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India: Special commodity markets for perishable commodities proposed

Posted on 24 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In order to develop the prospect of onion and other perishable commodities like vegetables in the domestic and international market, the ministry is proposing to set up special commodity markets with processing units for perishable vegetables.
These commodity markets will be developed through the state APMCs by providing special incentives and subsidies by ministry of agriculture. This discussion has taken placed between State of Maharashtra, Government of India and National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) in the context of development of onion and garlic market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ag prices ‘may rebound’, after hedge funds turn most bearish ever

Posted on 24 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agricultural commodity futures may be poised for a wave of support from covering of short bets, after a selldown by hedge funds left them, by a distance, with their most bearish ever positioning. Managed money, a proxy for speculators, dropped long positions on agricultural commodities by more than 40,000 lots in the week to last Tuesday, while hiking short bets – which profit when prices fall - by some 110,000 contracts, regulatory data show.
The resulting swing net short in positioning by 151,826 contracts was the largest in nearly two years. And it drove the overall position into a net short – the extent to which short holdings exceed long ones - of 102,126 lots, by far the biggest on Commodity Futures Trading Commission data going back to 2006………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds cut bullish bets on ags to second lowest on record

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds cut their bets on rising agricultural commodity prices to the second lowest on record, thanks to more bearish takes on grains and soybeans, and a record net short position in sugar.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from cotton to cattle, by nearly 84,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator. The reduction took the overall net long to 49,700 contracts, the second lowest on data going back to 2006………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sugar - A Sweet Commodity; A Sour Market

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Historically, sugar is one of the most volatile commodities that trades on futures exchanges. However, volatility in the sweet commodity has fallen to historically low levels and has remained there since 2013. Sugar has been in a bear market since it made highs of more than 36 cents per pound in 2011.
Last week the sugar price continued to weaken. There are many reasons for a falling sugar price including a strong U.S. dollar, a global surplus of sugar and a bear market in raw material prices that started in 2011. However, now sugar has fallen to a critical level and the prospects do not appear to be too sweet………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities Decline Near ‘Exhaustion’ as Hackett Says Buy Rice

Posted on 16 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodities fall is near “exhaustion” with wheat, rice and coffee set to rebound, according to Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors in Florida. The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 raw materials closed on Friday at the lowest level since August 2002, capping an almost 30 percent decline in the past year.
Wheat dropped 25 percent in the past 12 months and rice fell 30 percent. Arabica coffee slipped 37 percent as Brazil’s weak real currency encouraged exports, adding to supplies. “For speculators wheat and rice are the two markets that are the ones to buy given that both have the lowest supplies relative to global demand,” Hackett said in an e-mailed report on Saturday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds cut bullish ag bets at fastest pace in 20 months

Posted on 10 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge fund optimism in agricultural commodity prices, as measured by positioning in derivatives, plunged at its fastest rate in 20 months, led by a surge in pessimism over values of wheat and sugar, in which bearish bets hit a record high.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, slashed by nearly 130,000 contracts its net long position in futures and options in the main 13 US-traded agricultural commodities in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge Funds Flee Coffee at Fastest Pace in a Year: Commodities

Posted on 02 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s raining in Brazil, and the coffee bulls are running for cover. Downpours in the past month mean moisture levels are adequate in most growing areas, replenishing soil left parched by a drought in 2014, according to MDA Weather Services. The rains in the top coffee producer and exporter spurred hedge funds to cut their bullish wagers by the most in a year.
Coffee swung from a bear market to a bull market and back again over the past year, making it the most volatile component of the Bloomberg Commodity Index. After 2014’s dry spell caused prices to double, futures retreated for a sixth consecutive month in February. Global stockpiles at the end of September will be 14 percent higher than previously estimated, the U.S. government said in its most recent outlook………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global dairy crisis simmers as supply overwhelms

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The weak global diary market, hit by oversupply and a tail-off in Chinese demand that has driven international milk prices down by around 50 per cent, is unlikely to pick up anytime soon, analysts say.
China was one of the world’s fastest-growing dairy markets, but consumption there has dried up after earlier high prices cut domestic demand, leaving excess stocks of imported milk powder. “It might be another six months before it (the outlook) improves,” said Susan Kilsby, dairy analyst at NZX Agri, noting there should be a seasonal rise in milk production in the European Union, the United States and China in the spring………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. Farmers Watch $100 Billion-a-Year Profit Fade Away

