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

Aug 12 - Monday storm impacts some 10 mln acres of Iowa farmland
Monday's Derecho storm potentially impacted some 10 million acres (4 million hectares) of Iowa farmland and millions of bushels of grain storage in the top U.S. corn growing state, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said on Tuesday. Early estimates show that tens of millions of bushels worth of commercial grain storage - as well as millions of bushels of on-farm storage bins owned by producers - were either impacted, destroyed or severely damaged by the storm, Naig told a news conference.

Aug 12 - Coronavirus found on frozen seafood in China
Authorities in China have found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood that arrived from the port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of cases, a local government said on Tuesday. The virus was found on the outer packaging of frozen seafood bought by three companies in Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province.

Aug 12 - Will USDA’s yields help CBOT corn, soy buck their bearish August streak?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will publish a slew of data on Wednesday, but the first number market participants will seek is U.S. corn yield followed closely by soybean yield, and those outcomes can have huge ramifications on futures. Chicago corn and soybean prices have not had a solidly bullish reaction on USDA's August report day since 2013, and the past three years have been downright bearish, especially for corn.

Aug 12 - U.S. refiners' biofuel bills soar in oil market slump
U.S. oil refiners this quarter are expected to spend the most since at least 2018 to meet U.S. biofuels requirements, further pressuring margins hit by the collapse since March in global prices and demand. Under renewable fuel legislation originally aimed to support corn farmers, refiners have to blend biofuels like ethanol or diesel made from animal fats or vegetable oils, into gasoline and diesel, or buy credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), from those who blend more than they are required to.

Aug 12 - World Food Programme to send 50,000 T of wheat flour to Lebanon
The World Food Programme (WFP) will send 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Lebanon after last week's blast at Beirut's port destroyed its only silo with all the private stocks held there, a United Nations report said on Tuesday.  The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report said the flour would be sent "to stabilise the national supply and ensure there is no food shortage in the country". 

Aug 12 - Deadline extended for U.S. farmers seeking federal aid from COVID-19 damage
U.S. farmers impacted by the economic shutdown as the coronavirus hammered the global economy have more time to apply for aid from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday it is extending the deadline to apply for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to Sept. 11.
Aug 12 - Paraguayan grains barges freed to navigate thanks to water release from dams 
More than a hundred barges with 115,000 tonnes of Paraguayan grains began to sail to ports in the region on Tuesday, thanks to a discharge of water from the Itaipu and Yacyreta dams that raised the height of the Parana River, the government said. The Parana is the region's key commodities superhighway used to send soy and other farm products to export hubs. But the waterway has suffered unusually low water levels in 2020 due to dryness in Paraguay, southern Brazil and Argentina.

Aug 12 - Taiwan probes foreign banks over grain firms' arbitrage - sources
Taiwan's central bank is investigating the actions of five foreign banks for their involvement in some $8 billion in net trading positions on the deliverable forwards market, four sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters. The central bank on Tuesday met the banks to discuss the situation with them, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Aug 11 - China crushers to crank up U.S. soy purchases in fourth quarter - traders
Chinese importers will crank up their purchases of soybeans from the United States in the fourth quarter to meet healthy livestock demand, making the most of the start of the U.S. harvest season after existing Brazilian supply mostly dried up. China, the world's top soybean buyer, is expected to bring in about 8 million tonnes of the oilseed per month on average between October and December, mostly from the United States, four traders and crushers said on condition of anonymity.

Aug 11 - U.S. corn rated 71% good-excellent, soybeans 74% - USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday rated 71% of the U.S. corn crop as good to excellent in a weekly progress report, down 1 percentage point from a week ago and below an average of trade expectations. However, soybean ratings improved to 74% good to excellent, up 1 point from the previous week, bucking trade expectations for a 1-point decline.

Aug 11 - Derecho winds tear through U.S. farmland, leave 500,000-plus without power
A storm packing hurricane-force winds tore across the U.S. Midwest on Monday, causing widespread property damage in cities and rural towns and leaving more than half a million homes and businesses without power. The storm compounded troubles for a U.S. farm economy already battered by extreme weather, the U.S.-China trade war and most recently, the disruption caused to labor and consumption by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aug 11 - Bearish yield guesses for U.S. corn, soy rarely fail in August - Braun
It has not been a perfect growing season for corn and soybeans in the United States, but conditions have been favorable enough for market analysts to be expecting some epic numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday. It is uncommon that the trade makes an incorrectly bearish yield guess in August, though some of their heaviest estimates in recent years actually turned out too low.

Aug 11 - U.S. farmers leave fields fallow as COVID-19 wrecks crop prospects
The 1,250 acres of irrigated fields are the most valuable on Troy Schneider's farm in eastern Colorado, as corn yields in his county typically come in more than three times higher on those fields than dryland ones. But this year, with the economy contracting and demand for corn-based biofuel falling off, Schneider is not planting any cash crops under the sprinkler system on 125 of those irrigated acres. He calculated it would make more financial sense to grow grass for his cows.

Aug 11 - IKAR ups forecast for Russia's crop for third time in two weeks
Russian agriculture consultancy IKAR said on Monday it had raised its forecast for Russia's 2020/21 grain crop by 1.5 million tonnes to 129 million tonnes due to higher yields in some regions. It was its third upgrade in two weeks as yields are rising sharply in the Central and Volga regions, signalling brighter export prospects for the country after its southern regions were hit by dry weather.

Aug 11 - Crop Watch: Yield potential hangs on despite widespread rain needs -Braun
U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybeans experienced another week with mostly spotty precipitation, though the cooler temperatures prevented a decline in yield expectations for all locations except Ohio. All eight producers have reported the need for rain, though the situation is most critical in Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska. Temperatures are forecast to be warmer than average over the next week or so in the western areas, and average or cooler conditions are more likely in the east. Rainfall outlooks continue to fluctuate, though they do not suggest widespread relief is imminent.

Aug 11 - Brazil's BRF registers 1,138 COVID-19 cases at a single meat plant, state data shows 
A single BRF SA unit accounted for about 29% of COVID-19 cases at slaughterhouses in Brazil's Parana state, according to the most recent data available, underscoring the challenges for stemming outbreaks at meat plants. The data shows BRF's Toledo unit has had 1,138 confirmed COVID-19 cases while its Carambei plant had just five. Parana health authorities, which sent the numbers to Reuters upon request, confirmed a total of 3,979 COVID-19 cases at the state's slaughterhouses through July 24.

Aug 11 - World Food Programme to send 50,000 T of wheat flour to Lebanon - U.N.
A report by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released on Tuesday said the World Food Programme would be sending 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Beirut to stabilise Lebanon's wheat supply. A Reuters report on Friday revealed Lebanon's government held no strategic stockpile of grain before last week's blast at the port and all privately held stocks at the country's only grain silo were destroyed in the explosion.

Aug 10 - USDA confirms biggest U.S. soy sale to China since June
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday reported private sales of U.S. soybeans to China of 456,000 tonnes, the biggest single-day soy sale to the world's top buyer since June 11. Smaller sales were reported on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as sales to unknown destinations on Monday.

Aug 10 - Lebanon navigates food challenge with no grain silo and few stocks
Lebanon's government holds no strategic stockpile of grains and Tuesday's blast destroyed the privately held stocks at its only large grain silo, the economy minister, a U.N. official and a regional grain expert told Reuters. The destruction of the 120,000-tonne capacity structure and of the port, the main entry point for food imports, means buyers will have to rely on smaller private storage facilities for their wheat purchases with no government reserves to fall back on, exacerbating fears of food shortages.

Aug 10 - 'Like gold': Canadian canola prices spike as shippers find back door to China 
Canadian canola prices have soared to the highest in nearly two years, despite a diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing, as exporters find roundabout ways to reach top oilseed buyer China. Chinese authorities have since March 2019 blocked canola shipments by two Canadian exporters, an action they took after Canadian police detained a Huawei Technologies executive in late 2018 on a United States warrant.

Aug 10 - Funds sell corn and soybeans despite record U.S. export sales -Braun
Speculators are approaching the one-year mark of the last time they were bullish toward Chicago-traded corn, and that trend is unlikely to end anytime soon as favorable U.S. growing conditions keep stockpiles generous. The expanding supply outlooks for corn and soybeans have offset incredibly strong export demand for the upcoming marketing year. Combined U.S. corn and bean export sales for the new year are record-large, and just over half the total is destined for China.

Aug 10 - U.S. farm groups ask for more time to apply for COVID-19 aid
Twenty-eight farm groups asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday to extend the deadline for farmers to apply for coronavirus assistance payments and try harder to reach more growers hurt by the pandemic. The American Farm Bureau Federation, with organizations representing producers of goods ranging from apples to cotton and cattle, said in a letter that USDA's Aug. 28 deadline may prevent farmers from participating in the $16 billion aid program.

Aug 10 - EU wheat harvest focus turns to Germany after poor French crop
The end of the soft wheat harvest in France has confirmed disappointing production in the European Union's biggest grower, with attention turning to Germany where improved conditions could limit an expected decline in EU output. The poor French harvest is now expected to drop by around a quarter from last year to 29-30 million tonnes after torrential autumn rain cut sowings and spring drought hurt yields.

Aug 10 - Brazilian food processor JBS offers 5,200 new jobs in modernization push, pandemic response
Food processor JBS SA is hiring 5,200 additional workers in Brazil, seeking to boost output in a key export base while fending off the threat of the novel coronavirus, which disrupted some its plants in the second quarter. Most of the new positions will be "to modernize the lines and assist in production," the company said in a statement on Friday. A minority of the new hires are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced JBS and rivals to remove high-risk workers like pregnant women to protect them during the health crisis.

Aug 10 - Japan lifts restrictions on all French beef exports
France said on Friday that Japan had now lifted all sanitary restrictions that were still weighing on the export of French beef to Japan. The announcement came in a joint statement from the French foreign ministry and French farm ministry.

Aug 07 - China soybean imports rise 18% through July as Brazilian cargoes arrive 
China's soybean imports rose 18% this year through July versus a year ago, as large volumes of soybeans bought cheaply from top supplier Brazil arrived in the country, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. China, the world's biggest buyer of soybeans, brought in 10.09 million tonnes of beans last month, up from 8.63 million tonnes in July 2019 but below June's record 11.16 million tonnes, the customs data showed. 

Aug 07 - ProAgro ups Ukraine 2020 grain crop forecast to all-time high 76.15 mln T 
Ukrainian ProAgro consultancy revised up its domestic 2020 grain harvest forecast on Thursday to an all-time high of 76.15 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 74.23 million. In a statement, ProAgro said it had increased its 2020 wheat harvest outlook to 26.59 million tonnes from 26.07 million and corn to 38.86 million tonnes from 38.49 million.

Aug 07 - U.S. soybeans drag down China's early Phase 1 progress - Braun 
U.S. soybean sales to China for the upcoming marketing year sit at a six-year high after last month’s blistering sales pace. However, the oilseed occupied an unusually light share of total American farm exports to China during the first half of 2020, which explains why the Asian country is seemingly very far behind on fulfilling promises made in the Phase 1 trade agreement.

Aug 07 - Brazil 2021 soy exports seen at 80 mln tonnes, Abiove says 
Brazil is expected to export 80 million tonnes of soy next year, out of a total harvest of 130.5 million tonnes, according to an initial forecast from local soybean traders association Abiove on Thursday. This year, Brazil's soy harvest is expected to reach a record 125.5 million tonnes, compared with a previous estimate of 125 million tonnes, Abiove representatives said in a webinar.

Aug 07 - Prolonged Argentine dryness punishes 2020/21 wheat crop - exchange 
The drought that has hammered parts of Argentina's farm belt since June continued putting downward pressure on recently planted wheat crops over the last week, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly report on Thursday. The dry weather has already prompted the exchange to cut its wheat planting area estimate to 6.5 million hectares from a forecast of 6.8 million hectares at the start of the season. The poor weather has made it unlikely that the 2020/21 harvest will hit the 21 million tonnes initially estimated by the exchange.

Aug 07 - Brazil cotton farmers get partial victory against Bayer over GMO cotton patents 
A Brazilian federal judge ordered Monsanto Technology LLC and Monsanto do Brasil to deposit, in an escrow account, royalties paid to them by farmers in Mato Grosso state relative to the Bollgard II RR Flex cotton seed technology, according to a court ruling sent to Reuters on Thursday. The Bollgard genetically modified cotton seed combines resistance to insects and weed killers, and was developed by U.S.-based Monsanto, a company taken over by Germany's Bayer in a $63 billion transaction completed in 2018.

Aug 07 - World food price index rises in July, extending rebound 
World food prices rose in July led by vegetable oils, dairy products and sugar, extending a rebound from the previous month following sharp falls triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 94.2 points in July versus a slightly revised June figure of 93.1 points.

Aug 07 - Cash-short U.S. biofuel industry cuts lobbying even as Iowa looms large in election 
A top U.S. biofuel industry trade group said it has cut lobbying spending as the coronavirus pandemic has slammed members eager to press demands with President Donald Trump, who hopes to win the corn-producing state Iowa in November. Reduced clout could complicate the industry's efforts to secure changes to U.S. biofuel policy that producers say would shore up demand for corn-based ethanol, but which face strong opposition from oil refiners.

Aug 06 - Wheat traders caught short by rally in Black Sea prices 
Wheat merchants who had committed to sell to Asian millers are now facing hefty losses after an unexpected spike in Russian and Ukrainian grain prices as farmers held on to their supplies, two trade sources told Reuters. Russian wheat with 11.5% protein was quoted around $236 per tonne, including cost and freight (C&F), this week to Indonesia, up from sales committed at between $217 and $222 a tonne in the last few months for August shipment.

Aug 06 - After blast, Lebanon has less than a month's grain reserves 
Lebanon's main grain silo at Beirut port was destroyed in a blast, leaving the nation with less than a month's reserves of the grain but enough flour to avoid a crisis, the economy minister said on Wednesday. Raoul Nehme told Reuters a day after Tuesday's devastating explosion that Lebanon needed reserves for at least three months to ensure food security and was looking at other storage areas.

Aug 06 - USDA confirms U.S. soybean sales to China as trade tensions rise 
Private exporters sold 192,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday, the first confirmed sales of U.S. oilseeds to the world's top soy consumer since July 27. The sales come amid rising political tensions between Washington and Beijing. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials will review the implementation of their Phase 1 trade deal and likely air mutual grievances in an increasingly tense relationship during an Aug. 15 video conference, two people familiar with the plans said on Tuesday.

Aug 06 - France cuts wheat crop estimate to below 30 mln tonnes on weather toll 
France's farm ministry lowered its estimate of the 2020 soft wheat harvest to 29.71 million tonnes, down 1.6 million tonnes from its initial forecast last month and now 25% below last year's crop, due to the continued effects of adverse weather. The reduced forecast was 16% lower than the average of the past five years and included the smallest harvested area since 1994, the ministry said in a crop report on Wednesday.

Aug 06 - Canada heading for record-large wheat crop, bigger canola harvest - crop tour 
Canadian farmers are on track to harvest a record-large all-wheat crop, and more canola than last year, due mainly to favorable crop conditions, farmer advisory service FarmLink Marketing Solutions estimated on Wednesday. The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company's staff toured Western Canadian fields during the last two weeks of July. Canada is one of the world's biggest wheat exporters, and the top canola producer.

Aug 06 - Egypt's GASC buys 410,000 tonnes of wheat 
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC,) said on Wednesday that it bought 410,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender for shipment periods in September. GASC said it bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat for shipment Sept. 11-20 and 290,000 tonnes of Russian and Ukrainian origin wheat for shipment between Sept. 21-30.

Aug 06 - Ukraine weather conditions unfavourable for winter sowing, analysts say 
A lack of rain in Ukraine's central and southern regions has created unfavourable conditions for winter crop sowing, analyst APK-Inform said on Wednesday citing weather forecasters. Ukraine, a traditional grower of winter crops of wheat, barley and rapeseed, usually starts sowing in the second half of August with winter rapeseed.

Aug 06 - Corteva posts weak revenue, disappointing outlook; shares drop 
Corteva Inc on Wednesday missed analysts' expectations for second-quarter revenue and its reinstated full-year forecast came in below estimates, sending the seed and pesticide producer's shares down as much as 9% in extended trade. Good weather and higher planted area shifted corn volumes in North America to the first quarter, while the pesticides business was pressured by a strong performance last year when the Latin America season started earlier, the company said.

Aug 05 - Brazil's next soybean crop seen at a record as farmers expand acreage, StoneX says 
Brazilian soy production will hit a record 132.6 million tonnes next season, as demand from China remains strong and farmers intend to expand acreage, according to a forecast from agribusiness consultancy StoneX on Tuesday. StoneX predicts Brazil will expand soybean plantings to a record 38 million hectares (94 million acres) in the 2020/2021 cycle, which starts around September. In the previous season, Brazilian farmers harvested 122.8 million tonnes of soybeans, StoneX estimates.

Aug 05 - Interpreting bin-busting yield outlooks for the U.S. corn crop - Braun 
The corn supply outlook in the United States got much tighter when it was revealed that farmers this year significantly reduced planted acres from their original plan, but unprecedented yields could load back up the balance sheet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will unveil its first survey-based yield outlook next Wednesday, and many analysts believe the agency's August estimate will land above 180 bushels per acre (bpa) for the first time ever.

Aug 05 - Slow French wheat exports lag China-fuelled barley shipments in July 
French soft wheat shipments outside the EU fell to their lowest in at least a decade for July as activity eased after a record 2019/20 season, with wheat volumes lagging brisk barley exports to China, Refinitiv data showed. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 432,000 tonnes in July, the first month of the 2020/21 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

Aug 05 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Sept. 11-20 and/or Sept. 21-30 shipment 
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Tuesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from Sept. 11-20 and/or Sept. 21-30. 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.

Aug 05 - German 2020 wheat harvest seen down after planted area cut 
Germany's 2020 wheat crop could fall about 12% year on year to about 20.23 million tonnes, the statistics office said in a harvest estimate on Tuesday. The estimate was based on data gathered in late June and is well below the 22.46 million tonnes forecast for the 2020 wheat crop by Germany's farm cooperative association in July after rain improved the harvest outlook. 

Aug 05 - Wheat in Beirut's port granaries not usable, Lebanon will import wheat - economy minister 
Lebanon's economy minister, Raoul Nehme, told local media on Tuesday that the wheat in Beirut's port granaries can not be used and that the ministry lost track of seven employees in the granaries. The minister also told local media that Lebanon will import wheat and added that the country currently has enough wheat until they begin importing it.

Aug 04 - China's hog futures set to make debut, but faces big challenges 
China's long-awaited live hog futures contract is almost ready, offering a vital hedging tool for the world's largest pork industry, which has been roiled by an African swine fever outbreak that devastated herds and sent pork prices soaring. The country's first live-animal physical-delivery contract has been planned for a decade, and is expected to be popular with domestic traders on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE). 

Aug 04 - U.S. corn rated 72% good-excellent; soybeans 73% - USDA 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday rated 72% of the U.S. corn crop as good to excellent in a weekly progress report, unchanged from a week ago and in line with trade expectations. Soybean ratings improved to 73% good-to-excellent, up 1 percentage point and above an average of expectations.

Aug 04 - Tyson Foods names new CEO as coronavirus raises costs 
Tyson Foods Inc named its president, former technology executive Dean Banks, as its new chief executive on Monday as the meatpacker faces unprecedented disruptions from the COVID-19 outbreak. Tyson said Banks will replace 37-year company veteran Noel White in October as it reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales. The company predicted the pandemic will increase operating costs and hinder sales volumes into next year. 

Aug 04 - Russian wheat prices down under pressure from new crop, weaker rouble - IKAR 
Russian wheat export prices fell last week after three weeks of growth, under pressure from the arrival of the new crop and the weakening of the rouble against the dollar, IKAR agriculture consultancy said on Monday. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loading from Black Sea ports was at $207 a tonne free on board (FOB) for supply in August at the end of last week, down $3 from the week before, IKAR said in a note. 

Aug 04 - COFCO's grains plant in Argentina back online after COVID-19 shutdown 
Grains operations of COFCO are largely back online at the Chinese food company's oilseed crushing and export plant in Timbues, Argentina, after 12 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed among workers, a company spokesman said on Monday. The 12 employees who tested positive last month are asymptomatic and 77 other workers had been tested as well, all coming up negative. The outbreak was in the plant's sampling station, where farm products are received at the Timbues port facility on the Parana River.

Aug 04 - Crop Watch: Dry weather being eyed in Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio - Braun 
The U.S. Crop Watch producers maintain high expectations for their corn and soybeans, but at least half of the locations are needing some rain to prevent a decline in yield potential. Temperatures for grain fill are expected to remain favorably cool across the Corn Belt for the next several days, though the precipitation forecast is not generous in the areas that are most in need of moisture, including Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio. 

Aug 04 - EU, British soft wheat exports fall 68% for 2020/21 season so far 
Soft wheat exports from the European Union and Britain in the 2020/21 season that started on July 1 had totalled 635,453 tonnes by Aug. 2, official EU data showed on Monday, 68% below the volume exported by the same week in the previous season. EU 2020/21 barley exports had reached 254,305 tonnes, down 60% from 2019/20, while EU 2020/21 maize imports stood at 1.01 million tonnes, down by 52%.

Aug 04 - Strategie Grains raises EU rapeseed crop estimate to 16.8 mln T 
Consultancy Strategie Grains has increased its forecast for this year's rapeseed harvest in the European Union plus Britain to 16.79 million tonnes from 16.54 million. The upward revision, which ended a run of six consecutive downgrades to its monthly forecast, was mainly due to favourable conditions in Poland and Lithuania, it said in an oilseed crop report.

