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mikey

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Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« on: September 30, 2008, 10:17:28 AM »
Corn : This Accounting Graduate Finds a Niche in Farming
Crispina “Tayan” Leonocito of Carmen, North Cotabato, 44, was an accounting clerk at her town ’s local government unit before she joined her husband in Subic, Olangapo, Zambales where he was a naval architect at the U.S. Naval Base.

However, soon after the Americans returned the naval base to the Philippines she went back to Carmen where farming beckoned her interest when 4 hectares (ha) of corn land were mortgaged to her in 1992. With P40,000 borrowed from her brother-in-law, she started farming while at the same time engaging in small-scale farm financing, providing production loans to corn farmers.

Tayan said that although she was using a bicycle as her service vehicle to get to her borrowers, her business was making good. After seven months, she was able to return the money she borrowed. A year later, she bought a 2.4-hectare farm lot, then a tractor, and then a jeep.

As if farming and farm financing were really made for her, Tayan soon found that the farmers were already selling their farms to her. It did not take long for her farm to reach 20 ha, which she planted to corn. Later, she expanded to sugarcane production.

After being able to buy a cargo truck for hauling canes from the farms to the sugar central, she eventually started to buy standing canes several months before harvest. This venture enabled her to buy more farms from sugarcane growers.

Not yet contented with her progress in her earlier ventures, Tayan even planted 5 ha with mango starting in 2001. The first hectare started to bear fruits last season. Harvesting was made twice. The first harvest of 3,000 kilograms (kg) was sold at P23/kg for P69,000. This was followed by 3,300 kg, which was sold at P21/kg for P69,300. All in all, her gross sale from the first hectare was P 138,300.

Tayan has also ventured into rubber production and planted 30 ha to this crop.

CORN FARMING
Right now, Tayan is producing corn in 44 ha, and 38 ha of which belongs to her while the rest were mortgaged to her.

She has been planting the Bioseed corn hybrids like Bioseed 9900, Bioseed 9901 and Bioseed 9890 for several years now, and she immediately adopted the newest variety of Bioseed Research Philippines, Bioseed 9909, as soon as it was introduced last year.

She planted 2.2 ha with the new variety and harvested 359 bags in cobs. At a shelling percentage of 48 percent, she got 172 bags of dried, shelled corn weighing 15, 480 kg. This means that she harvested an average 7,036 kg a hectare.

“You would be fascinated with the corn plants if you saw them growing,” Tayan said.

She added that the ears became bigger and the grains heavier with the application of the bio-organic fertilizer Durabloom, which she has been using continuously for four years already. This is especially true during the dry season.

Buyers classify the grains as Class A and she gets an additional incentive of P0.05 a kilo over the current price. With 15,480 kg, she gets an additional income of P774.

Contrary to the recommendation of Novatech Agri-Food Industries that Durabloom be applied during planting Tayan applies this bio-organic fertilizer as sidedressing at 21 to 25 days after planting, using a mechanical applicator before hilling up. She applies 10 bags per hectare.

This has been her practice since Durabloom was introduced to her and other Carmen farmers in a seminar by Dr. Rene Sumaoang, Novatech president and CEO. Tayan said she already saw an increase in her corn yield on the first crop applied with Durabloom -and, hence, has continued to use it.

In the past, Tayan was also providing production loans to farmers in the form of Bioseed corn seeds and other inputs for 1,000 ha (1 bag/ha) and was buying the harvest herself However, she is now limited to 100 ha because she has diversified to mango, sugarcane and rubber production.

She also uses Durabloom as fertilizer for her mango trees and sugarcane, which
now cover 13 ha.

With Durabloom fertilization, the mango fruits are big with an average weight of 600 grams each, she said.

With the way things only gave us a wide smile when we asked her if she ever gets tired with so many ventures on her hands. This is understandable, of course, since aside from the lands she has already accumulated, she seems to have almost everything she needs - six farm tractors, three 10-wheeler cargo trucks, a Forward and two Elf cargo trucks, a corn sheller - for her operations.

Now who would like to be employed as an accounting clerk with a meager salary if one’s income from farming and related ventures are as good as that of Tayan?

« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 05:14:01 AM by mikey »


mikey

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Re: Corn:
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 08:17:00 AM »
The Philippines is ready to become a corn exporter for the first time as local corn farmers entered into a supply agreement for 300,000 tonnes with Korea Overseas Grains Investment Co. Philippine Maize Federation Inc (Philmaize) President Roger Navarro said that while negotiations have been ongoing and both parties are still negotiating the price of the shipment, which is tentatively set at PHP 16 (USD 0.34)/kg. Mr Navarro said Philmaize started exploring export markets following the government's policy on support programs for the corn sector. In August, corn farmers asked the National Food Authority (NFA) to increase the support price for corn to PHP 13 (USD 0.28)/kg, but the NFA pegged the price at only PHP 10 (USD 0.21)/kg.


mikey

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Re: Corn:
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 12:12:54 AM »
Best Management Practices for Corn-after-Corn Production
Talking to many farmers across the country, I found that majority of them had been planting corn in the same land twice a year for as long as they can remember. They plant corn during the wet season, just before the dry season starts, and plant another round - which they call “palusot” - to take advantage of sufficient rains and dry periods at harvest. And so the cropping cycle goes on. This is especially true in Cagayan Valley and Mindanao where growing conditions are tough, but because of the recent advances in hybrid corn technology things have become manageable.

Corn uses less water than rice, can be grown on a wide range of soil types, and can adapt to various planting methods. There are plenty of hybrid varieties to choose from and there is a steadily growing market for feeds. Corn grains are durables (in contrast to “perishable” fruits and vegetables) so rushing these grains to end-users is not an issue after proper drying and storage. In short, who would not want to plant corn continuously? With these factors, even Ilocos and Central Luzon growers (corn-after-rice) would want to plant corn all year long if not for the severe monsoon rains which occur from July to September that will surely submerge their low-lying fields. In the Visayas and in Bicol, they make sure to plant only on well-drained soils or on rolling fields.
There is, indeed, an economic advantage for growing corn non-stop but we should be aware that we also put some strain or stress on the farm we till. This article would address best practices for corn-after-corn production practices with emphasis on hybrid selection, high crop residue challenges related to diseases, soil fertility, and weed management.

