Grain du Coteau :...
Follow
Find
11.2K views | +17 today
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
onto Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar)
Scoop.it!

anhydrous ammonia fertilizer plants could be a “game changer” for farmers

Kevin Kaufman, vice president of agricultural products for BNSF Railway in Forth Worth, Texas, who spoke immediately following Wong, said a development involving anhydrous ammonia fertilizer plants could be a “game changer” for farmers.

Cenex Harvest States recently announced plans to build a $1.2 billion anhydrous ammonia plant in eastern North Dakota, taking advantage of the state’s abundant natural gas supplies. It’s one of several plants that are in the works in the country, he said.

Anhydrous ammonia is a crop fertilizer.

Kaufman called the development as significant as ethanol was to corn growers. Nitrogen is found in natural gas and a key ingredient in the fertilizer. The only place in the world with cheaper natural gas than the United States is the Middle East, he said. Cheap natural gas means cheap nitrogen and inexpensive anhydrous ammonia, Kaufman said.

The plants will be located in areas where there is abundant natural gas, he said.

Kaufman predicted the United States will become a nitrogen exporter in the future. If that happens, he added, U.S. farmers will have a competitive edge in crop production costs compared to the rest of the world.

“This is a big deal for you as producers,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman says BNSFcurrently transports a lot of urea fertilizer to Montana.

The anhydrous ammonia plants won’t be built for the next two to five years, Kaufman said. None have been announced in Montana, he said.
more...
No comment yet.
Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar)
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

'Harsh' US winter trips up DuPont ag growth drive

The "harsh" North American winter, and the turn by Brazil's farmers away from second-crop corn, unsettled an agriculture-focused growth drive by DuPont, which trimmed forecasts for its farm results.

The petrochemicals-to-pigments conglomerate said that most of its divisions had raised profits in the January-to-March quarter, with the industrial biosciences division helped by the raised demand for enzymes by the US ethanol industry, whose margins have been supported by lower corn costs.

However, profits at the agriculture division, which the group is prioritising for growth, fell 4.9% to $1.44bn, on sales down 5.9% at $4.39bn, thanks largely to the impact of the cold and prolonged North American winter in preventing early fieldwork, and allowing farmers to delay seeding decisions.

Farmers often delay until the last minute decisions of much of their spring sowings, with decisions depending largely on relative pricing of crops, and profitability prospects.

'Adverse weather conditions'

Divisional operating earnings declined "on lower seed sales as a result of shifts in both timing and planted area", said DuPont, owner of the Pioneer seeds business, reporting also "lower herbicide volumes" in North America.

Indeed, group-wide "adverse weather conditions reduced first-quarter earnings by an estimated $0.07 per share, reflecting increased operating costs and lost sales," equivalent to some $65m.

The comments echo those of Syngenta, the Swiss-based seeds and agrichemicals giant, which on Wednesday noted an 11.0% drop in North American spray revenues in the quarter and a 2.0% drop in regional seed takings as "US growers delaying planting decisions".

And, like Syngenta, DuPont highlighted the impact of lower plantings in Brazil of second-crop, or safrinha corn, sown early in the calendar year typically on land vacated by the soybean harvest, but a boost to insecticide sales in Latin America, where the Helicoverpa corn earworm moth caterpillar is growing as a pest for a range of crops.

Outlook trimmed

DuPont forecast an improved performance in agriculture in the current April-to-June period, forecasting "significant growth in operating earnings" as warmer weather encourages fieldwork and fulfils seed sales delayed from the first quarter.

However, the group, which in January forecast agriculture sales and earnings rising "modestly" in the first half of 2014, trimmed its expectations.

Sales will now prove "flat", while earnings "should be up slightly".

"Our first half outlook is now lower than our view was in January as volumes will be further impacted by lower-than-expected corn plantings in Brazil, North America and Ukraine," DuPont said.

Group performance

Nonetheless, DuPont stuck by a forecast for group operating earnings for 2014 of $4.20-4.55 per share.

Operating earnings for the January-to-March period came in at $1.58 per share, a gain of $0.02 per share on the year-ago performance, and bank in line with Wall Street forecasts.

DuPont shares stood $0.10 higher at $112.62 in morning deals in New York.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

China rejections of GMO U.S. corn cost up to $2.9 billion: group

CHICAGO (Reuters) - China's rejections of a banned variety of genetically modified U.S. corn have cost the U.S. agriculture industry up to $2.9 billion, a grain group said on Wednesday in the first estimate on losses from the trade disruptions.

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) estimated in a report that rejections of shipments containing Syngenta AG's Agrisure Viptera corn resulted in losses of at least $1 billion, based on an economic analysis that included data supplied by top global grain exporters.

China, the world's third-biggest corn buyer, in November began rejecting corn containing Viptera, known as MIR 162, after previously accepting the grain. The variety, which has been cleared by the United States and other importers, has been awaiting approval by Beijing for four years.

"It obviously is a significant cost when you add up the producer losses and the cost to exporters and others in the value chain," NGFA President Randy Gordon said about the rejections in a telephone interview.

The NGFA and North America Export Grain Association unsuccessfully lobbied Syngenta to halt sales of corn seed containing MIR 162 and another unapproved variety called Agrisure Duracade.

Syngenta did not immediately respond to questions about NGFA's estimates.

Since mid-November, China has turned away 1.45 million metric tons of U.S. corn because of the presence of MIR 162, topping a Chinese government estimate of 908,800 tons, according to NGFA. The corn was diverted to other buyers, who "almost assuredly would have negotiated a discount," the report said.

Costs to U.S. corn exporters like Cargill Inc and Archer Daniels Midland Co total an estimated $225 million, not the estimated $427 million reported last week by the Wall Street Journal, according to NGFA. [ID:nL6N0N32PA]

Cargill, the top exporter of U.S. grains, last week said rejections of U.S. corn shipments by China contributed to a 28 percent drop in earnings for the quarter ended February 28.

The rejections have depressed U.S. corn prices by an estimated 11 cents per bushel, accounting for projected losses of $1.14 billion for U.S. corn farmers for the last nine months of the marketing year that ends on August 31, according to NGFA. It is unknown whether China will approve the trait before the marketing year ends.

Karl Setzer, grain solutions team leader for MaxYield Cooperative in Iowa, said he had heard estimates that China's rejections had reduced U.S. corn prices by 10 cents to 20 cents per bushel. He expects more shipments to be turned away because China has an ample supply of corn.

"How do you put a dollar figure on it?" he said. "I expect everything they have with us to be washed out."

Potential losses from trade disruptions for the next marketing year, which begins on September 1, could range from $1.2 billion to $3.4 billion due to the introduction of Agrisure Duracade into the supply chain, according to NGFA. Duracade will be planted in the United States for the first time this spring.

 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Moscou menace de recourir à la force dans l'Est ukrainien

Moscou menace de recourir à la force dans l'Est ukrainien | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

Le président russe Vladimir Poutine a fait peser jeudi la menace voilée d'un recours à la force en Ukraine, en pleines tractations à Genève entre la Russie, les États-Unis, l'UE et l'Ukraine pour tenter de dénouer la pire crise Est-Ouest depuis la Guerre froide.

Ces premiers pourparlers quadripartites se tiennent en pleine tension sur le terrain, où des affrontements qui ont fait trois morts ont opposé dans la nuit insurgés pro-russes et loyalistes au pouvoir pro-européen de Kiev.

Lors d'une longue séance télévisée de questions-réponses, le président Poutine a fait monter les enchères, avertissant qu'il «espère fortement» ne pas être «obligé de recourir» à l'envoi de ses forces armées en Ukraine.

Le chef du Kremlin a exhorté les autorités ukrainiennes à accepter le «dialogue», via les entretiens quadripartites de Genève, au risque de mener le pays vers le «gouffre». Il a également qualifié de «foutaises» les affirmations selon lesquelles les forces russes seraient impliquées dans les troubles dans l'Est de l'Ukraine. M. Poutine a encore réclamé des «garanties» pour les droits des populations russophones de ces régions orientales ukrainiennes.

Il a aussi assuré que l'OTAN, dont des pays membres sont voisins de la Russie, ne lui faisait «pas peur». «Nous pouvons nous-mêmes tous les étouffer, pourquoi avez-vous peur?», a martelé le président en réponse à une journaliste russe.

Enfin, en guise de mise en garde à la Moldavie, un petit pays pro-européen, le président russe a jugé que la Transdniestrie, un territoire séparatiste, devait pouvoir «décider de son propre sort».

«Pas de fortes attentes à Genève»

La réunion diplomatique de Genève se tient dans un grand hôtel entre les ministres des Affaires étrangères ukrainien et russe, Andrïï Dechtchitsa et Sergueï Lavrov, le secrétaire d'État américain John Kerry et la chef de la diplomatie de l'Union européenne Catherine Ashton. Avant de s'enfermer, les quatre dirigeants n'ont quasiment pas dit un mot devant les caméras.

Des diplomates américains ont confié qu'ils escomptaient un «vrai dialogue» entre Moscou et Kiev et une «désescalade» des tensions dans l'Est de l'Ukraine. La secrétaire d'État adjointe pour l'Europe Victoria Nuland avait toutefois déclaré il y a une semaine à Washington que les États-Unis n'avaient «pas de fortes attentes» pour ces tractations de Genève.

Sur le terrain, juste avant les pourparlers de Genève, une attaque contre une unité de la garde nationale a été repoussée à Marioupol, dans le sud-est de l'Ukraine, faisant trois morts et 13 blessés parmi les assaillants, selon le ministre ukrainien de l'Intérieur. Les forces loyalistes n'ont pas subi de pertes et 63 assaillants ont été arrêtés, selon lui.

Mercredi, la confrontation avec les insurgés de l'est de l'Ukraine avait tourné à la déroute pour les forces du pouvoir pro-européen de Kiev.

Les forces loyalistes ukrainiennes ont en effet accumulé les revers face aux groupes armés autour de Slaviansk, ville emblématique de la dernière série d'insurrections pro-russes, contrôlée depuis samedi par des forces séparatistes.

Une colonne blindée ukrainienne envoyée dans le cadre de «l'opération antiterroriste» lancée par Kiev pour reprendre la main a été bloquée par des manifestants pro-russes.

