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

Aug 21 - Trump White House seeks to assuage farmer unrest over biofuel policy - sources 
President Donald Trump's administration has been scrambling to stem the tide of rising anger in Farm Belt states after its decision this month to allow numerous oil refiners to mix less ethanol into their gasoline, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. Trump held a two-hour meeting on Monday with members of his Cabinet after hearing blowback from farmers after the decision to grant exemptions from the nation's biofuel laws to 31 refineries, two sources familiar with the discussions said. Trump's re-election campaign team also took notice of Democratic presidential candidates seizing on the unrest, the sources said.

 
Aug 21 - Fearing tobacco's fate, palm oil industry fights back 
On the morning of Feb. 26, executives from a Washington consultancy presented a strategy paper to some of the most powerful officials in the Malaysian palm oil industry. The message: Don't allow environmental activists and Western governments to tarnish palm oil to the extent that it ends up a pariah product, like tobacco.

Aug 21 - As trade war drags on, new Bunge CEO looks to avoid 'stroke-of-the-pen' risk 
A year removed from a losing bet that the U.S.-China trade war would be promptly resolved, global grains trader Bunge Ltd is facing an even more uncertain business environment, with a new chief executive who is determined not to get burned again. Gregory Heckman, who joined Bunge's board late last year and took on the CEO role in January, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday improving risk management at the 200-year-old company is a key focus as he oversees a portfolio review that is expected to last through the middle of 2020.

Aug 21 - Ukraine 2019 wheat harvest and exports seen rising - traders' union 
Ukraine's 2019 wheat harvest is expected to rise to 27.72 million tonnes from 24.83 million tonnes last year, according to data from grain traders' union UZA. Wheat exports could reach 21 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season, which started on July 1, compared with 15.53 million tonnes in 2018/19, the forecast data showed on Tuesday.

Aug 21 - Nebraska corn, soy crop prospects nearly in 3-year average - Pro Farmer crop tour 
Corn and soybean yield prospects for crops growing in Nebraska were down slightly from last year but not far off the three-year average, scouts on an annual tour of top U.S. production states found on Tuesday. The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour estimated Nebraska corn yields at 172.55 bushels per acre (bpa), down from 179.17 bpa in 2018 but up from the tour's three-year average of 167.73 bpa for the country's No. 3 corn state.

Aug 21 - Indiana corn yields, soy pod counts seen down from 2018 tour - Pro Farmer 
Indiana corn and soybean yield prospects were down from last year and the three-year average, scouts on an annual tour of top U.S. production states found on Tuesday. Indiana corn yields were projected lower than a year ago at 161.46 bushels per acre, the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour said on Tuesday. That figure is below the 2018 crop tour average of 182.33 bpa and the three-year crop tour average of 175.66.

Aug 21 - Global dairy prices flat, milk powder surges at fortnightly auction 
Global dairy prices were largely flat at an auction early on Wednesday, but key product whole milk powder posted surprisingly strong gains on increased demand from Asia. The GDT Price Index edged down 0.2%, with an average selling price of $3,255 per tonne, having fallen 2.6% at the previous sale two weeks earlier.

Aug 20 - China pig farmer profits soar after disease wipes out third of herd, boosts prices 
Pig breeders in China who have managed to keep fatal African swine fever off their farms since outbreaks began a year ago are now set to reap rewards, with some in line for record profits of $200 per hog thanks to soaring prices. The virus has reached every province of the world's top pork producer. The pig herd shrank a third in July from the same month a year ago, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, though many observers believe half the herd is already gone.

 
Aug 20 - USDA's lofty corn, soy yields under scrutiny by U.S. Crop Tour -Braun 
Many agriculture market watchers were perplexed by the larger-than-expected U.S. corn and soybean yields forecast by the Department of Agriculture on Aug. 12, and some of those folks this week will have a chance to get out into the fields to inspect for themselves. U.S. corn was sown at a record-slow pace this spring and soybean planting was close to record slow, so the crops remain developmentally behind schedule. This, along with some pockets of questionable weather across the Midwest, is a big reason why USDA’s 169.5 bushel-per-acre (bpa) corn yield forecast does not sit well with some market participants.

Aug 20 - Romanian wheat cannot meet Algeria's bug damage threshold 
Romanian wheat from this year's harvest is "effectively barred" from Algeria's import tenders due to a strict, 0.1% limit on bug damage, a trading house in southern Romania said on Monday. "That's a really crazy bug content threshold. No Romanian wheat can meet this requirement as the last period was marred by drought here, helping bug levels to pick up," the head of a large trading house told Reuters.

Aug 20 - Pro Farmer crop tour finds below average corn yield in northwest Ohio 
Corn yield potential was far below average in northwestern Ohio, scouts on the annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour said on Monday, after a wet spring delayed plantings across wide swaths of the U.S. Midwest. Weather woes and uncertain demand from China due to the ongoing trade war have plagued the Midwest Farm Belt this season. Heavy rains early left some areas with large empty gaps in soybean fields, and recent dry weather appears to be causing some corn plant stress.

Aug 20 - Indonesian planters see drought hitting palm oil output 
Leading palm oil players in Indonesia see production growth being hit in the short to medium term, as the world's top grower of the edible oil faces drought across major planting regions that is expected to delay fruit ripening and lower output. Drought has hit large parts of the archipelago as a mild El Nino disrupts the dry season, weather officials say, with its peak now expected to run from mid-August to mid-September. The number of hotspots have also been increasing.

Aug 19 - India says probing jump in refined palm oil imports from Malaysia 
India has initiated a probe into whether a jump in refined palm oil shipments from Malaysia is causing serious injury to domestic industry, the trade ministry's investigative arm said in a statement. Malaysian exports of refined palm oil to India, the world's biggest importer of edible oils, jumped 727% in the first half of 2019 to 1.57 million tonnes compared with the same period a year before, according to data compiled by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

 
Aug 19 - Funds' bullish corn bets survive USDA's bearish surprise - Braun 
The agriculture market last week severely underestimated U.S. corn production ahead of a highly anticipated government report, but speculators were much lighter sellers of Chicago-traded corn than was predicted amid the dramatic market reaction. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Aug. 12 placed domestic corn production at 13.9 billion bushels, more than 5% greater than the trade was expecting. That was by far the largest miss on either side of the number in August in at least 20 years, potentially ever.

Aug 19 - Malaysian PM urges Britain to 'break with Europe' on palm oil - Bloomberg 
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday called on Britain to engage with palm oil growers to incentivise sustainable production, rather than pursuing boycotts after its scheduled exit from the European Union (EU) on Oct. 31. Mahathir's comments, carried in on opinion column for news agency Bloomberg, follow a move by the EU to phase out palm oil usage in biofuels. Top growers Indonesia and Malaysia have said they would file a complaint to the World Trade Organization to challenge the move.

Aug 19 - Trump intervention triggered EPA's surprise biofuel waiver decision - sources 
A phone call from U.S. President Donald Trump last week ended a nearly two-month-long review of the nation's biofuels program, three sources familiar with the matter said, with the White House siding in favor of oil refiners over corn growers. Trump gave Andrew Wheeler, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the green light for the regulator to announce it had granted 31 small refinery exemptions out of the 40 applications, saying he wanted the issue off his desk, the sources said.

Aug 19 - Crop Watch: Corn, soy yield hopes improve on widespread rain - Braun 
U.S. Crop Watch producers collectively raised their yield expectations for both corn and soybeans this week after most of the locations received much-needed rain. However, those increases were tempered by reductions in both condition and yield in the Eastern Corn Belt as crops there need moisture. Temperatures have generally been very mild and favorable for the crops this summer, but several Crop Watch growers report that slightly above average temperatures would be preferred going forward as the crop lags in maturity.

Aug 19 - Deforestation in Brazil, vote in Argentina endanger EU-Mercosur pact 
Brazil's backsliding on Amazon conservation under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and a likely Peronist return to power in Argentina could delay or even derail ratification of an EU-Mercosur trade agreement that took two decades to negotiate. Deforestation has surged since Bolsonaro's election last year. His plans to develop the Amazon and moves to weaken rainforestprotection have alarmed environmentalists and given ammunition to European opponents of the trade deal with the South American common market.

Aug 19 - Brazil soybeans coveted by China, local crushing industry 
Brazil's soybean market got another boost this week with local oilseeds processors increasingly competing with Chinese buyers for one of Brazil's most prized export commodities, causing prices in local currency to spike. While traders reported Chinese buying more than 1 million tonnes of soybeans from Brazil and Argentina in the last two days alone, farmers have also been selling their beans to local crushers, who need them to produce biofuel and animal feed.

Aug 19 - Canada to pay dairy farmers hurt by trade deals as election nears 
Canada will spend C$1.75 billion ($1.32 billion) over eight years to compensate dairy farmers facing greater competition due to free trade deals, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government said on Friday, attempting to satisfy an influential group of voters two months before a national election. The payments to dairy farmers recognize sales they have lost after trade pacts were struck with the European Union and Pacific nations, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in an announcement made at a dairy farm in Compton, Quebec.

Aug 16 - China set to deepen Argentine trade ties with bid for grains "superhighway" 
Chinese state-owned construction giant CCCC is preparing a bid to dredge Argentina's Parana River, the country's main cargo superhighway that takes soy and corn from the Pampas farm belt to the shipping lanes of the south Atlantic and the world. Representatives of China Communications Construction Co Ltd and its Shanghai Dredging unit have met with Argentine government and local port officials to sound out the dredging concession, according to three people involved in the talks, which have not been previously reported.

Aug 16 - NOPA July soy crush tops most estimates, jumps to 168.093 million bushels 
The U.S. soybean crush in July topped most trade estimates and surged from a 21-month low in June to the sixth-highest for any month on record, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Thursday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans processed in the United States, crushed 168.093 million bushels of soybeans in July, the highest-ever for the month and the largest monthly crush since March, according to NOPA data.

Aug 16 - China bought U.S. pork last week as Beijing declared halt in U.S. farm purchases 
China made its biggest purchases of U.S. pork in seven weeks last week as Beijing said Chinese companies suspended purchases of American agricultural products, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data issued on Thursday. The world's largest pork consumer bought 10,211 tonnes of U.S. pork between Aug. 2-8 for shipment in 2019 as a highly contagious swine disease continued to ravage the Chinese hog herd.

Aug 16 - Strategie Grains raises forecasts for EU wheat harvest and exports 
Strategie Grains has made a sharp increase to its forecasts for European Union production and exports of soft wheat this season, citing strong harvest expectations in France and Britain together with increasingly competitive EU export prices. The French consultancy now sees 2019/20 soft wheat production in the EU at 142.9 million tonnes, up from 140.6 million tonnes projected in July and 12% above last year's drought-hit crop, it said in a monthly grain report.

Aug 16 - Market ideas for U.S. corn yield still clash drastically with USDA - Braun 
Virtually no one in the agriculture market was prepared to see such a high U.S. corn yield from the U.S. government on Monday. This, coupled with a larger-than-expected planted area, sent Chicago corn futures on their steepest two-day fall in more than six years. But Twitter users think U.S. corn yield is likely to end up much lower than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s peg of 169.5 bushels per acre. In fact, USDA’s hefty number hardly swayed the crowd from their expectations prior to Monday’s report.

Aug 16 - Egypt’s GASC buys 295,000 T Russian and Ukrainian wheat in tender 
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said it bought 295,000 tonnes of wheat on Thursday at an international purchase tender for the grain. GASC said the purchase was comprised of 175,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 120,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat.

Aug 16 - CFTC says Kraft, Mondelez to pay $16 million in wheat price manipulation case 
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Thursday Kraft Heinz Co and Mondelez International Inc will have to pay $16 million in penalty regarding a wheat manipulation case that dates back to 2015. Kraft Heinz, which was Kraft Foods until 2015, and Mondelez bought $90 million of December 2011 wheat futures, which gave the companies a dominant position in the market, even though they never intended to take possession of the grain, the CFTC said.

Aug 16 - Not-so-golden fleece: Australian wool prices plunge amid Sino-U.S. trade war 
The price of Australian wool favoured by Chinese clothing makers has dropped as much as 20% in the last fortnight, sales reports show, with would-be bidders shunning auctions as the Sino-U.S trade war ramped up. The plunge began immediately after an Aug. 1 announcement from Washington that fresh tariffs on Chinese imports would include clothes and shoes, sapping wool-demand from factories in China that churn out everything from street fashions to sports gear.

Aug 16 - Russia's VTB expands grain export business with acquisition of trader 
Russian state-controlled bank VTB said on Thursday that it had completed its purchase of a 70% stake in local grain trader Mirogroup, expanding the lender's diversification into the grain export business. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter and the expansion of VTB, the country's second-largest lender, in grain export infrastructure in recent months has been seen by some traders as a sign of the Russian government tightening the grip over the sector.

Aug 15 - EU wheat harvest goes well after heatwave, late rain a worry 
Wheat harvesting is coming to an end in the European Union’s largest producing countries but repeated rain in recent weeks is causing concern about quality loss in some areas, experts said on Wednesday. Harvesting is almost finished in France, Germany and Poland but rain is interrupting work in Britain. In the EU's largest producer France, a big, good quality crop is expected with little impact from the summer heatwave.

 
Aug 15 - Brazil 'revisiting' 2018, 2019 soybean output estimates - official 
Brazil is "revisiting" its soybean output estimates for the 2018 and 2019 crop seasons, an official told Reuters on Wednesday, as discrepancies with private-sector estimates raised doubts about the accuracy of the government's supply and demand figures. Guilherme Bastos, director of information and public policy at food statistics agency Conab, mentioned a hefty soybean export forecast from oilseeds association Abiove as one factor triggering the ongoing revision.

Aug 15 - Germany seeks new wheat export markets as Saudi opens to Russia
German wheat exporters are seeking access to new markets including China, Mexico and Indonesia, an industry association said, following signals that Saudi Arabia is about to open up to imports from Russia. Saudi Arabia has been Germany's biggest market for wheat exports in recent years, but German firms face much tougher competition after Saudi state grain buyer SAGO said last Thursday that it will relax quality specifications for wheat imports from its next tender. The move is seen as opening the door to Black Sea imports, especially from Russia. 

Aug 15 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Sept. 15-30 shipment 
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from Sept. 15 to 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 15 - Brazil's JBS posts strong second quarter results, bolstered by Asian demand 
JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, on Wednesday reported net income of 2.184 billion reais ($539 million) in the second quarter, beating analysts' expectations as an outbreak of African swine fever in Asia boosted exports. According to a securities filing, the São Paulo-based company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totaled 5.099 billion reais, an all-time record and above analysts' expectations of 4.535 billion reais.

Aug 15 - Australian wool prices a casualty in U.S.-China trade war
Wool prices in the world's dominant exporter, Australia, are plunging after Chinese mills closed their order books, with buyers citing an escalation in the U.S.-Sino trade war. The price of wool grades popular with Chinese garment makers fell by up to 7% at auctions across the country on Wednesday, sales reports show. Those same grades - popular with Chinese garment-makers - fell by double-digits a week ago.

Aug 14 - Resetting U.S. corn expectations after USDA's acreage shocker - Braun 
For the second time in less than two months, overly aggressive market expectations for the U.S. corn crop tanked Chicago corn futures on Monday when the U.S. Department of Agriculture published its latest round of reports. Analysts did not think it was possible for U.S. farmers to have planted as many acres as were reported on Monday as excessive spring rains led to the most delayed corn planting season perhaps ever. But data has been increasingly supportive of a higher corn acreage than everybody thought.

 
Aug 14 - EU imposes duties of up to 18% on Indonesian biodiesel
The European Commission on Tuesday imposed countervailing duties of 8% to 18% on imports of subsidised biodiesel from Indonesia, saying the move aimed to restore a level playing field for European Union producers. "The new import duties are imposed on a provisional basis and the investigation will continue with a possibility to impose definitive measures by mid-December 2019," the EU executive said in a statement.

Aug 14 - Trump avoids becoming the Grinch, but weakens trade hand with China: Russell 
President Donald Trump has inadvertently admitted that the United States no longer holds the whip hand in the ongoing trade dispute with China, after backtracking on his latest escalation of the tariff war. Tariffs of 10% were due to be imposed on the remaining $300 billion of annual imports from China on Sept. 1, but some will now only come into effect on Dec. 15, the U.S. Trade Representative's Office announced on Wednesday. 

Aug 14 - U.S. President Trump asked Japan PM to buy farm products - Kyodo 
U.S. President Donald Trump has directly asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to buy farm products worth a 'huge amount', Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified Japanese and U.S. government sources. Japan and the United States have agreed to target a broad deal on bilateral trade by September, seeking to bridge differences of opinion over tariffs on beef and the automobile sector, the Nikkei business daily reported earlier this month. 

Aug 14 - Ukraine 2019 wheat harvest 98% complete at 27.9 mln T - ministry 
Ukrainian farmers have almost completed the 2019 wheat harvest, threshing 27.9 million tonnes from 98% of the sown area, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. Ukraine had harvested a total of 38 million tonnes of early grain by Aug. 13, it said, and expects its 2019 grain crop to be in line with last year's level of around 70 million tonnes.

Aug 14 - Swine fever takes toll on profit at Chinese pork giant WH Group 
China's WH Group on Tuesday reported a 16.9% fall in first-half profit as higher meat prices due to a devastating hog disease hurt margins at the world's top pork processor. Profit attributable to owners of the company, before biological fair value adjustments, came to $463 million compared with $557 million a year earlier, while operating profit fell 11.8% to $765 million.

Aug 13 - USDA sees bigger-than-expected U.S. corn crop despite weather threat 
The U.S. corn harvest will be bigger than previously forecast, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday, as the government issued a surprise boost to its outlook despite concerns about a wet spring and dry summer. For the 2019/20 crop year, the corn harvest will total 13.901 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 169.5 bushels per acre, the USDA predicted in its monthly supply and demand report. 

 
Aug 13 - Argentina farmers digest primary election shock, wait to export despite weaker peso 
Argentina's key grains export sector became instantly more competitive on Monday when the local peso weakened over 15% against the U.S. dollar, but farmers said they would wait to see where the currency settles before selling. With some analysts forecasting an even weaker peso ahead and growers fearing a return to interventionist economics under the opposition Peronists, selling was muted as Argentines processed President Mauricio Macri's shockingly poor primary performance against challenger Alberto Fernandez.

Aug 13 - Dreyfus sees Brazil, Argentina soy flows surging on U.S.-China dispute 
Global commodities trader Luis Dreyfus Co is prepared for another unusually strong second half for Brazil's soy exports to Asia as the U.S.-China trade war drags on, with Argentina poised to profit as well this year, a senior executive told Reuters. Dreyfus benefited the most from last year's surprise second-half boom in soybean exports to China resulting from U.S. trade tensions, opening an unusual window for South American soy later in the year, when the timing of harvests often favors U.S. soy.

Aug 13 - Crop Watch: More rain preferred for corn, soy, but mild temperatures help - Braun 
U.S. Crop Watch producers’ corn and soybean expectations were mostly unchanged on the week, though soybean potential may be better than previously expected in the northernmost states. Almost every location needed rain a week ago and many have observed some moisture over the last several days, though places like Nebraska, Kansas, and now North Dakota need precipitation to maintain crop potential.

Aug 13 - China cuts 2018/19 soybean import estimates 
China's agriculture ministry said on Monday it has revised down its estimate for 2018/19 soybean imports to 83.5 million tonnes, down 1.5 million tonnes from last month's estimate, due to lower-than-expected shipments in July. The ministry also upgraded its estimate for 2018/19 corn imports to 4 million tonnes, an increase of 700,000 tonnes from the previous month. The revised higher estimate for corn imports was mainly due to a significant reduction in U.S. sorghum imports, it said.

Aug 13 - Tyson to rebuild plant after fire, assures weekly pay for full-time workers 
U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods Inc said on Monday it will rebuild a Kansas beef plant after a fire heavily damaged the facility last week and that full-time, active employees would be paid weekly until production resumes. The company said the plant would be down "indefinitely" after the Friday night fire, which idled some 3,800 workers. 

Aug 12 - Malaysian Cash Market Prices for Palm Oil Unavailable
- Data for a.m. and p.m. Malaysian cash market prices for palm oil are unavailable due to “Eid Ul Adah Mubarak” holiday.

Aug 12 - USDA acreage debate pushes U.S. farmers, grain traders on data hunt  
As severe weather ravaged the U.S. Midwest this spring, agricultural software company Sentera was swamped with frustrated farmers and traders uploading drone videos of waterlogged crop fields. Farmers wanted the Minneapolis-based data company to help analyze how much acreage could still be planted, and spot damaged fields after floods kept farming states underwater for weeks.

 
Aug 12 - Crop invaders: China's small farmers struggle to defeat armyworm 
Yan Wenliu leans on the side of his cart as he prepares to leave his sugarcane field in Southwest China, bewildered by the formidable new pest that has ambushed his crops this year. "I don't know what it is," says Yan, a 36-year-old farmer from Menghai county in Yunnan province. "But it is bigger than other ones. I have never seen this worm before." The creature Yan is unable to name is the fall armyworm, the larva of the fall armyworm moth. Known locally as the "heart-devouring worm," the destructive pest has spread more than 3,000 km (1,865 miles) north since migrating from neighbouring Myanmar seven months ago, reaching 21 provinces and regions in China and posing a grave threat to grain output.

 
Aug 12 - Bayer mediator dismisses report of $8 bln Roundup settlement 
Bayer AG has not offered to pay billions of dollars to settle claims in the United States related to the Roundup herbicide, mediator Ken Feinberg said, dismissing a report to that effect which drove its shares as much as 11% higher.  "Bayer has not proposed paying $8 billion to settle all the U.S. Roundup cancer claims. Such a statement is pure fiction," Feinberg said in an email on Friday. "Compensation has not even been discussed in the global mediation discussions."

Aug 12 - Funds lighten bullish corn bets ahead of highly anticipated USDA data - Braun
Speculators were sellers of all Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds early last week, but commodity funds are still carrying a decent-sized long position in corn ahead of Monday’s data dump from the U.S. government. The market expects that the U.S. Department of Agriculture report will show U.S. corn production significantly smaller than previously estimated. That is expected to drastically reduce year-end supplies, even though demand for the U.S. grain has been subpar. 

Aug 12 - Trump's EPA grants 31 small refinery waivers from biofuel laws, angering corn lobby 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted 31 small refinery biofuel waivers for 2018 on Friday, infuriating the ethanol and corn producers who blamed the Trump administration for bailing out the oil industry when U.S. farmers were suffering due to trade tariffs and low prices. The waivers from the country's biofuel laws were fewer than previous year's and marked an increase in the number of petitions rejected, but the EPA's decision was still unlikely to satisfy the powerful U.S. corn lobby which wants a broad retrenchment of the biofuel waiver program it blames for undercutting ethanol demand.

Aug 12 - Brazil's BRF swings back to profit as China pig disease bolsters balance sheet 
Brazilian food processor BRF SA, the world's largest chicken exporter, swung back to profit after three quarters of losses as a deadly pig disease in China helped lift meat prices and sales volumes across regions, it said on Friday. An outbreak of African swine fever, which triggered an unprecedented global meat supply imbalance, boosted results, the company said in a statement. Production adjustments in Brazil also helped, with certain plants closed or partially halted to weather weaker demand caused by trade restrictions in past quarters.

Aug 12 - French maize crop ratings dip again as traders weigh weather impact 
The condition of the French grain maize crop declined slightly last week, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday, in a further deterioration for maize after recent hot, dry weather. An estimated 60% of grain maize crops were rated good or excellent in the week ending Aug. 5, down from 61% in the previous week and also below a year-earlier score of 62%, FranceAgriMer said in a weekly cereal crop report.

Aug 12 - India's summer crop planting down 5.3% from last year, gap narrows 
Indian farmers have planted 87 million hectares with summer-sown crops so far, farm ministry data showed on Friday, down 5.3% from last year, narrowing the sowing gap as monsoon rains picked up from the previous week. The planting of rice, a key summer crop, was at 26.5 million hectares on Friday, against 30.4 million hectares at the same time last year, the ministry said. Corn planting was at 7.2 million hectares, unchanged from the same period last year.

Aug 12 - Ukraine's 2019 early grain harvest 95% complete - ministry 
Ukraine, which expects its 2019 grain crop to be in line with last year's level of around 70 million tonnes, had harvested 36.8 million tonnes of early grains by Aug. 9, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Farmers have threshed 9.5 million hectares of grains or 95% of the early grains sown area, the ministry said in a statement.

Aug 09 - Saudi boosts Russia ties with welcome for Black Sea wheat 
Saudi Arabia will relax its bug-damage specifications for wheat imports from its next tender onwards, it told Reuters on Thursday, opening the door to Black Sea imports and strengthening ties with Russia beyond energy cooperation. Russia has long sought access to Saudi Arabia's wheat market as Moscow tries to take further market share in Middle Eastern and North African wheat markets from the European Union and United States. 

 
Aug 09 - U.S. confirms light soy, wheat, pork sales to China before latest tariff threats
China bought small amounts of U.S. soybeans, wheat, sorghum and pork last week ahead of the latest escalation of trade tensions with Washington, according to U.S. government data issued on Thursday, in what may be the last American farm commodity sales to China for the foreseeable future. China's Ministry of Commerce said this week that purchases of U.S. agricultural products by Chinese companies have been "suspended."

Aug 09 - U.S. Midwest farm economy hit hard by record floods - Fed banks 
U.S. farm incomes in the Midwest and Mid-Southern states declined yet again in the second quarter of 2019, as record floods devastated a wide swath of the Farm Belt, according to banker surveys released on Thursday by the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis and Kansas City. Nearly two-thirds of the bankers surveyed by the St. Louis Fed said a majority of their farm customers were either significantly or modestly impacted by the flooding and other adverse weather earlier this year.

Aug 09 - Pork producers win dismissal of price-fixing lawsuits - U.S. judge 
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed antitrust lawsuits accusing several U.S. pork companies of conspiring to limit supply in the $20 billion-a-year market, in order to inflate prices and their own profits at the expense of consumers and other purchasers. Chief Judge John Tunheim of the federal court in Minneapolis said the plaintiffs failed to show "parallel conduct" among the companies, whose combined U.S. market share exceeds 80%, to suggest they had conspired beginning in 2009 to fix prices.

Aug 09 - Trade estimates for U.S. corn, soy crops could lead the market astray - Braun 
Monday is going to bring much-needed clarity to the agriculture market with fresh U.S. government data on the U.S. corn and soybean crops after an extremely volatile start to the season. The market is most unhappy with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s current corn acreage number because many do not believe farmers were able to plant given the excessive spring moisture. Corn yield, soybean area and soybean yield are not too contested from USDA’s most recent view, but the yield ideas are pretty narrow and the corn acreage numbers are very one-sided.

Aug 09 - Brazil corn plantings to grow as farmers expect good pricing - poll 
Brazilian farmers are forecast to plant more corn in the 2019/2020 crop season as they expect favorable prices amid problems affecting the U.S. corn harvest and record Brazilian exports of the commodity this year. According to a Reuters poll on Thursday, Brazilian corn farmers are planning to increase planted area by 3.46% in the season that will begin around September, and are expected to harvest an estimated 101.91 million tonnes of the crop, setting a new record.

Aug 09 - Argentina's Bioceres stock hits four-month high after USDA nod 
Shares of Argentine biotechnology company Bioceres were up more than 13% on Thursday after it said it received a green light from the United States Department of Agriculture for a variety of drought-resistant soybean. A representative for Bioceres told Reuters the company plans to hold off on the commercialization of the soybean seed known as HB4 until it receives consent from China, a major importer, expected by the end of 2020.

Aug 08 - China July soy imports hit nearly 1-year high on better crush margins
China's soybean imports in July rose 8% from a year earlier, to their highest level in almost a year, customs data showed on Thursday, as importers increased their purchases of Brazilian beans on higher crush margins. China took in 8.64 million tonnes of soybeans in July, up from 8 million in the same month last year, the General Administration of Customs said. That is up 33% from 6.51 million tonnes in June and the highest since August 2018.

 
Aug 08 - U.S.-China trade war boosts Brazil local soy prices, spurs deals
The price of Brazilian soybeans in local currency reached the highest level in almost two months, driven by a spike in port premiums for soybeans and a weaker currency, both caused by the trade dispute between China and the United States. Prices in Sorriso, at the heart of Brazil's soy country in the state of Mato Grosso, closed at 62.31 reais ($15.67) per bag on Tuesday, 0.81% above the previous day and the highest level since June 18, according to price research center Cepea/Esalq.  

Aug 08 - China's commodity imports surge, confound trade war fears: Russell
Forget the drop in the dollar value of China's imports in July, the important numbers were the bumper purchases of major commodities including crude oil, coal, iron ore and copper. The 5.6% drop in the dollar value of July imports is almost irrelevant and most likely a reflection of lower commodity prices rather than any weakness in the Chinese economy.

Aug 08 - Mexican trade chief slams U.S. demand on tomato inspections as 'unacceptable'
A top Mexico trade negotiator on Tuesday slammed a U.S. proposal to inspect all Mexican tomato exports as "totally unacceptable," saying the measure would trigger a logistical "collapse" in cross-border trade. Jesus Seade, Mexico's deputy foreign minister for North America, added that the U.S. demand posed a final obstacle to closing a deal with the United States that would end a tariff imposed by the Trump administration.

Aug 08 - Brazil's pork exports in July hit record volume for 2019
Brazilian pork exports in July reached 67,900 tonnes, a 0.4% drop compared with the same month of 2018 but still the largest monthly volume this year, meat association ABPA said on Wednesday. Shipments have been growing this year due to increased demand from China, which is suffering the effects of African swine fever and a shrinking domestic supply of pork.

Aug 08 - Bayer says next glyphosate lawsuit likely to be postponed
Germany's Bayer said the next U.S. lawsuit scheduled to be heard over claims that its glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup causes cancer would likely be postponed. Bayer, which acquired the weedkiller as part of its purchase of Monsanto last year, was initially scheduled to face its first trial outside California in St. Louis, Missouri, on Aug. 19, brought by Illinois resident Sharlean Gordon, who blames her non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on using Roundup at home. 

Aug 08 - Australian regulator flags concerns over Saputo's Tasmanian cheese business buyout
Australia's competition watchdog on Thursday raised concerns about Canadian dairy firm Saputo Inc's acquisition of the Australian specialty cheese business of Japan's Kirin Holdings. The deal would lead to a combination of the processing plants of the second and third biggest buyers of raw milk in the state of Tasmania, which currently compete separately with the biggest buyer, Fonterra.

Aug 08 - Sausage-loving Germans chew over meat tax plan
German lawmakers on Wednesday proposed raising the sales tax on meat to help protect the climate and improve animal welfare, kindling a debate in a country renowned for its love of sausages. Meat in Germany benefits from a reduced value added tax rate of 7%, and the idea is to raise that to the standard 19%.

Aug 08 - Amid rising hunger, Venezuela plantain crops threatened by fungus -agronomists
Venezuela's banana and plantain crops face potential infestation of a fungus already effecting neighboring Colombia, an agronomists association said on Wednesday, potentially devastating one of Venezuela's main foods amid rising hunger. A hyperinflationary economic collapse has left millions of the OPEC member's citizens unable to obtain enough calories and has pushed diets toward starchy staples that grow readily in its tropical climate.

Aug 08 - DSM to file for Brazil registration of methane-reducing feed additive
DSM, a Dutch health and nutrition company, will imminently file for Brazilian registration of a new feed additive for cows that can cut methane emissions by around 30%, a company executive told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. Methane is a natural byproduct of digestion in cows and other ruminants, the majority of which is released into the atmosphere through burping and breathing, according to company disclosures.

Aug 07 - Trump vows to help farmers as China halts U.S. agricultural purchases 
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday vowed to protect American farmers against China by signaling to provide further aid if needed, a day after Chinese firms stopped agricultural purchases and Beijing threatened more tariffs on U.S. farm products. "Our great American Farmers know that China will not be able to hurt them in that their President has stood with them and done what no other president would do - And I’ll do it again next year if necessary!" Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

 
Aug 07 - Egypt's GASC buys 415,000 T of Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian wheat 
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 415,000 tonnes of wheat on Tuesday at an international tender for the grain, it said. GASC said the purchase included 115,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat, 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat.

Aug 07 - Brazil's new soy crop area seen growing 2.3% to 36.7 mln hectares 
Brazil's new soybean crop, which farmers are expected to start planting next month, is seen reaching 36.7 million hectares (90.68 million acres), an area 2.3% larger than seen in the previous crop, according to the average forecast from a poll of analysts. Output of the new crop was seen on average at 122.8 million tonnes, 6.8% more than in the previous season, according to the poll. Analysts said expansion of soy planting will probably be limited by China's swine flu outbreak, lower global soy prices and the potential for higher transportation costs in Brazil.

Aug 07 - Marfrig, ADM to produce plant-based meat in Brazil 
Brazil's Marfrig Global Foods SA, the world's largest hamburger producer, said on Tuesday it has reached an agreement with U.S.-based agribusiness company Archer Daniels Midland Co to produce and market vegetable protein products in Brazil. ADM, which trades and processes grains and oilseeds, will supply raw materials, and Marfrig said it will produce, distribute and sell the plant-based meat to restaurants and retailers.

Aug 07 - Brazil raises biodiesel blend in diesel to 11% from 10% 
The Brazilian government has approved an increase to 11% from 10% in the amount of biodiesel to be blended into all diesel sold in the country, oil and fuels regulator ANP said on Tuesday. The measure will be implemented from Sept. 1, said ANP, which has already made changes to the volumes expected to be traded at a biodiesel auction to be held in August 12.

Aug 07 - Brazil farm minister postpones China trip amid delay in meat export approvals
Brazil's agriculture minister has postponed a trip to China originally set for August to September, a ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, as industry groups said pending approvals to export meat to China were taking longer than expected. The spokesman said Minister Tereza Cristina Dias now intends to go in September but gave no reason for postponing the trip.

Aug 07 - France increases wheat crop estimate, cautious on maize
France's farm ministry raised its estimate for the soft wheat harvest by more than 1 million tonnes, adding to expectations that a bumper wheat crop was unscathed by record-breaking heatwaves. However, it warned that hot weather and drought was raising question marks over the maize harvest, though its initial production outlook was for an increase from last year's level.

Aug 07 - Mosaic cuts profit view; cites bad weather, weak phosphate margins
U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co cut its full-year earnings forecast and posted a lower-than-expected profit, as rains and flooding in the United States hit its volumes and phosphates margins, sending its shares down as much as 12.3%. Severe flooding in the U.S. farm belt across Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and several other states delayed spring farming and has hit agricultural companies like Mosaic, which sell fertilizers directly to farmers.

Aug 06 - U.S. farmers suffer 'body blow' as China slams door on farm purchases 
Chinese companies have stopped buying U.S. agricultural products, China's Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday, a blow to U.S. farmers who have already seen their exports slashed by the more than year-old trade war. China may also impose additional tariffs on U.S. farm products, the Ministry said, raising the barrier to future trade that further targets rural states that supported U.S. President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

 
Aug 06 - U.S. corn exports dwarfed by Brazil; soy shipments ride on China -Braun 
U.S. corn shipments fell to a 19-month low in June, and they were unlikely to have done much better in July as elevated prices and foreign competition continued to suppress export business for the world’s top corn supplier. Meanwhile, U.S. soybean exports were record large for the month as shippers look to fulfill the large amount of outstanding sales to top buyer China.

Aug 06 - Marfrig, ADM to produce plant-based meat in Brazil 
Brazil's Marfrig Global Foods SA, the world's largest hamburger producer, said on Tuesday it has reached an agreement with U.S.-based Archer Daniels Midland Co to produce and market vegetable protein products in Brazil. Grains-trader ADM will be responsible for supplying the main raw material used in the development of the plant-based products. Marfrig said it will produce, distribute and sell the plant-based meat to restaurants and retailers.

Aug 06 - Tyson Foods hits record high after beating estimates, prepares for China profit boost 
Tyson Foods Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Monday and reaffirmed expectations it will profit from the spread of a fatal hog disease in China, sending shares to a record high. Tyson has not yet reaped major financial gains from the deaths of millions of pigs in China's outbreak of African swine fever, Chief Executive Noel White said. China is still working its way through frozen meat supplies, but could begin to increase imports of U.S. pork to fill a shortfall as soon as October, he said.

Aug 06 - COFCO plans to boost Brazil ops, sees improving business outlook 
Chinese commodities trader COFCO plans to increase investments in Brazilian operations as the business environment in the country is likely to improve after approval of economic reforms, the company's chairman, Johnny Chi, said on Monday. Speaking at Brazil's 2019 Agribusiness Congress, Chi said COFCO is looking at investments such as new warehouses and improving transportation systems in Brazil.

Aug 06 - Crop Watch: Dryness trims corn yield hopes, rain needs are heightened - Braun 
Most of the Crop Watch corn and soybean fields went without rain for another week last week, and the dryness is becoming especially critical for the corn in Indiana and Kansas, as producers there reduced yield potential this week. Producers remain cautiously optimistic that the soybeans have withstood the dry spell without losses, but potential may decline in a week or two if the rain does not return.

Aug 06 - Brazil's faster agrochemical approvals not harming environment - minister 
Brazil's Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias, responding to criticism from environmentalists, on Monday said the government's recent accelerated approvals of agrochemicals are not detrimental to food safety and the environment. Dias hailed farmers' efforts at preserving land and said faster approval of agrochemicals means more technology at the disposal of farmers.

Aug 06 - Brazil's recent frosts seen as less damaging for wheat crop 
Frosts on the weekend were less intense and widespread than at the beginning of last month in Brazil's number 1 wheat producer Paraná state, signaling that August will probably see less damage to crops, the state's rural economy department Deral said on Monday. "At first sight, the frost was less of a problem than the July 6 frost. It was not as cold," said Deral wheat specialist Carlos Hugo Godinho.

Aug 05 - U.S. cows and pigs gorge on bakery rolls, pet food as corn prices surge 
U.S. farmers are feeding their livestock everything from outdated pet food and leftover bakery rolls to crops imported from South America after unprecedented spring planting delays boosted prices for locally grown corn. Corn is typically used to fatten hogs, cattle and poultry, but its high price has farmers in the $150 billion U.S. meat and dairy industry looking elsewhere to keep down costs.

 
Aug 05 - Trump, EU officials announce deal to sell more American beef to Europe 
U.S. President Donald Trump announced a deal on Friday to sell more American beef to Europe, a modest win for an administration that remains mired in a trade war with China, but he said tariffs on European auto exports remain a possibility. The European Commission has stressed that any beef deal will not increase overall beef imports and that all the beef coming in would be hormone-free, in line with EU food safety rules. The deal needs European Parliament approval.

Aug 05 - U.S. bill raising debt ceiling for farm bankruptcies heads to White House 
With farm bankruptcies rising and agricultural debt loads soaring, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill that will make it easier for more farmers with larger amounts of debt to file for bankruptcy protection. The bipartisan bill - called the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 - raises the ceiling on how much debt producers who file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy can have, to $10 million from the previous $4 million.

Aug 05 - Funds continue selling CBOT corn and soybeans amid benign U.S. weather - Braun 
The U.S. corn crop may have gotten its latest-ever start this spring, but speculators’ bullish bets have lost steam in recent weeks as the weather has not been outwardly threatening for crop development. In the week ended July 30, hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long in CBOT corn futures and options to 111,952 contracts from 153,216 contracts, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Aug 05 - Bulgaria to compensate owners who cull pigs to help stamp out swine fever 
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said the Balkan state's government will compensate owners who voluntarily cull their domestic pigs, as the country works to stamp out an outbreak of the highly contagious African swine fever. Almost 130,000 pigs have been killed on six breeding farms in the Black Sea country in the past two weeks. Authorities have so far detected 30 incidents of the incurable disease, which is deadly to pigs but harmless to humans, at industrial or backyard farms. 

Aug 05 - Malaysia July palm stocks to see first gain in 5-months - Reuters survey 
Malaysian palm oil stockpiles likely rose for the first time in five months, edging up to a three-month high, as production gains outpaced a rise in exports, a Reuters survey showed. Inventories in Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, are forecast to have gained 1.8% from the previous month to 2.47 million tonnes at end-July, according to a median estimate of seven planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters. 

Aug 05 - India's summer crop planting down 6.6% from last year, likely to pick up 
Indian farmers have planted 78.8 million hectares with summer-sown crops so far, farm ministry data showed on Friday, down 6.6% from last year mainly due to a weak start to the monsoon. The outlook is better, however, as monsoon rains are expected to be plentiful in August and September. 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.

Aug 05 - Ukraine's July 27-Aug 2 sea port grain exports rise on week - APK-Inform 
Ukrainian grain exports from sea ports during the week of July 27-August 2 increased to 1.09 million tonnes from 861,000 tonnes a week earlier due to higher wheat shipments, preliminary data from APK-Inform consultancy showed on Monday. Corn exports rose to 121,000 tonnes from 79,000 tonnes the previous week, while wheat shipments jumped to 724,000 tonnes from 422,000 tonnes, the consultancy said. The export of barley decreased to 245,000 tonnes from 360,000 tonnes.

Aug 05 - Brazil's Amaggi to raise cotton area, cut corn and soy acreage - executive 
Brazil's privately owned grain farmer and trader Amaggi will reduce soy and corn plantings in the coming season and increase cotton acreage after betting high on the latter commodity, a company executive said on Friday. Pedro Valente, Amaggi's director general, said at a farming event in São Paulo that the firm intends to plant 101,000 hectares (249,576 acres) of cotton in the 2019-2020 crop, 15,000 hectares (37,066 acres) more than last season.

Aug 02 - U.S. confirms small soybean sale to private Chinese buyer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday confirmed a private Chinese company bought 68,000 tonnes of soybeans in the week ended July 25, the first soybean purchase since Beijing offered to exempt five crushers from import tariffs imposed more than a year ago as part of a U.S.-China trade dispute. Soybean prices remained lower on Thursday due to the small amount, however. U.S. President Donald Trump and other top officials said Chinese President Xi Jinping promised large agricultural purchases he met Trump at the G20 summit in Japan a month ago to restart stalled trade talks. 

 
Aug 02 - ADM profit plunges as floods, U.S.-China trade war batter grain handler
Global grain trader and food processor Archer Daniels Midland Co on Thursday reported a 41.3% drop in second-quarter adjusted profit and missed Wall Street expectations, after being battered by the U.S.-China trade war and severe U.S. weather this spring that disrupted production and transportation. The Chicago-based company's performance so far this year represents a sharp reversal of fortunes from last year, when ADM's profits surged after a drought in Argentina and the U.S.-China trade dispute boosted its trading and oilseed processing businesses.

Aug 02 - Bayer sees potential future business in plant-based meat market
A Bayer executive on Thursday said the company was closely watching the plant-based meat market which has seen booming demand in recent years, adding that Bayer could potentially enter the market as an alternative protein source provider. "They are sourcing different types of crops and that also could create opportunity for us, being a company that is a plant-breeding company," Bob Reiter, Bayer's head of research and development at the company's crop science division, said in reference to plant-based meat companies.

Aug 02 - Australia's GrainCorp braces for loss as drought bites
Australian bulk grain handler GrainCorp Ltd said on Friday it expects to report its first loss in a decade in 2019 as it struggles with drought, knocking its shares down by 10%. Severe dry weather has threatened grain production across Australia's east coast, where GrainCorp derives nearly all its income, slashing revenues from crop storage and export.

