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Commodities Briefing - Category | Agriculture more

Hedge funds favour grains to soft commodities - but will it last?

Posted on 30 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds, despite lifting bullish bets on cotton to a three-year, favoured grains to soft commodities – so much so that many investors saw scope for fresh selling in the likes of corn.
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 55,896 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global food prices to stay low in 2017: Rabobank report

Posted on 29 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

High global stock levels expected to keep food prices low during 2017, however, Donald Trump presidency may bring currency uncertainty that will translate into volatile food prices, Rabobank said in its Agri Commodity Market Outlook for 2017 here.
The record-high stock levels are set to keep worldwide food prices low during 2017 even as inflation starts to rise in many developed economies, according to the report from Rabobank, the global food and agribusiness bank. Following the election of Donald Trump as president-elect earlier this month, Rabobank is cautious on the outlook for the US………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s reserves a ‘striking wild card’ for agri-commodities

Posted on 24 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

How Beijing handles its reserves of soft commodities will help shape markets in 2017. China’s handling of its state reserves of raw materials such as cotton and sugar will be a key factor shaping the direction of agricultural commodities in 2017, according to a major lender to agribusinesses.
China is “the most striking wild card” that will drive agricultural markets, said Stefan Vogel, head of agri commodity markets at Rabobank, the Dutch lender that is a leading financier to farmers and agribusinesses around the world…………………………………Full Article: Source

Low food prices to pressure farm commodities in 2017

Posted on 24 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global food prices are set to remain low in 2017, keeping pressure on many farm commodity prices, say analysts at Rabobank. While the drop in sterling has firmed prices for many UK farm outputs, large parts of the food and agriculture sector need to be prepared to keep working in a low-priced environment, said the Dutch food and agribusiness bank in its Global Outlook 2017 report.
Climate and economic risks will persist and there will be short-term price moves despite the overall low price environment, said the outlook…………………………………Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs and Chinese speculators fuel soy market rally

Posted on 23 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rally in soybean futures continued, as funds pile into the oilseed, but what is fuelling this fund buying? One factor is that Chinese soy-complex and vegoil markets are once again in bull-mode, after the government stepped in to cool speculation last week.
Key to this buying is the weakness in the yuan, which on Monday reached eight-year-lows against the dollar, after a 12-day slide following the wake of the US election, an ironic result given president-elect Donald Trump’s frequent………………………………………Full Article: Source

Bumper rice harvests drag prices to decade-lows

Posted on 17 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Years of drought brought by the weather cycle El Nino to South and Southeast Asia, home to the world’s biggest rice traders, have given way once more to soaking rains, boosting harvests of the region’s major staple crop and sending prices tumbling to 10-year lows.
A combination of improved harvests, significant inventories due to government policies and commodities market speculation, contracting export demand and programs to boost rice production for Asia’s biggest importers have led to widespread problems for farmers and subsequent intervention by regional administrations……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Global food prices to decline on bumper output forecasts

Posted on 14 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global food commodities prices are likely to remain subdued during the rest of the current calendar and the next year following a sharp upwards revision in their output forecasts by the global monitoring agency the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
FAO in its latest report has forecast global cereal output at 2,571 million tonnes for the calendar year 2016, 1.5 per cent rise from their production reported in 2015. Apart from cereals, the recovery in the output of crude palm oil across major producing state hints at its price decline in coming days…………………………………….Full Article: Source

World food prices edge up in October - FAO

Posted on 11 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World food prices edged up in October to continue an upward trend since January, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday, adding that prospects for global cereal output had improved.
Barring a slight dip in July, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index has steadily increased from a seven-year low hit in the first month of this year. The index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 172.6 points in October, 0.7 per cent above the month before and 9.1 per cent above October last year…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is wheat undervalued on the futures market?: Braun

Posted on 02 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Given the world’s ever-expanding inventories of wheat and corn, it seems hard to argue for higher prices for either one. Although the currently low wheat-to-corn price differential is particularly favorable for the use of feed wheat worldwide, support for Chicago wheat futures may lie within the fundamentals.
Since Aug. 31, December wheat futures have tacked on 6 percent and December corn is up about 13 percent. But should the wheat contract be the one with the bigger gains?…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds cut bearish bets in grains and oilseeds

