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Agricultural Commodities Egged On by China’s Futures Frenzy

Posted on 03 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent fevered commodities trading in China hasn’t been limited to iron ore. Investors have piled into futures for everything from wheat and cotton to eggs and asphalt. As with industrial metals, analysts reckon much of the interest is coming from speculative investors who have been turned off to China’s stock markets by tighter rules over trading.
“Chinese speculators didn’t want to buy into the equity market with all the curbs, so they jumped into the commodity markets and it seems they’ve done so in massive style,” said Michael Coleman, managing director at RCMA Asset Management Pte………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cotton Trades in China Hit Highest in Five Years, Enough to Make Jeans for Billions

Posted on 03 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The volume of cotton traded in a single day on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange last week reached the equivalent of 41 million bales, enough to produce about 9 million pairs of jeans or at least one for every person on the planet, according to a Bloomberg report.
The report said that prices rose almost 19 percent in four days before the trading spike on Friday, April 22, while it registered its lowest price in February. Commodity exchanges have boosted margins and fees or warned investors as trade volumes in Chinese commodity markets soared, which reminded traders of the equities rally last year……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Agricultural commodities rebound

Posted on 21 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Soybeans climbed higher than $US10 a bushel for the first time since July, and corn topped $US4 a bushel as unfavorable weather in South America and an improving demand outlook for US supplies bolstered agriculture markets.
Dryness in Brazil is causing conditions to deteriorate for the country’s second corn crop, and the country suspended import tariffs for the next six months, signalling the grower may need to ship grain in. Flooding in Argentina, the world’s third-largest soybean grower, is expected to cut output of that crop by about 5 per cent, according to Oil World………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Weather May Threaten Commodity Markets

Posted on 20 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When it comes to predicting commodity market moves for 2016, farmers and ranchers should look at past economic and weather trends across the globe. Jim Bower of Bower Trading says producers need to look on a more international scale than a local level for prices and risk management this year.
Bower: “The change in commodities is that it has gone very much international in scope. There is an international awareness. You really can’t get your pricing or your trading right unless you have the international backdrop. Now you can overlay it with technical factors which you can do yourself or with an advisor to fine tune your program. Don’t look at just the local or regional — look at the international that is where you get your success.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Soft Commodities

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Also called softs, the term generally refers to commodities that are grown, rather than mined (hard commodities). For instance, tropical commodities such as coffee, cocoa, sugar, orange juice, lumber. These are assets that have more than one utility - they’re not just instruments to be traded in the market.
The resources are items with characteristics that remain unchanged across the market and can, therefore, be traded on a commodity market in a similar manner as equities and currencies are transacted. While the value of hard commodities can be impacted by climatic occurrences, the soft commodities sustain the biggest fluctuations when agricultural variables shift………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why you should take this commodities rally with a grain of salt

Posted on 30 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Signs are beginning to surface that the global commodities implosion has reached bottom. The questions for investors, though, are how long the relative good times will last, and just how good they will be.
On the surface, at least, the news has been positive. Last week, the Baltic Dry Index — which reflects the price of moving dry goods by sea, is often considered an indicator of global commodities demand and trade, and has nothing to do with drought in Estonia — finished above 400, which represents a 38 per cent increase in a little more than six weeks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New poll shows commodity prices as greatest challenge for producers

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity prices are the greatest challenge facing agricultural producers in 2016, according to a poll of Farm Credit directors from America’s heartland. More than 64 percent of the directors — from the boards of 17 Farm Credit lenders in 15 states and of AgriBank, their St. Paul-based funding bank — said commodity prices are the greatest challenge facing ag producers this year.
The directors, most of whom are also farmers or ranchers, indicated the next biggest challenges are input costs (over 21 percent), and Mother Nature (nearly 8 percent). Farm Bill implications and land rents were each cited by approximately 3 percent of the respondents………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU wants stricter position limits for food commodities

Posted on 21 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Tougher market share limits on food commodities traded in the European Union from January 2018 are needed, the bloc’s executive body said in a letter this week. Position limits come under the umbrella of a new EU law called Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), with rules being fleshed out by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).
MiFID II is the biggest overhaul of EU securities rules in a decade, designed to apply lessons from the 2007-09 financial crisis when food prices hit record highs, with some policymakers blaming speculators and hedge funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities Speculation Doesn’t Increase Food Prices

