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LIVESTOCKS => AGRI-NEWS => Topic started by: mikey on April 16, 2008, 07:56:24 AM

Title: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 16, 2008, 07:56:24 AM
Publication: World Watch
Publication Date: 01-JUL-07
Delivery: Immediate Online Access
Author: Augustyn, Heather
Full Article:
Tour guide Asok Kesavan has brought his multinational group of tourists to see some of the oil palm plantations in the countryside in his homeland, Malaysia. He asks his driver to stop the bus and the tourists unload briefly for a walk through the rows of palm. There are many, many rows. "This is not a family business. These are big private companies and Malaysia is the largest explorer and producer of palm oil," Kesavan says, pointing out the grape-like clusters of ripening fruit that nestle between trunk and branches like an overflowing treasure chest. The oil is used for everything from margarine to cosmetics, and it is exported worldwide. "We are the only country to sell oil to the Middle East," he jokes.

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Palm oil is one of the world's leading agricultural commodities. The two biggest producers, Malaysia and Indonesia, account for 84 percent of the world's palm oil production and ring up sales of US$11 billion annually. But as Asok Kesavan knows, lucrative crops can bring trouble. He has seen the fires and the smog, just like his countrymen and millions of others in Indonesia, Singapore, and the rest of Southeast Asia. Plantation owners slash and burn existing vegetation to clear the way for more and more palm, rows and rows sown in place of once-lavish and ancient rainforests. The forests, obliterated by fire, are replaced by hectares of monoculture, and the ground beneath is kept clear of even shade-tolerant native species.

Bad as it already is, this situation may be set to worsen. The world can only use so much lipstick but its appetite for energy seems insatiable, and palm oil may be the Next Big Thing in energy. As biofuels take center stage and governments mandate their use--ironically for the environmental benefits--additional forest destruction, and the attendant loss of wildlife and proliferation of smoke-filled skies, are likely to ensue.

Hot Oil

The World Rainforest Movement (WRM) believes that plans for new plantations in Indonesia are already in the works. "Existing regional plans have already allotted a further 20 million hectares for oil palm plantations, mainly in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and West Papua," WRM noted in a recent bulletin, "and new plans are currently under discussion to establish the world's largest palm oil plantation of 1.8 million hectares in the heart of Borneo."

Ellie Brown, lead author of the U.S. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) report Cruel Oil: How Palm Oil Harms Health, Rainforest & Wildlife, says the owners of these palm oil plantations will be largely either big business or government. "In Indonesia, half of the plantations are owned by private companies, which are often part of large conglomerates; the remainder are owned either by the state (17 percent) or by smallholders (33 percent), she writes. "Smallholders are farmers who own a few acres each in a section of a large company's plantation. Although they tend their own oil palm trees, they depend on the company for planting, pesticides, fertilizers, sale of the palm fruits (at a price set by the company), and initial processing in the company's on-site mill." And in countries where state-owned land is the norm, many of these plantations are affiliated with the state. "Especially in Malaysia and Indonesia, which have the lion's share of the global market, national governments have made mammoth tracts of land readily available for companies to establish oil palm plantations," writes Brown.

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The biofuel boom is spurring companies to turn more and more of these vast areas into oil palm plantations. John Buchanan, senior director of business practices with the U.S.-based NGO Conservation International, says that palm oil's energy efficiency as a biofuel makes it very attractive to investors. "One of the common measures used to look at the factor or efficiency of a biofuel crop is a ratio--the number of units of energy put in, to get how many units of energy out," he says. "It's a key factor because in some of these crops, for example corn and ethanol, it's not a whole lot of savings. It's about 1 unit of fossil fuel only getting about 1.4 units of ethanol on the back end. Palm oil, on the other hand, ranges from about 5.6 to 9.6. So if palm oil were traded freely, palm is going to be more profitable." WRM notes that demand for palm oil is expected to double worldwide by 2020, and the Indonesian government reportedly has announced that it will designate 40 percent of its oil palm crop for biofuel production.

U.S. companies have long been eyeing the palm oil market for biofuel. Last December, the Illinois-based agro-giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) acquired shares of Singapore-based Wilmar International, a palm oil plantation operator and oil producer. The move made ADM the second-largest shareholder in the company. "ADM is making a big push and they're very bullish on the biofuels," said Buchanan.

The market may well deliver a windfall for palm oil investors. "The barriers to entering the biodiesel market for palm oil are very low," says Harry Boyle of the London research firm New Energy Finance. "It's not difficult and it's not expensive. To build a plant to process palm oil into biodiesel is pretty easy." He notes that the only hindrance to unlimited market potential may be shipping costs.

Paying the Piper

There are other costs, however, that markets often ignore. The oil palm grows only in tropical climates, the same climate that harbors some of the most biodiverse and abundant rainforests in the world. "The impacts on biodiversity are huge," says Ricardo Carrere of the WRM international secretariat in Montevideo, Uruguay. "Many animal species particular to tropical forests need extensive areas of forest to survive and to be able to reproduce, so when all of these forests are burned and then planted to one single species, that provides the animal with no food. Then many species tend to disappear or their numbers decrease substantially. At the same time, all of the local flora disappear because the plantation owners don't want anything to grow underneath, and we're talking in terms of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of hectares. There are enormous areas of land where the diverse tropical rainforest is being replaced by a monoculture."

A century ago, according to CSPI, 80 to 90 percent of Indonesia was covered by tropical rainforest. In 1997, only half was. At this rate, CSPI estimates, "virtually all Indonesian lowland tropical forests--which are the richest in plant and animal species--will be gone by 2010." Between 1985 and 2000, the group says, 87 percent of all deforestation in Malaysia was due to oil palm plantations.

Among the animal species vanishing in the rainforest destruction are the Sumatran tiger and rhinoceros, Asian elephant, orangutans, wild ox, barding deer, giant flying squirrel, proboscis monkey, gibbons, langurs, and clouded leopard; "... a species extinction spasm of planetary proportions," writes Ellie Brown in her report. The rainforest destruction and species elimination is directly attributed to these plantation burns: "Borneo's orangutan population was reduced by one-third in just one year, 1997, when almost 8,000 orangutans were either burned to death or were massacred when they tried to escape fires."

Human beings are not exempt from the destruction either. During the hot months (July through October) the effect of the smoke and smog on Southeast Asia is easy to see, and smell. Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings reached as high as 150 last year in Singapore during the months before monsoon rains squelched the fires. (Asian newspapers advise readers not to go outside on days when the PSI crosses 100--which is frequently--due to risks of respiratory distress and disease, lung cancer, heart attack, and stroke.) In Indonesia and Malaysia, long-time business owners had to close shop for good due to health impacts, and airports were closed for days on end due to low visibility. The fires had a major impact on regional markets: the Asian Development Bank estimated regional business losses from the 1997-98 fires at over US$9 billion.

But Carrere says that the impact on human health and welfare extends beyond the effect of lost revenues. "This is not environmentally friendly at all. It's genocide of local populations," he says. "What happens in many tropical countries is the land and the forest belongs to the state. However, in those forests there are a number of communities that have always been there and had no land title because they existed before the state, even before the colonizers came, so those lands belong to these people. But the state says no, this belongs to the state, so they give concessions first to the logging companies and then to the plantation companies. People resist ... because they are protecting their land and their means of livelihood, so ... people are put in jail ... and are killed and tortured. Rights abuses are happening throughout the tropics, particularly with biofuel plantations."

And oil palm plantations make the land itself hazardous. "They drain the wetland areas because oil palm needs it [less] humid to be able to grow properly, so water trenches are made so water flows out of the plantation," says Carrere. "At the same time, they use a lot of pesticides, agrochemicals, so that's the same water that's leaving the area and flowing into the region's rivers." Rich organic peat is often set afire and burns for days deep below the surface of the land.

Finally, there is the cost of palm oil plantations to the climate itself--the very thing biofuels are supposed to help. Renyi Zhang of Texas A & M University and his colleagues conducted a three-year study of satellite imagery in the Pacific region. They compared images taken between 1984 and 1994 with images from 1994 to 2005 and determined that deep convective clouds had increased between 20 and 50 percent due to pollution from Asia. These high-altitude storm clouds, seeded by microscopic pollutant particles, are expected to result in more brutal thunderstorms and more severe rainfall, especially through the winter months, in areas already too familiar with extreme weather disasters. Zhang's team also projected that as more of the pollutants travel on these more energetic, large storms with warmer air currents from the tropics, the deposited soot could accelerate the melting of polar ice.

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Pointing the Finger

The obvious question is, exactly who is setting these fires, and why are they not being brought to justice? Andrew Ng, secretary-general of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization of large oil palm companies, oil palm trade associations, retailers, manufacturers, environmental and conservation NGOs, and social and development NGOs, says that finding the fire starters is harder than it sounds. "Finding the source of the fires, the fact is that it's quite nebulous in a sense. It's all just smoke, isn't it? At the end of the day, that's all you see in the sky," Ng says. "For every fire that you find, the source of it is quite difficult to trace. Sometimes you can trace it back to [an] estate. Sometimes you trace it from outside of the estate coming from the adjacent communities of land where they prepare the annual crops. So trying to find many small little sources, the hot spots here and there that create the big fires, is hard."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

But Ricardo Carrere argues that the inability to find the fire starters may itself just be so much metaphorical smoke. "Even the companies have been identified by name. And nothing happens because these companies have very strong links with government," he says. "They want this plant and it doesn't matter if the company is punished or not. It's the returns." Corruption in the Malaysian and Indonesian governments is nothing new, and certainly the lure of a lucrative crop is cause for these governments to turn a blind eye. In 2004, the civil society NGO Transparency International ranked Indonesia as the 13th most corrupt country in the world--that the country's plantation and forestry sectors are in fact rife with corruption, collusion, and nepotism. Singapore's Straits Times newspaper last October reported that the logging firms are "believed to be owned by or linked to people with ties to the ruling elite and the military."

Government officials deny responsibility. Malaysian officials last October blamed not the large plantations, but instead poor farmers who use fire to clear their land. On the other hand, the Center for International Forestry Research studied satellite photos of the burns that took place in Indonesia in 1997-98 and compared these photos to Indonesian land-use maps. They found that 75 percent of the hot spots in Kalimantan were in oil palm plantation and logging concessions.

One government official, Malaysian Environment Minister Azmi Khalid, believes the culprits are the big companies, and says so. "Open burning for land-clearing is the cause of the haze. In Kalimantan alone, there are now one million hectares of palm oil plantations," he said, noting that 16 companies were under investigation in connection with the fires last October. Still, these companies have never been brought to justice. During the previous prolonged period of haze in Southeast Asia, in 1997 and 1998, 176 companies were publicly identified as violators. Only five were brought to court. One was found guilty.

Corruption is only one part of the reason. Ng says the other part of the equation is the difficulty of enforcement. "Indonesia and Malaysia both have an excellent system of laws and within those laws the punitive measures are very good. But the problem that you have is enforcement, because of the lack of resources available for ensuring that government agencies have enough manpower to go out there and educate the public in these areas, and to monitor these areas and ensure that control continues," he says. "Unless people are willing to put money into these things, you're going to see the fires crop up again this year. We're going to have a dry spell in a couple of months time [June, July] and they'll keep going on until there's nothing left to burn because fire is really the only practical, in a sense, and I put that in quotation marks, way to clear land."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Ng's group has established a set of global guidelines for sustainable palm oil production, including compliance with all local, national, and international laws and regulations, and ensuring a flow of information from plantation owners to RSPO stakeholders for verification of methods. RSPO has also drawn up a zero-burn policy for plantation operators who are members. Ng says that zero burn is a win-win situation. "Ask anyone in the palm oil plantation industry and they'll tell you that it's actually far better for the land not to burn, not just from the point of view of carbon emissions, but zero burn actually gives you long-term benefits," he argues. "When you do zero burn, you recycle all of the planting material and reintroduce it back into the soil. That gives you long-term input into the soil for fertility."

The RSPO is not the only organization pressing to reduce and eliminate oil palm burns. Representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Thailand met last November to set policy and budgets for dealing with burns and haze. During this summit they set aside funds to provide incentives to farmers to abandon slash-and-burn land clearing, and strengthened enforcement of burn laws against plantation companies and forest concessionaires caught violating them. For example, Indonesia says it will increase funding for law enforcement and train its police force, prosecutors, and judges to crack down on forest fire violations.

If these measures work, the evidence of success, or failure, will appear in the skies--literally as smoke signals. "I don't think we can solve this within a year. It will take a long-term solution," said Singapore Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim during the talks. "We will have to see if farmers are prepared to change habits, whether the Indonesian authorities are prepared to clamp down on errant plantation owners. By and large we are quite happy [with the talks' results], but obviously the devil is in the details." Ng agrees: "Depending on how bad the fires are, I guess we'll find out if the fires are an issue that will again be brought up as in the previous times," he said of this coming November's negotiations.

Many countries aren't waiting for the companies and governments in Southeast Asia to sort it all out and are instead taking matters into their own hands. This past April, scientists and policymakers from over 100 counties met in Brussels to discuss global warming, and palm oil as a biofuel figured into their equation. Dutch companies such as Biox and Essent have either scrutinized or completely halted palm oil production until they can verify that their suppliers did not burn forests in the growing process. "From the start, we knew we can't stay in business if we can't prove that production is sustainable," said Biox executive Arjen Brinkmann. Britain's largest electricity supplier, RWE npower [sic], announced that it too has decided against using palm oil for biofuel after a year of study due to the prevalence of unsustainable growing methods. In January the European Parliament considered a ban on imports of nonsustainable palm oil as well, even though it is anxious to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

This coming year's haze is predicted to be even worse than last year's. Ricardo Carrere suggests that the real culprits ultimately are energy consumers. "On one hand, all of the governments of the world are saying we need sustainable development, we need to conserve water, we need to conserve biodiversity and climate and all the rest. But on the other hand, all the economic policies go in the opposite direction," he says. "It's not that biofuels are wrong. It's the unsustainable consumption that is wrong. Too much energy is being used and there's no way that by producing biofuels it is going to be able to feed all of those cars in the [global] North. Consumers cannot keep using energy in an unsustainable manner."

Heather Augustyn is a freelance writer who spent five weeks in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia during the fall 2006 burns. She has written for E! The Environmental Magazine, EarthTimes.org, Shore Magazine, The Village Voice, and In These Times.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 16, 2008, 08:00:07 AM
Publication: World Watch
Publication Date: 01-JUL-07
Delivery: Immediate Online Access
Author: Fujihara, Noboru ; Yoder, Peggy
Full Article:
The article "Food from Cloned Animals Receives Preliminary Approval" (March/April 2007, p. 8), gave me a great shock, since in Japan this kind of opinion perhaps has gone out of the discussion about food and the food market, though I am not sure. As one of the animal scientists who participated in research on genetic engineering by using chicken and cattle at the university in this country, I would like to say something about this news item, though five years have passed since my retirement from the college.

The technique for cloning is not so easy, and you may only be able to get a few successful results from animal cloning. In my students' case, 1 out of 600 to 700 treated chicken eggs (equal to chance mutation) was successful. Though I am not sure about recent advanced techniques for animal cloning, especially for cattle, pigs, or some other farm animals, even now it may take a lot of time to produce cloned animals with highly sophisticated methods.

In my laboratory at the university, we also found various interesting things about the genetically engineered chickens, such as short lifetimes, no breeding ability, and deformed legs that prevented normal walking, despite the fact that some of the exogenous genes were completely introduced into the host embryos.

As a result, I think, if something like mutation had occurred in the process of genetic engineering, these genes could be transferred into the next generation, but further generations might have some different characteristics owing to slightly changed altered genes which occurred in the process of genetic transmission.

In addition, the genetically modified birds also had a few different unknown characteristics in the body, but these features were completely excluded gradually during their living time, though the lifespan was not so long compared with normal birds. This also means that the extra or foreign genes may not be stored in the living cells for long, due probably to the reason that inherent genetic materials couldn't be replaced with ease by any other strange genes or foreign genes.

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These kinds of genetically engineered animals and plants should not be in the market, since nobody can say these are good and safe food materials at the present moment. As you know very well, we can survive without any kind of genetically modified foods all over the world.

In conclusion, as my own opinion, I would like to say the best way to obtain the animals carrying some characteristics of food is to make new breeds with the desired features by employing regular breeding systems. There is no royal road to getting much better animals and plants in succession on the Earth.

NOBORU FUJIHARA, PH.D.

Principal, Clark Memorial International High School

Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University, Japan

Worldwatch Institute promotes itself as "Independent research for an environmentally sustainable and socially just society." In the March/April issue of its magazine, there was a lengthy article titled "Our Biopolitical Future: Four Scenarios" (p. 10), written by Richard Hayes, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society. In the article, four scenarios concerning genetic technologies were presented, ranging from the benign to a "Techno-Eugenic Arms Race," where genetic technologies are used by individuals, corporations, and countries in the struggle for superiority and dominance. Yet on the back cover of the magazine there is a picture of a transgenic fluorescent-green pig created by Taiwanese scientists by injecting the embryo with a jellyfish protein. The caption stated, "Soon, perhaps, romantic dinners will no longer require candlelight." Given the unsustainability of animal agriculture, the ethics of animal research, and the possible dire predictions of science run amok with genetic engineering, I was shocked and extremely disappointed by WWI's almost whimsical portrayal of such a technology that could drastically reshape our world in a negative way.

PEGGY YODER

Philomath, Oregon, U.S.A.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 20, 2008, 07:54:51 AM
Asia big market for Lallemand additives
// 16 apr 2008

Over the past few weeks, Lallemand Animal Nutrition has strengthened its visibility in Asia with its participation to Dairy Focus Asia 2008, Asia’s independent technical conference for progressive dairy farmers, nutritionists and veterinarians, that took place in Bangkok, Thailand.


Bruno Rochet, in charge of the Asian market for Lallemand Animal Nutrition, who was invited to speak at Dairy Focus Asia 2008, focused his intervention on the use of ruminant specific live yeast and selenium enriched yeast to manage heat stress in dairy cows and limit its impact on dairy production and cows health (control of sub-acute acidosis and reproductive health), a very common issue in areas of hot and humid climates.

Lallemand Animal Nutrition is present in Asia via its Chinese representative office, in Beijing, as well as through a growing network of well-established local distributors: Nuevotec in Thailand, Asia Stockwell Products Inc. (ASPI) in Taiwan, Agritech in Malaysia, B.V. feed supplements manufacturing co. ltd in India, and Nosan for probiotic yeast and Miwa for Selenium enriched yeast in Japan.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 20, 2008, 08:01:27 AM
Comparing organic and conventional crops
// 28 mar 2008

Can organic cropping systems be as productive as conventional systems? The answer is an unqualified, "Yes" for alfalfa or wheat and a qualified "Yes most of the time" for corn and soybeans according to research reported by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and agricultural consulting firm AGSTAT in the March-April 2008 issue of Agronomy Journal.


The researchers primarily based their answer on results from the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials, conducted for 13 years (1990-2002) at Arlington, WI and 8 years (1990-1997) at Elkhorn, WI. These trials compared six cropping systems (three cash grain and three forage based crops) ranging from diverse, organic systems to less diverse, conventional systems. The cash grain systems were 1) conventional continuous corn, 2) conventional corn-soybean, and 3) organic corn-soybean-wheat where the wheat included a leguminous cover crop. The three forage based systems were 1) conventional corn-alfalfa-alfalfa-alfalfa, 2) organic corn-oats-alfalfa-alfalfa, and 3) rotationally grazed pasture.

In this research they found that: organic forage crops yielded as much or more dry matter as their conventional counterparts with quality sufficient to produce as much milk as the conventional systems; and organic grain crops: corn, soybean, and winter wheat produced 90% as well as their conventionally managed counterparts. In spite of some climatic differences and a large difference in soil drainage between the two sites, the relatively small difference in the way the cropping systems performed suggested that these results are widely applicable across prairie-derived soils in the U.S. upper Midwest.

The researchers also compared their results to other data analysis done on this topic in the U.S. Midwest. Although researchers found that diverse, low-input/organic cropping systems were as productive as conventional systems most of the time, there is a need for further research, according to the study’s author Dr. Joshua L. Posner, University of Wisconsin.

"There continues to be improvements in weed control for organic systems that may close the gap in productivity of corn and soybeans in wet seasons," Posner says. "On the other hand, technological advances may accelerate productivity gains in conventional systems that would outstrip the gains in organic systems even in favorable years."

The true question of whether organic cropping systems are as productive as conventional systems is a dynamic question and one that requires continual reevaluation.

 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 20, 2008, 07:19:25 PM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Drastic rise for choline chloride demand
// 15 apr 2008

Choline chloride demand will reach 391.8 thousand tons by 2012, according to new report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Growth in poultry feed additives is one of the major drivers of this increasing demand. Swine feed additives and fish feed additives also offer significant growth opportunities.

 
Choline chloride, a derivative of methylamine, is predominantly used in animal feed additives as a principal dietary supplement in poultry, swine feed and fish farming. The fastest growing markets are Central and South Americas and the far Eastern countries, particularly China. As living standards in these countries are improving steadily, poultry consumption is being looked upon more favourably.

6% growth per year
Consumers are increasingly shifting from red meat to white meat. Choline chloride market is expected to grow at over 6% annually, as stated in a recent report published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Consumption of choline chloride in poultry feed additives in United States is estimated at 52.7 thousand tons for 2008. Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions offer the highest growth opportunity for choline chloride market.

Major players in the marketplace include Balchem Corporation, BCP Ingredients and DSM Nutritional Products

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2008, 09:25:34 AM
'Livestock meltdown' threatens developing world
13:45 04 September 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Catherine Brahic
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 Hardy breeds of livestock vital for world food supplies are dying out across developing countries, especially in Africa, farm scientists are warning. The researchers are calling for the creation of regional gene banks to save such breeds.

"There is a livestock meltdown under way across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Valuable breeds are disappearing at an alarming rate," Carlos Seré of the International Livestock Research Institute told a gathering convened by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Interlaken, Switzerland. "In many cases we will not even know the true value of an existing breed until it has already gone."

Native breeds are increasingly being supplanted by high-yield Western farm animals, which may be less well able to adapt to their new environment in times of drought or disease, found a joint report by Seré's institute and the FAO on the diversity of farm animals in 169 countries.

For example, in northern Vietnam, local breeds made up 72% of the pig population in 1994, but eight years later the proportion had dropped to 26%. Of the 15 local pig breeds, 10 now face possible extinction.

Tougher cattle
The black and white Holstein-Friesian dairy cow has high milk yields, and is now found in 128 countries and all of the world's regions. Fast egg-laying white leghorn chickens and quick-growing large white pigs are other examples of high-yield stock.

These breeds offer high volumes of meat, milk and eggs. But the researchers warn that the growing reliance on a handful of farm animal species is causing the loss on average of one livestock breed every month in developing countries.

And over the longer term, the imported breeds may not cope with unpredictable environmental change or outbreaks of indigenous disease.

For example, many experts predict that Uganda's indigenous Ankole cattle, famous their graceful and gigantic horns, could be extinct within 20 years because they are being rapidly supplanted by Holstein-Friesians.

Yet, during a recent drought, farmers who had kept their Ankole were able to walk them long distances to water sources, while those who had switched to the imported breeds lost their entire herds, Seré told the meeting.

Gene banks
"For the foreseeable future," says Seré, "farm animals will continue to create means for hundreds of millions of people to escape absolute poverty."

He is calling for the creation of gene banks to store semen, eggs and embryos of farm animals. Seré says such gene banks have been set up in Europe, the US, China, India and parts of Latin America, but are absent from Africa.

But gene banks are just one step needed to better manage farm animals in developing countries, Seré says. The other steps he suggests are:

• Encouraging farmers to maintain a diversity of breeds

• Making it easier for farm animals to cross national borders with their owners

• Generate "landscape genomics", which help predict which breeds are best suited to different environments around the globe

Endangered species – Learn more about the conservation battle in our comprehensive special report.

Genetics – Keep up with the pace in our continually updated special report.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2008, 09:28:32 AM
Meat makes the rich ill and the poor hungry by Jeremy Rifkin
 When representatives meet at the World Food Summit they supposedly focus on how to get food into the mouths of nearly one billion people who are currently undernourished. However, at all the dinners they attend you can expect to see the consumption of large quantities of meat. And herein lies the contradiction.

People go hungry because much of arable land is used to grow feed grain for animals rather than people. In the US, 157 million tons of cereals, legumes and vegetable protein – all suitable for human consumption – is fed to livestock to produce just 28 million tons of animal protein in the form of meat.

In developing countries, using land to create an artificial food chain has resulted in misery for hundreds of millions of people. An acre of cereal produces five times more protein than an acre used for meat production; legumes such as beans, peas and lentils can produce 10 times more protein and, in the case of soya, 30 times more.

Global corporations which supply the seeds, chemicals and cattle and which control the slaughterhouses, marketing and distribution of beef, eagerly promote grain-fed livestock. They equate it with a country’s prestige and climbing the “protein ladder” becomes the mark of success.

Enlarging their meat supply is the first step for all developing countries. They start with chicken and egg production and, as their economies grow, climb the protein ladder to pork, milk, and dairy products, then to grass-fed beef and finally to grain-fed beef. Encouraging this process advances the interests of agribusinesses and two-thirds of the grain exported from the USA goes to feed livestock. The process really got underway when “green revolution” technology produced grain surpluses in the 1970s. The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation encouraged it and the USA government linked its food aid programme to the producing of feed grain and gave low-interest loans to establish grain-fed poultry operations. Many nations have attempted to remain high on the protein ladder long after the grain surpluses disappeared.

Human consequences of the shift from food to feed were dramatically illustrated during the Ethiopian famine in 1984. While people starved, Ethiopia was growing linseed cake, cottonseed cake and rapeseed meal for European livestock. Millions of acres of land in the developing world are used for this purpose. Tragically, 80 per cent of the world’s hungry children live in countries with food surpluses which are fed to animals for consumption by the affluent.

The irony is that millions of consumers in the first world are dying from diseases of affluence such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer, brought on by eating animal products, while the world’s poor are dying from diseases of poverty. We are long overdue for a global discussion on how to promote a diversified, high-protein, vegetarian diet for the human race.

Jeremy Rifkin is the author of Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture (Plume, 1992), and The Biotech Century (Victor Gollancz,1998). He is also the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington DC, USA.


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Despite the rich diversity of foods found all over the world, one third of its population does not have enough to eat. Today, hunger is a massive problem in many parts of Africa, Asia and South America and the future is not looking good. The global population is set to rise from 6.5 billion (2006) to 9.3 billion by 2050 (2) and Worldwatch reports (3) forecast severe global food shortages leading to famine on an unprecedented scale.

This misery is partly a direct result of our desire to eat meat. Children in the developing world starve next to fields of food destined for export as animal feed, to support the meat-hungry cultures of the rich world. While millions die, one third of the world's grain production is fed to farmed animals in rich countries (4).

If animal farming were to stop and we were to use the land to grow grain to feed ourselves, we could feed every single person on this planet. Consuming crops directly - rather than feeding them to animals and then eating animals - is a far more efficient way to feed the world. This Viva! Guide looks at why eating meat is a major cause of world hunger and how vegetarianism can provide a solution.

The roots of hunger
The developing world hasn't always been hungry. Early explorers of the 16th and 17th centuries often returned amazed at the huge amounts of food they saw there. In parts of Africa, for example, people always had three harvests in storage and no-one went hungry. The idea of buying and selling food was unheard of.

The Industrial Revolution changed all that. European countries needed cheap raw materials such as coal and iron ore that developing countries had plenty of. Through the process of invasion and colonisation, Western countries could not only take the raw materials but claim the land as their own and make the indigenous people pay taxes or rent. Poor peasants (many of whom had never dealt in money before) were forced to grow crops such as cotton to sell to their new masters. Wealthy countries owned the land, all the food that was produced, and decided the price. After paying taxes, peasants had little money left to buy this expensive food and often ended up borrowing money simply to live. This whole process of colonisation continued right up to the beginning of the last century.

The problem today
Drought and other 'natural' disasters are often wrongly blamed for causing famines. Local people have always planned for freak acts of nature and although they may be the trigger that starts a famine, the underlying cause is the system of modern day neo-colonialism.

The land in poor countries is still largely not owned by the people who work on it and rents are high. Huge areas are owned by large companies based in the West. It is common for people to be thrown off the land, often going to the towns where there is little other work. About 160,000 people move from rural areas to cities every day (5). Many migrants are forced to settle in shanty towns and squatter settlements.

Much of this land is used to grow “cash crops” for export - like coffee, tobacco and animal feed  - rather than to grow food for indigenous people. Countries agree to grow cash crops in order to pay off their crippling debts. Fifty-two of the world’s poorest countries owe the rich world in the region of £213 billion. Annual repayments total £14 billion - the majority of this from countries where most people are living on less than one dollar a day (see p7: Why are countries in debt?). (6)

The sad irony is that the world produces more than enough plant food to meet the needs of all its six billion people. If people used land to grow crops to feed themselves, rather than feeding crops to animals, then there would be enough to provide everyone with the average of 2360 Kcal (calories) needed for good health (7).

If everyone were to take 25 per cent of their calories from animal protein then the planet could sustain only three billion people (8). In simple, brutal terms, if we were all to imitate the average North American diet, we would only be able to feed half the world’s population.

Breeding animals means starving people
Breeding animals is an incredibly inefficient way to try and feed the world's growing population. Yet after food rationing during the second world war, intensive animal farming was actively encouraged as a way of ensuring our future “food security”.

Most meat in Western Europe is now produced in factory farms which, as the name implies, are production lines for animals. To meet the large demand for meat, billions of animals are kept in cramped, filthy conditions, often unable to move properly and not allowed fresh air or even natural light. Unable to feed outdoors naturally, they are fed grain, oil seeds, soya feed, fish meal and sometimes the remains of other animals. High quality land is used to grow grains and soya beans - land that could be used to grow crops for humans.

The grain fed to animals does not convert directly into meat to feed people. The vast majority is either excreted or used as “fuel” to keep the animal alive and functioning. For every 10 kilograms of soya protein fed to America’s cattle only one kilogram is converted to meat. Almost the entire population of India and China, nearly two billion people, could be fed on the protein consumed and largely wasted by the United States’ beef herd (10).

Because of the demand for animal feed, a Western meat-based diet uses four and a half times more land than is necessary for a vegan diet and two and a quarter times more than for a vegetarian diet (11). The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) recommend that people reduce their intake of dairy and meat products in order to reduce grazing pressure on land (12).

Where does the animal feed come from?
The amount of land used to grow animal feed in Western countries is not enough to meet their own needs and more is imported from developing countries. Land in some developing countries, like India, is also used to grow grain for animals who are reared and killed for export.

Currently farmed animals eat one-third of the world’s cereal production. In the industrialised world, two-thirds of the agricultural land produces cereals for animal feed. The EU imports 45 per cent of its oilseeds (soya) and, overall, imports 70 per cent of its protein for animal feed (1995-6). As the European Commission admits, ‘Europe’s agriculture is capable of feeding Europe’s people but not of feeding Europe’s animals’ (4). The EU also imports cattle feed such as peanuts or soya because it is cheaper than buying animal feed grown in Europe.

At the height of the Ethiopian famine in 1984-5, Britain imported £1.5 million worth of linseed cake, cottonseed cake and rape seed meal. Although none of this was fit for humans to eat, good quality farmland was still being used to grow animal feed for rich countries when it could have been used to grow food for Ethiopians.
In the United States, farmed animals, mostly cattle, consume almost twice as much grain as is eaten by the entire US population (13). 70 per cent of all the wheat, corn and other grain produced goes to feeding animals (14). Over 100 million acres of US agricultural land is used to grow grain for animals (13) and still more is imported.

In Central and South America, ever-increasing amounts of land are being used to grow soya beans and grain for export - to be used as animal feed. In Brazil, 23 per cent of the cultivated land is currently being used to produce soya beans, of which nearly half are for export (13). The Oxfam Poverty Report explains that the subsidised expansion of the EU’s dairy and livestock industry has created a huge demand for high protein animal feedstuffs and that the demand has in part been met through the expansion of large-scale, mechanised soya production in Brazil. Smallholder producers of beans and staple foods in the southern part of the country have been displaced to make way for giant soya estates. Soya has now become the country’s major agricultural export, “however, it is a trading arrangement which had proved considerably more efficient at feeding European cattle than with maintaining the livelihoods of poor Brazilians.” (16)

Twenty-five years ago, livestock consumed less than six per cent of Mexico’s grain. Today, at least one third of the grain produced in the country is being fed to animals. At the same time, millions of people living in the country are chronically undernourished (13).

It’s not surprising that the World Health Organisation has called for a shift away from meat production so that people can consume crops directly. It says:

“Farming policies that do not require intensive animal production systems would reduce the world demand for cereals. Use of land could be reappraised since cereal consumption for direct consumption by the population is much more efficient and cheaper than dedicating large areas to growing feed for meat production and dairying. Policies should be geared to the growing of plant foods and to limiting the promotion of meat and dairy.” (17)

Governments worldwide have ignored this advice. Instead of promoting the growing of plant foods for human consumption, they offer subsidy payments and financial incentives to livestock farmers, thereby actively encouraging meat production.

Who is hungry?
Around six billion people share the planet, one quarter in the rich north and three quarters in the poor south. While people in rich countries diet because they eat too much, many in the developing world do not have enough food simply to ensure their bodies work properly and stay alive.

826 million people around the world are seriously undernourished - 792 million people in developing countries and another 34 million in industrialised countries (18). Two billion people - one third of the global population - lack food security, defined by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as a “state of affairs where all people at all times have access to safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” (5)

Today, some 12 million children die annually of nutrition-related diseases. The Food and Agriculture Organisation says, “Doubtless, far more are chronically ill.” (19)

There are more chronically hungry people in Asia and the Pacific, but the depth of hunger is greatest in sub-Saharan Africa. In 46 per cent of countries there, the undernourished have an average deficit of more than 300 kilocalories per day (19). In 1996-98, 28 per cent of the population on the African continent were chronically undernourished (192 million people) (20).

Access to food is a basic right, enshrined in a number of human rights instruments to which states around the world have committed themselves. At the 1996 World Food Summit, leaders from 185 countries and the European Community reaffirmed, in the Rome Declaration on Food Security, “the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger.” They pledged to cut the number of the world’s hungry people in half by 2015 (21) .

The FAO says that, “eradicating hunger is not merely a lofty ideal” (21). Yet it makes no sense for states to acknowledge the right of each individual to food whilst promoting diets based around animal protein. Starvation does not occur because of a world food shortage. If everyone ate a vegetarian, or better still, a vegan diet there would be enough food for everyone. The only sane way forward is to grow food for humans rather than to feed it to farmed animals.

World Trade
A report, The European Meat Industry in the 1990s, explains the obscene paradox of global food distribution: “World trade relations are dominated by low-priced animal feed and meat. Low prices on animal feeds affect farmers in poor countries producing cash crops [ie animal feed crops for export]. Partly due to the use of imported feed, the rich countries today have a large surplus of meat while more and more people in less developed countries tend to be undernourished” (22).

Current trade agreements, like the Agreement on Agriculture under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), permit Western farmers to sell subsidised grain and other commodity surpluses cheaply in developing nations. This undercuts local farmers and forces many off the land. The Worldwatch Institute states, “In most cases, any benefits of this cheap food to the urban poor are likely to be transitory, as the destablisation of the rural economy encourages migration to job-scarce cities, thereby increasing the ranks of impoverished city dwellers while harming urban agriculture programmes” (23).

Dependence on foreign markets for food also means that the importing countries are vulnerable to price fluctuations and currency devaluations that can increase the price of food substantially (23).

Why are countries in debt?
During the 1970s, developing countries were lent money by developed countries for a range of projects, including infrastructure development (e.g. dams and roads), industrialisation and technology. The World Development Movement (WDM) states, “Often the projects turned out to be unproductive.” The loans were either multilateral (i.e. the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund lending to one government) or bilateral (i.e. one government lending to another) (24).

Then in the 1980s, interest rates rocketed because of the oil crisis, while at the same time, industrialised countries put high prices on many agricultural imports so that developing world farmers were not able to sell their produce (24). Consequently, developing countries were unable to pay off their loans and they have become increasingly indebted. These countries are paying back billions of pounds to the West in interest payments each year.

Often, the loans had conditions attached. When Costa Rica borrowed money from the World Bank, one of the conditions set was that they had to cut down rainforest and clear land for cattle grazing to supply rich countries with cheap beef. The destruction of rainforests is a disaster not just for its people and wildlife but for the world's climate (see Viva! Guide 9, Planet on a Plate).

Between 1975 and 1985, thousands of km2 of forest were cleared in Thailand to grow tapioca to sell to the EU as feed for pigs and cattle. When beef and pork mountains meant that not as much meat was being produced, Europe no longer needed tapioca and stopped buying. This put Thai peasants into huge debt because they had borrowed money to spend on improving their farms to grow enough to meet demand. As a consequence, many people sold their children into child labour and prostitution.

 

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   Jeremy Rifkin is the author of Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture (Plume, 1992), and The Biotech Century (Victor Gollancz,1998). He is also the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington DC, USA.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2008, 09:31:17 AM
 
Search    Gateway...AG: Agriculture DepartmentAGA: Animal production/healthAGE: FAO/IAEA Joint DivisionAGN: Nutrition and consumer protectionAGP: Plant production/protectionAGS: Infrastructure, agro-industriesCodex alimentariusCOAG: Committee on Agriculture 
 
Magazine home | spotlight | archive   
 
 
Spotlight / 2006 
 
 
The livestock sector is undergoing a complex process of technical and geographical change
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Livestock impacts on the environment
The challenge is to reconcile two conflicting demands: for animal food products and environmental services...
A new report from FAO says livestock production is one of the major causes of the world's most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Using a methodology that considers the entire commodity chain, it estimates that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of transport. However, the report says, the livestock sector's potential contribution to solving environmental problems is equally large, and major improvements could be achieved at reasonable cost.

Based on the most recent data available, Livestock's long shadow takes into account the livestock sector's direct impacts, plus the environmental effects of related land use changes and production of the feed crops animals consume. It finds that expanding population and incomes worldwide, along with changing food preferences, are stimulating a rapid increase in demand for meat, milk and eggs, while globalization is boosting trade in both inputs and outputs.

Livestock and the rural poor
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Despite its wide-ranging environmental impacts, livestock is not a major force in the global economy, generating just under 1.5 percent of total GDP. But the livestock sector is socially and politically very significant in developing countries: it provides food and income for one billion of the world's poor, especially in dry areas, where livestock are often the only source of livelihoods. "Since livestock production is an expression of the poverty of people who have no other options," FAO says, "the huge number of people involved in livestock for lack of alternatives, particularly in Africa and Asia, is a major consideration for policy makers." 
 
In the process, the livestock sector is undergoing a complex process of technical and geographical change. Production is shifting from the countryside to urban and peri-urban areas, and towards sources of animal feed, whether feed crop areas or transport and trade hubs where feed is distributed. There is also a shift in species, with accelerating growth in production of pigs and poultry (mostly in industrial units) and a slow-down in that of cattle, sheep and goats, which are often raised extensively. Today, an estimated 80 percent of growth in the livestock sector comes from industrial production systems. Owing to those shifts, the report says, livestock are entering into direct competition for scarce land, water and other natural resources.

Deforestation, greenhouse gases. The livestock sector is by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land. Grazing occupies 26 percent of the Earth's terrestrial surface, while feed crop production requires about a third of all arable land. Expansion of grazing land for livestock is a key factor in deforestation, especially in Latin America: some 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon is used as pasture, and feed crops cover a large part of the reminder. About 70 percent of all grazing land in dry areas is considered degraded, mostly because of overgrazing, compaction and erosion attributable to livestock activity.

At the same time, the livestock sector has assumed an often unrecognized role in global warming. Using a methodology that considered the entire commodity chain (see box below), FAO estimated that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of transport. It accounts for nine percent of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, most of it due to expansion of pastures and arable land for feed crops. It generates even bigger shares of emissions of other gases with greater potential to warm the atmosphere: as much as 37 percent of anthropogenic methane, mostly from enteric fermentation by ruminants, and 65 percent of anthropogenic nitrous oxide, mostly from manure.

 New measurement for greenhouse gases

Scientists usually tie their estimates of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming to sources such as land use changes, agriculture (including livestock) and transportation. The authors of Livestock’s long shadow took a different approach, aggregating emissions throughout the livestock commodity chain - from feed production (which includes chemical fertilizer production, deforestation for pasture and feed crops, and pasture degradation), through animal production (including enteric fermentation and nitrous oxide emissions from manure) to the carbon dioxide emitted during processing and transportation of animal products. 
 
Livestock production also impacts heavily the world's water supply, accounting for more than 8 percent of global human water use, mainly for the irrigation of feed crops. Evidence suggests it is the largest sectoral source of water pollutants, principally animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures. While global figures are unavailable, it is estimated that in the USA livestock and feed crop agriculture are responsible for 37 percent of pesticide use, 50 percent of antibiotic use, and a third of the nitrogen and phosphorus loads in freshwater resources. The sector also generates almost two-thirds of anthropogenic ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.

The sheer quantity of animals being raised for human consumption also poses a threat of the Earth's biodiversity. Livestock account for about 20 percent of the total terrestrial animal biomass, and the land area they now occupy was once habitat for wildlife. In 306 of the 825 terrestrial eco-regions identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, livestock are identified as "a current threat", while 23 of Conservation International's 35 "global hotspots for biodiversity" - characterized by serious levels of habitat loss - are affected by livestock production.

Two demands. FAO says "the future of the livestock-environment interface will be shaped by how we resolve the balance of two demands: for animal food products on one side and for environmental services on the other". Since the natural resource base is finite, the huge expansion of the livestock sector required to meet expanding demand must be accomplished while substantially reducing its environmental impact.

Greater efficiency in use of resources will be "the key to retracting livestock's long shadow". Although a host of effective technical options - for resource management, crop and livestock production, and post harvest reduction of losses - are available (see box below), current prices of land, water and feed resources used for livestock production do not reflect true scarcities, creating distortions that provide no incentive for efficient resource use. "This leads to the overuse of the resources and to major inefficiencies in the production process," FAO says. "Future policies to protect the environment will therefore have to introduce adequate market pricing for the main inputs."

Action on many fronts
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The FAO report recommends a range of measures to mitigate livestock's threats to the environment:
Land degradation: Restore damaged land through soil conservation, silvopastoralism, better management of grazing systems and protection of sensitive areas.
Greenhouse gas emissions: Sustainable intensification of livestock and feed crop production to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation and pasture degradation, improved animal nutrition and manure management to cut methane and nitrogen emissions.
Water pollution: Better management of animal waste in industrial production units, better diets to improve nutrient absorption, improved manure management and better use of processed manure on croplands.
Biodiversity loss: As well as implementing the measures above, improve protection of wild areas, maintain connectivity among protected areas, and integrate livestock production and producers into landscape management. 
 
In particular, water is grossly under-priced in most countries, and development of water markets and various types of cost recovery will be needed to correct the situation. In the case of land, suggested instruments include grazing fees, and better institutional arrangements for controlled and equitable access. The removal of livestock production subsidies is also likely to improve technical efficiency - in New Zealand, a drastic reduction in agricultural subsidies during the 1980s helped create one of the world's most efficient and environmentally friendly ruminant livestock industries.

Removal of price distortions at input and product level will enhance natural resource use, but may often not be sufficient. Livestock's long shadow says environmental externalities, both negative and positive, need to be explicitly factored into the policy framework. Livestock holders who provide environmental services need to be compensated, either by the immediate beneficiary (such as downstream users enjoying improved water quantity and quality) or by the general public. Services that could be rewarded include land management or land uses that restore biodiversity, and pasture management that provides for carbon sequestration. Compensation schemes also need to be developed between water and electricity providers and graziers who adopt grasslands management strategies that reduce sedimentation of water reservoirs.

Likewise, livestock holders who emit waste into waterways or release ammonia into the atmosphere should pay for the damage. Applying the "polluter pays" principle should not present insurmountable problems for offenders, given the burgeoning demand for livestock products.

Consumer pressure. Finally, FAO says, the livestock sector is usually driven by diverse policy objectives, and decision-makers find it difficult to address economic, social, health and environmental issues at the same time. The fact that so many people depend on livestock for their livelihoods limits the policy options available, and leads to difficult and politically sensitive trade-offs.

Information, communication and education will play critical roles in enhancing a "willingness to act". With their strong and growing influence, consumers are likely to be the main source of commercial and political pressure "to push the livestock sector into more sustainable forms", Livestock's long shadow says. Already, growing awareness of threats to the environment is translating into rising demand for environmental services: "This demand will broaden from immediate concerns - such as reducing the nuisance of flies and odours - to intermediate demands for clean air and water, then to the broader, longer-term environmental concerns, including climate change and loss of biodiversity".

Back to the countryside?

Intensive animal production systems produce high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus wastes and concentrated discharges of toxic materials. Yet those systems are often located in areas where effective waste management is more difficult. The regional distribution of intensive systems is   usually determined not by environmental concerns but by ease of access to input and product markets, and relative costs of land and labour. In developing countries, industrial units are often concentrated in peri-urban environments because of infrastructure constraints.
   "Environmental problems created by industrial production systems derive not from their large scale, nor their production intensity, but rather from their geographical location and concentration," FAO says. It recommends reintegration of crop and livestock activities, which calls for policies that drive industrial and intensive livestock to rural areas with nutrient demand.
 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2008, 09:35:25 AM
By MARK BITTMAN
Published: January 27, 2008
A SEA change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store — something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil.

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Livestock’s High Energy Costs
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The Huge Flow of Animal Waste
 
Gary Kazanjian for The New York Times
Beef cattle raised for the Harris Ranch Beef Company, Coalinga, Calif.
It’s meat.

The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally — like oil — meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible.

Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.

Just this week, the president of Brazil announced emergency measures to halt the burning and cutting of the country’s rain forests for crop and grazing land. In the last five months alone, the government says, 1,250 square miles were lost.

The world’s total meat supply was 71 million tons in 1961. In 2007, it was estimated to be 284 million tons. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over that period. (In the developing world, it rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years.) World meat consumption is expected to double again by 2050, which one expert, Henning Steinfeld of the United Nations, says is resulting in a “relentless growth in livestock production.”

Americans eat about the same amount of meat as we have for some time, about eight ounces a day, roughly twice the global average. At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we “process” (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total.

Growing meat (it’s hard to use the word “raising” when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it’s a challenge to enumerate them all. But consider: an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.

To put the energy-using demand of meat production into easy-to-understand terms, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. Martin, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, calculated that if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius. Similarly, a study last year by the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan estimated that 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

Grain, meat and even energy are roped together in a way that could have dire results. More meat means a corresponding increase in demand for feed, especially corn and soy, which some experts say will contribute to higher prices.

This will be inconvenient for citizens of wealthier nations, but it could have tragic consequences for those of poorer ones, especially if higher prices for feed divert production away from food crops. The demand for ethanol is already pushing up prices, and explains, in part, the 40 percent rise last year in the food price index calculated by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization.

Though some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, the majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds cattle, pigs and chickens. This despite the inherent inefficiencies: about two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, according to Rosamond Naylor, an associate professor of economics at Stanford University. It is as much as 10 times more in the case of grain-fed beef in the United States.

The environmental impact of growing so much grain for animal feed is profound. Agriculture in the United States — much of which now serves the demand for meat — contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation’s rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Because the stomachs of cattle are meant to digest grass, not grain, cattle raised industrially thrive only in the sense that they gain weight quickly. This diet made it possible to remove cattle from their natural environment and encourage the efficiency of mass confinement and slaughter. But it causes enough health problems that administration of antibiotics is routine, so much so that it can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten the usefulness of medicines that treat people.

Those grain-fed animals, in turn, are contributing to health problems among the world’s wealthier citizens — heart disease, some types of cancer, diabetes. The argument that meat provides useful protein makes sense, if the quantities are small. But the “you gotta eat meat” claim collapses at American levels. Even if the amount of meat we eat weren’t harmful, it’s way more than enough.

Americans are downing close to 200 pounds of meat, poultry and fish per capita per year (dairy and eggs are separate, and hardly insignificant), an increase of 50 pounds per person from 50 years ago. We each consume something like 110 grams of protein a day, about twice the federal government’s recommended allowance; of that, about 75 grams come from animal protein. (The recommended level is itself considered by many dietary experts to be higher than it needs to be.) It’s likely that most of us would do just fine on around 30 grams of protein a day, virtually all of it from plant sources.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2008, 09:39:01 AM
World food stocks dwindling rapidly, UN warns
By Elisabeth Rosenthal Published: December 17, 2007

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ROME: In an "unforeseen and unprecedented" shift, the world food supply is dwindling rapidly and food prices are soaring to historic levels, the top food and agriculture official of the United Nations warned Monday.

The changes created "a very serious risk that fewer people will be able to get food," particularly in the developing world, said Jacques Diouf, head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The agency's food price index rose by more than 40 percent this year, compared with 9 percent the year before - a rate that was already unacceptable, he said. New figures show that the total cost of foodstuffs imported by the neediest countries rose 25 percent, to $107 million, in the last year.

At the same time, reserves of cereals are severely depleted, FAO records show. World wheat stores declined 11 percent this year, to the lowest level since 1980. That corresponds to 12 weeks of the world's total consumption - much less than the average of 18 weeks consumption in storage during the period 2000-2005. There are only 8 weeks of corn left, down from 11 weeks in the earlier period.

Prices of wheat and oilseeds are at record highs, Diouf said Monday. Wheat prices have risen by $130 per ton, or 52 percent, since a year ago. U.S. wheat futures broke $10 a bushel for the first time Monday, the agricultural equivalent of $100 a barrel oil. (Page 16)

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 Diouf blamed a confluence of recent supply and demand factors for the crisis, and he predicted that those factors were here to stay. On the supply side, these include the early effects of global warming, which has decreased crop yields in some crucial places, and a shift away from farming for human consumption toward crops for biofuels and cattle feed. Demand for grain is increasing with the world population, and more is diverted to feed cattle as the population of upwardly mobile meat-eaters grows.

"We're concerned that we are facing the perfect storm for the world's hungry," said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program, in a telephone interview. She said that her agency's food procurement costs had gone up 50 percent in the past 5 years and that some poor people are being "priced out of the food market."

To make matters worse, high oil prices have doubled shipping costs in the past year, putting enormous stress on poor nations that need to import food as well as the humanitarian agencies that provide it.

"You can debate why this is all happening, but what's most important to us is that it's a long-term trend, reversing decades of decreasing food prices," Sheeran said.

Climate specialists say that the vulnerability will only increase as further effects of climate change are felt. "If there's a significant change in climate in one of our high production areas, if there is a disease that effects a major crop, we are in a very risky situation," said Mark Howden of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra.

Already "unusual weather events," linked to climate change - such as droughts, floods and storms - have decreased production in important exporting countries like Australia and Ukraine, Diouf said.

In Southern Australia, a significant reduction in rainfall in the past few years led some farmers to sell their land and move to Tasmania, where water is more reliable, said Howden, one of the authors of a recent series of papers in the Procedings of the National Academy of Sciences on climate change and the world food supply.

"In the U.S., Australia, and Europe, there's a very substantial capacity to adapt to the effects on food - with money, technology, research and development," Howden said. "In the developing world, there isn't."

Sheeran said, that on a recent trip to Mali, she was told that food stocks were at an all time low. The World Food Program feeds millions of children in schools and people with HIV/AIDS. Poor nutrition in these groups increased the risk serious disease and death.

Diouf suggested that all countries and international agencies would have to "revisit" agricultural and aid policies they had adopted "in a different economic environment." For example, with food and oil prices approaching record, it may not make sense to send food aid to poorer countries, but instead to focus on helping farmers grow food locally.

FAO plans to start a new initiative that will offer farmers in poor countries vouchers that can be redeemed for seeds and fertilizer, and will try to help them adapt to climate change.


 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2008, 12:15:02 PM
Food crisis threatens security, says UN chief· Warning of instability and backlash for economies
· Progress on development goals could be wiped out
Alexandra Topping The Guardian, Monday April 21 2008 Article historyAbout this articleClose This article appeared in the Guardian on Monday April 21 2008 on p2 of the Top stories section. It was last updated at 00:59 on April 21 2008. The UN secretary general issued a gloomy warning yesterday that the deepening global food crisis, in which rapidly rising prices have triggered riots and threatened hunger in dozens of countries, could have grave implications for international security, economic growth and social progress.

Ban Ki-moon told a trade and development conference in Accra, Ghana, that the surge in prices of basic foodstuffs like cereals since last year could cancel out progress made towards meeting the UN's Millennium Development Goal of halving world poverty by 2015.

"If not handled properly, this crisis could result in a cascade of others ... and become a multidimensional problem affecting economic growth, social progress and even political security around the world," Ban told the conference.

The World Bank estimates food prices have risen by an average of 83% in the past three years, and warns that at least 100 million people could be tipped into poverty as a result. A range of factors has been blamed, including poor harvests, partly due to climate change, rising oil prices, steep growth in demand from China and India, and the dash to produce biofuels for motoring at the expense of food crops.

"One thing is certain," Ban said. "The world has consumed more than it has produced" over the last three years.

Last week Gordon Brown called for coordinated action by the US and Europe on rising food prices, after discussing the problem with Ban. In his speech yesterday, the UN chief said the ripple effect from food shortages and price hikes risked setting the UN's anti-poverty agenda back at square one. "The global food prices could mean seven lost years ... for the Millennium Development Goals," he said.

The threat of hunger and poverty in developing countries has also sharply increased, and has already resulted in food riots in parts of Asia and Africa.

Ban said several states had attempted to stave off food shortages by barring exports of rice and wheat, or introducing incentives for easier imports of foodstuffs. "This threatens to distort international trade and exacerbate shortages," he said.

The UN's special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, earlier blamed the crisis on biofuels, speculation on commodities markets, and EU export subsidies. "Hunger has not been down to fate for a long time - just as Marx thought," he told the Austrian newspaper Kurier am Sonntag. "This is silent mass murder."

Food riots have broken out in at least a dozen countries, most notably in Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Yemen and Mexico. Pakistan has reintroduced rationing, while Russia has frozen the price of milk, bread, eggs and cooking oil. Indonesia has increased public food subsidies, while India has banned the export of rice, except the high-quality basmati variety.

Earlier this month, Haiti's parliament dismissed the prime minister, and cut the price of rice, in an attempt to defuse widespread anger at food price hikes that led to days of protests and looting in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Thousands of garment workers in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, also went on strike this month over spiralling prices. The price of rice, the staple Bangladeshi food, has increased by a third since a devastating cyclone last year. Experts say 30 million of the country's 150 million people could go without daily meals.

The UN food agency has warned that it will need to make "heartbreaking" choices about which countries should receive its emergency aid, unless governments donate more money to buy increasingly expensive food.

In the 30 years to 2005, world food prices fell by around three-quarters in inflation-adjusted terms, according to the Economist food prices index. Since then they have risen by 75%, with much of the increase in the past year. Wheat prices have doubled, while maize, soya and oilseeds are at record highs.


 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 22, 2008, 10:27:11 AM
Pakistan: use wheat for food not feed
// 21 apr 2008

Use of wheat as ingredient of poultry feed could worsen the present crisis of flour in Pakistan according to the Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock.


At last year's wheat crisis, poultry feed manufacturers were only allowed to use maize as one of the ingredient rather than wheat but because the maize was more costly this rule did not work. Feed millers therefore stored wheat, which could not be used for the flour mills anymore.

However, according to agricultural experts the recent rain almost across the country will increase the production rate of the wheat crop.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 22, 2008, 10:29:24 AM
Thai feed makers lobby for price increase
// 21 apr 2008

With surging global feed prices, animal feed producers in Thailand are asking the Commerce Ministry to allow them to raise prices by 10-20% of maize, soybean meal, fishmeal, rice bran and broken milled rice that have now reached an all-time high worldwide.

According to Pornsilp Patcharintanakul, president of the Thai Feed Mill Association, domestic maize prices have risen 46% since 2003, while rice bran has shot up more than 90% since 2003.

Milled rice prices this year have risen by more than 118% and soybean meal became 79% more expensive.

Pornsil added that that the government had promised earlier to waive the 4% import tariff on soybean meal but has yet to do so.

Feed makers have also asked for tariff cuts on substitute raw materials – sunflower meal, coconut meal and soybean husks – that have been controlled by the government since 2004, and "are not compatible with the rising prices of raw materials and as a consequence are distorting the market mechanism."

"We don't want to see a monopoly which has been managed by the government through its price-control measures since 2004. The controls are against the market trend and will damage market mechanisms," Pornsilp said.

He emphasised that manufacturers insist on producing high-quality feed meal in spite of the increasing cost of major raw materials.





Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 22, 2008, 10:31:07 AM
Strong US farm economy faces crisis
// 21 apr 2008

Soaring land values, increasing debt and a reliance on government subsidies for ethanol production have prompted economists to warn that what some describe as a golden age of agriculture could come to a sudden end.

The potential problem, economists said, is that strong demand for corn and other grains has caused prices to reach historic highs.

That has led to record farmland values and steadily increasing debt as farmers borrow money to buy more land, finance the higher costs of fertilizer and seed and upgrade their equipment.

As long as the demand remains, good times for farmers should continue. But if demand falls, the agricultural economy could collapse.

Among factors that could affect demand would be:

A change in the federal government's policy on ethanol subsidies (now estimated at about $6 billion a year);
Revisions in the farm bill that would lower support payments or,
An increase in the dollar's value, which would hurt exports.
Farm economists question whether the federal backing for ethanol will continue in the face of complaints that soaring corn prices are increasing food costs. Corn is used in most animal feed and is a key ingredient in myriad other products.

Economists worry that farmers could be tempted to add debt due to the belief that high commodity prices would continue.

Those prices have been driven up by a strong demand for corn and soybeans from countries such as China and India, coupled with the needs of more than 50 corn-reliant ethanol plants built in the last few years.

As prices have climbed, so have farmland values. In Iowa, the nation's biggest corn producer, the average price of farmland has increased 67% in the past five years.

Farm debt increases
According to the US Department of Agriculture, farm business debt is expected to reach $228 billion by the end of this year, an $8 billion increase from last year and a new record for the fourth consecutive year.

Debt for land is expected to rise to nearly $121 billion this year, a 2.8% increase.

And the USDA said from the beginning of 2003 to the end of 2008, total farm debt will have increased by about $52.8 billion, or more than 30%.

Recent reports filed by agricultural lenders shows the government's expectations are playing out in reality.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 22, 2008, 10:33:24 AM
Dubai Group invests in Malaysian biodiesel
// 14 apr 2008

Dubai Group, owned by the Emirate, said it had paid US$49.5 million for a 30% stake in Malaysian biodiesel firm GBD Investment, as it seeks to tap booming global demand for alternative fuels.


GBD's plant in Sabah state on Borneo island has a capacity of 200,000 metric tonnes a year, which will increase to 500,000 tonnes when the second phase of its construction is completed, Dubai Group said in a statement.

The plant can use palm oil and jatropha as feedstock and would produce biodiesel and pharma-grade glycerine for global markets, it said. South Korea's ECO Solutions Co holds the remaining stake in GBD.

Dubai Group is the latest in a string of Gulf investors who have piled into Malaysian assets, lured by the Southeast Asian country's healthy economy, booming commodities sector and fast-growing Islamic finance industry. In March, Qatar-based Gulf Petroleum, whose shareholders include members of the Qatar royal family and the Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance Company, said it would set up a US$5 billion oil and gas complex in Malaysia.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 22, 2008, 11:40:11 AM
Too much soy can damage cells
// 08 apr 2008

A diet with high concentrations of soy can have negative consequences for humans as well as animals, according to German researchers.

 
Certain hormonally active ingredients called isoflavones might give problems, said the Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals (FBN) in Dummerstorf near Rostock.

Trials with pigs muscle cells with a FBN developed procedure revealed that high doses of isoflavones can damage the cells, said FBN project leader Charlotte Rehfeldt.

However, low concentrations of isoflavones had positive growth effects. Because of similar metabolism systems similar effects can be expected in humans.

Other studies have shown that the isoflavones genistein and daidzein have positive hormonal effects, but also can damage intestinal cells. Rehfeldts said that to reduce the harmful properties of soy in specific therapies is to remove genistein and daidzein from the soy products.

According to the German Society for Nutrition infant food on soybean basis should only be given on medically justified indications, she said.





Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 23, 2008, 07:57:49 AM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008Print This Page
Food for Thought: Does Meat Cause Hunger?
WORLDWIDE - Not bio-fuel, but animals raised for meat are the main reason for the growing shortage of food in the world claims Pune Maharahtra. One-third of the annual global food production is used for feeding animals specially bred and fattened to be killed for their flesh. If the crops fed to them were to be consumed by humans, there would be no shortage.



Pune Maharahtra is a writer for Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), she says the world is on the verge of a global food crisis. Economists are questioning how fair it is to use land to grow corn, etc., for the production of bio-fuel when people increasingly don't have enough to eat. Fuel is, but a lesser reason for this deep-rooted problem.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*
"If the crops fed to them were to be consumed by humans, there would be no shortage of food." 
Pune Maharahtra.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
"The main reason for the growing shortage of food needs to be tackled: animals specially bred and fattened to be killed for meat. If the crops fed to them were to be consumed by humans, there would be no shortage of food. As much as one-third of the approximately 2000 million tons of annual global food production is used for feeding these animals for their flesh." Claims Pune Maharahtra.

The feed-to-meat ratio varies depending upon species (poultry, pigs, cattle, sheep & goats) and whether produced in a developed or developing country, but on an average 4 kilograms of feed yields only 1 kilogram of meat.

Moreover, the FAO has stated that the world's livestock production is 18% more responsible for global warming than all transport emissions. It causes wide-scale land degradation, uses large quantities of the earth's increasingly scarce water resources, pollutes land, water and air, and is responsible for excessive use of energy, all of which are downright harmful to our environment.

Pune Maharahtra says the environmentalists are not the only ones who are showing deep concern. "Emerging markets' central banks and governments are no longer ignoring rising food prices coupled with low stocks of rice and wheat (inflation and hoarding) and protests of shortages resulting in social tensions. They know that converting land produce to meat is an expensive business, the direct effect of which is a steep rise in grain prices which hits the poor most."

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 24, 2008, 07:44:24 AM
 Thursday, April 24, 2008   
 
 

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‘Pakistan will excel in livestock production’

LAHORE: Pakistan will be a prominent focal point in the world with regard to livestock production in the coming days, said Governor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool.

He was addressing at the concluding session of a two-day International Livestock and Poultry Congress on Wednesday. The governor said that America and Europe had set up heavy machinery industry instead of dairy farming, due to which prices of food items were increasing rapidly. “It is a golden opportunity for us to enhance our potential in agriculture and livestock and get the share of the international market,” he added.

Maqbool said that Pakistan could prosper through breeding of cattle on a commercial basis. He said that there was a lot of potential for the promotion of sheep, goats, fish and chickens in the country, and 14 billion eggs had been brought to the market from the existing hatcheries of Pakistan in a year. He said that government was paying special attention to the promotion of the livestock sector. staff report



 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 26, 2008, 01:00:46 PM
Landliebe to launch natural feed concept
// 25 apr 2008

Dairy producer Landliebe (Germany) will be launching a completely new yet wholly traditional cattle feed concept as a major extension of its quality and origin programme during the second half of this year.
 
From July onwards, all Landliebe’s fresh milk, long-life milk and school milk will come from cows fed exclusively on locally produced cattle feed.

Landliebe will be the first German dairy brand to introduce such a concept. The feed, which will come from Germany and its EU neighbours, will be made from crops that have always traditionally been grown by German farmers.

Preparations for the new concept are now well under way. Many of Landliebe’s dairy farmers in Nordrhein-Westfalen are keenly interested in the new scheme, as are compound feed manufacturers.

Incentive for farmers
Approximately 450 dairy farmers throughout the federal state are taking part in the new initiative. They will be paid an allowance to take part in the scheme. This will provide an incentive and help them to identify with the brand.

The Landliebe milk will be collected separately from regular milk at the selected farms. It will also be treated and processed separately at the production facility in Cologne.

Landliebe’s farmers live and work in rural areas such as the Bergische Land, Sauerland and neighbouring regions. The grass and other feed they give their cows, such as corn and grain, is all locally grown.

Only EU-produced materials
The concentrates that dairy farmers use as feed supplements may only contain inputs that come from Germany or the European Union. The basic ration for cows (meadow grass, feed crops, grass and corn-based silage) must also be home-grown.

The other feed components required by the cow will be produced either in the EU or in Germany, and will not be imported from overseas.

The specifications governing the new feed concept have been agreed with the dairy farmers in a supplementary contract to the milk supply system.

Inspection of the additional feed purchased and ensuring that it is separately stored will be a key part of this agreement.

Landliebe is one of the biggest-selling daily fresh milk brands in Germany. Landliebe stands for healthy enjoyment and for the highest quality milk with no artificial additives, preservatives or food gelatines.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 26, 2008, 01:03:35 PM
FDA tightens use of cattle parts in feed
// 25 apr 2008

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled out the use of high-risk materials from cattle 30 months of age or older for use in all animal feed. This will prevent any accidental cross-contamination between ruminant feed and non-ruminant feed or feed ingredients.

US makers of pet food and all other animal feed will be prevented from using certain materials from cattle at the greatest risk for spreading mad cow disease under a rule that regulators finalized on Wednesday.

Contamination could occur during manufacture, transport or through the accidental misfeeding of non-ruminant feed to ruminant animals.

Canada and the United States already banned the use of protein from cows and other ruminant animals such as goats and sheep in cattle feed in 1997, following a mad cow outbreak in Britain.

The final rule, to be published in today's edition of the federal register, bans cattle parts including:

The entire carcass of BSE-positive cattle
The brains and spinal cords from cattle 30 months of age and older
The entire carcass of cattle not inspected and passed for human consumption that are 30 months of age or older and from which brains and spinal cords were not removed
Tallow derived from BSE-positive cattle
Tallow derived from other materials prohibited by this rule that contains more than 0.15 percent insoluble impurities
Mechanically separated beef derived from the materials prohibited by this rule.
The revised rule, amending FDA's 1997 ruminant feed ban, is aimed at further enhancing safeguards against BSE and will go into effect April 27, 2009. It was proposed Oct. 6, 2005, and FDA said it received more than 840 comments.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 26, 2008, 01:07:09 PM
Potential for soybean meal in aquafeed
// 24 apr 2008

Aquaculture represents great potential for soybean meal, because aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal-food-producing sector, consuming soybean meal from over 250 million bushels of soybeans.


The United Soybean Board (USB) and the soybean checkoff continue developing new uses and new demand for soybeans in all lands of the world, and even the ocean holds great potential for soy.


Soybean meal has increasingly become a key ingredient in fish feeds as the aquaculture industry strives to meet global demand for its products thanks in part to checkoff research and marketing efforts.


"Fish meal is getting scarce and more costly, creating a market opportunity for more soybean meal to be used as a protein source in fish and shrimp diets," says Bill Coppess, USB director and a soybean farmer from Ansonia, OH. "Soy diets can also decrease the mercury levels in seafood, helping to alleviate some health concerns."


In the United States, each person eats about 16.5 pounds (7.5 kg) of fish and shellfish each year, including about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of shrimp. The U.S. consumes about 1.4 billion pounds (634,000 tonnes) of shrimp annually.


"Crustaceans represent about 4 percent of aquaculture products worldwide, but represent about 20 percent of the value," says Karen Fear, USB director and a soybean farmer from Montpelier, IN.


"That's why the soybean checkoff is working with shrimp farmers around the world to find ways for more soy to be used in shrimp diets."

The soybean checkoff also works to incorporate soy into all species of farmed fish.

 

Ocean capture fisheries, which have long provided the majority of edible fish products for the world, have reached maximum sustainable yields.
This means that any expansion will have to come from aquaculture, and using soy as an aquafeed will be a big part of that expansion.

 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 26, 2008, 01:15:31 PM
Enough grain in Europe
// 24 apr 2008

The latest report from the European Commission on the prospects for agricultural markets and incomes suggests an increase in returns to growers in the medium term and rising production. In 2010 production is projected to reach 293.6 million tonnes, rising to 305 million tonnes by 2014.
 
Consumption will also grow, but at a more modest rate, and is expected to reach 272.9 million tonnes in 2010 and over 285 million tonnes in 2014.

On current trends the EU will actually have end stocks in 2014 of 56 million tonnes, compared with the 40.4 million tonnes last year.

There are two main reasons behind the prospects of rising production. The reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy made an ending of intervention buying for maize. And the ending of set-aside – the measure through which farmers were obliged to take land out of cultivation to avoid surpluses having to be placed in store at taxpayers' expense – has made more land available for cereal growing.
 
Production forecast
For 2008 Paris-based Strategie Grains is forecasting that wheat production in the EU will be in the region of 128 million tonnes, which is well up on the 111.6 million tonnes of last year.

Consumption of wheat is expected to be about 118 million tonnes, up on last year as livestock farmers switch from using maize.

Barley production is expected to show a modest increase of 900,000 tonnes to 61.54 million tonnes in the EU.

Last year cereal production in the EU reached 256 million tonnes, but consumption exceeded this production with ten million tonnes. The gap was filled by imports.

Of total consumption of 265.6 million tonnes some 165.2 million tonnes were used in animal feed.

Growth in the East
Production in the newer EU member states is expected to rise considerably as technical efficiency improves and farm sizes become larger. The land in parts of Hungary and Poland is ideally suited to growing crops and as newer varieties are adopted yields will rise.

High costs
Although more land will be available, the costs for farmers are rising. Fertilisers are expensive and the scarcity of phosphorous is really becoming a worldwide problem.

Some of the major fertiliser manufacturing countries, notably Russia and China, have placed restrictions on exports and this is having a major impact on the market.
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 27, 2008, 08:29:11 AM
AgFeed buys several pig farms in China
// 17 apr 2008

China's AgFeed Industries, Inc. has signed agreements to acquire majority ownership of several commercial pig farms located in south China provinces. AgFeed anticipates these acquisitions will close by early May 2008.

 
AgFeed has agreed to pay, on average, less than 3 times projected 2008 net income for these businesses.

The new acquisitions are expected to generate approximately 390,000 in annual pig production for AgFeed. The Company anticipates that this additional production will add approximately 250,000 pig sales to its 2008 revenues.

AgFeed previously provided guidance indicating that it would achieve approximately 120,000 pig sales in 2008 from its currently existing pig farm operations.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 01, 2008, 11:34:01 AM
Meat and bone meal still present in UK
// 30 apr 2008

UK government officials have admitted that animal feed containing meat and bone meal has been distributed across the country twelve years after it was banned due to its risk of BSE contamination, Farmers Guardian reports.


The Government’s Animal Health agency has launched an investigation into the slip-up and is currently tracing the contaminated feed to farms and mills across the country. Animals that have been fed on contaminated feed could face compulsory slaughter in compliance with EU regulation.

"The materials involved are muscle fibre, animal bone and fish bone," read a statement on the Defra website. "This incident relates entirely to animal feed materials and a veterinary risk assessment is being conducted to determine if there is any risk to animal health. There is currently no evidence of any risk to public health."

The wheat feed, produced in Sweden, arrived into London’s Tilbury Docks in March before being distributed to merchants and feed mills throughout the country.

The Food Standards Agency alerted the feed industry last week after routine samples from a feed business operator revealed traces of meat and bone meal. Any contamination would put the Government in breach of the EU’s TSE and animal by-products legislation that was put in place to keep diseases such as BSE at bay.

Meat and bone meal was banned from cattle and sheep feed in 1988 and the ban was extended to all animal feed in 1996 after it was linked to the BSE outbreak. The epidemic reached its peak in 1992 when Britain confirmed 36,680 new BSE cases. Surveillance is ongoing and in the first four months of this year testing has revealed BSE in thirteen cattle and two sheep.

 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 01, 2008, 11:38:32 AM
On a global scale it is estimated that annual global feed production is around 614 million tonnes, but this is only the registered production and often integrated production is not calculated. Furthermore it is estimated that there are 3,800 feedmills worldwide, which appear to produce 80% of all the feed. This means an average production of 13,000 tonnes per mill per year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 01, 2008, 11:41:04 AM
Feed prices boost demand for pellet binders
// 30 apr 2008

Rising prices are stimulating producers to consider different raw materials for their animal feed formulations. This can, in some situations, adversely affect pellet quality, and reduce throughput at the feed mill press according to agricultural specialists Kiotechagil.

 
With electricity at 0.16 USD per kilowatt-hour and rising, feed compounders are also paying increasing attention to energy usage. Double pelleting for example costs an extra 1.6USD per tonne compared to single pelleting comments Mark Meynell, Director of Lloyds Animal Feeds.

These two factors are increasing the demand for low inclusion pellet binders," says Kiotechagil’s chief technical officer Murray Hyden. "Part of the benefit comes through the chemical binding attributes which help lower the amount of energy consumed in pellet production. This is achieved by improved die lubrication and a reduction in fines losses."

