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Commodities Briefing - Category | Agriculture more

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

Global Food prices continue to delcine on good weather, harvests

Posted on 12 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

FAO’s monthly food price index registered another drop in August, continuing a 5-month downward run and reaching its lowest level since September 2010. The index’s August average of 196.6 points represents a decrease of 7.3 points (3.6 percent) from July. With the exception of meat, prices for all of the commodities measured by the index dipped markedly.
Dairy led the pack, with FAO’s sub-index for dairy products averaging 200.8 points in August, down 25.3 points (11.2 percent) versus July and 46.8 points (18.9 percent) compared to a year ago — the result of abundant supplies for export coupled with reduced import demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Insurers bet big on agri commodities

Posted on 05 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Non-life insurers are betting highly on the Forward Markets Commission (FMC)’s proposed norms relating to commodities trade. According to the norms, warehouse service providers (WSPs) will have to provide full insurance covers to deliverable commodities on futures exchanges.
In draft guidelines issued on August 26, the FMC said WSPs seeking accreditation with the National Multi Commodity Exchange would have to fully cover the value of goods at exchange-approved warehouses for risks such as fires, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, burglaries, thefts, etc………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agriculture ETPs losing investors on record harvest

Posted on 03 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The investment binge in U.S. agriculture funds has ended as record crops and the promise of improving meat supplies send prices plunging. After taking in more money than precious metals or energy funds during the first five months of 2014, exchange-traded products backed by agriculture had a net outflow for the year of $57.7 million as of Aug. 29, down 2.9 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Energy, precious-metal, industrial-metal and broad-based funds saw net inflows over the period, boosting total raw-material investment by $341 million, or 0.5 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World Coton production to exceed consumption for fifth straight year

Posted on 03 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2014/15, the world cotton industry is expected to enter its fifth consecutive season in which production exceeds consumption. World production is forecast to decline by 400,000 tons to 26.05 million tons while consumption could grow by 4% to 24.4 million tons, resulting in a surplus of 1.7 million tons, according to a report by International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).
Since 2010/11, world production will have exceeded consumption by a cumulative 12.3 million tons and by the end of 2014/15, would reach nearly 14 million tons. Much of the surplus is held by the Chinese government, but this season, more of the surplus will shift to the private sector in China and other producing countries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cotton, sugar u-turns slow hedge funds’ ag selling

Posted on 02 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds’ selldown in the agricultural commodity complex slowed to a crawl as they turned less negative on cotton and sugar, offsetting in part continued bearish positioning in livestock and soybeans.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, reduced its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from cotton to corn, by 3,844 lots in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wheat crop may fall to smallest since 2010

Posted on 28 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

South African farmers may produce 4.8 percent less wheat this season than a year earlier, making it the smallest harvest since 2010, the Crop Estimates Committee said as it lowered the area prediction for the cereal to the lowest on record. Growers may reap 1.78 million metric tons in the 2014 season compared with 1.87 million tons last year, Marda Scheepers, a spokeswoman for the committee, said.
It is less than the 1.87 million-ton median prediction by three analysts in a Bloomberg survey. While South Africa is the sub-Saharan region’s biggest producer of the grain after Ethiopia, it’s still a net importer of wheat, according to US Department of Agriculture data………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Soybean Futures Prices Tumble to Nearly Four-Year Low

Posted on 27 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Soybeans fell to their lowest intraday price for a front-month contract in almost four years, as September futures near expiration, spurring investors to close out their positions. The so-called first-notice day is Friday, when investors who had bought contracts betting on rising price trend may be required, depending upon terms of their original transaction, to take delivery of the soybeans.
To avoid taking delivery, contract holders must sell and either liquidate their position or roll their investment into a future month. The September contract expires on Sept. 12. The bulk of soybean futures contracts traded on commodities exchanges don’t end in delivery of the underlying product………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Low Commodity Prices Could Affect 2014 Equipment Purchases

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With fall right around the corner, farmers are gearing up to harvest one of the largest crops in history. Corn production for 2014/15 is forecast 172 million bushels higher at a record 14 billion bushels. USDA’s first survey-based corn yield forecast, at a record 167.4 bushels per acre, is up 2.1 bushels from last month’s trend-based projection.
In Mid-June, more than 581 farmers across the country took part in AgWeb’s 2014 Equipment and Machinery Research survey. Participants were surveyed on product questions across eight categories, including: tractors combines, sprayers, irrigation, grain storage, implements, tillage and financial sectors………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russian agriculture struggles to meet self-sufficiency challenge

Posted on 20 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The harvest workers at Sovkhoz Lenina carry the apples to the trailer one bucket at a time. Soon the ripe load piles up under the balmy sun, ready for customers in nearby Moscow, who are hungry for fresh, healthy, homegrown produce.
Since the Russian government banned food imports from western countries earlier this month in retaliation for sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has been trying to persuade consumers that domestic produce is better and telling farmers that Russian agriculture’s time has come………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge Funds Extend Longest Soy Bear Run Since 2006: Commodities