Aug 02 - Canada crop tour sees smaller canola crop after reduced plantings, dry spring
Canadian farmers are likely to reap a smaller canola crop in 2019-20 due to reduced plantings and dry conditions, consultancy FarmLink Marketing Solutions said on Thursday after a crop tour of the prairie provinces. The Grain World tour on Tuesday and Wednesday, organized by FarmLink, visited fields in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to observe conditions and calculate yield estimates.

Aug 02 - Macquarie snaps up 49% of cotton farm Cubbie Station from China's Ruyi
Australia's Macquarie Group has purchased a 49% stake in cotton farm Cubbie Station, one of Southern Hemisphere's largest irrigation farms, from its majority owner Chinese conglomerate Ruyi Group, according to local media. The sale comes seven years after Australia's government in 2012 approved Ruyi's A$232 million ($158.04 million) purchase of an 80 percent share in Cubbie on condition it would cut its stake to 51% within three years. 

Aug 02 - Brazil soy exports lag as Chinese demand wanes, corn hits record
Brazil's soybean exports fell in July due to weaker demand from the world's largest importer, China, but corn exports from the South American country hit a monthly high in July, government data showed on Thursday. Soybean exports from the world's largest supplier fell by 23% to 7.82 million tonnes last month, the data showed.

Aug 02 - Targeted insurance offers French farmers some drought relief
Hundreds of French farmers who signed up for specialist policies aimed at insuring against freak weather are getting swift payouts which could help them recover from heatwaves and prolonged droughts that hit parts of the country. The payments underline how so-called parametric policies, which pay out when a pre-agreed event such as a hurricane of specific intensity occurs, are becoming a growth market for insurers in developed economies as global temperatures rise.

Aug 01 - Bunge posts profit on South America, gain from Beyond Meat investment
Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd swung to a profit in the second quarter from a year-ago loss, helped by improved results at its South American operations. Bunge also reported an unrealized gain from the company's stake in Beyond Meat Inc, meaning it could profit from the plant-based burger venture if it sells its nearly 980,000 shares, a roughly 1.6 percent interest according to the latest government filing. 

 
Aug 01 - China allows barley imports from seven regions in Russia
China has approved barley imports from Russia, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement on its website on Thursday. Barley exported to China must be produced in seven regions in Russia, including Novosibirsk and Kurgan, which are considered to be free of the fungal disease dwarf bunt that can infect winter wheat and barley crops, said the statement, dated July 29.

Aug 01 - Cool start to August may not benefit lagging U.S. corn crop - Braun
In a normal year, about three-quarters of U.S. corn would be reaching maturity exactly two months from now. But given that an unprecedented portion of the 2019 crop was planted very late due to heavy spring rains, this and a cool August forecast could prevent some corn from crossing the finish line. July was warmer than normal across most of the U.S. Corn Belt, especially in the eastern portions where planting delays were the worst. A warm July is not normally favorable as pollination usually kicks off the month, but it was seen as helpful this year with the crop so far behind in development.

Aug 01 - India 2019-20 cotton output estimate revised slightly lower - USDA
Indian cotton production for the 2019-20 season is seen at 29 million 480 lb bales, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) attache in New Delhi said in a report on Wednesday, down 1% from earlier estimates. The production decline is the result of reduced plantings in central Maharashtra, where farmers are shifting towards soybeans as well as in Karnataka, where farmers are switching to pulses and corn, the attache said.

Aug 01 - India's monsoon rains to make up early shortfall - weather chief
Monsoon rains in the coming weeks are likely to make up for a shortfall in the first two months of the season that began in June, the head of India's state-run weather office said on Wednesday, boosting prospects for the agricultural sector. "We are going to see some rapid recovery in the monsoon and the rainfall shortage is expected to come down sharply in the next couple of days," K.J. Ramesh, director general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told Reuters in an interview.

Aug 01 - Brazil could see record 2019-20 soy, corn harvest depending on weather - Datagro
Brazil could see record corn and soy harvests in the 2019-20 season dependent on good weather, as farmers are expected to broaden plantings, Datagro Consultoria said on Wednesday. Brazil, which is the world's largest soy exporter and could become the biggest producer in the upcoming season, is expected to expand the soybean planted area by 2% to 36.8 million hectares, a record, Datagro Consultoria said.

Aug 01 - Ukraine wheat rises $4 in July, traders eye currency rate
Ukrainian milling wheat rose $3-4 per tonne FOB Black Sea in July as export demand jumped, but a substantial strengthening in the hryvnia currency may lead to a drop in grain supply to the market, traders said on Wednesday. Ukraine, which is among the world's leading grain exporters, had harvested 22.8 million tonnes of wheat from 83% of its sowing area as of July 30, agriculture ministry data showed.

Aug 01 - Australia's Nufarm cuts 2019 outlook, turns to Japan's Sumitomo for cash
Australian crop protection company Nufarm Ltd on Thursday cut its fiscal 2019 earnings guidance and said it would raise about A$97.5 million ($66.8 million) through a share placement with Japan's Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd. The company expects underlying core earnings for the year to July 31, 2019 of about A$420 million ($288 million), compared with its previous guidance of A$440 to A$470 million, Nufarm said in a statement.

Aug 01 - Fifth Bulgarian pig farm hit by African swine fever
Bulgarian authorities said on Wednesday that they would cull another 17,000 pigs after detecting an outbreak of African swine fever at a breeding farm in the north of the country, the fifth hit by the fast-spreading virus this month. The outbreak was detected at a farm in a village near the Danube town of Svishtov. More than 100,000 pigs have already been culled at four other farms in the past two weeks.

Jul 31 - China to inspect Argentine crushers, could unlock No. 1 soymeal market
A Chinese delegation is set to visit Argentina in August to inspect soymeal crushing plants, Argentine government and industry officials told Reuters, a key step as the South American country looks to open up exports of processed soy to the world's No. 1 consumer. Argentina, the top global soymeal exporter, has tried for years to break into the China market, the biggest consumer of the meal which it uses to feed its giant hog herd. China, with its own crushing industry to protect, has steadfastly resisted.

 
Jul 31 - Malaysia could replace Indonesia as top palm oil supplier to India - trade
Malaysia is set to replace Indonesia as the top palm oil supplier to India in 2019 as New Delhi has been charging lower import tax on refined palm oil shipments from Malaysia, giving Kuala Lumpur an edge over Jakarta, trade officials said. The rise in refined palm oil shipments will help refiners in Malaysia and bring down inventories of tropical oil in the world's second bigger producer, but squeeze Indian refiners that traditionally import crude palm oil. India is the world's biggest importer of palm oil.

Jul 31 - Bulk of Trump's U.S. farm aid goes to biggest and wealthiest farmers - advocacy group
More than half of the Trump administration's $8.4 billion in trade aid payments to U.S. farmers through April was received by the top 10% of recipients, the country's biggest and most successful farmers, a study by an advocacy group showed on Tuesday. Highlighting an uneven distribution of the bailout, which was designed to help offset effects of the U.S.-China trade war, the Environmental Working Group said the top 1% of aid recipients received an average of more than $180,000 while the bottom 80% were paid less than $5,000 in aid.

Jul 31 - USDA June soybean crush seen at 159.4 mln bushels
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to report that 4.782 million short tons, or 159.4 million bushels, of soybeans were crushed at U.S. processing plants in June, according to the average forecast of eight analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of monthly data. Estimates ranged from 158.6 million bushels to 161.0 million bushels, with a median of 159.1 million. The USDA is scheduled to release its monthly fats and oils report at 2 p.m. CDT (1900 GMT) on Thursday.

Jul 31 - Bayer cancels plans to sell U.S. crop product in 2020 over safety concerns
Bayer AG has scrapped plans for wide sales next year of a chemical that is intended to protect U.S. crops from yield-robbing worms, citing ongoing safety concerns. The decision is the latest setback for Germany-based Bayer following its acquisition of Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. Bayer is separately battling thousands of lawsuits claiming Monsanto's glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, allegations the company denies. 

Jul 31 - For China, U.S. soybeans are small fry; crude, LNG, coal are the main game: Russell
China's purchase of some U.S. soybeans is being viewed as a tentative sign of a little détente in the dispute between the world's two largest economies, but real progress would be a resumption of what had been a burgeoning energy trade. U.S. and Chinese negotiators are meeting for two days of talks in Shanghai starting on Tuesday amid modest expectations for progress to resolve the trade imbroglio that has resulted in tit-for-tat tariffs being imposed on billions of dollars worth of imports and exports. 

Jul 31 - Fertilizer dealer Nutrien sees big corn comeback in 2020, following U.S. floods
Fertilizer producer and farm supply dealer Nutrien Ltd expects U.S. farmers to plant as many as 95 million acres (38.5 million hectares) of corn next year, the most in seven years, after a frustrating year of floods, its chief executive said. The wet conditions left millions of acres unplanted across the U.S. farm belt, but have also lifted corn prices and given farmers incentive to sow more next year, Chief Executive Chuck Magro said on a quarterly conference call on Tuesday.

Jul 31 - Canal Sugar to build grains terminal in Egypt's Damietta
Canal Sugar, owned by Dubai-based Al Khaleej Sugar Refinery, plans to build a pier and grains terminal in Egypt's port city of Damietta with $200 million in investments, its CEO said on Tuesday. The new terminal will have discharge capacity of 3,000 tonnes of grains per hour, CEO Islam Salem told a news conference. The company expects to finalise a contract with the government for the pier and terminal by the end of the year, Salem said in response to a Reuters question.

Jul 31 - Heatwave ensures rapid progress for EU wheat harvest
The heatwave in the European Union’s main wheat producers last week helped farmers to make rapid progress with harvesting, with some crop forecasts being raised, experts said on Tuesday. Record high temperatures in France, Germany and Britain created ideal conditions for wheat harvesting, with the dry, warm weather allowing mechanical combine harvesters to operate at full capacity.

Jul 31 - EPA chief defends biofuel waivers in meeting with farm senators - sources
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defended his agency's expanded use of waivers exempting refineries from the country's biofuel law during a closed-door meeting with farm state senators last week, arguing the program has had no negative impact on ethanol demand, according to four sources with knowledge of the meeting. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler's comments are a sign he may resist an overhaul of the so-called Small Refinery Exemption program, which President Donald Trump last month ordered members of his Cabinet to review based on complaints from the corn lobby. The EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are preparing to hold a cabinet-level meeting on the issue as soon as this week, two of the same sources said.

Jul 31 - Brazil's JBS invests in new biodiesel plant amid clean fuel push
A unit of Brazil's JBS SA plans to invest 180 million reais ($47.5 million) to build a biodiesel plant entering service by 2021, as the company looks to cash in on Brazil's accelerating clean fuel drive, according to a statement on Tuesday. Seara Alimentos, JBS' processed foods unit, will use fat and scraps from pork and poultry as raw material for biodiesel. JBS, the world's largest meat producer, added the new plant in Santa Catarina state will double the company's biodiesel capacity to over 600 million liters per year.

Jul 30 - U.S. soybean exports to China rise, but big purchases remain elusive
U.S. government data on Monday showed exports of soybeans to China picking up to the most in five months last week ahead of trade talks between the two countries in Shanghai, although the shipments were for beans bought months ago and new purchases have proven elusive. China has yet to make the large agricultural purchases U.S. President Donald Trump and other top officials say were promised when Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan a month ago to restart stalled trade talks. 

 
Jul 30 - China's pig herd may shrink by 50% due to African swine fever - Rabobank
China's pig herd could halve by the end of 2019 from a year earlier as an epidemic of African swine fever sweeps through the world's top pork producer, analysts at Dutch bank Rabobank forecast on Tuesday. The bank said China's herd, by far the world's biggest, was already estimated to have shrunk by 40% from a year ago, well above official estimates which have ranged from 15% to 26%. 

Jul 30 - Germany's Bayer dealt new legal blow as more Brazil farmers challenge soy patent
Germany's Bayer AG, which completed the takeover of U.S.-based Monsanto last year, has been dealt a legal blow in Brazil as more farmers joined a lawsuit challenging the protection of a key soy seed patent. A Brasília appeals court authorized producers from another 10 states to join Mato Grosso state farmers as plaintiffs in a case challenging the validity of Monsanto's Intacta RR2 PRO patent, according to court filings.

Jul 30 - Crop Watch: Rain needed as producers remain cautious on yield hopes - Braun
Last week’s seasonably mild temperatures for the U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybean fields were favorable given the drier conditions. But more than half of the producers report that their crops need rain now, and the near-term forecasts are not necessarily generous with the moisture. Crop Watch 2019 follows one corn and one soybean field in eight major U.S. Corn Belt states, reporting on weekly progress as of Sunday. These are the same eight growers who participated in the 2018 version of Crop Watch. 
Jul 30 - African cattle investing - the new cash cow? 
Cattle have long been considered a measure of wealth across Africa - but it is not just farmers cashing in. A pioneering app in South Africa lets investors, eager to benefit from rising global beef demand, buy shares in a cow from their mobile phone for as little as 576 rand ($41).

Jul 30 - Brexit means a "better deal" for farmers, PM Johnson tells Wales
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell Welsh farmers on Tuesday they will get a better deal after Brexit, part of a countrywide tour to win support for his "do or die" pledge to leave the European Union by Oct. 31. Just days after taking office as prime minister, Johnson kicked off the domestic tour, underlining his desire to win Britain over rather than courting EU leaders to try to persuade them to change their minds on a divorce deal he says is dead.

Jul 30 - Milling wheat share in Ukraine crop seen reaching as much as 70%
The share of milling wheat in Ukraine's 2019 wheat harvest is likely to rise to as much as 70% from around 55% in 2018 thanks to hot and dry weather, analysts and traders said on Monday. Hot conditions across Ukraine in May and June were ideal for a high-quality wheat harvest, pushing up the proportion of food-grade wheat in the crop and creating a shortage of grain for animal feed, which has seen a consequent rise in prices.

Jul 29 - Beijing says millions of tonnes of U.S. soy shipped to China, U.S. data reflects less
Chinese state media said on Sunday the United States has shipped several million tonnes of soybeans to China since the two countries' leaders met in June, although U.S. government data shows that the volume was much less. The U.S.-China trade war has curbed the export of U.S. crops to China, with soybean sales falling sharply after Beijing slapped tariffs of 25% on American cargoes.

 
Jul 29 - U.S. ethanol industry nearing breaking point - Green Plains CEO
The U.S. ethanol industry is about to break under the weight of the Trump Administration's trade war with China and the surge in the number of small refineries exempted from the nation's biofuel laws, said Todd Becker, CEO of Green Plains. The U.S. ethanol industry was preparing for growth in recent years, but the momentum has stalled in the face of President Donald Trump's trade war with China, a major buyer, and his administration's decision to align itself with the oil industry on demand-cutting waivers from biofuel laws, Becker said.

Jul 29 - India rice exports could hit 7-year low on weak demand, higher prices - industry
India's rice exports are likely to fall to their lowest level in seven years, industry officials say, as weak demand from African countries weighs and shippers absorb the absence of government incentives that supported previous sales. Lower shipments from India will help rivals such as Vietnam and Myanmar in raising their exports, according to Indian exporters, but could also force Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to increase buying from farmers, even as it struggles to liquidate last year's stocks.

Jul 29 - Argentina wheat farmers eye record harvest as bad crop weather hits rivals
Argentine wheat farmers are preparing for a record harvest, even as global rivals see crop yield prospects cut amid floods in the United States, searing heat in Europe and drought in Australia. The grain bounty in the world's No. 6 wheat exporter will boost the South American country in global markets, while wheat incomes that will start to flow at the turn of the year will boost whoever wins presidential elections in October.

Jul 29 - Grains group Soufflet sees French wheat crop at 38-39 mln tonnes 
France should harvest between 38 and 39 million tonnes of soft wheat this summer with quality levels meeting export standards, Soufflet, one of the country's largest grain exporters, said on Friday. The wheat harvest is in full swing in France, the European Union's largest producer. Results are showing good yields despite a record-breaking heatwave that caused mainly local damage, prompting producers to raise their output estimates.

Jul 29 - Saudi Arabia to start next phase of flour mill privatisation
Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO said it will start the next phase of the sale of its flour mills on Wednesday, which will see pre-qualified bidders perform due diligence and present financial offers. The sale is one of the first privatisations the kingdom is planning as part of a wide-reaching overhaul of its economy.

Jul 29 - Algeria tenders for nominal 50,000 tonnes milling wheat
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Monday. The tender sought a nominal 50,000 tonnes but Algeria often buys considerably more in its tenders than the nominal volume sought.

Jul 29 - Ethanol vs environment: Democratic hopefuls campaign on clashing agendas
Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is a champion of the corn-based ethanol industry when she campaigns in rural towns dotting the U.S. Farm Belt. But in Washington, the U.S. senator from Massachusetts is among the co-sponsors of the Green New Deal, which calls for the end of all fuel-powered cars – and, thus, the end of the domestic ethanol industry.

Jul 26 - China's duck farmers cash in as disease slashes pork output 
On a 30-hectare (74-acre) plot of land in China's Shandong province poultry hub, more than half a million white-feathered ducks are busy eating, chattering and laying eggs to produce cheap meat for thousands of factory canteens. With birds already packed into around 60 open-sided buildings, farm owner Shenghe Group is expanding further, aiming to raise output by 30% this year to capture record profits as a plunge in pig numbers shrinks production of pork, China's favorite meat.

 
Jul 26 - U.S. to pay farmers up to $16 billion for trade war losses, South to benefit 
The U.S. government will pay American farmers hurt by the trade war with China between $15 and $150 per acre in an aid package totaling $16 billion, officials said on Thursday, with farmers in the South poised to see higher rates than in the Midwest. The assistance, starting in mid-to-late August, follows Republican President Donald Trump's $12 billion package last year that was aimed at making up for lower farm good prices and lost sales.

Jul 26 - In Roundup case, U.S. judge cuts $2 billion verdict against Bayer to $86 million 
A California judge on Thursday reduced a $2 billion jury verdict, slashing the award for a couple who blamed Bayer AG's glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup for their cancer to $86.7 million. Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith of the California Superior Court in Oakland said the jury's billion-dollar punitive damages awards were excessive and unconstitutional, but rejected Bayer's request to strike the punitive award outright.

Jul 26 - Global warming reshapes almanac for tea growers in China's Yunnan 
Que Liu and his wife Si En spend their mornings picking pu'er leaves in an ancient tea garden in a forest not far from their hillside village, one of many that dot the subtropical highlands of southwest China. Coveted by tea connoisseurs, pu'er is a variety distinguished by its earthy tones and complex taste structure, with each successive steeping releasing a unique flavour, devotees say.

Jul 26 - IGC cuts forecasts for 2019/2020 world wheat, corn crops 
The International Grains Council (IGC) cut its forecast on Thursday for world wheat production in the 2019/2020 season, reflecting diminished crop outlooks in Russia, the European Union and Canada. The inter-governmental body lowered its 2019/20 global wheat crop forecast by 6 million tonnes to 763 million tonnes. Top wheat exporter Russia was seen harvesting a crop of 75.7 million tonnes, down from a previous forecast of 79.5 million.

Jul 26 - U.S. spring wheat tour sees yields of 43.1 bushels per acre 
Scouts on an annual crop tour projected harvest yields for the 2019 U.S. hard red spring wheat crop at 43.1 bushels per acre (bpa), up from the tour's 2018 projection of 41.1 bpa but below its five-year average of 44.7. Scouts on the Wheat Quality Council's three-day tour surveyed 356 spring wheat fields in North Dakota, the top spring wheat production state, and parts of Minnesota.

Jul 26 - In New York, a diverse, new group works the soil 
Sporting a backwards gray cap, studded earrings and a thin, head-to-toe layer of dirt, Layton Guenther took a break from the day's fieldwork to talk about their path from an upper-middle-class suburb to a Long Island, New York, farm. "Farming - for where I grew up - was a very unusual career choice," said Guenther, 32, who grew up in a New York City suburb and identifies as gender non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. But "everybody belongs on the land in their own way. None of us should feel alienated from it."

Jul 26 - Brazil court orders Petrobras to refuel Iran grain vessels 
Brazil's top court on Thursday ordered state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA to refuel two Iranian grain vessels stranded on the Brazilian coast due to U.S. sanctions holding up sales of fuel needed for their return trips. Chief Justice Dias Toffoli overturned a lower court ruling that allowed Petrobras, as the oil major is known, to refrain from fueling the vessels.

Jul 26 - India to get above-average monsoon rains in next two weeks 
India is likely to get above-average rainfall in the next two weeks after receiving below average rains in the past two weeks, a weather department official said on Thursday, helping summer-sown crops that were wilting in some areas due to a dry spell. Monsoon rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth as about 55% of India's arable land relies on rainfall and agriculture forms about 15% of a $2.5 trillion economy.

Jul 24 - U.S. to pay $15 minimum per acre to farmers hurt by China trade war 
The U.S. government will pay a minimum of $15 per acre to farmers hurt by President Donald Trump's trade war with China under an aid package to be unveiled before the end of the week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday. "We'll have information for you before the week ends," Perdue told reporters when asked about the aid, which is planned to total about $16 billion.

 
Jul 24 - Thai rice exporters cut 2019 target for annual exports 
Thailand's rice exporters on Wednesday lowered their target for annual exports to 9 million tonnes from 9.5 million, after a sharp fall in first-half shipments due to a strong baht and ample global stockpiles. Thailand's rice exports from January to June fell 19.6% compared with the same period last year, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said.

Jul 24 - South central North Dakota wheat yields seen above average - tour 
Wheat yield potential in south central North Dakota is trending above average, with the crop benefiting from ideal weather following a wet spring that delayed planting, scouts on annual tour found on Tuesday. "This is really good wheat for out here," said Dave Green, executive vice president of the Wheat Quality Council, which runs the tour. "I think everything looks good for being so late."

Jul 24 - White House's Kudlow hopeful on U.S.-China trade talks, agriculture buys 
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday called it a good sign that top U.S. officials would be traveling to China to discuss reviving stalled trade talks, and said he expected Beijing to start buying U.S. agriculture products soon. In recent phone calls with Chinese negotiators, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had emphasized the need for Beijing to make good on its pledge to buy more U.S. agricultural products.

Jul 24 - Asian buyers snap up spring wheat on competitive prices-traders 
Asian flour millers have been actively buying U.S. and Canadian spring wheat since last week as competitive prices drive demand for the grain used largely in making breads and pizza crusts. Millers from the region's top importer Indonesia, and other countries such as Japan, the Philippines and Thailand, have signed contracts to import about 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes since last week, two Singapore-based trade sources said.

Jul 24 - Egypt's GASC buys 300,000 tonnes of wheat in tender 
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), has bought 300,000 tonnes of wheat at an international purchase tender, it said on Tuesday. Of the total, GASC bought 120,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat, 120,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat for shipment Aug. 25 - Sept. 5, it said.

Jul 24 - Ukraine's 2019 rapeseed harvest at 2.73 mln T so far - ministry 
Ukraine, one of Europe's leading exporters of rapeseed, had harvested around 2.73 million tonnes of the oilseed crop as of July 23, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said farmers had harvested 1.12 million hectares of winter rapeseed with a yield of 2.43 tonnes per hectare.

Jul 23 - U.S. farmers look past trade fears to cash in on China's hog crisis 
It might seem an unlikely time for U.S. farmers to look to China for more business but the devastating impact of African swine fever on the Chinese pork industry is trumping concerns about trade wars and tariffs. Experts estimate the disease will wipe out about a third of China's pork production this year, or 18 million tonnes. That's twice the amount of pork exported worldwide every year and enough to feed U.S. consumers for almost two years.

 
Jul 23 - China June pork imports surge 62.8% from a year earlier 
China's pork imports in June surged from the previous year, customs data showed on Tuesday, as the world's top consumer of the meat stocked up on supplies after African swine fever has decimated domestic pig herds. China brought in 160,467 tonnes of pork in June, up 62.8% from the same month last year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. This was down 14% from 187,459 tonnes imported in May. 

 
Jul 23 - The pits: How China's U.S. tariff jab choked a cherry import boom 
For public relations officer Rachel Li, paying top dollar for "beautiful" cherries imported from the United States was a no-brainer. "I heard they are full of iron," said the Guangzhou-based 33-year-old, "eating them makes me feel healthy, luxurious." Or it did, until Beijing imposed sky-high tariffs on U.S. cherries and importers took fright, leaving store shelves bereft and consumers like Li needing a different fruit fix.

 
Jul 23 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Aug. 25-Sept 5 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. 25 to Sept. 5. GASC Vice Chairman Ahmed Youssef said the authority was seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Paraguay and Serbia.

Jul 23 - Crop Watch: Corn, soy health steady ahead of milder weather spell - Braun 
Conditions in the Crop Watch corn and soybean fields remained stable last week, even with a mini heat wave in the latter half. Delayed progress caused producers to become slightly more hesitant on yield potential, but the upcoming week of milder temperatures appears to be exactly what the crops need. Crop Watch 2019 follows one corn and one soybean field in eight major U.S. Corn Belt states, reporting on weekly progress as of Sunday. These are the same eight growers who participated in the 2018 version of Crop Watch.

Jul 23 - EU crop monitor cuts 2019 soft wheat yield forecast 
The European Union's crop monitoring service, MARS, on Monday cut its forecast of the EU soft wheat yield this year to 6.04 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) from 6.10 t/ha last month. That would still be 7.3% above last year's level and 1.6% higher than the average of the past five years, MARS said in a monthly report. For other cereals, it cut its forecast of EU 2019 all-barley yield to 4.91 t/a from 4.92 

Jul 23 - Thai farmers asked to delay rice planting as drought bites 
The Thai government has asked farmers to delay planting rice because of drought and the pumping of water from reservoirs for irrigation threatens household supplies, an agriculture ministry official said on Monday. Farmers in the world's second-biggest rice exporter usually plant their main crop in May, the beginning of the rainy season, for harvest between August and October.

Jul 22 - Chinese companies looking to buy U.S. farm products - Xinhua
Some Chinese companies are seeking new purchases of U.S. agricultural products, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday, citing authorities, as Beijing and Washington look for ways to end a protracted trade war. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at last month's G20 summit in Osaka to restart trade talks that stalled in May.

 
Jul 22 - French grain alliance set for battle with Black Sea wheat
A French export alliance of grain cooperatives to take on the challenge of Black Sea supplies may not be enough to stop the EU's top exporter losing the vital Algerian market to Russian wheat, traders and analysts said. The unveiling this month of Grains Overseas, an unprecedented alliance in which InVivo, Axereal and NatUp will combine soft wheat and feed barley exports outside the European Union, is a response to booming Russian and Ukrainian shipments. 

 
Jul 22 - Better U.S. weather challenges funds' bullish corn views - Braun
Speculators were thought to have established their most bullish Chicago corn stance in more than three years earlier this month, but then the weather outlooks quickly and unexpectedly improved for the U.S. crop. Selling early last week offset the prior buying, and the bearish mood continued through most of the week.

Jul 22 - Ukraine's July 13-19 sea port grain exports jump on week - APK-Inform
Ukrainian grain exports from sea ports in the week of July 13-19 jumped to 819,000 tonnes from 499,000 tonnes a week earlier, preliminary data from APK-Inform consultancy showed on Sunday. Corn exports rose to 356,000 tonnes from 187,000 tonnes the previous week, while wheat shipments increased to 285,000 tonnes from 221,000 tonnes, the consultancy said.

Jul 22 - Brazil soybeans lose protein, China sales at risk
The protein content in Brazilian soybeans fell for the first time in four harvests in 2018, according to preliminary government data, a development that has already cost Brazilian companies business with top buyer China. Declining protein levels in Brazil, the world's top soybean supplier, spell trouble for exporters who are faced with the prospect of cancellations, selling beans at a discount or stricter contracts requiring quality assurances with buyers who want to guarantee a nutrient-rich purchase.

Jul 22 - India's edible oil imports could jump to record as scanty rains trim output - analyst
India's edible oil imports are likely to rise 7.3% in 2019/20 to a record high as scanty monsoon rains are expected to curtail yields of summer-sown oilseeds such as soybeans and groundnut, a senior industry official said. Higher purchases by the world's biggest edible oil importer could support palm oil prices that are under pressure due to sluggish demand amid an expected rise in production.

Jul 22 - African swine fever hits pig farm in northeast Bulgaria
Bulgaria reported on Saturday an outbreak of African swine fever at a breeding farm for pigs near the Danube city of Ruse in the north east of the Balkan country. "All pigs on the holding, or 17,000, will be culled," a spokeswoman for the national food safety authority told Reuters.

Jul 22 - EU heading for large wheat crop despite early summer heatwave
The European Union is set for a larger wheat harvest this summer as a heatwave in late June which wilted some crops had a less severe impact than initially feared, traders and industry officials said on Friday. "The heatwave caused a late crop loss of a couple of million tonnes but overall we are still facing a big crop and big export supplies in the leading producers France, Germany, Britain and Poland," one German trader said.

Jul 22 - Two more Iranian ships may be stranded in Brazil as sanctions bite
Two more Iranian bulk carriers that came to Brazil carrying urea and were expected to return home with corn could be left without enough fuel, as Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras refuses to provide them with bunker fuel due to U.S. sanctions. Ship tracking data shows that Panamax-type vessels MV Delruba and Ganj, currently located near the Imbituba port in southern Brazil, were scheduled to run the same route as two other Iranian vessels, Bavand and Termeh, whose refueling problems Reuters reported on Thursday. 

Jul 19 - China makes biggest U.S. sorghum purchase since April as trade talks resume
China made its biggest purchase of U.S. sorghum since April last week, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data issued on Thursday, as Washington and Beijing revive discussions to end their trade war. The world's top sorghum importer bought 51,072 metric tons of the grain even though China imposed a 25% tariff on American shipments in July 2018 as part of the tit-for-tat trade dispute. The purchases will likely be used to feed livestock or make a fiery Chinese liquor called baijiu.

 
Jul 19 - Iran grain ships stuck in Brazil without fuel due to U.S. sanctions
Two Iranian vessels have been stranded for weeks at Brazilian ports, unable to head back to Iran due to lack of fuel, which state-run oil firm Petrobras refuses to sell them due to sanctions imposed by the United States. The vessels Bavand and Termeh came to Brazil a couple months ago carrying urea, a petrochemical product used as fertilizer. They were expected to load corn and return to Iran, but lacked enough fuel for the trip, the port operator in Paranaguá told Reuters.

 
Jul 19 - U.S. ethanol plants expected to cut output on poor margins, oversupply
U.S. ethanol plants are expected to sharply curtail production in the weeks ahead as steep Midwest corn prices and the U.S.-China trade war have led to weak margins and oversupply, industry sources said. Margins to produce ethanol in the Corn Belt where most U.S. production takes place - have fallen to a four-year seasonal low, while ethanol inventories are at the highest seasonally since at least 2010. Production hit its highest seasonal level since 2010, the earliest data available.

Jul 19 - China bolstering Brazil's BRF turnaround effort - CEO
Brazil's BRF SA expects to soon receive as many as four new export permits to sell chicken and pork to China, which could help the Brazilian food processor reverse three consecutive annual losses. BRF lost a combined 5.9 billion reais ($1.58 billion) through 2018. A Chinese delegation is visiting several Brazilian meat plants this week and next, BRF Chief Executive Officer Lorival Luz told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Jul 19 - Dreyfus names Gelchie as head of coffee - sources
Commodity trader Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has appointed Michael Gelchie as head of its coffee business, trade sources said on Thursday. Gelchie will rejoin the company, where he previously worked for 20 years from 1990, on July 29 and will be based in Wilton, Connecticut in the United States, the sources said.

Jul 19 - Democrats slam USDA's relocation of economists as blow to scientific research
Democratic senators on Thursday slammed the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plan to relocate hundreds of its economists and other researchers from Washington to the Midwest, saying it will hurt the agency's research capabilities by prompting many to resign. The plan, unveiled last year, would move 547 workers for the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) divisions to Kansas City by September. Those services provide data used to make policy decisions, and support research on a wide range of issues affecting agriculture.

Jul 19 - Swiss raise a glass to winegrowers in rare vintage festival
Switzerland uncorked a once-in-a-generation celebration of its winemakers on Thursday, with fancy dress, alpine horns, cows and dancers kicking off a festival that dates back to the 18th century. The three-week "Fete des Vignerons" began in 1797, but its roots go back a century further when winemakers used to shame the country's worst vineyard worker each year by crowning them in front of the church at Vevey, in the heart of the wine-producing canton of Vaud.

Jul 18 - Small U.S. refiners vow to sue EPA if it fails to issue 2018 waiver rulings in 60 days
Small U.S. refineries plan to sue Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 60 days, if the agency by then fails to issue its decisions on 2018 petitions for waivers from the nation's biofuel laws, refiners said in a letter on Wednesday. The waiver program, which exempts small refiners in financial turmoil from their obligation to blend ethanol into gasoline, have been a source of contention between the rivaling corn and oil industries since U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a review of it after hearing complaints from farmers.

 
Jul 18 - Prevented acres do not guarantee a certain cut to U.S. crop plantings - Braun
The excessively wet weather in the United States this spring may have constructed a historically large barrier to corn and soybean plantings, but the actual acres sown could be higher than prevented planting claims might suggest. Prevented planting (PP) coverage protects U.S. farmers if they are unable to plant an insured crop by a predetermined date. According to the U.S. government’s Risk Management Agency, PP payments compensate producers for the costs generally incurred in preparation for planting if adverse weather is prohibitive.

 
Jul 18 - Latest hot spell set to deepen drought pain in France
Hot weather in France next week is expected to prolong drought conditions that have impacted several sectors including nuclear power generation and farming, and led to restrictions on water use in 61 administrative regions. French meteorological services expect very hot and dry weather next week, with a slight risk of a heatwave in the southeastern part of the country. This comes after a hot spell set record temperatures at the end of June. 

Jul 18 - Bulgaria steps up measures to prevent spread of African swine fever
Bulgaria has stepped up measures to prevent the spread of deadly African swine fever and protect the country's 600-million lev ($344 million) pig-breeding industry, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday. The highly contagious disease, which is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans, has spread rapidly across the northern part of the European Union member.

Jul 18 - Ukraine's 2019 rapeseed harvest at 2.2 mln T so far - ministry
Ukraine, one of Europe's leading exporters of rapeseed, had harvested 2.2 million tonnes of the oilseed crop as of July 17, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. The ministry said farmers had harvested 952,000 hectares of winter rapeseed with a yield of 2.33 tonnes per hectare.

Jul 17 - Russia eyes 2035 grain crop boom with $70 bln investment plan
The Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday it saw Russia's grain crop rising as high as 150.3 million tonnes by 2035 in an "optimistic scenario" as it outlined a draft strategy to invest billions of dollars in grain infrastructure and logistics. The 2035 strategy, which has been sent to the government for discussion, would cost more than 4.4 trillion roubles ($70 billion) in funds drawn from private investors, loans and government financing, the ministry said in a statement.

Jul 17 - is the high already in for CBOT December corn futures? - Braun
Chicago corn futures have traded at multiyear highs since late May on a record late-planted U.S. crop. Speculators have built a sizable net long position and farmers remain hopeful of even higher prices. But what if corn futures have already hit their highs? This is uncertain as there is still a long way to go for the U.S. crop and a lot of pieces that need to fall in place for it to be even somewhat successful. However, market-watchers must not forget just how globalized the corn market has become in recent years, and this could prevent higher prices, or at least sustained higher prices.

Jul 17 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Aug. 21-31 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 Aug. 21 to 31. GASC Vice Chairman Ahmed Youssef said the authority was seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Paraguay and Serbia.

Jul 17 - EU facing large rapeseed imports as small crop looms - Oil World
European Union rapeseed imports are likely to rise sharply in the coming months as indications intensify that Europe’s rapeseed crop this summer will be small, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday. "The looming severe decline in EU rapeseed production is likely to boost rapeseed and canola imports to a new high of close to 5.6 million tonnes in July 2019/June 2020," Oil World said. Imports for 2018/19 are estimated at 4.3 million tonnes.

Jul 17 - Argentina ranchers kill the fatted cow amid cash crunch, turn to China
Argentina's world-famous ranchers are culling their breeding cows at the highest rate in 30 years and tapping Chinese demand for meat in order to help pay their bills as access to credit has dried up for farmers in South American's No. 2 economy. The trend underscores how Argentina's tight monetary policy and sky-high interest rates hovering around 60% are squeezing the sector, which relies on up-front investment to maintain valuable cow herds and rearing calves over several years to maturity.

Jul 17 - Ethanol to be central issue in India-Brazil meeting - industry group
Brazil and India are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on production and trade of ethanol when leaders of the two countries meet in Brasilia later this year, an industry group said on Tuesday. According to UDOP, a Brazilian association of sugar and ethanol producers, the suggestion to discuss a partnership on ethanol came from the Indian government, which has a target to gradually increase blending of ethanol to gasoline to up to 20%.

Jul 16 - Changing habits: China's pig farms clean up to beat swine fever  

A devastating outbreak of African swine fever that has killed millions of pigs in China is changing attitudes in a country where farm hygiene has often been seen as lax by international standards. From farms to feed mills to transport, people involved in the pork industry say biosecurity has been tightened, with sales of disinfectants and truck cleaning washes booming as farmers try to fend off the virus.

 
Jul 16 - U.S. judge slashes Roundup jury award to $25.3 mln; Bayer still plans to appeal
A federal judge on Monday slashed a damages award Bayer AG owed a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, to $25.27 million from $80.27 million, while rejecting the company's bid for a new trial. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said evidence against the former Monsanto Co, which Bayer bought last year, supported the $5.27 million in compensatory damages that a jury awarded Edwin Hardeman. He also said the jury acted reasonably in awarding punitive damages.

 
Jul 16 - NOPA June soy crush drops to 21-month low of 148.843 million bushels
The U.S. soybean crush dropped by more than expected in June to the lowest level in 21 months, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Monday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 148.843 million bushels of soybeans in June, down from 154.796 million bushels in May and 159.228 million bushels crushed in June 2018.

Jul 16 - Crop Watch: Rain needed as corn begins pollination in the heat - Braun
Hot temperatures will grip the U.S. Corn Belt this week, and up to five of the eight Crop Watch corn fields may be pollinating during this time, but expected showers in the eastern areas could help minimize some of the negative effects of the warmth. Later-planted soybeans continue to grow very slowly after starting in such wet conditions, but now all but one producer would like rain on both their corn and soybean fields.

Jul 16 - Algeria suspends grain agency head in corruption probe - govt sources
Algeria's government has suspended the head of grains agency OAIC over corruption allegations, sources close to the prime minister's office said, creating uncertainty for traders who supply one of the world's biggest cereal importers. The decision to suspend Mohamed Belabdi pending the completion of investigations was taken at a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, the sources told Reuters on Monday.

Jul 16 - Romanian union says strike averted at ADM Constanta grain silos
The union representing workers at ADM's North Star Shipping grain silos in Romania's Black sea port of Constanta said on Monday an indefinite strike scheduled to start on July 15 had been averted after reaching an deal on wages. An indefinite strike at the Constanta port silos could have severely impacted grain supplies to Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, and where ADM is an active exporter.

Jul 16 - Most big companies fail to report role in deforestation, charity says
Most big companies are failing to report the damage their operations are doing to forests despite committing to lighten their footprint under wider efforts to tackle climate change, according to a report published on Tuesday. CDP, a charity which says it works with institutional investors with assets of $96 trillion, said 70% of 1,500 large companies failed to provide data on their impact on forests in response to its queries last year.

Jul 16 - Malaysia keeps August crude palm oil export duty at zero percent
Malaysia kept its export duty on crude palm oil for August unchanged at zero percent, according to a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board's website on Tuesday, citing the national customs department. The duty has been at zero percent since September.

Jul 15 - China's first-half pork output falls amid disease outbreak
China's pork output fell by less than expected in the first half as the country tackles a devastating disease outbreak, although official data showed conflicting figures on the size of the decline in the hog herd. China produced 24.7 million tonnes of pork in the first six months of 2019, down 5.5% from a year earlier, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, amid a severe epidemic of African swine fever.

 
Jul 15 - Cargill shuts animal-feed mills in China as fatal hog disease spreads
Cargill Inc shuttered animal-feed mills in China in recent months partly because the rapid spread of a fatal hog disease has reduced demand, a company executive said on Friday. The closures highlight the pain for global agriculture companies from the outbreak of African swine fever in China, the world's top hog producer and pork consumer.

 
Jul 15 - NOPA June U.S. soy crush seen at 154.405 mln bushels - survey
U.S. soybean crushings likely declined for a third straight month in June to a 16-month low, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report. NOPA members, which together handle about 95% of all soybeans processed in the United States, likely crushed 154.405 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates from seven analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Jul 15 - BRF, Marfrig shares mixed after Brazil meat merger talks called off
Shares in Brazilian meat-packers BRF SA and Marfrig Global Foods opened higher on Friday after the companies called off talks on a potential merger but later trimmed gains. BRF's shares rose by almost 4% in early trading in Sao Paulo but later went negative as investors digested the news. Marfrig’s shares rose 2.2% at one point in the session but later paired gains to 0.7%.

Jul 15 - Irish PM defends EU-Mercosur trade deal from beef backlash
Ireland must be careful not to bow to beef farmers' wishes to thwart an EU-Mercosur free trade deal only to prejudice access to more important markets, the prime minister warned on Friday. Ireland's parliament wants Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's government to lead opposition inside the European Union to the draft deal Brussels struck two weeks ago with the Mercosur bloc of South American countries. 

Jul 15 - India's summer crop planting down nearly 9% - government
Indian farmers have planted 41.3 million hectares with summer crops, down 8.6% year on year, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare said on Friday, though the gap in sowing narrowed from the previous week as monsoon rains picked up. Farmers start planting their summer-sown crops from June 1 when monsoon rains are expected to reach India, where nearly half of farmlands lack irrigation. Planting usually continues until the end of July.

Jul 12 - French grain cooperatives forge export alliance to revive fortunes
Three of France's largest agricultural groups have formed a grain export joint venture in an attempt to improve their competitiveness in overseas markets increasingly dominated by Black Sea producers like Russia and Ukraine. Cooperative groups InVivo, Axereal and NatUp have established the Grains Overseas unit with the aim of shipping 4 million tonnes of soft wheat and feed barley per year outside the European Union, they said in a statement on Thursday.

Jul 12 - U.S. corn crop seen bigger, soybean crop lower ahead of acreage resurvey - USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased its forecast of U.S. corn production and lowered its soybean harvest view by more than expected on Thursday, factoring in results from its widely questioned June acreage report. Traders mostly shrugged off the updated U.S. harvest forecasts as the USDA has said that it will resurvey acreage in the coming weeks to fully account for the severe planting delays across the U.S. Midwest.

 
Jul 12 - Cargill quarterly profit dives 41% on trade tensions, U.S. floods
Global commodities trader Cargill Inc reported a 41% drop in adjusted quarterly profit on Thursday, citing supply disruptions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war and also flooding in the central United States that hit marketing and transportation of grains and livestock. Cargill, the largest privately held U.S. company, said adjusted operating profit fell to $476 million in the fiscal fourth quarter ended May 31, from $809 million a year earlier, as three of its four business units posted lower year-on-year results. 

 
Jul 12 - Brazil meatpackers BRF, Marfrig call off talks on proposed tie-up
Brazilian meatpackers BRF SA and Marfrig Global Foods SA said on Thursday that they had mutually agreed to call off negotiations for a possible merger that were going on for a month. The two companies said in securities filings they had ended the talks because they could not agree on the governance structure of the potentially merged company.