Posted on 01 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Demand in soyabeans and end of US harvest offer support for agricultural commodities. Hedge funds and other speculative investors have cut their bearish bets in grains and oilseeds, as firm demand in soyabeans and the end of the US harvest provide support for agricultural commodity prices.
Speculative net positions in grains and oilseeds in the week ending October 25 turned positive for the first time since July, according to data from the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission…………………………………….Full Article: Source

What’s Behind the Glut in Agricultural Commodities

Posted on 18 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The boom-and-bust production cycle has expanded around the globe. Harvests are under way of what are projected to be the largest corn and soybean crops in U.S. history, which soon will hit a global market already sitting on the largest-ever grain stockpiles.
Indeed, some farmers are hoping for a weather hiccup somewhere in the world to curb yields and breathe life into crop prices that recently hit multiyear lows. They may be waiting a long time…………………………………..Full Article: Source

China set to add to the global corn glut

Posted on 14 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global corn market is bracing for a potentially large spillover from China as the country will restart exports after nearly a decade of stockpiling the grain in pursuit of food self-sufficiency.
Market insiders have long worried about the kind of impact China might have once it decides to tip its bursting stockpiles onto the global market. If Chinese exports expand significantly, they will likely further drag down an already depressed market. China is the second largest maize producer after the U.S., accounting for 20% of the worldwide harvest……………………………………Full Article: Source

U.S. Announces Trade Case Against China Over Agriculture Products

Posted on 14 September 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Obama administration on Tuesday challenged China over its support for domestic wheat, rice and corn growers, alleging that Beijing is subsidizing these industries in excess of internationally agreed levels.
Beijing spent nearly $100 billion more than allowed under the World Trade Organization on “market price support” for those agricultural products in 2015, U.S. officials said in announcing a new case against China at the WTO………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Food Commodities Trader Olam Sees Low Grain Prices Into 2017

Posted on 13 September 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Olam International Ltd., one of the world’s largest food commodities traders, forecasts that grain prices will remain low into 2017 as oversupply and softening Chinese demand weigh on crops.
“Prices will stay low for the next six months,” Olam’s chief executive officer, Sunny Verghese, said in an interview in Singapore last week. “We have very burdensome balance-sheets across the entire grain complex.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hedge Funds Are Uprooting Agriculture Futures Contracts

Posted on 07 September 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Eight times in the nine weeks leading up to August 15, 2016, hedge fund managers reduced their positions in agricultural futures, with cotton, wheat and corn particular sell-off targets.
For guidance, hedge funds may be looking to Managed Money, a benchmark for commodity speculators, which recently slashed its net long position in the “top 13 U.S.-traded agricultural commodities, from cotton to cattle, by 8,255 contracts in the week to last Tuesday,” according to Agrimoney.com, siting data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Hedge Funds are Mass-Selling Agricultural Futures

Posted on 07 September 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agrimoney.com has reported that net long positions on key agricultural futures across the hedge fund industry have declined significantly in the past two to three months, down from roughly 600,000 contracts to 367,000 contracts in play.
Hedge funds across the country have repeatedly sold off stakes in corn, wheat, and cotton in particular during this time period. A number of factors may be contributing to this sudden shift in approach, including an important move from a leading commodity speculator, questions about the Federal Reserve’s possible interest rate change in the months to come, and environmental and seasonal factors in the agricultural industry that have affected supply and demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan says resuming U.S. white wheat purchase

Posted on 02 September 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture has resumed buying U.S. white wheat after a trade halt following the discovery of unapproved genetically modified (GMO) wheat in July.
GMO wheat developed by Monsanto Co, not approved by federal regulators, was found growing in a Washington state field, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in late July. That prompted Japan to take steps to block certain imports of U.S. wheat, suspending purchases of Western White wheat from Washington state for food use, and purchases of Western White wheat from the U.S. West Coast for feed use………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Wheat Prices Fall To Lowest In A Decade

Posted on 29 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fed chair, Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday night failed to rattle commodity markets - even as it helped to push the value of the US dollar higher. In fact she was aided by a speech from Fed deputy chair, Stanley Fischer, who is anything was a bit more certain that the case was there for an increase in US rates - but there were not hints on when that case might become clearer.
As a result commodities were mostly steady to a touch weaker (but not zinc which jumped sharply in London), or wheat which fell to decade lows in Chicago. US oil futures managed to hold on to a modest gain on Friday night, our time, but finished well off the session’s highs as the greenback moved sharply higher………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Here’s why olive oil prices are likely to remain stubbornly high

