Archived Posts

News Flash: December 3, 2015


Soft commodities to the fore as El Niño hits Apac grain prices
El Niño’s effect on weather patterns and China’s economic slowdown may have a significant impact on grain prices, while Asia’s main “soft” commodities will rally over the coming year, a new report predicts. Food Navigator


An Embattled EPA Declares Biofuels Volumes for 2016
The EPA called on Monday for an increase in the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels blended into the nation’s overall fuel supply next year, but stopped far short of mandating the volume of biofuels once envisioned for 2016. The agency has been walking a tightrope between the demands of ethanol producers, who have generally supported the ever increasing statutory requirements, and the petroleum and refining industries, which have said that absorbing more biofuels into the fuel supply is not feasible. The Washington Post


Canola futures rally, as more soy oil goes to biodiesel
Canola futures rose more than one percent Tuesday with support from a two percent rise in soy oil. Crop markets were generally up for a second day, propelled in part by Monday’s news from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding biofuel mandates. The new mandates are higher than a preliminary proposal issued in May but less than the original targets set out by the U.S. Congress in 2007. The potential for increased use of soy oil in biodiesel helped soy oil futures jump 2.2 percent on Tuesday. The Western Producer


China Droughts Are Driving Down Corn Production Forecasts In World’s Second-Largest Producer
Beset by drought conditions in its northern reaches, China will produce about 2 percent less corn during the 2015-16 growing season than previously anticipated, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization. The FAO now expects the country to produce 221 million tonnes of corn instead of the forecasted 226 million tonnes. The world is awash in corn, which has driven down its price by almost 60 percent since 2012, to about $3.55 a bushel. China recently cut subsidies to farmers in fringe growing areas to help rein in corn production, which had risen with demand for corn-based livestock feed. International Business Times


Can India develop palm oil cultivation?
India spends over $10 billion on imports of edible oil every year, and this bill is only next to the one incurred on crude oil and gold imports. Attempts to increase the area under oilseeds in India have not been very successful, but demand has been rising perennially. Indian edible oil imports have grown at an annual growth rate of 13 per cent for the past decade. In 2014-15, edible oil imports reached a record high of 14.3 million tonnes, up by 25 per cent over last year. Imports will continue to rise, going by the current Indian crop scenario. The Hindu Business Line


Inside Paraguay’s War Over Soy Plantations
A couple of generations ago, eastern Paraguay was covered by lush verdant forest and rolling grasslands. Now its fields shimmer with a golden sea of soy that stretches over more than eight million acres of the small, landlocked South American country. Locals call it oro verde or “green gold”: the crop brings in 12% of GDP and Paraguay is now the world’s fourth-largest exporter of soy. That golden harvest comes with a high cost: rampant deforestation, loss of biodiversity, intensive land use and even social unrest. More than half the agricultural land in Paraguay is now used for growing soy and current forecasts predict a 9% increase in soybean area in the next year. Time