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The squeeze on U.S. farmers is getting worse as low crop prices and rising costs erode incomes that not long ago were the highest ever. Illinois grower Jason Lay said he will buy 30 percent less fertilizer for his 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans, and 7 percent fewer seeds for spring planting. After his most profitable year ever in 2012, Lay said he upgraded his combine, tractor, sprayer and planter.
With crop futures now near five-year lows, he has no plans to buy any new equipment. “You spend when times are prosperous so you don’t need to when they’re not,” Lay, 41, said by telephone from outside Bloomington, Illinois. “That’s how you make it through.” He estimates his profit is down by a quarter from its peak………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Grain Bulls Exit at Fastest Pace Since 2013 on Glut: Commodities

Posted on 09 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds cut bullish wagers on agricultural commodities at the fastest pace since August 2013 as expanding grain supplies help keep a lid on global food inflation. Money managers lowered their net-long position on crops from corn to sugar for a fifth straight week, U.S. government data show. Investors got more bearish on wheat and have the smallest wager on a coffee rally in a year.
The U.S. government will probably increase its forecasts for global corn and wheat inventories in a report Tuesday, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News said. World grain production in the season that began July 1 will rise to the biggest ever, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said Feb. 5. The agency’s measure of food prices fell in January to the lowest level since 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agriculture: Dig for victory!

Posted on 06 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Why British farmers are less productive than their international competitors? “Hear that?” asks Stephen Briggs. “That’s the trees whistling.” The branches in his young orchard have caught the wind that races across the open fenland, creating a strange vibrato. Growing apples in this wheat field makes efficient use of the nutrients in the ground—the tree roots keep burrowing below those of the crops.
The trees also provide homes for pollinating insects and extend the harvesting season deep into autumn. By interrupting the wind they hold the nitrogen-rich soil in place. Mr Briggs credits the innovation with turning this once unremarkable patch of eastern England into one of the most productive farms in the country. Sadly, he is a rarity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China to lead drop in world cotton output in 2015-16

Posted on 04 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The International Cotton Advisory Committee underlined downbeat expectations for cotton prices as it said that low values were behind a forecast for lower world production next year – with China’s output to hit a 12-year low.
The intergovernmental group warned that “low prices are expected to persist” for the rest of the 2014-15 – as it cut its forecast for the season-average value, as measured by the Cotlook A index, by 4 cents to 68 cents a pound. The Cotlook A, which on Monday fell 0.25 cents to 67.05 cents a pound, typically trades at a premium to futures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is coffee the new tea?

Posted on 26 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UK coffee-shop business is booming and with the number of outlets set to top 20,000 in 2015, we ask… is coffee the new tea? In the West coffee consumption is about a third of tap-water consumption. After petroleum, coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world.
More than 7 million metric tons are produced annually. Coffee is grown more than 70 countries around the equator in Latin America, South-east Asia and Africa. Every year more than 400 billion cups of coffee are drunk worldwide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Food diversity under siege from global warming, U.N. says

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Climate change threatens the genetic diversity of the world’s food supply, and saving crops and animals at risk will be crucial for preserving yields and adapting to wild weather patterns, a U.N. policy paper said on Monday.
Certain wild crops - varieties not often cultivated by today’s farmers - could prove more resilient to a warming planet than some popular crop breeds, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

To feed the world, food and agriculture industry must embrace innovation

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Lower oil prices – you can hardly move without running into news of new lows, which should be good news for us all, right? They should reduce the cost of producing goods and delivering services, in addition to offering relief at the pump. But while the latter may hold true, the picture for goods and services is less clear.
Yes, production costs will come down, although it turns out that the way savings are shared along supply chains and reach consumers is complex. In short, don’t expect big savings to hit your wallet soon. The global food and agriculture industry is faced with a considerable conundrum………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will milk be the next commodity to turn sour?

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the major focal points for the recently concluded China Australia Free Trade Agreement is the dairy industry. Trade Minister Andrew Robb fought hard for the ‘New Zealand plus’ treatment for Australian farmers and he got it.
Many commentators and analysts have been excited about the prospect for much freer access to one of the world’s largest consumer markets for dairy products. There are many stories of the insatiable demand for baby formula and the jaw-droppingly high prices that Chinese people are willing to pay for air-freighted fresh milk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors bet on coffee price hike