Posted on 26 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Olive oil prices may have softened this year after a stellar 2015, but one analyst isn’t expecting a sudden plunge with a series of factors helping to prop up the market. Loraine Hudson, a market analyst at research firm Mintec, told CNBC Thursday that “tight stocks in the EU” will keep a floor under the commodity that’s widely used in cooking.
Olive oil is one of the most volatile soft commodities, with prices being driven by supply. Last year, prices skyrocketed due to issues in Spain and Italy, the EU’s two largest producers of the commodity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investing In Agriculture: Hard Profits From Soft Commodities

Posted on 25 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agricultural commodities have more diverse price behavior than metals or energy. One sub-sector is a must avoid because trading has broken down. One agricultural commodity has outperformed gold so far in 2016. Of the three major areas of commodities, two of them - energy and metals - get disproportionate attention from the financial media.
While the third major component - agriculture - isn’t usually deemed as being as exciting, it has also had highly profitable trades in 2016. There have, however, been more underperforming farmland commodities, so an investor needs to pick and choose………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities: The milk industry cowed

Posted on 12 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dairy farmers adapt to tough times as demand for milk in China slows, hitting New Zealand and the EU. It is calving season in Waikato, New Zealand’s biggest dairy region, and Nicola Kloeten, a farmer, is delivering a new generation of cattle which she hopes will satisfy Asia’s growing appetite for milk, butter and cheeses.
Since signing a free trade deal with China in 2008, New Zealand has enjoyed an export-led dairy boom that has earned it the nickname of “the Saudi Arabia of milk” and driven a rapid expansion of its farm industry. The South Pacific nation is the world’s biggest exporter of milk-based products, which account for a quarter of everything it sells overseas………………………………………..Full Article: Source

International food commodity prices fall

Posted on 05 August 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The international prices for major food commodities saw a modest decline in July, following five consecutive months of increases. The United Nation’s FAO Food Price Index (FPI) averaged 161.9 points in July 2016, slipping 0.8 percent (1.3 points) below its level in June and 1.4 percent below its level of July 2015.
The overall decline of the Index was largely caused by drops in international quotations of grains and vegetable oils, more than offsetting firmer dairy, meat and sugar prices. The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five major food commodity groups………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds sell ags again - but wheat shorts ‘in trouble’

Posted on 26 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds extended their cut in bullish positioning on agricultural commodities to the longest of 2016, although ideas grew on wheat at least that the extent of short bets may not be sustainable, boding well for prices.
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 56,935 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, analysis of data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agriculture could be included in Emissions Trading Scheme

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Treasury has raised the possibility of agriculture being included in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) after years of being exempt from charges. The move is suggested in a March Treasury briefing to Finance Minister Bill English and his two associates Steven Joyce and Paula Bennett.
The briefing outlines the financial risk the government faces from scrapping the one-for-two scheme - a 50 percent subsidy for polluters which meant they paid half the value of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fund Review: Agriculture

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity markets have seen something of a rebound in recent months and agriculture is no exception. The soft commodity space is varied, ranging from cocoa to coffee to sugar, and while the focus has been on oil, gold and industrial metals and the effect on these of issues such as China’s slowing growth, agricultural commodities appear to have been somewhat under the radar.
In the past 12 months the broad S&P GSCI Commodity index has struggled, falling 6.4 per cent in the year to July 6 2016, yet on a sub-sector basis there are soft commodities that have delivered strong returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds’ sell-off in grains raises hopes for corn, wheat rallies

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The extent of hedge funds’ selldown in grains, while continuing to raise bullish bets on soft commodities, raised ideas that the worst could be over for liquidation in corn and wheat– if not for soybean derivatives.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, slashed its net long position in futures and options in the top 13 US-traded agricultural commodities, from corn to cocoa, by 114,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Guess what’s on pace to book the biggest gain among commodities this week

Posted on 15 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Cotton futures boast the largest gain among major commodities this week, after rallying Thursday to their highest level in more than two years thanks to a slowdown in global production and signs of stronger demand. Analysts said that the commodity is likely due for a correction after such a spectacular rise, but its lofty prices may be here to stay.
On Thursday, cotton for December delivery rose 1.2% to trade at 74.04 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange. Prices were poised to log their highest settlement since June 2014, and readied for a weekly gain of 12.5%, according to FactSet data………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds accelerate ag selldown - boding well for wheat prices?

