Archived Posts

News Flash: September 17, 2015


India Boosts Cooking Oil Imports as El Nino Hurts Oilseed Crops
Cooking oil purchases by India rose in August after palm oil prices slumped to a six-year low and a dry spell hurt domestic oilseed crops. Imports, including those for industrial use, jumped 3 percent to 1.37 million metric tons last month from a year earlier, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. That compares with the median estimate of 1.36 million tons in a Bloomberg survey. Overseas purchases of crude and refined palm oils totaled 810,594 tons, less than the 845,000 tons predicted in the survey. Palm imports since November are 19 percent higher than a year earlier. Bloomberg Business

NSF International launches suite of GMO transparency services – Options include Non-GMO Project and NSF Non-GMO True North
Responding to industry and consumer demand for non-GMO certification options, NSF International, the not-for-profit public health and standard development organization, has launched NSF Non-GMO True North.  NSF International’s newest certification offering expands its suite of GMO transparency services for retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and producers. The new non-GMO certification, available through NSF International’s Consumer Values Verified™ Program, is offered in addition to Non-GMO Project verification. NSF Non-GMO True North certification utilizes elements of global and domestic GMO labeling regulations, including EU and Vermont GMO labeling requirements. SeedQuest

China to investigate illegal domestic GMO crops
China will launch a nation-wide investigation over the suspected illegal cultivation of genetically-modified (GMO) crops, the agriculture ministry has posted on its website. The investigation follows a report by an official financial newspaper this week that GMO soybeans have been found in the country’s top growing area for the oilseed. China is the world’s top buyer of GMO soybeans, but Beijing has not given the go-ahead for domestic cultivation of GMO crops, although it has spent billions on research. Ag Professional


Seeds Sown in Asia for Big Biofuel Market, Says Renmatix CEO
Asia is emerging as a big potential market for the new technology of making biofuels from plant debris, with several possible production deals in the offing around the region. That, at least, is the hope of Mike Hamilton, chief executive of U.S.-based Renmatix, a privately-owned company that specializes in the field. During a visit to New Delhi Wednesday, Mr. Hamilton told The Wall Street Journal that countries such as India and China were looking to reduce their reliance on imported crude oil, making them strong natural candidates to increase their use of biofuels they can produce at home to help meet their burgeoning energy needs. Wall Street Journal


Canola growers hanging on to supplies
Canadian farmers are hanging on to their canola supplies in a quest to draw out better prices. The January canola contract was the most consistent mover over the week, finishing higher for the seventh consecutive session on Wednesday. “Producers are not selling it or the grain companies aren’t hedging it, which isn’t likely; so the producers are long,” said Wayne Palmer of Agri-Trend Marketing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He noted the open interest didn’t appear to be moving upward even though “the funds are short 35,000 contracts.” The Western Producer


Corn gains after USDA trims crop estimates
Corn prices jumped to a more-than two-week high after federal forecasters trimmed their estimate for U.S. production of the grain this autumn following adverse weather in parts of the Midwest. Corn futures CZ5, -1.28%  rose nearly 2% after the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected corn output at 13.585 billion bushels, down from its estimate last month of 13.686 billion. Prices climbed sharply even though analysts had expected an even deeper cut in production, to about 13.5 billion bushels. Market Watch


MPOB, Partners Identify Genetic Secrets to Improve Palm Oil Yield
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and its research partners from the United States have identified genetic secrets to improve oil yield via the use of oil palm clones. “Through the research on the oil palm genome, we have identified a transposable element named ‘Karma’, which is responsible for the low-yielding mantled fruit. “The discovery has led to the development of a simple, leaf based test that can identify ‘Bad Karma’ and predict mantling before palms are planted in the field,” MPOB said in a statement today. Bernama Business News

Palm oil nut growers demand price support
Palm tree planters have again asked the government for price support to guarantee them an income equivalent to 3.38 baht a kilogramme for fresh palm nuts. Planters’ representatives gathered in the provincial hall on Tuesday to make their latest demand after earlier attempts to get assistance from the government brought no response. Somporn Sripetch, president of Nakhon Si Thammarat Palm Planters Association said they wanted the Agriculture Ministry to make up the difference if they have to sell palm nuts in the market at less than 3.28 baht/kg, which they see as the production cost price. Bangkok Post


Physical supply of responsible soy (based on FEFAC sourcing guidelines) could be close to fruition
If the commitment of farmers and traders to FEFAC’s new soy scheme yardstick is anything to go by, there could be greater availability of responsibly produced soy in Europe within the next 12 months. We caught up with Ruud Tijssens, president of the European feed manufacturers’ federation (FEFAC), as that group announced the availability of the new benchmarking tool it has formulated together with the International Trade Center (ITC), the joint agency of the UN and the WTO. Feed Navigator