Posted on 18 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds extended the longest bearish streak for soybeans in eight years as improving crop conditions bolster prospects for a record harvest in the U.S., the world’s largest grower.
Money managers have been betting on declines for five straight weeks, the most since October 2006. The U.S. on Aug. 12 raised its outlook for domestic production that was already forecast at an all-time high. The bumper harvest will swell global inventories to the biggest ever………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US sees record global wheat crop

Posted on 13 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global food supply expectations have got a boost as the US Department of Agriculture forecast a record global wheat crop and a new high mark for US corn output. Other important US crops, including rice and soybeans, were also forecast to gain significantly, likely helping to keep a lid on the rise in global food prices in the first quarter of the year.
The USDA said US wheat production was solid, and coupled with strong increases in Russia, Ukraine and China, would take the total world crop for the 2014-2015 crop year to 716.1 million tons, up 2.0 million tons from 2013-2014………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia bans agricultural products from EU, USA, Australia, Norway, Canada

Posted on 08 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on the full ban for imports of beef, pork, poultry meat, fish, cheese, milk, vegetables and fruit from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway. The ban will last a year, starting August 7.
The Prime Minister also said Russia has stopped transit flights by Ukrainian airlines to such destinations as Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, adding that the country was considering a ban of transit flights for European and US Airlines to the Asia-Pacific region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia to ban all U.S. agricultural imports

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Retaliating for U.S. sanctions over Ukraine, Russia will ban or limit all American agricultural products for up to a year, a Kremlin official said Wednesday. All fruits and vegetables from the European Union will also be locked out, the country’s agricultural and veterinary watchdog told RIA Novosti. Produce from Canada and Japan will also be blocked.
The complete list of banned products, to be announced Thursday, will be “very substantial,” said Alexey Alekseenko, an assistant to the head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds close to most bearish ever on wheat

Posted on 05 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds cut their bets on agricultural commodities to the most downbeat in six months, led by wheat, in which they came close to their most bearish positioning ever, with notable gloom over cotton price prospects too.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, cut by more than 37,000 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

Commodities: Probability of El Nino developing falls to 50%

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The commodities complex saw few changes on Monday, although geopolitical concerns buoyed gold prices while oil futures traders stayed on the sidelines ahead of weekly supply data scheduled for release on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama was expected to meet with four of his European counterparts, with the possibility of new sanctions being levied on specific sectors of the Russian economy a distinct possibility. Gold futures for delivery in December ended trading $3.4 lower at $1,305.8/oz. on COMEX. Front month West Texas crude futures slipped by 20 cents to $101.67/barrel on NYMEX………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: FY15 agriculture growth to remain muted, says Crisil

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The country’s agriculture growth is likely to remain muted at 1 per cent in FY’2015 largely due to strong statistical base-effect, rating agency CrisilBSE -2.60 % said.
Monsoons are currently 24 per cent below the long period average, which is worse than the deficiency seen in fiscals 2009 or 2012. While 2009 turned out to be a drought year, rains recovered sharply in the latter half of the season in 2012………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Slackness in agri-commodity prices likely to be short term

Posted on 28 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agri-commodity counters are witnessing volatility due to the revival of monsoons in the second half of July. While this could be a short-term phenomenon, in the medium to long-term agri-commodity prices are still looking bullish.
Between June 1 and July 15 there was a 43 per cent deficit in rainfall. However in the second half of July there was some recovery and the deficit narrowed down to 25 per cent. This has led to slight correction in most of the agri-commodities and some have also remained volatile in the past week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global tie-up to improve agriculture

Posted on 23 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An international partnership across India, Africa and the US has formed the ‘One Agriculture-One Science: A Global Education Consortium’ initiative aimed at revitalising global agricultural education, capacity building and technology transfer, according to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Icrisat).
‘One Agriculture-One Science’ is a consortium of agricultural education institutes, research organisations and other related agencies specifically focusing on addressing changes and adaptations required for agricultural education to better contribute and more effectively impact development goals, particularly the attainment of food and nutritional security and sustainable agricultural production in developing countries, Icrisat stated in a release………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investors swap grains for metals as flows trickle to commodities

Posted on 22 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors are slowly being drawn back into commodities, attracted by stronger global economic growth and more volatility within sub-sectors, typified by current investment flows out of grains into industrial metals.
The sector has been shunned in recent years, knocked by poor returns during the financial crisis which saw commodities move in step with other assets. Commodities has benefited this year after China unleashed stimulus measures to prop up growth and recovery took hold in the United States………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agriculture is all about horticulture

Posted on 21 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the Indian economy, where almost half of an average household’s expenditure goes toward food and where half of the labour force is engaged in agriculture, one cannot simply wish away the centrality of agriculture just because its contribution to GDP now hovers around 14 per cent.
That would be an overly narrow viewpoint, and perhaps a misguided one. India’s agriculture is responsible for feeding a large and growing population that numbers 1.25 billion today and that is projected to exceed that of China by 2035………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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