Six blindés ont été saisis par un des groupes de combattants aux uniformes non identifiés qui multiplient les actions depuis 10 jours dans l'Est russophone. Ils ont rejoint, drapeaux russes au vent, la défense de Slaviansk.

Après des heures de confrontation avec des manifestants, les hommes du reste de la colonne - 15 blindés restés bloqués à Kramatorsk - ont fini, certains en larmes, par déposer les armes, sous les cris de «Bravo les gars».

Selon Kiev et les Occidentaux, ces groupes armés, ironiquement baptisés «hommes verts» en Ukraine, sont en fait des soldats d'élite russes, comme ceux qui étaient à l'oeuvre en Crimée avant le rattachement de la péninsule ukrainienne à la Russie en mars. Moscou nie avoir des soldats ou des agents en territoire ukrainien.

Dans un autre défi au pouvoir central, un groupe d'hommes cagoulés et armés se sont emparés de la mairie de la grande ville de Donetsk, fief russophone de l'Est.

Américains et Européens ont aussi prévenu que, faute de solution diplomatique à Genève, ils se préparent à durcir leurs sanctions contre la Russie.

Le président américain Barack Obama «a été très clair, si la Russie ne saisit pas cette opportunité pour une désescalade, le prix à payer va augmenter», a averti un diplomate américain voyageant avec M. Kerry. La Maison-Blanche a indiqué mercredi soir que les États-Unis préparaient «activement» de nouvelles sanctions contre Moscou.

«Chaque fois que la Russie prendra des mesures destinées à déstabiliser l'Ukraine et à violer sa souveraineté, il y aura des conséquences», a répété M. Obama sur CBS News. Les Russes «ont - au minimum - soutenu des milices non étatiques dans le sud et l'est de l'Ukraine», a-t-il accusé.

Et le président français François Hollande a renchéri jeudi, prévenant que l'UE envisageait d'étoffer ses sanctions en cas d'échec à Genève.

Pour le ministre ukrainien des Affaires étrangères Andrïï Dechtchitsa, la «voie diplomatique» est encore possible et «c'est la seule façon de stabiliser la situation». À son arrivée à Genève, il s'est dit prêt au dialogue avec la Russie, mais a exclu de parler de fédéralisation, comme le demandent Moscou et les insurgés.

Dans le même temps, l'UE a accepté de mener des discussions avec la Russie sur la sécurité des approvisionnements en gaz, après les menaces russes à ce sujet, selon le président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Barroso.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

DuPont Sales Fall as Severe Weather Curbs Seed Buying

DuPont Sales Fall as Severe Weather Curbs Seed Buying | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

DuPont Co. (DD), the maker of Pioneer genetically modified corn, reported lower-than-expected first-quarter sales and earnings after North American farmers delay preparations for planting because of severe winter weather.

Revenue fell 2.7 percent to $10.1 billion, the Wilmington, Delaware-based company said in a statement today, missing the $10.4 billion average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Profit excluding some items was $1.58 a share, trailing the $1.59 average projection.

DuPont, the largest U.S. chemical maker by market value, warned last month that its earnings would be hurt by the unusually harsh winter as well as unrest in Ukraine. The company said today that corn plantings were also lower than expected in Brazil in the quarter. It maintained its full-year earnings outlook at $4.20 to $4.45 a share.

“It was 20 degrees yesterday in Minneapolis; you can’t plant corn when its 20 degrees,” Mark Gulley, a New York-based analyst at BGC Partners LP who recommends holding DuPont shares, said in a phone interview. “You’re going to get the rebound in sales in the second quarter because of the delayed planting season.”

DuPont fell 0.7 percent to $67.22 at 10:06 a.m. in New York.


Net income declined to $1.44 billion, or $1.54 a share, from $3.35 billion, or $3.58, a year earlier.

Photovoltaic Demand

Operating income for DuPont’s agricultural segment, the company’s largest by revenue, fell 5 percent while its sales declined 6 percent. Three months ago, DuPont said the unit’s revenue would be essentially flat.

Earnings were up in five of the company’s seven divisions. The electronics and communications segment posted a 53 percent gain after demand climbed for photovoltaic products, Dupont said in a slide presentation. Profit climbed 37 percent at the industrial biosciences division, which makes enzymes used in the production of biofuels.

DuPont Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman came under pressure last year after activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP acquired a stake in the company.

In October, two month’s after Trian reported its holding, DuPont announced plans to spin off its performance chemicals business, the largest producer of titanium dioxide. DuPont said in January it planned to buy back $5 billion of its shares, including at least $2 billion this year.

DuPont, founded in 1802 to make gunpowder, produces thousands of products from Corian countertops to Tyvek weather barrier and Kevlar anti-ballistic fiber.

The cold has disrupted planting even as U.S. farmers plan to sow a record soybean crop this year as prices climb.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sonja Elmquist in New York at selmquist1@bloomberg.net; Jack Kaskey in Houston at jkaskey@bloomberg.net

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Wheat Has Biggest Two-Day Gain in 21 Month on U.S. Freeze

Wheat futures rose, capping the biggest two-day gain in 21 months, after freezing weather damaged winter crops in the U.S. Great Plains.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, hard red winter wheat futures for July delivery rose 3.1 percent to settle at $7.715 a bushel, bringing the two-day rally to 6.3 percent, the most since July 5, 2012. The contract, formerly traded on the Kansas City Board of Trade, reflects a variety used to make bread. The price has gained 20 percent this year.

As much as 20 percent of plants in the southern Plains faced sub-freezing temperatures last night, and yields in some fields may drop 10 percent, Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a report. The U.S. is the world’s top wheat exporter.

The cold may curb yields in the southern Plains after drought intensified across the region this year. Most fields in Kansas, Oklahoma, and northern Texas, the top three producers of hard red winter-wheat, got less than 50 percent of normal rain in the past two months, according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center.

“Dry weather is a bigger threat to the wheat crop this year because rain now can help the plants grow out of any freeze damage,” said Tom Leffler, the owner of Leffler Commodities LLC in Augusta, Kansas. “The crops were starting to go backward because of the dry soils, and there are a lot of crops at risk.”

Winter, Spring

On the Chicago Board of Trade, soft red winter wheat futures for July delivery rose 3.3 percent to settle at $7.0975 a bushel. The price has climbed 17 percent this year. The contract reflects the variety used in cookies and cake.

On the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, wheat futures for July delivery climbed 3 percent to $7.4725 a bushel. The price has advanced 18 percent this year. The contact represents high-protein spring grain used to make bread.

The Chicago contracts posted the biggest gains today among the 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

Soybeans rose the most in two weeks on speculation that increased demand will reduce supplies in the U.S., the biggest grower.

Record exports will cut domestic soybean reserves at the end of August to the smallest in six years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said April 9. Domestic processing in March jumped 12 percent from a year earlier to 153.84 million bushels, the highest ever for the month, according to an industry report today. Imports will surge 81 percent to a record 65 million tons this year, the USDA said.

‘Scarcity Problem’

“There’s already a scarcity problem and the crush last month was much higher than expected,” Alan Brugler, the president of Brugler Marketing & Management in Omaha, Nebraska, said in a telephone interview. “Imports will need to come quickly to maintain adequate supplies later this year.”

On the CBOT, soybean futures for July delivery rose 1.6 percent to $14.875 a bushel, the biggest gain since March 31. The oilseed used to make livestock feed and cooking oil has rallied 15 percent this year as dry weather reduced yields in Brazil, the biggest exporter.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 0.1 percent to $5.0975 a bushel in Chicago. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Mosaic to acquire ADM's Brazil, Paraguay fertilizer business

The Mosaic Company signed definitive agreements with Archer Daniels Midland Companyto acquire its fertilizer distribution business in Brazil and Paraguay for $350 million. The purchase price assumes the delivery of $150 million in working capital at closing. This acquisition is expected to significantly accelerate Mosaic's previously announced growth plans in Brazil as well as replace a substantial amount of planned internal investments in that country. Under the terms of the agreement, Mosaic would acquire four blending and warehousing facilities in Brazil, one in Paraguay and additional warehousing and logistics service capabilities.

The acquisition of ADM's fertilizer distribution business would increase Mosaic's annual distribution in the region from approximately four million metric tonnes to about six million metric tonnes of crop nutrients. In addition to the acquisition, Mosaic is in process of completing approximately $100 million in projects including expansion of the company's port terminals, plants and production capabilities.

"The addition of ADM's fertilizer distribution business in Brazil and Paraguay facilitates two critical strategic priorities for Mosaic. It enhances our global growth strategy and expands our market access," said Mosaic President and Chief Executive Officer James T. Prokopanko. "This acquisition provides a critical distribution platform in one of the world's fastest growing agricultural regions, and it complements our other recent strategic initiatives, including our joint venture in Saudi Arabia, our recent acquisition of CF Industries' phosphate business and our ongoing potash expansion program."

"Acquiring ADM's fertilizer distribution business accelerates our existing growth plans in Brazil and provides access to new customers throughout the country and in Paraguay," said Tobias Grasso, Mosaic's Country Manager in Brazil. "We will gain scale and operating efficiencies through this acquisition, as well as a talented group of employees who will join our team."

The parties have also negotiated the terms of five-year fertilizer supply agreements providing for Mosaic to supply ADM's fertilizer needs in Brazil and Paraguay.

Mosaic will fund the acquisition with cash from operations. The transaction is not expected to impact Mosaic's shareholder distribution plans. The proposed sale will be contingent on customary regulatory approvals.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Big Pharma's Turn On RNAi Shows That New Technologies Don't Guarantee R&D Success

It is not often that a new technology bursts on the scene with this type of hoopla:

“RNAi (RNA interference) is a revolution in biology – a breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells – and represents a completely new approach to drug discovery and development. The importance of its discovery was recognized by the award of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for Physiology or Medicine, and RNAi has been heralded as ‘a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so.’ It is widely considered one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug development today.”