Posted on 11 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A few years back it was all the rage to go around shouting that commodities speculation drove food prices higher. This betrayed a startling lack of understanding of how commodities markets actually work but it really was popular to say so. This led to proposals to limit the amount of speculation that could be done in things like wheat futures and so on.
Not a good idea and not likely to be a productive public policy simply because it wasn’t the speculation driving prices higher. We’ve now also got an interesting little data point with which to refute that original contention………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agriculture ETFs Go Soft as Other Commodities Funds Climb

Posted on 10 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It has been a banner year for precious metals exchange traded funds and, in recent weeks, oil funds have joined the commodities rally. However, agriculture exchange traded funds are proving to be laggards. For example, the PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund has traded modestly lower this year.
The PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund tries to reflect the performance of the Diversified Agriculture Index Excess Return, which is comprised of futures contracts on the most liquid and widely tracked agriculture commodities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Agri commodities get a mixed deal in budget

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite the considerable focus on the rural and agricultural sectors in the Budget, commodity market participants have been disappointed on a few fronts. One major expectation was the removal of commodity transaction tax (CTT) which was introduced in July 2013, which hasn’t come about.
Trading volumes on the bourses have dropped sharply in the last three years with the declines attributed to CTT, global commodity price declines and the NSEL crisis. Trading volume at the MCX has shrunk by a third in 2014-15 from its peak of ₹1.5 lakh crore in 2011-12. At the NCDEX, trading turnover has almost halved to ₹10 lakh crore in this period. One also hoped that the Finance Minister would finally let financial institutions, including asset management companies, participate in commodity futures………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China still a draw for global food commodities, says expert

Posted on 29 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China will still be a major player in world food commodities in the coming years, despite its current economic issues and slowing growth. HSBC’s Mark Berrisford-Smith suggested while China’s growth was slowing, the impact of economic changes in the country should not be overestimated.
He said China’s purchases of farm goods could vary dramatically and the country’s wheat purchases were ’all over the place’. “Sometimes it is just because they buy other things,” he said. “They [currently] buy less [milk] powder and more liquid. They are still a major market for agricultural products and they will continue to be.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

USDA: 2016 to be another bad year for farm commodities

Posted on 26 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity prices will not recover this year, the federal government said Thursday in a forecast that will be a blow to producers hoping for a rebound in the slumping farm economy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said producers should expect slumping farm income, modest declines in land values and cash rents and a less-than-favorable trade environment. Even so, the USDA declared that the financial health of the agriculture sector is strong because producers took advantage of record harvests and high prices in past seasons to strengthen their bottom line………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds ’surprise’ in raising net short in ags to record high

Posted on 23 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds defied expectations of many investors and lifted their net short position in US-traded ags to the highest on record – although in a move which is leaving many late movers looking at losses.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, raised by nearly 8,000 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 hike bearish ag bets, amid ‘weak macros, rising stocks’

Posted on 16 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds have undertaken a dramatic shift bearish in their positioning on agricultural commodities, building a record net short position in hard wheat, and selling down in cotton at a record rate.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, hiked its net position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities by 176,017 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows. The dramatic turn bearish in positioning drove the overall net short to 187,671 contracts – the second highest on records going back to 2006………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Soft commodities avoid the hard downturn during market turmoil

Posted on 15 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Soft commodities like wheat have avoided the worst of the downturn affecting oil, iron ore and other hard commodities, but in general the sector is still trading at the bottom of its range, say analysts.
“In general terms the agrisector in Australia is certainly faring a lot better than what the hard commodity sector is,” said ANZ’s senior agricultural economist Paul Deane. “You wouldn’t say that soft commodities have risen as much as what hard commodities have, and nor have they fallen as much. And with the weaker Australian dollar that’s taken a lot of the sting out of falling global prices over the last three or four years.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. Farm Income Will Drop for Third Year in Commodity Slump

Posted on 10 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast that farmers will face a drop in profit for the third straight year as persistent surpluses depress crop and livestock prices. Farm net income will be $54.8 billion in 2016, the USDA said Tuesday in a report on its website, 2.8 percent less than the $56.4 billion estimated for 2015.
The hard times follow an era of record profit that peaked at $123.3 billion in 2013, when rising global demand combined with a domestic drought that crimped supplies of corn and cattle, while a virus devastated hog herds. Direct government farm-program payments are forecast to rise 31 percent to $13.9 billion in 2016 with the 2014 Farm Bill’s price-loss and risk coverage accounting for almost two-thirds of the total………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A contrarian view on soft commodities