Feed producers are also recognising the ability of binders (such as Mastercube), which improve pellet quality and allow greater inclusion of oils in high-energy diets, said Mr Hyden. "Farmers too are looking to protect their investment in quality feeds by seeking out improved pellet durability and the more consistent pellet quality they achieve when using low inclusion pellet binders."





Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 09:18:34 AM
Salmon pigment authorised as feed additive
// 02 may 2008

The European Commission has authorised the use of astaxanthin dimethyldisuccinate – a carotenoid pigment – as a feed additive. This pigment is already used to make the flesh of farmed salmon and trout appear orangey-pink.

 
The official authorisation appeared in the Official Journal of the European Union today (1 May). The European Food Safety Authority last year concluded that use of the additive has no adverse effect on animal health, human health or the environment.

But the regulation stipulates that if it is mixed with canthaxanthin – another carotenoid – the total concentration of the mixture should not exceed 100 grams per kilo in fish-feed. In 2003 the EU limited permitted levels of canthaxantin following health fears linking use of the carotenoid pigment to eye defects.

In addition to be being used to colour the flesh of farmed salmon and trout canthaxantin is also used to make chicken skin and egg yolks appear more yellow. Authorisation takes effect 20 days after the publication of the regulation in the 1 May edition of the EU's Official Journal.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 09:21:42 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Recycling chromium for poultry feed
// 05 may 2008

A research project has received funding for a pilot study on the removal of highly carcinogenic chromium from the leather wastes that are used in the manufacture of poultry feed.


The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, Chennai, has awarded the Rs1.10-lakh research project to Dr P.N. Sudha, Professor of Chemistry, Dhanabagyam Krishnaswamy Mudaliar College for Women, Vellore. According to Dr. Sudha, the two-year project is aimed at the removal of chromium from leather wastes through a cost-effective method.

Leather shavings, owing to high protein content, are often used in the manufacture of poultry feed, along with corn flour. It was found, after an analysis of the poultry feed collected from different chicken shops, that the samples contained very high concentration of chromium. Chickens that ate the feed were often found to have high levels of chromium in different parts of the body.

Land filling of leather wastes caused pollution of the environment since leaching of the wastes resulted in polluting the land and the water resources in the vicinity. The use of the leather wastes as chicken feed was a good alternative, provided the chromium and other toxic substances were properly removed, she said.





Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 09:23:45 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Novus joins trade mission to Vietnam
// 05 may 2008

Novus International Inc., participated in a recent trade mission to Vietnam with Missouri Department of Agriculture Director, Katie Smith. At the request of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, Director Smith led the mission to assist Missouri based companies and suppliers in the expanding Vietnam feed industry.


With a population of 85 million people, Vietnam has the fastest growing economy in Asia. "The U.S. exported a record $624 million in agricultural, fish and forest products to the country last year. That was almost a ten-fold increase in exports since 2000. Missouri’s long-term vision and commitment to Vietnam has resulted in opening new markets and increased sales," said Director Smith.

The mission included tours of 5 new feed mills, the countries largest swine producer, and an aquaculture operation. The aquaculture and swine industries are considered pivotal to the success of the Vietnamese agricultural industry. In 2007, it is estimated that Vietnam produced 1.2 million tons of catfish surpassing the sectors forecast for 2010. The pig is considered the dominant livestock in Vietnam. It is estimated that pork contributes over 70% of the total meat production for the country.

"This mission, along with our recent decision to construct an Aqua Research Facility on the Nong Lam University campus, illustrate our commitment to the continued development of agriculture in Vietnam and other Asian countries," explained Thad Simons, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novus International, Inc.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 09:25:55 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Dutch dairy coop to use sustainable soy
// 05 may 2008

Friesland Foods, one of the largest dairy coops in the Netherlands, has said that from 2009 on it will only allow soy to be fed to its cows that has been grown according to sustainability standards.
 
With this decision it refutes the arguments of the Dutch Nature and Environment Foundation, which said that Friesland Foods only talks about sustainable soy but does not act.

Friesland Foods will purchase its soy from areas that not have been deforested for creating arable land. Furthermore the dairy company not only said this, but also demands that the farmers and labourers in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay are on standard.

This is also one of the reasons Friesland Foods participates in the Round Table for Sustainable Soy production.

The other main dairy producer in the Netherlands, Campina, already in 2006 committed itself to the use of sustainable soy for its dairy cows. The coop used 10,000 tonnes in 2006 and 33,000 tonnes of sustainable soy in 2007.

Campina wants to switch completely to the use of sustainable soy in 2011. This will require a volume of 150,000 tonnes.

For regular updates on feed news subscribe here



 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 09:30:28 AM
TUESDAY 29 APRIL 2008

Focus on sustainable agriculture

My previous blog "Going organic is a dead-end street" received a lot of comments, mostly telling me that I didn’t know what I was talking about. However, the FAO backs my conclusion.

In a statement it said: "FAO has no reason to believe that organic agriculture can substitute for conventional farming systems in ensuring the world’s food security." Or as its director-general Jaques Diouf puts it: "You cannot feed 6 billion people today and 9 billion in 2050 without judicious use of chemical fertilisers."

Should we continue on the same path as we did the last decades? Answering that question I would say, no. In April a 2,500 page report was presented in South Africa called International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development  [IAASTD] which advocates a new way of farming using modern technology without losing sight of improvements in small scale farming.

The report - the first significant attempt to involve governments, NGOs and industries from rich and poor countries - took 400 scientists four years to complete. The present system of food production and the way food is traded around the world has led to a highly unequal distribution of benefits and serious adverse ecological effects and was now contributing to climate change.

GM not the solution
The authors said GM technology was not a quick fix to feed the world’s poor and argued that growing biofuel crops for car threatened to increase worldwide malnutrition. This was also a reason for the US, UK, Australia and Canada not yet to endorse the report.

The use of GM crops, where the technology is not contained, is contentious, the UN says. The authors say science and technology should be targeted towards raising yields but also protecting soils, water and forests.

The scientists said they saw little role for GM, as it is currently practised, in feeding the poor on a large scale. "Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable," said the report. Data on some crops indicate highly variable yield gains in some places and declines in others. The GM industry, despite being a sponsor of the report, disagrees and abandoned talks last year on this subject.

Biofuel not sustainable
The report says biofuels compete for land and water with food crops and are inefficient. They can cause deforestation and damage soils and water. The authors also warned that the global rush to biofuels was not sustainable. "The diversion of crops to fuel can raise food prices and reduce our ability to alleviate hunger. The negative social effects risk being exacerbated in cases where small-scale farmers are marginalised or displaced form their land," they said.

Of course international environment and consumer groups, including Third World Network, Practical Action, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, found confirmation in the report in being on the right track with their opinions stating: "This is a sobering account of the failure of industrial farming. Small-scale farmers and ecological methods provide the way forward to avert the current food crisis and meet the needs of communities."

Short-sighted
This conclusion is in my view far too short-sighted. Industrialised countries cannot go back to small-scale farming, however, exploiting farming in developing countries needs to be put to a halt. Subsidies distort the use of resources and benefit industrialised nations at the expense of developing countries. I think both industrial farming and small-scale farming can survive next to each other, but then developing countries must exercise their right to stop the flood of cheap subsidised products to protect their own farming sector.

On the other hand industrialised countries need to stop sucking out resources in developing countries and be creative in growing alternatives.

This will better develop agriculture that is less dependent on fossil fuels, favours the use of locally available resources and explores the use of natural processes such as crop rotation and use of (organic) fertilisers.


Author: Dick Ziggers

Post a comment
Comments (2)I totally agree with you that small scale farming holds the future for arigultural development in developing countries. please tell your friends in the world bank to stop exploiting the greed of third world politicans who have been blindly following their recommendations in order to get loans under conditions that have added to the sufferings of millions of farmers in developing nations. If you leave us alone in Nigeria, we have the capacity to develop our agriculture to levels that we attain food self suffiency and even feed the entire West African subregion. Istifanus Dafwang, Professor, NAERLS, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

Dafwang

// 02 may 2008
I fully agree. Only decentralized small organic farming integrated with animal husbandry is the sustainable solution. Use Hydroponics to manage diverse weather uncertainties. I would like to get a copy of this rport

subodh kumar

// 02 may 2008
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 09:35:59 AM
FRIDAY 04 JANUARY 2008

Only war, pandemics or chronic diseases can lower food prices

Do renewable fuels make our hamburger more expensive? Already since August 2006 public debate has intensified over the extent to which the expansion of the ethanol industry has resulted in higher agricultural commodity prices. Conventional wisdom and parrot-like communications have further clouded the debate.
There is limited conclusive data available on market movements due to the intensification of the ethanol business and most stories are based on anecdotal information.
Assessment on the effect of ethanol
Informa Economics conducted an assessment on the subject, and the results were released in December 2007.
Based on the American market, parts of the outcome could also be projected to other developed markets in the world; if not now, then in the near future.
Main conclusion of the report: there is no statistical proof that increases in corn prices have caused increases in food prices. Only 4% of the increase in consumer prices could be explained by an increase in corn prices. The market is far more complicated than that.
Lower harvests, stronger demands
There are a few market movements that have had a major impact on the price developments. Since 2004 the US corn crop harvest has been in decline. Since then the usage as corn for ethanol purposes has also increased considerably.
Yet, the ethanol industry was not the only source of additional demand for corn. US corn exports, rose to one of the highest levels of the previous decade. Thus, the combination of a reduction in supply and an increase in demand from both the ethanol industry and the export market led to corn prices moving higher starting at the end of 2006.
Farm value of commodities
In the US the "farm value" of commodity raw materials used in foods now accounts for 19% of total food costs, coming from 37% in 1973. Depending on the ingredients used the average of 19% can vary considerably. The US Department of Agriculture estimated that the farm value share of the retail food price is 6% for cereals and bakery items, 47% for beef, 30% for pork, 36% for dairy products and 17% for oils and fats.
Marketing bill determines price
What kills the food price is the so-called marketing bill, including the costs of labour, packaging, transportation, energy, profits, advertising, depreciation, rent, interest, repairs, business taxes and other costs not attributable to basic agricultural commodities.
Within the overall marketing bill, the costs of energy and transportation have increased considerably over the last several years, with crude oil prices surging from just under $60 per barrel in autumn 2006 to $100 per barrel at the end of 2007, the same period during which corn prices have increased.
Margins decline
Informa analysed the historical price relationships between corn prices and livestock, poultry, egg, and milk prices, and only found weak correlations. This implies that based on real data it is wrong to suggest that high and/or rising corn prices are the supposed reason behind high and rising retail meat, egg and milk product prices.
However an increase in corn prices will cause livestock and poultry feeding margins to be lower than they otherwise would have been. Cattle, pig and poultry prices were already on the rise in the late 1990s, well before the corn price began to increase significantly. Notably, dairy and egg prices have been driven higher mainly by strong export demand.
Food in income expenditure
The proportion of the average American’s disposable income that is spent on food has declined steadily over the last half-century, from 21% of disposable income in 1950 to below 10% in 2006.
Additionally, in 1950 around 83% of the food expenditure was for home consumption, but by 2006 this share had declined to 58%.
However prices for food consumed at home tend to be more volatile and are currently growing more rapidly than away-from-home food prices, which of course is logical. As a restaurant or take-away it is impossible to adapt your prices to market volatilities.
No relief
According to Bruce Scherr, CEO of Informa in an interview in Feedstuffs, there is no relief in sight. Because much of the increase in prices is a result of world growth, the only way to slow that significantly would be through war, pandemics or chronic health issues.
The report "Analysis of potential causes of consumer food price inflation" can be obtained from the Informa website

Author: Dick Ziggers

Post a comment
Comments (1)The increase in the price of maize particularly is attributed to the mammoth increase in the consumption of the cereal, whether feed industry or the starch and ethanol production. I think a study on the other conventional stuffs like pearl millet, jowar etc and eventually more use of these products can reduce the dependency on maize and hence the prices may start to slide down.

Mohit Agarwal

// 11 jan 2008
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 09:39:39 AM
New source for biofuels discovered
// 01 may 2008

A newly created microbe produces cellulose that can be turned into ethanol and other biofuels, report scientists from The University of Texas at Austin who say the microbe could provide a significant portion of the nation’s transportation fuel if production can be scaled up.

 
Along with cellulose, the cyanobacteria developed by Professor R. Malcolm Brown Jr. and Dr. David Nobles Jr. secrete glucose and sucrose. These simple sugars are the major sources used to produce ethanol.

"The cyanobacterium is potentially a very inexpensive source for sugars to use for ethanol and designer fuels," says Nobles, a research associate in the Section of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.

Decreased pressure on rainforest
Brown and Nobles say their cyanobacteria can be grown in production facilities on non-agricultural lands using salty water unsuitable for human consumption or crops.

Brown sees a major benefit in using cyanobacteria to produce ethanol is a reduction in the amount of arable land turned over to fuel production and decreased pressure on forests.

"The pressure is on all these corn farmers to produce corn for non-food sources," says Brown, the Johnson & Johnson Centennial Chair in Plant Cell Biology. "That same demand, for sucrose, is now being put on Brazil to open up more of the Amazon rainforest to produce more sugarcane for our growing energy needs. We don’t want to do that. You’ll never get the forests back."

Lot of work ahead
Brown and Nobles calculate that the approximate area needed to produce ethanol with corn to fuel all U.S. transportation needs is around 820,000 square miles, an area almost the size of the entire Midwest. They hypothesize they could produce an equal amount of ethanol using an area half that size with the cyanobacteria based on current levels of productivity in the lab, but they caution that there is a lot of work ahead before cyanobacteria can provide such fuel in the field.

Related folder:
Dossier AllAbout Bio Energy   

Related website:
University of Texas   

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 10:48:13 AM
Agricultural trade - Sen. Edgardo Angara

 
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 OPINION By Sen. EDGARDO ANGARA 
 
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 Fair trade is a crucial component in agricultural development. And rural development is critical to poverty alleviation in developing countries. Farmers of the developing world should be given a level-playing field so that they can ramp up production, and allowed a certain leeway to make their products more competitive through preferential and special trade agreements, and elimination of trade-distorting subsidies. 
 
 
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Global trade in agriculture is unfair, skewed in favor of rich countries and against the poor.

Huge domestic support and export subsidies provided by developed countries to their farmers render the farm products of developing countries uncompetitive.

The total subsidy to agriculture in 2005 in OECD countries (the rich countries’ club) amounted to $385 billion, more than double the Philippines’ gross national product (GNP) last year, and over $1 billion a day. Developing countries like the Philippines cannot afford to provide its farmers the same subsidies that developed countries grant theirs.

As a result of this unfair trade regime, developing countries are inherent losers. Since its launch, the World Trade Organization (WTO) turned many countries from net exporters to net importers. In Asia’s developing countries, agricultural imports started exceeding exports by an average of 4 percent since 1994.

The Philippines, now considered one of the countries most vulnerable to the global rice crisis, was a net exporter of agricultural products pre-WTO membership. It enjoyed a trade surplus averaging $157 million a year from 1985 to 1994. Upon accession to the WTO in 1995, the country registered its first trade deficit in agriculture in a decade, and has never gotten over that slump ever since. Its export earnings grew 0.18 percent a year on average, while imports ballooned by 8.01 percent a year, with the trade deficit reaching $1.53 billion by 2006.

A study by Sandra Polanski of the Carnegie Foundation revealed that with the so-called propoor development programs under negotiation in the Doha Development Round, developing countries as a group will be net losers in agricultural trade while most of the gains will go to developed countries.

In its model, the World Bank simulated that middle-income countries will have a one-time loss of $500 million in real income in agriculture, while high-income countries will gain $18.1 billion.

This net loss means scarcer food and fewer livelihoods for people in the countryside, where poverty is most rampant. Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor reside in the rural areas.

Agriculture and rural development and international trade are strongly intertwined. The current unfair terms in agricultural trade, while beneficial for urban consumers, are driving farmers of the developing world into subsistence living.

Fair trade is a crucial component in agricultural development. And rural development is critical to poverty alleviation in developing countries. Farmers of the developing world should be given a level-playing field so that they can ramp up production, and allowed a certain leeway to make their products more competitive through preferential and special trade agreements, and elimination of trade-distorting subsidies.

E-mail: edgardo_angara@hotmail.com. Web site: www.edangara.com.
 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 06, 2008, 10:58:21 AM
Vietnam PM warns of 'severe punishment' for rice hoarders

Agence France-Presse

HO CHI MINH CITY - Vietnam's government Monday said the country has sufficient rice stocks and threatened to punish speculators who hoard rice for profit after price surges triggered a run on the staple grain.

Many supermarkets and street stalls quickly ran out of rice in Ho Chi Minh City at the weekend as thousands of consumers, worried by rumours of looming shortages, queued to stock up on rice, further driving up retail prices.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in an urgent message to all cities and provinces said that Vietnam, the world's number-two rice exporter, has enough stocks to meet domestic and export demand amid record global rice prices.

The premier, whose government has been battling double-digit inflation driven by food and energy prices for months, warned traders of "severe punishment" if they hoard rice and speculate on the commodity for profit.

The government "strictly forbids organizations and individuals without function to trade food from buying paddy and rice for speculation," said an official statement, following reports that investors had bought up rice stocks and refused to sell them while waiting for prices to climb even further.

The warnings came after sudden price increases from Saturday morning sent shoppers rushing to supermarkets, especially in the country's largest city, formerly called Saigon, amid what local media dubbed "rice fever."

Shoppers and restaurant owners were piling large stacks of 10-kilogramme (22-pound) rice bags onto their motorcycles, while at least one supermarket chain, Saigon Co-op, limited sales to one bag per customer.

The Thanh Nien daily reported that, within several hours Saturday, the price of one kilogramme of standard rice surged from 10,000 to 18,000 dong (63 US cents to 1.13 dollars) in many retail outlets, further fuelling the run.

In other southern towns, including the Mekong delta hub of Can Tho, prices also went up fast, while some distributors stockpiling rice and turning away customers who then went to buy up noodles instead, media reports said.

Dung assured officials and citizens that "rice production of your country in 2008 can completely meet domestic consumption, and part of it can be exported."

Vietnam's government last week reiterated it had stopped new rice export contracts until the end of June, despite a bumper harvest in the Mekong delta, the main rice basket, to ensure food security and fight inflation.

Dung earlier capped 2008 national rice exports at 3.5 million tonnes, down from a previous target of 4.5 million tonnes, while Vietnam has honoured export contracts, including shipments to rice-deficit country like the Philippines.

World grain prices have sky-rocketed, a trend blamed variously on higher energy and fertiliser costs, greater global demand, droughts, the loss of farmland to biofuel plantations, industry and cities, and on price speculation.

Vietnamese consumer prices have risen by more than 17 percent in the first four months of 2008 year-on-year, fuelling popular anger and labour unrest.

Jonathan Pincus, the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) chief economist in Vietnam, said the country's problem with rice was due to prices, not supplies.

"Vietnam is a food exporting country, where there is no problem of supplies," Pincus told AFP. "There are problems of prices, and higher prices hurt particularly people working for wages.

"It's very natural to see strikes and higher wage demands because people's money is not going as far as it used to."

Pincus said he did not foresee food riots but said Vietnam's government knows "that some of the gains made in poverty reduction over the past 10 years are in jeopardy if they are not able to bring food prices into line."

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 07, 2008, 10:32:47 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Fish meal allowed in milkreplacers
// 06 may 2008

The Scientific Committee in Brussels has approved the motion to allow fishmeal back into milkreplacers for young ruminants.

The proposal was suggested by the European Commission. Allowing fishmeal is the first step into further diminishing the ban on feeding animal proteins to mammals.

The next – allowing meat meal into animal feed – depends on the speed of developing and availability of animal-specific tests, which can be used in practice.

These tests are necessary to be able to guarantee the non-cannibalism principle. It should be avoided that for example pigs receive feed containing meat meal of its own species.

For ruminants the ban on meat and bone meal stays in place due to the risk on BSE or mad cow disease, the reason for imposing the ban more than ten years ago.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 07, 2008, 10:34:55 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Mixed response for GM-crops in Asia
// 06 may 2008

The Philippine government has openly embraced the commercial growing of genetically modified (GM) corn, but neighbouring countries appear less than enthusiastic.

While Japan does not grow GM crops due to safety concerns among consumers it does import GM grains for use in making products such as cooking oil, animal feed and manufactured goods.

Japanese companies have been reluctant to test the market for consumer-ready GM food because of labelling requirements and public safety worries.

While Japan does not ban GM farming, strict regulation has discouraged corporate investment in the area.

But with rising food prices causing increasing concern in a country that imports more than half of what it eats, the government has said that GM crops may be a way to ease food security and environmental problems.

Strict rules in South Korea

In South Korea a law which came into effect on January 1 this year imposed strict rules on the import of GM seeds.

While there are domestic GM seed programs for experimental purposes none are for commercial use, an agriculture ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

In Bangkok the regional headquarters for the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said it had not seen any signs that governments in Asia were pushing for genetically-modified seeds.

GM for food not allowed in China
In China the State Council, or cabinet, issued detailed rules in 2001 covering safety, labelling, licensing for production and sales, and import safety policies of all GM products.

Genetically modified grain, including seeds, is not allowed for edible consumption in China. Genetically modified products are allowed for indirect uses, such as making edible oil, but it must be labelled clearly.

The Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia, and possibly all Asia, to have a commercial GM food crop.

However critics argue that "the government would say it is because the Philippines should not be late in embracing a technology that promises to help increase the income of farmers and provide higher yields. But the fact is the Philippines is so close to the US that whatever policies the US have regarding GM crops the Philippines usually follow suit."

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Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 07, 2008, 10:36:55 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Multiple plant extracts perform better
// 06 may 2008

Single plant extracts do not satisfy all variabilities in rumen digestion, but a combination of products show better effects.

Some five years ago Pancosma introduced its first plant extract product for ruminants, Xtract 6965, designed primarily for use in dairy cow feeding programmes.

Following further research into the application of plant extracts in ruminant nutrition, with an added focus on beef production, it became obvious that a single product could not satisfy all the variabilities of diet type, rumen interactions, behavioural patterns and production methods. This applies equally to dairy and to beef production.

Three plant extracts
A consequence of this research is the development of another unique product, Xtract 7065, which contains three different plant extracts: eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and capsicum.

This dual product approach provides the basis of a new concept, "Xtract Systems for Feeding Ruminants". This enables Xtract performance, enhancing supplements to be positioned more accurately in specific feeding programmes ranging from high forage to high concentrate in beef and dairy production systems.

In a farm trial with the new Xtract 7065 involving 153 beef cattle on barley straw and ad-lib concentrates, feed conversion was improved by 16%, feed use was 14% lower but weight gains similar with those animals fed the ration containing Xtract. These results produce potentially substantial economic benefits.

Controlled release
Another unique property of Xtract 7065 is its microencapsulated physical form using hydrogenated vegetable oil as the base carrier.

This allows for a controlled release of the active substances in the rumen over a long period of time enhancing their reactivity with rumen contents and, in specific cases, modifying feed intake patterns.



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Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 07, 2008, 10:39:55 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Traceable accuracy for animal feed
// 06 may 2008

Nichols (Cowmills) Ltd in Bristol, UK is an animal feed producer that is now achieving 99% accuracy for 50 different animal feed recipes thanks to a throughput weighing system from Avery Weigh-Tronix.

The feed company specified the system to accurately formulate its recipes from ingredients held in 13 storage hoppers. Previously Nichols used a hand controlled auger system and a scale to weigh out the ingredients.

With the cost of ingredients such as barley and soybean rising, it has become more important to accurately control their use and improve efficiency. In addition, all animal feed has to meet strict traceability legislation.

Using the old system paper records were kept, but now all the formulations are recorded on a PC. This will record both the normal recipe and the actual formulation used, since if an ingredient is running low in a storage hopper the system can suggest substituting an alternative. The new system has also improved the repeatability of recipes.

"The new system gives us an accuracy to the nearest kilogram for each ingredient", said mill manager Graham Millard. "It is also faster and easier for the operative to use with no chance of error. Using the old system we could mix about three tonnes per hour, now we can mix up to six tonnes per hour."

The system uses a P911 throughput weigher. This uses high-resolution technology to provide accurate bulk weighing of free flowing solids.

An E1310 programmable indicator from Avery Weigh-Tronix controls the system. This stores the recipes and collects and records data and interfaces with a PC and software also supplied by Avery Weigh-Tronix.

In the mean time Nichols has already added a second system at their other mill.

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Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 08, 2008, 08:36:58 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Outrage on European chickens eating pigs
// 07 may 2008

Many are outraged as the EU is preparing to allow the remains of pig carcasses to be used in poultry feed, which would save UK farmers millions of pounds as cereal prices soar.
 
The practice of using pig remains in chicken feed was banned in Europe after the BSE crisis 10 years ago. This proposal, according to the Observer, has outraged animal rights campaigners, and Muslim organisations among other groups, who claim the move would put families at risk, offend religious sensibilities and lead to a major consumer backlash.

"There are two million Muslims in Britain and 25 million in Europe and this move would be a disaster for every one of them," said Dr Abdel Majid-Katme of the Islamic Medical Association, adding that this is a sinful idea.

Offended consumers
The RSPCA voiced its concerns about the health risks involved. Additionally, agriculture experts believe many consumers would be offended by the idea of a return to the use of animal remains in farm feeds. "I think there will be such a backlash from consumers that the idea would have to be dropped," said Tom Acamovic, a nutrition expert based at the Scottish Agricultural College.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would back the move only if proper safety tests were introduced.

"We understand the European Commission will be submitting a proposal later this year," said a spokesman. "We would only support it if we were fully satisfied that appropriate and effective testing had taken place to control the use of such proteins in poultry feed."

The proposal, however, is backed by a former risk assessment adviser for the Food Standards Agency, Philip Comer of DNV Consulting. "The by-products of slaughter are a very valuable source of protein," he said. "We should not be wasting it."

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Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 08, 2008, 08:38:55 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Biofuels halt may ease food prices
// 07 may 2008

A moratorium on global grain- and oilseed-based biofuels would help ease raging wheat and corn prices by up to 20% in the next few years, the International Food Policy Research Institute said.
 
"Our models analysis suggest that if a moratorium on biofuels would be issued in 2008, we could expect a price decline of maize by about 20% and for wheat by about 10% in 2009-10. So it's this significant," Joachim von Braun, who heads the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), said.

"There are biofuels and there are biofuels, good and bad ones ... Waste-based and sugarcane-based can be very good," von Braun said.

Biofuel supporters in the United States call the ethanol criticism wrong-headed and see the technologies as a needed alternative to America's dependence on foreign oil.

That is especially important, they say, with oil prices breaking new ground close to US$120 a barrel. US food prices are expected to jump by up to 5% this year. At the same time, about a quarter of the US corn crop will go toward ethanol.

Bush: Energy biggest price driver
Yet the Bush administration sees energy, not ethanol, as the biggest price driver, and describes a future for biofuels that leans heavily on alternate sources like switchgrass.

"The truth of the matter is, it's in our national interest that we - our farmers - grow energy, as opposed to us purchasing energy from parts of the world that are unstable or may not like us," President George W. Bush said.

However, some state governments are publicly reconsidering their ethanol policies, and a few big meat and poultry companies are asking for steps to cool the high cost of animal feed.

Von Braun argues that crops like sugar cane offer greater promise for biofuels. "The opportunities of agriculture being an energy producing sector should not in principle be discarded," he said.

Von Braun also said that changing supply-and-demand dynamics had been driving soaring crop prices through the end of last year, but that market speculation and government steps to curb prices - such as export bans - had taken on an increasingly influential role in 2008.

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Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 09, 2008, 09:14:59 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Amino acids market to grow 6.8% per year
// 08 may 2008

Global amino acids market is projected to grow at 6.8% annually through 2013. China is the leading producer, but the US is to overtake this position within five years.
 
Research and Markets has added the The Amino Acids report to their offering. The report analyzes the market by type and application at global level and for each of the geographic regions - North America, Europe, China, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Rest of World.

The Amino Acids market is segmented by type into Glutamate, Lysine, Methionine, Branched Chain Amino Acids and Phenylanine; and by application into feed additives, food ingredients, and nutraceuticals/pharmaceutical.

Business profiles of 11 major companies and 79 competitor companies are discussed in the report. The report serves as a guide to the Amino Acids industry, covering 405 companies that are engaged in Amino Acids R&D, processing, production, and distribution.

Information related to recent product releases, product developments, partnerships, collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, ethical issues, regulatory affairs, and other areas of concern is also covered in the report.

Projections and estimates are graphically illustrated by geographic region with exclusive graphical representations provided for 271 exhibits.

Chinese dominance
China, the leading market (25% of global market share in 2006) for amino acids presently is projected to manage the leading position during the analysis period with its share dropping to 23.4% by 2013.

North America is the fastest growing (almost 8% during 2000-2013) market for Amino Acids, and is projected to gain dominance over China by the end of the analysis period.

Increase in competition of prices of Amino Acids has resulted in the increase in prices of raw materials. Thus the collective work of different fields of science and technology is the cause for the successful and flourishing production of amino acids.

Mergers and aquisitions
Mergers and consolidations within the industry will drive the industry further. China, the largest producer of amino acids, has several production companies which are increasingly entering into alliances with producers of western countries. Such alliances are paving way to more production facilities and more production of amino acids at the global level.

Amino acids can be described as a group of organic molecules that comprise of an organic R group or a side chain, which presents a solitary characteristic to the amino acid, an acidic carboxyl group represented as -COOH and a basic amino group represented as -NH2. If two or more amino acids combine, the combination is known as a peptide.

Today amino acids can be taken as a supplement that is available commercially. Amino acid supplements are usually made from animal protein, vegetable protein, or yeast.

While almost all amino acids can be produced in two forms - the L and D form, it is not so in the case of glycine.

L and D basically refer to the manner in which the amino acid is wound up. L is the left winding amino acid and D is the right winding amino acid.

Human amino acids have been found to be the L type and this is usually the preferred supplement as well.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 11, 2008, 10:29:04 AM
China Ag ministry: more grain in 2008
// 09 may 2008

China's grain output in 2008 is expected to surpass the 500 billion kilograms recorded for 2007, the official China Securities Journal reported, citing the agriculture minister Sun Zhengcai.

 
Sun said the agricultural products market is currently in balance due to output growth in recent years and large reserves.

"Farm produce prices are reasonable and controllable," Sun added. Premier Wen Jiabao has said that barring natural disasters, China will have a steady supply of grain. "China's grain output grew four consecutive years to 500 billion kilograms in 2007, and we are confident the country can maintain a stable supply this year.

The central government promised to spend 562.5 billion yuan (€52 billion) this year to support farmers, 130.7 billion yuan (€12 billion) more than in 2007.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 12, 2008, 07:30:26 AM
Germany want relaxation MBM ban
// 08 may 2008

German Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer wants to relax the ban of using meat and bone meal (MBM) in animal feed. Cutting animal feed costs would be a major component in moves to counter the rising trend in global food prices, he told a news conference.


The EU banned use of meat and bone meal in farm animal feed in 2001 largely as part of moves to stamp out mad cow disease BSE and associated illnesses.

The ban on meat meal compels the use of more expensive feed ingredients and needs fresh debate, Seehofer said. "I think there should be a relaxation," he said. But this would only be for certain types of feed for non-ruminating animals, he added.

Seehofer said the German government was working on proposals to relax the ban which could be ready in about three months.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 13, 2008, 08:26:45 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News EU wants Russia to lift meat bans
// 12 may 2008

The EU's executive arm has stated that Russia's ban on imported meat from large companies in seven EU countries was disproportionate and should be removed.


"The (European) Commission maintains that EU meat does not pose a risk to the consumer and that the measures taken by Russia are disproportionate," said a spokeswoman for EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said in a statement. "Therefore, the Commission has requested Russia to review its measures," the statement said.

Antibiotics levels too high
Reuters reports that Russia, which is a major consumer of western European meat, has recently introduced a series of company-specific bans on poultry, pork and beef imports after determining that antibiotic levels in meat shipments exceeded safe limits.

"On the basis of the initial information available to the Commission, the levels of antibiotic residues reported by Russia remain in most cases well below the maximum residue levels allowed in EU legislation and in the international standard," the spokeswoman said.

The ban has affected meat firms in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Hungary, while imports from companies in the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina have also been banned indefinitely.

Politically motivated
Some European diplomats in Moscow said the restrictions could be politically motivated and obstruct Russian accession to the World Trade Organisation, according to Reuters.

Moscow has been accused repeatedly in the last few years of using import bans on agricultural products for political ends, but this has always been denied by Russian officials.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 14, 2008, 10:57:05 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008Print This Page
Myanmar’s Food Bowl Devastated
MYANMAR - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for US$10 million to assist poor farming and fishing communities in Myanmar devastated by cyclone Nargis.



The five worst-affected areas - Ayeyarwady, Yangon and Bago Divisions, and Mon and Kayin States - are considered Myanmar’s food bowl, producing much of the country’s staple food of rice and fish, and the overall food security situation in Myanmar is seriously threatened, FAO said.

FAO’s call for funding is part of a UN flash appeal for the country that covers emergency relief and rehabilitation activities in the agricultural, fisheries and livestock sectors over the next weeks and months.

While the second crop of the 2007 rice season was fully harvested before the cyclone hit and no major crop losses are expected in the region, rice already harvested for household consumption was most likely damaged by the storm surge, adding to the precarious food security situation of poor coastal families, FAO said.

Inland and coastal fisheries, poultry and livestock were also either damaged or lost, according to FAO. An estimated 2 million households were affected, meaning that a significant number of farming and fishing families are in need of urgent assistance.

“The hardest hit villages lost all their farming assets, as well as the food stored for the rest of the year,” said Anne M. Bauer, Director, FAO Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division. “Add to this the burden of rebuilding their destroyed houses and it is safe to say that these poor farmers will not have sufficient resources to purchase seed, fertilizers and other inputs, protect surviving livestock and replace lost ones, and pay for on-farm labour during critical phases of the farm cycle. Funds are urgently needed to help them resume food production, restore food availability and reduce the need for high cost and unsustainable relief.”

Time running out
According to FAO’s Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, He Changchui, time is running out to prepare for the main rice planting season starting in early June with the onset of the monsoon rains.

“It is crucially important to mobilize the right type and volume of rice seeds, fertilizer and other production inputs quickly, in order to resume agricultural productivity in a timely manner,” he said.

In Myanmar, people consume on average 20 kg of rice per month compared with 16 kg in Viet Nam, 10 kg in Thailand and 7 kg in Asia as a whole.

As much fertile agricultural land was inundated with sea water, another FAO priority will be to analyse soil salinity and review damage to irrigation and capacity for draining agricultural lands to make them suitable again for farming.

Relief and rehabilitation activities
FAO’s proposed activities will help around 100 000 of the worst-affected farming and fishing households, particularly women and children, to rebuild their livelihoods through the provision of agricultural inputs such as rice and vegetable seed, fertilizer, fruit tree seedlings, farming tools, and technical know-how.

The cyclone-hit areas are key livestock producing regions - comprising roughly 50 percent of national poultry production and 40 percent of pig production. To rehabilitate the damaged livestock sector, FAO plans to distribute draught cattle, goats, pigs and poultry to replace lost, sold or consumed livestock and supply veterinary medicines and vaccines to improve animal health and protect surviving livestock.

FAO also plans to help the worst-affected fishing families resume fish production through the provision of fishing gear, nets, fish processing equipment, fish seed and fertilizers, and technical support.

Needs assessment under way
FAO is fielding its first damage and needs assessment mission this week. Two senior FAO staff, including a Regional Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordinator, are joining FAO’s resident team in Myanmar to lead the assessment mission.

Cyclone Nargis has affected the same areas in Ayeyarwady Division that were hit by the 2004 tsunami, but this time around, the impact is believed to be far more severe.

The area struck by the cyclone has some major fishing ports and landing sites. Early satellite pictures show significant damage to fishing vessels in harbours, and damage to infrastructure such as landing facilities and fish storage and preservation facilities is likely, FAO said.

The fate of the vessels at sea when the cyclone hit is currently unknown. Myanmar does not have an early warning system for cyclones. Although fishermen are generally aware of weather conditions and do not go out to sea if storms are expected, fishers on small vessels may not have received warning in time.

The coastline of Myanmar is over 3 000 km long and Ayeyarwady Division occupies the delta region of the Ayeyarwady River. The area has numerous rivers and channels and much of the transport in and around the area is by boat.

As transport and communications are extremely difficult, FAO expects to have a preliminary assessment within ten days, and a fuller picture of the situation within one month.

Short- and medium-term recovery plans will be prepared by FAO, and assistance will be provided to the Government to implement these emergency and rehabilitation plans. These plans will also take account of the need to address the food crisis in line with FAO’s Initiative on Soaring Food Prices (ISFP).


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 15, 2008, 10:25:54 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Feed prices result in record pig prices
// 14 may 2008

Pig prices in Taiwan have reached a nine-year high. As a result of the high feed prices, the animals were sold yesterday for NT$7,010 per 100 kilograms (€146.7).

 
Prices of pigs have been going up at a rapid pace. Just in the bottom half of last year, pigs were sold for NT$4,700 per 100 kilograms (€98.3). In February, prices shot up to NT$6,000 (€125.5), before going up to an average of NT$6,491 (€135.8) for the month of April. Just over the first few days of May, prices went up to NT$6,886 (€144) and reached NT$7,012 over the weekend, breaking the NT$7,000 level.

Things did not improve much yesterday -- the first trading day of the week after the Monday close of traditional markets island-wide -- as pigs were sold at NT$7,010 per 100 kilograms.

The last time pig prices broke the NT$7,000 level was in the summer of 1999, due to a mass culling of pigs in the aftermath of the foot-and-mouth disease that broke out in 1997.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 15, 2008, 10:28:05 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Contaminated pig feed taken off shelves
// 14 may 2008

In imported feed supplement for pigs has been withdrawn from sale in Australia. The supplement, imported from China contained high levels of lead.


Testing revealed pigs in six Western Australian piggeries had high levels of the metal in their systems. Those piggeries have been put into quarantine and will remain so for at least another month. Another 60 piggeries which also use the same feedstock are being closely monitored to ensure the pigs have not been affected.

The Agriculture Department's Dr Ashley Mercy says the feed supplement has been recalled and will no longer be sold in WA, but says feed manufacturers need to check what is coming into Australia.

"To make sure their quality assurance programs that they've got in place include checking the analysis that they get, and even to go to the extent of maybe they want to analyse the ingredients to make sure that it matches what it says on the certification certificate," he said.




Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 15, 2008, 10:30:23 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Uproar in UK over pig remains for poultry
// 13 may 2008

Pig and poultry farmers are not sure if they want an opportunity to cut costs which could be coming their way, reports Yorkshire Post.

 
The EU is preparing to allow the remains of pig carcasses to be used in poultry feed, which would save UK farmers millions of pounds as cereal prices soar. This, however, has caused uproar. The practice of using pig remains in chicken feed was banned in Europe after the BSE crisis 10 years ago.

Enormous reaction
It has been reported that when the BBC's Farming Today programme reported on one of the possibilities which are now up for discussion again – feeding pig leftovers to hens – the reaction was enormous.

Reportedly, moderate vegetarians said they could not eat eggs from birds fed on meat. Additionally, a spokesperson for 2 mln Muslims in Britain (and 25 million in western Europe) said they could not eat the eggs or the flesh of any bird fed on animal protein of any kind – and it would only make it worse if it was pork.

Some halal butchers once had special sources for suitable chickens and eggs, up until BSE exposed modern farming practices, reports the Yorkshire Post. Now they are good customers for mainstream farm production. However, a change back to the old ways would put them on the spot. And they are not the only customers who might be lost. Most people were horrified to find out about the recycling of slaughterhouse waste to farms before BSE. And a lot of hostility to the practice remains.

More lost than gained
A Yorkshire pig farmer commented this week: "Pigs are omnivores. If you buy pig-meat from outside the EU, it has almost certainly been fed with meat. And it probably makes scientific and economic sense for us to do it. But the danger is that we would lose more than we gained, because of the public reaction." A poultry farmer said much the same about hens.

The jury is still out
According to the National Farmers Union, "We want a level playing field for our members to operate efficiently and competitively. However, the jury is still out. We definitely don't want to turn out products consumers don't want."

The BBC said new rules could apply by the end of this year but that looks unlikely. The EC's Standing Committee on the Food Chain & Animal Health will not consider the issue until it is satisfied that the feed industry has foolproof tests.

The RSPCA's food certification arm, Freedom Food, said it would not approve meat-fed meat. Additionally, the Soil Association said meat-fed meat would not be considered organic.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 16, 2008, 08:53:25 AM
Thursday, May 15, 2008Print This Page
Relief Estimates for Cyclone Hit Livestock
MYANMAR - In parallel to ongoing priority humanitarian aid assistance, Relief Web says that we need to start looking at the longer term, in particular as time is running out to secure planting in June of rice seeds for the main 2008 rice harvest.



If were are not able to do that in a timely fashion, then the food and nutrition problems in the medium term will not go away.

Each US$1 spent on agriculture between now and the end of the year, represents a saving of US$10 for food aid in 2009.

Progress achieved
Yesterday a first meeting was held in Yangon of the agricultural cluster chaired by FAO with the participation of senior government officers working in agriculture, livestock and fisheries, and forestry. Fifty participants attended. Also present was UNDP and local representative from donors (ECHO, DFID and JICA), international and local NGOs such as CARE, CESVI, WCM, German Agro Action, GRET, TRIANGLE, IDE, ICVA, AMURT.

The short and medium term needs in each of these sectors were provisionally estimated by the government as follows:

Agriculture estimated at $243 million – for rice seeds, fertilizers, rehabilitation of embankments and irrigation schemes, etc. The cyclone hit 5 states which are predominantly agricultural societies. The 5 states produce 65 percent of the countries rice, and have about 50 percent of all irrigated areas.

Livestock estimated at $20 million – restocking of dead animals, vaccines, feed, rehabilitation of animal shelters, etc. The 5 affected states are famous for livestock production - having roughly 50 percent of national poultry production and 40 percent of pig production.

Fisheries – no estimates yet, but in view of huge damages, the costs will be significant. Marine fishery in Myanmar employs approximately 26 000 small boats operating in coastal areas and some 1 900 offshore fishing vessels (2001 data). The marine fisheries sector produces 1.4 million mT, which represent over 55 percent of the country’s fish supply.

Forestry – no data on damages yet.

FAO in action
FAO has already sourced rice seeds for procurement from inside Myanmar, while for fertilizers procurement needs to be done outside Myanmar.

A team of three FAO international experts and one local staff member will visit Bogale - one of the worst hit coastal states - tomorrow on the invitation of the ministry of forestry.

One additional FAO international emergency expert will join FAO in Myanmar on Saturday 17 May.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 17, 2008, 09:49:47 AM
Chinese grain unaffected by earthquake
// 15 may 2008

China's deadly earthquake on Monday did not cause damage in the grain reserve stockpiles in quake-ravaged southwestern China.


The China Grain Reserves Corp. said no losses or casualties were reported at its sites in Sichuan and Gansu provinces or Chongqing, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. An afternoon quake measuring 7.9 on the open-ended Richter scale struck in Wenchuan County, leaving upwards of 15,000 dead and tens of thousands injured, buried or missing.

China Grain said some of its warehouses suffered damage, including beam and wall cracks. Premier Wen Jiabao said earlier this year China had as much as 200 million tons of grain in its reserves. Beijing ordered reserves distributed in quake-hit areas and directed local governments to keep an eye out for price-gouging.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 17, 2008, 09:51:38 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Estonian farmers to pay for cow gases
// 16 may 2008

Estonian farmers will now have to pay for their cattle’s contribution to climate change. A new 'digestive gases tax' is introduced to compensate for the greenhouse gas that cows produce during their life, reports MIGnews.com.



An ordinary cow’s daily digestion results in an estimated 350 litres of methane and 1,500 litres of carbon oxide released into the atmosphere. Experts believe farms account for as much as a quarter of Estonia’s greenhouse gas emission. Opposition parties called the new tax 'unprecedented for the European Union'.

Source: Russia Today
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 17, 2008, 09:53:54 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News BPEX focuses on pig industry troubles
// 16 may 2008

Seeing wheat costs double has prompted many British producers to get out or at least scale down dramatically – as was shown by the cull sow figures running at some 40% above the level they were this time last year.


Speaking at this week's British Pig and Poultry Fair, British Pig Executive (BPEX) chief executive Mick Sloyan reminded his audience that since last August the average retail price of pork and pork products has risen by almost ₤1 (€1.26) a kg while at the same time, the price paid to producers has gone up by just ₤0.10 (€0.13) a kg. That is against a background of rocketing feed prices with the cost of wheat double what it was this time last year and soya going up dramatically.

Identical problems
Sloyan said that everywhere in North Western Europe, producers are facing the same problems, mainly caused by increasing demand to feed in India or China, poor harvests, drought and competition from biofuels.
Sloyan said: "All this work has helped to achieve a much-needed rise in retail prices. The basket price for pork, bacon and ham from the big four retailers (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons) which we monitor each week shows an increase of nearly ₤1 a kilo at a time when the price paid to producers has risen by just 10 pence. It makes you wonder where all the money has gone?"

Strategic view
He continued, "I believe that if retailers take a strategic view of their business and ensure sufficient money gets down the chain to pig producers to cover their costs, then everyone will benefit." "Consumers will not need to pay much more, retailers will continue to make a profit and most important of all, we will be able to meet continuing demand of British consumers for top quality, high welfare pork, bacon, ham, sausages and pies," Sloyan said.

At the Pig and Poultry Fair, the BPEX even received support from His Royal Highness Prince Charles, who sent his 'warmest good wishes' to all exhibitors, adding that he prayed that 'in due course the fortunes of our pig farmers will be transformed'.

Many initiatives
BPEX has been working hard on many fronts to tackle the crisis with technical help for producers and a major publicity campaign aimed at increasing the returns to producers. The BPEX launched a new feed price area in its website, for better help and information. In addition, there is a paper looking at alternative feeds and what effect they can have and finally practical day-to-day advice on improving efficiency.

Last year, a song was recorded by pig farmers and producers also rallied up to the Houses of Parliament in London.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 20, 2008, 10:34:36 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News China earthquake damages pig production
// 19 may 2008

The earthquake in China which claimed thousands of human lives has also caused enormous damage to the agricultural sector – mainly related to poultry and pig production. The great fear now is the spread of disease, the Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad reports.


According to the Chinese ministry 12,5 million pieces of livestock have died as a result of the earthquake, mainly poultry. Also approximately 792,000 pigs in the province Sichuan have been killed by the earthquake. Sichuan’s pig herd totals 60 millions animals.

Warm season
The disaster occurred just before the beginning of the warm season, where diseases such as Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and blue-ear disease (PRRS) in Sichuan were in circulation. The structural damage, and bad accessibility caused by the earthquake along with hygiene standards have increased the chances of diseases spreading.

"Prevention of contagious diseases is one of our biggest priorities in the relief efforts," according to the Chinese government officials.

The horticultural sector has also been hit hard. According to official figures 15% of production and 50,000 greenhouses in the region are also damaged. The damage on irrigation systems will over time have huge effect. The fear is that large areas of rice production will dry up.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 21, 2008, 11:32:17 AM
Food and energy crop zoning proposed
// 20 may 2008

Closer monitoring of world demand is essential to defining areas for food and energy crops in order to ensure food export stability and also to promote food as a strategic product to swap for oil, says Thai Food Processors Association president Vilai Kiatsrichart.


She adds that without proper zoning, increased cultivation of energy crops can jeopardize raw material supplies for the food industry.

Thailand, she says, has about 130 million rai of farmland, of which 63 million rai are rice fields while 17.4 million rai are used for crops, mainly cassava, sugarcane and oil palm, with both energy and food applications, with the remaining land farmed for fruit and other products.

"Without proper farmland zoning, defining areas for food and energy crops to ensure food export stability and also promote food as a strategic product to swap for oil, may jeopardize raw material supplies for the food industry.

"We believe food exports for all of 2008, both in terms of value and volume will remain strong, given rising prices per unit following higher raw material and production costs. But what we are now most concerned about is the availability or raw materials supplied to the food industry, which has made it tough for exporters to forecast their sales in the longer term."
 animal feed newsletter



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 24, 2008, 08:52:26 AM
DSM to supply vitamin premixes in China
// 23 may 2008

DSM enters into a strategic partnership with Yunnan Shennong Agriculture Group to supply its Optimum Vitamin Nutrition (OVN®) Premix in Yunnan Province in South West China.


The new arrangement covers the production of pork in Yunnan Province, and a new manufacturing facility will come on line at Shennong Food Industry Park by August. The objective is to produce 500,000 tons of OVN® feed per annum within three years.

DSM already has a strategic agreement with Conti Chia Tai Group in Guangdong for the production on OVN® eggs. "The OVN approach allows closer control of vitamin and trace element nutrition and can be tailored for egg, poultry meat, pork, fish and milk production," commented Dr. J. Nathan Bird, VP Animal Nutrition & Health, China. In order to be able to implement this project the Yunnan Shennong Agriculture Group has been through an extensive HACCP qualification program for the whole pork production process.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 26, 2008, 06:01:56 AM
Australian winter crops boosted by rain
// 22 may 2008

Widespread rain across South Australia state in recent days has improved the prospects for the 2008 winter cereal and oilseed crop, barley exporter ABB Grain Ltd said. ABB Grain's managing director Michael Iwaniw said most regions in the state had received enough rain to begin planting, to capitalise on strong world prices.


"Now we are in a near-optimum sowing window, giving optimism for a large production season as growers have indicated their intention to sow all available acres this season," he said.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology was forecasting at least average rainfall in South Australia for the next three months, he added. World wheat and barley supplies were still at significantly low levels, he said. ABB plans to expand into wheat exporting with de-regulation of the Australian industry on July 1.

South Australia produces around 15 percent of Australia's national wheat crop and 30 percent of the national barley crop. Australia is forecast to produce a record or near-record wheat crop of 26-27 million tonnes in 2008/09, although this has been thrown into doubt by dry weather in the main eastern growing state of New South Wales, which missed out on last weekend's rainfall. Last year, drought conditions limited the wheat crop to just 13 million tonnes. The forecast barley crop for 2008/09 is about 9 million tonnes, up from 5.9 million tonnes last season.





Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 27, 2008, 11:18:13 AM
MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS
PRICES 

Sustained increases in production costs, notably feed, in major producing countries, suggests that meat prices could come under greater pressure in 2008

Preliminary estimates indicate that the FAO International Price Index of meat products reached its highest level of 136 points (1998-2000=100) in April 2008, continuing its recent upward trend that began in June 2006. The main reasons for this development are: higher feed costs, the depreciating US Dollar, and the rising demand for meat largely fuelled by economic growth in developing countries, particularly in Asia. Although, individual meat categories have exhibited different developmental paths in the past because of differences in feedstuffs used, feed conversion efficiencies, biological production cycles, as well as differences in contractual agreements, the trends for all since 2006 have been in the upward direction. Despite this, however, meat markets have not yet experienced price hikes of comparable magnitude to those observed in grains, oilseeds and dairy product markets. But sustained increases in production costs, notably of feed, in major producing countries, that are reducing the profit margins of meat producers, suggest that prices of meat products could come under greater pressure. The delay in the response of meat markets to developments that are taking place in the feed markets is partially due to typical livestock cycles, as well as recurring animal diseases.

Ovine prices climbed almost 17 percent over the first four months of 2008 compared with the same period a year ago, mostly reflecting the attempts of Australian sheep producers to rebuild their flocks through reducing slaughtering. During the same period, FAO's bovine price index rose by almost 7 percent, due to rising global import demand and limited export supplies from Argentina, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. International pigmeat prices experienced a similar increase, despite reaching the peak of the hog cycle in some of the large producing countries, such as Canada, European Union and Mexico. The largest increase in prices has, however, been observed for poultry products. The increase was slightly more than 28 percent over the same period as above, reflecting the increase in feed and energy that make up the largest portion of variable production costs. It is interesting to note that 54 percent of the increase in meat production for 2008 will come from poultry meat, as it continues to remain the most affordable meat.

Table 8. World meat markets at a glance
  2006 2007 estim. 2008 f'cast Change: 2008 over 2007
  million tonnes % 
WORLD BALANCE         
Production 271.5 274.7 280.9 2.3
Bovine meat 65.7 67.2 68.0 1.1
Poultry meat 85.4 89.5 92.9 3.8
Pigmeat 101.7 98.8 100.6 1.8
Ovine meat 13.3 13.7 14.0 2.0
Trade 21.4 22.5 23.1 3.0
Bovine meat 6.8 7.1 7.2 1.0
Poultry 8.5 9.2 9.6 4.3
Pigmeat 5.0 5.0 5.3 5.2
Ovine meat 0.8 0.9 0.8 -5.9
   
SUPPLY AND DEMAND INDICATORS   
Per caput food consumption:         
 World kg/year 41.6 41.6 42.1 1.1
 Developed kg/year 81.1 82.4 82.9 0.7
Developing kg/year 30.7 30.5 31.1 1.8
           
    2006 2007 2008 Change:
Jan-Apr 2008
          over Jan-Apr 2007
FAO Meat Price Index         %
(1998-2000=100)   115 121 131* 10

* Jan-Apr 2008


BOVINE MEAT 
Bovine markets are recovering from weather shocks and import bans 

World production of bovine meat rose by 2.3 percent in 2007, and is projected to rise a further 1.1 percent in 2008 to 68 million tonnes. All of the increase in production will take place in developing countries, which now account for 56 percent of the global total.

In North America, bovine meat production is forecast to remain virtually unchanged. The increase in output in the United States will offset a 6 percent decline in Canada. The strong reduction expected in Canada is due mainly to the implementation of the Country of Origins Labelling (COOL) regulation by the United States, its major international market, the United States. The increase in the United States beef output is in part due to its depreciating currency, has increased its competitiveness. Moreover, high supplies of distiller-dried grains from the production of ethanol have helped to lessen the impact of higher feed costs.

In 2007 South American beef output increased by a healthy 5 percent, although the increase in 2008 is expected to be less than 2 percent. This reduction in the growth rate is due to developments in the two main producers in the region. In Brazil, the largest producer in the region, the 5 percent growth observed over 2007 is expected to be reduced to 2.5 percent in 2008, mainly as a result of the new restrictions imposed by the European Union on imports from the country due to product safety concerns related to animal diseases. In Argentina, on the other hand, production is expected to decline by 1 percent in 2008, reversing the 6 percent growth observed during the previous year, depressed by the imposition of higher export taxes and restrictions. These policies are changing the relative profitability of crop and livestock production, encouraging the producers to shift pasture areas into crop production and thus contributing to the decline in production of bovine meat. However, good pasture conditions in Chile, Columbia, Paraguay and Venezuela are expected to boost production by 5 percent. Shortages in replacement cattle have constrained the increase in Uruguay's production to less than 1 percent.

Bovine meat production in the European Union remains on a downward trend, as animals are being retained to increase the size of the dairy herd, following the increase in milk quotas. However, reduced imports from Brazil should stimulate the industry somewhat, limiting the decline in production to less than 1 percent.

Cattle slaughter in Australia is expected to contract by 3.3 percent in 2008, as its herd is in the rebuilding phase. Most of the production decline is expected in the grain-fed peak sector, following losses sustained by the feedlots due to higher feed costs in 2007. New Zealand's production numbers will increase slightly in 2008, stimulated by favourable product prices.

Steady herd expansion, improved genetics and feeding practices, as well as continued government support, are expected to sustain production increase of more than 3 percent in China. Bovine meat output is increasing also in India and Pakistan, in response to growing domestic demand. The increase also reflects the aging of their dairy herds, which has boosted the slaughter of older dairy cows.

International trade in bovine meat is forecast at 7.2 million tonnes in 2008, up 1 percent over 2007. The market continues to recover from consecutive droughts in Australia and from the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) incidents in North America that had resulted in the imposition of bans by many importers. As these are being progressively lifted, trade in beef is resuming a more normal pattern.

Among the major importing countries, shipments to Japan are set to decline slightly, largely reflecting lower exportable supplies of grain-fed beef from Australia and continuing import restrictions on products from the United States. The foreseen increases in the consumption in the Republic of Korea will be partly met through increased imports, as BSE concerns dissipate. In the United States, increased domestic slaughter, coupled with a weaker US Dollar, may depress imports by 4 percent. Purchase of beef by the European Union will decline substantially, due to a partial ban on beef imports from Brazil and inability of other South American suppliers to fill the gap. Imports by the Russian Federation are likely to continue rising to compensate for a falling domestic production.

As far as bovine meat exports are concerned, those from New Zealand are expected to grow in 2008 despite a strong New Zealand Dollar. Shipments from Brazil will mirror production growth and be destined to non-traditional markets to offset import restrictions imposed by the European Union. While exports from Argentina are set to decline , shipments from Paraguay and Uruguay are expected to increase. Buffalo meat exports from India are likely to will rise in 2008, in response to strong import demand from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and countries in the Near East.

The strong Euro, high internal prices and decreased imports from Brazil, however, will discourage exports from the European Union. Canada's beef shipments are also expected to fall, negatively affected by the introduction of the Country of Origin Labelling legislation in the United States. Exports from the United States are anticipated to rise, sustained by a weak dollar and the progressive lifting of import bans by its traditional importing partners.

PIGMEAT 
Pigmeat production to recover in 2008 

Global pigmeat production is forecast to increase by almost 2 percent to 101 million tonnes after a 3 percent decline in 2007, which was largely the result of the impact of massive culling of nearly 1 million pigs following the outbreak of the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Disease in China, the world's largest pigmeat producer. This year, output in China is forseen to expand more than 1 percent, but recovery is being impeded by snow storms early in the year that destroyed 800 thousand pigs, particularly in back yard operations. In order to promote recovery, a number of subsidy, insurance and vaccination programmes have been implemented. In Canada and the European Union, where output last year was at cyclical highs, with low prices, production expected to decline in 2008. Viet Nam's production is also affected by PRSS and massive culling of all infected animals will reduce the growth in production for 2008.

In South America, an increase in pigmeat production is anticipated in virtually all producing countries for the fourth consecutive year. Argentina, Brazil and Chile, which have ample feed supplies, are the main contributors to the 4 percent output expansion projected for the region. In the Russian Federation, production is set to grow by more than 6 percent in 2008 as the pig population is continually increasing, aided by government support policies aimed at boosting quality and volume of domestic production and reducing dependency on imports. Pigmeat output in Australia remains stable as a result of a combination of drought-induced high grain prices and record imports driven by the strengthening of the AUD. In the United States, pigmeat production will increase as a result of favourable conditions in 2007, which were encouraged by the depreciation of the dollar. It's industry has also adopted a new vaccine that has lowered hog losses and increased productivity.


World trade of pigmeat is estimated to increase by 5.2 percent to 5.3 million tonnes in 2008. A continuing development for the sector in 2008 is the increased presence of China in the market as a buyer, as the country continues to be crippled by a lack of pork supplies following the outbreak of PRSS. China, this year is expected to import 150 000 tonnes of pork in an attempt to reduce the pressure on domestic prices. Purchases by Japan are expected to increase by 2 percent, in line with increased domestic demand and a reduction in domestic production brought by high feed costs. By contrast, shipments to the Republic of Korea are expected to increase, especially from Chile benefiting from lower import duties agreed to in the Korean-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), sustained by rising domestic demand. Pigmeat deliveries to the Russian Federation, which continue to be subject to tariff rate quotas, are expected to remain stable, a reflection of large production gains consistent with prevailing government policy to stimulate output.

As for pigmeat exports, sales from Brazil and the United States are forecast to rise, partly a reflection of increased shipments to China and Japan. By contrast, reflecting strong currencies and higher feed costs, exports from Canada are now anticipated to decline while those from the European Union will remain stable in 2008. Imports of pigmeat by Mexico are to decrease substantially this year due to increasing consolidation of the industry, which helped raise production.

POULTRY MEAT 
Poultry competitiveness in converting feed into meat is favoured when feed prices are high 

Animal diseases, such as Avian Influenza (AI), continue to shape poultry trade patterns. Nevertheless, in developing countries, sustained high economic growth will continue to increase demand for meat, especially for low priced protein-rich meats such as poultry. The cost efficiency of poultry production can be largely attributed to the relatively high feed-to-meat conversion ratios that can be achieved when compared with the production of other types of meat. This implies that as the prices of animal protein rich products rise because of higher feed prices, as is currently happening, consumers tend to prefer relatively cheaper meat types and cuts. In line with these expectations, global poultry meat production in 2008 is projected at 93 million tonnes, almost 4 percent higher than last year. The growth is expected in all regions of the world. Poultry production in the United States is expected to increase by more then 2 percent. Canada's effort to contain its 2007 AI outbreak has been successful and the output is expected to increase slightly. Production may increase by 6 percent in South America. Argentina, Chile and Colombia will achieve 10 percent increases in production, while the growth rate in Brazil, the largest producer in the region, is expected to be about 5 percent. Adjusting to growing domestic consumption and export demand, Thailand broiler production is expected to increase by more then 6 percent in 2008. This year, despite recurring outbreaks of AI, China is anticipated to increase its poultry output through measures that improve feed conversion into meat. Most other major poultry producers, namely Australia, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, South Africa and Turkey, are expected to increase their poultry production in 2008 in response to improved domestic demand. In Africa, poultry output is anticipated to increase by 1 percent, mostly reflecting higher production in North Africa. Despite the resurgence of AI in parts of the European Union, prospects for poultry production in 2008 remain relatively stable. Competitive prices, with respect to other meats, consumer preference for white meat and increased use in food preparations still favour poultry meat as in 2007. On the other hand, India and the Republic of Korea have increased poultry culling in order to stop the spread of the H5N1 bird influenza virus. This is expected to lower production in 2008 by 3 and 2 percent, respectively in these countries.

Trade in poultry meat is projected to rise by 4 percent to 9.6 million tonnes, due to increased import demand. Half of that growth is expected to originate in Asia, especially China where consumers are substituting broiler meat for pigmeat, the prices of which have been relatively higher. The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates are expected to increase poultry imports substantially to meet the domestic demand. Saudi Arabia, which is expected to decrease import tariffs for frozen poultry to help control food price inflation, will also increase poultry imports by 2.6 percent. The European Union is expected to become a net importer in 2008 with Brazil as the major supplier. In 2008, imports will increase by 1.4 percent paying full over quota duty because high domestic prices will still make it profitable. Imports by Turkey for 2008 are anticipated to recover from the 2006 contraction caused by AI reflecting consumer confidence returns. The Russian Federation is also increasing its imports of poultry meat as consumer demand continues to expand because of growing income and the shortage of supplies of other meat. Imports by Japan, on the other hand, are anticipated to decline by 1.6 percent.

 As for poultry exports, larger sales of chicken meat by Brazil are expected to account for 38 percent of the global expansion in poultry trade. Exports from the country are now anticipated to grow by 4 percent, to almost 3.6 million tonnes, in response to strong import demand from countries in the European Union, the Near East countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Asia particularly Hong Kong and Japan. The Thailand broiler industry anticipates that exports of cooked chicken meat will continue to grow at least by 7 percent in 2008, in line with strong demand from the European Union and Japan despite recurrence of AI this year. Thailand has devised an approach, referred to as "compartmentalization", the goal of which is to convince major importing countries to import from those areas meeting stringent biosecurity measures, regardless of the country's overall AI status. The forecast for exports from the United States points to an expansion of 4 percent from last year. The United States accounts for one-third of the global expansion in poultry trade, despite the growing competition from Brazil on Asian markets. Its favourable exchange rate has kept the United States' exports competitive in Chinese and the Russian Federation import markets.

SHEEP AND GOAT MEAT   
Global ovine output forecast to increase despite substantial production decline in Oceania   

Global ovine production is forecast to rise by 2 percent to 14 million tonnes in 2008, particularly due to a higher output in China, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan. Output is also expected to rise in Africa, especially in Egypt, Morocco and the Sudan, accounting for almost two-thirds of the increase in production of the continent. North American output should increase, particularly in the United States, by more than 1.9 percent, as the income growth in the Hispanic community improves the demand for lamb. By contrast, production is anticipated to contract in most other developed countries. Despite improved weather conditions in Australia, lamb output should fall in 2008, mainly because of animal retention for flock rebuilding. Drought in the North Island of New Zealand and overall poorer climatic conditions may keep 2008 production even with that of 2007. Production in the European Union should continue to decline in 2008 by about 1.4 percent, reflecting the lingering effects of the decoupling of annual premiums for ewe numbers in major producing countries.

World exports of sheep and goat meat in 2008 are estimated to decline by 6 percent to 825 thousand tonnes. Overall sheep meat exports from Australia are now set to contract in 2008 by 9 percent, restricted by tighter supplies and a strong AUD. A similar situation is also expected for New Zealand. Among the major ovine meat importers, purchases by the United States are forecast to increase by 2 percent, driven largely by increased consumer demand. Lower domestic demand, partly caused by relatively high prices of sheep meat, should keep imports of the European Union at the same level of the previous year. It nevertheless remains by far the most important destination of trade in ovine meat.
 



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 08, 2008, 09:21:45 AM
Timor's Ramos-Horta Says Farm Subsidies Will Help Food Security

By Jason Gale

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta said his country must use subsidies to bolster agriculture and protect its food security in the face of soaring import costs.

East Timor, Asia's youngest and least-developed nation, can be ``mostly'' self-sufficient within five years, Ramos-Horta, 58, said in an interview in Singapore today. About two-thirds of the rice consumed in the country is bought from Vietnam and Thailand.

Cheaper food from overseas can't be relied on because rising fuel prices are ratcheting up transport costs and major rice- producing countries, such as China and India, will need more to feed their own people, leaving less for export, Ramos-Horta said.

``Food security must be priority No. 1 for us,'' he said. ``For our own food security, our survival, our independence, we should spend more money -- including subsidizing our farmers -- to produce more.''

The Nobel laureate, who served as prime minister from 2006 until his inauguration as president last year, was shot and almost killed in a Feb. 11 rebel attack.

``At the time I was prime minister I said I am going to subsidize our agriculture sector,'' he said. ``We have to. That would make us independent, and eventually it will be cheaper.''

Ramos-Horta said that using subsidies to protect farmers and encourage domestic agricultural production may rankle multilateral finance agencies, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which advocate free trade as a mechanism for lowering food costs.

``If we do the opposite of what they say, I think that will be about right,'' he said.

Import Surge

The cost of importing rice has more than doubled this year as countries including Vietnam and China curbed overseas sales to protect domestic supplies. Governments worldwide may spend a record $1.035 trillion on imported foodstuffs in 2008 because of higher commodity prices and escalating transport costs, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said in a report last week.

In East Timor, which derives about $100 million a month from its petroleum reserves, farmers are offered incentives to expand crop production, and new roads and bridges are being built to bring food to consumers faster.

The government is considering building warehouses to store food in strategic areas around the country for emergencies to assist ``vulnerable people,'' said Ramos-Horta. About 40 percent of the nation's 1 million people live on $1 or less a day.

`Matter of Decency'

Ensuring the availability of affordable food is ``a matter of decency and morality for the poor, but also a matter of stability and security,'' Ramos-Horta said. The poverty-inducing affects of food inflation ``will set back development efforts in developing countries at least 10 years,'' he said.

Food prices would have escalated more in East Timor had the government not stepped up imports of rice, corn and potatoes to bolster local supplies, the president said.

``With climate change, more industrialization and the development of countries like India and China, there will be less and less land available for agriculture,'' Ramos-Horta said. ``We have to quickly make ourselves completely independent in food.''

East Timor, formally known as Timor-Leste, was established in May 2002, ending 24 years of Indonesian control and three years of UN administration.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 08, 2008, 09:26:51 AM
U.S., Asia Express `Serious Concern' Over Oil Prices (Update2)

By Megumi Yamanaka and Yuji Okada

 June 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and Asia expressed ``serious concern'' over record oil prices one day after the market posted its biggest dollar gain ever, and urged consumer-nations to shift to alternative sources of fuel as energy costs rise.

Oil prices have reached ``unprecedented'' levels, officials from Japan, China, India, South Korea and the U.S. said in a joint statement issued after a meeting in Aomori in northern Japan today. Crude oil climbed $10.75 in New York yesterday to settle at $138.54 a barrel, its biggest one-day increase.

``There are few things we can do for the short term,'' U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman told reporters in Aomori today. ``There are things we can do on increasing efficiency and we are working on them.''

Prices more than doubled over the past year, sparking concern oil will fuel inflation and retard economic growth. The U.S. and the four Asian nations, together accounting for half the world's energy consumption, said today wider use of alternative fuels such as clean coal, nuclear power, and renewables will help bolster energy security.

Investing more in oil and gas to boost output capacity and greater effort in accessing petroleum reserves will also expand supplies of conventional fuels, helping to tame energy prices, according to the joint statement.

Cutting Subsidies

The governments of China and India, which sell fuels to domestic users below cost, were in agreement with the U.S., Japan and South Korea that ``a gradual withdrawal of fuel subsidies is desirable,'' the statement said.

India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan over the past month raised fuel prices and cut subsidies, in a move that may reduce Asian demand and slow global oil-consumption growth.

``This is the first time that we can agree on the necessity of abolishing fuel subsidies by steps,'' Japan's Trade Minister Akira Amari told reporters today. ``Each country has different reasons and contexts, so they cannot do that immediately.''

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India's fuel-price increase was ``inevitable'' in helping to protect government finances and narrowing oil refiners' losses. ``There are limits to which we can keep consumer prices unaffected by rising import costs.''

Scaling back on subsidies is a step forward in boosting energy efficiency and accelerating a quest for alternative sources, amid rising oil prices. Energy ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations, together with government officials from China, India and South Korea, are expected to set energy-conservation targets tomorrow when they meet in Aomori.

Saving Energy

Japan's Amari urged China and India, the world's fastest growing major economies, to join the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, which the G-8 plans to create by the end of this year.

``A key in setting numerical targets would be how much developed nations can accommodate the demands of developing countries in transferring conservation technology,'' Kenichiro Yamaguchi, chief consultant with the Global Warming Research Group at Mitsubishi Research Institute Inc., said this week.

Energy Ministers from the G-8 -- the U.S., Japan, Canada, Germany, France, U.K., Italy, and Russia -- will discuss the possibility of sharing alternative-energy technologies with China, India and South Korea. The 11 countries account about for two-thirds of global energy demand.

``Energy efficiency provides one of the most cost-effective short-term responses'' to record oil, the joint statement said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Megumi Yamanaka in Tokyo

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 09, 2008, 09:11:05 AM
MRSA superbug widespread in pigs
// 06 jun 2008

The antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is widespread among both pigs and pig farmers in Canada, Natural news has reported.


A study published in the journal "Veterinary Microbiology," suggests that the livestock industry is a possible source of the disease.

Tests
Researchers examined 258 pigs on 20 farms in Ontario, and also tested the workers on those farms. They found that 45 percent of farms, 25 percent of pigs and 20 percent of farmers were infected with MRSA, which is substantially higher than the rate of infection in the general North American population.

Among the MRSA strains found on the pig farms was one that has commonly infected humans in Canada and one that has been associated with serious skin, breast and heart infections in Europe.

Antibiotic resistance
The study has added weight to claims that antibiotic use in livestock farming may have led to the development of antibiotic resistance in human diseases. Consumer health advocate Mike Adams said that commercial raising of livestock for food is fraught with the potential for microbiological disaster.

"When we raise pigs, cows, chickens or other animals in artificial, enclosed, indoor environments, we are practically begging to be threatened by out-of-control superbugs that breed in such conditions," Adams said.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 10, 2008, 07:52:54 AM
Monday, June 09, 2008Print This Page
Conclusion of the U.N. World Food Security Summit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bob Stallman (President, American Farm Bureau Federation) speaks regarding the U.N. World Food Security Summit held at Rome.



In a statement, Mr Stallman said:

“The American Farm Bureau Federation recognizes the challenges that faced this week’s United Nations’ High Level Conference in Rome. Now, continuing efforts are necessary to move forward and implement effective solutions for global food insecurities. We appreciate the active and effective role of the U.S. delegation in constructing a declaration that will hopefully help guide the international community in hunger-relief efforts.

“The current food security issues affecting countries around the world require comprehensive and specific actions aimed at feeding the hungry and support for measures to develop and enhance food security for all nations. Investments in physical infrastructure, research, production technology and trade facilitation will help countries overcome food insecurity.

“Renewable fuel production is a component of U.S. agricultural and energy policy and constitutes an important growing sector of agriculture domestically and globally. We believe that food security and alternative fuel production are both achievable goals.

“All nations must work together to help solve the continuing challenge to increase agricultural production, while providing necessary food aid for a growing world population. This is a time to move forward with solutions, not backpedal with excuses.”


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 21, 2008, 10:41:14 AM
An Insatiable Global Hunger for Grain
GLOBAL - Wheat is by far the most traded grain as it is so adaptable to many uses, but production for the world market has so far been the privilege of a handful of countries.



But the economic growth of emerging nations, coupled with their urbanisation, has profoundly changed people’s eating habits. They are eating more, particularly meat. The Chinese, for example, consumed five times more meat in 2005 than in 1980. Three kilogrammes of grain are needed to produce 1kg of poultry; more than double that is needed for 1kg of beef. Feed and oil-producing grain are part of livestock’s daily diet.

