and waterlogged soils.

Mar 26 - Shares in Japan's traders sink on Marubeni loss warning as virus slams demand
Shares in Japanese trading houses sank on Thursday after Marubeni Corp warned it will book a record annual loss as the coronavirus outbreak sends prices of oil and commodities tumbling. Shares in Marubeni plunged about 13% after it said it would have to write down massive impairment losses on its assets raging from oil, copper to grains.

Mar 26 - 'Astonishing': Trump EPA backs down on biofuel waivers in blow to U.S. refiners
The Trump administration has decided not to appeal a court ruling that would sharply reduce its use of waivers exempting refineries from the nation's biofuels regulation, cheering the corn lobby but drawing anger from oil refiners. The administration had until the end of March 24 to file a challenge, but by early March 25, no such filing had been entered, according to a case docket on the U.S. government's electronic access service for court records.

Mar 26 - Brazil's JBS quarterly net income surges 332%, beats analysts estimate
JBS SA, the world's largest meat-packer, on Wednesday reported its quarterly net profit soared 332% over the prior-year period, thanks to a surge in sales to China, which increased food imports dramatically after an outbreak of African swine fever. The fourth-quarter net profit rose to 2.43 billion reais ($482.5 million), JBS said in an earnings statement.

Mar 26 - Russia's vegoil union seeks sunseeds export limits for 6 months
Russia's vegetable oil union has asked the agriculture ministry to restrict sunflower seed exports for six months from April 1 following a surge in domestic prices due to a fall in the rouble currency, the head of the union said on Wednesday. Russia is the world's second largest producer of sunflower seeds after Ukraine. Turkey is its main buyer.

Mar 26 - Brazil farm lobby warns of labor, transport hurdles from coronavirus
Brazilian farm lobby CNA has warned the government that grain, coffee and sugarcane growers in the South American agricultural powerhouse face operational hurdles due to the coronavirus epidemic. In an interview on Wednesday, CNA Superintendent Bruno Lucchi said challenges include hiring freight, harvest labor and maintenance of farm equipment as cities and states restrict movement to prevent the virus from spreading.

Mar 26 - Farmers urge EU to keep open market to ensure food supplies
The European Union needs to keep its single market open despite the coronavirus epidemic if it wants to guarantee food supplies for its consumers, Europe's leading farm association told EU countries on Wednesday. Measures to restrict the virus have blocked borders between EU member states and risk preventing the arrival of seasonal workers. 

Mar 26 - Ukraine has favourable weather for spring grain sowing
Weather conditions and soil moisture are favourable for Ukraine's 2020 spring grain sowing, which started earlier this month, the country's state weather forecasters said on Wednesday. Ukraine plans to sow more than 7 million hectares to spring grains this year, including 5.4 million hectares of corn and 1.14 million hectares of spring barley.

Mar 26 - South Africa's 2020 maize harvest seen up 31% from previous season 
South Africa will likely harvest 31% more maize in 2020 after good weather condition and increased yields in the Free State, North West provinces, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Wednesday. Giving its second production forecast for the 2020 crop, the CEC estimated production at 14.809 million tonnes, compared with 11.275 million tonnes harvested in the previous year when dry conditions affected plantings.

Mar 26 - Brazil farm town eases coronavirus lockdown to allow grain shipments
Brazilian farm town Canarana in Mato Grosso state will amend its coronavirus decree halting operations in most industries to allow global trading companies to ship grains out of the city, the mayor said on Wednesday. Mayor Fabio de Faria told Reuters in a telephone interview the decision was taken after a meeting with the farmers union. A new version of the decree is likely to be published by the end of the day, the mayor said.

Mar 25 - China's Jan-Feb soybean imports from U.S. rise as truce cargoes arrive
China's soybean imports from the United States in the first two months of the year rose sixfold from the same period last year, customs data showed on Wednesday, as cargoes booked during a trade truce between the countries arrived. China, the world's top importer of the oilseed, brought in 6.101 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans in January and February, up from 1.044 million tonnes in the same months in 2019, when shipments were still largely curbed because of the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Mar 25 - Argentine soymeal plants hit by massive cut in beans supplies, export chamber says
Soybean deliveries to crushing plants have been severely cut in Argentina, the world's top supplier of soymeal livestock feed, as the country reacts to the coronavirus pandemic, the local grains export industry chamber said on Tuesday. More than 70 municipalities throughout the country are enforcing anti-coronavirus measures by controlling the movement of farm produce through their jurisdictions, according to data provided by the CIARA-CEC export chamber, which represents global companies including Bunge and Dreyfus.

Mar 25 - After series of cuts, India axes Bayer's GM cotton royalty 
India has axed the royalties that local seed companies pay to German drugmaker Bayer AG for Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) cotton, a government order said, after cutting them back since 2016. More than 45 local cotton seed companies pay royalties to Monsanto, acquired by Bayer in 2018, for GM cotton using a gene that produces its own pesticide.

Mar 25 - Malaysia's biggest palm oil state shuts some estates after virus outbreak
Malaysia's Sabah state has ordered the closure of palm oil plantations in three districts after a coronavirus outbreak originating from a religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur, which is also linked to nearly a thousand cases of the virus.  The suspension comes as the world's second-biggest palm oil producer reported 106 new coronavirus cases, taking the total tally of infections to 1,624 - the highest in Southeast Asia.

Mar 25 - Brazil's Abiove keeps soy, meal export view unchanged amid coronavirus
Brazil's soy and meal export projections remain unchanged despite concerns over curbs limiting the circulation of goods and people amid the spread of the new coronavirus, oilseeds crusher group Abiove said on Tuesday. The association projects Brazilian soybean exports this year at 73.5 million tonnes, a slight decrease compared with the 74 million tonnes exported in 2019.

Mar 25 - China to encourage local governments to stockpile poultry, aquaculture products
China said on Wednesday that it encourages local governments to temporarily stockpile poultry and aquaculture products in a bid to support the farming sectors after the unprecedented coronavirus cut production and supplies.  China will increase fiscal and tax support for poultry and aquaculture producers to help them survive the impact from coronavirus containment measures, according to a statement jointly issued by the state planner and the country's agriculture ministry.

Mar 25 - Frosts may damage some Ukrainian winter grain area
Night frost across Ukrainian northern and central regions could damage some snowless areas sown with winter grain, analyst APK-Inform said on Tuesday. Night temperature fell to around 5 degrees Celsius below zero (23 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday and Tuesday and weather forecasters predict at least one frosty night.

Mar 25 - China's WH Group, world's top pork processor, reports profit jump
The world's biggest pork processor, WH Group Ltd, reported on Tuesday a 32% jump in 2019 profits as record high pork prices in China boosted the value of the company's exports from the United States and lifted margins on its China sales. Group chairman Wan Long said the coronavirus epidemic in China this year has had a very limited impact on operations or demand and that more than 95% of the group's operations in China were back to normal.

Mar 25 - South Africa's maize harvest expected to be 33% higher than last season 
South African maize farmers are expected to harvest 33% more maize in the 2019/20 season compared with the previous season, boosted by favourable weather conditions, a Reuters survey showed on Wednesday. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast maize production at 14.959 million tonnes for the crop to be harvested in 2020, up from the 11.259 million tonnes planted last season, an average estimated by five traders and analysts showed.

Mar 25 - Lockdown in second Brazil town may affect grain exports
The key Brazilian farm town of Canarana has issued a decree aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus that could disrupt grain export logistics and the operations of global agriculture commodities traders. A municipal order dated Sunday bars shipping of grains out of the city in Mato Grosso state and comes as Mayor Fábio de Faria enforces a lockdown of all non-essential services to protect the population against the spread of the virus.

Mar 25 - USDA, USTR cite progress on farm provisions of U.S.-China trade deal
The United States and China have made progress in implementing the agriculture-related provisions of a Phase 1 trade deal that took effect on Feb. 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative said on Tuesday. In a joint statement, they listed a number of steps taken that should help boost U.S. exports of beef, poultry and other farm products to China, and said U.S. food and agricultural products exports were benefiting from Chinese tariff relief.

Mar 25 - Vietnam to continue rice exports amid virus spread - food association
Vietnam will continue to export rice amid the spread of the coronavirus, the vice chairman of the country's food association said on Tuesday, countering earlier statements from local customs officials and media reports. "I just received information from the top leader of the government about the continuation," Do Ha Nam, vice chairman of the Vietnam Food Association, told Reuters by phone.