Posted on 05 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The agricultural sector has been in negative territory for five years, putting specific food and food input companies at attractive valuations, according to Baring. Oil aside, other commodities such as food inputs have also fallen out of favour. The cumulative one-, three- and five year returns for the agriculture sector have all been double-digit negative.
But James Govan, manager of the Baring Asset Management’s Global Agriculture Fund believes opportunities this year are emerging in the agricultural value chain, particularly in the health and wellness niche, driven by the demand for healthier food………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Egypt to launch agricultural commodities bourse by year-end

Posted on 02 February 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Egypt plans to launch an agricultural-focused commodities trading exchange, the first of its kind in the Middle East, by the end of 2016, Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi said. Speaking at a press conference announcing the completion of a feasibility study on the new bourse, Hanafi said its launch would protect small farmers from volatile price swings and help to connect their output to supply chains.
“Egypt is the biggest importer of grains, and it will benefit from this, turning this from a point of weakness into a strength as Egypt becomes a point of exchange for the whole region,” said Hanafi………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will El Nino’s sister hold sway in 2016?

Posted on 29 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The El Nino weather phenomenon wreaked havoc worldwide last year. Its counterpart, La Nina, could cause more trouble in 2016.
The term El Nino, Spanish for “the boy,” was coined by Peruvian fishermen to refer to a warm ocean current that typically arrives around Christmas time. This warmth affects weather around the globe. Last year, it was blamed for droughts in Thailand and Indonesia, among other extreme conditions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds cut bearish ag bets for first time in 2016

Posted on 26 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds turned less downbeat in bets on agricultural commodities for the first time since before Christmas – but wheat largely missed out on the move, raising ideas of the potential for some price support.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut its net short position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from soybeans to cocoa, by 87,632 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is 2016 the Year for Sweet Commodities?

Posted on 19 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

2015 was a disaster for commodity markets as the S&P GSCI, an index that tracks commodities, fell 32%. The 2016 outlook for commodity markets is not much better, except for cocoa and sugar, two commodities that yielded positive returns in 2015. In fact, cocoa was the best performing commodity last year with prices up 10%.
The increase in price is partly linked to the surge in chocolate consumption in India and China. According to Euromonitor International, chocolate demand in India has been growing 17% a year since 2010, faster than any other country in the world. In China, demand has been rising nearly 9% per year over the same period………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Commodities and Regions Perform During the El Niño Effect

Posted on 15 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Financial markets are notoriously fickle and events ranging from geopolitical crises to weather patterns can impact them dramatically. Right now, the El Niño weather phenomenon is in effect and is estimated to stick around until around the second quarter of this year, and it’s already having an impact on certain market sectors and commodities.
Some effects of El Niño can be predicted in advance, such as California receiving precipitation after its long drought spell and Southeast Asia seeing just the opposite with less rainfall. The severity of the current El Niño effect is one of the strongest on record and many scientists have attributed the wave of intensifying weather to changing global climates. Whatever the cause, the effect it’s having on the global economy is significant………………………………………..Full Article: Source

El Nino is likely to push farm commodities higher in 2016

Posted on 08 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It might have been a treat for New Yorkers to stroll around in shorts as they basked in unseasonably balmy temperatures over the Christmas season, but the winter warmth felt across large parts of the U.S. and Europe spelled further gloom for commodities.
Along with the downturn in China, El Nino was a key theme in commodities in 2015, and its effects can only be accurately calculated in 2016. While little reprieve can be seen for oil and gas prices, crop shortages in 2015 could lend some support to the value of agricultural commodities. Warm weather in the Northern Hemisphere in December sapped demand for heating, sending crude oil prices to fresh six-year lows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

After El Niño, commodity markets brace for La Niña

Posted on 06 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The strongest El Niño in almost two decades that caused droughts in Asia and was linked to storms in the UK could be followed by the opposite weather phenomenon. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said the chances of a La Niña event in the second half of 2016 were equal to those of conditions returning to neutral.
Farmers, miners and commodities traders will be keeping a close watch on sea temperature patterns linked to La Niña, which tends to bring rainfall to Southeast Asia and Australia and dryness to the US Midwest. Significant La Niñas tend to be linked to increased levels of volatility on agricultural markets, according to CME Group………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why 2015’s Best Commodity Could Turn Into This Year’s Nightmare