With a growing world population and a better quality of life in emerging nations, the demand for grain is growing inexorably. International wheat exports tripled between 1960 and the beginning of the millennium. Egypt , which used to supply the wheat for ancient Rome , has become the product’s leading importer. Increased cheap imports during the times of plenty strangled local agriculture in the Mediterranean region and sub-Saharan Africa . The food bill for these countries has reached exorbitant levels.

In a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in June 2007, the economist Adam Prakash concluded that food imports will cost 90% more on average than in 2000 for the least advanced countries (3). The UN experts drove the point home a few months later. At a press conference in Dakar on 9 November 2007 , Henri Josserand, head of the Global Information and Early Warning Service at the FAO, calculated that the food bill for African nations had grown by a third, or even 50% for the most dependent among them, between 2006 and 2007.

3rd World Human Hunger
African populations are suffering the consequences of rising grain prices, and there have been hunger riots and demonstrations against the cost of bread. Meanwhile, grain is breaking all records on the American markets.

Food security is once again causing concern, even in industrialised nations. Observers such as Jean Ziegler (until recently UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food) raise the spectre of famine in west Africa. Even in the United Kingdom , where agriculture was long ago sacrificed in favour of industrial revolution (1), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) raised concerns about the dangers facing food security in a study published in December 2006 (2).

Just over a year later there is real anger on the streets about the high cost of living – in the UK but also, and especially, in the South where people depend on imports to feed themselves but with incomes that are unimaginable for the British. Prices (milk, oil, rice and wheat) have exploded and the surge has been most spectacular on the grain markets.

Prices doubled during the summer of 2007 when farmers in the North were harvesting. The price of wheat rose from $200 to $400 per ton between May and September at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the benchmark for the international grain trade. The same occurred in Paris where milling wheat peaked at €300 ($477) per ton at the beginning of September. Prices rose again in mid-March when the United States had almost exhausted its export capabilities. One bushel (27kg) passed the symbolic $13 mark – a record. In one year the price of wheat increased by 130% on the American futures market. Millers and manufacturers of pasta and livestock feed in developed countries were taken by surprise and protested loudly.

But for several years there has been a noticeable difference between supply and demand. The final reserves (what is left in the silos of producer countries before the start of the harvest) have been shrinking while demand has been growing. The market is no longer regulated by the growth of supply but by the use of the accumulated reserves of the large exporter countries.

In 2007 this precarious balance collapsed for two reasons: increased demand generated by the boom in biofuels, and poor harvests due to the vagaries of the weather. These two phenomena came to a head as tension grew, caused by the growing demand of emerging nations such as China .

Biofuels absorb 10% of world corn production, but this is only partially responsible for the spectacular surge in grain prices because US companies, its main manufacturers, increased their corn production to meet this new demand. However, according to the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the ethanol industry could increase the price of corn by at least a quarter, and possibly by as much as 72%, by 2020 (see “Ethanol: the new anti-depressant”).

Weather played a crucial role in 2007. Drought in Australia , lack of sun and too much rain in Europe , frost in Argentina ; all weakened production. No one is talking about a shortage at this point but, in the trading rooms where sales and purchasing decisions are based mainly on final reserves, such a substantial drop encouraged a surge in prices throughout the season.

First to benefit
The large exporter nations are the first to benefit from the situation. The leader of the pack, the US , registered record agricultural export revenue in 2007 – $85bn. According to estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture, the 2008 harvest looks even more promising. In France grain farmers have doubled their income. The large trading companies are also, discreetly, recording astronomical results.

Anger is brewing at the other end of the chain in the developing countries which are net importers. Riots have broken out in Mexico , Senegal , Morocco and Mauritania . Local agriculture cannot cover the population’s needs in these countries.

The increased cost of groceries may be bearable in developed economies where food represents only 14% of household expenses, but it becomes unmanageable in sub-Saharan African nations where 60% of income is taken up by food.

In the face of such food inflation, emerging nations which have traditionally been exporters have raised barriers to keep local prices at an affordable level. Argentina (4) and Russia have imposed taxes on exports as well as restricting the amount distributed. When these measures are reflected on the world market, the tension is pushed up a notch.

The most exposed countries, the net importers, have resorted to subsidies when their finances allow it. In Morocco last September the rise in bread prices set by the bakers union provoked violent demonstrations in several towns. Fearing that the anger in the streets would lead to riots, the government preferred to cancel the increase and suspend several taxes on importing wheat to support the millers. The Tunisian government even asked bakers to reduce the weight of bread to avoid increasing the price.

’Food aid vanishes’
According to the agronomist Marc Dufumier, an expert on comparative agriculture, famine can be triggered by the most insignificant climatic incident and will be even more difficult to deal with at a time when world food aid reserves are becoming dangerously low.

“Food aid vanishes when the price of wheat rises,” he says. “Countries in the northern hemisphere are generous when they have a surplus. Aid reduces reserves and contributes to supporting prices at home. But as soon as prices take off, they sell to anyone who has a solvent demand.”

Figures published by the International Grains Council (5) confirm this. During 2005-06 8.3m tons of grain were exported as food aid; only 7.4m tons were exported in 2006/2007. Aid is expected to fall to 6m tons for the season which is now coming to an end.

The hunger riots show no signs of burning themselves out. While supply does not satisfy demand, prices will continue to rise. To reverse this trend, governments could ask their populations to eat less couscous, bread and particularly meat, but this suggestion is hardly likely to be favourably received in countries where food standards are just starting to improve – not to mention those who have not even seen such improvement thus far.

In China , for example, the health minister is encouraging women to consume dairy products to absorb more calcium. Milk requires livestock, and grain to feed them. Demand will almost certainly grow in the years to come.

Investors seduced
There is the speculative trend too. In the autumn of 2007 Financeagri, a French firm specialising in raw agricultural materials, encouraged its subsidiaries in an email to “play a part in the volatility of agricultural markets. Don’t just be a spectator. Find out more.” Their commercial offer illustrates the current revolution taking place on the agricultural futures markets. Initially created to cover the risk of price variation, they have become a hunting ground for all kinds of speculators, be they regular (investors and negotiators) or occasional (farmers). The arrival of regular investors has had a sharp effect on listings by feeding price volatility.

Agricultural indexes, which reflect the current evolution, are popular with investment funds. According to Barcap (a Barclays subsidiary specialising in investment), between the end of the first and fourth quarters of 2007 – when the grain markets really took off – the volume of capital managed by listed investment funds (ETFs in finance jargon) on European agricultural products grew fivefold from $156m to $911m (6). The same source has indicated that the amount of capital placed on the American agricultural markets jumped even further, increasing sevenfold between the first and last quarters of 2007.

The convergence of the prices for energy products and grain for the biofuels industry has also seduced investors. An increasingly voracious (and carnivorous) population, and undervalued agricultural products compared to other raw materials, could create a long-term surge in agricultural products. The metal and energy markets have been bubbling away nicely for five years. Now it’s the turn of agricultural products.

In such a euphoric atmosphere producers are also seeking to maximise profits. According to an analyst with a large trading company, “high prices have strengthened the position of operators”. In France many contracts have not been honoured, particularly as regards the delivery of milling wheat and brewing barley. Producers believed that more profit could be generated from direct sales to manufacturers and have had to reimburse the injured cooperatives.

’Land is an investment in the future’
For Philippe Mangin, president of Coop de France, this attitude is entirely understandable. “Small farmers have never faced such volatility,” he says. “Prices have tripled in 15 months. It’s enough to make your head spin, especially after three lean years.”

However, he deplores this development. Faced with the concentration of industrial demand and the disengagement of the public sector, the solidarity of producers, underwritten by the cooperative movement, would be particularly helpful.

According to the International Grains Council’s assessments, farmers are starting to react. Wheat fields should increase by 4% in 2008, comparable to the progress observed the last time the grain market was so active in 1995-96.

But when all grains are taken together, few countries have the necessary technical means or, more importantly, the available land. “Land is an investment in the future,” maintains British investor Jim Slater. He made his fortune in the metal market and is now turning his attention to agriculture, focusing on investments in irrigation programmes.

Russia , particularly the vast steppes in East Siberia , and Ukraine , thanks to its famous black earth, could develop farming. But the continental climate makes this a risky enterprise as frost can cause returns to fall drastically from one year to the next. Argentina and Brazil , on the other hand, can convert pampas and forests into farmland.

According to Dufumier, “there are still unexpected productivity gains to be had”. Not in Europe , though, where the return per hectare is the highest in the world. The future of export agriculture is probably to be found in these new countries where production costs are low and returns still weak.

It will involve rolling out genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which are already omnipresent in Argentina , across the board – and will lead to a series of harmful consequences for the environment, such as deforestation in Brazil .

The countries most affected by the grain explosion will be saved by the renaissance of their own agricultural industry. Mali strengthened its own productivity and has therefore been relatively spared, thanks to investments made in rice cultivation in the Niger delta and the common sense of its cotton farmers.

Disappointed by the ever-lower prices offered by cotton companies for a kilo of seed cotton, they used the materials allocated for this crop for sorghum and corn seedbeds. In neighbouring Burkina Faso , soya fields have advantageously replaced the cotton trees.

Faced with a lack of generosity by the donor countries on which it depends, the World Food Programme is trying to support internal production by intensifying local purchases. In West Africa their share increased from 13% in 2005 to 30% in 2007.

The explosion in grain prices again raises the question of what role agriculture should play in development. It should be at the heart of Europe ’s Common Agricultural Policy and the Doha negotiations. The World Bank, which contributed to weakening agriculture in some countries by imposing economic liberalisation, has now put this sector at the heart of its efforts to fight poverty in its 2008 report on development.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 23, 2008, 11:42:45 AM
Clearwater": An eco-friendly feed barley
// 06 jun 2008

A new barley that benefits the environment as well as farm animals has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues.


"Clearwater" hulless barley is rich in the kinds of phosphorus--an essential nutrient--that pigs, fish and other single-stomached, or "monogastric," animals can use. That's unlike grain from conventional barleys, which contains more of the phytate type of phosphorus, the kind that monogastric animals find difficult to digest. Indigestible phosphorus, leached from manure, can sometimes end up polluting groundwater or streams.

Clearwater builds upon decades of research by plant geneticists Victor Raboy, Phil Bregitzer and others at the ARS Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit at Aberdeen, Idaho.

Raboy uses conventional plant-breeding procedures to chemically tweak seeds' phosphorus makeup. The work has paved the way for low-phytate barleys, such as Clearwater and a hulled type called "Herald," as well as low-phytate rice, corn and soybeans.

Bregitzer, Raboy and ARS plant geneticist Don Obert collaborated in the Clearwater research with Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station co-researchers Juliet Windes and James Whitmore. A recent article in the Journal of Plant Registrations contains more details.

Clearwater yields are about the same as those of other niche-market barleys, according to Bregitzer. One such market--aquaculture feeds--is already being explored. Approximately 46,000 pounds of Clearwater were shipped to Vietnam earlier this year by the U.S. Grains Council of Washington, D.C., and the Idaho Barley Commission to test Clearwater as a feed ingredient for farm-raised fish. ARS researchers at Hagerman, Idaho, and Bozeman, Mont., will begin similar investigations with farm-raised rainbow trout this month.

The Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station's Foundation Seed Program at Kimberly has offered Clearwater seed for sale since late 2007. Researchers and plant breeders can contact Bregitzer to obtain, at no charge, small supplies of Clearwater or any of several other feed, food and malting barleys that have resulted from ARS and Experiment Station barley breeding research.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 27, 2008, 08:17:01 AM
Thursday, June 26, 2008Print This Page
GM Food Benefits? Consumers Wont Swallow it
UK - Food industry leaders, alongside politicians, have begun to lobby for GM acceptance in Europe, which may help dying livestock industries thrive once more. However, there is a long way to go yet in changing consumer perceptions.



According to the Dairy Reporter, Peter Brabeck, chairman for Nestle, has called loudly for Europe to reassess its GM policy to help combat the dwindling food supplies and soaring commodity prices.

And he is not the only food industry big-wig to take this stance. Ian Ferguson, chairman for Tate & Lyle and president of the UK's Food and Drink Federation has long been a GM advocate, hoping to foster fair debate on the rapidly progressing technology.

Last week it was the turn of the politicians, reported the Dairy Reporter. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain should step up its GM acceptance, encouraging the end to the zero tolerance on feed shipments, which currently sees entire batches containing traces of GM material sent back.

On a European level, opinion is divided among member states, leading to inconsistencies and slow approval processes. While some hail GM as the answer, current decisions on certain GM materials are not upheld by some countries.

Since the first approval of GM maize 10 years ago, there are still countries refusing to grow it, and it remains the only crop cultivated in Europe.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 27, 2008, 08:18:51 AM
Thursday, June 26, 2008Print This Page
Report: Climate Changes, Farming Changes
AUSTRALIA - CSIRO today released a national overview of climate change impacts and adaptation options for Australian agriculture.



Bringing together the latest science from research groups around Australia, the report includes chapters on each of Australia’s major agricultural sectors, with a focus on steps that can be taken to adjust to the ongoing changes in our climate.

Speaking to the Farm Writers Association of NSW in Sydney today, co-editor of the report, CSIRO scientist Dr Mark Howden, said it was time for agriculture to start focussing on proactive solutions.

“Adapting to climate change will involve everything from changes in crop varieties, through to improved seasonal forecasting, up to revised national policies and programs,” he said.

“For many agricultural businesses incremental changes may be enough, but some regions and industries will need to be open to more transformative changes.”


The report uses agro-climatic zones to identify the different types of impacts and adaptation issues facing agriculture.
Graph courtesy of: Hutchinson & McIntyre 2005
Prepared for Land and Water Australia (LWA) the report - ‘An overview of climate change adaptation in the Australian agricultural sector – impacts, options and priorities’ - updates and expands the previous national synthesis done by CSIRO in 2003.

“We’ve applied the latest climate change projections to build a picture of the challenges that will affect all types of agriculture in all corners of the nation,” Dr Howden said.

The report also emphasises the importance of building adaptive capacity among farm managers, agri-businesses and industry groups.

“The past climate is no longer a good guide to the future climate, so having the skills and resources to respond flexibly will be essential,” Dr Howden said.

The report is being released as part of a series of talks being presented by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists and CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth today and tomorrow, with support from the Agricultural Research WA, Climate Adaptation Program.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 27, 2008, 08:20:46 AM
Thursday, June 26, 2008Print This Page
Vicious Cycle of High Prices and Global Food Shortage
GLOBE - Soaring food prices could reverse the significant growth in agricultural production recorded by some of the poorest countries in Europe and Central Asia over the past 10 years, said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf today at the opening of the 26th FAO Regional Conference for Europe.

 

Moreover, government response to higher prices has not always been supportive of the farm investment needed to raise production and productivity, favouring instead measures such as export restrictions, which have resulted in cancelled export contracts and lower prices received by farmers, he noted.

Positive trends
“As in most parts of the world affected by food insecurity, hunger in Europe and Central Asia derives from rural poverty and from natural and man-made disasters, rather than from a total lack of food at macroeconomic level,” Dr Diouf said.

“In the past ten years, some of the poorest countries have posted the largest gains in per capita national income, notably the countries of the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, while growth has been slower in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe,” he said, noting that per capita agricultural production had also grown fastest in those countries.

But this positive ten-year trend might be coming to a halt without bold policy steps to contain price increases, he said, echoing the conclusions of a conference organized in March 2008 by FAO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Untapped potential


Supportive policies and investment in infrastructure could boost production significantly.
Photo: CSIRO“There is strong agricultural potential in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine,” the FAO Director-General said. “With a supportive policy environment and investment in infrastructure, at least 13 million hectares could be returned to production, without major cost to the environment.

”He noted that crop yields in those three countries are three times lower than in Central, Eastern and Western Europe, where modern inputs are employed and contract farming is used to reduce market risks.

“The Commonwealth of Independent States and the countries of Southeast Europe are far more rural and agricultural than those of Western Europe,” Dr Diouf said. ”Yet agriculture remains vulnerable and provides relatively low income because of insufficient crop yields.

”He said that FAO's main concern in this region is rural poverty which, in some countries and especially in Central Asia, is accompanied by food insecurity, despite the fact that there is no lack of qualified specialists in technical fields such as veterinary medicine, fisheries, forestry and agronomy in these countries.

“What is lacking for agricultural and rural growth are development policies that favour commercial agriculture and institutions of governance and support for the development of family farms and the private sector,” he said.

“New EU member countries have succeeded to reduce rural poverty, ensure sustainable agricultural growth and to become high-income countries by adapting their policies and institutions,” Dr Diouf said. “Those countries have invaluable information and expertise to facilitate the process of agricultural transition.

”Dr Diouf highlighted FAO’s efforts to raise awareness among policy-makers and the public about actions needed to address these issues, including FAO’s Initiative on Soaring Food Prices, and stressed that FAO was ready to provide its assistance in a number of areas to ensure food security for all.

Other constraints
Other constraints to agricultural production and food security in the region over the past two years have been pests, diseases and emergencies, the Director-General said.

He highlighted FAO projects to supply pesticides and regional consultations to address the transboundary migration of locusts and diseases, such as avian influenza, foot-and-mouth disease and African swine fever, which have affected the countries of the Transcaucasus.

In response to emergencies in the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Moldova, FAO has helped poor rural households rebuild their livelihoods through livestock and with high-value agricultural products and has provided seed and animal feed to poor farmers affected by snowfall and drought.

Participants at the two-day conference, which include representatives of 44 Member Nations from the region, will discuss these activities, as well as progress in attaining the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals. Other items on the agenda are FAO and adaptation to climate change in the region, and the promotion of traditional regional agricultural products and food.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 29, 2008, 10:58:18 AM
Thanksgiving turkey becomes expensive
// 26 jun 2008

Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams could become extremely expensive this year now floods have destroyed an estimated 2 million or more acres (800,000 ha) of corn and soybean fields in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and other key growing states, sending world grain prices skyhigh on fears of a substantially smaller corn crop.


"We're in survival mode now," said Paul Hill, chairman of West Liberty Foods, a turkey processor based in West Liberty, Iowa. He estimated US turkey producers will reduce their flocks by 10 to 15% nationwide, a cutback that will send consumer prices dramatically higher.

Due to the high feed prices pig farmers have to cut back on the number of animals that they raise. "The cost of Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys will go up this year, and maybe even more next year," said Hill, who is also the chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

If corn were to rise to $10 a bushel, Richard Lobb, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, said recouping costs through higher retail prices may not be possible. 

"Can you possibly charge enough for the chicken to recoup that investment?" he said. "That's a question no one can answer yet because it's never been done." Rod Brenneman, president and chief executive of Seaboard Foods, a pork supplier in Sawnee Mission, Kansas, that produces 4 million pigs a year, said this will cause meat prices to rise later this year and into 2009.

Pig feed costs up $30
Brenneman's cost for feeding a single pig has shot up $30 in the past year because of record-high prices for corn and soybeans, the main ingredients in US pig diets. Passing that increase on to consumers would tack an extra 33 cents per kg onto a pork chop. In the beef sector it is the same story. US beef producers now spend 60-70% of their production costs on animal feed and are seeing that number rise daily as corn prices hover near an unprecedented $8 a bushel, up from about $4 a year ago.

Before the floods, corn farmers were enjoying record profits selling the grain to feed animals and for use in cereals and as a sweetener in soda and candy. But a sharply smaller corn crop could wipe out those gains.

In Iowa, the No. 1 US corn grower, floods inundated about 9% of corn crops, representing about 1.2 million acres (485,000 ha)  — almost 1.5% of the country's anticipated harvest. In Indiana, another 9% of corn and soybean crops were flooded, potentially costing farmers up to $840 million in lost earnings, according to Indiana Agriculture.

Floodwaters also tossed farm equipment, sprayed cornfields with debris and silt and sucked away large chunks of topsoil. For livestock owners and meat producers, the damage may be felt long after the corn grows back.

Dairy prices will rise
Higher feed prices will eventually filter through to the cost of dairy products too, since 65 to 75% of a dairy farmers' production costs are for feed.

With the cost of animal feed only going higher, many poultry and dairy farmers are starting to look for cheaper alternatives. Farmers buy some of the byproducts of cereal or flour production, but they're not nearly as productive compared to corn.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 01, 2008, 09:41:30 AM
By Felicito C. Payumo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:58pm (Mla time) 06/29/2008

DURING the last 50 years, thanks to research and advances in
technology, farmers and ranchers were able to increase the world
food supply faster than the growth of human population.

But in the next 50 years, Norman E. Borlaug, an agricultural
scientist and Nobel Peace Prize awardee, believes that future gains
in food production will be harder to come by than in the past.

Many of the cultivated lands, such as those in western countries,
are already producing close to their theoretical potential. Global
consumers are likely to require double the level of today's
agricultural production--from 5.5 billion to 11 billion gross metric
tons. And we will continue to rely on irrigated lands to contribute
a disproportionate share of world food supplies.

Zoom in on the Philippines, now referred to by some analysts as
ground zero of the global food crisis.

The country is, no doubt, in a worse fix. Domestic rice production
has been 12 percent below domestic consumption over the last 6
years, with importation at 1.2 million metric tons a year.

But this year, we are importing 2.1 million tons. The last time we
were self-sufficient was in 1971 under the Masagana 99 program. Our
farmers do not get price support--the National Food Authority (NFA)
could only buy less than 1 percent of production in the last few
years compared with 5 percent absorption rate in the 1980s and 10
percent in the 1970s. So the farmers are forced to sell to their
creditors who haul their produce straight from the field at very
disadvantageous prices. As for input subsidies to farmers ... well,
the Joc Joc Bolante tale tells the whole story.

The future is even bleaker. Not only is our population increasing,
per capita consumption of our 87 million people has been growing at
2.6 percent a year. And the price of imported rice at $1,100 per ton
is up three-fold since a year ago.

Since rice is thinly traded--only 27.5 million tons or 6.4 percent
was traded--a reduction in exports by the supplier countries to
assure supply to their citizens can lead to further spike in prices.
And certainly, their decision to form an Organization of Rice
Exporting Countries (Orec) does not bode well for us.

What to do?
It is time we abandon our dependence on trade over production for
self-sufficiency. I am afraid that a UNDP report that there would be
an uptick in production in the rice paddies of Asia next year might
lull us back to complacency.

Occasional blips do not alter a trend. Unless some big
technological, political and social breakthroughs happen, the future
shall be a mere extrapolation of the stark realities of the present.
The course of history, while not always linear, needs a radical
alteration to change its trajectory.

Irrigation: A vital need
Everyone knows our farmers have many needs--from access to credit to
input subsidies, post-harvest facilities, etc. But the most vital
has been the most neglected: Irrigation facilities. Borlaug states
that we would have to depend mainly on irrigated lands.

Former Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Escudero agrees, as he decries
the unfair comparison of Filipino farmers' abilities with their
Asian counterparts. Our farmers are just as productive, but are
lacking in government support, particularly in irrigation facilities
(Thailand, on the other hand, has a much larger area of irrigated
lands).

Hybrid seeds and fertilizer are ineffectual without proper
irrigation. Therefore, the need to rehabilitate non-functioning
systems and adding more irrigated areas is a no-brainer.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap conceded to Senator Mar Roxas that
we need an additional 3 million tons to feed ourselves, but has to
count on 2.5 million hectares of land, including rain-fed areas that
give less than optimal yield.

I recall having co-authored a law (Republic Act No. 6978) that
mandated the National Irrigation Administration to undertake a 10-
year program to construct irrigation facilities in the remaining
1,500,000 hectares of unirrigated lands.

It was approved on Jan. 24, 1991, during the 8th Congress. That
means we should have irrigated these lands in 2001 if the government
had done its job. But some figures show that only 43 percent of
lands have functioning irrigation systems, with the balance either
completely unirrigated or with systems that are silted or in various
state of disrepair.

I can attest to this. The silted Tangilad River irrigation project
in Samal, Bataan, built at a cost of P100 million, has not been able
to irrigate its entire service area. Despite complaints from
farmers, the NIA has not done anything about it.

But what about the areas that cannot be irrigated, mainly those in
the uplands, those that depend solely on precipitation because they
are outside the service area or lie on elevation higher than
existing creek and river impounding systems?

Going by Yap's statement, we have at least an additional 1 to 2
million hectares of lands that cannot be irrigated. Shall we just
let talahib or cogon grass cover them?

Shovelling for their supper
I thought we could learn from the villagers of Ajit Pura in the arid
state of Rajasthan, India. The Economist published an account "of 42
women and men scraping earth into panniers, and hoisting them to
their heads, walk the contents up to a low embankment rising on the
edge of the work-site."

It is designed to slow run-off of monsoon flood-water, encouraging
more of the precious liquid to infiltrate Ajit Pura's dusty soil.
This helps irrigate a few peasant plots for a year or two, before
the embankment is washed away.

They call them micro-water catchments. We call them small water
impounding systems.

The program to build them under India's National Rural Employment
Guarantee (NREG) scheme provides 100 days of work to poor Indian
folk who are deemed to be self-selecting because only the genuinely
needy would agree to work under the sun for an equivalent of $1.50 a
day.

Should we not do the same by dotting our countryside with such
catchments or small water impounding projects (SWIP) using, mainly,
manual labor? After all, the precursor of India's NREG was the
Emergency Employment Administration (EEA) of President Diosdado
Macapagal.

We don't have the Mekongs, the Yangtzes, the Niles or the Ganges
that meander across continents over thousands of miles, irrigating
and fertilizing alluvial plains and deltas. Being an archipelago,
monsoon rains that pour on our island mountaintops cascade down
within hours through the plains and reach the sea.

But we can build hundreds of thousands of SWIPs, small catchments
that can reduce the volume and force of runoffs as they hold and
store water for irrigation during the dry season.

The other beneficial effects are manifold: As the aquifer is
replenished, ground water table rises; erosion and siltation are
minimized; flooding is controlled; and trees are easily propagated
when planted along embankments. The increase in farm income may
double after two years.

But the more lasting benefit is institutional strengthening, as the
community learn improved fertility and soil management.

We have few SWIPs in the Philippines, such as the project in
Talugtog, Nueva Ecija, prominently mentioned in Google. The
challenge is in replicating it into hundreds of thousands of SWIPs
distributed among 40,000 rural barangays to irrigate our otherwise
unirrigable lands.

At a minimum of three SWIPs per barangay, we would have 120,000
projects employing manual labor in the countryside. Since the
projects can be inspected for proper completion, ghost workers would
be prevented.

This beats the dole-outs that the government is doing; since money
is given away free, no one knows how much gets stuck in the hands of
the giver.

If the government has money to throw away at the rate of P500 per
poor family, plus P300 per child (up to a maximum of three) or
P1,400 to 300,000 up to 3 million poor households, or to distribute
food coupons to the poorest families in urban villages which the
DSWD is still finding hard to locate, why not make them shovel and
earn for their supper? That is teaching them how to fish!



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 03, 2008, 10:43:49 AM
New product to prevent Salmonella
// 02 jul 2008

The Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology (IRTA), in collaboration with the company Industrial Técnica Pecuaria, S.A. (ITPSA) developed an innovative product for the prevention of Salmonella. The product – Salmosan – can be added directly to the feed.


The product helps reducing the incidence of Salmonella in animals, which translates into an improvement of food safety for the products obtained from them (meats, eggs and milk) and, in short, in a reduction of Salmonellosis incidence in people.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 07, 2008, 11:41:15 AM
China may not have enough grain
// 03 jul 2008

China faces serious challenges in ensuring it will have enough grain to feed its population in the decades to come, according to Premier Wen Jiabao.


Industrialisation, urbanisation and a growing population are boosting grain demand while "shrinking arable land, water shortage and climate change is an increasing constraint on output," Wen told a cabinet meeting.

"The long-term demand and supply will be balanced but tight and ensuring grain security faces serious challenges," he said.

The meeting approved a mid- and long-term grain security plan that aims to keep the nation's annual grain output above 500 million tonnes by 2010 and increase production to more than 540 million tonnes a year by 2020.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 07, 2008, 11:43:20 AM
Aussie dairy cows switch to grain diets
// 03 jul 2008

A quarter of the dairy cows in Australia are fed on grain diets - and it's not just due to the drought.

 
Once dairy farmers fed grain to cows to get through dry times, but increasingly the change in diet is to boost milk supply and protein content.

Steve Little, from Dairy Australia, says just four per cent of dairy farmers rely solely on grass anymore. "Tasmania has the lowest level of grain feeding, they're at about 1.2 tonnes per cow per year and the highest regions are South Australia, northern New South Wales, south-east Queensland and other areas in New South Wales."

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 07, 2008, 11:45:04 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Grazing US cattle year-round pays off
// 04 jul 2008

The good ol' days are coming back to the Northern Plains, USA with new twists based on recent research findings by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.

 
ARS researchers in Mandan, N.D., have shown that a newly designed program of "swath grazing" allows cattle to, once again, graze year-round, even in the middle of a North Dakota winter. The concept involves pushing harvested crop leftovers into row piles up to 16 inches high, to keep them within reach of cows in winter.

Winter grazing, from mid-November through mid-March in North Dakota, can save farmers as much as 24 cents per cow per day, compared to the costs of baling hay for winter corral feeding. With a herd of 200 cows, that would save a farmer more than $4,000 in feed costs a year.

Soil scientist Don Tanaka and colleagues at the ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan calculated those savings based on data from a four-year research project. In each year of the study, the scientists monitored 20 pregnant Hereford beef cows due to give birth in March. The nutritional needs of pregnant cows increases as pregnancy advances. This makes the winter feeding of late-pregnant cows one of the most expensive times in beef cattle production.

The researchers compared weight gains from swath-grazing cows on the residue of annual crops--oats/peas, triticale/sweet clover and corn--to gains with perennial western wheatgrass, and with bales of hay fed in winter corrals. Another benefit of swath grazing: The cows in this system also distributed their manure evenly over the landscape, eliminating the chore of removing manure from corrals. The manure also provides fertilizer for crops and improves the soil. Integrating crops and livestock benefits both enterprises.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 11, 2008, 07:11:53 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News More Thai corn sales after India export ban
// 10 jul 2008

The estimated rise in Thailand’s 2008-09 corn crop of 3.7 million tons, up from the proceeding year’s 3.6 million tons, is expected to double Thai corn exports on surging foreign demand, following India’s recent corn export ban through October 15th.

 
The Indian ban has pushed Thai export corn prices to $350 per ton, up from $280 in late June and would probably rise further if demand continues to outpace supply, as exporters compete with feed producers to buy corn, primarily for the main buyers in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Thailand’s feed producers have requested permission from the Commerce Ministry to raise their selling price by 20% to help offset the higher cost of corn which should remain high for the rest of the year.

Urgent review of farmland size
Skyrocketing food prices, drastic changes in the use of farmland and increasing fears of foreign invasion into the farm sector, has prompted the Thai authorities to determine the exact size of Thailand’s farming area, - around 130-131 million rai, - based on the statistics of the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) statistics.

Farmland over the years, says Apichart Jongskul, OAE secretary-general, has been threatened by rapid urbanization, and more recently by "foreign invasions" of farming areas and it is important at this time, he says, to consider possible measures; including tax schemes, more support for farm owners, such as better marketing strategies and product-price support to encourage them to keep their land.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 15, 2008, 08:58:58 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Alleged price fixing at Cargill and Bunge
// 14 jul 2008

Cargill, the largest U.S. agriculture company, Bunge and grain traders in two countries were raided by European Union authorities in an antitrust investigation into alleged price-fixing.


European and Italian antitrust officials made surprise visits at Cargill offices in Italy, said Francis DeRosa, a spokesman for Cargill in Cobham, England.

The European Commission, the EU's antitrust regulator, carried out inspections in two countries, the agency said in a statement. "We have provided and will continue to provide full cooperation," DeRosa said last Thursday. Commodity prices have advanced for six consecutive years, with wheat, corn, rice and other foods reaching records this year. World food imports will cost a record $1.04 trillion this year, $215 billion more than last year, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization has said.

Officials also inspected the Rome office of Bunge's Italian subsidiary, a spokesman, Stewart Lindsay, said in an e-mail. He said Bunge is committed to compliance with all European Union laws and will cooperate fully. Companies can be fined as much as 10 percent of annual sales for antitrust violations. Decisions may be appealed to European courts in Luxembourg.

"Surprise inspections are a preliminary step in investigations into suspected cartels," the commission said in the statement. The inspections were made at the premises of traders and distributors of products for human food and animal feed, it said. Archer Daniels Midland, the world's largest publicly traded grain processor, said in a statement Thursday that its offices were not raided.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 15, 2008, 09:00:58 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News DFM reduces E. coli in feedlot cattle
// 14 jul 2008

Research conducted by a team from the College of Agriculture at North Dakota State University investigated the effect of Direct Fed Microbial (DFM) products on the control of E. coli in feedlot cattle.

 
Results of the trial showed a significant reduction (32%) in fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7 among the steers treated with the Lactobacillus Acidophilus BT1386. Steers placed on the DFM supplement were almost three times less likely to shed E. coli in their feces as opposed to their control counterparts.

In addition, feeding the DFM significantly reduced the probability of new infections with Salmonella among DFM-treated cattle, compared to controls. This work was published in the March 2008 issue (with an erratum in the May 2008 issue) of the Journal of Food Protection.

The DFM strain used for the study is the same commercial product available as Micro°©-Cell LA and Micro-Cell GOLD from Lallemand Animal Nutrition, North America. Lallemand offers a range of DFMs for the beef feedlot industry: Micro-Cell GOLD for cattle on a diet of dried distiller grains solubles (DDGS), Micro-Cell LA for pathogen control and Micro-Cell PB for hot rations.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 05, 2008, 09:40:18 AM
Feed milling with turkey manure energy
// 23 jul 2008

Sietsema Farm Feeds in Michigan, USA will install equipment for converting turkey manure into energy in its feed mill that it will use to produce livestock feed.
 
Work on the new, $3 million biomass operation is expected to begin by late August or early September, said company owner Harley Sietsema.

The equipment will generate steam and electricity from the litter of 1.1 million turkeys being raised at eight of Sietsema’s farms, said Norma McDonald, operating manager with Phase 3 Renewables in Cincinnati, which is working with Sietsema Farms Feeds on the project.

"It's just a matter of getting the most out of all your products and byproducts," Sietsema told The Daily News of Greenville.

The turkey and feed mill operation is based in Allendale and has 38 associated farms within a 75-mile radius of the city.

The company raises around 1.3 million turkeys per year. Its pig operations finishes around 300,000 pigs per year.

Sietsema Farms Feeds, which he opened five years ago, at two feed mills (Howard City and Ravenna) annually 175,000 tonnes of feed is produced.

Sietsema started looking years ago for other uses for the turkey waste besides fertilizer. He discovered that large farm operations had started using a process called gasification to extract energy from animal waste.

In October, the US Department of Agriculture awarded Sietsema Farms Feeds a $500,000 grant and a $700,750 loan guarantee to construct the project.

Sietsema said he doesn't expect a profit from the new venture for three or four years but that should eventually change as energy costs continue to rise.

After meeting the mill's energy requirements, the excess electricity will be sold to a utility company
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 05, 2008, 09:42:08 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Japanese pigs and poultry enjoy sukiyaki
// 24 jul 2008

Due to high feed costs, Japanese pigs and poultry eat more food scraps from restaurants and supermarkets instead of their normal diets.

 
Japan disposes around 20 million tonnes of food waste per year. The leftovers used to be dumped in landfills where they decomposed and produced methane, a greenhouse gas. However government legislation since 2001 has stimulated to turn food scraps into animal feed. Initially, farmers had been reluctant to feed the recycled food, but rising feed prices have made them more receptive to it. Feed from recycled food is about half the price of regular feed.

Food recycler
This trend has stimulated former garbage truck driver to set up Agri Gaia System, at the moment the largest food recycling company in Japan. His drivers now cart truckloads of rice balls, sandwiches and milk discarded by 1,200 7-Eleven stores to his factory on the outskirts of Tokyo, where the food scraps are turned into two types of dry feed after a final heating process - one rich in fat and protein, the other lower in fat and protein but with more carbohydrates - and a liquid type, from pasteurized drinks such as milk and chopped vegetables.

A blind test of pork shows respondents tell the difference immediately, according to a university research. The fat of the pigs fed recycled food is sweeter than usual. Another effect of tasty feed is that hens produce more eggs than usual.

The feed is not used for cattle or sheep because of strict health regulations that were imposed to prevent mad cow disease.

Rely on imports
Japan imports about 75% of its raw materials from abroad. It is the world's biggest importer of corn used for animal feed. The recent price increases of corn and soy meal have raised demand for recycled feed, but it still accounts for only 1% of raw material use in Japan, or about 150,000 metric tons in 2006, twice as much as in 2003.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 17, 2008, 12:52:13 PM
Vietnam: tax cut on animal feed
// 14 aug 2008

Deputy Minister of Finance, Do Hoang Anh Tuan, has signed an agreement to lower the import tax of some ingredients for animal food production.
According to reports, the import tax on whey and whey powder has been cut from 10% - 2%, while soybean has been lowered from 2% to zero.
 
Relieve difficulties for farmers
The Deputy Minister’s decision is in aid of solving some difficulties for farmers, following 20% - 50% increases in the price of animal feed ingredients in months recently. And also, the decision is aimed at strengthening the development of animal husbandry in Vietnam.

Imports – due to shortage
Vietnam is now being urged to import many ingredients for animal feed - this is due to a shortage of domestic supplies.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Husbandry Department, almost 40 domestic feedstock-production enterprises for cattle, pigs, poultry and even fish have temporarily close down.

Hoang Kim Giao, director of the department, said growth in animal husbandry was only a weak 0.03% in the first half of the year.

"To reach the annual growth rate of 4% -5 % in the second half of the year, the industry must grow by at least 8% -10%," he stated.

It is expected that demand for these products should rise to 8% in the next 10 years.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been urging the Government to place animal-food products and ingredients on the list of essential commodities and reduce import tax to zero per cent.
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 17, 2008, 12:54:11 PM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Record soybean production expected in India
// 15 aug 2008

Soya bean output in India may reach a record next year after good monsoon showers and high prices spurred planting, a spokesman for the Soybean Processors Association of India said.
 
India is Asia’s biggest exporter of soya bean meal. Output for the harvest starting October will surpass the 9.99 million tonnes (mt), estimated by the government for the previous season, spokesman Rajesh Agrawal said.

Boost exports
India’s record harvest will boost exports to countries including Vietnam, Japan and South Korea and pose competition to suppliers in the US, Argentina and Brazil. Record prices of soya beans, wheat and corn have encouraged plantings, helping ease a food shortage.

"Exports will be robust and a bigger crop will ensure we have enough supplies to meet additional demand," Agrawal said. Shipments will be more than the 5 million tonnes estimated for this year, he added.

The area planted with soya beans rose to 9.26 million ha by 11 August, 6% more than a year earlier, the group said in its first crop survey this year.

Soya bean meal
India, which grows non-genetically modified soya beans, sells more than 70% of its animal feed output abroad. Soya bean meal, India’s largest meal export, is added to poultry feed as a form of protein to aid birds’ growth.

The area planted with soya bean rose 4.4% to 5.2 million ha in Madhya Pradesh, which accounts for more than half of the country’s production, according to the group’s survey. It fell to 2.7 million ha in Maharashtra, the second biggest grower, from 3.2 million ha last year.

"The crop is in good condition and if the weather remains favourable in September, we will have a bumper crop," Agrawal said. "Rains in the past few weeks have helped farmers sow the crop to the maximum area possible."

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 17, 2008, 12:56:01 PM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Vietnam: feed costs impact meat industry
// 12 aug 2008

If the animal breeding and feed processing industry do not to solve its current situations soon, Vietnam may have to import pork, beef and poultry at the end of this year, Le Ba Lich, chairman of the Vietnam Animal Feed Association has warned.
 
Feed prices cause for concern
Lich stated that many pig farmers, especially in southern provinces, quit the business when feed prices sky rocketed.

Currently, the price of pig feed is VND8,500 (US$0.51) per kilogram. To produce one kilogramme of pork, 2.6 kilogrammes of feed are needed, which costs VND22,100 ($1.34).

A kilogramme of live pig goes for VND32,000 ($1.94) -34,000 ($2.06) in the south and VND28,000 ($1.70) - 30,000 ($1.82) in the north.
 
Breeders can no longer afford work
According to Lich, with capital used to buy breeding animals and animal feed which comes from loans with 20% interest, breeders cannot afford to continue work.

In addition, blue ear disease and bird flu have also played a role in the current meat shortage.
 
Pork accounts for 80% of the country’s meat consumption, chicken 11%-12%, and beef 3%-4%.
 
Investments to avoid shortages
To avoid meat shortages and encourage pig farming, Lich said, the association plans to invest in production and imports of raw materials for animal feed production.
 
The association requested that banks lower interest rates on loans, the Ministry of Finance to eliminate the value added tax (VAT) for raw produce, the Ministry of Industry and Trade to reorganise distribution systems.
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 17, 2008, 12:58:41 PM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Jamaica sees high feed price increase
// 05 aug 2008

The cost of feeds produced by high-tech feed mills in Jamaica has been increasing dramatically over the last two years due to the sharp rise in cost of the raw materials.


Corn is a major ingredient in feed processing, and more recently ethanol production which is a source of biodegradable fuel. The current high price of oil, as well as its environmental implications, has driven the need for e production of a cheaper and more environmentally friendly source of energy. Ethanol production is seen as a possible solution to this fuel crisis.

These universal factors have inevitably and significantly affected the Jamaican economy with rising inflation. As a result, commercial farmers are complaining about the high price of animal feeds. Poultry producers, among others, have suffered loss of income. One solution could be that Government subsidises the cost of animal feeds for local farmers, thereby ensuring not only food security, but also food safety.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 17, 2008, 01:00:11 PM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Aussie aquaculture production must double
// 05 aug 2008

A peak aquaculture group predicts Australia's fish farms are going to have to double their output within seven years to keep up with demand.

 
Craig Foster from the National Aquaculture Council – speaking at the Australasian Aquaculture Conference in Brisbane this week - says fish farms can play an important role in easing the pressure on depleted wild fish stocks worldwide. He adds, and he says farming can be done year-round and provide jobs to regional areas.

Most of Australia's $793 million worth of current production comes from SA and Tasmania but Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia are tipped to be central to the industry doubling production within the next decade. Species such as yellowtail, kingfish, barramundi and Tasmanian salmon will lead the charge.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 27, 2008, 08:00:20 AM
Monday, August 25, 2008Print This Page
Japan Looks to Broaden Food Recycling Network
TOKYO - Japanese convenience store chain operator Ministop Co. is partnering with Marubeni Corp. to broaden the scope of its food recycling network.



This network already includes pig farmers, who use animal feed derived from food waste recycled from Ministop convenience stores. It will now be expanded to rice farmers, who will use manure from the pig farms as fertilizer to grow their crops.

Both the pork from the pig farmers and the produce from the rice growers are to be used in the lunch boxes and other prepared foods sold at Ministop stores, completing the circle.

Marubeni will help recruit rice farmers to participate in the program. The expanded recycling network is already being tested with some farmers with the aim of shifting into high gear in 2009, using the network for 15 per cent of the roughly 13,000 tons of rice used annually by the Ministop chain.


 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 10, 2008, 08:27:54 AM
Tuesday, September 09, 2008Print This Page
WMC REPORT - Providing a Sustainable Industry
SOUTH AFRICA - The sustainability of the international meat industry and the need to meet the demands of a growing world population and growing consumption were the major themes to launch the 17th World Meat Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, writes, ThePigSite senior editor Chris Harris.





Pictured at the start of the World Meat Congress in Cape Town are (left to right) EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischler Boel, IMS President Paddy Moore and South African Agriculture Minister Lulu Xingwana.The president of the International Meat Secretariat Paddy Moore said the industry is battling against increases in fuel and feed costs and is now seeing companies grow in size and not just becoming large but international.

He said that international trade n meat and meat products is growing and is expected to grow from 22 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes by 2017.

He added that the demand for agricultural products is expected to increase by 50 per cent by 200 with food demand rising by between 10 and 15 per cent annually.

He warned of the threats from diminishing land resources to provide food and the new demands being placed on the industry through the political need to provide biofuels.

He said that to meet the new demands the industry had to improve farming methods, farming technology and genetics.

He added that the industry also had to take action on issues such as animal welfare and also meeting consumer demands.

"The consumer is becoming more and more discerning and the consumer is looking for value for money," he said.

The congress, which runs in Cape Town until Wednesday 10 September, has attracted more than 500 delegates from 38 countries from the meat industry around the world.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 16, 2008, 10:38:37 AM
Music helps raise quality chickens
// 25 aug 2008

Taiwan's government has introduced methods developed in Australia and New Zealand to allow chickens to listen to music throughout the day, which is said to help locals raise top-quality chickens.


A chicken farmer in Yunlin County, Taiwan, was struggling with the high cost of chicken feed. Earlier this year he received assistance from the government in the form of music piped in to serenade the 40,000 chickens in their coops for 3-4 hours during feeding time.

The farmer stated that he noticed the positive effect the music was having on the chickens in just a short period of time. In the past, he said, it took over 90 days to grow a chicken to a weight of 3 kg. The period shortened to 80 days after they introduced the music, which means savings of over NT$100,000 in feed costs for each batch of chickens.

Additionally, the owner said that not only do both the cocks and hens exhibit even temperaments, but the chickens even produce better meat. Moreover, they are sold out when they hit the market. The birds also received certification for the chickens' being raised with music and sold without pharmaceutical residues. Their popularity has even prompted Singaporean buyers to request them.

The farmer said that on the trip he made to New Zealand and Australia in 2007, he discovered that pigs and cows that had been treated to music there were larger than those that weren't. This is becoming so popular that Universal Music Group was reportedly hired to put together a compilation of tunes, and airing the music at the chicken farms here has been a complete success.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 16, 2008, 10:44:27 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Young horses fed sweets difficult to train
// 28 aug 2008

Young horses might be easier to train if they temporarily lay off the sweets, according to a Montana State University (MSU) study that tracked behaviour of 2-year-olds in training and compared it to their nutrition program.
 
The extra energy provided by sweet feed during the early stages of training made the horses in MSU's study more disobedient and fearful than horses that only ate hay, said Jan Bowman, an animal nutritionist at MSU.

The study involved 12 closely-related Quarter Horses that came from one Idaho ranch, Bowman said. Wade Black, instructor of the MSU Colt Starting class and one of Bowman's graduate students, trained the horses for three weeks, five days a week at MSU's Miller Livestock Pavilion.

Half the horses ate only hay, which was a mixture of grass and alfalfa. The other horses ate 2.5 kg of sweet grain a day in addition to the hay. Hay and water was supplied ad lib.

Pedometer
Each horse wore a pedometer a combination wristwatch-heart monitor hanging from their saddles. The watch displayed minimum, maximum, and mean heart rates detected by an electrode belt.

Black trained the animals for 30 or 40 minutes a day without knowing which animals had eaten grain and which ones hadn't, Bowman said.

She and Black also recorded heart rates and the number of steps the horses took during training. They assigned scores for behaviours displayed, including obedience, get-up-and-go, and separation anxiety.

"Results suggest that trainers under time constraints could increase their training effectiveness during the early stages of training by not feeding excess dietary energy," Black wrote.

He is still analyzing some of the data to see how the grain affected the horses' adrenaline during training.

The study doesn't mean that trainers should keep grain away from horses forever, Bowman said. They might consider withholding it just during the early weeks of training.

Bowman noted that all of the horses in MSU's study gained weight during the study. It didn't matter if they ate hay alone or hay with grain.

Their paper will be submitted to the Journal of Animal Science.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 20, 2008, 10:42:23 AM
Calamity, Food Security, Poverty
Let us look at the positive side of our present economic crisis.

These past weeks brought the worst sea tragedy. With the sinking of Princess of the Stars, a wake-up call to a wide sector of society suddenly looms in the horizon. Fare hikes, weekly increases of pump prices of oil and the corresponding effect on the cost of food and everything else continue to send nightmares. One can only pray for the best.

The unbelievable damage to agriculture whose estimates grow day by day continues to haunt us. The floods in Iloilo and the destruction of its water systems, the floods in Aklan especially Kalibo, the effect in Boracay which is just a stone’s throw away from San Fernando, Romblon where the MV Princess of the Stars lie with a part of its hull visible to all.
Amid all these trials, it is healthy to look at the other side of things. Let us look at the positive side of our present economic crisis. Price of rice is P35.00 to P45.00 Translated to palay prices, this means P17.50 to P22.50 per kilo. Our support price in the past is P70.00 per kilo of palay. We have always been saying our farmers plant rice not to make money. Because of high input costs, it is impossible to make money. But no, farmers producing 100 cavans of palay can easily make P83,500 gross income or P50,000 net in one hectare. At two harvests per year, this means P100,000.00. This means NFA does not have to subsidize farmers. The market will take care of it. Maybe our GNP will also rise and be at par or a little lower than other Asean countries.

The food crisis is a global phenomenon. An ordinary housewife buying her family needs usually spends P500.00 per day. Now it is P600.00.

Tighter budget. More poverty in the countryside. But no, with the bonanza for the palay farmer, the 3 million hectares can produce a purchasing power that can rev up industries. Actually our economy has always been consumer-oriented. It should actually be producer-oriented. Because our producers, our farmers produce the nation’s food. But they are always at the bottom beneficiary of government programs.

The dynamics of producing our rice requirements and imports will continue to dominate our work programs. The Department of Agriculture will play a more important role during these times. But at the rate the dollar is going up, we will be forced to rely on local food supply.

Maybe this wake up call can be the answer to our prayers. The other day, I heard that PAGASA’s radar which would have helped avoid the disaster last January 22 have been funded since 2005.

But due to the high standards set, no bidder qualified. It is now three years later that we wait in anguish about the fate of the 800 passengers of the ill-fated Sulpicio ship and the devastation in the Visayas. We now realize that we need flexibility and a sense of urgency in bidding procedures. It is no wonder that DBM used to say, the money is there but the absorptive capacity of government is not enough to use it.

We must have an NGO led with GO to study the kind of governance especially the bidding process taking the PAGASA experience as an example. And to think that lately, another P100 million has been allocated again. It really drives me crazy on the layers and layers of red tape that is going on and the indifference of officials who no longer use their common sense. Are we already hardened by the lack of our political will?

Are we afraid of making the right decisions? I can only commiserate with the President on what is going on.

We truly need a study of our culture and a realization that we can make things better.

As they used to say, “What lies before us and what lies behind us is nothing compared to what lies within us!”

Because of these tragedies, our people now start to economize on their gas for travel, stringent measures to make both ends meet. No more “payabangan” or living with the Joneses.

But it is in this exercise that we realize, we can stretch the value of our time, money and resources. Crisis truly creates opportunities for growth.
Zero waste comes to fore. Quality of life becomes a promise of living life to the fullest given the limited resources.

Environment concerns also make us realize the effects of illegal logging among other things.

Let this wake up call remind us that change, adopting to changing times, flexibility but most of all, developing the right attitude can save the day for all of us. Calamity, food security and poverty are challenges that will bring out the best in us. We cope with and live through these very challenging times.

With our Lord watching over us, we will survive!

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 25, 2008, 09:32:08 AM
Opportunities Amidst The Chaos
Our agri-products are moving from its doldrum state to a vibrant vista.

The big leaps in the of price of commodities worldwide have opened new opportunities for Philippine agriculture. The old adage that new problems bring new opportunities can be seen in the supply and demand of commodities like rice, corn, sugar, coconut oil, among other food items that we abundantly produce locally.

Brought about by improving economic life styles, and the continuing multi-use of products away from basic food lines to new (and substantial) demand for bio-fuel affecting corn, sugar, and coconut, our agri-products are moving from its doldrum state to a vibrant vista.

Many other countries are cashing in on this worldwide phenomenon. Canada is no longer in a position to export corn today. Demand for domestic corn usage in America had surged that a dramatic increase in its export volume is doubtful. And demand for corn and other food commodities has steadily increased over the years, fuelled by demand from China and other countries, whose consumption of meat and other food items had more than doubled.

And we are in position to take advantage of this phenomenon as it is within our ability to produce more corn, be it yellow or white, or other commodities wherever we can be competitive. Our production limitation is self-imposed or self-inflicted via policy directions and haphazard plans and not by natural occurrence as in having winter or long periods of non-farm production.

The spike in the price of corn in the world market (greatly attributed for the increased demand and use of cornsourced bio fuel) is making our local corn production highly competitive. Conditions in the market are so unique at this time that one can come into an “economic shock” when comparing present markets of five or six years ago.

Whereas, local pundits before would dismiss our corn industry as “meager and uncompetitive” and not at par with those of the other countries, they are now taking a second look at where the corn industry is heading.

It is true that we have not achieved that level of, the so called “sophistication” of corn production as to the adoption of farm machineries, our farmers have shown their mettle by increasing their productivity given the right market motivation. Many tobacco areas were converted into corn fields in North Luzon and proved to be a profitable decision.

And while cost of production is still a major consideration farm operations, there is now a growing attention given to moving (transportation) cost, making farms that are closer to demand (consumption) centers at a great cost advantage.

The almost doubling of fossil fuel cost within so short a time has shown the relevance of the small farm make-up of the agri-sector. It is them that are saving the day for our rural and urban consumers by making agri-produce available within short distance from the farm. While our American trained bureaucrats bewail the smallness of our farms when compared with what is in the United States, our small farms are able to provide a variety of produce to be sold in the local public market.

An American economist computed that, on the average, it takes 1,600 miles for a food item to reach consumption table or place (thus total cost is increased). The presence of our small multi-product farms, would definitely incur much less transport cost.

There has been a major shift in cost and price definitions in our own domestic and the world market as well, and we should take it as an opportunity to meet new challenges. A redefinition of our competitiveness must be brought to fore in view of the new price and cost levels linked to emerging market demands.

And for all we know, we can be competitive in all corn- based food lines like poultry and livestock if we can hurdle self-imposed or self-inflicted limitations, by giving the proper motivation for our corn farmers to produce more.

The regime of low transport cost is gone, and whoever has the distance advantage would be in a better position to serve nearby markets.

And who is near to us but China with its billion people, now gaining momentum of economic progress, and our very own “near-to-farm” domestic market.

We can be very competitive compared to farmers of other countries given the correct policy support in terms of direction and investments coupled with our year-round capacity to produce, and small farm make-up.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 26, 2008, 12:16:54 PM
Visiting The World Vegetable Center
Taiwan houses the world’s largest repository of vegetable germplasm.

Did you know that all vegetable seeds in the world are in a safe place? A place where you can access them at anytime. In case the great flood of Noah’s fame happens again, we are secured. We still have the seeds in a gene bank at the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC), now the World Vegetable Center in Tainan, Taiwan.

Recently, I had the chance to visit the facility. They have the world’s largest collection of vegetable germplasm.


“The Center conducts research for development on vegetables, from breeding and production, to their consumption and socio-economic impacts on communities. In addition to germplasm conservation and varietal development, other core activities includes genetic enhancement using molecular technologies, studies on nutritional security and human health, safe and sustainable production systems and crop protection, postharvest management, market opportunities and income-generation.”

Our Soroptimist group Lenn Berroya, Anna Lagman, Gladys Tiongco, Fe Amor Ilagan and myself took the bullet train from Taipei to Tainan. MECO, the Philipine post in Taiwan kindly sent Christie Tan to be our guide and interpreter. As you know, Taiwan is a Chinese-speaking country. It was an unusually comfortable ride which took only one hour and a half. We were met by Dr. George Luther, our IPM partner and host for the visit.

We were welcomed in their main office and ushered to their conference room where Oliver Hanschke, Information and Media Associate and Deputy Head, Communications, briefed us on what AVRDC is, its organization and functions.
We learned that the globally important crops are soy bean, pepper, tomato, mungbean, eggplant, brassica and allium (onions). They maintain as of June 30, 2008 56,136- vegetable germplasm, 42,826 are globally important crops and 13,310 are regionally important crops.

After the briefing we visited the gene bank where all vegetables germplasm are kept. Dr. Liwayway Engle of UPLB is head. She will soon retire after 17 years at AVRDC. It is an impressive laboratory under controlled temperature where seeds are kept in good condition.

They receive funding from many governments including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States. They also receive assistance from institutions, foundations and the private sector including the Asian Development Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Asia and Pacific Seeds Association, Farm Africa and the Organic Center for Education and Promotion.

AVRDC research focuses on health (producing safe vegetables and promoting the nutritional value of vegetables) wealth (more jobs and higher incomes by improving crops yield and marketing opportunities) and diversity (building on genetic diversity to improve the production of high quality vegetables).

Their development activities are done through capacity building (providing long-term and short-term training in vegetable production), collaboration (actively contributing to development partnerships and networks) and communications (providing extensive on line and hard copy information resources).

Then on to the Indigenous Vegetables (IV) a 6,300 sq. meter garden established in 2001. It was an interesting exercise as we relate to our IC gardens in the Philippines. From the IV garden, we had a sumptuous dinner at the shrimp house.

If my memory serves me right, the “ulang” shrimp from the Philippines is the main fare. They were able to breed, improve the grow-out “ulang” through aerators. We do not even have an “ulang” house in the Philippines. It is sad to realize that our “ulang” industry (lid not prosper here where it came from.

During dinner we met all the Filipino scientists in AVRDC. Edwin L. Javier, International Variety Development Coordinator; Robert dela Pena, Head, Molecular Breeding and Biotechnology; Manuel Palada, Vegetable Production/ Ecosystem Specialist, Head, Crops and Ecosystem Management Unit, they are all doctors by the way. We also met Dr. Paul A. Gniffke, plant breeder (pepper/allium) with whom I discussed the onion export of NOGROCOMA to Japan. He told me Taiwan is still exporting alliums or onions to Japan. Again our dream of exporting onions to Japan comes to mind. We also met the beautiful wife of George Luther. It was a scientific meeting in an atmosphere of informality and good dinner. It was a very fruitful visit for us.

It made me realize how our Filipino scientists, all doctors and graduates of UP Los Banos, help in maintaining the world vegetable center.

It was a short visit of four hours to AVRDC. But we were all impressed by what it does and its contribution to food security of the world. We had many ideas on what projects we can do together. Already MECO is showing interest on some projects. But that is another time and place. Do you know that “a single improved tomato can provide all your daily Vitamin A needs?”

TASK FORCE WAAR
Due to the collapse of the WTO talks, work will be continued by the International Trade Committee of NAFC.

Going to bilateral agreements and others, it has been a hectic but fulfilling month because somehow the crisis produced new hopes for farmers. There is good price for palay and farmers are now allowed to import.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 01, 2008, 10:38:25 AM
An alternative to cow’s milk


By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:46:00 09/30/2008


MANILA, Philippines -- Amid the scare caused by melamine-laced milk from China, one of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's aides is proposing a switch to goat's milk, which she said was the healthier alternative to cow's milk.

Citing studies by the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said goat's milk was next only to breast milk in terms of nutrition.

"Goat's milk is better than cow's milk. It's more pure. I am advocating that like brown rice," Fajardo, concurrent presidential assistant for Central Luzon, told reporters at the Palace Tuesday.

"This is a good opportunity for us. The crisis can be turned into an opportunity for these goat farmers," she added.

Fajardo acknowledged that the government would need to invest more to commercialize goat's milk. She said goats from other countries like
Australia, which produces more milk, could be imported to breed them with local goats.

She said goat's milk was initially more expensive compared to cow's milk, but once its industry was developed, goat's milk could be cheaper than cow's milk since goats required less maintenance compared to cows.

The government has banned milk products from China after hundreds of babies there fell ill while several others died after they consumed milk containing melamine, a toxic chemical that could cause kidney failure.

Also on Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque met an inter-agency group tasked to enforce the milk ban. The group includes representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Justice (DoJ), the Bureau of Customs, and the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG).

"The instruction is to file charges against the violators immediately," Fajardo said.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 14, 2008, 10:59:54 AM
Poultry manure not good for animal feed
// 11 nov 2008

Farmers should not use poultry droppings as livestock feed according to Dr John Moseki of the Department of Animal Health in Botswana.


At a one-day workshop on the livestock feed system in Botswana at Sebele Dr Moseki said the use of chicken manure as part of the ingredients for animal feed is prohibited as it could spread costly infectious diseases. He said instead of using poultry manure as animal feed, it should be used as fertilizers in the horticultural industry.

Dr Moseki said the livestock industry in Botswana plays an important role in the agricultural and economic health of the country hence the need to safeguard it at all cost.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 14, 2008, 11:19:28 AM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Barack Obama’s plans for US farmers
// 07 nov 2008

Now that Barack Obama has been named the 44th President of the United States, things are about the change. But what changes in agriculture can be expected?
 As stated on the website Cardy-Brown.com the biofuel policy was always a major point of difference between Obama and his republican rival John McCain. McCain supported lowering the US import tariff on ethanol which would potentially have led to an increase in Brazilian ethanol and a subsequent fall in demand for domestically produced corn-based ethanol. Brazilian ethanol is far more efficient, both economically in terms of production costs and environmentally in terms of the energy produced.

In contrast Barack Obama has repeatedly emphasised the importance of US energy independence as a driver of biofuels production in the US and is therefore likely to support domestically produced biofuels in favour of imports.

Subsidies
Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad reports that Obama is likely to increase the subsidies for agriculture (a typical Democratic approach). Obama also was pro the new farm bill, which was a major issue at the beginning of 2008. At the time, Obama said the new legislation was not perfect, but he supported the part where – mainly small – farmers get more subsidies from the government.

Environment
Regarding the environment, Obama recognises the problems of global warming and he mentioned in one of his speeches that he aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions with 80% in 2050 (compared to 1990). Obama was also the only candidate that addressed sustainable and ecological farming. His plans regarding this topic are not fully clear yet, but it is expected that more money will be reserved for conventional farmers who want to farm in an ecological way.

New Minister of Agriculture
Lastly, Obama wants more money for young people who want to pursue their career in agriculture. This is needed as the average farmer in the US is 55 years old. The next coming months, all this ideas has to become clearer. The first important step is to appoint a new Minister of Agriculture. Some people name Collin Peterson, a democrat from Minnesota for this position.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 15, 2008, 09:35:44 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates
US meat production seems to be down all round this month, falling slightly behind expectations, says the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) from the USDA.


Production Forecasts
Total U.S. meat production forecasts for 2008 and 2009 are reduced from last month, primarily reflecting lower pork and broiler production for 2008 and lower forecast pork production for 2009. Beef production is reduced fractionally based on the third quarter production estimate.

Pork production for 2008 is lowered because of the slower-than expected pace of hog slaughter this quarter. The broiler production forecast for 2008 is reduced as a higher third quarter estimate is more than offset by expectations of lower production in the fourth quarter. Hatchery data point to declining eggs set and bird weights have recently begun to decline.

Turkey production is raised on higher projected fourth-quarter production. Pork production forecasts for 2009 are reduced from last month as hog slaughter is expected to be lower due to smaller imports of hogs from Canada. There are no changes to other meats for 2009.

Export Forecasts
Export forecasts for beef and pork in both 2008 and 2009 are reduced as softer international demand and a stronger U.S. dollar are expected to dampen sales. Beef import forecasts are reduced from last month but pork imports are raised.

Broiler exports are increased for 2008 as stronger-than-expected shipments in the third quarter more than offset weaker sales in the fourth quarter. Broiler export forecasts are unchanged for 2009. Turkey exports for 2009 are reduced due to weakening demand and a stronger U.S. dollar.

Cattle and hog price forecasts for both 2008 and 2009 are lowered as a result of weaker exports. Broiler price forecasts are unchanged. Turkey price forecasts for 2008 and 2009 are lowered slightly due to higher domestic supplies.

Milk production forecasts for 2008 and 2009 are increased slightly from last month. Cow number forecasts are unchanged from last month. Forecast 2008 milk per cow is raised from last month due to higher-than-expected August and September estimates. Lower expected feed prices in 2009 should support slightly higher growth in milk per cow although gains are expected to remain below historical rates of increase. Weaker international markets will boost domestic supplies.

Skim solids stocks for 2009 are reduced as domestic use of skims is forecast higher albeit at lower prices. Sales of nonfat dry milk (NDM) to the CCC are forecast for 2008 and 2009.

Class III and Class IV prices for 2008 and 2009 are reduced from last month as most product price forecasts are lowered. Weak international demand and relatively large supples of NDM are expected to result in sharply lower forecast NDM prices. Although relatively weak expected demand could pressure butter prices, relatively higher values of Class III products versus Class IV products may encourage milk to flow to cheese production, tightening butter supplies and supporting prices.

Cheese prices are lowered reflecting larger expected supplies of cheese. Whey prices are forecast lower than last month on weaker demand. The all milk price is forecast lower this month, averaging $18.30 to $18.40 in 2008 and $15.30 to $16.20 in 2009.

Wheat
U.S. wheat supply and use projections are mostly unchanged this month with only a minor adjustment to seed use and shifts among classes on imports and exports. Seed use is lowered 2 million bushels reflecting early indications that 2009 winter wheat seedings will be lower than previously expected. The lateness of this year’s fall row crop harvest has limited planting opportunities for both soft red and hard red winter wheat. By-class changes to wheat imports and exports are made to reflect the pace of shipments to date.

The all wheat season-average farm price is projected at $6.55 to $7.15 per bushel, down on both ends of the range from last month’s $6.60 to $7.40 per bushel. Price prospects for the remainder of the marketing year are dampened by rising world supplies and continued declines in futures and cash prices. Global 2008/09 wheat production is projected at a record 682.4 million tons, up 2.2 million from last month. Increases for EU-27 and Russia more than offset reductions for Argentina, Australia, and China. EU-27 production is raised 3.4 million tons. Production is raised 2.0 million tons for Russia as harvest results confirm higher.

Argentina production is lowered 1.0 million tons as persistent early season dryness limited crop development and reduced yield potential more than previously expected. Australia production is reduced 1.5 million tons as dryness continued through October in the southern growing areas reducing expected yields and harvested area. Partly offsetting were timely October rains in Western Australia that supported crop heading and grain fill. Production is lowered 1.0 million tons for China as 2008/09 area and yield adjustments are made in line with revisions to 2006/07 and 2007/08. Recently released estimates by China’s National Bureau of Statistics raised 2006/07 and 2007/08 area and lowered 2007/08 production, reducing yields in both years.

Afghanistan production estimates for 2006/07 and 2007/08 are also revised lower this month. World wheat imports and exports for 2008/09 are both raised this month. Imports are raised 0.5 million tons for Pakistan and increased 0.7 million tons for neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan exports are raised 1.4 million tons reflecting higher expected border trade in wheat flour especially with Afghanistan as that country struggles to meet its food needs with this year’s drought-reduced crop.

Exports are increased 1.0 million tons for EU-27 with higher production and larger supplies. Partly offsetting are export reductions of 1.2 million tons for Argentina and 0.5 million tons for Australia on lower production and reduced supplies in both countries. World wheat consumption is raised 0.9 million tons for 2008/09 reflecting higher expected consumption for Afghanistan and Russia. Record production in Russia is expected to strainem storage and handling capacity, boosting product and quality losses and adding to domestic disappearance. Global ending stocks for 2008/09 are raised 0.8 million tons this month with increases for EU-27 and Russia mostly offset by reductions for Australia, China, and Pakistan.

Coarse Grains
U.S. feed grain supplies for 2008/09 are projected lower as compared with last month’s revised forecasts. The November Crop Production report lowers forecast U.S. corn production 13 million bushels. Corn exports are lowered 50 million bushels reflecting slower export sales and shipments and increased foreign competition. Ending stocks are raised 36 million bushels.

The season-average farm price is projected at $4.00 to $4.80 per bushel, down on each end of the range from the previous $4.25 to $5.25 per bushel. Declines in futures and cash prices continue to undermine prospects for the 2008/09 season-average price received by producers. Rising world coarse grain supplies and reduced prospects for global feeding are also expected to pressure U.S. feed grain prices.

Corn supply and use estimates for 2007/08 are revised this month. Imports are raised 2 million bushels and exports are raised 1 million bushels based on August trade data from the U.S. Bureau of Census. Ethanol corn use is raised 26 million bushels on higher-than-expected August ethanol production reported by the Energy Information Administration. Feed and residual use is lowered 25 million bushels.

U.S. sorghum production for 2008/09 is forecast 7 million bushels lower this month. Feed and residual use is lowered 5 million bushels with the reduction in supplies. Ending stocks are projected 2 million bushels lower than in the previous forecast. The season-average farm price is projected at $3.40 to $4.20 per bushel, down from $3.70 to $4.70 per bushel. Price projections are also lowered for barley and oats, but by lesser amounts.

Global coarse grain supplies are projected 5.6 million tons higher this month with beginning stocks raised 4.1 million tons and production raised 1.5 million tons. Much of the increase in beginning stocks reflects reduced 2007/08 corn feed use and exports for Brazil.

Most of the increase in production is from higher 2008/09 coarse grain production in EU-27 and FSU-12. Global corn production is raised 0.3 million tons with increases for EU-27, Russia, and Ukraine more than offsetting reductions for Argentina and the United States. EU-27 coarse grain production is raised 2.5 million tons with increases for barley, mixed grains, rye, corn, and oats.

Russia corn and barley production are raised 0.7 million tons and 0.5 million tons, respectively, based on harvest results. Argentina corn production is lowered 1.0 million tons on lower expected harvested area as lack of timely rainfall reduced plantings. Argentina barley production is lowered 0.4 million tons as drought, frost, and hail damage reduce expected harvested area and yields. Barley production is also lowered 1.0 million tons for Australia as dryness across southeastern growing areas reduce area and yield prospects.

World coarse grain imports and exports for 2008/09 are nearly unchanged this month. Global coarse grain feeding is projected lower with corn feeding reduced 2.6 million tons. Global barley feeding is also reduced 1.3 million tons this month. Global coarse grain stocks for 2008/09 are projected higher this month with corn ending stocks raised 4.6 million tons and barley ending stocks raised 1.1 million tons.

Oilseeds
Total U.S. oilseed production is projected at 88.2 million tons, down 0.5 million tons due to lower soybean and cottonseed production. Soybean production is forecast at 2.921 billion bushels, down 17 million bushels based on a lower soybean yield of 39.3 bushels per acre. Soybean crush is reduced 15 million to 1.745 billion bushels due to lower values for soybean oil and soybean meal. Soybean ending stocks are unchanged at 205 million bushels.

Soybean and product price forecasts are all reduced this month. The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2008/09 is projected at $9.10 to $10.60 per bushel, down 45 cents on both ends of the range reflecting lower cash and futures prices. Soybean meal prices are projected at $255 to $315 per short ton, down $5 on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are projected at 37.5 to 41.5 cents per pound, down 6.5 cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2008/09 is projected at 417.8 million tons, down 1.3 million tons from last month. Foreign production is reduced 0.7 million tons as lower soybean and cottonseed production is only partly offset by higher rapeseed and sunflowerseed production. Brazil soybean production is projected at 60 million tons, down 2.5 million tons from the previous forecast due to reduced area and yield. Despite a strengthening U.S. dollar that has mostly offset the effect of declining soybean prices, recent Brazilian government surveys indicate a lower area projection due to higher costs and reduced credit availability. Global rapeseed production is projected higher mainly due to an increase for China.

Recently released government statistics indicate higher rapeseed area, resulting in a 0.5 million ton increase in production to 11.5 million tons. Rapeseed production is projected 0.2 million tons lower for Australia due to lower yields related to excessively dry conditions in some growing areas. Sunflowerseed production is raised for both Ukraine and Russia due to higher-than-expected yields. Sunflowerseed production is also raised for EU-27.

Other changes include higher soybean production for China and EU-27, lower peanut production for China, and lower cottonseed production for Brazil.

Sugar
Projected 2008/09 U.S. sugar supply is increased 251,000 short tons, raw value, from last month. Carry-in stocks are the final ending stocks reported for 2007/08. Beet sugar production for 2008/09 is increased 25,000 tons based on the larger forecast sugarbeet crop. Tariff rate quota (TRQ) imports are increased 75,000 tons to reflect the re-allocation of Mexico’s share of the refined sugar quota announced on August 6.

Partially offsetting, the TRQ shortfall is increased 30,000 tons based on new information about sugar supply and demand in quota holding countries. Ending stocks are raised 251,000 tons from last month to 907,000 tons, down 783,000 tons from last year. For 2007/08, year-end data from processors published in Sweetener Market Data (SMD) raise ending stocks 181,000 tons from last month. With other final data adding marginal changes to 2007/08 supply and use, the increase in reported ending stocks results in a miscellaneous statistical discrepancy of -269,000 tons on the use side.

This amount comprises three miscellaneous uses in SMD (inventory adjustments, refining losses, and intra-industry transfers) and the difference between imports recorded in SMD and official imports (from U.S. Customs Service and the Census Bureau). The difference in import reporting accounts for 86 percent of the statistical discrepancy
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 16, 2008, 11:55:27 AM
Friday, October 24, 2008Print This Page
Oceans Over-fished to Feed Livestock
AUSTRALIA - Fishing to produce fish meal as a feed ingredient for farmed fish, pigs and poultry is unsustainable, new research has found.