Posted on 12 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds accelerated their rate of selling in grains, fuelled by a hike in bearish bets on Chicago wheat to near-record levels – provoking ideas that a rout which has taken prices to 10-year lows may be spent.
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 more than 130,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agricultural Commodities Awaken

Posted on 11 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agriculture has been a sector long ignored by investors. So much so, in fact, that the last time the largest ETF in the sector saw investor inflows, was way back in 2009.
But now, in 2016, that same ETF has seen about $162 million in investor inflows, and counts the Harvard endowment fund among its investors. With nearly $900 million, it’s time to pay attention to the future of PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Era of high agricultural prices ‘most likely over’ says OECD

Posted on 06 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent period of high agricultural commodity prices is most likely over, say the OECD and FAO in their latest 10-year Outlook. But the two organisations warn of the need to be vigilant as the probability of a major price swing remains high.
The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025, published today, projects inflation-adjusted agricultural commodity prices will remain relatively flat overall in the coming decade. However, livestock prices are expected to rise, relative to those for crops………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global Food Prices Set to Stagnate as Population Growth Slowing

Posted on 06 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Food prices will stagnate over the next decade as the population growth rate declines and income expansion in emerging economies slows. Food costs will stabilize at a level slightly higher than in the years before the 2007-08 price spike, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said in a joint report.
Population growth, the main driver of food prices, will slow to 1 percent annually through 2025, the organizations said. Global food costs more than doubled since 2000 as population expanded and rising incomes meant more demand for meat, which usually costs more than grains and oilseeds, FAO data showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Understanding the Difference Between Hard and Soft Commodities

Posted on 30 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There are two main types of commodities: hard and soft. Hard commodities consist of natural resources, such as oil or gold. While soft commodities are agricultural goods or livestock that must be grown and cared for in order to be produced. Both markets trade on supply and demand, and are heavily influenced by macroeconomic events.
Hard commodities are usually the ones that make headlines, or are referred to as a basis for economic health. Because the production and supply of these assets can be predicted fairly accurately, they are used to gauge global-economic health. Copper and oil, in particular, are often looked at to determine where the economy is headed by observing total-worldwide demand for these products……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hedge funds cooler on grains - but in softs, bullish bets at 8-year top

Posted on 28 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds’ love affair with grains has began to cool, even as they raised bullish soft commodity betting to a six-year high, leaving them vulnerable to the market turbulence which has followed the UK vote to quit the EU.
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 hogs, by more than 60,000 contracts in the week to last Tuesday, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulator………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Milder La Niña forecast for commodity markets

Posted on 22 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The La Niña weather phenomenon forecast to develop later this year will not be as strong as that of 2010-12 when severe droughts in key growing areas around the world devastated crops. “Climate models suggest it is unlikely to reach levels seen in the most recent event of 2010-12, which was one of the strongest La Niña events on record,” said the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in its latest analysis on Tuesday.
La Niña, which is the opposite of El Niño, is caused by the cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean. The weather event normally brings dryness in the US midwest and rainfall in Southeast Asia and Australia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Soft Commodities: The Quiet Bull Market

Posted on 21 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sugar is sweet. Coffee is percolating. Orange juice explodes. Cocoa is a long-term bull. Cotton is cheap. Gold and oil get lots of headlines. Recently, we have heard a lot about rallies in soybeans and corn and other commodities. However, rarely do the soft, or luxury goods, get much press, but they have been active over recent months.
In fact, way back in August of 2015, one sweet staple was the first commodity to move higher from multi-year lows. Few took note of the rally, but that agricultural product has almost doubled since then, and it is a staple that most of us consume each day………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds lift bullish ag bets to 2-year top - raising scope for selling

Posted on 21 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds hiked their net long in agricultural commodities to the highest in more than two years, led by the most bullish positioning in softs since 2008 – but providing ammunition for the selling which set in on Monday.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, raised by more than 107,000 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

AfDB to invest $24b in agriculture

Posted on 20 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

African Development Bank(AfDB) President, DrAkinwumiAdesina said the bank plans to invest about $24 billion (or $2.4 billion yearly) over the next 10 years to help drive the agricultural transformation inAfrica.
This is, he said, represents a 400 per cent increase in financing to the agricultural sector by the bank. He spoke at the Seventh African Agricultural Science Week and FARA General Assembly, in Kigali, Rwanda. He lamented that Africa spends $35 billion on importing food. This, according to him, is projected to grow to $110 billion by 2025………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hedge funds hike bullish ag bets to 2-year high, amid ‘inflow of money’