Posted on 06 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last year’s best-performing commodity is poised to become the market’s worst nightmare. After the longest rally in London cocoa futures since at least 1989, farmers from Ivory Coast to Peru are preparing to revive supplies in the 2016-17 season that starts in October, creating a surplus that Rabobank International says will be the largest in six years.
With demand slowing, the bank is most bearish about prices for the chocolate ingredient this year among the dozen agricultural commodities it tracks. Prices surged 60 percent during a four-year rally through 2015, forcing candy makers from Hershey Co. to Lindt & Spruengli AG to charge more for their products………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds bet on further ag price falls - after ‘destructive’ 2015

Posted on 06 January 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds bet on further declines in ags in 2016, even after a year termed by the Bcom as the “most destructive crash in a generation” for commodities as a whole, helped by 19% losses for grain and livestock bulls.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, undertook a hefty selldown in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities in the week to December 29, to return to a net short position which has been unusual by historical standards, analysis of regulatory data overnight reveals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agri commodities go through the wringer

Posted on 28 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The year 2015 was hard to forget for commodities. While major metals suffered their worst falls since 2008, agri commodities witnessed mixed fortunes. It was a good year for some agri-commodities, not so for others. But one thing in common for both the gainers and losers was they witnessed similar volatility.
Most agri commodities futures contracts on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) witnessed wild swings. Either they moved up sharply initially in the first half of the year and then fell back strongly thereafter or vice-versa. Here, we take stock of the performance of the most actively traded agri commodities in the domestic exchange………………………………………..Full Article: Source

El Nino Batters Pacific Rim Agriculture

Posted on 28 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the climate phenomenon called El Niño has brought near-ideal growing conditions for many farmers throughout North America and South America in 2015, it has wreaked havoc on the agriculture of other countries around the Pacific Rim. From dry cattle pastures in Australia to struggling coffee farms in Vietnam, El Niño has struck several nations in the Asia-Pacific region hard this year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The world has been experiencing the effects of the most impactful El Niño since the 1990s, meteorologists said. El Niño is associated with an increase in ocean temperatures, which can lead to droughts in some areas and floods in others. Such changes in weather can have major consequences for agriculture either way………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global cotton glut bad news for bulls

Posted on 14 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There’s enough cotton sitting in global warehouses to make more than 127 billion T-shirts, or 17 for each person on the planet. That’s bad news for investors betting prices will rise.
World inventories at the end of this season will be the second-largest ever, just slightly less than last year’s record, according to a US Department of Agriculture forecast last week. That’s a signal supplies will remain ample even after the agency cut its outlook for production. Hedge funds raised their bullish cotton bets to the highest in more than a year, only to face the first weekly price drop since early November………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global warming a threat to commodities such as cocoa and coffee, businesses warn

Posted on 10 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Common commodities such as cocoa and coffee are under threat from global warming, businesses have warned as they backed a strong climate deal at international talks in Paris. Barry Parkin, global sustainability director at Mars, said the company sourced much of its supply chain of products, from cocoa to sugar, mint and vanilla, from smallholder farmers who are threatened by rising temperatures.
He said: “We’re a food company, based on agriculture, and when you look at agriculture, we buy from the equivalent of about a million farmers, and most of those farmers, large numbers of them, are smallholder family farmers in the developing world, who are often subsistence farming, and they are the most vulnerable.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Merricks Capital says El Nino to create soft commodities buying opportunity

Posted on 03 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The year has been a brutal one for commodity traders of all shapes and sizes with everything from copper to soybeans on the receiving end of a savage sell-off. The Thomson Reuters commodities index is down 20 per cent this year driven by oil and copper but a range of soft commodities have also contributed to the fall. The price of soybeans, for instance, has fallen 13 per cent this year, trading at a six-year low.
Both smart and dumb money is betting on further falls. Speculative short positions in soft commodities are at record levels while money in passive soft commodity funds further drains away as investors reallocate to better opportunities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency swings cloud agriculture price drop

Posted on 03 December 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“Way down among Brazilians, coffee beans grow by the billions . . . They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil,” sang Frank Sinatra in The Coffee Song . At first glance, this may seem to be the case for the South American country, with the arabica bean’s price plunging 30 per cent this year and its coffee exports at a record.
But this year’s coffee bear market has been heavily influenced by currency volatility rather than actual supply, say traders and analysts. “Foreign exchange has been a huge factor,” says Kona Haque, head of research at commodity traders ED&F Man………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global action needed to protect agriculture sector from climate change