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Brazil is getting dry again and the coffee bulls are back. Growing regions are forecast to get about half the normal rainfall this month and in February, according to Celso Oliveira, a meteorologist at Somar Meteorologia in Sao Paulo. Brazil is the world’s biggest grower and exporter, spurring hedge funds to increase their bets on higher prices for the first time in six weeks.
After more than doubling to last year’s peak in October amid the worst drought in decades, coffee ended 2014 in a bear market after heavy rains in November. The return of dry weather sparked renewed risks of damage to flowering coffee trees, sending prices up 12 percent last week, the biggest gain in almost 11 months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds curtail bullish bets on grains, sugar into year-end

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds reduced their bullish positions on grains and coffee, and raised bets on sugar price falls to the highest in 17 months - but ended 2014 far more upbeat on agricultural commodities than they began it.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, reduced its net long in Chicago-traded soft red winter wheat futures and options in the week to last Tuesday for the first time in five weeks, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Looking ahead to what agriculture holds in 2015

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

2015 is setting up to be another interesting year in the agriculture industry, following a fairly profitable year in 2014 for many livestock producers, but a far less profitable year for most crop producers in the upper Midwest. 2014 ended with may farm operators and land owners focusing on the choices associated with the various farm program options that are part of the new Farm Bill that was passed in 2014.
Following are some items that are likely to be on the forefront in the agriculture industry for 2015. New farm program sign-up. Sign-up for the new farm program, which part of the new Farm Bill, is now underway at local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. The new farm program will be in place for the 2014 to 2018 crop years for all eligible crops under the Commodity Title of the Farm Bill, including corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ruble Crisis Ripples Through Wheat as Bulls Advance: Commodities

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ruble crisis is rippling through the global wheat market. As Russia’s currency extended a plunge to a record low against the dollar last week, the nation slowed grain shipments to preserve stockpiles and keep domestic prices in check. Russia is the fourth-largest exporter and the measures spurred hedge funds to triple their bets on higher prices.
Futures jumped to the highest since May last week after an exporters’ association said Russia denied certificates that grain sellers and buyers need………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global agri-commodities prices likely to remain volatile in 2015

Posted on 16 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agricultural commodities are likely to remain volatile globally in 2015, with strong buying support on lows to keep prices elevated in the first half. However, global oversupply could pull these down in the second half.
A Rabobank study says the fundamentals in agri commodities appear more balanced through 2015, resulting in narrower trading ranges for many commodities versus 2014. On the demand side, growth has slowed in recent years. However, lower price levels should now encourage consumption growth, which will support prices. However, a strengthening dollar, uncertain Chinese demand growth, slowing biofuel demand and weakness in crude oil prices might spoil the party………………………………………Full Article: Source

Hedge funds hike bullish bets on ags - even as oil retreats

Posted on 16 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds returned to a net long position in Chicago wheat for the first time in six months as they made a sharp rise in bullish positioning on ags – an increase potentially spurred by the weakness in other commodities.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, lifted its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from cotton to sugar, by more than 55,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows………………………………………Full Article: Source

Hedge funds ‘pantsed’ in bearish shift on ag bets

Posted on 09 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds made the most bearish shift on their bets on agricultural commodities in four months, including a large negative shift in soybean positioning which left speculators “pantsed” by the price recovery late last week.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, slashed by more than 58,000 contracts its net long position in futures and options in the main 13 US-traded agricultural commodities in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World Food Prices stable for third month in Nov; Cereal prices rise

Posted on 05 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

FAO’s monthly food price index was stable in November, as vegetable oil and grain prices inched up and offset ongoing declines in dairy prices. The Food Price Index averaged 192.6 points, marking the third consecutive month of stability. The Index now stands 13 points, 6.4 percent below its level in November 2013.
“The index appears to have bottomed out with higher probabilities for a rise in its value in coming months,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at FAO. After some volatile movements in recent years, FAO’s Food Price Index, a trade-weighted index that tracks prices of five major food commodities on international markets, is now around its level of August 2010………………………………………..Full Article: Source

El Niño set to cause commodities worries

Posted on 03 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Leading meteorologists are on the verge of declaring the emergence of the El Niño weather phenomenon after chances of its occurrence were downgraded earlier this year. Agricultural experts and farmers keep a close watch on the development of the weather phenomenon, caused by a warming of Pacific sea surface temperatures.
El Niño, which means “little boy” in Spanish, can trigger extreme weather in various parts of the world. In the past, it has caused droughts in south and southeast Asia and Australia and floods in parts of Latin America. It also warms the waters of the Pacific Ocean, affecting fishing off the coast of Peru………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Food Smuggling: Why Commodities Traders Should Care