Aug 04 - Ukraine harvests 27 mln T grain from 48% sown area - ministry 
Ukraine, a leading global grain producer and exporter, has this year harvested 27 million tonnes of grain from 48% of the sown area as of July 30, the economy ministry said on Monday. The volume included 18.3 million tonnes of wheat, 6.9 million tonnes of barley and 448,000 tonnes of peas, the ministry said in a statement.

Aug 03 - India's crop planting gathers pace, buoyed by bountiful monsoon rains 
A rapid progress of the monsoon helped Indian farmers plant nearly 14% more land than last year with rice, corn, cane, cotton and soybean crops, according to the farm ministry. Farmers planted more acreage of every single summer-sown crops between June 1 and July 31 than last year, brightening the prospects for a bumper output in the world's leading producer of farm commodities.

Aug 03 - Funds avoid heavy corn selling despite improving U.S. crop prospects - Braun 
Speculators continue to weigh increasingly favorable weather for U.S. corn and soybeans against record July export sales for both crops, and it seems that the latter won out again last week, at least in the case of corn. Chicago-traded corn futures fell nearly 7% during July, but hedge fund managers have not materially changed their views toward the yellow grain since the first week of the month. 

Aug 03 - Argentina ditches takeover plan for soymeal giant Vicentin 
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez pulled the plug on a planned government takeover of cash-strapped soymeal giant Vicentin, according to a tweet sent by the Peronist leader on Friday, after a local judge partially blocked the move. In early June Fernandez said his government would "rescue" Vicentin, once Argentina's top soymeal exporter, after the family-owned company went broke last year. The move was criticized by farmers and industry leaders who characterized it as meddling in the private sector.

Aug 03 - Ukraine milling wheat harvest to decline this year, analysts say 
The share of milling wheat in Ukraine's overall wheat harvest may drop to around 40%, analyst APK-Inform said on Saturday. The consultancy gave no comparison to the 2019 crop, while analysts and traders last year said the share of milling wheat was likely to rise to as much as 70% in 2019 from around 55% in 2018 due to hot and dry weather.

Aug 03 - Morning glories and mustard: U.S. investigates unsolicited seed mystery 
The U.S. Agriculture Department has identified more than a dozen plant species ranging from morning glories to mustard in bags of unsolicited seeds arriving in the mailboxes of thousands of Americans, mostly postmarked from China. While most species identified seem to be innocuous herbs, flowering plants, vegetables or grasses, plant experts warn that seeds from other parts of the world could be non-native varieties that harm commodity crops.

Aug 03 - Brazil wheat farmers brace for record 2020 harvest, analysts say 
The Brazilian wheat crop has the potential to surpass 7 million tonnes this year and reach a record, provided the weather remains favorable throughout the cycle that has just begun, according to analysts interviewed by Reuters. An expected rise in investment from Brazilian farmers who had a profitable soybean season in the summer and can divert funds into wheat, driving yields higher, will also boost production, they said.

Aug 03 - Chinese trader COFCO names former Cargill director Sang as head of Asia 
Chinese commodities trader COFCO International has named Andrew Wong Mui Sang as managing director of the Asian-Pacific (Apac) region, effective on Aug. 3, the company said on Friday. Andrew Sang comes from Cargill where he was a foodgrains director for Greater China and Korea, COFCO said.
He is replacing Frederik Groth, who is leaving COFCO, a company spokesman said. 

Aug 03 - Petrobras says ready to launch soy-based renewable diesel upon regulatory approval 
Petrobras is ready to produce renewable diesel from soy or other edible oils at commercial scale and will expand investments in the segment as soon as it is granted a sales permit, the company's refining head, Anelise Lara, told reporters on Friday. Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, is awaiting approval from Brazil's oil regulator ANP, after the company concluded tests this month. Petrobras refined 2 million liters of soy oil in one of its Southern refineries, resulting in 40 million liters of renewable diesel.

Jul 31 - U.S. sells record amount of corn to China as tensions rise   

Chinese buyers booked their single biggest-ever purchase of U.S. corn, extending their flurry of large U.S. purchases even as tensions between Washington and Beijing rise. The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday that private exporters sold 1.937 million tonnes of corn to China for delivery in the 2020/21 marketing year. That topped the previous biggest deal to China of 1.762 million tonnes, reported just two weeks ago.

Jul 31 - U.S. corn, soybean export sales smash July records on huge China deals - Braun 
U.S. ports should be very active later in the year as aggressive Chinese bookings have boosted total corn and soybean export sales to modern-day and potentially all-time record levels for July. That follows the recent multi-year low export levels after last year's crops fell short. China’s recent U.S. corn purchases are likely larger than the market thought they would be this early on, though while its soybean deals for next year sit at six-year highs, there is a long way to go to reach the expected targets.

Jul 31 - Hail, high water and lockdown: Europe's fruit growers prepare for tough harvest 
Europe's been eating more fruit under lockdown, by all accounts. The problem is, it could struggle to find people to pick it. The region's growers are preparing for upcoming summer and autumn harvests of apples, pears and grapes, including those of the Champagne variety - though they say they may have little to celebrate.

Jul 31 - Indonesia B40 biodiesel plan back on track as crude oil prices pick up 
Indonesia's plans to raise the bio-content of its palm oil-based biodiesel to 40% - known as B40 - is back on schedule with a target for implementation by July 2021, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said on Thursday. Indonesia, which has been increasing the palm oil content of its biodiesel since 2015, wants to cut its energy imports and increase consumption of palm oil.

Jul 31 - Brazil 2020/2021 soybean output may reach record of 130.74 mln T, Reuters poll shows 
Brazil's soybean production is expected to jump to a record of more than 130 million tonnes next season, as attractive prices drive farmers to boost plantings and yields are seen recovering after a drought, according to the average of eight analysts' estimates polled on Thursday. The poll shows that farmers in Brazil, the world's largest producer and exporter of the oilseeds, may increase output by about 8% in the 2020/2021 cycle, a potential 10 million tonne rise from the 120.9 million tonnes the government says Brazil harvested in the last cycle.

Jul 31 - EU cuts soft wheat, barley crop estimates, lifts maize 
The European Commission on Thursday cut its 2020/21 forecast for usable common wheat production in the European Union's 27 countries to 116.6 million tonnes from 117.2 million estimated a month ago. In supply and demand projections released on its website, the Commission left unchanged its forecast for EU-27 exports of common wheat, or soft wheat, for the 2020/21 season that started in July at 25.0 million tonnes.

Jul 31 - ADM projects strong, export-led profit in last half of 2020 
Agricultural commodities trader Archer Daniels Midland Co expects a groundswell of export demand in the second half of 2020, led by robust purchases by China, as the coronavirus pandemic fuels food security concerns around the world, the company said Thursday. Ample U.S. supplies of crops like soybeans, corn and wheat could help propel exports to record levels in the fourth quarter, Chief Executive Juan Luciano said during a quarterly call with analysts.

Jul 31 - Frost in Argentina adds to wheat crop stress caused by dry weather - exchange 
Frosts over recent mornings in Argentina's central farm belt piled stress onto wheat crops already suffering from prolonged dry weather, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly report on Thursday. Dry conditions started hitting wheat crops in early June, prompting the exchange to cut its 2020/21 wheat planting estimate to 6.5 million hectares from an original 6.8 million.

Jul 30 - Australia hopes for 'magnificent' wheat crop in pandemic economy 
Just months after rains broke Australia's crippling three-year drought, fields of grain have sprung to life, lifting forecasts for a bumper wheat harvest and reviving the beaten up agricultural sector through roaring tractor sales and increased lending. The mid-season crops in some of the country's major eastern grain-growing areas are as lush as some industry veterans can remember, representing one of the few bright spots in the country's pandemic-affected economy.

Jul 30 - China needs "explosive" buying to meet U.S. farm import target 
With nearly seven months gone, an ambitious $36.5 billion target for Chinese imports of U.S. farm goods this year may not be quite out of reach, but it's looking like a big, big stretch. By end-May, imports were running behind 2017 levels - rather than 50% ahead as needed - and while orders for China's main farm import, soybeans, have started to pick up, scorching levels of buying would be needed to hit the mark.

Jul 30 - Grain trader ADM reports higher profit, food demand during pandemic 
U.S. agricultural merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co beat expectations for quarterly earnings on Wednesday, as it benefited from higher margins in its grain trading and oilseeds business. The company and its rivals like Bunge Ltd continued to grapple with ripple effects from the coronavirus outbreak, which has rattled global markets and hurt demand for products like ethanol. 

Jul 30 - Iran struggles to buy food in a world wary of touching its money 
Iran, creaking under the impact of U.S. sanctions, a collapse in oil sales and a severe COVID-19 epidemic, is scrambling to buy food and medicine to avoid a supply crunch. But it's a struggle. Despite such supplies being exempt from sanctions, banks and governments are reluctant to transfer or take Iranian money because they fear unwittingly breaching the complex U.S. restrictions, according to five trade and finance sources. 

Jul 30 - Bunge raises outlook as robust agribusiness powers profit beat 
Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd on Wednesday raised its full-year outlook after its second-quarter profit handily beat Wall Street estimates, bolstered by oilseed crushing and robust crop exports to China. Despite a worsening coronavirus pandemic that has rattled global markets, Bunge reported strong soy processing margins in South America, Europe and Asia, record capacity utilization at its plants and the lowest crushing costs in three years.

Jul 30 - Brazilian exporters unfazed by strong U.S. corn, soy demand - Braun 
Exporters in the United States will have a busy start to the upcoming marketing year after the record or near-record soybean and corn sales this month, though they will have to keep an eye on shipments out of Brazil, which will continue to compete with U.S. supplies well into next year. The South American country is the No. 1 exporter of soybeans and in the top three in corn. Brazil's soy supplies should soon be winding down to give way to U.S. exports, though next month's shipments may be at least average or above.

Jul 30 - Argentina nears China hog deal it hopes could turbocharge local pork production 
Argentina is nearing an initial agreement with China that could pave for the way for potential investments by the Asian giant in local pork production for export, Argentina's undersecretary of trade and investment promotion told Reuters. That could eventually lead to Chinese-backed hog farms in the South American nation more famed for its cattle-rearing grasslands, at a time when Beijing is looking to diversify pork supply after domestic farms were hit hard by African swine flu.

Jul 30 - Bayer argues against weed-killer verdict, after its investigator finds U.S. farmer still in business 
Bayer AG contended in court papers that a jury verdict in favor of a Missouri peach farmer was based on a false premise because a private investigator it hired found the farmer was still in business. A jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in February awarded Bill Bader, Missouri's largest peach farmer, $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages. Bader sued Bayer and its rival BASF SE, saying his 1,000-acre orchard was irreparably harmed when herbicides made by the companies drifted onto his trees from nearby farms.

Jul 30 - Brazil's BRF says China blocked Dourados chicken exports 
Brazilian meat processor BRF SA said on Wednesday that Chinese customs authority GACC had suspended chicken exports from its Dourados plant, in the Center-Western state of Mato Grosso do Sul, over COVID-19 concerns. Dourados is the second BRF plant suspended by China after the pandemic began to ravage Brazilian meat plants. The other is a pork facility in Lajeado, in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Jul 30 - USDA representative in Argentina sees lower corn, wheat crops 
Argentina will harvest less wheat and corn this season than previously estimated, the local representative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report on Wednesday. Wheat production in the 2020/21 crop year is forecast at 20 million tonnes versus the 21 million tonne estimate given in the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report published earlier this month.

Jul 30 - S.Africa's 2020 maize harvest rises from previous months forecast 
South Africa will likely harvest 15.545 million tonnes of maize in 2020, slightly higher than the previous months estimate, after favourable weather conditions and higher yields in the Free State and Gauteng provinces, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Wednesday. Giving its sixth production forecast for the 2020 crop, the CEC estimated that harvest would be 38% higher compared with 11.275 million tonnes harvested in the previous year when yields were impacted by dry weather conditions.

Jul 30 - JBS invests $19 mln in safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic 
Brazilian food processor JBS SA has invested more than 100 million reais ($19.3 million) in health, safety and contingency measures at all its Brazilian production units, according to a Wednesday company statement that comes as the novel coronavirus continues to ravage local meat plants. The company said the funds were invested in dozens of actions in the last three months, which included hiring new health professionals, increasing the bus fleet to transport workers to and from plants and acquiring 180,000 face shields for employees.

Jul 29 - COFCO, Bunge grains plants hit in Argentina after COVID-19 cases detected 
Grains operations of Chinese food giant COFCO and U.S. agribusiness firm Bunge Argentina have been hit by the detection of cases of COVID-19 among workers, underscoring a challenge for the South American country as infection numbers rise. COFCO has temporarily suspended operations at its Timbues grains plant after 12 employees tested positive for the virus, a spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday. The first case was detected at the plant on Saturday.

Jul 29 - EU wheat crop shows mixed results as harvest progresses 
This year's soft wheat harvest in the European Union is expected to be sharply lower than last year due to adverse weather conditions, with disparate results including poor crops France and southeastern EU and a better outlook in Poland and Germany. "Wheat crops in large exporting countries at the two extremes of the bloc, northwest and southeast, have suffered a lot due to bad weather conditions this year," Vincent Braak, analyst with consultancy Strategie Grains, said. 

Jul 29 - Russia's VTB Bank acquires remaining 30% of grain trader Miro 
Russian bank VTB has acquired the remaining 30% of grain trader Mirogroup to raise its holding to 100% as it continues to expand its grain trading activities. 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 and 2020. It has said it planned to expand its grain business further and then exit. 

Jul 29 - U.S. biofuel industry may depend on Agriculture Secretary Perdue for aid, senator says 
The U.S. biofuel industry may have to depend on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for aid, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said on Tuesday, after Senate Republicans unveiled a coronavirus relief package without specific appropriations for the industry. A provision of the $1 trillion HEALS Act, introduced by Senate Republicans on Monday, would make available $20 billion to Perdue to provide support for agricultural producers, growers and processors impacted by the coronavirus. The bill, however, does not designate the funds more specifically.

Jul 29 - Egypt's GASC buys 470,000 T wheat in tender 
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC,) said on Tuesday it bought 470,000 tonnes of wheat for shipment Sept. 1-10. GASC said the purchase was comprised of 350,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 120,000 tonnes of Ukraine wheat.

Jul 29 - Brazil soybean growers poised to increase area, output next season, says Rabobank 
The area planted with soybeans in Brazil is expected to increase by almost 3% in the next season, to a record 38 million hectares, while production is also projected to reach a historic 127.3 million tonnes, according Rabobank estimates on Tuesday. The 2020/2021 crop, which farmers begin to plant in mid-September in Brazil, the world's largest producer of the oilseeds, is forecast to increase by 5.3% from last season, Rabobank analyst Victor Ikeda said, basing his calculation on government crop data to make the comparison.

Jul 29 - N.Dakota spring wheat prospects seen below year-ago, crop experts say 
The spring wheat crop in North Dakota, the top U.S. producer of the grain, should yield less than last year due to a mix of dry June weather in the state's western area and excessive rain in the southeast, crop experts said on Tuesday. The United States is projected as the world's No. 3 wheat exporter.

Jul 28 - Corn, soy good-to-excellent ratings beat expectations at 72% 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday reported good-to-excellent ratings for U.S. corn and soybeans, above analysts' estimates, as timely rains in key growing areas helped protect the crops as corn passed through its pollination phase. The USDA rated 72% of both corn and soybeans as good to excellent, better than the average of estimates in a Reuters survey of 10 analysts, which had the crops holding steady at 69% in the past week. 

Jul 28 - Agritel sees French soft wheat harvest fall 26% this year 
The soft wheat crop in France this year will be among the smallest in 25 years at 29.22 million tonnes after adverse weather hit both area and yields, Agritel said on Monday. That would be 26% below the bumper crop which the European Union's largest  producer harvested in 2019, it said.

Jul 28 - Russia's IKAR ups its forecast for Russia's 2020 wheat crop ‚Äč
IKAR, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said on Monday that it had raised its forecast for Russia's 2020 wheat crop to 78 million tonnes from the previously expected 76.5 million tonnes due to high yields in some regions. Russia, the world's second-largest wheat exporter after the European Union, is harvesting its crop after dry weather in its south, where the main grain producing and exporting regions are located. However, yields are improving in the central regions.

Jul 28 - Indian rice exports slow as coronavirus disrupts supply chain - trade 
India's rice exporters are struggling to fulfil orders due to limited availability of containers and workers at mills and the biggest handling port on the east coast after novel coronavirus cases jumped in the region, industry officials told Reuters. Slowing shipments from the world's biggest rice exporter could allow rivals like Thailand and Vietnam to raise supplies in the short term, and also carries the potential to push up global prices.

Jul 28 - Egypt’s GASC seeks wheat for Sept. 1-10 shipment 
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Monday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from Sept. 1 to 10. 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.

Jul 28 - Brazil soybean output in 2020/2021 season forecast to reach a new record - Arc Mercosul
Brazilian soybean output in the 2020/2021 season is forecast to reach a record of 129.15 million tonnes, up 3.44% from the prior season, as local farmers are poised to expand plantings at the fastest pace since the 2014/2015 cycle, according to a consultancy. Arc Mercosul, in its first projection for the coming season, also forecast on Monday that Brazil's soybean planted area will reach 38.43 million hectares (94.9m acres) in the cycle that will begin in September, up 3.8% from last year and the fastest annual acreage expansion in years.

Jul 28 - Pakistan could import 300,000 T sugar to ease price rise-trade 
Pakistan could import around 300,000 tonnes of sugar to tackle a shortage that has lifted local sugar prices by 22% in seven months, industry officials told Reuters, flagging a move that could support global prices, and calm the local market. Islamabad was exporting sugar until earlier this year, but now has a shortage as sugar production has fallen below consumption levels for the 2019/20 marketing year ending Sept. 30.

Jul 28 - Crop Watch: Mild weather supports big yields, though some relief needed - Braun 
Strong yield expectations continue for the U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybeans, but the fields in North Dakota are once again grappling with too much rain, while those in Nebraska and Ohio have not received enough. Elsewhere, rainfall has been favorable for the crops, which are in or entering the yield-formation stage. The producers reported that last week’s temperatures and those expected over the next several days are largely ideal.

Jul 28 - U.S. warns against planting unsolicited seeds from China 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday warned residents against planting unsolicited packages of seeds arriving from China because they could harm the environment. At least eight states, from Washington to Ohio, have also told residents in recent days not to put the seeds in the ground, after they arrived apparently from China in the mailboxes of people who did not order them. Officials said the seeds could be invasive species that could threaten crops or livestock.

Jul 28 - S.Africa's 2020 maize crop expected to increase by 37% - Reuters survey 
South Africa will likely harvest 37% more maize in 2020 compared with the previous season after favourable weather conditions boosted yields, a Reuters survey of six analysts and traders showed on Monday. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast the 2019/2020 maize production at 15.461 million tonnes, up from 11.275 million tonnes harvested in the 2018/2019 season, which was impacted by dry weather conditions.

Jul 27 - China's soybean imports from Brazil rise to record in June 
China's soybean imports in June from top supplier Brazil soared to a record high, according to customs data released on Sunday, driven by growing demand for soybeans as China's pig herd recovers after deadly outbreaks of African swine fever. The world's top soybean buyer brought in 10.51 million tonnes of the oilseed from the South American country in June, up 91% from 5.5 million tonnes in the previous year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. The June figures were also up 18.6% from May imports from Brazil at 8.86 million tonnes. 

Jul 27 - Funds maintain CBOT corn, soy views on robust U.S. export demand - Braun 
The recent favorable weather across the U.S. Corn Belt has increasingly supported big corn and soybean yield predictions, reducing the chances for supply concerns heading into next year. However, this month’s huge export demand from China for both U.S. crops has prevented speculators from big selloffs in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds, and the general optimism was still prevalent late last week.

Jul 27 - Copious monsoon rains spur summer crop sowing in India 
Indian farmers have planted 79.9 million hectares with summer crops so far, according to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, up 18.3% from last year as robust monsoon rains spurred sowing in the world's leading producer of farm goods. Farmers generally start planting rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane and peanuts, among other crops, from June 1, when monsoon rains typically arrive in India. Sowing usually lasts until July or early August.

Jul 27 - 'Spread out? Where?' Smithfield says not all plant workers can be socially distanced 
Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest pork processor, said workers cannot be socially distant in all areas of its plants, in response to U.S. senators who pressed meatpackers on coronavirus outbreaks in slaughterhouses. Meatpackers are under mounting pressure to protect workers after more than 16,000 employees in 23 states were infected with COVID-19 and 86 workers died in circumstances related to the respiratory disease, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Jul 27 - FranceAgriMer ups soft wheat crop ratings slightly, harvest at 71% 
The condition of French soft wheat improved in the week to July 20, with 57% of crops rated good or excellent against 55% the previous week, although that was still well below the year-earlier level of 75%, FranceAgriMer's weekly report showed. Soft wheat harvesting in France is well underway, with 71% of the crop area harvested by July 20 against 47% a week earlier, the report showed.

Jul 27 - More German abattoir workers test positive for coronavirus 
Thirty-one more workers at a German abattoir hit by a coronavirus outbreak in mid-June have this week tested positive, authorities said on Friday. Coronavirus outbreaks at several slaughterhouses in Germany have forced meatpacking plants to review cooling systems amid global concern over airborne transmission risks.

Jul 24 - U.S. soybean, corn exports soar on big China deals – USDA
Weekly U.S. corn and soybean export sales reached multi-year highs in mid-July, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday, fueled by big purchases by China. China booked deals to buy 1.967 million tonnes of U.S. corn, its biggest weekly total of the yellow grain on record, in the week ended July 16.

Jul 24 - China's U.S. soy bookings hit 6-year highs, average sales to others - Braun
China has returned in full force to the U.S. soybean market following the trade dispute that began two years ago, giving American exporters hope that the upcoming shipping season will be their most successful in three years. The Phase 1 trade deal signed at the beginning of this year implied China must book record or near-record volumes of U.S. soybeans through at least the end of 2021. 