Posted on 30 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On the final day of the National Consultation on Crop Loss Estimation, Relief and Compensation, NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) called for global action to develop safety nets to shield farmers from the consequences of extreme weather events.
The negotiators at the climate talks, starting shortly in Paris, need to be mindful of the impact of changing climate on agriculture, and the devastating consequences it has on farmers as well as the food security prospects of the world,” said CSE’s Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan who is leading a delegation of CSE specialists and Indian media to Paris……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Agriculture left out of emissions review

Posted on 25 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Emissions Trading Scheme is up for review, but the government has controversially left agriculture out of the discussion document. Opposition parties argued the sector must be included because it was responsible for about half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Passed into law by the former Labour-led government, the Emissions Trading Scheme is the government’s primary tool to try to reduce climate-damaging emissions. The original ETS had agriculture entering the scheme in 2013, but when National took power, it pushed that out to 2015, then legislated to keep it out of the scheme indefinitely………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds near-eliminate their net long in ags

Posted on 24 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds all but wiped out their net long position in derivatives in the main agricultural commodities, led by selldowns in coffee, and in wheat, in which unexpectedly bearish positioning could set the scene for a price bounce.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from corn to cotton, by a little over 59,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

El Nino Heating Up Commodity ETF Impacts

Posted on 19 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Record high temperatures in October may be a prelude to a strengthening El Nino weather pattern, potentially leading to opportunities in the commodities space and related exchange traded products. Last month was the hottest October since records have been kept in the past 136 years and the eighth record-breaking month so far this year, reports Tom Randall for Bloomberg.
This week, the El Nino phenomenon started setting records as well, with some of the highest weekly temperatures ever recorded across the equatorial Pacific. Even if November and December show unusually cool temperatures, which observers highly doubt, the past few months have been so sizzling that 2015 will go down as the hottest year on record………………………………………Full Article: Source

Agricultural Giants Look to Join Forces

Posted on 06 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some of the world’s largest agricultural companies are looking to combine with one another as three years of shriveling crop prices have pressured profits, in what would be the industry’s first big shake-up in at least a decade.
Syngenta AG is discussing with DuPont Co. a potential combination with DuPont’s agriculture division, according to people familiar with the matter. DuPont is also separately discussing a potential alternative agriculture deal with Dow Chemical Co., which is exploring a sale of its seed and pesticide unit, another person familiar with the matter said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

El Niño is drying up gains for this major currency

Posted on 05 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

El Niño is wreaking havoc in the currency market. Since the week began, the New Zealand dollar has shed 3.1% of its value against the dollar—reversing more than half of its monthly gain for October, when it was the best-performing currency among its G-10 peers.
Analysts have attributed its declines to the weather phenomenon, which could drastically reduce crop yields. This is a major problem for an economy that is dependent on agricultural exports—and many believe it will further weaken the kiwi. “It’s definitely a material risk in our view,” said Adam Cole, head of G-10 FX Strategy at RBC Capital Markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Africa should invest in agriculture

Posted on 03 November 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

About 65 per cent of the African population lives in rural areas and relies on agriculture as the prime source of income; this is according to John Magnay, head of agriculture finance at Opportunities International.
Opportunity International is a non-governmental organisation working to end global poverty by creating/sustaining 20 million jobs by 2020. The head of agriculture finance called for improved investment in the sector as a step towards ending poverty, creating household disposable incomes and jobs in the region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds turn bearish on wheat at fastest pace on record

Posted on 27 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds sold wheat at the fastest rate on record as forecasts for rain eased concerns over autumn-sown crops in the former Soviet Union and US, but speculators maintained their faith in a sugar rally. Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from corn to cattle, by nearly 77,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows.
The cut in the net long - the extent to which long bets, which profit when values rise, exceed short holdings, which benefit when prices fall – was the first in a month………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The El Niño Effect: What It Means for Commodities (Video)

Posted on 23 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

El Niño’s effects are just beginning in much of the world — for the most part, it hasn’t really reached North America — and yet it’s already shaping up potentially as one of the three strongest El Niño patterns since record-keeping began in 1950. Bloomberg’s Brian Sullivan and Marvin Perez have more on “Bloomberg Markets.”.………………………………………Full Article: Source