Posted on 14 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hedge funds hiked their bullish bets on ags to the highest in two years amid the investor influx which drove prices to the highest in 17 months – although the upbeat positioning may spell bad news for wheat futures.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, raised by nearly 170,000 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

FAO sees stable commodity prices amid abundant production

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global food commodity markets are on a stable path for the year ahead, with solid production prospects and abundant stocks pointing to a broadly stable outcome for prices and supplies, the Food and Agriculture Organisation says.
In its biannual Food Outlook, FAO says lower food prices than last year means that the world’s food import bill are on course to fall to $986 billion this year — below $1 trillion for the first time since 2009 — even as traded volumes increase………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agri-Commodities Winning in 2016

Posted on 10 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The inevitable just seems to keep coming around. That over time food would become scarcer in our world has been well known for decades. Simply put, global demand for food continues to expand. Inevitable scarcity of food for the world is occasionally hidden by short-term bursts of exceptionally good harvests. But, exceptionally good is not a normal state for world’s Agri-Food production.
For much of the past year farmers have suffering financially from inadequate prices for their production. In 2016, that situation is apparently changing. Simply put, a stash of soybeans or sugar in the bowl on your table have outperformed equity markets. As can be observed in the lower part of chart, the average(mean) gain thus far is almost ten percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Climate-smart agriculture: More than just greenwashing?

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ahead of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture’s second forum, numerous associations have criticised the group, citing the prevalence of greenwashing and lack of actual positive impact on climate change.
Agriculture can arguably claim to be the sector most affected by climate change, given the threat posed to water supply, land use and food security. Famine is increasingly becoming more of a concern in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia as a result. Deforestation, loss of biodiversity, more usage of toxic chemicals, soil erosion and decreasing levels of groundwater are all exacerbating the situation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Speculators’ bullish ag bets hit 2-year high - as algo funds move in

Posted on 07 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Speculators lifted bullish positioning on agricultural commodities to the highest in nearly two years, as algorithmic funds flooded in, into sugar at least, – while coffee and wheat caught out investors making bearish bets.
Managed money, a proxy for speculators, raised by more than 64,000 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

Global food prices rose in May; commodity markets look stable for year ahead – UN

Posted on 03 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global food prices rose 2.1 per cent in May, the fourth straight monthly increase, but stayed about seven per cent below 2015 levels, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said today, also noting that food commodity markets are on a stable path for the year ahead, with solid production prospects and abundant stocks pointing to broadly stable prices and supplies.
The FAO Food Price Index rose to 155.8 points in May, with prices rising across the index – a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for the cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat and sugar commodity groups – except for vegetable oil prices, which subsided after a strong hike in April………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Does organic agriculture boost local economies?

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For the first time, there is now evidence linking organic agriculture and economic health. The organic industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States food industry. Organic food sales grew 11 percent to almost US$40 billion in 2015, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), while the food market as a whole had a 3 percent growth rate.
This growth is partly because organic crops command a premium price over conventional crops—as demand for organic food rises, so does the interest in organic production from farmers and producers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Commodities Market Has A Sweet Tooth

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite appearances that the entire commodities sector is continuing on a major downslide, one resource remains steadfast – sugar. Sugar has been one of the best-performing commodities so far this year – largely driven by a global supply shortage, after wallowing in a five-year surplus.
Supply woes are pushing futures prices higher, while demand continues to increase on a global basis. In fact, the International Sugar Organization – along with most analysts – forecast global deficits through 2017………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agricultural emissions ‘reality check’

Posted on 19 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A new report says that global agricultural emissions must be slashed to prevent the planet warming by more than 2C over the next century. The current focus is on reducing emissions from transport and energy. But an international team of scientists argues that if farm-related emissions aren’t tackled then the Paris climate targets will be breached.
An estimated one-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. The report by researchers from the universities of Vermont and Sheffield and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change examines non-CO2 emissions, such as methane and nitrous oxide………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ag prices soar: Commodities get mojo back

Posted on 13 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors have been harvesting big gains in the past month from agricultural commodities, and some of the futures, such as sugar and soybeans, were near levels this week not seen in 18 months or more.
Latin America weather woes and the Brazilian government turmoil are playing a major role in the month-long ag rally. Brazil’s real has strengthened against the dollar, encouraging producers of traditional export products, such as coffee and sugar, to sell supplies at home………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

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