HYBRID SELECTION
Selecting the right hybrid is an internal part of a successful corn-after-corn production. A corn grower should always ensure to
• Select hybrids with proven performance under diverse environments and stresses their field may encounter;
• Select hybrids with above average drought tolerance. Under corn-after-corn system, root mass may be reduced and such may not prepare the corn plant for limited water conditions;
• Select the right hybrid maturities that match corn plantings dates and forecasted climatic conditions. If drought is expected, it is wise to use early maturing hybrids; and
• Choose the highest performing genetics with the defensive traits required for this production system.

For better understanding of these traits, seek the assistance of your Pioneer agronomist in selecting hybrids for corn-after-corn.

CROP RESIDUE AND DISEASES
In cropping systems where great amounts of residue are left in the soil surface, corn diseases may become an issue. Pathogens or microbes survive in corn residue and disease builds up over time. This is especially true in the disease-prone areas of Mindanao, Panay, and Bicol. Sometimes, planting too early in a high-residue seedbed can increase the chances of corn seedling diseases (seedling blight, for example). This can be avoided through strip tillage or removal of the residues from the rows.

Leaf diseases such as gray leaf spot, northern leaf blight, and diplodia leaf blight are known to have increased in Mindanao due to long-term, high-residue farming. This could also be possible in the cool areas of Panay and Bicol where corn-after-corn had become an acceptable farming practice. Stalk and ear rots such as Gibberella, Diplodia, Fusarium, and Aspergillus also survive in crop residue and increase in high-residue systems. Burying (or plowing under) crop residue by tillage may be an option but all growers should select hybrids with good disease resistance and standability. Often times, stalk rots accompany leaf diseases so monitoring stalk quality and timely harvest is helpful when leaf diseases occur. The practice of manual ear-picking here in the Philippines becomes more expensive on fields with severe lodging brought about by diseases.

If ear rots are found, late-season scouting can help growers make informed decisions about harvest timing, postharvest, grain handling, and storage and utilization. For example, grains with significant ear rot symptoms from the field should be dried quickly to 15 percent or less at high temperature. The lower the moisture content in storage, the lower the risk of mycotoxin(amag) development

SOIL FERTILITY AND NITROGEN
In corn-after-corn, many farmers are not aware of the value of thorough soil testing and the availability of local nutrient recommendations coming from LGUs and seed companies. Soil tests are needed to measure soil pH (acidity or alkalinity, not lower than pH 5.5), organic matter content (nitrogen), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A balanced level of P and K applied as basal can improve efficiency in nutrient uptake.

Unlike legumes (or beans), corn residues tie up much more nitrogen as they decompose in the soil. This is why using the same level of N fertilizer in the succeeding season of corn after corn system does not really bring any additional yield. Not unless growers increase their N rates by 40kg to 50kg N/ha. It really pays to have a soil test or obtain local recommendations. Recent US studies however, revealed that regardless of N levels, corn-after-corn never equalled a corn rotated to soybeans.

WEED MANAGEMENT
Watching out for weeds is a more important issue among corn-after-corn systems as compared to corn-after-rice. In Central Luzon, farmers have attested that weeds are more problematic in their off-season crop than corn following their rice crop in the wet season. Hence, growers should monitor fields for any increase in specific weed pressure and employ proper control especially among glyphosate-ready (RR corn) fields. Alternating use of herbicide mode of action and use of mixtures will help ensure long term success of weed management and prevent weed shifts or weed resistance. Watch out for volunteer plants also. These are plants that have emerged from ears or brains left in the field after harvest. Farmers should then strive to reduce stalk breakage and ear drop.

ROTATION EFFECT AND STRESS
The so-called “rotation effect” is an unexplained benefit that results in better yields with crop rotation, even though the limiting factors are being addressed in continuous cropping. Where yield potential is low, yield reductions become greater for corn-after-corn vs. rotated corn cycle. Such observations led to the idea that generally, crop rotation renders the corn more tolerant to yield limiting stresses, in particular to moisture extremes. Experts implicate the root system as the most likely source of the problem. In corn-after-corn systems, soil compaction can be one likely cause but it could also be more of neglect on the part of the grower. A vast majority of our growers do not have access to soil testing or simply unaware that it is absolutely necessary for the sustainability of their valuable resource.

MANAGEMENT SUGGESTIONS FOR CORN-AFTER-CORN
• Choose fields that are best-suited for corn-after-corn system. Fields should have good drainage, medium-textured soils with ample water holding capacity, and adequate P and K levels.
• Manage corn borers using Pioneer 30T80, 30Y80, 30T35, 30Y34, and 30T44. Your local Pioneer agronomists and sales representative will gladly assist you in choosing which is best-suited in your area.
• Select hybrids with appropriate maturities to suit your needs. Early maturing hybrids will always have an advantage.
• Manage nitrogen carefully. A combination of N during basal and side dress applications may help limit effects of N losses due to leaching and denitrification in wet periods.
• Walk in the field regularly and monitor to identify any problems early. Look for stand count issues, nitrogen shortages, insect build ups, outbreak of disease, weed problems, and effects of moisture stress.
• Monitor fields for leaf diseases and stalk and ear rots. They can be controlled by managing residues properly and selecting resistant or tolerant hybrids.
• Be diligent to prevent soil compaction on corn-after-corn fields.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Do you recommend top cutting in corn, days prior to harvest or when the husks starts to dry? What are the benefits and disadvantages?
A: We do not recommend top cutting (or tadaw in Ilocano) at any ‘ reproductive stage of the crop. It has been proven that grain yield can be reduced by as much as 20 percent if tadaw is carried out at around 80 percent for a full season hybrid. Grain quality would, also deteriorate as the crop is forced to mature earlier than expected. Other than having an early harvest and a good source of forage, we don’t see any advantage in doing tadaw. For as long the grains are not yet mature, the ears are still receiving food from the upper leaves and stalks.



mikey

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Re: Corn:
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 08:38:14 AM »
YieldGard Bt Corn Much Better than Ordinary Yellow Hybrid Corn
Small corn farmers have good reasons for adopting YieldGard, the first Bt corn variety introduced in the Philippines by the multi-national company Monsanto, according to international agricultural economists and policy consultant Dr. Leonardo A. Gonzales.