Jul 24 - IGC cuts forecasts for 2020/21 global wheat, corn crops
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday cut its forecast for global wheat production in the 2020/21 season partly reflecting lowered crop outlooks for the European Union, Russia and the United States. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut its global wheat crop forecast by 6 million tonnes to 762 million tonnes with production in the EU downwardly revised to 125.6 million tonnes versus a previous projection of 128.4 million.

Jul 24 - China June pork imports jump 128.4% on year - customs
China imported 400,000 tonnes of pork in June, customs data showed on Thursday, up 128.4% from the same month a year earlier, as a months-long buying spree continued as importers try to help plug a domestic shortage. China's pork output declined by about a fifth in the first half of 2020 after an epidemic of African swine fever killed millions of pigs in the country last year.  

Jul 24 - Palm oil price rally not sustainable - analysts Fry, Mistry
Palm oil prices will fall by the fourth quarter due to higher output and inventory levels, two leading industry analysts told Reuters, dampening a rally that sent the tropical oil to a five-month high this week. The benchmark palm oil contract has gained 40% in the last 11 weeks, helped by concerns over tighter supply from top producers Indonesia and Malaysia, and signs of increasing demand.

Jul 24 - Brazil's next soybean crop pegged at 130.8 mln tonnes, consultancy Céleres says
Brazilian soybean output in the 2020/2021 season, which starts in September, is estimated at 130.8 million tonnes as farmers look to expand planted area, agribusiness consultancy Céleres said on Thursday. Brazil's soybean planted area will grow by 1.3 million hectares to an estimated 38.2 million in the 2020/2021 season, Céleres predicted in its first forecast for the next crop. In the 2019/2020 season, Brazil collected an estimated 124.7 million tonnes of soybeans, making it the world's largest producer, Céleres said a statement.

Jul 24 - Dryness continues to afflict recently planted Argentine wheat, exchange says
Dryness in northern and central Argentina is affecting the development of recently planted wheat fields, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, having twice cut its planting estimate in recent weeks due to persistently bad weather. The exchange, widely referenced by farmers and grains traders, expects 6.5 million hectares of wheat to be sown this season, down from an original forecast of 6.8 million hectares.

Jul 24 - EU 2020/21 soft wheat exports at 460,329 T by July 19
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2020/21 season to July 19 totalled 460,329 tonnes, official EU data showed on Thursday. That was 53% below the volume exported in the previous 2019/20 season, the data showed.

Jul 24 - German pig prices stabilise as abattoir starts work after coronavirus
German pig prices stabilised this week following heavy falls, with the market underpinned as a huge German slaughterhouse reopened after a coronavirus outbreak, a farming association said on Thursday. The Toennies slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck resumed operations last week after being closed for around a month when more than 1,500 workers tested positive for COVID-19.  

Jul 24 - Agritel cuts Ukraine's rapeseed crop forecast after dry weather
Ukraine's rapeseed harvest should reach 2.52 million tonnes this year, down from an initial estimate of 2.8 million tonnes, French consultancy Agritel said on Thursday after lowering both its area and average yield forecasts due to dry weather. Ukraine, among Europe's leading rapeseed producers, had harvested 3.35 million tonnes of the oilseed last year.

Jul 23 - Frozen U.S. pork supplies fell in June, exports to China rose – data
U.S. frozen pork inventories fell 25% from a year earlier at the end of June, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday, after coronavirus outbreaks in meatpacking plants slowed production. The data show supplies in cold-storage facilities remain lower though meat processing has largely recovered after plants temporarily closed in April and May due to the spread of the contagious respiratory virus. 

Jul 23 - Signs of farm 'revolution' in India as coronavirus prompts change
For more than two decades, Indian farmer Ravindra Kajal cultivated rice the way his forefathers had - every June he flooded his fields with water before hiring an army of farmhands to plant paddy seedlings. But a scarcity of workers this year because of the coronavirus forced Kajal to change. 

Jul 23 - Indonesia to test palm oil in 'green' jet fuel by year-end
Indonesian state oil company PT Pertamina is set to test the production of jet fuel made up of 3% palm oil by the end of the year, Chief Executive Nicke Widyawati said on Thursday. The comments come a week after the company announced its first batch of biodiesel using feedstock of 100% palm (D100) in its Dumai refinery, saying it would produce 1,000 barrels per day (bpd). 

Jul 23 - U.S. court allows sales of Corteva weed killer, adding to edge over Bayer
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ruled that Corteva Inc can continue to sell an agricultural weed killer that environmentalists said was threatening to plants and wildlife. The decision to allow sales of Enlist Duo boosts Corteva's advantage in the farm sector a month after the same court blocked a rival herbicide sold by Bayer AG. 

Jul 23 - Brazil buys Russian wheat after expanding ex-Mercosur quota
Russia shipped two wheat cargoes to Brazil this month, totaling 60,000 tonnes, in the first trades of their kind this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Purchases of the Russian cereal, confirmed by sources at trading firms Sodruzhestvo and Glencore, followed a new tariff-free quota for Brazilian wheat imports from outside the Mercosur bloc, which includes neighboring Argentina, Brazil's main wheat supplier.

Jul 23 - U.S. ethanol records second 'normal' demand week in virus era - Braun
July is usually a busy time for ethanol consumption in the United States as travelers hit the road for their summer vacations, and although activity has been curtailed this year by the coronavirus pandemic, last week’s ethanol demand echoed typical levels for the second time this season. However, the running weekly averages for both ethanol and gasoline consumption remain below normal, and the recovery path for the ethanol industry may continue to be non-linear, especially as some areas of the country pull back on some of the reopening efforts.

Jul 23 - Brazil's Paranaguá port resumes grain loading after fire
The Port of Paranaguá, Brazil's second busiest for soybean and sugar cargoes, is gradually resuming grain export operations after a fire that affected conveyor belts at two terminals, according to a statement from the port authority on Wednesday. Operations remain halted at the two affected terminals, connected to berths 212, 213 and 214, which form part of an export corridor comprising 11 terminals, the authority said.

Jul 23 - Germany cracks down on slaughterhouse sub-contracting to fight coronavirus
Germany is introducing a new law compelling meatpackers to employ staff directly in industrial abattoirs rather than sub-contracting to avert further coronavirus outbreaks exacerbated by poor working conditions, a draft law showed on Wednesday. German slaughterhouses have faced criticism for the widespread use of sub-contracted migrant workers from eastern Europe, with cramped accommodation and poor oversight suspected of accelerating local coronavirus outbreaks in abattoirs.

Jul 22 - China plans wheat, rice sales to tame surging corn prices - sources
China plans to sell rice and wheat from state reserves to animal feed producers who are struggling with high corn prices, which have soared more than 20% in some areas this year amid tightening supplies, three sources familiar with the matter said. Beijing may offload about 10 million tonnes of rice in the first batch of sales, according to one of the sources who was briefed on the plan. 

Jul 22 - Thai rice exporters cut 2020 forecast to 6.5 mln T, lowest in 20 years
Thailand's rice exporters association has slashed its forecast for 2020 exports to 6.5 million tonnes, the lowest volume in two decades, owing to drought and a strong baht currency, its executives said on Wednesday. The industry group's latest forecast for Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter last year, is lower than its previous expectation of a seven-year low of 7.5 million tonnes for 2020.

Jul 22 - Nepal's refiners struggle as India stops refined palm oil imports
Edible oil refiners in Nepal have all but stopped buying crude palm oil amid surging domestic stockpiles after top buyer India suspended most imports of refined oil from the country, industry officials told Reuters. New Delhi in May suspended 39 oil import licences to slow duty-free shipments from neighbouring nations, disrupting refiners in Nepal which had thrived thanks to preferential access to India's huge market. 

Jul 22 - Pakistan buys at least 300,000 tonnes wheat from Black Sea region
Importers in Pakistan bought at least 300,000 tonnes of wheat expected to be sourced from the Black Sea region in deals made in June and July, European traders said on Wednesday. Pakistan's government permitted private sector wheat imports in June to cool domestic wheat and flour prices.

Jul 22 - Argentine grains exporters object to Chinese 'Covid-19 free' guarantee
Argentine grains exporters told Chinese importers that they were asking for "inappropriate" guarantees that crops being shipped from the South American country were free of the coronavirus, according to a letter sent to importers in late June. The letter, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, was signed by the CIARA-CEC grains exporters and oilseed crushers chamber.

Jul 22 - China allocates flood relief fund to farmers, agriculture production
China has allocated a 330 million yuan ($47 million) disaster relief fund to help farmers and agricultural production in southern provinces, as large parts of the country suffer the worst flooding in decades. The fund is aimed at helping farmers resume production after the disaster and repairing damaged agricultural facilities, as well as reducing the loss of farm income, the ministry of agriculture and rural affairs said in a statement late Monday.

Jul 22 - China books deal for U.S. soybeans for second straight day
China booked a small purchase of U.S. soybeans for the second day in a row, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday. The sales were part of a recent string of deals with China, the biggest export market for U.S. farm goods.

Jul 22 - China's rapeseed oil rally drives widening spread with other edible oils
A rally in China's rapeseed oil futures is pushing its price spread with other edible oils to the widest in years, with lower imports of the oilseed from Canada and tightening supplies spurring trading interest and volumes. The spread between rapeseed oil on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange and soyoil on the Dalian Commodity Exchange idened to as much as 2,500 yuan ($357.50) per tonne on Tuesday, the greatest it's been since 2012 when Refinitiv began recording prices for the two commodities. 

Jul 22 - Bayer launches carbon capture program for U.S. and Brazil farmers
Bayer AG launched a pilot program in the United States and Brazil on Tuesday that will pay farmers for capturing carbon in cropland soils, making it the latest agriculture company to capitalize on environmental initiatives. The company seeks to enroll about 1,200 row crop farmers in its Bayer Carbon Initiative in the first season, scale up in upcoming seasons, and ultimately expand to other countries, company executives said.

Jul 22 - Lender ITFC plans more funds for Egypt's grain buyer
The Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is mobilizing additional funds for Egypt, the world's largest wheat buyer, in the coming months, the organisation told Reuters on Tuesday. Funding from the ITFC has allowed GASC to pay for its purchases of key commodities at sight instead of using letters of credit, which guarantee payment within 180 days. 

Jul 22 - German abattoir ramping up output after virus outbreak
The German abattoir hit by a coronavirus outbreak is increasing output but still working below capacity, it said on Tuesday. The Toennies plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck reopened its slaughterhouse and meat packing operations on Thursday and Friday after it bolstered health and safety procedures.

Jul 21 - USDA raises soybean crop rating, keeps corn rating steady
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday raised its good-to-excellent rating for the nation's soybean crop and kept its corn rating unchanged, surprising analysts who expected a decline in the condition of both crops from a week ago. The agency, in a weekly report, said 69% of soybeans were in good-to-excellent condition, up one percentage point from a week earlier. 

Jul 21 - Saudi Arabia liberalises wheat imports for flour mills
Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO said on Monday that companies that buy its flour mills will be able to import wheat directly from global markets in a further liberalisation of the country's grains sector. Saudi Arabia is selling its entire flour milling business, a long-awaited privatisation that marks one of the first sales of the country's state-owned assets, part of broader plans to overhaul the economy.

Jul 21 - Soybean market approaching China's U.S. purchases with caution - Braun
China is actively booking this year’s U.S. soybean crop and has made a historic string of purchases this month, but soybean futures remain near the lowest levels in recent memory for the time of year. Chicago soybean futures for November delivery finished at $9.00 per bushel on Monday, the contract’s fourth settle at or above $9 since early March. 

Jul 21 - USDA reports another U.S. soybean sale to China
China booked deals to buy about two cargoes worth of U.S. soybeans, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday, extending a flurry of sales to the world's top importer of farm commodities. Private exporters reported to the USDA that China bought 132,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery in the 2020/21 marketing year that begins on Sept. 1. 

Jul 21 - Bayer loses California appeal of Roundup verdict, but damages are reduced
Bayer AG failed to persuade a California appeals court to overturn a verdict favoring a school groundskeeper who claimed its Roundup weed killer caused his cancer but reduced the amount of damages by 74% to $20.5 million. The decision by the California Court of Appeal came after a San Francisco jury had in August 2018 awarded $289.2 million to the plaintiff Dewayne Johnson for his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a sum later cut by the trial judge to $78.5 million.

Jul 21 - Crop Watch: Producers boost corn hopes on better weather - Braun
Last week’s favorable weather led several U.S. Crop Watch growers to increase corn condition and yield scores, bringing those eight-field averages to the highest levels for any week since Crop Watch began in 2018. The soybean scores are also among the highest, but much of the corn could get by with one or two more good rains, while the soybeans will still depend on good moisture through next month.

Jul 21 - Russian wheat prices up amid slow supply
Russian wheat export prices rose for the second consecutive week last week due to the slow pace of harvesting, which started later than a year ago, and weak supply from farmers in southern regions, analysts said on Monday. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loaded from Black Sea ports was at $208.5 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $6.5 from the previous week, SovEcon agriculture consultancy said. 

Jul 21 - Ethiopian farmers slaughter thousands of chicks as COVID hits demand
Ethiopian poultry farmers have destroyed hundreds of thousands of chicks, as the sector reels from a collapse in demand from the hotel sector because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethiopia's movement restrictions to try to contain the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has led hotels in Addis Ababa to reduce operations or even to close, removing a major source of demand for poultry products.

Jul 20 - Rare air: U.S. meatpackers try air cleaning tech after COVID-19 outbreaks 

Two of the world's largest meatpackers said on Friday they have installed ultraviolet air cleaning equipment in some U.S. plants, as pressure mounts on food companies to protect workers amid growing concerns about airborne transmission of the coronavirus. JBS USA, owned by Brazil's JBS SA and one of four major U.S. beef processors, said it installed "ultraviolet germicidal air sanitation" equipment in plant ventilation and air purification systems that use a specific frequency range of light waves to kill germs. 

Jul 20 - Chinese ports hit capacity as virus tests slow clearing - shipper
Testing of imported food for the novel coronavirus is pushing capacity at some major Chinese ports to their limit, major shippers told customers this week, warning of additional fees and possible diversions to other ports. China stepped up inspections of imported food last month after an outbreak of the coronavirus among people working at and visiting a major food market in Beijing. 

Jul 20 - Malaysia losing up to 25% of palm oil yield due to labour crunch – MPOA
Malaysia is losing up to 25% of its potential palm oil yield due to a labour shortage that is expected to worsen in the coming months, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) said on Monday. The group, which represents plantation firms, said the government's decision to freeze the recruitment of new foreign workers until December could lead to the "demise" of the industry.

Jul 20 - German abattoir continues work after coronavirus outbreak
A German abattoir will continue work on Monday despite a coronavirus outbreak among its personnel, authorities said. Some 66 of the 1,200 workers at a chicken slaughterhouse in Lohne in North Germany owned by the Wiesenhof meat group tested positive for coronavirus during routine checks, the Vechta local government authority said.

Jul 20 - Funds buy CBOT corn despite weather-driven price plunge - Braun
Speculators were modest buyers of Chicago-traded corn last week and big-time buyers of wheat, but the corn move was very unexpected considering the accompanying price action. Most-active corn futures fell more than 5% in the week ended July 14 as weather turned more favorable for U.S. crops. That was among the contract’s worst five-day stretches of the year, and trade estimates pegged commodity funds to have sold about 50,000 futures contracts during the period.

Jul 20 - Heavy monsoon rains speed up crop planting in India
Indian farmers have planted 69.2 million hectares with summer crops, up 21.2% from this time a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, boosted by bountiful monsoon rains that spurred sowing in most parts of the country. Farmers typically start planting their summer-sown crops June 1, when monsoon rains usually reach India. Planting usually continues until the end of July or early August.

Jul 20 - EU rapeseed harvest begins with modest crop expected
Rapeseed harvesting has started in the European Union with the market expecting a small crop like last year, though recent rain could boost yields after a tough growing season. Crops have endured torrential autumn rain, insect pressure after a mild winter and a very dry start to spring. 

Jul 20 - S.African farmers rap repeal of state of disaster for drought
South Africa, one of the 30 most water-scarce countries in the world, has revoked its classification of drought as a national disaster, drawing criticism from the agricultural sector. Parts of South Africa have suffered consecutive years of abnormally hot weather and below average rainfall.

Jul 17 - Suspension of some Argentine meat exports to China not seen hurting industry
Argentine meat processing plants that have temporarily stopped exporting to China will not have to suspend for more than 10 days and the situation poses no long-term threat to the sector, the head of the local meat industry chamber said on Thursday. China, the main destination for the South American country's beef, has been clamping down on meat imports amid concerns about COVID-19, which is gripping countries around the region, including key food producers Argentina and Brazil.

Jul 17 - Strategie Grains trims EU soft wheat crop outlook
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday further reduced its forecast for this year's soft wheat harvest in the European Union to take account of lower-than-expected yields in southeastern Europe and a cut in estimated crop area in France. In its monthly cereal report, the French firm lowered its 2020 soft wheat output forecast for the EU plus Britain to 130.3 million tonnes from 130.9 million in June, or 11.5% below last year's harvest.

Jul 17 - Food commodities still at risk of coronavirus 'market shock' - FAO/OECD
A knock to food consumption in a global recession triggered by a coronavirus epidemic could produce a "market shock" of tumbling agricultural prices, the U.N.'s food agency and the OECD said on Thursday. With food production mostly maintained during the crisis, agricultural markets were facing the risk of swelling stockpiles that would weigh on prices, the organisations said.

Jul 17 - Why cleaner air may be bad for your sourdough bread
Less acid rain is good for the environment, but potentially bad for bread, cereals and pasta. A decline in U.S. power plant emissions over the last 30 years means the air has less sulfur, a crucial nutrient for wheat and many other crops that researchers are now working to replace with fertilizer applications. For decades sulfur seeped into the soil via acid rain, a toxic precipitation that is harmful to human health but helped crops and made for tastier bread.

Jul 17 - China buys more U.S. soybeans
China booked deals to buy 522,000 tonnes of soybeans, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday, the latest in a string of purchases by the world's top buyer of U.S. agricultural products. Another 351,000 tonnes of soybeans were sold to buyers in unknown destinations, the USDA said. Traders and analysts said those soybeans also were likely headed to China.

Jul 17 - A fifth of EU soy imports from Brazil could be tainted by deforestation, study says
A fifth of EU soy imports from Brazil may come from land illegally deforested, according to a study released on Thursday that offers a detailed inventory of farms in the supply chain. One major soy industry group representing traders said it shuns purchases from farms identified by Brazil as problematic.

Jul 17 - Cargill fiscal 2020 revenue rises 1% to $114.6 billion
Global commodities trader Cargill Inc said on Thursday its revenue for fiscal 2020, which ended on May 31, rose to $114.6 billion, up 1% from the prior year. For the first time since 1996, the privately held company halted public reporting of most of its quarterly and annual financial data this year.

Jul 17 - Brazil may plant record soybean area of over 38 million ha in next crop
Brazilian soybean farmers are expected to expand planted area to over 38 million hectares (93.9 million acres) in the season that will kick off in mid-September as demand for the oilseeds remains strong, agribusiness consultancy StoneX said on Thursday. In the 2019/2020 harvest, Brazil sowed about 37 million hectares (91 million acres) with soybeans, according to government data, resulting in a record harvest of 120.9 million tonnes of Brazil's most wanted export commodity.

Jul 17 - Bad July weather may hit Russia's 2020 grain crop forecast - weather service
Russia saw unfavourable weather in the first half of July for its spring grains and may face a downgrade of its 2020 grain harvest estimates, Roman Vilfand, head of science at Russia's Hydrometcentre, said on Thursday. Russia, the world's second largest wheat exporter after the European Union, is harvesting it crop amid dry weather in some regions and rains in others - both in wrong time for development of the sowings.

Jul 17 - Belarus 2020 grain crop may rise to at least 8.2 mln T - ministry
Belarus is likely to increase its grain harvest to no less than 8.2 million tonnes this year from 7.33 million tonnes in 2019 thanks to better weather conditions, the country's agriculture ministry said on Thursday. "The analysis of the objective factors... allows us to hope for a more significant harvest than in 2019. In the public sector, we plan to receive at least 8.2 million tonnes of grain," the ministry said in a statement.

Jul 17 - Fonterra raises lower-end of 2020/21 forecast farmgate milk price as China demand improves
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra raised the lower end of its farmgate milk price forecast range on Friday for the upcoming season as demand picks up in China, its top market. Fonterra narrowed the range to NZ$5.90 to NZ$6.90 per kg of milk solids (kgMS) for the 2020/21 season from the previous range of NZ$5.40 to NZ$6.90.

Jul 16 - China's pork output slides for 7th straight quarter in shadow of African swine fever
China's pork production fell for the seventh consecutive quarter in the April-June period as the world's top pig producer continued to reel from the effects of the deadly African swine fever that decimated its pig herd. Second-quarter pork output fell 4.7% compared with the same period a year ago to 9.6 million tonnes, according to Reuters calculations based on data released on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics that showed a 19.1% drop for the first six months of the year.

Jul 16 - NOPA June crush tops all estimates at 167.263 million bushels
U.S. soybean crushings declined for a third straight month in June, but the 1.4% drop was smaller than expected and the total amount was the largest June crush on record, 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 167.263 million bushels of soybeans last month, down from 169.584 million bushels in May but up from the 148.843 million bushels crushed in June 2019.

Jul 16 - Argentina suspends exports from eight meat plants to China after COVID-19 found
Argentina has suspended exports to China from eight meatpacking plants after cases of the novel coronavirus were found among their employees, Argentina's food quality and safety body, Senasa, said on Wednesday. China, the main destination for the South American country's beef, has been clamping down on meat imports amid concerns about infections of COVID-19, which is gripping countries around the region, including key food producers Argentina and Brazil.