Factory-farmed fish, pigs and poultry are consuming 28 million tonnes of fish a year, or roughly six times the amount of seafood eaten by Americans, according to new research reported by Canberra Times.

A nine-year study by the University of British Columbia has found that 90 per cent of small fish caught in the world's oceans every year such as anchovies, sardines and mackerel are processed to make fish meal and fish oil.

They are used as a cheap feed for aquaculture (including farmed Atlantic salmon, prawns and trout), poultry, pigs and animals bred for the fur industry.


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"The study estimates that pigs and poultry around the world consume more than twice as much seafood as the Japanese eat." 

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The study's findings, to be published next month, warn this use is not sustainable, given current rates of global overfishing and increasing threats to global food security.

University of Columbia senior researcher Jacqueline Alder said, "Society should demand that we stop wasting these fish on farmed fish, pigs, and poultry.

"Although feeds derived from soy and other land-based crops are available and are used, fish meal and fish oil have skyrocketed in popularity because forage fish are easy to catch in large numbers and, hence, relatively inexpensive."

Dr Alder, who was previously a researcher at James Cook University in Townsville, warns that the excessive harvesting of forage fish is "squandering a precious food resource for humans and disregarding the serious overfishing crisis in our oceans".

According to the study, small forage fish account for 37 per cent, or 31.5 million tonnes, of all fish taken from the world's oceans each year. Of this amount, 90 per cent is processed into fish meal and fish oil.

Current figures show 46 per cent of fish meal and fish oil is used as feed for aquaculture, 24 per cent for pig feed and 22 per cent for poultry.

The study estimates that pigs and poultry around the world consume more than twice as much seafood as the Japanese eat.

The farm animals eat more than six times the amount consumed in the United States.

Fisheries targeting forage fish are concentrated in four areas of the world the western coast of South America, northern Europe, the Atlantic seaboard of the US, and Alaska. Scientists have raised concerns that a 50 per cent increase in global aquaculture in the past 10 years will seriously affect marine ecosystems already under threat from acidification of the oceans caused by climate change. Species dependent on forage fish include penguins, gulls, cormorants, puffins, dolphins and right whales.

The study says little is known about the role of forage fish in marine ecosystems and few management plans exist for sustainable fishing of these key marine food-web species.

Neither are there plans to to deal with a growing global human demand for fish-oil supplements, thought to reduce the risk of dementia.

The US-based Pew Institute for Ocean Science Institute, which funded the research, plans to set up a global taskforce of leading scientists and fisheries policy experts to find new ways of making forage fisheries more sustainable.

The institute's executive director, Dr Ellen Pikitch, told Canberra Times, "It defies reason to drain the ocean of small, wild fishes that could be directly consumed by people in order to produce a lesser quantity of farmed fish."

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 21, 2008, 11:12:16 AM
[18 November 2008] Asia’s growing economies has helped create an additional two million middle class consumers a month in the world’s developing countries, who represent potential first time consumers of animal protein. Commending Australia’s red meat industry for the resilience it has shown during a period of high input costs and economic uncertainty Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Chairman Don Heatley  said Australian red meat exporters have captured a good share of the emerging markets, with beef exports to Russia, Indonesia, and the Philippines while sheepmeat exports to China are increasing significantly.He urged the industry to continue to make the most of the opportunities arising as a result of the growing Asian economies, as these markets are the answer to export growth.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 02, 2008, 09:04:32 AM
Record Harvest but Troubles Loom Ahead
GLOBAL - World cereal production is expected to hit a new record this year as high prices boosted plantings under generally favorable weather conditions, FAO said today in the latest issue of its Food Outlook, a bi-annual commodity publication.

 

World cereal production is forecast to be large enough to meet anticipated utilization in the short-run, and help replenish much depleted global stocks.

But the agency warned that the current financial crisis will affect agricultural sectors in many countries negatively, including those in the developing world.

Greater uncertainty
This year's record cereal harvest and the recent fall in food prices should, therefore, not create a false sense of security, said Concepcion Calpe, one of the report's main authors.

"For example, if the current price volatility and liquidity conditions prevail in 2008/09, plantings and output could be affected to such an extent that a new price surge might take place in 2009/10, unleashing even more severe food crises than those experienced recently," Calpe said.

"The financial crisis of the last few months has amplified downward price movements, contributed to tighten credit markets, and introduced greater uncertainty about next year's prospects, so that many producers are adopting very conservative planting decisions," Calpe said.

The report stresses that most of the recovery in cereal production took place in developed countries, where farmers were in a better position to respond to high prices. Developing countries, on the contrary, were largely limited in their capacity to respond to high prices by supply side constraints on their agricultural sectors.

Implications for the poor
The sharp 2007/2008 rise in food prices has increased the number of undernourished people in the world to an estimated 923 million. Lower international commodity prices have not yet translated into lower domestic food prices in most low income countries.

"There is a real risk that as a consequence of the current world economic problems people will have to reduce their food intake and the number of hungry could rise further," Calpe said.

Long-term challenges
The report says that world agriculture is facing serious long-term issues and challenges that need to be urgently addressed. These include land and water constraints, low investments in rural infrastructure and agricultural research, expensive agricultural inputs relative to farm-gate prices, and little adaptation to climate change.

To feed a world population of more than nine billion people by 2050 (around six billion today) global food production must nearly double.

Population growth will take place mostly in developing countries and for the greater part in urban areas. A shrinking rural work force will thus have to be much more productive. This will require more investments in agriculture, machinery, tractors, water pumps, combine harvesters etc., as well as more skilled, better-trained farmers and more efficient supply chain.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 03, 2008, 09:55:20 AM
Milk Crisis Spills Out on All Food Sectors
CHINA - The melamine milk scandal had devastated Chinese dairy exports, but now other food sectors are beginning to feel the aftershock.



The growth in agricultural and meat products' exported from Qingdao fell to 1.9 percent in October from a monthly average of 15 percent in the first nine months of the year.

The figure is important because Qingdao is a major port in the country's largest agricultural product exporting province of Shandong.

The export growth of agricultural products from Yantai, another big port in Shandong, dropped from 12 percent in September to 3.2 percent in October. Yantai's exports to the US grew by only 3.6 percent in October, compared with 27 percent in August.

Companies in Guangzhou exported only 38 tons of frozen fish in October, down 64 percent year-on-year. And poultry exports from the city dropped 63 percent to 106,550 pieces, local Customs figures showed.

"The tainted-milk scandal has dealt a heavy blow to the 'made-in-China' label, and the global financial crisis has worsened the situation," said Zhao Xinzhi, an official with the Yantai foreign trade and economics bureau.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 05, 2008, 07:52:54 AM
Philippine soybean meal imports rising
// 04 dec 2008

Philippine imports of soybean meal and wheat will likely increase next year (2009) on the back of an expected recovery in the livestock sector, a former official of Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. said.


"With lower feed prices, lower raw material prices [and] the expected rebound of the animal sector, we see more importation of soybean meal next year," said Ric Pinca, former association vice president. "I would conservatively place it at 1.6 million metric tons."

Soybean meal and wheat are used as ingredients for animal feeds.Pinca said soybean meal imports are expected to bounce back to 1.6 million metric tons from 1.3 million this year because of the low cost of soybean meal at this time.

In the market, soybean meal prices now stand at P22-P23 a kilo, from P28-P30 a kilo in August. "I would expect more wheat to come in because of the zero duty recently imposed," Pinca said. "Wheat would replace corn in the formulation of the feeds."

He, however, declined to cite specific figures since the importation of wheat would depend on the corn yield next year. In 2009, the government expects corn production to reach a hefty 7.8 million metric tons.

Through Executive Order No. 756, the government has temporarily removed a 7.0-percent tariff on feedwheat imports for the next six months. Corn farmers have since expressed their apprehension over the government’s decision, as feed millers and traders have begun placing orders totaling more than 200,000 metric tons of feedwheat to be delivered until early 2009.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 06, 2008, 06:29:40 AM
How Real is the Threat of Mycotoxins for Feed and Animal Producers in Asia? (Part 1)
A recent survey of mycotoxins in Asian grains shed some light on this dangerous compound on animal feeds.

Mycotoxins are now well established as dangerous compounds in animal feed, where they cause a multitude of confusing symptoms. These typically cause poor performance and can result in disease, with the added danger of being passed into the human food chain via meat, offal and milk.

As with any - natural toxic compound that is influenced by environment and climate, it is important to keep a regular check on the current situation.

This helps feed manufacturers to be prepared to control the potential problems in viva by applying a suitably efficacious binder, by blending to reduce levels of raw materials sourced from especially problematic regions or by avoiding purchasing particularly contaminated batches.

Mycotoxin survey results
Alltech has conducted a mycotoxin survey of Asian grains and complete feeds. The Alltech survey involved analysis of approximately 800 samples collected mainly from China and SouthEast Asia between January 2006 and December 2007, and included corn and its by-products, seed meals, other grain by-products and complete feeds. Samples were subjected to analysis for aflatoxin, T-2 toxin, zearalenone (ZEA), ochratoxin, fumonisin and Deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) using ELISA methods (Chen, 2007).

The result of the survey showed that the main problems in the Asian region were from ZEA, DON, fumonisin and aflatoxin. Corn is the main source of contamination of ZEA, fumonisin, DON, and aflatoxin. Corn by-products, such as DDGS, corn gluten meal, and corn germ meal, could contaminated with high level of ZEA, fumonisin, DON, and ochratoxin. Soybean meal is in general low in mycotoxins, except for ZEA. However, contamination of mycotoxins in soybean meal is highly dependent upon the level of soy hulls, because sov hulls are more concentrated with mycotoxins. Hence, the higher the level of soy hulls, the higher the level of mycotoxins in soybean meal. Usually corn, soybean meal, and corn byproducts account for more than 70% of a diet. As the result, complete feed is contaminated with mainly ZEA, fumonisin, DON, and aflatoxin. The analytical survey clearly demonstrated that the major threats were from ZEA, DON, fumonisins and aflatoxin, whereas T-2 occurrence was relatively lower. They also confirmed that many samples were contaminated with more than one toxin, which co-existed at high levels in some samples. By-products typically contained much higher levels of toxin contamination compared to whole raw materials.

Fusarium mycotoxins are the biggest challenge

Fusarium mycotoxins are economically the most significant mycotoxins in foods and feed on a global scale. They remain a key threat to animal health and performance, a threat that has been isolated in samples from all 2005, 2006 and 2007 harvests. The main Fusarium toxins of concern for animal feed compounders and producers include ZEA, fumonisins, and DON, with most of these experiencing an increase in average level and incidence of contamination from 2006 to 2007. Aflatoxin remains a concern, but is limited to certain countries, such as India and countries in South East Asia.

The surveys also confirmed the n continuing problem of contamination ot multiple mycotoxins in single samples, an extra complicating problem that r researchers have shown has a cumulative effect in terms ‘of severity and complexity of symptoms in affected animals. By-products show particularly high levels of toxins, which is not surprising as many of them are derived from either particularly vulnerable parts of the grain or the toxins become concentrated due to processing.

In order to control potential intoxication in animals given contaminated feed formulated, it is essential to use a proven broad spectrum adsorbent. The effectiveness of a mycotoxin binder can be verified based on a seven-point check-list:

1. Has the efficacy of the active component been verified by specialist researchers?
2. Does it have a low effective inclusion rate suitable for animal feed applications?
3. Is it stable over a wide pH range?
4. Does it demonstrate a good capacity to adsorb high concentrations of mycotoxins?
5. Is there a high affinity to adsorb low concentrations of mycotoxins?
6. Has the chemical interaction between mycotoxin and adsorbent been established?
7. Is there proven and published in-vivo data?

To be continued…

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 10, 2008, 11:21:19 AM
10 December 2008] The local governments of Mandaue City in the Philippines and of three municipalities are revving up their respective slaughterhouse in tandem with the Department of Agriculture as part of the DA's Meat Establishment Improvement Program (MEIP) that aims to upgrade existing abattoirs to national standards and transform the country into a major producer of meat and meat products in Southeast Asia. Under the agreement, the National Meat Inspection Service will provide technical and financial assistance to these local government units to help them improve their slaughterhouses so that they can comply with Good Manufacturing Practices and Sanitation Standard Operation Procedure set by the DA.
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Philippine soybean meal imports rising
[9 December 2008] The Philippine is likely to import more soybean meal and wheat next year to support the expected recovery in the livestock sector. Soybean meal imports are expected to reach 1.6 million tonnes from 1.3 million this year. Wheat import are due to gain as a result of 7% import duty on the grain being temporarily abolished. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 10, 2008, 11:26:03 AM
Dioxins spread to Irish beef farms
// 09 dec 2008

Three Irish beef farms have been contaminated with the same toxic dioxins that have devastated the country's pig meat industry, food safety chiefs confirmed today (9 December).

 
The levels of dioxins found in the beef were two to three times above safe limits, compared to 200 times in some pig meat." This would make the samples technically non-compliant but not at a level that would pose any public health concern," said the Irish agriculture minister, Brendan Smith.

Tests were carried out on 11 herds in the Irish Republic, eight of which were given the all-clear. Earlier, the Food Standards Agency said contaminated pig feed from the republic had been fed to herds of cattle on eight farms in Northern Ireland.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 13, 2008, 09:58:44 AM
Friday, December 12, 2008Print This Page
MEPs Probe Reasons Behind World Food Crisis
EU - The world is facing "an acute food crisis". That was the verdict of a report adopted by MEPs in the Agriculture Committee on 8 December.





Tipping the scales: the value and price of food is a source of sharp debateAccording to the report, the price of wheat - a vital staple foodstuff - has rocketed 180 per cent in just two years.

Mr Capoulas Santos, 57, a former teacher and Socialist member of the Parliament since 2004, said that although the situation had improved, food markets are very "volatile". Speaking to us in his office in Brussels he said, "We cannot say if prices will remain at the same high level."

"Environmental legislation is driving down food production"
Mairead McGuinness was the first women to graduate from University College Dublin in Agricultural economics. The 49-year old is a member of the centre right EPP-ED group in the Parliament.

She said that trends across the continent tended to increase prices: "In the Europe Union we are a high priced market because we demand high standards of food producers and we have decided to produce agricultural and food products in a particular way."

On the issue of whether producing more food is the answer, the former journalist was sceptical: "I am not sure that any of the policies we have currently would allow more food to be produced in Europe because all the environmental legislation is driving down food production and we're trying to do less damage to the environment."

Her report says "EU legislation, (e.g. on plant protection products), may have a dramatic impact by reducing the tools available to farmers to maximise yields and may, in effect, lead to a dramatic reduction in EU farm output, particularly in the grain sector."

Europe and the developing world
As food prices rise, the extent to which Europe should use its wealth and large agriculture budget to help the developing world has been the subject of fierce debate.

Earlier in December, MEPs approved €1 billion in farm aid for practical things like seeds and fertilizers to help to poor farmers in the developing world.

The EU is the biggest aid giver in the world, with 60 per cent of all development aid coming from European countries in the Union, but farm aid has fallen and now accounts for only 3 per cent of development aid, down from 17 per cent in the 1980's.

Ms McGuinness said that if Europe had invested in more projects in the developing world 20 years ago, the €1 billion would not have been needed.

Food stockpiles too low
Another issue highlighted by the report and the two MEPs is the level of global stocks of food available for an emergency. Just over five years ago, the world could have fed itself for over four months if all food supplies were interrupted.

The present situation is that the world has just over one month of surplus food. Ms McGuinness thinks this situation is "extraordinary" and a "bad policy" due to the "sudden twists nature can take".

For Mr Capoulas Santos the CAP itself is not to blame for the falling food stocks, rather it is "market instability and unfavourable climatic conditions".

The real price of food and the relative interests of those who eat and grow the food has been a political issue for centuries. Ms McGuinness put it like this: "The balance has to be struck between a fair price to a producer of food to keep them in the business of growing and the consumer interest which is the access to good value food."

Ms McGuinness added a last point saying "We have to realise that there is a price to be paid for good food and quality and we are going to have to pay that price."
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 01, 2009, 03:24:03 AM
Melamine misery extends into seafood
// 31 dec 2008

Some scientists and consumer advocates are raising concerns that fish from China might also be contaminated with melamine.

China is the world's largest producer of farm-raised seafood, exporting billions of dollars worth of shrimp, catfish, tilapia, salmon and other fish.

The US imported about $2 billion worth of seafood products from China in 2007, almost double the volume of four years earlier, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

But industry experts and businesspeople in China say melamine has been routinely added into fish and animal feed to artificially boost protein readings.

And new research suggests that, unlike in cows and pigs, the edible flesh in fish that have been fed melamine contains residue of the nitrogen-rich substance.

Some American fish importers are voluntarily testing for melamine, but the FDA, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of imported fish, currently doesn't require seafood products to be screened for melamine. Yet research from its own scientists has raised a warning flag.

High levels found
Laboratory studies in the U.S. of melamine-fed catfish, trout, tilapia and salmon by the FDA's Animal Drugs Research Center found that fish tissues had melamine concentrations of up to 200 parts per million.

That's 80 times the maximum "tolerable" amount set by the FDA for safe consumption.

Scientists said testing of melamine in farm-raised fish from China should be made mandatory for precisely that reason: a lack of information about melamine levels in Chinese feed and fish.

Fang Shijun, who has monitored the melamine problem in China for several years, says he believes the adulterated products are now being supplied only by small operators, which abound there.

Like those who added melamine to milk and diluted it with water to increase profits, feed businesses can sell more by substituting melamine for real protein sources, especially with raw material costs having soared in recent years
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 07, 2009, 06:20:28 AM
 Zhongpin's new facility starts operations
[7 January 2009] Zhongpin commenced production at its new chilled and frozen pork facility in Yongcheng City, eastern Henan Province on January 3. This has allowed the company to increase its annual production capacity for chilled and frozen pork to 498,760 tonnes. Zongpin invested approximately USD 17 million in this facility which has a total annual production capacity of 80,000 tonnes. Approximately 75% of the facility's production capacity is dedicated to the production of chilled pork and 25% to the production of frozen pork. Zhongpin expects the new facility to achieve an over 60% utilization rate by the second quarter of 2009.
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China's agriculture insurance sees triple-digit growth
[7 January 2009] China's agriculture insurance income soared 112% to CNY 10.54 billion (USD 1.54 billion) as of November last year, according to China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). CIRC Chairman Wu Dingfu said China will further develop agricultural insurance in 2009, which was extended to 16 provinces last year and the crop insurance will be exxtended to all major producing regions this year.
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Myanmar to export corn to China
[7 January 2009] Myanmar will export 200,000 tonnes of corn to China in the 2009/2010 financial year according to a deal made at a recent meeting of the Myanmar-China Border Trade Joint Committee. China-Myanmar bilateral trade rose 40% from USD 1.46 billion in 2006 to USD2.057 billion in 2007. The bilateral trade in the first 11 months of 2008 stood at USD 2.038 billion USD, up 30.3%.
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Grain output rises in Vietnam
[7 January 2009] Vietnam's total grain output rose 7.5% in 2008 to 43.16 million metric tonnes, said the government of Vietnam. Of the total, the country's unhusked rice output rose 7.5% to a record 38.6 million tonnes. Vietnam earned USD 6.2 billion from exporting agricultural products and seafood in the year, up 22.7% on year. Vietnam targets to export 4 million tons of foodgrains in 2009.
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Indonesia to achieve meat self-sufficiency in 2015
[6 January 2009] The Indonesian Farmers Association has predicted that Indonesia will only be able to achieve meat self-sufficiency in 2015, instead of 2010 as the government has targeted.Chairman of the association’s advisory council Siswono Yudhohusodo said from 2002-2006 the average increase in meat imports was recorded at 26.65% per annum while that of innards reached 111.8%. Mr Siswono said that in 2002 Indonesia’s beef imports were only 11,474 tonnes but in 2006 it reached 25,949 tonnes while that of innards were respectively recorded at 80.8 tonnes and 470.6 tonnes.
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Live bird price hike in India
[6 January 2009] The live bird price remained high in South India in the last week of December as producers cut back parent stock and broiler placements. The live bird price was quoted at INR 56-58/kg (USD 1.2-1.26), while the production cost ranged from INR 39-42/kg (USD 0.85-0.91). High production cost of broilers was also a result of soybean meal prices that went up to INR 16,000/tonne (USD 347.8). Corn price however, dropped by 15% from December's average to INR 7650-7700/tonne (USD 166.3-167.4) in the last week of the month.
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Vietnam needs better plan for agriculture
[6 January 2009] Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has instructed the country’s agriculture sector to improve forecasts and use statistics to boost production and exports of agricultural products in 2009.  He said 2009 will be harsh for Vietnam’s agriculture sector. The premier praised the agriculture sector for its remarkable growth in 2008, despite difficulties brought on by rising input costs and bad weather conditions.
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Cheaper chicken for lunar new year
[6 January 2009] A glut in the market will ensure that Malaysian consumers are able to buy chicken at between MYR 6.50 - 7.50 (USD 1.80- 2.08) per kilo right up to the lunar New Year celebration. The 10-15% excess has been attributed to lower demand from restaurants, hawkers and consumers.
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Beijing Huadu’s cooked chicken exports grow
[5 January 2009] Despite the global financial crisis, cooked chicken meat exports from Beijing Huadu Group, one of China’s top broiler integrators, rose 40% for the fourth quarter last year to 5000 tonnes. Beijing Huadu General Manager Mr She Feng attributed the growth to the efforts in traceability and food safety. The actual slaughter capacity during the fourth quarter remained at 100,000 chickens with the operation of its newly established processing plant in Hebei province. The group exported about 10,000 tonnes of cooked chicken meat in 2007, mainly to Japan, Korea and Central Asia.
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CPI predicts good revenue for 2008
[5 January 2009] Charoen Pokphand Indonesia (CPI) predicts that its net profits will grow by more than two fold on the back of more sales and higher selling prices in 2008.The company was confident that it would book IDR 450 billion (USD 47.52 million) in net profits, up from IDR 187 billion (USD 16.8 million) last year.Another factor that is likely to boost net profits was the higher prices for animal feed and for day-old chicks this year, as well as cost efficiency.
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China exports rabbit meat to Korea
[5 January 2009] South Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recently approved the Shandong-based Haida Foods as the first qualified rabbit meat exporter to Korea. Haida Foods has a total slaughter capacity of 18 million rabbits per year and used to export 40% of its whole rabbit meat to the EU and it now exports mainly boneless rabbit meat to South Korea.
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Kedah to venture into meat trade
[5 January 2009] Malaysia's Kedah Corporation hopes to venture into the meat trading business in Australia, starting with the export of Halal beef throughout Southeast Asia, with particular interest in Indonesia. The Corporation has a client in Indonesia, who needs 200 tonnes of fresh beef a day from Australia.Industry insiders say the sovereign funds of Asia are strong but the meat trade is a tough trade.
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Vietnam moves ducks into shed
[2 January 2009] Vietnam is supporting owners of free range ducks in the Mekong Delta to raise them in closed farms to improve biosecurity and prevent them from the bird flu. Livestock authorities in An Giang said the province has over 2.2 million ducks, 13% of which is farmed in sheds. An Giang  aims to increase the number of farmed ducks to 50% by the end of 2008. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the delta used to have 18-20 million ducks in its 10 provinces and most of them are raised in the open and feed on rice left-over from the paddy fields. But since the bird flu hit Vietnam in 2004, the ministry reported that over 10 million ducks in the Mekong Delta were killed by the disease or culled to contain the outbreak. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 09, 2009, 01:50:25 PM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Million-dollar farms in the new century
// 05 jan 2009

A new report from the Economic Research Service shows that small farms still represent the majority of farming in the US, but the number of million-dollar farms is increasing rapidly.

 
Small farms (those with annual sales less than $250,000) represent a large majority of US farms (92%), but account for a relatively small share of total farm production (23%).

The report from the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the USDA examines the other end of the size spectrum, where a large percentage of farm production occurs, specifically on "million-dollar farms" whose annual sales total $1 million or more.

The 35,100 million-dollar farms reported in 2006—2% of all US farms—accounted for 48% of the sales of US agricultural products.

Shift in farm sales distribution
Major shifts occurred in the distribution of gross farm sales between the 1982 and 2002 Censuses of Agriculture, with sales measured in constant 2002 dollars.

Farms with sales of $1 million or more doubled their share of total US farm sales from 23% in 1982 to 48% in 2002. Some of these million-dollar farms are relatively recent entrants to farming, while others existed as far back as 1978. The shift in production to million-dollar farms is likely to continue. Average operating profit margins increase with sales, reflecting economies of size in farming.

As a result, million-dollar farms—and farms growing to that size—have a competitive advantage relative to smaller farms. The shift in production may eventually slow, however, once million-dollar farms’ shares of the commodities most amenable to large-scale production reach their upper limits.

No market power
Million-dollar farms do not have market power. The shift in farm production to million-dollar farms reflects a long-term concentration of farm production on fewer farms that has been underway since the beginning of the 20th century.

However, there are still too many million-dollar farms—just over 35,000—for any single farm to dominate agriculture or the production of specific commodities.

Small share in subsidies
Million-dollar farms receive a small share of Government payments. Most Government payments are commodity-related or targeted at current or past production of specific commodities, largely feed and food grains, cotton, and oilseeds. Relatively few million-dollar farms—particularly those with sales of $5 million or more—specialize in crops covered by commodity programs.

As a result, million-dollar farms received only 16% of US Government payments in 2006, a small share compared with their 48% share of gross sales, although disproportionately large compared with their 2% share of all farms.

Implications drawn
Three significant implications regarding million-dollar farms can be drawn from the information presented:

1. The shift in production to million-dollar farms is likely to continue. As long as the operating profit margin is proportional to sales class, million-dollar farms will have a competitive advantage. The shift in production may eventually slow, however, once million-dollar farms’ shares of the commodities most amenable to large-scale production reach their upper limits.
2. There are still a sufficient number of million-dollar farms to prevent individual farms’ domination agriculture or individual commodities. Concentration of production, however, may be a more significant concern when the owners of commodities—which include production contractors—are considered, rather than just the farms producing them.
3. Most million-dollar farms are family operations, although the operator and spouse supply only a small fraction of the labour. Direct ownership of million-dollar farms by non-farm corporations is infrequent, but such corporations are frequently involved with million-dollar farms through contracting
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 09, 2009, 01:52:58 PM
Animal Feed & Animal Nutrition News Aflatoxin kills hundreds of Taiwanese dogs
// 06 jan 2009

Agricultural authorities in Taiwan have ordered a local firm to destroy contaminated dog feed after it was suspected to have killed more than 300 stray dogs.

 
Ji-Tai Forage Company imported 1,500 tonnes of corn from Pakistan in November, of which 50 tonnes were used to make dog feed and 1,450 tonnes to make pig feed. The deaths of hundreds of stray dogs at two shelters in northern Taipei late last year prompted the Council of Agriculture to investigate.

Samples taken from the dog food showed it contained up to 150 ppb (parts per billion) of aflatoxin, a chemical produced by a fungus, which causes severe liver damage in animals. Dogs are very sensitive to aflatoxins. International allowable levels of aflatoxin for dogs stand at around 20 ppb.

Around 30 tonnes of the tainted dog feed were retrieved and destroyed but 20 tonnes, and 1,450 tonnes of pig feed, have been consumed. Pigs are less susceptible for the mycotoxin. Allowable levels of aflatoxin for pig feed are 200 ppb.

The council said it would step up its tests of corn imports from Pakistan to prevent any recurrence.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 21, 2009, 10:28:18 AM
Japan study group says cloned animals safe for food
Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:20am EST  Email | Print | Share| Reprints | Single Page[-] Text
TOKYO (Reuters) - A study group for Japan's top safety watchdog said cloned animals are safe for food, the first step in a series of decisions needed before the watchdog makes recommendations to the government.

With several meetings pending by a higher-level committee of experts, it will take months before the Food Safety Commission reports its assessment on the safety of food in production using the controversial reproductive technology.

The United States in January last year opened the door to bringing meat and milk from cloned cattle, hogs and goats and their offspring into the food supply.

"The working group focused on the assessment of the health of cloned cattle and hogs. The assumption of their discussion was that if such animals are healthy, food made from them would be safe," said Kazuo Funasaka, a spokesman at the commission, said on Tuesday.

"Their conclusion is that based on the scientific knowledge and information available at present, such food is as safe as cattle and hogs bred conventionally," he said.

Cloning animals is considered a key technology to improve efficiency in livestock production.

Japan's health ministry asked the commission in April 2008 for its assessment on safety of such food.

Japan's government has had to face fierce criticism from consumers over its handling of tainted imported rice, and a series of food scandals last year have made consumers even more cautious about food from cloned animals.

But Japan was among the first countries to produce cloned animals. It bred cloned cattle in 1998 and the cumulative total of such cattle now totals more than 550. It also breeds cloned hogs and goats, all for research purposes.

(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 22, 2009, 08:18:46 AM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009Print This Page
Sadia to Reduce Work Force
BRAZIL - Brazilian meat processing giant, Sadia, is cutting jobs.



Meatingplace reports that meat processor, Sadia S.A., based in Santa Catarina state, will cut 350 administrative jobs.

Company chairman, Luiz Furlan, gave the news to local financial newspaper, Valor Economico in an interview. The cuts will save about $18 million a year.

Sadia, one of Brazil's largest meat processors and an international player in beef, pork, chicken and turkey, suffered large losses on foreign exchange futures positions last year when the US dollar appreciated against the Brazilian real.

Analysts are expecting the company to report its first annual net loss in 2008, according to Dow Jones.

The company's strategic focus has moved increasingly towards internationalization and producing and distributing processed frozen and chilled foods. Its web site reports exports close to 1,000 items to more than 100 countries, according to Meatingplace.




Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 23, 2009, 07:05:24 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2009Print This Page
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.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 23, 2009, 08:23:22 AM
Death penalty in melamine scandal
// 22 jan 2009

Two men have been given the death penalty for their involvement in China's contaminated milk scandal. The former boss of the Sanlu dairy at the centre of the scandal was given life imprisonment. They are among 21 sentences being handed down by the court in northern China, where Sanlu is based.


One of the most eagerly-awaited sentences was that of Tian Wenhua, who was chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, the largest producer of baby milk powder. She had already pleaded guilty to charges of producing and selling fake or substandard produce, and was given a life sentence by the Intermediate People's Court in Shijiazhuang.

Earlier the court sentenced Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping to death. Zhang Yujun was accused of running an illegal workshop in Shandong province in eastern China, producing 600 tonnes of the fake protein powder - the largest source of melamine in the country. He was sentenced along with Zhang Yanzhang - accused of selling on Zhang Yujun's protein powder - who was given a life sentence. Milk producer, Geng Jinping had been convicted of producing and selling toxic food to dairy companies.

The scandal, in which melamine was added to raw milk to make it appear higher in protein, led to the deaths of six babies and made some 300,000 ill. See below the timeline of the scandal.

10 Sept: 14 babies reported ill in Gansu province
15 Sept: Beijing confirms first deaths from the contamination
22 Sept: Toll of ill babies rises to tens of thousands - and eventually will rise to almost 300,000
23 Sept: Other countries start to test Chinese dairy products or remove them from shops
31 Oct: Chinese media suggest melamine is routinely added to animal feed
24 Dec: The main dairy firm involved, Sanlu, is declared bankrupt
31 Dec: Four senior Sanlu executives go on trial
2 Jan: Firms involved ask for forgiveness in a mass New Year text message
22 Jan: A court in China begins handing down sentences



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on January 28, 2009, 03:55:57 AM
Zoonoses in the EU: Trends and Sources
Because zoonoses are infections and diseases that are transmissible from animals to humans, it makes it particularly important to keep these livestock diseases under surveillance and control, writes Adam Anson, reporting for ThePigSite.


In order to keep a track on the activity of these diseases within Europe, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) monitors the prevalence in each of the EU Member States (MS).

Infection via zoonoses can be acquired either by direct contact with infected animals, or by consuming contaminated food products. Consequently, to gain a true picture of how zoonoses affect the entire animal feed sector, EFSA have analysed data in human, animals and foodstuffs.

Once EFSA can adequately identify which animals and foods are the main sources of infections, it believes it will be will be better equipped to prevent them from occuring.

Most Common Zoonoses
The latest zoonoses analysis, released in January 2009, looks at data collected in the year 2007. According to the analysis, The Community Summary Report On Trends and Sources of Zoonoses and Zoontic Agents in the European Union in 2007, campylobacteriosis was again the most frequently reported zoonotic disease in humans in the European Union with 200,507 confirmed cases. Most of the Member States reported an increased number of cases of campylobacteriosis for that year.

The report says salmonellosis was still the second most commonly recorded zoonosis accounting for 151,995 confirmed human cases. However, the incidence of salmonellosis continues to decrease in the European Union with a statistically significant trend over the last four years.

In foods, the highest proportion of campylobacter-positive samples was once again reported for fresh poultry meat, where on average 26 per cent of samples were found positive. Campylobacter was also commonly detected from live poultry, pigs and cattle. The reported proportions of Campylobacter-positive samples remained at high levels and no overall decrease was apparent.

The reported notification zoonoses rates in confirmed human cases in the EU, 2007

 
Source: EFSA
Salmonella was most often found in fresh poultry and pig meat where proportions of positive samples, on average 5.5 per cent and 1.1 per cent, were detected respectively. Some Member States reported 0.8 per cent of table eggs positive for Salmonella, while dairy products, vegetables and fruit were rarely found to contain the bacterium. In animal populations, Salmonella were most frequently detected in poultry flocks.

2007 was the first year when EU Member States implemented the new Salmonella control programmes in poultry (Gallus gallus) breeding flocks on a mandatory basis and already 15 Member States reported prevalence below the Salmonella reduction target of one per cent laid down by Community legislation.

The number of listeriosis cases in humans remained at the same level as in 2006 with 1,554 confirmed cases recorded in 2007. A high fatality rate of 20 per cent was reported among the cases, especially affecting the elderly. Listeria bacteria were seldom detected above the legal safety limit from ready-to-eat foods but findings over this limit were most often found in smoked fish and other ready-to-eat fishery products followed by ready-to-eat meat products and cheeses.

At European Union level, the occurrence of bovine brucellosis remained largely unchanged compared to 2006, while that of bovine tuberculosis and sheep/goat brucellosis seemed to slightly decrease. In humans, 542 confirmed brucellosis cases were reported but the notification rate is decreasing.

A total of 2,905 confirmed verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) infections were recorded in the European Union in 2007. Among animals and foods, VTEC was most often reported in cattle and bovine meat.

However, the importance of a zoonosis as a human infection is not dependent on incidence in the population alone. The severity of the disease and case fatality are also important factors affecting the relevance of the disease. For instance, despite the relatively low number of cases caused by VTEC, Listeria, Echinococcus, Trichinella and Lyssavirus (rabies), compared to the number of human campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis cases, these infections are considered important due to the severity of the illness and higher case fatality rate.

In 2007, the number of reported yersiniosis cases in humans was 8,792, and the bacterium was reported from pigs and pig meat. Two parasitic zoonoses, trichinellosis and echinococcosis, caused 779 and 834 human cases each in European Union Member States. In animals, these parasites were mainly detected in wildlife.

Salmonella
New salmonella control programmes in breeding flocks of chickens (Gallus gallus) were implemented on a mandatory basis for the first time in 2007. The aim of the programmes is to reduce the occurrence of S. Enteritidis, S. Hadar, S. Infantis, S. Typhimurium and S. Virchow to one per cent or less in adult breeding flocks comprising at least 250 birds by 31 December 2009.

The data showed that already 15 MSs reported in 2007 a prevalence of these five target serovars that was lower than the target, whereas eight MSs reported prevalence of the five serovars ranging from 1.1 per cent to 15.4 per cent

Few MSs reported data from routine monitoring on the prevalence of Salmonella in pig herds or slaughter pigs in 2007. However, an EU-wide Salmonella baseline survey was carried out in slaughter pigs in 2006 to 2007. In total, 19,071 ileo-caecal lymph node samples were collected from slaughtered pigs and the EU weighted mean prevalence in pigs was 10.3 per cent ranging between 0 per cent and 29.0 per cent in MSs. Few MSs have active monitoring of Salmonella in cattle but two MSs both reported slaughter prevalence of 0.1 per cent in cattle.

Campylobacter
In 2007, as in previous years, the majority of data on Campylobacter in animals was from investigations of broilers but data from pigs and cattle was also reported.

The recorded prevalence of Campylobacter-positive broiler flocks was generally high: 25.2 per cent at EU level ranging from 0 per cent to 82.8 per cent in MSs. Lower prevalence in broiler flocks was reported by some Nordic and Baltic countries.

High prevalence was also observed from the monitoring of pigs, 56.1 per cent at EU level (ranging from 0.9 per cent to 78.5 per cent).

In cattle, reported occurrences were somewhat lower: 5.9 per cent on average in the EU but prevalence up to 70.5 per cent was reported by some MSs. However, Campylobacter contamination rates in pig and bovine meat typically decrease sharply following slaughter and remain low at retail. This was also demonstrated by the results reported in 2007.

Tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium bovis
Eleven MSs, two non-MSs as well as 15 provinces and three regions in Italy were officially bovine tuberculosis-free (OTF) in 2007. As in 2006, only Belgium, France and Germany out of the OTF MSs, reported few positive cattle herds in 2007.

Overall, a decrease in the proportion of cattle herds infected/positive for M. bovis was observed in the non-OTF MSs compared to 2006: 0.44 per cent vs. 0.66 per cent, respectively. However, this decrease was due to the inclusion of data from Romania that has a low occurrence of bovine tuberculosis in its large cattle herd population. When excluding the Romanian data, the proportion of cattle herds infected/positive at EU level remained the same as in the previous year. Of the 15 reporting non-OTF MSs, Ireland and the United Kingdom reported the highest prevalence (4.4 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively) in their national herds.

Brucella
In 2007, 12 MSs were officially free of brucellosis in cattle (OBF) and 16 MSs were officially free of brucellosis in sheep and goats (ObmF). Furthermore, 20 provinces and seven regions in Italy as well as four Azores islands in Portugal and Great Britain in the United Kingdom were OBF, whereas 64 departments in France, five provinces and eight regions in Italy, all the Azores islands in Portugal and two islands in the Canaries in Spain were ObmF.

At EU level, a marked decrease was observed in the proportion of existing cattle herds positive for, or infected with bovine brucellosis from 2006 to 2007. However, this decrease is only caused by the inclusion of data from Romania (MS since 2007), which has a large cattle population with no positive herds. In the Community co-financed non-OBF MSs, the prevalence of bovine brucellosis increased compared to 2006. This was specifically observed for Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland).

In the case of small ruminant brucellosis, the proportion of existing herds either positive or infected at EU level has decreased from 2004 to 2007 even though the trend is not statistically significant.

Listeria
In 2007, 18 MSs reported data on L. monocytogenes in animals and the bacterium was reported from various animal species. In some MSs the detected proportion of positive samples reached a moderate level in cattle and in small ruminants.

VTEC
In bovine animals, the average VTEC prevalence in reporting MSs was 3.6 per cent and the proportion of VTEC O157-positive animals was 2.9 per cent. The reported occurrence of VTEC ranged from 0 per cent to 22.1 per cent in MS investigations.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 05, 2009, 05:07:49 AM
When Will US, EU Accept Irradiated Food?
GLOBAL - Following a number of highly publicised outbreaks of food-borne infections in people in recent years, the prospects of food irradiation are looking better than ever. But just how near are the US and European Union to using the process widely for meat? Currently, meat may be irradiated in the US but rarely is, and new guidelines will be proposed in the EU later this year.



Before the recent revelation that tainted peanut butter could kill people, even before the spinach scare of three summers ago, the food industry in the United States made a proposal. It asked the government for permission to destroy germs in many processed foods by zapping them with radiation, according to International Herald Tribune.

That was about nine years ago, in the twilight of the Clinton administration. The government has taken limited action since.

After spinach tainted with a strain of E. coli killed three people and sickened more than 200 others in 2006, the US. Food and Drug Administration gave permission for irradiation of spinach and iceberg lettuce. The industry has yet to start using it. Meat irradiation is permitted but rarely used. Among common items on the grocery shelf, only spices and some imported products, like mangoes from India, are routinely treated with radiation.

The technology to irradiate food has been around for the better part of a century. The US government says it is safe, and many experts believe that it could reduce or even eliminate the food scares that periodically sweep through society.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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"Meat irradiation is permitted but rarely used [in the US]" 

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It might even have killed the salmonella that reached grocery shelves in recent weeks after a factory in Georgia shipped tainted peanut butter and peanut paste, which wound up in products as diverse as cookies and dog treats. But irradiation has not been widely embraced in the United States.

In the European Union, irradiation is approved for bloc-wide use only for 'dried aromatic herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings', and such foods must be clearly labelled as having been so treated. But Haravgi-Nina Papadoulaki, a spokeswoman for the EU health commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou, said on 2 February that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) hopes to propose new guidelines by the end of 2009.

In December 2002, the European Parliament voted against expanding the list, citing tests on laboratory rats that suggested a possible cancer risk from a chemical called 2-ACB created when meat is irradiated.

But because of the common market, if a country approves irradiation for a particular food, the company making that product can still market it throughout the EU, which comprises 27 countries. Thus, for example, poultry can be irradiated in France or Belgium, where the process is allowed under national law, and sold in other countries, unless it is specifically banned.

Food manufacturers in the United States worry that the apparent benefits do not justify the cost or the potential consumer backlash. Some consumer groups complain that widespread irradiation of food after processing would simply cover up the food industry's hygiene problems. And some advocacy groups question the long-term safety of irradiation.


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"In the European Union, irradiation is approved for bloc-wide use only for 'dried aromatic herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings'" 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
With all these doubts, one thing is certain - food poisoning continues. The cases that rise to public attention are only the tip of the iceberg. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 76 million cases of food-borne illness each year in the United States. The vast majority are mild, but the agency estimates there are 5,000 deaths from food-borne disease and 325,000 hospitalizations each year.

This situation upsets advocates of irradiation. "Our society is running around with our head in the sand because we have ways to prevent illness and death that aren't being used," said Christine Bruhn, director of the Center for Consumer Research at the University of California at Davis. "The rules are so tight on irradiation that you can't pull it out and use it when a new problem arises, and that's to the detriment of the American public."

Suresh Pillai, director of the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M University, likened fears of irradiation to early phobias about the pasteurization of milk.

"It's unnecessary for people to be getting sick today with pathogens in spinach or pathogens in peanut butter," Dr Pillai told International Herald Tribune. "We have the technologies to prevent this kind of illness."

Food is irradiated by brief exposure to X-rays, gamma rays or an electron beam. The process is intended to reduce or eliminate harmful bacteria, insects and parasites, and it also can also extend the life of some products.

Advocates say it is particularly effective at killing pathogens in things like ground beef and lettuce, where they might be mixed into the middle of the product or hiding in a crevice that is hard to clean by traditional means.

Food and Water Watch, an advocacy group, has long maintained that irradiation would be too expensive, impractical and sometimes ineffective because it might hide filthy conditions at food processing plants. Patty Lovera, the group's assistant director, said irradiation not only killed bacteria but could also destroy nutrients in food.

She pointed out that irradiated beef was offered at many grocery stores across the United States at the beginning of the decade but it did not last long. Customers were turned off by the higher price and by the extended shelf life of irradiated beef. "People that did the shopping, they would look at the date and be freaked out at how long it would be good for," Ms Lovera said.

Food industry officials, meanwhile, remain wary of irradiation because of the up-front costs and the potential public reaction to any technique with the word 'radiation' in it.

One potential test of the American public's acceptance could come with the marketing of irradiated spinach and lettuce. After the E. coli outbreak in 2006, the spinach industry lost 30 per cent of its business. The food agency approved irradiation for spinach and iceberg lettuce in August.

"There's no shortage of people who are looking at it," said Hank Giclas, vice president for strategic planning, science and technology for the Western Growers Association. "I don't know of anyone who is moving forward with it at this time."


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"Irradiation typically does not work so well on products with high amounts of fat or oil ...because they can turn rancid during the process" 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
It remains an open question if peanut butter or products with peanut paste would be likely candidates for the technique, according to the International Herald Tribune article. Irradiation typically does not work so well on products with high amounts of fat or oil like peanut butter because they can turn rancid during the process. A spokesman for the American Peanut Council said irradiation was tested but found unacceptable because it degraded the taste of the nut.

Nonetheless, Dr Pillai said a low dose of radiation might be effective in killing traces of salmonella in peanut butter – or manufactured products with peanut paste – without ruining the taste. But he said it would not work as a substitute for basic hygiene and food safety measures.

Similarly, a spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers Association said food companies should make sure that plants were clean and follow good manufacturing and food safety practices. If problems remain afterward, then irradiation could be an option, provided it is permitted by the government.

Nine years ago, the association, then called Grocery Manufacturers of America, was among the sponsors of the application that was filed with the food agency seeking approval to irradiate ready-to-eat meat and poultry products and fruit and vegetable products.

Now that spinach and iceberg lettuce have been approved, it is focusing on persuading the FDA to permit irradiation of hot dogs and deli meats. An FDA spokesman declined to comment, saying the agency does not comment on open petitions, the International Herald Tribune report concludes.




Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 07, 2009, 04:08:18 AM
Friday, February 06, 2009Print This Page
Understanding Phosphorus in Soils is Vital
GLOBAL - A study has revealed no evidence of phytate-phosphorus accumulation in soils receiving animal manure. However, the scientists warned that this form of phosphorus may not be biologically and environmentally benign.



Phosphorus is one of the key nutrients that can cause algal blooms and related water quality problems in lakes, rivers and estuaries worldwide, according to a report in Science Daily. Phosphorus entering waters originates from a variety of sources.

Agricultural land receiving long-term applications of organic by-products such as animal manure is one of the major contributors. Such soils often become enriched with phosphorus, leading to elevated phosphorus, loss through erosion and run-off. Information on the chemical characteristics of phosphorus in these soils is essential to improving our understanding of how phosphorus behaves in soils and how it is transported in run-off to devise better management practices that protect water quality.

A group of scientists in the USA and Australia have identified the chemical forms of phosphorus, using 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, in soils receiving organic by-products for at least eight years (treated) as compared with soils not receiving phosphorus application (untreated).

Regardless of the type of organic materials applied (dairy, swine, poultry or spent mushroom compost), orthophosphate (inorganic phosphorus) was the single dominant phosphorus form – more so in treated soils (79 to 93 per cent of total phosphorus) than in untreated soils (33 to 71 per cent).

Orthophosphate was also the only phosphorus form that differed dramatically between paired soils – three to five times greater in treated than untreated soils. Other phosphorus forms included condensed inorganic phosphorus and various organically bound phosphorus groups. However, their amounts were relatively small and differences between each paired soils were insignificant.

Surprisingly, the study revealed no evidence of phytate-phosphorus accumulation in any of the soils receiving organic wastes. Phytate is an organic storage form of phosphorus that is known to be present in animal manures, in particularly large proportion (up to 80 per cent of total phosphorus) in poultry manure. Phytate-phosphorus is generally considered to be recalcitrant in the agro-ecosystem because of its chemical structure. However, the lack of phytate-phosphorus accumulation in several soils receiving poultry manure in this study indicates that manure-derived phytate-phosphorus may not be biologically and environmentally benign.

Zhengxia Dou, the lead author, stated, "In terms of potential phosphorus loss in the long run, organic materials containing large amounts of phytate-phosphorus such as poultry manure may not differ from other material containing mainly inorganic phosphorus."

Andrew Sharpley, a collaborating scientist, further explained to Science Daily, "When the soils' phosphorus sorption capacity was nearly saturated after years of manure application, phytate or other organic phosphorus forms could be exposed to breakdown and potential loss. Therefore, it is important to strive towards balancing phosphorus inputs with outputs and to prevent phosphorus from building up in soils to which manure is applied."

Reference
Dou Z. et al., 2009. Phosphorus speciation and sorption-desorption characteristics in heavily manured soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 73 (1): 93 DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2007.0416.


 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 18, 2009, 02:47:27 AM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009Print This Page
Eat Less Meat to Go Green
US - Delegates at the prestigious meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have heard that we could cut our carbon footprint by eating more poultry and pork, and less beef - or better still, reduce our intake of all meats.



The livestock sector is estimated to account for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of food, scientists said at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, reports Straits Times.

Simply switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as leaving the car at home a couple days a week.

That is because beef is such an incredibly inefficient food to produce and cows release so much harmful methane into the atmosphere, said Nathan Pelletier of Dalhousie University in Canada.

Dr Pelletier is one of a growing number of scientists studying the environmental costs of food from field to plate.

By looking at everything from how much grain a cow eats before it is ready for slaughter to the emissions released by manure, they are getting a clearer idea of the true costs of food. The livestock sector is estimated to account for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and beef is the biggest culprit.

Even though beef only accounts for 30 per cent of meat consumption in the developed world, it is responsible for 78 per cent of the emissions, Dr Pelletier said on 15 February at the AAAS meeting.

A single kilogram of beef produces 16 kg carbon dioxide equivalent emissions: four times higher than pork and more than ten times as much as a kilogram of poultry, Mr Pelletier said.

If people were to simply switch from beef to chicken, emissions would be cut by 70 per cent, Dr Pelletier added.

People eating more meat than they need
Another part of the problem is people are eating far more meat than they need to, according to Straits Times.

"Meat once was a luxury in our diet," Dr Pelletier said. "We used to eat it once a week. Now we eat it every day." If meat consumption in the developed world was cut from the current level of about 90 kg a year to the recommended level of 53 kg a year, livestock related emissions would fall by 44 per cent.

"Given the projected doubling of (global) meat production by 2050, we're going to have to cut our emissions by half just to maintain current levels," Dr Pelletier said.

"Technical improvements are not going to get us there." That is why changing the kinds of food people eat is so important, said Chris Weber, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.

Food is the third largest contributor to the average US household's carbon footprint after driving and utilities, and in Europe - where people drive less and have smaller homes - it has an even greater impact.

"Food is of particular importance to a consumer's impact because it's a daily choice that is, at least in theory, easy to change," Professor Weber said.

"You make your choice every day about what to eat but once you have a house and a car, you're locked into that for a while." The average US household contributes about five tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by driving and about 3.5 tonnes of equivalent emissions with what they eat, he said.

"Switching to no red meat and no dairy products is the equivalent of (cutting out) 8,100 miles driven in a car that gets 25 miles to the gallon," Professor Weber said in an interview later.

Buying local meat and produce will not have nearly the same effect, he cautioned, because only five per cent of the emissions related to food come from transporting food to market.

"You can have a much bigger impact by shifting just one day a week from meat and dairy to anything else than going local every day of the year," Professor Weber told Straits Times.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 20, 2009, 03:45:46 AM
San Miguel to create 10,000 new jobs 19 Feb 2009
With investments equalling $208 million San Miguel Corp., the Philippines' largest food and beverage conglomerate, would create about 10,000 new jobs.
San Miguel President Ramon Ang said the company plans to invest PHP9.93 billion ($208 million) to expand production of poultry and pigs, animal feed, ice cream and others.
 
Ang said San Miguel's joint venture with the Kuok Group will kick off in September, aiming to create 500,000 direct and indirect jobs for every one million hectares devoted for food production.
 
He said 3.8 million hectares have already been identified for the project.
 
San Miguel Chairman Eduardo Cojuangco assured that the conglomerate doesn't have any plan to retrench its work force as other companies are doing.
 
Last year San Miguel announced it will spend up to $1 billion in a joint venture with Hong Kong's Kuok group to develop farm land.
 
The project, in collaboration with the Philippine government, entailed the development of 1.0 million hectares of land and that the two companies were willing to spend up to $1,000 per hectare.
 
The two companies will offer financial assistance, technical expertise and a guarantee to buy all agricultural produce. All land will remain in the ownership of the Philippine government.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 25, 2009, 04:26:45 AM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009Print This Page
A Lesson in Parasite Infections on Livestock
INDIA - Experts from Queen's University are in India today to advise the country on how it can reduce parasitic infections which destroy plants and animals.



The biotechonology experts from the Belfast-based University are at the forefront of research into the infections which cost the world economy around $200 billion in lost crop production and $5.3 billion in animal health each year.

A delegation led by Dr Gerry Brennan from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s has been invited to Alagappa University in Tamil Nadu in southern India to share its expertise at the International Colloquium on Emerging Biotechnologies in Agriculture, Animal Health and Productivity which runs from today until Friday.

Dr Brennan has collaborated with Indian universities, including Alagappa, on research and teaching for almost 30 years. He will address the conference on the management of drug resistance in livestock.

He said: “India is now a world-leading nation in terms of social, technological and economic development, so it urgently needs to modernise and expand agricultural productivity, particularly in the livestock sector, to maximise self-sufficiency in food supply and to raise gross domestic product for a rapidly expanding and increasingly urbanised population.

“In response to this need, corporate farming enterprises in poultry, cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, dairy, meat and aquaculture production are developing rapidly and modern production methods are being used across India.

“The current field of research at Queen’s into veterinary and agricultural parasite control serves to showcase the application of biotechnology in modern agricultural practice.”

Alagappa University has recently established a Department of Animal Health Science and Management which aims to help India expand its agricultural development, especially in the livestock sector.

The conference aims to focus the attention of national policy-makers, academics and industry leaders in India on the new facility as well as providing a forum for Indian scientists to hear from overseas experts about biotechnology and livestock-based agriculture.

The Vice-Chancellor of Alagappa, Professor P Pamasamy, who was once a research fellow at Queen’s University, asked Dr Brennan to act as overseas organiser for the event.

Other Queen’s delegates addressing the conference include Professor Aaron Maule and Dr Ian Fairweather from the School of Biological Sciences and Professor Bob Hanna and Dr Colin Fleming from AFBI, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute.




Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 26, 2009, 05:31:07 AM
Protection of Animals at the Time of Killing
Every year nearly 360 million pigs, sheep, goats and cattle as well as more than four billion poultry are killed in EU slaughterhouses, writes TheMeatSite senior editor Chris Harris.
The European fur industry also kills 25 million animals, while hatcheries kill 330 million day-old-chicks.

At the same time, the control of contagious diseases may also require the killing of millions more animals.

However, the European Commission is concerned that the levels of animal welfare in abattoirs and slaughterhouses across the EU is not equal and it has now drawn up new regulations to ensure that welfare standards are raised and are consistent through all states.

These new proposals have recently been sent out for consultation before they are drawn up into new regulations to be approved by the European Parliament and the Commission.

"The present situation is not satisfactory in relation to the objectives pursued," the Commission says.

"The level of animal protection is unequally enforced in the Member States, with sometimes very unsatisfactory results.

"Discrepancies in requirements in the Member States for slaughterhouses and manufacturers of stunning equipment do not ensure a level playing field for them, although they compete on a global market.

"This situation does not encourage innovation either."

The Commission said that the present regulations for handling animals at slaughter - Directive 93/119/EC1 - have never been updated.

Since the directive was adopted, new technologies have been introduced making some standards obsolete.

In 2004 and 2006 two scientific opinions from the European Food Safety Authority suggested revising the Directive. At the same time, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in 2005 adopted two guidelines on the welfare of animals at slaughter and killing leading to similar conclusions.

Over recent years, animal welfare concerns have also grown in society and the legal environment has changed for slaughterhouses with the adoption of a series of EU acts on food safety, which emphasises the responsibilities of processing plant operators.

Mass killing during animal epidemics has also raised questions about the methods used to carry them out.

In 2006 the Commission adopted the first Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals, introducing new concepts such as the welfare indicators and centres of reference on animal welfare.

"Specific problems have been identified with the EU legislation such as the lack of harmonised methodology for new stunning methods, the lack of clear responsibilities for operators, the insufficient competence of personnel or insufficient conditions for the welfare of animals during killing for disease control purposes," the Commission says.

"In light of this, the proposal provides substantial added value compared to the status quo."

"In particular by changing the legal instrument from a directive to a regulation, the proposal provides for uniform and simultaneous application, avoiding the burden and inequalities due to national transpositions."

"The form of a regulation is also suitable for faster implementation of changes due to technical and scientific progress. It also provides for a single set of rules making them more visible and easier to apply both for EU operators and trading partners."

The Commission has identified problems such as the lack of harmonised methodology for stunning methods and a lack of clear responsibilities for slaughtermen.

The Commission has also identified problems with a lack of competence in the personnel and a need for training employees in welfare practices. They also identified a lack of confidence in the people employed to slaughter animals in disease situations.

The Commission says that the new proposals will help to speed up the implementation of future changes to keep pace with the changes in technology and progress in science.

They provide a single set of rules making them more visible and easier to apply both for EU operators and trading partners.

The proposal also contains greater flexibility for operators through the adoption of guidelines on detailed technical matters.

At the same time it requires operators to take real ownership of animal welfare through self-checks on stunning procedure and standard operating procedures and it contributes to a better enforcement of animal welfare at slaughter.

The proposal also aims to develop learning mechanisms based on sound science including a certificate of competence and a centre of reference, to make animal welfare better understood and integrated in the daily tasks of animals handlers, slaughtermen and official inspectors.

The proposal will make it compulsory for personnel handling and/or slaughtering animals to possess a certificate of competence.

The proposal will require each Member State to establish a national centre of reference that will provide technical assistance to officials on animal welfare at killing. The centre will provide scientific assessment for new stunning methods/equipment and newly built slaughterhouses, and will accredit bodies delivering certificates of competence concerning animal welfare.

The proposal will increase operators' responsibility for animal welfare. This is in line with the "hygiene package", a raft of food safety legislation adopted in 2004 obliging operators to integrate food safety into their operations and to demonstrate that they are implementing procedures for that purpose.

The main objectives of the proposal are aimed at:

Improving the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing.
Encouraging innovation in relation to stunning and killing techniques.
Providing a level playing field within the internal market for the operators concerned.
In addition, this proposal will aim to achieve the following specific objectives:

Develop a common methodological approach to encourage new stunning methods.
Ensure better integration of animal welfare concerns into the production process through the requirement of Standard Operating Procedures and the appointment of Animal Welfare Officers in slaughterhouses.
Upgrade the standards governing slaughterhouse construction and equipment.
Increase the level of competence of the operators and officials concerned.
Improve the protection of animals during mass killing operations.
LIST OF METHODS OF STUNNING AND KILLING AND RELATED SPECIFICATIONS
Mechanical Methods
No Name Description Category of animals Key parameters
1 Penetrative captive bolt pistol Severe and irreversible damage of the brain provoked by the shock and the penetration of a captive bolt. All species. Position and direction of the shot.
Appropriate velocity and diameter of bolt according to animal size and species.
2 Non-penetrative captive bolt pistol Severe damage of the brain by the shock of a captive bolt without penetration. Ruminants up to 10 kg, poultry and lagomorphs. Position and direction of the shot.
Appropriate velocity and diameter of bolt according to animal size and species.
3 Firearm with free projectile Severe and irreversible damage of the brain provoked by the shock and the penetration of one or more projectiles. All species. Position of the shot.
Power of the cartridge.
4 Maceration Immediate crushing of the entire animal. Chicks up to 72 hours and egg embryos. Maximum size of the batch to be introduced.
Measure to prevent overloading.
5 Cervical dislocation Manual stretching and twist of the neck provoking cerebral ischemia. Birds up to 3 kg. Not applicable.

LIST OF METHODS OF STUNNING AND KILLING AND RELATED SPECIFICATIONS
Electrical Methods
No Name Description Category of animals Key parameters
1 Head-only electrical stunning Exposure of the brain to a current generating a generalised epileptic form on the Electro-Encephalogram (EEG). All species. Minimum current (A or mA).
Minimum voltage (V).
Maximum frequency (Hz).
Minimum time of exposure.
Maximum stun-to-stick interval (s).
Frequency of calibration of the equipment.
Optimisation of the current flow.
Prevention of electrical shocks before stunning.
2 Head-to-Back electrical killing Exposure of the body to a current generating at the same time a generalised epileptic form on the EEG (stunning) and the fibrillation or the stopping of the heart (killing). All species except lambs or piglets of less than 5 kg live weight and cattle. Minimum current (A or mA).
Minimum voltage (V).
Maximum frequency (Hz).
Minimum time of exposure.
Frequency of calibration of the equipment.
Optimisation of the current flow.
Prevention of electrical shocks before stunning.
3 Electrical waterbath Exposure of the entire body through a waterbath to a current generating a generalised epileptic form on the EEG (stunning) and possibly the fibrillation or the stopping of the heart (killing). Poultry. Minimising pain at shackling.
Optimisation of current flow.
Maximum shackle duration before the waterbath.
Immersion of the birds up to the base of the wings.
Maximum stun-to-stick interval for frequency over 60 Hz.

LIST OF METHODS OF STUNNING AND KILLING AND RELATED SPECIFICATIONS
Gas methods
No Name Description Category of animals Key parameters
1 Carbon dioxide at high concentration Exposure of conscious animals to a gas mixture containing more than 30% carbon dioxide. Pigs, poultry and fur animals. Carbon dioxide concentration.
Duration of exposure.
Maximum stun-to-stick interval (pigs).
2 Carbon dioxide at low concentration Exposure of conscious animals to a gas mixture containing less than 30% of carbon dioxide. Pigs and poultry. Carbon dioxide concentration.
Duration of exposure.
Maximum stun-to-stick interval in case of stunning (pigs).
3 Inert gases Exposure of conscious animals to a inert gas mixture such Argon or Nitrogen containing less than 2% of oxygen. Pigs and poultry. Oxygen concentration.
Duration of exposure.
Maximum stun-to-stick interval in case of stunning (pigs).
4 Carbon monoxide (pure source) Exposure of conscious animals to a gas mixture containing more than 4 % of carbon monoxide. Fur animals and piglets. Quality of the source of the gas.
Carbon monoxide concentration.
Duration of exposure.
Temperature of the gas.
5 Carbon monoxide associated with other gases Exposure of conscious animals to a gas mixture containing more than 1 % of carbon monoxide associated with other toxic gases. Fur animals. Carbon monoxide concentration.
Duration of exposure.
Temperature of the gas.
Filtration of the gas produced from engine.



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 21, 2009, 03:41:32 AM
"Global food and energy crisis by 2030" 20 Mar 2009
The growing world population will cause a "perfect storm" of food, energy and water shortages by 2030, the UK government chief scientist has warned.
By 2030 the demand for resources will create a crisis with dire consequences, Prof John Beddington said. Demand for food and energy will jump 50% by 2030 and for fresh water by 30%, as the population tops 8.3 billion, he told a conference in London. Climate change will exacerbate matters in unpredictable ways, he added.

Water shortages
The United Nations Environment Programme predicts widespread water shortages across Africa, Europe and Asia by 2025. The amount of fresh water available per head of the population is expected to decline sharply in that time.

Use GM crops
Prof Beddington said the concern now - when prices have dropped once again - was that the issues would slip back down the domestic and international agenda. Improving agricultural productivity globally was one way to tackle the problem, he added. At present, 30-40% of all crops are lost due to pest and disease before they are harvested. Professor Beddington said: "We have to address that. We need more disease-resistant and pest-resistant plants and better practices, better harvesting procedures. "Genetically-modified food could also be part of the solution. We need plants that are resistant to drought and salinity - a mixture of genetic modification and conventional plant breeding.

New EC science adviser
Prof Beddington said the problem could not be tackled in isolation. He wants policy-makers in the European Commission to receive the same high level of scientific advice as the new US president, Barack Obama. One solution would be to create a new post of chief science adviser to the European Commission, he suggested.

[source: BBC]

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 27, 2009, 09:25:07 AM
Market Preview: Meat Demand is Risky Business
US - Weekly US Market Preview provided by Steve R. Meyer, Ph.D., Paragon Economics, Inc.



I remain very concerned about meat demand, in general. I have believed for some time that this is far and away the largest risk factor for the US pork industry in 2009. So far, I have seen nothing that would change my mind.

The current data is rather mixed. This week’s production and price tables suggest that demand is indeed soft – especially for beef and chicken. Note the shaded cells in this week’s table (please see bottom of this page). The year-on-year percentage changes in slaughter and production are almost all negative. Lower output and constant demand would suggest that prices should be higher. But the vast majority of product prices are actually lower than last year. Lower output and lower wholesale prices can only mean lower wholesale meat demand.

Does that mean retail demand and hog demand are lower? No. These relationships do not always change at the same time and the hog slaughter (down from last year) and hog price (up from last year) suggest a roughly stable hog demand. Professor Glenn Grimes at the University of Missouri reports that retail pork demand was actually higher for the period from November through January, the most recent three months for which we have all of the necessary data. Preliminary calculations indicate that the year-on-year change for December through February will be positive as well. February cold storage stocks will not be available until this afternoon.

But wholesale markets are very important. Checkoff-funded research conducted in 2000 by Kansas State University indicated that the wholesale market was the primary point of price discovery for pork and hog prices. One reason is that all of the players – packers, retailers, foodservice operators, and exporters – are involved in that market and all of them bring information, needs, knowledge, etc. to the table. This is not to say that producers aren’t “players,” but producers take part in the wholesale market only through packers and both are only involved on the supply side of this process in the short run.

Exports a Bright Spot
We did get one piece of positive information this week when the Department of Commerce and USDA released January export data. Product-weight pork exports were 4 per cent lower than in January 2008, but were 2 per cent higher in total value at $295.8 million. Quantity is important, but value is what pays the bills, so this increase is very important.

Exports to Japan increased 18 per cent vs. last year, while shipments to Mexico were up 65 per cent from last year. The latter was inflated a bit by the fact that January 2008 was at the tail end of a period of very soft shipments to Mexico. Still, the size of January shipments was surprising given the near-50 per cent devaluation of the peso since 1 October 2008.

Shipments to Canada (-9 per cent) and Korea (-8 per cent) were marginally lower, while those to China/Hong Kong and Russia were sharply lower at -66 per cent and -70 per cent, respectively. A chart of carcass-weight equivalent exports, by destination, appears in Figure 1.


I have also included an updated version of the monthly pork export graph I used in the 5 March edition of North American Preview. Note that the January observation, though lower than one year ago, is above the 2004-2007 trend line. As I noted in the 5 March edition: If 2009 exports can stay near that longer-term trend, I think it will be a victory in spite of the fact that 2009 exports will be about 15 per cent lower than last year.


Be Ready for a Rally
Finally, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Lean Hogs (LH) futures are endorsing the idea of a spring rally. Every contract has gained $4 to $6 from the spike lows of 24 February, and has stayed consistently above the 10-day moving average. In addition, every contract for the remainder of 2009 has penetrated the 50-day moving average and every contract from June onward has closed above the 50-day moving average – normally a strong confirmation of a trend change.

Based on Iowa State University’s Estimated Costs and Returns parameters, this week’s corn and soybean meal futures prices put breakeven costs for the rest of 2009 in the $66 to $69/cwt., carcass, weight range. LH futures are offering profits from May through August at those cost levels, with October and December getting closer.

Selling into a rally is hardly ever a bad idea, especially if the prices are profitable. But, I still wouldn’t get in a hurry. Historical seasonal patterns suggest that this rally will continue into late April or early May. But be ready to pull the trigger when your return-on-investment goals are met or when the charts indicate that the rally has run out of steam.

 



Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 08, 2009, 09:12:02 AM
 CPF eyes larger exports despite economic crisis 
[8 April 2009] Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF) expects its exports to grow this year despite the global economic crisis but total sales will remain flat as domestic consumption is forecast to fall. Food exports would make up 18% of the company's sales revenue this year, an increase from 16% last year, with revenue from its foreign operations in 10 countries growing to 17-18%, up from 16% last year. Domestic sales, meanwhile, are expected to drop to 64% of total sales, from 68% in 2008, because of the poor economic outlook and lower consumption. CPF has set a conservative sales revenue target for this year at a flat from 2008 at THB 156.23 billion (USD 4.42 billion).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
CPF evaluates investment in the Philippines
[8 April 2009] Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF) is looking at investment potential in the Philippines after being invited by President Gloria Arroyo to invest in an integrated farming business there. A team of experts will be sent to study the feasibility of the project, which would be a fish and shrimp feed manufacturing plant, if the investment and political climate is favorable. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 13, 2009, 05:50:01 AM
10 April 2009] The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) confiscated eight 40-foot container vans containing poultry, beef and onions smuggled into the country. The shipments came from three countries and were valued at PHP 32.6 million (USD 679,182). Two of the containers had 29 tonnes of frozen chicken worth PHP 5.88 million (USD 122,399) from the U.S. and another two containers had 50 tonnes of frozen boneless beef worth PHP 19.63 million (USD 408,793) from Australia.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 19, 2009, 06:49:44 AM
Ag Sector More Resilient to Global Crisis Than Others
GLOBAL - Because food is a basic necessity, the agriculture sector is showing more resilience to the global economic crisis than other industries. But the risks could increase if the economic downturn deepens, according to a new report by the OECD and FAO released yesterday.


Food prices are still high in many poor countries.Falls in agricultural prices and in the production and consumption of farm goods are likely to be moderate as long as the economic recovery begins within two to three years, says the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2009-2018. As the downturn lowers food prices, pressure is eased on recession-hit consumers who have less money to spend, it says.

Food prices have come down from the record peaks of early 2008 but they remain high in many poor countries. Over the coming decade prices for all farm commodities except beef and pigmeat - even when adjusted for inflation - are unlikely to fall back to their average levels before the 2007-08 peaks.

Average crop prices are projected to be 10-20 per cent higher in real terms (adjusted for inflation) for the next 10 years compared with the average for the period 1997-2006. Prices for vegetable oils are expected to be more than 30 per cent higher.

An expected economic recovery, renewed food demand growth from developing countries and the emerging biofuel markets are the key drivers underpinning agricultural commodity prices and markets over the medium term.

The report warns that episodes of extreme price volatility similar to the hike in 2008 cannot be ruled out in coming years, particularly as commodity prices have become increasingly linked to oil and energy costs and environmental experts warn of more erratic weather conditions.

Although agricultural production, consumption and trade are expected to increase in developing countries, food insecurity and hunger is a growing problem for the world's poor.

The report argues that the longer term problem is access to food rather than food availability, with poverty reduction and economic growth a big part of the solution. Agriculture growth is key for sustainable development and poverty reduction since 75 per cent of the poor in developing countries live in rural areas.

The report says that, in addition to more effective international aid, governments can best support domestic agricultural development through targeted policies such as infrastructure investment, establishing effective research and development systems and providing incentives for sustainable use of soil and water.

It also emphasises the need for greater opening of agricultural markets and broadening economic development beyond farming in poor rural regions.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 20, 2009, 12:00:52 PM
Actions have consequences; for individuals and for nations. Sometimes, the consequences are so severe that the person is changed forever. The same can happen with the world.

I am astounded that virtually all of our political leaders, even the smart ones, have not woken up to the fact that it will never be economically “business as usual” again. It scares me and it should scare you, too.

I receive e-mail constantly telling me that I am overly concerned or simply crazy in my belief that we are entering a new, uncharted world. Just wait, they say, and the crisis will be over; it is just a normal bump on the road. The “smarter” ones even point to the 1997 Asian crisis as an example. Oh, you think so, do you?

My Fil-Am mother-in-law and her husband will retire next year. They intend to sell their big house in Los Angeles and use the money to move to a rural, cheaper area of the USA. They will use the money from the house sale also to open a small business to supplement their income. She says they will now wait a couple of years for the economy to recover so their plans can progress. Just a bump on the economic road, she tells me. Not a chance. It is a new world out there, and this is why.

The 1997 Asian crisis was a forerunner to 2009. South Korea fell in 1997 doing exactly the same thing as is being done in the USA now; bailing out, public funding of bankrupt companies. As a result, Sokor’s budget deficit skyrocketed, forcing it to borrow unprecedented amounts from the International Monetary Fund. Their economy died as money was diverted from useful purposes to paying the debt caused by diverting public and private funds to bailouts. The Korean won fell from 867 to 1,695 to the dollar in one year, 1997-1998.

Thailand went on a massive borrowing frenzy in the early 1990s, borrowing dollars from foreign sources to fund its economic expansion. Remember Thailand’s “Tiger economy”? Eventually those loans had to be repaid. But all that dollar borrowing did not create dollar revenues. So the borrowers had to sell Thai baht to buy dollars to repay the loans, thus causing the baht to move from 26 to the dollar on January 1, 1997, to 52 to a dollar in January 1998.

Back to normal? The baht now trades at 34 and the won at 1,247. Further, note this important fact: The 1997 price of crude oil was $20; in 2009 the price is $71. In January 1998, the US dollar index was over 100; now it is at 80.

The exact same scenario is playing out in the USA with the current budget deficit rising from $162 billion in 2007 to $1.7 trillion in 2009. US government debt: from 54 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) then to over 100 percent of GDP now.

As we learned from the 1997 Asian crisis, it takes a long time for things to return to “normal” and they never go back they way they were, when the consequences of policy and action are severe enough as they are now.

The Obama stimulus plan is a total failure. All the budget deficit and all the government debt has not revived the economy even a little. In fact, the unemployment, consumer-spending and economic-activity numbers are growing more negative. But all that debt has to be paid back. Further, the stimulus money combined with a falling dollar is raising prices, inflation, in the USA.