This is taken from the website of Alnylam, a biotech company that is one of the leaders in the RNAi field (along with Tekmira and others), so it is not surprising that it is bullish on this technology. When earlier in the year Sanofi took a $700 million stake in Alnylam, John Carroll reported that “Alnylam execs have been one of the chief proponents of RNAi as the next big product arena, with the potential to rival monoclonal antibodies in terms of revenue potential.” If true, that would be enormous. Antibodies like Humira and Remicade, are two of the largest selling drugs today with annual sales in the billions of dollars.

Thus, it was pretty surprising to see that Novartis, which had an ambitious RNAi research effort, suddenly halted this work. NovartisNVS +0.74% isn’t the first Big Pharma company to become disenchanted with this field. MerckMerck, enamored with the promise of RNAi, bought the RNAi company, Sirna Therapeutics, for $1.1 billion in 2006. Last January Merck sold Sirna to Alnylam for $175 million and took a huge write-off in the process.

What has gone wrong? A decade ago, there were a variety of issues facing RNAi as therapeutics, but this is true for any new technology. However, the biggest hurdle for RNAi is delivery of such a therapy to the target organ as these large molecules are easily broken down in the body. In 2004, there were a lot of ideas to try to overcome this problem. Unfortunately, progress has been slow and people are beginning to question whether RNAi therapy could ever be broadly applicable to a wide variety of diseases. Novartis confirmed this when they provided its rationale for de-emphasizing this area: “This decision was driven by ongoing challenges with formulation and delivery and the reality that the current range of medically relevant targets where siRNA may be used is quite narrow.” In fact, the delivery challenges were such that ten years ago companies like PfizerPFE +0.67% (which had a member of its Board of Directors also serving on Alnylam’s Board) decided to stay on the sidelines waiting for the science to play out a bit more before investing in this technology.

Clearly, there are still believers in this field as evident from SanofiSNY +0.25%’s investment. Indeed, for certain diseases where an RNAi therapeutant can be more readily introduced, such as the eye, or “privileged compartments” such as the liver, RNAi still has potential. But given that these therapies would be expensive due to the high cost-of-goods involved in synthesizing these agents, they would have to be targeted to diseases where the cost of therapy would be justified by the beneficial medical effects. Thus, the potential for RNAi therapy is narrower still. It is possible that new therapies will evolve from this technology. But to say that RNAi therapy will rival monoclonal antibodies in terms of revenue potential – well, that’s a bit of a stretch.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

FPCCQ : Commentaire Mercredi 16 avril 2014

Mercredi 16 avril 2014

 

Les conditions de semis s’améliorent aux États-Unis faisant pression sur les contrats de maïs, les contrats de soya sont à la hausse en raison d’achats techniques, dans un contexte de stocks serrés.

 

Plus précisément, les contrats à terme de maïs ont terminé la journée à la baisse, les contrats rapprochés ont perdu un peu plus de 1 % de leur valeur, soit la plus importante diminution en deux semaines. Celle-ci a entre autres été engendrée par des ventes techniques et l’amélioration des conditions météo pour les semis dans le Midwest américain. Les prévisions à plus long terme indiquent du temps généralement sec, ce qui permettra aux producteurs de semer du maïs après avoir été aux prises avec des températures froides et humides. Les données de production hebdomadaire d’éthanol américain ont été dévoilées aujourd’hui. Celles-ci font état d’une production ayant atteint son plus haut niveau depuis décembre 2013, atteignant une production de 939 000 barils par jour. On indique aussi que le niveau des stocks est en baisse par rapport à la semaine précédente.

 

Les contrats à terme de soya ont enregistré des hausses de plus de 1 % aujourd’hui, c’est en fait leur troisième journée de gains et ce, en raison du niveau faible des stocks américains et des achats effectués par les fonds.  D’ailleurs, les stocks devraient rester serrés aux États-Unis au moins jusqu’à la nouvelle récolte.

 

Les contrats à terme de blé à Chicago et à Minneapolis ont terminé la journée en baisse, on indique que ce serait en raison des prises de profits des investisseurs suite aux récents grains enregistrés, mais aussi en raison d’une prévision de pluies prévues dans la portion sud des Plaines américaines.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Farmers Seeking Heat Relief Signal Brazil Climate Peril

Farmers Seeking Heat Relief Signal Brazil Climate Peril | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

Brazil may see a mass migration of crops and farm workers from huge swaths of currently tillable lands to more temperate zones as global warming takes hold, according to leading climate experts in the country.

Longtime Brazilian climate researcherHilton Silveira Pinto points to the drought that’s cutting grain and coffee output this year as an indicator that rising global temperatures may already be impacting the country’s crops.

“This is a taste of what is to come in the future,” said Pinto, a professor at theCenter for Meteorological and Climate Research Applied to Agriculture at the University of Campinas.

A study co-authored by Pinto that looks at projected warming trends shows Brazil’s soybean production may drop by as much as 24 percent and wheat output as much as 41 percent by 2020 as climate change reduces areas where the crops can grow.

Because Brazil is increasingly helping to feed the world, the import of that isn’t just Brazil’s problem. The nation last year dethroned the U.S. as the world’s top soybean exporter -- it sold 41.9 million tons to Asia, Europe and the Middle East last season -- and has led the world in sugar and coffee production for more than a century. It also exports more beef and orange juice than any other nation on earth.

Agriculture accounts for 25 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product and more than one third of its annual exports. With its ample water resources and year-round temperate climate, Brazil has also attracted billions of dollars in agribusiness investments by opening vast tracts of tropical hinterland to farming and applying state-of-the-art technology to expand yields across all manner of crops.

Crop Losses

While the connection of warming to droughts and extreme weather is still being studied, there’s no doubt that warmer temperatures are affecting global crop output -- worldwide wheat yields are declining by about 2 percent a decade and those for maize by 1 percent, the United Nations said in a March 31 report.

Major grain producers in cooler climates such as Canada and Russia may fare better than Brazil as much of its tropical agriculture already operates at the upper limit of heat tolerance, said Eduardo Assad, a researcher at the government’s Embrapa agricultural technology agency who co-authored the study with Pinto.

In Brazil, heat and drought are already taking their toll. The worst dry spell in six decades is erasing an estimated 5 million metric tons from Brazil’s grain harvest this year, about the size of Egypt’s annual corn crop.

Unprecedented Temperatures

Hotter weather is already chasing some coffee production up to higher altitudes. Coffee growers inSao Paulo and Minas Gerais states have been the hardest hit so far by drought and heat waves.

“If the unprecedented high temperatures we saw repeat themselves, we’d have a serious problem,” said Mauricio Miarelli, head of the Franca, Brazil-based growers association Cocapec.

Crop shifts may cause a mass migration of millions of rural workers, requiring major investments in infrastructure and logistics to accommodate them, according to Assad.

“Brazil’s agriculture will be rearranged,” he said. “Climate change is on our heels.”

‘Longer Droughts’

In the northeastern state of Bahia, three consecutive years of unusually intense drought that cut soybean output 16 percent in 2013 have triggered concern even among hardened farmers used to the harsh, semi-arid climate, said Jairo Vaz, the state agriculture secretary’s cabinet chief.

“Undeniably the droughts have become longer, more pronounced and temperatures have risen -- that hit our farmers hard,” Vaz said. The state’s 670,000 family farmers have lost roughly half of their livestock over the three years, he said.

Soybeans in Chicago extended gains to a 10-month high today, rising as much 0.8 percent to $15.21 a bushel and corn climbed 0.4 percent to $5.0525 a bushel.

About a dozen new varieties of beans and corn that are more resistant to extreme heat and dryness have shown promising results, Embrapa’s Assad said. Still, with Brazil growing 800 to 900 crops, progress in research and development has been too slow and investments too small, he said.

Other measures pursued by the government include promoting an integration of farming and forestry where shade from trees reduces temperatures and maintains humidity.

The technique known as agro-forestry lacks the scale to quickly transform the way soybeans and corn are grown in areas like Mato Grosso, a state twice the size of Germany covered with crops that stretch beyond the horizon.

Financial Interest

“You can’t apply this technology overnight,” Caio Rocha, Brazil’s secretary for agriculture policies, said in a phone interview. “We’ll have to show farmers that it’s in their financial interest to do so.”

The impact of global warming on Brazil’s agriculture is far from consensus. Donald Keeney, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is among meteorologists who expect precipitation in central and northeastern Brazil to decline, paring agricultural output -- while production should increase in areas closer to the poles.

Scott Yuknis, the lead forecaster with Climate Impact Co. in Middleboro, Massachusetts, doesn’t agree. He ascribes the drought in Brazil this year as part of the ocean temperature changes that induce cycles that last several decades.

While experts like Assad and Pinto agree with Secretary Rocha that Brazil may be able to offset part of climate change with new technology, they argue progress has been too slow and assumes temperatures will not rise more than 2 degrees on average by the end of this century.

“The world is failing to slow emissions, meaning temperatures may rise more than 2 degrees,” said Assad. “If that happens, science has no answers for impact mitigation, we’ll be in uncharted territory.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Raymond Colitt in Brasilia Newsroom atrcolitt@bloomberg.net

 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Hopes ease for EU wheat crop, but rise for exports

Strategie Grains cut its estimate for the European Union wheat harvest this year, but raised its forecast for exports, citing reluctance among buyers to purchase from crisis-hit Ukraine.

The influential analysis group reduced by 500,000 tonnes to 137.2m tonnes its forecast for the EU soft wheat harvest, the world's biggest, reducing to 1.6% (2.1m tonnes) the improvement on last year's crop.

This rate of increase is half the pace of the rise in sowings, even after the estimate for area was trimmed by roughly 100,000 hectares to 24.0m hectares, reflecting ideas the barley had proved more popular than thought in winter sowings in some areas.

The group raised by 500,000 tonnes to 55.9m tonnes its forecast for the EU barley harvest.

Weather concerns

The group attributed its downgrade to wheat production also to cold weather in the Baltic countries and in Finland, although other commentators are raising some concerns too over a dearth of rainfall in some European countries.

Toepfer, the Hamburg-based grain trader, on Wednesday pegged the German wheat harvest – the EU's second largest - at 2.95m tonnes, down 920,000 tonnes year on year, albeit still a good result, citing the threat from dry weather, particularly in western and southern areas.

And weather service MDA flagged that "dryness continues to build across north central Europe", including parts of France, Hungary, Italy and Spain as well as Germany.