 
Jul 12 - ADM, Cargill reach deal to swap U.S. Midwest grain elevators
Large U.S. grain merchants Cargill Inc and Archer Daniels Midland Co have reached a deal to swap some of their grain elevators in the U.S. Midwest in a deal expected to close later this summer, both companies said on Thursday. The deal includes a sale by Cargill of its Mount Vernon and Evansville, Indiana, elevators on the Ohio River to ADM. In return, ADM will sell its Beardstown, Naples and Keithsburg, Illinois, elevators along the Illinois River to Cargill, representatives from both companies said.

 
Jul 12 - Wall Street banks bailing on troubled U.S. farm sector
In the wake of the U.S. housing meltdown of the late 2000s, JPMorgan Chase & Co hunted for new ways to expand its loan business beyond the troubled mortgage sector. The nation's largest bank found enticing new opportunities in the rural Midwest - lending to U.S. farmers who had plenty of income and collateral as prices for grain and farmland surged.

Jul 12 - Heatwave prompts cut in Strategie Grains EU wheat crop forecast 
Strategie Grains cut its monthly forecast for this year's European Union soft wheat harvest by more than 2 million tonnes as it factored in a late-June heatwave in western Europe. Analysts at the consultancy pegged 2019 EU soft wheat production at 140.6 million tonnes, down from 142.8 million projected last month but 11% above a drought-hit 2018 volume.

Jul 12 - Trump says "China is letting us down" on buying from U.S. farmers
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that China was not living up to promises it made on buying agricultural products from American farmers as the world's two largest economies work to resolve a trade dispute. "Mexico is doing great at the Border, but China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would. Hopefully they will start soon!" Trump said on Twitter.

Jul 12 - Cool, dry weather in Argentina supports wheat-planting plans - grain exchange
Cold and mostly dry conditions over the past week in Argentina have bolstered wheat planting for the 2019/20 season, helping get rid of excess moisture that had delayed sowing in some areas, the Buenos Aires grain exchange said on Thursday. Argentina, a major global wheat exporter, is aiming to plant 6.6 million hectares (16.3 million acres) of the grain, up from 6.2 million hectares (15.3 million acres) the previous season when the country harvested a record 19 million tons of the crop.

Jul 12 - Brazil cotton farmers sue Bayer over patent on GMO seed
Brazilian cotton producers in the state of Mato Grosso on Thursday sued Bayer AG, seeking to cancel the chemical company's patent protection for its Bollgard II RR Flex genetically modified cotton seed, according to a statement sent to Reuters. The farmers, hoping to regain $151 million in royalty payments, claim the genetically modified seed does not constitute a de facto technological innovation, according to the statement issued by the Mato Grosso Cotton Producers Association (AMPA). The lawsuit also names Brazil's national patents office as a defendant.

Jul 11 - Major grain traders face one-two punch from U.S. floods, trade war
Severe U.S. weather likely dented earnings for large grain companies including Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd for a second straight quarter, adding to headwinds from a still-unresolved U.S.-China trade war, analysts and economists said. ADM and Bunge, as well as peers Cargill Inc and Louis Dreyfus Co, known as the ABCD quartet of global grain trading giants, faced processing-plant downtime, rail and barge shipping delays and other supply uncertainty this spring as historic floods ravaged the central United States. 

 
Jul 11 - Trump intervention delaying EPA biofuel waiver action, sources say
U.S. President Donald Trump’s request for a review of the administration’s expanded use of biofuel waivers for oil refiners is holding up its decisions on 2018 applications, according to three sources familiar with the matter, two of whom said Trump may soon host a meeting on the issue. Trump had ordered members of his Cabinet to review the controversial waiver program, which exempts small refiners in financial turmoil from their obligation to blend ethanol into gasoline, last month after hearing from farmers angry about the issue during his recent Midwest tour.

 
Jul 11 - Australia wheat crop faces hot, dry weather for next three months
Hot, dry weather will persist across Australia's east coast until at least October, the country's weather bureau said on Thursday, signalling no relief for drought-hit farmers in one of the world's largest agricultural producers. There is just a 30% chance that Australia's east coast will receive average rainfalls between Aug. 1 and Oct. 30, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest climate outlook.

Jul 11 - China warns meat exporters to comply with rules - sources
China's customs administration warned meat exporting nations this week to comply with its rules on imports, following a series of problems it identified in Canadian pork shipments. Representatives from around 30 countries attended a meeting on Monday afternoon in Beijing hosted by Bi Kexin, Director General of the Import and Export Food Safety Bureau under China's General Administration of Customs, said two diplomats who attended, and another who was briefed on the matter.

Jul 11 - French wheat harvest protein rising after weak start - Soufflet
Protein readings in the early stages of this year's wheat harvest in France were improving after initial samples on the west coast showed levels below export requirements, grain group Soufflet said on Wednesday. France, the European Union's largest wheat producer, is widely expected gather a larger crop this year but grain quality, as measured by criteria including protein content, is also crucial to secure sales to foreign milling customers. 

Jul 11 - Brazil frost damage in focus as global coffee forum kicks off
Brazilian coffee farmers expect damage to their crops due to frosts in recent days, but investors are nevertheless keeping their expectations for record production in 2020, generating debate at the 2nd Global Coffee Producers Forum on Wednesday. Brazilian producers and cooperatives say that damage to next year's crop is very likely, although they were still assessing how intense and extensive the frosts were. Market participants see only minor risk of problems.

Jul 11 - U.S. Midwest floods to weigh on diesel demand in fall harvest season
A disappointing planting season due to massive flooding in the U.S. Midwest this spring is expected to have spillover effects on diesel demand during harvest season, analysts and traders said. Heavy storms that lingered over the Midwest left millions of acres unseeded and put crops that were planted late at a greater risk for damage from severe weather during the growing season, which is expected to reduce overall harvested acres in the fall.

Jul 11 - India receives above normal rains this week, spurring crop planting
India's monsoon rains in the week ending on Wednesday were above average for the first time since the start of the season on June 1, helping farmers to accelerate the planting of summer-sown crops and easing concerns of drought. Monsoon rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth, as about 55% of India's arable land is rain-fed, and agriculture forms about 15% of a $2.5-trillion economy that is the third biggest in Asia.

Jul 10 - Russia's 2019 grain crop may rise by 2-5% y/y - weather forecaster
Russia's 2019 grain crop may be 2-5% bigger than last year's, Roman Vilfand, head of research at Russian weather forecaster Hydrometcentre, said on Tuesday. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, has started harvesting its crop earlier than usual this year due to a June heatwave, which caused the downgrade of a number of crop forecasts in recent weeks. 

 
Jul 10 - Setting realistic expectations for upcoming USDA numbers - Braun
Faulty U.S. planting expectations caused shock among market participants when the government published its acreage survey two weeks ago, and with a fresh set of numbers on deck for Thursday, it may be helpful to compare the predictions with historical outcomes to minimize the chances for more surprises. The U.S. Department of Agriculture World Board will publish its monthly world supply and demand report (WASDE) on Thursday at noon EDT (1600 GMT). Although changes to U.S. corn and soybean production usually do not come until August, this year’s extreme weather has caused everyone to scrutinize these numbers earlier and more closely than usual.

 
Jul 10 - U.S. refiners urge EPA to keep biofuel waiver requests secret from USDA
A law firm representing small U.S. refineries has urged the Environmental Protection Agency to keep refiners' applications for waivers from the nation's biofuel policy secret from the Department of Agriculture, arguing that the petitions include confidential business information. The request, made by Perkins Coie in a letter to the EPA dated July 8, adds to mounting pressure from representatives of the refining industry for the Trump administration to box the USDA out of the controversial waiver program.

Jul 10 - Egypt's GASC buys 240,000 tonnes of Romanian, Ukrainian wheat
Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said on Tuesday it had bought 240,000 tonnes of Romanian and Ukrainian wheat. Of the total, GASC bought 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat and 180,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat.

Jul 10 - Dry freight rates to ride high on ship fuel refits - Cargill
With the world's largest dry cargo ships coming out of service for refits to comply with tougher rules on emissions, charter rates are expected to remain strong, a top Cargill executive said, after posting 7-fold gains already this year. "There are a lot of ships - especially on the capesizes - that will go into scrubber fitting which basically means they will be out of service for at least 25 days each to do so," Jan Dieleman, president of trading firm Cargill's ocean transportation business, told Reuters. "If you add it all up, in a very short period of time you take actually quite some supply out of the market."

Jul 10 - India lowers duty on 400,000 T of corn imports as prices jump
India lowered import taxes on an additional 400,000 tonnes of corn to 15%, the government said on Tuesday, to offset a rise in the price of animal feed in the country following a drought last year. India allowed imports of 100,000 tonnes of corn at the concessional tax rate in June. 

Jul 10 - France sees wheat crop rising to 37 mln T, rapeseed at 16-year low
France is on course to harvest 37.0 million tonnes of soft wheat this year, 8.5% more than in 2018, the country's farm ministry said on Tuesday, supporting market expectations of a bigger crop in the European Union's top wheat grower. The initial production estimate for the soft wheat crop was also 3.6% above the average of the past five years, the ministry said in a crop report.

Jul 10 - Cargill confirms to change German starch plant to wheat use
U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill confirmed on Tuesday it will develop its starches and sweeteners factory in Krefeld in Germany, changing the plant to wheat raw material from corn in a $200 million investment project. The project had been announced in January 2018. No figures on plant production capacity or tonnage of wheat involved were given.

Jul 10 - Bulgaria reports six new outbreaks of African swine fever
Bulgaria has reported new outbreaks of African swine fever among backyard pigs in six villages in the northern region of Pleven, the national food safety agency said on Tuesday. All pigs in the six villages were outbreaks were confirmed will be culled and a three-kilometre quarantine zone will be established around the village, the agency said in a statement.

Jul 09 - Funds dismiss large U.S. corn plantings and stick with bullish views - Braun
Speculators hardly changed their attitude toward Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds following a very bearish government report, even though market participants expected the numbers to have triggered heavy selling, especially in corn. The Department of Agriculture's acreage survey published on June 28 showed U.S. corn plantings at 91.7 million acres, more than 5 million above the average trade guess and well over the top of the range of guesses. CBOT corn futures plunged the daily limit as a result, after reaching five-year highs earlier in the month.

 
Jul 09 - Russian analysts cut 2019 wheat crop forecasts again
SovEcon and IKAR, the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, on Monday downgraded their forecast for Russia's 2019 wheat crop as they continued to assess the negative impact of June's hot, dry weather. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, has downgraded a number of crop forecasts in recent weeks because of a June heatwave. 

 
Jul 09 - Juror urges U.S. judge to uphold $80 mln Roundup verdict against Bayer
A juror who was part of a panel that delivered an $80 million award against Bayer AG after finding that its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup caused a man's cancer has urged the presiding judge to uphold the decision. A letter from the juror written on July 4 was posted to the court docket on Monday as part of legal filings by Bayer. The company accused the juror of bias and called on the judge to disregard the letter in his decision making.

Jul 09 - Black Sea wheat exports seen rising 4% in 2019/20 - poll
Wheat exports from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will rise 4% in the 2019/20 marketing season, a Reuters poll showed, as June's heatwave failed to offset favourable weather in the winter, signalling tough competition with the European Union. 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, whose crop is also expected to rebound this year. 

Jul 09 - China finds armyworm pest in corn crops in Gansu province
China has found the destructive fall armyworm in corn crops in the northwestern province of Gansu, the local government said on Monday, further stoking fears about damage to the country's grain output. The pest, which was found in crops near Longnan city in southern Gansu, has now spread to 20 provinces and regions in China since it was first reported in the southwestern province Yunnan in early January. 

Jul 09 - German diplomat tells US, EU: don't use agriculture to block trade deal
The United States and European Union should use common sense to move forward with formal negotiations about a trade agreement, instead of allowing disagreements over agriculture to block progress, a senior German diplomat told Reuters. Peter Beyer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the German government's transatlantic coordinator, said both sides should back away from their rigid positions.

Jul 09 - BASF slashes 2019 outlook, blames U.S.-China trade war
German chemicals giant BASF on Monday warned profit would fall well below forecasts for the second quarter and full year, blaming a global economic slowdown and trade war between the United States and China. The maker of petrochemicals, coatings, catalytic converters and foams warned full-year earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) excluding special items would fall up to 30% below 2018 levels, instead of showing modest growth.

Jul 08 - Agritel forecasts Ukraine wheat crop to reach 28.8 mln T on record yield
Ukrainian wheat production could jump by 16.9% to 28.8 million tonnes this year, with favourable growing weather expected to result in record yields, French crop consultancy Agritel said. Agritel's forecast, which followed a June 17-21 field tour in Ukraine, would also be almost 12% above the average production level of the past five years, it said on Friday.

 
Jul 08 - Egypt's strategic rice reserves sufficient until Oct. 15 - state news agency
Egypt's strategic reserves of rice can cover the country's needs until Oct. 15 and the price of rice will be reduced, state news agency MENA said on Sunday, citing Supply Minister Ali Moselhy. Last month, Moselhy said the rice reserves were sufficient to meet the country's needs until December. It was not immediately clear why that had changed and no details were immediately available about when the price of rice would be reduced and by how much.

 
Jul 08 - U.S. EPA proposes hike in 2020 biofuel mandate but waiver volumes draw ire
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday proposed refiners increase the volume of biofuels blended into their annual fuel output but did not reallocate the waived amounts under the hardship program, drawing ire from powerful corn and biofuel groups as well as Republican senators. The EPA is charged with setting biofuel blending requirements for the refining industry as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a more than decade-old regulation that is aimed at helping farmers and reducing U.S. dependence on oil. It also provides waivers to small refining facilities that can prove compliance would cause them financial harm.

Jul 08 - French cereal crop conditions hit by heatwave as harvest starts
The condition of French cereal crops declined sharply last week, farming agency FranceAgriMer said on Friday, suggesting a negative impact from a record-breaking heatwave in the European Union's biggest grain producer. Grain markets have been assessing the effects of scorching temperatures in western Europe, which included a record high of 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6°F) in France. 

Jul 08 - U.S. soy exports could top forecasts, but corn outlook doubtful - Braun
With just eight weeks left in the current marketing year, U.S. soybean exports could be on pace to top government forecasts, but corn may have a tougher time meeting the expectations. Data published on Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that May corn reached 4.7 million tonnes, the smallest for that month in six years. 

Jul 08 - Cambodia's EU rice exports fall sharply after tariffs; China sales up
Cambodia's rice exports to the European Union fell sharply in the first half of the year following the imposition of tariffs, official data showed on Monday, but the loss was offset by increased sales to China. The EU in January imposed tariffs for three years on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar, aiming to protect EU producers such as Italy following a surge in imports from the two Asian countries. 

Jul 05 - EU-Mercosur deal boosts Brazil meatpackers' hopes for EU meat mission
An historic trade deal between the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur last week is lifting expectations for Europe's next mission to evaluate Brazilian chicken plants, an industry group said on Thursday. Ricardo Santin, vice president of Brazil chicken and pork association ABPA, said in a telephone interview that the EU mission, tentatively scheduled for November, is part of a regular schedule of facility inspections.

 
Jul 05 - New Zealand's Fonterra says performance needs to improve after shares tumble
New Zealand's Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter, on Friday said there were no new operational developments that could have triggered a drop in its shares to record lows this week, but that its "performance is not where it needs to be". The comments come as the dairy producer deals with drought conditions which have crimped output. It cut its annual earnings forecast in May and said it was reviewing two Chinese farm hubs and exploring a stake sale at its Brazilian joint venture. 

 
Jul 05 - Malaysia June palm stocks seen dropping to nearly 1-yr low - Reuters survey
Palm oil inventories in Malaysia likely dropped to their lowest in nearly a year in June as exports and domestic consumption outpaced production, a Reuters survey showed. Stockpiles in Malaysia, the world's No.2 producer of the edible oil, are forecast to have fallen to 2.35 million tonnes by the end of June, down 4% from May, according to a median estimate of seven planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters.

Jul 05 - U.S. and 15 others slam EU regulation of farm products at WTO
The United States and 15 other countries launched a broadside of criticism at the European Union on Thursday, saying its "hazard-based" approach to regulating pesticides and other "critical tools" used by farmers was damaging livelihoods worldwide. Their statement, submitted to the World Trade Organization, said the EU's approach created great uncertainty and diverged from science-based risk assessments, creating disruption that threatened to escalate significantly in coming years.

Jul 05 - Pricier grills but cheaper meat: how Trump's trade policy plays on July 4
U.S. consumers likely paid more for grills to cook their Independence Day hot dogs and burgers this year because of the U.S.-China trade war, but they will find some consolation in less costly meat for cookouts as tariffs curb U.S. exports. The tit-for-tat tariff fight between the world's two largest economies started by U.S. President Donald Trump a year ago has U.S. companies facing higher costs for metals and components, while U.S. agricultural exports to China have fallen off.

Jul 04 - Canada proposes meat export solution, pushes back on China's criticism
Canada offered a plan to reassure China about the security of its meat export system, a Canadian minister said on Wednesday, as Ottawa rejected Chinese criticism of its efforts to enlist allies to resolve a diplomatic dispute between the countries. China said last week it wanted the Canadian government to stop allowing meat shipments to China after bogus export certificates were discovered, escalating a dispute that has also involved arrests in both countries of each other's citizens and a halt in Canadian canola sales to China. 

 
Jul 04 - United States makes first-ever rice sale to China - trade group
A private importer in China last week bought U.S. rice for the first time ever, in the midst of a trade war between the two nations, a rice industry group said on Wednesday. The Chinese importer bought two containers, about 40 tonnes, of medium-grain rice from California-based Sun Valley Rice, said Michael Klein, a spokesman for USA Rice, a trade group that promotes the sale of the U.S. grain.

 
Jul 04 - Northern Chinese province issues 'red alert' due to heat, corn crop at risk
The northern Chinese province of Hebei issued an extreme heat 'red alert' on Thursday, with temperatures set to soar beyond 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in its major cities and putting the area's corn crop at risk, the local government said. China's weather bureau on Tuesday said that climate change could cause more extreme weather events, with rainfall breaking records in some regions and as many as 40 weather stations this year already registering their hottest temperatures ever. 

Jul 04 - China says African swine fever outbreaks slowing
The number of fresh outbreaks of African swine fever in China has dropped significantly this year and pig production is gradually returning to normal, its vice agriculture minister said, amid recent reports underscoring the threat of the disease. African swine fever is deadly to pigs and there is no cure or vaccine for the disease, which has swept through China, the world's top pork producer, since August last year.

Jul 04 - Germany set for large wheat crop as it recovers from 2018 drought 
Germany is on course for a larger winter wheat crop in 2019 after drought caused massive harvest damage last year, the association of German farmers DBV said on Wednesday. Germany will harvest about 24.1 million tonnes of winter wheat, up from the small crop of 19.6 million tonnes last year, the DBV said in its first harvest report of this year.

Jul 04 - Brazil to act on deforestation if concerns confirmed, minister says
Brazil will take action if concerns about an increase in deforestation are confirmed, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday as Brazil faces environmental pressure under the terms of the EU-Mercosur free trade deal. The deal agreed to last week includes provisions that the two sides must effectively implement the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as other commitments for limiting deforestation, according to an outline provided by the European Union.

Jul 03 - U.S. judge to slash $80 million Roundup jury verdict-court hearing
A U.S. judge on Tuesday said he would reduce an $80 million damage award against Bayer AG to $50 million or less in the case of a man who blamed his cancer on glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said the jury's $75 million punitive damages award to plaintiff Edwin Hardeman in March could not stand.

 
Jul 03 - Debate over U.S. corn plantings rages on in wake of USDA survey -Braun
Corn analysts were on the defensive on Friday, blaming the U.S. government’s procedures after its survey showed a very large number of planted acres relative to predictions despite a wet, record-slow planting season. After Friday’s revelations, analysts are still trying to decide the most likely acreage scenario. That picture should be much clearer in about six weeks and it may confirm that the market was ultimately in the wrong ahead of the June survey.

 
Jul 03 - Brazil's JBS buying cattle from deforested Amazon land - report
Brazilian food processor JBS SA has been buying cattle from ranchers operating on deforested land in the Amazon that the government had said must not be used for grazing, a newspaper report said on Tuesday. Repórter Brasil, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Guardian reported that a JBS supplier in the northern Brazilian state of Pará had been raising cattle in a deforested area that had been embargoed by the environment agency Ibama.

Jul 03 - Indonesia palm oil exports seen lower in May, stock rises - survey
Indonesia's palm output in May likely rose from a month earlier, while exports declined, according to a Reuters survey of industry groups and researcher. Palm oil output in Indonesia, the world's top exporter, likely rose to 4.6 million tonnes in May, up from 4.42 million tonnes in April, according to a survey of two palm oil industry groups and a state palm oil research firm.

Jul 02 - Locked out of China, U.S. pork producers sniff out new buyers
U.S. hog farmers lost hundreds of millions of dollars in export sales to China and Mexico after President Donald Trump launched his trade wars last year. But the sector has largely offset those massive losses by cobbling together new customers in smaller markets from Colombia to Vietnam, according a Reuters analysis of data from the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

 
Jul 02 - What extra U.S. farm products could China buy ?
China has agreed to make unspecified new purchases of farm products from the United States, President Donald Trump said after meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Japan. China was the top buyer on average of U.S. agriculture exports from 2010 to 2017, making purchases worth $21.6 billion a year, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed.

 
Jul 02 - Crop Watch: Corn and soybean growth boosted by warmer weather - Braun
Last week’s weather was largely welcome for the U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybeans as the warmth helped speed up growth and improve coloring in the plants. However, the crop maturity still greatly lags normal pace and the producers are expecting yields to come in close to average levels. Warmer temperatures are expected to persist for much of this week, and the producers mostly see this as helpful for their crops. 

Jul 02 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for Aug. 2-12 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. 2-12. 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 02 - Brazil meatpacking shares surge on EU-Mercosur trade deal
Shares of Brazilian meatpackers rose sharply on Monday on prospects for stronger exports to the European Union following a trade deal reached last week with South American bloc Mercosur. JBS SA  the world's largest meat producer, rose 6% to 22.51 reais in late afternoon trade, while rival BRF SA, the world's biggest chicken exporter, jumped 8% to 31.91 reais. Marfrig Global Foods which is in talks for a merger with BRF, rose more than 3%.

Jul 02 - Russian wheat forecasts hit by June heat, rain expected
Estimates of Russia's wheat crop and exports were cut on Monday as analysts and a weather forecaster gave their latest assessment on the negative impact of June's dry, hot weather. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter which ships its grain to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, started harvesting the 2019 grain crop in June when there was a heat wave in several regions.

Jul 01 - Swine fever toll in China may be twice as high as reported, industry insiders say
As many as half of China's breeding pigs have either died from African swine fever or been slaughtered because of the spreading disease, twice as many as officially acknowledged, according to the estimates of four people who supply large farms. While other estimates are more conservative, the plunge in the number of sows is poised to leave a large hole in the supply of the country's favourite meat, pushing up food prices and devastating livelihoods in a rural economy that includes 40 million pig farmers.

Jul 01 - Funds boost bullish corn bets but get thumped by USDA's acreage peg - Braun
Speculators extended optimism in Chicago-traded corn futures and options through early last week, but they took a painful beating on Friday following the U.S. government's extremely bearish corn area estimate. Market participants expected the U.S. Department of Agriculture's June area survey to show 6 million fewer corn acres than March intentions due to the record slow planting efforts and persistently wet spring.

Jul 01 - USDA reports large U.S. soybean sale to China ahead of Trump-Xi meeting
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday reported a large soybean sale to China, an apparent goodwill gesture a day before the first meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in seven months. The trade war has curbed exports of U.S. crops to China and looms over the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Japan. Expectations have dimmed that the world's two biggest economies can ease tensions when Trump and Xi meet in Osaka on Saturday.

Jul 01 - China finds armyworm in major corn producer Shandong - Beijing News
China has found the destructive fall armyworm in the major corn-producing province of Shandong in the north, the government-backed Beijing News reported on Monday. The pest, first detected in the southwestern province of Yunnan in early January, has spread to Shandong but has not damaged crops in the northern province, Beijing News reported, citing an expert from a government think tank.

Jul 01 - India had driest June in five years, fears for crops
India had its driest June in five years because monsoon rains were delayed, the weather department said late on Sunday, raising fears for crops and the broader economy. Overall, the monsoon rains were a third lower than average, though in some states including the sugar cane growing northern state of Uttar Pradesh, they were as much as 61 percent lower, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed.

Jul 01 - Heatwave seen trimming, not slashing EU grain harvest
A record-breaking heatwave in western Europe may trim grain harvest production but the searing heat is not expected to last long enough to cause the kind of severe crop losses seen during a drought last year. The unusually early summer heatwave has gripped parts of continental Europe this week, bringing the highest temperatures on record in France on Friday.

Jul 01 - Zimbabwe moves to keep a lid on maize prices after drought
Zimbabwe has banned farmers from selling maize to anyone other than the state Grain Market Board as the government moves to keep prices of the staple crop down after a severe drought cut output. Under regulations published on Friday, any individuals or companies that buy maize directly from farmers could face up to two years in jail. The Grain Marketing Board will be the sole buyer of the crop and will then sell it to millers.

Jul 01 - Chinese envoy says Syngenta takeover was a bad deal - report
Beijing's ambassador to Switzerland said ChemChina's $43 billion takeover of seed and agrochemicals firm Syngenta was a mistake, adding he would have tried to stop the 2017 deal had he been in Bern at the time, a newspaper reported in an interview on Saturday. "If I had been the ambassador a year earlier, the takeover wouldn't have taken place," Gen Wenbin was quoted as telling the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, without giving specific reasons for his opposition to the deal.

Jun 28 - IGC cuts forecasts for 2019/20 world corn, soy crops
The International Grains Council (IGC) cut its forecast on Thursday for world corn and soybean crops in the 2019/2020 season after heavy rains disrupted plantings in the United States. The inter-governmental body said in a monthly update it had cut its global corn crop forecast by 23 million tonnes to 1.095 billion tonnes "largely owing to a difficult start to the growing season for U.S. maize (corn)."

 
Jun 28 - Judge gives U.S. a role in chicken price-fixing civil case amid criminal probe
A federal judge on Thursday allowed the U.S. government to intervene in long-running litigation in which grocers, retailers and consumers accused Tyson Foods Inc, Pilgrim's Pride Corp and other poultry processors of conspiring to inflate chicken prices. U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in Chicago granted the government's intervention request after the Department of Justice said last week it had launched a criminal probe related to price-fixing allegations, which the poultry processors have denied.

 
Jun 28 - Last-minute thoughts in countdown to U.S. grain stocks, acreage - Braun 
The number of corn and soybean acres U.S. farmers have planted amid one of the most challenging springs ever may be the hottest topic of the year so far for the agriculture market, but Friday’s report from the U.S. government is unlikely to provide a great deal of clarity. Meanwhile, U.S. grain stocks are seen remaining at comfortable levels, record high for soybeans. These numbers will be much more solid than the plantings, though the markets’ anticipation for the latter has been more intense than usual.

 
Jun 28 - Bayer lifted by new plan to tackle glyphosate lawsuits, Elliott approval 
Bayer shares jumped on Thursday after it revealed plans aimed at resolving multi-billion dollar lawsuits linked to glyphosate, a move welcomed by activist shareholder Elliott, which has taken a sizeable stake in the chemicals company. Shares in the German group, which have lost more than a fifth of their value since March, rose 8.7% to 60.86 euros, for their biggest daily gain in a decade. The company's market capitalisation rose by 4.8 billion euro on the day.

 
Jun 28 - Argentina raises wheat planting estimate to 6.6 mln hectares - exchange 
Argentine farmers are expected to plant 6.6 million hectares(16.3 million acres) of wheat in the 2019-20 season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, citing good rains and high prices as reasons for increasing its previous forecast of 6.4 million hectares. Argentine wheat is planted in June and July and harvested in December and January. Some 60.9% of this season's wheat crop has been sown so far, the exchange said in its weekly crop report.

Jun 28 - No U.S.-EU trade deal without agriculture - U.S. official 
The United States will not reach a trade agreement with the European Union if agriculture is not included, a senior U.S. Agriculture Department official told reporters on Thursday. Ted McKinney, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, said he was highlighting common ground between the two sides during meetings with lawmakers, government officials and private industry in Brussels, Rome and Geneva.

Jun 28 - India faces weak monsoon rains, raising fears for crops, economy
India's monsoon rains were below average for the fourth straight week, with rainfall scanty over central and western parts of the country in the week ended on Wednesday, raising concerns about major crop production and the impact on the nation's economy. Monsoon rains are crucial for the country's farm output and economic growth. About 55% of India's arable land is rain-fed, and agriculture makes up about 15% of a $2.5 trillion economy that is Asia's third-biggest.

Jun 28 - Tanzania's agricultural export earnings fall by more than half - central bank 
Tanzania's agricultural export earnings fell by more than half over the past year, the central bank said in a report published on Thursday, hurt by a government ban on cashew exports. The report showed earnings from agriculture exports slumped to $554.1 million in the year ending April, from $1.225 billion in the year-earlier period.

Jun 27 - China's shutout of Canadian meat scrambles global pork flow 
China's decision to block imports of Canadian meat has set off a global chain reaction in pork trading but it will do little to curb overall demand as a disease ravaging the Chinese hog herd elevates prices, industry experts say. China said on Tuesday it wants the Canadian government to temporarily stop allowing meat shipments to China after bogus pork export certificates were discovered.

 
Jun 27 - Canadian farmers cut canola plantings amid China dispute 
Canadian farmers trimmed their canola plantings from spring intentions amid a diplomatic dispute with top export market China, in line with expectations, Statistics Canada data showed on Wednesday. Canola plantings fell to 21 million acres, down from their plans for 21.3 million as of April and off 8% from last year, according to Statscan, which based the estimates on a farmer survey. The estimate, Statscan's lowest in three years, fell within a range of prior trade guesses, which averaged 20.7 million acres.

 
Jun 27 - Republican senators urge U.S. EPA to hold firm on refinery biofuel waivers 
Nine Republican U.S. senators on Wednesday urged the Trump administration's environmental regulator to disregard a request by Democratic senators to stop issuing waivers to oil refiners on requirements to blend biofuels into motor fuels. The Republican senators including Jim Inhofe, Ted Cruz, and Pat Toomey, said ditching the waivers would put thousands of refinery workers at risk and boost gasoline and diesel prices.

Jun 27 - BP gets back into animal feed with $30 mln Calysta investment 
BP is returning to the animal feed business a quarter of a century after exiting the sector. The London-based oil and gas company said it is investing $30 million in Calysta Inc., which produces protein for fish, livestock and pet food. Natural gas is pumped through a fermenter, and the microorganisms, from naturally occurring microbes found in soil, metabolise the gas as their sole source of energy, producing a high-protein biomass.

Jun 27 - WTO members concerned over U.S. farm spending, EU's Brexit plans
China, India, the European Union, Ukraine and Australia told the World Trade Organization on Wednesday that U.S. farm subsidies risked distorting global markets, and said they feared such funding would be repeated, a Geneva trade official said. Many countries also raised concerns about the EU's proposed handling of agricultural tariff rate quotas under a no-deal Brexit, fearing they would lose market share if Britain started competing as an exporter to the bloc.

Jun 27 - Bayer seeks glyphosate litigation advice as Elliott reveals stake
Chemicals giant Bayer, under pressure from activist shareholders, said on Wednesday it has hired an external lawyer to advise its supervisory board and has set up a committee to help resolve a multi-billion dollar glyphosate litigation issue. Bayer has seen its share price tumble in the wake of its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, which brought with it massive legal issues after more than 13,400 plaintiffs alleged the company's glyphosate weedkiller caused cancer.

Jun 27 - Chinese farmers gear up for armyworm as govt says situation severe 
China's agriculture ministry said on Wednesday it had now found fall armyworm in 19 provinces, across 5 million mu or about 333,000 hectares of crops. The situation around the prevention and control of the pest remained severe, the ministry added.

Jun 27 - Indonesia to cull 3 million chickens in a bid to boost prices 
Indonesia has told poultry breeders to cull around 3 million chickens over a two-week period from Wednesday to prop up plunging prices, as farmers protested by giving away thousands of live birds for free. Indonesia has been producing more chicken than it consumes, putting pressure on prices. Chicken farmers have been complaining that live bird prices have been below a government floor price and cost of production for months.

Jun 26 - China tells Canada to stop meat shipments over bogus documents 
China said on Tuesday it wants the Canadian government to stop allowing meat shipments to China after bogus export certificates were discovered. The announcement comes just four days before China and the United States are due to sit down to work on settling a trade dispute that has caught Canada in the crossfire.

 
Jun 26 - China's May soybean imports from top supplier Brazil fall amid swine fever woes
China's May soybean imports from top supplier Brazil fell 31% from the same month last year, customs data showed on Tuesday, with buyers curbing bookings of the animal feed ingredient as African swine fever has reduced the nation's pig herds. China bought 6.3 million tonnes of soybeans from Brazil in May, down from 9.124 million tonnes the previous year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

 
Jun 26 - How to avoid misreading USDA's corn acreage on Friday - Braun
Agriculture analysts are certain that the record-slow and extremely rainy U.S. planting season has caused total seeded corn acres to fall significantly from original intentions, though the magnitude of the reduction is still widely debated. Regardless, it is vital to understand exactly how the figures that the U.S. government will publish on Friday are derived to avoid setting flawed expectations. Because of this year’s unique set of circumstances, it is possible that some market-watchers are overestimating the loss in corn acres at this juncture.

Jun 26 - Agriculture secretary says U.S. farmers are 'casualties' of trade war - CNN 
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue acknowledged that American farmers are "casualties" of President Donald Trump's trade war with China, according to an interview broadcast on Tuesday. Perdue told CNN he did not expect a trade deal to be reached when Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping this month at the G20 summit in Japan but hopes one can be struck by the end of the year.

Jun 26 - U.S. CFTC awards nearly $2.5 million to Cargill whistleblower
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has awarded about $2.5 million to a whistleblower in a 2017 case against global grain trader Cargill Inc over alleged violations in how it handled trades, the agency said on Tuesday. The award, while significant in size, was reduced "because of the whistleblower's delay in reporting" the misconduct, the agency said in a statement.

Jun 26 - U.S. pork lobby says regulatory changes needed after Trump biotech order
The U.S. pork lobby said on Tuesday that more must be done to simplify regulations for genetically altered livestock, weeks after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to streamline the review process for agricultural technology. Trump, who was elected in 2016 with broad support from farmers, signed the order in Iowa on June 11 and said it would speed up reviews of biotechnology.

Jun 26 - U.S. launches criminal probe into alleged chicken price fixing by Tyson, rivals
The U.S. Department of Justice has begun a criminal probe into allegations that Tyson Foods Inc and other poultry processors including Pilgrim's Pride Corp and Sanderson Farms Inc colluded to fix poultry prices, court documents show. The DOJ filed a motion to intervene and stay discovery of evidence in an antitrust lawsuit involving the companies and has convened a grand jury to investigate, according to a court filing from Friday.

Jun 26 - Fonterra's Australian milk output drops in April, NZ May output flat 
Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter, said on Wednesday its Australian milk production fell 13.7% in April from a year earlier, with drought conditions pushing up costs. Hot, dry weather across Australia and New Zealand has crimped Fonterra's output so far this year, with increased fodder prices and scant irrigation weighing on the agriculture sector in general.

Jun 26 - Rain gives Canadian farmers relief for now from 3-year drought 
With drought turning Chad Ross's pastures brown, the Saskatchewan rancher sent 140 head of cattle to slaughter earlier than usual this spring, as the Canadian Prairies' three-year drought made them too expensive to feed. The ranch and feedlot near Estevan, Saskatchewan, has lost money two straight years. Long-awaited rains that swept the parched Prairies in the past week largely skipped the Ross farm.

Jun 26 - Russian heatwave not affecting spring wheat areas too much -state weather forecaster 
Conditions for Russia's spring wheat harvest are generally good or satisfactory with only a few areas affected by a heatwave that has hit some parts of the country, state weather forecaster Hydrometcentre said on Tuesday.  Russia is starting active harvesting of its 2019 grain crop amid concerns that hot and dry weather could hurt plantings in several regions of the country.

Jun 25 - Crop Watch: Corn and soy growth held back by excessive rains, cool weather - Braun 
Too much rain and unfavorably cool temperatures were last week’s themes for all eight U.S. Crop Watch growers, who see their corn and soybean yields falling short of last year’s levels. Luckily, a warmer and drier pattern is in the forecast for the next week or two, which should promote crop development and allow saturated fields to drain. Crop Watch 2019 follows one corn and one soybean field in eight major U.S. Corn Belt states, reporting on weekly progress as of Sunday. These are the same eight growers who participated in the 2018 version of Crop Watch.

 
Jun 25 - South Africa to raise 2019 maize output forecast marginally - poll
South Africa is expected to slightly raise its 2019 maize harvest forecast, as weather conditions remain favourable and yields remain unaffected by frost damage, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. The government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC), which will provide its fifth production forecast for the 2018/2019 season on Wednesday, is seen pegging the harvest at 10.95 million tonnes, up from its May estimate of 10.90 million tonnes, a poll of four traders and market analysts showed. 

 
Jun 25 - Water shortage could cut India's food exports, minister warns
A water shortage could cut food exports from India, which has emerged as a leading supplier of a number of food products to the world, the water resources minister warned on Monday. From being a food-deficit country, India has achieved the distinction of being a top exporter of food but to retain that edge it needs to revive its reservoirs, lakes and other traditional water bodies, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in a statement.

Jun 24 - China's pork imports surge in May, near 3-yr high
China's pork imports surged nearly 63% in May from the same month last year, customs data showed on Sunday, as the world's top consumer of the meat stocked up on supplies ahead of an anticipated shortage. May imports came in at 187,459 tonnes, the largest volume since 192,348 tonnes in August 2016, according to the data.


 
Jun 24 - Armada of barges cleared for Mississippi River shipments after floods
The upper Mississippi River reopened to barge traffic on Friday as vessels were cleared to ship through St. Louis harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) said, and the situation quickly became a logistics nightmare as dozens of towboats and hundreds of delayed barges tried to maneuver upriver. After what many grain shippers have called the worst river flooding ever in terms of timing, breadth and duration, the vessels may finally be able to reach elevators in the heart of the U.S. farm belt to haul away export-bound corn and soybeans.

 
Jun 24 - Funds shed more CBOT shorts, though corn bulls should heed the wheat longs -Braun 
Speculators’ optimism in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds built further in the week ended June 18 as the U.S. corn and soybean crops are off to their latest-ever start, creating high uncertainty over production possibilities. But the market took a breather last week as CBOT corn futures hit a five-year high and traders weighed changes to U.S. weather forecasts, trying to figure out what they mean for the unprecedented growing season.

Jun 24 - Thailand bans pig imports from Laos after African swine fever outbreak
Thailand will ban pig imports from Laos for 90 days after its neighbour confirmed the first outbreak of deadly African swine fever, an official notice said. The ban would cover live pigs and carcasses in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading into Thailand, said a notice on the Thai Department of Development of Livestock on Friday. The move follows a similar ban on Friday by China.

Jun 24 - Jordan issues new tender to buy 120,000 tonnes wheat
Jordan's state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Monday. The tender deadline is June 26. Traders had expected a new tender from the trade ministry after Jordan made no purchase in its previous tender on June 20 when only two trading companies participated.

Jun 24 - Argentina raises this season's wheat sowing estimate thanks to rain 
Argentine farmers are expected to plant 6.5 million hectares of wheat in the 2019/20 season, the government said in a report on Friday, citing good rainfall as the reason for the increase from its previous forecast of 6.46 million hectares. "Good soil moisture conditions have favored planting," the agriculture secretariat said in its monthly grains report.

Jun 21 - U.S. to allow Sept. 1 grazing on unplantable acres to help farmers after floods 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday announced a new measure to help farmers who were unable to plant corn and soybeans due to widespread flooding across the U.S. Midwest. Cover crops such as grasses are seeded to avoid erosion on acres where flooding deterred growers from planting grains and oilseeds. In most years, farmers who make a crop insurance claim on these so-called "prevented plant" acres are not allowed until November to chop the fields for silage used to feed livestock.

 
Jun 21 - Trump orders review of controversial biofuel waiver program - sources 
U.S. President Donald Trump has directed members of his Cabinet to review the administration’s expanded use of waivers exempting small refineries from the nation’s biofuel policy, after hearing from farmers angry about the issue during his recent Midwest tour, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Trump's move underscores the rising political importance of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, a more than decade-old law which requires refineries to blend corn-based ethanol into their gasoline to help farmers, but which also provides waivers to small refining facilities that can prove compliance would cause them financial harm.

 
Jun 21 - U.S. crop tour suggests lots of last-minute planting in the east -Braun 
Corn and soybean planting is usually nearing completion in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio by early June. But these major producing states were on a record-slow pace three weeks ago with planting deadlines fast approaching, and many market participants worried that millions of acres could go unplanted as a result. While the crops in these states are critically behind schedule in terms of development, there is evidence to suggest that more acres may have been planted than some analysts might believe, and many of these fields were likely sown within the last three weeks.

Jun 21 - Fall armyworm invades crops across Asia, smallholders worst hit 
Looking out at his empty, red-earth field, Thai farmer Puang Timdon said his two-week-old maize crop didn't stand a chance against the fall armyworm pest. "All the 8 rai (1.28 hectare) I planted were all heavily infested," said the 42-year-old from his farm in Ban Nong Tor town in Pak Chong district, 180 km (120 miles) northeast of the capital Bangkok.

Jun 21 - Russian analysts cut 2019/20 wheat export estimates 
Russian agriculture consultants IKAR and SovEcon said they downgraded their forecasts for Russia's wheat exports in the new 2019/20 marketing season starting July 1 amid dry weather. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter which ships its grain to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, started harvesting the 2019 grain crop amid hot weather in several regions last week. However, the crop output is still expected to be higher than in 2018. 

Jun 20 - After years of war and drought, Iraq's bumper crop is burning
Iraqi farmer Riyadh woke on May 13 to find his wheat crop ablaze. In his fields in Diyala province, he found the remains of a mobile phone and plastic bottle which he believes was an explosive device detonated in the night to start the fire. Riyadh and his neighbours in Sheikh Tami village put out the blaze and saved most of his crop but hundreds of other farmers in Iraq have been less fortunate since Islamic State urged its supporters to wage economic warfare with fire.

 
Jun 20 - Argentina storms could delay wheat planting, expand area
Heavy storms that have hit eastern Argentina over the past few days will cause delays in planting of next season's wheat crop, but they could also help farmers grow more of the grain thanks to replenished water reserves, weather experts said. Argentina, one of the world's major grain exporters, has been benefiting recently from adverse weather hitting U.S. wheat crops, with the local exchange estimating record wheat production in the 2019/20 season. 

 
Jun 20 - Meat-loving Brazil joins the search for plant-based alternatives
Beef-crazy Brazil, with its all-you-can-eat steak houses, world-leading meatpackers and more cattle than people, is not the first place you might look for plant-based alternatives to meat. But companies from JBS SA, the largest beef producer in the world, to BRF SA, the No.1 chicken exporter, are looking to tap a wave of interest from environmentally conscious eaters seeking vegetable substitutes.

Jun 19 - China suspending pork imports from 3rd Canadian firm as dispute with Ottawa deepens
China will block pork imports from a third Canadian firm after a shipment was found to contain the banned feed additive ractopamine, the customs agency said on Tuesday, deepening a trade and diplomatic dispute with Canada. The firm in question is Frigo Royal Inc, the agency said on its Wechat account. Ractopamine is used in some countries to make leaner pigs but China does not allow its use or tolerate residues in imported meat.