The USA must either 1) raise taxes, which will hurt economic activity even more, or 2) “monetize” the debt by printing new dollars to pay the debt, which will cause dollar devaluation. There are no other choices available. Next comes inflation fueled by excess cash in the system and a devalued dollar, which will be met with a rise in interest rates, reducing economic growth even more.

It is a global meltdown even now. Japan’s manufacturing capacity is running at 50 percent and falling, and GDP is falling at a negative-15-percent annual rate. The world air-travel industry is forecast to lose $9 billion in 2009, revised from a $4.7-billion loss just two months ago. India’s credit growth is shrinking and credit is vitally necessary for their economic growth. China’s consumer spending, despite government pump-priming, is stalling, reducing the hope that their domestic market could offset problems in the export sector. International ocean cargo shipping is operating at below break-even.

The world’s investing cash will flee from the West to countries like the Philippines just as the opposite occurred in 1997. We will read more headlines like this; “‘Hot’ money inflows surged in May,” “Remittances hit record high in March” and “Philippine call centers ring up business.” And this headline yesterday tells the truth about the Philippine economy: “GMA 7 profit up by 22 percent in January-May.” Recession? Sure. Right. Whatever you say.

Why should you be afraid of the “experts” and ignorant leaders? Because any policy based on believing that there has not been a fundamental change in the world economy, a belief that things will soon return to “normal,” will be disastrous for this nation.

And I told my mother-in-law to sell the house now because any future increase in the price will be more than offset by dollar devaluation and a $100 oil price. Then come back to the Philippines, which is one of the few places left where wealth creation will be possible in the next five years.



PSE stock-market information and technical-analysis 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 26, 2009, 04:23:09 AM
Meat Quality Prediction in Scotland
SCOTLAND, UK - Plans for a project that will see Scotland leading the rest of the world in predicting the eating quality of cuts of meat were announced today.



Meat processors in Scotland will be offered technology that for the first time will allow them to accurately measure the different factors, such as tenderness, colour and fat levels, that add up to overall quality, says the Scottish Government.

The project, run by Quality Meat Scotland, the Scottish red meat industry development body, and part-funded by the Scottish Government, will initially focus on beef but the aim is to extend it to lamb and pork.

At the Royal Highland Show today Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "This unique project is good news for the red meat sector and even better news for consumers. We know the importance shoppers attach to quality and taste and that this, in turn, provides a boost for those responsible for Scotland's world-class produce.

"It is fitting that this research project is being launched at the Royal Highland Show, one of the best showcases for rural Scotland and our food and drink. It also comes on the eve of our announcement of the next steps in Scotland's first-ever National Food and Drink Policy, which will deliver further benefits throughout the food chain, from gate to plate."

QMS Chairman Donald Biggar said: "This is an extremely exciting initiative which puts Scotland at the very forefront of what is a global quest to offer guarantees to consumers about the eating quality of the beef they're buying.

"Our Scottish meat processors will be the first to have the technology to make a rapid assessment of the complex range of factors that together determine how well a piece of beef tastes. The data on the quality of individual carcases in meat plants can be fed back from the processor to the producer so that he or she can pinpoint the sort of farm level decisions that are delivering consistently high quality meat.

"Capturing this level of information and using it as a mechanism to further drive up the quality of beef produced across Scotland has the potential to revolutionise how we promote our Scotch Beef to consumers around the world."

Scotland's meat plants process around 8,500 prime beef carcases every week producing 2900 tonnes of meat each week. The turnover of the beef processing industry in Scotland is worth half a billion pounds annually.

Around 70 per cent of all Scotch Beef produced in Scotland is sold in England. The European export market, which suffered a setback following the 2007 Foot and Mouth outbreak, is now back on track with increasing volumes being delivered to key markets in France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.




Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 26, 2009, 01:15:51 PM
25 June 2009] Despite the current economic crisis, meat consumption in Asia is projected to grow in the long term due to continued economic development and the large population base in the region. According to Oscar Tjakra, Assistant Manager at Rabobank International’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory per capita meat consumption in Asia is projected to grow by 8-42% from 2006-2016 with pork being the main meat consumed in the region.Beef consumption in China is growing at a faster rate than poultry meat and pork and urban residents are switching to higher value meats such as imported grain-fed and marbled beef.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 26, 2009, 01:18:24 PM
[25 June 2009] A group of Philippine livestock and poultry farmers and feed millers are seeking the restoration of zero tariff on feed wheat for at least another six months to prevent increases in pork and poultry product prices. The Alyansa Agrikultura (Agricultural Alliance) said in statement that the Cabinet Tariff Reform Matters Committee's  decision to recommend the scrapping of the duty-free feed wheat importation is unfortunate, as this will could push up corn prices, which in turn would push up prices of pork, poultry, and other meat products and perhaps even fish products.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 02, 2009, 08:14:37 AM
[2 July 2009] Philippine agricultural production is expected to post a slower growth in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap is predicting a 1.5-2% growth for April-June this year, which would be down from the first quarter’s 2.02% growth and the 5.4% growth recorded in the 2nd quarter of 2008. Mr Yap did not specify the reason for the slowdown, however analysts have pointed to various possibilities, from weather and climate change to high costs to the economic downturn.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 04, 2009, 02:08:57 AM
RSPCA Speaks Out Against Live Export Trade
AUSTRALIA - The Live Export Shipboard Performance Report revealed that more than 36,000 sheep, cattle and goats died while being transported overseas for slaughter in 2008.



"It's not a quick or simple death - they died from such things as starvation, salmonellosis, injury and pneumonia," said The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Australia.

"The sad reality is that Australia's live exporters measure their success by the number of animals still standing at the end of the sea voyage. The fact is that tens of thousands of animals that embark on these journeys out of Australia every year will not walk off at the other end."

The RSPCA warns consumers not to believe the live export lobby's claims that this is an entrenched Australian tradition. "It isn't," they say. "Live exports represent just another market opportunity."

"But it is a market opportunity that comes at a cost to animal welfare and to Australia's reputation. There are alternatives that have proven to be far more lucrative than the trade in live animals. Our meat exports are seven times more valuable to the economy and they keep jobs here in Australia."


 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 04, 2009, 10:38:04 AM
4 August 2009] Western Visayas topped 15 regions in the country outside the National Capital Region in the January 2009 livestock inventory, figures from the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) show. The region,which include the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, and Capiz  reported a total of 2.6 million heads of livestock. This accounts for 11.2% of the total livestock produced in the country. Of the total livestock produced in Western Visayas, hogs account for 57.4%, goat (17.7%),  carabao (14%) and cattle (10.8%). The region ranked first in goat production, with 606,039 heads; third in hog production with 1.5 million heads and carabao production with 325,532 heads and fifth in cattle production (212,634 heads).
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 06, 2009, 08:44:37 AM
6 August 2009] Chinese authorities have de-listed three US pork and two US poultry plants because of 'multiple detections' of 'chemical drug residues and epidemic pathogens' said the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Smithfield Packing Co., Tar Heel, N.C;John Morrell & Co., Sioux City, Iowa;Seaboard Foods, Guymon, Okla.;Equity Group-Ky. Division, Albany, Ky. and Mountaire Farms-Delmarva, Selbyville, Del. have been banned from exporting products to China.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 08, 2009, 03:46:54 PM
Negros feared to lose billion-peso industry in GMO ban

ONE of the country’s largest suppliers of feeds may pull out its contract-growing operations in Negros Occidental if the Provincial Government decides to continue with the implementation of Ordinance 007, which bans entry of genetically-modified products into the province.

Joey Avila, Visayas area manager of B-MEG, a subsidiary of San Miguel Group of Companies, Friday said the company will have no choice but to suspend the contract growing and possibly transfer it to other provinces.

The company supplies 30,000 sacks of mixed feeds to contract growers of Magnolia and 100,000 sacks contracted by other poultry companies every month, he said. For Magnolia contract growers alone, B-MEG generates monthly sales of P50-70 million, Avila said.

The province is the second net exporter of poultry products in the country next to Bulacan.

The Negros Hograisers Association (NHA), Negros Occidental Poultry Raisers Association and the Association of Backyard Raisers in Negros Occidental have called on the Provincial Government to declare a moratorium on the ordinance’s implementation pending the review and possible amendments to the 2007 law.

They claimed that they incurred P.9-million in additional costs for animal feeds after the ban was enforced in April. Hogs and poultry raisers were forced to source their feed requirements from Panay which translated to an additional P2 per kilo of feeds. They consume 15 tons or 15,000 kilos of feeds daily.

NHA president Albert Lim also stressed that the indecision by the Provincial Government has caused the suspension of investments in the province, particularly in the establishment of feed mills which will not only provide livelihood opportunities but employment as well.

Meanwhile, a Department of Agriculture (DA) official claimed the implementation of the anti-GMO ordinance “will kill the strength” of the livestock and poultry industry in Negros Occidental.

DA director for Biotech Program Office Alicia Ilaga told provincial officials Friday to “weigh the consequences if they decide to fully implement the ordinance.”

Ilaga was one of the nine speakers in the five-day en banc committee hearing on the anti-GMO ordinance that culminated yesterday at the Provincial Board (PB) session hall.

She noted: “If we ban all GM products like feeds, vaccines, cotton and other products, are there organic counterparts readily available that can suffice the need of the livestock and poultry sector?”

The PB will deliberate on the pros and cons that were raised by the invited resource speakers to decide on whether or not the ordinance will be amended.

Dr. Saturnina Halos, another resource speaker, told the PB that “transition to organic is very hard and more expensive.”

Further, resource speaker Dr. Santiago Obien also said the Provincial Government will need a P3-billion budget to effectively implement the ordinance.

Halos, chairperson of the DA Biotech Advisory Team, also informed the PB that there is “no single detection kit for GM crops” thus, the use of “your kit right now could be a venue for corruption.”

Meanwhile, University of the Philippines College of Public Health dean Dr. Nina Gloriani said there are different views on the use of aspartame, a biotech product, and “anything used in over-dosage can kill.”

“GM and non-GM products can co-exist,” a fact that will be highlighted in the 4th International Conference on Biotechnology in Australia in November this year, she said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on 1, 2009.

Written By George M. De La Cruz

Source: Sun Star

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 08, 2009, 03:55:05 PM
Next crises: Food and water

REGARDED as the country’s “Prophet of Boom,” Dr. Bernardo Villegas of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) on Thursday sounded a surprisingly ominous tone. He warned that the next crises the country will face in the next few years would be on food and water.

In a presentation at the Mapfre Insular and Insular Life CEO Forum and Economic Briefing, Villegas warned that the growing number of people, particularly in China, could pose a threat to food security and water
resources.

With this, the country and private businesses must adopt a proagricultural investment stance that will increase funds to help farmers drum up production, improve their access to farm implements and postharvest facilities, modernize their processes, improve irrigation facilities and create farm-to-market roads.

“The next crisis will be food and water. This is why we need to fix our farm-to-market roads and irrigation facilities. We can become an important source of food for China,” Villegas said in his presentation, titled “The Philippine Economy on the Road to Recovery,” delivered in Makati City.

“China will turn to its neighbors in Southeast Asia for food. We need to have a surplus of food to be able to [meet the demand],” he added.

Villegas said, however, that when the government, businesses or the next administration formulate programs and projects to help the agriculture sector, there is a need to focus on high-value commercial crops  such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples and all kinds of vegetables.

He also said “large-scale” investments in agriculture are not necessary since some crops like rice “do very well” even in small tracts of land.

Villegas said this is also the argument against the common misconception that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) failed due to fragmentation.

He said CARP could have been more successful if the government only provided support or extension services
to farmers who were recipients of the program. He said the failure of the CARP was due to the government’s neglect in providing post-harvest facilities, irrigation and others to assist farmers.

“The failure of CARP is that we gave farmers a hectare of land and told him, ‘D’yan ka na, ikaw na bahala [It’s yours; fend for yourself],” Villegas stressed.

Villegas said the government’s neglect of agriculture has set back the country in agricultural development by 20 years. He said it was only during the time of President Estrada, through his agriculture secretary and now Sen. Edgardo Angara, that the government started to reinvest in agriculture.

He said under the term of President Aquino, the government was busy defending democracy through the seven coup d’états that rocked her administration, while the Ramos years focused on the government’s struggle to put “light” back to the streets of Metro Manila.

This is why, Villegas said, the government was only able to start reinvesting in agriculture during the brief term of President Estrada. He said in the two years that President Estrada was in office, the government embarked on developing or rehabilitating irrigation facilities and constructing farm-to-market roads.

This, Villegas said, was continued in the Arroyo administration but should not stop in 2010 when the President steps down. The next administration should continue these investments as well as increase investments in education.

Investing in education could allow the local business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry to move from just being call centers to being knowledge-based centers, according to Villegas. He said China is already preparing to invade the call-center industry by teaching English in schools.

When that time comes, Villegas said, there would be more Chinese who speak very good English than Filipinos. He thinks shifting to a knowledge-based BPO industry like higher-value services, such as animation and architecture, could be a more stable source of BPO growth.

It would also do well for the next administration to focus on allowing the peso to depreciate to around P52 to $1—in order, he explained, to drive domestic consumption through overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) remittances, as well as provide some incentive to exporters who may be prejudiced by a strong peso.

This year, he expects OFW remittances to reach P17 billion, and projects that the peso-dollar exchange rate will be at P50 to $1. This will mean that OFW families will have enough to spend and boost domestic consumption toward the end of the year.

A depreciated peso, Villegas added, will also encourage food manufacturers to start looking for new markets, particularly in Indonesia where there are at least 220 million people.

He said companies like Nestlé have already started this trend and such can continue, especially if the next administration also boosts agriculture production.

Written by Cai U. Ordinario

Source: Business Mirror

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 09, 2009, 07:13:14 AM
The Philippines is relaxing its restrictions on Japanese beef imports after the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) reported that Japan has controlled Bovine Spongiform Encelopathy (BSE) or mad-cow disease. Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the Philippines will now allow beef products derived from all ages of cattle aslong as they are devoid of any nerves and other BSE-specified risk materials. Mr Yap also ordered the inclusion of the slaughter of the cattle of the production date in the packaging label.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 11, 2009, 08:28:34 AM
11 August 2009] Singapore's National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan wants Singaporeans to look at investing in overseas food zones to ensure that when food supplies are threatened, Singapore can depend on alternative sources. He said companies will be encouraged to work with farms overseas to ensure that Singapore has a ready and stable supply of produce. He added that the volatile food prices in recent years exposed the island state's vulnerability and this move should mitigate supply shortages and sharp price increases in the long term.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 14, 2009, 08:34:07 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - August 2009
According to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report from the World Agricultural Outlook Board, weak demand for cattle, hogs and broilers is pressuring prices.


LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: Total US red meat and poultry production for 2009 is reduced as lower beef and poultry output more than offset higher pork production. The 1 July Cattle report, which was released on 24 July indicated lower cow numbers, a smaller calf crop, fewer cattle on feed, and fewer cattle outside feedlots than last year, all implying smaller feedlot placements through the balance of 2009 and into 2010. This also implies lower feedlot marketings and cattle slaughter and hence lower beef production than forecast last month. Partly offsetting the lower beef production is higher forecast pork production due to larger expected slaughter and higher carcass weights in the third quarter of 2009. Poultry production is forecast slightly lower as fractionally higher second quarter broiler production is more than offset by weaker turkey production. Egg production for 2009 is reduced slightly. Changes in the meat production forecast for 2010 reflect tighter supplies of fed cattle due to smaller cattle feedlot placements and lower cow slaughter. There are no changes to forecast pork and poultry production for 2010 as lower feed prices provide some support to producers. Egg production forecasts are unchanged from last month.

Export forecasts for 2009 and 2010 are reduced largely because of lower expected beef shipments. Weak economic growth in 2009 and tighter beef supplies for both 2009 and 2010 are expected to result in lower exports. Broiler exports are raised slightly but turkey export forecasts are reduced. Pork forecasts are unchanged.

Price forecasts for cattle, hogs, and broilers are lowered for 2009. Weak demand is pressuring prices. Egg prices are forecast slightly higher. Prices for hogs and broilers are lowered for 2010, but cattle prices are raised as tighter fed cattle supplies support prices. Egg and turkey price forecasts are unchanged for 2010.

The milk production forecast is raised for 2009 and 2010 as the reduction in cow numbers is slower than expected and growth in output per cow is higher. Fat and skim-solids basis imports are raised as cheese imports have been stronger than expected; the commercial export forecast for 2009 is adjusted as higher exports in the first half are offset by lower second half exports. Exports for 2010 are lowered as higher domestic prices and larger exportable supplies in competitor countries limit export opportunities into 2010. CCC removals are adjusted to reflect changes in support prices for cheese and nonfat dry milk (NDM). Cheese and NDM price forecasts are raised for 2009 as higher support prices and increased net removals support domestic prices. Forecast cheese and NDM prices for 2010 are lowered as higher forecast production and weaker commercial exports increase domestic supplies. Butter and whey price forecasts are unchanged from last month. Both Class III and Class IV prices are forecast higher for 2009 reflecting higher forecast prices for cheese (Class III) and NDM (Class IV). Class price forecasts for 2010 are reduced as cheese and NDM prices are lowered. The all milk price is forecast at $12.10 to $12.30 per cwt for 2009 and $14.65 to $15.65 for 2010.

WHEAT: US wheat ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected 36 million bushels higher this month as higher forecast production more than offsets an increase in projected use and lower imports. Wheat production is forecast 71 million bushels higher with increases in all classes of wheat except soft red winter. The largest increases are for hard red spring wheat and durum reflecting sharply higher expected yields in the Northern Plains. Feed and residual use is raised 5 million bushels with the larger crop. Exports are projected 25 million bushels higher with reduced production prospects in Canada and Argentina, which are major competitors in the western hemisphere wheat market. The 2009/10 marketing-year average farm price is projected at $4.70 to $5.70 per bushel, down 10 cents on both ends of the range. Small revisions are also made this month to 2007/08 and 2008/09 imports, exports, and food use based on the latest trade and mill grind data from the US Bureau of Census.

Global wheat supplies for 2009/10 are projected 5.0 million tons higher with higher beginning stocks and increased prospects for global production. World wheat production is raised 2.8 million tons for 2009/10 with major increases for India, United States, EU-27, China and Ukraine partly offset by reductions for Russia, Argentina, Canada and Kazakhstan. India production is raised 3.0 million tons to a record 80.6 million based on the latest revision to the official government estimate. EU-27 production is raised 1.6 million tons mostly on higher reported yields for Germany but also on better-than-expected yields for France and rising prospects for harvested area and yields for Poland. Partly offsetting are cuts for Spain, Romania, Bulgaria and Austria where persistent dryness reduced yields. China production is raised 1.0 million tons reflecting the first official indications for the harvested summer crops. Ukraine production is raised 1.0 million tons on higher winter wheat area and harvest reports.

Production forecasts for 2009/10 are lowered for several major wheat exporting countries. Production for Russia is lowered 4.5 million tons as dryness and extended heat during July sharply reduced yields in the Southern and Volga Districts. Kazakhstan production is lowered 0.5 million tons as western growing areas suffered under weather conditions similar to those in Russia. Argentina production is lowered 1.0 million tons as continued dryness in the central and western growing areas limited plantings. Production is also lowered 1.0 million tons for Canada as July rains came too late in some areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan and crop development remains delayed raising the potential for late season frost damage.

Global wheat imports and exports for 2009/10 are projected slightly lower. Small import reductions are projected for Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, Japan and Azerbaijan. Partly offsetting is an increase for Sudan. Larger country changes are forecast for exports, but they are mostly offsetting, leaving global exports down just 0.6 million tons. Exports are lowered 2.0 million tons for Russia, 1.8 million tons for India, 1.0 million tons for Argentina, and 0.5 million for Kazakhstan. Exports are raised 2.0 million tons each for EU-27 and Ukraine and combine with higher expected US exports to limit the decline in global trade. Global consumption is raised 2.7 million tons as a 4.4-million-ton increase in India food use is only partly offset by reductions in food use by Ukraine and Canada, and lower wheat feeding in EU-27 and Canada. Global ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected 2.3 million tons higher boosted in part by the rise in 2008/09 carryout.

COARSE GRAINS: US feed grain supplies for 2009/10 are projected higher this month with sharply higher forecast corn production more than offsetting a reduction in carry-in as 2008/09 corn exports are raised 50 million bushels. Corn production for 2009/10 is projected at 12.8 billion bushels, up 471 million as higher forecast yields more than offset a small reduction in harvested area as updated from the June 30 Acreage report. US corn supplies are projected at a record 14.5 billion bushels, up 134 million from the previous record in 2007/08.

Corn use for 2009/10 is projected higher with rising supplies and lower expected prices. Despite reduced prospects for livestock production, feed and residual use is raised 100 million bushels with the higher yield and production expected to add to residual loss. Food, seed and industrial use is raised 100 million bushels with higher expected use for ethanol supported by favorable ethanol producer returns and strong incentives for ethanol blending. Exports are projected 150 million bushels higher reflecting reduced foreign production prospects and stronger expected import demand from Mexico and Taiwan. Ending stocks are projected up 71 million bushels with higher expected use partly offsetting the increase in production. The 2009/10 marketing-year average farm price is projected at $3.10 to $3.90 per bushel, down 25 cents on both ends of the range. The marketing-year average reflects higher prices for corn sold for forward delivery over the past several months ahead of the sharp downturn in futures and cash market prices since early June.

Other feed grain changes include slightly higher 2009/10 production forecasts for sorghum, barley, and oats, as well as minor revisions to 2007/08 and 2008/09 imports and exports based on the latest data from the US Bureau of Census. Oats imports are projected 15 million bushels lower with reduced crop prospects in Canada. As a result, projected feed and residual use for oats is lowered 10 million bushels.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2009/10 are projected 8.3 million tons higher this month. Rising production prospects for US corn, Ukraine barley, India sorghum and EU-27 rye and mixed grains are partly offset by reductions in expected coarse grain output elsewhere. Corn production prospects are reduced for Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and EU-27. Barley production is lowered for Turkey, Canada and EU-27.

World coarse grain imports and exports are both projected higher for 2009/10 mostly reflecting higher expected corn exports, up 2.6 million tons this month. Corn imports are raised 1.5 million tons for Mexico and 0.3 million tons for Taiwan. The 3.8-million-ton increase for US corn exports is partly offset by a 0.5-million-ton reduction each for South Africa and Ukraine, and a 0.2-million-ton reduction for Russia. Barley exports are raised 0.4 million tons with a 1.5-million-ton increase for Ukraine, partly offset by smaller reductions for Australia, Canada, EU-27 and Kazakhstan. Oats exports are cut 0.2 million tons with a reduction in Canada. Global coarse grain feeding is raised 1.7 million tons as increased US corn feed and residual use and higher barley feeding in Australia is partly offset by reduced corn feeding in Russia and reduced barley and oats feeding in Canada. Global coarse grain ending stocks are projected higher, mostly reflecting a 2.3-million-ton increase in corn stocks.

OILSEEDS: US oilseed production for 2009/10 is projected at 94.5 million tons, down 1.8 million from last month as lower soybean and cottonseed production are only partly offset by higher peanut production. Soybean yields are forecast at 41.7 bushels per acre, 0.9 bushels below last month=s trend yield projection, but 2.1 bushels above last year's yield. The first survey-based forecast of US soybean production is 3.2 billion bushels, 61 million below the July projection, but 240 million bushels above last year's crop. Soybean stocks are projected at 210 million bushels, down 40 million from July as reduced supplies are only partly offset by reduced crush and exports. Soybean crush is reduced 10 million bushels to 1.67 billion due to lower soybean meal exports. Soybean exports are reduced 10 million bushels to 1.265 billion. Lower US soybean and soybean meal exports are offset by increased shipments from Argentina.

Soybean and product prices are all increased this month. The US season-average soybean price for 2009/10 is projected at $8.40 to $10.40, up 10 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $260 to $320 per short ton, up $5.00 on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are projected at 32 to 36 cents per pound, up one cent on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2009/10 is projected at 422.6 million tons, down 0.9 million tons from last month but still record high. Soybean production for China is reduced 0.2 million tons to 15.4 million due to lower yield resulting from excessive moisture in the northeast. Offsetting increases are projected for soybean production in EU-27 and Ukraine. EU-27 rapeseed production is projected at a record 19.5 million tons, up 1.2 million due to better-than-expected yields reported during harvest, especially in Germany and Poland. Other changes include higher sunflowerseed production in EU-27, lower peanut production for India, and a small reduction in cottonseed production for Brazil.

US changes for 2008/09 include increased soybean crush and exports and an offsetting reduction in residual, leaving projected ending stocks unchanged at 110 million bushels. Crush is raised 5 million bushels to 1.66 billion reflecting a small increase in domestic soybean meal disappearance. Soybean exports are increased 5 million bushels to a record 1.265 billion.

SUGAR: Projected 2009/10 US sugar supply is increased 350,000 short tons, raw value, from last month. Sugar production is increased 200,000 tons and beginning stocks are increased 150,000 tons while imports are decreased 50,000 tons. The increase in sugar production is based on higher-than-expected forecast production of US sugarbeets and Florida sugarcane, which more than offsets lower Louisiana sugarcane. The reduction in 2009/10 imports is due to prospects for sharply higher world market prices increasing shortfall in filling the tariff rate quota.

Estimated 2008/09 US sugar supply is increased 250,000 tons, based on larger early harvest of 2009-crop sugarbeets and continued strong imports from Mexico. Sugar use is increased 100,000 tons to reflect the refined portion of the increase in imports from Mexico.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 17, 2009, 10:50:29 AM
[14 August 2009] A US agribusiness trade and investment mission will visit the Philippines in October to explore the possibility of using the latter as “a staging ground for exports to the region for food and biotechnology” a statement from the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) said. During a meeting with USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack, DA Secretary Arthur Yap highlighted the Philippines strategic location as a regional production and distribution hub  for biotechnology and food products for US companies that want to sell to Asian markets. Among the proposals of Mr Yap to Mr Vilsack include a USD 20-million Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing project for new technologies for crop and fisheries production.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 21, 2009, 08:58:05 AM
A UN report published this week states that Asia faces an unprecedented food crisis and huge social unrest unless hundreds of billions of dollars are invested in better irrigation systems to grow crops for its growing population. It said countries like India, China and Pakistan avoided famines in the 1970s and 1980s by building giant state-sponsored irrigation systems and introduced better seeds and fertilisers. But the extra 1.5 billion people expected to live on the continent by 2050 will double Asia’s demand for food. A combination of very little new land left for cultivation, an increasingly unpredictable climate and water supplies stretched to the limit means the only realistic option to feed people in the future will be better management of existing water supplies.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 25, 2009, 12:07:32 PM
Pork to Keep China's Inflation on the Back-burner
CHINA - Pork, a trigger of past inflationary bouts in China, is likely to be a suppressant of price pressures in coming months and give the government leeway to keep monetary policy loose until the economic recovery is on solid ground.



A record flood of bank lending in the first half has fueled concerns that Chinese consumer price inflation, in negative territory since February, could soon accelerate - and accelerate quickly.

Monetary conditions are unquestionably crucial in determining the course of inflation, but recent history has shown that China's single most important price is that of pork.

Food makes up a third of the Chinese consumer price index and pork is the key component of that. A sweeping pig cull because of disease in 2007 sent pork prices soaring and sparked the country's worst inflation in more than a decade.

At first glance, pig market trends are unsettling, says Reuters.

Retail pork prices have risen for 11 weeks straight and are up more than 10 per cent during that time, which would seem to augur for an aggressive rebound of inflation in China.

But industry analysts and farmers said price rises would slow because an official pork stockpiling program and a general reluctance to slaughter hogs will leave the country with a bigger pig population than fundamental demand can support.

"There is no possible way that we will see pork-led inflation again because of the general over-supply of pigs," said Feng Yonghui, chief analyst for Soozhu.com, a hog industry website.

China needs about 410 million live hogs, including 41 million sows, for the market to be in equilibrium, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a central planning agency. Official data showed that China had 447.2 million live hogs and 48.3 million sows at the end of June.

US hog futures have plunged 34 per cent in three months and could be dragged lower by swelling supplies after a slump in export demand. China's pork prices have historically had little relationship to world prices, because it satisfies nearly all of its demand domestically and exports next to nothing.

In China, fresh pork cost 11.69 yuan ($1.70) per 500 grams in the week ending August 21, the NDRC said. That was 11 per cent higher than two months earlier, though still 20 per cent below the 2008 peak.

"Maybe the short-term price rises can last until September, but we do not expect pork prices will continue like that afterwards," said Guo Huiyong, an analyst who follows animal husbandry at Beijing Orient Agri-Business Consultant.

Low prices earlier this year meant that breeders were barely breaking even after soymeal-based feed costs rose, which might have discouraged them from raising more hogs. It takes six months to raise a hog for slaughter, so the ebb in prices could theoretically crimp the pork supply by the end of this year.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 25, 2009, 12:09:16 PM
New Opportunity for US Feed in Viet Nam
US - Transportation is a key factor when it comes to US agricultural exports and now Vietnam has been afforded expanded access through a new shipping line.



Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s largest shipping company, has announced the launch of a new direct service between Viet Nam and the United States this month. According to a Hanjin news release, the new service will improve transit time and provide higher quality service with easier access to its customers in Viet Nam.

As a country experiencing rapid growth and development, this new shipping route is welcomed by the Vietnamese and Americans alike. The opening of this line makes Hanjin the third major container line to offer this service to Viet Nam.

US Grains Council Regional Director in Southeast Asia Adel Yusupov said, “The launch of this line is certainly a favorable development for US exporters of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn and corn gluten meal into the market.” The availability of direct service from the United States to Viet Nam will offer better risk management solutions for both US exporters and Vietnamese buyers.

The government of Viet Nam’s policies have created a favorable environment for the country’s commercial livestock sector, encouraging expansion of commercial livestock production. According to Mr Yusupov, 2009 projected feed grains demand is approximately 12 million metric tons.

“We estimate demand will reach 20 million tons by 2015, given the current rate of livestock and feed industry growth,” said Mr Yusupov. In this time of robust growth in the feedmilling industry, backed by escalating feed grains demand, the Council is optimistic this new shipping line will easily lend itself to increases in US feed grains exports to Viet Nam.


 

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 30, 2009, 09:26:19 AM
[26 August 2009] Philippine food exporters are being encouraged to explore the USD 1.1 billion Indian market because it's relatively relaxed rules makes it an easier market to access. Currently, Philippine processed food manufacturers only have a negligible presence in the market, but Philippine commercial attaché in New Delhi, Vichael Angelo Roaring, said local manufacturers could partner “with big buyers and distributors in India” and that “the commercial offices of the Philippines are willing to point them to the major buyers, but they should also start the initiative.” Studies show that India's food market is projected to grow by 30% in the coming years. With the newly signed Asean-India free-trade agreement, tariffs on imported processed food will go down to 28% beginning in 2010 down to 0% in 10 years.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Non-GM corn pushed in Negros Occidental
[25 August 2009] Even as local hog and poultry raisers call for the scrapping of the ban on the use of GM corn in Negros Occidental province, Rommel Ledesma, Executive Director of Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development said that with the operation of the Corn Post Harvest Processing and Trading Centre in the province, the number of  farmers planting corn is on the rise. He said a group of corn farmers have already confirmed that it has access to 500 hectares ready for production of non-GM corn, which is 10% of the 5,000-6,000 hectares needed by the province, which currently meets only 40%-50% of its corn requirement, to become self sufficient. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 01, 2009, 12:03:04 PM
31 August 2009] Although the Chinese government has set up a compulsory vaccination system, requiring immunization of animals against diseases harmful to human health the possibility of disease outbreaks still exist, said lawmakers in a report presented at the 10th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC). An official source quoted the report as saying that there should be relevant authorities to standardize use of veterinary drugs, strengthen and improve monitoring of the production and distribution of livestock products. The lawmakers proposed nationwide inspections for excessive veterinary drug residues and banned food additives to be in place, they also suggested the government subsidize treatment of animal carcasses that had died from disease or unknown causes to contain animal epidemics.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 05, 2009, 07:37:31 AM
Asia a Valued Customer of US Feed Ingredients
GLOBAL - Asian importers can look forward to the increasing availability of a quality product this spring as US ethanol production makes advancements in output and the quality of its co-product, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS).



The US Grains Council’s Taiwanese and Japanese DDGS teams that traveled to the United States this week expressed their excitement about the quality of the product and how it has preformed in both feeding trials and real life production scenarios. "The quality of DDGS produced in the United States has improved and I am confident in using more DDGS from the United States," said Willis Wu-Yeh Cheng, chairman of Charoen Pokphand Enterprise (Taiwan) Co. Ltd., who participated in the study of US DDGS production facilities and suppliers across the Midwest.

Mr Cheng also noted his satisfaction with the current corn crop, saying, "The supply of US corn in 2009/2010 will be enough for meeting the demands from the United States and global customers." The Council arranges teams to the United States to expose key traders and buying groups to US grain and co-product quality and supply, while connecting importers with US suppliers.

Team members visited producer farms and ethanol plants and attended the Midwest Specialty Grains Conference and Trade Show in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where discussions with US food and feed suppliers and DDGS dealers may lead to potential partnerships. USGC Associate Director in Japan Hiroko Sakashita said, "One of the team members said he found a potential supplier of specialty corn for the future. Another team member said US DDGS dealers were quick to offer additional detailed information and further individual discussions about DDGS use for aquaculture, a promising market in Japan."

During a private meeting with Council members South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) and South Dakota Corn Utilization Council held Tuesday morning, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Administrator Michael Michener spoke to the participants about the policies and priorities of the new administration and its focus on the expansion of the US agricultural export market.

"Michener mentioned how important trade was between the United States and both Japan and Taiwan," said Gary Duffy, USGC Asia Advisory Team member and SDCGA board member. "Meeting with the FAS administrator underscored the point that trade with Japan and Taiwan is important to the United States and that US farmers are a reliable supplier of corn and DDGS. This was helpful in driving home the point that DDGS is a high-quality feed ingredient and research is showing how it can be utilized in higher percentages in feed rations."

Team participant Tony Yi-Cheun Shu, executive assistant of Formosa Oilseed Processing Company Ltd. (Taiwan), said the team members highly appreciated Michener taking the time from his busy schedule to meet with them. "We feel we are regarded as valuable customers of the United States," he said.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 12, 2009, 10:47:53 AM
[10 September 2009] McDonald’s Corporation has lost a eight-year long trademark infrigement battle against a Malaysian curry restaurant after Malaysia's Federal Court allowed the latter to use the prefix 'Mc'. McDonald’s first sued the curry restaurant in 2001 for trademark infringement and a High Court ruled in favor of the international fast food chain in 2006. But  McCurry, short for ‘Malaysian Chicken Curry’, then took the matter up to the Court of Appeal, which ruled in favor of the Malaysian restaurant, stating that McCurry's signage and Indian food menu contrasted sufficiently with McDonald's logo and Western menu.  The Federal Court said McDonald's had failed to properly frame its questions when applying to challenge the Appeals Court's earlier verdict.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 21, 2009, 09:52:39 AM
Statistics from China Islamic Association show that, China’s halal foods trade in 2006 exceeded USD 2.1 trillion. The sector maintained a 10% growth rate and industry experts estimated that it is expected to grow at a faster pace of more than 20% this year. China’s halal foods trade volume accounts for 0.1% of the global trade, leaving greater potential for its promising growth in the international market, according to Zhang Zhigang, Vice Director General, Department of Economic Development of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 24, 2009, 09:42:05 AM
[22 September 2009] Thailand is laying more focus on the Muslim markets and aims to expand halal food exports by at least 10% annually between 2010 and 2014. The plan includes strengthening the potential of the halal industry to meet world standards and conforming to domestic demand; promoting the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and increasing Thailand's capability in certifying food to Muslim halal standards, expanding markets and upgrading research and development. The targeted products are livestock products. The strategy calls for five southern provinces - Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Satun and Songkhla - to become the production base for halal products.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 26, 2009, 10:24:09 AM
25 September 2009] Asia is expected to grow more strongly than expected both this year and in 2010 and is set to lead the world out of the global financial crisis according to the latest forecasts by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The bank said developing Asia is proving to be more resilient to the global downturn than was initially thought. 'Nevertheless, there is no room for complacency, and the region's nascent recovery faces downside risks,' the ADB report said. ADB Chief Economist Jong-wha Lee called for a series of measures like encouraging more long-term foreign investments and strengthening demand for Asia to limit the region's reliance on exports.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 27, 2009, 11:20:19 PM
[22 September 2009] China has recently fine-tuned its subsidy for agricultural inputs in response to a price slump in chemical fertilizers and diesels in 2008. According to the new plan mooted by the Ministry of Finance, the subsidy will be more dynamic on the market price fluctuation for agricultural inputs and grains.  The price change in chemical fertilizers and diesel as well as grain planting acreage will determine the subsidy for agricultural inputs for next year, said an official from MOF. China currently has four subsidies for its agricultural sector - agricultural inputs subsidy, direct grain subsidy, farm machinery subsidy and grain seed subsidy.  Subsidies for these categories totaled CNY 102.86 billion (USD 15.1 billion) in 2008, with the agricultural inputs subsidy accounting for nearly 70%.

"15.1 billion US dollars for Chinas farm subsidies"
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 02, 2009, 07:54:31 AM
China may face problems with meat exports
[1 October 2009] New market research has cast a shadow on the quality of Chinese meat and this could affect its exports in coming years. The country has emerged as the world’s largest meat producer, providing 29% of the global production, but its extremely low quality has already resulted in the restriction of its supply to most developed countries. The blame has been placed an ongoing vast disorder in the Chinese Veterinary System, excluding the possibility of exercising control over the quality of livestock products. Most of the bans were imposed because of contamination of certain dangerous diseases in Chinese meat imports, including foot-and-mouth disease, and Siberian plague.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 08, 2009, 09:06:36 AM
[8 October 2009] The Philippines and the Taiwanese governments have signed an agreement to foster technical cooperation and work together to prevent and control the spread of livestock diseases. Under the agreement, the Philippines and Taiwan agreed to cooperate in the fight against livestock diseases through the exchange of experts, sharing of diagnostic experiences and techniques, and participation in trainings and workshops. Taiwan particularly wants parallel efforts in the prevention and control of the classical swine fever which afflicts both the Philippine and Taiwanese pig industries. Philippine Agriculture Assistant Secretary Salvador Salacup said the joint effort is further proof of the deepening and expanding ties between the Philippines and Taiwan in the field of agriculture.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 09, 2009, 09:26:44 AM
9 October 2009] Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Ketsana, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has set price ceilings on basic commodities to prevent unscrupulous traders from raising prices. The order covers both wet markets and supermarkets, and includes products like canned sardines, processed milk, rice, meat, poultry, sugar, and cooking oil. This means that sellers will not be allowed to raise prices for 60 days after the state of calamity was raised on 27 September in Metro Manila, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 16, 2009, 08:11:56 AM
RFM to increase halal exports to Middle East
[16 October 2009] Philippine food conglomerate RFM Corporation plans to increase its shipment of halal meat products to the Middle East this year.  Imelda J. Madarang, RFM vice-president and general manager for exports, said the firm is looking to ship some USD 2 million worth of halal meat products, particularly sausages, within the six-member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) composed of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman. She said that so far, the company has sent “close to 50 containers of halal sausages” to the region. Likewise RFM, which pioneered in the export of halal meat, expects to introduce two new frozen meat products within the year. Although export sales made up just a small percentage of RFM’s sales in 2008, Ms Mdarang said the company’s venture into the halal market would be the driver of the firm’s export division. In 2008, RFM sales topped PHP 7.55 billion (USD 163 million)
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 19, 2009, 06:57:12 AM
US meat supplier meet with Asian buyers
[19 October 2009] Recognizing the growing value and potential in Southeast Asia's Asean region the U.S. Meat Export Federation brought U.S. and ASEAN business contacts together for a “Meet the Buyers” conference in Denver. Meat trade leaders from the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam met in face-to-face talks with suppliers to discuss their product needs and share information about their markets.
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Agriculture damage hits PHP 18 billion
[19 October 2009] Damage to agriculture from the successive typhoons that hit the Philippines is now pegged at an estimated PHP 18 billion (USD 388.6 million). The latest report of the Department of Agriculture Central Action Centre said that the two typhoons destroyed some 121,949 hectares of croplands causing the loss of 925,523 tonnes of rice, corn, and high-value commercial crops, as well as fishery products, livestock and poultry. Some 21,354 hectares of corn were damaged. This amounts to losses of about 41,948 tonnes of corn grains. Meanwhile, some PHP 13 million (USD 280,656) worth of livestock and poultry products were reported dead or lost. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 27, 2009, 08:54:55 AM
[27 October 2009] Food and beverage conglomerate RFM Corp is confident it will recover from losses brought about by the two typhoons that hit the Philippines in late September and early October. RFM President and CEO Jose Ma. Concepcion III said the company lost a significant amount of perishable products during the typhoons, especially in Metro Manila and Northern Luzon, which were the hardest hit. Nevertheless, Mr Concepcion is optimistic that the company will manage to sustain its first half growth into the third quarter. For the first six months, RFM returned to profitability with profits reaching PHP 134.5 million (USD 2.87 million), as sales grew more than 20% to reach PHP 3.85 billion (USD 82.16 million). The company hopes to duplicate its 23% revenue growth last year when it recorded sales of PHP 7.55 billion (USD 161.12 million) and a net income of PHP 234 million (USD 4.99 million).
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 27, 2009, 08:56:31 AM
 Livestock Asia 2009 opens today
[27 October 2009] A record number of national pavilions have been secured for the 5th edition of Livestock Asia Expo & Forum that opens today at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The show that goes on until October 29 is slated as one of the region's premier feed, livestock and meat processing industry shows. Organizer AMB Exhibitions said the event this time has a greater international focus with more international pavilions and more than 30% of the visitors coming from outside Malaysia. Show highlights will include the 5th Asian Livestock Industry Award as well as the 5th Malaysian Livestock Industry Awards. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 28, 2009, 08:26:41 AM
Bounty and Aftab win regional integrator award
[28 October 2009] Bounty Fresh Group of Companies from the Philippines and Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Ltd of Bangladesh were judged winners of the Asian Livestock Industry Award 2009. The awards were presented by Asian Agribusiness Media and AMB Exhibitions at the Livestock Asia Expo and Forum currently being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This prestigious regional award is presented once in two years to an integrator that has shown great potential and growth domestically and in the region. They were judged by an independent panel on four broad categories namely industry leadership, use of technology in operations, health & safety and marketing & promotions.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 28, 2009, 08:27:43 AM
China moves forward on China-Asean FTA
[28 October 2009] The free trade area (FTA) between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), which is scheduled to be established on January 1, 2010, reflects China’s willingness for larger foreign trade and deeper economic cooperation with other countries and regions and will pave the way for the FTA between China, Japan and South Korea in the future. This was the message from the 6th China-Asean Expo held in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi province last week. China has become Asean's third largest trading partner in 2009. Guangxi, China's south region bordering Vietnam, saw trade volume with Asean jumped from USD 630 million in 2002 when the FTA started, to USD 3.99 billion in 2008, official data showed
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 29, 2009, 08:19:07 AM
Philippines continue to seek exemption from AFTA's zero tariff
[29 October 2009] The Philippines continue to seek deferment of the tariff reduction next year under the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) not only for rice and sugar, but also for livestock and poultry, said Ambassador Donald Dee, special envoy for international trade negotiations.Poultry and pork imports are currently slapped tariffs of 40% and 35% respectively, but local producers fear that they will not be able to compete when AFTA's full implementation bring the tariffs down to between 0-5% beginning January 2010. The United Broiler Raisers Association said that in August this year, farm price for live chicken was PHP 66 (USD 1.41)/kg compared to PHP 48 (USD 1.02)/kg in Thailand. Farm price for live hog was PHP 85 (USD 1.81)/kg compared to PHP 60 (USD 1.28) in Thailand.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 29, 2009, 08:20:51 AM
 Progress made towards goal of FMD eradication by 2020
[29 October 2009] Satisfactory progress has been achieved by the South East Asia Foot and Mouth Disease Regional Coordination Unit in its goal to eradicate the disease from the region by 2020. Unit regional co-ordinator, Ronello Anila, told the 4th Congress of the Asian Pig Veterinary Society in Tsukuba, Japan, more epidemiological investigations of outbreaks are needed to better understand virus activity in the field. “Continued political commitment, coupled with proper allocation of needed resources from each member country, is the most important factor in achieving eradication by 2020,” he said. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 30, 2009, 08:19:00 AM
 Progress made towards goal of FMD eradication by 2020
[29 October 2009] Satisfactory progress has been achieved by the South East Asia Foot and Mouth Disease Regional Coordination Unit in its goal to eradicate the disease from the region by 2020. Unit regional co-ordinator, Ronello Anila, told the 4th Congress of the Asian Pig Veterinary Society in Tsukuba, Japan, more epidemiological investigations of outbreaks are needed to better understand virus activity in the field. “Continued political commitment, coupled with proper allocation of needed resources from each member country, is the most important factor in achieving eradication by 2020,” he said. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 02, 2009, 10:39:34 AM
Philippines could be agribusiness hub for the US
[2 November 2009] The Philippines could become a regional agribusiness hub for the US because of its strategic location and untapped resources, Philippine Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said during a briefing on the four-day trade and investment mission led by his American counterpart, Thomas J. Vilsack. For his part, Mr Vilsack said that the US will continue to look for investment and export opportunities in the Philippines. The mission included aquaculture firm Verdant Ocean, Inc and feed miller Novick Industries Ltd. Novick President Luyi Ogbebor hinted at the possibility of his company investing USD 10-15 million for a feed and flour processing plant in the Philppines, while Verdant Ocean President Denzil Nicholson said they are exploring aquaculture and sustainable seafood production in the country. In 2008, US farm products sold to the Philippines reached a record USD 1.77 billion, while Philippine agricultural exports to the US reached USD 1.24 billion.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 16, 2009, 09:34:07 AM
16 November 2009] Ocean container carriers in the westbound trans-Pacific trade lanes announced early this month their intent to increase rates on December 1, and again on January 15, 2010. These rate increases are followed by previous rate increases that took place in July and September. The December increases will apply to dry cargo only and amount to between USD 80-120 per 20-foot container. The January increases will apply to refrigerated cargo and amount to between USD 200-250 per 20-foot container.
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IMF raises growth forecast for Asia
[16 November 2009] Asian economies, particularly China and India are expected to grow faster than expected through next year, far outpacing recoveries in the West, predicts the International Monetary Fund (IMF), although it will remain below the levels seen in the decade before the economic crisis. Growth in Asia is expected to accelerate to 5.8% next year from 2.8% this year. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 16, 2009, 12:28:35 PM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - November 2009
According to the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from the USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board (WOAB), red meat and poultry exports forecasts for 2009 and 2010 have been raised.


Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
Total US meat production for 2009 is raised as fourth-quarter pork and beef production is forecast higher on larger-than-expected October output. Broiler production is raised due to higher-than-expected third-quarter production; forecast fourth-quarter production is unchanged from last month. Turkey production is decreased on weaker third-quarter production, and forecast lower fourth-quarter slaughter. Egg production is little changed.

Meat production for 2010 is lowered from last month as higher forecast beef production due to larger feedlot placements in 2009 is more than offset by lower forecasts for broilers and turkey. Broiler and turkey hatchery data points to a smaller than previously forecast expansion in 2010.

Red meat and poultry export forecasts for 2009 and 2010 are raised. Beef exports are forecast higher for the last half of 2009 and for 2010 on a weak dollar outlook, and improved economic outlook next year. Poultry exports are raised for third-quarter 2009. Import forecasts for beef for both 2009 and 2010 are reduced reflecting lower expected beef supplies in Oceania.

Cattle price forecasts are unchanged for 2009 and 2010. The hog price forecast is raised for fourth quarter 2009, but is unchanged for 2010. Broiler prices are lowered for 2009 and 2010. The egg price forecast is increased slightly for 2009 as fourth-quarter prices have been higher than expected but the forecast is unchanged for 2010.

The milk production forecasts are raised for 2009 and 2010 as milk per cow is forecast higher and the rate of decline in cow inventories is slowed. Improved milk prices are expected to more than outweigh higher feed costs and slow the pace of liquidation. Improving global demand and concerns about world supplies of dairy products have pushed international dairy prices higher and are expected to result in higher US dairy exports during the remainder of this year and into 2010. Import forecasts are lowered for 2009. Fat-basis ending stocks are forecast higher for 2009, but 2010 stocks are forecast lower on both a fat and skim-solids basis as supplies tighten. Improving domestic and export demand and lower year-to-year milk production is expected to lead to higher prices for US cheese, butter, nonfat dry milk, and whey. Class III and IV price forecasts for 2009 and 2010 are raised from last month. The all milk price is forecast at $12.60 to $12.70 per cwt for 2009 and $16.05 to $16.95 for 2010.

Wheat
US wheat supplies for 2009/10 are reduced 4 million bushels this month with small downward revisions to hard red spring wheat and durum production. Exports are projected 25 million bushels lower based on the slow pace of export sales and shipments and increased competition from major Black Sea exporters. US ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected 21 million bushels higher. Ending stocks would be a 10-year high at the projected 885 million bushels. The projected marketing-year average farm price range is narrowed 10 cents on both ends of the range to $4.65 to $5.05 per bushel. Recent gains in futures prices have supported farm gate prices while limiting export opportunities for US wheat.

Global wheat supplies for 2009/10 are projected 1.7 million tons higher as increased production more than offsets a reduction in beginning stocks. Foreign production is raised 3.9 million tons with most of the increase in FSU-12 as an extended growing season and favorable harvest weather boosted yields. Production is raised 2.0 million tons each for Kazakhstan and Russia as harvest results indicate higher yields for spring wheat. Ukraine production is raised 0.5 million tons reflecting late season revisions to winter wheat yields. Production is raised 0.8 million tons for Syria as increased use of irrigation raised yields. Chile production is also raised 0.3 million tons on higher reported area. Production is lowered 1.1 million tons for EU-27 with reductions for France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain more than offsetting small increases elsewhere. Production is also lowered 0.5 million tons for Canada as above normal precipitation and below normal temperatures during October delayed harvesting and raised the potential for field losses, particularly in northern Saskatchewan.

Global wheat trade for 2009/10 is projected higher this month. Imports are raised for EU-27, Israel, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, Bangladesh and China more than offsetting reductions for Chile and Angola. Higher exports for Russia, up 1.5 million tons, and Kazakhstan and Ukraine, each up 0.5 million tons, are partly offset by reductions for EU-27 and Canada, down 1.0 and 0.5 million tons, respectively. Abundant supplies of low-priced Black Sea wheat are expected to limit export opportunities for the traditional exporting countries including Canada, EU-27, and the United States. Global consumption is raised with increased wheat feeding expected in Russia, Israel, South Korea, and Morocco. Global ending stocks are projected 1.5 million tons higher as the increase in world output more than offsets lower carryin and the relatively small increase in consumption.

Coarse Grains
US feed grain supplies for 2009/10 are projected lower this month reflecting lower forecast corn production. Corn production is forecast 97 million bushels lower with a 1.3-bushel-per-acre reduction in the forecast yield. US corn exports are projected 50 million bushels lower reflecting the slow pace of sales and shipments in recent weeks and prospects for increased competition from larger Black Sea corn and wheat supplies. US corn ending stocks are projected down 47 million bushels. The 2009/10 marketing-year average farm price projection is raised 20 cents on each end of the range to $3.25 to $3.85 per bushel. Barley ending stocks are raised 5 million bushels mostly reflecting a drop in projected exports based on the slow pace of sales and shipments to date. Reflecting the higher expected corn price, marketing-year average farm prices are projected higher for sorghum, barley, and oats.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2009/10 are projected 2.0 million tons lower, as reduced corn beginning stocks and production are only partly offset by higher EU-27 mixed grain, barley, and oat production, and higher Kazakhstan barley production. Global corn beginning stocks for 2009/10 are lowered 0.9 million tons mostly reflecting higher 2008/09 feed use for EU-27 and higher food, seed, and industrial use for South Africa. Global corn production for 2009/10 is lowered 2.8 million tons with reduced production for the United States, Brazil, EU-27, Russia, Venezuela and Canada only partly offset by increases for South Africa and Ukraine. Brazil production is reduced 1.0 million tons on lower expected area. Production is lowered 0.4 million tons for EU-27 and 0.3 million tons each for Russia and Venezuela. Production is raised 1.0 million tons for South Africa as producer intentions indicate higher planted area and abundant early season rains support timely planting. Ukraine production is raised 1.0 million tons on higher reported yields.

World coarse grain trade is projected slightly lower for 2009/10 mostly reflecting reduced prospects for US corn and barley exports. Barley exports are also reduced for the EU-27, down 0.2 million tons. Partly offsetting is a 1.0-million-ton increase in Ukraine corn exports. Corn imports are lowered 0.3 million tons for Israel with higher expected wheat feeding. Barley imports are lowered 0.2 million tons for Jordan with lower expected feeding. Global coarse grain ending stocks are lower this month with a 3.8-million-ton reduction in world corn stocks. Much of the decrease is based on this month’s US changes, however, other major reductions in 2009/10 corn ending stocks are projected for EU-27, down 1.7 million tons, and Brazil, down 0.8 million tons. Barley ending stocks are projected higher for EU-27 and Kazakhstan, up 1.1 million tons and 0.4 million tons, respectively.

Oilseeds
US oilseed ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected at 8.8 million tons, up 1.1 million from last month as larger supplies are only partly offset by increased exports. Oilseed crush is almost unchanged as a small increase for soybeans is offset by a reduction for cottonseed. Total US oilseed production is projected at 97.8 million tons, up 1.7 million from last month due to higher soybean production. Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.319 billion bushels, up 69 million from last month. The soybean yield is projected at a record 43.3 bushels per acre, up 0.9 bushels from the previous estimate. Soybean exports are raised 20 million bushels to 1.325 billion due to increased supplies and increased global import demand, mainly for China, EU-27, and Russia. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 270 million bushels, up 40 million from last month.

Prices for soybeans and products are projected higher for 2009/10, reflecting higher corn and soybean futures prices. The US season-average soybean price range is projected at $8.20 to $10.20 per bushel, up 20 cents on both ends of the range. The soybean meal price is projected at $250 to $310 per short ton, up 5 dollars on both ends of the range. The soybean oil price range is projected at 33 to 37 cents per pound, up 1 cent on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2009/10 is projected at 428.9 million tons, up 3.6 million from last month. Increased soybean and rapeseed production are only partly offset by lower sunflowerseed, cottonseed, and peanut production. Global soybean production is projected higher with increases for the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Brazil soybean production is projected at a record 63 million tons, up 1 million from last month due to an expected increased harvested area. Argentina soybean production is raised 0.5 million tons to 53 million due to increased area as producers shift additional area to soybeans from sunflowerseed. Argentina sunflowerseed production is reduced due to lower planted area resulting from dry conditions during the planting season. Global rapeseed production is projected higher as increased production for EU-27 is only partly offset by a reduction for Canada. Other changes include higher sunflowerseed production for Ukraine and EU-27, and lower cottonseed production for China.

Global oilseed stocks for 2009/10 are raised 3.1 million tons to 69.0 million. Increased soybean stocks for Brazil, the United States, and China account for most of the change. Rapeseed stocks for Canada, EU-27, and India are also increased. China soybean imports are raised for 2008/09 and 2009/10 to 41.1 million and 40.5 million tons, respectively. Soybean exports for 2009/10 are raised for Brazil and Argentina. Global vegetable oil stocks are projected 1 million tons higher due to increases in soybean oil stocks for Brazil, China, and India, and increased palm oil stocks for China and Malaysia.

Approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chairperson of the World Agricultural Outlook Board, Gerald A. Bange, (202) 720-6030. This report was prepared by the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 18, 2009, 12:22:34 PM
Warning: More Drug Resistance in Zoonoses
EU - Better surveillance needed to fight spread of antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic infections, particularly Salmonella and Campylobacter, according to a group of health agencies.



The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) have published a joint scientific opinion on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) focused on infections transmitted to humans from animals and food (zoonoses).

The joint opinion concludes that bacterial resistance to antimicrobials has increased in recent years worldwide, making it more difficult to treat some human and animal infections. It says surveillance activities should be strengthened and the development of new antimicrobials and new strategies to combat the spread of resistance encouraged. Research is needed on other strategies to control infectious diseases in animals, such as vaccination programmes.

The opinion says there is specific concern about bacterial resistance to antibiotics used in the treatment of Salmonella and Campylobacter infections – the two most reported zoonotic infections in Europe, and points out which antibiotics are considered of high concern for their treatment. It says that although the use of antibiotics is considered the main factor in the development of bacterial resistance, the use of biocides (including disinfectants, antiseptics and preservatives) may also contribute to bacterial resistance.

Dominique L. Monnet, Senior Expert and Coordinator of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections at ECDC, said: "Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to public health in the European Union and a priority area of work at ECDC. The major cause of antibiotic resistance in humans remains the use of antibiotics in human medicine. If the misuse and overuse of antibiotics continue, we will lose the means to treat serious infectious diseases."

The opinion on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic infections highlights that globalisation of food trade and frequent travel to countries outside the EU make it difficult to compare resistance data from surveillance programmes at EU level and to assess the impact of those strains coming from outside the EU. It also adds that the differences in levels of antimicrobial resistance in the various EU countries make it difficult to have a single strategy to fight against this threat.

Professor Dan Collins, Chair of EFSA's Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) Panel, said: "Resistance is caused by the ability of bacteria to undergo changes, given their increasing exposure to antimicrobials used in human and veterinary medicine. Most antimicrobial-resistant strains of zoonotic bacteria are found in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy food animals, particularly poultry, pigs and cattle."

Food-borne infections caused by these bacteria very often originate from contamination during slaughter of animals or food processing. The opinion says that at present there are no data available to demonstrate that the use of antibiotics in human medicine may also have an impact on the resistance of zoonotic bacteria.

The three EU agencies and the SCENIHR have worked together on this issue, sharing their scientific expertise and advising EU decision-makers on risks and making recommendations for action.

David Mackay, Head of Unit Veterinary Medicines and Product Data Management at the European Medicines Agency, said: "This exercise has been an example of how different institutions within the EU can successfully work together to tackle the issue of antimicrobial resistance, which currently represents a significant threat to human health."

The opinion on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic infections was published ahead of European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November, which focuses on resistance to antibiotics. The opinion confirms previous recommendations that prudent use of antimicrobials in animals should be strongly promoted and that veterinarians and farmers should be educated on strategies to minimise antimicrobial resistance. Other previous recommendations said antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins should be reserved for treating conditions which respond poorly to other antimicrobials.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 19, 2009, 11:01:14 AM
 Two new feed plants get incentives in the Philippines
[19 November 2009] The Philippine Board of Investments have approved and granted incentives to two new feed manufacturing projects with a combined project cost of PHP 152 million (USD 3.25 million). Dan Way Processing Corp, a wholly-owned Filipino project, will put up a PHP 82.4 million (USD 1.76 million) feed manufacturing plant in Bulacan province with an annual production capacity of 30000 tonnes. The plant will be equipped with steel silos for storage, equipment for producing pellets and crumbles, and special feeds using local raw materials. The other project is by 557 Feather Meal Corp, a Filipino-American venture that will invest PHP 70.4 million (USD 1.76 million) for a rendering plant that will produce aqua feed using poultry waste like feathers, carcass trimmings, condemned carcasses and other internal organs. The plant, which will be operational in January 2010, will use raw materials supplied by San Miguel Foods Inc, which is also the sole buyer of the company’s feed produce, on a toll manufacturing basis. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: nemo on November 19, 2009, 08:50:40 PM
Owners of Danway feeds have come a long way. They used to be the distributor of B-meg feeds, 555 duck layer feeds in parts of bulacan. ANd i think it is late 2003 or 2004 they started producing their own feeds.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 22, 2009, 09:18:22 AM
SMC evaluating Purefoods purchase offers
[20 November 2009] San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is now evaluating offers for its 40% share in San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc (SMPFCI), said SMPFCI President Francisco Alejo III, and a deal is likely to be finalised soon. Based on current prices, the 40% interest in Purefoods would cost over PHP 2 billion (USD 42.77 million). Mr Alejo said that in addition to Hormel Foods Corp, there are other parties interested in the stake, most of which are foreign companies. Even with the sale, however, SMC will continue to be the majority stakeholder in the company. SMC is also considering the sale of a significant stake in its liquor unit Ginebra San Miguel Inc. The asset sales will help fund SMC's diversification, which involves investment in other sectors like telecommunications, energy distribution and generation and toll roads.


 
Philippines lifts ban on US meat and bone meal
[20 November 2009] The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has lifted its ban on meat and bone meal (MBM) imports from the US, after the Office International des Epizooties adopted a resolution in accordance with the US "controlled risk" status. DA Secretary said that the US has a lessened risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and there has been no recent case of mad cow disease in the US. Mr Yap said that  the US Food and Drug Administration regulates the use of meat and bone meal in animal feed and has tightened restrictions to further decrease the risk of mad cow disease in the the country, adding that the US currently exports MBM to Indonesia, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Malaysia, China, Mexico, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 24, 2009, 12:21:29 PM
23 November 2009] Adverse weather, including successive typhoons that hit the country in September and October, has brought down the growth of Philippine agriculture to only 1.55% in the first nine months of 2009. Figures from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) show that this is below the 4.16% growth the sector posted during the same period in 2008. From January-September 2009, the gross value of agricultural output amounted to PHP 849.3 billion (USD 18.16 billion), up slightly by 1.6% from the previous year. Livestock grossed PHP 138.4 billion (USD 2.96 billion), up 4.9% from the same period in 2008, while poultry grossed PHP 100.3 billion, (USD 2.14 billion) up by 11.4%. The fisheries sub-sector was valued at PHP 160.6 billion (USD 3.43 billion), 3.2%. Volumewise, the livestock sector grew 1.95%, the poultry industry rose 3.5%, as did the fisheries sector with a growth of 3.3%.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 27, 2009, 11:34:46 AM
Locals Make Banana Waste into Feed Ingredient
UGANDA - A local initiative has been set up to collect banana peel and dry it to make a nutritious feed ingredient for poultry and pigs.



Over 1,500 tonnes of garbage are generated in Kampala daily that Kampala City Council is overwhelmed by the waste output due to its lack of capacity to collect and dump it at its landfill, according to Daily Monitor of Uganda. Three-quarters of garbage rots uncollected on pavements, streets, sewerage outlets and water channels.

This unfortunate situation is witnessed especially in markets, blurring the city's image and posing a serious health danger. However, thanks to an innovation of Kasubi Parish Local Community Development Initiative and Kawaala Recycling and Manufacturing Development Group who have started turning banana peels into veterinary feeds.

Moses Nadiope, the coordinator of Kasubi Parish Local Community Development Initiative said turning banana peels into banana bran project was developed from the general observation that chicken, pigs and cows ate the raw peel.

"We wondered why the peels could not be dried and milled into feeds," he explained.

He said over 70 per cent of the garbage in Kasubi, Kawaala, Nakulabye and neighbouring areas are banana peels making the sourcing of the raw material for making the banana peel bran easy.

"Our project reduces the burden of garbage in our neighbourhood because we buy dried banana peels from residents at 120 shillings per kilogramme," Mr Nadiope said.

He added that the burden now is to popularise the message to residents not to throw the banana peels at garbage hips but to sell them to the group. The three-year Sustainable Neighbours in Focus project started in 2007 and is supported by Environmental Alert, an NGO working to ensure environmental protection, Makerere University, CIAT, Urban Harvest, Kampala City Council and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.

Environmental Alert bought the mill they are now using to process the banana peel bran.

Mr Nadiope said every day, they produce one tonne of peel bran from six tonnes of dry banana peels.

Maria Kawesa, Environmental Alert's programme officer in charge of the project told Daily Monitor that the banana peel bran is a good substitute to maize bran, which is becoming very expensive for poultry farmers because it is highly nutritious.

She said microbiological tests were carried on banana peel bran were carried out at the Department of Animal Science in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Soil Science in the Faculty of Agriculture. They showed that the banana peel bran has enough phosphorus, proteins and calcium, and it is free from heavy metals like chromium, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The Makerere University scientists observed that the bran is safe but they have to be properly dried on polythene sheets and kept in dry places to avoid dampness that creates conditions for bacterial multiplication.

She said what the farmers need is to add cotton seed, silver fish (mukene), sunflower and other ingredients to make complete feeds for poultry, pigs and other animals.

She said in terms of price, this banana bran is very cheap because a kilogramme costs 250 shillings (UGS) compared to a kilogramme of maize bran that costs UGS350 to 500.

Mr Nadiope said the innovation has attracted many clients who buy the bran.

"Most clients are our members because they are aware of the nutritional value of the bran to their animals and birds but even nonmembers are slowly realising the magic," he said.

Ms Kawesa said the milling machine that the group uses was given to them on credit but they will be able to clear the debt from the profits they make, according to Daily Monitor.




Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 27, 2009, 11:38:39 AM
India-Asean FTA to take effect in January 
[27 November 2009] The trade in goods agreement endorsed between India and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) in August, will come into force in January 2010. Reporting on this in Parliment this week, Union Minister of State for Trade and Commerce, Jyotiraditya Scindia said the Agreement will lead to growth in bilateral trade and investment resulting in economic welfare gains to India. Indian exporters of oilcake, wheat, buffalo meat, machinery and machine parts, steel and steel products, automobiles and auto components, chemicals, synthetic textiles, etc. would gain additional market access into Asean countries. Indian manufacturers would also be able to source intermediate products at competitive prices from the Asean markets for further reprocessing and export, Mr Scindia said.

 
Food prices may spike again
[27 November 2009] Food prices could spike once again fuelled by crop shortages in India and the Philippines combined with increased fund speculation in commodity markets. World Bank President Robert Zoellick said food prices are expected to remain high and volatile, and will continue to hit developing countries the hardest. Mr Zoellick added that the World Bank will start a trust fund to boost agriculture in poor countries with an initial USD 1.5 billion. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 01, 2009, 08:58:07 AM
Philippines lifts ban on meat from Belgium
[1 December 2009] The Philippine Department of Agriculture has lifted an eight-year ban on imports of meat and meat products from cattle from Belgium after the Office Internationale des Epizooties declared the country “as having a controlled Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) risk.” DA Secretary Arthur Yap said the meat items including boneless and bone-in beef can be sourced from cattle of all ages, devoid of any nerves. However, the meat should come only from healthy ambulatory and not downer cattle and the slaughter date of the cattle or the production date of the beef should be indicated on the packaging label. Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics show that beef imports dropped 27% to 11,576 tonnes from January-March 2008 from 15,887 tonnes in the same period last year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 01, 2009, 08:59:30 AM
Ongpin group buys 28% of San Miguel Corporation
[1 December 2009] Top Frontier Investment Holdings has bought a 28% share in the Philippines food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC), paving the way for a possible takeover. The stake acquired by Top Frontier from San Miguel Retirement Fund involves 857.12 million A and B shares, and it represented the fund’s entire stake in the food and beverage giant. Top Frontier, led by SMC Director Roberto Ongpin, said that its purchase may lead to an offer to stockholders to buy the rest of San Miguel. Businessmen Iñigo Zobel and Jose Campos co-own Top Frontier with Ongpin, a former trade minister. Zobel is also an SMC Director. Mr Ongpin, through Q-Tech Alliance Holdings Inc., already owns 20% of San Miguel that was acquired from Kirin of Japan. In a statement, Mr Ongpin said that “San Miguel is a sound investment, with a strong balance sheet to support the new business endeavours which are clearly the future engines of growth,” and that the company “has a strong management and highly competent people resources.”
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 02, 2009, 01:14:09 PM
Jollibee to open more stores in Vietnam, eyes India
[2 December 2009] Philippine fastfood giant Jollibee Food Corporate (JFC) has set its sights on Vietnam and India for expansion. Business World reported that JFC Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong said the company wants to focus on Vietnam because of its growing economy, adding that the 10-12 Jollibee outlets in the country are currently doing well. He didn't say however how many additional branches the company plans to open in Vietnam. JFC's international operation currently has 327 stores scattered in countries like the United Arab Emirates, the US, Indonesia, Taiwan, and China. Mr Tan Caktiong said the group will continue to focus in China, Indonesia and the US where it recently opened its 27th branch in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is in line with the group’s ambitious plan to have 3,000 Jollibee stores outside the Philippines by 2020. Meanwhile, India remains in the company's radar and Mr Tan Caktiong has been exploring ways in which to enter the country. It is likely that instead of bringing in one of his brands in India, JFC might buy a food company in India and will use this as its stepping stone.
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Reference prices issued for pork, chicken and sugar
[2 December 2009] The Philippine government has announced reference prices for pork and chicken meat, as well as sugar, for the coming holiday season. The suggested retail prices (SRPs) are PHP 160-175 (USD 3.41-3.73)/kg for pork meat, PHP 135-145 (USD 2.88-3.09)/kg for chicken and PHP 43 (USD 0.92)/kg for sugar. The SRPs, which were agreed upon by the government and the private sector, are initially to be implemented in Metro Manila, but Agriculture Assistant Secretary Salvador Salacup said that the government might expand coverage to the entire country. The SRPs came on the heels of increasing prices. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 07, 2009, 07:50:25 AM
Tariff cuts will stay on schedule
[4 December 2009] Philippine trade officials have brushed aside calls to delay the implementation of the AFTA-CEPT. Philippine Tariff Commissioner Edgardo Abon said that the negotiation stage for the trade agreement is past and that local industries must instead focus on efforts to become more competitive and efficient players. Duties on certain farm goods, including corn, cassava, poultry and pork will go down to 0-5%, however the Philippines’ proposal to keep rice tariffs at 40% before lowering it to 35% in 2015 is still being negotiated. The local corn, feed, poultry and hog industries are among those that have been clamoring for the delay in AFTA, however Mr Abon said the Philippines will have to honour its commitments beginning January 2010.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 07, 2009, 07:53:05 AM
Bounty Fresh sees better sales in 2010
[3 December 2009] Bountry Fresh Food Inc (BFFI) and its sister company Bounty Agro Ventures Inc (BAVI) see election spending boosting sales to nearly PHP 8 billion (USD 172.04 million) in 2010. A report from Businessworld said Bounty Fresh President Tennyson Chen expects increase in sales “probably in the range of 5-10%.” Mr Chen said BFFI and BAVI posted sales of PHP 3 billion (USD 64.52 million) and PHP 4 billion (USD 86.02 million), respectively  in 2008, respectively. In 2009, however, sales was flat because as the global economic crunch weakened purchasing power.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 17, 2010, 03:47:39 PM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - February 2010
Pork production has gone down as slaughter has been lower than expected, according to the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for February 2010.


LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: Total US meat production for 2010 is little changed as higher beef production is more than offset by lower forecast production of pork and turkey. The Cattle report estimated the cattle numbers on 1 January 2010, declined from the previous year, but implied the number of cattle outside feedlots remains close to last year. Thus, forecast placements and marketings are raised, resulting in higher forecast cattle slaughter. However, partly offsetting the increase in expected slaughter, cattle weights are reduced for early 2010 due to severe weather which has impacted weight gain. Pork production is reduced as slaughter has been lower than expected and weights slightly lighter. Turkey production for 2010 was reduced as the pace of growth implied by hatchery data has been less than expected. Broiler meat and egg production forecasts are unchanged from last month. Estimated meat production for 2009 is adjusted to reflect December slaughter data.

Only small changes are made to 2009 beef exports. There are no changes to red meat export forecasts for 2010 but the broiler export forecast is reduced from last month. Recently announced duties on US broilers by China and continued trade restrictions in several other countries will pressure broiler exports.

Cattle price forecasts are lowered for 2010 as larger numbers of fed cattle are expected to pressure prices. Hog prices are raised as tighter supplies may help support prices. Broiler prices are forecast higher in 2010 as domestic demand is expected to grow.

The milk production forecasts are raised for 2009 and 2010. The forecast for 2009 reflects recent USDA estimates of fourth-quarter production. Milk production is forecast higher for 2010 based on the higher-than-expected 1 January dairy replacement heifer estimate. Herds are not expected to decline as rapidly as forecast last month, boosting milk production. Dairy exports on a skim-solids basis for 2010 are raised, reflecting higher sales of cheese and nonfat dry milk. Import forecasts are lowered for 2010. Fat and skim-solids ending stocks are estimated higher for 2009 and stocks for 2010 are raised in the face of higher production. Cheese and butter price forecasts for 2010 are little changed from last month. The Class III price is raised from last month due to higher forecast whey prices, but the Class IV price forecast is lowered reflecting weaker nonfat dry milk prices. The all milk price is forecast at $16.20 to $16.90 for 2010.

WHEAT: US wheat ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected 5 million bushels higher this month reflecting an increase in expected imports. Imports are raised based on expected shipments of South American and European feed quality wheat into the southeastern US market. Exports of all wheat are unchanged, but by-class adjustments include a 10-million-bushel increase in hard red winter wheat and 5-million-bushel decreases in both hard red spring and durum wheat. The projected marketing-year average farm price is narrowed 5 cents on both ends of the range to $4.75 to $4.95 per bushel.