While some of these areas will receive rains next week, "dryness will continue in western Germany and north eastern France", much of which has received 20%, or less, of normal rainfall over the last six weeks.

Consultancy Agritel said that "rains expected tomorrow in Europe should be weak", and prove unable to "change that much the situation".

Export upgrades

Strategie Grains raised its estimate for EU soft wheat exports in 2014-15, by 500,000 tonnes to 22.9m tonnes, despite the lower production, highlighting the potential for buyers to pull back on purchases from crisis-hit Ukraine, where three pro-Russian separatists were killed overnight in a raid on a military base.

The revision took to 2.4m tonnes the group's upgrades in three months to estimates for EU soft wheat shipments next season, and would represent a record high were it not for the even stronger result expected for 2013-14.

Indeed, the estimate for 2013-14 soft wheat exports was lifted by a further 1.2m tonnes to 26.8m tonnes, reflecting a surprisingly strong pace of late-season shipments.

"French wheat is facing tough competition from Russian wheat, but is still being purchased by Algeria," the Paris-based group said.

Official data on Wednesday showed EU export licences this week granted for shipments of 421,000 tonnes of soft wheat, taking the total since the start of the season, in July, to 24.285m tonnes.

The EU has sold 859,000 tonnes of flour and 756,000 tonnes of durum wheat on top, taking total shipments to 25.9m tonnes thus far.

The US Department of Agriculture sees the EU's all-wheat shipments at 29.0m tonnes this season.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Grain farmers growing their debt loads in wake of rail backlog

Grain farmers growing their debt loads in wake of rail backlog | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

As much of last year’s record crop sits unsold, financially stretched Western Canadian grain farmers are scrambling to secure funding for the coming planting season.

Every spring, farmers must pay for seed, fertilizer and other goods to get on with the next cycle of crops. But that’s proving difficult for many this year, amid a rail backlog that has prevented much of last year’s crop from getting to market and bringing in badly needed cash.

Already, about 2,300 farmers have taken cash advances totalling $183-million just two weeks into the start of a yearly program backed by the federal government. Last season’s program, which ended March 31, saw demand rise by 50 per cent. The rush for financing underscores the difficulties farmers are facing to keep their operations afloat.

“The desperation for cash continues,” said Rick White, a Saskatchewan farmer and head of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, which runs Ottawa’s cash advance program for growers of wheat, canola and other grains in Western Canada. The program allows farmers to borrow up to $400,000 for 18 months. The federal government pays the interest on the first $100,000 loan, which is secured by the farm’s seeded land or by the value of crop in storage, and the rest bears regular borrowing costs.

“Four-hundred-thousand sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t go very far,” said Mr. White, adding most farmers also have other lines of credit and loans through government and financial institutions that are secured against farm property or equipment.

The cost of seeding, fertilizing and growing a crop varies by the kind of grain, from about $100 an acre for winter wheat to $250 for canola. So a typical farm of 1,300 acres needs a few hundred thousand dollars to get started, and cannot expect any return for several months.

Leo Meyer, who farms in Peace River, Alta., had borrowed $400,000 from Farm Credit Canada, a Crown corporation that is the country’s biggest agricultural lender, to help pay for last year’s seed and fertilizer.

Farm Credit’s input program offers growers one-year loans to help them start their crops. In response to this season’s grain backlog, Farm Credit extended repayment deadlines by a month to March 15. But farmers who were unable to make that deadline, like Mr. Meyer, found themselves facing massive interest rates.

The interest rate on Mr. Meyer’s outstanding balance of $280,000 went from about 5 per cent to 19.56 per cent, a number he calls “mind boggling.” He was due to meet with a representative of the lender this week, in hopes of coming to a new arrangement.

“They’re saying if things are not paid back this week, then you have no more credit facility to buy the inputs [seed and fertilizer] two weeks before seeding,” he said in an interview from Calgary. “My main concern is how come Farm Credit, a Crown corporation, needs that interest … and can be so completely insensitive.”

Mr. Meyer, a director of Grain Growers of Canada, said he lies awake at night worried about how to afford the massive interest rate while he is still trying to move last year’s crop, which fills 70 storage bins on his farm, on top of getting ready for the heavy job of planting.

“It takes everything you have. One thing you don’t need is this extra strain,” he said, adding he’s not the only farmer in that situation.

A spokesman for Farm Credit said the loans were not intended to be long term, and that 95-per-cent of last year’s $1.4-billion input program was repaid at the extended deadline, a sign the overall farming industry is not in bad health.

“Would we consider another one-month extension this year? No, but that doesn’t mean we won’t look at other options to address individual circumstances,” Trevor Sutter said.

The record crop should have been good news for farmers. The fall harvest, which was 25 per cent to 40 per cent larger than usual thanks to ideal weather, came at a time when commodity prices were fairly strong. And then came the worst winter in decades. For safety reasons, railways ran shorter trains at slower speeds as extreme cold and snow slowed movement on much of North America’s network.

So the grain elevators quickly filled up, and farmers found they had nowhere to truck their crop to. Wheat prices on the Prairies plunged, assuming a grower could find a buyer. And many couldn’t. In Manitoba, where the winter was the harshest, many farmers sold no grain at all.

As winter has eased, the grain has begun to move. But none of the eight grain elevators near Mr. Meyer’s farm are buying grain as they await rail service to make room in their bins. So he has been hauling his crop to an animal feed maker in Vancouver, driving the 2,500-kilometre round trip in his own transport truck six times in the past several days. Hauling grain by truck costs about $50 per tonne more than by rail, but it’s likely he’ll have to make more trips if he hopes to keep selling. He still has enough grain in storage to fill 150 rail cars – or about 300 truck loads.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Ukraine clashes revive wheat price rally

The Ukraine crisis took a turn for the worse as three pro-Russian separatists were killed in an attack on a military base.

That was not so helpful to share markets, which proved mixed in Asia, and opened a little weaker in Europe.

But it was enough to revive futures in wheat, whose performance has become closely linked to events in Ukraine, a major grains exporter. (Including through the port at Mariupol, where the latest attack took place.)

And, in particular, Chicago soft red winter wheat - the speculators' favourite - rose, adding 0.9% to $6.94 a bushel for May as of 10:00 UK time (04:00 Chicago time), as investors returned to injecting risk premium, as opposed to the profit-taking of the last session.

The better-traded July contract returned above $7 a bushel, adding 0.8% to $7.00 ¾ a bushel.

'Concerns in place'

It was notable that Kansas City-traded hard red winter wheat, less sensitive to Ukraine factors, added a more modest 0.6% for July, to $7.65 a bushel, having shed less in the last session too.

For hard red winter wheat, the US weather is also a more major concern, and the dryness afflicting the southern Plains, hard red winter wheat country, although this week's cold snap has affected soft red winter wheat state of Ohio too.

"Concerns are still in place over conditions and quality of the hard red winter wheat and soft red winter wheat crops after the fairly cold temperatures the past couple of days," CHS Hedging said.

That said, "recent weather maps suggest better moisture is on the way now through early next week" for the southern Plains.

'Not impressive'

But how much rain will fall?

While "multiple weather systems will move through the southern Plains over the course of the next 10 days, advertised rain totals and coverage are not impressive", said Brian Henry at Benson Quinn Commodities, if adding that "they do offer some hope".

At RJ O'Brien, Richard Feltes said: "Forecasted weekend rains across US hard red winter wheat belt will halt further deterioration in already-low wheat ratings.

 "But of greater importance are follow up rains in late April/May as water usage rates accelerate during heading/pollination stages."

'Shorts are vulnerable'

Whatever, investors going short on wheat might think twice.

The jump in wheat prices since late January, "underscores the risks associated with shorting a commodity caught in the cross-hairs of a below-normal US Plains rainfall pattern and of escalating geo-political risk in the third largest grain export hub", Mr Feltes said.

"We don't know how the Moscow/Kiev confrontation will play out, but we do know that top-pickers and shorts are vulnerable to potentially explosive events on the ground."

As an extra support, there are some signs of demand for wheat even at these prices, with Japan buying 136,000 tonnes of milling wheat at tender, after Jordan's purchase of 150,000 tonnes earlier in the week.

Ethanol debate

The strength helped a revival in corn too, which gained 0.6% to $5.00 ¼ a bushel for May delivery, and 0.4% to $5.05 ½ a bushel for July.

The grain suffered in the last session from a warmer weather outlook for the US Midwest, potentially speeding up plantings significantly.

However, what was perhaps surprising was the lack of response to strong US ethanol data, with production soaring at one of its fastest paces on record last week, by 4.8% week on week to 939,000 barrels per day.

Inventories actually declined, implying appetite for all that ethanol (and the corn it is made from) and more.

"Production margins remain favourable, the processor is well covered on ownership so assuming outbound rail movement continues to improve strong, grind rates should continue to be seen as the market looks to build up stocks ahead of the summer driving season," Benson Quinn Commodities said.

However, another broker reckoned that "even with strong weekly ethanol numbers, final demand for ethanol is not likely to change anytime soon given the blending wall", which limits the volume of the biofuel the US can take.

'Looking pretty futile'

The grains in fact had trouble restoring a lead over soybeans, which added 0.7% to $15.28 ¾ a bushel for May delivery, and 0.6% to $15.18 ¼ a bushel for July, continuing to feel support from the tightness of the US balance sheet.

US supplies are looking even tighter after surprisingly strong US soybean processing data earlier in the week.

Furthermore, decent Chinese economic data on Wednesday eased some of the concerns over demand from the top soybean importing country.

"The US Department of Agriculture's attempt to lower crush to make US balance sheet balance at pipeline 135m bushels [in terms of end 2013-14 US stocks] is looking pretty futile today," Benson Quinn Commodities said.

Basis argument

That said, the soybean rally does face resistance from more than just profit-taking , with South American growers selling into it.

"Brazilian and Argentine producers have rewarded the rally with active selling," said Benson Quinn noting that this was being reflected in a "sharply lower basis market".

At Country Futures, Darrell Holaday noted that a year ago, also a time of supply concern on soybeans, basis levels were $0.50 a bushel strong in the central Midwest.

"This was the signal that the commercials were long and would stay long in the delivery process and demand delivery.