Mar 25 - Kazakhstan suspends exports of food staples
Kazakhstan has suspended exports of wheat flour, buckwheat, sugar, sunflower oil, and some vegetables until at least April 15 to ensure their steady supply during the coronavirus emergency, the government said on Tuesday. The Central Asian nation this month declared a state of emergency until April 15 over the coronavirus outbreak. Kazakhstan has confirmed 67 cases of the disease so far and has locked down its two biggest cities.

Mar 24 - China's Jan-Feb pork imports surge 158% on pre-holiday stocking
China's pork imports in the first two months of 2020 surged 158% from a year earlier to 560,000 tonnes, customs data showed on Tuesday, as the world's top consumer brought in large supplies ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in January. The jump came even after the clearing of frozen goods at ports slowed sharply in February because of the coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 3,000 people in China and kept millions more at home in quarantine.

Mar 24 - Brazil farm town's coronavirus lockdown could affect Bunge, Cofco
A town in the heart of Brazil's farm country has halted all non-essential services and ordered industrial sites, including agricultural processing facilities, to suspend operations in response to the coronavirus crisis. The municipal decree ordering the closures was issued on Saturday by the mayor of Rondonópolis in Mato Grosso state, Brazil's largest producer of grains and meat. The order could face legal challenges as the federal government pushes to keep certain businesses open through the outbreak.

Mar 24 - China's soymeal hits trade limit on bean shortage, coronavirus fear
China's soymeal futures rose to hit their trading limit on Monday as many crushers suspended operation because of a soybean shortage and coronavirus outbreaks in South America further disrupted exports of the oilseed.  "The operation suspension and bean shortage (at crushers) is expected to last longer than expected," said Bai Jie, an analyst with COFCO Futures. "While port operation in Brazil and shipping has also slowed down due to the coronavirus."
Mar 24 - Palm oil demand to remain weak in first-half 2020 due to virus lockdowns - MPOB
A recent heavy slump in palm oil demand is expected to persist through the first half of 2020 as a growing number of countries impose lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Malaysian palm oil industry regulator told Reuters. The fast-spreading coronavirus has infected more than 350,000 and killed more than 15,000, spurring governments worldwide to follow China's move in restricting internal movements.

Mar 24 - North American millers, bakers scramble to satisfy bread-buying binge
North American flour mills and bakeries are rushing to boost production as the spread of the new coronavirus leads to stockpiling of staples like bread and pasta. The virus' spread prompted orders to stay at home in some U.S. states, including New York, California and Illinois last week following similar measures in Asia and Europe. Depleted store shelves in both the United States and Canada reflect hoarding and a spike in demand for foods consumed at home.

Mar 24 - Louis Dreyfus sees food demand holding up in coronavirus crisis
Agricultural commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) expects food demand to hold up during a coronavirus epidemic as consumption focuses on staples and buyers stockpile around the world, its chief executive said. Reporting annual results earlier on Monday, LDC said it had not seen a significant impact so far from the coronavirus crisis, although it would not predict how it might affect the rest of the year.

Mar 24 - Funds avoid extreme corn sell-off, move toward flat in soybeans - Braun
Despite the enormous pressure that the coronavirus pandemic has recently placed on commodity and financial markets, speculators did not enter panic mode last week when it comes to Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds, and they even found some optimism. Through Tuesday, the selling in corn was much lighter than predicted by analysts, as the numbers were thought to have approached weekly records. But investors were not too positive on corn late in the week, opposite of their feelings toward wheat, soybeans and soybean meal.

Mar 24 - Russia suspends exports of processed grains
Russia has suspended exports of processed grains such as ready-to-eat buckwheat, rice or oat flakes from March 20 for 10 days, a letter sent by the country's agriculture safety watchdog to its regional offices showed on Monday. Domestic demand for ready-to-eat grains, mainly buckwheat, has risen significantly in the country as Russians worried by the coronavirus epidemic have stockpiled staples.

Mar 24 - As coronavirus fuels meat demand, processors raise pay for N.American farmers, workers
North American meat processors said on Monday they would pay extra money to farmers and slaughterhouse workers as the companies scramble to meet surging demand from consumers unnerved by the spread of the new coronavirus. Companies like Tyson Foods Inc and Cargill Inc want to ensure their slaughterhouses remain supplied with cattle to chop into beef and employees to perform the sometimes grueling work.

Mar 24 - Russian export prices for wheat stabilise, domestic market up sharply
Russian export prices for wheat stabilised last week after seven weeks of fall, while domestic rouble prices continued their growth due to concerns among traders and farmers about potential export restrictions, analysts said on Monday. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content loaded from Black Sea ports was unchanged at $207 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, SovEcon and IKAR, two leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said.

Mar 24 - Canada seeks to recall retired meat inspectors, unveils C$5 bln in farm credit 
Canada is asking recently retired meat inspectors to come back to work as it tries to ease staffing shortages and ensure the food system remains intact during the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Monday. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) told meat processing plants on Friday it would be reducing the agency's staffed hours at domestic meat processing plants because of capacity constraints, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Mar 24 - No word yet from Trump administration on refinery biofuel waivers - Grassley 
U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa have asked the Trump administration not to appeal a court ruling that would slash the use of small refinery biofuel waivers, but have not heard back yet on its decision, Grassley said on Monday. "We haven't been told one way or another officially," he told reporters on a conference call. The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard requires oil refiners to blend billions of gallons of biofuels like ethanol into the nation's fuel pool, a boon to U.S. corn country.

Mar 23 - Panic buying, lockdowns may drive world food inflation - FAO, analysts
Lockdowns and panic food buying due to the coronavirus pandemic could ignite world food inflation even though there are ample supplies of staple grains and oilseeds in key exporting nations, a senior economist at FAO and agricultural analysts said. The world's richest nations poured unprecedented aid into the global economy as coronavirus cases ballooned across Europe and the United States, with the number of deaths in Italy outstripping those in mainland China, where the virus originated.

Mar 23 - French grain industry in logistics scramble as shoppers bulk buy
France's grain industry is scrambling to find enough trucks and staff to keep factories and ports running as panic buying of pasta and flour because of the coronavirus pandemic coincides with a surge in wheat exports. The French government's designation of the food sector as a strategic priority has helped pasta manufacturers, flour mills and grain exporters get through a first week of lockdown in France, home to the biggest grain industry in Europe.

Mar 23 - Wheat in Whitehorse: how climate change helps feed Canada's remote regions
After failing to grow wheat in Canada's subarctic Yukon territory 15 years ago, farmer Steve Mackenzie-Grieve gave it another shot in 2017. Thanks to longer summers, he has reaped three straight harvests. This spring he plans to sow canola on his family's 450-acre farm near Whitehorse, a city not much further from the North Pole than the heart of Canada's crop belt Saskatchewan.

Mar 23 - Funds avoid extreme corn sell-off, move toward flat in soybeans - Braun
Despite the enormous pressure that the coronavirus pandemic has recently placed on commodity and financial markets, speculators did not enter panic mode last week when it comes to Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds, and they even found some optimism. Through Tuesday, the selling in corn was much lighter than predicted by analysts, as the numbers were thought to have approached weekly records. But investors were not too positive on corn late in the week, opposite of their feelings toward wheat, soybeans and soybean meal.

Mar 23 - China removes threat of total ban on U.S. poultry if bird flu is found - industry group
China has promised it will not impose a nationwide ban on imports of U.S. poultry if the United States finds cases of avian flu, an industry group said, a policy change that could help Beijing fulfill commitments to buy more American farm goods. The agreement follows a Phase 1 deal to end a prolonged trade war between the world's two largest economies and highlights China's need for more imported meat as it battles a fatal pig disease.

Mar 23 - In relief for Canada's ag sector, temporary foreign workers to be allowed in
Canada will allow temporary foreign workers with valid visas to enter the country, officials said on Friday, offering possible salvation to the agriculture industry even as Ottawa moves to limit the spread of a coronavirus outbreak. Canada's labor-strapped farms rely heavily on nearly 60,000 temporary foreign workers to help plant and harvest crops like fruit and vegetables. They also account for about 3% of meat and seafood processors' labor force.

Mar 23 - Brazil dock workers mull strike at key port due to coronavirus 
A union representing about 5,000 autonomous dock workers on Friday called on its members to vote on Monday on whether to hold a strike at Latin America's largest port over concerns about coronavirus risk. Rodnei Oliveira da Silva, president of the dock workers union at Brazil's Santos port, said in a video message posted on social media that the vote will be held in front of the union's headquarters on Monday. The port is Brazil's biggest for exports of coffee, sugar, soybeans, corn and cotton.