Jul 16 - Argentina farm minister says no plan to hike grains export taxes
Argentina does not plan to increase grains export taxes despite the government's need for revenue as the coronavirus pushes the country into a deep recession this year, Agriculture Minister Luis Basterra told Reuters on Wednesday. Farmers in the vast Pampas grains belt had worried that the cash-strapped government, embroiled in a complicated restructuring of $65 billion in sovereign bonds, might raise taxes on international shipments of wheat, corn and soy.

Jul 16 - U.S. corn to challenge export record to China in 2020-21 - Braun
The new marketing year is still a month-and-a-half away, but the amount of new-crop U.S. corn that has already been sold to China would make those 2020-21 exports the second-largest on record if the full volume is shipped. The Phase 1 trade deal between Washington and Beijing essentially requires record exports of corn and other U.S. agricultural goods to China, something very much on the radar for corn with the way sales are going.

Jul 16 - Driven by China, Brazil's 2020 pork, chicken exports to grow despite pandemic
Brazilian meat companies are poised to increase production and exports this year as sales to China continue to exceed expectations and the COVID-19 pandemic has failed to deter local food processors, according to ABPA, a lobby group representing pork and chicken suppliers. The local companies, which have kept production virtually at a normal pace even after plants suffered from outbreaks of the respiratory disease, project a potential 33% rise of pork exports, to up to 1 million tonnes this year, and a potential 5% growth in chicken exports, to 4.450 million tonnes, ABPA executives told a press conference on Wednesday.

Jul 16 - Indonesia produces maiden batch of biodiesel made of 100% palm
Indonesia's state oil company PT Pertamina produced its first successful batch of biodiesel made up of 100% palm oil (D100) in its Dumai refinery last week and is set to produce 1,000 barrels per day (bpd), the company said on Wednesday. Indonesia, which has one of the world's most ambitious biodiesel programmes, raised the bio-content in its biodiesel mandate to 30% (B30) late last year from 20% (B20) before, and is planning to upgrade the bio-content gradually to 100%.

Jul 16 - China buys more soybeans as its U.S. crop buying spree continues
China's U.S. farm product buying spree continued on Wednesday, traders said, with private importers in the Asian nation booking more U.S. soybeans as the end of Brazil's export season approached. Private buyers booked at least five cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Wednesday, or at least 300,000 tonnes, for shipment mostly in October and November from Gulf Coast and Pacific Northwest ports, two U.S. export traders with knowledge of the deals said.

Jul 16 - China asks Brazil to stop exports from 2 meat plants over coronavirus worries, source says
The Chinese government has asked Brazil to suspend exports from two meat plants over concerns about novel coronavirus outbreaks in food-processing facilities in the South American country, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. China has already blocked exports from six meatpacking plants in Brazil, the world's second-hardest-hit country in the pandemic, with nearly 2 million cases of the respiratory disease.

Jul 16 - Part of German abattoir hit by coronavirus can resume slaughtering
Part of a huge German abattoir and meatpacking complex at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak can reopen, German authorities said on Wednesday. The Toennies slaughterhouse and meat packing complex in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck in western Germany has been closed since mid-June after some 1,500 workers tested positive for COVID-19. This caused a lockdown for 600,000 people in the surrounding Guetersloh region that was lifted on July 6.

Jul 16 - India's soybean output set to jump as farmers expand area on ample rains
India's soybean production is set to jump by at least 15% in 2020 from a year earlier as farmers are increasing the oilseed's acreage due to timely arrival of monsoon rains and as New Delhi raised the minimum buying price. Increased production of India's main summer-sown oilseed could help the world's biggest vegetable oil importer trim costly purchases of palm oil, soyoil and sunflower oil from Indonesia, Malaysia, Argentina and Ukraine.

Jul 15 - China books record U.S. corn purchase, also buys soybeans
China booked its biggest single-day U.S. corn purchase on record on Tuesday, its second massive deal for the yellow grain in less than a week, as it tries to meet its trade deal commitments even as tensions between Washington and Beijing rise. China on Friday increased its corn and soybean import forecasts for the current season, as the country was expected to step up purchases from the United States.

Jul 15 - NOPA June U.S. soy crush seen at 162.168 million bushels - survey
U.S. soybean crushings likely fell to a nine-month low in June as rising soybean prices eroded processor margins, 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 crushed in the United States, likely processed 162.168 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates from nine analysts.

Jul 15 - China's Sinograin finds no quality issues with stockpiled corn
China's state stockpiler Sinograin said on Tuesday that an investigation into the quality of corn in one of its warehouses had found none of the problems alleged in a video shared on social media at the weekend. The video posted on China's Weibo platform and viewed by Reuters showed a pile of corn inside a warehouse managed by a Sinograin subsidiary in Zhaodong in Heilongjiang province.

Jul 15 - Green Plains sues Archer Daniels Midland, alleging ethanol market manipulation
Green Plains Inc, one of the biggest U.S. ethanol producers, sued Archer Daniels Midland Co on Tuesday, accusing the global grain trader of manipulating the price of the biofuel to profit from its positions in the derivatives market. Green Plains filed the proposed class action with the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, where it also claimed that senior ADM officials knew of the alleged manipulation.

Jul 15 - China's 2020 summer grain output rises to 142.81 mln tonnes - stats bureau
China's 2020 summer grain output rose 0.9% from the previous year to 142.81 million tonnes, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday. Wheat output rose 0.6% to 131.68 million tonnes from 2019, boosted by higher yields, despite a fall in planted acreage of the grain, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its website.

Jul 15 - Global methane emissions rising due to oil and gas, agriculture - studies
U.S. oil and gas drilling along with agricultural production worldwide are driving up global emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, two new studies show. That marks a shift from the 2000s, when methane output from human activity came mostly from coal mines. But from 2007 through 2017, methane emissions have climbed on leaks from fossil fuel operations and on food production as people around the world eat more meat.

Jul 15 - SovEcon cuts forecast for Russia's 2020 wheat crop 
Sovecon, one of Moscow's leading agriculture consultancies, said on Tuesday it had cut its forecast for Russia's 2020 wheat crop to 79.7 million tonnes from an earlier forecast of 80.8 million tonnes due to low yields in Russia's southern regions. Russia, the world's second largest wheat exporter after the European Union, is harvesting this year's crop amid dry weather in several of its southern regions.

Jul 15 - APK-Inform ups Ukraine 2020 grain harvest forecast to 71.5 mln T
APK-Inform agriculture consultancy on Tuesday increased Ukraine's grain harvest forecast form 2020 to 71.5 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 68.99 million tonnes due to higher than expected wheat output. The consultancy revised up the 2020 wheat harvest to 25.3 million tonnes from 24.5 million a month earlier. APK-Inform also increased its 2020/21 wheat export forecast to 17.3 million tonnes from the previous 16.5 million.

Jul 15 - Egypt purchases 3.5 mln tonnes of wheat during local buying season
Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, said on Tuesday that its local wheat buying season had ended with a total of 3.5 million tonnes purchased from farmers who were largely unaffected by coronavirus disruptions. Egypt exempted farmers from a nationwide nightly curfew imposed to curb the spread of the disease to allow them to harvest their crops uninterrupted.

Jul 15 - Iowa farm billionaire's companies receive U.S. pandemic aid 
Iowa-based seed companies owned or partially owned by billionaire Harry Stine won approval for at least six loans - totaling $2.55 million to $6.35 million - in the first round of the federal government's pandemic aid program for small businesses, an analysis of government data showed. Stine Seed, one of the largest independent U.S. seed companies, produces and sells corn and soybean seeds to farmers around the Midwest. So far, the coronavirus outbreak has not caused serious disruptions for commodity seed companies or dealers, trade groups and industry analysts said.

Jul 15 - UK wheat exports pick up pace in May
British wheat exports rose in May and were running well ahead of the previous season's pace, customs data showed on Tuesday. Wheat exports for the month totalled 95,210 tonnes, up from the previous month's 44,759 tonnes.

Jul 15 - Saudi Arabia starts final phase of flour mill privatisation
Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO announced on Tuesday the start of the second and final phase of the privatisation of the flour milling sector. SAGO said it would begin receiving pre-qualification bids on July 16. The second phase includes the second and fourth milling companies, its statement said, adding that details of the process and timeframe would be published separately.

Jul 14 - China June soybean imports hit record on big Brazilian cargoes 
China's monthly imports of soybeans leapt to a record high in June, jumping 71% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, as a flurry of cargoes arrived from top supplier Brazil. China, the world's top importer of the oilseed, shipped in 11.16 million tonnes in June from 6.51 million a year ago and up 19% from 9.38 million tonnes in May, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Jul 14 - China H1 meat imports up 73.5% - customs 
China imported 4.75 million tonnes of meat including offal in the first six months of the year, customs data showed on Tuesday, up 73.5% on the same period a year ago. Chinese buyers boosted overseas meat purchases after a collapse in domestic pork production caused by an epidemic of African swine fever that has swept the country since 2018.

Jul 14 - U.S. corn rated 69% good-excellent, soybeans 68% - USDA 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 69% of the country's corn crop in good-to-excellent condition in its weekly crop progress report, down 2 percentage points from a week ago, while analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected a smaller decline of 1 percentage point. The USDA rated 68% of the U.S. soybean crop in good-to-excellent condition, down 3 percentage points from 71% the previous week. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected a 1-point decline in soybean ratings. 

Jul 14 - Crop Watch: Producers expect above-average corn, soy yields after timely rains - Braun 
Unusually warm temperatures prevailed across U.S. corn and soybean growing areas last week, though late-week rains supported field conditions for the Crop Watch farmers, who expect above-average yields at this point. Most of the U.S. Corn Belt can expect a break from the heat this week along with periodic showers and storms. That is much improved from earlier forecasts that called for the persistence of the hot and dry weather, and it is good news for the Crop Watch corn fields, many of which are pollinating this week.

Jul 14 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Aug. 16-26 shipment 
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Monday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from Aug. 16 to 26. 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.

Jul 14 - EU 2020/21 soft wheat exports down 62% by July 
The European Union exported 241,577 tonnes of soft wheat from July 1-12, the first two weeks of the 2020/21 season, down 62% from the same time in the previous season, European Commission data showed on Monday. EU barley exports for July 1-12 stood at 76,524 tonnes, down 55%, and maize imports at 357,499 tonnes, down 53%, the data showed.

Jul 14 - China canola oil hits 3-1/2-year high, open interest soars on supply woes 
China's canola oil futures prices rose to its highest in nearly three-and-a-half years on Monday, after previously charting gains for 10 out of 11 weeks, as lower imports due to tensions with Canada spurred supply concerns and higher trading interest. Canola oil prices on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange surged to 7,957 yuan ($1,137.53) per tonne on Monday, its strongest since February 2017. Open interest for the contract also hit an over one-year top.

Jul 14 - EU 2020/21 soybean imports 531,785 T by July 12, rapeseed 8,902 T 
European Union soybean imports over July 1-12 - the first two weeks of the 2020/21 season - totalled 531,785 tonnes, down 19% from the previous season, official EU data showed on Monday. EU rapeseed imports for July 1-12 came to 8,902 tonnes, down 86%. Soymeal imports stood at 506,060 tonnes, down 40%; and palm oil imports were 137,800 tonnes, down 19%.

Jul 14 - China's Sinograin investigates corn quality in northeast warehouse 
China's state grain stockpiler Sinograin is investigating the quality of corn in one of its warehouses in northeastern China, it said in a statement on Sunday, after a video shared on social media alleged that the site was full of mouldy, low-grade corn. A video posted on China's Weibo platform and viewed by Reuters shows a pile of corn inside a warehouse managed by a Sinograin subsidiary in Zhaodong in Heilongjiang province.

Jul 14 - Germans buy better meat, substitutes after abattoir scandal 
Concern about poor working conditions in the meat industry after repeated coronavirus outbreaks at slaughterhouses may speed up a trend among Germans to opt for higher-priced, better quality meat and vegetarian and vegan substitutes. Germany, Europe's biggest pork producer and home to 1,500 varieties of sausage, has seen meat consumption decline for years as people buy less of it driven by health reasons and concerns for animal welfare. 

Jul 14 - European salmon sales to China slowly recovering after virus scare 
European exports of farmed salmon to China are gradually restarting after a temporary halt due to a coronavirus scare, two exporters and Norway's seafood marketing organisation said on Monday. Many Chinese buyers halted imports of salmon and the fish was removed from supermarket shelves after the novel coronavirus was found on a chopping board used to cut salmon at a large food market in Beijing last month.

Jul 13 - China floods blamed for fresh African swine fever outbreaks
Outbreaks of deadly African swine fever are surging in some parts of southern China following heavy rains, analysts and industry sources said, in what could be a big setback for Beijing's goal of replenishing pork supplies. China's hog herd, by far the world's largest, shrank last year by around 180 million pigs, or 40%, after the incurable disease decimated farms. Pig producers are building new farms and restocking amid the push to restore lost pork production and tame runaway meat prices.

Jul 13 - China suspends imports of Ecuador shrimp on coronavirus risk
China on Friday said it was suspending imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers after detecting coronavirus in recent shipments, prompting one of the Ecuadorean producers to accuse China of "tarnishing the reputation" of the industry. China's customs authority said samples from shipments from Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila SA, Empacreci SA and Empacadora Del Pacifico Sociedad Anonima had produced six positive results. However, tests on the frozen shrimp and inner packaging were negative.

Jul 13 - French soft wheat harvest 10% complete by July 6
French farmers had harvested 10% of this year's soft wheat crop by July 6, compared with 4% a week earlier, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday. That was ahead of the 6% harvest progress estimated a year ago, FranceAgriMer's weekly cereal crop data showed.

Jul 13 - China books second-biggest U.S. corn purchase on record, also buys wheat
China booked its second-largest single-day U.S. corn purchase on record, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released on Friday, as the country works to fulfill its Phase 1 trade deal obligation to dramatically increase U.S. farm product imports. The USDA said China bought 765,000 tonnes of corn for shipment in the current marketing year which ends Aug 31 and 600,000 tonnes for shipment in the following year.

Jul 13 - Louis Dreyfus promotes Gelchie to CEO role as McIntosh to retire
Agricultural commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) said on Friday that its CEO Ian Mcintosh will retire in September and current Chief Operating Officer Michael Gelchie will succeed him. Company veteran McIntosh had taken up the CEO role in 2018 in one of a series of management reshuffles under Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, the majority shareholder of the 169-year-old family-owned firm.

Jul 13 - Brazil meat lobby resists rules to space out food plant workers amid pandemic
Meat lobby groups have asked the government of Paraná, Brazil's largest chicken producing and exporting state, to reconsider local regulations aimed at increasing spacing between food plant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Friday. The meat lobby argues that the minimum 1.5-meter (5 feet) distancing required under state norms would reduce output by as much as 43%, Brazil's animal protein association ABPA and two local trade groups said in the joint letter sent on July 2.

Jul 13 - U.S. lowers wheat, corn harvest forecasts as farmers cut acreage
The U.S. government lowered its forecasts for domestic corn and wheat harvests on Thursday due to a cut in acreage estimates, but yields were still expected to remain robust due to good crop weather. The U.S. Agriculture Department's 2020/21 wheat production outlook for 1.824 billion bushels was 2.8% below its June forecast and near the low end of market expectations. The cut sparked a rally in wheat futures, which jumped to their highest since April 24 after the data was released.

Jul 13 - Malaysia's Sime Darby seeks detail after palm oil ban request
Malaysia's Sime Darby Plantation has asked Liberty Shared for more information, it said on Friday, after the activist group made labour abuse allegations in a petition to the United States urging it to ban imports of Sime Darby palm oil. The Hong Kong-based anti-trafficking group said this week it had asked the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection to block Sime Darby's products after finding the presence of forced and child labour on their estates.

Jul 13 - After vigorous monsoon rains, crop planting gathers pace in India
Indian farmers have planted 12 million hectares with summer-sown rice, preliminary farm ministry data for this year showed, up 25% from last year as robust monsoon rains encouraged the expansion of acreage. Buoyed by the plentiful rains, rice farmers are likely to harvest a record crop and step up overseas sales from the world's biggest exporter of the grain.

Jul 13 - German abattoir in coronavirus outbreak stops sub-contracting workers
A German abattoir and meat packing group at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak said on Friday it would hire 1,000 workers and stop using sub-contractors for animal slaughtering and meat processing. The Toennies slaughterhouse and meat packing plant at Rheda-Wiedenbrueck in western Germany has been closed for three weeks after more than 1,500 workers tested positive for COVID-19. This caused a lockdown for 600,000 people in the surrounding Guetersloh region which was lifted this week.

Jul 13 - Funds post biggest CBOT short-covering round in 13 months - Braun
Hot and dry weather across the U.S. Corn Belt had speculators covering more short positions in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds last week, but Friday’s trade ended on a more bearish note as weather forecasts suggested relief is on the way. In the week ended July 7, money managers reduced their net short position in CBOT corn futures and options to 141,741 contracts from 201,648 a week prior, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Jul 10 - China's slower meat imports seen worsening protein shortage 
China's dwindling pace of meat imports, thanks to its tough measures against coronavirus contamination, will provide further support for prices already buoyed by a severe shortage of pork, analysts said. Purchases of pork and other meats have soared this year after domestic production shrank 30% following an outbreak of African swine fever that devastated China's hog herd, but the recent anti-contamination measures threaten to reduce imports.

Jul 10 - Severe bread shortages loom for Syria as fresh U.S. sanctions grip 
Syria could face severe bread shortages for the first time since the start of the war, another challenge for President Bashar al-Assad as he grapples with an economic meltdown and fresh U.S. sanctions, a U.N. official, activists and farmers said. Any major disruptions to Syria's bread subsidy system could undermine the government and threaten a population highly dependent on wheat as rampant inflation drives up food prices. 

Jul 10 - A late 2020 La Nina raises crop risks for already-dry Argentina, Kansas - Braun 
Traders may want to be on alert earlier than usual over the forecast for a possible La Nina later in the year, because although drought does not accompany every episode, some crop-growing regions that are more likely to be negatively affected by La Nina are already dry. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center on Thursday pegged the chance of La Nina developing during the Northern Hemisphere fall at 50-55%, with a 50% chance it will persist through early 2021.

Jul 10 - Malaysia palm oil stockpile down 6.3% at end-June, MPOB says 
Malaysia's palm oil inventories at the end of June fell 6.33% from the previous month, at 1.90 million tonnes, industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said on Friday. June crude palm oil production grew 14.2% from May to 1.89 million tonnes.

Jul 10 - Brazil OKs agrochemicals with weed killer dicamba, banned in the U.S. 
Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture approved several agriculture products that use the chemical dicamba, a weed killer whose use has been blocked by a court in the United States, according to a notice in the government gazette on Thursday. The ministry approved the registry for six dicamba products from Bayer's Monsanto and several smaller Brazilian companies, according to the notice.

Jul 09 - French wheat exports to plunge in 2020/21 after record - FranceAgriMer 
Farm office FranceAgriMer raised its estimate for 2019/20 French soft wheat exports outside the European Union to a new record on Wednesday but forecast shipments would fall steeply in the new season on the back of a much smaller harvest. For the 2019/20 season that ended on June 30, FranceAgriMer pegged soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations at 13.6 million tonnes, compared with 13.45 million forecast last month and 41% above the 2018/19 level.

Jul 09 - Dry Argentine weather puts downward pressure on wheat planting 
Dryness in Argentina is complicating this season's wheat sowing, with the Rosario grains exchange cutting its 2020/21 crop estimate on Wednesday while the Buenos Aires exchange warned that it may reduce its 6.5 million hectare planting estimate. Another wheat-sowing estimate cut by the Buenos Aires exchange would be its third so far this season as persistently dry weather takes its toll on the Pampas grains belt.

Jul 09 - Wheat area in Britain seen down 25% - AHDB survey 
Britain's wheat area is down 25% this year after a wet autumn forced many farmers to switch to spring-planted crops, according to a survey by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. The AHDB put the wheat area at 1.36 million hectares while spring barley plantings jumped 52% to 1.06 million hectares.

Jul 09 - Brazil prosecutors probe coronavirus outbreaks in 10 meat plants in Mato Grosso 
Brazilian labor prosecutors said on Wednesday they were investigating novel coronavirus outbreaks in at least 10 meat processing plants in Mato Grosso state, including confirmed cases at eight plants owned by the world's largest meatpacker JBS SA. Meatpacking plants have been hot spots for spreading the coronavirus in Brazil and the United States as work is often carried out in close quarters and at low temperatures, which generally allow viruses to survive in the air longer.

Jul 09 - Saudi Arabia completes first phase of state mills privatisation 
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had completed the first batch of its flour milling sector privatisation, according to a statement by the state grain buyer and privatisation centre. The long-awaited flour mills sale was one of the first privatisations the kingdom planned as part of a wide-reaching overhaul of its economy.

Jul 08 - Indian households shun downmarket palm oil, cutting demand in lockdown 
Palm oil demand in India, the world's top edible oil importer, is set to plunge this year as coronavirus lockdowns slash food service sector demand and households opt for alternatives at the supermarket. India's palm oil imports could plunge 20% from a year ago to 7.5 million tonnes in the 2019/20 marketing year ending on Oct. 31, said Angshu Mallick, deputy chief executive of Adani Wilmar, a leading edible oil refiner in the country. That would be the lowest imports since 2010/11, according to data from India's Solvent Extractors Association (SEA). 

Jul 08 - U.S. soybean exports closer to USDA targets than corn - Braun 
There are fewer than eight weeks left in the 2019-20 U.S. marketing year, and soybean exports appear more likely to meet the U.S. government’s full-year prediction than those for corn. U.S. corn and soybean exports are seen hitting seven- and six-year lows in 2019-20, respectively, though the exact outcome will be important for setting the starting supply levels for 2020-21, which begins on Sept. 1.