Global wheat supplies for 2009/10 are projected 1.4 million tons higher reflecting production increases for Argentina and Ukraine. Argentina production is raised 1.0 million tons as abundant, late-season rains raised harvested area and yields in key eastern growing areas. Ukraine production is increased 0.4 million tons as the latest revisions to state statistical committee estimates boost yields, more than offsetting a small reduction in harvested area.

Global wheat imports and exports for 2009/10 are both raised this month mostly reflecting higher expected shipments for Argentina and increased regional trade for Turkey. Exports are raised 1.0 million tons for Argentina with larger supplies and recently more favorable government policies toward exports. Exports for Turkey are raised 0.3 million tons reflecting stronger shipments to other countries in the region. Partly offsetting are reductions of 0.5 million tons and 0.2 million tons, respectively, for Pakistan and Uruguay exports. Imports are raised 0.7 million tons for Afghanistan and 0.5 million tons for Turkey. Imports are raised 0.4 million tons for Uzbekistan. Partly offsetting is a 0.5 million-ton import reduction for Pakistan. Global wheat consumption for 2009/10 is raised 1.1 million tons mostly on higher feeding in Canada and increased food use in Afghanistan. Higher consumption mostly offsets this month’s increase in world production with projected global ending stocks rising 0.3 million tons.

COARSE GRAINS: US feed grain ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected lower this month with higher expected corn use and sorghum exports. Corn used for ethanol is projected 100 million bushels higher reflecting the latest ethanol production data from the Energy Information Agency. November’s record ethanol production was up 3 per cent from the previous record in October as higher prices for ethanol and distillers grains boosted ethanol producer returns. November-December corn use for ethanol was up 16 per cent from the same period in 2008/09. Although returns have declined since November, recently lower corn prices continue to support profitability for ethanol producers. A five-million-bushel reduction in expected corn use for sweeteners partly offsets the increase for ethanol. Corn exports for 2009/10 are projected 50 million bushels lower on increased competition from Argentina. Ending stocks are projected 45 million bushels lower. The projected marketing-year average farm price for corn is narrowed five cents on both ends of the range to $3.45 to $3.95 per bushel.

Global coarse grain production for 2009/10 is projected 1.6 million tons higher this month with higher Argentina corn production only partly offset by lower EU-27 corn production and lower Ukraine barley and oats production. Argentina corn production is raised 2.2 million tons with higher expected yields and harvested area as growing conditions continue to improve with additional rainfall in the main corn areas. Late planting and short-term heat stress in the western growing areas temper prospects as a substantial portion of the growing season is still ahead. EU-27 corn production is lowered 0.4 million tons on downward revisions to area for Italy. Ukraine barley and oats production are each lowered 0.2 million tons reflecting the latest revisions to state statistical committee estimates. A number of small, offsetting revisions are made for Russia coarse grains production.

Global coarse grain imports and exports for 2009/10 are both raised slightly this month. The reduction in US corn exports is more than offset by a 1.5-million-ton increase for Argentina. Sorghum imports are raised for Japan and Mexico with the increase in US sorghum exports. Other major trade changes this month include a 0.5 million-ton reduction in EU-27 barley exports and a 0.5-million-ton increase in Turkey barley exports. Global coarse grain consumption is increased 3.4 million tons this month with higher corn and sorghum use more than offsetting a reduction for barley. Higher corn use for ethanol in the United States and higher corn feeding in Argentina account for most of the increase. Sorghum feeding is raised for Australia, Japan, and Mexico. Barley feeding is lowered for Australia, Iran, Turkey, and Ukraine. Global coarse grain ending stocks are projected 1.0 million tons lower with a 2.1-million-ton reduction for corn partly offset by a 1.1-million-ton increase for barley.

OILSEEDS: Projected US soybean ending stocks for 2009/10 are reduced to 210 million bushels, down 35 million from last month due to increased exports and crush. Soybean exports are raised 25 million bushels to 1.400 billion as export shipments continue to exceed earlier projections. Although a record South American harvest is expected to reach the market in coming weeks, tight old-crop South American supplies resulting from last year=s historic drought in Argentina continue to support US exports. Soybean crush is raised 10 million bushels to 1.720 billion reflecting a strong soybean meal exports and a lower soybean meal extraction rate. Soybean oil stocks are projected higher this month as the increased crush more than offsets a small reduction in the soybean oil extraction rate. Soybean oil used for methyl ester is unchanged this month despite reduced production due to the loss of the $1.00 per gallon blending credit at the end of December. The recent Environmental Protection Agency announcement of final rules for the 2009 and 2010 biodiesel mandates is expected to result in offsetting production gains through the end of the 2009/10 marketing year.

The US season-average soybean price range for 2008/09 is projected at $8.70 to $10.20 per bushel, down 20 cents on both ends of the range. The soybean meal price is projected at $270 to $320 per short ton, up 5 dollars on both ends. The soybean oil price is projected at 33.5 to 36.5 cents per pound, down 2.5 cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2009/10 is projected at 433.7 million tons, up 2.1 million from last month. Global soybean production is raised 1.6 million tons to 255 million tons. Improved production prospects for South America account for most of the change. Soybean production for Brazil is projected at 66 million tons, up 1 million from last month due to higher yields. Soybean production is also raised for Paraguay and Uruguay. Global sunflowerseed production is projected higher due to gains for Ukraine and Russia. Global rapeseed production is raised this month due to a larger projected crop for EU-27.

Global oilseed trade is raised 0.9 million tons to 96.3 million tons, mainly due to increased soybean imports for China and Egypt. Higher global oilseed crush mainly reflects increased rapeseed crush in Canada, China, and EU-27. Global oilseed stocks are mostly unchanged at 71.1 million tons.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 19, 2010, 02:15:27 PM
Philippine farm output barely up in 2009
 The Philippine agricultural sector barely grew in 2009, no thanks to the devastating typhoons that hit the country in September and October last year. Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed that farm output grew a measly 0.37% for the entire year after the sector performance contracted by 2.43% in the fourth quarter of 2009. The crops subsector, which accounts for a big chunk of total agricultural production, contracted by 1.42%. The livestock subsector which accounted for 12.47% of total agricultural production grew by 1.24%, with hog production inching up by 1.16%. Meanwhile, the poultry subsector, which contributed 14.33% of the total agricultural output grew by 1.82%, with chicken production growing by 1.53% and chicken egg production rising by 5.04%. Fisheries also posted a growth of 2.45% for the year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 19, 2010, 02:28:53 PM
Thursday, February 18, 2010Print This Page
Towards a More Sustainable Livestock Sector
GLOBAL - Urgent investments, major agricultural research efforts and robust governance are required to ensure that the world's livestock sector responds to a growing demand for animal products and at the same time contributes to poverty reduction, food security, environmental sustainability and human health, FAO said today in a new edition of its flagship publication the State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA).



Around one billion poor people depend on livestock production.The report stresses that livestock is essential to the livelihoods of around one billion poor people. Livestock provides income, high-quality food, fuel, draught power, building material and fertilizer, thus contributing to food security and nutrition. For many small-scale farmers, livestock also provides an important safety net in times of need.

But the agency stressed the need for substantial investments and stronger institutions at global, regional, national and local levels, to ensure that continued growth of the livestock sector contributes to livelihoods, meets growing consumer demand and mitigates environmental and health concerns.



A supermarket in Swaziland.


A farmer collects milk in Bangladesh."The rapid transition of the livestock sector has been taking place in an institutional void," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf in the foreword of the report. "The issue of governance is central. Identifying and defining the appropriate role of government, in its broadest sense, is the cornerstone on which future development of the livestock sector must build."

Efforts are needed to ensure that this rapidly growing sector contributes fully to food security and poverty reduction, moving towards a ‘more responsible livestock sector', Mr Diouf said.

Driving force
The livestock sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the agricultural economy, the FAO report underlines. Livestock contributes 40 per cent of the global value of agricultural production and supports the livelihoods and food security of almost one billion people. Globally, livestock contributes 15 per cent of total food energy and 25 per cent of dietary protein. Products from livestock provide essential micronutrients that are not easily obtained from other plant food products.

Rising incomes, population growth and urbanization are the driving forces behind a growing demand for meat products in developing countries—and they will continue to be important. To meet rising demand, global annual meat production is expected to expand from 228 currently to 463 million tonnes by 2050 with the cattle population estimated to grow from 1.5 billion to 2.6 billion and that of goats and sheep from 1.7 billion to 2.7 billion, according to FAO estimates.

Livelihoods
Strong demand for animal food products offers significant opportunities for livestock to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. But many smallholders are facing several challenges in remaining competitive with larger, more intensive production systems. The report warns that "a widening gulf is emerging between those who can take advantage of growing demand for livestock products and those who cannot."

FAO recommends that smallholders should be supported in taking advantage of the opportunities provided by an expanding livestock sector and in managing the risks associated with increasing competition. Broader rural development strategies creating off-farm jobs should help those that may be unable to adapt and compete in a rapidly modernising sector. "Policy makers also need to recognize and protect livestock's safety-net function for the very poor," according to SOFA.

Environment
There is a need to enhance the efficiency of natural-resource use in the sector and to reduce the environmental footprint of livestock production, the report says. The goal is to ensure that continued growth in livestock production does not create undue pressure on ecosystems, biodiversity, land and forest resources and water quality and does not contribute to global warming. While some countries have made progress in reducing pollution and deforestation associated with livestock production, many more require appropriate policies and enforcement capacity. Market-based policies, such as taxes and fees for natural-resource use or payments for environmental services, would encourage producers to ensure that livestock production is carried out in a sustainable way.

Livestock can play an important role in both adapting to climate change and mitigating its effects on human welfare, FAO said. To realise the sector's potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation based on enhanced capacities to monitor, report and verify emissions from the livestock production new technologies will need to be developed.

Health
Animal diseases pose systemic risks that must be addressed, FAO said. Since new pathogenic agents will continue to emerge, investments in national animal-health and food safety infrastructure are required to reduce the risks of animal diseases to humans. Poor livestock keepers need to be more engaged in disease-control efforts.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 25, 2010, 11:56:26 AM
Towards a More Sustainable Livestock Sector
GLOBAL - Urgent investments, major agricultural research efforts and robust governance are required to ensure that the world's livestock sector responds to a growing demand for animal products and at the same time contributes to poverty reduction, food security, environmental sustainability and human health, FAO said today in a new edition of its flagship publication the State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA).

Around one billion poor people depend on livestock production.The report stresses that livestock is essential to the livelihoods of around one billion poor people. Livestock provides income, high-quality food, fuel, draught power, building material and fertilizer, thus contributing to food security and nutrition. For many small-scale farmers, livestock also provides an important safety net in times of need.

But the agency stressed the need for substantial investments and stronger institutions at global, regional, national and local levels, to ensure that continued growth of the livestock sector contributes to livelihoods, meets growing consumer demand and mitigates environmental and health concerns.
A farmer collects milk in Bangladesh."The rapid transition of the livestock sector has been taking place in an institutional void," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf in the foreword of the report. "The issue of governance is central. Identifying and defining the appropriate role of government, in its broadest sense, is the cornerstone on which future development of the livestock sector must build."

Efforts are needed to ensure that this rapidly growing sector contributes fully to food security and poverty reduction, moving towards a ‘more responsible livestock sector', Mr Diouf said.

Driving force
The livestock sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the agricultural economy, the FAO report underlines. Livestock contributes 40 per cent of the global value of agricultural production and supports the livelihoods and food security of almost one billion people. Globally, livestock contributes 15 per cent of total food energy and 25 per cent of dietary protein. Products from livestock provide essential micronutrients that are not easily obtained from other plant food products.

Rising incomes, population growth and urbanization are the driving forces behind a growing demand for meat products in developing countries—and they will continue to be important. To meet rising demand, global annual meat production is expected to expand from 228 currently to 463 million tonnes by 2050 with the cattle population estimated to grow from 1.5 billion to 2.6 billion and that of goats and sheep from 1.7 billion to 2.7 billion, according to FAO estimates.

Livelihoods
Strong demand for animal food products offers significant opportunities for livestock to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. But many smallholders are facing several challenges in remaining competitive with larger, more intensive production systems. The report warns that "a widening gulf is emerging between those who can take advantage of growing demand for livestock products and those who cannot."

FAO recommends that smallholders should be supported in taking advantage of the opportunities provided by an expanding livestock sector and in managing the risks associated with increasing competition. Broader rural development strategies creating off-farm jobs should help those that may be unable to adapt and compete in a rapidly modernising sector. "Policy makers also need to recognize and protect livestock's safety-net function for the very poor," according to SOFA.

Environment
There is a need to enhance the efficiency of natural-resource use in the sector and to reduce the environmental footprint of livestock production, the report says. The goal is to ensure that continued growth in livestock production does not create undue pressure on ecosystems, biodiversity, land and forest resources and water quality and does not contribute to global warming. While some countries have made progress in reducing pollution and deforestation associated with livestock production, many more require appropriate policies and enforcement capacity. Market-based policies, such as taxes and fees for natural-resource use or payments for environmental services, would encourage producers to ensure that livestock production is carried out in a sustainable way.

Livestock can play an important role in both adapting to climate change and mitigating its effects on human welfare, FAO said. To realise the sector's potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation based on enhanced capacities to monitor, report and verify emissions from the livestock production new technologies will need to be developed.

Health
Animal diseases pose systemic risks that must be addressed, FAO said. Since new pathogenic agents will continue to emerge, investments in national animal-health and food safety infrastructure are required to reduce the risks of animal diseases to humans. Poor livestock keepers need to be more engaged in disease-control efforts.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on February 25, 2010, 12:01:56 PM
Jollibee posts 14.6% income growth
[25 February 2010] Philippine fast food giant Jollibee Food Corp (JFC) has managed to post a 14.6% growth in profit for 2009, despite the economic crunch. In its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, JFC reported a net income of PHP 2.66 billion (USD 57.78 million), which was attributed to strong sales, lower raw material costs and income tax, and efficient marketing expenditure. System-wide sales from both company-owned and franchised stores rose by by 9.6% to reach PHP 63.73 billion (USD 1.38 billion). JFC Chairman and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong said that the company “grew almost 10%, achieved its profit target and exceeded its cash flow objective.” in 2009. With the better perfomance, the company is set to double its capital expenditure to PHP 4.8 billion (USD 103.92 million) this year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 03, 2010, 10:45:49 AM
Nutritionists need to think laterally
[3 March 2010] Nutritionists should think laterally to improve the company's bottom line. This was the message delivered to participants attending the Asian Nutritionist Briefing in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday. Key speaker Oliver Ryan said focusing only on nutrition is not enough because there are a number of factors in relation to the feed that affect the bottom line. Besides understanding all those factors, Mr Ryan said nutritionists should "think outside the box" to find ways to improve business efficiency and hence the bottom line. The event organised by Asian Feed Magazine in cooperation  with Phytobiotics, Feed Management Systems and Van Aarsen drew nearly 100 nutritionists and feed industry personnel from Asia.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 06, 2010, 01:55:24 PM
 US consumers will pay for ‘ethical’ food
[5 March 2010] Asian suppliers to the US are likely to do well if they can assure customers that their products are produced in an ethical manner. A recent survey by San Francisco-based marketing communications firm Context Marketing revealed that 69% of consumers will pay more for 'ethically produced' foods. Bob Kenney, Context Marketing Principal said that when asked to identify what they meant by 'ethical food', more than 90% percent of respondents identified three main qualities: protects the environment, meets high quality and safety standards and treats farm animals humanely. The survey was conducted in January among 600 adults aged 20 - 64, equally representing men and women living in major US markets. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 10, 2010, 11:18:16 AM
Thailand to export more halal goods and services
[10 March 2010] Thailand is working to boost production and export of halal products and services to reach USD 50 billion in 2012, or a 5% share of world halal market, said Industry Minister Chanchai Chairungruang. A part of this attempt by the Thai government is the hosting of the World Halal Congress 2010 in Thailand from March 19-24 to project the country’s potential as a global center for halal trade. At the moment, halal products and services from Thailand account for only 1% of total global value, but ranking as the world’s seventh largest exporter of halal goods.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 17, 2010, 10:20:48 AM
San Miguel food unit posts PHP 2.7b profit
[16 March 2010] Despite the domestic economic slowdown and the sluggish markets, San Miguel Pure Foods Company (SMPFC), the food unit of San Miguel Corporation, posted a record breaking net profit of PHP 2.7 billion (USD 59.12 million) in 2009, up 17-fold from PHP 149 million (USD 3.26 million) in 2008. SMPFC President Francisco Alejo III attributed the strong performance to lower inputs and raw material costs, increased efficiency and distribution. Revenues topped PHP 75 billion (USD 1.64 billion) up 6% from the previous year, while income from operations reached PHP 4.6 billion (USD 100.72 million) or 152% higher than the 2008 level. The company's poultry, feeds and flour businesses, thanks to stable pricing and soft prices of raw materials, were the strong profit drivers, with the dairy and piggery business also exhibiting significant improvements in profits. Mr Alejo expressed optimism that the company will continue on its growth path this year, saying the first two months already indicated a good year. SMPFC has earmarked PHP 5.3 billion for investments in the next few years.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 17, 2010, 10:21:55 AM
Government to buy local yellow corn
[17 March 2010] The Philippine government targets to buy 200,000 tonnes of yellow corn from local farmers this year. Gregorio Tan, Chairman of the Agricultural Commodity Exchange System of the Department of Agriculture said the National Food Authority will pay farmers PHP 12.30 (USD 0.27)/kg plus an incentive of PHP 0.70 (USD 0.02)/kg. The incentives include PHP 0.20 for farmers to dry their corn, PHP 0.20 to deliver their corn to NFA warehouses and PHP 0.30 for cooperatives to sell their corn to the government.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 31, 2010, 10:31:19 AM
Korea to open organic fertiliser plant in the Philippines
[25 March 2010] South Korean firm Daepoong Fertiliser Co will spend USD 12 million to build an organic fertiliser plant in the Philippines. Located in Batangas, the plant is expected to be operational at the end of the year and it will produce 6000 tonnes of organic fertiliser a day, 70% of which  will be exported to Japan, said CEO Jongmin M. Lee. The plant will use both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste materials to make the fertiliser. It can process 12,000 tonnes/day of garbage and turn half of the material into organic fertiliser. The other half from from non-biodegradable materials will be broken down in the fermentation process.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on March 31, 2010, 10:32:27 AM
Jollibee opens fifth outlet in Saudi Arabia
[30 March 2010] Philippine fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) recently opened its fifth outlet in Saudi Arabia. JFC Vice President for International Operations said that the company is expanding its presence in the Middle East “not only to meet the strong demand for Jollibee stores in these areas, but also to let people enjoy the favorite Filipino treats they grew up with.” The new store is located in the Al Rahmaniyah Mall at Al-Khobar. JFC now has more than 50 stores outside of the Philippines.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2010, 10:46:07 AM
Good prospects for Phillipine livestock industry
[21 April 2010] The Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Philippines expects bright prospects for the livestock industry this year and beyond owing to its vast export potential, an increasing demand in the local market for its products and the entry of new players to further invigorate the domestic industry. DA Secretary Bernie Fondevilla said there is potential for the sale of hogs and pork products to other Asian economies and Halal goat, chevon meat and processed products to Middle East countries and other Islamic states. He noted that domestic demand is also growing for semi-processed and processed beef, pork and chicken because of the increasing population; rising number of local and foreign tourists in highly urbanized areas; and the growing number of hotels, restaurants and other commercial institutions in Metro Manila and other major cities in the country.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 23, 2010, 10:14:47 AM
Global Meat, Egg Sectors to Face More Challenges
GLOBAL - During the VIV Europe in Utrecht on 20 April, Rabobank analysts, Dirk Jan Kennes and Albert Vernooij, addressed the challenges which the global meat sector and the global egg sector face with the rapidly changing consumer attitude and behaviour towards food.



A dynamic meat market towards 2020
“Consumer demand for meat will become even more heterogeneous towards 2020,” senior industry analyst Dirk Jan Kennes said. “Next to intrinsic product quality parameters (e.g. taste, pathogen free), animal welfare and environmental parameters become more important in consumers’ buying behaviour, especially in developed countries.”

Sustainability determines opportunities in developed countries, especially in the European markets where competition is intensifying as consumption stagnates and production increases. Sustainability involves animal-friendly accommodation, low-emission sty systems that fit in with the surroundings, manure disposal and regionally closed cycles. In the short run opportunities lie mainly in Northern and Northwest Europe where the markets set strict requirements of sustainably produced meat.

Contrary, in emerging markets demand of meat is driven by changing diet patterns due to growing world population, rising standards of living and urbanisation. This will heighten competition as demand is outstripping production in many of these countries given the scarcity of raw materials. This makes availability of sufficient raw materials crucial for the development of the meat industry in these countries,

China in particular is facing the dilemma of importing more raw materials to produce meat locally or to import the meat directly. Driven by the growing food industry and the fact that pigs are less sensitive to diet compositions, pork production is likely to stay in China. Poultry relies heavily on straight quality grains and oilseeds. Therefore it can be expected that China accept poultry imports when negotiations ask for it.

Feed to meat
“In the short term (next two crop years) feedstock prices are expected to remain at their current highs and will be volatile while from 2010 onwards markets are likely to be more bearish due to new equilibrium and associated higher stocks levels”, Kennes said. This will certainly generate a production response from farmers.

Sustainable eggs
“The shift to more sustainable production of eggs is increasing as the consumer demand for these products is growing in Europe”, said Industry Analyst Albert Vernooij. Retail is increasingly banning cage eggs in favor of free range eggs driven by both pressure from animal welfare organizations and the European cage ban on 1 January 2012. Globally, egg demand will continue its steady growth. Due to its low price compared with other proteins, eggs are the first protein for consumers moving from a grain based to a protein based diet.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 28, 2010, 08:35:47 AM
World meat market to grow by 40%
[28 April 2010] The global meat market is expected to grow by 40% in the next 10-20 years as a result of population and income growth said Dirk Jan Kennes of Rabobank at VIV Europe in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Mr Kennes said the biggest growth can be expected in poultry meat, while pork is projected to stabilize and demand for beef will decline. Of the estimated 40% global growth in meat production around 70% will be in Asia.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 28, 2010, 08:55:35 AM
China's Growth Influences Global Meat Sector
The growth in the Chinese economy and its gross domestic product could have a major impact in the meat industry worldwide, writes ThePigSite senior editor, Chris Harris.


Director of market analysts GIRA, Richard Brown, told the recent Outlook 2010 Conference in London that while the world saw a slump of -1.1 per cent last year from a growth of 3.1 per cent in 2008 and an expected growth of 3.1 per cent this year, China had seen continual growth.

Chinese economic growth went from nine per cent in 2008 to slip by just half a percentage point in 2009 to 8.5 per cent and this year it is expected to grow again by nine per cent.

Countries such as Russia saw a slump of 7.5 per cent, Europe 4.2 per cent and the US 2.7 per cent.

However, Mr Brown said that the meat industry inn Europe at present has the luxury of relatively low feed prices, which he said he hoped would run through until the next harvest.

Global animal disease problems appear to be sorting themselves out with the only major threat coming from African Swine Fever in Russia, although the H1N1 virus did have a major impact on the pig meat industry in North America.

Mr Brown said that the virus outbreak had a significant effect on pig prices, but these have risen more quickly than expected this year.

Worldwide meat consumption fell very slightly last year by just 0.2 per cent, however, this year it is expected to grow by one per cent without taking the growth of the Chinese economy into account.

If the Chinese figures are taken into account, consumption last year grew worldwide by one per cent to 230 million tonnes and this year the rise is expected to go up to 234 million tonnes. Included in these figures is a two per cent rise in pig meat consumption to 97,042 million tonnes and a three per cent rise in poultry meat consumption this year to 76,130 million tonnes.

However, global beef consumption appears to be dropping slightly by one per cent after a stable year last year. Last year consumption was 2,478 million tonnes and it is forecast to drop to 52,049 million tonnes this year.


Source - GIRA
"Global meat demand suffered a sharp downturn in 2009, forcing price decreases to clear the volume," Mr Brown said.

Global trade in meat also suffered last year, with pig meat trade falling by 15 per cent to 5,617 million tones, poultry meat trade dropping by one per cent to 9,783 million tonnes and beef trade down by four per cent to 7,732 million tonnes.

However, this year trade is expected to pick up with a three per cent rise in pork trade and a two per cent rise in poultry meat trade. However, beef is still expected to see a fall of half a per cent.

Mr Brown said that one of the main influences on the trade was the recovery in China of the domestic market from the outbreak of PRRS that it had suffered the year before.

The drop in global meat trade of six per cent was felt by all the major meat exporting countries.


Source - GIRA
However, the Middle East and North Africa did see a rise in imports at the region bought more poultry meat from Brazil, but at the same time the Russian trade fell sharply, though it is expected to go up a little this year.

The drop in trade with Russia is to a large part down to the Russian Government's policy to increase domestic meat production and this has meant that prices in Russia are very high, Mr Brown told the conference.

The volume of imports to the US in 2010 is expected to be about the same as in 2009, but Mr Brown said that some people in the US lost a lot of money last year because of the integrated nature of the meat industry in the country.

Of all the countries in the world, China is emerging as the significant importer of certain commodity products.

However, Mr Brown said it was not quite clear what will happen next in China, because if the country becomes more self sufficient, this will depress imports.

For European traders, because the Euro has been strong throughout 2009, there has been a problem in exporting. For the UK on the other hand, the weakness of sterling has been good news for British farmers.

He said that while consumption in Europe has been down slightly, the main markets to be hit are the beef and sheep sector, which had been hit by both low demand and low supply. The limited supply, however, has mean that prices have remained strong.

"The EU's expenditure on meat has been down and it is not expected to rise," Mr Brown said.

He added that the EU exports of meat were down largely because of the situation in the pig meat market and EU beef production has been drifting down because of a drift in the dairy herd.

He warned that the global meat industry is in a period of uncertainty, but he issued a specific warning to the Brazilian sector, which he said was starting to lose its way because it was not responding to the demand of its export customers largely over sanitary and welfare issues.

Brazilians are the largest exporters, with 23 per cent of world beef trade, but they have been limited by reduced supply, weak global demand, and traceability compliance problems with the EU. They also have 11 per cent of the world pork trade with limited market access and they have 43 per cent of world poultry trade with further growth to a range of markets, but at low prices.

He said that last year was a difficult year for the Brazilians, with a Russian downturn in import demand, strengthening currency and more industry consolidation.

April 2010
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on April 30, 2010, 10:52:04 AM
Pork, Beef Face Battle with Cheaper Chicken
US - Pork and beef producers face an intensifying battle at the supermarket meat case from cheaper, more plentiful chicken, analysts say.

US grocery stores probably will step up discounts and specials on fresh chicken in coming weeks after wholesale beef and pork prices soared near two-year highs, BB&T Capital Markets analyst Heather Jones said. Wholesale chicken prices have also risen, though not nearly as much as beef and pork.

As a result, price “spreads” – or the difference between what retailers pay for wholesale meat and what they charge in their stores – suggest grocer discounts will favor chicken breasts and legs more than steaks and chops.

“We believe this is bullish for chicken retail feature activity,” Dr Jones said in a report today.

Increased chicken competition could be troubling for pork and beef demand, which suffered in recent years from the recession and a slump in exports. Retailers have been reluctant to raise prices with the economy’s recovery still fragile. Some major chains, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., recently launched advertising campaigns touting lower prices for most goods.

For pork and beef, retail prices have yet to catch up with the run-up at the wholesale level, reports Pork Magazine.

Retail pork prices on average were about $1.61 a pound above wholesale values during March, compared with a spread of $1.83 a year earlier, Dr Jones said, citing USDA data. In beef, retail prices were about $1.91 above wholesale, compared with $2.21 a year earlier.

Chicken prices at retail during March were about 92.8 cents above wholesale, compared with 95.4 cents a year earlier.

Rising pork and beef prices reflect tighter supplies of slaughter-ready animals, after livestock producers cut herds in recent years.

On wholesale markets, choice beef cutout values yesterday averaged $1.7027 a pound, the highest since prices approached $1.74 in July 2008, according to USDA data. Pork carcass values averaged 89.83 cents a pound yesterday, up 33 per cent this year.

Beef and pork prices are “still robust,” Dr Jones wrote. Wholesale pork has been “exploding” higher, she said.

Many grocers have already been promoting discounted chicken, as well as specials on pork and beef cuts.




Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 11, 2010, 12:38:05 PM
Antimicrobial Resistance and Greasy Pig Disease
Because greasy pig disease is unlikely respond to injections of penicillin or beta-lactam antibiotics, alternative approaches such as topical treatments and vaccination need to be explored, according to Dr Bob Friendship and colleagues at the University of Guelph. His work is summarised by Wayne Du of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

 

What is Greasy Pig Disease?
The disease is a skin infection caused by bacteria named Staphylococcus hyicus, which is commonly found on the skin of pigs. The oozing of serum from the damaged skin makes the surface greasy, hence the name. Outbreaks of the severe form of the disease cause high mortality and survivors are often poor doing pigs that have to be culled. Pigs with damaged skin due to fighting, mange, etc. are prone to getting the disease.

Why is Greasy Pig Disease on the Increase?
Producer surveys show that the number of cases of greasy pig disease in Ontario is increasing. This is possibly because:

More producers (30 per cent of those surveyed) moving away from routinely clipping needle teeth, which can result in more skin damage due to fighting.


S. hyicus has developed antimicrobial resistance, which results in ineffective treatment of the disease. Many producers surveyed expressed disappointment regarding response to treatment.
How is it Currently Treated
About 70 per cent of the respondents reported that they routinely use topical treatments to control the disease, with mineral oil alone or in combination with an antibiotic such as novobiocin, or they use an antiseptic such as iodine.


Over 50 per cent of the respondents reported they use an injectable antibiotic, either alone or in conjunction with a topical treatment. The popular antibiotic choice was penicillin.
Other Findings
Skin scrapings and skin swabs were collected from six pigs from each of seventeen farms.

60 per cent of the samples showed positive for S. hyicus and 40 per cent of the samples showed positive for S. aureus


All 66 isolates of S. hyicus cultured from skin swabs showed resistance to penicillin and ampicillin and about 70 per cent of the isolates showed resistance to ceftiofur (Excenel®). All three antibiotics belong to the same drug family, the beta-lactams. The resistance pattern was similar to S. aureus.
Take-Home Messages
Greasy pig disease is unlikely respond to injections of penicillin or any of the beta-lactam antibiotics due to antibiotic resistance.

Alternative approaches such as topical treatments and vaccination need to be explored.

Good sanitation, lowering humidity, minimising wounds, eradicating mange and minimising non-essential mixing of pigs are essential to prevent the disease.

Early application of antiseptics to wounds can also help prevent infection and reduce the chance of greasy pig disease.

April 2010
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 20, 2010, 07:46:55 AM
Singapore invests more in halal products
[19 May 2010] The fast growing halal industry in Singapore has spurred local food manufacturers to venture into development of halal products and services said Muhammad Haifan Usalli, General Manager of Warees Investments Ptd Ltd, a subsidiary owned by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis-Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura). He said the number of products certified as halal by Muis had increased from about 2,300 in 2000 to more than 11,500 last year. He said Singapore’s open economy as well as excellent physical and institutional infrastructure was the catalyst for the growth of its halal industry.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 26, 2010, 10:13:44 AM
JG Summit bids for Pure Foods
[26 May 2010] JG Summit Holdings Inc of the Gokongwei family is one of at least five companies vying for a majority stake in San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc (SMPCI), the country’s biggest food company. SMPCI has an enterprise value of about USD 1.8 billion and currently, the company has the biggest market share in the Philippine poultry market at 40% and in the hotdog market (63%). It is a leader in several other businesses. Its business portfolio is seen to be a good complement to Universal Robina Corp, JG Summit’s consumer food unit which is also involved in a wide range of food-related businesses, including the manufacture and distribution of consumer foods, production of hogs and day-old chicks, manufacture of animal and fish feeds, glucose and veterinary compounds, flour milling, and sugar milling and refining.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 26, 2010, 10:14:56 AM
Jollibee to open 200 new stores in 2010
[26 May 2010] Philippine fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) plans to open 200 new stores across all its brands both in the Philippines and abroad in 2010. The openings are in line with the company’s capital expenditure program that amounts to over PHP 4 billion (USD 85.93 million) for the year. JFC fast food network include flagship brand Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich Pizza, Red Ribbon bakeshop, Delifrance and the Manong Pepe’s chain of affordable Filipino meals. JFC Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong said the new stores will include the recently-acquired Café Ti-Amo, a Korean restaurant brand that offers gelato and coffee in a casual dining format. The pilot branch of Café Ti-Amo has been opened and nine more are expected to be constructed this year. The new retail outlets to be built this year will increase JFC’s total global network to 2,082 by end-2010.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on May 27, 2010, 09:18:58 AM
Pure Foods post PHP 872M profits for Q1
[27 May 2010] San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc posted a six-fold growth in profits to PHP 872 million (USD 18.73 milion) during the first quarter of 2010  from PHP 143 million (USD 3.07 million) during the same period last year, thanks to higher sales and operating efficiency. Revenues across the firm’s businesses, which include poultry, animal feeds, flour, canned goods, and processed meat, went up 2% to PHP 18.2 billion (USD 390.98 million) from PHP 17.8 (USD 382.38 million) a year ago. Income from operations almost tripled to PHP 1.4 billion (USD 30.08 million) from PHP 503 million (USD 10.81 million) last year. For the rest of 2010, the company is projecting a 15% profit growth.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 03, 2010, 07:57:23 AM
Philippines to stop corn imports due to weak demand
[3 June 2010] Philippine feed millers are no longer keen on importing additional corn as demand from animal feeds users has gone down. Feed manufacturers imported over 80,000 tonnes of corn from Thailand between January to May this year to fill the shortage caused by the El Niño phenomenon, however the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc (PAFMI) said that despite the expected drop in local corn production, they are no longer keen on importing more corn. This year’s corn imports will likely amount to no more than 80,099 tonnes from 344,945 tonnes in 2009. Feed millers have also contracted 844,000 tonnes of feed wheat, of which 500,000 tonnes of it has already arrived. The remaining volume is expected to arrive in the country in or before October. PAFMI expects animal feed production to go down by 10% to only 4.9 million tonnes this year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 03, 2010, 07:59:49 AM
Low demand pulls down feed production
[1 June 2010] Weak demand for poultry and livestock products could lead animal feed production in the Philippines to drop by 10% to around 4.9 million tonnes, a report by the BusinessMirror said. Industry sources say that the drop in demand has led poultry and livestock producers to cut back on production, which has pulled down demand for animal feeds. Feed producers are no longer likely to increase the importation of alternative ingredients like wheat, despite the expected drop in local corn production due to the drought currently being experienced in the country. For 2010, the Philippine Maize Federation estimates corn production to reach only 6.8 million tonnes, lower than the 7.3 million tonnes targeted by the government for the year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 03, 2010, 08:01:13 AM
New aqua feedmill in the Philippines
[2 June 2010] The first aqua feedmill in the Philippines' eastern region of Visayas will boost mariculture there. To be built by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar), the plant will have a capacity of 3 tonnes/hour and will be equipped with milling technology from Denmark, said Bfar's Regional Director Juan D. Albaladejo. He said the plant's construction will start in early 2010 and when completed it will supply aqua feed for the region that has over 500 fish cages worth over PHP 200 million (USD 4.3 million). Mr Albaladejo said the plant, which is is the first aqua feedmill in the region, will use root crops and by-catch fish that are abundant locally as raw materials.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 04, 2010, 09:52:36 AM
Philippine SBM imports to decline this year
[4 June 2010] Philippine imports of soybean meal (SBM) this year is expected to decline because of production problems in the local livestock and poultry industry, a report by BusinessWorld said. The US Department of Agriculture said disease-related problems as well as the dry spell brought about by the El Niño phenomenon have dampened feed demand by the local animal production industries. However, SBM imports are expected to rise in 2011 as feed demand picks up with the expected recovery of the livestock and poultry industry. Last year, SBM imports fell 15% to 1.1 million tonnes from 1.3 million tonnes in 2008. This is expected to go down further this year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 09, 2010, 11:56:24 AM
Field Peas Offer Alternative to Corn and Soybeans in Swine Diets
The positive nutrient and palatability aspects of field peas for pigs are well documented, according to Dr Tom Miller, Iowa State University Extension swine programme specialist, but their use in feeds will depend on cost and availability.

 

Swine producers concerned about continuing high grain prices might want to consider using field peas as a partial substitute for soybean meal or corn in swine diets. Research coordinated by an Iowa State University (ISU) Extension swine program specialist showed this substitution is well tolerated by pigs and can be a more economical choice.

Tom Miller said the research started in 2005 after an inquiry from a southeast Iowa producer. The initial study, funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU and through the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, included both raising field peas and using the field peas in swine diets.

Dr Miller said: "We looked at the growth of different field pea varieties in small field plots of 20 to 70 acres in southeast Iowa. We also tested the use of field peas in diets of a hog operation near Keota and at the ISU Swine Nutrition Farm. We hoped this would lead to developing an economical supply of these feedstuffs to use in pork production."

The feed trial results showed that it is possible for swine producers to increase their profits by using field peas because they provide nutrients comparable to corn and soybeans at a lower cost than those grains, according to Dr Miller.

He explained: "Field peas are a good source of lysine, and they're high in fibre with low levels of a trypsin inhibitor. Typically, they're fed raw and can be used for sows, weaned and finishing pigs."

Wider adoption of field pea use by Iowa producers hinges primarily on access to adequate quantities of the crop. The early field tests showed that field peas cannot withstand Iowa's summer heat and winter cold, Dr Miller said. And while double cropping is a possibility, planting one's own field pea crop currently does not necessarily offer an economical advantage to Iowa producers.

He added: "The next step is to find a profitable cropping system in order to be able to utilise the potential of the field pea, which includes research on modifying the peas to survive Iowa's climate."

Another option for producers who want to incorporate field peas in their swine diets is to buy the peas from locations with more conducive growing conditions such as North Dakota and Canada.

In a presentation, Dr Miller presented some early results from his work on field peas for pigs, he explained that peas are widely used in feed for pigs in Europe diets, and increasingly in Canada. Compared to soybean meal, field peas contain less fat, moderate levels of carbohydrates and protein and more fibre.



Chemical composition of two varieties of spring-planted field peas in Iowa (2005)





Nutrient profile of field peas compared to maize and soybean meal (44 per cent protein)
The amino acid profile of field peas worked extremely well with distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), according to Dr Miller. DDGS from an ethanol plant contains 0.76 per cent lysine, 0.85 per cent methionine plus cystine, 0.225 per cent tryptophan and 1.01 per cent threonine, he said.

Dr Miller concluded: "Ultimately, the cost of obtaining field peas, whether grown locally or imported from other locations, will be a determining factor in Iowa producer use. The positive nutrient and palatability aspects are well documented."

May 2010
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 11, 2010, 11:46:37 AM
Philippine cassava output likely to rise in 2010
[11 June 2010] Cassava production in the Philippines increased 7% during the first quarter of 2010, leading the Department of Agriculture (DA) to project higher cassava production for the year. Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed that cassava production reached 434,320 tonnes from January-March from 405,930 tonnes in the same period last year, thanks to additional areas that were planted to the crop in Central Mindanao, and the provinces of Bohol, Negros Oriental, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. Cassava is one of the alternative ingredients for animal feed, but in the Philippines is used primarily for flour, cassava chips for snacks. It is also used for biofuel. In a report by BusinessWorld, Candido Damo, Cassava Project Leader of the DA’s Ginintuang Masaganang Ani Corn Program said demand for cassava this year is expected to reach five million tonnes, and will likely double to 10 million tonnes in 2014.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 12, 2010, 10:06:56 AM
Dairy Industry Performance Report
January-December 2009
The total dairy animal population as of January 1, 2010 was estimated at 32,007 head. This was 8.16 percent higher than last year’s inventory. In particular, there was a 12.44 percent increment in the number of dairy cattle.


In 2009, fresh milk production in the country stood at 14.3 million liters, 3.34 percent higher than last year’s level of 13.8 million liters. Of this total, 8.6 million liters or 60.6 percent were cow’s milk, 5.4 million liters or 38.1 percent were carabao’s milk and 0.19 million liters or 1.3 percent were goat’s milk.


In 2009, the volume of dairy imports was 1,789.7 thousand metric tons or 10.56 percent higher than the 2008 level of 1,618.7 thousand metric tons. However, there was a decrease of 34.5 percent in the value of dairy imports, from the 2008 level of US$ 712.0 million to US$ 466.7 million in 2009. This decrease was attributed to lower prices of dairy products in the world market.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 15, 2010, 10:26:38 AM
San Miguel enters commodities cargo business 11 Jun 2010
Philippine based conglomerate San Miguel corp. has entered the commodities cargo business by taking over a unit of Asian Terminals Inc. that operates the Mariveles Grain Terminal in Bataan—the Philippines’most modern grain handling facility.

San Miguel president Ramon Ang confirmed that the buyer was a unit of San Miguel, and that the purchase would be done in partnership with Japanese trading giant Toyota Tsusho Corp.
 
For over a year, the conglomerate had been in talks to acquire Mariveles Grain Corp. (MGC), which would set the company on track to become a distribution and logistics powerhouse.
 
San Miguel also wanted to take over MGC to expand the 500,000-ton annual capacity of its feed mill located near the grains terminal.
 
MGC holds a permit from the Philippine Ports Authority to operate the Mariveles Grain Terminal until February 2033. The terminal offers unloading, conveying, storage, outloading, weighing, bagging and sampling services. It handles bulk cargo of commodities like wheat, soybean meal, corn and soybeans.
 
The terminal can accommodate vessels of up to 70,000 deadweight tons, discharge cargo of up to 10,000 metric tons a day, and store 180,000 tonnes of soybean meal and grain.
 
It was earlier announced that San Miguel and Toyota would form a new company to acquire MGC—60% of which would be controlled by the diversifying conglomerate.
 
Apart from its traditional food and beverage businesses, San Miguel’s investment portfolio now includes interests in banking, energy, power, telecommunications, infrastructure and mining.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 16, 2010, 11:50:13 AM
Philippines close to total FMD-free status
[16 June 2010] The Philippines is nearer to its certification as an FMD-free country after the Office Internationale des Epizooties (OIE) issued in May a certification recognising two of the three zones in Luzon as FMD-free without vaccination. Only Zone 2, comprising the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon and Pangasinan, as well as the Metro Manila area, are still awaiting their certification, but the DA can apply for certification for this zone as early as August this year. In a statement, Agriculture Secretary said that OIE’s recognition of the FMD-free zones in Luzon is a welcome development and that the local hog industry is likely to expand now that export opportunities are likely to be opened for the country.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 18, 2010, 10:16:40 AM
Burger King to invest USD 12m for five year expansion
[18 June 2010] PERF Restaurant Inc, the Philippine master franchisee for fastfood chain Burger King Corp, plans to spend up to PHP 600 million (USD 12.98 million) to put up more outlets over the next five years. Company executive Wilson Young said that this would mean almost doubling the current 26 stores to 50. He said the new outlets will be stand-alone, which can be operated for 24 hours, unlike the mall-based stores which “are limited to a nine-to-nine operation.” Each new store will cost about PHP 25 million (USD 0.54 million) to put up. There are currently 10 stand-alone Burger King outlets in the Philippines, the remainder are based in malls and other commercial establishments.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 24, 2010, 09:12:00 AM
Too much grain is also worrisome 23 Jun 2010
Two years after the global food crisis peaked, grain shortages are turning into surpluses that could create their own problems.

Some traders and economists are speculating that if the US and world economies don't heat up soon, surpluses could turn into price-depressing gluts.
 
While cheap grain is good news for consumers and livestock producers, excessive supplies increase a government's cost for farm subsidies and tend to ignite trade fights between the big farming powers.
 
This tension is growing partly because many of the farmers in the US Midwest who were plagued by rainy growing seasons in recent years are having few problems so far this year.
 
Storage problems
Farmers in Iowa are preparing their storage bins for what's shaping up as a record-large crop. And in some northern Texas towns, the unfolding wheat harvest is so big that farmers delivering grain to local elevators in recent weeks have had to wait all day in long lines of trucks. Some elevators are so full that wheat is being stored in cotton warehouses.
 
Grain traders in Chicago expect US farmers to produce record-large corn and soybean crops for the second straight year.
 
Farmers in Brazil and Argentina are wrapping up record-large soybean harvests. Asian farmers are poised to produce a huge rice crop.
 
According to forecasts by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, this year's global cereal reserves -- the buffer against shortages -- will probably be 24% bigger than just two years ago, and the largest in eight years.
 
Two scenarios
With world grain production this year expected to exceed demand for a third consecutive year, many grain traders and farm economists are beginning to debate the prospects for two starkly different outlooks.
 
One scenario pictures a slow economic recovery where price-depressing grain gluts could materialize in a few years, dragging down farmers' profits and chilling farmers' demand for everything from tractors to genetically modified seed.
 
In a second scenario worries are expressed that the world's farmers won't be able to keep up with demand again once the economy does recover, which would increase costs for food manufacturers and create the environment for another food crisis. China's and India's appetites are expected to grow strongly.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on June 24, 2010, 09:13:50 AM
Earthquake pushes fishmeal prices to all-time high
The earthquake in Chile earlier this year destroyed Chilean processing plants tightening world supply of fishmeal and causing world market prices to hit an all-time high.
Related
Too much grain is also worrisome
Skretting brings tuna farming closer
Call for papers: Aquafeed Horizons 2011
Chile is the world’s second biggest exporter of fishmeal. Nature, through the El Niño weather phenomenon, also hits fish catches in Peru, the world's biggest fishmeal exporter, and further tightens global supply of the raw material.

The skyrocketing prices will likely affect fish and meat prices as the commodity is used as a feed raw material in aquafeed and feed for pigs and poultry.
 
On the animal production side demand is surging because of the fast growth of global aquaculture production due to rapid expansion of this industry in China.
 
Fishmeal prices rose to a record $1,937 a tonne last week, up 85% in the past year, because of strong demand coupled with supply disruptions. Prices in Rotterdam, The Netherlands were as low as $1,000 per tonne after the economic crisis of 2008.
 
The industry is now watching catches in Peru, the world's top fishmeal exporter, due to concerns about the impact of El Niño. Normally the deep, cold water Humboldt current off Peru's Pacific coast creates nutrient-rich waters that are ideal for anchovies, but an El Niño brings warm waters, reducing fish stocks.
 
Because the fishmeal industry's main production centre is Latin America, far from Chinese and European consumption centres, fishmeal is one of the world's most internationally traded commodities.
 
The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Association, the trade body, estimates that each tonne of fishmeal travels an average of 5,000 kilometres to reach its end-user in the aquaculture industry.
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 01, 2010, 10:12:54 AM
Agribusiness turning into an asset class
[25 June 2010] Globally agribusiness is emerging as an asset class and this is due to declining arable land per capita, increasing per capita incomes in emerging economies and rising demand for biofuels. Speaking at a briefing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday, John Baker Regional Head Asia, Food and Agribusiness Advisory of Rabobank International said despite the rising interest in agricultural commodities, short and long-term market volatility has declined in recent months and this is beginning to exert a greater influence on agricultural commodity prices.He also noted increased investor interest in agricultural land.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 06, 2010, 12:12:38 PM
Alliance Tuna to acquire Hiep Thanh Seafood in Vietnam
[6 July 2010] Philippine tuna processor Alliance Tuna International plans to acquire Vietnam fish processor Hiep Thanh Seafood in a move to extend its product range into Vietnamese catfish and market it globally through its worldwide sales networks. Alliance Tuna has signed a memorandum of agreement with Hiep Thanh for a 90-day due diligence as it is looking to buy a 51% stake for USD 13.1 million. It said Vietnamese catfish is gaining popularity due to its white flesh and affordable price. The company will use its existing marketing channels and direct access to supermarket chains around the world to distribute the Vietnamese catfish products.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 08, 2010, 10:55:17 AM
Jollibee forecasts higher Q2 sales
[7 July 2010] Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) said its sales will continue to grow in the second quarter, thanks to higher spending boosted by the Philippine national elections. JFC Chairman and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong also said that barring any unforeseen events, the company is expecting its systemwide sales to grow for the entire year. During the first quarter, JFC reported an 8.4% growth in systemwide retail sales, which is a measure of all sales to consumer to PHP 16.3 billion (USD 34.45 million). As part of its PHP 4 billion (USD 86.11 million) capital expenditure program, the company plans to open 200 stores across all its brands in both the domestic and overseas market. Last year, JFC opened 168 stores worldwide, 58 of which are overseas.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 10, 2010, 10:50:32 AM
Economic Aspect of Agriculture in 2010 and Beyond
The economic aspect of agriculture for 2010 shows more stability compared to the economic outlook for 2009, according to an annual joint report by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) entitled Agricultural Outlook 2010-19. Rachel Ralte, Junior Editor of ThePigSite, provides a brief outline of the Outlook.


The poverty-stricken, particularly in developing nations, are usually most affected by agricultural blows such as high oil prices, commodity price hikes, recession etc. The world’s hungry is now estimated at more than one billion people. However, 2010 has seen the return of a certain degree of normalcy in various world markets. Production is getting closer to historical levels and demand is slowly recovering.

However, the governments of several countries are still anxious about the repetition of these agricultural shocks. They are concerned that energy prices, exchange rates, and/or the macroeconomic performance of key countries and regions may be negatively affected.

According to the Outlook report, "The macroeconomic environment underlying the commodity projections is more positive than in the 2009 Outlook." The world began to recover in late 2009. A gradual transition towards improved sustainable growth has been observed. An increase in oil prices is likely to increase input and production costs. This is expected to affect crop supplies, prices and trade flows, and reinforce feedstock demand for biofuels.

Growth of global agricultural production is forecast to be slower within the next decade, but in the absence of unexpected blows, growth remains on track with estimated longer-term requirements.



Net Agricultural Production for selected countries (index 2004-06=100)
[Sources: OECD and FAO Secretariats]
In the current Outlook report, average crop prices are projected to be above the levels of the decade prior to the 2007/08 peaks. As for livestock products, average meat prices in real terms, other than pig meat, are expected to surpass the 1997-2006 average over the coming decade. Pig meat prices are expected to stay relatively subdued due to an anticipated increase in supply from Brazil and China.



Change in production of crop and livestock products
(per cent change 2019 compared to 2007-09)
[Sources: OECD and FAO Secretariats]
Biofuel markets are dependent on government incentives and mandates. However, prospects remain uncertain mainly because of unforeseeable factors such as future trends in crude oil prices, changes in policy interventions and developments in second-generation technologies. An additional demand for feedstocks such as wheat, coarse grains, vegetable oils and sugar is expected as a result of expansion of biofuel production.

According to the report, "Developing countries will provide the main source of growth for world agricultural production, consumption and trade." Also, food consumption in developing countries will become less responsive to price and income changes as a result of increasing affluence and an expanding middle class.

For an extended period after world primary commodity prices fell following the price surge of 2007-2008, food prices remained high in many places. Last year, inflation of food prices fell considerably, but it remains highly significant in certain developing and emerging countries.

There has also been a considerable increase in short-term price volatility since the 2006-2008 price hike. The extent to which world prices are transmitted to domestic markets depends largely on the country in question and also on the level of market integration.

The report states: "At the international level, the uncoordinated policy actions of governments during the 2006-08 price spikes exacerbated volatility and impeded access to markets." Governments need to assure countries that there will be an unhindered access to global supplies and improved confidence in market functions.

 

June 2010
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 13, 2010, 11:41:25 AM
Philippines considering nuclear energy: Aquino
Agence France-Presse
Posted at 07/13/2010 9:30 AM | Updated as of 07/13/2010 9:30 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines may turn to nuclear energy to solve power shortages in the impoverished nation, President Benigno Aquino said Monday.

"We are studying the possibility of using nuclear energy as a source of power," Aquino, who took office on June 30, told reporters. "I'm awaiting the Department of Energy secretary's recommendations."

He said the technology could come from South Korea, without elaborating.

But he said he was reluctant to rebuild a plant completed a quarter of a century ago under the Marcos regime but never used.

Aquino's statement came four months after a cousin, House of Representatives member Mark Cojuangco, inspected a turbine generator and other nuclear equipment being auctioned by South Korea.

Cojuangco has also said the government should seriously consider reviving the Bataan nuclear power plant, which was completed in 1984 after eight years of construction by the government of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Built 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Manila at a cost of 2.3 billion dollars, the plant was hounded by controversy and has never produced power.

International inspectors who visited the plant shortly after Marcos was ousted by a "people power" revolt in 1986 declared it substandard and unsafe because it was built near a volcano and earthquake fault lines.

Aquino said on Monday he was not keen on rebuilding the plant, citing safety concerns and saying it would be costly to the cash-strapped government.

"I am really bothered. I have a lot of apprehensions with regards to the Bataan nuclear power plant," he said.

The Philippines relies mostly on geothermal and hydroelectric dams to produce its power, but a lack of investment in recent years has contributed to energy shortfalls for the fast-growing population of 92 million people.

Drought plus frequent breakdowns of facilities exacerbated the problems this year, leading to rotating blackouts in parts of Manila and deeper energy shortfalls in the less developed south of the country.
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 14, 2010, 06:07:25 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - July 2010
Pork production is forecast higher for 2010 based on increased slaughter and heavier dressed weights; mainly during the second quarter, according to the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for July 2010.


Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
Total US meat production forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are adjusted slightly. Cow slaughter remains relatively high boosting beef production in 2010. Higher forecast mid-year cattle placements are also expected to boost steer and heifer slaughter later in the year and into early 2011. Pork production is forecast higher for 2010 based on increased slaughter and heavier dressed weights; mainly during the second quarter. The June 1 Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report indicated that producers intend to have fewer sows farrow in the second half of 2010. Although largely offset by gains in pigs per litter, year-over growth in sows farrowing in 2011 is slower than previously forecast, and the 2011 pork production forecast is reduced slightly. Broiler production is forecast higher for 2010 and 2011. Hatchery data point toward continued growth in bird numbers and weights have been moving up. Turkey and egg production forecasts are unchanged from last month.

A slight increase is made to beef exports for 2010. Broiler exports for 2010 and 2011 are raised due to stronger shipments to a number of small markets and a resumption in exports to Russia.

Cattle and hog price forecasts for 2010 are reduced from last month as demand remains relatively weak in the face of higher production. The 2010 broiler price is adjusted to reflect second quarter prices. Prices for 2011 are unchanged. The turkey price forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are raised from last month in the face of continued tight supplies. The egg price forecasts are lowered for 2010 and 2011.

Forecast milk production for 2010 and 2011 is raised slightly from last month. Milk cow numbers have remained higher than expected and milk per cow is expected to increase more rapidly than previously forecast. Exports for 2010 are raised reflecting strong sales of dairy products but fat-basis exports for 2011 are unchanged from last month as production of fat-based products by competing exporters is expected to increase in 2011. However, the forecast of skim basis exports is raised for 2011 as nonfat dry milk (NDM) exports will likely reflect improving economic conditions. Fat-basis imports for 2010 and 2011 are forecast lower reflecting tight world supplies and growing international demand.

The Class III price forecast for 2010 is reduced on a lower cheese price forecast, but the Class IV price forecast is raised as the price forecast for butter is raised, more than offsetting a reduction in the NDM price. The 2011 forecast for butter is raised slightly but forecasts for other products are unchanged. The Class III and Class IV price forecasts are raised. The all milk price is forecast to average $15.80 to $16.10 per cwt for 2010 and $15.90 to $16.90 per cwt for 2011.

Wheat
US wheat supplies for 2010/11 are raised this month on higher area, yields, and carry-in. Beginning stocks are raised 43 million bushels based on the June 1 stocks estimate. Total wheat production is forecast 149 million bushels higher with higher forecast area and a forecast record yield of 45.9 bushels per acre. Winter wheat production is up 23 million bushels as higher Hard Red Winter wheat yields more than offset lower yields for Soft Red Winter wheat. Durum and other spring wheat production are forecast higher as abundant moisture and lack of heat stress in the Northern Plains support above trend yields. Feed and residual use is projected 20 million bushels lower as higher prices limit the competitiveness of wheat in livestock and poultry rations. Exports are projected 100 million bushels higher with lower expected production in several major exporting countries and strong early season export sales. Despite increased foreign demand for US wheat, ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 102 million bushels higher and remain at an expected 23-year high. The season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at $4.20 to $5.00 per bushel, up 20 cents on each end of the range as tighter world supplies and higher corn prices support wheat values.

This month's 2009/10 changes reflect the latest export and seed use data and reported June 1 stocks. Projected exports are lowered 20 million bushels and estimated seed use is lowered three million bushels. Based on these changes, June 1 stocks indicate feed and residual use 21 million bushels lower. The 2009/10 wheat farm price is estimated at $4.87 per bushel, up two cents from last month's projection.

Global wheat supplies for 2010/11 are reduced with world production projected 7.5 million tons lower as smaller crops in FSU-12, Canada, EU-27, India and Turkey more than offset higher production in the United States and China. Production for Canada is lowered four million tons as persistent June rains limited seeding in the Western Prairies. Production is lowered 4.5 million tons and 3.0 million tons, respectively, for Russia and Kazakhstan as continued drought and high temperatures reduce yield prospects for spring wheat. EU-27 production is lowered 1.1 million tons reflecting early indications of lower-than-expected yields in northern Europe. India production is lowered 1.0 million tons on indications that heat during late grain fill reduced yields. Production is lowered 0.5 million tons for Turkey as early harvest results indicate disease has reduced expected yields. Production is raised 2.5 million tons for China where favorable June weather boosted harvested area and yields.

World wheat imports and exports are nearly unchanged for 2010/11, but substantial shifts are projected among the major exporting countries. Exports are reduced for Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey with lower production. Exports are raised for the United States, Australia, EU-27 and Ukraine. Global wheat consumption declines slightly with lower expected feeding in Canada, EU-27, Ukraine, and the United States mostly offset by increases for Russia and China. Global ending stocks are projected 6.9 million tons lower.

Coarse Grains
Projected US feed grain supplies for 2010/11 are lowered with reduced carry-in and lower projected production. Beginning stocks for corn are projected 125 million bushels lower reflecting higher use in 2009/10. With forecast harvested area down, corn production is lowered 125 million bushels, leaving supplies down 250 million bushels and 60 million below the 2009/10 record. Exports for 2010/11 are projected 50 million bushels lower as tighter domestic supplies, strong demand from ethanol production, and rising prices reduce the export competitiveness of US corn. Ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected down 200 million bushels at 1,373 million, 105 million below the 2009/10 projection. The season-average farm price for corn is projected 15 cents higher on both ends of the range to $3.45 to $4.05 per bushel.

Other 2010/11 feed grains changes mostly reflect lower forecast area, which is partly offset by higher expected yields. Barley and oats yields, as reported in the July 9 Crop Production, are forecast above trend. Sorghum yields are raised to reflect adequate to abundant soil moisture in the southern and central Plains. Production, however, declines slightly for all three crops. Barley and oats imports are lowered with reduced supplies expected in Canada. Projected ending stocks are lowered for all three crops and farm prices are projected higher.

US corn use for 2009/10 is projected 125 million bushels higher as increased feed and residual use more than offsets a reduction for ethanol. Feed and residual use is projected 175 million bushels higher as June 1 stocks indicated higher-than-expected disappearance during the March-May quarter. Corn use for ethanol is lowered 50 million bushels reflecting the latest ethanol production data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Although daily ethanol disappearance set another record in April, daily production slipped below March's record pace. EIA's new weekly ethanol production data series (first reported for the week ending June 4) suggests June production, while up from April, will not reach the March pace.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2010/11 are projected 14.9 million tons lower with nearly half of the decline driven by reductions in carry-in and production in the United States. Global coarse grain production is lowered 10.8 million tons with barley, corn and oats production lowered 6.9 million tons, 3.4 million tons, and 0.9 million tons, respectively. Partly offsetting, is a 0.6-million-ton increase in EU-27 mixed grain production. Outside the United States, the biggest reductions are for Russia, Canada, EU-27 and Kazakhstan. Russia barley production is lowered 2.5 million tons as continued drought and high temperatures reduce yield prospects. Russia corn and rye production are lowered 0.5 million tons and 0.3 million tons, respectively. Canada barley and oats production are lowered 1.1 million tons and 0.9 million tons, respectively, as persistent June rainfall limited plantings. Barley production is lowered 2.4 million tons for EU-27 mostly reflecting lower reported area. Kazakhstan barley production is lowered 0.8 million tons as extended drought and high temperatures sharply reduce expected yields.

Global coarse grain imports and exports are nearly unchanged for 2010/11. Corn imports are lowered for Mexico with exports increased for Ukraine, partly offsetting the US export reduction. World barley imports and exports are raised slightly with shifts expected among exporting countries. Barley exports are reduced for Russia, Canada, and Kazakhstan, but raised for EU-27 and Australia. Global coarse grain consumption is lowered for 2010/11 mostly reflecting reduced barley and corn use in Russia and EU-27. Global coarse grain ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected sharply lower with world corn ending stocks down 6.2 million tons and barley ending stocks down 5.7 million tons. At the projected 180.2 million tons, coarse grain stocks would be the lowest since 2007/08.

Oilseeds
US oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 100.8 million tons, up 1.7 million tons from last month, with increased soybean production accounting for most of the change. Soybean production is projected at 3.345 billion bushels, up 35 million due to increased harvested area. Harvested area is estimated at a record 78 million acres in the June 30 Acreage report, 0.9 million above the June projection. The soybean yield is projected at 42.9 bushels per acre, unchanged from last month. Increased exports and crush offset increased supplies, leaving projected 2010/11 ending stocks at 360 million bushels, unchanged from last month. Higher soybean exports reflect increased import projections for China for 2010/11.

The US season-average soybean price for 2010/11 is projected at $8.10 to $9.60 per bushel, up 10 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $240 to $280 per short ton, up 10 dollars on both ends. Soybean oil prices are projected at 34 to 38 cents per pound, unchanged from last month.

Global oilseed production for 2010/11 is increased 0.5 million tons to a record 440.7 million tons. Foreign oilseed production is projected down 1.2 million tons to 340 million mostly due to lower rapeseed production. Global soybean production is projected at a record 251.3 million tons, up 1.4 million due mostly to higher production in the United States. Soybean production is also raised for Canada based on higher planted area reported by Statistics Canada. Rapeseed production is sharply reduced for Canada due to lower harvested area. Despite a record planted area estimate reported by Statistics Canada based on producer surveys conducted in late May and early June, significant crop area in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba did not get planted due to excessive rainfall through late June. As a result, the Canada rapeseed crop is projected at 10.2 million tons, down 1.8 million from last month. Other changes include reduced rapeseed production for China and EU-27 and increased cottonseed production for the United States, Brazil and Uzbekistan.

US soybean exports for 2009/10 are projected at a record 1.46 billion bushels, up five million from last month in part reflecting additional sales to China. Crush is increased five million bushels to 1.745 billion due to stronger-than-expected domestic disappearance for soybean meal. Soybean ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected at 175 million bushels, down 10 million.


Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 15, 2010, 10:37:34 AM
Livestock Review: Viet Nam
VIET NAM - This weekly International Egg and Poultry Review report by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), looks at international developments concerning the poultry industry. This week's report focuses on the Vietnamese poultry and livestock industries.

 

In Viet Nam, about 74 per cent of the population lives in rural areas and 65 per cent depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Small-scale household based production accounts for about 70 per cent of the total livestock production in Vietnam. Livestock plays an important role in generating rural income in Vietnam; an estimated 8.3 million households produce poultry and seven million households produce pigs. Increasing incomes have resulted in a higher demand for livestock products. The average annual meat consumption in Vietnam is about 40kg per capita and is projected to increase to 57kg per capita by 2020. Pork accounts for the majority of meat consumed (76 per cent) followed by poultry meat (13 per cent) and red meat (nine per cent).

According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, the husbandry survey results on 01/04/2010 noted that the country had 277.4 million fowls, up 8.1 per cent from the same period a year earlier, and 27.3 million pigs, up 3.1 per cent. The June 2010 report, Socio-economic statistics in the first half of 2010, stated that feeding products in six months increased considerably as epidemic diseases had been controlled in a timely manner; pork (live weight) gained 1.79 million tons, up 4.7 per cent; poultry meat (live weight) gained 330,700 tons, up 17 per cent; 3,278.8 million eggs, up 7.1 per cent.

In 2008, the Vietnamese government adopted a Development Strategy for the Livestock Industry in order to reorganise and industrialise livestock production and processing in Viet Nam. Under this Development Strategy, Viet Nam plans to increase livestock production from the current 30 per cent of total agricultural output to 38 per cent in 2015 and 42 per cent by 2020. The target for 2020 is production of 5.5 million tons of meat, 14 billion eggs and over one million tons of milk. At that time, the livestock population is expected to total 35 million pigs, 300 million chickens and 500,000 dairy cows.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was first reported in Vietnam in January 2004 and is currently considered endemic in the country. The World Animal Health Organization (OIE) reported five outbreaks that were still recorded as unresolved as of 29 April 2010.

(Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization; General Statistics Office of Vietnam; World Bank; OIE; CIA World Factbook; FAPRI; news wires.)


*Jan-Apr
Source: Department Trade Statistics




Source: General Statistics Office of Vietnam

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 17, 2010, 09:36:16 AM
Virginia Foods to expand operations
[16 July 2010] Virginia Foods Inc, a Cebu, Philippines based meat processor, plans to spend PHP 80 million (USD 1.73 million) this year to expand operations and improve product quality. Virginia Foods Vice-President Stanley Go said in a statement that his company is looking at further expanding its distribution network in the Visayas and Mindanao, where its different products have entered the market. Mr Go said the company “still foresee the need to extend our consumer base” in the region. The company manufactures the Virginia, El Rancho, Winner, Champion, and Australian brands of canned goods and frozen processed meat.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 21, 2010, 09:39:30 AM
Capture the genetic potential of today's modern poultry
[20 July 2010] The Poultry Feed Quality Conference has been designed to help Asian poultry nutritionists and feed mill managers learn how to buy the best corn & DDGS and use their milling capabilities to capture the genetic potential of today's modern poultry, says Program Director, Bob Swick. The conference is being held in Kuala Lumpur on August 2-3, 2010.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on July 23, 2010, 10:23:57 AM
San Miguel gets four bids for Pure Foods
[23 July 2010] San Miguel Corporation (SMC) received and is now studying four bids for its 49% stake in its subsidiary San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc.  Although SMC President Ramon Ang did not name the bidders, he admitted that they included three local firms and one international investor. Earlier reports  said that they include Carlyle Group LLC and CVC Capital Partners, Universal Robina Corp, and Del Monte Pacific Ltd. Mr Ang also declined to reveal the value of the bids.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 02, 2010, 08:18:03 AM
Commission Authorises Six GM Maize Varieties
EU - The European Commission has authorised six genetically modified (GM) varieties of maize for food and feed uses.



The European Commission adopted today five Decisions authorising GM maize 1507×59122, 59122×1507×NK603, MON88017×MON810, MON89034×NK603 and Bt11×GA21 and one Decision renewing the authorisation of Bt11 maize.

These six decisions cover the authorisation for food and feed uses and import and processing but not for cultivation.

The six GM maize in question received (between February 2009 and September 2009) a positive safety assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and underwent the full authorisation procedure set out in the EU legislation.

As Member States did not succeed to return qualified majority decisions for or against these six authorisations/renewal in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) of February 2010 and April 2010 and then in the Council meeting of 29 June 2010, the dossiers were sent back to the Commission for decision.

The authorisations are valid for 10 years, and any products produced from these GM maize will be subject to the EU's strict labelling and traceability rules.

The six adoptions of today are the result of a usual and standard procedure concerning the authorisation of GMOs to be used in food and feed and have no link with the recently adopted package on cultivation since they do not cover cultivation.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 05, 2010, 09:46:23 AM
Jollibee forms joint venture for commissary in China
[4 August 2010] Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) has forged a joint venture with Singapore’s Hua Xia Harvest Holdings Pte Ltd to build its first commissary in China. The JV will set up Jollibee Foods Processing Pte Ltd, which will be 70% owned by JFC with the remainder held by Hua Xia. Both companies will invest USD 7.37 million for the new facility, which is expected to become operational within 2011. To be located in Shucheng County in Anhui Province it will initially supply Yonghe King stores in Beijing.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 09, 2010, 10:45:24 AM
Philippine feed production to drop 23%
[9 August 2010] Lack of demand from livestock, poultry and aqua producers will lead to a drop of about 23% in Philippine feed production, a local industry official said, adding that hog production has not picked up but declined as piglet production is also down. Earlier, industry stakeholders projected a 10% decline in production. If demand does not pick up, it is unlikely that local feedmillers will import more raw materials like feed wheat despite the expected drop in local corn production this year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 10, 2010, 12:01:04 PM
Philippines lifts ban on MBM from Canada
[10 August 2010] The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has lifted the ban on meat and bone meal (MBM) from Canada. In a memorandum, the agency said the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has designated Canada as a Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow Disease) "controlled risk" area, which means the OIE deems the country’s mitigation measures sufficient to minimise the risk of transmission of the BSE agent. Canada can now export to the Philippines MBM and other processed animal protein. The Philippines banned the entry of MBM from Canada in May 2004, after a BSE-incident there that was verified and documented by the OIE.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 14, 2010, 01:52:34 PM
FAO forecasts void in lamb supply
[13 August 2010] The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has said that within five years there could be a 300,000-tonne void in lamb supply due to growth in demand of 1.6 million tonnes, mostly from China. Meat and Livestock Australia is looking to fill this gap, but Beef and Lamb NZ chairman Mike Petersen said demand was starting to slip as well in traditional lamb export markets such as Europe. He said two things were needed to capture younger consumers - hey had to be educated on the taste of lamb and how to cook it, and exporters had to supply the meat in consumer-ready packs. Sheep flocks around the world were shrinking, creating new opportunities and Mr Petersen said New Zealand should be able to capture some of that global demand by improving on farm productivity.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 16, 2010, 09:59:03 AM
Andok’s Manok approves new franchisees
[16 August 2010] Andok’s Litson Corp of the Philippines, which operates Andok’s Manok, one of the Philippines’ leading chicken rotisseries, is expanding further with the approval of seven new franchise deals. The new franchisees will add to 300 dine-in and take-out branches already operating all over the country. Andok’s Litson Corp’s President Leonardo Javier said that a new commissary is being planned to meet the requirements of the new franchisees. Currently the company has commissaries in Metro Manila and Iloilo province that can support only 100 franchised outlets.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 18, 2010, 11:34:42 AM
Philippine feed production to fall by 23%
[17 August 2010] Philippine feed production might fall by 23% for the rest of this year as lack of demand for animal feeds have led producers to cut back on production to minimise any losses. A source from the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc (PAFMI) said there has been weak demand from the livestock and poultry sector, particularly the hog industry whose output has not gone up and is likely to even fall as piglet production is also down. Only the poultry sector which has been showing good performance, said the source, has been helping keep the feed industry on its toes. If demand does not pick up, it is unlikely that local feedmillers will import more raw materials this year, even with the projected drop in local corn production for the year, which is expected to reach only 6.8 million tonnes.Corn imports are not expected to exceed more than 80,099 tonnes for 2010, much lower than the 344,945 tonnes brought in last year.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 18, 2010, 11:36:21 AM
San Miguel near to closing deal on Pure Foods
[18 August 2010] San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is close to reaching a deal for the sale of its 49% stake in San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc (SMPFC) to the consortium made up of the Campos family and Century Pacific Group for more than USD 1 billion, a report by Bloomberg said. However, SMC President Ramon Ang declined to comment on the matter, saying only that negotiations are still under way. SMPFC holds SMC’s processed meats, poultry, livestock, feeds and dairy businesses, and is the current leader in the local market’s poultry and processed meat sectors.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Jollibee to build plant in China
[17 August 2010] Philippines based Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) recently formed a joint venture with Singapore’s Hua Xia Harvest Holdings Pte Ltd to build its first commissary in China. The JV will set up Jollibee Foods Processing Pte Ltd, which will be 70% owned by JFC with the remainder held by Hua Xia. Both companies will invest USD 7.37 million for the new facility, which is expected to become operational within 2011. To be located in Shucheng County in Anhui Province it will initially supply Yonghe King stores in Beijing. JFC currently has 146 Yonghe King outlets in China. Earlier this year the company announced that it will spend PHP 600 million (USD 13.22 million) for 60 new stores in China. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 19, 2010, 10:23:05 AM
Jollibee 1st half income up 9.6%
[19 August 2010] Despite a slowing down in its profits for the 2nd quarter this year, leading Philippine fast food chain Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC) still reported a net income of PHP 1.43 billion (USD 31.73 million) for the first six months of 2010, up 9.6% year on year thanks to expansion and higher sales. Systemwide sales, which include sales from both company-owned and franchised stores, grew 9.5% to PHP 33.91 billion (USD 750.89 million) in the first half. JFC Chief Financial Officer Ysmael Baysa said the company’s sluggish showing in the 2nd quarter was due to foreign exchange losses.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 21, 2010, 11:42:53 AM
Pure Foods sale halted
[20 August 2010] San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has decided to halt the sale of its food unit, San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc, after failing to agree with bidders on the amount of shares to be sold, various reports said. In a statement, SMC President Ramon Ang said that “the final bidders had sought 100 percent ownership,' however, the company is only interested in selling a minority stake (49%) of its shares in Pure Foods at this time. Several reports have named the bidders to be Universal Robina Corporation and the consortium of the Campos family and Century Pacific Group of Companies.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 23, 2010, 08:04:09 AM
 Australian beef exports to Asia continue to climb
[23 August 2010] Australian beef exports to South East Asia and Greater China during July jumped 18% to total 13,231 tonnes swt, lifting shipments to the region over the calendar year to July by 3%, to 71,062 tonnes swt. Strong demand has maintained Australian beef exports to the region at historically high levels. Demand for high-valued beef in Southeast Asia and Greater China continued over the January to July period, as chilled shipments increased 7% and grainfed beef volume jumped 49% on a year ago, to total 7,742 tonnes swt and 5,455 tonnes swt, respectively. Dominating exports to Southeast Asia and Greater China during the calendar year to July were volumes of manufacturing beef (36% of total beef exports), shin shank (17%), blade (8%) and knuckle (7%) that were mainly sent to Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines. The higher volumes sent to Malaysia, Hong Kong and China also reflected growing demand for beef in these markets. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 25, 2010, 10:20:09 AM
Freight rates surge on demand
[25 August 2010] Freight rates have surged to a two-month high as traders scramble for grain imports and Chinese steelmakers increase demand. The Baltic Dry Index of shipping costs for dry bulk commodities – including grains, iron ore, coal and cement – has risen 67% in just over a month after it slid to its lowest since early 2009. The BDI’s sharp rally this month comes after Russia imposed a ban on grain exports, forcing consumers in the Middle East and north Africa to seek supplies from further afield and so increasing demand for freight. The rate for a transatlantic grain-carrying Panamax vessel is up 17.5% since the start of August at USD 26,800 a day. Traders expect a seasonal increase in demand for ore and grain shipments to boost freight rates into the fourth quarter. Russia’s export ban has put pressure on the US to supply food and feed grains.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on August 28, 2010, 10:14:44 AM
Meat prices set to rise
[27 August 2010] Fresh from the swine flu epidemic, meat prices are due for another shift. Rising wheat prices may make animals more expensive to rear. Experts are predicting meat shortages and prices to increase. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation predicted that prices across the globe will rise faster than expected this year at 3%.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 02, 2010, 09:32:27 AM
San Miguel to fold Monterey Foods into animal feed and poultry unit
[2 September 2010] San Miguel Corporation is seeking to fold its meat retailing unit, Monterey Foods Corp, into its animal feeds and poultry unit, San Miguel Foods Inc. However the move is still to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In its filing, San Miguel said the merger would involve “the transfer of the assets and liabilities of Monterey Foods in favour of SMFI, in exchange for the net assets of Monterey Foods worth PHP 84.53 million (USD 1.87 million).” SMFI, which will be the surviving entity, will pay stockholders of Monterey Foods for the merger.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 09, 2010, 10:08:31 AM
Argentina Sees Vast Potential for Agriculture
ARGENTINA - Jorge Correa, Head of Rabobank’s Representative Office in Buenos Aires, is happy to talk about the Food & Agri opportunities for Rabobank in Argentina.