No to ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’, yes to agroecology

Posted on 22 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Climate Smart Agriculture sounds like a great idea, write hundreds of civil society organisations worldwide. But in truth it’s a PR front for international agribusiness to promote corporate agriculture, pesticides and fertilisers at COP21, with a heavy dose of greenwash. Countries must resist the siren calls - and give their support to true agroecology that sustains soil, life and climate.
We, the undersigned, belong to civil society organizations including social movements, peasants / farmers organizations and faith-based organizations from around the world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds, again, lift bets on ag commodity price rises

Posted on 20 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agricultural commodities grew further in affections of hedge funds, who extended upbeat bets on sugar to a 15-month top, with hogs firmly in favour too, although sentiment cooled towards the main Chicago grains.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, raised by more than 57,000 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

The World Bank Group’s 2013-15 Agriculture for Action Plan

Posted on 15 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A look at the history of the World Bank’s approach and the crises that led up to the Agriculture for Development report. And a review and discussion of the Action Plan including examples of the challenges peasants face in the wake of World Bank Group projects.
Released in January 2013, the World Bank Group 2013-2015 Agricultural Action Plan provides a roadmap for the second phase of operationalizing the World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development. Ostensibly, the Plan is designed to improve rural livelihoods and support global food security by addressing climate change, rural gender inequality, market access and investment needs for agriculture………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Here’s How El Niño Could Affect Your Portfolio

Posted on 14 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Earlier this year, forecasts for the El Niño weather phenomenon pushed many investors to enter the commodity space on expectations that food prices were going to rise. For those that did, recent reports from government officials that the weather pattern could be its most severe in almost 20 years have been good news.
Farmers are already warning about crop shortages and several agricultural products have seen sharp gains in response. Last week, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reported that global food prices increased for the first time in more than a year, a sign that the agriculture space is already beginning to feel the pinch………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities Prices Are Heating Up on El Niño

Posted on 13 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The El Niño weather phenomenon is starting to push up prices for agricultural commodities as its impact spreads through key crop-growing regions in Asia and beyond. Government forecasters in the U.S. and Australia have in recent weeks warned that El Niño could be the severest in nearly two decades.
Late last week, the Japan Meteorological Agency said sea surface temperatures in the Pacific are “remarkably above normal” and warned that temperatures could even reach their highest level since 1950. In turn, farmers are warning of potential damage to their output. Sugar farmers in Brazil say heavy rain could reduce the sugar content of their cane, while farmers in Australia, Asia and parts of Africa say dry conditions could hit production of crops such as palm oil, wheat, cocoa and coffee………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Agri commodities: Sebi trains focus on curbing speculation

Posted on 12 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In its expanded role as regulator of the commodities derivative market, Sebi is working on a robust mechanism to ensure fair price discovery of agri products and curb excessive speculative activities. The regulator has already sought help from the Ministry of Agriculture with regard to the physical market price data sources and for improving the methodology for determination of final settlement price.
Sebi’s focus is to ensure that derivatives trading is used as a hedging instrument by farmers and others in the commodities marketplace against seasonal and unforeseen price fluctuations rather than for creating speculative bubbles to make quick money, a senior official said. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

How El Nino Could Rescue Global Growth and Commodities

Posted on 07 October 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Weather forecasters are fairly confident that the world is experiencing the strongest El Niño phenomenon since 1997-1998, a climate pattern that features increased ocean temperatures and disruptive rainfall and drought events around the world. You’d expect anything that wreaks meteorological havoc to drive up food prices.
But surprisingly, it may also boost both inflation and gross domestic product — which if true would be great news for central bankers struggling to combat the twin threats of faltering growth and stagnating consumer prices. Quick Take on El Niño: Economists Paul Cashin, Kamiar Mohaddes and Mehdi Raissi published an International Monetary Fund paper earlier this year making just that case………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rice Is Commodity Winner as Weather Cuts Crop in Southern U.S.

Posted on 24 September 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While adverse summer weather conditions in the U.S. have failed to give much of a boost to either corn or soybean prices, one crop is surging: rice. Rough rice traded in Chicago is up 22 per cent in the third quarter, the best performer among commodities futures tracked by Bloomberg.
Domestic output is estimated to fall 14 per cent in the crop year that began 1 August to 18.95 billion pounds, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said 11 September. The harvest in Arkansas, the largest growing state, is showing “dismal” yields, according to a USDA report last week. Texas had a record wet month in May and other southern growing states saw above-average temperatures in July………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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