Jul 08 - U.S. government's boxed food aid promise falls short 
The U.S. government delivered far less food aid than it had pledged by the end of June, according to food bank managers and data from the agriculture department sent to Reuters, after it hired inexperienced companies to box food during the pandemic. The Farmers to Families Food Box program, one of several new government efforts to relieve struggling Americans, aimed to take food from farmers typically produced for restaurants and deliver it to the millions of people who lost their jobs or were otherwise hit by the coronavirus lockdown.

Jul 08 - Bayer shares fall after judge questions part of proposed Roundup settlement 
Bayer shares fell more 6% on Tuesday after a U.S. judge questioned part of the German company's proposed settlement to deal with future claims relating to allegations that its widely used weedkiller Roundup caused cancer. Last month Bayer agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle close to 100,000 U.S. lawsuits related to Roundup. 

 Jul 08 - IKAR downgrades its forecast for Russia's 2020 grain crop 
IKAR, one of Russia's leading agriculture consultancies, said on Tuesday that it had downgraded its estimate for the Russian 2020 grain crop by 2 million tonnes to 126 million tonnes due to low yields in part of the country's southern and central regions. Its forecast for Russia's 2020 wheat crop was cut by 1.5 million tonnes to 78 million tonnes, it added in a note.

Jul 08 - CropEnergies expects higher EU ethanol demand as lockdowns ease 
Germany's CropEnergies AG, one of Europe's largest ethanol producers, said on Wednesday demand for bioethanol is likely to recover as easing coronavirus lockdowns across the region enable more people to use automobiles. The company has also significantly increased output of ethanol for disinfectants as fuel demand collapsed after lockdowns were imposed.

Jul 08 - France sees 2020 soft wheat crop down 21% after weather 
France's soft wheat production is expected to fall by almost 21% this year after crops suffered from adverse weather conditions, the French farm ministry said on Tuesday. In its first forecast of this year's soft wheat crop, the ministry projected production at 31.31 million tonnes compared with 39.55 million in 2019.

Jul 08 - German abattoir hit by coronavirus still closed pending hygiene plan 
A huge German slaughterhouse and meat packing plant at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak cannot reopen until authorities are satisfied with its hygiene procedures, the chief executive of the Guetersloh district said on Tuesday. Some 600,000 people in Guetersloh, in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, were forced back into lockdown on June 23 after more than 1,500 workers at the Toennies slaughterhouse and meat packing plant tested positive for COVID-19.

Jul 08 - COVID-19 hit U.S. meat, poultry plant workers hard in April, May - U.S. report 
The coronavirus outbreak took a heavy toll on workers at U.S. meat and poultry processing facilities, with more than 17,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 100 deaths in April and May, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Tuesday. In many rural parts of the country, meatpacking plants have been the main source of local outbreaks as employees are forced to work long hours, indoors and in close proximity to each other. 

Jul 08 - Malaysia's Sime Darby to look into report of forced labour in call for U.S. import ban 
Malaysia's Sime Darby Plantation on Wednesday said it will look into "serious allegations" of forced and child labour conditions in its estates after an activist group petitioned the U.S. Customs to ban imports of its palm oil. The world's largest palm oil company by landsize is the latest Malaysian palm giant to be hit with calls for an import ban following two similar petitions against FGV Holdings in August last year.

Jul 08 - Crop Watch: Corn, soy conditions hold as critical weather period begins - Braun 
Temperatures were warm and rainfall was mostly spotty last week, but none of the U.S. Crop Watch growers reduced condition scores for their corn and soybean fields. The producers are largely pleased with how their crops look at present, though many are concerned with the hot and somewhat dry weather outlook over the next several days. Most of the Crop Watch corn will be pollinating within the next two weeks, and unfavorable conditions during this critical reproductive process can have negative impacts on yield potential. 

Jul 07 - U.S. corn rated 71% good-excellent, soybeans 71% - USDA 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 71% of the country's corn crop in good-to-excellent condition in its weekly crop progress report, down 2 percentage points from a week ago, while analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected a smaller decline of 1 percentage point.  The USDA also rated 71% of the U.S. soybean crop in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average had expected a 1-point decline in soybean ratings. 

Jul 07 - Russia to make grain export quota mechanism permanent - TASS 
Russia aims to use permanently the grain export quota mechanism it introduced in April-June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TASS news agency reported, citing agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev. Russia, the world's biggest wheat exporter, has said that its grain exports will not be subject to any quotas from July to December, but quotas are possible from January to June next year to secure enough domestic supply. 

Jul 07 - Funds cover corn shorts on fewer U.S. acres and adverse weather - Braun 
Speculators were forced to exit massive short positions in Chicago-traded corn last week as the U.S. government’s June acreage survey turned up a much smaller planted corn area than the market expected.  That revelation coincided with a relatively hot and dry weather forecast for the U.S. Corn Belt in the early part of July, sending most-active CBOT corn futures last week to their highest levels since mid-March, right as the coronavirus pandemic was arriving.

Jul 07 - Brazil's JBS says 2.2% of workers at its Goiania beef plant have COVID-19 
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA said 2.2% of workers at its Goiania beef plant have been placed on leave after testing positive for the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a statement sent to Reuters on Monday showed. The unit employs 900 people and remains in operation. The statement came in response to a question about whether JBS would comply with a labor court decision handed down by Judge Camila Vigilato on July 2 ordering the company to test all workers at that facility after an outbreak.

Jul 07 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Aug. 8-18 shipment 
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Monday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from Aug. 8 to 18. 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. Tenders should reach GASC by noon (1000 GMT) on Tuesday. The results should come out after 3:30 p.m. (1330 GMT) on the same day. 

Jul 07 - Court overturns local lockdown on German slaughterhouse town 
A court in western Germany overturned an emergency lockdown imposed in the town of Guetersloh following a coronavirus outbreak in a slaughterhouse there, ruling that the restrictions were disproportionate. The ruling, after some 1,500 workers were infected, throws into doubt the system of quick lockdown responses and rapid track-and-trace on which Germany has been relying to move into the second phase of its fight against the pandemic. 

Jul 06 - France's 2019/20 wheat exports hit record high after strong June 
French soft wheat shipments outside the EU finished the season at a four-year high in June, helping overall 2019/20 exports to reach a record level, Refinitiv data showed. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 1.17 million tonnes last month, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

 Jul 06 - Sent packing: Germany sets out to fry the cheap meat trade 
How much should a slice of meat cost? More, says German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner. Following a coronavirus outbreak at a German abattoir which cast a spotlight on standards in the industry, Kloeckner is trying to wean German households - many on tight budgets - off low-cost meat. "Meat is too cheap," Kloeckner told Reuters. "Lurid advertising with low prices for meat does not fit with appreciation and sustainability ... This is no longer acceptable." Cut price meat, from peppered salami to the traditional sausage or Wurst, is a staple for many German consumers but a recent COVID-19 outbreak at a meat plant in the west of the country has raised questions about some of the measures taken to keep prices down.

Jul 06 - China halts imports from two more Brazil meat plants amid COVID-19 concerns 
China has suspended imports from two Brazilian pork plants owned by meatpackers JBS SA and BRF SA, according to the Chinese customs authority, as it cracks down on meat shipments amid concerns about the new coronavirus.  China is temporarily halting imports from a BRF plant in Lajeado and a JBS-owned Seara brand plant in Tres Passos, both in Brazil's southern Rio Grande do Sul state, according to a posting dated Saturday on the General Administration of Customs China (GACC) website.

Jul 06 - Mass testing at JBS, BRF plants in Center West Brazil town reveals more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases 
Mass testing revealed an outbreak of novel coronavirus infections at plants operated by JBS SA and BRF SA in Brazil's Center West, the labor prosecutor's office in Mato Grosso do Sul state said on Friday, citing company data.  Some 1,075 people at a JBS pork plant tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 1, representing 30% of total tests processed at its Dourados plant, the data revealed. Some 85 workers tested positive at a BRF chicken facility in the same town, where BRF has around 1,500 employees, according to figures updated on Friday afternoon.

Jul 06 - Explosion reported at grain terminal in southeast England 
There was an explosion at a grain terminal at Tilbury around 50 miles (80 km) east of London, emergency services and the port operator said on Friday. Essex Fire Service said it was called to Tilbury Docks at 0855 GMT on Friday and found grain in a silo on fire.

Jul 06 - International banks accuse Argentine soy crusher Vicentin of diverting funds 
Banks owed money by cash-strapped Argentine soy crusher Vicentin are accusing the company of diverting hundreds of millions of dollars and have asked a U.S. court to subpoena records as part of a lawsuit, including wire transfers and bank statements. The case - brought by institutions including Cooperatieve Rabobank, ING Bank, the International Finance Corporation and Natixis - is before the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York. It comes as the Argentine government examines alternatives to Vicentin's planned expropriation.

Jul 06 - China says G4 swine flu virus not new; does not infect humans easily 
China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Saturday that the so-called "G4" strain of swine flu virus is not new and does not infect or sicken humans and animals easily, rebuffing a study published earlier this week. That study, by a team of Chinese scientists and published by the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), warned that a new swine flu virus, named G4, has become more infectious to humans and could become a potential "pandemic virus". 

Jul 06 - Russia's wheat exports may fall in July before rising in autumn, say analysts 
Russian wheat exports will fall in July after a slow start to the harvest but will rise in later months when there will not be export quotas, IKAR and SovEcon agriculture consultancies said. The world's largest wheat exporter, which competes with the European Union, Ukraine and others to supply Africa and the Middle East, began harvesting wheat late this year. Yields have been lower so far but are expected to climb. 

Jul 06 - Malaysia June-end palm oil stocks seen down 4.9% as exports hit 10-month high 
Malaysia's palm oil inventories in June likely fell about 5% from May as a recovery in demand from key importers due to the easing of coronavirus-fuelled curbs lifted exports to a 10-month high. June-end stocks in the world's second-largest producer were seen at 1.94 million tonnes, according to the median estimate of nine planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters. Output was seen up 8% at 1.78 million tonnes, the highest since October.

Jul 03 - World food price index rises in June, first increase in 2020 - U.N.
World food prices rose in June to post their first increase of 2020 and mark a slight rebound after the sharp falls triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, 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 93.2 points last month, up 2.4% on May.

Jul 03 - EU wheat crop on course for 10% drop after weather swings - poll
Unfavourable growing conditions are putting the EU and Britain on course for a 10% drop in wheat output this year, with weather swings creating more uncertainty as harvests start, a Reuters survey showed. The 27-country European Union and Britain, which left the bloc in January, are expected to harvest 131.3 million tonnes of common wheat - or soft wheat - in 2020, according to an average of 15 forecasts by analysts and traders.

Jul 03 - China buys U.S. corn, soybeans 
China booked deals to purchase U.S. corn and soybeans, the U.S. government said on Thursday, the first known sales of U.S. supplies since China asked suppliers to guarantee their cargoes are not contaminated with the novel coronavirus. The U.S. Agriculture Department said that private exporters reported the sale of 202,000 tonnes of corn and 126,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery during the 2020/21 marketing year that begins on Sept. 1.

Jul 03 - EU should end imports made with banned pesticides - farm chief
The European Union should stop importing agricultural goods made using pesticides that are banned within the bloc, the EU's top farming official said on Thursday. "Regarding imports, I don't think we can allow the import of products made with pesticides that are banned in Europe," the EU's Agriculture Commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, said during a video hearing with French senators.

Jul 03 - Banks to tighten lending practices for Singapore commodity sector
Commodity trade financiers in Singapore are teaming up to improve lending practices and transparency after a spate of defaults, four sources with knowledge of the matter said. Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, one of Asia's biggest oil traders, and three other Singapore-based commodity traders ran into financial difficulties this year as oil prices crashed and the coronavirus crisis hit fuel demand.

Jul 03 - Euronext says a second Rouen silo closed for December wheat delivery
Euronext said on Thursday that one of the grain silos operated at Rouen port by logistics group Senalia would be unavailable to receive deliveries of wheat traded through Euronext's December 2020 futures contract. This follows Senalia's agreement to allow Socomac, another export logistics firm, to have exclusive use of the Val de la Haye silo during renovation work at Socomac's own silo at Rouen, Euronext said in a market notice.

Jul 03 - U.S. farmers scramble for help as COVID-19 scuttles immigrant workforce
The novel coronavirus delayed the arrival of seasonal immigrants who normally help harvest U.S. wheat, leaving farmers to depend on high school students, school bus drivers, laid-off oilfield workers and others to run machines that bring in the crop.  As combines work their way north from the Southern Plains of Texas and Oklahoma, farmers and harvesting companies are having a hard time finding and keeping workers. Any delays in the harvest could send wheat prices higher and cause a scramble to secure supplies to make bread and pasta.

  Jul 03 - US EPA puts 2021 biofuel blending mandate proposal on hold indefinitely - sources
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put on hold indefinitely a proposal for the amount of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel next year, two sources familiar with the matter said. Many anticipated the proposal would come out in late June or early July. The EPA was expected to lift biofuel blending obligations in 2021 to 20.17 billion gallons, from 20.09 billion this year, two sources previously told Reuters.

Jul 03 - Dryness in western Argentine farm belt spreads eastward, cuts wheat planting 
Argentina's 2020/21 wheat sowing estimate is 6.5 million hectares, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly crop report on Thursday, citing dry weather as its reason for cutting its previous 6.7 million hectare forecast. "The lack of rainfall and ground moisture deficit affecting a large part of the western farm belt has expanded towards the center-east," the exchange said in the report, adding that 79.1% of this year's wheat crop has been sown so far.

Jul 03 - Brazil's Paranagua returns to normal after strong winds caused disruptions
The port of Paranaguá, Brazil's second busiest for shipping commodities like soybeans and sugar, has resumed activities normally with most berths operational after strong winds caused disruptions earlier in the week. In a statement on Thursday, the Paranaguá port authority said all berths except berth 204 were operating normally. Berth 204 is expected to resume operations on Friday after a shiploader was hit by the strong winds, the authority said.

Jul 02 - Malaysia to file WTO legal action against EU over restrictions on palm biofuel
Malaysia, the world's second largest palm oil producer, will take legal action against the European Union's restrictions on palm oil-based biofuels with the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling the policy a "discriminatory action". Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said on Wednesday the EU's renewable energy directive "restricts free trade practices".

Jul 02 - Ukraine delays setting export quotas for 2020/21 season
Ukraine's government and unions agreed grain trade rules but not export quotas for the 2020/21 July-June season which began on Wednesday, with the latter delayed until at least Aug. 10, the UGA grain traders union said. Ukraine and grain traders sign a memorandum each year under which the government promises to impose no export restrictions on the agreed volume of grain and keep export rules unchanged.

Jul 02 - U.S. Senator Cruz will block EPA nomination over biofuels costs to refiners 
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said on Wednesday he would block the nomination of an Environmental Protection Agency official until the agency brings stability to the rising costs borne by oil refiners for complying with U.S. biofuel blending laws. Cruz, a Republican from Texas, follows a similar statement from Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, who said last week she would block Doug Benevento's nomination for EPA deputy administrator. U.S. President Donald Trump's administration engaged in a years-long effort to modify the nation's biofuels blending laws and satisfy both the refining and corn industries that supported his 2016 election.

Jul 02 - Brazil's 2nd largest port disrupted by strong winds, authority says
The port authority of Brazil's second busiest port for grains and sugar, Paranaguá, said on Wednesday that two shiploaders at the port were displaced by strong winds on Tuesday, but added in a subsequent statement that the situation was gradually returning to normal. At 1 p.m. local time, power supplies to move conveyor belts had been restored, while public berths dedicated to vehicles, overall cargos and containers were expected to resume operations by the end of the day, the port authority said.

Jul 02 - Investors pile into Bayer bond to pay settlement charges
Investors piled into a Bayer bond on Wednesday that will help pay for a long-negotiated settlement of lawsuits claiming its widely-used weedkiller Roundup caused cancer. Demand for the four-tranche bond sale, whose proceeds will include the litigation payments, exceeded 17.5 billion euros, nearly three times the six billion euros Bayer will raise, according to a lead manager update seen by Reuters.

Jul 02 - Johannesburg exchange fines Tongaat over non-compliance
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Wednesday issued a public censure and a maximum fine of 7.5 million rand ($435,000) on sugar producer Tongaat Hulett Ltd due to non-compliance with its listing requirements. The South African exchange operator said due to the company’s full co-operation and remedial actions after its internal review uncovered irregular accounting, it would suspend 2.5 million rand of the fine for five years on condition that Tongaat does not breach the listings requirements during the period.

Jul 01 - Farmers dial back crop plantings as COVID uncertainty rocks markets - USDA
U.S. farmers planted nearly 5 million fewer acres of corn this spring than estimated by the U.S. government in March, the biggest cut in 37 years, as the coronavirus pandemic roils demand for the crop. The drop in corn seedings, as well as an 11.1% cut in cotton plantings, accounted for the bulk of the U.S. Agriculture Department's 7.2 million-acre reduction to its estimate of the amount of major crops seeded this spring.

Jul 01 - China suspends bulk of Dutch pork imports after COVID-19 outbreaks
China has halted almost all imports of pork from the Netherlands, apparently motivated by COVID-19 outbreaks at some of the largest Dutch slaughterhouses. China banned meat delivered by four of the largest Dutch abattoirs as of Sunday, Dutch government spokeswoman Elise van den Bosch said on Tuesday.

Jul 01 - U.S. corn acreage shocker revives carryout scrutiny, threatens record crop - Braun
Market participants have been perplexed that U.S. farmers planned to plant the second-largest corn area in more than eight decades, with futures at 14-year lows and stockpiles expanding to eye-popping volumes. Most historical data supports the idea that American farmers love to plant corn even in trying times. But 2020 offered up enough roadblocks for producers to drastically change plans over the last few months, and the latest acreage number published on Tuesday makes the new-crop balance sheet a little more interesting.

Jul 01 - India buys record amount of wheat, grain bins spill over
India's new season wheat purchases from local farmers rose 13.7% from the prior year's total procurement, further boosting stocks at government granaries that are fast running out of storage space due to more than a decade of bountiful production. Government-backed Food Corporation of India (FCI), which buys grain from farmers at a state-set guaranteed price, has bought a record 38.83 million tonnes of wheat, a government statement showed. Last year, the FCI procured 34.13 million tonnes of wheat.

Jul 01 - Ukraine 2019/20 wheat exports rose 31% to 20.5 mln T - ministry
Ukraine's wheat export rose to 20.5 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season, which runs to June 30, from 15.6 million tonnes in the previous season, the economy ministry said on Tuesday. Ukraine harvested 28.3 million tonnes of wheat in 2019 but expects that the harvest could decrease to 24.5 million tonnes this year due to poor weather.

Jul 01 - New North American trade deal launches under growing threat of disputes
The revamped trade pact between the United States, Canada and Mexico taking effect on Wednesday was meant to create a kind of fortress North America, boosting the region's competitiveness - but cracks are already starting to show in the foundation. As the deal kicks in, the Trump administration is threatening Canada with new aluminum tariffs, and a prominent Mexican labor activist has been jailed, underscoring concerns about crucial labor reforms in the replacement for the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The risk of disputes among the three trading partners is growing, analysts say.

Jul 01 - India sees above average monsoon rainfall in June, accelerating crop sowing
India saw 18% more rainfall than average in June as the monsoon covered the entire country nearly two weeks earlier than usual, the state-run weather office said on Tuesday. Monsoons deliver about 70% of India's annual rainfall and are the lifeblood of its $2.9 trillion economy, spurring farm output and boosting rural spending on items ranging from gold to cars, motorcycles and refrigerators.

Jul 01 - Brazil on grain exporting spree as port activity normal amid pandemic, says Anec
Brazil is expected to export 11.9 million tonnes of soybeans in June, a 37% rise from the same month last year, as Chinese demand remains strong and ports operate normally amid the COVID-19 pandemic, industry group Anec said on Tuesday. Exports of corn from Brazil are seen at 774,850 tonnes in the month based on shipping data, Anec said in a report.

Jul 01 - U.S. biodiesel output falls to 143 million gallons in April - EIA
U.S. biodiesel production fell to 143 million gallons in April from 151 million gallons a month earlier, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report on Tuesday. Soybean oil remained the largest biodiesel feedstock, with 672 million lbs used in April, or about 63 percent of the total. In March, soyoil used in biodiesel production was 656 million lbs.

Jul 01 - Swarms of locusts devastate parts of northern Kenya
The branches on trees around Kenya's northern town of Lodwar have been stripped bare of leaves, bending downwards under the weight of voracious young locusts. Numbers of locusts exploded in East Africa and the Red Sea region in late 2019, exacerbated by atypical weather patterns amplified by climate change. Swarms of insects flew west from Yemen, and this year reached Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Jul 01 - U.S. Senator Grassley backs plan to block EPA nomination over biofuel waivers
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday he supported a plan by one of his Senate colleagues to block the nomination of an Environmental Protection Agency official until the agency makes clear how it would handle requests from oil refiners for retroactive exemptions from their biofuel blending mandates. Grassley and Senator Joni Ernst, both from Iowa, spoke last week with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to discuss the waivers, which biofuel advocates in their state claim hurt farmers by undermining demand for corn-based ethanol, Grassley said on a call with reporters.

Jul 01 - Cotton hits 3-week high after USDA slashes acreage view
ICE cotton futures jumped to their highest level in over three weeks on Tuesday, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered planted acres estimates for the natural fiber crop as it finished the month and quarter with solid gains. The December contract settled up 1.25 cents, or 2.1%, at 60.88 cents per lb. Prices earlier rose to their highest level since June 8, at 61.00 cents.