“Argentina is a vast country, rich in natural resources, blessed with good soil and excellent weather,” says Mr Correa. Twenty per cent of GDP is agriculture related, making the agricultural sector in Argentina important not just for Rabobank, but for the world economy. “As the land available for agricultural production around the world becomes increasingly scarce, yield will be key to maintaining food supplies in the future. And few agricultural economies can compete with the yields obtained by Argentinean farmers.”

Rabobank does not have a banking licence in Argentina, but does have a team of twenty-eight staff in its Representative Office in Buenos Aires. “Ninety per cent of our portfolio is Food and Agribusiness, providing trade and commodity finance services to large primary producers, processors and exporters involved in grains and oilseeds.” And when Jorge Correa says ’large’, he’s referring to farms ranging from 100,000 to 1 million hectares.

While Food and Agribusiness and Trade and Commodity finance account for the lion’s share of business, Rabobank is also increasing its participation in the growing renewable energy sector in Argentina, mainly in the biodiesel and bioethanol sectors.

Argentina, Brazil and the US account for 80 per cent of world soybean production. Jorge Correa: “As the world’s largest exporter of soy meals and soy oil Argentina plays a key role in supplying the increasing demand for soy proteins. Soy oil is the second most consumed vegetable oil in the world after palm oil. And soy meal is the best and the largest ingredient in protein contents used in the animal feed industry.”

In the August 2010 update on Agricultural Commodities Rabobank analysts state that soybean demand from China is almost insatiable, despite record soybean production this year in both the U.S and South America. Jorge Correa: “The total value of the soy industry was estimated at USD 110 billion in 2009, divided across soy oil (33 per cent) and soy meals (67 per cent). And there’s still plenty of room for growth.”

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 10, 2010, 11:47:16 AM
China inflation accelerates, agri prices surge on speculation
[10 September 2010] Inflationary expectations in China are speeding up as agricultural product prices continue to rise driven by speculations as well as unfavorable weather this year. It is an arduous task keep inflation within the 3% target, said Fang Yan, deputy director of the rural economy division from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Prices of some agricultural products began to surge this year at record speed, with the garlic, mung bean, ginger prices spiking almost tenfold compared to the beginning of 2010. CPI rose 3.3% in July year-on-year boosted by soaring food prices. The rise in land costs,excess funds for agricultural, unfavorable weather  as well as structural or regional shortage of certain products encouraged speculation. Farmers however, have not benefited from these hikes, Fang Yan said.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 19, 2010, 11:43:11 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate - September 2010
The forecast for 2011 has been reduced as higher feed prices encourage cattle producers to keep cattle on forage longer and tempers pork, broiler, and turkey production gains, according to the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.


Livestock, Dairy and Poultry
Total US meat production forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are reduced slightly from last month. The forecast for 2010 is reduced as lower pork and broiler production more than offset an increase in beef production. The 2011 forecast is reduced as higher feed prices encourage cattle producers to keep cattle on forage longer and tempers pork, broiler, and turkey production gains. USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report will be released on 24 September and will provide an indication of sow farrowing intentions into early 2011. Egg production forecasts for 2010 are adjusted to reflect a revision in second-quarter production but the 2011 forecast is unchanged.

Beef imports are reduced for 2010 and 2011 as imports have been lower than expected. Export forecasts for beef are raised on continuing strong sales to a number of markets. Pork and poultry trade forecasts are unchanged from last month.

Livestock and poultry prices for 2010 are raised but forecasts for 2011 cattle and hog prices are unchanged. The broiler and turkey price forecasts for 2011 are raised slightly on expected tightness in supplies. Egg prices for 2010 are forecast higher due to the recent spike in third-quarter prices, but the forecast for 2011 is unchanged.

Forecast milk production for 2010 and 2011 is raised from last month. Producers continue to add cows to the herd and inventories are forecast to increase into mid-2011. The rate of growth in milk per cow is also increased from last month. Fat basis export forecasts for 2010 are raised on strong sales of butterfat and cheese, but 2011 exports are lowered. Skim-solids exports for 2010 and 2011 are forecast higher than last month. Imports are reduced from last month due to higher US production and strong demand in other importing countries. Ending stocks for 2011 are increased as US production is forecast higher.

Strong demand for cheese and tight supplies of butter support higher forecast prices for 2010 and 2011. Stronger demand is forecast to absorb most of the increased production although prices are expected to be tempered during the latter part of 2011. Price forecasts for nonfat dry milk (NDM) are raised for 2010, but the 2011 forecast is unchanged from last month as increased supplies limit price gains. The whey price forecast is unchanged. Both Class III and Class IV price forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are raised due to the higher product prices. The all milk price is forecast to average $16.25 to $16.45 per cwt for 2010 and $15.85 to $16.85 per cwt for 2011.

Wheat
US wheat ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected lower this month with higher expected world demand for US wheat. Strong early season sales and reduced supplies in EU-27, particularly of higher quality wheat, support an improved outlook for US exports. Wheat exports are projected 50 million bushels higher with larger expected shipments of Hard Red Winter, Hard Red Spring, and White wheat. Projected ending stocks are lowered by the same amount to 902 million bushels. At the projected level, stocks would remain the second highest in more than a decade. The 2010/11 season-average farm price is projected at $4.95 to $5.65 per bushel, compared with $4.70 to $5.50 last month.

Global wheat supplies for 2010/11 are projected down 0.7 million tons as higher carryin mostly offsets a 2.7-million-ton reduction in world output. Much of the offset is explained by Canada, where beginning stocks are increased 1.5 million tons, as reported by Statistics Canada, and production is increased by 2.0 million tons. These changes mostly offset lower production in Russia and EU-27. Production for Russia is lowered 2.5 million tons based on the latest harvest results for the drought-affected central growing areas in the Volga and Urals Federal Districts. EU-27 production is lowered 2.4 million tons with the largest reductions for Hungary and Romania where heavy summer rains reduced yields. Smaller reductions in a number of other member countries also reduce EU-27 production. Although the reduction for Germany is small, persistent and heavy August rains have reduced supplies of high quality milling wheat. Other production changes include a 0.3-million-ton reduction for Belarus and a 0.4-million-ton increase for Morocco.

World wheat trade for 2010/11 is raised with global exports projected 1.4 million tons higher. Export shifts among countries largely reflect availability of supplies and increased competition from North America. Exports are raised 2.0 million tons for Canada and 1.4 million tons for the United States. Exports are also raised 0.5 million tons each for Iran and Kazakhstan. A 0.5-million-ton increase in Russia exports reflects larger-than-expected shipments during early August, before implementation of the export ban on August 15. These increases more than offset a 3.0-million-ton reduction for EU-27 and a 0.5-million-ton reduction for Australia. EU-27 exports are lowered with reduced supplies and increased competition from Canada. Logistical constraints are expected to limit exports from Australia.

World wheat imports for 2010/11 are raised with increases for Russia and Nigeria. Imports for Russia are raised 1.4 million tons as imports from regional suppliers support domestic usage, particularly for feeding. World wheat consumption is lowered 3.8 million tons with lower consumption in EU-27, Russia, and Kazakhstan outweighing increases for Pakistan, Canada, and Nigeria. Wheat feeding is lowered 2.0 million tons for EU-27 with imported coarse grains expected to partly replace wheat in livestock and poultry rations. Global ending stocks are projected 3.0 million tons higher with increases for EU-27, Canada, and Australia. Ending stocks are lowered for Pakistan and Russia.

Coarse Grains
Projected US feed grain supplies for 2010/11 are lower this month with lower carryin and reduced production for corn and sorghum. Beginning stocks for corn are projected 40 million bushels lower with higher 2009/10 corn use for ethanol and a small increase in exports. Corn production for 2010/11 is forecast at 13,160 million bushels, down 205 million, but still the largest crop on record. The national average yield is forecast at 162.5 bushels per acre, down 2.5 bushels. The largest reductions in forecast yields are for the eastern Corn Belt, which account for more than half of the reduction in total output.

Domestic corn use for 2010/11 is lowered 100 million bushels with lower expected feed and residual use as higher prices trim feeding demand and the smaller crop reduces residual disappearance. Projected exports are raised 50 million bushels with rising world demand for coarse grains, particularly corn. US corn ending stocks are expected to decline to 1.1 billion bushels, down 196 million bushels. At this level, 2010/11 carryout would be the lowest since 2003/04. Stocks as a per centage of total use would be the lowest since 1995/96. The season-average farm price is projected at $4.00 to $4.80 per bushel, compared with $3.50 to $4.10 last month.

Other 2010/11 feed grains changes include lower projected ending stocks for sorghum and oats. Sorghum production is forecast 7 million bushels lower. Sorghum exports are raised 10 million bushels with stronger world demand for coarse grains. Sorghum feed and residual use is lowered 10 million bushels. Oats imports are lowered 10 million bushels with lower expected production in Canada.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2010/11 are projected down 8.7 million tons with reduced foreign and US production. Most of the foreign reductions this month are in EU-27 and FSU-12 countries. A 10.3-million-ton reduction in world coarse grain production for 2010/11 is partly offset by larger corn beginning stocks for Brazil with a 1.8-million-ton increase in 2009/10 corn production. Lower US and EU-27 corn production account for more than half of the reduction in 2010/11 global coarse grain output. EU-27 corn production is reduced 1.2 million tons with lower reported area and yields for France and Germany and lower reported yields for Italy, Austria, and Spain. World barley production is lowered 2.0 million tons with reductions for Russia, EU-27, Belarus, and Morocco. World oats production is reduced 0.9 million tons with lower production for EU-27, Canada, and Belarus. Lower rye production in EU-27 and Belarus lowers world output 1.0 million tons.

Global coarse grain trade is increased this month with US corn exports raised 1.3 million tons. A 0.5-million-ton reduction for EU-27 corn exports is offset by a 0.5-million-ton increase for Ukraine. Corn imports are raised 2.0 million tons for EU-27 as corn partly replaces wheat in feeding. Russia corn imports are raised 0.7 million tons helping to offset reduced supplies of feed barley. Global corn consumption is lowered as reduced prospects for corn feeding in the United States and Ukraine more than offset higher expected corn feeding in EU-27, Russia, Mexico, and Canada. Global corn ending stocks are projected 3.6 million tons lower.

Oilseeds
US oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 104.8 million tons, up 1.5 million from last month. Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.483 billion bushels, up 50 million from last month based on an increase in the projected yield to a record 44.7 bushels per acre. Production of peanuts and cottonseed are also raised this month.

Soybean exports for 2010/11 are increased 50 million bushels to 1.485 billion reflecting strong early season sales and a projected increase in global import demand, especially for China. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 350 million bushels, down 10 million from last month as higher export demand more than offsets the increased supply.

Soybean exports for 2009/10 are projected at a record 1.495 billion bushels, up 25 million from last month reflecting strong shipments in the final weeks of the marketing year. The increase is partly offset with a lower residual, leaving ending stocks projected at 150 million bushels, down 10 million. Other changes for 2009/10 include reduced use of soybean oil for biodiesel and increased soybean oil exports. Season ending soybean oil stocks are projected record high at 3.21 billion pounds.

Prices for soybeans and products are all raised this month, supported by strong prices for corn and wheat. The US season-average soybean price range for 2010/11 is projected at $9.15 to $10.65 per bushel, up 65 cents on both ends of the range. The soybean meal price is projected at $270 to $310 per short ton, up $20 on both ends of the range. The soybean oil price range is projected at 37.5 to 41.5 cents per pound, up 1 cent on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 440.6 million tons, up 0.9 million from last month. Global soybean production is projected at 254.9 million tons, up 1.2 million mainly due to a higher production forecast for the United States. China soybean production is reduced 0.2 million tons to 14.4 million based on lower yields. Global rapeseed production is projected higher as increased production for Canada more than offsets reduced crops for Russia and Ukraine. Other changes include reduced peanut and cottonseed production for China, reduced cottonseed production for Pakistan, increased cottonseed production for Australia, and reduced palm oil and palm kernel production for Indonesia.

Global oilseed trade for 2010/11 is raised 3.8 million tons to 108.7 million. China soybean imports are raised 3 million tons to 55 million, up from a revised 50 million in 2009/10. Imports are raised to reflect increased protein meal consumption and higher soybean stocks, now projected to reach 15.5 million tons. Global oilseed stocks are projected lower mainly due to reduced soybean stocks in the United States and South America.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 20, 2010, 09:20:54 AM
Friday, September 17, 2010Print This Page
Science - the Answer to Feeding the World?
The theme of this year's JSR Technical Conference was Science – the Key to Feeding the World, writes Jackie Linden, who attended the event at the University of Nottingham earlier this week.

 

"The theme for our 21st Conference is 'Science – the Key to Feeding the World'," said Tim Rymer, chairman of JSR Genetics, in his introduction to the event. "As a science-based business, it is obvious to us that scientific solutions have the potential to ensure we are able to feed a world population of nine billion by 2050. There are already another 200,000 mouths to feed since we awoke yesterday morning."

He explained that over 21 years, JSR's annual conference has become a key event in the UK pig industry calendar, evolving from a scientific and academic base to one that still keeps science at its core but is based on practical reality.

"We never want to be far away from the customer or consumer and the money," he added.

Also changing over time have been the 'hot' topics – from foot and mouth disease three years ago, high feed prices two years ago and H1N1 flu last year. Today, some producers are facing high feed prices again, which has more to do with speculation on the markets than supply and demand in the wheat market, Mr Rymer said.

"Animal feed efficiency is part of the solution. We all want animals that grow fast and lean and eat very little. We all know what effect 0.1 FCR will have on our pig business but if this was on a global scale, how much less land would be needed to feed the same population of animals?" he asked.

Animals that grow fast and efficiently produce less CO2 equivalents, which is good for the environment. Mr Rymer explained that JSR's investment in the Decoy finishing facility will not only be a good advertisement for the the company's sire lines but also increase the focus on feed efficiency. Manure produced by the facility will both reduce fertiliser costs and increase yields.

The previous evening, Richard Fuller gave the company a presentation on the Stabiliser Cattle project, which has many parallels to the pig side of the business, said Mr Rymer. The Stabiliser is a low-cost, easy calving suckler cow, with exceptional eating quality. The company has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with retailer, Morrisons, to set up a supply chain based around the breed.

"Building a brand that is consistent and trusted is hard work but it is a good example of putting science into practice and retaining the trust of the consumer as well," said Mr Rymer, adding that Mr Fuller's company also recognises that feed efficiency is crucial in staying ahead.

The work JSR is doing on eating quality with beef under the Givendale Prime brand and pork with our Crackling Farm Pork initiative will benefit from the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School, which opens for business at the end of October, said Mr Rymer.

Emphasising the international scope of JSR's business, Mr Rymer welcomed a delegation from Cotswold Japan, which operates the JSR franchise there, as well as the first group of Chinese technicians who are starting a four-month training programme at JSR in preparation for the stocking of the company's China Nucleus in 2011. JSR is also currently stocking the Canadian Nucleus, added Mr Rymer.

Two other areas in which JSR has invested are Technical Support and Sales. The company operates a joint venture with Paul Wright in international markets as JSR Checkmate, and this organisation has recently agreed to manage all the Technical Support for JSR.

"We have also appointed two Sales Trainees Laura Russell and Mark Woodall," added Mr Rymer before introducing the Conference speakers.

'Benefits from breeding in the next decade' was the title taken by the first presenter, Frédéric Grimaud, president of Groupe Grimaud, who was followed by JSR Genetics' own director of Research & Genetics, Dr Grant Walling, who discussed 'The Science of Feeding the World'. Professor Gareth Edward Jones from Bangor University gave a new interpretation on carbon emissions in agriculture and how they can be reduced. In the final session, Steve Murrells, chief operating office of Tulip Ltd spoke on 'From farm to fork in a changing Britain' and Alastair Butler explained the marketing story behind Blythburgh Free Range Pork.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 28, 2010, 09:00:19 AM
Producers profit with rising price
[28 September 2010] Prices for food and other soft commodities have been climbing and analysts say that producers in Asia are poised to profit as demand from emerging markets continues to grow. A strategist at Nomura said: “We believe that soft commodities will outperform base and precious metals in the future.” Wheat and corn futures prices in Chicago recently jumped to multi-month highs, with wheat futures trading at a high of USD 8 per bushel and corn futures climbing past USD 5 per bushel, both for the first time since the second half of 2008. In this scenario producers will reap the benefit but food companies, those that sell to consumers, will have profits squeezed. Higher feed prices may also show increases in future meat and poultry prices.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 28, 2010, 09:20:18 AM
How Geneticists Will Help Feed Nine Billion People
The theme of the 21st JSR Genetics Technical Conference earlier this month was Science – the Key to Feeding the World. Jackie Linden, reports on some of the event highlights, focussing in this article on the contribution of genetics and breeders.

 

The focus of this year's JSR Genetics Technical Conference was on some of the ways in which science can feed the world. As the company's chairman, Tim Rymer, explained in his introduction: "As a science-based business, it is obvious to us that scientific solutions have the potential to ensure we are able to feed a world population of nine billion people by 2050. There are already another 200,000 mouths to feed since we awoke yesterday morning."

Benefits from Breeding in the Next Decade


Frédéric GrimaudFrédéric Grimaud, president of breeding company, Groupe Grimaud, opened his presentation by the organisation of his company. It is the second biggest multi-species animal genetics company in the world, he said and is 80 per cent owned by the Grimaud family and 20 per cent by a number of financial partners. Annual turnover is around €200 million and there are 1,450 employees worldwide.

The company has two main business branches. The Animal Genetic Selection division comprises four groups: ducks and geese, guinea fowl and pigeons (Grimaud Frèrer); broilers (Hubbard); layers (Novogen) and pigs (Newsham Choice Genetics). The Biopharmacy division is split into two main groups: Vivalis, which covers vaccines, proteins and pharma molecules, and Filavie for vaccines, bacterial flora and analysis. A further group, Hypharm, has links to both divisions and covers serum, pharma proteins, rabbits and SPF animal breeding.

Mr Grimaud said that feeding a growing world population will become increasingly challenging, and that population growth exerts strong pressure on the environment. "If we break the balance, we won't be able to produce sufficient food," he said.

He went on to outline 10 keys for a better understanding of the situation.

"A quick look in the mirror shows tremendous progress in the last decade, mainly thanks to genetics," he said, showing the improvements in the annual output of meat from parent stock in the last 20 years from pigs, rabbits and poultry, as well as the improvements in feed conversion ratio. Breeding is a fixed-cost, long term business, he emphasised, saying that the current genetics 'pipeline' will produce the commercial generation of animals in 2013-2014.

There are great opportunities for a multi-species approach, Mr Grimaud believes, seeing many synergies in his company is terms of breeding programmes for different species such as chickens, pigs and rabbits.

"Animal welfare is becoming a main challenge," he said. He sees great importance in breeding for commercial conditions, taking into account their natural and social behaviour to develop less aggressive and more robust animals.

The integration of the Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) in the BLUP is improving the accuracy of the selection, Mr Grimaud said, showing the spurt in estimated breeding value (EBV) since the introduction of MAS. Meat water-holding capacity and marbling/tenderness are traits that have been especially responsive to the technique, and it could prove to be the first effective technique for increased resistance to pathogens.


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"If we break the balance, we won't be able to produce sufficient food" 

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On a related theme, he believes that biotech tools have the potential to permit the revolution of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Work on an experimental scale has proved the concept and the technique may, in future, be used to improve disease resistance.

However, quantitative selection remains the basis of breeding programmes, said Mr Grimaud, showing the improvements in broiler 42-day weight and feed conversion over the last decade.

He stressed the need to maintain genetic diversity in order to satisfy different market segments.

At the breeding level, health status and risk mitigation are key factors to secure the industry in Mr Grimaud's opinion. His company has developed separate R&D centres, continuous monitoring of health status in internal labs and multiplication centres near to commercial zones to both secure local customers and offer multi-source supply in case of a ban resulting from a case of a major disease outbreak in one area.

Environmental friendly production is becoming another new challenge, said Mr Grimaud. Citing examples from the broiler sector, he explained that a better FCR and drier litter mean less manure, and new developments in nutrition both improve nutrient digestibility and offer protection against pathogens.

Mr Grimaud closed his presentation by saying that with so many risks and so many variables, the future is not yet written but these unknowns offer many opportunities for breeding companies to make a difference.

The Science of Feeding the World


Dr Grant WallingDr Grant Walling, director of Research and Genetics for JSR Genetics, outlined the challenges by saying, "Today's 6.5 billion people in the world today is forecast to rise to nine billion by 2050. And further, due to changing eating patterns, those nine billion people are likely to eat enough food for 11 billion people due to the increasing demands of the middle classes in more populous countries such as China and India."

One solution could be to farm more land, Dr Walling suggested. We currently farm 1.4 billion hectares; the FAO has identified more than 1.6 billion hectares that could be used for farming (mainly in Latin America and Africa). However, the Royal Society is concerned over the damage to ecosystems and biodiversity.

Another solution would be to eat less meat, he said. However, this fails to address the use of marginal land (especially for beef and lamb production), that farm animals eat large amounts of agricultural and food by-products as well as the need of wool and leather. And who should reduce their meat intake, asked Dr Walling? Should it be those in countries that already eat a lot of meat or those in developing countries where meat intake is increasing along with growing income?

The best solution, he proposed, is for agriculture to produce more with less resource (water, fertiliser, pesticides). This can only be achieved through improved science and technology and investment in agricultural research, which only currently makes up five per cent of world R&D spend, Dr Walling said.

Genetic technologies will be an important part of the improvement in efficiency and output, he predicted.

"Quantitative genetics works," he said, showing the continuing upward trend in oil content of maize selected over many generations, as well as the increasing gap between maize lines selected for low- or high protein content.

Going on to show the performance of today's pig compared to one of the 1960s, Dr Walling presented his estimate of the likely performance of pigs in 2050, when the human population is expected to reach the nine-billion mark, assuming linear improvements in each parameter.

However, the improvements take a great forward leap if molecular genetics is employed. Using marker chips in market assisted (MA) selection with BLUP, the progress is much faster (see table).

Quantitative selection success: performance of the modern pig compared to one in the 1960s and the potential of new techniques 
  1960s 2010 2050
(linear improvement) 2050
(with MA-BLUP)
Pigs weaned per sow 14 21 28 31.5
Lean % 40 55 70 70
FCR 3.0 2.2 1.4 1.28
Lean meat per tonne feed (kg) 85 170 255 268
Data for 1960s and modern pigs from Van der Steen et al., 2005

Progress in producing more with fewer resources could also be achieved by making changes, either to indices or to traits, said Dr Walling. He gave the example of dairy breeding, where three different traits are used: profitability, low-carbon and welfare, where the focus is on production traits, efficiency and longevity, respectively. For pigs, the focus generally remains mainly on profitability but JSR is increasingly paying attention to lifetime performance, which takes into account sow mortality and thus impacts replacement rate. Meanwhile, a greater emphasis on feed efficiency may detract somewhat from growth rate but it is more relevant with rising feed costs and reduces environmental benefits.


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"We need to take the public with us" 

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Dr Walling also highlighted the potential benefits of other production changes, including the use of split-sex feeding. Work from Harper Adams University College sponsored by JSR shows that the best overall performance was achieved by boars on a much higher level of lysine (1.12g/kg) than gilts (0.89g/kg).

So far, the breeding index has not been influence by welfare because of insufficient financial reward and conflicts with climate change goals, he said.

New embryonic technologies would also help the industry to produce more with less, Dr Walling said, as he described semen freezing, and embryo transfer.

"These technologies will become more common by 2050 but we need to take the public with us," he said.

Summing up, Dr Walling said: "Genetic improvement will continue to deliver annual benefits. However difficult challenges need to be addressed with breeding goals for production, profitability, climate change and animal welfare.

"Other genetic technologies must be allowed to penetrate the market without excessive bureaucratic legislation (GM and cloning) but scientists must be realistic with the claims and allow the consumer to make informed choices."

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 30, 2010, 09:10:20 AM
WMC REPORT - Sustainable Production for Global Meat Industry
ARGENTINA - Global meat demand is expected to grow by between one and two per cent during the remainder of this decade, writes TheMeatSite senior editor Chris Harris from the World Meat Congress in Buenos Aires.



Speaking at the opening of the congress, outgoing president of the International Meat Secretariat, Paddy Moore said that the prospects for the global industry are to see international trade in meat grow despite the occasional setbacks through animal diseases, food safety scares and issues surrounding market access.

He said that the industry had to prospect of feeding a growing global population with 80 million extra people to feed each year.

In the meat sectors Mr Moore said that the pig and poultry industries are expected to see the greatest growth outperforming lamb and beef.

He said the growth in trade and demand is going to present challenges to the industry in particular in gearing up in terms of greater efficiencies, higher productivity and innovation.

He said the industry is also going to face growing environmental and sustainability concerns.

"The raising of livestock and the ethical production of meat that is not harmful to the environment are issues that have reached international importance," said Mr Moore.

"Probably the greatest single challenge facing our industry it to reconcile the necessity of supplying high quality protein to an expanding world population with the imperative of ensuring that it is ethically produced, safe, wholesome and in harmony with the environment - the sustainable production of meat."

Mr Moore said the industry is also going to have to face the concerns about climate change and greenhouse gas emission produced inn the production of meat.

"The livestock industry has large potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation," he added.

He said that the industry needs to find more precise methods for calculating greenhouse gas emissions.

He said the IMS will be playing its part and has established a committee for sustainable meat.

The IMS is also building on its links with organisations such as the FAO, OECD and the OIE.

The concerns about the effect livestock production has on the environment were echoed by the Argentine vice minister for agriculture Lorenzo Basso
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on September 30, 2010, 09:27:10 AM
Food prices to rise in Asia
[30 September 2010] Urbanisation and the growing wealth in Asia is likely to result in soaring food prices and a strengthening of the region's thirst for commodities. The commodities boom and the growing influence of China featured prominently on a wide-ranging first day at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney on Monday. Jing Ulrich, Managing Director of China equities and commodities at JP Morgan, said the GDP of the emerging BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - were growing at an average of 6.9% compared to the world average of 3.6%. The US and Europe were growing at less than 2% on average. Ms Ulrich said this was an indication the emerging markets - led by China - had switched places with developed nations.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 07, 2010, 10:26:19 AM
NZ and Australia to emerge as food powerhouses
[5 October 2010] New Zealand and Australia will emerge as global agricultural powerhouses in the long-term with Asia fueling the industry. Sunny Verghese, group managing director and CEO of Olam International, said that New Zealand and Australia would play an important role in supplying food to Asian markets.  “I don’t believe India and China, given their arable land and water constraints, will be able to produce all the food they need and could become significant importers of food,” he said this at the Rabobank Advisory Board meeting in Sydney. “The challenge for Australasian producers will be managing the supply side of the growth in Asia and strengthening their competitive position and building a comparative advantage.”
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 09, 2010, 09:53:52 AM
Mexico - Livestock and Products Annual 2010
While Mexican cattle inventories for 2011 are expected to decline in 2011, swine production is expected to increase slightly, write Zaida San Juan and Daniel R. Williams II in the latest GAIN report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Servces.

Report Highlights
Mexican red meat consumption is forecast to increase in 2011 as the economy and consumer purchasing power recover. A lower cattle export level will result in higher domestic meat supplies and stable domestic beef prices. US beef exports to Mexico will continue increasing, principally toward the end of 2010, supported by the elimination of duties on imported US beef. Removal of feet from carcasses and retaliatory duties on bone-in hams are two new challenges for US exporters; however, the United States will continue to be the principal source of imports.

Executive Summary
In 2011, total swine production is expected to increase slightly. The increase will occur due to higher hog prices and stronger pork demand. Ending inventories are expected to increase for both 2011 and 2010. Mexico’s imports of hogs are forecast to increase in 2011, reaching 12,000 head. Pork production for 2011 is forecast to recover (2.0 per cent) after no increase for 2010. Growth in pork consumption is forecast to increase 1.3 per cent in 2011 after a slight decrease (-0.2 per cent) in 2010 due to lower than expected demand recovery. Mexico’s pork exports are forecast to grow 6.3 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010.

Swine production for 2011 is forecast to increase one per cent, higher than 2010. Higher swine prices, stronger consumer purchasing power and a recovery of consumer confidence after the H1N1 influenza outbreak will stimulate production.

Furthermore, the Mexican swine sector could benefit from the efforts of the government of Mexico (GOM) to obtain market access in China. If obtained, the Mexican swine sector will need to increase production, continue with integration and reduce production costs and losses. Although only the most efficient firms will export, medium-sized farmers are aware that there could be more domestic opportunities to sell pork, but they also must improve their competitiveness.

Due to the past economic crisis and H1N1 outbreak, both of which negatively affected the pork sector, sow beginning inventories are currently limited and data previously reported for 2010 were revised down slightly; thus, the slaughter level for 2011 will be comparable to 2010.

Total beginning inventories are forecast to increase 4.4 per cent for 2011, mainly due to a lower-than-expected slaughter level for 2010. However, slaughter is forecast to increase one per cent in 2011 as a result of pork demand and consumption recovery after the H1N1 outbreak.

Pork production for 2011 is expected to increase two per cent over 2010. Furthermore, industry sources believe this 2011 production will be slightly higher than 2009’s. For 2010, a year in which a decrease of approximately one per cent (1.161 million metric tons; MMT) is now expected according to official data, the decrease is minimal thanks to a successful GOM and industry promotional campaign and lower pork prices.

Consumption
Pork consumption is forecast to increase more than one per cent in 2011. However, the increase is tied to price and will depend on retailers’ pricing strategies. Some retailers are selling pork at higher prices, claiming they are merely passing on higher domestic prices as well as the cost of retaliatory duties on imported US pork.

Even though the economy and gross family income have recovered somewhat, pork consumption will increase at a rate lower than that of beef, mostly due to higher prices and a substitution effect by consumers who see poultry as a cheaper and ‘healthier’ protein. In addition, growth in pork per-capita consumption is constrained due to consumers’ perception of pork as an unhealthy meat product.

Mexico’s meat processors will continue to use imported US pork variety meats as well as bone-in cuts because domestic production is not sufficient to meet their demands. Despite the retaliatory duties imposed on US bone-in pork, an analysis conducted by some meat processors has shown that the duties will only slightly affect the cost of production, and they do not expect a large amount of substitution for US boneless pork cuts.

Trade
In 2011, Mexico is forecast to increase imports of hogs by 20 per cent; however it will only reach 15 per cent of the 2008 level. For 2010, an increase is expected of 43 per cent, supported by the imports of purebred breeding animals for repopulating the Mexican herd. Hog exports will remain at zero.

Pork exports are expected to increase 6.5 per cent in 2011 but if Mexico signs a veterinary health protocol with China, the percentage could be considerably higher.

In 2010, pork exports are expected to recover 14.3 per cent following lifting of numerous foreign bans due to H1N1 outbreak; exports will be supported by value-added pork exports to Japan. However, the level will remain lower than in 2008.

Despite the retaliatory duties imposed on US bone-in pork cuts, imports are expected to continue but it is possible that more bone-in pork could be sourced from Canada.

In addition, according to NOM-030, pork carcasses with feet will no longer be permitted to enter Mexico. This is a new interpretation of NOM-030.

Policy
Beef import duties eliminated
As of August 11, 2010, Mexico canceled the compensatory duties imposed on US beef cuts as a result of an anti-dumping investigation in 2000. Even though the Mexican Government announced that these duties would terminate on April 29, 2010, the duties were not effectively canceled until 11 August 2010, according to the official notice published in the Diario Oficial (DOF) (Federal Register). Thus, duties paid between 29 April and 11 August 2010 will not be refunded.

Retaliatory duties on US pork exports
On 18 August 2010, the Secretariat of Economy published in the DOF a list of additional products facing retaliatory duties, which included swine products. This is due to the United States’ failure to comply with the trucking clause of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The following swine products were added to the product list:
Section Description Import Tariff
0203.12.01 Hams (hocks), shoulders and cuts thereof, with bone. Chilled 5%
0203.22.01 Hams (hocks), shoulders and cuts thereof, with bone. Frozen 5%
1602.49.01 Cooked pork rind in pieces (pellets). 20%


According to industry sources, these duties will increase production costs for value-added products. Imports of US bone-in hams will continue because bone-in ham prices will not be as high as imported boneless pork legs. In addition, the duties could also slightly affect the Mexican rendering industry, because the Mexican rendering industry sources products from TIF establishments which debone imported bone-in hams.

Brazil Free Trade Agreement
The Mexican and Brazilian presidents have stated their intention to sign a free trade agreement. However, the Mexican livestock sector opposes a free trade agreement (FTA) between Mexico and Brazil that would include livestock products. The Mexican livestock sector’s leaders believe they will be unable to compete against Brazil due to dependence on imported feed grains and shortages of commercial credit in Mexico.

NOM-051
The Secretariat of Economy published on 5 April 2010, a new version of Mexican regulation NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010, ‘General labeling and sanitary specifications for pre-packaged foods and non-alcoholic beverages’. (Spanish: Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-051-SCFI-1994 Especificaciones generales de etiquetado para alimentos y bebidas no alcohólicas preenvasados) or NOM-051.
The new NOM-051 includes new requirements for labelling pre-packaged foods and non-alcoholic beverages. All pre-packaged food products and non-alcoholic beverages for sell directly to consumers are required to comply with NOM-051 (including imported pork and beef meat). Thus, it is important that all US companies exporting to Mexico be aware of these changes and make appropriate modifications to the labels of its products. The new regulation is effective on 1 January 2011.
The most important changes to NOM-051 can be found in GAIN Report MX0505 Mexico Revises Food Labeling Regulations.

Trusted Importer Program and inspection of combos
The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishery and Food (SAGARPA) continues developing a plan of modernizing import inspection procedures. As part of this plan, the trusted importer program (UCON) has been implemented. Via this program, import inspection will occur at the TIF establishment where the imported meat is to be processed. According to the National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality (SENASICA), the UCON program may reduce import inspections at the border by 48 per cent, since that is the volume of meat imported by TIF facilities (additional information about UCON can be found in GAIN Report MX0506 Mexico Announces Reliable Importer Program for Meat and Poultry).
The next step of the plan involves procedures for import inspections for meat shipped in combo bins. A combo bin is a bulk-palletised, octagonal cardboard container used to pack meat and meat products for shipping at a low cost. SENASICA officially advised the border inspection points that the combo import inspection procedures was postponed indefinitely pending publication in the DOF (Federal Register). This publication will contain a new sampling procedure for import inspections, which SENASICA is currently drafting, and may implement in 2011.
It is possible that these new procedures may be similar to the Canadian or US import inspections for combo bins. SENASICA has stated that the plan is part of an effort to harmonize import procedures with those of its NAFTA partners, and it will not seek to reduce the volume of meat trade in combo bins.

GOM reviewing regulations
As part of a transparent national plan, SENASICA is examining every interpretation of its regulations. For example, SENASICA has changed its interpretation of NOM-030-ZOO-1995 with respect to imported hog carcasses with feet. As of September 2010, SENASICA has informed trading partners that hog carcasses will only gain entry into Mexico when the feet have been removed.

Livestock Forward Contract Purchases
The Mexican Government (GOM) is promoting forward contracting between cow-calf operators and feeders, and is developing draft guidelines to be used with all forward contracts. This program will be coordinated by SAGARPA's paying agency, Support and Services for Agricultural Trading (ASERCA), and the National Confederation of Cattlemen Organizations (CNOG). The purpose of this program is to assist cow-calf operators and feeders with a tool to establish a forward price for calves.

Guidelines for the sale and distribution of food and drink at primary schools
On June 10, 2010, the Health Secretariat (SALUD) and Educational Secretariat (SEP) sent to the Federal Council for Regulatory Reform (COFEMER) draft proposed guidelines for the sale and distribution of food and drink at primary schools. The objective of the guidelines is to regulate the preparation, distribution and sale of healthy foods and drinks in primary schools and is aimed at reducing obesity and chronic diseases.
These guidelines sparked controversy within the food industry, including among meat and dairy processors. As of 22 July 2010, COFEMER had received 860 comments on the draft from industry sectors, government entities and the public. Some comments are against and others are supportive of the proposed guidelines. COFEMER published on 22 July 2010, its preliminary resolution and suggested SALUD and SEP consider comments submitted to COFEMER regarding these proposed guidelines.
The Mexican Meat Council (COMECARNE) and the Coordinator of the Industrial Council (CCE) are negotiating changes with representatives of the Presidency and the Secretariat of Economy (SE). COMECARNE believes working with these government offices will result in more success than directly negotiating changes with SALUD and SEP. The proposed guidelines, if implemented as proposed, could exert a profound economic impact on the meat sector.
COMECARNE’s members import US meat raw materials to produce sausages, hams and other ready-to-eat products, which are sold in schools or used to prepare sandwiches and other products eaten by children at schools. The meat industry has sought changes to the proposed guidelines to ensure meat products are not demonised, thereby resulting in a loss of consumer confidence in processed meat products. The lack of specifics in the guidelines has created uncertainty for the meat industry. For this reason, COMECARNE has created a working group of technical experts to develop a counter-proposal to be presented to SALUD and SEP.
The guidelines were to be implemented at the beginning of the current school year. However, implementation has been postponed until January 2011.

Movement of Animal certificates
As of 25 June 2010, SENASICA began issuing electronic certificates for the movement of animals within Mexico. The electronic certificate replaces the printed certificate which certifies an animal may move between areas within Mexico which have different disease status under Mexican regulations.

Marketing
Red meat, including pork and beef, continues to be purchased by consumers in traditional butcher shops. However, since more and more women are entering the workforce, consumers were increasing purchases of value-added products before the economic crisis, especially cuts and prepared dishes at supermarkets. For 2010, as the economy grows again, it is expected consumers will increase demand for value-added products.

The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a non-profit, industry-sponsored trade organization dedicated to increasing exports of US red meat and meat products in all foreign markets, is active in Mexico. USMEF’s Mexico office has promoted the increase of meat consumption in various large retailers and food service exhibitions.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 09, 2010, 09:57:35 AM
Russian Federation - Livestock and Products Semi-Annual Report 2010
Feed shortages resulting from this year's drought have accelerate the slaughter of cattle and pigs, according to Morgan Haas and Mikhail Maksimenko in the latest GAIN report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.


Report Highlights
Slaughter rates have and will continue to increase in 2010 and 2011 as widespread drought throughout Russia sharply decreased current and future feed supplies. As a result, red meat supply will be larger than earlier expectations but adversely impact supply potential in 2011. Red meat imports to date are revised upward, reflecting year-to-date trade and have similar market access potential in 2011.

Summary
Changes in USDA Moscow's forecast for swine and pork reflect the shortage in feed supplies that will mostly impact 2010 and 2011 inventories, realised imports through the first six months of 2010, as well as revised expectations of live hog trade. Although kills increased in 2010, slaughter weights were adversely impacted as hogs were marketed earlier than expected and incurred reduced weight gain from the historically hot summer.

Swine Inventory
Total swine inventory increased 1.8 per cent to 16.6 million, while agricultural enterprises increased swine inventory 8.0 per cent. Private households account for 36.6 per cent of swine herd at the end of June 2010 (39.7 in June 2009).

Imports of live swine for slaughter are down sharply in 2010, as the tariff was raised from five per cent to 40 per cent but not <0.50 €/kg. The domestic pork industry continues to push for full closure of the market but slaughter houses will continue to require imported hogs until the domestic industry can fill capacity.

Russia imports pedigree swine to improve domestic breeding stock from the European Union and Canada.

Production
Russian livestock production represented 46 to 52 per cent total agricultural production value during 2000-2008.

Russia produced 4.4 million metric tons (MMT) of meat and poultry meat (live weight) in the first half of 2010, 8.3 per cent more than the first half of 2009. Agricultural enterprises increased meat and poultry production 14.7 per cent (live weight) in the first half of 2010 compared to 2009 (in 2009 – 10.1 per cent over 2008).

The Ministry of Agriculture plans that Russia will produce 82 per cent of total meat and poultry supply to the Russian market in 2012. According to Ministry figures, Russia currently supplies 69 per cent of its beef, 75 per cent of its pork and 75 per cent of its poultry.

Feed Supply
Russia will experience problems with feed supplies for the remaining part of 2010 and in 2011 due to the 2010 drought in the Central, Volga and Ural districts of Russia. In total, 27 regions were declared emergency drought situations in 2010. The grain harvest in 2010 will be lowest since 2003 when 67MMT of grain was harvested. The drought adversely impacts not only the 2010 feed supply but also the seeding of winter crops for next year's feed supply, as well as presents a new threat to Russia's developing pork and beef industries.

The government of Russia (GOR) has taken several measures to soften the drought's impact. The GOR postponed state grain purchases, instituted a grain export ban and decided instead to release 3MMT of grain from the state reserves for drought-stricken regions. Grain is being distributed on the basis of a quota system to enterprises in the processing and milling industry. The shares for each region are based on meat and milk production volume. The regions themselves will be responsible for distributing the grain internally. Furthermore, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the GOR will provide 35 billion rubles (RUB; US$1.2 billion) in financial aid to drought-stricken farmers, including RUB10 ($300 million) billion in direct payments and RUB25 billion ($830 million) for three-year discounted federal loans. The money is being disbursed in two stages, the first in August and the second in October-November.

Pork Production
Higher feed prices and therefore higher slaughter rates in the second half of 2010 will increase pork production 8.8 per cent in 2010 but only 4.9 per cent in 2011. The larger slaughter numbers will slow the pace of herd expansion from 3.4 per cent in January 2010 to 2.4 per cent in January 2011.

Pork producers
The major producers of pork are large agricultural enterprises. They increased pork production 14 per cent in 2008 and 21 per cent in 2009. Agricultural enterprises produced 24.4 per cent more pork in the first half of 2010 compared to the first half of 2009. Club-100 swine enterprises increased from 18.9 per cent to 59 per cent at the same time.

According to Rosstat, the 11 largest pork producers (>100,000 head) produced 23.9 per cent of Russia's pork in 2006-2008. These enterprises featured the lowest production costs while average daily weight gain was highest at enterprises between 50,000 to 60,000 head. According to the Intesco Research Group study, Pork Market: the Results of 2009 and Forecast for 2010 – 2011, the three largest Russian pork producers are Prodo, Agro-Belogorie and Miratorg. They account for 15 per cent of the Russian pork production (live weight). Cherkizovo, Siberian Agrarian Meat Processing Group, SV-Volga and Agrifarm Ariant represent the second tier at 10 per cent of the market. Krasnodar region produces 9.3 per cent of the Russian meat, Belgorod region – 8.5 per cent, Rostov region – 6.5 per cent, Omsk region – 4.3 per cent, the Republic of Tatarstan – 3.8 per cent.

The Ministry of Agriculture subsidised the modernisation of 422 pig farms during the last three years. These farms produced 200,000MT (live weight) in 2009 and will add 160,000MT after they are fully operational. The average feed conversion rate was 3.6 on renovated farms and 3.0 on newly built pig farms in 2009.

In particular, the Belgorod region continues to invest in pork production. The agro-industrial holding Miratorg, one of the largest meat producers and suppliers of the Russian market, is investing RUB13.5 billion ($450 million) into the construction of nine hog complexes. The first of the facilities will be started in 2011. Each complex will have an annual capacity of 112,000 hogs. The herd will be slaughtered at an establishment that processes three million animals annually, producing 165,000MT of meat.

The Russian Union of Pork Producers reports producers are experiencing problems with marketing. The Union underlines the reason is that only five per cent of pigs are subject to initial processing at the enterprise, while the rest are traded live. The Union expects this number to grow to 50 per cent by 2012. At this time, the Union believes 90 per cent of pork will be produced by large agricultural enterprises.

Policy
Supply Control (Import Substitution)
Government support for domestic meat production in Russia has and continues to be primarily provided through methods of supply control. In addition to the introduction of the TRQ regime in 2003, trade outside the quota is subject to largely prohibitively high tariffs. Furthermore, trade within the quota is hindered by highly prescriptive, non-science-based Russian technical and veterinary-sanitary requirements that can at times result in country-specific allocations not being accessible.

Agricultural Development Programs
Federal development programs have served as an additional tool of planned support for Russian poultry production. On 21 December 2005, ‘Development of the Agro-industrial Complex’ was issued as one of four priorities for national development, with a focus on revitalizing Russian livestock and poultry production. To further stimulate domestic agricultural production, the federal law ‘On Development of Agriculture’ was approved in 2006 and came into force on 11 January 2007. Later, the GOR approved the ‘Program for Development of Agriculture, Regulation of Agricultural Commodity Markets, and Rural Development for the period 2008-2012’ which called for RUB1.1 trillion ($37 billion) to be spent over five years, with funding being split between federal and provincial budgets.
In line with these programmes, subsidising interest rates for investment projects has been Russia's primary tool of direct support to the producer. However, these benefits are not universal to all producers, as they service only the largest investors and must be in line with the Ministry of Agriculture's vision of the development programme.
In an effort to maintain a positive rate of development in 2009 in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis, the Ministry of Agriculture allocated RUB165.1 billion ($5.5 billion) for the implementation of the State Agricultural Development programme 2009-2012. The Ministry spent RUB45.0 billion ($1.5 billion) from this sum to increase the authorised capital of JSC Russian Agricultural Bank and RUB17.0 billion ($570 million) to subsidize interest payments. Additionally, Russia extended short-term loans for six months, investment loans for three years, and maximum-term eight-year investment loans to 11 years. The subsidy level for investment loans also increased from two-thirds of the central bank rate to 100 per cent for dairy and beef cattle (and to 80 per cent for poultry). The Ministry of Agriculture also noted the single agricultural tax as well as fixed prices for fuel and fertiliser amounted to RUB30 billion ($1 billion) in indirect subsidies to the producer in 2009. These programs continued in 2010, and they will continue for the foreseeable future.
The Ministry of Agriculture reported that 2010 investments will not meet the State programme due to lower-than-expected profits in the industry.

Government Purchases
President Medvedev has tasked Minister Elena Skrynnik to investigate the state purchases of beef in Rosrezerv, as well as to clarify the feasibility of increasing the production of canned white chicken meat. As noted by the President of Cherkizovo, there is a need consider changes of the state reserve purchases since domestic beef supplies are shrinking while poultry is ‘oversupplied’.

Development of the Feed Industry
Also in the planning is a draft development project to improve this component of the supply chain through the construction and modernization of feed mills, with the aim of increasing the production of plant-origin protein feeds. Most recently, the GOR has taken action to support producers impacted by the short feed supplies.

Trade
Russia maintains a TRQ regime for raw pork (HS-0203) and beef (HS-0201, 0202) products with country specific allocation to the United States, European Union, and “other countries”. The pork and beef quotas for 2011 remain unchanged from 2010.

Pork
Russia imported 315,537 MT of pork during January – June 2010, 15 per cent above 2009. The major exporters of pork to Russia are the European Union, Brazil, United States, and Canada. The European Union is the dominant supplier of fresh/chilled and processed pork. The US share of the frozen pork market has fallen steeply for three main reasons: competitive prices in other markets, the virtual ban on US pork through the first five months of 2010, and a reduced quota (from 100,000 MT in 2009 to 57,000 MT in 2010). Russia's recent closure of several US pork facilities on the grounds of tetracycline-group antibiotics will continue to threaten the US's ability to fulfill its quota allocation for the remainder of the year.

There are mixed opinions on decreasing the pork TRQ quantity further before the end of 2012, but focus will remain on preventing growth of out-of-quota pork and live hog imports as well as using sanitary and technical barriers to further regulate in-quota and quota-exempt pork products.

Customs Union
Kazakhstan and Belarus, as well as other CIS countries, have duty-free, quota-free access to Russia for domestically produced meat.

Customs Union members recognise equivalency of each other's veterinary service. Kazakhstan?s Ministry of Agriculture has expressed its intent to utilise this advantage to export 4,000MT of meat (specifically, beef) to Russia in 2010, compared to 400MT in 2009.

Belarus increased meat and poultry exports to Russia by one-third to 72,000MT during January-June 2010. The Government of St Petersburg earlier reached an agreement with Belarus to import 41,100MT of beef, 11,100MT of pork and 8,200MT of poultry meat in 2010.

Consumption
Development of livestock primary processing for 2010-2012
The Ministry of Agriculture has developed a programme for livestock primary processing to support the modernisation of the Russian meat processing industry. The programme envisages the allocation of state subsidies for meat processors from the federal budget. Subsidies will be spent to compensate interest rates from loans taken for construction and modernisation of processing facilities and cold storages as well as for purchasing meat for primary and industrial processing. Planned implementation of the program will allow Russia to increase the collection and processing of the animal to 90 per cent of its live weight.

The Ministry believes that fulfillment of the programme will also increase per-capita consumption of meat and meat products to from 65.9kg in 2008 to 66.1kg in 2012.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 13, 2010, 11:05:59 AM
Philippine restaurant to go public, expand
[13 October 2010] Mang Inasal Philippines Inc, a fast growing barbecue restaurant chain in the Philippines, is planning an initial public offering early in 2011. Edgar Sia II, Mang Inasal's Chairman and CEO, said the IPO will help the company raise capital and share profits with employees and other investors. The company, which opened its first restaurant inm December 2003, also plans to expand further in the Luzon, particularly in Manila, next year. To date there are 300 Mang Inasal outlet in the country. The restaurant chain is popular for its chicken and pork barbecue. With the company's rapid expansion, the number of its employees have grown from 20 in 2003 to the current 10,200.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 15, 2010, 10:47:39 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - October 2010
The forecast of total US meat production is raised for 2010 but lowered for 2011, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.


LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: Beef and broiler production forecasts for 2010 are raised as second half production is higher than previously expected, but the pork production forecast is reduced due to lower slaughter and slower growth in slaughter weights. The 2011 beef production forecast is raised primarily in the first quarter as larger-than-expected third quarter 2010 placements are marketed. Pork production for 2011 is lowered from last month as relatively high feed prices are expected to keep the growth in sows farrowing modest and dampen hog weights. Broiler and turkey production forecasts for 2011 are lowered from last month as higher feed prices slow growth. Likewise, egg production for 2011 is forecast lower.

Beef import forecasts are lowered for 2010 and 2011 as supplies in Oceania are expected to be relatively tight while foreign demand strengthens. Export forecasts for beef are raised on continuing strong sales to a number of markets. Pork and poultry trade forecasts are unchanged from last month.

The cattle price forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are virtually unchanged. Hog prices are forecast higher on tighter supplies for both 2010 and 2011. The broiler price for 2010 is forecast lower on increased production, but the price forecast is raised slightly for 2011 on reduced output. Egg prices for 2010 and 2011 are forecast lower.

Forecast milk production for 2010 is raised slightly from last month as higher milk per cow more than offsets lower cow numbers. The forecast for 2011 is reduced as higher feed prices are expected to slow the rate of growth in cow numbers and milk per cow compared with last month. Import and export forecasts are unchanged. Fat basis stocks are reduced for 2010 as stocks of butter are forecast to be tight. Skim solids stocks are unchanged.

Continued strength in demand for cheese and relatively tight supplies of butter support higher forecast prices for 2010 and 2011. Price forecasts for nonfat dry milk (NDM) are raised for 2010 and 2011 as supplies are tighter. The 2010 whey price forecast is increased slightly but is unchanged for 2011. Both Class III and Class IV price forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are raised due to the higher product prices. The all milk price is forecast to average $16.45 to $16.55 per cwt for 2010 and $16.00 to $16.90 per cwt for 2011.

WHEAT: US wheat ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 49 million bushels lower this month with lower estimated production and higher expected feed and residual use. Production is lowered 41 million bushels based on the Small Grains 2010 Summary report. Feed and residual use is raised 10 million bushels on higher-than-expected disappearance during the June-August quarter as indicated by the September 1 stocks. Higher carryin with small upward revisions to estimated 2009/10 production and ending stocks are partly offsetting. The 2010/11 season-average farm price is projected at $5.20 to $5.80 per bushel compared with $4.95 to $5.65 per bushel last month.

Global wheat supplies for 2010/11 are projected 1.0 million tons lower mostly reflecting lower production in the United States. World production for 2010/11 is projected at 641.4 million tons, down 1.6 million tons from last month; however, beginning stocks are raised 0.6 million tons with upwardly revised 2009/10 production estimates for South America and Canada. For 2010/11, production is lowered 0.5 million tons for Mexico and 0.3 million tons each for Algeria and Canada. Production is raised 0.5 million tons for Europe and 0.3 million tons for Ethiopia.

World wheat trade for 2010/11 is nearly unchanged this month. Imports are raised for North Africa and Mexico, but lowered for EU-27 and Iran. Exports are raised for Uruguay, but lowered for Mexico. World exports for 2009/10 are raised 1.6 million tons on the latest available trade data. Large late-season shipments boost 2009/10 Argentina and EU-27 exports 1.0 million tons and 0.6 million tons, respectively.

Global consumption is raised 2.1 million tons for 2010/11 with higher expected feed use for EU-27, Canada, and the United States. Global ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 3.1 million tons lower with the largest reductions for EU-27 and the United States. Other reductions include Canada, Uruguay, Syria, and Iran. Ending stocks are projected higher for Brazil and Egypt. At the projected 174.7 million tons, 2010/11 stocks remain 50.2 million tons above the recent low in 2007/08.

COARSE GRAINS: US feed grain production for 2010/11 is projected lower this month based on reduced forecasts for corn and sorghum and smaller production estimates for barley and oats from the Small Grains 2010 Summary report. Corn production is forecast 496 million bushels lower as a 258,000-acre increase in harvested area is more than offset by a 6.7-bushel-per-acre reduction in yield. As forecast, this year’s yield and production still would be the third highest on record.

Higher 2010/11 corn beginning stocks raise prospects for 2010/11 feed and residual disappearance, especially during the September-December quarter. Ending stocks for 2009/10 are raised 322 million bushels based on the September 1 stocks estimate. Larger-than-expected carryout of old-crop corn combined with an unusually early start to this year’s harvesting suggest heavy new-crop corn use before the September 1 beginning of the 2010/11 marketing year. Individual state harvest progress reports suggest that 600-700 million bushels of corn were harvested across the South, Southern Plains, and southern Corn Belt before September 1. This is about double the level of the preceding 2 years and similar to what happened between the 2006/07 and 2007/08 marketing years. New-crop corn usage ahead of September 1, 2007, lowered feed and residual disappearance during the June-August quarter of 2006/07 and boosted feed and residual disappearance during the September-December quarter of 2007/08.

Despite the increase in 2010/11 beginning stocks, lower forecast production and higher projected domestic disappearance leave ending stocks down sharply from last month. Feed and residual use for 2010/11 is projected 150 million bushels higher reflecting the expected impact of new-crop corn usage before September 1 on indicated disappearance during the current marketing year. Exports are lowered 100 million bushels with tighter available supplies, higher prices, and increased competition from Argentina. US ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 214 million bushels lower at 902 million. The season-average farm price is projected at $4.60 to $5.40 per bushel, up 60 cents on both ends of the range.

A number of changes are made this month to 2009/10 corn usage with the biggest a 358-million bushel reduction in feed and residual use as indicated by the September 1 stocks and small upward revisions to exports and food, seed, and industrial (FSI) use based on the latest available data. Sorghum FSI use and exports for 2009/10 are also lowered slightly this month. Changes to 2009/10 feed and residual use for barley and oats reflect small revisions to June 1 stocks from the September 30 Grain Stocks report.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2010/11 are nearly unchanged with lower US supplies offset by increased foreign coarse grain production. World corn production is lowered 6.4 million tons with the lower US production and a 0.5-million-ton reduction for Russia only partly offset by increases for Argentina, Serbia, EU-27, and several Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Production for Argentina is raised 4.0 million tons on higher expected area as rising corn prices and favorable early season soil moisture support a rapid pace of early corn planting. Global barley production is lowered 1.4 million tons with reductions of 0.7 million tons for EU-27, 0.5 million tons for Russia, and 0.3 million tons for Canada.

Global coarse grain exports for 2010/11 are increased this month mostly reflecting higher expected corn exports from Argentina, which are raised 3.5 million tons, along with small increases for Paraguay, Mexico, and Zambia. Corn imports are increased for Turkey, Colombia, Indonesia, and South Korea supporting higher expected corn feeding in these countries. Global corn ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 3.2 million tons lower this month despite increases for Argentina, EU-27, Zambia, and Iran. The reduction in US corn ending stocks outweighs these increases.

RICE: US rice production in 2010/11 is forecast at a record 242.3 million cwt, but down 13.1 million from last month due entirely to a decrease in yield. Average yield is estimated at 6,687 pounds per acre, down 360 pounds from last month, and the lowest yield since 2005/06. Harvested area is unchanged at 3.62 million acres. Long-grain production is forecast at a record 182.0 million cwt, 9.8 million below last month, and combined medium- and short-grain production is forecast at 60.3 million, down 3.25 million. The import and domestic- and residual-use forecasts are unchanged from a month ago. The total rice export projection at 119 million cwt is unchanged from a month ago; however, the rough rice export projection is raised 1.0 million, and the combined milled- and brown-export forecast (rough-equivalent basis) is lowered the same amount. Total rice ending stocks are projected at 52.5 million cwt, down 13.1 million from last month and the largest stocks since 1985/86.

The 2010/11 all rice season-average price is forecast at $12.10 to $13.10 per cwt, up $1.80 per cwt on both ends of the range compared to $14.00 per cwt for 2009/10. The long-grain season-average price range is projected at $10.50 to $11.50 per cwt, up $2.00 per cwt on each end of the range compared to $12.80 per cwt for last year. The combined medium- and short-grain price range is projected at $17.30 to $18.30 per cwt, up $1.30 per cwt on each end compared to $17.70 per cwt for 2009/10. The price increase is due to a smaller US crop, higher global prices, and a weaker dollar.

Projected global 2010/11 rice production and consumption are lowered from a month ago, and trade and stocks are little changed. World rice production is forecast at a record 452.5 million tons, down 2.1 million from a month ago mostly owing to decreases in the United States, Burma, and India. India’s 2010/11 rice crop is lowered 2.0 million tons to 97.0 million due mostly to below normal monsoon rains in the east. Global consumption is lowered 1.7 million tons owing to a reduction in India. Global 2010/11 ending stocks are projected at 94.3 million tons, down 0.3 million from last month, and nearly the same as 2009/10.

OILSEEDS: US oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 102.8 million tons, down 2 million from last month. Soybean production is forecast at 3.408 billion bushels, down 75 million based on both lower harvested area and yield. Harvested area is reduced 1.2 million acres to 76.8 million. The soybean yield is projected at 44.4 bushels per acre, down 0.3 bushels. Sunflowerseed and peanut production are also projected lower this month while canola and cottonseed production are projected higher.

US soybean exports are increased 35 million bushels to 1.520 billion reflecting strong export sales and reduced export prospects for Argentina resulting from lower beginning stocks. Soybean crush is raised 15 million bushels to 1.665 billion due to improved prospects for domestic soybean meal disappearance and to a small reduction in the projected soybean meal extraction rate. The September 1 soybean stocks estimate confirmed a third consecutive marketing year of relatively low residual use. For 2010/11 residual use is reduced to 32 million bushels, down 38 million from the previous estimate. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 265 million bushels, down 85 million from last month.

Prices for soybeans and products are all raised this month, supported by strong prices for corn. The US season-average soybean price range for 2010/11 is projected at $10.00 to $11.50 per bushel, up 85 cents on both ends of the range. The soybean meal price is projected at $290 to $330 per short ton, up $20 on both ends of the range. The soybean oil price range is projected at 39.5 to 43.5 cents per pound, up 2 cents on both ends.

Global oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 440.6 million tons, unchanged from last month. Global soybean production is projected at 255.3 million tons, up 0.4 million. Brazil soybean production is raised to 67 million tons, up 2 million due to increased area. India soybean production is raised 0.4 million tons to 9.2 million, also due to increased harvested area. Global sunflowerseed production is reduced this month as lower production for Russia is only partly offset by an increase for Ukraine. Other changes include increased cottonseed production for Australia and India. Global oilseed stocks for 2010/11 are reduced 1.7 million tons to 71.4 million. Soybeans account for most of the change, with a reduction for the United States partly offset by projected increases for Brazil and China.

SUGAR: Projected US sugar supply for fiscal year 2010/11 is increased 63,000 short tons, raw value, from last month, due to higher beginning stocks more than offsetting lower production. Florida cane sugar production is reduced 65,000 tons to match processor production projections, while Hawaii is increased 35,000 tons to be in line with the previous year=s estimate. Sugar use is increased 100,000 tons, in line with the increase for 2009/10.

For 2009/10, US supplies are increased 208,000 tons, due to higher production and imports. Production is increased 98,000 tons to account for larger-than-expected September output of US beet sugar and Hawaii cane sugar. Imports are increased 110,000 tons, mainly due to higher imports from Mexico. Total use is increased 115,000 tons to reflect the strong demand for imported sugar and minor changes in sugar exports and deliveries for re-export products. Ending stocks are increased 93,000 tons, to 1.6 million tons or 14.4 per cent of total use.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 15, 2010, 11:27:23 AM
Russian Federation - Livestock and Products Semi-Annual Report 2010
Feed shortages resulting from this year's drought have accelerate the slaughter of cattle and pigs, according to Morgan Haas and Mikhail Maksimenko in the latest GAIN report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.


Report Highlights
Slaughter rates have and will continue to increase in 2010 and 2011 as widespread drought throughout Russia sharply decreased current and future feed supplies. As a result, red meat supply will be larger than earlier expectations but adversely impact supply potential in 2011. Red meat imports to date are revised upward, reflecting year-to-date trade and have similar market access potential in 2011.

Summary
Changes in USDA Moscow's forecast for swine and pork reflect the shortage in feed supplies that will mostly impact 2010 and 2011 inventories, realised imports through the first six months of 2010, as well as revised expectations of live hog trade. Although kills increased in 2010, slaughter weights were adversely impacted as hogs were marketed earlier than expected and incurred reduced weight gain from the historically hot summer.

Swine Inventory
Total swine inventory increased 1.8 per cent to 16.6 million, while agricultural enterprises increased swine inventory 8.0 per cent. Private households account for 36.6 per cent of swine herd at the end of June 2010 (39.7 in June 2009).

Imports of live swine for slaughter are down sharply in 2010, as the tariff was raised from five per cent to 40 per cent but not <0.50 €/kg. The domestic pork industry continues to push for full closure of the market but slaughter houses will continue to require imported hogs until the domestic industry can fill capacity.

Russia imports pedigree swine to improve domestic breeding stock from the European Union and Canada.

Production
Russian livestock production represented 46 to 52 per cent total agricultural production value during 2000-2008.

Russia produced 4.4 million metric tons (MMT) of meat and poultry meat (live weight) in the first half of 2010, 8.3 per cent more than the first half of 2009. Agricultural enterprises increased meat and poultry production 14.7 per cent (live weight) in the first half of 2010 compared to 2009 (in 2009 – 10.1 per cent over 2008).

The Ministry of Agriculture plans that Russia will produce 82 per cent of total meat and poultry supply to the Russian market in 2012. According to Ministry figures, Russia currently supplies 69 per cent of its beef, 75 per cent of its pork and 75 per cent of its poultry.

Feed Supply
Russia will experience problems with feed supplies for the remaining part of 2010 and in 2011 due to the 2010 drought in the Central, Volga and Ural districts of Russia. In total, 27 regions were declared emergency drought situations in 2010. The grain harvest in 2010 will be lowest since 2003 when 67MMT of grain was harvested. The drought adversely impacts not only the 2010 feed supply but also the seeding of winter crops for next year's feed supply, as well as presents a new threat to Russia's developing pork and beef industries.

The government of Russia (GOR) has taken several measures to soften the drought's impact. The GOR postponed state grain purchases, instituted a grain export ban and decided instead to release 3MMT of grain from the state reserves for drought-stricken regions. Grain is being distributed on the basis of a quota system to enterprises in the processing and milling industry. The shares for each region are based on meat and milk production volume. The regions themselves will be responsible for distributing the grain internally. Furthermore, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the GOR will provide 35 billion rubles (RUB; US$1.2 billion) in financial aid to drought-stricken farmers, including RUB10 ($300 million) billion in direct payments and RUB25 billion ($830 million) for three-year discounted federal loans. The money is being disbursed in two stages, the first in August and the second in October-November.

Pork Production
Higher feed prices and therefore higher slaughter rates in the second half of 2010 will increase pork production 8.8 per cent in 2010 but only 4.9 per cent in 2011. The larger slaughter numbers will slow the pace of herd expansion from 3.4 per cent in January 2010 to 2.4 per cent in January 2011.

Pork producers
The major producers of pork are large agricultural enterprises. They increased pork production 14 per cent in 2008 and 21 per cent in 2009. Agricultural enterprises produced 24.4 per cent more pork in the first half of 2010 compared to the first half of 2009. Club-100 swine enterprises increased from 18.9 per cent to 59 per cent at the same time.

According to Rosstat, the 11 largest pork producers (>100,000 head) produced 23.9 per cent of Russia's pork in 2006-2008. These enterprises featured the lowest production costs while average daily weight gain was highest at enterprises between 50,000 to 60,000 head. According to the Intesco Research Group study, Pork Market: the Results of 2009 and Forecast for 2010 – 2011, the three largest Russian pork producers are Prodo, Agro-Belogorie and Miratorg. They account for 15 per cent of the Russian pork production (live weight). Cherkizovo, Siberian Agrarian Meat Processing Group, SV-Volga and Agrifarm Ariant represent the second tier at 10 per cent of the market. Krasnodar region produces 9.3 per cent of the Russian meat, Belgorod region – 8.5 per cent, Rostov region – 6.5 per cent, Omsk region – 4.3 per cent, the Republic of Tatarstan – 3.8 per cent.

The Ministry of Agriculture subsidised the modernisation of 422 pig farms during the last three years. These farms produced 200,000MT (live weight) in 2009 and will add 160,000MT after they are fully operational. The average feed conversion rate was 3.6 on renovated farms and 3.0 on newly built pig farms in 2009.

In particular, the Belgorod region continues to invest in pork production. The agro-industrial holding Miratorg, one of the largest meat producers and suppliers of the Russian market, is investing RUB13.5 billion ($450 million) into the construction of nine hog complexes. The first of the facilities will be started in 2011. Each complex will have an annual capacity of 112,000 hogs. The herd will be slaughtered at an establishment that processes three million animals annually, producing 165,000MT of meat.

The Russian Union of Pork Producers reports producers are experiencing problems with marketing. The Union underlines the reason is that only five per cent of pigs are subject to initial processing at the enterprise, while the rest are traded live. The Union expects this number to grow to 50 per cent by 2012. At this time, the Union believes 90 per cent of pork will be produced by large agricultural enterprises.

Policy
Supply Control (Import Substitution)
Government support for domestic meat production in Russia has and continues to be primarily provided through methods of supply control. In addition to the introduction of the TRQ regime in 2003, trade outside the quota is subject to largely prohibitively high tariffs. Furthermore, trade within the quota is hindered by highly prescriptive, non-science-based Russian technical and veterinary-sanitary requirements that can at times result in country-specific allocations not being accessible.

Agricultural Development Programs
Federal development programs have served as an additional tool of planned support for Russian poultry production. On 21 December 2005, ‘Development of the Agro-industrial Complex’ was issued as one of four priorities for national development, with a focus on revitalizing Russian livestock and poultry production. To further stimulate domestic agricultural production, the federal law ‘On Development of Agriculture’ was approved in 2006 and came into force on 11 January 2007. Later, the GOR approved the ‘Program for Development of Agriculture, Regulation of Agricultural Commodity Markets, and Rural Development for the period 2008-2012’ which called for RUB1.1 trillion ($37 billion) to be spent over five years, with funding being split between federal and provincial budgets.
In line with these programmes, subsidising interest rates for investment projects has been Russia's primary tool of direct support to the producer. However, these benefits are not universal to all producers, as they service only the largest investors and must be in line with the Ministry of Agriculture's vision of the development programme.
In an effort to maintain a positive rate of development in 2009 in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis, the Ministry of Agriculture allocated RUB165.1 billion ($5.5 billion) for the implementation of the State Agricultural Development programme 2009-2012. The Ministry spent RUB45.0 billion ($1.5 billion) from this sum to increase the authorised capital of JSC Russian Agricultural Bank and RUB17.0 billion ($570 million) to subsidize interest payments. Additionally, Russia extended short-term loans for six months, investment loans for three years, and maximum-term eight-year investment loans to 11 years. The subsidy level for investment loans also increased from two-thirds of the central bank rate to 100 per cent for dairy and beef cattle (and to 80 per cent for poultry). The Ministry of Agriculture also noted the single agricultural tax as well as fixed prices for fuel and fertiliser amounted to RUB30 billion ($1 billion) in indirect subsidies to the producer in 2009. These programs continued in 2010, and they will continue for the foreseeable future.
The Ministry of Agriculture reported that 2010 investments will not meet the State programme due to lower-than-expected profits in the industry.

Government Purchases
President Medvedev has tasked Minister Elena Skrynnik to investigate the state purchases of beef in Rosrezerv, as well as to clarify the feasibility of increasing the production of canned white chicken meat. As noted by the President of Cherkizovo, there is a need consider changes of the state reserve purchases since domestic beef supplies are shrinking while poultry is ‘oversupplied’.

Development of the Feed Industry
Also in the planning is a draft development project to improve this component of the supply chain through the construction and modernization of feed mills, with the aim of increasing the production of plant-origin protein feeds. Most recently, the GOR has taken action to support producers impacted by the short feed supplies.

Trade
Russia maintains a TRQ regime for raw pork (HS-0203) and beef (HS-0201, 0202) products with country specific allocation to the United States, European Union, and “other countries”. The pork and beef quotas for 2011 remain unchanged from 2010.