 Mar 23 - Argentine grain port blocking trucks from entering, shipments unaffected - export chamber
A key port town in northern Rosario, Argentina's main grains export hub, was blocking trucks from entering town on Friday in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus, though the local export chamber said shipments were not yet unaffected. The Timbues government announced on its website earlier this week that "all commercial, industrial and port activities" would be suspended in the town beginning Thursday to combat the epidemic.

Mar 23 - Coronavirus undermines Indian crop prices, derails rural rebound
Indian farmer Banwarilal Bhardwaj was planning to buy a car after harvesting his winter-sown crops that were promising bumper returns. But coronavirus has shattered that dream, undermining farm commodity prices as it spreads around the world.

Mar 23 - Coronavirus not expected to disrupt U.S. planting season - Iowa official
The global coronavirus pandemic is not expected to disrupt or delay the U.S. spring planting season for farmers, even as the virus spreads across the United States, said Iowa's agriculture secretary on Friday. The spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 252,700 people and killed 10,451, has roiled business and hampered daily life, with no end in sight. New York and California officials have ordered all non-essential workers to stay home.

Mar 23 - Iraq ministry needs cash to build grain stockpile as coronavirus spreads
Iraq's Trade Ministry is in need of more money from the budget to build three months' supply in its strategic wheat and rice stockpiles in the face of the country's growing coronavirus problems, it said late on Saturday. Months of political deadlock have already delayed budget approvals for Iraq, a major Middle East grain importer. 

Mar 23 - Cristal Union running at lower capacity due to ethanol slump
French sugar and ethanol group Cristal Union said on Friday it was running at low capacity due to a slump in ethanol demand, despite a rise in table sugar output and a surge in production of pharmaceutical alcohol to make sanitary gel. Global ethanol producers have been suffering from a slump in margins on the fuel linked to concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the recent collapse in oil prices.

Mar 20 - China soymeal rallies to five month high on supply concerns amid spreading coronavirus 
China's soymeal futures rallied to their highest in almost five months on Friday, as coronavirus outbreaks in South America fuelled further supply concerns amid already tight quantities. China's main soymeal future contract rose 2.5% to 2,832 yuan per tonne, its highest since early November last year. "The jump was because of the coronavirus disease. The market is concerned that the outbreaks in south American will affect supplies of soybeans and soymeal," said Monica Tu, analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Ltd, a Shanghai based agriculture consultancy. 

Mar 20 - U.S. grocery meat supply to improve soon, after virus-fueled demand surge - Tyson Foods 
Demand for U.S. meat at grocery stores will likely exceed supplies for at least another week, the chief executive of Tyson Foods Inc told Reuters on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic fuels panic buying among shoppers. Food manufacturers say overall meat supplies are ample to feed the millions of Americans hunkering down in their homes after state and local governments closed schools, bars and restaurants in an escalation of "social distancing" policies aimed at containing the virus.  

Mar 20 - Brazil agribusiness groups seek govt support to keep ports running - letter 
A group of almost 50 agribusiness associations has sought support from the federal government to guarantee Brazilian ports continue to operate amid the coronavirus crisis, according to a letter dated March 18 seen by Reuters. In the letter addressed to President Jair Bolsonaro and Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, farmers and food processor groups urged action against any potential port disruptions.

Mar 20 - Argentina rains help northern soy crop; harvest forecast could still face cuts 
Argentina's northern soy area has been boosted by rains in recent days, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday, but added it could still be forced to cut its harvest forecast further from the current 52 million tonnes. The major exchange lowered its production estimate for the oilseed last week from a previous 54.4 million tonnes due to high temperatures and limited rainfall that affected the country from late February to the start of March.

Mar 20 - U.S. biofuel group says ethanol industry sharply cutting production 
Many U.S. ethanol plants have slashed production over the past week or idled entirely as the coronavirus outbreak cut into fuel consumption and cratered margins to refine the corn-based fuel, the head of a biofuel trade group said on Thursday. Renewable Fuels Association Chief Executive Geoff Cooper said on a conference call he expects ethanol production to fall further, and called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ease strain on the industry by ceasing to grant small refineries waivers from the nation's biofuels mandates.

Mar 20 - Coronavirus border curbs disrupt EU food supplies - industry 
Restrictions imposed by some European Union countries at their borders with other member states in response to the coronavirus outbreak are disrupting food supplies, representatives of the industry and farmers said on Thursday. More than a dozen EU countries have tightened or even shut borders that are usually open and uncontrolled, in response to the spreading epidemic.

Mar 20 - Despite coronavirus, China 2020 poultry output seen level with 2019 
China's poultry and egg output in 2020 are expected to be level with last year, an agriculture official said on Thursday, despite the severe dispruption to the industry because of the coronavirus epidemic. Many Chinese chicken farmers struggled to feed their birds and send them to slaughter in February after the government imposed strict restrictions on the movement of people and transport to curb the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 3,000 people in the country.

Mar 20 - Egypt sets local wheat procurement price before harvest 
Egypt has set a local wheat procurement price of 700 Egyptian pounds ($44.59) per ardeb (150 kg) before the harvest starts next month, the cabinet said in a statement on Thursday. Egypt's Supply Minister Ali Moselhy had said the government aimed to procure around 3.6 million tonnes of local wheat from the harvest.

Mar 19 - Virus fallout pushes CBOT corn to 14-year March lows - Braun 
Chicago-traded corn has been crippled in recent days under the weight of crashing outside markets, with prices hitting the lowest March levels since 2006. Futures are now heavily oversold, but that does not mean an immediate rebound is guaranteed. Most-active corn futures on Wednesday hit their lowest levels since Sept. 30, 2016, and the contract finished at $3.35-1/4 per bushel, down nearly 14% since the start of the year. Within the last three decades, only 2009 and 2010 featured comparable losses in the first months of the year. 

Mar 19 - Amid coronavirus crisis, U.S. shoppers turn chicken into a scarcity 
Major U.S. chicken companies are diverting supplies to grocery stores from restaurants to meet red-hot demand as shoppers, unnerved by worries over the new coronavirus, stock their freezers to the brim as they isolate at home. In addition to redirecting supplies, some producers are adding shifts to slaughterhouse operations. Even so, speed-ups face one constraint: chickens don't grow any faster during a crisis.

Mar 19 - China to auction 20,000 tonnes of pork from state reserves on March 20-notice 
China will auction 20,000 tonnes of frozen pork from its state reserves on March 20, a notice from the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center said on Wednesday. China has already released 210,000 tonnes of pork from its reserves so far this year, after releasing 140,000 tonnes in December.    

Mar 19 - Activity at Argentina's Rosario grains port normalized - chamber 
Activity at Argentina's Rosario grains port normalized after the publication of coronavirus ship trade protocol, the maritime port activities chamber said on Wednesday. The protocol comes after the disruptions at ports in the world's number one exporter of soy oil and meal, which is also the third largest seller of corn and unprocessed soybeans.

Mar 19 - Egypt's strategic wheat reserves sufficient for 3.5 months -minister 
Egypt's strategic reserves of wheat as of March 17 were sufficient to cover the country's consumption needs for 3.5 months, the supply minister said in an interview on state television on Wednesday. The country awaits the harvest season of its local wheat crop in April from which the government expects to procure an additional 3.6 million tonnes of wheat, Ali Moselhy said, seeking to reaffirm that Egypt is well-stocked amid fears of the coronavirus spread.

Mar 19 - Ukraine grain exports up 24.6% at 43.6 mln T so far 
Ukraine's grain exports are up around 24.6% at 43.6 million tonnes so far in the July 2019 to June 2020 season, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said on Wednesday. Wheat exports have risen to 17.3 million tonnes, the ministry said in a statement, adding Ukraine has exported about 4.1 million tonnes of barley and 21.7 million tonnes of corn.

Mar 19 - Virus-spooked Russians hoard trusty staple that is cheap and filling: buckwheat 
Russians spooked by the coronavirus epidemic have started hoarding a trusty national staple that has helped them get through multiple crises in their troubled history: buckwheat. Cheap, filling and beloved by Russians as a side dish or as a meal in itself, buckwheat - "grechka" in Russian - was sold out in many Moscow supermarkets late on Tuesday or, at best, available only in expensive brands.