Jun 30 - Strategie Grains cuts EU rapeseed crop forecast again
Consultancy Strategie Grains has again lowered its forecast for this year's rapeseed harvest in the European Union plus Britain, pegging the crop at 16.54 million tonnes compared with 16.68 million estimated a month ago. The downward revision marked the sixth consecutive monthly cut by Strategie Grains to its EU rapeseed crop forecast and confirmed its expectation that this year's harvest would fall below last year's poor crop and would mark a new low since 2006.

Jun 30 - Brazil says China bans three meatpacking plants amid COVID-19 pandemic
China's General Administration of Customs has temporarily banned the import of meat from three plants in Brazil amid concern over the novel coronavirus, according to the agriculture ministry on Monday. The ministry declined to name the companies affected by the decision and said China had not given a formal reason for the suspensions.

Jun 30 - USDA May soybean crush seen at 180.7 million bushels
The May U.S. soybean crush is expected to dip to 5.421 million short tons, or 180.7 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 180.0 million bushels to 182.0 million bushels, with a median of 180.5 million bushels.

Jun 30 - Chinese researchers warn of new virus in pigs with human pandemic risk
A new flu virus found in Chinese pigs has become more infectious to humans and needs to be watched closely in case it becomes a potential "pandemic virus", a study said, although experts said there is no imminent threat. A team of Chinese researchers looked at influenza viruses found in pigs from 2011 to 2018 and found a "G4" strain of H1N1 that has "all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus", according to the paper, published by the U.S. journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Jun 30 - Will the trade's bet on a historic drop in U.S. corn acres pay off? - Braun 
Industry analysts are expecting an unusually large decline in U.S. corn plantings on Tuesday when the U.S. government issues the results of its second acreage survey of the season. Betting on the extremes does not generally bode well, but there is a decent chance for success this time based on 2020’s exceptionally low prices. The market was caught off guard earlier this year when the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s early March survey suggested farmers would plant 97 million acres of corn, an eight-year high. That was some 2.7% above the pre-report trade guess, among the biggest misses on record.

Jun 30 - Russian wheat export prices fall as harvest of new crop begins
Russian wheat export prices fell last week as the harvesting of the new crop started and global benchmark Chicago futures lost value, analysts said on Monday. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loaded from Black Sea ports was at $200.5 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, down $1.5 from the previous week, SovEcon agriculture consultancy said. Barley prices rose $2 to $175 a tonne.

Jun 30 - Minimal deliveries expected against CBOT July grain, soy futures
Deliveries against Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) July wheat, corn and soybean futures should be light on Tuesday, the first notice day, traders and analysts said on Monday, citing relatively firm cash markets. Traders also noted repairs scheduled to begin next month at several locks on the Illinois River that should limit loadings from grain elevators along the river that serve as CBOT futures delivery points.

Jun 30 - Ontario promises crackdown on recruiters as farm outbreaks grow
The Canadian province of Ontario will crack down on "fly-by-night" recruitment agencies sending workers on to farms, the premier said on Monday, after a testing blitz identified a major coronavirus outbreak on a farm in southwestern Ontario. "We're reaching out to all the farmers, we're getting a list of these recruitment agencies. We found out some are fly-by-nighters just trying to make a quick buck, so we're going to put an end to that," Premier Doug Ford told a press conference.

Jun 30 - Crop Watch: Corn and soy conditions improve on widespread rain -Braun
Warm and dry conditions were beginning to stress the U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybean fields earlier this month, but timely rains over the past several days have bolstered crop health in many areas. However, there are some spots for concern. The North Dakota and Ohio fields missed out on most of the moisture last week, and rain will be needed in the coming days to prevent a decline in ratings. The Kansas corn will pollinate soon, likely in unfavorable weather.

Jun 30 - Agritel sees Ukraine 2020 wheat crop falling to 26.25 mln T
Ukrainian wheat production could fall 7.2% to 26.25 million tonnes this year due to a lower planting area and significant damage in southern regions after a prolonged drought, French consultancy Agritel said on Monday. Agritel's crop estimate, which followed a June 15-19 field tour in Ukraine, is above a Reuters poll average of 25.4 million tonnes released on June 11, but close to grain traders' union UGA's forecast last week of 26.5 million tonnes.

Jun 30 - Amazon deforestation is linked to lower corn yields in Brazil, study says
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon and neighboring savannah may be hurting regional corn yields, according to a new study released on Monday. Roughly one-fifth of Brazil's Amazon has been cleared in the last 50 years, as the country went from being a food importer to a global farming powerhouse. In terms of corn, Brazil is now the world's second largest exporter, after the United States.   

Jun 30 - Canadian farmers plant more wheat in 2020; coronavirus to cause problems
Canadian farmers planted slightly more wheat overall in 2020 than in 2019, but the coronavirus outbreak will pose "unique challenges" in the production and distribution of crops, Statistics Canada said on Monday. Farmers planted 25.0 million acres of wheat, up 1.5% from 2019, thanks in part to a 16.2% boost in durum wheat, which Statscan linked to favorable prices.

Jun 29 - French soft wheat rating stable as barley, durum harvests begin
The condition of French soft wheat was stable last week with 56% of crops rated good or excellent by June 22, as in the previous week, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday. That marked the fourth week in a row in which the good/excellent score for soft wheat, France's main cereal crop, has been unchanged, suggesting rain and moderate temperatures this month brought some relief to crops after a very dry spring.

Jun 29 - Malaysia palm plantations urge govt to let foreign workers return
Malaysian palm plantations have urged the government to let foreign workers return, warning of severe damage to the palm-oil industry if it is not granted an exemption from a hiring freeze. The Malaysian Estate Owners' Association implored the government in a statement on Friday to consider the survival and sustainability of the sector and let grower companies that have been unable to recruit locally hire foreign workers immediately.

Jun 29 - CME Group fines Andersons Inc $2 mln for wheat trading violations
CME Group, parent of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), has ordered The Andersons Inc, an Ohio-based grain business, to pay a $2 million fine for violating futures trading rules in late 2017, the exchange said in a statement on Friday. The Andersons confirmed the settlement in a statement to Reuters and said it cooperated with the CME's investigation.

Jun 29 - Funds boost bullish soy bets but shun corn and wheat -Braun
Speculators continued buying Chicago-traded soybeans last week on improved prospects for U.S. trade with China, though benign U.S. weather forecasts turned them back into corn sellers after a brief round of short covering in the previous week. In the week ended June 23, money managers increased their net short position in CBOT corn futures and options to 277,479 contracts from 270,751 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Jun 29 - Germany pushes for animal welfare levy after abattoir scandal
Germany is making progress towards introducing an animal welfare levy, Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said after talks on Friday on cleaning up the meat trade, which is in the spotlight following an outbreak of the coronavirus at an abattoir. The outbreak at the meat processing plant near Guetersloh has landed more than 600,000 people back in lockdown and raised a debate about standards in Germany's food industry and its reliance on migrant labour, particularly from Romania.

Jun 29 - U.S. food exporters sign safety declarations in lieu of virus-free guarantees
U.S. food and feed exporters are shipping goods to China with letters assuring the safety of their cargo in lieu of official declarations requested by Chinese authorities that guarantee coronavirus-free shipments, a U.S. agricultural export group said on Friday. The commitment statements, drafted by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC), are meant only to assure importers that shipments have been harvested, processed and handled consistent with industry safety standards and guidelines from medical experts.

Jun 29 - Philippines drops multinational rice purchase as Vietnam resumes exports
The Philippine government has dropped a plan to import up to 300,000 tonnes of rice from various governments as its traditional main supplier, Vietnam, has resumed selling grains, the agriculture department said late on Saturday. The Philippines, the world's biggest rice buyer, had planned to import under a government-to-government scheme to ensure sufficient supply during its lean harvest season in the third quarter.

Jun 29 - Locusts invade satellite city of India's capital
Desert locusts on Saturday invaded Gurugram, a satellite city of India's capital New Delhi, prompting authorities to ask people to keep their windows shut and bang utensils to ward off the fast-spreading swarms. Delhi's international airport, which borders Gurugram - home to some of the world's top corporations, has asked pilots to take extra precautions during takeoff and landing due to the locusts, Reuters partner ANI reported.

Jun 29 - Monsoon covers all India earlier than usual, brightens crop prospects
India's annual monsoon, crucial for farm output and economic growth, has rapidly advanced to cover the entire country, spurring crop sowing and alleviating the economic damage caused by a nationwide lockdown to stem the coronavirus. "The southwest monsoon has further advanced into the remaining parts of Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab (states) and thus it has covered the entire country today, June 26," the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement on Friday.

Jun 29 - Solaris trading head leaves Swiss grain firm
Swithun Still has left Solaris Commodities, the Swiss-based firm specialised in trading Russian grains, after leading the firm for eight years, he said on Friday. Still, a well-known figure in the grain industry and former president of international trade association GAFTA, said in a Twitter post that he had resigned from Solaris this week and was now on sabbatical for the next six months.

Jun 26 - China's May soy imports from Brazil hit highest monthly total in 2 years 
China's soybean imports from top supplier Brazil soared in May to their highest in two years, according to customs data released late on Thursday, as backed-up cargoes that were delayed by bad weather in Brazil cleared customs. China, the world's top soybean importer, brought in 8.86 tonnes of Brazilian soybeans in May, the highest since May 2018 and up 41% from last year's 6.3 million tonnes, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Jun 26 - IGC raises forecasts for 2020/21 global wheat, corn crops 
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecast for global wheat production in the 2020/21 season, with improved outlooks for Australia and China more than offsetting a downward revision for the European Union. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body increased its global wheat crop forecast by 2 million tonnes to 768 million, up from the prior season's 762 million.

Jun 26 - Coronavirus kills 93 U.S. meatpacking, food-processing workers, union says 
At least 65 U.S. meatpacking employees and 28 food-processing employees have died from COVID-19, the country's largest meatpacking union said on Thursday, reflecting the steep toll the contagious respiratory disease has taken on essential workers. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said that more than 196 of its members who work in meat and food plants, grocers and healthcare facilities have died from COVID-19, which is caused by the new coronavirus. More than 2,300 members were exposed to or affected by the virus in the last month, the union told reporters on a call.

Jun 26 - Bayer bets on science in bid to prevent future Roundup lawsuits - legal experts 
Seeking to forestall further claims, Bayer AG is taking a risky bet that an independent scientific review will ultimately show that its widely used weed killer Roundup does not cause cancer, legal experts said. The company on Wednesday agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to end the litigation by U.S. Roundup users who say the herbicide caused them to develop a form of blood cancer. 

Jun 26 - EU sharply cuts soft wheat harvest forecast again 
The European Commission on Thursday made another big reduction to its forecast for this year's common wheat harvest in the European Union, lowering expected output to 117.2 million tonnes from 121.5 million estimated a month ago. Projected usable production of common wheat, or soft wheat, in the 2020/21 season would now be more than 10% below last year's crop of 130.9 million, the Commission's supply and demand projections showed.

Jun 26 - Ukraine 2020 grain harvest may drop to 72.4 mln tonnes - state forecaster 
Ukraine's grain harvest is likely to fall to 72.4 million tonnes in 2020 from a record 75.1 million in 2019 due to poor weather, a state weather forecaster said on Thursday. Tetyana Adamenko, the head of the state-run weather forecasting centre's agriculture department, told Reuters the harvest could include 24.5 million tonnes of wheat and around 39 million tonnes of corn.

Jun 26 - Argentina, Brazil monitor massive locust swarm; crop damage seen limited 
Argentina and Brazil are monitoring the movement of a 15-square-kilometer locust swarm in Argentina's northeast, though authorities and specialists said so far it had not caused significant damage to crops in the South American countries. Argentine food safety body SENASA said the swarm, which initially entered Argentina from Paraguay in late May, contained about 40 million insects. It is in the province of Corrientes, near borders with Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Jun 26 - To beat the heat, Vietnam rice farmers resort to planting at night 
Under a pitch-black night sky, a group of Vietnamese farmers planted rice this week in a paddy field on the outskirts of the capital Hanoi using head lamps to illuminate the water-logged ground in front of them. The farmers of the Tam Thanh commune say they have been forced to work at night in the fields to avoid searing temperatures that they say have got worse over the years.

Jun 26 - Morocco's OCP to commission Nigeria, Ghana plants in 2024 
Morocco's OCP Group expects a fertiliser plant in Ghana and an ammonia plant in Nigeria to be operational by 2024, the company's chief growth officer said, adding 2 million tonnes a year to its global output capacity. OCP, the world's biggest phosphates exporter, will build the two plants, each with capacity of 1 million tonnes a year, as part of its push to drive the use of phosphates-based fertilisers in Africa, Soufiyane El Kassi said via email.

Jan 25 - Bayer to pay up to $10.9 bln to settle bulk of Roundup weedkiller cancer lawsuits
Bayer AG, after more than a year of talks, agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle close to 100,000 U.S. lawsuits claiming that its widely-used weedkiller Roundup caused cancer, resolving litigation that has pummeled the company's share price. The German drugs and pesticides maker has come to terms with about 75% of the 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall, it said in a statement on Wednesday of the deal to end legal disputes it inherited with its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto in 2018.

Jan 25 - U.S. senators question meatpackers over exports to China during pandemic
Two prominent U.S. Senate Democrats are pressing America's top meatpackers to disclose by month's end how much pork, beef and chicken they shipped to China during the coronavirus outbreak while warning of possible meat shortages at home. The request from Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker increases scrutiny of companies like Tyson Foods Inc, JBS USA and Smithfield Foods, after thousands of meatpacking workers were infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

Jan 25 - Argentina hits pause on state takeover of embattled soy crusher Vicentin
Argentina is examining alternatives to the planned expropriation of financially ailing soymeal exporter Vicentin, including a possible private-public partnership, Production Minister Matias Kulfas and other sources close to the talks said on Wednesday. Soy farmers owed money by Vicentin could end up as shareholders in the once-mighty company, which went broke after going on a credit-fueled expansion last year.

Jan 25 - U.S. moves to protect lobster industry, threatens tariffs on China
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum aimed at protecting American lobster fishermen who have found export markets drying up, a White House adviser dubbed the "lobster king" said on Wednesday, adding China could face new tariffs. "If those purchase commitments are not met, the United States Trade Representative has been directed to use his discretion to impose ... reciprocal tariffs on the China seafood industry," trade adviser Peter Navarro told reporters. He was referring to $150 million in purchase commitments Beijing made under the so-called Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal.

Jan 25 - China loses appetite for salmon, seafood on virus contamination worries
China's appetite for salmon and other seafood has crashed this month, after a resurgence in coronavirus infections in Beijing was traced to chopping boards for imported salmon in a wholesale food market in the capital. Exporters all the way to Europe are feeling the pinch as the virus scare prompts supermarkets and e-commerce players such as Taobao, and Meituan in China, the world's top consumer of frozen and fresh seafood, to slash salmon sales.

Jan 25 - Most of Ukraine crops are in good state - forecasters
Most Ukrainian spring crops are in good or satisfactory condition thanks to return of warm weather in most of the country, weather forecasters said on Wednesday. APK-Inform agriculture consultancy quoted forecasters' report as saying that only limited area in southern part of the country were still suffering from drought while other part of Ukraine has sufficient moisture content in the soil.

Jan 25 - Chinese grain merchant COFCO International names new CFO
Chinese-owned grain merchant COFCO International has appointed Zhaohui (Christy) Da as its new chief financial officer, effective immediately, the company said on Wednesday. Da, who was previously chief audit officer at COFCO International's main shareholder, state-owned COFCO Corp., succeeds Jing Wu, who has decided to leave the company in September after a transition period, it said in a statement.

Jun 24 - Exporters say China soy buyers want guarantee of coronavirus-free cargoes 
China's soybean buyers are asking exporters to sign a letter guaranteeing their cargoes are not contaminated with the novel coronavirus, U.S., Brazilian and Canadian soy industry officials said on Tuesday. China is trying to prevent any risk of new COVID-19 infections from imported goods as it takes aggressive measures to contain a recent spike in coronavirus infections linked to a sprawling wholesale food market in Beijing. 

Jun 24 - Brazil meatpackers declare exports free from coronavirus at China's request
Brazilian meat processors JBS SA, BRF, Minerva and Marfrig have signed declarations at the request of Chinese authorities, saying their exports are free of the novel coronavirus, according to company sources and a statement. BRF, the world's largest chicken exporter, said in a statement on Tuesday that it had signed a declaration of coronavirus-free exports to China. The company added there was no evidence that the disease is transmitted by food.

Jun 24 - Have gun will travel: Coronavirus at meat plants builds demand for mobile butchers
Slaughtering cattle is a solitary, but personal business for Gerrit vande Bruinhorst, 55, the mobile butcher of Picture Butte, Alberta. On this day, vande Bruinhorst, a .303 rifle in hand, arrives early at a customer's ranch. He wears boots, coveralls and a rubber apron to catch any blood.

Jun 24 - Trump threat to 'decouple' U.S. and China hits trade, investment reality
Conflicting talk from Trump administration officials about "decoupling" the U.S. economy from China is running into a challenging reality: Chinese imports of U.S. goods are rising, investment by American companies into China continues, and markets are wary of separating the world's biggest economies. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro gave Asian markets a scare on Monday night by telling Fox News Channel that the U.S.-China trade deal was "over." U.S. stock futures dropped, the dollar rose, and volatility indices climbed. 

Jun 24 - India clears 500,000 T of corn imports at much-reduced duty in boost for poultry sector
India has authorised imports of 500,000 tonnes of corn this year at a concessional 15% import tax, the government said late on Tuesday, as New Delhi tries to augment supplies of the animal feed for the poultry industry. India, the world's seventh-biggest corn producer, normally imposes a 60% import tax on the grain.

Jun 24 - Bayer nears glyphosate settlement after lengthy talks - sources
Germany's Bayer is set to reach a settlement this week with U.S. plaintiffs that claim its glyphosate-based weedkillers cause cancer, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. After more than a year of talks, however, some details and the overall amount of the settlement have yet to be finalised, one of the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Jun 24 - S.Africa's 2020 maize crop expected to increase by 38% - survey
South African maize farmers are expected to harvest 38% more maize in the 2019/2020 season compared with the previous season after favourable weather conditions boosted yields, a Reuters survey showed on Tuesday. South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast this year's maize production at 15.574 million tonnes, up from 11.275 million harvested in the 2018/2019 season, which was impacted by dry weather conditions, an average estimate by five traders and analysts showed.

Jun 23 - China says Brazil beef exporter, British pork plant suspend shipments over virus 
China, the world's top meat importer, said on Tuesday a Brazilian beef exporter and a pork plant in Britain had voluntarily suspended exports because of coronavirus infections. Many meat exporting nations, such as Brazil and the United States, have seen thousands of cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, among workers in meat plants.

Jun 23 - Does China still need U.S. soybeans after Brazil's export bonanza? - Braun 
U.S. soybean sales to China have finally started to resemble the pre-trade war era, but amid massive Brazilian shipments and the record build in Chinese soybean stocks, one cannot help wondering whether China will end up needing as many soybeans as the United States hopes to export later in the year. As of June 11, China had 3.05 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans booked for delivery in 2020-21, which starts on Sept. 1. That is 

Jun 23 - China issues biosafety certificates for GM soybean, corn imports 
China has approved genetically modified (GM) safety certificates for two new varieties of soybean imports and renewed permits for six others, its agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. The two new GM crops approved are DBN-Ø9ØØ4-6 and MON87751 soybean, requested by Beijing Dabeinong Biotechnology Co Ltd and Monsanto Far East Ltd, respectively, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement. 

Jun 23 - Record fall for U.S. frozen pork supplies as COVID-19 boosted meat prices 
U.S. inventories of frozen pork dropped by more than ever last month as outbreaks of the new coronavirus among meatpacking workers slowed production and pushed up prices, the federal government and analysts said on Monday. The decline shows that meat stocks remained tight after companies like Tyson Foods Inc and WH Group's Smithfield Foods reopened slaughterhouses they had closed in April and May to contain the spread of the highly contagious disease.

Jun 23 - Crop Watch: Favorable growing week ahead after rains hit most fields - Braun 
Most of the U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybean fields welcomed rain over the last several days, but the crops in Illinois, Indiana and North Dakota are still in need of moisture. The corn has hit a growth spurt after recent heat and plenty of sunshine, though the temperatures have moderated and the next few days should be favorable for growing crops. 

Jun 23 - U.S. court blocks California cancer label on Bayer's Roundup weed killer 
A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday blocked California from requiring that Bayer AG label its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup with a cancer warning, handing the company a victory in its ongoing litigation over the product. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Shubb called California's cancer warning misleading and said the state's label is not backed up by regulatory findings.

Jun 23 - EU halves maize import duty to 4.65 euros per tonne 
The European Union cut an import duty on maize (corn) by 55% to 4.65 euros ($5.24) per tonne, the bloc said in its official journal on Tuesday. The reduced tariff, effective as of Tuesday, will also apply to rye and sorghum imports.

Jun 23 - Agritel sees 2020 Russian wheat crop at 77.5 mln tonnes 
The wheat harvest in Russia, the world's biggest exporter of the cereal, is set to reach 77.5 million tonnes this year, up 4% on 2019 and the second largest crop on record despite varied results throughout the country, French consultancy Agritel said. The wheat crop estimate was higher than Russia's agriculture ministry's forecast, but lower than ones from consultancies including IKAR which raised its forecast to 79.5 million tonnes on Monday from a previously expected 78.5 million.

Jun 23 - Coronavirus slowdown squeezes Ivory Coast cotton sector 
Ivory Coast's cotton industry will struggle to cover its costs after exporting just 20% of last season's 210,902 tonnes of fibre because of COVID-19 disruptions in top buying destinations in Asia, the cotton ginners' association told Reuters on Monday. In a normal year, the West African nation would have exported almost all of its fibre by now. Instead, the crisis has caused delays and the cancellation of some contracts with buyers in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, the association's executive secretary said.