After monitoring and evaluating the socio-economic impact of the Bt corn YieldGard, Dr. Gonzales said his findings show that small farmers adopt this variety due to its higher yields, cost efficiency, profitability, potential to cover household’s poverty thresholds, global competitiveness, and return on investment (ROI). .

His study covered Isabela, Camarincs Sur, Bukidnon, and South Cotabato, the four major corn-producing provinces, and was conducted in four cropping seasons from 2003 to 2005.

The favorable socio-economic impacts of YieldGard on small corn producers in. the Philippines are positive indicators that the technology will continue to be adopted by farmers in the future, Dr. Gonzales said.

HIGHER ROI
On the average, the ROI for YieldGard was higher than ordinary yellow hybrid corn by 33 percent. Although the ROI of non-Bt corn is 11 percent higher than the ROI of YieldGard at low yield levels, YieldGard had a higher ROI (31 percent) than ordinary yellow hybrid corn at high yield levels.

The study also showed that despite its relatively higher seed cost (6 percent higher), YieldGard had a higher contribution to ROI than ordinary yellow hybrid corn by 10 percent. The contribution of YieldGard seed to ROI was 28 percent, while the contribution of non-Bt hybrid corn was only 18 percent.

In his analysis, Dr. Gonzales noted that the higher ROIs of YieldGard were due to its higher yield than ordinary yellow hybrid corn. On the average, the yield of YieldGard in the four provinces in crop year 2004-2005 was 829 to 831 kg ha (kilograms per hectare) higher than non-Bt corn. Likewise, the income derived from Bt corn was P0.20 to P1.22/kg higher than from non-Bt hybrid corn.

Dr. Gonzales said that because of YieldGard’s higher yield than ordinary yellow hybrid corn, the users of YieldGard technology are more cost efficient, resulting in higher net farm incomes, which would eventually lead to higher subsistence level carrying capacity. This means that more farmers using YieIdGard corn were able to cover the family poverty threshold.

RESISTANCE TO ACB
The higher yield performance of YieldGard is due to its capacity as a genetically modified plant to resist the Asiatic corn borer (ACB) and this is because this genetically modified plant has a Bacillus thuringiensis gene.

The yield performance of YieldGard over ordinary yellow hybrid corn is accentuated with ACB infestation. Thus, the heavier the damages caused by ACB, the better would be the yield and economic performance of YieldGard over non-Bt hybrid corn.

“The economics of the Bt corn technology is centered on the presence of ACB infestation,” Dr. Gonzales said. “Under ordinary circumstances when there are no ACB infestations, YieldGard does not have a distinct competitive advantage over an ordinary hybrid corn of the same genetic background. The yield performance of YieldGard over an ordinary hybrid is therefore accentuated with the ACB infestation reflected in percent yield losses.”

South Cotabato, the province with the highest yield losses (12 to 30 percent) due to ACB infestation, also had the highest yield, farm cost efficiency, and net farm income over ordinary hybrid corn in the 2005 dry season.

In contrast, in Bukidnon where the ACB incidence was low (less than 1 percent to 6.4 percent), the performance of YieldGard over the ordinary hybrid corn was also the lowest.

EFFICIENT SUBSTITUTE
Amazingly, the findings of Dr. Gonzales indicate that it is more efficient to substitute imported corn with domestically produced YieldGard and non-Bt corn. In fact, in terms of performance ratio, YieldGard surpassed non-Bt corn by 5 percent during the 2003-2004 dry season, 1 percent in 2004-2005 wet season, and 14 percent in 2004-2005 dry season.

However, Dr. Gonzales said that although the study showed the superiority of YieldGard over non-Bt corn, the vast socio-economic potential impacts of the Bt technology have yet to be optimized. He pointed out that a large percentage of Bt corn users, have not yet produced yields greater than 4 mt/ha.

This implies that farmers have not carefully and diligently followed the package of technology requirements of YieldGard. Thus, there should be stronger extension services between the generators of the technology and farmers, and between extension agents of local government units and corn farmers.

Alternative financing schemes are also needed to ensure that small farmers adopting Bt corn, particularly the YieldGard technology, will optimize their use,-of inputs as required by the package of technology.

Dr. Gonzales added that while adoption of a new technology such as YieldGard is a good start, it is not sufficient to ensure sustained productivity. “Public investments in farm: to-market roads, extension services, postharvest facilities, and value-added processing are justifiable with the strong linkage of corn with the livestock industry and its potential linkage with the biofuels industry. Public investments in public goods within the corn supply value chain will also induce private sector investments along the same chain,” he said.

He explained further that since the five-year commercial life of YieldGard has expired last December 3, 2007, it is timely for the Bureau of Plant Industry and the generators of GM technologies to develop a mutually acceptable set of socio-economic impact indicators, and standardize the methodologies to generate them.


mikey

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Re: Corn:
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2009, 03:14:38 AM »
Is it just me or has the price of corn just taken a big jump up??Wow

1/14/2009 7:42:00 AM


Philippine Feed Millers Insist On Importing Corn At Zero Duty
MANILA (Dow Jones)--Philippine feed millers, along with livestock and poultry raisers, reiterated Wednesday their request for the government to allow them to import up to 300,000 metric tons of corn at zero tariff amid record prices of the grain in the local market.

If approved, the request, made through a letter to Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, would "balance out the cost of buying local corn at a high price and importing the grain at a lower rate," said Gregorio San Diego, president of the United Broiler Raisers Association.

Local corn prices soared early this week to record levels of PHP24-PHP26 a kilogram from an average price of only PHP13.32/kg in 2008 due to tight domestic supply.

By comparison, the cost of importing corn duty free would translate to a landed price of only PHP12/kg.

The group had initially made the request in November last year amid projections of tight domestic supply by the beginning of the new year.

However, an interagency committee on rice and corn led by the agriculture department rejected the call last week and insisted that corn importers must pay the regular tariff of 35%, at which the landed cost would translate to PHP14/kg.

Renato Eleria, vice-chairman of the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., said government figures on crop production have proved to be unreliable as evidenced by the fact that corn prices are high despite projections of an increase in local production.

Based on the government's latest production survey, corn output in the first three months of the year would rise 3% to 2.05 million tons, as farmers were likely to plant more due to favorable weather conditions and state subsidies on seeds and fertilizer.