Mar 18 - Coronavirus prompts Malaysia palm plantation closures, world vegoil supply concerns 
Malaysia's palm oil plantations will stop operations for the next two weeks to comply with government orders to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a producer group said on Wednesday, raising concerns over global edible oil supplies. Malaysia is the world's second-largest producer of palm oil, which is used in everything from cosmetics to cookies and accounts for around 65% of global edible oil exports.

Mar 18 - Grain price slump attracts bargain-hunting by importers
The collapse in grain prices caused by concern about the global impact of coronavirus has generated some bargain-buying by importing countries, traders said on Tuesday. But they said the extent was still limited and there were no signs importers were making especially large purchases to expand stocks. 

Mar 18 - Argentina looks to defuse grains ports tensions after coronavirus causes delays
Argentina's transport ministry released measures on Tuesday to clarify rules for grains ports amid a coronavirus pandemic and help normalize activity that has been hit by delays after the country closed its borders to contain the virus. The move comes after the disruptions at ports in the world's number one exporter of soy oil and meal, which is also the third largest seller of corn and unprocessed soybeans.

Mar 18 - Coronavirus grounds Egypt wheat inspectors 
Egypt, the world's largest wheat buyer, has halted travelling by its wheat inspectors, the head of the agriculture quarantine body told Reuters on Tuesday, after the country decided to shut its air traffic to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Delegations currently in Russia and Ukraine will return and be put under a 15-day quarantine. Only one delegation will remain in France pending further announcements on a curfew or travel restrictions by Paris, quarantine chief Ahmed al-Attar said.

Mar 18 - Brazil pork, poultry processors not planning to cut back over coronavirus 
Brazilian pork and poultry processors have no plans to cut production or place workers on paid leave in response to the coronavirus crisis, meat producer association ABPA said on Tuesday. ABPA Executive Director Ricardo Santin said by telephone the crisis is changing consumer habits but has not had a significant impact on domestic or export demand. 

Mar 18 - Russia could limit some food exports, sees no deficit of grain 
Russia could limit exports of some food products if the coronavirus outbreak leads to a shortage, its officials said on Tuesday, adding that the domestic agriculture market remains stable and no deficit of grain was expected. Grain exports from Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, jumped last week as the rouble weakened against the dollar and fell to four-year lows.

Mar 18 - Brazil grain exports not affected by coronavirus turmoil -industry association 
Global market turmoil caused by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will not affect Brazilian grain exports, grain exporters association Anec told Reuters in a phone interview on Tuesday. Anec Director Sérgio Mendes said the association is holding steady its projection that Brazil will export between 73 million tonnes and 74 million tonnes of soybeans this year and between 34 million tonnes and 35 million tonnes of corn. 


Mar 17 - Flying blind: Marubeni's Gavilon ignored Brazilian red flags 
When Japanese conglomerate Marubeni booked a loss of 3.9 billion yen ($35 million) at its U.S. grain trader Gavilon in November, it blamed adjustments for "inappropriate transactions" with Italy and Spain. While Marubeni didn't give further details, the issues that led to the loss stretched back years and had been overlooked by Gavilon's U.S. managers despite repeated warnings from accountants and some company executives in Brazil, according to audits, emails and four people familiar with the matter.

Mar 17 - Russia's weekly grain exports jump, SovEcon ups March estimate 
Grain exports from Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, rose sharply last week as the rouble weakened against the dollar, agriculture consultancy SovEcon said on Monday, citing data from ports. Russian wheat export prices in dollars fell steeply and for the seventh week running last week after a slump in global oil prices and concerns about the spread of the coronavirus pressed the rouble to a four-year lows against the dollar. 

Mar 17 - U.S. soybean shipments to China dry up to historically low levels -Braun 
The United States has only one cargo of soybeans left to ship to China for the current exporting season, practically unheard of for this time of year. It is even more shocking considering that China is allegedly still on the hook for massive U.S. farm purchases this year under the recent Phase 1 deal, and that soybean stocks in the country have plunged to lows not seen in at least a decade. U.S. export inspection data published on Monday by the Department of Agriculture suggests that no American soybeans were shipped to mainland China in the week ended March 12. That is the first week since Dec. 27, 2018, in which China was absent from the weekly inspection report.

Mar 17 - Malaysian palm growers want plantations freed of virus curbs 
Palm plantations in Malaysia, the world's second largest producer of the commodity, must be allowed to operate during the two weeks of movement curbs ordered to rein in the spread of a coronavirus, a group of growers said on Tuesday. Malaysia's measures on borders and internal movement announced this week run from Wednesday until March 31, after its infections climbed to the highest in Southeast Asia, with only essential services, such as ports and transport, exempted.

Mar 17 - Argentine grain exporters report delays at Rosario port 
Argentina's export chamber on Monday reported delays in shipping cargo out of the country's primary port in Rosario because of confusion over a government order to seal its borders to contain the coronavirus.  Argentina is a major exporter of soybeans and the world's top seller of the processed beans as soy oil and meal, and Rosario port on the Paraná River handles about 80% of those exports. 

Mar 17 - NOPA February soy crush tops most estimates at 166.288 million bushels 
The U.S. soybean crush in February topped most analyst forecasts and hit the highest level on record for the shortest month of the year, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data issued on Monday. NOPA said its members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 166.288 million bushels of soybeans last month, down from the 176.940 million bushels crushed in January, an all-time high for any month, but up from the February 2019 crush of 154.498 million bushels.

Mar 17 - Coceral cuts EU soft wheat crop forecast, raises barley on UK sowing 
Grain trade association Coceral on Monday lowered its forecast of soft wheat production this year in the European Union and Britain to 136.5 million tonnes from an initial estimate of 137.9 million last month. That compared with estimated 2019 output of 145.7 million tonnes, Coceral said in a statement. "The expected decrease is mainly due to a further significant acreage reduction in the UK due to abundant rains during the planting season last fall," it said.

Mar 17 - Unseasonal rain and hail damages crops in India, hits farmers' income 
Unseasonal torrential rains and hailstorms have damaged the winter-planted crops of millions of Indian growers, inundating wheat, potato, chickpea and rapeseed farms in large parts of the fertile northern plains, farmers said. Most farmers were caught by surprise by the repeated rain and hail that has lashed fields full of mature crops, raising concerns about quality degradation, threatening to cut yields, and pushing back harvests.

Mar 17 - China encourages firms to raise pigs overseas to plug domestic pork shortage 
China said on Monday that it is encouraging companies to build pig farms overseas to plug a severe domestic pork shortage after a worse-than-ever African swine fever slashed almost half of its pig herd.  China has urged local authorities to support qualified domestic firms to "go out," and build hog farming bases in countries where pig products are eligible to be exported back to China, according to a joint statement issued by the country's state planner and agriculture ministry. 

 Mar 16 - China soymeal set for best day in 17 months as virus prompts cargo delay concerns 
Chinese soymeal futures jumped 3% on Monday, on course for their biggest daily jump in 17 months, on worries that the coronavirus pandemic would further delay cargoes from major exporter Brazil.  Rains in the south American country, China's top soybean supplier, have already held back exports of the oilseed, supporting prices. 

Mar 16 - China's port jam eases, but refrigerated container rates soar 
Severe congestion at Chinese ports is easing, say officials and industry participants, although a logjam of refrigerated containers has disrupted supplies of fresh and frozen food and pushed up freight rates outside China. Thousands of refrigerated containers carrying meat, seafood and fruit from around the world to China have been stuck for weeks at the country's ports after Beijing extended its Lunar New Year holiday and cities around the nation restricted free movement to curb the spread of coronavirus 

Mar 16 - Funds mixed on CBOT grains, oilseeds despite wild week in outside markets - Braun 
Although global markets were in panic mode last week over coronavirus and the potential economic fallout, speculators' reaction to Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds was relatively variable through Tuesday. In the week ended March 10, the most actively traded CBOT corn and wheat contracts both slid 1%, but money managers were net buyers of both during the period. For corn, that made it two weeks in a row of buying.

Mar 16 - NOPA February U.S. soy crush seen at 164.956 million bushels - survey 
The U.S. soybean crush remained elevated in February, likely reaching the highest level on record for the month amid strong demand for soy products, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Monday. NOPA members, which collectively handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, likely crushed 164.956 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates from eight analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Mar 16 - French spring barley sowing still slow in rain; wheat rating dips 
French farmers again made little progress in spring barley sowing last week, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, as heavy rain continued to drench fields in the European Union's biggest grain producer. Spring barley sowing was 34% complete by Monday, up only marginally from 33% a week earlier and 32% two weeks ago, FranceAgriMer's cereal crop data showed.