Posted on 01 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A potato is a seemingly innocuous item on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s list of food-and-agriculture products prohibited from entering the country. (Here’s just a taste of foods that customs officers have confiscated: “birds nest mislabeled as potato chips” “whale meat sausage” “soil associated with live plants” and “vegetable sandwich from the plane”)
But as the WSJ reported in a page-one story Friday, the humble spud could carry a host of pests that could harm the U.S. food supply. The spud is hardly alone in posing a threat. In recent years, there have been plenty of cautionary tales of plant and animal diseases that have hit crops and livestock and significantly driven up the cost of food………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agribusiness ETFs in Focus on Deere Earnings Beat and Weak Outlook

Posted on 28 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest agricultural equipment maker, Deere & Co, released fourth-quarter 2014 results before the opening bell on Wednesday. Though the company surpassed our estimates on both the top and bottom lines, it provided a gloomy outlook on fiscal 2015.
Earnings per share came in at $1.83, comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.58 but deteriorating from the year-ago earnings of $2.11. Revenues also fell 5% year over year to $8.97 billion, but strongly beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.76 billion……………………………………Full Article: Source

EU agriculture ministers call for fresh funding to cope with Russian embargo

Posted on 14 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agriculture ministers from 21 EU member states called for extra funds to deal with the Russian embargo during the Agriculture Council on Monday (11 November). Farmers have criticised the use of the emergency funds from the CAP.
Most EU member states are opposed to the measures taken by the European Commission to support farmers since the start of the Russian embargo. At the Agriculture Council, ministers from the EU’s 28 member states discussed the use of the Common Agricultural Policy’s (CAP) emergency fund, currently deployed to support farmers affected by the embargo…………………………………Full Article: Source

Canada leading agriculture exporter, report

Posted on 13 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Canada is the world’s top agricultural trader compared to all other countries on a per capita basis, according to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) annual report on global trade. In 2013, the value of Canada’s agricultural imports and exports was more than $2,100 US per person, followed by Australia at about $1,900 US per person, says the report by FCC Ag Economics entitled A 2014 Look at Global Trade.
The report takes the combined value of all agriculture exports and imports from each of the major agriculture trading countries and divides that number by each country’s respective population. “It shows the agriculture sector is more important to Canada than all other countries, including the United States, Australia and the European Union,” J.P. Gervais, FCC’s chief agricultural economist, said in a press release………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds extend positive ag bets. But has sentiment on wheat turned?

Posted on 11 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Have hedge funds begun laying bets on falling wheat prices again, after six weeks of taking a less negative stance? Managed money, a proxy for speculators, raised its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities by more than 50,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
The increase took the overall net long above 440,000 lots, the highest since July, and up nearly 200,000 lots in four weeks. The more bullish sentiment has been spurred by a slow US harvest, and slightly less upbeat harvest reports as combines have spread from southern areas to the western Corn Belt, besides by some weather concerns too………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds extend short-covering in ags, led by soy

Posted on 04 November 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds extended their wave of short-covering in agricultural commodities as sharply improved sentiment towards the soy complex trumped a heap of negative bets on sugar following Brazil’s election result.
But the extent of the short-covering in soy derivatives raised concerns that the trend may struggle to continue. Managed money, a proxy for speculators, raised by more than 40,000 contracts its net long in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Coffee Continues To Shine In The Commodities Market

Posted on 29 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For commodity bulls, the past several weeks have proven to be quite difficult. Market volatility has taken its toll on the underlying spot prices. One of the very few bright spots can be found on the chart of coffee, as measured by the iPath Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO).
The fund is currently trading very near its 200-day moving average, which has historically acted as a strong level of support. Active traders will be paying close attention to the price of coffee over the coming weeks to see if the long-term uptrend is able to continue………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Have hedge funds ended wave of selling in ags?

Posted on 14 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds showed further signs of unwillingness to extend their negative take on agricultural commodities, with increased bearishness in corn and soybeans matched by more positive takes in cotton and sugar.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, lifted its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from corn to sugar, by 1,960 contracts to 251,765 lots in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Africa to become global leader in Rice production by 2031

Posted on 13 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Between 2014 and 2031, Africa will expand its rice production area by almost 50 percent, according to new analysis on the global outlook on rice production and demand released today by IHS Inc, the leading global source of critical information and insight.
1)Africa rapid expansion of areas for rice production will be the fastest globally in percentage terms; 2)Asian demand, mainly from China, is driving a majority of the growth in rice consumption during 2014/15; 3)However, Africa’s rice import demand is driving much of the world’s long-term import growth; 4)With a lower Indian rice production estimate due to issues relating to a later monsoon, India is forecast to lose its spot as top exporter in 2014/15 to Thailand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors bet the farm on agriculture