In 2008, corn output rose 3% to 6.95 million tons from a year earlier.

Amid declining supply, a group of feedmillers and livestock raisers last month imported 90,000 tons of corn from Brazil. An initial volume of 55,000 tons was contracted in early December, followed by a 35,000-ton deal.

The imports are for arrival within January. The bulk of the volume was imported by food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp.(SMCB.PH), which has a feed and poultry division.

Corn is a major component in livestock and poultry feed.

-By Rhea Sandique-Carlos, Dow Jones Newswires, 63-918-9014158; rhea.sandique-carlos@dowjones.com 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 03:41:40 AM by mikey »

mikey

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Re: Corn:
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2009, 03:58:22 AM »
Schwieterman: Corn Indicators Up, Cattle Suffer Heavy Losses

 

One of the fears that traders had coming into the first week of trading in 2009 was that we would see more Index Fund liquidation due to rebalancing. This was especially the case in the corn where large liquidation was expected to take place. So far the grain markets have done pretty well in 2009. The corn was definitely the poor performer of the week, but was only slightly lower. The livestock markets on the other hand did not fair very well and much of that weakness may be attributed to Index fund liquidation. When we get next week’s Commitment of Traders report, we should be able to see if that was the

case or not.

 

Monday we have a number of reports out so we will be inundated with fresh fundamental information. We have the “final” production figures for 2008, the supply and demand report, winter wheat seedings, and the quarterly stocks report.

 

The corn numbers will probably be neutral to negative with the possibility for lower production, but also for lower exports again. We will probably end up with a higher ending stocks figure because we just can’t get demand back on track.

 

The wheat numbers should be friendly. There is the potential for lower ending stocks due to higher exports and winter wheat acreage is expected to be lower than last year. Last year’s acreage was the highest in about 10 years and this year we should be around 44 million acres, which is still above 2005 and 2006, but is still low by historical standards.

 

The soybean data will likely be neutral to friendly. We should see a cut in production and an increase in exports, but some of that will be offset by a cut in the crush estimate.

 

CORN:

Trend: Short Term Up – Long Term Up

Sentiment: Technical traders are buying.

 

The corn was sideways this week. We saw flashes of strong buying and also selling pressure. The net result was a 1 ½ cent loss.

 

The technical outlook for the market is still positive. Many long term trend indicators have turned up and the market is not particularly overbought. We have been in a choppy, sideways/higher pattern for a month and that looks like it will continue. There still appears to be a strong possibility that the March corn moves to the $5.00 area and possibly farther if we see better demand figures. That leads us to the negative part of the market, which is the fundamental outlook. Demand is still a problem. There are concerns about exports, feed usage, and ethanol usage many of which stem from uncertainty about the world economy as a whole. Fertilizer prices have dropped, which means it is less likely that acreage drops this spring. We need to see demand increase over the next 18 months to avoid having excessive ending stocks. The bright side of having the large stocks is that we are proving we can support the ethanol industry without creating shortages of corn. However, it would be nice if things were a little tighter than they are for the sake of prices.

 

Action: Trend indictors are still up so I like buying $4.50 - $5.50 Bull call spreads in the July corn to replace sales. For those interested in hedging new crop bushels, if you use futures I like selling out of the money put options to collect premium and to help ease the pain of potential margin calls.

 

WHEAT:

Trend: Short Term Up – Long Term Up

Sentiment: Another positive week.

 

The wheat market faired pretty well this week. The March KW finished the week in the middle of the weekly trading range and up about 18 cents from last Friday. Like the corn, the technical outlook for the market is friendly. We are still a long way from reaching a 38% retracement of the whole move down. A 38% retracement of the move down from the August high would take the March KW close to $7.00. In other words, the wheat, from a technical stand point still has good upside potential.

 

Fundamentally, the wheat is in better shape than the corn. Acreage is expected to be lower. The export pace has, for the most part, been more than adequate. Plus, and I know I have talked about this before; we have the potential to see exports improve greatly in the next couple months, but it hasn’t happened yet. Improved exports would lead to a move up to $8.00.

 

Action: I would still like to own $6.50 July KW puts for 50 cents on 25% of production. We are within 13 cents of that being possible.

 

SOYBEANS:

Trend: Short Term Up – Long Term Up

Sentiment: The upside leader.

 

The March soybeans gained 59 cents this week. Friday’s close was the best since October 2nd and was above the 100-day moving average for the first time since August 4th.

 

The technical outlook for the market looks friendlier all the time. Both the weekly and March daily charts have an upside objective of $11.11 and it is looking more and more likely all the time that we reach it soon. The market is a bit overbought, but the two days of corrective activity that we had this week may be enough for the time being.

 

One thing that is really impressive about the soybean complex is how well the bull spreads worked this week. Bull spreads work in bull markets and we have to pay attention to that.

 

Fundamentally one has to be impressed by the export sales pace. The USDA is still significantly underestimating our potential exports. Private forecasts of S. American production continue to drop and a smaller S. American crop means we will continue to be a major supplier to China both this year and next. An extra 25 – 50 million bushels of exports this year could have a major impact on ending stocks if the crush pace doesn’t continue to deteriorate. Crush is still a concern with poor livestock margins and lower numbers.

 

Action: One should own calls against sales. Preferably in the July contract.

 

CATTLE:

Trend: Short Term Down – Long Term Down

Sentiment: Trend indicators turning back down.

 

After a good start to the week, the cattle market suffered heavy losses on Wednesday and Thursday. Cash trade ended up being $84 in Kansas. The live cattle futures are back below the 50-day moving average so we have to be sellers again. Feeder cattle are hovering around the 50-day moving so we have to be cautious. I really want to be long these markets, but the technical indicators are still mostly negative.

 

Action: Sell February and April LC until we see a close above the 50-day moving average.


mikey

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Re: Corn:
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2009, 05:11:13 AM »
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - January 2009
US wheat and corn stocks are expected to be up, while global production is down this month compared to last according to the January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from the World Agricultural Outlook Board. World trade in wheat is up and production of oil seeds has also risen the report says.