Mar 16 - Malaysia lowers crude palm oil duty for April to 5% 
Malaysia has decreased its export duty for crude palm oil to 5% for April from 6% in March, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Monday, citing the national customs department.  The world's second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil calculated a reference price of 2,631.07 ringgit ($612.02) per tonne.

Mar 16 - China detects two African swine fever cases in pigs transported to Sichuan, Henan province 
China's agriculture ministry said on Saturday it had detected two new African swine fever cases in pigs being illegally transported in the major hog-breeding provinces of Sichuan and Henan. The outbreak in Sichuan was found on a truck transporting 120 piglets from other provinces and has killed 12 of the animals, according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Sichuan had reported a similar case in illegally transported pigs on Thursday. 

Mar 16 - Bayer inches toward glyphosate settlement - WSJ 
Bayer AG has agreed on draft settlement terms with half a dozen law firms representing tens of thousands of plaintiffs alleging that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares of the German drugs and pesticides company have come under immense pressure since it lost the first U.S. lawsuit claiming that glyphosate-based Roundup, acquired via its takeover of Monsanto in 2018, causes cancer.

Mar 16 - Onion, garlic get the chop in Indonesia as coronavirus hits imports 
Restaurants in Indonesia are taking some dishes off the menu after the price of onions soared ten-fold to cost more than beef, while a spike in garlic prices is also affecting staple dishes amid import disruptions from China due to coronavirus.  Shipments from China of goods and produce have been hurt in the past few months as a lockdown in some areas and extended holidays to curb the virus outbreak have thrown global supply chains into turmoil. 

Mar 13 - U.S. ethanol industry 'bleeding' on oil collapse, coronavirus
U.S. ethanol producers are feeling the pain as margins on the corn-based fuel slumped this week to an eight-year low for this time of year, weighed by concerns over lower fuel demand from the coronavirus and the recent collapse in oil prices. The coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 126,000 people worldwide, is sapping demand for fuel as countries restrict travel and local governments try to prevent the spread of the outbreak.

Mar 13 - China proposes standards on hormone residues in beef after U.S. trade deal
China has drawn up food safety standards on residue limits of growth hormones in beef, a move seen as a further step towards opening up its market to American imports of the meat. China has previously had zero tolerance for any residues of growth hormones, which has restricted the amount of beef it can import from the United States where the drugs are widely used.

Mar 13 - U.S. pork export sales to China fall to lowest ever - USDA
U.S. export sales of pork to China hit their lowest on record in the week ended March 5 even as access to ports improved in the world's top consumer of pork, the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA)said on Thursday. The USDA's weekly report showed that Chinese buyer cancellations pushed down total export sales to China to negative 45,222 tonnes of pork, the lowest since record keeping began in 2013 and eclipsing the previous record of negative 17,614 tonnes of export sales in the week ended Jan. 2.

Mar 13 - Strategie Grains lifts EU soft wheat export estimate again
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday raised its estimate for European Union soft wheat exports this season to take account of large sales from Germany, although French exports were revised lower as they lost competitiveness. In its monthly supply and demand report, Strategie Grains pegged soft wheat exports outside the EU including Britain in the 2019/20 season at 31.2 million tonnes, up 600,000 tonnes on the previous month.

Mar 13 - Russia says no need for grain export duty despite weak rouble
Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, sees no need to trigger a grain export duty, which is currently at zero, after sharp falls in the rouble, the agriculture ministry said. The Russian currency's rapid decline sparked concerns among some analysts that rouble-denominated grain prices would rise and prompt officials to consider launching official or non-official measures to slow down exports and put a break on rising costs for flour millers or meat producers.

Mar 13 - Algeria buys around 680,000 tonnes of wheat in tender - traders
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC bought around 680,000 tonnes of milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. The volume was larger than initial estimates of about 600,000 tonnes.

Mar 13 - Argentine soy harvest forecast cut to 52 mln tonnes - exchange
Argentina's 2019/20 soy harvest is expected at 52 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly crop report on Thursday, citing dry weather as the reason for cutting its previous 54.5 million tonne forecast. "Lack of rain and high temperatures have accelerated the loss of ground moisture in soybean-growing areas, compromising harvest yields," the report said.

Mar 13 - Brazil farm sector frets over possible China pesticide supply disruptions
Brazil's pesticide and herbicides industry is worried that the new coronavirus outbreak that paralyzed Chinese factories will disrupt supplies of inputs needed for the 2020/21 harvest in Brazil, which is highly dependent on imports from China. Last year, China supplied 38% of the pesticides imported by Brazil, according to a survey by Itaú BBA based on official foreign trade data. Glyphosate, one of the most widely used herbicides in Brazilian agriculture, was 99% supplied by China.

 Mar 12 - U.S. farmers still dependent on trade aid after China deal 
As U.S. President Donald Trump touted the signing of a U.S.-China trade deal in January, he told cash-strapped farmers they would soon need bigger tractors and "a little more land" to meet additional Chinese demand for U.S. agricultural goods.His administration assured farmers that they would no longer need the billions in aid the government had provided to offset their losses from the trade war Trump launched with China in 2017.

Mar 12 - CME to close Chicago trading floor on coronavirus concerns 
Exchange operator CME Group Inc said on Wednesday it would close its Chicago trading floor after business hours on Friday to reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of the coronavirus. The outbreak of the coronavirus, which can cause a sometimes fatal flu-like respiratory illness, has roiled equities and commodities prices worldwide.

Mar 12 - Dead meat: Industry faces 'ruin' if slow on adapting to climate change 
The world's meat industry must adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and growing demand for plant-based alternatives or face ruin, according to a group of investors managing $20 trillion in assets. Policymakers and investors are turning up the heat on companies across sectors in the run up to global climate talks in Glasgow in November, demanding they assess the risks and put plans in place to mitigate them.

Mar 12 - K+S puts Americas salt business on auction block to slash debt 
German minerals firm K+S said on Wednesday it would sell its salt business in North and South America to slash its debt pile and focus on potash fertiliser products. "It is the best option to achieve the urgently required reduction of the company's debt," Chief Executive Officer Burkhard Lohr said in a statement. 

 Mar 12 - U.S. corn export outlook still weak despite stronger February -Braun 
Corn exports from the United States hit a nine-month high in February and although sales have picked up in recent weeks, annual shipments could still fall short of already-light industry expectations. Ever since U.S. corn prices jumped last year amid the rain-induced, record late planting, the world’s top supplier has struggled to sell the yellow grain on the international market. Monthly exports have been running notably below recent averages since June, but that changed in February.

Mar 12 - Mosaic upbeat on Brazil as FX helps farmers, drives fertilizer sales 
Mosaic Fertilizantes, a unit of Mosaic Co., sees Brazil's fertilizer demand growing by up to 3% this year as local farmers rush to buy soil nutrients in a key growth market where the firm is already a top producer.Floris Bielders, commercial VP at the Brazil unit, told Reuters this week that Brazilian farmers have pre-sold about 20% of their next-season soybean crop, citing the strong dollar as the driver for the trend that is a boon for fertilizer suppliers.

Mar 12 - UK wheat exports slow in January despite Nigeria sale 
British wheat exports fell in January but are still running well ahead of last season's pace, customs data showed on Wednesday. Wheat exports for the month totalled 50,281 tonnes, down from the previous month's 96,111 tonnes.

Mar 12 - Argentina's grain exchange sees soybean yields down on lack of rain 
Argentine soybean production will reach 51.5 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season, below the previous estimate of 55 million tonnes, the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR) forecast on Wednesday. "The rains of the past few days are not enough to stop the drop in soybean yields," the stock exchange said in a report.

Mar 12 - Morocco to increase feed barley subsidies as drought hits crops - minister 
Morocco will step up subsidies for feed barley as the lack of rainfall so far this year bodes ill for the farming sector, Agriculture Minister Aziz Akhannouch said on Tuesday. The ministry has already spent 55 million dirhams in feed subsidies and plans to spend an additional 211 million dirhams ($22.2 million) to subsidise 120,000 tonnes of feed barley for farmers to rear their livestock, Akhannouch told parliament. 