"That is not the situation this year," Mr Holaday said, saying that this is a "signal that the length is in the funds" in soybeans.

That in turn is "an indication that if the market breaks down technically, it will move lower quickly in the face of fund liquidation."

Data later

Movement later may be largely influenced by weekly US export sales, expected for corn to come in at 550,000-850,000 tonnes for old crop, and 0-150,000 tonnes for new.

For wheat, sales for this season are expected at 50,000-250,000 tonnes, and for 2014-15 at 225,000-375,000 tonnes.

And for soybeans, traders expect potentially net cancellations of 100,000 tonnes for this season, which would help resolve the tightness in the US balance sheet, but with the potential for  positive net sales of 100,000 tonnes.

For 2014-15, sales are expected at 175,000-350,000 tonnes.

Profit-taking ahead of a long weekend for the US, with tomorrow the Good Friday holiday, could prove a factor too.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Canadian Dollar Falls as Central Bank Signals Slow Export Growth

The Canadian dollar touched the lowest level in more than a week after the Bank of Canada said its next move on interest rates could be up or down as a forecast pickup in business investment has been slow to materialize.

The currency fell against most of its major peers as the central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent for the 29th straight policy meeting, as forecast by all 18 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The economy’s recovery “hinges critically” on a shift in demand from indebted consumers to exports and business investment, which will be aided by a weaker Canadian dollar and rising U.S. orders, the bank said as it lowered its growth forecasts for the year.

“The Bank of Canada statement was neutral, but I’d say it tilts towards the dovish, and I think a lower Canadian dollar is certainly an appropriate take from this statement,” said David Watt, chief economist at the Canadian unit of HSBC Holdings Plc. “They are less confident about the export and business investment rotation they’ve talked about.”

The loonie, as the Canadian dollar is known for the image of the aquatic bird on the C$1 coin, depreciated as much as 0.5 percent to C$1.1034 per U.S. dollar, the weakest since April 4, before trading at C$1.1005 at 1:18 p.m. in Toronto, down 0.3 percent. One loonie buys 90.87 U.S. cents.

The Canadian dollar has been the worst-performing of the greenback’s 16 major peers this year as shifts in the Bank of Canada’s outlook prompted bets it would signal a need for easier monetary policy to spur inflation and boost exports.

Growth Outlook

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said he was maintaining his “neutral” view on the direction of the key policy rate despite raising the bank’s inflation forecasts for the year because the pickup in consumer prices was only transitory.

Asked in a press conference following the rate decision if he was shutting the door on lowering his policy interest rate, Poloz said, “No, we are neutral, and that means rate cuts can not be taken off the table at this stage.”

Gross domestic product will expand 2.3 percent this year, the bank said, down from a January forecast of 2.5 percent, on a reduced contribution by business investment. The 2015 growth outlook remained at 2.5 percent, and today’s Monetary Policy Report gave the first estimate of 2016 growth at 2.2 percent. The economy will reach its full capacity over the next two years, the bank forecast.

The bank’s forecast assumes the currency will stay in its recent trading range around 91 U.S. cents.

Inflation Projection

“There’s mention of a 91 cent level as being an area where the bank believes dollar/CAD will remain anchored,” Brad Schruder, director of foreign exchange at Bank of Montreal, said by phone from Toronto. “I suspect that’s why you’re seeing dollar/CAD hang around this C$1.10 level, which is the equivalent of 91 cents.”

The bank moved up its projection of when inflation will return to its 2 percent target to the first quarter of 2015 from the last three months. The core inflation rate won’t reach 2 percent until the start of 2016.

While energy costs are rising and a weaker currency is boosting prices of imported goods, policy makers are focusing on the “subdued” rate of core inflation that excludes volatile items, the bank said.

Inflation has been below the Bank of Canada’s 2 percent target for 22 straight months, registering 1.1 percent on an annualized basis in February.

“He certainly did highlight that they have not ruled out the possibility of rate cuts in Canada and spent a lot of time talking about inflation,” said Camilla Sutton, head of currency strategy at Bank of Nova Scotia, by phone from Toronto. “We have a Bank of Canada that’s neutral, we have one that’s very focused on the Canadian dollar at current levels.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Altstedter in Toronto at aaltstedter@bloomberg.net

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Crop price revival slows fall in US land values

The recovery in crop prices has slowed, but not reversed, the decline in US land prices, a leading survey showed, adding a warning that rising borrowing costs may make even this relief short-lived.

An index of US farmland prices compiled by Creighton University rebounded 2.0 points to 42.9 this month, the first rise since November.

The increase came amid some signs of recovery in the US rural economy overall, said the university, flagging the impact of the revival in crop prices from early-year lows, with Chicago soybean and wheat futures up some 15% so far in 2014, and corn up 17%.

"Recent boosts to agriculture commodity prices should boost the economy in the months ahead," said Creighton economics professor Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey.

'Even more downward pressures'

However, farmland index remained below the 50.0 figure indicating a neutral market.

"This is the fifth straight month that the farmland and ranchland-price index has moved below growth neutral," Professor Goss said, holding out little hope of a sustained recovery.

"With the Federal Reserve continuing to withdraw its economic stimulus, I expect rising interest rates to put even more downward pressures on farmland prices and cash rents." 

He was downbeat over the farm equipment market, despite some recovery, by 7.4 points to a "frail" 36.7 in the index for agricultural machinery sales.

"Agriculture equipment and implement dealers in the agriculture based areas are experiencing very weak sales," he said.

Worst off states

The market in Illinois, the second-ranked corn and soybean producing state, was rated the survey's weakest, with an index reading of 36.2, with South Dakota's pegged at 36.2, and Iowa an Wyoming also achieving low ratings.

Separate figures three weeks ago, from the Realtors Land Institute, showed values in Iowa, the top corn and soybean producing state, falling by 5.4% in the September-to-March period.

The decline reflected "lower commodity prices, higher input costs, increasing interest rates, government regulation uncertainty, and uncertainty of the US and world economy", the institute's Iowa chapter said.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Coal, grain shipments boost Union Pacific profit

* First-quarter rev $5.64 bln vs est $5.70 bln

* Earnings $2.38/share vs est $2.37

* Revenue in agricultural products business up 16 pct (Adds executive comment, details; updates shares)

By Sagarika Jaisinghani

April 17 (Reuters) - Union Pacific Corp, the largest publicly traded U.S. railroad, reported a 14 percent jump in profit as coal shipments, its largest cargo, picked up and the company hauled more grains meant for export to Mexico and China.

Demand for thermal coal is expected to recover in the United States after two years of decline as power producers switch back to coal due to a recent run-up in natural gas prices.

U.S. coal miners Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal Inc said earlier this year that they expected demand for thermal coal to pick up due to severe winter weather, coupled with a fall in inventory levels at utilities.

"Lower inventories will continue to be a driver for our coal business in the second quarter," Eric Butler, executive vice president of Union Pacific's marketing and sales, said on a call with analysts.

Rival Kansas City Southern said on Wednesday coal shipments were better than expected in the first quarter and that it expects that strength to continue in the current quarter.

U.S. railroads are key indicators of the health of an economy because of the variety of goods they transport. Union Pacific connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States.

The pick-up in shipments comes on the back of a severe U.S. winter that hit rail traffic and caused delays up to 48 hours.

Union Pacific's coal shipments rose 7 percent in the first quarter ended March 31. Shipments had dropped 9 percent and 14 percent in the past two years.

Revenue in the company's agricultural business, which ships a range of products such as frozen food, beer, oils and whole grains, rose 16 percent. Total revenue rose 6.6 percent to $5.64 billion.

Net income rose to $1.09 billion, or $2.38 per share, from $957 million, or $2.03 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected earnings of $2.37 per share on revenue of $5.70 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company's shares were down 0.2 percent at $187.4 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The stock has gained more than a third in the past 12 months to Wednesday close, beating a 29 percent rise in the S&P railroads index. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Don Sebastian)

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Putin asserts right to use force in east Ukraine

Putin asserts right to use force in east Ukraine | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

Vladimir Putin has sought to mobilise history in support of Russia's designs on Ukraine, reminding the world that the east of the country was once part of Russia, and warning that his parliament had given him the right to intervene militarily if confrontation escalates.

In a four-hour, meticulously stagecrafted question and answer session with Russian citizens on live television, Putin denied that Russian forces are on the ground in the towns and cities of eastern Ukraine, parts of which have been taken over in recent days by armed men, but pointedly did not rule out sending in troops in future.

Accusing the Kiev authorities of pulling the country into an "abyss", he called on Ukraine to pull back its heavy artillery from the east of the country, asking: "Who are you going to use it against? Have you completely lost your marbles?"

"The Federation Council granted the president the right to use military force in Ukraine," he said, referring to the upper house of parliament. "I really hope that I do not have to exercise this right and that we are able to solve all today's pressing issues via political and diplomatic means," Putin said.

Putin referred to the region in question by its tsarist name "Novorossiya", or "New Russia", as it was referred to in the 19th century under tsarist rule, and suggested it was a historical mistake to hand it over to Ukraine.

"It's new Russia," he told millions of watchers "Kharkiv, Lugansk, Donetsk, Odessa were not part of Ukraine in tsarist times, they were transferred in 1920. Why? God knows. Then for various reasons these areas were gone, and the people stayed there – we need to encourage them to find a solution."

Asked on several occasions during the annual public address whether Russia had sent troops into eastern Ukraine over the past few days, Putin said: "It's all nonsense, there are no special units, special forces or instructors there." The bands of men, in unmarked green military uniforms, who have seized tanks from Ukrainian forces were local residents, he said.

But he admitted that Russian units had been involved in wresting Crimea from Kiev's control last month.

"Our servicemen stood behind the back of Crimea's self-defence forces," Putin said. "They acted politely, but resolutely and professionally. There was no other way to hold the referendum in an open, honest and honorable way and allow the people to express their opinion."

As talks opened in Geneva with representatives from the EU, US, Russia and Ukraine, he said that the talks were important but added that a resolution to the crisis would not emerge during compromise talks between US and Russia, but needed to be found in Ukraine itself.

He added: "I'm sure we will come to a mutual understanding with Ukraine. We will not be able to do without each other," he said.