WHEAT: Projected US wheat ending stocks for 2008/09 are raised 32 million bushels this month with lower projected domestic use. Feed and residual use is projected 30 million bushels lower as 1 December stocks, reported in the January Grain Stocks, indicate lower-than-expected feed and residual use during September-November. Seed use is reduced 2 million bushels based on lower than- expected winter wheat planted area as reported in Winter Wheat Seedings. The projected season-average farm price is narrowed 10 cents on both ends of the range to $6.50 to $6.90 per bushel.

Small supply and use changes for wheat in 2007/08 and earlier years are made based on revisions in the Field Crops Final Estimates 2002-2007, released December 31, 2008. A 16-million-bushel reduction in 2007/08 production and an offsetting reduction in feed and residual use are the most significant changes.

Global 2008/09 wheat production is projected at 682.9 million tons, down 1.1 million from last month. Lower production in Argentina and EU-27 more than offset an increase for Turkey. Production is lowered 1.0 million tons for Argentina as extended drought reduced yields. Production is lowered 0.4 million tons for EU-27 reflecting a downward revision in official government statistics by France. Production is raised 0.3 million tons for Turkey as drought impacts were less than expected in some areas and higher quality seed boosted yields in others.

World wheat imports and exports for 2008/09 are both raised this month. Imports are increased 1.0 million tons for the EU-27 as member countries import low-priced, low-quality wheat from Ukraine. Imports are raised for Saudi Arabia based on recently announced tenders and for Turkey based on the pace of shipments to date. Imports are lowered 0.5 million tons for South Korea as increased use of alternative feeds, including distillers grains and cassava, reduce demand for feed quality wheat. Exports are raised 1.0 million tons for Russia as burdensome supplies of wheat make Russia the low-cost competitor in many markets. Exports are also raised for Mexico and Turkey. Partly offsetting is a 1.0-million-ton reduction for Argentina as lower production and restrictive government policies limit exports.

World wheat consumption for 2008/09 is lowered this month. World wheat feeding is lowered 1.3 million tons on reduced feeding for the United States and South Korea. Global ending stocks are increased 1.0 million tons mostly reflecting the increase in U.S. ending stocks. Increases in projected ending stocks for EU-27, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are mostly offset by reductions for Russia and Mexico.

COARSE GRAINS: U.S. corn ending stocks for 2008/09 are projected 316 million bushels higher this month on higher estimated production and lower expected use. Corn production for 2008/09 is estimated 81 million bushels higher. Feed and residual use is reduced 50 million bushels reflecting lower animal numbers and September-November disappearance as indicated by December 1 stocks. Ethanol corn use is lowered 100 million bushels as sustained negative ethanol production margins since early December have reduced incentives for ethanol output. Recent increases in trading values for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) that can be used in lieu of ethanol to meet mandated levels also indicate reduced demand for ethanol. Projected food, seed, and industrial use is lowered an additional 35 million bushels on lower-than-expected use for sweeteners and starch during September-November. Exports are projected 50 million bushels lower based on the slow pace of sales and shipments to date. The projected season-average farm price for corn is lowered 10 cents on each end of the range to $3.55 to $4.25 per bushel.

Sorghum ending stocks for 2008/09 are increased 27 million bushels on higher estimated production and lower expected feed and residual use. Projected sorghum feed and residual use is reduced 20 million bushels on lower-than-expected September-November disappearance as indicated by December 1 stocks. The sorghum season-average farm price range is lowered 10 cents on both ends of the range to $2.90 to $3.50 per bushel. The barley farm price is narrowed 10 cents on each end of the range to $4.95 to $5.35 per bushel. The oats price is raised 10 cents on each end of the range to $2.90 to $3.10 per bushel based on producer prices to date.

Small supply and use changes for feed grains in 2007/08 and earlier years are made based on revisions in Field Crops Final Estimates 2002-2007. A 36-million-bushel reduction in 2007/08 corn production and an offsetting reduction in feed and residual use are the most significant changes.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2008/09 are projected 5.5 million tons higher with global corn production raised 5.1 million tons. Increased corn production in China, the United States, Mexico, Russia, and EU-27 more than offset reductions for Brazil and Argentina. Corn production for China is raised 5.5 million tons on higher area and yields as indicated by available national and provincial government data. Mexico production is raised 1.0 million tons as favorable weather is reflected in the latest indications of yields. Production for Russia is raised 0.3 million tons on higher harvested area and higher yields consistent with late-season harvest results. EU-27 production is raised 0.3 million tons reflecting official government statistics by France. Brazil corn production is lowered 2 million tons as extended dryness and heat during December sharply reduced yield prospects for southern Brazil. Argentina production is lowered 1.5 million tons as continued drought and extended heat during December reduced prospects for harvested area and yields in eastern Argentina.

World coarse grain imports and exports for 2008/09 are both lowered this month mostly on lower expected corn trade. Corn imports are lowered 1.0 million tons for Mexico with part of this reduction offset by a 0.3-million-ton increase in sorghum imports. Smaller reductions in imports are projected for a number of other countries where feeding is projected lower. Corn exports are lowered 1.5 million tons for Argentina and 0.8 million tons for India. Global corn consumption is lowered with lower expected feeding and food, seed, and industrial use, much of this reduction coming from changes to the U.S. balance sheet. Global corn ending stocks for 2008/09 are projected 12.2 million tons higher with the United States and China accounting for most of the increase.

RICE: The U.S. 2008/09 rice crop is estimated at 203.7 million cwt, up slightly from the previous estimate as an increase in area more than offsets a reduction in yield. Average yield is estimated at 6,846 pounds per acre, down 113 pounds per acre from last month, and 373 pounds per acre below record 2007/08. Harvested area is estimated at 2.98 million acres, up 52,000 acres from the previous estimate. Combined medium- and short-grain production is increased 1.7 million cwt to 50.5 million and more than offsets a reduction of 1.5 million cwt for long-grain rice to 153.3 million.