 
Jun 19 - U.S. corn problems boost Brazil ethanol outlook, might affect sugar
Brazilian sugar mills are closely watching the 2019 U.S. corn crop for reduced harvests that could boost prices for the cereal, raising ethanol production costs there and opening room for Brazilian ethanol to gain domestic market share. In that scenario, ethanol demand in Brazil would likely rise further, experts say, leading mills to maintain current production mix that heavily favors ethanol at the expense of sugar.

 
Jun 19 - China snub, drought and debt shake finances of Canada's farmers
For years, the financial stability of Canadian farmers was the envy of their American counterparts, but rising costs, drought and a dispute with China have weakened their bottom lines. Net incomes plunged last year, and that setback was followed in March by China's halting purchases of canola, Canada's biggest crop. Now farmers are turning to government aid to avert disaster, lenders are extending the term on loans and machinery dealers are seeing declining sales.

Jun 19 - Romanian wheat cargo in Damietta passes second round of tests
A 60,000 tonne Romanian wheat cargo held in the Egyptian port of Damietta passed a second round of tests for quality, trade sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, re-tested the cargo after an initial rejection and the vessel resumed unloading on Tuesday, the sources said.

Jun 19 - U.S. farmers may need more aid if trade deals stall during election season - lobby
Farmers may need a third round of government aid next year if political in-fighting during the 2020 U.S. election cycle prevents the Trump administration from landing trade deals and reopening top export markets, the head of the largest U.S. farm lobby said on Tuesday. If the U.S. Congress cannot ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), then it and the Trump administration could find it difficult to finalize any trade deals with other large markets, including the European Union and Japan, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said.

Jun 19 - Bayer asks trial judge to reverse $2 billion Roundup jury verdict
Bayer AG has asked a California judge to overrule a $2 billion verdict by jurors who found the company's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer responsible for a couple's cancer, arguing the jury decision was not supported by evidence. The German drugmaker and chemicals company in court filings on Monday in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland blamed the massive verdict on "inflammatory, fabricated and irrelevant evidence" from the couples' lawyers.

Jun 19 - ADM to cut jobs at animal feed unit Neovia in France
Archer Daniels Midland Company plans to cut 127 staff at its recently acquired Neovia animal feed business in France to eradicate job duplication, the head of the group's animal nutrition department said on Tuesday. Chicago-based ADM took over Neovia for 1.54 billion euros ($1.73 billion) this year as part of the U.S. farm giant's strategy to expand in the fast-growing animal nutrition sector. 


Jun 19 - Brazil holds agricultural financing volume for 2019-20 steady, raises borrowing costs
Brazilian farmers will have 222.7 billion reais ($57.7 billion) in financing for the 2019-20 crop, and interest rates will rise for the largest producers as the Brazilian government tries to curb its large deficit. Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said in a press conference on Tuesday the government will also try to develop new financing sources.

Jun 18 - Australia lowers wheat export forecast by 18% as drought hits supply
Australia on Tuesday lowered its forecast for wheat exports over the 2019/20 season by nearly 18% as a drought wilts crops in the world's No.4 exporter of the grain. That comes after Australia's chief commodity forecaster last week cut its production forecast for the 2019/20 harvest by more than 11% as the drought leaves crops struggling to survive. 

 
Jun 18 - NOPA May soy crush below expectations at 154.796 million bushels
The U.S. soybean crush fell below trade estimates last month and lagged the year-earlier monthly crush rate for a third straight month, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Monday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 154.796 million bushels of soybeans in May, down from 159.990 million bushels in April and below the 163.572 million bushels crushed in May 2018, the record for the month.

 
Jun 18 - Soaring corn prices pinch Brazil meatpackers amid Chinese meat bonanza
Brazilian pork and poultry processors, who have benefited from strong exports to China amid the African swine fever outbreak, are starting to feel the pinch now at home as prices soar for corn, the main ingredient in animal feed. Brazilian corn prices rose sharply in recent weeks despite projections for a record harvest above 100 million tonnes. The rally tracked benchmark corn futures in Chicago, which have been boosted by heavy rains hurting the new U.S. crop. 

Jun 18 - Summer crop sowing lags in India on slow monsoon progress
Planting of summer-sown crops in India such as soybean, cotton, rice and corn has been delayed by at least two weeks because of the slow progress of monsoon rains in central and western parts of the country, raising concerns over lower production. Lower production of soybeans could force India to raise imports of edible oils such as palm oil and soyoil, while a drop in cotton output could limit the world's biggest fibre producer's exports. Lower rice output could hit shipments from the world's biggest exporter.

Jun 18 - Brazil to export record volume of corn in 2019 - Agroconsult
Brazilian farmers will export a record 38 million tonnes of corn this year, as their crop becomes more competitive thanks to a record harvest and historic U.S. planting delays, according to agribusiness consultancy Agroconsult. Agroconsult revised upward its forecast for exports this year to 38 million tons from 31 million tonnes. The group also revised the forecast for the crop to 101.2 million tonnes of corn in the 2018-19 season from 100.4 million tonnes.

Jun 18 - Funds exit more corn shorts, bracing for U.S. crop shortfall - Braun
Speculators last week briefly paused their aggressive exiting of short positions in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds only to resume the bullish sentiment on Tuesday when the U.S. government slashed the corn harvest to a much larger degree than was predicted. Constant precipitation in the U.S. Corn Belt over the last several weeks and months has severely hampered planting, holding corn and soybean development to a record-slow pace. Investors have been getting increasingly nervous about a potentially large supply loss in the No. 1 corn exporter, though they have been less worried about soybeans due to large domestic supplies.

Jun 18 - Crop Watch: Wet soils and persistent rain weighing on corn health - Braun
The U.S. Crop Watch producers report that corn conditions are largely the same as last week, but many fields are starting to show stress from excessive moisture. Almost all areas could use both a break from the rains and some above average temperatures to get the crops growing. Unfortunately, many Corn Belt states, especially in the east, are forecast to receive between 2 and 4 inches (51 to 102 mm) of rain over the next seven days, likely to the detriment of conditions. 

Jun 18 - Brazil to let ethanol sector raise capital using tax free notes
The Brazilian government will allow companies in the sugar and ethanol sector to raise capital for investments through the issuance of notes that are exempt from income tax, Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said on Monday. Albuquerque and other government officials signed an order on Monday during the Ethanol Summit in Sao Paulo including the sugar and ethanol industry in the priority areas that can make use of that type of debt, locally known as 'debêntures incentivadas'.

Jun 18 - Trump and Modi's lavish farm payouts prompt questions at WTO
Massive farm-support plans in the United States and India are being scrutinised by other World Trade Organization members, questions submitted to the WTO's quarterly agriculture committee meeting showed on Monday. The WTO has strict rules about the size and nature of payments, and member governments keep a close watch for any competitors who might be cheating. Their questions -- 62 pages for the June 25-26 meeting -- can range from requests for clarification to outright allegations of illegal handouts.

Jun 17 - Illinois farmers give up on planting after floods, throw party instead
The Happy Spot was a little depressed. Dozens of corn farmers and those who sell them seed, chemicals and equipment gathered on Thursday at the restaurant in Deer Grove, Illinois, after heavy rains caused unprecedented delays in planting this year and contributed to record floods across the central United States. 

 
Jun 17 - Trump mulled plan in 2018 to scale back U.S. biofuel waivers - documents
President Donald Trump's advisers presented him with a plan last year to curtail the administration's use of small refinery waivers under the nation's biofuel law - a key demand of the powerful U.S. corn lobby, according to documents made public by the Environmental Protection Agency. While the June 2018 plan was ultimately rejected, the fact it reached the president's desk shows that Trump's advisers believed at the time he had the ability to adjust the controversial waiver program, even as his EPA defended the expanded use of the exemptions by citing legal requirement.

 
Jun 17 - Bayer to invest $5.6 bln in weedkiller research to help reputation
Germany's Bayer sought to repair its reputation on Friday after damage caused by U.S. litigation over claims its glyphosate pesticide causes cancer, saying it would invest 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in weedkiller research. Bayer's shares hit seven-year lows after a California couple was last month awarded more than $2 billion in the largest-ever U.S. jury award over claims that glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup, which the German life sciences group acquired when it took over Monsanto, causes cancer. 

Jun 17 - NOPA May U.S. soy crush seen at 162.474 mln bushels - survey
U.S. soybean processors likely crushed fewer soybeans last month than they did in the same month a year ago, but the crush rate was still the second-largest on record for May, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly industry report. Members of the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) likely processed 162.474 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates given by eight analysts in a Reuters survey.

Jun 17 - Brazil asks for WTO investigation of Indonesia on poultry trade
The Brazilian government has formally asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to open a panel to investigate Indonesian policies on Brazil's poultry exports, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday. Brazil won a case against Indonesia at the WTO in 2017, but the South American country argues that the WTO decision was never implemented by Indonesia, which continues to block any chicken imports from Brazilian companies.

Jun 17 - Chicken producer Perdue enters crowded plant-based meat market 
Perdue Foods, one of America's largest chicken producers, said it will sell frozen chicken nuggets mixed with cauliflower, chickpeas and plant protein to address a growing demand for products combining meat and vegetables. A company executive on Friday said more blended products were in the pipeline, with Perdue aiming for its vegetable-enhanced items to become a $100 million segment within five years, making up around 5% of the company's overall business.

Jun 17 - EU set for big winter barley crop after 2018 disaster
Europe is facing a strong rise in its 2019 winter barley harvest following massive drought damage a year before, bringing improved supplies for farmers. Winter barley, used for animal feed, suffered massive damage from a heatwave last summer, forcing Europe to make hefty imports of feed wheat and corn.

Jun 14 - China seeks to roll July U.S. soybean cargoes to August - sources
Chinese soybean buyers are asking sellers in the United States to delay cargoes due to be shipped in July until August, two sources familiar with the matter said, raising fears of cancellations like ones that roiled the market last year. The contract renegotiations come as the world's top two economies remain locked in a protracted trade war that prompted China to sharply cut purchases of the oilseed from its No. 2 supplier starting from the middle of last year.

 
Jun 14 - Brazil lifts suspension of beef exports to China 
Brazil's government said on Thursday it has lifted a suspension of beef exports to China after dealing with an atypical case of mad cow disease, sending shares of Marfrig Global Foods, Minerva SA and other Brazilian meatpackers soaring. The suspension had been in effect since June 3 after a case was reported in a 17-year-old cow in the state of Mato Grosso. Cases can arise spontaneously in cattle herds, usually in animals 8 years old or older. 

 
Jun 14 - Beyond Meat's new competitor: Tyson's pea-and-meat blended burger 
U.S. meat processor Tyson Foods Inc on Thursday launched its first vegetarian and mixed-protein products, including a beef and pea burger, as it seeks to compete with Beyond Meat and other companies catering to rising demand for plant-based alternatives to meat. Tyson is betting that meat eaters wanting healthier diets will see their blend as offering a meat taste and vegetable health.

Jun 14 - Trump trade blows fail to slow Mexican demand for U.S. wheat 
Mexican bread and flour tortilla makers will likely use significantly more wheat sourced from the United States this year despite growing unease with President Donald Trump, according to Mexico's main wheat chamber. Wheat shipments to Mexico from Russia are also expected to repeat last year's big jump in volume, while Argentine wheat is seen gaining a new foothold as the Mexican industry continues to diversify its suppliers.

Jun 14 - Strategie Grains cuts EU 2019/20 wheat export outlook by 1 mln tonnes 
A worsening of European soft wheat's competitiveness on world markets led crop consultancy Strategie Grains to cut by more than 1 million tonnes its forecast for EU soft wheat exports to third countries for the 2019/20 season on Thursday. Strategie Grains now expects the European Union to export 22.1 million tonnes of soft wheat in the season starting on July 1, down from 23.2 million estimated last month.

Jun 14 - EU seals deal to boost U.S. beef imports - sources 
The European Union has agreed a deal to allow U.S. farmers a larger share of Europe's beef market, EU sources and diplomats said, in a move that could help to defuse transatlantic trade tensions. The deal will result in the United States securing a guaranteed share of a 45,000 tonne EU quota for hormone-free beef. The quota was agreed in 2009 to settle a dispute between the two over an EU ban on the use of growth hormones in meat.

Jun 14 - Ottawa expands insurance for Canadian canola exporters amid China dispute 
Ottawa increased the insurance coverage available for canola exporters, a government corporation said on Thursday, as it seeks to reduce trade risks amid a dispute with China. China halted purchases of Canadian canola in March, citing pests in shipments by Richardson International Ltdand Viterra Inc. The move, coming as Beijing has also expressed anger that Canadian police had arrested a Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive in December, has pressured canola prices.

Jun 14 - Argentina's Bioceres eyes 2020 approval of drought-resistant soybean seed in China 
Argentine biotechnology firm Bioceres SA hopes a soybean seed it is developing with drought-resistant proprieties receives approval within the next month in the United States and by the end of 2020 in China, its chief executive said on Thursday. Argentina and Brazil have already approved the so-called HB4 seed variety. Argentina, Brazil and the United States are the largest soy producers in the world, while China is the largest importer, making approval there key for the expansion of Bioceres' product.

Jun 13 - Australian wheat output under threat as dry weather set to linger
Dry weather will persist across Australia until at least the end of September, the country's weather bureau said on Thursday, in a forecast that threatens to further lower wheat production in the world's No. 4 exporter. There is just a 30% chance that Australia will record average rainfall between July 1 and Sep 30, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.

 
Jun 13 - Yes, the U.S. soybean crop may be in big trouble - Braun
The soybean market has shown little fear over U.S. crop prospects so far this month despite the slow planting and record-late crop development. The complacency has been largely driven by the substantial domestic stockpiles and the longer time frame available to plant beans versus corn.

 
Jun 13 - Canada to boost aid for canola exporters as China dispute drags on - sources
The Canadian government will boost an insurance program for canola exporters looking to find new buyers in light of trade tensions between Canada and China, sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday. China, locked in a deepening dispute with Canada, has blocked imports of Canadian canola seed, depriving producers of their largest export market.

Jun 13 - USDA set to adjust U.S. soy numbers in July report - chief economist
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to revise its U.S. soybean forecasts next month after leaving area and yield projections unchanged in a monthly report issued on Tuesday, USDA chief economist Robert Johansson said. USDA's monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report cut corn area and yields following severe delays to plantings this season.

Jun 13 - Green Pool lowers 2019/20 sugar deficit forecast
The world sugar market is on course to record a deficit of 1.62 million tonnes (raw value) in the 2019/20 season, analyst Green Pool said on Wednesday, lowering its estimate from a previous 1.96 million tonnes. In its third forecast for the 2019/20 season, Green Pool also bumped up its projection for the global surplus in 2018/19 to 4.1 million tonnes from a previous forecast of 3.35 million.

Jun 13 - Syrian Kurdish authorities to stop wheat going to govt territory
Kurdish-led authorities holding Syria's breadbasket region will ban wheat from entering government territory in a bid to boost reserves, a Kurdish official told Reuters. The region across north and east Syria is a key source of wheat for Damascus, which imports much of its demand, adding to its troubles in navigating tough Western sanctions.

Jun 12 - U.S. corn harvest seen at four-year low after rainy spring - USDA  
The U.S. government on Tuesday slashed its estimate of domestic corn production this year as heavy rain in key growing areas throughout the spring forced growers to cut their acreage and caused planting delays that threatened the size of the harvest. "Unprecedented planting delays observed through early June are expected to prevent some plantings and reduce yield prospects," the U.S. Agriculture Department said in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

 
Jun 12 - Australia cuts wheat forecast by 11% as drought threatens for third year
Australia on Wednesday cut its wheat production forecast for the 2019/20 harvest by more than 11% as an unrelenting drought across the country's east coast threatens crops for a third year in a row. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) pegged production of the country's largest rural export at 21.2 million tonnes, down from its previous estimate in March of 23.9 million tonnes.

 
Jun 12 - Trump simplifies reviews of genetically modified farm products 
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday directing federal agencies to streamline the review process for agricultural biotechnology including genetically modified livestock and seeds. Trump signed the order during a visit to an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Jun 12 - As Biden tours Iowa, farmers want to know where he stands on ethanol
Joe Biden may have an ethanol problem. The former U.S. vice president has pledged support for advanced biofuels as part of his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. But Biden, who leads the crowded Democratic field in opinion polls in Iowa and nationally, faces lingering questions in the U.S. Farm Belt over his push in 2014 as President Barack Obama's No. 2 to slash the amount of corn-based ethanol that refiners must blend into the country's fuel supply.

Jun 12 - Iraq says decision on Russian wheat imports could be months away 
Iraq is still holding discussions over possible wheat imports with Russia and it could be months before any outcome is known, Iraq's deputy trade minister said on Tuesday. "Up until now we cannot say whether we will take or not - it depends on the results," Haitham Jameel Ismail al-Khshali said.

Jun 12 - Taiwan on 'high alert' after finding invasive armyworm in corn crop 
Taiwan is on "high alert" for further damage by the fall armyworm, said Premier Su Tseng-chang on Tuesday, after the island reported its first sighting of the invasive pest in a corn field. The fall armyworm, which has spread rapidly across Asia in recent months, was found in Miaoli county on the island's northwest coast on Saturday, said the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) in a statement on Monday.

Jun 12 - Brazilian oilseeds group: Traders may cut farmer credit due to defaults
Abiove, Brazil's oilseeds industry group, said on Tuesday that commodities traders may reduce financing to farmers by around 50% for the new crop (2019/20) due to defaults and bankruptcy protection requests in the sector. Patrícia da Silva, Abiove's tax and legal affairs manager, said the potential reduction in farmer loans is related to a "breach of trust" between grain traders and grain growers in Brazil, the world's biggest exporter of soybeans and other agricultural commodities.

Jun 11 - Argentina grain exporters ready to fill Mexico demand if U.S. imposes tariffs 
If trade strife continues between the United States and Mexico despite a deal struck on Friday, Argentine grain exporters are ready to step in to meet Mexican food demand, the head of an Argentine industry chamber said. The U.S. government called off a threatened 5% tariff on all Mexican goods when Mexico promised to do more to stem the flow of Central American immigrants into the United States. But Trump on Monday warned he could revive the tariffs if Mexico's Congress does not approve the plan.

Jun 11 - Defying law, Indian farm group says it planted unapproved GM cotton seeds
An Indian farm group said its members had planted a variety of genetically modified cotton seeds which have not been approved by the country's government, an offence that could result in five years imprisonment. It is the first time farmers, who argue that they shouldn't be deprived of any new technology, have acknowledged planting the herbicide-tolerant cotton variety, which was developed by German drugmaker Bayer AG's Monsanto unit.

Jun 11 - USDA says may allow farmers to collect some trade aid on unplantable acres
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is looking into ways to allow farmers who have been unable to plant crops due to rains and waterlogged fields to qualify for farm aid payments, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Monday. The government agency is exploring options that would allow farmers that file insurance claims on "prevented planting" policies to remain eligible for a partial payment under its $16 billion aid package, Perdue said in a statement.

Jun 11 - What will USDA do with U.S. corn and soy production on Tuesday? - Braun
U.S. corn and soybean planting progress opened June at the slowest pace in at least 40 years, and now market participants are debating whether the U.S. government will change its production forecast on Tuesday although it does not typically do so in its June supply and demand report. In previous years with very slow planting and excessive moisture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has used the June report to make adjustments to both area and yield.

Jun 11 - U.S. Crop Watch farmers report corn in mostly good condition - Braun
The U.S. Crop Watch producers report that a lot of progress was made on planting last week as most areas finally got a favorable stretch of dry weather. Although much of the corn was planted a lot later than usual due to the overly wet spring, the producers say that their corn fields are in decent condition. They also note that corn conditions in their areas are variable depending on planting date and moisture levels, and most of the producers feel their crops have been held back since planting by predominantly cool weather.

Jun 10 - China May soybean imports fall on trade war, pig disease 
China's soybean imports fell 24% in May from the same month last year, customs data showed on Monday, as the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war and deadly African swine fever checked demand. China brought in 7.36 million tonnes of soybeans in May, down from 9.69 million tonnes last year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. The May figure was also down from 7.64 million tonnes in April, when shipments had jumped as buyers delayed cargoes on a tax change. 

 
Jun 10 - Russia's VTB eyes stake in grain trader Mirogroup - sources 
Russian state-controlled bank VTB, which has been actively buying grain export infrastructure assets, is preparing to buy a stake in major local grain trader Mirogroup, a source familiar with the talks and a grain industry source said. Mirogroup and VTB "are organising joint work based on VTB's infrastructure assets", said the source familiar with the talks on Saturday.

 
Jun 10 - Funds’ record corn-buying streak grinds to a halt on better U.S. weather - Braun 
Speculators have been on a record buying streak in Chicago-traded corn in recent weeks, but that likely stalled out late last week as many U.S. farmers got a break in the rains to continue the historically slow planting effort. In the week ended June 4, hedge funds and other money managers switched to a net long position in CBOT corn futures and options of 87,243 contracts from their net short of 20,736 a week earlier, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

 
Jun 10 - USDA investigates unapproved GMO wheat found in Washington state 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the discovery of unapproved, genetically modified (GM) wheat plants growing in an un-planted agricultural field in Washington state. There was no evidence the wheat had entered the food supply, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said in a statement on Friday. The wheat is resistant to glyphosate, a widely used herbicide commonly referred to as Roundup.

 
Jun 10 - Brazil May chicken exports to China rise close to 50% amid ASF outbreak 
Brazilian chicken exports to China grew by 49% in May compared to the same period last year as the Asian nation imported more meat to deal with an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) that has impacted domestic production. Brazil, the world's largest chicken exporter, shipped381,100 tonnes last month to overseas customers, a 14.4% increase, according to a statement from meat industry group ABPA on Friday.

Jun 10 - A week late, but India's monsoon arrives in southern Kerala 
India's annual monsoon, which delivers about 70 percent of the country's rainfall, officially arrived on the coast of southern Kerala state on Saturday, the weather office said, a week later than usual. The delay has had a big impact on farmers and millions of Indians this year, as an ongoing heat wave has sent temperatures soaring across the country and dried up reservoirs.

Jun 07 - Rising grain prices hit Asian wheat importers, but corn buyers prepared
Flour millers in Asia have been caught on the wrong side of a rally in wheat prices as they waited for the market to decline, a stark contrast to animal feed producers who booked cargoes of corn several months before prices for that grain jumped. Benchmark Chicago corn futures climbed by almost a fifth in May as heavy rain and flooding across the U.S. Midwest delayed planting. Wheat gained by a similar amount, largely following the corn market higher.

Jun 07 - More shipments and sales needed for U.S. corn, soy exports in months ahead: Braun
With three months to go in the current marketing year, U.S. soybean exporters may struggle to ship the government's full-year forecast by Aug. 31 given the recent slower-than-needed pace. More sales and healthy shipments will also be required for U.S. corn exports to meet the annual target set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, though many analysts believe that peg to be too high.

Jun 07 - Canadian wheat sales to China hit 14-year high despite dispute, displacing U.S. shipments
Canada has shipped the most wheat to China in 14 years, contrasting a sudden halt in canola trade amid a diplomatic dispute between the countries, as Chinese buyers shunned the United States. China bought 1.5 million tonnes of wheat from Canada from August 2018 through April 2019, nearly double the pace a year earlier and the most since 2004-05, according to Canadian Grain Commission data.

Jun 07 - Corn market at risk of misunderstanding USDA’s condition scores on Monday: Braun
Based on the way that condition scores are formulated and the record-slow crop progress, the agriculture market may be at risk of low-balling the health of the U.S. corn crop when the government publishes its first assessment on Monday. The second risk involved is that better-than-expected corn conditions, if realized, could push the market into complacency, potentially easing production fears just a little too much.

Jun 07 - Louis Dreyfus charters ship to take Brazil corn to Mexico amid U.S. spat - document
Commodities trader Louis Dreyfus chartered the ship set to transport 35,000 tonnes of corn from Brazil to Mexico amid tensions between Mexico City and Washington, according to a shipping report seen by Reuters on Thursday. However, although Dreyfus is the charterer of the Jian Guo Hai ship, Reuters could not confirm whether the commodities giant was responsible for the sale to Mexico. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jun 07 - GrainCorp locks in derivative to drought-proof earnings
GrainCorp Ltd, Australia's largest listed bulk grain handler, has signed a 10-year deal with insurance broker Aon Plc to boost its earnings during times of severe drought, after taking a profit hit from prolonged dry weather. GrainCorp's revenues have been under pressure for the last few years after drought across Australia's east coast cut production - limiting the bulk grain handler's ability to earn revenues from storing the crops and exporting them.

Jun 07 - Cofco International to invest $200 mln in Brazil -report
Cofco International, the overseas trading arm of Chinese state-owned food group Cofco Corp, is planning to invest $200 million in Brazil in the next two years, its managing director for global assets told Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico. Valmor Schaffer said the capital spending will be used for logistics and storage, to prepare Cofco to expand shipping volumes by 7 percent to 10 percent annually for the next five years, according to the interview published on Tuesday.

Jun 07 - China to allocate 500 mln yuan for fall armyworm prevention and control
- ag ministry
China will allocate 500 million yuan ($72 million) for fall armyworm prevention and control, to secure its grain production throughout the year, the country's agriculture ministry said on Thursday. The emergency fund, issued after the destructive worm spread to 18 provinces, regions and municipalities in China, highlights Beijing's growing concern that the pest severely threatens grain supplies in the country with the world's largest population.

Jun 06 - Malaysian Cash Market Prices for Palm Oil Unavailable
Data for Malaysian cash market prices for palm oil are unavailable on Wednesday, June 5 and Thursday, June 6 due to Hari Raya Aidilfitri' holiday. Figures will resume on Friday, June 7.

Jun 06 - Trump tariffs may steer Mexican cows away from U.S. beef supply 
U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to slap tariffs on imports of Mexican goods could slow another, often overlooked migration: the more than 1 million cows exported by Mexico across the border each year which become part of the U.S. beef supply. Tariffs on cattle crossing the border could raise costs for U.S. meat producers and processors, ranchers and economists said, particularly in border states like New Mexico and Texas that supplement more of their herds with Mexican cattle. Those fees could also contribute to more expensive barbecues for U.S. consumers.

 
Jun 06 - Possible Mexican retaliatory tariff list excludes U.S. corn - sources 
Mexico has prepared a list of U.S. products that could be hit in retaliation for possible Trump administration tariffs, with a focus on Republican-leaning agricultural states but excluding corn, one of Mexico's biggest imports, officials said on Wednesday. U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to apply a first round of tariffs on all Mexican imports next week if President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government does not stem the flow of mostly Central American migrants seeking entry to the United States.

 
Jun 06 - German 2019 wheat crop to rise sharply, rapeseed down 
Germany's 2019 wheat harvest will increase 21.9% on the year to 24.70 million tonnes as hopes of a recovery continue after drought caused massive harvest damage last year, the country's association of farm cooperatives (DRV) said on Wednesday. Crops in Germany and much of western Europe crop were damaged by a drought and heatwave in the summer of 2018.

 
Jun 06 - To plant or not? U.S. corn farmers face tough decisions as time runs out: Braun 
U.S. farmers should typically be done planting corn by early June, but the historic rainfall and saturated soils have curbed progress to a record-slow pace and now farmers are grappling with the decision to keep the planters rolling or call it quits. If farmers are giving up on corn planting, this has an impact on the weekly planting progress numbers, perhaps unbeknownst to the market. But given that many of the unplanted acres are in higher-yielding states, the eventual impact on national yields could be significant.

 
Jun 06 - IEG Vantage sees U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 84.9 mln acres - trade 
Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, on Wednesday projected U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 84.942 million acres, according to an IEG client note seen by Reuters. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in March said U.S. farmers intended to plant corn on 92.8 million acres, but wet conditions across the Midwest this spring have caused widespread delays that could curtail seedings.

 
Jun 06 - Canada says increased Chinese meat inspections are for pork only, not all meat 
Chinese plans to boost inspections of Canadian meat imports only affect pork rather than all meat products as the federal agriculture ministry initially stated, a Canadian government official said on Wednesday. A ministry notice seen by Reuters on Tuesday said the Canadian embassy in Beijing had been told Chinese customs agents would open all containers of Canadian meat and meat products, and that in some cases 100% of the contents would be inspected. 

Jun 06 - Mexico buys Brazil corn cargo amid trade spat with U.S., says broker 
Mexican importers, who usually buy their corn from the United States, have booked a 35,000-tonne corn cargo from Brazil, amid a trade spat between Washington and Mexico City. Brazilian broker and consultancy INTL FCStone said on Wednesday the cargo would be loaded at the northern port of Santarém and scheduled to depart on June 22, according to port line-up data.

Jun 06 - Russia's VTB says considering buying grain terminal at Taman port 
Russia's second largest lender VTB is considering buying a stake in Russia's Taman port grain terminal, first deputy chief executive Yuri Soloviev said on Wednesday. The state-controlled bank wants to create a vertically-integrated player on the grain market, he said, adding that this would support the expansion of the Russian grain market's export potential. VTB has been expanding its holdings in grain infrastructure in recent months. 

Jun 06 - China to encourage restocking of pig herds - cabinet 
China will encourage the restocking of hog herds, and strengthen the production of poultry, beef and mutton, to increase meat supplies, the cabinet said on Wednesday. The move follows outbreaks of incurable African swine fever that has ravaged China's pig herd, the world's largest, raising worries of shortages of the country's favourite meat.

Jun 06 - With cows, chickens and greenhouses, Qatar takes on regional boycott 
Two years after flying in thousands of dairy cows to beat a trade embargo, Qatari milk producer Baladna has made its first exports. Qatar is the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter but a net importer of nearly everything else. The small but wealthy country has been under a trade and transport boycott by Saudi Arabia and its allies since June 2017 that has forced it to retool an economy once heavily reliant on fellow Gulf states.

Jun 06 - China finds armyworms in 18 provinces, recommends pesticides for emergency use 
China has recommended the use of pesticides to fight against fall armyworms, as the destructive pest spreads across its vast farmlands, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Fall armyworms have now spread to 18 of China's provinces, regions and municipalities since it was first detected in the southwestern province of Yunnan in early January, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural affairs said in a statement published on its website.

Jun 05 - Illinois’ farmers in final push to ‘muddy in’ corn ahead of deadline (AgriCensus)
- Farmers in one of the biggest US corn and soybean growing states are facing a final, frantic push to plant corn as the Midwest’s last insurance planting date elapses, the state’s corn association has told Agricensus on Wednesday.
“Some farmers in Illinois were able to get additional corn acres planted since the June 2 crop progress report, hurriedly ‘mudding it in’ as they say in unfavourable conditions,” Tricia Braid director of communications at the Illinois Corn Growers Association told Agricensus.
However, for farmers in some parts of the state, “the rains of June 4, especially in northern Illinois, mean that they are finished planting corn, even if that means they have put zero corn seeds in the ground by that date,” Braid said.
- The state produces around 15% of the country’s entire corn harvest, but planting activity has been badly hit by near constant rain and flooding, with June 5 representing the final planting date for crop insurance policies in the eastern corn belt, encompassing Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. All except Michigan appear in the top 10 corn producing states, accounting for almost a quarter of the country’s production.
Bellwether
- Such is the significance of the state’s crop that what Illinois’s farmers do next may serve as a bellwether for the 2019/20 crop’s final prospects. Crop progress in Illinois was put at 45% as of Sunday, June 2, versus 100% at the same point of 2018, with the state seeing only two days of fieldwork possible over the week, and topsoil moisture rated as surplus across 60% of the state’s acreage.
“Depending on what the weather brings for the remainder of the growing season, those planted acres could face compaction problems or crusting that inhibits corn emergence, for example,” Braid told Agricensus, with a potential switch to soybean planting only likely to be available to some.
- Corn futures prices have surged by over 24% as fears mounted that the country would lose millions of acres to waterlogged fields, leaving the final US production well below expectations. But the higher prices mean farmers have been incentivised to try and plant corn, rather than claim prevented plantings on insurance or switch to soybeans – although the passing of the final insurance deadline may curtail efforts to plant after June 5.
“The agronomics and economics of some situations may mean that it doesn’t make sense to plant corn at all. Some may have the ability to switch those acres to soybeans. Time will tell,” Braid said.

Jun 05 - Canada says China plans more meat import inspections, industry fears disaster 
China plans to boost inspections of imported Canadian meats and meat products as bilateral trade relations deteriorate, Canadian government officials said on Tuesday, a move meat industry executives said could have "a disastrous effect" on their business. China has already blocked imports of Canadian canola seed and temporarily suspended permits from two Canadian pork plants. Beijing is demanding Ottawa return a Chinese tech executive who is facing extradition to the United States. 

 
Jun 05 - China expected to divert outstanding U.S. soybean cargoes into reserves 
China will stockpile up to 7 million tonnes of soybeans bought from the United States during an earlier truce in the trade war between the nations, two traders familiar with the matter said, rather than crush them for immediate sale as a feed ingredient. The unusual move to store such large volumes of the U.S. oilseed comes as China faces the spectre of a drawn out trade conflict with its second-largest supplier of the commodity after tensions between the two escalated abruptly last month.

 
Jun 05 - ADM ships Brazil corn to Smithfield Foods in the United States amid heavy rains 
Archer Daniels Midland Co and other grain traders are selling Brazilian corn to Smithfield Foods Inc in the United States, where wet weather has reduced plantings, said two sources with knowledge of the matter.  The sources, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive market information, said Smithfield owns port facilities on the U.S. east coast and sometimes buys corn abroad because of the cost of shipping grains from the domestic corn belt.

 
Jun 05 - U.S. soy exporters struggle with huge China export commitments in midst of trade war 
U.S. soybean exporters are facing what may be their busiest and most logistically challenging summer due to an unprecedented backlog of soybeans purchased by China that still needs to be shipped and widespread floods in the U.S.Midwest. While there is little hope for a prompt U.S.-China trade deal, some 7 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans bought before talks broke down last month will need to be delivered to Beijing in coming months, U.S. exporters and industry analysts said.

 
Jun 05 - While rains swamp US Midwest, parched soils hamper Canadian crops 
Unrelenting rains in the U.S. Midwest have stymied planting of corn and soybeans, while just slightly northwest on the Canadian Prairies, dry weather is stunting canola and wheat crops. While contrasting adverse weather on both sides of the border has given prices a badly needed boost, the prospect of smaller harvests is the latest blow to farmers in both countries caught in protracted trade disputes with China.

 
Jun 05 - Brazil to let mills sell ethanol directly to gas stations 
The Brazilian government on Tuesday paved the way for ethanol makers to sell the fuel directly to gas stations, by passing a resolution to boost fuel industry competition, although additional legislation is required to bypass fuel distributors. The resolution by CNPE, the energy policy council, includes the option for direct sales by mills. Brazil's Economy Ministry would have to issue tax-related regulation within 180 days for the change to take effect.

Jun 05 - Record number of French farms convert to organic production 
A record number of French farms switched to organic production last year, helped by the grains sector catching on to the trend, the country's organic food agency said on Tuesday. France, the European Union's largest agricultural producer, added 5,000 organic farms last year, surpassing a prior high of 4,200 seen in both 2016 and 2017, the Agence Bio said in an annual market review.

Jun 05 - France's Avril sees further profit rises helped by biodiesel 
France's Avril said an improved performance in biodiesel and other sectors powered a 26% jump in core profit in 2018 and will drive further rises until 2023, but cautioned the farm and livestock markets remain under pressure. An EU regulation adopted last year confirmed that crop-based biofuels can be used in up to 7% of fuels and partly regulated Argentine biodiesel imports, which had disturbed the European industry in the past years. 

Jun 05 - Global dairy prices fall 3.4 pct at fortnightly auction 
Global dairy prices sank for the second time in a row at an auction held early on Wednesday due to strong supply as prices eased off a long rally earlier in the year. The GDT Price Index dipped 3.4%, with an average selling price of $3,423 per tonne. The index fell 1.2% at the previous sale, according to GDT Events.

Jun 04 - Chinese buyers snap up front-month soybean cargoes as June starts (AgriCensus)
- Chinese buyers were heard snapping up nine soybean cargoes out of Brazil for loading periods between June and August so far this week. At least seven trades were heard overnight for July shipments and one each for June and August shipments, totalling nine trades as of Tuesday. Five of the July trades were done on a CFR basis with prices between 188-195 c/bu over July futures, while the other two July shipments were traded on a FOB basis at 109 c/bu and 117 c/bu over July futures, respectively.
- One June shipment was also traded on an FOB basis at 92 c/bu over July futures and an August shipment was heard at 205 c/bu over July futures. This volume was more than half of the total trade volume for all of last week.
- Based on trade data collected by Agricensus, at least 17 cargoes were bought last week. Of these, 13 were booked for July shipments, accounting for 76% of the total bookings. However, the volume last week was down from the week before, when at least 28 cargoes were heard changing hands. It is about the right timing for Chinese buyers to book front-month cargoes, a China-based trader at an international trading house said in reference to the spike in trade volume overnight.
- China’s soybean purchasing for June is now 78% complete and coverage for July is about 51% finished, according to data from Chinese soybean broker Overseas China Investment. China’s National Grain and Oil Information Centre (CNGOIC) expects soybean vessel arrivals in May to reach 7.2 million mt this year.

Jun 04 - Russia's SovEcon cuts 2019 wheat crop forecast; new crop prices jump 
SovEcon said on Monday it had downgraded its forecast for Russia's 2019 wheat crop due to dry weather in May and could reduce it further if June proves to be hot and dry too. Black Sea prices for the Russian new wheat crop with 12.5% protein content and July delivery were at $195 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $8 from a week earlier, SovEcon, one of the a leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said in a note.

 
Jun 04 - Planting progress still slow in the east, quicker in N. Dakota: Braun 
Wet weather continued to plague U.S. farmers last week, especially in the Eastern Corn Belt, as planting progress for corn and soybeans likely failed to advance as much as needed given the already slow pace. The Crop Watch growers in Indiana and Ohio did not report that much progress had been made. However, the North Dakota producer reported that recent planting progress in the area exceeded his expectations, and the Kansas grower’s fields have finally enjoyed a stretch of dry days.

 
Jun 04 - Strategie Grains cuts EU 2019 rapeseed crop forecast by 1 mln T 
Strategie Grains has cut its forecast for this year's European Union rapeseed harvest after downward revisions by top growers in France and Germany, adding to expectations that EU output will shrink to its lowest in more than a decade. In its monthly oilseed report, the French consultancy lowered its estimate for the 2019/20 EU rapeseed harvest to 17.8 million tonnes from 18.85 million previously.

 
Jun 04 - Argentina maritime union ends strike at Rosario grains hub 
An Argentine maritime workers union has agreed to compulsory conciliation, ending a strike that had stopped shipments in three terminals of the main grains port, Rosario, the Union of United Maritime Workers (SOMU) said on Monday. The SOMU will enter a negotiating period of 15 days to reach an agreement with the government over wages after ending the strike, which began Friday and lasted for 72 hours, union officials said in a statement.

 
Jun 04 - Brazil halts beef exports to China after atypical mad cow case 
Brazil has temporarily halted beef exports to China following an atypical case of mad cow disease in leading farm state Mato Grosso, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. China, Brazil's largest beef importer by sales, spent $1.5 billion on Brazilian beef last year, totaling 322,400 tonnes or almost 20% of all shipments, according to local beef exporters association Abiec.

 
Jun 04 - Parched India awaits monsoon rains as reservoirs begin to run dry 
Millions of Indians are desperately awaiting overdue monsoon rains as they struggle to secure drinking water amid a heat wave that is rapidly drying up reservoirs and sending temperatures soaring across the country. India typically witnesses water scarcity during summer months, but the situation this year is particularly grim in western and southern states which received less than normal rainfall in the 2018 monsoon season.

 
Jun 04 - Malaysia May palm oil stock seen easing to 10-month low - Reuters survey 
Malaysia's palm oil stocks likely hit a 10-month low by end-May, according to a Reuters survey, logging a third straight month of fall due to a dip in output and rise in exports. Stockpiles in Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer and exporter, is expected to fall 9.7% from April to 2.46 million tonnes in May, according to a median estimate of eight planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters. That would be the lowest levels since July 2018.

 
Jun 04 - Scientists edit chicken genes to make them resistant to bird flu 
Scientists in Britain have used gene-editing techniques to stop bird flu spreading in chicken cells grown in a lab - a key step towards making genetically-altered chickens that could halt a human flu pandemic. Bird flu viruses currently spread swiftly in wild birds and poultry, and can at times jump into humans. Global health and infectious disease specialists cite as one of their greatest concerns the threat of a human flu pandemic caused by a bird flu strain that makes such a jump and mutates into a deadly and airborne form that can pass easily between people.

Jun 04 - Australia's Incitec Pivot to continue operations at Gibson Island facility till 2022 
Incitec Pivot Ltd, Australia's top fertiliser producer, has lined up affordable gas supply that will allow it to keep its Gibson island fertiliser plant in Queensland state open through 2022, it said on Tuesday. The company had warned that it might have to shut the plant due to soaring gas prices, but has now lined up supply through a deal with Australia Pacific LNG and pipeline group APA.

Jun 03 - Ukraine leapfrogs South America as new corn offers cap CBOT rises (AgriCensus)
- Ukraine’s new crop corn offers are resisting the upward moves seen on corn futures to catapult the region into contention as one of the most competitive origins globally, market sources have told Agricensus Monday. However, a lack of demand is continuing to dog trading activity, as traders in many destination markets eye the impact of sharply higher prices and the further spread of African swine fever.
“Until August, Argentina is the most competitive. For September, Brazil is $1-2/mt lower than Argentina, (but) from October onwards, I think, Brazil or Ukraine's new crop is the most competitive, depending on the destination," an Asia-based trader said.
- Destinations such as Tunisia and Morocco will probably look for Ukrainian origin, the trader added. The development represents a major challenge to the recent dominance of South American supply and comes as Ukrainian new crop offers –often expressed as outright prices– have outgunned Argentine and Brazilian offers that typically price as a premium to corn futures. Bad weather conditions and delayed corn crop planting in the US have brought volatility to the Chicago Board of Trade in the last few weeks, with the July futures contract rising 24% from $3.51/bu on May 10 to hit $4.36/bu by May 30.
That movement had been reflected on physical prices in all main producing countries, although Ukraine is anticipating another big new crop through the latter stages of 2019 and early 2020.
- World prices have increased sharply but Argentina remains the most competitive for much of the July through September period, with the Agricensus assessment for FOB Up River currently below $170/mt, versus Brazilian and Ukrainian FOB origins at around $179-181/mt. But looking to October and November, Ukraine’s corn is offered almost at the same FOB level as Latin America, in the range of $181-183/mt, but with a freight advantage of at least $15/mt into North Africa. That raises the possibility of Ukraine winning back market share into those destinations in a move that is generally expected at this time of the year, but still challenges the dominance of Argentine exports in recent months.
- In terms of Asian destinations, Brazil corn still looks more competitive for later 2018 months, with an advantage of around $2-3/mt, according to market sources. But with high volatility, that could change in favour of Ukraine. But, for now, buyers remain subdued with some holding out for a decrease in prices.
“Buyers are not in hurry with new crop purchases, only sellers are on the market,” according to a broker, with another Asian-based trader adding that “buyers feel unhappy to buy at this level.”
Ukraine is poised to harvest a second record corn crop in 2019/20 marketing year with expectations of 33.1 million mt already floated, according to a Ministry forecast.
“For now, the market is strongly warming up and… it seems that, until the situation becomes more clear, the swing will continue," a Ukraine-based trader said.