Jun 22 - China suspends imports of poultry from Tyson plant over COVID-19 - customs authority
China's customs authority said on Sunday it had suspended imports of poultry products from a plant owned by U.S.-based meat processor Tyson Inc that has been hit by the novel coronavirus. The General Administration of Customs said on its website it had decided on the suspension after the company confirmed a cluster of coronavirus cases at the plant, which is located in Springdale, Arkansas.

Jun 22 - Funds start covering CBOT corn shorts but remain historically bearish - Braun
Speculators began covering short positions in Chicago-traded corn last week amid dry weather in the U.S. Corn Belt, though they still hold by far the most bearish-ever views toward the yellow grain for the time of year. Investors also hold record short positions for mid-June in soybean meal, Kansas City wheat and Minneapolis wheat, as both U.S. and global grain and feed supplies remain ample.

Jun 22 - Mexico to resume sending farmworkers to Canada after safety agreement
Mexico will resume sending temporary farmworkers to Canada after the two countries reached an agreement on improved safety protections for laborers on Canadian farms during the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexican government said on Sunday. Mexico said last Tuesday it would pause sending workers to farms with coronavirus infections after at least two of its nationals died from COVID-19 after outbreaks on 17 Canadian farms. 

Jun 22 - U.S. farming body and Zambian firm partner aim to boost crop yields
An American non-profit organisation has launched a $40 million joint venture with one of Zambia's top farm suppliers to boost crop yields and food security as farmers struggle to access finance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the local company said on Sunday. The chairman of African Green Resources (AGR), Zuneid Yousuf, said the private sector deal with U.S-based African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) included a scheme supporting 250,000 mainly subsistence farmers to double their maize yields and help feed around 10 million people in Zambia and the southern African region.

Jun 22 - Coronavirus outbreak closes British meat-processing plant
An outbreak of COVID-19 cases at a meat processer in northern England owned by British supermarket Asda has caused the plant to close temporarily, the Walmart-owned retailer said on Friday. Asda said it had been working with public health authorities to ensure staff were tested, and that while the factory in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire had not been forced to shut, it had been closed as a precaution. It did not confirm how many cases had been found.

Jun 22 - Argentine court orders reinstatement of executives at top soy crusher Vicentin
An Argentine court on Friday ordered the reinstatement of the original administrators of bankrupt agricultural exporter Vicentin, which President Alberto Fernandez plans to expropriate by way of a bill pending in Congress. A court in the Argentine province of Santa Fe, where Vicentin is headquartered, also ruled that the intervening administrators appointed last week by Fernandez can continue working at the company under the job title of observers.

Jun 22 - Brazil issues new guidelines for meatpackers as coronavirus pandemic ravages plants
The Brazilian government on Friday published new guidelines for meatpackers after a spike of COVID-19 cases at food plants, including keeping workers at least one meter apart, but labor prosecutors criticized the steps as inadequate. No testing is required under the ministry of agriculture's new rules, which were issued after consultations with the labor prosecutor's office.

Jun 19 - Indian growers to pile more pressure on downtrodden cotton market 
Plans by Indian farmers to plant a record amount of cotton this season will pile fresh pressure on global cotton prices already hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. As of June 12, growers in the world's top cotton producing country had planted cotton over an area 23% larger than last year, farm ministry data showed - encouraged after the government raised its buying price to support farmers hurt by a near two-month lockdown that shut textile mills.

Jun 19 - China finds heavy coronavirus traces in seafood, meat sections of Beijing food market
China has found the trading sections for meat and seafood in Beijing's wholesale food market to be severely contaminated with the new coronavirus and suspects the area's low temperature and high humidity may have been contributing factors, officials said on Thursday. Their preliminary report comes as the country's capital tackles a resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the past week linked to the massive Xinfadi food centre, which houses warehouses and trading halls in an area the size of nearly 160 soccer pitches.

Jun 19 - China boosts its record share of world wheat stocks as excess output persists -Braun
With or without China, world wheat stocks are set to reach a new high by mid-2021, though record demand should prevent supplies from becoming too burdensome. However, China is going on its eighth consecutive year of producing more wheat than it uses, further expanding already-massive stockpiles and nudging its share of global wheat supplies to a new record.

Jun 19 - China suspends pork imports from German plant after coronavirus cases
China has suspended pork imports from a plant owned by German meat producer Toennies, a customs document showed on Thursday, a day after the company reported a coronavirus outbreak among workers at the site. Toennies said on Wednesday it had stopped slaughtering at one of its plants after around 400 workers tested positive for the virus. 

Jun 19 - Argentine farmers object to linking sovereign bonds to food exports
Argentina farmers have objected to the government's proposal to tie the interest rate of bonds issued in the country's debt restructuring to the country's agricultural exports. The proposal was included in the government's most recent offer to the holders of about $65 billion in sovereign bonds as a sweetener to get a deal done. 

Jun 19 - U.S. EPA receives 52 new petitions for retroactive biofuel blending waivers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received 52 new petitions for retroactive biofuel blending waivers that, if granted, would help bring oil refiners into compliance with a court ruling this year, EPA data showed on Thursday. The new pending applications for blending exemptions are for compliance years 2011 through 2018. The waivers exempt oil refiners from U.S. laws that require they blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their fuel pool.

Jun 19 - COFCO President Yu Xubo moves to head China General Technology
The president of COFCO, China's top state grains trader, Yu Xubo, has left the company to head China General Technology Group, according to two sources and a company notice. Yu has been removed from his roles at COFCO and appointed chairman and Party secretary at China General Technology, according to a notice published on China General Technology's official WeChat account. 

Jun 19 - UK food producer temporarily shuts Welsh poultry plant after COVID-19 outbreak
One of Britain's biggest food companies, 2 Sisters Food Group, said it suspended production on Thursday at a poultry processing plant in North Wales for 14 days after a COVID-19 outbreak. 2 Sisters Food Group, which produces around a third of all poultry products consumed in the UK, said it would transfer production to the company's other plants until July 2.

Jun 19 - Palm giant Sime Darby publishes high-yielding oil palm genome research
The world's largest producer of sustainable palm oil Sime Darby on Thursday made its million-dollar research into creating higher-yielding oil palm trees publicly available, in a move it said could help the industry slow deforestation. Palm oil is the world's cheapest and most widely used vegetable oil, and is found in everything from cookies to lipstick.

Jun 19 - Private equity firm IG4 to acquire Brazil's grain terminal in Itaqui port
Private equity fund IG4 said on Thursday it has signed a deal with Brazil's CGG Trading and its creditors to acquire CLI, which owns one of the largest grain terminals in the country, in the northern port of Itaqui. The deal includes the restructuring of $236 million in debt owed by CGG Trading and conversion of part of the debt into equity.

Jun 18 - China's meat importers fret about delays as port runs virus tests
China's meat importers fear clearing delays and a hit to demand after one of the country's major ports began requiring coronavirus tests for all meat and seafood containers to prevent contamination. Tianjin on the northern coast, the primary port for Beijing, started testing batches from every arriving container on Monday, two importers and an official briefed on the matter said. 

Jun 18 - Cargill concerned about Brazil government 'insults' to top trade partner China
Insults by Brazilian government officials aimed at China, the country's main trading partner, are detrimental to Brazil's business interests and "not even very smart," the chief executive of Cargill's local operations said on Wednesday. The aggressive stance against China sometimes taken by members of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro's government is "a great cause for concern," Paulo Sousa said in an interview with a local newspaper streamed live on social media.

Jun 18 - Canadian grain exports flowing fast as pandemic lock-downs clear railway space
Canadian grain exporters are boosting sales in a slumping global economy, as demand for commodities like oil weakens and frees up railway space. Brisk crop movement in a country that relies heavily on rail is a bright spot during pandemic lockdowns, which have hammered most industries.

Jun 18 - Louis Dreyfus adds venture capital unit, new innovation head
Agricultural commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Company has launched a venture capital programme to invest in food and farming firms while also announcing a change of head for its innovation business. "Over the coming months, we will invest in early-stage companies with the potential to transform the food and agriculture industries," Chief Executive Ian McIntosh said in a statement on Wednesday.

Jun 18 - Norway's salmon exports to China fell amid virus outbreak
Norwegian salmon exports to China fell by a third last week to 240 tonnes, Norway's state-owned seafood marketing organisation said on Thursday. The 34% decline came as imports of salmon to China were halted towards the end of the week when the novel coronavirus was discovered at stalls processing the fish at a major Beijing wholesale food market. 

Jun 18 - German 2020 wheat crop seen down, hopes for China sales
Germany's 2020 wheat crop will fall 3.7% on the year to 22.21 million tonnes, the country's association of farm cooperatives said in its latest harvest estimate on Wednesday. That is slightly lower than the 22.38 million tonnes it forecast in May as some crops suffered from dry springtime weather.

Jun 18 - China's pig herd increases 3.9% in May as new farms open -ministry
The size of China's pig herd increased 3.9% in May from the previous month, as more newly built pig farms started production, the agriculture ministry said. The sow herd also grew 3.9% in May, said Yang Zhenhai, the head of the ministry's husbandry bureau, according to a statement on the ministry's website.

Jun 18 - German abattoir stops work, schools to close after 400 coronavirus cases
Some 400 workers have tested positive for the new coronavirus at an abattoir in northern Germany, prompting the closure of local schools and an urgent investigation, officials said on Wednesday. Toennies, one of Germany's biggest meat processors, said it had stopped slaughtering on Wednesday and was shutting the abattoir in stages.

Jun 17 - Russia plans no grains export quotas July-Dec 
Russia's grain exports will not be subjected to any quotas from July to December, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday, citing its initial plan. The ministry, however, said it plans to impose grain export quotas in the second half of the season, which runs from January to June 2021, in order to ensure that the domestic market is adequately supplied. 

Jun 17 - Mexico to stop sending workers to Canadian farms hit by coronavirus 
Mexico will stop sending temporary workers to Canadian farms that have registered a coronavirus outbreak and that do not have proper worker protections, Mexico's labor ministry said on Tuesday, although it will not completely suspend the program. The decision came after a coronavirus outbreak in Ontario hit at least 17 farms, killing two Mexican workers aged 24 and 31, and prompting the testing of about 8,000 migrant farm workers.

Jun 17 - Cold May, hot June: Record U.S. corn yield forecast put to the test - Braun 
After last year’s delayed planting drama, the 2020 U.S. corn campaign might seem comparatively boring so far, especially given the low-price environment. While futures markets have yet to reflect any weather-related scares this summer, this year’s weather has been unlike many recent years. The implications of 2020’s unique setup are still to be determined, but the recent heat could challenge the market’s general expectation for record U.S. corn yields.

Jun 17 - Bayer scraps U.S. plans to produce crop chemical blocked by court 
Bayer AG said on Tuesday it will scrap a nearly $1 billion project to produce the chemical dicamba in the United States, but said the move is unrelated to a federal court decision that blocked sales of weed killers based on the product. The German-based company is moving to save cash as it wages an expensive legal battle to fight allegations that another product, its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup, causes cancer. Bayer denies the claims.

Jun 17 - Coronavirus a recipe for disaster for German potatoes 
German demand for potatoes and potato products has collapsed during the coronavirus crisis, meaning the vegetable is being used as animal feed or for making biogas instead, an industry body said on Tuesday. There had been a “catastrophic reduction in sales” of frozen, chilled and dry potato products, the German Association of the Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processing Industry (BOGK) said.

Jun 17 - Syngenta to roll out new digital ag tools in Brazil 
Switzerland-based seed and crop protection company Syngenta has chosen Brazil as the initial market for a new digital agriculture services platform intended to make local grain growers more competitive, a Syngenta executive told Reuters. Because of lockdowns and social distancing, crop consultants including seed advisers and agrochemical distributors have been unable to visit farms, making technology more important to assess field conditions, said Greg Meyers, the company's chief information and digital officer.

Jun 17 - Summer crop sowing speeding up as monsoon covers half of India 
Indian farmers are set to speed up the planting of summer crops as annual monsoon rains have covered more than half of the country and delivered more rainfall than normal, a weather department official and an agriculture analyst said on Tuesday. Monsoons deliver about 70% of India's annual rainfall and are the lifeblood of its $2.5 trillion economy, spurring farm output and boosting rural spending on items ranging from gold to cars, motorcycles and refrigerators.

Jun 17 - Indonesia pushes back target for palm oil fuel refinery to 2026 
Indonesia, the world's largest producer of palm oil, is pushing back by three years its target to produce fuel made entirely from palm oil, a government document showed on Tuesday. The government initially aimed to start producing the so-called "green diesel" in 2023, but is moving the target to 2026, according to a document presented by chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto at a media briefing.

Jun 16 - China halts European salmon imports over suspected link to virus outbreak 
China has halted imports from European salmon suppliers amid fears they might be linked to a coronavirus outbreak at a Beijing market, although experts say the fish itself is unlikely to carry the disease. State-run newspapers reported the virus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at Beijing's Xinfadi market, the source of a cluster of infections that has sparked fears of a second wave of the pandemic in China. 

Jun 16 - Meatpacking workers often absent after Trump order to reopen 
Smithfield Foods Inc is missing about a third of its employees at a South Dakota pork plant because they are quarantined or afraid to return to work after a severe coronavirus outbreak, according to the workers' union. Tyson Foods Inc was forced to briefly close its Storm Lake, Iowa plant - a month after U.S. President Donald Trump's April 28 order telling meatpackers to stay open - as worker absences hobbled its slaughter operations. 

Jun 16 - Australia lowers forecast for beef exports to China as trade ties sour 
Australia has lowered its forecast for beef exports to China, its largest buyer, by 1.5% for the 2020/21 season, the country's chief commodity forecaster said on Tuesday, as trade relations sour. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said it now expects China to buy 227,000 tonnes of beef in the year to June 30, 2021, compared with 230,000 tonnes in its March estimate. That would amount to 30% less than in the year earlier period.

Jun 16 - NOPA May crush drops to 169.584 million bushels, below expectations 
U.S. soybean crushings fell 1.3% in May, missing most analyst estimates, while end-of-month soyoil stocks declined from a near seven-year high, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Monday. NOPA said its members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 169.584 million bushels of soybeans last month, down from 171.754 million bushels in April but up from the 154.796 million bushels crushed in May 2019. 

Jun 16 - Crop Watch: Heat and wind nick corn conditions, rain needed this week - Braun 
Half of the U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybeans are in immediate need of rain after a warm and windy start to June, though the other half, including crops in Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio, can hold off without a drink until the end of the week. Crop conditions deteriorated the most last week for the Kansas fields, and the corn in Illinois and Nebraska have also begun to show signs of moisture stress. Newly emerged plants in North Dakota are also in need of rain, despite the extremely wet planting season that curbed acres.

Jun 16 - EU crop monitor cuts winter grain yield forecasts, lifts maize 
The European Union's crop monitoring service MARS on Monday again cut its yield forecasts for winter grain crops in the bloc this year, citing low rainfall in northwest and eastern Europe, but raised its maize outlook. MARS cut its projected EU soft wheat yield average for 2020 to 5.60 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) from an estimate of 5.72 t/ha in May. The new forecast was 6.6% below last year's yield and 2.8% below the average over the past five years.

Jun 16 - Credit from Safaricom's farming app sows seeds of change in Kenya 
Rachel Bor's neighbours chatted, laughed and shared milky tea from her tarnished kettle as they celebrated their most bountiful maize crop yet on her half-acre plot in Kenya's Rift Valley. The secret behind the successful harvest was the credit they received to buy better quality seeds, fertiliser and pesticides after enrolling on the Digifarm mobile phone platform, the latest innovation by the region's biggest telecoms operator, Safaricom.

Jun 16 - Ukrainian sunoil export prices decrease - APK-Inform 
Ukrainian sunflower oil export prices fell $10 to $18 early this week, hit by a drop in global oil and vegetable oil prices, analyst APK-Inform said on Tuesday. The consultancy said sunoil bid prices were at $750 to $760 per tonne FOB Black Sea, with delivery in June-August. It said asking prices were at $765 to $772 per tonne.

Jun 15 - NOPA May U.S. soy crush seen at 173.071 million bushels - survey 
U.S. soybean crushings likely edged up slightly in May despite narrowing processor margins as export demand for soymeal remained strong, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report due on Monday. The monthly crush is expected to reach the highest ever level for May and the fifth highest for any month on record.

Jun 15 - Funds place record bullish bets on the CBOT soybean-corn spread - Braun 
With China back in the U.S. soybean market and U.S. corn supplies seen hitting 33-year highs, speculators last week established their most bullish ever view of Chicago-traded soybeans relative to corn. Further, investors’ views on soybeans and corn have never varied so drastically, even when considering their most bearish views toward this spread. 

Jun 15 - Argentina soy industry slams bid by government to take over Vicentin 
Argentina's export industry chamber said on Friday it was "deeply concerned" about the government's planned takeover of Vicentin, one of the country's top soy crushers and a key player in the agricultural export sector. The takeover, which will require congressional approval, was announced by President Alberto Fernandez at the start of the week, sending shock waves through the industry as farmers, Vicentin and other exporters fretted that government intervention in the industry could compromise its independence.

Jun 15 - What rebound? North Dakota in economic crunch as virus batters oil, agriculture  When the novel coronavirus first appeared in the United States, North Dakota was in the envious position of having more money in its state coffers than it had budgeted. Now, it is making sweeping cuts to state agencies in a bid to stem the financial bleeding from a historic oil price collapse sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, and a battered farm economy still struggling with the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war.

Jun 15 - French wheat crop stable for second week after punishing spring 
The condition of France's soft wheat crop has been stable for two weeks in a row, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday, suggesting recent rain and cooler temperatures have brought some relief after a parched spring. For the week ending June 8, 56% of soft wheat crops were rated good or excellent, unchanged from the previous two weeks, the data showed. Nevertheless, the rating was well below a score of 80% a year ago and is the lowest since 2011, when there was also a spring drought.

Jun 15 - Louis Dreyfus sells two grain silos in Ukraine 
Global major agriculture company Louis Dreyfus has sold its two Ukrainian grain silos, local media reported on Friday. Ukrainian Elevator Company, owned by Louis Dreyfus group, sold a silo in the central Ukrainian region of Vynnytsya with a capacity of 72,000 tonnes, and a silo in southern Zaporizhzhya region with the capacity of 97,450 tonnes, InVenture said.

Jun 15 - Brazil court orders JBS meat plant closed for COVID-19 testing 
A Brazilian labor court on Friday ordered the closure of a chicken plant owned by the world's largest meatpacker, JBS SA, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul for 14 days while the company's workforce is tested for COVID-19. The court upheld an injunction sought by state health authorities ordering all workers to immediately leave the plant located in Trindade do Sul so that they can be in isolation for two weeks and be tested at the company's expense. JBS did not have any immediate comment on the court order.

Jun 12 - Argentine takeover of soy crusher Vicentin may scuttle Glencore's Renova bid
A planned bid by Glencore to buy out the remaining stake in its Argentine soy crushing joint venture Renova will likely be scuttled by the government's plan for a state takeover of bankrupt partner Vicentin, two sources close to the situation told Reuters. However, the government's planned takeover of Vicentin, which holds 33% of Renova alongside majority partner Glencore, should not dent agricultural exports from Argentina, said both sources, who asked not to be named due to the political sensitivity of the matter.

Jun 12 - USDA raises outlook for corn, wheat stockpiles 
The U.S. government boosted its already robust outlook for domestic corn supplies on Thursday, with a reduction in ethanol production outweighing a cut in the estimate of last fall's harvest. Wheat supplies also were seen rising due to surprise increases in the forecasts for the ongoing U.S. winter wheat harvest and global stocks, which sent futures prices tumbling.

Jun 12 - USDA confirms big U.S. soybean sales to China as buying flurry continues
U.S. exporters reported sales of 720,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Thursday, as active purchases by the world's top soy importer continued for a second straight week. The USDA confirmed the sales after reporting that weekly U.S. soybean export sales last week were the largest in at least 16 months, with the majority slated for shipment to China or undisclosed destinations widely believed to be China.

Jun 12 - U.S. biofuel group in talks with Biden, Trump campaigns to boost industry
A leading U.S. biofuel trade group said on Thursday it had started conversations with the campaigns of both Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and incumbent Donald Trump to discuss potential policy fixes for the ailing industry. The discussions come as the coronavirus pandemic crushes demand for ethanol and other biofuels, and as the industry wages a long-running lobbying effort to strengthen government biofuel consumption mandates that it says have been weakened by Trump's Environmental Protection Agency.

Jun 12 - Strategie Grains cuts EU wheat crop outlook again after dry spring
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday further reduced its forecast for this year's soft wheat harvest in the European Union, saying it expected a hot, dry spring to have hurt crops before rains resumed in June. In a monthly cereal report, the French analyst lowered its estimate of 2020 soft wheat production in the EU plus Britain to 130.9 million tonnes, down 2 million tonnes from its May forecast and now 11% below last year's output.

Jun 12 - Black Sea wheat exports seen steady in 2020/21 - poll
Wheat exports from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will hold steady in 2020/21, a Reuters poll showed, due to a larger crop in Russia and Kazakhstan, making competition easier with the European Union, where output is forecast lower. The bulk of wheat from the bloc is exported via the Black Sea to customers in Africa and the Middle East, also important buyers for the European Union, where analysts expect the crop to decline due to dry spring weather.

Jun 12 - Industry body expects Q3 rise in Malaysian palm oil exports to biggest buyers
Malaysia will export more palm oil to India, China and the European Union, the biggest buyers, in the third quarter after an easing of coronavirus curbs and an export duty exemption, a state agency and industry body forecast on Thursday. Exports from the world's second largest palm oil producer plunged 24% in January to May from the year before as coronavirus lockdowns shuttered restaurants and curbed travel.