U.S. rice imports for 2008/09 are projected at 18.0 million cwt, down 4.5 million from last month with imports of combined medium- and short-grain rice reduced 2.5 million and long-grain imports down 2.0 million. The reduction in the import projection is due to a slower-than-expected pace of imports early in the marketing year from key suppliers including China, India, and Thailand, and the expectation that the pace will stay depressed the remainder of the marketing year. Domestic and residual use is raised 1 million cwt to 127 million based in part on food, industrial, and residual use implied by December 1 rice stocks. All rice exports are lowered 5 million cwt to 101 million, with long-grain down 6 million and combined medium- and short-grain up 1 million. Rough rice exports are lowered 1 million cwt to 38 million, while combined milled and brown exports (on a roughequivalent basis) are lowered 4 million cwt to 63.0 million. All rice ending stocks are projected at 23.2 million cwt, slightly below last month, with the reduction all in long-grain.

The all rice season-average farm price for 2008/09 is forecast at $16.50 to $17.50 per cwt, up $1.35 per cwt on both ends of the range. The long-grain season-average farm price range is projected at $15.50 to $16.50 per cwt, up $1.00 per cwt on each end of the range. The combined medium- and short-grain farm price range is projected at $21.50 to $22.50 per cwt, up $3.50 per cwt on each end. Although global rice prices have trended downward since the beginning of the marketing year, they are declining at a slower rate than expected and recently Thailand’s nominal export quotes have risen. Government policies in Thailand (intervention program) combined with continued export bans by India and Egypt have supported global prices. Additionally, monthly farm prices reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) through December (preliminary) indicate that the season-average price will be higher than projected a month ago, particularly for combined medium- and short-grain rice.

Global 2008/09 rice production, consumption, and ending stocks are raised slightly from a month ago, while trade is little changed. The increase in global rice production is due primarily to a larger 2008/09 rice crop in China, which is up 4.2 million tons to 135.1 million, and the largest crop since 1999/00. The increase in China’s crop is due to an increase in both area harvested and yield and is based in part on national and provincial government information. Global ending stocks are projected at 82.7 million tons, up 1.8 million from last month, up 4.0 million from 2007/08, and the largest stocks since 2002/03.

OILSEEDS: U.S. oilseed production for 2008/09 is estimated at 89.1 million tons, up 0.9 million tons from last month. Increases for soybeans and peanuts are only partly offset by decreases for cottonseed, canola, and sunflowerseed. Soybean production is estimated at 2.959 billion bushels, up 39 million bushels from last month based on both higher yields and harvested area. The soybean yield is estimated at 39.6 bushels per acre. Soybean exports are raised 50 million bushels to 1.1 billion due to strong sales and shipments to China. Projected soybean crush is reduced 30 million bushels to 1.685 billion bushels reflecting sharply reduced domestic soybean meal consumption. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 225 million bushels, up 20 million. Lower soybean oil production is more than offset by reduced domestic consumption and exports, leaving projected soybean oil stocks at 2.1 billion pounds, up 110 million from last month.

The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2008/09 is projected at $8.50 to $9.50 per bushel compared with $8.25 to $9.75 per bushel last month. Soybean oil prices are forecast at 32 to 35 cents per pound, up 1 cent on the bottom of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $250 to $310 per short ton, up $10 on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2008/09 is projected at 416.3 million tons, down 2 million from last month. Foreign production is projected at 327.2 million tons, down 2.9 million. Global soybean production accounts for most of the change, projected at 233.2 million tons, down 1.5 million. Argentina’s soybean crop is projected at 49.5 million tons, down 1 million. The reduction is mainly due to lower projected area reflecting the impact of dry weather on soybean planting. Soybean production for Paraguay is reduced 0.9 million tons to 5.6 million tons as unusually dry, hot weather has reduced yield potential throughout much of the country. Dry conditions also have resulted in reduced soybean production for Bolivia and Uruguay, and reduced sunflowerseed production for Argentina. Other changes include lower cottonseed production estimates for India and increased sunflowerseed production for EU-27 and Russia. The Russia crop is projected record high at 7.4 million tons, up 0.4 million from last month.

SUGAR: Projected 2008/09 U.S. sugar supply is increased 111,000 short tons, raw value, from last month, due to higher production more than offsetting revised lower beginning stocks. Cane sugar production is raised 119,000 tons based on increased production of sugarcane. Beet sugar production is unchanged and consistent with processors’ projections. Sugar use is unchanged.



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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 01:23:51 PM »
Bill to Use Lands for Biofuel Crops Pushed
THE PHILIPPINES - Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap appealed to Congress for the immediate passage of the Land Use Act that would identify areas that will be planted with biofuel crops.



"This is something that they must prioritize. If this law is implemented, that will help us identify millions of hectares of underutilized or idle lands that will be planted with jatropha, cassava and sugarcane," he said.

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives together with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the University of the Philippines, agreed to join forces to work for the ultimate enactment of a Land Use Code. The code will serve as a guide for the judicious and appropriate utilization of the country’s land resources.

The law will recognize lands for protection, production, settlements development, and infrastructure development, reports BusinessWorld.


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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 01:26:17 PM »
Renewable Energy Act Becomes Law
PHILIPPINES - The Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo this week signed into law the Renewable Energy Act, which is designed to make the Philippines 60 per cent energy self sufficient by 2010.



The new act has been welcomed by the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (Pippa).

In a statement the association said it would be a big boost to the country in its efforts for self sufficiency.

The act is expected to attract more investment in new renewable energy projects such as solar, wind and geothermal as well as other biofuel projects.

As the act was being signed a Korean company was reported to be showing interest in a large biofuels project in Bais City in Negros Oriental.

The mayor of the city, Hector Villanueva, is reported to be giving the plans a cautious welcome.

The plans include plantations of 5,000 to 10,000 hectares of jatropha and the mayor is uncertain about the ability of the city to provide such large areas of land.





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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 01:29:14 PM »
British Unit to Build Biomass Plants
PHILIPPINES - A subsidiary of Global Green Power Plc is to build two 18-megawatt biomass power plants in Panay worth $40 million each.



The company has signed energy supply deals with local electric cooperatives that are expected to provide P9.3 billion in economic benefits to residents over 25 years.

According to Business World the biomass plants, which will use agricultural waste, wood and plant crops, will replace coal-fired power plants.

Business World said that each project is expected to deliver P200 million to the local community where the plants are located during the first year of operations and an accumulated P9.3 billion from each biomass plant over the 25-year contract period.

"The P9.3 billion is the estimated economic benefit of each project, which delivers significant social benefits to the local community," Global Green founder and Chief Executive Officer David de Montaigne told Business World.