Though the televised session was generally comfortable for Putin, with Ukraine dominating the exchanges, not all the questions were straightforward. One Crimean asked the president when he would sort out a currency and banking mess that has emerged as the territory shifts to Russian control. Putin promised that the process of switching Crimea's banking system to the rouble would be speeded up, and he promised a series of substantial rises for pensioners in Ukraine. "They will feel the advantage of joining the Russian federation materially," he said.

Another question broached his marital status following his divorce from his wife Lyudmila. His response was elliptical. "First I need to let my former wife, Lyudmila Alexandrovna, marry, and only then will I think about it myself."

Putin veered between wanting to appear conciliatory and retreating into hostile anti-American rhetoric. He said the annexation of Crimea was partly triggered by Nato expansion.

"We were once promised in Munich that after the unification of Germany no expansion of Nato would happen to the east. Then it started to expand by adding former Warsaw pact countries, former USSR countries. I asked: 'Why are you doing that?' They told me it is not your business; people and nations have the right to chose how they defend themselves.

"Will they drag Ukraine into Nato? If Nato goes there, Russia will be pushed out from the area around the Black Sea. This is pushing out Russia from this important part of the world. Let's not be afraid of anything, but we should take that into account, and respond accordingly."

The Russian news agency Itar Tass said 2m questions had been posed on the internet before the session and ranged in subject matter from the escalating crisis in Ukraine to the Russian economy, child benefits, housing and corruption. Most of the questions selected for Putin to answer on live television were gentle, and were often prefaced with messages of gratitude to the president for the way he was handling the situation in Ukraine.

There were moments of strange humour. Putin was asked if he was planning to "acquire Alaska". He reminded viewers that Russia had sold Alaska for a cheap price to the US in the 19th century, but said there were no plans to restore it to Russian territory. "What would you need Alaska for?" he asked.

Asked about Victor Yanukovich's decision to flee to Russia from Ukraine as unrest unfolded, Putin was asked whether he would have fought to the last drop of blood if he found himself in a similar situation.

"A person makes a decision in a critical situation, based on his life experience and values. I used to work in the KGB – we had our special training. Part of that training is that you have to be absolutely loyal to your country and state."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Bloodshed in Ukraine as Putin warns of ‘abyss,’ Europe presses peace

Bloodshed in Ukraine as Putin warns of ‘abyss,’ Europe presses peace | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

Separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard overnight and Kiev said three separatists were killed, the worst bloodshed yet in a 10-day pro-Russian uprising in eastern Ukraine, overshadowing crisis talks to resolve the conflict.

Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Geneva, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine, while Moscow masses tens of thousands of troops on the frontier.

President Vladimir Putin, who overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia’s right to intervene in neighboring countries and annexing Ukraine’s Crimea region, accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an “abyss.”

MARIUPOL: UKRAINIANS COME UNDER FIRE

At the national guard headquarters in Mariupol, there was clear evidence that the building had come under attack.

A single grey police jeep was inside the compound on Thursday morning with broken windows, flat tires and bent doors. The gates of the compound had been flattened. There were shell casings outside the gates and several unused petrol bombs.

“They came here around 8:15 p.m., demanding that we surrender our weapons and join the people. There were some women with them, but then they left,” said police major Oleksandr Kolesnichenko, deputy commander of the base. “Then they used a truck to break through the gate. There was some incoming fire. I could not see who was shooting – it was dark,” he said. “We fired first in the air. We fired warning shots after they entered the compound. We had no casualties. We are safe.”

A separatist representative, who gave his name only as Sergei, said there had been a peaceful rally at the base. “We had a peaceful rally to urge the police to join the people. The commander of the compound warned he would order troops to shoot to kill. Then there was shooting. Some people came with Molotov cocktails. We have verified that one person is dead and more than 10 wounded.”

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said an armed group of about 300 separatists attacked the base with guns and gas bombs. Three separatists were killed and 13 wounded, he said. No guardsmen were hurt.

RUSSIA: PUTIN SEES ‘GRAVE CRIME’ IN KIEV

In a sign Russia is invested in international crisis talks being held in Geneva, Putin said that it was an illusion that force can solve all problems in international affairs.

“The Federation Council [Russia’s upper legislative house] granted the president the right to use military force in Ukraine. I really hope that I do not have to exercise this right and that we are able to solve all today’s pressing issues via political and diplomatic means,” Putin said in a televised question-and-answer session with the Russian public that has become an annual event. “We must do everything to help these people [in eastern Ukraine] defend their rights and independently determine their own destiny. This is what we’re going to push for.”

Putin, who dismissed as “rubbish” accusations that Russian agents were acting in east Ukraine, said he hopes Kiev’s current leaders “are able to realize what a pit, what an abyss the current authorities are in and dragging the country into.”

On Thursday, Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister accused Putin of trying to sabotage the country’s upcoming presidential election and said Moscow was responsible for deaths in recent clashes in eastern Ukraine. “Russia is playing only one game: further aggravation, further provocation, because the task, that Putin today officially announced, is to wreck the presidential election on May 25,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk told journalists in Kiev.

GENEVA: DIPLOMATS SEEK DE-ESCALATION

High-level talks aimed at calming soaring tensions over the crisis in Ukraine went into overtime on Thursday with top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine attempting to forge a common position on how to de-escalate the situation.

A Russian official said participants in the four-way meeting were working on a “substantial” statement to be presented publicly. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russian’s foreign ministry, said diplomats have begun working on a possible statement with agreed upon points.

Obama administration officials tamped down any expectations that the meetings in Geneva would yield a breakthrough or Russian concessions meaningful enough to avoid new U.S. penalties. And French President Francois Hollande said Thursday the goal was to de-escalate the situation, but that the West had alternatives.

“We can raise the level of sanctions if there isn’t a solution, but this isn’t what we want,” Hollande said in a statement from Paris. “What we want is to reach a de-escalation.”

PUTIN VS. SNOWDEN ON SURVEILLANCE

President Vladimir Putin told Edward Snowden on that Russia does not carry out indiscriminate surveillance on its citizens, responding to a question the former U.S. spy agency contractor asked in Thursday's televised Q&A session.

The government regulates communications as part of criminal investigations, but “on a massive scale, on an uncontrolled scale we certainly do not allow this and I hope we will never allow it,” Putin told Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia last year.

BRUSSELS: EU OPEN TO GAS-SECURITY TALKS

The European Union is willing to hold talks with Russia and Ukraine on gas security, it said in reply to a letter from Putin in which he warned of gas supply disruption.

“We believe that this approach allows for the most useful process with the Russian Federation and other third parties,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in his reply to Putin, released by the European Commission on Thursday.

Putin said on Thursday it would not be possible for Europe to stop buying Russian gas and that he was hopeful a deal could be reached with Ukraine on gas supply.

“We sell gas in European countries which have around 30-35 percent of their gas balance covered by supplies from Russia. Can they stop buying Russian gas? In my opinion it is impossible,” he said.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Bayer CropScience opens North American Bee Care Center

Bayer CropScience opens North American Bee Care Center | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it
In celebration of Bayer CropScience’s more than 25-year commitment to pollinator health, the company celebrated the grand opening of its North American Bee Care Center, at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park. The $2.4 million center brings together significant technological, scientific and academic resources, with goals of promoting improved honey bee health, product stewardship and sustainable agriculture. A 6,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, the Center will complement the Eastern Bee Care Technology Station in Clayton, N.C., and a Bee Care Center at the joint global headquarters campus of Bayer CropScience and Bayer Animal Health in Monheim, Germany.

The North American Bee Care Center, part of the company’s $12 million investment in bee health in 2014, brings together some of the brightest minds in agriculture and apiology to develop comprehensive solutions for bee health. This includes entomologists and apiarists, graduate researchers and more, all of whom are invested in the continuation of Bayer CropScience’s commitment to honey bee health excellence. The North American Bee Care Center team includes Becky Langer, Bee Care program manager; Dick Rogers, M.Sc., bee health expert and manager, Bee Care Center Research Program; Dr. Ana Cabrera, pollinator safety and varroa mite research scientist; Sarah Myers, apiarist and event manager, Bee Care Center; Kim Huntzinger, bee health laboratory diagnostic specialist; Sadye Howald, field apiarist in Indiana; and Jim Dempster, apiarist at Eastern Bee Care Center Technology Station in Clayton, N.C.  

The center houses a full laboratory with a teaching and research apiary, honey extraction and hive maintenance space; interactive learning center; and meeting, training and presentation facilities for beekeepers, farmers and educators, as well as office space for a full staff and graduate students. On-site honey bee colonies, pollinator-friendly gardens and a screened hive observation area serve to further education and collaboration that will foster significant improvement in honey bee health and stewardship measures and best management practices.

“Honey bees are essential to modern agriculture production, and our North American Bee Care Center will help facilitate the research needed to help honey bees meet the increasing global demand for crop pollination,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP. “Healthy honey bees mean a more substantial and nutritious food supply for us all, and we understand the many complex issues affecting honey bees’ ability to thrive, including disease, parasites such as Varroa mites, genetics and more.”

A hub for worldwide honey bee health initiatives, the Center supports scientific research and development, and education of the public on honey bees’ integral role in agriculture. The Center serves as a hub for premier technological, scientific and academic resources to protect and improve honey bee health and sustainable agriculture. Additionally, the North American Bee Care Center is targeting LEED Silver certification. The environmentally sustainable facility will help Bayer CropScience reduce its carbon footprint in an effort to promote corporate environmental stewardship. Products and technology developed at the Center will control parasitic mites in honey bee hives, help manage a Healthy Bees program, assess the safety of crop protection products to bees, and much more. Other activities conducted on-site include a Sentinel Hive monitoring program, varroagate testing and development, Varroa resistance monitoring and varroacide screening.

“Bayer CropScience actively seeks to promote bee-responsible use of Bayer products through worldwide communication activities and education,” said Blome. “What we are developing here will serve not only to protect honey bees and their ability to effectively pollinate crops but will also help us leave a better world, one hive and one harvest at a time.”