Posted on 13 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the biblical book of Genesis, the pharaoh of Egypt dreams of seven thin cows eating seven fat cows, which signifies seven years of famine to follow seven years of good crops. In 2014, we are seeing the reverse, as bumper crops globally have reversed the trend of rising food prices that led to riots in some countries in recent years.
This has not deterred the many institutional investors who are looking at farmland as an asset class that has hitherto been neglected. Many experts say this is just a blip in a longer-term trend that makes any weakness in prices a buying opportunity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agricultural Commodities

Posted on 09 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities that come from the raising of crops and/or animals are called agri commodities. While some agricultural commodities, such as corn or beef, are direct products of the Earth, others such as high fructose corn syrup are derived from them.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission defines agri commodties as one among the four categories: (1) the enumerated commodities listed in section 1A of the Commodity Exchange Act, including wheat, cotton, corn, the soyabean complex, livestock, etc.; (2) a general operational definition that covers: “All other commodities that are, or once were, or are derived from, living organisms, including plant, animal and aquatic life, which are generally fungible, within their respective classes, and are used primarily for human food, shelter, animal feed, or natural fibre;”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Soft Commodities - Third-Quarter Review And Outlook For The Rest Of 2014

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The composite of five soft commodities - sugar, coffee, cocoa, cotton and frozen concentrated orange juice futures - fell by 3% during Q3. The sector is up 13.83% for the first nine months of 2014. While commodity prices in general fell, there were some bright spots for bulls in this sector of “luxury” commodities.
Let us look at the action in the softs and the outlook for the balance of 2014. The price of sugar moved 14.41% lower in Q4, but is up 2.3% through the first nine months of 2014. Sugar traded in a range of 13.32 cents to 19.83 cents per pound thus far in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ag Commodities Pause As Rain Arrives, Buyers Move In

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last week’s price action for the Ag commodities could best be described as a pause, following the long decline of the last few months, as the primary markets of corn, soybeans and wheat, finally found some support, moving sideways but with a mildly bullish tone. The catalyst was primarily twofold.
First was a change in the weather in the US with the recent benign conditions giving way to rain and as a result, a possible slowing of the crop harvests. The second, was bargain hunting with all three commodities looking increasingly oversold with the markets having now factored in the expectation of a record crops this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds ‘caught out’ by crop price reversals

Posted on 07 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Have hedge funds been caught out by being overbearish on agricultural commodities? On cotton, as on wheat and soybeans, late-comers to making short positions appear to be sitting on losses.
The extent of hedge funds’ negative sentiment towards cotton was unveiled by data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showing managed money, a proxy for speculators, undertaking a hefty sell-off in New York cotton futures and options in the last week of September………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cotton prices to remain weak on surplus production, China policy changes: ICAC

Posted on 03 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World cotton prices will remain weak due to predicted 1.8 mn tons of surplus production and changes in China’s cotton policy, according to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).At the end of 2013/14, international cotton prices were around 80 U.S. cents/lb and have continued falling in the first two months of the new season.
With the fall in prices, world cotton consumption is forecast to rise nearly 4% to 24.4 million tons with more of the consumption occurring in the latter half of the season as the market becomes more certain about the size of the new crop and can better determine an appropriate price for cotton………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What is Climate-Smart Agriculture?

Posted on 02 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With a new Global Alliance dedicated to Climate-Smart Agriculture, you’ll be hearing more about this effort with a goal to improve agriculture and food security. At the end of last month, the U.N. held a one-day Climate Summit in New York City. The day was a pre-curser to next year’s 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change 2015 that will take place in Paris.
From what I understand, the NYC summit focused on identifying the major challenges we’re facing with climate change and mentioned some possible solutions. The longer Paris summit will attempt to provide more solutions and specific ideas on how to implement them………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bumper Crops Continue To Drive Ag Commodities Lower

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It was another week of falling prices for soft commodities, as oversupply issues continue to dominate across all the major markets. This is clearly evident from the weekly charts. As the largest exporter, it is the US which sets the price for world markets, with the US Midwest corn belt set to produce a record harvest for a second year. soybeans too are expected to generate the largest crop ever on record.
This picture of bumper harvests is also mirrored in Canada, and even events in the Ukraine and Russia have had little impact on prices. China too, is increasingly adding storage facilities to cope with its own booming harvest and imports, with corn and rice now in plentiful supply………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World needs ‘paradigm shift’ towards sustainable agriculture, UN agency urges

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In order to move towards more sustainable agriculture, a broader approach is needed to overhaul the world’s food system, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today, as he pressed for a global reduction in the quantity of chemicals and water in contemporary agriculture.
Speaking at the opening of the 24th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) in Rome, Director-General José Graziano da Silva called for a “paradigm shift” in global attitudes on agriculture, adding that only by decreasing the amounts of “inputs,” such as water and chemicals, could the sector move towards a more sustainable and productive long-term path………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Much of World’s Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Come From Agriculture?