Jun 03 - Target Trump's base if trade spat worsens, Mexican farm lobby says
The Mexican government should target agricultural goods produced in states that have voted for U.S. President Donald Trump's Republican Party if the trade conflict between the two neighbors worsens, the head of Mexico's main farm lobby said on Friday. Bosco de la Vega, head of Mexico's national farm council CNA, told Reuters that such retaliatory measures should only be applied as a last resort and that he supports the Mexican government's efforts to first seek a negotiated settlement to the dispute.

Jun 03 - Funds forced out of their bearish corn bets by record slow U.S. planting: Braun
Record-slow corn planting in the United States has caused speculators to quickly erase their massive short bets in Chicago-traded corn, and they likely closed out last month with a bullish stance on the yellow grain. Only 58% of U.S. corn was planted by May 26, well behind the five-year average of 90%, and more wet weather and still-saturated fields likely kept farmers from making a huge push in the latest week. The next slowest May 26 planting pace in the last 40 years of records was 67% in 1995.

Jun 03 - Fertilizer dealer Nutrien aims to triple U.S. farm loans, guided by ex-Walmart executive
Canadian fertilizer dealer Nutrien Ltd is aiming to triple its lendings to U.S. farmers to $6 billion within five years, in a bid to drive up farm supply sales, its chief financial officer said. Nutrien's push to expand farm loans starting this year comes as low commodity prices have depressed U.S. farm incomes, leaving growers less money to spend on seed and fertilizer.

Jun 03 - Trump lifts curbs on E15 gasoline to help farmers, angering Big Oil
The Trump administration on Friday lifted restrictions on the sale of higher ethanol blends of gasoline, keeping a campaign promise to farmers suffering from the trade war with China but drawing a legal threat from the oil industry. The announcement will allow gasoline stations to sell blends containing up to 15 percent corn-based ethanol, called E15, year-round, ending a summertime ban that President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency imposed in 2011 to reduce smog pollution.

Jun 03 - Brazil forecaster sees farmers collecting record 100 million tonnes of corn
Brazil is expected to harvest 100.4 million tonnes of corn in the 2018/19 season, agribusiness consultancy Agroconsult said on Friday, raising its forecast by almost 2 million tonnes after a tour of the country's main growing regions. The forecast was revised after field research revealed good weather boosted the prospects for Brazil's second-corn crop, which is planted after soybeans are harvested.

Jun 03 - BRF and Marfrig's tie-up talks draw doubts on timing, savings
Investors and analysts on Friday questioned Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA's move to take over local beef producer Marfrig Global Foods SA, raising doubts about the timing of talks and the potential for cost savings. Shares of BRF, the world's biggest chicken exporter, tumbled 5% as analysts suggested that a potential share swap with Marfrig, announced on Thursday, offered little room to cut fat.

Jun 01 - China-owned, US pork producer imports corn as US pork sales to China soar (AgriCensus)
- Chinese-owned US pork producer Smithfield is snapping up cargoes of cheap South American corn over fears that immediate logistic woes and worries over the 2019/20 new corn crop may choke supply, market sources told Agricensus this week. The news comes as US export sales of pork to China soar more than 1000% year-on-year as the world’s biggest pork consuming nation battles with its own supply woes amid an outbreak of African swine fever that is set to cut the nation's pig herd by 30%. US net pork sales to China totalled almost 40,000 mt this week, USDA data showed Friday, leaving the total commitment this marketing year at 234,000 mt so far. That compares with just 20,000 mt at this point last year.
“Smithfield has bought cargoes from Santos loading and are looking for some more for shipment into North Carolina,” one market source said.
The result means that a Chinese-owned, US-based pork producer could feed pigs with cheap South American corn to help facilitate pork exports to China. All at the same time as the US and China are locked in a trade war that is impacting the global agricultural markets and hitting US farmer incomes.
Big pig producer
- US-based Smithfield is the largest pig and pork producer in the world with the move coming after rumours that corn sourced from Argentina had also been moved to the US state, which is on the country’s eastern seaboard.
“Argentina corn was reported to Wilmington (North Carolina). Brazil, I know it has sold four 2019 cargoes and another two for 2020,” an Argentina-based source said.
- Smithfield operates the largest pork processing facility in the world, capable of handling 35,000 pigs a day, at Tar Heels in North Carolina, approximately 100 kilometres northwest of the port of Wilmington. Although US-based, the company is owned by China’s WH Group following its acquisition in October 2018. Argentina-based market sources mulled whether the impact of corn planting fears is weighing on domestic end users.
“I think that corn end users in the US are worried on physical corn… This smoke makes me think that there is a big fire somewhere. Do they expect a big impact on yields?” a third source said.
- US corn futures and cash prices have been forced higher as a seemingly bottomless cocktail of rain and floods has swamped fields, prevented planting, and played havoc with logistics.
“I have never heard (of Smithfield buying in South America) ... but as I have heard it's due to the cost of bringing down corn from the Midwest... so I guess Mississippi's flooding is enabling this trade,” the first source said. US Gulf FOB prices reached $198/mt on Thursday, putting them close to $30/mt above the Argentina FOB Up River market.

May 31 - Argentina's soy planters betting the farm on trade war outcome
Faced with a plunge in prices for their crops sparked by the U.S.-China trade war, Argentine soy farmers have had little choice this year but to take the losses or hold onto their stocks in a bet on an eventual truce. The local Rosario grains exchange estimates that despite a bumper harvest, the fall in soybean prices - at a decade low earlier this month - will knock $1.4 billion off the country's expected soybean-related income this season.

May 31 - IGC cuts forecast for 2019/20 world corn production
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday cut its forecast for world corn production in the 2019/2020 season, driven by a diminished outlook for the U.S. crop. The inter-governmental body, in a monthly update, reduced its global corn (maize) crop forecast by 7 million tonnes to 1.118 billion tonnes. The U.S. corn crop was projected at 362 million tonnes, down from a previous forecast of 371 million.

May 31 - U.S. farm aid should not benefit foreign companies - Democratic senators
Nine Democratic senators urged the Trump administration to ensure an aid package meant to compensate U.S. farmers for losses stemming from the U.S.-China trade war does not end up in the hands of foreign companies. In a letter addressed to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the senators said a commodity purchasing program that was part of a $12 billion aid package last year included contracts with Smithfield Foods, a subsidiary of China's WH Group, and JBS USA, owned by Brazil's JBS SA.

May 31 - Vancouver lockout of longshoremen ends; shipping disruption avoided
A lockout of longshore workers at Canada's biggest port, the Port of Vancouver, ended in a deal on Thursday after a few hours, averting a potentially massive shipping disruption, the workers' union and employers association said. The lockout was immediately lifted and the union also withdrew its strike notice, according to separate statements by the BC Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada.

May 31 - Brazil's BRF and Marfrig in talks to form meatpacking heavyweight
Brazilian food processors BRF SA and Marfrig Global Foods SA on Thursday announced exclusive talks for a potential tie-up that would create one of the world's largest meat producers, according to securities filings. A deal could combine BRF's poultry business, which leads the world in chicken exports, and Marfrig's beef business, which is second to JBS SA globally. Their combined market cap was 27.8 billion reais ($7 billion) at Thursday's market close.

May 31 - Los Angeles County sues Bayer's Monsanto over PCB contamination
Los Angeles County sued Monsanto Co on Thursday, seeking to force the unit of Germany's Bayer AG to help pay for reducing PCB contamination in dozens of bodies of water. The most populous U.S. county, which has about 10.1 million people, said the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in products sold by Monsanto many decades ago has caused widespread environmental contamination, forcing it to spend money to retrofit its stormwater systems and prevent further damage.

May 31 - S.Korea braces for African swine fever outbreak after N.Korea case

South Korea readied on Friday to prevent an outbreak of African swine fever in its pig herd after the disease was found in North Korea, the latest Asian country to be hit by the virus' rapid spread. The outbreak was confirmed at a farm in Jagang province in North Korea near the country's border with China on May 25, South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement. More than 20 hogs were culled and more than 70 pigs died from the virus, the ministry said.

May 31 - India's UPL bets big on Brazil farmer relationships - executives
Mumbai-based UPL Ltd, one of the world's top five agrochemical and crop protection firms, will invest some $200 million in Brazil over five years to best serve local food producers who are key suppliers in India's ever-growing market. In their first interviews since concluding a $4.2 billion acquisition of North Carolina-based Arysta LifeScience Inc earlier this year, UPL executives said investment in the Latin American agriculture giant will be primarily directed at research, and excludes cash for potential acquisitions.

May 30 - Argentine soybean harvest nears end, wheat planting at 7.7%: BAGE
- Argentina’s soybean harvest is now complete on nearly 91% of the total planted area while wheat planting picked up pace as the total planted area more than doubled versus the previous week, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BAGE) said.
For soybeans, the total harvested area reached 90.7%, up nearly six percentage points on the week with total collected volumes now standing at 52.6 million mt, well on track to hit their 56 million mt estimate for this year. Meanwhile, wheat planting for the 2019/20 marketing year reached 7.7% of the projected 6.4 million ha, or 490,000 ha, more than doubling from 3.1% in the previous week.
- A dry week in some areas aided planting and farmers were able to progress quickly with the highest gains made in the far northeast corner of the country (Noroeste) where the speed of planting was almost double the national average at 13% planted.
But just further east (Noreste) flooding caused by heavy rains two weeks ago led to transport problems and planting slowed on the previous week. Persitant wet weather prior to last week also hampered soybean collection in some areas despite an overall nationwide gain.
"However [despite weekly gains] the north end of Santa Fe and the Northeast Argentina region still maintained extensive areas without harvesting due to floods," BAGE said.
- Harvesting in some localised areas has been delayed with only 22% of the crop in the Northeast Argentina area harvested versus near completion in most other areas.
In corn, projections for a total harvested volume of 48 million mt were kept stable as the total harvested area reached 37.4% of the 6 million ha planted, up a mere 1.3 points on the week.

May 30 - ADM marries grain trading, oilseed units; second revamp in 14 months 
Global grains trader Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Wednesday it will consolidate five business units into four in the company's second reorganization in just over a year as adverse weather and a U.S.-China trade dispute threaten profits. ADM will combine its grain trading and oilseeds segments into a new business unit called Ag Services & Oilseeds, effective July 1, in a move that analysts say could better streamline its North American operations and cut costs.

 
May 30 - Argentina anti-government strike shuts down key grain ports, grounds flights 
Thousands marched through Argentina's capital on Wednesday to protest austerity measures under President Mauricio Macri, as a nationwide strike brought the airports of the recession-plagued country to a standstill and halted work at key grains ports. The strike, called by the country's main unions, comes as center-right leader Macri tumbles in the polls ahead of presidential elections in October, his popularity with voters hurt by high inflation, job losses and a weak peso.

 
May 30 - U.S. banking regulator says strains growing in farm sector 
A U.S. banking regulator on Wednesday said more farmers fell behind on their loans early this year, a sign that international trade tensions could be weighing on a farm sector already beset by years of low commodity prices. In a quarterly report on the health of U.S. banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation did not directly refer to the Trump administration's trade war with China which began in 2018. But officials at the regulator noted some farm banks were reporting a deterioration in asset quality.

 
May 30 - Australian farmers face more hot, dry weather - forecast 
Hot, dry weather will persist across Australia's east coast for at least another three months, the country's weather bureau said on Thursday, in a forecast that threatens to severely crimp agricultural production. There is just a 30% chance that Australia's east coast will receive average rainfalls between June 1 and Aug. 30, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its winter outlook.

 
May 30 - From sky farms to lab-grown shrimp, Singapore eyes food future 
Singapore, the tiny Southeast Asian city-state, is an unlikely place for a farming revolution. With tiered fish farms, vegetable plots atop office buildings and lab-grown shrimp, the island aims to beef up its own food production and rely less on imports to feed its 5.6 million people.

 
May 30 - Ukraine 2018/19 grain exports at 46.1 mln tonnes so far 
Ukraine's grain exports have risen to 46.1 million tonnes so far in the 2018/19 season compared with 36.4 million tonnes at the same point last season, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Ukraine harvested a record 70 million tonnes of grain last year, up from about 61 million in 2017.

 
May 30 - Total to move ahead with using palm oil at biodiesel refinery 
Total is set to start up a biodiesel refinery using palm oil whose planned launch last summer sparked opposition from farmers producing vegetable oil and from environmental activists. The refinery in La Mede in southern France will begin production in two weeks, Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne told journalists on the sidelines of the company's annual shareholders' meeting on Wednesday.

 
May 30 - UK institute, Belgian firm team up for African swine fever treatment
Britain's Pirbright Institute is partnering with Belgian biotechnology company ViroVet to develop the first antiviral drugs that act against African Swine Fever (ASF), according to a joint statement issued on Wednesday. The viral disease spread to China's pig herd last year, the world's largest. Some analysts predict up to 200 million pigs could die or be culled in the country this year, causing a huge shortage of pork. 

May 29 - EU raises wheat crop forecast, cuts rapeseed again 
The European Commission raised its forecast of 2019/20 common wheat production in the European Union while lowering again its outlook for rapeseed, underscoring contrasting harvest prospects for the EU's main cereal and oilseed crops. In monthly supply and demand estimates published on its website, the Commission raised its estimate of the next wheat crop, excluding durum, to 143.8 million tonnes (mln t) from 141.3 mln t projected last month.

 
May 29 - Crop Watch: Hardships continue for U.S. corn and soy growers: Braun 
U.S. corn and soybeans should be moving on to the stage where emergence and crop conditions are the market’s focus, but many producers are still trying to get the crop planted in what has been the slowest corn planting season on record. Midwestern growers, particularly in Illinois and Indiana, are extremely behind schedule in many cases, though some farmers are willing to plant corn beyond the crop insurance cutoff date, according to the Crop Watch producers.

 
May 29 - Brazil corn exports soar as weak currency, high prices boost deals 
Brazilian corn farmers are eagerly taking advantage of favorable market momentum as prices in Chicago jump and a weak local currency boosts their gains in reais, according to market data, brokers and analysts. Corn exports in May reached 908,400 tonnes as of Friday, according to official trade data, an unusual volume at this time in the season when soybean shipments prevail. Brazil normally increases corn shipments in the second semester, since most of the crop is harvestedduring Brazil's winter.

 
May 29 - Argentina's 2019/20 corn harvest could surpass record production - government 
Argentina's corn harvest for the 2019/20 season could surpass the record production of 56 million tonnes for the current 2018/19 season amid a global price spike, the cabinet chief of Argentina's agriculture secretariat told Reuters on Tuesday. "Most likely, the next season [of corn] will be like this or more," said Santiago del Solar on the sidelines of the annual chamber of congress for the Maizar grains association.

 
May 29 - China faces long struggle to tackle African swine fever - OIE 
It will take years for China to contain the deadly African swine fever virus that has spread throughout the country, which is the world's biggest pork producer, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Tuesday. China has been struggling to control the epidemic, which some analysts predict could see up to 200 million pigs die or be culled this year, causing a huge shortage of pork locally and have economic impact on the meat and feed industry globally.

 
May 29 - Ukraine winter wheat, barley harvests could rise in 2019 - forecasters 
Ukraine's 2019 winter wheat harvest is likely to rise 8.4 percent to 25.9 million tonnes due to a higher yield, APK-Inform consultancy said on Tuesday, citing state weather forecasters. It said the winter barley harvest could rise to 3.3 million tonnes this year from 2.9 million tonnes a year earlier.

 
May 29 - Louis Dreyfus tries sustainable finance with $750 mln loan 
Agricultural commodity group Louis Dreyfus Company has agreed to renew a $750 million loan in North America that will be priced in relation to how the company performs in relation to a number of sustainability goals. Known as Dreyfus, the company is the "D" of the so-called ABCD group of big agricultural commodity merchants alongside Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill.

May 29 - South Africa's 2019 maize crop down 13% from previous season 
South Africa is expected to harvest 13% less maize in 2019 compared to the previous season after dry conditions delayed plantings in key maize growing areas, the government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Tuesday. The CEC, which gave its fourth estimate for the 2018/2019 season, estimated production at 10.900 million tonnes compared with 12.510 million tonnes harvested in the previous year.

May 28 - Grain market shorts brace themselves for “history-making event” (AgriCensus)
- Corn and soybean futures moved sharply higher during early trade on Tuesday as analysts warned that up to 13 million acres of area could be lost due to persistent rains across key planting areas. By time of press the July front-month contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 2.5% for corn and 1.5% for soybeans as traders rushed to buy back short positions.
“We have a true problem here, and the most aggressive price moves always occur when funds flip from net short to net long, that’s what’s happening,” said Charlie Sernatinger, a broker with ED&F Man.
- Data recorded last week showed the net short position in corn has collapsed to 116,000 lots from 283,000 lots the week before, with soybeans falling to 153,000 lots from 169,000 lots over the same period. Rain will continue to batter the Midwest this week, according to weather forecasts, although precipitation will be less intense than recent weeks.
- Analysts expect some fieldwork to have been done despite the rains, although the estimates for Tuesday’s crop report vary wildly with corn plantings expected to be between 59-65% complete versus 49% a week ago and 90% by this time last year. Soybeans are expected to be 25-36% complete versus 19% last week and 74% a year ago. And now some analysts are saying the current crop could be the worst in more than 100 years, with more than 10% of the acreage lost due to sodden ground.
“Going forward there will be 10 million prevent plant corn acres and 3 million prevent plant soybeans. The yield is going down also. This a history making event in US crop production. Few understand the serious situation,” said Chuck Shelby, president of Risk Management Commodities. Corn futures have rallied more than 18% in the past three weeks while soybeans have rallied just 5% over the same period. However, with continued rain forecast, there is some concern that the corn rally could spill into soybean futures as delayed plantings expected to switch from corn to soybeans may not occur.
“The trade is focused on short covering in corn, which is lifting nearby contracts higher. Say the same planting problems arise for soybeans later this planting season, the same thing could happen to CBOT soybeans,” said Terry Reilly, an analyst at Futures International.

May 28 - Russian wheat prices boosted by gains in global benchmarks 
Russian export prices for the new wheat crop, due to arrive on the market in the summer, advanced further last week alongside a rise in global benchmark prices in Chicago, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for the Russian new wheat crop with 12.5% protein content were $188 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.  

 
May 28 - Funds buy record chunk of CBOT corn amid U.S. sowing troubles: Braun 
The slow, rain-plagued U.S. corn and soybean planting season finally irked speculators last week as they bought a record amount of Chicago-traded corn with no real ease to the sowing delays in sight. Commodity funds had built an unprecedentedly large bearish corn position that peaked a month ago, and they remained historically short in the weeks since as they awaited a break in the rains and some decent planting progress.

 
May 28 - Egypt to procure 3 mln T of local wheat by end of Monday - spokesman 
Egypt will have procured 3 million tonnes of local wheat from this year's harvest by the end of Monday, the agriculture ministry spokesman said. Spokesman Mohamed el-Kersh said he expects farmers to sell more than 3.6 million tonnes of wheat to the government this season, which began in April.

 
 May 28 -
China finds armyworms in eastern Jiangsu province - state media 

China has found destructive armyworm in corn crops in the eastern province of Jiangsu, state media reported late Monday. The destructive pest has now spread to 15 provinces and regions since it was first detected in the southwestern province of Yunnan in early January. 

 
May 28 - Mali on track to harvest record cotton crop of 800,000 T 
Mali is on track to harvest a record 2019/20 cotton crop of 800,000 tonnes, up about 22 percent from 2018/19, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. It said it expects good rainfall, growth in cultivated land and rising prices to boost production.

May 27 - Rapeseed gets relief from rain but EU crop still set to shrink 
Rain brought some relief to European Union rapeseed crops this month, but analysts still expect this year's harvest to be the lowest in more than a decade after drought and insect attacks. Grain industry association Coceral estimated that 2019 EU rapeseed production would reach 17.9 million tonnes, down around 2 million tonnes from last year. 

 
May 27 - China's April soybean imports from U.S. up 15.9% m/m, Brazilian imports soar 
China's soybean imports from the United States rose in April, helped by an earlier easing of trade tensions with Washington, while imports from Brazil surged after buyers backloaded their March orders to benefit from a tax cut on agricultural products. China, the world's top soybean buyer, brought in 1.75 million tonnes of the oilseed from the United States, up 15.9% from 1.51 million tonnes in March, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Saturday.

 
May 27 - Brazil 2018-19 corn crop seen close to all-time record - Reuters poll 
Brazilian corn farmers will harvest an estimated 97.5 million tonnes of the cereal this season, a Reuters poll of 11 analysts showed on Friday, as good weather and planting expansions boost prospects for the country's 2018-19 crop. If estimates are confirmed, Brazil's total corn crop this year will be just below a record of 97.8 million tonnes two years ago, and 21% above last season, when a drought caused crop failure in large Brazilian producing states.

   
May 27 - Vietnam swine fever cull surges, 1.7 million pigs dead 
Vietnam culled a further 500,000 pigs over the past two weeks to tackle an oubreak of African swine fever, taking the total killed so far to 1.7 million, or 5% of the country's herd, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. Pork accounts for three-quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 95 million people where most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically.

 
May 27 - Speculators hike cotton net short position to 3-yr high 
Speculators increased their net short position in cotton to a more than three-year high on ICE Futures U.S. in the week to May 21, U.S. government data showed on Friday. Speculators boosted their net short position in raw sugar to an eight-month high, cut their net short position in cocoa and reduced their bearish stance on arabica coffee futures and options, the data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

May 27 - Mexico raises chicken import quota to avoid supply shortage 
The Mexican government increased its tariff-free chicken import quota by 55,000 tonnes on Friday due to crimped domestic production amid avian flu outbreaks. The announcement was made in the Mexican government's official gazette, which cited confirmed cases of avian flu in about two-thirds of the country's states.

May 27 - Control of armyworm crucial for China's grain output targets - ministry 
The prevention and control of armyworm is crucial to China's ability to hit annual grain output targets and maintain economic and social stability, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. The destructive worm has spread to 14 provinces and regions and has been found in 92,000 hectares of farmland in China after it was first detected in January. The situation is severe and the task is urgent, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural affairs said in a statement on its website.

May 27 - Palm oil watchdog to create separate standards for smallholders - Indonesia director 
A global palm oil industry watchdog is planning a separate standard for smallholders to help them adopt sustainable practices and get green certification, the Indonesian director of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) said. Indonesia is the world's biggest palm oil producer and smallholders account for roughly 40 percent of the country's 14 million hectares of palm plantations, and are often blamed for practices such as burning to clear land, causing forest fires.

May 24 - Trump administration announces $16 bln farm aid plan to offset trade war losses 
The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a $16 billion farm aid package to offset losses from a 10-month trade war with China and said payment rates to farmers would be determined by where they farm rather than what crops they grow. The package, the bulk of which will be spent on direct payments, surprised growers and traders who had expected to learn separate payment rates for soybeans, hogs, corn and other crops in the Department of Agriculture (USDA) briefing.

 
May 24 - EPA to unveil less ambitious U.S. biofuel credit reform - sources 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to unveil a narrowed-down version of its proposed biofuel credit market reform this month after regulators concluded many of the agency’s initial ideas required more time to study, according to four people briefed on the matter. President Donald Trump had instructed the EPA to develop the plan to reform the multi-billion-dollar market as a way to help the oil refining industry, which had long complained that speculation was driving up costs for the credits they must acquire to comply with the nation's biofuel law.

 
May 24 - China pork imports jump 24% in April - customs 
China imported 136,517 tonnes of pork in April, up 24% from the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, as the world's top consumer of the meat stocked up on supplies amid concerns of a looming shortage. This marked the biggest monthly volume since September 2016, when pork imports topped 140,000 tonnes. The have only come close to such a high level once since then when, hitting 135,900 tonnes in March 2018.

May 24 - Pressure mounts on U.S. farmers to plant amid more rain, aid package - Braun 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday laid out its much-anticipated aid package for U.S. farmers to compensate them for losses due to recent trade conflicts, particularly with China. This led market participants to believe that planted acres may not fall as much as expected despite the extreme weather that has afflicted farmers this spring. Excessive rain has caused U.S. planting to fall seriously behind schedule. Farmers still had 116 million acres of combined corn and soybeans left to plant as of May 19, far more than they ever had on the date. The previous high was 91 million acres in 1995. 

May 24 - African swine fever threatens French deli meats producers 
French deli meats makers are being squeezed by a surge in pork prices linked to an African swine fever epidemic that has decimated the pig herd in China, they said on Thursday, warning of potential bankruptcies in the sector. African swine fever, a highly contagious virus, has spread to every province on the Chinese mainland since August last year, killing millions of animals and prompting China - the world's biggest pork producer - to turn to imports earlier this year. 

May 24 - Morocco to raise soft wheat customs duty to 135 pct from June 
Morocco will increase the import duty on soft wheat to 135% from 30% on June 1 to help local farmers sell the domestic harvest, a government spokesman said on Thursday. A government council approved the increase against a backdrop of low prices in international markets which could undermine the sale of the local harvest, government spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi said.

May 23 - Trump announces $16bln aid package, no per bushel figure given (AgriCensus)
- The US government on Thursday formally announced an aid package to farmers worth $16 billion to compensate them for what they said was unfair retaliatory measures in its trade war with China. However, despite earlier reports that soybean farmers would receive up to $2/bu in aid for lower soybean prices, the US undersecretary for farm production and conservation Bill Northey said the government will not give any monetary figure. We want to make sure farmers are "planting for the market" and that "folks have complete flexibility during this challenging planting season". Alongside soybeans, farmers of other non-specialty crops including corn, wheat, rapeseed, rice and peanuts will also be eligible for the aid.
- Of the $16 billion, $14.5 billion will be allocated toward producers with the remaining sum allocated toward domestic food distribution and developing new international markets for US crops. Producer payments will be calculated at a single rate for each county, determined by how much “trade damage” that area has received and the numbers of acres farmed rather than on a particular crop, Bill Northey added. Specific dollar per bushel figures were not given to prevent market influence, but payments are likely to be more generous than the previous round of aid last year because of a higher $14.5 billion figure allocated toward producer payments versus $10 billion last time. The first payments will be made in July or August with two more payments to follow by early 2020.
“But we are hopeful of a trade agreement before further payments [after August],” Northey said.
- Following a report by Bloomberg on Tuesday which reported soybean farmers would receive payments of $2/bu against 63 c/bu for wheat and 4 c/bu for corn, Chicago futures fell by 10 c/bu in an hour to hit $8.29/bu by 1400 Eastern time, offsetting a previous rise because of wet weather that has delayed new crop planting. On Thursday, futures movements have been more muted since the announcement, stabilising at $8.24-8.26/bu at time of press.

May 23 - Brazil bans Merieux labs from food inspections after meatpacker BRF scandal 
Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture officially banned three laboratories from conducting food inspections over their involvement in a food safety testing scandal that ensnared meatpacker BRF SA, according to decisions published in the official government gazette on Wednesday. The three laboratories run by Merieux NutriSciences Corp in Brazil, which performed testing on BRF products, are no longer authorized to process samples under the ministry's official control program, according to the decisions.

 
May 23 - China's soybean processors see smaller losses as U.S.-China trade row drives up meal prices 
Soybean processors in China, operating deep in the red for the last six months, have seen losses sharply reduced lately on expectations of tighter soy supplies as the U.S.-China trade war intensifies. Crushers in the country's eastern province of Shandong, a major hub for soybean processing, are losing about 22 yuan a tonne, this week.

 
May 23 - U.S. lawmaker wants EPA's use of biofuel waivers investigated 
Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth on Wednesday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General to investigate why the agency vastly expanded its use of waivers to exempt small refineries from the nation's biofuel law. The request, made in a letter from Duckworth's office to Acting Inspector Charles Sheehan, follows a May 16 Reuters report that the EPA decided to expand the waiver program months before a 2017 court decision it has often cited to justify the move to the corn lobby. 

 
May 23 - Morocco set to reintroduce customs duty on soft wheat - industry body 
The Moroccan government is expected to reintroduce a customs duty on soft wheat imports to promote sales from the local harvest which has been hit by a lack of rainfall, the president of the National Millers Federation said on Wednesday. Morocco scrapped a customs duty on soft wheat imports in November to maintain price stability. Chakib Alj of the millers federation said the government will announce on Thursday that it is being reintroduced, after the plan is approved by the government council.

 
May 23 - U.S. judge appoints Ken Feinberg mediator for Bayer Roundup settlement talks 
A U.S. judge on Wednesday appointed prominent attorney Kenneth Feinberg as mediator for court-mandated settlement talks in the federal litigation over allegations that Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused cancer. Feinberg has been instructed to meet with lawyers for Bayer and plaintiffs within the next 14 days, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said during a court hearing on Wednesday.

 
May 23 - Tyson Foods to set up beef processing plant in Kazakhstan eyeing China - FT 
Tyson Foods Inc is in talks to set up a beef processing plant in Kazakhstan, as part of the central Asian country's push to attract investment by projecting itself as an agricultural powerhouse on China's border, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing three people with knowledge of the discussions. The multibillion-dollar investment would allow the U.S. meat company to dodge high tariffs on American agricultural goods and give a backdoor access into China, FT said.

May 23 - French poultry group LDC sees further growth in profit next year 
France's largest poultry group LDC is targeting a 5% rise in operational profit next year, helped by further growth in its convenience and international divisions that allowed the group to post better than expected results on Wednesday. Reporting results for its financial year that ended on Feb. 28, LDC said full-year current operating profit rose to 190.1 million euros from 184.7 million euros a year earlier.

May 23 - Fonterra cuts guidance, shuts plant in 'new norm' for Australian dairy 
New Zealand's Fonterra on Thursday cut its annual earnings guidance and said it would close a more than 100-year-old facility in Australia as dry weather and increased costs continued to undermine the dairy producer's operations. The move marks yet another earnings cut for Fonterra, which has been struggling to cut costs and curb debt as its key operations in Australia and New Zealand continue to be battered by harsh weather conditions.

May 22 - LDC grows presence in Chinese alternative feed market with new plant (AgriCensus)
- Agricultural business major Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) will kickstart the construction of an animal feed plant in China, jointly owned with one of the largest Chinese feed makers Guangdong Haid Group Co Ltd, the company said on Wednesday. The joint venture – named Tianjin Rongchuan Feed Co. Ltd – will be located in Tianjin in northern China and is expected to start operations by the middle of next year, LDC said in a statement.
The plant will be used to produce high-end aquatic feed and fermented soymeal. It will have an annual production capacity of 300,000 mt, LDC added.
“As demand for protein rises in a number of markets and consumer demand for healthy meat alternatives grows in China, aquaculture represents an efficient and sustainable source of protein and our move into aqua feeds is consistent with that vision,” said James Zhou, LDC’s head of North Asia.
- The joint venture was formed between the two companies in December last year.
High-end aquatic feed is normally used to feed premium fish sold on a premium in the market, a China-based internal source at LDC told Agricensus. Fermented soymeal is used as a feedstock for livestock feed, including feed for pigs. China's pig population has been hit hard by ongoing African swine fever (ASF) epidemics since August last year. China has reported more than 120 outbreaks of ASF across all regions in the country since then and has culled at least 1 million pigs.
“The strategic goal of this joint venture was established when the factor of ASF was not incorporated,” the same source said, adding that the added production capacity from the plant next year does not necessarily reflect the company’s view on China’s feed demand

May 22 - Brazil farmer defaults burn soy traders betting on barter 
A spate of farmer defaults in Brazil's top grain-producing state is creating headaches for global traders who are among their main creditors and posing challenges to the widespread use of barter in the world's largest soybean exporter. The battles in Mato Grosso bankruptcy courts pit farmers against international trading houses, such as France's Louis Dreyfus Corp (LDC) and U.S.-based Bunge Ltd, which have been lending aggressively to producers through Brazil's unique barter system to protect profit margins from newer traders in China.

 
May 22 - U.S. to favor soybeans in trade war aid for farmers - Bloomberg 
The Trump administration is considering direct payments to U.S. farmers of $2 per bushel for soybeans as part of an aid package to offset the trade war with China, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, an offer that could encourage more soy planting despite record supplies. China is the world's top soybean importer, and for the second year in a row there is little prospect that it will buy much U.S. soy after an escalation in a trade war that has left U.S. farmers sitting on record volumes of crops.

 
May 22 - U.S. corn output in jeopardy on late planting, new trade aid - Braun 
U.S. farmers should be close to wrapping up corn planting by now, but persistent wet weather has limited that progress to just shy of halfway by Sunday, the slowest in 40 years of records. Corn yields are generally not maximized when the crop is planted so late. But with little precedent for the current situation, especially with uncertainties over the U.S.-China trade war, it is unclear just how much the final output may be reduced.

 
May 22 - Coceral raises EU soft wheat, maize crop estimates for 2019 
Grain industry lobby Coceral on Tuesday raised its forecast for EU soft wheat in 2019 due to improved weather conditions, and lifted maize output estimates on sharply increased harvest prospects in Romania and Germany. It pegged the soft wheat harvest at 140.3 million tonnes, up from its previous forecast of 139.8 million made in March.

 
May 22 - India set to plant more land with soybean crops as prices rally 
India is set to grow soybeans on more land in the 2019 crop year as higher prices for the oilseed push some farmers to switch from cultivating competing commodities such as cotton and pulses, an industry official and dealers told Reuters. Increased production of India's main summer-sown oilseed could help the world's biggest vegetable oil importer trim costly purchases from Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia and Malaysia.

 
May 22 - Brazil farmers struggle for internet signal as tech floods sector 
Brazil's lack of reliable internet accessibility in rural areas is an increasingly critical problem for its farmers, as more agricultural equipment arriving on the market is built to be updated online to work at full capacity. Brazil's agriculture has grown at a quick pace in the last decade, putting the country at the forefront of global food production. But infrastructure bottlenecks remain - including internet coverage.

 
May 22 - Cambodia's royal oxen predict plentiful rice harvest amid EU tariffs 
Cambodia's royal oxen predicted a plentiful harvest of rice, the country's biggest crop, at an ancient ploughing ceremony on Wednesday. King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the televised annual ritual in which two oxen are given offerings after ploughing a field, marking the start of the rice-growing season in the Southeast Asian country.

May 21 - Bean bailout prospects turn futures red as planting switch feared (AgriCensus)
New farmer aid plans, leaked to Bloomberg on Tuesday, have caused Chicago soybean futures to tank, eroding gains made since Monday on concerns that wet weather would halt US planting progress.
The July contract was at $8.29/bu at time of press, hitting a low of $8.19/bu, and down 10 c/bu from $8.39/bu at 1300 Eastern time.
The White House is preparing an aid package worth $15 billion to assist farmers hit by the latest escalation in the US-China trade war, which could see farmers receiving up to $2/bu for every bushell of soybean planted, Bloomberg reported.
Aid handouts for corn and wheat are expected to be less generous at 63 c/bu and 4 c/bu, respectively.
Most market participants now expect farmers to switch corn acreage for soybeans.
“If confirmed, $2/bu would be a huge incentive for those guys unable to get corn in the ground to plant soybeans,” Kelly Herrick, analyst at Advance Trading Inc said.
“We had rallied corn enough that it was making the prevented plantings decision a little tougher. This throws another variable into the mix,” he said.

May 21 - Rural Iowans ponder Trump alternatives as China trade war drags on 
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg asked a crowd of hot and sticky supporters packed into an Iowa brewery this weekend whether the United States has a plan to win the ongoing trade war with China. "Nooo," was the response. The world's two largest economies have been embroiled in a 10-month trade war that has roiled global supply chains and rattled financial markets. U.S. farmers, who helped carry Trump to his surprise 2016 election win, have been among the hardest hit as China has imposed tariffs on imports of U.S. agricultural products including soybeans, pork and grain sorghum in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

 
May 21 - U.S. garlic growers profit from trade war as most farmers struggle 
Unlike millions of other U.S. farmers, garlic growers are profiting from the trade war with China and have cheered President Donald Trump's latest economic attack accordingly. Sales of California-grown garlic are now increasing after decades of losing ground to cheaper Chinese imports. Sales are poised to get even better as Chinese garlic faces even higher tariffs, with no end to the trade war in sight.

 
May 21 - China soymeal futures hit 5-mth high as Sino-U.S. trade tensions deepen 
China's soymeal futures hit their highest level in five months on Tuesday, boosted by expectations of tighter supply as the Sino-U.S. trade conflict intensifies. Worries the United States and China are digging in for a longer, costlier trade war have weighed broadly on financial markets, with Beijing accusing Washington of harbouring "extravagant expectations" for a deal to end their dispute.

 
May 21 - Brazil corn ethanol industry booms as cereal's output nears 100 mln T 
The news back in 2014 of a group of investors launching a project to build Brazil's first ethanol plant based 100% on corn raised eyebrows in a country that had invented a national ethanol program entirely based on sugarcane. Analysts thought the plan carried risks associated with an unstable market for the fuel and uncertainty regarding corn supplies and prices, beyond the fact that there was a general assumption that it was more expensive to produce ethanol from corn than from sugarcane.

 
May 21 - EU monitor lifts wheat yield outlook, trims rapeseed on rain contrasts 
Yield prospects have improved for EU wheat and other cereals but have eroded for rapeseed, the European Union's crop monitoring service said as it factored in contrasting levels of rainfall last month. In a monthly report released on Monday, the MARS service raised slightly its forecast for the average soft wheat yield in the EU this year to 6.05 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), from 6.01 t/ha last month.

May 21 - Democratic hopeful Bennet unveils climate plan with farm, conservation focus 
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, unveiled a plan on Monday to tackle climate change with a focus on slashing emissions from farming and ranching and conserving nearly a third of U.S. lands. Bennet is distinguishing himself from rivals, such as Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, who are pressing for more aggressive plans to fight global warming, by making land management and agriculture a large part of his climate platform.

May 21 - Russian export prices for new wheat crop up with global benchmarks 
Russian export prices for the new wheat crop, which is going to start arriving on the market in summer, rose last week following an increase in global benchmark Chicago prices, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for the new crop of Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content were $186 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $5 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. 

May 20 - U.S. soy may lose China market share for good in lengthy trade war - executive 
The United States is likely to permanently lose soybean export market share in China the longer U.S.-China trade talks drag on, a top executive at the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) industry group said on Friday. China is also unlikely to ever return to importing record volumes of U.S. soybeans, as the world's top soy consumer did as recently as 2016, even if trade talks between the two countries wrap up promptly, said Paul Burke, USSEC's senior director of U.S. soy marketing, on a conference call with the media.

 
May 20 - Brazil rides wave of soybean sales to China as U.S. trade war rages 
Soybean trading in Brazil has gained momentum in recent days, driven by a wave of Chinese demand, boosting prices and premiums paid at ports amid a weakening of the Brazilian currency, according to analysts. An estimated 5.5 million tonnes of soybeans have traded over the past few days, and are slated to leave Brazilian ports in June, July and August, according to estimates by the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea) issued on Friday.

 
May 20 - Funds keep big shorts in CBOT corn, soy despite slow U.S. planting - Braun 
Rain-driven planting delays for U.S. corn have been dragged out long enough to cause a noticeable rally in Chicago-traded futures, but speculators were not yet ready to shed their enormously bearish positions as of early last week. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 30% of U.S. corn acres were planted as of May 12, the fourth-slowest in records back to 1980 and well behind the five-year average of 67%. 

May 20 - EU wheat in good shape after rain eases concerns over dry spring 
Welcome rain in the four largest European Union wheat producers raised hopes for a good harvest this summer after a dry spring sparked fears of a repeat of last year's drought-damaged crop, experts said on Friday. "Some EU wheat was on a knife-edge as spring weather suddenly turned very dry and soil is still unusually parched after last summer's historic drought and heatwave," one German analyst said. "The rain caused sighs of relief."

May 20 - Bayer bets on 'silver bullet' defense in Roundup litigation; experts see hurdles 
Bayer AG plans to argue that a $2 billion jury award and thousands of U.S. lawsuits claiming its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer should be tossed because a U.S. regulatory agency said the herbicide is not a public health risk. Some legal experts believe Bayer will have a tough time convincing appellate courts to throw out verdicts and lawsuits on those grounds. Bayer has a better shot if a business-friendly U.S. Supreme Court takes up the case, experts said. But that could take years.

May 20 - Mississippi River barge shipping resumes after floods, but rains to return 
The upper Mississippi River fully reopened to boat and barge traffic this week for the first time since November as shippers scrambled to move a backlog of overdue fertilizer barges to farmers racing to sow corn before the end of the month. Some fertilizer shipments had been parked on river banks near St. Louis and further downriver for more than two months as the worst Midwest flooding since 1993 shuttered locks and triggered shipping restrictions on the flood-swollen waterway. 

May 20 - In case over biofuel law waivers, U.S. court denies temporary injunction 
A U.S. biofuels trade group on Friday lost a bid for a temporary injunction on the granting of exemptions to refineries from laws that require them to blend biofuels into gasoline. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Friday denied the Advanced Biofuel Association's request that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency be ordered to stop issuing hardship exemptions to small refineries.

May 20 - Japan opens doors to full access of U.S. beef imports - USDA 
Japan has agreed to eliminate its long-held restrictions on American beef imports, opening full access to U.S. cattle products after more than 15 years, the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a statement on Friday. "The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the statement.

May 17 - Cofco, Sinograin snap up South American soybeans as trade talks rot (AgriCensus)
Sinograin and Cofco have started to aggressively snap up South American soybean supply with at least eight cargoes being bought up from Argentina and Brazil in the past five days for nearby loading on fears that stocks could dwindle. Five China-based market sources told Agricensus on Friday that the two-state-owned buyers had been sitting on their hands and avoiding contracting South American beans as they were waiting on a political signal to buy millions of tonnes of US soybeans. However, last week’s breakdown of talks between the US and Chinese governments has dashed fears of a resolution that could reopen Chinese markets to US supply, and has thus changed that dynamic.
“Sinograin and Cofco resumed buying a large amount of South American beans recently because they had previously saved capacities hoping to buy US beans once the [trade] talks are done. Hence, they did not buy enough beans for front-months,” said one market source with knowledge of the matter. China’s government had pledged to buy 20 million mt of US soybeans as a goodwill gesture to kickstart trade negotiations with the US.
But with only 12.5 million mt contracted – and a large part not expected to arrive until later than August – Cofco is now believed to be short beans.
“I heard they were forced to buy Brazil. The earliest vessel arrivals (if bought now) will be July 9th. Their supply could be cut out by the end of June,” said a second market source.
"Cofco apparently bought 4-5 cargoes on CFR basis on Thursday", the same source added.
Cofco has been active in the market this week with several deals reported out of both Argentina and Brazil on both an FOB and a CIF basis – a dynamic that has seen Brazilian soybean prices rally 7% in the last week. Out of Argentina, Cofco bought a cargo at 46 c/bu over futures on Thursday, equivalent to $325/mt and up 6% on the week. While out of Brazil several deals were heard on a CFR basis at 177 c/bu over July futures for June loading and 6 cents higher for a cross month shipment for June/July equating to $373-375/mt CFR North China, also up 6% on the week.

May 17 - China cancels U.S. pork import order as U.S.-China trade war drags on
The same week U.S. President Donald Trump announced sweeping increases on tariffs against Chinese goods, Chinese buyers dropped orders for 3,247 metric tonnes of U.S. pork - the biggest cancellation in more than a year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released on Thursday. The cancellation came during the week ended May 9, a blow to the $6.5 billion export market for American pork, vital to the burgeoning U.S. meat industry.