As part of the grand opening celebration, Bayer CropScience is launching the “Color Me Bee-autifully” coloring contest, a learning opportunity for educators, parents and students. The contest will include an online component, where students ages 12 and under nationwide can enter their “pollinator-friendly” artwork, which will be displayed at the Center throughout May and June. Locally, students in elementary school classrooms in the greater Raleigh-Durham area will be asked to participate as well, and will have the chance for their artwork to be displayed at the Center during July. The Center will rotate pictures on a regular basis to provide students with an opportunity to have their artwork on a display wall. Local participating classes will have a chance to be chosen for a scientist from Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense program to visit their class and conduct a hands-on science experiment.

For more information on the North American Bee Care Center and Bayer CropScience’s commitment to honey bee health, visit http://www.bayercropscience.us/our-commitment/bee-health.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Bécancour fertilizer plant gets green light from Quebec

Bécancour fertilizer plant gets green light from Quebec | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

MONTREAL — A $1.6-billion nitrogen fertilizer project destined for the Bécancour Industrial Park 125 kilometres northeast of Montreal passed a key milestone Wednesday with full authorization from the province.

IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative and La Co-op Fédérée, the Quebec-based national agri-food giant owned by 90,000 farm members, with backing from Investissement Québec, have been planning the project for three years.

“We’re in the final stages of engineering, procurement and construction studies by Ganotec Inc. of Trois-Rivières, and when the work is completed this year we’ll be able to announce a date for the construction start,” said Simon Pillarella, a vice-president of IFFCO Canada. Commissioning is expected in 2017.

The project will provide 1,000 or more construction jobs and about 250 permanent jobs once in production, Pillarella said.

The plant will be housed in the former Norsk Hydro magnesium metal plant (now owned by IFFCO Canada) and have ship-loading facilities at the deepwater Port of Bécancour. It will have estimated annual capacity of 1.3 million to 1.6 million tonnes of granular and liquid urea and 760,000 tonnes of DES, a specialized product used in diesel engine fuels to reduce emissions.

The plant’s technology, using electric power besides natural gas to achieve a better environmental performance, will be supplied by international specialist Maire Tecnimont of Italy, the company said. Ganotec, a unit of U.S. construction giant Kiewit Corp., is a leading contender to provide turnkey engineering, procurement and construction management services.

The project is 56 per cent owned by IFFCO Canada, 23 per cent by Coop Fédérée, with 21 per cent shared by Investissement Québec and Pacific Gateway Energy, an IFFCO India associated investment company.

IFFCO Canada plans to sell the urea fertilizer to farmers in Quebec, across Canada and in the U.S. and to international markets. Quebec will become a fertilizer exporter for the first time, it said.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Big Pat's Commodities Blog 2014 APRIL 16

SETTLEMENTS-2014 APRIL 16 WEDNESDAY
-market=where supply/demand is being priced
-trendline joins (lows=uptrend) (highs=dntrend)=relative strength 
-move=direction=using range of high and low prices
-trading=occurring in+relative to-width of high/low price range
-targets-price projections (up) or (dn) in the direction trading

Corn-  end stocks-13/14=158.00mmt (72.20 in china)
trendline-(up)+open interest-(dn)+supply-(un)  =less bullish
trading-(dn)-no acceleration-net selling below 500+@t/line support
targets, 453-469-500-532                          =less bullish


Wheat- end stocks-13/14=186.68mmt (58.18 in china)
trendline- (dn)+open interest-(dn)+supply-(up)  =bearish
trading-(up)-deceleration-net selling-testing+closed@t/line support
targets, 562-650-700-751                        =bearish sign


Soybeans- end stocks-13/14=69.42mmt (13.70 in china)
trendline-(up)+open interest (up)+supply-(dn)  =bullish
trading-(up)-deceleration-buying above t/line@1527 resistance
targets, 1446-1473-1527-1581                =test of bullish             

Cdlr-  net commitments: users-less long, funds-less shorttrendline-(dn)+open interest-(flat)
trading-(dn)-acceleration-net selling below support@9091
targets 9091-8914-8618-8382                 =bearish/possible bullish


Heating oil- net commitments: -users less short-funds less long         
trendline-(up)+open interest-(up)            =bullish
trading-(up)-acceleration+net buying above t/line-resistance@306
targets 289-295-306-317                          =bullish
                                       
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Ukraine clashes revive wheat price rally

The Ukraine crisis took a turn for the worse as three pro-Russian separatists were killed in an attack on a military base.

That was not so helpful to share markets, which proved mixed in Asia, and opened a little weaker in Europe.

But it was enough to revive futures in wheat, whose performance has become closely linked to events in Ukraine, a major grains exporter. (Including through the port at Mariupol, where the latest attack took place.)

And, in particular, Chicago soft red winter wheat - the speculators' favourite - rose, adding 0.9% to $6.94 a bushel for May as of 10:00 UK time (04:00 Chicago time), as investors returned to injecting risk premium, as opposed to the profit-taking of the last session.

The better-traded July contract returned above $7 a bushel, adding 0.8% to $7.00 ¾ a bushel.

'Concerns in place'

It was notable that Kansas City-traded hard red winter wheat, less sensitive to Ukraine factors, added a more modest 0.6% for July, to $7.65 a bushel, having shed less in the last session too.

For hard red winter wheat, the US weather is also a more major concern, and the dryness afflicting the southern Plains, hard red winter wheat country, although this week's cold snap has affected soft red winter wheat state of Ohio too.

"Concerns are still in place over conditions and quality of the hard red winter wheat and soft red winter wheat crops after the fairly cold temperatures the past couple of days," CHS Hedging said.

That said, "recent weather maps suggest better moisture is on the way now through early next week" for the southern Plains.

'Not impressive'

But how much rain will fall?

While "multiple weather systems will move through the southern Plains over the course of the next 10 days, advertised rain totals and coverage are not impressive", said Brian Henry at Benson Quinn Commodities, if adding that "they do offer some hope".

At RJ O'Brien, Richard Feltes said: "Forecasted weekend rains across US hard red winter wheat belt will halt further deterioration in already-low wheat ratings.

 "But of greater importance are follow up rains in late April/May as water usage rates accelerate during heading/pollination stages."

'Shorts are vulnerable'

Whatever, investors going short on wheat might think twice.

The jump in wheat prices since late January, "underscores the risks associated with shorting a commodity caught in the cross-hairs of a below-normal US Plains rainfall pattern and of escalating geo-political risk in the third largest grain export hub", Mr Feltes said.

"We don't know how the Moscow/Kiev confrontation will play out, but we do know that top-pickers and shorts are vulnerable to potentially explosive events on the ground."

As an extra support, there are some signs of demand for wheat even at these prices, with Japan buying 136,000 tonnes of milling wheat at tender, after Jordan's purchase of 150,000 tonnes earlier in the week.

Ethanol debate

The strength helped a revival in corn too, which gained 0.6% to $5.00 ¼ a bushel for May delivery, and 0.4% to $5.05 ½ a bushel for July.

The grain suffered in the last session from a warmer weather outlook for the US Midwest, potentially speeding up plantings significantly.

However, what was perhaps surprising was the lack of response to strong US ethanol data, with production soaring at one of its fastest paces on record last week, by 4.8% week on week to 939,000 barrels per day.

Inventories actually declined, implying appetite for all that ethanol (and the corn it is made from) and more.

"Production margins remain favourable, the processor is well covered on ownership so assuming outbound rail movement continues to improve strong, grind rates should continue to be seen as the market looks to build up stocks ahead of the summer driving season," Benson Quinn Commodities said.

However, another broker reckoned that "even with strong weekly ethanol numbers, final demand for ethanol is not likely to change anytime soon given the blending wall", which limits the volume of the biofuel the US can take.

'Looking pretty futile'

The grains in fact had trouble restoring a lead over soybeans, which added 0.7% to $15.28 ¾ a bushel for May delivery, and 0.6% to $15.18 ¼ a bushel for July, continuing to feel support from the tightness of the US balance sheet.

US supplies are looking even tighter after surprisingly strong US soybean processing data earlier in the week.

Furthermore, decent Chinese economic data on Wednesday eased some of the concerns over demand from the top soybean importing country.

"The US Department of Agriculture's attempt to lower crush to make US balance sheet balance at pipeline 135m bushels [in terms of end 2013-14 US stocks] is looking pretty futile today," Benson Quinn Commodities said.

Basis argument

That said, the soybean rally does face resistance from more than just profit-taking , with South American growers selling into it.

"Brazilian and Argentine producers have rewarded the rally with active selling," said Benson Quinn noting that this was being reflected in a "sharply lower basis market".

At Country Futures, Darrell Holaday noted that a year ago, also a time of supply concern on soybeans, basis levels were $0.50 a bushel strong in the central Midwest.

"This was the signal that the commercials were long and would stay long in the delivery process and demand delivery.

"That is not the situation this year," Mr Holaday said, saying that this is a "signal that the length is in the funds" in soybeans.

That in turn is "an indication that if the market breaks down technically, it will move lower quickly in the face of fund liquidation."

Data later

Movement later may be largely influenced by weekly US export sales, expected for corn to come in at 550,000-850,000 tonnes for old crop, and 0-150,000 tonnes for new.

For wheat, sales for this season are expected at 50,000-250,000 tonnes, and for 2014-15 at 225,000-375,000 tonnes.

And for soybeans, traders expect potentially net cancellations of 100,000 tonnes for this season, which would help resolve the tightness in the US balance sheet, but with the potential for  positive net sales of 100,000 tonnes.

For 2014-15, sales are expected at 175,000-350,000 tonnes.

Profit-taking ahead of a long weekend for the US, with tomorrow the Good Friday holiday, could prove a factor too.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Soybeans at 10-Month High as Record Crush Erodes U.S. Supplies

Soybeans extended their climb to the highest level in more than 10 months after a report showed record demand from U.S. mills, boosting concern that supplies from the world’s second-biggest exporter would be reduced.

Soybeans for July delivery rose as much as 0.8 percent to $15.2025 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest price for a most-active contract since June 6. Futures were at $15.17 by 2:49 p.m. in Singapore, rising for a fourth day and taking this year’s increase to 17 percent.

Processors crushed 153.84 million bushels in March, up 12 percent from a year earlier and the most for the month since at least 1998, the National Oilseed Processors Association reported April 15. Domestic stockpiles at the end of August will be 135 million bushels, less than the 145 million bushels forecast in March and below 141 million last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week.

