Archived Posts

News Flash: July 3, 2014


Slowing China Demand for Feed Ingredient Jolts U.S. Grain, Soy Markets

China has taken a strict stance on imports of a widely used U.S. feed ingredient, causing shock waves throughout the grain and soy industries. The grain in question is a U.S. dried distillers’ grains, a co-product of corn ethanol that is fed to cattle and pigs. Beijing has curbed the imports of this product over concerns that the shipments may contain a genetic modification that hasn’t been approved in China. The action comes after Chinese officials also reduced imports of U.S. corn over GMO concerns. Additionally, China has stopped issuing new import permits for the ethanol co-product according to industry experts, although Chinese government officials haven’t confirmed a change in policy. Wall Street Journal


Soybean Prices Plunge on Huge Jump in Acres

Corn and soybean prices plunged in the wake of USDA’s Acreage report, released on June 30, which revealed that USDA expects soybean acreage—both planted and harvested—to shatter all records. That said, if widespread adverse weather develops, prices could move higher. For now, the only bullish case that can be made for soybeans and corn following this report is that prices in the livestock sectors are high, which should help support feed prices. Soybean planted area for 2014 is estimated at a record-high 84.8 million acres, up 11% from last year. USDA’s forecast is well above the average trade estimate of 82.154 million acres and above the range of estimates of 80.5 million to 84 million acres. Ending stocks of soybeans in 2015 could build rapidly. With a presumed average yield of 40 acres per bushel and 7 million to 8 million more harvested acres, producers could harvest 280 million bushels more than they ever have before. USDA forecast planted acres in Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin all at record-highs. Expected corn plantings of 91.6 million acres were down 4% from last year and the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010. This year’s corn plantings, however, would still be the fifth largest on record since 1944. Estimated corn plantings were slightly lower than the pre-report average trade estimate of 91.735 million acres. AgWeb


Oil palm genetics may provide more reliable clues for ripeness

New genetic research could help palm oil producers improve yields by alerting them when the fruit is ripe. The scientists conducting the research say the project will increase the production of

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palm oil – which accounts for 45% of the world’s edible oil – and could also help to conserve rain forests and other natural areas at risk from palm oil plantations. A gene – known as the VIR gene – is thought to be responsible for fruit color changes in oil palm. With this knowledge in hand, the reseaarchers identified that a rarely used variety, known as virescens oil palm, may provide producers with more reliable clues as to when fruits are ready to harvest. Food Navigator


Corn Falls to Near 5-Month Low as Record U.S. Crop Seen

Corn dropped for a third day to trade near the lowest level in more than five months on expectations that the largest U.S harvest ever will boost supplies for the top exporter. Domestic corn stockpiles were 3.85 billion bushels at the beginning of June following a record 2013 crop, the USDA reported June 30 with this year’s harvest set to climb to 13.94 billion bushels. Corn for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to $4.21 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $4.17 on Tuesday, the lowest for a most-active contract since January. The contract slumped 4.9 percent on the day of the USDA stocks report, the biggest loss since June 2013. Futures trading volumes were 56% below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to Bloomberg data. “The markets continue to strain under the pressure from the still stunning USDA acreage and stocks-in-all-positions reports,” economist Dennis Gartman wrote in his newsletter. “The recent more-than-abundant rains have all but assured a massive corn crop this year.” About 75% of the U.S. corn crop was in good or excellent condition as of June 29, up from 74% a week earlier, the USDA reported. “The price trend for corn is bearish as we head into a record U.S. harvest,” Rabobank International wrote. “Very good crop conditions with good soil moisture and expectations for low-stress July temperatures are combining to apply downward pressure. Bloomberg


Virus wipes out SA canola crops

It is estimated 4,000 hectares of canola in South Australia’s Lower and Mid North

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regions have been affected by a deadly virus. The virus is transported by green peach aphids, which agronomists believe have developed a resistance to insecticides. Once the virus affects the canola plants, agricultural officials fear that little can be done. Farmers who have not yet been affected are warned to remain vigilant. While the infestation of the aphids has slowed, many fear that warmer weather in spring could see them spread further. Food Magazine (Australia)


Canadian Farmers Plant More Canola, Less Wheat

Canadian canola acreage may be up 1.5% this year. Additionally, the soybean area could set a record, while wheat acreage could be down about 7.4%, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Based on farmer surveys that concluded June 10, the agency expects 20.228 million acres of canola, up 1.5% from last year; 24.087 million acres of wheat, down 7.4%; and 5.583 million acres of soybeans, up 23.5%.The increase in canola recovers some of the decline in 2013, when acreage dipped to 19.94 million from 2012’s 22.02 million. “Seeding is progressing well across Canada, but some farmers have reported that wet conditions have delayed or may stop seeding in some areas,” the report said. In Saskatchewan, canola acreage was up 1.9% to 10.7 million, Alberta planted 6.3 million, up 2.8%; while Manitoba planted 3.1 million, down 1.7%. Nationally, the soybean area could be a record for the sixth consecutive year, with increases reported in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Maritimes. Crop acreages may be updated in subsequent surveys and final acreages will be released on December 4. Farm Futures