Jun 12 - Good yields support slight increase in Argentine soy crop estimate - exchange
Argentina's recently completed 2019/20 soy harvest is estimated at 49.6 million tonnes, a touch higher than a previously estimated 49.5 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly crop report on Thursday. The country is the world's leading exporter of soymeal livestock feed and a major supplier of raw soybeans.

Jun 12 - Cotton futures fall after USDA projects lower world consumption
ICE cotton futures fell on Thursday after a federal supply and demand report projected lower global consumption of the natural fiber and higher ending stocks. Cotton contracts for July settled down 0.49 cent, or 0.81%, at 60.02 cents per lb. Prices had earlier hit a low since June 1 at 59.35.

Jun 12 - Argentina jockeys to get its barley into Chinese beer
Argentina is jockeying to get more of its malt barley into Chinese beer, now that Asia's mega-economy is locked in a trade fight with its top barley supplier Australia, according to industry sources in the South American grains powerhouse. China is the top global importer of malt barley for making pale lagers and other beers, while Saudi Arabia is the top importer of feed barley, which it uses as camel food. 

 Jun 12 - Palm giant Sime Darby publishes high-yielding oil palm genome research
The world's largest producer of sustainable palm oil Sime Darby on Thursday made its million-dollar research into creating higher-yielding oil palm trees publicly available, in a move it said could help the industry slow deforestation. Palm oil is the world's cheapest and most widely used vegetable oil, and is found in everything from cookies to lipstick.

Jun 12 - French lawmakers want hard line in Brexit fishing talks
French lawmakers have urged their government to stay firm over fishing in Brexit negotiations, potentially making it harder for EU negotiator Michel Barnier to reach a compromise with Britain. In a report approved by the National Assembly's European affairs committee on Thursday, lawmakers urged President Emmanuel Macron's government to fight to keep French fishermen's right to work in British waters.

Jun 11 - Cheek by jowl: China pork crisis spurs pig farms' return to cities
China is building industrial pig farms near its urban areas, reversing years of policies to relocate the livestock over waste concerns, as the government prioritises food security over the environment after African swine fever decimated its herds. The world's biggest pork consumer will add about 200 million pigs by constructing new farms around the country to restore output after the swine fever outbreak that started in 2018.
Jun 11 - China buys Argentina sorghum amid U.S., Australia trade disputes - sources
China has accelerated sorghum imports from Argentina, according to sources and shipping data, as buyers diversify their sources of grain imports amid trade disputes with major suppliers Australia and the United States. Importers booked at least two cargoes of sorghum from the South American nation that are expected to arrive at Chinese ports starting in July, according to two sources briefed on the deals.

Jun 11 - Dryness could derail Argentina's hopes for record wheat sowing - exchange
Dryness in Argentina's central agricultural region threatens to derail expectations that farmers will plant a record 7 million hectares of wheat in the 2020/21 cycle, the Rosario grains exchange said on Wednesday in its monthly crop report. The country is a leading wheat exporter and last month the exchange said that if its planting forecast is realized, it could produce a record crop of 22 million tonnes.

Jun 11 - FranceAgriMer raises non-EU soft wheat export forecast again
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday increased its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union to a record amount as brisk shipments continued in the latter stages of the season. In a monthly supply and demand outlook for cereals, the office raised its estimate of soft wheat exports outside the EU in the 2019/20 season that ends on June 30 to 13.45 million tonnes from 13.3 million seen last month.

Jun 11 - Goldman says 'too much, too fast' commodity rally unsustainable
The rally across commodities has gotten ahead of fundamentals with the exception of metals, Goldman Sachs said in a note dated Tuesday, adding that it was hesitant to recommend a long position this early in the cycle. The Wall Street bank sees downside risks in agricultural and energy markets, citing the recent strength as surprising given the massive inventory overhangs and depressed demand.

Jun 11 - SovEcon ups Russia's 2020 grain crop forecast as weather improves
SovEcon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said on Wednesday that it had raised its forecast for Russia's 2020 grain crop as the weather has improved in the key wheat producing and exporting area of the country. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, saw dry weather in several southern regions in April, which hit some of the grain sowings. The healthy rains arrived in May and improved prospects for the crop. Its harvesting usually starts in late June.

Jun 11 - U.S. ethanol use hits 11-week high but is still 10% off ‘normal’ -Braun
Fuel demand has made a strong comeback from the coronavirus gut-punch that had most of the world sheltering in place, though it is still notably off expected levels, leaving a lot of uncertainty over how much U.S. corn demand will ultimately be lost because of slower ethanol output. U.S. fuel ethanol production rose 9% on the week through June 5 to 837,000 barrels per day, which is up 56% from the record low back on April 24 but down nearly 20% from what might be observed this time of year with no disruptions.

Jun 11 - Brazil sells record 87.5% of current soybean crop, says Datagro
The weakening of the Brazilian currency combined with firm port premiums for soybeans has accelerated sales of the current and the future crop, which will be planted around September, according to agribusiness consultancy Datagro on Wednesday. Brazilian farmers as of June 5 had sold 87.5% of the 2019/2020 soybean crop, representing 106.5 million tonnes.

Jun 11 - Brazil cattle slaughtering slumps as COVID-19 hits packers; chicken and pig resilient
The slaughtering of cattle in Brazil over the first quarter slowed to the lowest level since 2012 for the period, reaching 7.25 million head, the government's statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday. IBGE did not provide a reason for the fall, but in March some local companies reduced the number of people on duty at beef plants to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which may partly explain the drop in slaughtering in the world's largest beef exporter.

Jun 11 - Malaysia end-May palm oil stocks fall for first time three months
Malaysia's palm oil inventories by end-May dropped for the first time in three months as production fell, official data showed on Wednesday, despite surveys pegging stockpiles to rise 10%. Inventories at the world's second largest producer were down 0.5% from April to 2.03 million tonnes, according to data by industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

Jun 11 - Egypt's GASC buys 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in tender
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Wednesday it had bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in an international purchase tender. GASC was seeking an unspecified quantity of wheat in an international tender for July 12-22 shipment and said it would pay for the grain under a 180-day deferred payment system.

Jun 11 - Brazil's BRF closes Rio Verde meat plant as it tests workforce for coronavirus 
Food processor BRF SA has closed its largest plant in Brazil since last Friday as it tests some 8,600 workers there for the novel coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. BRF did not provide a timeline for the reopening of the Rio Verde facility, which is located in Goiás state and processes pork and chicken.

Jun 11 - Tyson Foods says cooperating with DoJ in chicken price-fixing probe
Tyson Foods Inc said on Wednesday it was cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice on a price-fixing investigation in the poultry industry, under a program that could protect the meat processor from criminal prosecution. Tyson, which was served with a subpoena in April 2019, said the formal grant under the DoJ's corporate leniency program would mean neither the company nor its employees will face criminal fines, jail time or prosecution.

Jun 10 - Argentina stirs up giant soy market with state takeover
Argentina's state takeover of embattled soy crusher Vicentin is stirring up the country's giant export market of processed soy, the largest in the world, handing the government a strategic toehold in the important sector. The country's center-left Peronist President Alberto Fernandez announced the plan on Monday to rescue the near hundred-year-old firm that had been Argentina's top exporter of soymeal and soybean oil before hitting financial trouble late last year.

Jun 10 - France sees winter barley crop down 12%, rapeseed to stay low
France's farm ministry forecast on Tuesday that the country's 2020 winter barley crop will fall 11.7% from last year to 8.17 million tonnes as unfavourable weather affected growing conditions. The estimate for this year is 9.1% below the average of the past five years.

Jun 10 - Australia raises wheat output forecast by 25% after rain relieves drought 
Australia raised its estimate for wheat production in the 2020/21 season by more than 25% on Wednesday after recent heavy rains broke a three-year drought that has ravaged the country's east coast. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said wheat production for the year ending June 30, 2021 will total 26.7 million tonnes, up from its March estimate of 21.3 million tonnes.

Jun 10 - Republican lawmakers ask U.S. Agriculture Dept to ease regs on meat production
Six Republicans in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee urged the U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday to ease regulations on meat processors that they said make it harder for smaller companies to compete. The price paid to ranchers for cattle dropped and meat prices rose earlier this spring when operations at some slaughterhouses were slowed by workers falling ill with the new coronavirus, while others closed. President Donald Trump responded in May by insisting that the Justice Department open an antitrust probe.

Jun 10 - JBS approved to reopen Brazil beef plant after hundreds test positive for COVID-19
JBS, the world's largest meatpacker, received permission from a court in Brazil's remote state of Rondônia to reopen a beef plant even after 266 employees there tested positive for the COVID-19 respiratory disease, according to a statement from state labor prosecutors on Tuesday. The company confirmed the ruling and said the plant was allowed to resume activities on Friday after the entire workforce there was tested for the novel coronavirus.

Jun 10 - Brazil court ruling says JBS may reopen pork plant closed after COVID-19 outbreak
A Brazilian court has authorized the world's largest meatpacker, JBS SA, to reopen a pork plant in Rio Grande do Sul state struck by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, according to a ruling seen by Reuters. The ruling effectively overturns a court order from June 5 suspending activities at the plant for 14 days following the confirmation that 21 people working there had been infected. JBS, which employs about 1,700 at the pork plant, confirmed an injunction in its favor had been handed down on Tuesday.

Jun 10 - Ontario testing migrant farm workers after coronavirus deaths, severe cases
Ontario has started testing about 8,000 migrant farm workers for COVID-19 in a hard-hit rural region of the province after two young workers died and the coronavirus was found on at least 17 farms, according to the local public health authority. The Ontario outbreak has centered on farms in the Windsor-Essex region, across from the Michigan border. Canadian farmers rely on 60,000 temporary foreign workers predominantly from Latin America and the Caribbean to plant and harvest crops.

Jun 10 - Thailand approves $300 mln aid for drought-stricken sugarcane farmers
Thailand approved 10 billion baht ($319 million) in aid on Tuesday for its sugarcane farmers, whose output has been hit by drought. Thailand is the world's second-largest sugar exporter, behind Brazil, but its production plunged by more than 40% in the December-April season from a year earlier, as it crushed the lowest volume of sugar cane in a decade as a prolonged drought undermined yield.

Jun 10 - Malaysia palm oil stockpile down 0.5% at end-May, MPOB says
Malaysia's palm oil inventories at the end of May were down 0.5% from the previous month, at 2.03 million tonnes, industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said on Wednesday. May crude palm oil production fell 0.09% from April to 1.65 million tonnes.

Jun 10 - UK says it will not budge on fishing rights in Brexit talks 
Britain said on Tuesday it would not waver over fishing rights in Brexit talks and that progress would only be possible when the European Union recognised that. "There are some very tough areas, one of them is fishing," Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt told parliament.

Jan 09 - India plans to hike edible oil import taxes to boost local supply, sources say
India is considering raising import taxes on edible oils as the country seeks to become self-reliant by boosting local oilseed production with the help of tax revenues, two government and two industry officials told Reuters. The tax hike could curb the world's biggest vegetable oils importer's purchases and weigh on Malaysian palm oil, along with soy and sunflower oil prices, while propping up local prices of oilseeds such as rapeseed, soybean and ground nut.

Jan 09 - U.S. corn rated 75% good-excellent, soybeans 72% - USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rated 75% of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition in its weekly crop progress report, up 1 percentage point from a week ago and in line with the average estimate in a Reuters analyst poll. In a report released on Monday, the USDA said corn planting progress reached 97% by Sunday, matching an average of analyst expectations. The figure was up from 93% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 94%.

Jan 09 - Record U.S. pork exports to China in April, but measly volume to others - Braun
U.S. pork exports to China hit an all-time high in April, but exports to all other destinations fell near four-year lows as the U.S. product has become pricier. The United States exported 264,050 tonnes of pork and pork products in April, according to data published Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. That was down 9% from March shipments, which were an all-time high for any month, but up 22% from the previous April.

Jan 09 - Coceral cuts EU soft wheat forecast; raises barley and maize projections
Grain trade association Coceral on Monday lowered its forecast of soft wheat production this year in the European Union and Britain to 129.7 million tonnes from 135.4 million estimated last month. That compared to 146.8 million tonnes harvested last year.

Jan 09 - Argentina moves to take over bankrupt soy crusher Vicentin 
Argentina will take over bankrupt soy-crushing giant Vicentin, with the aim of saving jobs and protecting the country's food exporting sector, President Alberto Fernandez said in a televised address on Monday. Argentina is the world's No. 1 exporter of soymeal livestock feed and Vicentin is one of the country's main producers. Vicentin, founded in 1929, was Argentina's top exporter of processed soy and an iconic brand in the domestic food market.

Jan 09 - Trump administration permits use of weed killer blocked by court
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday that farmers can use existing supplies of an agricultural weed killer linked to crop damage, after a federal court blocked sales and use of the product last week. The EPA said farmers have until July 31 to use supplies of dicamba-based herbicides that they had on hand as of June 3. The products, sold by Bayer AG and rivals, are known to drift away and damage crops that are not resistant to the chemical.

Jan 09 - Russian wheat prices rise, smaller crop expected in one region 
Russian export prices for the new wheat crop, due to be harvested over the summer months of June to August, rose last week as the market anticipated dry weather would mean lower volumes in part of Russia's south, analysts said on Monday. Russia's southern Stavropol region, one of country's main grain producing areas, may see its 2020 crop fall by 40% compared with 2019, Interfax news agency said last week, citing a regional agriculture ministry.

Jan 09 - Crop Watch: Heat speeds up corn, soy growth; N. Dakota planting ends -Braun 
U.S. corn and soybeans finally got a much-needed burst of growth last week with significantly warmer temperatures, and Crop Watch planting wrapped on Saturday with the sowing of soybeans in North Dakota. But like the corn in North Dakota, only a portion of the soybean field was planted due to excessively wet conditions. Crop Watch planting took place over a two-month span beginning April 6, and that was slightly larger than the planting spread in 2019.

Jan 09 - U.S. corn seen rated 75% good-excellent, soybeans 71% - poll
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to rate 75% of the U.S. corn crop in good to excellent condition in its weekly crop progress report, up 1 percentage point from a week ago, according to the average estimate in a survey of 13 analysts on Monday. Estimates for good-to-excellent ratings ranged from 73% to 76%, with the median at 75%. Analysts on average expected the USDA to show corn planting as 97% complete as of Sunday, up from 93% a week earlier.

Jan 09 - Brazil's second-corn crop forecast slashed again on drought
The forecast for Brazil's second-corn crop output was cut for a third time to 65.3 million tonnes on Monday as persistent drought damaged fields, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said referring to farms in the Center-South, where most of the crop is grown. The previous forecast for second-corn output in the region was 66.7 million tonnes. Second corn accounts for 75% of Brazilian total production every year.

Jan 09 - Indonesia April palm oil exports at 2.65 mln tonnes - palm oil assoc 
Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer, exported 2.65 million tonnes of palm oil and its refined products in April, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said on Monday. In comparison, the country exported 2.72 million tonnes of palm oil and its products a month earlier.

Jan 09 - Overfishing on the rise as global consumption climbs - U.N. agency 
More than a third of the fish stocks around the world are being overfished and the problem is particularly acute in developing countries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report on Monday. The FAO said in a biennial report that tackling the issue would require several measures including stronger political will and improved monitoring as fish stocks in areas with less-developed management were in poor shape.

Jun 08 - French soft wheat crop rating stable at nine-year low
The condition of French soft wheat was stable last week, with crop ratings holding at a nine-year low, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday. For the week to June 1, 56% of soft wheat was rated good or excellent, unchanged from the previous week, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal report.

Jun 08 - China's May soybean imports surge as Brazil shipments rise 
China's soybean imports in May surged 27.4% from the previous year, as a large volume of shipments from top supplier Brazil arrived after weather improved in the South American country, customs data showed on Sunday. China, the world's top soybean importer, brought in 9.38 million tonnes of soybeans in May, up from last year's 7.36 million tonnes.

Jun 08 - USDA confirms more U.S. soybean export sales, China seen as likely buyer
U.S. exporters reported large sales of soybeans for a fourth straight day on Friday in deals widely thought to be bound for China, which has accelerated buying this week amid rising prices in top supplier Brazil. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday reported 588,000 tonnes in sales, 258,000 tonnes of which occurred in the past day, the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service said.

Jun 08 - Rain brings respite for EU wheat as smaller harvest looms
Rain in Europe this week has brought relief to parched wheat belts but more moisture is needed to prevent this summer's harvest shrinking further compared with last year's bumper crop, analysts said. A dry spring has increased growing difficulties for wheat crops in parts of Europe after a soggy autumn and winter that cut sowing and prevented crops establishing strong roots.

Jun 08 - China's May meat imports fall 5.3% vs April, customs bureau says
China imported 816,000 tonnes of meat in May, customs data showed on Sunday, down 5.3% from a month earlier. The General Administration of Customs did not provide a comparable figure for the same month a year ago, but data showed imports during the first five months of 2020 soared 73.4% compared with January-May 2019 to 3.85 million tonnes.

Jun 08 - Russia's leading grain producing region sees 2020 crop down 40% - Interfax
Russia's southern Stavropol region, one of country's main grain producing areas, may see its 2020 crop fall by 40% compared with last year due to cold weather and drought, the Interfax news agency said on Friday, citing a regional agriculture ministry. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, is currently expected to harvest a total of 120 million tonnes of grain in 2020, slightly less than in 2019 as yields are set to decline in the southern regions, its agriculture ministry has said.

Jun 08 - Funds enhance bearish corn bets despite rise in CBOT futures -Braun
Speculators have been bearish toward Chicago-traded corn for 10 months and they opened June with the most negative view in more than a year, despite the fact that futures have largely trended upward since the end of April. Corn futures rose in the week ended June 2, but money managers increased their net short position in CBOT corn futures and options during the period to 282,266 contracts from 276,203 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Jun 08 - Brazil court orders JBS pork plant shut for 14 days amid coronavirus fears
A Brazilian judge has suspended activities for 14 days at a pork plant owned by meatpacker JBS SA in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, according to a copy of the decision seen on Friday night. As part of the decision, employees in high-risk groups are to be removed immediately and doctors will be given access to medical records at the plant.

Jun 08 - Malaysia palm oil refiners warn of high costs of meeting EU food safety limits 
Malaysia's palm oil refiners have warned the government that new food safety regulations required by the European Union should not be imposed across the whole industry, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm producer and exporter, said last year it would require refiners to ensure their products meet EU-prescribed levels for food contaminants glycidyl esters (GE) and so-called 3-MCPD esters by 2021.

Jun 08 - Rabbinical reinforcements arrive in Argentina to step up kosher meat exports
Argentina is ready to step up exports of kosher beef following the arrival of 98 rabbis flown into the country from Israel after the government waived travel restrictions aimed at slowing the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the rabbis arrived this week on a chartered flight from Tel Aviv, Argentina's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Jun 08 - Malaysia's exempts palm oil from export duty to boost shipments
Malaysia announced on Friday it would fully exempt palm oil from export duty this year, in a move that traders estimated could boost shipments of the edible oil by 1 million tonnes in the second half of year. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the exemption as part of an economic stimulus package to revitalise industries badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jun 05 - USDA says unknown buyers buy more soybeans; traders cite China again 
U.S. exporters reported the sale of 120,000 tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday. It was the second day in a row that the government announced a soybean sale to unknown destinations, and traders have said that China was the likely buyer both times despite rising political tensions between Beijing and Washington. 

Jun 05 - U.S. court blocks sales of Bayer weed killer in United States 
A U.S. appeals court has blocked Bayer AG from selling an agricultural weed killer in the United States, the latest setback for a business already fighting an expensive legal battle over another product. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency substantially understated the risks related to the use of dicamba, a chemical found in herbicides sold by Bayer and rivals that are sprayed on genetically engineered soybeans and cotton. The herbicides are known to drift away and damage other crops that are not resistant. 

Jun 05 - U.S. soy exports to China at 16-year lows so far in 2020 - Braun 
U.S. soybean exports had a dismal April performance and possibly an even worse showing in May as shipments to China remain historically low, but corn exports hit a one-year high in April and improved on those volumes last month. Soybean sales were relatively strong in May and that could continue since the U.S. oilseed is now cheaper than its Brazilian competitor. With U.S. corn also favorably priced, healthy sales of both are possible in the coming weeks, and those are needed to reach government export expectations.

Jun 05 - 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 05 - Argentine soy harvest ends, farmers rush wheat sowing ahead of rain - exchange
Argentina's soy harvest has nearly concluded with 98.6% of the planted area yielding an average of 2.96 tonnes per hectare and the season's crop estimate unchanged at 49.5 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday. The country's 2019/20 corn crop was 55.6% concluded at an average yield of 8.9 tonnes per hectare and the full harvest projected at 50 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous estimate, the exchange said in its weekly report.

Jun 05 - World food price index hits 17-month low in May - U.N. 
World food prices fell for a fourth consecutive month in May, hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic which has stymied demand, 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 162.5 points last month, down 1.9% on April.

Jun 05 - Jordan issues new tender to buy 120,000 tonnes wheat - trade
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 Thursday. The tender closes on June 17. Shipment is sought in a series of possible combinations in 60,000 tonne consignments between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.

Jun 05 - Egypt procures 3.3 mln tonnes of local wheat so far this season 
Egypt's supply ministry said on Thursday it had procured 3.3 million tonnes of local wheat so far this season, which runs from mid April until June. The ministry has said it aims to procure 3.6 million tonnes in total this season, and President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi has urged farmers to sell as much as possible to the government.

Jun 05 - In rare bipartisan bill, U.S. senators tackle climate change via agriculture
U.S. senators on Thursday introduced a bipartisan bill that would direct the Agriculture Department to help farmers, ranchers and landowners use carbon dioxide-absorbing practices to generate carbon credits, a rare collaboration on climate change. The proposed Growing Climate Solutions Act directs the USDA to create a program that would help the agriculture sector gain access to revenue from greenhouse gas offset credit markets.

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.