May 17 - Trump EPA did not await court ruling to loosen biofuel rules for refiners
The Trump administration made it easier for oil refineries to get waivers from the nation's biofuel law at least four months before a 2017 court decision it often cites to justify the move to the corn lobby, and the move was motivated by a desire to save the oil industry money, Reuters has learned. The timing and motivation for the Environmental Protection Agency's policy change, revealed through court documents and an interview with a former top agency official, have not been previously reported.

May 17 - China's pork consumption falls as African swine fever spreads
A decline in Chinese pork consumption is keeping a lid on prices, an executive at China's top pig producer Wens Foodstuff Group said on Friday, even as pork output slumps in the country, the world's biggest producer of the meat. The fall in consumption comes as an epidemic of African swine fever has ravaged China's pig herd, the world's largest, curbing demand for the country's favourite meat.

May 17 - Canada's Nutrien sees swine fever hurting demand for grain, oilseed
African swine fever is likely to hurt demand for grains and oilseeds in the next couple of years, the chief executive of fertilizer dealer Nutrien Ltd said on Thursday, the latest threat to a sector already reeling from the U.S.-China trade war. CEO Chuck Magro, speaking at the BMO Farm to Market conference in New York, said agriculture markets will eventually correct themselves from the impact of the disease, which has killed much of China's hog herd.

May 17 - Argentine grains exchange boosts estimate for 2018/19 soy harvest to 56 mln tonnes
Argentine farmers are expected to harvest 56 million tonnes of soy for the 2018/19 season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, an uptick from its previous estimate of 55 million tonnes. The grains exchange cited stronger-than-expected crop yields as the reason for the boosted estimate, saying 76.7% of the planting area was already yielding crops.

May 17 - EU to compensate Irish beef farmers for Brexit price hit
The European Union will provide Irish beef farmers with 50 million euros of exceptional aid to compensate for the fall in beef prices suffered as a result of the Brexit process, the European Commission's agriculture chief Phil Hogan said. Ireland's economy is considered the most vulnerable among the remaining 27 EU members to the impact of its neighbour's decision to leave the bloc, particularly for sectors with close trading links to Britain such as agriculture.

May 17 - Genus shares surge on deal to market gene-edited pigs in China
British livestock genetics firm Genus agreed on Thursday to license its know-how on virus-resistant pigs to Beijing Capital Agribusiness Co Ltd, which will seek regulatory approval for the pigs in the world's biggest pork market. Genus has a global patent for commercialisation of pigs genetically edited to resist Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), also known as blue-ear disease, which causes billion-dollar losses for the global pig industry each year.

May 16 - Bunge says swine fever impact will be felt for several years (AgriCensus)
The head of agribusiness major Bunge said the impact on feed prices and the trade flows of meat and soybeans stemming from the current epidemic of African swine fever will likely be felt over several years, with the business benefitting from that opportunity. Speaking at the 14th Annual Farm to Market Conference, Gregory Heckman, CEO of Bunge, said that the US-based agribusiness major would benefit from changing trade flows as the company only has 15% of its crush capacity in China. Asked about the impact, Heckman said that any forecast had to take into account the loss in size of the pig herd, how long a vaccine would take to develop, how long it would take to rebuild the herd, and how much of that protein demand gets shifted from pigs to cattle and fish and in which region.
“But directionally we know it should be less beans more crush, that’s net positive for us. We think for it to be noticeable it is beyond 2019 and it is multi-year… and whichever species it is from cattle to aquaculture it is more feed and feed ingredients which net net is constructive to soymeal prices.”
“There is no doubt that margins are better in our crushing franchise than our in our distribution franchise. We would always rather crush a bean than move it,” he said. China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) said Tuesday that pig herds in the country are 21% lower than this time last year, down 2% on the month, as the ongoing African swine fever epidemic deters breeding.

May 16 - New Trump aid plan for U.S. farmers seen mirroring 2018 package
The Trump administration's second package of aid for U.S. farmers hit by the trade war with China is expected to total $15 billion to $20 billion and involve direct payments, the agriculture secretary said on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is still finalizing the plan, which is likely to prioritize hog and soybean farmers, the products most affected by the trade dispute between China and the United States, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and industry sources briefed on the plan said.

May 16 - New Bunge CEO looks to downsize company before growing again
The new chief executive of oilseed processor Bunge Ltd said on Wednesday that the company needs to downsize in the short term and earn "the right to grow again," by avoiding costly mistakes and operating with financial discipline. "We’re going to let the numbers drive what should happen for us. First, we need to shrink," Chief Executive Greg Heckman said at a BMO investors conference in New York. "We need to get the platform performing, improve the returns and position ourselves for the right to grow again."

May 16 - NOPA April soy crush slips to 159.990 million bushels, below trade expectations
The monthly U.S. soybean crush fell below the prior-year level for a second straight month in April and was below most trade estimates, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Wednesday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 159.990 million bushels of soybeans last month, down from 170.011 million bushels in March and below the 161.016 million bushels crushed in April 2018, the record for the month.

May 16 - Omega lambs and fitbit cows: New Zealand responds to alternative protein threat
At Dave Harper's family farm in New Zealand's scenic Canterbury region, a painstakingly bred flock of lambs is grazing, not on grass, but on a field of herbs selected to unlock healthy omega-3 fatty acids in the animals' meat. Known as 'Te Mana lambs', they are part of an effort by the island nation to future-proof its agricultural sector from the threat of meat and dairy substitutes based on synthetic proteins or plant-based alternatives.

May 16 - French wheat export forecast raised again but shy of 10 mln T mark
Farming agency FranceAgriMer on Wednesday raised its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union in 2018/19 for a fourth straight month, confirming a brisk second half of the season for the EU's biggest wheat exporter. The increased outlook was nonetheless below the 10 million tonne-plus levels that some market players had anticipated during a flurry of shipments in March and April, with an end of season lull in demand curbing expectations, FranceAgriMer said.

May 15 - EU scraps AD duties on US ethanol, but impact could be small (AgriCensus)
- The EU's scrapping of anti-dumping duties on US ethanol has prompted sharply divergent assessments of the potential impact on European producers, with the main European lobby for the biofuel warning of cheap imports, while some traders point to other regulatory hurdles that would dent the attractiveness of US shipments.
- The EU Council, which includes representatives of member state governments, said that the duties of around €62 per tonne had been scrapped because the European Commission concluded that reoccurrence of US anti-dumping was "unlikely".
"Having considered all the evidence available before it... the Commission concluded that there is no likelihood of recurrence of dumping should the measures be allowed to lapse," the EU Council said in a document published in the EU's Official Journal on Wednesday.
The decision effectively ends a dispute that has been running since 2013 when European producers lobbied successfully for antidumping duties, prompting a rash of lawsuits and appeals from the US ethanol sector - a heavy user of corn.
- In view of its conclusion that there is no major likelihood that the dumping of US ethanol will reoccur, the announcement in the Official Journal added that there is no need to analyse the likelihood of recurrence of injury and the interests of EU producers.
It said: "The measures on imports of bioethanol originating in the US should therefore be repealed and the proceeding terminated."
European producers have said repeatedly that anti-dumping duties are justified because the US makes far more ethanol than can be consumed domestically, and could send close to 1.5 billion litres of their product to Europe because other countries such as China and Peru, have closed off their market to US ethanol.
- US producers have long contended that they had no unfair advantage from selling ethanol into the EU because of the extra costs involved in converting the biofuel so it is compliant for use in vehicles in the 28-nation bloc.
"The EU’s decision to repeal anti-dumping duties on fuel ethanol imports originating in the US risks having serious consequences for the entire value chain of the European renewable ethanol industry – which accounts for 55,000 direct and indirect jobs in the EU," industry body ePURE said in a statement.
"It would also affect EU climate ambitions by favouring US ethanol – which is more carbon-intensive than European ethanol," ePURE said.
However, it is this higher carbon-intensity that is cited as a reason why US ethanol, most of which is based on corn, will find it difficult to compete with European origins of the biofuel.
- US-based sources expected the impact to be minimal, however, as only a handful of producers are certified to export to the bloc, with one source estimating it may only bring 100 million gallons (378 million litres) of new demand.
Carbon footprint
- EU ethanol often has a considerably lower carbon footprint that is certified for use in the EU's renewable transport scheme, in theory making it much more attractive to blenders and fuel companies that are required to meet blending mandates. However, ePURE noted that the decision had come at a time when other key US export markets, including Brazil, China, Peru and Colombia, have already introduced or are considering measures to protect themselves from unfair US ethanol exports.
Arbitrage window
"This increases the risk that US exporters divert exports previously targeting these countries to the EU," ePURE said, although some market sources are sceptical that a sufficiently large 'arbitrage window' will open up for US ethanol into the EU. China on May 13 said it would impose an additional 25% tariff on US ethanol, one of 6,000 products that could be subject to extra duties from next month amid a major trade war escalation between the countries.

May 15 - Australia to import first wheat in 12 years as drought bites 
Australia will import its first shipment of wheat in more than a decade as a drought across the country's east coast wilts supply in the world's fourth largest exporter of the staple grain. Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources said late on Tuesday that it has approved an import permit of Canadian wheat.

May 15 - IEG Vantage sees fewer U.S. corn acres than USDA - document 
Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, on Tuesday projected U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 90.692 million acres, according to an IEG client note seen by Reuters. The IEG figure is below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's March forecast of 92.8 million acres.
The firm projected U.S. 2019 soybean plantings at 86.437 million acres, above the USDA's March forecast of 84.6 million.

 
May 15 - NOPA April U.S. soy crush seen at 161.607 mln bushels - survey 
The U.S. soybean processing pace in April was expected to be above last year and the highest ever for the month as soy plants took advantage of good margins and ample supplies of beans, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly industry report. Members of the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) likely crushed 161.607 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates given by 10 analysts in a Reuters survey.

 
May 15 - Germany’s 2019 wheat crop set to rise, rapeseed down 
Germany's 2019 wheat harvest will increase 19.8% on the year to 24.28 million tonnes as conditions point to a recovery after drought caused massive harvest damage last year, the country's association of farm cooperatives (DRV) said on Tuesday. Crops in Germany and much of western Europe suffered huge damage from a drought and heatwave in summer 2018.

 
May 15 - China's new slaughterhouse rules keep lid on pork prices for now 
China's pork prices are being kept in check even as pig production continues to drop, with tough new rules on slaughterhouses crimping trade and pushing frozen pork stocks onto the market, according to analysts. Hog prices in the world's top producer rose sharply in early March as losses from an epidemic of incurable African swine fever started to impact supplies.

 
May 15 - France sees bigger maize area as rapeseed, sugar beet shrink 
French farmers are expected to sow more maize in 2019, ending several years of decline as the crop benefits from a sharp drop in sowings of rapeseed and sugar beet, the farm ministry said on Tuesday. In its first estimate of the country's 2019 grain maize area, the ministry projected sowings at 1.43 million hectares (mln ha), up 4.9% from 2018. That remains 3.8% pct below the average of the past five years.

 
May 15 - Brazil's Fiagril turnaround on track after Chinese investors burned - exec 
China's Hunan Dakang found itself hemorrhaging money soon after it bought Brazilian grain company Fiagril in 2016, but it has turned around its subsidiary by focusing on selling farm inputs instead of grain origination, an executive said. Fiagril's troubles expose the challenges for newcomers operating in Brazilian agriculture at a time when traders' margins remain narrow due to abundant harvests and fiercer competition.

May 15 - Brazilian farmer soybean sales sluggish in April amid corn clearout (AgriCensus)
- Brazilian farmers continued to sell corn ahead of soybeans last month on the hope that prices would spike in May amid a collapse in trade talks between the US and China, official data and sources told Agricensus this week.
- Brazil soybean sales in the largest producing state of Mato Grosso were 71.8% of the expected harvest by the end of April, down on 79.7% at this point last year despite a much smaller harvest this year, according to the state’s institute of agricultural economics (IMEA). Meanwhile, corn sales for the year have reached 62.3% of the harvest, up five percentage points on last year, as the country labours under a record corn crop that some estimate to be as much as 100 million mt.
“We have a huge crop. There is too much corn and farmers (have) preferred to sell it ahead of soybeans,” said one market source.
- However, that may change given last week’s escalation in the trade war between the US and China, but only if soybean prices rise to meet farmer expectations – a dynamic that has yet to happen.
“The question now is how will China meet its (soybean) import needs? Without US and Canada supplying China, our premiums will skyrocket again,” the Brazil-based source said. Premiums over futures for Brazilian beans have risen sharply over the past week – surging to 90 c/bu from 53 c/bu for June cargoes since the start of the month. However, that rise has not even compensated for the fall in futures prices, with flat prices in reais terms remaining relatively low due to sluggish demand from China amid the ongoing outbreak of African swine fever and abundant global supply.
- Current prices for cargoes out of Brazilian ports priced stood at BRL1,308/mt on Monday, according to Agricensus data, versus an average of BRL1,337/mt for March and BRL1,330/mt for Q1. Nevertheless, the fall in soybean prices was outstripped by that in corn, with current corn cargoes in reais terms valued at BRL619/mt, compared with BRL660/mt last month and BRL700/mt in Q1 as prices have been dragged down by bumper supply.

May 14 - Trump says U.S. farmers to get $15 bln in aid amid China trade war

President Donald Trump said on Monday that his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion in aid to help U.S. farmers whose products may be targeted with tariffs by China in a deepening trade war. "We're going to take the highest year, the biggest purchase that China has ever made with our farmers, which is about $15 billion, and do something reciprocal to our farmers so our farmers can do well," Trump told reporters at the White House.

May 14 - California jury hits Bayer with $2 bln award in Roundup cancer trial
A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, in the largest U.S. jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over the chemical. The large punitive damages award is likely to be reduced due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that limit the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9:1. The jury awarded a total of $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages.

May 14 - U.S. corn planting pace slowest since 2013; soybeans also lag
U.S. farmers planted 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop as of Sunday, the slowest pace for mid-May since 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported on Monday. The figure lagged the five-year average of 66% as well as the average estimate in a Reuters analyst survey of 35%.

May 14 - Brazil soybean premiums rise as U.S.-China trade war escalates

Brazil soybean premiums for June rose to $0.92 per bushel on Monday, in reaction to a U.S.-China trade war that is expected to spur demand, according to the Center for Studies in Advanced Applied Economics (Cepea). Amid a fall in the Chicago soybean contract and the weakening of the Brazilian currency against the U.S. dollar, port premiums at Paranaguá rose by almost 10 cents from Friday, reaching the highest level since Dec. 7, Cepea data showed.

May 14 - Vietnam to mobilise military in fight against African swine fever
Vietnam said it will mobilise its military and police forces to help combat the outbreak of African swine fever that has already resulted in the culling of about 4% of the country's pig herd. The virus, first detected in the Southeast Asian country in February, has hit farms in 29 provinces, and prompted the authorities to cull more than 1.2 million pigs.

May 14 - Cotton slumps to lowest since August 2016 as trade war tensions mount
Cotton prices slumped over 4% on Monday to its lowest since August 2016 as China's threat to impose additional tariffs on U.S. goods boosted investors' concerns about the crop's future. The most-active cotton contract on ICE Futures U.S. July fell for sixth straight session and settled down 3 cents, or 4.4%, at 65.45 cents per lb.

May 14 - Australia weather bureau sees reduced El Nino threat
A recent cooling of the Pacific Ocean has reduced the threat of an El Nino weather event developing this year, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday. While sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean remain close to El Nino levels, water beneath the surface has slowly cooled over the past few months, BOM said.

May 13 - Brazil soybean premiums rocket as buyers hedge upside risk

Cash premiums in the Brazilian paper Paranagua market rocketed late Friday as a “large volume” of soybeans was sold at 82 c/bu above the July futures contract for June loading as buyers hedged upside risk amid an escalation in the trade spat between the US and China.
The exact figure could not be confirmed, but Brazilian sources reported that the volume was close to 100,000 mt.
There has been a “huge volume on June,” a Brazilian source said late on Friday.
Typical deals on the paper Paranagua market are around 5-10,000 mt.
Chicago futures hit an 11-year low last week with the July contract losing 35 c/bu over the past week, hitting 8.09 c/bu by close on Friday.


May 13 - U.S. plans more aid for farmers amid China trade spat
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Friday that President Donald Trump had asked him to create a plan to help American farmers cope with the heavy impact of the U.S.-China trade war on agriculture. A new aid program would be the second round of assistance for farmers, after the Department of Agriculture's $12 billion plan last year to compensate for lower prices for farm goods and lost sales stemming from trade disputes with China and other nations.

May 13 - Bayer hires law firm to investigate Monsanto stakeholder file issue
Bayer said on Sunday it was hiring an external law firm to investigate French media complaints that Monsanto, the U.S. seed maker it took over last year, had compiled a file of influential personalities. The German life sciences and pharmaceuticals group said that, following an internal review, it understood that this initiative had raised concerns and criticism.

May 13 - USDA data backs up funds’ mega-bearish CBOT corn, soy bets - Braun
"Speculators increase bearish bets" is quickly becoming one of the most reusable headlines in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds this year, and the title was applicable yet again last week as money managers’ combined net short position hit another record. Market participants have become increasingly discouraged over the U.S.-China trade negotiations, though the prospects of a deal supported Chicago futures in recent months. However, investors appear to have been on the right track with their building pessimism if the U.S. government’s latest supply and demand projections are any indication.

May 13 - Brazil and Mexico add rice and beans to their trade menus
Mexico will allow imports of Brazilian rice and Brazil will allow imports of Mexican beans, the two countries said in a statement on Saturday as top agriculture officials from both countries met in Japan. "The decision reinforces Brazil's position as one of the top 10 global exporters of rice and represents an important step to diversify commercial relations with Mexico, a country with over 120 million people that imports over 80 percent of the rice it consumes," the Brazilian government said in a statement.

May 13 - Brazil's BRF may return to European market sooner due to swine fever
BRF SA, the world's largest chicken exporter, believes Europe could lift an embargo affecting a dozen of its plants sooner than anticipated because of the global meat supply imbalance deriving from a deadly hog disease in China. In remarks to journalists regarding a third straight quarterly loss, BRF Chairman Pedro Parente said demand for meat products will grow globally, which could lead Europe to relax restrictions on Brazilian plants.

May 11 - Asia’s buyers target 330k mt Black Sea wheat spree as prices tumble
(AgriCensus)
- Asia’s end users have targeted milling wheat and feed wheat purchases from the Black Sea region, as they look to capitalise on lower prices ahead of the arrival of a big wheat crop expected in both Ukraine and Russia. The buying amounts to at least 330,000 mt across both milling and feed wheat. Market sources reported two trades of 55,000 mt feed wheat to the Philippines, one at $197/mt and another at $198.75/mt for July-August shipment, both CFR Subic and reportedly sold by Midstar.
- Indonesia also bought a 30,000 mt cargo of likely milling wheat from the Black Sea for August loading at $210/mt CFR.
Rumours in the market also suggested that a deal had been signed for Black Sea feed wheat to head to Vietnam at $205/mt CFR for July-August shipment, but details could not be confirmed.
- South Korea's MFG also got in on the action, buying two 65,000 mt feed wheat cargoes for October shipment on May 8, at average of $204.5/mt CFR, with fellow NOFI announcing a tender for 60,000 mt second half September-early October shipment. Glencore is believed to have sold the tender at $200.99/mt CFR for one port discharge, with the buying underlining the South Korean feed sector’s interest in wheat at the expense of corn.
- Prices for next crop feed wheat have fallen by around $3/mt in the last two weeks, as the expected size of the new crop has put pressure on them, and now old crop corn and new crop feed wheat are offered at the same level. Market sources said that they expect the price to come down further, but at the same time Asia’s buyers have taken a chance to buy cargoes at the current prices.
“Even if the outlook is bearish, they (Asia’s buyers) need to start covering at least a small portion to reduce their exposure”, a trader said.
- Ukraine and Russia are both expecting high wheat production this season, amid favourable weather, with Ukraine's wheat production estimated in the range of 25.3 million to 28 million mt. Russia’s production meanwhile is expected in the range of 79 million to 83.4 million mt, according to analytical agencies. The two countries harvested 24.5 million mt and 79.4 million mt respectively in the current marketing year.
With freight for a panamax-sized vessel from the Black Sea to the Philippines at around $30/mt, the FOB equivalent stands at around $168/mt FOB. Agricensus  APM-1 assessment for Ukraine feed wheat stands at $169/mt for July and $167/mt for August.


May 10 - Trump says will use China tariff funds to buy US agricultural goods (AgriCensus)
- US President Donald Trump said Friday that he will use funds raised from taxing imports of Chinese goods to buy US farm products and distribute them to developing countries in a move that throws doubt on whether China will fulfil a pledge to buy 20 million mt of US soybeans. Speaking on Twitter, President Trump said the process of placing additional tariffs of 25% on the remaining $325 billion worth of Chinese imports had started on Friday.
“With the over $100 billion in tariffs that we take in, we will buy agricultural products from our great farmers in larger amounts than China ever did and ship it (sic) to poor and starving countries in the form of humanitarian assistance,” Trump tweeted.
“In the meantime, we will continue to negotiate with China in the hopes (sic) that they do not again try to redo deal. Our farmers will do better, faster (sic) and starving nations can now be helped,” he said.
- Chinese trade negotiators are due to meet US officials in Washington DC Friday to discuss how to overcome a year-long trade war that has seen the price of soybeans and corn slump 20%. However, analysts do not expect a resolution any time soon after US trade negotiators stunned markets by accusing China of backtracking on a deal that was meant to be unveiled Friday – throwing into doubt whether China will fulfil its goodwill pledge to buy 20 million mt of US soybeans this year. China state-owned industries have bought around 12.5 million mt of soybeans at levels above Brazilian supply, although there are now doubts the remaining 7.5 million mt will be contracted. Futures markets were unmoved by the news, with the July soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade down 2 c/bu on Thursday's close at $8.10/bu, although prices have fallen more than 3% this week already.
Support
- Farmers are a key support base for Trump, who will next year hope to achieve a second presidential term.
The government assistance will be the second policy measure that Trump has launched to bolster farmer incomes in the face of falling prices. Last year, his administration launched a $12-billion aid programme that sought to compensate farmers for low prices, bought surplus goods from the market and sent trade missions abroad to find new markets.
The overwhelming majority of the aid ended up going to soybean farmers, who have effectively been shut out of China, which imports around two-thirds of all soybeans sold internationally.

May 10 - India imports 27,000 tonnes non-GM corn from Ukraine at $205/T - trade sources
India has imported an extra 27,000 tonnes of non-genetically modified (GM) corn from Ukraine at $205 a tonne, including cost, insurance and freight, three trade sources said on Thursday, to offset a shortage triggered by pest infestations and dry weather. Earlier this year, the country imported 57,000 tonnes of corn, free of GM organisms, from Ukraine, in what was the country’s first overseas purchase since 2016. The latest purchase takes this year's total imports to 84,000 tonnes, the sources said.

 May 10 - U.S. soy exports will desperately ride on China in coming months -Braun
The United States this year shipped a record volume of soybeans for the month of March, but that did absolutely nothing to prevent Chicago soybean futures from plunging to more than decade lows on Thursday on huge supplies and tensions with top buyer China. U.S. soybean exports have been historically sluggish since Beijing imposed tariffs on the American oilseed mid-last year. But now, a lot depends on China in terms of U.S. exports reaching market expectations, and there may be a high likelihood of a disappointing outcome.

 May 10 - U.S. EPA proposes hike in biofuel mandate to 20.04 bln gallons in 2020 - sources
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed increasing the volume of biofuels refiners must blend into their fuel annually to 20.04 billion gallons in 2020, from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The proposed mandate, now under review by other government agencies before being finalized, includes 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels like ethanol, unchanged from 2019. It also includes 5.04 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, like those made from agricultural wastes, up from 4.92 billion in 2019, the sources said.

 May 10 - U.S. farm incomes fall in 1st qtr; trade war remains top risk to agricultural economy - Fed banks
U.S. farm incomes in the Midwest and Mid-Southern states declined yet again in the first quarter of 2019 amid ongoing strain from low commodity prices, trade uncertainty and severe weather, according to banker surveys released on Thursday by the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis and Kansas City. Most bankers said one of the biggest risks to the farm economy this year remained the trade fight between the United States and China.

 May 10 - Disease to cut China pig meat output by at least 10 pct - FAO
An African Swine Fever outbreak is expected to cut China's pig meat output by at least 10 percent in 2019 and present opportunities for producers elsewhere, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said on Thursday. The shrinking of the world's largest hog herd will have a noticeable impact on meat and feed markets worldwide, with more than one million pigs culled in China so far in an effort to halt the contagion, the FAO said in a food outlook report.

 May 10 - China expects its 2019/20 soybean output to hit highest in 14 yrs
China expects its soybean output to hit the highest level in 14 years in 2019/20, boosted by a plan to revitalise the nation's production of the oilseed. The country will churn out 17.27 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2019/20 crop year, up 7.9% from the year before, its agriculture ministry said on Friday in a monthly crop report.

 May 10 - Malaysia end-April palm oil stocks fall to six-month low - MPOB
Palm oil inventories in Malaysia, the world's second-largest producer of the edible oil, eased to a six-month low at the end of April, official data showed on Friday, as exports edged up amid falling production. Benchmark palm oil prices have been range trading in recent weeks, capped by concerns of high stocks and flat demand. A fall in stockpiles could boost palm prices, which were last trading flat at 2,005 ringgit ($482.67) a tonne at the midday break on Friday.

 May 10 - EU commissioner says agriculture not on agenda for U.S. talks
The European Union intends to keep agriculture off the agenda in its trade talks with the United States and continues to support rules-based, open and predictable international commerce, the EU's agriculture commissioner said on Friday. A free trade agreement between the European Union and Japan is the "benchmark and ceiling" for the EU's negotiations with the United States for a trade pact, Phil Hogan said.

May 10 - Chinese crushers snap up Brazil soybeans as margins soar
Chinese crushers have bought at least 15 cargoes of Brazilian soybeans for May through July shipment this week as crush margins have soared, and more deals are expected to be signed throughout the rest of the week.
"Crush margins were too good," one analyst at an international crusher said.
Chinese crushers picked up five cargoes last night mainly for June and July shipments at stable flat prices that have not adjusted for lower futures on CBOT board.
Soymeal futures for September delivery trading on the Dalian exchange – the most liquid contract spiked this week – surging almost 5% – as traders placed bets that the price of Brazilian soybeans would rise after news emerged of a potential breakdown in China-US trade talks. However, an early soybean harvest has led to a steep carry in the Brazil market that has seen flat prices on a CNF basis delivered into China flatline over the past week. This has meant Brazilian premiums have risen to compensate weaker futures, but not yet spiked on the hope that Brazil may be the only origin for Chinese crushers.
"Crush margins reached CNY300/mt ($44.05/mt). Don't know if it will reach CNY400/mt as it did last year due to trade war," another market source said.
According to Agricensus data, crush margins using Dalian futures and cash prices for soybean cargoes have soared 36% since the end of last week to CNY294/mt, or $43.12/mt.
“Brazilian premiums you saw last night were not timely enough to reflect today’s market, and you will see that rise today,” said one China-based trader, explaining that soybean prices in Brazil will rise.

 May 10 - Oversupply problems in the U.S. corn market may just be getting started - Braun
Rising global supplies have been a major downer for corn market bulls over the last couple of months, and recent trade data suggests that U.S. supplies could build even further over the next year, potentially to multi-decade highs. Record U.S. corn exports set the tone in the market last year as South American droughts curbed crops there. U.S. corn demand caught fire and early on, domestic carryout was seen hitting a five-year low in the current year.

 May 09 - Bunge appoints new CFO, revamps operations for 2nd time in 18 months
U.S. agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd on Wednesday overhauled its global operations and named a new chief financial officer in the latest shake-up for the 200-year-old company hard hit by a years-long grain market downturn. The moves come as Bunge reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit due to higher soy crush margins in the United States, Brazil and Europe.

 May 09 - Profit runs dry at Australia's GrainCorp as drought withers crops
Australia's biggest listed bulk grain handler, GrainCorp Ltd, on Thursday reported a larger-than-expected half-yearly loss, as severe drought withers crops in one of the world's top exporters of commodities such as wheat. The firm also cut its dividend as it grapples with the fallout from the driest conditions in a century, with its shares falling to their lowest level in five months.

May 08 - Brazil on course for 99m mt corn, soybean harvest at 97% (Agrural)
- Brazil’s soybean harvest is 97% complete with yields robust enough to prompt an upward revision of total production, while the country’s corn harvest is likely to pass through 99 million mt, according to the latest revision from Parana-based consultancy Agrural.
With the soybean harvest grinding to its end, Agrural pushed its bean outlook up by 700,000 mt to top 115.3 million mt although the hot, dry weather at the end of 2018 has taken its toll.
“Despite the upward adjustment, production is still below the initial potential of 121.4 million mt,” the agency noted in a release accompanying the update, as dry weather “hampered the filling of the grains in areas where early soybeans were sown.”
- The agency also revisited its outlook for Brazil’s corn crop, as the “near-ideal climatic conditions throughout April” and early planting for the key second crop after the preceding soybean harvest wrapped up early have driven expectations higher. The agency increased its outlook for the Centre South region’s second corn crop to 69.5 million mt – an increase of 5.7 million mt. Taken together with the government agency Conab’s outlook for the North Northeast region, Brazil’s total safrinha crop could reach 73.5 million mt, a 6 million mt increase on last month’s estimate and “well above the 53.9 million mt in 2018… and the record 67.4 million mt made in 2017.”
With the first corn crop now 91% harvested as of May 2, production is likely to reach 25.7 million mt, down by 300,000 mt from last month’s forecast. Nonetheless, together the two harvests catapult Brazil’s total production to 99.2 million mt – just shy of the 100 million mt that some market sources are expecting – and 1.4 million mt ahead of the 2016/17 harvest.

May 08 - China's April soybean imports rise as buyers delayed cargoes on tax change
China's soybean imports in April jumped 10.7 percent from the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as shipments delayed from March reached the world's top oilseed buyer. China imported 7.64 million tonnes of soybeans in April, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. That is up from 6.9 million tonnes a year earlier and up 55 percent from 4.92 million tonnes in March.

May 08 - U.S. to levy tariff on imported Mexican tomatoes in trade spat
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it will begin imposing a 17.5 percent tariff on imported Mexican tomatoes, but said it is optimistic that a deal can be reached to extend a 2013 agreement that suspended a U.S. anti-dumping investigation. “The Department of Commerce remains committed to ensuring that American domestic industries are protected from unfair trading practices,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement. "We remain optimistic that there will be a negotiated solution."

May 08 - Cargill Brazil head to step down as firm prepares transition
The chief executive of commodities trader Cargill Inc in Brazil since 2012, Luiz Pretti, is preparing to step down, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. Pretti, who one of the sources said would stay on until December, started at the company in 2005 in the financial department, according to his LinkedIn profile.

May 08 - South Korea's MFG tenders for 65,000 tonnes feed wheat
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has issued an international tender to purchase up to 65,000 tonnes of optional-origin feed wheat, European traders said on Wednesday. The tender also closes on Wednesday, May 8, and seeks wheat for arrival around Oct. 30 in South Korea.

May 08 - Grain trader Gavilon confirms departure of two Brazil executives
Brazilian commodities trader Gavilon do Brasil, a subsidiary of Japan's Marubeni Corp, on Tuesday confirmed the departure of two key executives. Fabricio Mazaia, a former Nidera executive who had been general manager for Gavilon since August 2017, and country controller Caio Silva, who had been with the company since December 2017, have departed, Gavilon said in a statement sent to Reuters.

May 07 - Gavilon parts company with Brazil senior staff

Commodity trading house Gavilon do Brasil has parted company with its general manager and a controller, the company said in a statement Tuesday but said it remained committed to its Brazilian operations.

"We confirm that Fabricio Mazaia and Caio Silva are no longer with Gavilon do Brasil," a spokesperson said.

"These personnel changes will not impact our Brazilian operations and we remain committed to serving our customers and continuing to grow our business".

Fabricio Mazaia, the former general manager, had been with the company 20 months, while Caio Silva was a controller that joined in December 2017. Gavilon trades bulk grain and oilseed commodities. It is a subsidiary of Japan's Marubeni Corp.

May 07 - Trump’s new tariff threats on China may finish off soybean bulls - Braun
The soybean market has not had a whole lot going for it in the past year with ample supplies after years of large global crops, weakening demand out of China, and the U.S.-China trade war. The trade war has undoubtedly, and perhaps single-handedly, kept Chicago-traded soybean futures afloat for the past several months, even in the face of overwhelmingly large U.S. stocks. The idea that China may remove tariffs and/or agree to buy a specified amount of U.S. beans as part of a deal has been the glue keeping the market together.

 May 07 - U.S. to impose tariffs on Mexican tomatoes as new pact remains elusive
The United States will impose a 17.5 percent tariff on Mexican tomato imports starting on Tuesday, as the two countries were unable to renew a 2013 agreement that suspended a U.S. anti-dumping investigation, a Mexican official said on Monday. The U.S. Commerce Department said in early February that the United States would resume an anti-dumping investigation into Mexican tomatoes, withdrawing from a so-called suspension agreement that halted the anti-dumping case as long as Mexican producers sold their tomatoes above a pre-determined price. U.S. growers and lawmakers say that deal has failed.

 May 07 - U.S. corn planting seen 25% complete, soybeans 8% - poll
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly crop progress report should show that farmers were able to plant 25% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, according to the average estimate in a survey of 11 analysts on Monday. Trade estimates for the week ended May 5 ranged from 23% to 30%. The government was scheduled to publish its report at 3 p.m. CDT (2000 GMT).

 May 07 - Suitor quits $1.7 bln bid for Australia's GrainCorp, shares tumble
Australia's largest-listed grain handler, GrainCorp Ltd, said that suitor Long-Term Asset Partners (LTAP) has withdrawn its A$2.4 billion ($1.7 billion) takeover bid after due diligence, pushing shares to five-month lows. GrainCorp stock dropped 11 percent at the open of trade on Tuesday to hit close to where it stood preceding the bid, before recouping some of those losses to trade at A$8.18. The broader market opened half a percentage point higher.

 May 07 - China's Dalian exchange to open soybean, soymeal futures to foreign investors
China's Dalian Commodities Exchange aims to open one of its soybean futures contracts to foreign investors this year, along with futures for soymeal, soyoil and palm oil, a senior official from the bourse told reporters on Monday. Such access would highlight China's efforts to allow more foreign participation in its domestic futures markets, as well as its ambition to gain greater influence over the pricing of its major commodity imports.

 May 07 - Scientist to politicians: End oil, farm subsidies to save planet
Robert Watson chose his favourite accessories to deliver the scientific community’s starkest warning yet over the accelerating demise of Earth's life support systems: a tie with a dodo pattern, and cufflinks engraved with designs of tiny watches. A leading figure in the network of international experts who assess the twin threats posed by climate change and species loss, Watson uses the symbols to remind audiences that there is no special reason why human beings should not share the fate of the flightless bird, declared extinct at the end of the 17th century.

 May 07 - Brazil soy industry group raises crop view, boosts end-stocks
Brazilian soy industry group Abiove raised its estimate for the country's current soybean crop on Monday to 117.6 million tonnes from a March forecast of 116.9 million tonnes, as late maturing fields show better productivity. Abiove cut its estimate for Brazilian soybean exports in 2019 to 68.1 million tonnes from the 70.1 million tonnes projected in March, saying the African swine fever outbreak in China will reduce demand from its largest client.

 May 07 - India's MMTC postpones deadline in tender to buy corn - trade
Indian state-run trading company MMTC has postponed the deadline for offers in an international tender to import yellow corn (maize) to May 15 from May 8, European traders said on Monday.  Offers must now remain valid until May 31 versus May 26 previously.

 May 07 - Tyson Foods expects to profit from hog fever in China, warns it may hit U.S.
Tyson Foods Inc said on Monday that the U.S. meat processing industry could reap significant financial gains from a global shortfall in pork as an incurable hog disease spreads rapidly across Asia. Tyson projected its U.S. pork, chicken and beef units could all benefit from increased demand linked to outbreaks of African swine fever, after the Arkansas company reported quarterly profits above analysts' estimates.

 May 07 - Malaysia April palm stocks expected at 6-mth low - Reuters survey
Malaysia's palm oil stocks likely fell to a six-month low by end-April, according to a Reuters survey, recording a second straight month of declines as a slight gain in exports outpaced a dip in production. Stockpiles in Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer and exporter, likely lost 5 percent from March to 2.77 million tonnes in April, according to the median estimate of eight planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters. That would be the lowest level since October.

 May 07 - Two more swine fever outbreaks detected in South Africa
Two more outbreaks of African swine fever were detected in South Africa in April, its agriculture ministry said, following a spate of the disease in the country's North West province earlier that month. The two further outbreaks were detected in the central province of Gauteng, home to the city of Johannesburg, and Mpumalanga, a province in the north. The ministry said the same virus was responsible for all three outbreaks.

May 06 - Manufacturers run out of cotton harvesters for Brazil for 2019
It is only May, but if a Brazilian cotton grower orders a new harvester now to cope with an expected larger crop this year, he will not get it in 2019. The industry has run out of them. Brazil is experiencing a boom in cotton production, a result of higher international prices and the 25 percent Chinese additional import tax on U.S. cotton amid the trade war.

 May 06 - India's rural pain goes beyond farmers, and it may be a problem for Modi
Three years ago, brick mason Pundlik Bhandekar was always busy as farmers in his tiny hamlet in western India commissioned new houses and nearby towns were undergoing rapid urbanisation. Now, as the rural economy sinks and the pace of construction slows, Bhandekar is struggling to get work. "I used to get a new construction project before I could even finish one. People would come to my house to check when I would be free to work for them," said Bhandekar, as he sat with friends under the shade of a tree on a hot afternoon.

 May 06 - Trump blows up trade complacency, commodities to feel pain: Russell
U.S. President Donald Trump has just given commodity markets a reminder that stormy waters can blow up quite quickly even if the voyage ahead was looking like smooth sailing. Investors were becoming complacent with the idea that the U.S.-China trade dispute was heading toward an eminently sensible and mutually beneficial resolution before Trump's latest Twitter outburst.

 May 06 - Funds dig deeper into bearish CBOT bets as heavy stocks, trade war weigh - Braun
Heavy world stocks, trade conflicts, and demand disruptions have led speculators to end April on a record bearish note across Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds, and a sharp reversal in investor attitude anytime soon seems unlikely. When combining money managers' net positions in CBOT corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, along with Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat, the overall net short reached 683,501 futures and options contracts as of April 30, up from 656,078 a week prior, which was the previous record.

 May 06 - Louis Dreyfus could consider selling stake to regional player
Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world's biggest agricultural commodities houses, may consider selling a stake to a regional player to support its development although there are no specific plans to do so, the company said on Friday. Agricultural commodities traders have been grappling with lower profits from sourcing and shipping commodities such as grain and oilseeds, prompting cutbacks in trading teams, investments in food processing activities and acquisition speculation.

 May 06 - Ukraine 2018/19 grain exports at 42.4 mln tonnes so far
Ukraine's grain exports have reached 42.4 million tonnes so far in the 2018/19 season compared with 33.9 million tonnes at the same point last season, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. Ukraine has said it harvested a record 70 million tonnes of grain last year, up from about 61 million tonnes in 2017.

May 03 - Australia’s farmers stick with barley planting despite China fears (AgriCensus)
Farmers in Australia look set to maintain barley planting acreage in the country despite fears that a trade spat with China will slash regional demand, market sources told Agricensus Friday.
Some anticipate the area may even increase as oilseeds plantings are hit by drought, bolstering the area planted with barley despite the backdrop of an ongoing Chinese anti-dumping investigation.
“The acreage has not dropped; it’s expected to increase,” one Australia-based barley exporter said, adding that “rapeseed acreage will decline,” as drought conditions mean farmers have missed the ideal planting window.
Other sources have said that they expect the ratio of wheat and barley in the overall plantings to remain as ‘normal’, with no reduction or increase.
Planting has just started, but with widespread rains reaching the country and alleviating drought conditions, the pace is expected to pick up, the exporter added.
The move is unexpected as ongoing trade issues with China has slashed export interest and seen a lack of reported barley sales to that destination.
Only 400 mt and 31,351 mt left Australia bound for China in November and December 2018 respectively, down sharply from nearly 300,000 mt and 331,300 mt that left in the same two months of 2017.
Disaster
China has been the main buyer for Australian barley in recent years, with 61% of the 6.82 million mt of barley imported in 2018 sourced in Australia, according to China’s customs data, and a fall in demand would potentially be devastating.
“It would be a disaster if China treats Australia like Canada. Our barley growers really do not realize how cheap their barley would be if China does not buy it”, a second source said, referencing a similar trade dispute that has hit Canada’s agriculture exports to China.
In lieu of China buying Australian barley, and with a similar planting outlook to last year, the country’s exporters will have to find other markets to sell into, with attention focused on Middle East buyers such as Saudi Arabia - the world's biggest importer of barley.
“(The extra production) will likely be used to replenish low national stocks, and to be exported to the Middle East,” the second source said.
But with fierce competition in the world market, selling to Saudi Arabia in particular will mean the grain has to price competitively, which is far from what farmers usually want.
“I think that we are pricing about $10-15/mt above Saudi's last purchase,” a trader said.
“Domestic demand has to price at a premium to export parity. If domestic demand goes away then prices might drop $20/mt, that's still not going to discourage farmers from planting,” the trader added.

May 03 - Label problem caused China's suspension of two Canadian pork shippers
China's suspension of two Canadian pork exporters' permits was due to a labeling problem, Canada's agriculture minister said, adding that she was hopeful of it being resolved. China's action against two Canadian pork companies, announced by Ag Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Wednesday, widened a diplomatic rift between the countries.

 May 03 - Ongoing planting delays could sow more problems for U.S. corn - Braun
May is typically the busiest month for U.S. corn planting, but many Midwestern farmers are sidelined waiting for the rain to stop and the fields to dry out after a record wet off-season. Should planting be delayed too much, corn acres are bound to decrease and both growers and analysts alike fear that yields could ultimately suffer as well.

 May 03 - Bumper yields projected in Kansas wheat, but crop needs time - tour
Wheat yield potential in Kansas was estimated at 47.2 bushels per acre (bpa), crop scouts on the annual Wheat Quality Council crop tour said on Thursday. The figure is above the five-year crop tour average of 40.2 bpa and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2018 actual Kansas yield of 38.0 bpa, reflecting ample moisture and cool weather in recent months.

 May 03 - India's buffalo meat exports hit six-year low on weak China demand
India's buffalo meat exports fell 8.7 percent in 2018/19 from a year ago to the lowest level in six years, a government body said on Thursday, as demand moderated from the country's biggest buyer China. India's buffalo meat exports were 1.23 million tonnes in the fiscal year that ended March 31, the lowest since 2012/13, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said in a statement.

May 02 - Swelling soybean stocks means futures are immune to trade talks (AgriCensus)
Despite signs this week from both US and Chinese negotiators that a resolution, or even a trade deal, to end a 12-month long trade spat between the world's two biggest economies could be reached very soon, soybean futures have actually fallen. Weighed down by the biggest ending stocks in history - estimated at 900 million bushels (24.5 million mt) - it appears it would take a monumental commitment from China to buy US soybeans in order for futures to budge. And even with a huge 5% cut in soybean acreage next year - as estimated by the USDA in March - US output would still reach 110-120 million mt based on typical yields.