Mar 11 - World soy stocks to swell as Brazil, Argentina harvest prospects rise  
Global soybean supplies will be bigger than previously forecast due to increased harvest expectations in Brazil and Argentina, the U.S. government said on Tuesday. World soybean ending stocks for the 2019/20 marketing year were pegged at 102.44 million tonnes, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. That compares with the USDA's February forecast of 98.86 million tonnes. 

Mar 11 - Chinese farmers dodge coronavirus and go online for spring seeds and supplies 
Many Chinese farmers are shopping online for vital supplies as the spring planting season gets under way and the coronavirus outbreak disrupts traditional supply chains, providing a huge boost to business for e-commerce platforms. Fertilizers, chemicals, seeds and machinery are traditionally distributed to China's hundreds of millions of farmers via a network of traders and local distributors. 

Mar 11 - Australian wheat farmers to plant 'wall-to-wall' crop as rains drench paddocks 
Wheat-belt farmers in Australia's east are rushing to secure seed several weeks before the all-important winter crop planting starts amid hopes that a devastating three-year drought is coming to an end. Recent deluges across the country's east have turned paddocks green for the first time in years, lifting grain production forecasts in the world's seventh largest wheat exporter.  

Mar 11 - Malaysia aims to resolve palm oil spat with India within a month 
Malaysia has set itself a target of a month within which to resolve its trade dispute with India over palm oil, the southeast Asian nation's new commodities minister said on Wednesday.  The deadline follows this week's swearing-in of a new Malaysian cabinet after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took office last month. 

Mar 11 - French farmers dig in for Brexit game of chicken 
French poultry farmer Isabelle Leballeur is fed up with European trade agreements that allow low-cost chicken into France and is determined to stop post-Brexit Britain getting that kind of deal. Along with other farmers, she is pressing France's president to scuttle any accord that lets Britain ease food safety rules -- part of the reason the European Union is insisting on a level playing field in trade relations with its former member.

Mar 11 - Argentine rains to bring relief to soy, corn crops 
Expected rainfall over the next few days in Argentina will bring relief to soybean and corn crops in the country's central agricultural regions, where both have recently been hit by high temperatures and dry conditions. The rains are welcome news for the country's embattled grains farmers, who have seen a recent heat wave hurt yields of late-seeded soybeans and corn, which are both still in key stages of development.

Mar 10 - Australian wheat farmers to plant 'wall-to-wall' crop as rains drench paddocks
Wheat-belt farmers in Australia's east are rushing to secure seed several weeks before the all-important winter crop planting starts amid hopes that a devastating three-year drought is coming to an end. Recent deluges across the country's east have turned paddocks green for the first time in years, lifting grain production forecasts in the world's seventh largest wheat exporter. 

Mar 10 - Argentine farmers begin strike to protest hike on soy exports
Argentine farmers began a four-day sales strike on Monday to protest the government's hike of export taxes for soybeans and their byproducts, though shipments were not impacted in the major global food exporter. Three of the South American country's four main rural associations announced the strike last week in frustration over the government's decision to raise soy export taxes to 33% from 30% amid a deep economic crisis. 

Mar 10 - U.S. soybean exports in jeopardy after February shipments to China hit 20-year low -Braun
U.S. soybean shipments have rebounded from last year’s trade war-fueled lull, but recent volumes and sales are well off normal levels and February exports were alarmingly low, raising concerns for the rest of the 2019-20 season. The United States exported 5.32 million tonnes of soybeans in January, up 10% from last year but down 19% from the 2014-2018 average, according to data published on Friday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Mar 10 - Oil price fall to boost Brazil sugar production, says Raízen
The sharp fall in global oil prices should result in higher sugar production in Brazil in the new crop that starts in April, Ricardo Mussa, the incoming chief executive officer of the world's largest sugar producing company, Raízen, said on Monday. "There was already the intention to raise sugar production this year, and oil's price fall boosts that plan," Mussa told reporters after a presentation to investors and analysts organized by Cosan SA, which owns 50% of Raízen, a 50-50 venture in which Royal Dutch Shell Plc holds the other half. 

Mar 10 - Wary of coronavirus, U.S. shoppers skip the fresh produce aisle
Fearful of coronavirus and potential quarantine, U.S. shoppers are avoiding touching fresh fruits and vegetables in grocery stores and stocking their pantries with pretzels, powered milk, canned meat and other packaged food. "People are getting supplies for a bomb shelter almost," said Victor Colello, who heads the meat and fish department at New York-based Morton Williams, which operates 16 stores. "When people buy produce, they touch it. So a lot of people are thinking twice about doing that."

Mar 09 - China's Jan-Feb soybean imports rise 14% y/y as more U.S. cargoes arrive 
China's soybean imports in the first two months of 2020 jumped 14.2% year-on-year, official data showed on Saturday, as cargoes from the United States booked during a trade truce at the end of 2019 cleared customs.  China, the world's top market for soybeans, brought in 13.51 million tonnes of the oilseed in January and February, up from 11.83 million tonnes a year earlier, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Saturday. 

Mar 09 - U.S. says it will ban pig shipments if fatal hog virus is detected 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday it will prohibit shipments of all pigs for at least three days if the nation ever finds a case of a fatal hog disease that has ravaged China's herd. The federal government is preparing to contain and eradicate African swine fever if it spreads to the United States to avoid the type of devastation seen in China, where the disease has reduced the herd by more than 40% and pushed pork prices to record highs. Since the China outbreak, African swine fever has broken out in 10 countries in Asia. 

Mar 09 - China grants duty exemption on U.S. soybean imports - sources 
China has granted tariff exemptions for some crushers to import U.S. soybeans, five sources told Reuters, in line with a plan it announced in February, aiming to fulfill commitments under its Phase 1 trade deal with the United States. The exemption, which will take effect from the day of issue, will be valid for a year, sources briefed on the matter said.

Mar 09 - Trump administration seeks more time to respond to court ruling on biofuel waivers 
The Trump administration has requested an additional two weeks to respond to a federal court ruling that questioned the legitimacy of its controversial biofuel waiver program for oil refineries, according to a court filing. The request could prolong a period of uncertainty over the future of a program that has saved the refining industry tens of millions of dollars per year in regulatory costs, but which has infuriated biofuels companies and corn farmers who believe it undercuts demand for ethanol. 

Mar 09 - Brazil's soy exports to gain momentum after rain-driven port delays 
Soy exports from Brazil, which had significant delays in February due to intense rains in coastal cities, are expected to gather pace in southern ports as the weather turns drier in the coming days, according to shipping data and climate forecasts. Rains affected shipments for 12 days last month at the port of Santos, the largest for soybean exports out of Brazil, and for about 11 days at Paranaguá (PR), another key grain gateway, data from the shipping agency Cargonave showed.

Mar 09 - French spring barley sowing at near-standstill in wet weather 
French farmers made virtually no progress in spring barley sowing last week, farm office FranceAgriMer said, suggesting heavy rain was disrupting field work in the European Union's biggest grain producer. Spring barley sowing was 33% complete by March 2, up only marginally from 32% a week earlier and well below the 88% progress seen a year ago, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal crop report on Friday.

Mar 09 - Ukraine grain exports up 24% at 41.7 mln T so far 
Ukraine's grain exports are up around 24% at 41.7 million tonnes so far in the July 2019 to June 2020 season, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said on Friday. Wheat exports have risen to 16.7 million tonnes, the ministry said in a statement, adding Ukraine has exported about 4 million tonnes of barley and 20.4 million tonnes of corn.

Mar 06 - Argentine farmers plan strike against tax hike as tensions bubble
Argentina's main farm groups will hold a four-day sales strike next week, officials with local growers groups said on Thursday, to protest a tax hike that soy crushing companies warn will cripple investment in the key sector. Adding to the problems attacking the backbone of Latin America's third-biggest economy, farm analysts said dryness was starting to hurt what had until last week appeared to be promising soybean yields as harvesting was set to get underway.

Mar 06 - China tariff exemptions boost U.S. poultry shipments
U.S. chicken products are entering China without retaliatory tariffs after Beijing made poultry eligible for exemptions to the extra duties, shippers and an industry group said on Thursday. The additional tariff relief may help China follow through on pledges to significantly increase purchases of American agricultural goods as part of an initial trade deal signed in January. U.S. chicken company Tyson Foods Inc said it had already seen chicken shipments rise as a result. 