The plants, he added, would mitigate climate change through the use of agricultural waste and promote sustainable forestry.

Affiliate Green Power Panay Philippines Inc. (GPPPI) signed electricity supply deals with the Iloilo Electric Cooperative (ILECO) I and II on last week

. The first plant will be in the ILECO II area and is expected to be completed by January 2011, followed by the second plant several months later.


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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 10:08:07 AM »
Govt to import rice, corn to fill shortfall
Manila Standard
18 January 2009 | 11:30 PM
 
THE Philippines, the world’s biggest rice importer, has agreed to import supplies to cover this year’s projected shortfall in domestic output, allaying local concerns stockpiles may not be adequate.

“All rice commitments for 2009 have already been taken care of” and imports may total about 1.5 million metric tons, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap told reporters yesterday after figures showed local output gains last year had missed targets. Yap didn’t say which countries would supply the grain.

At the same time, Yap said the country would import at least 300,000 metric tons of corn feed and 120,000 metric tons of wheat feed next month to ensure that prices of hog and poultry products remained stable.

“Several of our farmers have shifted to planting palay instead because the price of palay is good,” Yap said. “So now we have a supply mismatch and a gap of two to four weeks of corn production.

Yap said the National Food Authority would import 200,000 metric tons of the corn feed, while livestock farmers would import about half that volume.

Rice futures surged to a record last year, in part as the Philippines attempted to arrange overseas shipments to cover its shortfall. The country wants to become self-sufficient in the production of rice, the most important local foodstuff, and aims to expand acreage and irrigation to meet that goal by 2013.

Philippine rice output expanded 3.5 percent to 16.8 million tons in 2008, according to a statement yesterday from the Agriculture Department. That compares with the 4-percent gain to 16.9 million tons forecast by the government in November.

The country, which imported 2.3 million tons of rice last year, has been in talks with Thailand and Vietnam for 2009 shipments, Yap said on Dec. 19. The Philippines began government-level negotiations to buy the staple after the World Bank said its system of public tenders, which handled offers from companies, may have helped lift prices last year.

The auction system used by the country had sent signals last year that the nation really needed rice, World Bank Philippine Country Director Bert Hofman said then. That perception “probably distorts the market,” he said.

Rough rice for March delivery gained 0.8 percent to $13.62 per 100 pounds on the Chicago Board of Trade at 9:23 a.m. Singapore time. The contract touched a record $25.07 per 100 pounds last April amid concerns about a possible global shortage and as the Philippines prepared to buy imports.

Rice futures may jump again this year after farmers cut fertilizer use to curb costs and the global credit crunch reduced the volume of agricultural loans, Samarendu Mohanty, head of the social sciences division at the Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute said on Jan. 9. Joyce Pangco Pañares with Bloomberg Back to top
 

mikey

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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 03:02:24 AM »
Chinese Urbanisation to Swallow up Global Grains
CHINA - Global grain markets are facing breaking point according to new research by the University of Leeds into the agricultural stability of China.



Experts predict that if China’s recent urbanisation trends continue, and the country imports just 5 per cent more of its grain, the entire world’s grain export would be swallowed whole.

The knock-on effect on the food supply - and on prices - to developing nations could be huge. This is the conclusion of the Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System (QUEST) project which has been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). QUEST aims to look at global scale impacts of climate change across a range of areas including fisheries, agriculture, and epidemiology.

Sustainability researchers have conducted a major study into the vulnerability of Chinese cropland to drought over the past 40 years, which has highlighted the growing fragility of global grain supply, says the report. Increased urban development in previously rich farming areas is a likely cause.

“China is a country undergoing a massive transformation, which is having a profound effect on land use,” says Dr Elisabeth Simelton, research fellow at the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, and lead author of the study. “Growing grain is a fundamentally low profit exercise, and is increasingly being carried out on low quality land with high vulnerability to drought.”

The study looked at China’s three main grain crops; rice, wheat and corn, to assess how socio-economic factors affect their vulnerability to drought. Researchers compared farming areas with a resilient crop yield with areas that have suffered large crop losses with only minor droughts.

They found that traditionally wealthy coastal areas are just as susceptible to drought as areas with poor topography in the east of the country.

“Quality land is increasingly being used for high profit crops, such as vegetables and flowers. The impact of this on local and global economies is an issue that the newly created Centre for Climate Change, Economics and Policy (CCCEP) will address,” explains Dr Simelton.

CCCEP is a partnership between the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics. Its main objectives include developing better climate change models and understanding how developing countries can adapt to climate change.

At the moment the Chinese government claims that China is 95 per cent self sufficient in terms of grain supply. If China were to start importing just 5 per cent of its grain (to make up a shortfall produced by low yields or change of land use to more profitable crops) the demand would hoover up the entire world’s grain export.

The pressure on grain availability for international grain markets could, in turn, have a huge knock-on effect. Poorer countries are particularly vulnerable, as demonstrated by the 2007-2008 food crisis.

Published in the journal Environmental Science and Policy, the study used provincial statistics of harvests and rainfall together with qualitative case studies to establish the differences between land that is sensitive to drought and land that is not.

“One aim of this research is better understanding of the socio-economic responses to difficult conditions so that we can improve models of climate change” says Dr Simelton.

“These trends of urbanisation are also happening in India, with the population predicted to keep on rising until at least 2050. Ultimately the limiting factor for grain production is land, and the quality of that land.”

The research is part of the Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System (QUEST) project and has been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). QUEST aims to look at global scale impacts of climate change across a range of areas including fisheries, agriculture, and epidemiology.


mikey

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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 03:52:02 AM »
Tuesday, January 27, 2009Print This Page
Weekly Outlook: Corn and Soybean Export Progress
US - During the first five months of the 2008-09 marketing year, soybean exports and export sales have been surprisingly large, writes Darrel Good, Extension Economist, University of Illinois.



In contrast, exports and export sales of corn have been disappointingly small. At the beginning of the marketing year (September 2008) the USDA projected marketing year soybean exports at one billion bushels. That forecast is now at 1.1 billion bushels, only 61 million (5.3 per cent) less than the record exports of a year ago. In September 2008, the USDA projected corn exports at two billion bushels. That forecast is now at 1.75 billion bushels, 686 million (28 per cent) less than the record shipments of a year ago.