Soybean prices are “supported by worsening tightness in U.S. soybean supplies,” Luke Mathews, a commodity Strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a note today. Slightly better-than-expected Chinese economic data has also supported “improved sentiment within the oilseed market and helped traders turn a blind eye to recent reports of Chinese soybean cancellations” and defaults, he said.

Importers in China, the biggest buyer, may default on as much as 2 million metric tons of shipments, according to the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s Beijing office. The country’s gross domestic product rose 7.4 percent in the first quarter, government data showed yesterday. The median estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey was 7.3 percent.

The premium of July old-crop beans over the new-crop November contract has more than doubled to $2.7425 a bushel from $1.295 at the end of last year.

Wheat for July delivery rose 1.2 percent to $7.035 a bushel. Corn advanced 0.6 percent to $5.065 a bushel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne atpsedgman2@bloomberg.net

 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

U.S. Grain Losses Seen Up to $6.3 Billion on China Ban

China’s rejection of U.S. grain grown with seeds genetically modified by Syngenta AG may cost U.S. growers as much as $6.3 billion in losses through August 2015, a U.S. trade group estimated.

The Asian nation turned away at least 1.45 million metric tons of corn since late November, “substantially greater” than the 908,800 reported by the Chinese government, the National Grain & Feed Association, based in Washington, said today in a statement. The grain contained a gene developed by Basel, Switzerland’s Syngenta, and that MIR 162 variety hasn’t been approved by China.

The “zero-tolerance policy” by China has cost as much as $2.9 billion in corn, distiller grain and soybean revenue, the U.S. group said, and as much as an additional $3.4 billion may be lost in the 12 months starting Sept. 1 after Syngenta offers another modified corn seed still to be approved by China and several other countries.

“All of us are very hopeful that China will soon approve” the MIR 162 trait, Randall Gordon, the president of the trade group, said in a telephone interview. “Growers need to weigh the benefits of the access to new technology with what their markets are.”

Prices Depressed

The group estimates that benchmark U.S. corn prices are 11 cents a bushel lower because of the trade discord. Some U.S. soybean shipments were canceled by China after tests for MIR 162, and prices probably fell 15 cents a bushel, the association said.

Cancellations to date cost in a range of $1 billion to $2.9 billion, and the introduction of the new seed that hasn’t been approved may lead to losses from $1.2 billion to $3.4 billion, the group said.

On the Chicago Board of Trade today, corn futures for July delivery fell 1.2 percent to settle at $5.035. The grain has advanced 19 percent this year, entering a bull market on March 31 as export sales climbed and record-high cattle and hog prices boosted prospects for demand in livestock-feed rations.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 1.4 percent to $15.0875, capping the biggest three-day rally since November as demand from U.S. mills climbed to a record. The oilseed has gained 17 percent this year.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, and China is the biggest oilseed importer.

The U.S. is the leading corn exporter and second-biggest soybean shipper, trailing Brazil.

More than 1,050 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other related companies belong to the National Grain & Feed Association.

 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Pork price rebound rallies CME hogs; cattle firm

CHICAGO, April 16 (Reuters) – Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures on Wednesday settled higher after a choppy day of trading, supported by unexpectedly strong demand for pork at wholesale, traders said.

Wednesday morning’s wholesale pork price turned $2.38 per hundredweight higher at $124.11, after falling $2.68 the day before, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Grocers may be buying pork to feature after the Easter holiday, traders and analysts said. Also, production cutbacks at packing plants reduced the flow of fresh pork into the retail sector, which lifted wholesale values, they said.

Some packers curbed slaughter rates to offset supplies lost to the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.

A few packing plants will be dark on Easter Monday. That will limit their need for hogs, which pressured cash prices and initially weighed on the May hog contract.

USDA data showed the morning’s average price of hogs in western Midwest market down $3.22 per cwt. from Tuesday to $114.12.

CME hog futures made further headway, supported by their discounts to the exchange’s hog index at 124.12 cents.

Fund buying developed after nearby trading months broke through key moving average technical levels.

May hogs settled up 1.375 cent per pound to 122.875, above the 20-day moving average of 122.223 cents.

Most actively traded June ended at 123.775 cents, 1.250 cents higher. It surpassed the 10-day and 40-day moving average convergence level of 121.791 cents.

LIVE CATTLE FUTURES RISE

CME live cattle moved up in quiet trading, helped by their discounts to last week’s prices for slaughter-ready or cash cattle, traders said.

Technical related buying developed after June and August punched their 10-day moving averages of 135.608 cents and 133.345 cents, respectively.

Investors played it close to the vest while waiting for cattle in the cash market to change hands this week.

Last week, cash cattle in Texas and Kansas moved at $147 per cwt, and at mostly $150 in Nebraska, feedlot sources said.

Improved wholesale beef prices and packers buying supplies for the first full week of post-Easter holiday slaughters may underpin cash cattle prices, traders said.

Poor packer margins and a season supply increase work against cash cattle values, they said.

Wednesday morning’s wholesale choice beef price gained 30 cents per cwt. from Tuesday to $223.16. Select cuts rose 82 cents to $213.96, based on USDA data.

Beef packer margins for Wednesday were an estimated negative $116.75 per head, compared with a negative $121.80 on Tuesday and a negative $111.20 a week ago, as calculated by Colorado-based analytics firm HedgersEdge.com.

April live cattle closed up 0.475 cent per lb. to 145.750 cents. June ended up 0.200 cent to 135.625 cents, and above the 10-day moving average of 135.600 cents.

CME feeder cattle traded nearly par with the exchange’s feeder cattle index at 179.63 cents. Other feeder cattle contracts drew support from the firm live cattle market and lower corn prices.

April, which will expire on April 17, closed up 0.025 cent per lb. to 179.250 cents.

May finished up 0.125 cent to 179.900 cents, and August 0.400 cent higher at 182.975 cents.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Stéphane Bisaillon
Scoop.it!

Pro-Russian militants killed in clash at Ukraine port city

Pro-Russian militants killed in clash at Ukraine port city | Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar) | Scoop.it

As much of last year’s record crop sits unsold, financially stretched Western Canadian grain farmers are scrambling to secure funding for the coming planting season.

Every spring, farmers must pay for seed, fertilizer and other goods to get on with the next cycle of crops. But that’s proving difficult for many this year, amid a rail backlog that has prevented much of last year’s crop from getting to market and bringing in badly needed cash.

Already, about 2,300 farmers have taken cash advances totalling $183-million just two weeks into the start of a yearly program backed by the federal government. Last season’s program, which ended March 31, saw demand rise by 50 per cent. The rush for financing underscores the difficulties farmers are facing to keep their operations afloat.

“The desperation for cash continues,” said Rick White, a Saskatchewan farmer and head of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, which runs Ottawa’s cash advance program for growers of wheat, canola and other grains in Western Canada. The program allows farmers to borrow up to $400,000 for 18 months. The federal government pays the interest on the first $100,000 loan, which is secured by the farm’s seeded land or by the value of crop in storage, and the rest bears regular borrowing costs.

“Four-hundred-thousand sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t go very far,” said Mr. White, adding most farmers also have other lines of credit and loans through government and financial institutions that are secured against farm property or equipment.

The cost of seeding, fertilizing and growing a crop varies by the kind of grain, from about $100 an acre for winter wheat to $250 for canola. So a typical farm of 1,300 acres needs a few hundred thousand dollars to get started, and cannot expect any return for several months.

Leo Meyer, who farms in Peace River, Alta., had borrowed $400,000 from Farm Credit Canada, a Crown corporation that is the country’s biggest agricultural lender, to help pay for last year’s seed and fertilizer.

Farm Credit’s input program offers growers one-year loans to help them start their crops. In response to this season’s grain backlog, Farm Credit extended repayment deadlines by a month to March 15. But farmers who were unable to make that deadline, like Mr. Meyer, found themselves facing massive interest rates.

The interest rate on Mr. Meyer’s outstanding balance of $280,000 went from about 5 per cent to 19.56 per cent, a number he calls “mind boggling.” He was due to meet with a representative of the lender this week, in hopes of coming to a new arrangement.

“They’re saying if things are not paid back this week, then you have no more credit facility to buy the inputs [seed and fertilizer] two weeks before seeding,” he said in an interview from Calgary. “My main concern is how come Farm Credit, a Crown corporation, needs that interest … and can be so completely insensitive.”

Mr. Meyer, a director of Grain Growers of Canada, said he lies awake at night worried about how to afford the massive interest rate while he is still trying to move last year’s crop, which fills 70 storage bins on his farm, on top of getting ready for the heavy job of planting.

“It takes everything you have. One thing you don’t need is this extra strain,” he said, adding he’s not the only farmer in that situation.

A spokesman for Farm Credit said the loans were not intended to be long term, and that 95-per-cent of last year’s $1.4-billion input program was repaid at the extended deadline, a sign the overall farming industry is not in bad health.

“Would we consider another one-month extension this year? No, but that doesn’t mean we won’t look at other options to address individual circumstances,” Trevor Sutter said.

The record crop should have been good news for farmers. The fall harvest, which was 25 per cent to 40 per cent larger than usual thanks to ideal weather, came at a time when commodity prices were fairly strong. And then came the worst winter in decades. For safety reasons, railways ran shorter trains at slower speeds as extreme cold and snow slowed movement on much of North America’s network.

So the grain elevators quickly filled up, and farmers found they had nowhere to truck their crop to. Wheat prices on the Prairies plunged, assuming a grower could find a buyer. And many couldn’t. In Manitoba, where the winter was the harshest, many farmers sold no grain at all.

As winter has eased, the grain has begun to move. But none of the eight grain elevators near Mr. Meyer’s farm are buying grain as they await rail service to make room in their bins. So he has been hauling his crop to an animal feed maker in Vancouver, driving the 2,500-kilometre round trip in his own transport truck six times in the past several days. Hauling grain by truck costs about $50 per tonne more than by rail, but it’s likely he’ll have to make more trips if he hopes to keep selling. He still has enough grain in storage to fill 150 rail cars – or about 300 truck loads.

more...
No comment yet.