Mar 06 - U.S. soybean sales to China fall to lowest in nearly six months
U.S. exporters sold just 6,012 tonnes of soybeans to China in the week ended Feb. 27, despite Phase 1 of the U.S.-China trade pact going into effect the prior week, U.S. government data showed on Thursday. The weekly total was the lowest since the week ended Sept. 5, when China's net sales came in at -2,727 tonnes due to cancellations of previously booked deals. 

Mar 06 - White House aims to appeal court decision that threatened refinery biofuel waivers - sources
The Trump administration plans to appeal a federal court decision that called into question a program exempting small oil refineries from the nation's biofuel blending laws, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The move comes after a major push from senators representing oil states, who said the program was essential for keeping refineries - and the jobs they provide - afloat. 

Mar 06 - Brazil's soy exporters set for massive March while corn shipments unusually quiet - Braun
Brazilian farmers are nearly halfway through their largest soybean harvest on record and unsurprisingly, the export schedule is heavier than ever, despite a much slower start to the year. Soybean shipments have taken off in the last couple of weeks and could very likely set records in March, though corn exports look to stay historically light.

Mar 06 - Russia, Ukraine look for rain as spring grains sowing starts
Farmers in Russia and Ukraine are looking for rains in the coming weeks as they start spring grain sowing earlier than usual after warm and dry winter, analysts and officials said. Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan compete for supplies mainly via the Black Sea ports to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Their output has become more stable in recent years amid improved technology and resources but is still highly dependent on the weather.

Mar 06 - Brazil meatpacker JBS plans U.S. listing as BNDES sells stake - sources
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA and state development bank BNDES are planning a simultaneous listing of JBS international operations in the United States and the sale of the bank's stake in the company, five sources with knowledge of the matter said. Sources close to the company say JBS is working on a transaction that is different from the one proposed in 2016.

Mar 06 - Australia's Nufarm gets regulatory nod for South American asset divestment
Australia's Nufarm Ltd said on Friday a Brazilian competition regulator has cleared the sale of its South American crop protection and seed treatment assets as it looks to pay down debt amid a severe domestic drought. In September last year, Nufarm said it would sell Nufarm Brazil to its biggest shareholder, Japan's Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd, for about $805 million. 

Mar 05 - Desire for detente not enough to reignite Malaysian palm oil exports to India
The ousting of Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose criticisms of India's policies in Kashmir damaged palm oil trade between the nations, has kindled hopes among Malaysian exporters for a rapid restoration of ties. But political rhetoric alone will not restore full Malaysian palm oil flows to top market India any time soon, traders say: Palm prices within India are still too high relative to rival oils to encourage a sharp uptick in wholesale demand.

Mar 05 - Bayer's top seed faces U.S. soybean challenge from Corteva
Bayer AG's takeover of Monsanto has been beset by problems, and now a decades-long dominance of the $4 billion U.S. soybean seed market is under threat from rival Corteva Inc. Bayer told Reuters it expects plantings of its genetically modified Xtend soybean seeds to flatline this year for the first time, after three years of strong growth since their launch with an accompanying weed-killer.

Mar 05 - U.S. EPA to slash biofuel waiver program, mulls other measures to help refiners - sources
The Trump administration has decided to drastically scale back the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's program exempting small oil refineries from the country's biofuel regulations after a court case cast doubt on the legitimacy of the program, according to a person familiar with the matter. The agency, meanwhile, is discussing the possibility of instituting a cap or other restrictions on the price of biofuel blending credits, called RINs, that refiners must acquire to show compliance with the biofuel regulations, two other sources said. 

Mar 05 - New Argentine tax hike for soy will weigh on production, farmers say
A tax increase that Argentina is set to impose on exports of soy and its byproducts will drive down farm investment and likely result in smaller harvests going forward, farmers and economists said on Wednesday, a day after the new tax policy was announced. The tax on most exports of soybeans, soymeal and soyoil will rise to 33% from 30% currently, with the hike set to take effect in the short term. 

Mar 05 - U.S. agriculture chief expects China to buy U.S. soy in late spring, summer
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday predicted China will come into the U.S. market for soybeans in late spring and summer, after Beijing in January promised to buy more American farm goods as part of an interim trade deal. Major Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products have not yet been seen, increasing doubts among traders and farmers that Beijing will follow through on its pledges. 

Mar 05 - Australian wool prices resilient despite coronavirus spread
Wool buyers in Australia, the world's dominant exporter, have shrugged off growing concerns over the impact of the coronavirus on garment-makers in China and Italy to send prices slightly higher in the first auctions since a sharp escalation in the global epidemic. Traders, frustrated by a near two-week long closure due to a cyber attack that shuttered auctions across the country, sent the benchmark price for merino wool up by three Australian cents to A$15.84 ($10.49) per kg when trading restarted on Wednesday, auction results showed. 

Mar 05 - Ukraine sees 2020/21 harvest, exports falling - deputy minister
Ukraine's 2020 grain harvest could fall to 65 million tonnes or higher from a record 75 million in 2019 due to a smaller wheat output caused by a decrease in the sowing area, the deputy economy minister in charge of agriculture said on Wednesday. "Thanks to a warm winter most of our crops are in good and satisfactory condition and the area which is likely to be reseeded is around 800,000 hectares, including 700,000 hectares of wheat," Taras Vysotskiy told Reuters.

Mar 05 - China buys 110,000 tonnes of U.S. sorghum – USDA
Chinese buyers bought 110,000 tonnes of U.S. sorghum for shipment in the current marketing year, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday. Traders have been watching for sales to China as a sign that it was starting to fulfill its commitments made in the Phase 1 trade pact Beijing and Washington signed in mid-January.

Mar 05 - Brazil agribusiness seen up in 2020, but coronavirus may weigh - CNA analyst
Brazilian agribusiness is seen growing 3% to 4% this year, a National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) analyst told Reuters on Wednesday, although the coronavirus outbreak could dampen expectations. Paulo Camuri said in an interview that the CNA's projection uses methodology similar to how government statistics agency IBGE measures gross domestic product.

Mar 05 - India's rapeseed output could rise, cut vegoil imports
Rapeseed output in India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, is likely to rise 4% this year as favourable weather boosted yields of the winter-sown oilseed, a leading trade body said on Wednesday. Production is expected to stand at 7.8 million tonnes in the crop year to June 2020, the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) told a news conference in the north-western state of Rajasthan, producer of more than half of India's rapeseed.

Mar 04 - Argentina to raise soybean export taxes to 33% from 30%
Argentina plans to raise taxes on soybean, soyoil and soymeal exports to 33% from the current 30%, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday, as the government moves to increase revenue ahead of a planned sovereign bond restructuring. Ministry officials met with farm groups during the day to discuss the new policy, which is part of President Alberto Fernandez's plan for making the country solvent after announcing it will have to revamp about $100 billion in what it calls unsustainable debt. 

Mar 04 - INTL FCStone raises Brazil's soy output forecast despite drought in the south
Brazil is expected to harvest a record 124.2 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2019/20 season, agribusiness consultancy INTL FCStone estimated on Tuesday, raising a prior forecast by 200,000 tonnes. The revision comes in spite of losses in Rio Grande do Sul, one of Brazil's largest producers and the country's southernmost state, where bad weather caused some crop failure, INTL FCStone said.

Mar 04 - After first profit in four years, Brazil's BRF braces for 2020 volatility
Brazilian food processor BRF SA on Tuesday reported its first annual profit in four years, yet the world's largest chicken exporter sees volatility in 2020 stemming from forex uncertainty, higher grain prices and the effects of a new coronavirus. BRF said it earned 690 million reais ($154 million) in the latest quarter, a 121% annual rise, on strong domestic and international sales, particularly to China. 

Mar 04 - CN Rail faces grain export backlog of 10,000 carloads - CEO
Canadian National Railway Co lost capacity equivalent to 10,000 carloads, or 1 million tonnes of grain exports, in February due to rail blockades by protesters opposed to a pipeline project, Chief Executive Jean-Jacques Ruest said on Tuesday. Activists disrupted passenger and freight traffic last month to show solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en people, who are seeking to stop TC Energy Corp's Coastal GasLink pipeline from being built across their land. 

Mar 04 - China in push to bolster rice output in face of coronavirus
China must not let grain output decline this year, a government working group said on Tuesday, amid worries that measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak could hurt food security in the world's most populous country. Only weeks before the start of spring planting, the central government's work group on managing the coronavirus ordered provinces to mobilise farmers and guarantee that planted acreage and grain output remain stable.