With US crushing around 57 million mt, it will take a while to get those ending stocks down.
“There are ideas that a deal could be reached late next week. I do not believe this, but it sounds like they are getting closer. The outside markets are neutral to weaker. The globe won’t offer much influence,” Brian Henry from Benson Quinn Commodities said in a report published yesterday. Exactly what form the trade talks will take remains to be seen, with earlier reports suggesting that the US will insist on keeping tariffs on goods in place to enforce the terms of a deal that is likely to include restrictions on intellectual property theft. In this event it is also unclear whether China will remove the punishing additional 25% tariff on US soybeans, perhaps preferring to mandate purchases of soybeans to erode the trade deficit, which is also a key focus of Trump's. With a Chinese delegation due in Washington next week to finalise details “supposedly the how and when of lifting tariffs will be the last thing negotiated,” Charlie Sernatinger from EDF Man Capital said.

Regardless, of whether the tariffs will disappear or not, in order to bring down US stocks to more traditional levels of 350-400 million bushels, China would need to buy its typical figure of 30 million mt of US soybeans as well as a further 12 million mt next year.
It boils down to this. With African swine fever killing pigs and deterring breeding in China, any hope President Trump had for a pre-election rally in futures to shore up support among his key farmer support base may be dashed. Furthermore, record harvest yields in Brazil and Argentina have put pressure on exporters to offload the crop as quickly as possible with a weaker real and peso against the US dollar aiding this. Oversupply is by no means limited to the US but with no tariffs on Brazilian and Argentinian beans, private Chinese crushers have more incentive to purchase from South America.
“We’ll never get 100 percent of our exports back from our number one customer,” John Heisdorffer, Chairman of the American Soybean Association (ASA) said during a panel discussion in Iowa last week.
“We’ve got some real competition out there,” Heisdorffer added.

May 02 - Canada farm minister informed that China has blocked two Canadian pork exporters
Canada's agriculture minister said on Wednesday that her department officials have told her the Chinese government has suspended the export permits of two Canadian pork exporters, marking the latest irritant in a widening diplomatic dispute. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in an interview with Reuters that she has not yet received an official notice from China of the permit suspensions, and would not identify the companies involved. She said both pork producers are based in the country's eastern province of Quebec.

 May 02 - Canada unveils measures to help canola farmers hit by China ban, seeks to boost Asian exports
The Canadian government, as expected, on Wednesday offered more financial assistance to canola seed farmers who have been hit by a Chinese ban on imports and said it was looking to diversify into other markets. China is blocking imports of canola seed from two companies on the grounds that it discovered pests. The ban threatens to cause major problems for farmers, given that China is Canada's biggest export market for canola.

 May 02 - Crop tour finds strong wheat yield potential in southwest Kansas
Hard red winter wheat fields in southwestern Kansas were in good shape and showed better-than-average yield potential, but the crop is less mature than normal for this time of year, scouts on an annual crop tour said on Wednesday. Planting delays last fall and cold weather over the winter and spring slowed the crop's development, which could leave the wheat vulnerable to weather stress in the coming weeks.

 May 02 - Climate change has U.S. fund managers adjusting agriculture investments
After historic floods devastated Midwestern agricultural states this spring, some fund managers are evaluating how climate change will affect the long-term value of companies that make or sell products ranging from tractors to fertilizer. The issue is not simply the unpredictability of weather. Instead, fund managers say, they are struggling to model how extreme weather events from droughts to more powerful storms will affect commodity prices and, in turn, spending by farmers on equipment or seeds.

 May 02 - EPA has received DOE input for 2018 small refinery waivers -sources
The Department of Energy has given the Environmental Protection Agency its scoring results for the 40 outstanding 2018 applications made by small refineries for waivers from U.S. biofuel laws, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The recommendations from the Energy Department are a crucial step in the EPA’s process for weighing the exemption requests, which can save refineries millions of dollars in regulatory costs and have become the center of a bitter dispute between the rival oil and corn industries.

May 01 - Argentine government eyes sunflower oil exports to India (AgriCensus)
Argentina Agriculture Secretary Luis Etchevehere and representatives from the country’s oilseed industry chamber Ciara will visit India in July in a bid to boost sunoil exports to the world's biggest vegoil importer, Gustavo Idigoras, head of Ciara, told Agricensus. The executive said that Argentine sunflower oil exports to India had been displaced five years ago due to growing supply from Ukraine. Another goal of the mission would be to consolidate previous negotiations carried out during a trade mission to India headed by President Mauricio Macri in February this year.
“We aim to reach long-term agreements and contracts in the soy oil segment in order to consolidate this business and increase export volumes for 2020,” Idigoras said.
During this previous visit, Ciara signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), with the aim of promoting vegetable oil production and trade. Argentina is expected to export 4.87 million mt of soyoil this year, up from 4.2 million mt in 2018, Federico Di Yenno, an analyst with the Rosario Board of Trade (BCR), recently told Agricensus. Di Yenno also said that India will represent nearly 50% of total exports in the soyoil segment.

May 01 - Canada promises farm aid amid China canola spat, shuns calls to pull out of Beijing-led bank
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said Ottawa would soon announce help for canola farmers hurt by a China ban on imports of the oilseed but brushed off calls to pull funding for a Chinese-led investment bank. China and Canada are locked in a diplomatic and trade dispute that has resulted in China blocking imports of canola seed from two companies. China, Canada's biggest export market for canola, cited the discovery of pests, a charge Canada dismisses.

 May 01 - Trade war and sagging prices push U.S. family farmers to leave the field
Shuffling across his frozen fields, farmer Jim Taphorn hunched his shoulders against the wind and squinted at the auctioneer standing next to his tractors. After a fifth harvest with low grain prices, made worse last fall by the U.S.-China trade war, the 68-year-old and his family were calling it quits. Farming also was taking a physical toll on him, he said; he'd suffered a heart attack 15 months before.

 May 01 - China tells pork producers to secure swine fever-free certificates
China has asked pork processors and pig dealers to obtain certificates proving their products are free from African swine fever, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. The disease has spread rapidly in the world's biggest producer and consumer of pork, reaching every province on the Chinese mainland since its initial detection there last August.

 May 01 - U.S. EPA says popular weed killer glyphosate is not a carcinogen
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that glyphosate, a chemical in many popular weed killers, is not a carcinogen, contradicting recent decisions by U.S. juries that found that it caused cancer in people. The EPA announcement reaffirms earlier findings from the agency about the safety of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Bayer's Roundup. The company faces thousands of lawsuits from Roundup users who allege it caused their cancer.

 May 01 - Kansas wheat yields set to banish bad memories of last year's harvest - Braun
Crop scouts in Kansas are likely to observe one of the best winter wheat crops the state has ever produced, even though the plants are behind in maturity. Kansas produces about a quarter of all U.S. winter wheat, and current conditions are among the best in recent memory. The annual Wheat Quality Council tour is under way in Kansas, and tour scouts are gauging yield potential for the hard red winter wheat crop prior to the first forecast of the season from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, due at the end of next week.

 May 01 - Argentina approved to export pork to China
Argentina announced on Tuesday it had struck a deal with Chinese authorities that would allow it to begin exporting pork to the Asian giant from 25 of the country's meat-packing plants. The South American nation has been pushing to increase agricultural trade with China to help bolster Argentina's trade balance amid increasing volatility of its peso currency. U.S. may push for quick, narrow trade deal with Japan -Perdue The United States may push for a quick trade deal with Japan to gain the same access to agricultural markets as some other Japanese trade partners, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday.

 Apr 30 - PepsiCo accused of coercing farmers by group close to India's ruling party
An influential Hindu nationalist group with close ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused PepsiCo Inc of coercing four Indian farmers who have been sued by the U.S. company for allegedly infringing a patent. After suing four farmers for cultivating the FC5 potato variety, grown exclusively for PepsiCo's popular Lay's potato chips, the snack food and drinks maker on Friday said it wants to "amicably settle" the issue.

 Apr 30 - Fund versus farmer: the standoff in CBOT corn continues -Braun
Speculators are closing out April with their most pessimistic views of all time toward Chicago-traded corn and soybeans, and as futures decline, farmers are even more reluctant to sell off their large inventories. Commodity funds are likely more comfortable than usual in taking massive short positions in grains and oilseeds because of the ample stockpiles, particularly in the United States. They also know that the producers will eventually have to sell, potentially at unfavorable prices, but producers are hoping that funds will be forced to cover shorts first.

 Apr 30 - U.S. corn planting seen 14% complete, soybeans 4% - poll
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) weekly crop progress report should show that farmers were able to plant 14% of their intended corn acres as of Sunday, according to the average estimate in a survey of 13 analysts on Monday. Trade estimates for the week ended April 28 ranged from 10% to 19%.

 Apr 30 - Trump administration eyes more aid to farmers if necessary - White House aide
The Trump administration is ready to provide more federal aid to farmers if required, a White House adviser said on Monday, after rolling out up to $12 billion since last year to offset agricultural losses from the trade dispute with China. "We have allocated $12 billion, some such, to farm assistance. And we stand ready to do more if necessary," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters.

 Apr 30 - China pork producer WH Group quarterly profit falls 21 pct
Chinese pork producer WH Group on Monday report a 21 percent fall in first-quarter attributable profit, dragged down by weak fresh pork prices in all markets and lower sales volumes in the United States. Higher raw material and other costs in China and oversupply in the U.S. hog market hurt overall profits, said the company, the world's largest pork producer. The average hog price in the United States decreased 17 percent in the quarter versus the same period last year.

 Apr 30 - Palm oil analyst Mistry raises 2019 Malaysia output forecast to 20 mln T
Malaysia's palm oil output is forecast to rise to 20 million tonnes in 2019, up from as much as 19.5 million tonnes forecast earlier, industry analyst Dorab Mistry said on Monday, though production gains would be capped by aging trees. Malaysian palm oil output levels for January, February and March have set monthly records, according to Refinitiv Eikon records going back to January 2000. 

 Apr 30 - Strategie Grains cuts EU 2019 rapeseed crop forecast to 12-year low
Strategie Grains has lowered its forecast for the 2019 European Union rapeseed harvest to its lowest in about 12 years to reflect downward revisions in France and Hungary where crops have suffered from dry weather. The France-based consultancy in its monthly oilseed report said it expected an EU 2019 rapeseed production of 18.85 million tonnes, down from an estimate of 19.32 million a month ago and 5.7 percent smaller than the 2018 crop.

 Apr 30 - Cargill's profits in Brazil grow 15 pct to 680 million reais
Grains trader Cargill Inc grew its profits in Brazil by 14.6 percent to 680 million reais ($173 million) in 2018, the company said on Monday, as it prepares to invest 500 million reais in the country throughout 2019. Cargill is Brazil's second largest exporter of soy and corn, according to Williams Shipping Agency, a Brazil-based firm. Revenue in 2018, which includes agricultural products as well as animal feed, grew to 46.5 billion reais.

Apr 29 - Bolsonaro freight pledge to freeze markets if enforced: sources
- Pledges made by Brazil’s president to hike minimum truck freight rates, and enforce them in order to head off a new trucking strike, would cripple internal trade in soybeans and corn, market sources said Monday. Last week, President Bolsonaro pledged to reflect an 11% rise in diesel prices in government-set minimum freight rates, a move that came after several trucking unions warned that they would repeat last year’s strike in response to rising diesel prices.
- A repeat of a strike would likely once again cripple the economy and movements of Brazil's commodities. Although wholesale diesel prices fell sharply in October and November last year and were largely stable in December and January, prices shot up nearly 11% in February and again in March. They have risen an additional 5.6% in April so far, while minimum freight rates have been held unchanged.
“The agreement is not 100% clear because it was just an attempt to avoid a strike. We don’t know what the new rates will be, but a sort of agreement has been reached. But like any other cost, it is the farmer who will in the end have to pay for it,” said Steve Cachia, of Brazil-based brokerage Cerealpar. Cachia estimates that freight rates will have to increase 4% to compensate for rising diesel prices. Last year, the minimum freight table was brought in to compensate truckers for what they said were unsustainable price hikes in the cost of diesel.
- In Brazilian law, the minimum freight rate has to be revised if diesel prices move 10%. While initial estimates suggested that it could add $50-80/mt on the cost of shipping soybeans and corn from the interior to the ports, enforcement of the law has not been robust.
 “At first, sellers only wanted to sell (crops) FOB interior and buyers only want to buy CIF delivered. So far, there is no news of inspections and fines and freight rates for spot positions are negotiating below the table anyway,” one market source said, requesting anonymity.
“If they follow the table, inspect and fine, the market will come to a halt and it will take some time to adjust,” the source said, adding that costs are transferred to the ones who contract the freight. A third source agreed.
“There is some buying FOB interior, but many won’t take the risk. We saw this last year and I expect we will see the same [reaction] if the government is serious,” said the third source, who also requested anonymity. The news of higher costs comes as the price of soybeans futures has fallen sharply, dragging soybean prices in real terms at the port of Paranagua to a three-month low, according to Agricensus data.
“I'll tell you the truth, nobody knows what will happen, probably [not even] even Bolsonaro,” said Aldo Lobo, an analyst with brokerage Granopar.

Apr 29 - Canadian farm exports run into Chinese wall amid diplomatic dispute
An expanding list of Canadian farm exports is hitting obstacles at Chinese ports, leaving sellers of soybeans, peas and pork scrambling amid a bitter diplomatic dispute. China has already blocked Canadian canola from Richardson International and Viterra, two of Canada's biggest farm exporters, saying that shipments had pests. Other China-bound canola cargoes have been cancelled, forcing exporters to re-sell elsewhere at discount.

 Apr 29 - Brazil's 2018/19 soybean crop could be second-highest on record
Brazil's 2018/19 soybean crop is poised to be the second largest on record, as good agricultural yields in late-maturing fields partially offset losses caused by a dry spell in December and January, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. According to the average of 12 forecasts, farmers will collect 115.46 million tonnes of the oilseeds this season, 1 million tonnes above the average forecast on a previous Reuters poll and below only last year's record output of 119.3 million tonnes.

 Apr 29 - India hikes wheat import duty to support local farmers
India has raised its import duty on wheat to 40 percent from 30 percent, the government said late on Friday, as the world's No. 2 producer of the grain tries to support local farmers. The step comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party looks to contain rural discontent due to lower crop prices amid voting in a general election that began on April 11 and ends on May 19.

 Apr 29 - Showers to help EU wheat crops but analysts wary of repeat drought
Showers have brought some relief to thirsty wheat crops in the European Union, but more rain will be needed in the coming weeks to avert a second successive year of drought damage, analysts said. An increase in wheat sowings by farmers followed by a mild winter has put the EU on course for a rebound from last year's drought-hit harvest.

 Apr 29 - Brazil's BRF sees China certifying meat plants after U.S. deal
Brazilian food processor BRF SA's chief executive said Chinese authorities are only likely to make a decision on whether to approve more Brazilian meat plants when the United States and China have a deal to end a trade war. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in São Paulo, Pedro Parente said that while an outbreak of African swine fever "puts pressure" on Chinese authorities to certify more plants, Beijing is unlikely to make a move before settling on new farm trade terms with Washington.

 Apr 29 - ADM considers ethanol spinoff as Q1 profit falls on severe weather
Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Friday it was considering spinning off its ethanol business after slim biofuel margins and Midwestern floods slammed the U.S. grains merchant's profit, which tumbled 41% in the first quarter. A major cause was the "bomb cyclone" blizzards that devastated the Midwest and Great Plains this year, causing massive flooding across Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, washing out rail lines and wreaking havoc in the moving and processing of grains. One-sixth of U.S. ethanol production was halted.

 Apr 29 - Winter tries a comeback in U.S. Midwest with up to a foot of snow
The phenomenon known as thundersnow announced the arrival of a storm expected to dump more than a half-foot of snow on the U.S. Midwest on Saturday, more than a month into spring. Midwesterners retrieved their winter wear from storage to trudge through a possible 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) of snow predicted by evening in the Chicago area and more than a foot (30 cm) in some isolated areas of Minnesota, Iowa, southern portions of Wisconsin and northern Illinois, forecasters said.

Apr 26 - IGC raises 2019/20 wheat crop outlook on Russia upgrade
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday nudged up its forecasts for world wheat production in the 2019/2020 season, largely reflecting an improved outlook for Russia's crop. The inter-governmental body, in a monthly update, increased its global wheat crop forecast by 3 million tonnes to 762 million tonnes with Russia's production seen at 79.5 million, up from 77.1 million seen previously.

 Apr 26 - China’s huge grain stockpiles set to linger through next year - Braun
China may be a minor participant in global grain trade, especially relative to the volume it consumes, but recent policy changes, the trade war with the United States, and the spread of African swine fever in its hog herds have drawn traders' attention to all things China. The general theme of large grain stockpiles in China is not expected to change anytime soon, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s attaché in Beijing, but the prognosis is more encouraging for corn than for wheat when it comes to reducing inventory.

 Apr 26 - China's imports of U.S. soybeans rise in March from a month earlier
China's imports of soybeans from the United States, the second-largest supplier to the country in 2018, rose in March from the previous month as more cargoes booked during a truce in the trade dispute between the two countries arrived. China, the world's biggest soybean buyer, imported 1.51 million tonnes of soybeans from the United States in March, data from the General Administration of Customs released on Thursday showed, up from February's shipments of 907,754 tonnes.

 Apr 26 - Australian weather bureau sees above average rains in boost for wheat growers
Australia's west coast will experience wetter than average conditions over the next three months, the country's weather bureau said on Friday, in a boost to wheat production in the world's No. 4 largest exporter. There is a 70 percent chance that Australia's west coast will record more rain than typical between May 1 and July 31, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said.

 Apr 26 - Bunge names acting CEO Gregory Heckman as new chief executive
Bunge Ltd on Thursday named Gregory Heckman as its new chief executive officer, three months after he stepped in as acting CEO at the embattled global grains merchant stung by slumping grain prices and a bruising U.S.-China trade war. Heckman, a founding partner of private investment firm Flatwater Partners and the former chief executive of grains trader Gavilon Group, was appointed acting CEO in January after long-serving CEO Soren Schroder was removed.

 Apr 26 - Brazil foreign minister urges China to improve GMO approvals
Brazil Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said on Thursday that the country must work with China to reduce non-tariff barriers to agriculture trade, including improving the process for genetically modified goods. Brazil is the world's largest exporter of soybeans, the vast majority of which are genetically modified organisms (GMO). Many newer GMOs, however, are not used in Brazil because they are not approved for sale in China, the largest customer for the Brazilian farm sector.

 Apr 26 - JBS to ship Brazil's first chicken cargo to India
Brazilian meat processor JBS SA said its Seara processed foods unit will start selling chicken products to India, as the group explores new markets in a year when poultry is poised to become the most demanded meat protein in the world. In a statement sent to Reuters on Thursday, JBS said Seara became the first company in Brazil authorized by India to sell chicken products in the Asian nation.

Apr 25 - Ukraine overcomes Iran concerns to see corn export sales bloom (AgriCensus)
- Ukraine’s corn exporters appear to have resolved some of the concerns around trading with Iran as line up data and trade sources see a rush of cargoes heading to the Middle East country in a final flourish for the record-breaking Ukrainian crop.
The move could spell bad news for Brazil, which has seen a roaring trade in meeting Iranian demand in recent months.
- According to line-up data, around 411,600 mt of corn has either loaded or is expected to load through April with Iran as the nominated destination, with about 712,000 mt already sailing over the course of the marketing year. Some market sources have suggested that the number could be even higher as fears that the trade could impinge on US sanctions targeting the destination means some of the exports are done under the radar.
“It’s not the full picture, as it’s also common practice for destinations to change after the vessel leaves Ukrainian ports,” one market source said.
And, while Ukraine’s FOB prices have remained higher versus other origins, there are signs that interest for suitable cargoes for Iranian buying is being seen in the market.
“I see great demand for May, June and even July,” one broker told Agricensus, although deals have slowed in recent days as corn prices globally plunge and Ukraine FOB prices have been slow to follow the price lower.
“What is worrisome is that now there are no new deals, although the demand is there but Ukraine sellers will have to go down,” a second broker added.
Sanctions favour Brazil
- Iran has been subject to ramped up US sanctions as the administration of President Trump sought to isolate the country after accusing it of violating an agreement on nuclear weapons research. That reportedly made Ukraine’s corn exporters wary of selling into the country, despite a series of tenders mounted by the state importer SLAL as the country sought to import up to 300,000 mt of corn per tender.
Funding has been one of the main obstacles facing Ukraine exporters, with only two European banks said to be prepared to provide trade finance when it comes to dealing with Iran, according to a market source. The impasse was a boon to Brazil’s corn exports with the country seeing an unseasonal spike in exports from its southern provinces, as Brazil looked to cash in the premium that accompanies Iranian buying.
Iran is already the biggest buyer of Brazilian corn, with the South American country seemingly unfazed by the arrival of sanctions and current line up data shows 459,568 mt of corn is currently loading or waiting to load in Brazilian ports.
- At the same time, Ukraine was facing a potential problem in generating enough regional demand to place its own record corn crop, with exports to Iran drying up shortly after the US imposed new sanctions back in August 2018.
For Ukraine, the boost through April could set the seal on another impressive monthly export figure despite the end of the marketing year rapidly approaching, traditionally a time when export pace may slow down.
- The signs that Ukraine is stepping into the Iranian supply chain is likely to slow exports from Brazil just as the country prepares to harvest its own huge corn crop, which could ultimately total 100 million mt.

Apr 25 - Australia begins wheat planting season on Anzac Day under cloud of 3rd year of drought
Australian farmers kicked off this year's wheat planting season on Anzac Day in bone-dry soil conditions as a third consecutive year of drought across the country's key growing regions casts a pall over production prospects. In a further blow to Australian farms wilting under the drought, planting season comes even as crop-friendly growing conditions in the northern hemisphere are expected to boost world supplies, keeping a lid on international prices.

 Apr 25 - Canadian farmers to reduce canola plantings by 7% amid China dispute
Canadian farmers intend to plant 7% fewer acres of canola this spring compared with a year earlier, even less than expected by analysts and traders, as a dispute with China hampers demand, a government report showed on Wednesday. China and Canada are locked in a diplomatic and trade dispute that has resulted in China blocking imports of Canadian canola from two companies. ICE nearby canola futures touched a more than four-year-low on Tuesday.

 Apr 25 - Argentina touts its soymeal in China, seeking import approval
Argentine officials are in China this week, promoting the country's soymeal products to win over local buyers and gain long sought approval from Beijing to sell soy-based livestock feed to the world's top consumer. China is the No. 1 buyer of Argentine soybeans but does not import any of its higher-margin processed meal, which could be used to help feed the world's biggest hog heard as consumers in the country shift toward a diet of meal-fed pork and poultry.

 Apr 25 - Good weather puts Russia, Ukraine on track for large grain crop
Favourable weather during spring grain sowing in Black Sea producers Russia and Ukraine is increasing the chances of another large grain harvest due to healthy levels of soil moisture, analysts and traders said. Russia, a major global wheat exporter to North Africa and the Middle East, is so far on track to harvest a grain crop of 118-129 million tonnes, according to official and local analysts' estimates, up from 113 million tonnes in 2018.

 Apr 25 - Walmart creates Angus beef supply chain, cutting out meat processors
Walmart Inc is taking control of the supply chain for Angus beef sold in some of its stores, cutting out meat processors as the company looks to offer higher quality products in an intensely competitive grocery industry. The world’s largest retailer said on Wednesday that the move would allow it to ensure supplies of quality Angus beef and meet demands from customers who want to know the origin of their meat. Normally, Walmart would buy Angus beef from companies like Tyson Foods Inc and Cargill Inc.

 Apr 25 - Bayer asks California appeals court to throw out $78 mln Roundup verdict
Bayer AG on Wednesday asked a California appellate court to throw out a $78 million judgment it was ordered to pay to a school groundskeeper who claimed the company's weed killers gave him cancer. In a filing in California's Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, the company said that there was "no evidence" that glyphosate, a chemical found in the company's Roundup and Ranger Pro products, could cause cancer.

 Apr 25 - Top China pig farmer falls into red on weak hog prices, hygiene costs
China's biggest pig and poultry producer, Wen's Foodstuff Group, said on Wednesday it recorded a loss of 460.5 million yuan ($68.6 million) for the first three months of the year as weak hog prices eroded earnings and it spent more on protecting its herds from disease. The firm, which produced 22 million pigs in 2018, reported a profit of 1.4 billion yuan in the same quarter a year earlier.

Apr 24 - Argentina eyes expanded farm trade with China as harvest nears
Argentina is pushing to increase agricultural trade with commodities-hungry China, as farmers on the country's Pampas grains belt prepare for what is expected to be an bumper soybean harvest over the weeks ahead. China is the world's biggest international buyer of soybeans, which are then ground into meal to feed the world's biggest pig herd as middle class Chinese increasingly demand pork and other meat as part of a shift in diet away from rice.

 Apr 24 - Russia tightens grip over grain exports with state-led association
Major grain traders in Russia have agreed to create a new exporters' association led by a state-controlled firm, increasing the government's influence over supplies from the world's biggest wheat exporter. Russia's agriculture ministry has been meeting regularly with big exporters since September to monitor exports amid a lower 2018 crop. In February, it asked the industry to set up a new grain exporters' union, saying that would help it to better understand the needs of the market.

 Apr 24 - Brazil grain growers launch hotline to report Bayer's market practices
A Brazilian grain growers association has launched a hotline to encourage farmers to report practices on the part of Germany's Bayer SA that potentially could be anti-competitive, according to statement sent to Reuters on Tuesday. Aprosoja Brasil, which called the initiative "an awareness campaign," aims to galvanize farmers to report possibly unfair practices in the market for seeds, agrochemicals and sale of genetically modified (GM) seed technology carried out by Bayer or its subsidiary Monsanto.

 Apr 24 - USDA will not survey for volume of grain lost to U.S. March flood
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's statistical arm will not collect data on the volume of harvested grain lost when farms from the Dakotas to Missouri were hit by flooding in March that burst grain storage bins, a government official said on Tuesday. However, the figures in the USDA's regular quarterly stocks report for June will reflect losses due to flooding as well as from more typical usage by processors, exporters and livestock feeders over the preceding three months.

 Apr 24 - Lawsuit says Tyson, Cargill, JBS conspired to suppress beef prices paid to U.S. ranchers
Four of the largest U.S. beef-packing companies were accused in a lawsuit on Tuesday of violating federal antitrust law by conspiring to drive down prices they paid ranchers for cattle, even as retail beef prices hovered near record levels. Tyson Foods Inc, Cargill Inc, the JBS USA unit of Brazil's JBS SA and National Beef Packing Co were accused of colluding since Jan. 2015 to suppress the price of "fed" cattle, which is cattle raised specifically for beef production, with a goal of improving margins and profitability.

 Apr 24 - U.S. tractor maker AGCO rolls out Fendt line for Brazil farmers
U.S. agricultural machine maker AGCO Corp said on Tuesday it would launch its flagship Fendt line of equipment in Brazil later this year, targeting large soybean farmers in the vast center-west region. AGCO will first bring the German-made line of Fendt Vario high-power tractors to Brazil's grain heartland, the company's South America chief Luís Felli said at a presentation in Sao Paulo.

 Apr 24 - Syria establishes new state grain company 
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has issued a decree establishing a grain company to replace the state silos, mills and grain buyer (Hoboob), state news agency SANA reported on Tuesday. The headquarters of the new General Organization for Trade, Storage and Grain Processing will be located in the northeastern city of Hasaka and will headed by the country’s internal trade minister.

 Apr 24 - Some 156 people in 10 states infected with E. coli from ground beef - CDC
A total of 156 people in 10 states have been infected with E. coli after eating tainted ground beef at home and in restaurants since the beginning of March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday. No deaths have been reported but 20 people have been hospitalized after they were infected with the strain E. coli O103 since March 1, the CDC said on its website.

Apr 23 - Argentina soybean crush slows as poor-quality beans weigh (AgriCensus)
The pace of soybean crushing in Argentina is slowing as the freshly-harvested bumper crop forces crushers to improve their dehulling of the beans in order to meet minimum protein requirements, market sources have told Agricensus. Lower protein levels, due to the higher yields of the beans, is forcing crushers to slow operations by about 25% as they seek to achieve the minimum protein level of 45.5% in soymeal by removing more of the hull.
“The official crush for March was 2.9 million mt, versus market expectations of 3.5 million mt,” an Argentine broker said.
As a result, soyoil production in the world’s number one producer has slowed in recent weeks, at a time when the oil's flat price remains highly attractive to Indian and Chinese importers versus other soft oils.
"You crush less, you produce less soyoil," a second Argentine broker said.
And with more demand and less supply, premiums for Argentine soyoil were quick to react moving from 100 points under the July contract for June loading to 10 points under July on Tuesday. However, the upward move on flat prices was limited, gaining just 0.5% week-on-week to $626.5/mt FOB Up River for June loading, as the underlying futures contract plummeted to a 2019 low. At the time of writing, the July contract was trading on the Chicago Board of Trade at 28.51 ct/lb ($628.5/mt), down 2.5% on the week.  Argentinian crushers typically import Paraguayan soybeans to blend with domestic production as they tend to have a higher protein content.

Apr 23 - Swine fever will hurt Brazil soy exports, lift China meat sales - minister
Brazilian soy exports to China will definitely decline this year as African swine fever in the world's No. 2 economy cuts demand for the animal feed, but potential growth in meat exports would offset this, Brazil's agriculture minister said on Monday. Speaking in a huddle with journalists, Tereza Cristina Dias said a Chinese outbreak of African swine fever, which kills pigs but poses no danger to humans, threatens yet offersopportunities for Brazil's agricultural exports.

 Apr 23 - Paperwork problem delays Canadian pork shipments to China
Some Canadian pork shipments to China have been delayed by exporters using outdated forms to certify that the cargoes meet Chinese requirements, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said on Monday. The snag comes as Canada has shipped more pork this year to China, where the domestic pig herd has been ravaged by African swine fever. The two countries are also locked in a diplomatic and trade dispute that has resulted in China blocking imports of Canadian canola from two companies.

 Apr 23 - Funds set new bearish benchmark across CBOT grains and oilseeds - Braun
Speculators reached record levels of bearishness in Chicago-traded grain and oilseeds last week as global supplies continue to expand in the absence of any serious threats to crops on the horizon. Commodity funds were net sellers across the board last week and they have not changed their minds in the days since.  Traditionally, investors are unlikely to turn too pessimistic on grains and oilseeds heading into U.S. corn and soybean growing season. But the extreme short position holds much lower risk than usual for commodity funds, particularly in corn, because the producers’ bins are still stuffed with the yellow grain.

 Apr 23 - Seeds of discontent: Argentina's farmers turn cool on their man Macri
Argentine President Mauricio Macri rode to power in 2015 promising to bolster the farming sector and cut back taxes that had stymied exports. The country's backbone industry welcomed him with open arms after years of export controls aimed at keeping domestic prices low. The powerful sector is now cooling on the center-right president, frustrated by revived export tariffs and sky-high borrowing rates that have bruised smaller farmers, a concern for Macri ahead of national elections later in the year.

 Apr 23 - Egypt's supply ministry warns farmers over wheat moisture levels
Egypt's supply ministry cautioned local farmers against selling the government wheat with moisture levels that are higher than the allocated range. Cold weather and climate change have led to a higher moisture content in some of the local crop which some farmers have tried to sell to the government, the ministry said in a statement.

 Apr 23 - Brighter crop prospects, weak demand drive Russian wheat prices down
Russian wheat export prices fell last week with prospects for the upcoming 2019 crop improving while demand weakened, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content for delivery in May were $221 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $4 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said. 

 Apr 23 - Ukraine 2019 spring grain sowing reaches 93 pct of expected area
Ukrainian farmers have so far sown 2.1 million hectares of spring grain crops for the 2019 harvest, or 93 percent of the expected area, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. The ministry has said Ukraine's 2019 early spring grain sowing area is likely to total 2.284 million hectares and would include 175,000 hectares of spring wheat, 1.571 million hectares of spring barley and 347,000 hectares of peas.

Apr 18 - Market sceptical of ban as EU glyphosate review gets underway (AgriCensus)
- The herbicide glyphosate will continue to be used by farmers globally for the foreseeable future unless a suitable and safe alternative is found, despite the recent rise in public concern on the safety of its use, market sources told Agricensus.
Pressure on the use of the herbicide and its maker Monsanto, now owned by Germany's Bayer AG, has mounted in recent months after two US cases ruled that the chemical caused cancer in two groundsmen.
- Bayer has been ordered to pay a combined $114 million in damages and has seen its share price fall by over 20% since last August. A similar case in France ruled in favour of a farmer who is now seeking €1 million ($1.1 million) in damages from Monsanto. And most recently Vietnam has announced it will ban the use of the crop. But the biggest threat to Monsanto is an EU decision over whether to renew its licence when it expires in 2022. That process will start in December this year, with the review led by the Netherlands, France, Hungary and Sweden, which together have accepted the heavy workload this Monday. Despite several EU member states indicating that they could ban its use, few think the EU will announce a blanket ban, preferring instead to leave it to member states.
“There will be immense pressure both ways, but without a reliable, safe alternative I think they’ll extend for another five years,” one market source said regarding the EU’s licence renewal.
- The stakes are high, with the EU claiming that the review will be undertaken by experts in four countries and not just one, as is the usual process, claiming the “very large application dossier and the related high workload” was too much for one member state.
Besides, no country volunteered to review the chemical on behalf of the bloc, not after the controversy of the last review, where German agencies were accused of bias by relying too heavily on scientific evidence submitted by Bayer.
Prevalent
The use of glyphosate – commonly known as Roundup – is so prevalent that there are nearly 200 retail products on sale in the US alone that contain it. On an industrial scale it is estimated to be used on 80% of genetically modified crops – that amounts to the vast majority of soybean and corn production globally. Proponents of its use say that there is no alternative and that it prevents crop failures by maintaining row crops.
Opponents say that there are biological and natural substitutes.
In writing this piece, Agricensus contacted eight consultants and analysts for comment. None were willing to speak publicly about the herbicide, with several stating that they did not want to anger big clients. A US-based market analyst speaking on condition of anonymity said about potential safety reviews of its use that “it’s going to be years before it really has any market impact,” as there is no clear substitute available. Over 95% of the corn and soybean planted in the US is genetically modified to make it resilient to Roundup and dubbed Roundup-ready seeds. Those seeds, also sold by Monsanto, give higher yields as weeds are more easily removed by blanket application glyphosate enabling more space and nutrients to get to the crop. Yet a ban would not be as dramatic to yields as initially thought as alternatives have been found for other once key banned herbicides and pesticides over the years.
Glyphosate is unlikely to be any different.
Brazilian famers used the same GMO seeds as they apply a no-tilling approach to farming, a technique that reduces erosion of lands, but which requires significant amounts of glyphosate. “Farmers will fight any national ban that might come up – and farmers have huge influence on Congress and government here,” a Brazilian market analyst said, who again spoke on condition of anonymity.
However, if there is a push from the buyers of soybeans and corn – for this read China, Southeast Asia and the EU – to ban row crops that have been treated with the herbicide, then that may pressure growers in North America and South America. And collectively, the Americas accounts for more than 70% of the world's corn exports and 80% of soybeans.
“If bans occur in countries that import Brazilian soybeans, that’s a different story. If they stop buying, Brazilian farmers will have to adapt,” the analyst added. A ban on the chemical is therefore not expected to impact yields drastically, rather the profitability of farms using glyphosate-intense techniques such as no-tilling will be hit badly.
The EU review is due to conclude in October.

Apr 18 - China still dominates U.S. soybean exports despite trade war - Braun
Even with an ongoing trade war, China was the top destination for U.S. soybeans during the first half of the current marketing year, and the Asian country will help determine whether American beans can meet the U.S. government's full-year export targets. Data published by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday showed that the United States exported 4.58 million tonnes of soybeans in February, the largest volume for the month in three years.

 Apr 18 - Australia's GrainCorp flags $29 mln earnings hit as China probes barley imports
Australia's GrainCorp Ltd said on Thursday it will take a A$40 million ($28.7 million) hit to half-year earnings, blaming international trade tensions and a severe drought, sending its shares to a three-week low. The country's largest listed agribusiness did not give further details, but industry sources said there had been a slowdown in Chinese demand for barley as Beijing considers whether to introduce tariffs on Australian supplies.

 Apr 18 - InVivo's grain trading chief leaving French firm
Stephane Bernhard, head of grain trading at InVivo, is leaving the French agricultural group, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday, confirming earlier comments from sources familiar with the move. Bernhard joined InVivo as head of trading five years ago after previously working for global trading house Louis Dreyfus and as an investment fund manager.

Apr 18 - U.S. Wheat hopes to grab 80 pct of Brazil tariff-free import quota

U.S. Wheat Associates, the group representing the United States wheat industry, is eying an 80% chunk of Brazil's 750,000-tonne tariff-free wheat import quota, Vince Peterson, the group's president, told Reuters on Wednesday. Peterson is leading a delegation of U.S. wheat producers and merchants visiting Brazilian wheat mills and food processors this week to gauge sales potential for coming months once a tariff-free quota is implemented.


Apr 17 - Brazil competition obliterates Argentina’s FOB Up River corn basis (Agricensus)
Basis values for Argentina’s August and September loading FOB Up River corn cargoes could fall below the price of Chicago corn futures as the country’s exporters try to maintain their competitive edge as Brazil’s safrinha corn production reaches its peak.
“It is quite possible that Argentina’s corn premiums will come down to zero,” one market source said, referring to the differential between local corn prices and those seen on the Chicago Board of Trade’s corn futures contract.
The difference between the local physical market and the Chicago value is often referred to as the basis price, with some sources floating the possibility that Argentina’s basis could even dip below the values seen on the Board.
“I think it could turn negative; it depends on Brazil levels. We still need to have a big export programme for August, September and October out of Argentina,” a second source said.
Offers for August and September FOB Up River loading cargoes were heard as low as 3 cents over the September futures contract on Tuesday – down from premiums of around 20 cents over September that were circulating at the beginning of March.
Meanwhile, bids for larger panamax-sized cargoes, which tend to trade at a higher price to FOB Up River cargoes, were heard at just 2 cents over September for September loading.
While Brazil is the biggest single factor responsible for the collapse in Argentina’s values as cited by market sources, Argentina’s currency and its own huge corn crop are creating a powerful cocktail that is depressing prices.
Early April saw rumours that Brazil could be looking at a crop of up to 100 million mt, while strong yields in Argentina’s early harvest have also boosted expectations for Argentina’s final production figure – with some mooting 50 million mt as possible. Any spike in corn futures prices on the Board could tip Argentina’s values into negative territory, while the country’s currency has laboured on international markets, losing value to the US dollar as it slumped to 42 pesos to 1 US dollar, versus 20 pesos a year ago.
“Currency depreciation brings huge pressure for premiums… if the local currency keeps losing ground against the dollar, premiums will fall,” the first source said.
“Brazil's struggles with bad logistics could stop it from going negative, but it all indicates Argentina will end in a discount,” a third source said.
“Which means nothing – what’s important is how flat prices fluctuate really, and then how the farmer sells their programs,” he said.

Apr 17 - China warns of soaring pork prices as virus curbs output
Chinese pork prices are set to jump 70 percent in the second half of the year, a senior official said on Wednesday, after data showed an outbreak of African swine fever cut the world's largest hog herd by 10 percent in the first quarter. China's pork production fell 5 percent in the first three months of 2019 and much bigger declines are expected in coming quarters, analysts said, as the country struggles to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

 Apr 17 - China eyes U.S. poultry, pork imports in trade talks - sources
China would likely lift a ban on U.S. poultry as part of a trade deal and may buy more pork to meet a growing supply deficit, but it is not willing to allow a prohibited growth drug used in roughly half the U.S. hog herd, two sources with knowledge of the negotiations said. The United States and China are trying to hammer out a deal to end a months-long trade war that has cost the world's two largest economies billions and roiled global financial markets and supply chains.

 Apr 17 - German wheat crop to increase sharply after drought
Germany's 2019 wheat harvest will jump 20.6 percent on the year to 24.44 million tonnes with rising expectations of a recovery after the drought-reduced harvest last year, the country's association of farm cooperatives (DRV) said on Tuesday. The German crop in 2018 suffered enormous damaged from a drought and heatwave which hit much of western Europe.

 Apr 17 - China could agree to import more Brazilian meat from next month - ambassador
China could agree to allow more Brazilian meat imports following high-level talks set for May, the Chinese ambassador to Brazil told Reuters on Monday. Yang Wanming declined to comment on how many meat processing plants could be approved to export to China but said the issue would be discussed when Brazil Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias travels to China in May.

 Apr 17 - Global dairy prices climb higher, volumes drop at auction
Global dairy prices rose for a tenth consecutive time at a fortnightly auction on Wednesday, although prices for whole milk powder (WMP), the most-traded item, eased again due to lower demand. The GDT Price Index climbed 0.5 percent, with an average selling price of $3,447 per tonne. This was slower that the 0.8 pct rise in the previous auction, according to GDT Events.

Apr 16 - Argentina likely to increase export duties if devaluation sharpens: economist (AgriCensus)
Argentina's government is likely to increase fixed export duties this year if the local currency experiences a sharp devaluation against the US dollar, Marina Dal Poggetto, head of local economic consultancy firm Estudio EcoGo, told Agricensus.
 “The possibility for the government to raise fixed export duties of three and four pesos will depend on the evolution of the foreign exchange market, which will also depend on the electoral scenario,” Dal Poggetto said. In September last year, Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne announced that the duties on soybean exports would be immediately cut to 18% from 25.5%, while soyoil and soymeal duties were cut to the same level from 23%.
However, simultaneously the country reintroduced a retention tax on all primary exports of 4 pesos for every US dollar of goods exported, which would be valid until the end of next year.
Any rise in duties will likely anger farmers, who have been reluctant sellers of the crop so far due to relatively low global prices. Farmers were enthusiastic supporters at the outset of the current government following its promise to lower export taxes. The government had undertaken to lower duties at the end of 2020, but Luciano Cohan, partner at economic research firm Elypsis, said that the national government would probably not be in a position to do so.
“For 2020, and regardless of who wins the presidential elections, I find it hard to believe that the fiscal situation will allow the government to implement reduction in the tax burden on exports,” Cohan said. The national government is trying to slash the country's budget deficit as part of its 2018 loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Apr 16 - China starts review of anti-dumping measures on U.S. distillers grains
China's Ministry of Commerce confirmed it is starting a review on Monday of its anti-dumping tariffs on imports of distillers grains (DDGS) from the United States and said the investigation should be completed in a year. The review comes amid trade talks between Beijing and Washington aimed at ending a months-long tit-for-tat tariff row that has roiled global markets. Beijing has pledged during these talks to increase its imports of U.S. farm goods.

 Apr 16 - NOPA March soy crush at 170.0 million bushels tops avg trade estimate
The U.S. soybean crush increased by more than expected in March to the second-largest on record for the month, according to National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) data released on Monday. NOPA members, which handle about 95 percent of all soybeans crushed in the United States, processed 170.011 million bushels of soybeans last month, up from 154.498 million bushels in February and just below the 171.858 million bushels crushed in March 2018, the record for the month.