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agriculture might seem green by definition, but farming accounts for a lot of greenhouse-gas emissions when the entire food production system is taken into account. Typically, estimates of greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture are around 11%-15% of global emissions.
Estimates discussed earlier this week at the United Nations Climate Summit put that number closer to 50%. This is an important calculation as climate change issues come to the fore, with record greenhouse-gas emissions and international negotiations to halt that rise………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture

Posted on 26 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The United States is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture. As part of its commitment to promoting climate smart agriculture around the world, the U.S. government supports the following initiatives: In the United States, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages seven “Climate Hubs” around the country to deliver information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to help them adapt to climate change and weather variability.
The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, to which the United States contributes, aims to deepen and broaden mitigation research through collaboration and data sharing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agricultural commodity prices are crashing too

Posted on 24 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The mining commodity price squeeze was making headlines again on Tuesday as iron ore fell to a five-year low and BHP Billiton announced that 700 Bowen Basin coalmining workers would go, but the miners are not alone in feeling the pressure.
The price of wheat, Australia’s sixth biggest export, has fallen by about 31 per cent since May, and is at a four-year low. The price of corn, a key industrial food and drink-making raw material, has fallen by 28 per cent since mid August, and is also at four-year lows. The price of sugar has fallen by 25 per cent since mid-year, and soybean prices have fallen by 39 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities: Cereal excess

Posted on 24 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global grain supplies are soaring, which will cause an eventual slowing of food price inflation. Towering like a missile above the Illinois prairie town of Monticello, the galvanised metal silo that Topflight Grain Co-operative has just added to its storage complex can hold an awful lot of corn: 19,000 tonnes.
Yet after a mild, wet summer – perfect for growing chunky ears of yellow corn – the extra space may not be enough. Derrick Bruhn, Topflight’s grain merchandiser, warns some of it will end up piled high in outdoor mounds as farmers dump their harvests. “It will be difficult to find a place to put everything,” he says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. Wheat Prices Pushed to Four-Year Low

Posted on 22 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. wheat prices sit at the lowest level in more than four years, buffeted by sluggish demand for U.S. supplies amid abundant global stockpiles of the grain. Bumper crops around the world have added to supplies, driving global prices lower and reducing demand for U.S. wheat which, when shipping charges are added, is more expensive than grain produced in places such as the European Union and Ukraine.
“We continue to see decent demand in the Western hemisphere for wheat, but our freight rates are so much higher overseas,” said Shawn McCambridge, senior grains analyst for brokerage Jefferies Bache Commodities LLC. “You add that freight in, and we can’t be competitive in major markets.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

The Soft-Commodity Outlook

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Almost perfect weather conditions across the principle growing regions in the U.S. and the prospect of record crops continue to push soft commodity prices lower. And with harvesting underway, this trend looks set to continue, with further good weather to come.
For U.S. Wheat, the bearish trend has been slow and steady, starting back in May with the commodity trading at 760 per bushel, before declining steadily, followed by a pause in the 580 to 620 per-bushel area, before that level was also breached, with a further move down followed by an extended phase of price congestion, which extended through the summer months in the 580 to 540 per-bushel region creating a strong and well-defined level of resistance and support…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hedge Funds Cut Bullish Crop Bets to Lowest Since January

Posted on 15 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds cut bullish wagers on agricultural commodities to the lowest since January before the U.S. forecast rising grain supplies and sent wheat, corn and soybean prices to four-year lows. Money managers lowered their net-long position on crops from coffee to wheat in 10 of the past 11 weeks, U.S. government data show. Investors got more bearish on sugar and have the most-negative outlook on soybeans since 2006.
American farmers will collect the biggest corn and soybean crops ever this season, while global wheat reserves are set to reach a three-year high, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Sept. 11. Three months of rain and mild weather created almost ideal growing conditions, spurring price declines that drove the Bloomberg Commodity Index to a five-year low last week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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