Mar 04 - Ukraine to sell its only state-run grain firm DPZKU
Ukraine will sell its only state-run grain company DPZKU, Ukrainian government said on Tuesday. "This the largest corporation is a grain exporter in Ukraine and the largest flour producer in the country. On paper, for some reason, it is unprofitable and inefficient," Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk said. DPZKU operates 47 grain silos across the country.

Mar 04 - Impossible Foods cuts prices of plant-based meat sold to distributors
Impossible Foods on Tuesday announced an average 15% cut in prices of its vegan products sold to U.S. distributors as the plant-based meat maker tries to make its patties more affordable to compete better with beef. Plant-based fast food options are still more expensive on average than regular meat offerings across restaurants, limiting their popularity.

Mar 03 - China soymeal rises as rains delay Brazil cargoes, virus disrupts production
China's soymeal futures rose 1% on Tuesday as supply of soybeans tightened after rains delayed cargoes from Brazil, a major supplier of the oilseed to the world's top importer. The commodity futures climbed near 3% on Monday as some major crushers suspended operations due to beans shortage, according to analysts and traders. 

Mar 03 - Australia forecasts 40% rise in wheat production in 2020/21
Australia's chief commodity forecaster is predicting a 40.4% rise in wheat production this year, arguing that recent heavy rains are likely to encourage farmers to sow more grain. The forecast from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) would lift 2020/21 production to 21.3 million tonnes, compared to the twelve-year low of 15.17 million tonnes in 2019/20 when drought across Australia's east coast wilted crops.

Mar 03 - French wheat shipments at new high in February after strikes
French soft wheat shipments outside the EU last month reached their highest level for a February in at least 10 years, Refinitiv data showed, suggesting an easing of strikes against pension reform helped exporters take advantage of brisk demand. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 1.46 million tonnes, the highest February volume in figures going back to the 2009/10 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed. 

Mar 03 - Ukraine wheat harvest seen at 25.8 mln in 2020 - Traders Union
Ukraine's 2020 wheat harvest is likely to fall to 25.8 million tonnes from 28.2 million tonnes, the Ukrainian grain traders union UGA said on Monday. In its first forecast for this year's grain harvest the union said that corn output could decrease to 34.3 million tonnes from 35.2 million, while the harvest of barley may fall to 7.96 million tonnes from 9 million.

Mar 02 - Malaysia and India aim to repair soured ties that hit palm trade
Malaysia and India will work on improving ties that soured under former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and badly affected palm oil trade between the countries, officials from both nations said on Sunday. India is the world's biggest palm oil importer but its purchases from Malaysia, the second-biggest palm exporter behind Indonesia, dropped drastically in recent months after attacks on India's policies by Mahathir.

Mar 02 - Funds big sellers of corn, wheat, soyoil amid global market meltdown - Braun
Speculators were sellers of all Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds last week except for soybeans as global markets tanked amid worsening coronavirus fears, and the ongoing stalemate between the United States and China following January’s trade deal continued to be a wet blanket over the market. Combined across all CBOT grains and oilseeds, including Minneapolis wheat, funds' net short as of Feb. 25 stood at 188,775 futures and options contracts. 

Mar 02 - Argentine grain sales snarled by expected soybean export tax hike
Grains sales in Argentina were at a standstill on Friday after media reports said the government would soon increase export taxes as it struggles to control its fiscal deficit. The agriculture ministry suspended registration of grains exports, which prohibits grain exporters from making new deals. Local media reported the government was set to raise soybean export taxes to 33% from the current 30% as soon as next week. 

Mar 02 - U.S. Agriculture Dept to boost funds for biofuel infrastructure
The U.S. Agriculture Department will make available up to $100 million in grants to expand the infrastructure needed to sell more ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels, the agency announced on Friday. Last year the Trump administration, seeking to win over farmers, lifted restrictions on the sale of gasoline containing up to 15% corn-based ethanol, called E15 - opening the door to expanded investment. 

Mar 02 - USDA January soybean crush seen at 187.3 million bushels
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to report the January soybean crush at 5.62 million short tons, or 187.3 million bushels, according to the average forecast of six analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of monthly data. Estimates ranged from 186.9 million bushels to 187.9 million bushels, with a median of 187.3 million bushels.

Mar 02 - China urges authorities to prepare for possible locust invasion
China could face a desert locust invasion, a government body warned on Monday, urging local authorities to prepare for the possible arrival of the voracious insects from neighbouring Pakistan and India. The risk of swarms entering the country is low, although China will be hampered in tracking the locusts by a lack of monitoring techniques and little knowledge of migration patterns, China's National Forestry and Grassland Administrations said in a statement on its website. 

Mar 02 - China's agriculture futures fall as coronavirus hits demand
Agriculture futures on China's commodity exchanges fell on Friday, with some contracts hitting multi-week lows, as weak demand due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus weighed on prices. Egg futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell as much as 4.7% to 3,277 yuan per tonne, its lowest level in two weeks, before paring some losses to trade around 4.5% lower.

Mar 02 - French wheat crop rating falls, spring barley sowing 32% complete
The condition of soft wheat in France declined slightly in the week to Feb. 24, with 64% of crops rated good or excellent against 65% the prior week, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday. That compared with an 85% good/excellent score in the same week last year, the office said in a weekly cereal crop report.

Mar 02 - Zambian agriculture business launches $81 mln farmer financing scheme
Zambia's African Green Resources (AGR) on Sunday launched an $81 million financing programme under which the company and its partners will provide farm supplies and technology to farmers in exchange for grain. As part of broader plans by AGR to invest $150 million in Zambia for projects including a 50 megawatt solar farm and irrigation dam, AGR will target 120 commercial farmers and 250,000 small and middle farmers with the new programme to boost food security in Zambia and the surrounding region, chairman Zuneid Yousuf said in a statement.

Surprise Black Sea wheat sales to Asia curb U.S. export prospects
Black Sea wheat exporters are boosting sales to Asia from the crop harvested last July in a surprise move, denting demand for U.S. shipments which were expected to pick up in the second quarter of this year. The benchmark Chicago Board of Trade wheat contract has fallen more than 10 percent so far this year, losing more than half of the gains made in 2018 on expectations of strong demand for U.S. supplies.

Trump's EPA unveils plan to pump up ethanol as Big Oil cries foul
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday released its proposed rule lifting a summer ban on higher-ethanol blends of gasoline to help farmers, putting the agency on a collision course with Big Oil which has called the move illegal. The proposal to broaden sales of the so-called E15 rule marks the latest flashpoint in an ongoing battle between the corn and oil industries - two crucial constituencies for President Donald Trump - over America's biofuels policy.

NOPA February U.S. soy crush seen at 158.730 mln bushels -survey
Profitable U.S. soy crush margins and ample supplies of beans encouraged soy processors to continue their recent active crush pace in February, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association report. NOPA members likely crushed 158.730 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to an average of estimates given by 10 analysts in a Reuters survey.

Some mills back to cane crushing in Brazil, ethanol demand strong
Six mills resumed crushing cane in Brazil's center-south region, the world's largest cane-producing area, ending the between-crops period early while demand for ethanol in the country continues strong, cane industry group Unica said on Tuesday. Brazil's new sugar season officially starts in April, but many mills that have cane ready for processing usually start before then. Most analysts expect a crop similar in size to the previous, at around 560 million or 570 million tonnes of cane.

U.S. Bayer Roundup cancer trial goes to jury after closing arguments
A trial in which a California man alleged his use of Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused his cancer went to a federal U.S. jury after lawyers for both sides delivered their closing arguments on Tuesday. The closely-watched case brought by plaintiff Edward Hardeman is only the second of some 11,200 Roundup lawsuits to go to trial in the United States. Another California man was awarded $289 million in August after a state court jury in August found Roundup caused his cancer, sending Bayer shares plunging. 

Brazil, U.S. to discuss meat, sugar, ethanol trade -farm minister
Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Tuesday that she will discuss U.S.-Brazil trade in meat, sugar and ethanol in talks next week between officials of the two countries. Dias, who will travel with President Jair Bolsonaro to the United States, said one of her priorities is to reopen the U.S. market for Brazil's fresh beef exports, which were suspended almost two years ago over safety concerns.

Conditions for Russia's winter grain sowings unchanged from Jan - weather service
The condition of Russia's winter grain sowings is largely unchanged from January, an official at the Hydrometcentre weather forecasting service said on Tuesday. Weather conditions have been favourable for Russian grain sowings for a fifth winter in a row, the centre's head of research was quoted as saying in late January.