As of 22 January, 2009, 20.5 weeks into the 2008-09 marketing year, the USDA reported cumulative US soybean export inspections at 627 million bushels, 65 million larger than the cumulative total of a year earlier. Through November 2008, cumulative Census Bureau estimates of soybean exports were 16 million bushels larger than the USDA export inspection estimates, about the same margin as last year. The larger shipments to date reflect the rapid pace of imports by China. As of 15 January, 2009, exports to China totaled 352 million bushels, 39 per cent more than exports of a year earlier. Nearly 60 per cent of US exports through 15 January were to China, compared to 47 per cent last year. To reach the USDA projection of 1.1 billion bushels for the year, shipments to all destinations during the final 31.5 weeks of the year need to average only 14.5 million bushels per week. Last year, export shipments averaged 17.7 million bushels per week during the final 31.5 weeks of the year.

It now appears likely that US exports will exceed the current projection of 1.1 billion bushels, resulting in smaller year ending stocks if the projected level of domestic crush is reached. That projection of 1.685 billion bushels is 6.4 per cent less than the crush of last year. The crush during the first quarter of the marketing year was 10 percent below that of a year earlier. Crush during the last three quarters of the year needs to be only 5.2 per cent smaller than the crush of a year earlier in order to reach the projected level.

As of 20 January, 2009, the USDA reported cumulative marketing year corn exports of 617 million bushels, 412 million bushels less than the total of a year earlier. Through November 2008, the cumulative Census Bureau export estimate was about 40 million bushels larger than he USDA export inspections estimate, about the same difference as a year earlier. The decline in shipments so far this year (through 15 January) reflects sharp declines in exports to Egypt (70 per cent), South Korea (43 per cent), Taiwan (36 per cent), and Mexico (21 per cent). Shipments to Japan, the largest US customer, were about 2 per cent larger than shipments of a year ago. Shipments to Japan accounted for 39 per cent of the US total, compared to 23 per cent at the same time last year. The major factor contributing to the decline in US corn exports is the large increase in corn production outside of the US. The USDA currently projects that production at 19.04 billion bushels, about 900 million bushels larger than production of a year ago. Another factor contributing to the decline in U.S. corn exports may be the sharp increase in feeding of wheat. The USDA projects that feed use of wheat in the rest of the world during the current marketing year will be 835 million bushels larger than feed use of last year.

As of 15 January, 2009, about 304 million bushels of US corn had been sold for export, but not yet shipped. A year ago, outstanding sales stood at 773 million bushels. To reach the USDA export projection of 1.75 billion bushels, an additional 790 million bushels of US corn must be sold for export, an average of 25 million bushels per week. Shipments need to average about 35 million bushels per week. Shipments have reached or exceeded that level in only three weeks so far this year, and all of those were last fall.

It now appears that 2008-09 marketing year corn exports could fall short of the USDA projection of 1.75 billion bushels, adding to year ending stocks and reducing the need for corn acres in 2009. However, the fate of the Argentine crop may have an impact of US corn exports. Earlier this month, the USDA reduced the projected size of Argentine production and exports by nearly 60 million bushels. Further reductions are likely and could result in a small increase in the demand for US corn.




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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2009, 03:42:07 AM »
 The global food crisis
Chocolate prices set for further increases
By Javier Blas and Jenny Wiggins in London

Published: January 25 2009 19:45 | Last updated: January 25 2009 19:45

Chocolate prices in the shops are likely to rise further, hitting cash-strapped consumers, after wholesale cocoa prices in London jumped last week above the key £2,000 a tonne level for the first time in almost 24 years.

Premium chocolate brands, which typically use more cocoa, are likely to be the worst affected as any further rise in prices is expected to exacerbate the shift by consumers to cheaper brands to save money. Confectionery companies such as Mars, Nestlé and Cadbury were tight-lipped about their pricing plans after the jump in wholesale cocoa prices. But Cadbury, which lifted its chocolate prices 5 per cent last year, has warned that if cocoa prices remain high, it will raise prices further again this year.

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Cocoa prices at 24-year high above £2,000 - Jan-23Cocoa in commodities spotlight - Jan-20Supply concerns push cocoa close to 23-year high - Jan-08Ivory Coast cocoa industry stares at bleak future - Jan-14FT.com: markets page - Apr-14As the key cocoa contract is priced in sterling, the impact on chocolate prices in stores will, however, be eased for consumers outside the UK because of the strength of the euro and the US dollar against the British pound.

Hedging by the chocolate industry should also help protect producers to some extent against notoriously volatile cocoa prices.

Cocoa prices last week rose 15 per cent to £2,005 a tonne, the highest level since April 1985, in part because of the weakness of sterling, but also because of fresh worries about the crop in West Africa and speculative buying. Prices have risen 75 per cent in the past year.

There are growing concerns that supplies from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s two leading producing countries which together account for almost 60 per cent of the global cocoa bean output, will be much lower than last year.

Cocoa bean arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast are running about 30 per cent below last harvesting season. The concerns about a lower crop have spread to neighbouring Ghana after Hans Kilian, the influential cocoa analyst, lowered its harvest estimates for the West African country, traders said.

“If the price of cocoa is going up due to scarcity, this is because individual farmers are producing lower yields,” said Sophi Tranchell, managing director at Divine Chocolate. “Chocolate prices are going up in store, but the high cocoa price won’t necessarily benefit those individuals,” she added. Divine is a chocolate brand part-owned by cocoa producers in Africa.

Cocoa buyers at one large chocolate manufacturer said they believed that speculative activity in the cocoa market has also increased.

Shares in Swiss chocolate group Lindt, whose sales have boomed in recent years, have dropped 8 per cent over the past month amid concerns over weakening sales.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009


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Re: Corn & Seed/Oil Commodities
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2009, 03:55:17 AM »
Philippines to rely more on corn imports
[29 January 2009] Philippine Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap has hinted that the Philippines might have to rely on more corn imports this year as local corn production may drop following the decision of some corn farmers to shift to rice and the high costs of fertilizers that prompted farmers to forego their use, resulting in lower yield. The government has agreed to allow the importation of 200,000 tonnes of yellow corn, after livestock and poultry raisers and feedmillers complained about the lack of supply.

 

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