 Apr 16 - US wheat delegation in Brazil to gauge import demand under quota
A delegation representing the United States wheat industry is visiting Brazil this week to talk to millers and food industries to gauge potential for higher import demand once a tariff-free quota is implemented, a local wheat group told Reuters on Monday. Rubens Barbosa, president of Brazil's wheat milling association Abitrigo, said he met the head of U.S. Wheat Associates, Vincent Peterson, and the chief executive of the Kansas Wheat Commission, Justin Gilpin, on Monday to discuss the U.S.-Brazil wheat trade.

 Apr 16 - China urges large pig farms to test for African swine fever
China will allow large-scale pig farms and breeding farms to test for African swine fever in a bid to help early detection of the disease, overturning an earlier prohibition on commercial firms carrying out their own testing. The agriculture ministry has asked local husbandry bureaus to encourage large farms to obtain testing kits for the deadly virus that has swept through the country, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website on Tuesday.

Apr 16 - Brazil farmers harvest 88 pct of estimated soy area - AgRural
Brazilian soybean farmers have collected 88 percent of the area under cultivation in the country, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said in a statement on Monday. Harvesting is ahead of last year's 85 percent level, which represents Brazil's five-year average for this period in the season.

 Apr 16 - Dryness dents grain yields in Spain, southeast EU - crop monitor
Dry conditions in Spain and southeast Europe have hurt yield prospects there for this year's grain harvest, the European Union's crop monitoring service said on Monday. After flagging dryness in southern Europe as a risk last month, the MARS said a persistent lack of moisture had led it to lower its yield projections for crops in Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece.

 Apr 16 - SovEcon ups forecast for Russia's 2019 wheat crop to 83.4 mln T
Russia's SovEcon agriculture consultancy has raised its forecast for the country's wheat crop in 2019 to 83.4 million tonnes from 80 million tonnes because sowings are in good condition in the majority of Russia's regions, it said on Monday. SovEcon has also raised its overall grain forecast to 129.1 million tonnes from 126.1 million tonnes, it said.

Apr 15 - China March soy imports jump from Feb as U.S., Brazil beans arrive
China's soybean imports in March jumped 10 percent from the previous month, as shipments from both the United States and Brazil reached the world's top oilseed buyer, customs data showed on Friday. China imported 4.92 million tonnes in March, up from 4.46 million tonnes in February, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

 Apr 15 - NOPA March U.S. soy crush seen at 168.028 mln bushels - survey
Rising overseas competition for soymeal exports led to a slowdown in the pace of U.S. soybean crushing during March compared to a year earlier, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association report. NOPA members likely crushed 168.028 million bushels of soybeans last month, according to the average of estimates given by eight analysts in a Reuters survey.

 Apr 15 - Funds hit new record short in CBOT corn but load up on hogs - Braun
Speculators established yet another record bearish position in Chicago-traded corn last week, but any short-covering rally in futures that might result is likely to be lackluster. U.S. corn inventory has swelled to much larger levels than market participants were originally expecting, and the harvests in Brazil and Argentina may be bigger than previous predictions.

 Apr 15 - Egypt accepts French wheat cargo after re-testing
A French wheat cargo Egypt had rejected by Egypt due to high levels of the grain fungus ergot has been re-tested and found to have acceptable levels, a ministry document showed and an Egyptian official said. The cargo at the Red Sea port of Safaga will be offloaded and distributed to mills after the test showed a 0.01 percent ergot level, Othman Mohammad Younes, general manager of the Safaga silo, told Reuters. A ministry of agriculture document, obtained by Reuters, also showed a test result of 0.01 percent.

 Apr 15 - U.S. EPA revives provision that may name refiners applying for biofuel waivers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday took the first step to revive part of a rule that could, if finalized, reveal the names of oil refineries which applied for exemptions from the nation's biofuel laws. The move is seen as a win for the corn industry, which has criticized the waiver program due to its lack of transparency. The EPA only in 2017 first began releasing the number of waiver petitions it has received and granted but the names have been kept confidential so far.

 Apr 15 - EU farmers set to plant more maize as drought risks weighed
Maize planting is getting going in the European Union and farmers are expected to expand the crop area this year, encouraged by mild weather and the need to replace drought-hit rapeseed fields, analysts said. Widespread dryness, after sporadic rainfall in recent months has failed to replenish soil moisture after drought last year, raising some early concern about the growing season.

 Apr 15 - Egypt buys 240,000 tonnes of Romanian and Ukrainian wheat
Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) bought 240,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender on Friday to be sourced from Romania and Ukraine, GASC said. The purchase involves 180,000 tonnes from Romania and 60,000 tonnes from Ukraine. GASC had sought an unspecified volume of wheat for shipment from May 20 to June 5.

 Apr 12 - Blizzard forces closure of some U.S. grain processors and elevators
A second "bomb cyclone" blizzard hitting the United States was limiting the movement and processing of corn, soybeans and wheat around the Midwest and Plains on Thursday. Grain trader Cargill Inc said it was closing three of its grain handling facilities in Minnesota, two in South Dakota and one in Nebraska on Thursday because of the storm. It also was closing a beef processing plant in Colorado.

 Apr 12 - Strategie Grains cuts EU wheat, barley crop forecasts on dry weather
Dry conditions have worsened prospects for this summer's wheat and barley harvests in the European Union, crop consultancy Strategie Grains said as it cut production forecasts for both cereals. In a monthly cereal report published on Thursday, the French firm reduced its projection of EU soft wheat production in the upcoming 2019/20 season to 144.8 million tonnes from 146.1 million forecast in March.

 Apr 12 - Measuring China’s growing footprint on U.S. pork trade - Braun
China just made a stunningly large purchase of U.S. pork despite hefty trade tariffs, the latest sign that the deadly African swine fever will make a serious dent in Chinese pork supply. African swine fever, or ASF, has been spreading through China’s hog herds since last August, prompting analysts to slash Chinese pork production by as much as 30 percent. China is both the largest producer and consumer of pork.

 Apr 12 - U.S. criticizes Vietnam ban of glyphosate herbicide imports
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Thursday criticized Vietnam's move to ban imports of glyphosate-based herbicides, saying the decision would have "devastating impacts on global agricultural production." Vietnam's government said in a statement that the toxic level of herbicides containing glyphosate had long been of concern, in the latest display of global worries over the product's impact on human health. State media reports said the ban would take effect in June.

 Apr 12 - French court finds Bayer's Monsanto liable for farmer's sickness
A French court has ruled that Monsanto was liable for the sickness of a farmer who inhaled one of its weedkillers, in another legal setback for the Bayer-owned business over health claims. In the latest stage of a decade-long legal tussle, the appeals court in Lyon on Thursday found in favour of farmer Paul Francois' claim that Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller had made him sick and that the product's labelling had been inadequate.

 Apr 12 - China investigating U.S. request to lift anti-dumping tariffs on DDGS
China's commerce ministry confirmed on Thursday that it was examining an application from a U.S. trade association requesting a review of its anti-dumping tariffs on imports of distillers grains (DDGS) from the United States. China's Ministry of Commerce was set to review the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs imposed on DDGS imports from the U.S. in 2016, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a document issued by the China Alcoholic Drinks Association.

 Apr 12 - U.S. EPA may grant fewer biofuel waivers due to low credit prices - Wheeler
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could grant fewer waivers exempting small refineries from the country's biofuel policy as lower prices for blending credits have reduced the cost of compliance, the agency's administrator Andrew Wheeler told Reuters on Thursday. The Trump administration's use of such waivers to save the oil industry money has become a lightning rod of controversy for the powerful corn lobby, which claims the exemptions have been over used and threaten demand for corn-based ethanol at a time farmers are already struggling.

 Apr 12 - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat for May 20-June 5 shipment
Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Thursday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from May 20 to June 5. GASC Vice Chairman Ahmed Youssef said the authority was seeking to buy cargoes of soft and/or milling wheat from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Paraguay and Serbia.

 Apr 12 - Argentina soy forecasts jump higher on better than expected yields
Argentina will harvest 55 million tonnes of soy this season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, citing high yields as it raised its previous forecast a day after the Rosario exchange also increased its estimate for the crop. Mild weather for the Pampas farm belt over the last month has pumped yields to higher-than-expected levels as growers bring in the crop.

 Apr 12 - Farmers dip toes into global crop insurance platform
Farmers can now for the first time insure their produce against price volatility as easily as insuring their homes, with a global platform based on hundreds of niche commodity indexes, underwritten by Lloyd's of London syndicate Ascot. Crop insurance has existed since the 1930s in the United States but is heavily subsidised by the government to provide protection against damage to produce and price risks.

 Apr 12 - Mosaic suspends phosphate mines in Brazil after new rules for dams
The Mosaic Company, a Brazilian fertilizer maker, said on Thursday it will suspend production at its phosphate mines of Tapira and Catalão after failing to obtain a deadline extension in order to provide stability certification for three of its tailings dams. Phosphate is a crucial fertilizer ingredient and Mosaic's operation is the largest in Brazil, which is a global leader in agriculture, producing more than 220 million tonnes of grains and 570 million tonnes of cane per year, among other products such as coffee, tobacco, cotton and fruits.

 Apr 12 - Cambodia takes EU to court over rice import tariffs
Cambodia has filed a challenge at the European Court of Justice against the European Union's decision to impose import duties on Cambodian rice. The bloc imposed tariffs for three years in January on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb what it said was a surge in imports as a safeguard to protect EU producers such as Italy.

Apr 11 - Brazil's April soybean exports seen at 4-year low - data
Brazilian soybean exports are expected to end April at the lowest level for that month in four years, based on government figures for the first few days of the month, ship lineup data going forward and industry source estimates. According to Williams' shipping schedules from April 10 to April 29 released on Tuesday, Brazil will export about 5.8 million tonnes of soybeans in this period.

 Apr 11 - China's African swine fever will leave gaping hole in world pork supply - Braun
The global pork market may still be in for a sizable jolt in the near term as African swine fever is set to reduce China's pig production by 134 million pigs on the year, roughly the size of the entire U.S. crop. African swine fever, or ASF, is a deadly disease that affects populations of pigs, but it is not harmful to humans. As of Monday, there had been at least 123 reported cases of the disease reported throughout China since August, and it has been detected in other Asian countries as well.

 Apr 11 - U.S. grain trader ADM says to seek early retirements, may cut jobs
U.S. grain trader Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Wednesday it will seek voluntary early retirements by some North American employees and may eliminate individual jobs as part of a restructuring of specific areas. The actions are needed to strengthen ADM's core business and establish the company as a global leader in nutrition, the company said in a statement.

 Apr 11 - U.S. farmers, still reeling from floods, face new storm
U.S. farmers, who have spent the last month sifting through damage left by a storm that flooded more than a million acres of crop land, now face a blizzard ahead of planting season. The storm hit the U.S. Rockies on Wednesday and was forecast to move eastward, threatening to bring as much as 30 inches of snow to western Minnesota and southeast South Dakota and another round of flooding to the Plains states.

 Apr 11 - Argentina grain exchange hikes soy harvest forecast to 56 mln tonnes
Argentina's soy production will likely reach 56 million tonnes for the 2018/2019 season, 2 million tonnes more than previously estimated, the Rosario grains exchange said on Wednesday, a fillip for the sector that was battered by drought last year. Argentina, one of the world's biggest grain exporters, has being buoyed by early season rains followed by drier weather, bolstering yields of the country's main cash crop soy as well as other grains such as corn and wheat.

Apr 11 - Bayer shareholder Deka joins chorus of complaints over Monsanto
One of Bayer's largest shareholders tore into the company's management on Wednesday for underestimating the legal risks of its takeover of Monsanto, setting the stage for a fiery annual general meeting after a 30 percent plunge in the shares. Bayer has seen about 30 billion euros ($34 billion) wiped off its market value since August, when a U.S. jury found Bayer liable because Monsanto had not warned of weedkiller Roundup's alleged cancer risks. It suffered a similar courtroom defeat last month.

Apr 11 - Egypt says re-testing French wheat cargo after initial rejection
Egypt is re-testing a French wheat import cargo after it failed an initial test, a spokesman at the Egyptian agriculture ministry told Reuters on Wednesday. Sources said on Tuesday that a cargo of 63,000 tonnes of French wheat had been rejected at Egypt's Red Sea port of Safaga for exceeding authorised levels of the grain fungus ergot.

 Apr 10 - ADM to make redundancies in North America revamp (AgriCensus)
- Agribusiness major Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to offer an unspecified number of employees voluntary redundancy across its US and Canadian operations to “enhance operational agility, maximise productivity and strengthen services to customers,” a spokesperson told Agricensus Wednesday. In a notice to employees, ADM’s president said the company was bracing itself for consolidation in an attempt to capture synergies from recent acquisitions, according to company sources.
“Beyond the planned post-acquisition synergies, there may be some individual positions eliminated as part of the restructuring of specific areas of our organization,” the spokesperson said.
“These actions are necessary to strengthen the core of our business and establish ADM as a global leader in nutrition as we continue to grow and transform our business,” she added. Last month, ADM said its Q1 profits faced a $50-60 million hit caused by the recent floods across the US that has destroyed stocks and silos of grain.
- The current announcement will be the second shake up for ADM in a year.
In March 2018, ADM said it was restructuring operations as it sought to remain competitive in the oversupplied grain markets.
Part of the ABCD agribusiness quartet that includes Bunge, Cargill and Louis Drefyus Companies that dominate trade in food and foodstuffs, ADM has been trying to diversify into other sectors to compensate for poor margins in the grain handling business.
Sources in the grain handling market have told Agricensus that the company may be looking to dispose part of its grain handling business in North America as part of that shake up. A company spokesperson said: “Nothing along those lines was communicated today. This is purely focused on organization actions being taken to support our growing business.”

Apr 10 - USDA raises corn, wheat supply view; trims soybean stocks
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday raised its outlook for how much corn will be left in grain elevators ahead of harvest this year due to falling demand from the export, feed and residual and ethanol sectors. The government also boosted its estimate of domestic wheat supplies. But it trimmed its outlook for soybean stocks for the third report in a row.

 Apr 10 - Talks with China to cut ethanol tariffs 'positive' -U.S. agriculture secretary
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday that talks with China about reducing Beijing's tariff on U.S. ethanol products were "positive," but cautioned the discussions were not over. "There have been conversations with China on reducing that tariff on ethanol, which would obviously be good for our domestic corn industry," he told reporters. "While things look positive, it's never over till it's over with the Chinese."

Apr 10 - Egypt's GASC buys 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat in direct deal - traders
Egypt's grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC,) bought 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat to replace a shipment of the same origin that was rejected at the port, traders said on Tuesday. The cargo was sold by Ameropa in a direct purchase agreement, they added.

 Apr 10 - Egypt rejects French wheat cargo over ergot fungus level
Egypt has rejected a French wheat shipment for exceeding authorised levels of the grain fungus ergot, sources said on Tuesday, in an echo of problems three years ago over testing rules in the world's biggest wheat importer. The cargo of 63,000 tonnes of French wheat was rejected at Egypt's Red Sea port of Safaga and negotiations were underway to resolve the issue, the sources said.

Apr 10 - Malaysia to provide $1.5 bln in aid to state palm oil firm Felda
Malaysia will provide state-owned palm oil plantation agency Felda with financial aid of 6.23 billion ringgit ($1.52 billion) following a government inquiry into the company whose losses and debt have soared over the past decade. The agency's total liabilities had risen 12-fold over 10 years, from 1.2 billion ringgit in 2007 to 14.4 billion ringgit in 2017, according to a white paper released to parliament on Wednesday that cited poor management and low integrity.

Apr 10 - France sees less sugar beet and rapeseed sowing, more wheat and barley
French farmers are expected to cut sharply their sowings of sugar beet and rapeseed for this year's harvest while increasing the area for soft wheat and barley, the country's farm ministry said on Tuesday. In its first estimate of the 2019 sugar beet area, the ministry pegged sowings at 455,000 hectares, down 6.3 percent from 2018.

Apr 10 - Louis Dreyfus announces new Biosev chairman, other management changes
Commodities house Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) announced a new chairman on Tuesday for its loss-making Brazilian sugar subsidiary Biosev, which has triggered other management changes at the group. Adrian Isman will take over as Chairman of Biosev with immediate effect, replacing Patrick Treuer who will remain on Biosev's board as vice-chairman while focusing on his role as LDC's Chief Strategy Officer, the group said.

 Apr 09 - Indonesia, Malaysia mount protest to EU over palm curbs
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad have signed a joint letter of objection to the European Union over its plan to phase out the use of palm oil in renewable fuel, and sent delegations to complain in Brussels. The letter was sent to the EU over the weekend, said Luhut Pandjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime affairs, who also oversees natural resources issues. He declined on Monday to disclose the content of the letter.

 Apr 09 - Egypt working to build 5-6 month supply of strategic commodities - cabinet
Egypt's supply ministry is working to build a five to six month store of strategic commodity reserves, up from three months previously, the cabinet said in a statement. The government is also seeking an abundance of commodities, especially vegetables, meats and fish, the statement said, adding this was reflected in the reduction in prices.

 Apr 09 - Asian buyers bought feed wheat, corn last week from Black Sea
A series of Asian importers last week again purchased an undisclosed volume of feed wheat and corn be sourced from the Black Sea region, European traders said on Monday. New crop Black Sea feed wheat was bought at about $206 to $207 a tonne c&f South East Asia for July, August and September shipment. Shipment was by panamax bulk carrier.

 Apr 09 - Zimbabwe to start paying white farmers compensation after April
Zimbabwe is to start paying compensation this year to thousands of white farmers who lost land under former president Robert Mugabe's land reform nearly two decades ago, the government said, as it seeks to bring closure to a highly divisive issue. Two decades ago Mugabe's government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 black families, arguing it was redressing imbalances from the colonial era.

 Apr 09 - Brazil tribal lands under new threat from farmers, miners
A decade after the Macuxi people won a bloody legal battle to expel rice planters from their reservation in a remote part of Brazil, their hold over ancestral lands has come under threat again from new right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. The sprawling 1.7 million hectares (6,600 square miles) of savannah on the border with Venezuela — a reservation called Raposa Serra do Sol — is home to 25,000 native people whose main livelihood is raising cattle.

Apr 08 - Brazil weather fires corn crop hopes as 100m mt "absolutely possible"
- Good weather and early planting are firing expectations of a much larger corn crop in Brazil, with some industry sources in the country now anticipating a crop that could reach as high as 100 million mt, market sources have told Agricensus.
“Yes, 100 million mt is on the cards now. We need some weather yet, but I guess 100 million for Brazil and 50 million for Argentina are absolutely possible,” one market source said, warning that the figure was dependent on the right weather for April and May.
- “Today I would say the crop is 100% (in line) considering the best results for yields in the past. Eventually, we must see more than 95 million mt, with the upside potentially of 100 million mt,” a second source said. Most outlooks from national and international agencies are currently congregating around the 94 million mt level, with the USDA currently expecting the total corn harvest to reach 94.5 million mt.
- However, with Brazil’s primary soybean crop planted and harvested early, the country’s critical second crop – the safrinha corn crop – has seen near perfect growing conditions govern its early stages, prompting domestic Brazilian agencies to work privately with much higher figures.
“Our official number is 97 million mt… we have a little weather concern in the north of Parana, but the rest of the crop is going very well. Therefore, I would guess a number between 98 and 99 million mt,” a third market source said. If that is realised, then 100 million mt could well be attained, sources agreed.
- “The safrinha is developing very well, but we still have April and May to go,” Agrural’s Daniele Siqueira told Agricensus, with May likely to see an end to the rains that have helped support expectations of big yields, while some regions may start to experience frosts.
“The crop potential is huge; it was planted earlier than normal which is very good, but we still need to cross the bridge until harvest – and that bridge is not exactly short,” Siqueira said.
- For the most part, Brazil’s first corn crop is expected to deliver around 26 million mt, most of which heads into the domestic feed market.
Key will be the developing second corn crop, which will need to break records if it is to hit the 100 million mt level as the country’s emergence as a soybean superpower has seen the first, domestic corn crop lose ground to burgeoning bean plantings.
“I think 100 million mt is very unlikely… we got close to this amount in the 2016/17 season, where we had a summer crop of 30.4 million and a winter crop of 67.3 million mt,” a fourth source said. “To reach 100 million, we would need a 74 million mt second crop, which would be an all time high,” the source said. “Technology is adding yields every year, but this campaign is coupled with excellent weather conditions… anything is possible,” the second source said.

Apr 08 - Midwest floods hammer U.S. ethanol industry, push some gasoline prices toward 5-year high
The March floods that punished the U.S. Midwest have roiled the ethanol industry, hammering prices and trapping barrels in the country's interior while the U.S. coasts suffer from shortages of the biofuel. The historic March floods have dealt a series of blows to large swaths of an ethanol industry that was already struggling with high inventories and sluggish domestic demand growth.

 Apr 08 - Brazil bridge collapse could affect grain shipments in north
Part of a bridge over the Moju River in Brazil's Para state collapsed early on Saturday, potentially affecting shipment of grains such as soybeans and corn through northern ports, local authorities and an agribusiness consultant said. The bridge fell after it was hit by a boat, Governor Helder Barbalho said on Twitter, where he also posted videos of a large section of the bridge in the water. He said this was not the first time such an accident had occurred.

 Apr 08 - Insects, drought may curb EU rapeseed's recovery from sowing troubles
A mild end to winter has boosted the growth of rapeseed crops in Europe but also led to insect damage and kept some regions dry, limiting prospects for a recovery from a drought-hit sowing campaign, analysts said. Severe drought last year caused a sharp drop in the area sown with rapeseed in the European Union. That has led forecasters to project this summer's EU harvest will be in line with or below a weather-hit 2018 crop of 20 million tonnes that was a six-year low.

 Apr 08 - French rapeseed farmers destroyed 18,000 hectares over GMO risk - Bayer
French farmers destroyed a total of 18,000 hectares of rapeseed, more than double the area initially expected, following the discovery of a non-authorised genetically modified organism (GMO) in seeds, German group Bayer said on Friday. Bayer had announced in February that farmers in France and Germany were turning over thousands of hectares of rapeseed crops after traces of a GMO variety grown in Canada were detected in batches of seed sold in Europe.

 Apr 08 - Brazil soybean sales lag, spurring worries over corn storage space
The sale of Brazilian soybeans has lagged due to a fall in port premiums, raising the prospect for a lack of storage space for the country's winter corn, which is planted after the oilseeds are harvested, according to analysts. Soybean premiums started April at 40 cents per bushel, according to Esalq, the University of Sao Paulo's Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea).

 Apr 08 - Funds show no love for CBOT corn, soy with large U.S. stocks - Braun
Speculators dialed up their bearish bets in Chicago-traded corn and soybeans last week as larger-than-expected U.S. inventories and trade uncertainties between the United States and China took center stage. The negative outlook prevailed across all CBOT grains and oilseeds, including Minneapolis wheat, as the week ended April 2 was just the fourth week on record that money managers held net short positions in each of the seven contracts.

 Apr 08 - Indonesian, Malaysian send joint letter of objection to EU over palm - Indonesian minister
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad have signed a joint letter of objection to the European Union over its plan to phase out the use of palm oil in renewable fuel, an Indonesian official said. The letter was sent to the EU over the weekend, said Luhut Pandjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime affairs who also oversees natural resources issues.

 Apr 08 - Novozymes gets more partners for bio-agriculture arm beyond Bayer
Novozymes has signed up two new partners for its biological agriculture business (BioAg), adding to its previously exclusive partnership with German chemicals giant Bayer in a drive to boost growth. The Danish company is the world's largest maker of industrial enzymes and with BioAg produces microbes such as bacteria and fungi to protect plants from pests and help them to grow faster.

Apr 05 - Indian demand pulls Argentina soyoil to 2-week high on palm scare (AgriCensus)
A rally in palm oil prices has rekindled demand for soyoil and driven prices to a two-week high as Indian importers look to switch to cheaper vegoil supplies, market sources have told Agricensus Friday. Malaysian palm oil futures strengthened to their highest level in six weeks on Thursday, with price gains continuing into Friday as survey data showed a strong March export programme had sent palm oil stocks to a four-month low; down nearly 6% on the month.
“Palm was too much undervalued,” a Europe-based broker said, with palm futures adding another 0.8% Friday to close the week 6% higher at MYR2,221/mt ($544.2/mt).
The jump in palm oil prices scared Indian vegoil importers, who turned their attention to Argentinian soyoil. Soyoil trades on a CIF India basis were heard at $680/mt on Thursday, up $25/mt from the start of this week, with offers heard around $685/mt. On the Argentinian side, physical premiums for May loading moved from a 90 point discount to the May Chicago futures on Monday to 40 points under on Thursday, boosting outright prices to $632.75/mt FOB Up River, its highest level in two weeks.
“There is more demand and not much oil left,” an Argentina-based broker said, after local crushers slowed operations on weakening crush margins.
“(Premiums) still look very aggressive... demand is very good in India for bean oil and you can expect new numbers today,” an India-based broker said on Friday.
Flat prices were further supported by a rebound in the underlying futures on the Chicago Board of Trade as the prospect of closing a US-China trade deal raised the possibility of increased US exports to China. A recent strengthening in the Indian rupee has also allowed importers to pick up purchases faster, while the prospects of a weak monsoon might see lower domestic oilseed production, leaving the country more dependent on imports, an India-based source said. The source added that the spread between refined palm oil and refined soyoil in the domestic Indian market has narrowed to $90/mt from $140/mt two weeks ago, meaning that soyoil is relatively cheaply priced compared to palm oil and primed for a price rise. India imports roughly 15 million mt of vegoils a year, with palm oil contributing half that volume, one third soyoil and the balance split between sunoil and rapeseed oil.
Black Sea reacts
Thursday’s activity on the Argentine soyoil market spilled over in the Black Sea sunoil market on Friday, with May loading cargoes hitting a two-week high of $658/mt FOB Chornomorsk.
“With soyoil on CBOT and crude palm oil in Malaysia skyrocketing, I was expecting it,” the Europe-based broker said.
The Black Sea market has been struggling to attract fresh overseas buying interest for sunoil, as palm oil and soyoil prices have been hovering near a three-month low, making sunoil less attractive to Indian importers compared to other vegoils. The last trade heard on a CIF India basis was at $702.5/mt earlier this week before the rally, its lowest level since mid-January.

Apr 05 - Good yields may propel Argentine soy crop over 53 mln tonnes - exchange
Argentina's soy harvest has progressed at a brisk pace over recent days, showing "excellent" yields that could push the crop higher than the currently forecast 53 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires Grains exchange said in a report on Thursday. Average yields were running higher than 4.3 tonnes per hectare in the central Pampas farm belt, the crop report said.

Apr 05 - CBOT soybeans mark one-year anniversary of China’s tariff threat - Braun
One year ago, the U.S. soybean market realized its worst fear: China announced plans to put tariffs on the U.S. oilseed along with a handful of other imports in response to the U.S.-imposed duties on Chinese goods. While market participants knew that the April 4, 2018 announcement was possible, it hardly seemed feasible given China’s historic reliance on U.S. soybeans.

Apr 05 - Cargill names new head of grain trading and processing
Food and agriculture group Cargill Inc has appointed Joe Stone as its new head of agricultural supply chain, effective June 1, the U.S.-based company said on Thursday. David Webster will take over the head of Cargill's feed making animal nutrition business, a role vacated by Stone, Cargill said in a statement.

Apr 05 - Iran reports massive flood damage to farms
Flooding has caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Iranian agriculture, an official said on Thursday, as the parliament speaker questioned whether government funds would be adequate to compensate communities and farmers. About 1,900 cities and villages have been affected by floods and exceptionally heavy rains since March 19.

Apr 05 - Biotech crops still a sticking point in U.S.-China trade deal - sources
China's lengthy approval process for genetically modified crops remains a sticking point in talks to end the trade war between China and the United States, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks. Beijing has taken years to approve new strains of GM crops, which U.S. companies and farmers have complained stalls trade by restricting the sales of new products from companies such as DowDuPont Inc, Bayer AG, and Syngenta AG.

Apr 05 - Malaysia March palm oil stocks to come in at 5-mth low - Reuters survey
Malaysia's palm oil stockpiles likely dropped during March to less than 3 million tonnes and the lowest mark in five months, according to a Reuters survey, as a hefty jump in exports outpaced production gains. March inventories in Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer and exporter, are expected to have fallen 6.4 percent from February to 2.85 million tonnes, the lowest since October 2018, based on the median estimate of eight planters, traders and analysts polled by Reuters.

Apr 05 - U.S. 'clamoring for avocados' after Trump threat to shut Mexico border
U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to shut the border with Mexico are now affecting what some might argue is the softest spot in bilateral relations - avocados. Fearing that a border lockdown would prevent Mexico from shipping the 80 percent of avocados that the United States consumes, processors and wholesalers have started stockpiling the prized fruit used in guacamole or as spread on toast.

Apr 05 - Indonesia blocks EU spirits, link seen to palm oil spat - industry
European spirits makers say they are facing difficulties exporting drinks to Indonesia amid tension after Jakarta said it was unhappy with an EU decision that palm oil should not be considered a green fuel. SpiritsEurope, which represents major European spirits makers and national associations, said on Thursday it had learnt from members with business in Indonesia that they were suffering delays in securing approval to import EU products into the country.

Apr 05 - World food prices steady in March - UN FAO
World food prices were broadly steady in March, with a jump in dairy prices offset by drops in cereal, vegetable oil and sugar price quotations, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 167.0 points last month up from 166.8 in February.

Apr 04 - A U.S.-Mexico border closure would cause giant headache for agriculture - Braun
As if the ongoing trade war with China is not enough, the U.S. agriculture market is now uneasy over a potential border closure with vital agriculture trading partner Mexico as immigration issues continue to flare in Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump, who has taken a tough stance on immigration, threatened last week to close the southern border if Mexico did not stop migrant caravans from reaching the United States.

Apr 04 - Brazil can sell China more pork with swine fever outbreak - BRF
Brazil is in a position to step up pork exports to China where an African swine fever outbreak has become a "transformational event" for the global meat industry, Pedro Parente, chief executive of Brazilian food processor BRF SA, said on Wednesday. The increase would depend on plants in Brazilian states other than Santa Catarina in the south getting certified, he said at a conference. BRF only has one unit in Brazil authorized to sell pork to China, he added.

Apr 04 - China has not escalated canola seed dispute with Canada - Ottawa
China has not escalated a dispute with Canada over the export of canola seeds and comments by the Canadian farm minister on the matter have been misunderstood, an agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday. China - embroiled in a major diplomatic dispute with Ottawa - has blocked imports from two major Canadian exporters and on Tuesday Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said a third company had received a Chinese notice of non-compliance.

Apr 04 - Australian takeover target GrainCorp to split business, spin off malting arm
Australian takeover target GrainCorp Ltd said on Thursday it plans to separate in two, spinning off and listing its global malting business which contributed over half the company's earnings last year. At the same time, GrainCorp said it continues to engage with suitors, including Long-Term Asset Partners (LTAP), a little known asset manager that last year made an unsolicited A$2.38 billion ($1.69 billion) takeover bid for the grains group.

Apr 04 - IEG Vantage sees U.S. winter wheat harvest at 1.276 bln bushels - trade
Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, projected the U.S. winter wheat harvest for the 2019/20 marketing year at 1.276 billion bushels, trade sources said on Wednesday. The firm raised its forecast of Brazil's 2018/19 corn harvest to 94.5 million tonnes, up 500,000 tonnes from its previous figure, and estimated Brazil's soybean crop at 114.5 million tonnes, they said.

Apr 04 - Jordan issues new tender to buy 120,000 tonnes wheat
Jordan's state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Wednesday. Tender deadline is April 9.

Apr 04 - Ukraine 2018/19 grain exports at 38.3 mln tonnes so far
Ukraine's grain exports have reached 38.3 million tonnes so far in the 2018/19 season compared with 31 million tonnes at the same point last season, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Ukraine has said it harvested a record 70 million tonnes of grain last year, up from about 61 million tonnes in 2017.

Apr 04 - Tyson unit recalls 20,000 pounds of frozen beef patties
Tyson Foods Inc is recalling about 20,000 pounds of ready-to-eat beef patties due to plastic contamination, marking its third major product recall this year. A Tyson unit, AdvancePierre Foods, is recalling 'fully cooked flame broiled beef patties' after two consumers complained about soft purple plastic in the product, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service said on Tuesday. The USDA categorized the recall as 'Class II', which indicates a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Apr 03 - REUTERS TECHNICAL ANALYSIS Q2 OUTLOOK 2019 - WANG TAO

Oil and spot gold may extend gains moderately in Q2 before reversing the uptrend. Palm oil is expected to complete a corrective cycle by approaching a key resistance at 2,398 ringgit again.  Grains and cocoa are bullish, while base metals and the peaking spot palladium look very bearish. Special attention is drawn to dollar index which is poised to soar. To read the full report, click here.

Apr 03 - Canada says third canola exporter has run into trouble in China
Chinese authorities have filed a quality complaint against a third Canadian exporter of canola, Canada's agriculture minister said on Tuesday, potentially deepening a trade and diplomatic dispute between Beijing and Ottawa. Early last month, China cited the discovery of pests as the reason for blocking shipments of canola seed from Richardson International.

Apr 03 - Current U.S. corn, soy supply calls for record use in coming months -Braun
There is no shortage of corn and soybeans in the United States right now, which is why record use of both in the next several months will be necessary to meet current year-end supply forecasts from the government. Skepticism over whether this is possible is valid, given some of the major demand hurdles as of late. Digging into the numbers more closely should ease some of the concerns, though record use might prove more challenging for corn than soybeans.

Apr 03 - Brazil ports linked to Bunge, Cargill seek lower Panama Canal fees
Brazilian port operators including units of global grain traders Cargill Ltd and Bunge Ltd will unveil a proposal this week to lower Panama Canal tariffs and cut their costs in shipping agricultural commodities to their main market China. They will argue that at current tariffs, shipping grains from Brazil's northern ports via the Cape of Good Hope is almost $206,000 cheaper on a per-ship basis than using the Canal, despite the shorter distance.

Apr 03 - In Egypt, rice import samples are judged in the kitchen
With steaming plates of rice and freshly sliced apples on the side, a group of Cairo-based food scientists work in their lab to decide whether the foreign grains will suit Egyptian palates. The scientists cook and taste samples of rice on offer at state tenders before they are accepted. The process, which began late last year, has so far eliminated Indian origin rice and approved of Chinese and Vietnamese offers.

Apr 03 - Bayer board says pursuit of Monsanto was done diligently
Bayer's non-executive board reaffirmed its support for top management's decision to acquire seed maker Monsanto last year, after losing high-profile lawsuits to U.S. plaintiffs who claimed Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller caused their cancer. In documents posted on the company's website on Monday, the non-executive supervisory board said an expert opinion it commissioned from lawfirm Linklaters found that Bayer's management had complied with their duties when acquiring Monsanto for $63 billion last year.

Apr 03 - EPA waits on DOE input to process small refinery waivers for 2018 from U.S. biofuel law
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is waiting to receive input from the Department of Energy to process 2018 applications exempting small refineries from U.S. biofuel laws, the agency's administrator Andrew Wheeler said on Tuesday. Speaking at a hearing at the House Appropriations Committee, Wheeler said he expected to receive the DOE input over the next couple of days and would process the applications "on a timely basis." "As far as the 2018 applications we have not received the official applications from DOE yet," Wheeler said at the hearing about EPA's budget.

Apr 03 - Russian poultry group Cherkizovo in talks to buy rival Prioskolie - sources
Russian poultry producer Cherkizovo Group is in talks to buy major local rival Prioskolie, two industry sources and an official in Belgorod, one of the country's leading agricultural regions, told Reuters. A deal would cement Cherkizovo's position as the largest producer of poultry meat in Russia.
"The process (of talks) has been going on for a long time," the official, who asked not to be identified, said. The sources did not disclose a value for the deal if it goes ahead.

Apr 03 - Jordan buys 60,000 tonnes hard wheat in tender - trade
Jordan's state grains buyer purchased 60,000 tonnes of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in a tender for up to 120,000 tonnes which closed on Tuesday, traders said. It was bought at $222.50 a tonne c&f for shipment in the first half of September. Seller was trading house CHS.

Apr 03 - Prices for whole milk powder ease on lower global demand
Global dairy prices rose for the ninth time in a row at an auction on Wednesday but prices for whole milk powder, the most-traded item, edged down due to lower demand. The GDT Price Index climbed 0.8 percent, with an average selling price of $3,483 per tonne, in the sale held in the early hours of the morning. That was a slowdown in pace from the 1.9 percent jump at the previous auction.

Apr 02 - Brazil first quarter soybean exports surge 30% (AgriCensus)
- Brazil exported 17.2 million mt of soybeans over the January-March period, an increase on the 13.2 million mt exported over the same period last year because of an earlier harvest this year. The most apparent gains were made in February when exports more than doubled year-on-year to 6.1 million mt. Brazil exported 8.96 million mt of soybeans during March, up almost 2% from the same month last year, government data shows. Volumes in March are typically higher than the first two months of the year as the harvest picks-up pace hitting a peak in April and May.
- The year-on-year increase in March was due to an earlier harvest alongside heavy rainfall in some states that affected the pace of progress for most of the month. But analysts have said dryer weather toward the end of the month prevented a decline in production and continuing dry weather could result in better yields in April as the southernmost states increase planting, putting pressure on farmers to sell more beans.
- Official estimates suggest Brazil will export 70 million mt of soybeans this year, down sharply from the 84 million mt exported last year. For corn, exports over the first quarter totalled close to 6.9 million mt, up 41% on the first quarter of last year when exports totalled 4.9 million mt.  Exported volumes over March totalled 891,900 mt, up 47% on March 2018's volume of 605,300 mt volume but down on February and January's totals of 1.75 million mt and 4.22 millon mt respectively.

Apr 02 - U.S. disaster aid won't cover crops drowned by Midwest floods
The Black Hawk military helicopter flew over Iowa, giving a senior U.S. agriculture official and U.S. senator an eyeful of the flood damage below, where yellow corn from ruptured metal silos spilled out into the muddy water. And there's nothing the U.S. government can do about the millions of bushels of damaged crops here under current laws or disaster-aid programs, U.S. Agriculture Under Secretary Bill Northey told a Reuters reporter who joined the flight.

 Apr 02 - China books fresh deal for 828,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans
U.S. exporters sold 828,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday, the second sale announced since the two countries concluded their latest round of negotiations last week to end their trade war. The USDA, in its daily reporting system, said that private exporters indicated the deal was for the 2018/19 marketing year, which ends on Aug. 31.

 Apr 02 - Brazil 1st-qtr soy, corn exports surpass year-ago levels
Brazilian exports of soybeans and corn in the first quarter were larger than seen in the same period a year earlier, data released on Monday by the country's economy ministry shows. Brazil shipped 8.95 million tonnes of soybeans in March, more than the 8.81 million tonnes in the same month last year, leading total exports in the quarter to 17.2 million tonnes. Soy exports in the first quarter of 2018 reached 13.2 million tonnes.

 Apr 02 - Former Louis Dreyfus boss was ousted after Glencore overture - FT
The previous chief executive of crop merchant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) was ousted after trying to start talks with Glencore Agriculture and other rivals, the Financial Times reported on Monday. LDC, one of the world's largest agricultural commodity traders, announced last September the surprise departure of Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena, along with that of its finance chief, the latest in a series of management reshuffles under controlling shareholder Margarita Louis-Dreyfus.

 Apr 02 - Hunger stalks Mozambique after deadly cyclone destroys farmland
Fulai Joaquim has enough food to feed his 10 children for another week, maybe two. Then, he says, it is in the hands of God. A cyclone ripped his cassava crop from the ground, leaving the roots to rot in the field, and the floods that followed washed away his maize.

 Apr 02 - Indonesia Feb palm oil exports rise 17 pct y/y - GAPKI
Indonesia's palm and palm kernel oil exports in February rose 16.7 percent from a year earlier to 2.77 million tonnes, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said in a statement on Tuesday. On a monthly basis, shipments dropped almost 11 percent in February, which the association said was due to fewer working days in the month.

Apr 01 - NOFI buys more corn as Korea looks to wrap up October imports (AgriCensus)
- South Korea’s feed sector has capitalised on last week’s huge falls in corn prices in a spate of fresh buying, led by the country’s biggest manufacturer returning to secure more corn via tender. Glencore was said to have sold to NOFI at $189.82/mt for 69,000 mt, with the cargo to arrive by October 25, according to market sources. The move comes on the back of NOFI picking up 140,000 mt of corn on Friday and MFG buying privately from Cargill, before a bearish data release saw corn prices shed close to $0.20/bu.
- Market sources anticipate a burst of private buying following this tender, with the country poised to wrap up its October import needs perhaps by the middle of the week, as Monday’s tender took buying to 398,000 mt in a matter of days. Two additional deals were said to have followed the Friday NOFI tender, with negotiations continuing long into the night as corn prices collapsed after the USDA revealed a big switch towards corn in its planting update and the third largest corn stock levels ever. FLC and KFA picked up cargoes privately, according to market sources, with FLC buying from Cofco at $191.49/mt for October 20 arrival, and KFA buying 65,000 mt corn for delivery into Incheon at $188.50/mt for October 30 arrival.
“All buyers will cover the balance of their October arrival feed corn within the next three days,” one market source told Agricensus on Monday.
South Korea needs to import around 10.2 million mt of corn according to the USDA’s 2018/19 estimate – with feed corn accounting for around 8 million mt.
- Major price falls through February and March drove the country’s four main manufacturers – NOFI, MFG, KFA, and FLC – to pick up 2.4 million mt in six weeks, through a combination of tenders and private deals. Corn processing association KOCOPIA also picked up a further 130,000 mt at tender, taking the buying to a quarter of the country’s total import needs in a concentrated buying burst.
“This price fall will definitely attract other buying groups to consider buying and fix cheaper corn... to fill up October arrival,” a second market source said.
“Since the speed of corn purchasing is already faster than normal years, I don’t see that they will buy as they did in February and early March,” the source warned.

Apr 01 - More than 1 million acres of U.S. cropland ravaged by floods
At least 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of U.S. farmland were flooded after the "bomb cyclone" storm left wide swaths of nine major grain producing states under water this month, satellite data analyzed by Gro Intelligence for Reuters showed. Farms from the Dakotas to Missouri and beyond have been under water for a week or more, possibly impeding planting and damaging soil. The floods, which came just weeks before planting season starts in the Midwest, will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year.

 Apr 01 - Funds cover CBOT shorts but retreat on heavy USDA data - Braun
Speculators began to cover massive short positions in Chicago-traded grains and oilseed futures last week, but they were sent back to their bearish ways with weighty supply numbers from the U.S. government on Friday. It is somewhat unusual for funds to build such large shorts just ahead of the all-important U.S. corn and soybean growing season, but swelling domestic stockpiles mean there is a larger cushion than before.

 Apr 01 - Brazil's JBS says profits will be stronger this year
JBS SA executives said on Friday the Brazilian meat company will deliver higher earnings in 2019 on strong demand for beef in the United States and Australia as well as growing Chinese demand for various proteins. Still, first-quarter results will reflect lower cattle availability in the United States due to rains and a severe winter, which affected the company's beef and pork plants, they said.

Apr 01 - Zimbabwe has up to seven months' supply of grain, after drought damage - official
Zimbabwe has up to seven months' supply of the staple maize after drought ravaged crops and it needs to start importing grain now to avert shortages, the secretary for agriculture said on Friday. Besides the El Niño-induced drought, Zimbabwe was also hit by a cyclone, which devastated the eastern parts of the country, sweeping away what remained of the crop in the area.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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