Pork
Russia imported 315,537 MT of pork during January – June 2010, 15 per cent above 2009. The major exporters of pork to Russia are the European Union, Brazil, United States, and Canada. The European Union is the dominant supplier of fresh/chilled and processed pork. The US share of the frozen pork market has fallen steeply for three main reasons: competitive prices in other markets, the virtual ban on US pork through the first five months of 2010, and a reduced quota (from 100,000 MT in 2009 to 57,000 MT in 2010). Russia's recent closure of several US pork facilities on the grounds of tetracycline-group antibiotics will continue to threaten the US's ability to fulfill its quota allocation for the remainder of the year.

There are mixed opinions on decreasing the pork TRQ quantity further before the end of 2012, but focus will remain on preventing growth of out-of-quota pork and live hog imports as well as using sanitary and technical barriers to further regulate in-quota and quota-exempt pork products.

Customs Union
Kazakhstan and Belarus, as well as other CIS countries, have duty-free, quota-free access to Russia for domestically produced meat.

Customs Union members recognise equivalency of each other's veterinary service. Kazakhstan?s Ministry of Agriculture has expressed its intent to utilise this advantage to export 4,000MT of meat (specifically, beef) to Russia in 2010, compared to 400MT in 2009.

Belarus increased meat and poultry exports to Russia by one-third to 72,000MT during January-June 2010. The Government of St Petersburg earlier reached an agreement with Belarus to import 41,100MT of beef, 11,100MT of pork and 8,200MT of poultry meat in 2010.

Consumption
Development of livestock primary processing for 2010-2012
The Ministry of Agriculture has developed a programme for livestock primary processing to support the modernisation of the Russian meat processing industry. The programme envisages the allocation of state subsidies for meat processors from the federal budget. Subsidies will be spent to compensate interest rates from loans taken for construction and modernisation of processing facilities and cold storages as well as for purchasing meat for primary and industrial processing. Planned implementation of the program will allow Russia to increase the collection and processing of the animal to 90 per cent of its live weight.

The Ministry believes that fulfillment of the programme will also increase per-capita consumption of meat and meat products to from 65.9kg in 2008 to 66.1kg in 2012.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 18, 2010, 09:32:17 AM
Productivity growth must increase 25% by 2050
[18 October 2010] An agricultural productivity report said that for food productivity to double by 2050 in a sustainable way with the same amount of land, less water and reduced inputs, it will require an annual average growth of at least 1.75% in “total factor productivity”. This is defined as the increase in output per unit of total resources employed in production. Between 2000 and 2007, USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates global agricultural total factor productivity growth averaged at 1.4% per year. To close the gap without additional land and resources, we must increase the rate of productivity growth at an average of 25% per year over the next 40 years.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 20, 2010, 09:44:13 AM
 Jollibee acquires 70% of Mang Inasal restaurant chain
[20 October 2010] Philippine fast food giant Jollibee has added another brand to its roster with the acquisition of Mang Inasal Philippines, which own Mang Inasal restaurant, for a reported PHP 3 billion (USD 69.12 million). In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Jollibee said that the company's offer to buy 70% of Mang Inasal Philippines has been “unconditionally and irrevocably accepted by Injap Investments, Inc, parent company of Mang Inasal Philippines.” The sale is expected to be finalised in 30 days following complete due diligence. The purchase will expand Jollibee's store network in the Philippines by 19% and on a worldwide basis by 16%. Mang Inasal, a barbeque fastfood chain anchored on its chicken product, was earlier reported to be eyeing an initial public offering. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: nemo on October 20, 2010, 10:25:11 PM
this is what you call  "if you can't beat them, buy them...."

although jollibee is still the  number one fastfood chain,  mang inasal is eating up  some customer especially those who loves chicken... to prevent future treat jollibee just bought it...  ;D ;D ;D

Same principle that san miguel do and other big company....
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 21, 2010, 09:34:10 AM
NMIS seeks funds for slaughterhouse upgrade
[21 October 2010] The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) of the Philippine Department of Agriculture is seeking PHP 24 million (USD 522,677) to upgrade 12 slaugtherhouse facilities in the country. NMIS Executive Director Jane Bacayo said that the existing slaughterhouses to be rehabilitated  are yet to be identified, however, these would be those established by local government units. Also, these would have to be located in strategic areas where livetock population is high. He said there are more than 1,150 slaughterhouses in the country, many of which need to be upgraded. So far this year, the agency has upgraded four slaughterhouses in four provinces.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
RFM to raise PHP 1.5b from floating rate notes
[21 October 2010] Philippine food and beverage conglomerate RFM Corp will raise PHP 1.5 billion (USD 34.55 million) by issuing floating rate notes. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company said it has reached a Floating Rate Notes Facility Agreement with several local banks and financial institutions.  The proceeds will be used to refinance the company’s debt and fund its capital expenditure. Earlier, RFM said it will spend some PHP 1 billion (USD 23.03 million) for its expansion and capital expenditure next year to prepare for the expected increase in consumer demand. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 22, 2010, 09:11:05 AM
Agri department pushes for Philippine halal food standards
[22 October 2010] The Philippines is stepping up the development of halal standards for food commodities to enable the country to tap the multi-million dollar global market for halal products. Mr Sani Macabalang, Head of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Halal Food Industry Development Committee (HFIDC) and DA halal coordinator stressed the need for these standards, warning that failure to have them in place will prevent the country from competing globally. To develop the local halal industry, the HFIDC recommended the harmonisation of halal protocols and procedures by various government agencies, development of halal certification and accreditation competencies and capability-building of certifying bodies and government halal food inspectors, auditors and the like in close coordination with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 26, 2010, 09:06:32 AM
Asian Agribusiness sets dates for 2011 conferences
[25 October 2010] Asian Agribusiness Media has confirmed four conferences and a vocational training course for Asia’s livestock industries in 2011.The highly successful Poultry Feed Quality Conference will be held for the fourth time and return to Bangkok on 12-13 September 2011. The Pig Feed Quality Conference will move to Cebu on 9-10 May 2011 following its successful inauguration this year in Ho Chi Minh City. The Asian AgriFood Conference, last held at the Banyan Tree in Bangkok in 2009, will move to Singapore on 4-5 July 2011. A new two-day conference is planned for Asian Poultry Veterinarians on 7-8 November in Bangkok. The company also plans to launch a vocational training course on sausage manufacture in Bangkok in August 2011.



 
Asia leads in global economic recovery
[25 October 2010] The latest International Monetary Fund’s Economic Outlook (October 2010) has highlighted Asia as the leading region in the global economic recovery. The developing Asian countries (China, ASEAN and India) are projected to continue leading the region with an average growth of 9.4% and 8.4% in 2010 and 2011, respectively. China's economic growth is mainly driven by strong domestic demand while ASEAN countries have also experienced a broad-based export rebound. The strong economic rebound in developing Asian economies is expected to give consumers in these markets the buying power to lift red meat consumption in the future. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on October 27, 2010, 06:35:32 AM
India has potential to be world’s No 1 food producer
[25 October 2010] The world’s second largest food producer after China, India has the potential to be the biggest within the food and agriculture sector. Total food production in India is likely to double in the next 10 years. With this in mind, the country is in the process of enhancing total food production to 20% within five years.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 02, 2010, 07:37:34 AM
Philippine food, farm exports down
[2 November 2010] Earnings from Philippine food and farm exports declined nearly 3.8% during the first eight months of the year, registering only USD 1.35 billion, said Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President for Agriculture Roberto Amores, who said the drop is due to increasing production costs. Exports of fruits and vegetables during the period fell by almost 19.4% to USD 399.9 million, however, marine and seafood exports posted gains of 1.3% to USD 335.8 million. Mr Amores said however, that food production next year will likely be affected by Typhoon Megi, which has wrought almost USD 250 million in damage to the farm sector.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 04, 2010, 07:30:32 AM
Supply volatility to continue
[3 November 2010] Bunge, the world’s largest agricultural traders, said the shortfalls fueling the grain prices will continue into the next year as global food demand continues to rise. Chief executive officer Alberto Weisser said the slim cushion between supply and demand, and associated price volatility, was likely to continue. “There will be tightness in supply probably in the whole of next year.” He said this after releasing the company’s third quarter results. Bunge posted an increase of 40% in profits year-on-year to USD 2.26 per share.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 05, 2010, 08:35:25 AM
China increases estimate for soybean imports
[5 November 2010] China’s Ministry of Commerce recently increased the country’s estimated soybean imports for October from 4.15 million tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes, while the ministry expects the volume for November to reach 4.65 million tonnes. An announcement on its website said American soybean loaded for October shipments registered 3.6 million tonnes. The ministry also said the soy oil loaded for October imports, mostly from the US and Brazil amounted to 223,300 tonnes.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 05, 2010, 08:36:54 AM
Del Monte Pacific posts USD3.3m profits in Q3
[5 November 2010] Food company Del Monte Pacific announced a third quarter net profit of USD 3.3 million. Last year the company recorded a net loss of USD 1.7 million. Del Monte attributes its profit to increase of 16% in sales year-on-year to USD 88.4 million because of higher turnover in the Philippines and its export markets. The company also recorded better earnings for its processed and fresh business segments.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 09, 2010, 08:36:09 AM
Demand for food safety products to reach USD45.2b in 2014
[9 November 2010] Demand for food safety products in the Asia Pacific region -- including disinfection and diagnostic products, smart labels and tags, and software and tracking systems -- is projected to rise 10.3% per year to USD 45.2 billion in 2014. Advances will be stimulated by gains in food and beverage processing activity and increasingly strict food safety regulations, according to a new study from Freedonia Group Inc, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. The new business in the regions will account for two-fifths of the world’s aggregate market value gains between 2009 and 2014. China will continue to see some of the fastest demand growth, due to mounting pressure on the part of consumers, producers and regulators to ensure the safety of the food supply.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 11, 2010, 09:19:16 AM
Philippine Halal workshop helps develop sector
[11 November 2010] The Philippines recently held an International Halal Poultry Standards Training Workshop to promote and grow its halal industry. Attended by speakers from Malaysia the workshop is expected to accelerate the development of halal standards for food commodities for the country in order to tap the multi-billion dollar global market for halal products. The industry is set to capture at least 2% of the demand for 770,000 metric tonnes per year of halal food products in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines under the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area’s proponent project.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 11, 2010, 09:21:35 AM
UN warns of food crisis
[11 November 2010] The United Nations (UN) has warned that the world may be on the verge of a major new food crisis caused by high food prices. The global food crisis brought on this threat but environmental disasters have further triggered food price inflation.  The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization believes that both rich and poor countries will be faced with a malnutrition problem.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 13, 2010, 10:21:08 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - November 2010
The forecast of total US meat production is raised for 2010 and 2011, as is that for pork production, reflecting exceptional gains in carcass weights, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.


Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The forecast of total US meat production is raised for 2010 and 2011. Production forecasts for all major meats are raised for 2010. Beef production is raised on higher steer and heifer slaughter and the pork production increase reflects exceptional gains in carcass weights. Broiler hatchery data points toward continued gains in broiler production as the number of eggs set and chicks placed are large. The rate of decline in 2010 turkey production is slower than previously forecast. For 2011, production forecasts for beef, pork and broilers are increased. The beef production increase largely reflects slaughter of the higher-than-expected number of cattle placed on feed during the third quarter of 2010. Pork production is forecast higher in early 2011 as some of the weight gains seen in late 2010 carry into 2011. However, the increase in weights is expected to be moderated by higher costs of feed during 2011. Broiler production is also forecast higher in early 2011 as the sector carries its current expansion into 2011. However, higher expected feed costs are expected to slow the rate of increase later in the year. The turkey production forecast for 2011 is unchanged from last month as is the egg production forecast.

The beef import forecast is lowered for 2010 as the pace of imports to date is relatively slow but the forecast for 2011 is unchanged. Beef exports in both 2010 and 2011 are raised on stronger growth to Asian markets. The forecast for pork imports is raised for both 2010 and 2011 on strong shipments from several markets. The pork export forecast is lowered for 2010 based on the pace of exports but the forecast for 2011 is unchanged. The poultry export forecast is reduced on weaker third-quarter data but the forecast for 2011 is unchanged from last month.

The cattle price forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are raised to reflect continued strong demand for cattle. Hog prices are forecast lower on larger forecast pork supplies. The broiler price forecast is unchanged. Egg prices for 2010 are forecast higher as prices recovered from their late summer decline but the 2011 forecast is unchanged.

Forecast milk production for 2010 is unchanged from last month. However, for 2011, production is lowered from last month as forecast cow numbers are reduced from last month. Milk per cow is adjusted slightly higher in early 2011 but higher feed prices and lower forecast milk prices limit the rate of growth in 2011. Exports in 2010 are forecast higher due to strong growth in butter, cheese and fluid milk/cream. For 2011, continued global economic recovery and a favorable exchange rate should support exports. Revisions have been made to historical export aggregations, resulting in higher estimated exports. Import forecasts are raised on the strong pace of imports.

Cheese and butter prices for both 2010 and 2011 are forecast lower. The 2010 forecast for nonfat dry milk is unchanged from last month but stronger expected exports support a higher forecast for 2011. The whey price forecast is unchanged. Both Class III and Class IV price forecasts for 2010 are lowered due to the lower cheese and butter price forecasts. The Class III price forecast is lowered for 2011 but the Class IV price forecast is raised as the higher nonfat price more than offsets the lower butter price forecast. The all milk price is forecast to average $16.30 to $16.40 per cwt for 2010 and $15.95 to $16.85 per cwt for 2011.

Wheat
US wheat ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected five million bushels lower this month as downward production revisions of 11 million bushels for Hard Red Spring (HRS) wheat and four million bushels for durum more than offset higher projected imports. Imports are raised 10 million bushels with increases for Soft Red Winter (SRW) wheat and durum. Exports are unchanged, but shifts among classes result in higher projected exports of Hard Red Winter and HRS wheat and reductions for SRW and durum. The projected season-average price received by producers is narrowed five cents on each end of the range to $5.25 to $5.75 per bushel. Heavy early season marketings and forward sales limit upside potential for the season-average farm price.

Global wheat supplies are projected slightly higher for 2010/11 as higher world production offsets lower carry-in, mostly reflecting higher 2009/10 wheat feeding in China. World production is raised 1.5 million tons for 2010/11 as increases for Argentina, Australia, EU-27 and Paraguay more than offset reductions for FSU-12 and the United States. Argentina production is raised 1.5 million tons as favourable returns and timely rains boost area and yield prospects. Australia production is raised 1.0 million tons as rising yield prospects in eastern growing areas more than offset reductions from extended dryness in Western Australia. Production is raised 0.6 million tons for EU-27 mostly based on higher reported area for Poland. Production for Russia is lowered 0.5 million tons as harvest results indicate lower-than-expected yields in Siberia. Production is also lowered 0.5 million tons each for Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as the latest reports confirm higher-than-expected yield losses from the extended drought across the region.

World wheat trade for 2010/11 is raised this month with imports up 0.5 million tons each for China, Egypt and South Korea, mostly reflecting higher reported shipments so far for the marketing year. Imports are also raised for Azerbaijan and the United States. Turkey’s imports and exports both are reduced one million tons as short supplies of FSU-12 wheat limit Turkey’s wheat imports and flour exports. Kazakhstan exports are lowered 0.5 million tons with the smaller crop. Exports are raised 1.0 million tons each for Argentina and EU-27 with larger available supplies in Argentina and the strong pace of EU-27 export licensing. Russia exports are raised 0.5 million tons as flour exports will now be allowed after 31 December 2010.

Global wheat consumption for 2010/11 is raised 2.5 million tons with much of the increase reflecting a 2.0-million-ton increase in China wheat feeding. Wheat feeding is also raised 0.5 million tons for Korea based on the pace of feed quality wheat imports. Feeding is lowered 1.0 million tons for Russia but is offset by a 1.0-million-ton increase in food use. Global ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 2.2 million tons lower with the largest reduction for China where stocks are lowered 3.4 million tons. Ending stocks are also lowered 1.0 million tons for Russia. Partly offsetting are higher projected ending stocks for Australia, Egypt, Argentina and Paraguay.

Coarse Grains
US feed grain supplies for 2010/11 are reduced this month with lower expected corn production. Corn production is forecast 124 million bushels lower as the national average yield is lowered to 154.3 bushels per acre, down 1.5 bushels from the previous forecast. Feed and residual use is projected 100 million bushels lower with the smaller forecast crop and higher prices expected to reduce feeding. Exports are lowered 50 million bushels as higher prices trim export demand. Corn use for ethanol is raised 100 million bushels with record October ethanol production indicated by weekly Energy Information Administration data and favourable ethanol producer margins. Ethanol prices continue to track higher with corn prices, supporting returns for ethanol producers. Although small relative to domestic usage, higher ethanol exports and lower imports are also expected to add to corn use for ethanol with high sugar prices limiting the availability of ethanol from Brazil.

Corn ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 75 million bushels lower. At 827 million bushels, ending stocks would be the lowest since 1995/96 and represent a carry-out of 6.2 per cent of projected usage. In 1995/96, carry-out dropped to five per cent of estimated usage. The season-average farm price is projected at $4.80 to $5.60 per bushel, up 20 cents on both ends of the range and well above the previous record of $4.20 per bushel in 2007/08.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2010/11 are projected 3.3 million tons lower reflecting reduced corn production in the United States, reduced barley production in China, and reduced oats and rye production in Russia. Global corn production is reduced 1.1 million tons as the US decline is partly offset by a 2.0-million-ton increase for China on higher 2010/11 area. Corn production for China is also raised 2.0 million tons for 2009/10 based on an area increase of 800,000 hectares as indicated by official government statistics. Global 2010/11 barley production is lowered 0.8 million tons mostly on a 0.7-million-ton reduction for China on lower area and yields. Other barley changes include small reductions for Belarus and EU-27, and a 0.3-million-ton increase for Australia as abundant rainfall in eastern growing areas support higher yields. Global oats production is lowered 1.3 million tons mostly on a 1.0-million-ton reduction for Russia. Global rye production is lowered with a 0.4-million-ton reduction for Russia.

Global 2010/11 coarse grain trade is lowered slightly this month with lower corn imports for the Philippines and South Korea partly offset by small increases in corn imports for Saudi Arabia and sorghum imports by EU-27. Corn exports are raised 0.5 million tons each for EU-27 and Serbia mostly offsetting the 1.3-million-ton reduction for the United States. Global coarse grain consumption for 2010/11 is lowered slightly as higher corn feeding in China and Argentina are mostly offset by reduced corn feeding in EU-27, South Korea and the Philippines. Oats and barley consumption are also lowered with reduced oat feeding in Russia and China and reduced barley feeding in EU-27 and China. Global corn ending stocks are lowered 3.2 million tons. At 129.2 million tons, world corn stocks would be the lowest since 2006/07, the first year of the rapid expansion in US ethanol production and use.

Oilseeds
Total US oilseed production is projected at 101.8 million tons, down one million from last month as lower soybean and cottonseed production are only partly offset by higher peanut production. Soybean production is forecast at 3.375 billion bushels, down 33 million from last month. The soybean yield is projected at 43.9 bushels per acre, down 0.5 bushels from the previous estimate. Soybean exports are raised 50 million bushels to a record 1.57 billion due to increased global import demand and to a record sales pace, especially to China which accounts for over 70 per cent of known US soybean export sales through October. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 185 million bushels, down 80 million from last month.

Soybean oil ending stocks for 2010/11 are raised this month due to higher beginning stocks reported by the US Census Bureau and to reduced domestic disappearance reflecting lower projected food use of soybean oil.

Prices for soybeans and products are projected higher for 2010/11. The US season-average soybean price range is projected at $10.70 to $12.20 per bushel, up 70 cents on both ends. The soybean meal price is projected at $310 to $350 per short ton, up 20 dollars on both ends of the range. The soybean oil price range is projected at 42.5 to 46.5 cents per pound, up three cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 440.7 million tons, up 0.1 million from last month. Increased soybean production is mostly offset by lower sunflower seed, rapeseed, peanut and cottonseed production. Global soybean production is projected higher with increases for Brazil, Argentina, India and South Africa only partly offset by a reduction for the United States. Argentina soybean production is raised two million tons to 52 million due to increased area as producers respond to relatively high soybean prices. Brazil soybean production is projected at 67.5 million tons, up 0.5 million from last month due to increased area. Global sunflower seed production is projected lower due to reduced estimates for Russia, Argentina, India and EU-27. Other changes include lower rapeseed production for Australia, lower peanut production for India and lower cottonseed production for China.

Oilseed trade is projected at 111.4 million tons, up 1.8 million. China soybean imports for 2010/11 are raised to 57 million tons, up two million from last month. EU-27 imports of soybeans and soybean meal are raised this month to offset lower sunflower seed and rapeseed availability.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 15, 2010, 10:14:16 AM
Philippines to apply for full FMD-free status
[15 November 2010] The Philippines plans to submit to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) its application to have the remaining areas of Luzon certified “foot and mouth disease (FMD)-free without vaccination”. In May 2010, most areas in Luzon were granted this status, however Zone  2, which include the major pig producing regions of Southern Luzon and Central Luzon, were not included because of the continued use of the FMD vaccines in these areas. However, Dr Davinio Catbagan, Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Livestock said he expects that the whole country will finally be declared FMD-free during OIE's next general assembly in May 2011. The FMD-free status will help open doors for Philippine pork products into the international market.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 19, 2010, 09:57:52 AM
Jollibee post USD 16.31M proft in  3rd qtr
[18 November 2010] Philippine fast food giant Jollibee Food Corp (JFC) posted nearly USD 16.31 million in profits in the 3rd quarter of 2010, thanks to bigger sales in both the local and overseas operations. This boosted the company's net profit by 16.2% to USD 49.31 million from in the first nine months of the year. Sales from local and overseas operations rose to more than USD 1.16 billion by end-September 2010, or 9.7% from the same period last year. JFC has a total of 1,555 stores in the Philippines, made up of the flagship Jollibee outlets, Chowking, Greenwich Pizza Red Ribbon bakeries, and Manong Pepe restaurants. Recently, the company announced its decision to acquire a 70% stake in the Mang Inasal Philippines chain of restaurant that has 303 stores nationwide.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 19, 2010, 10:20:26 AM
CME: Effect of Growing Risks in Europe and Asia
US - Livestock and grain commodity markets were sharply lower on Tuesday as large traders sought to trim their long positions in light of growing risks in Europe and Asia, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.



Last spring, fears of a Greek debt default sowed panic in markets, not so much because of the size of the potential Greek default but rather the implications that it would have for the Euro Zone as a whole. The situation in Greece is far from resolved and it remains to be seen whether Euro members are willing to bankroll an ever expanding tab of Greek profligacy.

More recently, debt markets have been rattled by reports that the budget hole in Ireland, another country suffering from the post-bubble hangover, appears to be much deeper than previously thought. This has begun to tinge the credibility of other EU countries thought to have heavy debt burdens. Adding to the renewed panic about debt defaults in Europe, market participants responded to reports that China, a significant buyer of global raw materials, would impose price controls on a number of food staples and production materials. Based on overnight trading, it appears that the markets may open higher on Wednesday but volatility will remain high for the foreseeable future.

The panic selling of commodities on Tuesday overshadowed news that the US would lift the ban on imports of beef and pork products from the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. The so called final rule was published in the Federal Register on November 16 and it comes into effect on 1 December. As we have discussed in the past, the rule is much more important with regard to the precedent that it sets rather than the actual impact on the supply of imported beef and pork in the US market.

 


We do not expect any beef imports of any appreciable quantity to come into the US anytime soon and Brazilian officials indicated that they expect only about 10,000 MT of pork to come into the US next year, less than 0.05 per cent of the 8.5 million MT of pork that will be consumed in the US in 2011. The precedent, however, is important as it does open the door to more beef and pork coming into the US from markets that are currently closed to US importers. APHIS, (USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) has worked in recent years to develop policies based on the concept of regionalization.

The basic premise is that political boundaries do not properly reflect disease risk and APHIS “will consider the importation of a commodity from a specific region of a country even though other parts of that country may be affected by an animal disease.” This is especially important for large countries, such as Brazil, with areas (e.g. the Amazon) where certain animal diseases will likely never be eradicated. Based on the concept of regionalization, we could see more Brazilian beef and pork coming into the US in the coming years, however, the process will likely be quite lengthy and deeply political. Finally, keep in mind that while most larger protein producing countries do want access to the US market, most of the growth in global protein consumption is not taking place in the US but rather Asia and developing economies. And the focus of US industry should be on expanding access for US exports, rather than erecting barriers to imports.







Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 29, 2010, 09:55:52 AM
World poultry and livestock growth up 2%
[29 November 2010] The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that world pork production is forecast to rise about 2% to 103.4 million tonnes with China accounting for 80% of this increase. Broiler production is forecast up 2% to a record 76.2 million tonnes, thanks to record levels from all top producing countries. China and Thailand are expected to expand exports, particularly to other Asian markets. The USDA advises Asian producers to look into cost control to cope with rising feed costs and food safety in response to consumer demands, through better technology and business solutions.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 29, 2010, 09:56:58 AM
FAO calls for higher investment in agriculture
[24 November 2010] The global food import bill could pass the one trillion dollar mark in 2010, a level not seen since food prices peaked at record levels in 2008 said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. "The food price and economic crises have had a severe impact on millions of people in all parts of the world," he said. In recent months the international prices of most agricultural commodities have increased, many of them sharply. The key to long-term food security lies in boosting investment in agriculture, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries. He aded that structural changes can improve food security. In the short term, this means targeted safety nets and social protection programs as well as reliable and timely information on food commodity markets. In the medium and longer terms, however, investment in agriculture is the answer.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on November 30, 2010, 08:55:30 AM
Foreigners’ access to farmland must follow guidelines
[30 November 2010] UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter recently warned of risks in unbridled foreigners’ access to farmlands. He said that efforts must be made to ensure that foreign access to local agricultural lands follow strict guidelines. Countries like China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been in the forefront of acquiring large tracts of lands in Asia and Africa, which had become even more intense following the spike in food prices in 2008. Foreigners’ access to farmland must follow guidelines
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 01, 2010, 08:00:03 AM
FAO Food Outlook - November 2010
The latest Global Market Outlook for animal products from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


Focus
International prices of most agricultural commodities have increased in recent months, some sharply. The FAO Food Price index has gained 34 points since the previous Food Outlook report in June, averaging 197 points in October, only 16 points short from its peak in June 2008. The upward movements of prices were connected with several factors, the most important of which were a worsening of the outlook for crops in key producing countries, which is likely to require large draw downs of stocks and result in tighter global supply and demand balances in 2010/11. Another leading factor has been the weakening of the United States Dollar (US Dollar) from mid-September, which continues to sustain the prices of nearly all agricultural and non-agricultural traded commodities. The increase in international prices of food commodities, all of which accruing in the second half of 2010, is boosting the overall food import bill in 2010 closer to the peak reached in 2008.

The pressure on prices to rise was first felt in the cereal market, most notably for wheat and barley, in August. This prompted FAO to call for an extraordinary meeting on 24 September 2010 to discuss the underlying causes and possible remedies. The meeting clearly identified the importance of reliable and upto- date information on crop supply and demand to cope with unexpected developments in world markets. More transparency and a better understanding of the role of commodity futures markets and government responses were also viewed as necessary to address price volatility. The full report of the meeting is included in the Special Feature section of this issue of Food Outlook.



FAO Food Price Indices
(October 2009 - October 2010)
Attention is now turning to plantings for the next (2011/12) marketing season. Given the expectation of falling global inventories, the size of next year’s crops will be critical in setting the tone for stability in international markets. For major cereals, production must expand substantially to meet utilization and to reconstitute world reserves and farmers are likely to respond to the prevailing strong prices by expanding plantings. Cereals, however, may not be the only crops farmers will be trying to produce more of, as rising prices have also made other commodities attractive to grow, from soybeans to sugar and cotton. This could limit individual crop production responses to levels that would be insufficient to alleviate market tightness. Against this backdrop, consumers may have little choice but to pay higher prices for their food. With the pressure on world prices of most commodities not abating, the international community must remain vigilant against further supply shocks in 2011 and be prepared.

Meat and meat products market summary
World meat trade is forecast to grow by 2.8 per cent in 2010, to 26.1 million tonnes, sustained by a brisk growth in pig meat, but also by gains in bovine and poultry meat. However, in the case of poultry, the most widely traded meat, the expansion of world exports is likely to be constrained by the imposition of sanitary restrictions by major importers. Increased purchases from Asian countries are expected to fuel much of the expected increase of meat trade, more than compensating for a 15 per cent reduction of imports by the Russian Federation, which had emerged as the second largest meat importer in 2009, after China.



World meat markets at a glance
According to the FAO Meat Price Index, world meat prices between January and October 2010 averaged 14 per cent higher than in the same period in 2009, and similar to the levels witnessed in 2008.



FAO international meat price indices
(2002-2004 = 100)
Dairy market summary
Strong import demand from Asian countries and the Russian Federation has driven dairy product trade to historically high levels in 2010, with the demand largely met by higher exports from New Zealand and the United States. Dairy product prices in international trade have remained firm, in particular butter, which in October reached an all-time high.



FAO international meat price indices
(2002-2004 = 100)
FAO’s latest forecast of world dairy production for 2010 stands at 710.7 million tonnes, 1.7 per cent more than last year. Production in developed countries is forecast to grow by around 1 per cent, while that of developing countries may increase by 2.4 per cent. On a per capita basis, consumption of milk and milk products in developing countries may increase by 1 kg per capita in 2010, from 66.4 to 67.5 kg, fuelled by strong economic growth in Asia.



FAO international dairy price index
(2002-2004=100)
Fish and fishery products market summary
On average, the latest trade information indicates that two years after the drastic fall at the end of 2008, prices in September 2010 were only 1 per cent below the peak of September 2008, with aquaculture prices 11.6 per cent higher whereas prices of wild species were 10 per cent lower. According to the FAO Fish Price Index, prices over January to September were, on average, 8.5 per cent higher year-on-year.

Aquaculture producers of many of the exported commodities responded to the economic crisis in late 2008 and throughout 2009 by reducing stocking levels, thus affecting future production. Since then, demand in many developing countries has rebounded, especially in Asia and South America. Developed country demand for farmed products is picking up, and prices for products such as shrimp, catfish, tilapia and salmon have risen significantly in 2010. For capture fisheries, the picture is more mixed with some prices negatively affected by large harvests, whereas others have strengthened as lower fishing quotas resulted in reduced supply.



World fish market at a glance
The price outlook for the rest of 2010 and early 2011 is positive, with demand firming in most markets and supply expected to remain stable.



The FAO fish price index (2005=100)
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 02, 2010, 08:42:29 AM
Philippine buffalo meat imports down
[2 December 2010] Philippine imports of buffalo meat fell 3.72% in the first ten months of 2010, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (PAMPI) said. Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry shows that from January-October 2010, imports of buffalo meat was 35,680 tonnes, down from 37,060 tonnes year-on-year. PAMPI Executive Director Francisco Buencamino said that the Filipinos’ purchasing power remains low, which has led to lower demand for canned goods like corned beef and meat loaf. He added that the USD 2-3/kg increase in the price of buffalo meat may have discouraged importation. The meat processing industry is hoping that demand will pick up during the Christmas season, which traditionally is when demand for products like ham are at their peak.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 03, 2010, 12:59:30 PM
East Asean aims to be food basket in Asia
[3 December 2010] The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area has committed to becoming the food basket of Asean and Asia by strengthening collaboration in agriculture and fisheries. “The four countries are ready to become Asean and Asia’s food basket because they really do have a big potential in agriculture and fisheries,” Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad said. The exports of agricultural and fishery products of the four countries’ combined stand as high as USD50 billion yearly.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 06, 2010, 09:14:59 AM
Meat importers assures safety of frozen meat
[6 December 2010] The Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA) has disputed claims that all frozen meat sold in the local markets are unsafe. MITA President Jesus Cham said that all legally imported meat are sourced from HAACP-certified producers who export their products all over the world, and thus “it is unreasonable and unscientific to claim that the products that are deemed ‘safe’ in other countries are ‘unsafe’ in the Philippines.” He added that the sources of the meat, which come with international health certificates, have been accredited by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS). Once in the Philippines, the imported frozen meat is subject to BAI quarantine clearance and NMIS food safety inspection and stored in duly accredited cold storages under the supervision of NMIS.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 09, 2010, 05:22:34 AM
Two new hatcheries for Eastern Visayas
[7 December 2010] With demand for fingerlings in mariculture zones on the rise, the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will spend PHP 28 million (USD 642,939) to build to multi-species hatcheries to supply the requirements of mariculture areas in Eastern Visayas. In a report by BusinessWorld, BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said the facilities, estimated to cost PHP 14 million (USD 321,450) each, will begin construction in the first quarter of 2011. Both facilities are scheduled for construction in the first quarter of next year. Eastern Visayas has 14 mariculture parks with 346 cages, which need several tonnes of fingerlings of various species every setting.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 12, 2010, 02:05:32 PM
Global agricultural prices sky-rocketed during October 03 Dec 2010
Tightening fundamentals and exchange rate movements played a major role in the price gains across a range of agricultural commodities. Prices now need to ration demand and encourage increased production in 2011/12.

The Rabobank Agri Commodities Monthly for October looks at the effects of global fundamentals and prices, and gives an outlook for wheat, sugar, corn and soybeans.
 
Wheat
- Weaker US dollar makes exports cheaper
- High corn prices pushing wheat into backseat
- Ukraine imposes export quotas
 
The wheat market appears to be taking a backseat to the corn market and macroeconomic factors such as the dollar.
 
Recent currency recalibrations have made US wheat the cheapest available export wheat in the world.
In the Black Sea Region the Ukraine government imposed export quotas from 18 October. In Russia, rising grain prices are now rationing demand as millers are unable to pass on higher costs.
 
Corn
- US yield downgrades likely
- Need for prices to ration demand
- Risk of Chinese imports
 
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shocked the market on 8 October by slashing their expected US corn yield and production estimates.
 
Given the USDA’s historic tendency to make further downward revisions after reducing their yield estimates in October, corn prices will need to ration demand in coming months.
 
Uncertainty remains about official Chinese stock levels. But if China has to implement a corn import programme this would further impact the world and US corn balance sheets.
 
Soybeans
- Strong global export demand
- Need to maintain price relative to corn
- La Niña weather pattern still threatens South America
 
Global soybean demand remains extremely robust, especially from China. Even with prices at new highs, there is no real evidence of demand rationing, while soybean prices have lost ground relative to corn.
 
Supply prospects in South America will be key to prices going forward. Although production risks have declined over the last month, the La Niña weather system remains in a strong/moderate phase, and will be key in determining final South American production levels through to early 2011.
 
Source: Rabobank
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 14, 2010, 10:15:19 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - December 2010
Forecasts for 2010 and 2011 pork production have been raised, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The forecast of total US meat production is raised for 2010 and 2011. Forecasts for 2010 beef, pork, broilers and turkeys are raised reflecting high slaughter levels during the fourth quarter and higher weights for hogs and broilers. For 2011, production forecasts for beef, pork, and broilers are increased. The beef production increase largely reflects higher forecast placements of cattle during the fourth quarter of 2010 and early 2011. Pork production is raised from last month on slightly higher slaughter. Broiler production is forecast higher as hatchery data indicate continued large egg sets and poultry placements during the fourth quarter of 2010. The turkey production forecast for 2011 is unchanged from last month. The egg production forecast is lowered slightly in 2010 but is unchanged for 2011.

Trade forecasts for 2010 are adjusted, largely reflecting third quarter data. However, beef imports are lowered for both late 2010 and early 2011 as exportable supplies of beef for several U.S suppliers are expected to be relatively tight. Beef exports are raised for 2011 as improved economic growth in major export markets is expected to stimulate sales. Pork exports for 2010 are reduced as relatively high pork prices are likely constraining growth in exports. Forecasts for pork exports for 2011 are unchanged. Poultry forecasts for 2011 are unchanged.

The cattle price forecasts for 2010 and 2011 are raised to reflect continued strong demand for cattle. Hog prices for 2010 and 2011 are forecast lower than last month as pork supplies are large. The broiler price forecast is lowered on larger supplies. Egg prices for 2010 and 2011 are forecast higher.

Forecast milk production for 2010 and 2011 is little changed last month. Fat-basis imports for 2010 are lowered primarily due to lower imports of cheese but skim-solids imports are unchanged due to higher imports of expected imports of other products. Fat basis exports for 2010 are raised as sales of cheese and fluid milk and cream are strong and skim-solids exports are boosted by strong sales of cheese and nonfat dry milk (NDM). Exports for 2011 are forecast higher due to expected growth in butter and nonfat dry milk sales. Ending stocks for 2010 are raised to reflect higher-than expected stocks of cheese.

For 2010, cheese and whey prices are unchanged from last month. NDM prices are forecast higher but the butter price forecast is reduced reflecting recent sharp declines in butter prices. With no change in either the cheese or whey price, the Class III price forecast is unchanged. However, the Class IV price forecast is reduced, due to a lower butter price forecast which more than offsets a higher expected NDM price. For 2011, the range of the cheese price forecast narrowed but whey is forecast higher. The butter price is reduced as current price weakness spills into early 2011. NDM prices are forecast higher. The ranges of the Class III and Class IV price forecasts are narrowed from last month. The all milk price is forecast to average $16.25 to $16.35 per cwt for 2010 and $15.90 to $16.70 per cwt for 2011.

Wheat
US wheat ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 10 million bushels higher this month reflecting lower domestic use. Projected food use is lowered 10 million bushels on the latest mill-grind data from the US Census Bureau which indicate flour extraction rates that are higher than the long-term average for a third straight year. With historically high wheat prices, millers continue to get more flour out of each bushel of wheat. Total exports are unchanged, but small shifts among classes result in higher projected exports of Hard Red Spring and White wheat and lower projected exports of Hard Red Winter wheat and durum. The projected marketing-year average price received by producers is narrowed 5 cents on each end of the range to $5.30 to $5.70 per bushel.

Global 2010/11 wheat supplies are projected 4.9 million tons higher this month reflecting an increase in EU-27 beginnings stocks with lower 2009/10 feed use and higher 2010/11 production in Australia, Pakistan, Canada, Brazil, and Ukraine. Production for Australia is raised 1.5 million tons as higher reported yields in eastern Australia continue to boost production prospects. Recent, heavy rains in many of these same areas, however, have dampened production prospects and reduced wheat quality. Official government statistics for Pakistan and Canada boost production 1.3 million tons and 1.0 million tons, respectively. Brazil production is raised 0.4 million tons as favorably dry harvest weather in southern growing areas add to output. Ukraine production is raised 0.2 million tons on the latest government data. Partly offsetting these increases is a 0.5-million-ton reduction for Russia.

World wheat trade for 2010/11 is projected lower this month as tighter supplies of high quality wheat raise world prices and slow demand in several smaller markets. Wheat imports are also reduced 0.5 million tons each for Brazil and EU-27. Larger production reduces the need for imports in Brazil. In EU-27, lower expected wheat feeding reduces demand for imported wheat. World wheat exports are lowered 1.7 million tons with reductions for Australia, China, Canada, and Mexico. Export prospects for Australia and Canada are reduced reflecting the lower quality of wheat in both countries this year. Partly offsetting are increases for Iran, Serbia and Croatia.

Global 2010/11 wheat consumption is raised with higher expected wheat feeding in China and higher expected feed and residual disappearance in Australia and Canada. Reduced government incentives to export wheat from China make more wheat available for domestic feeding. Larger supplies of lower quality wheat in Australia and Canada are expected to boost feeding and increase residual losses in both countries. Partly offsetting are 0.5-million-ton reductions in feed use for both EU-17 and Russia, and small declines in food use in several countries due to high prices. Ending stocks are raised 4.2 million tons with the largest increases for Pakistan, EU-27, Australia and Canada.

Coarse Grains
US feed grain supplies for 2010/11 are virtually unchanged as a small increase in corn imports is offset by a reduction in barley imports both reflecting feed grain production changes for Canada this month. US corn imports are raised five million bushels with record production reported for Canada. US corn ending stocks are raised accordingly. Barley imports are lowered 5 million bushels with lower production in Canada and the slow pace of imports to date. US barley food, seed, and industrial use is lowered the same amount as domestic beer consumption remains weak slowing demand for malting barley. The projected marketing-year average price received by US corn producers is unchanged this month at $4.80 to $5.60 per bushel. Farm prices for barley and oats are both projected slightly lower based on prices received by producers to date.

Global coarse grain production for 2010/11 is increased 3.4 million tons with corn production up 2.2 million tons, barley production up 0.6 million tons, and oats production up 0.4 million tons. India corn production is raised 1.0 million tons as the extended monsoon increased late-season soil moisture for the summer corn crop. The same conditions boosted harvested area for millet, adding 0.3 million tons to India production. Australia barley and oats production are raised 1.9 million tons and 0.5 million tons, respectively, both on higher reported yields. The latest official statistics from Canada indicated mostly offsetting production changes for coarse grains. Canada corn production is raised 0.7 million tons as favorable weather boosted corn yields in Ontario and Quebec. Canada barley production is lowered 0.6 million tons with lower area and yields in the western prairies. Corn production is raised 0.5 million tons for Ukraine and 0.4 million tons for EU-27. Small offsetting reductions are made this month for Paraguay corn, Ukraine barley and oats, and Russia barley and rye.

Global 2010/11 coarse grain trade is lowered slightly mostly reflecting reduced corn imports by Mexico as feeding there is projected lower. Corn exports are lowered 0.8 million tons for Serbia, but raised 0.5 million tons and 0.2 million tons, respectively, for India and Canada. Barley exports are lowered 0.4 million tons for Canada, but raised 0.3 million tons for Australia. Reduced corn feeding for Mexico and Serbia is mostly offset by increases for India, South Africa, and Canada. Global corn ending stocks are projected 0.8 million tons higher with larger stocks in EU-27 and Serbia partly offset by smaller stocks in South Africa and Mexico.

Oilseeds
Total US oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 101.7 million tons, down slightly due to a small reduction in cottonseed. Soybean exports are increased 20 million bushels to 1.59 billion reflecting record export commitments (shipments plus outstanding sales) through November. With projected crush unchanged, soybean ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected at 165 million bushels, down 20 million from last month.

The US season-average soybean price range for 2010/11 is projected at $10.70 to $12.20 per bushel, unchanged from last month. The soybean meal price projection is also unchanged at $310 to $350 per short ton. Soybean oil prices are projected at 45 to 49 cents per pound, up 2.5 cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 442.6 million tons, up 1.9 million tons from last month. Foreign oilseed production accounts for most of the change with increases for soybeans, rapeseed, sunflowerseed, and cottonseed. Global soybean production is projected at a 257.8 million tons, up 0.4 million mainly due to an increase for Canada. Global rapeseed production is projected at 58.4 million tons, up 1.2 million due to gains for Canada and EU-27. Canadian rapeseed production is raised 0.9 million tons to 11.9 million based on the latest survey results from Statistics Canada. Higher-than-expected yields account for the change. EU-27 rapeseed production is increased due to higher yield estimates for Germany, United Kingdom, and Romania. Other changes this month include increased sunflowerseed production for EU-27, increased cottonseed production for Brazil and Australia, and reduced cottonseed production for Pakistan.

Global oilseed trade is projected at 112.2 million tons, up 0.9 million from last month. Increased soybean exports from the United States and Canada account for most of the change. Global oilseed ending stocks are projected at 70.3 million tons, down 1 million, as lower soybean stocks in Brazil and the United States are only partly offset by higher rapeseed stocks in Canada.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 16, 2010, 08:37:12 AM
Philippine meat traders ask government to reconsider order
[16 December 2010]  Philippine meat traders and importers have asked the Department of Agriculture to reconsider an order that requires traders and importers to put up cold-chain systems for storing frozen and chilled meat. The Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA) questioned what it considered were “serious loopholes” in DA Administrative Order 22, which is yet to take effect. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, MITA President Jesus Cham said that there was no consultation with the industry before the order was made and that should the order be put into effect in its original form it could mean a 30% reduction in pork supply in Metro Manila.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 17, 2010, 10:12:27 AM
Agribusiness to face market volatility next 3-5 years
[17 December 2010] Agribusiness companies are likely to face increased market volatility and higher prices over the next three to five years, findings of Rabobank Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory said. This will present challenges as risk management and positioning become even more important yet it will also create opportunities for trading. Its Global Strategist David Nelson added that slow world economic growth and food demand shifting east will cause companies to rebalance their operating portfolios or bear the risk of having regional imbalances.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 22, 2010, 09:07:42 AM
Deal raises Nobel’s sugar cane capacity to 17.5 million tonnes
[22 December 2010] Noble Group, Asia’s biggest commodities trader, said it would pay USD950 million for two Brazilian cane mills, raising its crushing capacity by 84% in the world’s largest sugar exporter. The acquisition of Catanduva and Potirendaba, fully operational mills in Sao Paulo State, will propel Nobel into the top tier of sugar cane milling companies globally, taking the combined annual potential crushing sugar cane capacity that it will control to 17.5 million tonnes.



 
Brands get healthy in Asia
[22 December 2010] Nestlé and PepsiCo plan to capitalize on growing health concerns among Asian consumers by using herbs and traditional medicines to create a new range of products. Nestlé will invest USD 500 million over the coming decade on health foods while PepsiCo will pump in USD 2.5 billion in Asia over the next three years. Nestlé will consider wolfberry plants, chrysanthemum leaves and tremella, a fungus commonly thought to help improve the skin, strengthen bones and control weight, while PepsiCo has already launched wolfberry and tremella-flavoured Quaker Herbal Oatmeal, and a range of herbal teas
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 23, 2010, 11:10:50 AM
Stricter rules on imported frozen meat stay in the Philippines
[23 December 2010] The Philippine Department of Agriculture is bent on implementing Administrative Order 22, which requires increased sanitary procedures on all frozen meat products, despite calls from meat importers and requests from the US and Canadian governments for its deferment. The order became effective December 12. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the order would remain as it is beneficial to both consumers and producers. However, meat importers and traders have earlier said that the new order has deficiencies and was put in effect without consultation with stakeholders.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Global food prices to reach record highs
[23 December 2010] Global food prices are expected to set new highs as by the year end, a UN official said. “The situation has deteriorated since September,” said Abdolreza Abbassian of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. “In the last few weeks there have been signs we are heading the same way as in 2008.” The food crisis in 2008 left as much as 25 countries in riots. The Wall Street Journal reported that the UN’s food price index hit 205 in November,  only seven points less than the highest level in June, 2008. Abbassian said the rise of food prices indicates the beginning of a long-term wave of increased prices after as long as a century of deflation. 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: mikey on December 29, 2010, 11:07:10 AM
Indonesian government urged to provide incentives for agribusiness
[29 December 2010] To achieve self-sufficiency in food production, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged the government to provide incentives to agribusiness firms willing to set up plantations in the country. This is to attract investors to enter agribusiness so Indonesia would no longer need to import sugar, corns or soybeans or even rice to meet the domestic demand in the future. Apart from incentives, the Government should also develop roads, ports and power plants in areas such as Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua to attract investors to do business in these areas.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 07, 2011, 11:29:59 AM
The coming hunger: Record food prices put world 'in danger', says UN

Perfect storm of climate and oil puts world into 'danger territory'

By Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor


Thursday, 6 January 2011


Record food prices put world 'in danger', says UN

Food riots, geopolitical tensions, global inflation and increasing hunger among the planet's poorest people are the likely effects of a new surge in world food prices, which have hit an all-time high according to the United Nations.


The UN's index of food prices – an international basket comprising wheat, corn, dairy produce, meat and sugar – stands at its highest since the index started in 1990, surpassing even the peaks seen during the 2008 food crisis, which prompted civil disturbances from Mexico to Indonesia.

"We are entering danger territory," said the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's chief economist, Abdolreza Abbassian.



The trends have already affected the UK where the jump in food prices in November was the highest since 1976. Meat and poultry were up 1 per cent and fruit by 7.5 per cent in one month.

Food producers have been told to expect the wheat price to jump again this month, hitting bakers and the makers of everything from pasta to biscuits.

More is sure to follow and that in turn will add to pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates to control rising prices. Higher mortgage bills by the end of the year will add to the unpleasantness facing "middle England" from a year of tax hikes and below-inflation pay rises.

However, the biggest impact of the food price shock will be felt in countries in the developing world where staple items command a much larger share of household incomes.

Economists warn that "soft commodity" food prices show little sign of stabilising, and that cereals and sugar in particular may surge even higher in coming months. In addition, long-term trends associated with growth in population and climate change may mean higher food costs become a permanent feature of economic life, even though the current spike may end in due course. Speculation, too, may be part of the crisis, as investors climb on to the rising food-price bandwagon.

Mr Abbassian said the UN agency is concerned by the unpredictability of weather activity, which many experts link to climate change. He said: "There is still room for prices to go up much higher, if for example the dry conditions in Argentina tend to become a drought, and if we start having problems with winterkill in the northern hemisphere for the wheat crops."

One concern, especially in Ukraine and Russia, is that the cold winter, following disastrous droughts and summer fires, will have damaged the seeds for next year's crops, leading to an even more acute crisis than seen last year. Government policies, especially the export bans imposed by nervous Indian and Russian governments, have exacerbated such problems in world markets.

Meanwhile, burgeoning consumption in the booming economies of east Asia and the pressure exerted by the demand for crops for biofuels rather than food, especially in the US, is adding to the unprecedented squeeze on world food supplies.

The latest surge in crude oil prices adds to the risk of turmoil. Many experts say oil prices show few signs of abating, and the price of a barrel is set to breach the $100 barrier again soon. Opec officials yesterday said they were happy with such a level. Oil peaked at just under $150 a barrel in 2008; any sign of renewed tension in Iran would see the price exceed that. Higher oil prices add to food price inflation by increasing transportation costs.

The interplay of rising fuel prices, the growing use of biofuels, bad weather and soaring futures markets drove up the price of food dramatically in 2008, prompting violent protests in Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt, Cameroon and Haiti. Last year's spike was provoked mainly by the freakish weather conditions in Russia and Ukraine, but one of the underlying trends is the growing and changing appetites of east Asia.

As more Chinese enter the middle classes they tend to consume more poultry and meat, just as Westerners did at a similar stage in their economic progress. However, meat and poultry husbandry consumes at least three times the resources that grains do, while the drift towards the cities in China is reducing the yields of its farms. Similar trends are visible in the other fast-growing, populous nations such as Brazil, India and Indonesia.

Countries that are poor and produce relatively little of their own food are most vulnerable to the food price shock – Bangladesh, Morocco and Nigeria top the "at risk" list, according to research by Nomura economists, who also identify growing shortages of water as a critical factor restraining any growth in agricultural productivity.

Owen Job, strategist at Nomura, said: "The economists' model of increasing supply as demand grows may be breaking down. Supply cannot keep up with factors such as biofuels and the urbanisation of China. Some 30 per cent of all water used in agriculture comes from unsustainable sources."

* David Cameron has disclosed that the Treasury was considering introducing a "fuel stabiliser". Under the move, tax paid
 by motorists would be cut when the cost of oil surged worldwide and rise when it dropped. He said: "We are looking at it. It's not simple but I would like to try and find some way of sharing the risk of higher fuel prices with the consumer."

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 09, 2011, 02:16:00 PM
Philippines gets $4.97-M World Bank grant to help farmers weather climate change impact
The Philippines got a $4.97-million World Bank grant to help farmers cope with the effects of climate change, the multilateral lender said in a statement released on Friday.

The government and the World bank signed the agreement last Dec. 21, the statement said.

The grant, to come from the Global Environment facility of the World Bank-managed Special Climate Change Fund, will help finance the $55.42-million Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP).

Data from the World Bank Web site showed PhilCCAP was approved on June 29 last year, with the Philippines shelling out $50.45 million in counterpart funding.

The project aims to develop and test adaptation strategies that will develop the resiliency of farms and natural resource management to the effects of climate change.

Measures to be funded include improving irrigation and other agricultural infrastructure, pilot-testing weather index-based crop insurance, as well as enhancing the management of watersheds and protected areas, the World Bank said in its statement.

It also aims to improve the capacity of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in gathering and analyzing data on climate change trends and disseminating information to the government and the public.

World Bank said the project will be implemented by the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), PAGASA and the Climate Change Commission.

It said the project will help both the national and local governments, as well as rural communities "more effectively manage and protect critical ecosystems through a systematic consideration of climate risks."

"Poor communities are more vulnerable to climate change and have fewer options for coping with the impact, including decreased food and water supplies. This project, therefore, is very important because it helps reduce the poor’s vulnerability to these types of shocks," World Bank Country Director Bert Hofman said in the statement.

The same statement quoted Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala as saying "the project will benefit poor farmers, who often suffer the most from climate change-related losses, as well as other vulnerable groups that depend on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods."

Environment and Natural Resources Sec. Ramon Jesus P. Paje said in the statement that the project "will also strengthen the coordination of interventions addressing climate change by supporting capacity-building in oversight bodies like the Climate Change Commission."

The bank noted that the Philippines is among the top 10 countries at risk of natural disasters and other effects of climate change.

More state funding

In a related development, a bill now being scheduled for public hearing in the House of Representatives seeks to establish a fund for local government units (LGUs) that will adopt programs to help their communities weather the impact of climate change.

House Bill (HB) 3528, filed Deputy Speaker Lorenzo M. Tañada III (4th district, Quezon), seeks to put up the "People’s Survival Fund" (PSF), to be administered by the Climate Change Commission, which will serve as an incentive to LGUs that will develop and adopt such climate change adaptation strategies.

The PSF will become the central source of funding support for adaptation measures urgently needed by farming localities.

Examples include small water impounding projects in anticipation of drought and structures that can reduce damage from floods, Mr. Tañada said in a statement on Friday.

He added that "communities must be properly equipped and prepared to help themselves in order to respond to the disasters brought about by this phenomenon. They must also put forward a climate change adaptation strategy which must be properly funded."

The funds will come from domestic private and public, as well as foreign funds. These include, but will not be limited to, 10% of the cash dividends declared by all government-owned and controlled corporations and a portion of the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge.

The bill has been pending with the Committee on Ecology, chaired by Rep. Danilo Ramon S. Fernandez since October 2010. A counterpart measure, Senate Bill 2558, authored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, was subjected to its first public hearing late last year. -- JJAC and NMG
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 14, 2011, 01:54:42 PM
Russia Doubles Meat and Poultry Quota
RUSSIA - Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development (MED) has announced the initial distribution of 2011 tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) quantities to importers, which includes an increase US frozen beef quota allocation from 21,700 to 41,700 MT.


This increase in US quota will result in significant reductions for "other countries".

The poultry TRQ has been reduced to 350,000 MT and narrowed in product scope, and will not have country-specific allocations in 2011.

Fresh beef, pork, and pork trimming TRQ remain unchanged from 2010. MED will distribute the remaining TRQ quantities to importers by April 15, 2010.

“The American Meat Institute would like to thank Ambassador Siddiqui and the staff at the Office of the United States Representative (USTR) for their efforts in negotiating this increased allocation, which represents more than an estimated $75 million in additional 2011 frozen beef exports,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 26, 2011, 04:05:28 AM
Agricultural Revolution Needed to Feed the World
UK - A report published today, highlights the decisions that policy makers must make today and in the near future, to ensure that a global population rising to nine billion or more can be fed sustainably and equitably.


The Foresight report makes a compelling case for urgent action to redesign the global food system to meet the challenge of feeding the world over the next 40 years.

Professor Sir John Beddington, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Foresight programme, said: “The Foresight study shows that the food system is already failing in at least two ways. Firstly, it is unsustainable, with resources being used faster than they can be naturally replenished. Secondly, a billion people are going hungry with another billion people suffering from ‘hidden hunger’, whilst a billion people are over-consuming.

“The project has helped to identify a wide range of possible actions that can meet the challenges facing food and farming, both now and in the future.”

UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “We need a global, integrated approach to food security, one that looks beyond the food system to the inseparable goals of reducing poverty, tackling climate change and reducing biodiversity loss – and the UK Government is determined to show the international leadership needed to make that happen.”

“We can unlock an agricultural revolution in the developing world, which would benefit the poorest the most, simply by improving access to knowledge and technology, creating better access to markets and investing in infrastructure.

“To fuel this revolution, we must open up global markets, boost global trade and make reforms that help the poorest. Trade restrictions must be avoided, especially at times of scarcity. And we must manage price volatility by building trust and cooperation – and in particular by creating greater transparency around the true levels of food stocks.”

The report’s main findings are:

Threat of hunger could increase: Efforts to end hunger internationally are already stalling, and without decisive action food prices could rise substantially over the next 40 years making the situation worse. This will affect us all - as more of the world suffers from hunger social tensions will increase, as will the threat of conflict and migration. Wider economic growth will also be affected.

The global food system is living outside its means, consuming resources faster than are naturally replenished. It must be redesigned to bring sustainability centre stage: Substantial changes will be required throughout the food system and related areas, such as water use, energy use and addressing climate change, if food security is to be provided for a predicted nine billion or more people out to 2050.

There is no quick fix: The potential threats converging on the global food system are so great that action is needed across many fronts, from changing diets to eliminating food waste.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 27, 2011, 10:17:46 AM
China Farm Produce Prices Continue Rising
CHINA - Chinese farm produce prices rose for a fourth consecutive week, through 23 January, the Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday.


One reason for the price hike was that freezing weather in southern China had affected vegetable production and transportation, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The wholesale prices of 18 staple vegetables grew 12.6 per cent week on week. Also, the prices of green peppers, cucumbers, chilli peppers and bean pods rose by at least 10 per cent.

As the Spring Festival draws near, the demand for meat and eggs increased, while enterprises have been stockpiling supplies and large purchases have expanded.

Egg prices climbed 1 per cent week on week and beef prices went up 0.8 per cent, while pork prices increased 0.7 per cent and chicken prices were up 0.2 per cent.

Last year, rising food prices pushed up China's consumer price index (CPI), the major gauge of inflation. China's CPI hit 3.3 per cent in 2010, compared with the government's target ceiling of 3 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on 20 January.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 30, 2011, 04:16:16 AM
Jamaica in search of alternative feedstock 24 Jan 2011
Government is exploring alternative feedstock as part of a programme aimed at combating volatile food prices, says Agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.
Tufton made the revelation as Jamaicans brace for higher food prices due to soaring cost of grains on the international market which is expected to impact the cost of feeds used in the production of diary, poultry, meats and eggs.
 
"Where we have to go is, to take a look at alternative feedstock - cassava, for example, that can be pelletised to make poultry feed and pig feed; different types of grass that can be used for beef or production cattle rearing and small remnants rearing," Tufton told the Business Observer.
 
"That's where we have to focus our attention in order to say, instead of requiring 'x' amount of grain, we can cut back and substitute it with other things," he explained.
 
Not enough land
Tufton ruled out directly replacing the imported grains with local produce, noting that Jamaica does not possess the critical mass needed to grow corn and soybean.
 
"The mass acreages that would be required is just not available to grow for commercial use - further processing for feedstock for example," stated Tufton, adding that "We'd have to grow corn on (land) the size of Jamaica to compete with those countries that grow the product...The challenge now becomes therefore whether we need to depend on corn so much for the basis of our feedstock."
 
The agriculture minister said that Government has been doing a lot over the last couple of years in this regards and has seen declines in the food import bill in terms of volumes.
 
He noted that the administration in 2011 will focus on a number of crop areas where the country can have direct replacements both in terms of production and in terms of storage or value-added promotion.
 
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 02, 2011, 05:39:07 AM
Meat Industry Faces a Squeezed Middle Market
The meat industry faces three separate challenges – increasing and maintaining margins, accommodating greater uncertainty in the business environment and responding to market segmentation, writes Chris Harris,Editor in Chief.

This was the message from Professor Phil Thomas, chairman of the Quality Meat Scotland R&D committee at the Quality Meat Scotland R&D Conference in Perth.

He said the global meat industry will have to face up to the needs of a growing global population – expected to reach nine billion by 2050 – as well as the problems of climate change.

The food industry also has to face up to the challenges of national and international food security, diet and health issues, land use and energy shortages as well as the diminishing mineral reserves and global economic problems.

Professor Thomas said that the future prospects for agriculture look challenging particularly in the red meat sector.

However he said that these challenges are also great opportunities for the meat sector.

"Individual businesses and the industry as a whole will therefore need to grasp the opportunities and address the challenges," he said.

He said the industry could not afford to hold on to the status quo.

The sector will find that it will have to find answers to many different questions using existing and new technologies, improved efficiency, reduction of waste and an ability to innovate.

He said among the challenges will be the cost and availability of energy in "all shapes and sizes".

"Bioenergy has its positives and its negatives," he said.

"You can grow for it but it takes land to grow for it and all along the way governments will intervene."

The main influences on a changing food and agricultural system will be both population growth and climate change and, Professor Thomas said, that while climate change is not going to be felt so dramatically in the northern hemisphere, its impact is going to be felt in regions from the equator outwards.

He also warned that food prices that saw a global peak in 2008 could see another peak this year as cereal and oil prices rise.

However, while cereal and oil prices could reach new high levels, the prices for meat will not peak to such a degree.

"This is because in underdeveloped countries the populations turn from meat to cereals in hard times," he said.

The scenario in the developed nations such as Europe will be different, because there is a small number of buyers in the middle between the large numbers of food producers and the large numbers of consumers.

This dynamic of the market will mean that there will be a growth in the low end products and a growth in the high-end products, but the middle markets will be squeezed.

Professor Thomas told the conference that with a squeezed middle market meat producers will have to find their area of sales either at the top end or the low commodity end as the market polarises.

January 2011
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 04, 2011, 06:51:45 AM
Thursday, February 03, 2011Print This Page
World Meat Price Steady; Dairy Price Higher
GLOBAL - With a 3.4 per cent surge in January, world food prices have reached a new historic peak. However, the average meat price was steady and dairy prices, though six per cent higher than in December, are still a way off the historic peak.
 

World food prices surged to a new historic peak in January, for the seventh consecutive month, according to the updated FAO Food Price Index, a commodity basket that regularly tracks monthly changes in global food prices.

The Index averaged 231 points in January and was up 3.4 per cent from December 2010. This is the highest level (both in real and nominal terms) since FAO started measuring food prices in 1990. Prices of all monitored commodity groups registered strong gains in January, except for meat, which remained unchanged.

High prices
"The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating," said FAO economist and grains expert, Abdolreza Abbassian. "These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come. High food prices are of major concern especially for low-income food deficit countries that may face problems in financing food imports and for poor households which spend a large share of their income on food."

"The only encouraging factor so far stems from a number of countries, where –,- due to good harvests – domestic prices of some of the food staples remain low compared to world prices," Abbassian added.

FAO emphasised that the Food Price Index has been revised, largely reflecting adjustments to its meat price index. The revision, which is retroactive, has produced new figures for all the indices but the overall trends measured since 1990 remain unchanged.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 245 points in January, up three per cent from December and the highest since July 2008, but still 11 per cent below its peak in April 2008. The increase in January mostly reflected continuing increases in international prices of wheat and maize, amid tightening supplies, while rice prices fell slightly, as the timing coincides with the harvesting of main crops in major exporting countries.

The Oils/Fats Price Index rose by 5.6 per cent to 278 points, nearing the June 2008 record level, reflecting an increasingly tight supply and demand balance across the oilseeds complex.

The Dairy Price Index averaged 221 points in January, up 6.2 per cent from December, but still 17 per cent below its peak in November 2007. A firm global demand for dairy products, against the backdrop of a normal seasonal decline of production in the southern hemisphere, continued to underpin dairy prices.

The Sugar Price Index averaged 420 points in January, up 5.4 per cent from December. International sugar prices remain high, driven by tight global supplies.

By contrast, the FAO Meat Price Index was steady at around 166 points, as declining meat prices in Europe, caused by a fall in consumer confidence following a feed contamination scandal, was compensated for by a slight increase in export prices from Brazil and the United States.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 04, 2011, 06:53:57 AM
Meat Industry Faces a Squeezed Middle Market
The meat industry faces three separate challenges – increasing and maintaining margins, accommodating greater uncertainty in the business environment and responding to market segmentation, writes Chris Harris, ThePigSite Editor in Chief.

This was the message from Professor Phil Thomas, chairman of the Quality Meat Scotland R&D committee at the Quality Meat Scotland R&D Conference in Perth.

He said the global meat industry will have to face up to the needs of a growing global population – expected to reach nine billion by 2050 – as well as the problems of climate change.

The food industry also has to face up to the challenges of national and international food security, diet and health issues, land use and energy shortages as well as the diminishing mineral reserves and global economic problems.

Professor Thomas said that the future prospects for agriculture look challenging particularly in the red meat sector.

However he said that these challenges are also great opportunities for the meat sector.

"Individual businesses and the industry as a whole will therefore need to grasp the opportunities and address the challenges," he said.

He said the industry could not afford to hold on to the status quo.

The sector will find that it will have to find answers to many different questions using existing and new technologies, improved efficiency, reduction of waste and an ability to innovate.

He said among the challenges will be the cost and availability of energy in "all shapes and sizes".

"Bioenergy has its positives and its negatives," he said.

"You can grow for it but it takes land to grow for it and all along the way governments will intervene."

The main influences on a changing food and agricultural system will be both population growth and climate change and, Professor Thomas said, that while climate change is not going to be felt so dramatically in the northern hemisphere, its impact is going to be felt in regions from the equator outwards.

He also warned that food prices that saw a global peak in 2008 could see another peak this year as cereal and oil prices rise.

However, while cereal and oil prices could reach new high levels, the prices for meat will not peak to such a degree.

"This is because in underdeveloped countries the populations turn from meat to cereals in hard times," he said.

The scenario in the developed nations such as Europe will be different, because there is a small number of buyers in the middle between the large numbers of food producers and the large numbers of consumers.

This dynamic of the market will mean that there will be a growth in the low end products and a growth in the high-end products, but the middle markets will be squeezed.

Professor Thomas told the conference that with a squeezed middle market meat producers will have to find their area of sales either at the top end or the low commodity end as the market polarises.

January 2011
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 16, 2011, 01:33:53 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - March 2011
The forecasts for red meat and poultry production and prices in 2011 have been raised from a month ago, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The forecast for 2011 red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, reflecting increased production of beef, pork, broilers, and turkeys. Fed cattle slaughter will reflect expected strength in feedlot placements during early 2011 and relatively large dairy cow slaughter in the first part of 2011 will also contribute to higher beef production. However, the effects of increased cattle slaughter will be partly mitigated by lower expected carcass weights. Pork production is increased from last month as carcass weights thus far in the first quarter are well above last year. Broiler and turkey production is forecast higher in the first half of 2011. The broiler production increase largely reflects relatively heavy bird weights but the increase in turkey production forecast reflects higher increases in poult placements as well as increased bird weights. The egg production forecast is raised as the table egg type laying flock has been increasing. Estimates of 2010 poultry and egg production are adjusted to reflect data revisions.

The forecast for beef exports for 2011 is raised from last month on strength in exports to Asia. The beef import forecast is reduced as supplies in several exporting countries are expected to remain tight and a relatively weak US dollar is expected to constrain shipments. The pork and poultry export forecasts for 2011 are unchanged from last month. Trade estimates for 2010 reflect import and export data for December.

Despite the higher production forecasts, prices for livestock and poultry are raised from last month. Robust exports and improving domestic demand in the face of relatively tight meat supplies are expected to support higher price forecasts for cattle, hogs, broilers, and turkeys. Egg prices in the first quarter are forecast lower due to recent price declines.

The milk production forecast for 2011 is reduced from last month. Relatively high milk prices and increased supplies of replacement heifers are expected to encourage further increases in the cow herd through much of the year, but the rate of increase in milk per cow is forecast slower than last month. Exports are forecast higher as global nonfat dry milk and cheese demand remains strong with tight supplies in competitor markets expected through the first half of 2011. Estimates of 2010 milk production are adjusted to reflect data revisions.

Dairy product prices are forecast higher this month on strong early year prices. Strong international demand and improving domestic demand will support prices for most products. Currently tight butter stocks are also helping support butter prices. Class III and Class IV price forecasts are raised to reflect higher product prices. The all milk price is forecast to average $18.10 to $18.70 per cwt for 2011.

Wheat
US wheat ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected higher this month on reduced export prospects. Projected exports are lowered 25 million bushels with increased world supplies of high quality wheat, particularly in Australia, and a slower-than-expected pace of US shipments heading into the final quarter of the wheat marketing year. By-class changes include lower projected exports for Hard Red Spring, White, and durum wheat, partly offset by small increases for Hard Red Winter and Soft Red Winter wheat. The marketing-year average price received by producers is projected at $5.60 to $5.80 per bushel, unchanged from last month.

Global 2010/11 wheat supplies are projected 1.9 million tons higher reflecting higher production. Argentina production is raised 1.0 million tons based on higher reported yields. Australia production is raised 1.0 million tons with higher yields in Western Australia where wheat quality was not hurt by harvest rains as in the east. Other production changes include a 0.5-million-ton reduction for EU-27 with a smaller crop reported for Denmark and a 0.6-million-ton increase for Saudi Arabia on an upward revision to area.

Global 2010/11 wheat supplies are projected 1.9 million tons higher reflecting higher production. Argentina production is raised 1.0 million tons based on higher reported yields. Australia production is raised 1.0 million tons with higher yields in Western Australia where wheat quality was not hurt by harvest rains as in the east. Other production changes include a 0.5-million-ton reduction for EU-27 with a smaller crop reported for Denmark and a 0.6-million-ton increase for Saudi Arabia on an upward revision to area.

Global 2010/11 wheat consumption is projected lower with the biggest change being a 1.5-million-ton reduction in expected wheat feeding for Russia. With increased global production and reduced usage, world ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected 4.1 million tons higher.

Coarse Grains
The US feed grain balance sheet for 2010/11 is nearly unchanged this month. Projections for corn, sorghum, and oats supplies, usage, and ending stocks are all unchanged. Barley exports are lowered 2 million bushels reflecting the slow pace of shipments and sales to date. The projected marketing-year average farm price for corn is narrowed 10 cents on both ends of the range to $5.15 to $5.65 per bushel. Farm price projections for sorghum and barley are lowered slightly and the oats farm price projection is raised slightly, all reflecting reported prices to date.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2010/11 are projected 2.5 million tons lower this month with lower corn beginning stocks and reduced corn, barley, sorghum, and oats production. Global corn beginning stocks are lowered 0.6 million tons with upward revisions to Brazil exports and India feeding in 2009/10.

Global 2010/11 corn production is reduced 0.5 million tons as lower production in Mexico and India is partially offset by higher production in Brazil. Brazil corn production for 2010/11 is raised 2.0 million tons reflecting higher reported area and yields in the summer crop and expectations for increased area for the winter crop with government planting dates extended for crop insurance and loan programmes. Mexico corn production is reduced 2.0 million tons as the unusual early February freeze destroyed standing corn crops across much of the northwest winter corn region, which normally accounts for about one-fourth of the country’s total corn production. Replanting is expected to offset some of the loss, but seasonally high temperatures in the coming months limit the growing season window.

Global 2010/11 sorghum and barley production are each lowered 0.5 million tons and oats production is lowered 0.3 million tons. Lower sorghum output for India more than offsets an increase for Australia. Lower barley and oats output for Australia account for most of the reduction in world production for these coarse grains.

Global 2010/11 coarse grain imports are raised this month as increases for corn and sorghum more than offset a reduction for barley. Corn imports are raised 1.1 million tons for Mexico with the lower production outlook. Corn imports are raised 1.0 million tons for EU-27 on stronger expected feeding. A 0.5-million-ton reduction for Russia corn imports is partly offsetting. Sorghum imports are raised for EU-27 and barley imports are lowered for Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China. Increased corn feeding in EU-27 is more than offset by reductions in feeding in Russia and lower food, seed, and industrial use in India and Mexico. Projected global corn ending stocks are raised slightly.

Oilseeds
US soybean supply and use projections for 2010/11 are mostly unchanged from last month. A higher soybean meal extraction rate is offset by a small increase in soybean meal exports, leaving the projected soybean crush unchanged. Soybean oil production is increased due to a higher soybean oil extraction rate. Soybean oil used for biodiesel for 2010/11 is projected at 2.7 billion pounds, down 200 million from last month due to lower-than-expected production through January. Soybean oil exports are increased 200 million pounds to 3.0 billion reflecting continued strong export shipments and sales. Soybean oil stocks are projected at 2.4 billion pounds, down 165 million from last month. If realized, soybean oil ending stocks would be the lowest in 6 years.

The US season-average soybean price range for 2010/11 is projected at $11.10 to $12.10 per bushel, down 10 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are forecast at 51.5 to 55.5 cents per pound, up 0.5 cents on both ends. Soybean meal prices are forecast at $340 to $370 per short ton, down 10 dollars on the high end.

Global oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 444.2 million tons, up 2.4 million tons from last month. Foreign production, projected at 343.7 million tons, accounts for all of the change. Brazil soybean production is forecast at a record 70.0 million tons, up 1.5 million tons from last month due to higher projected yields. Soybean production is also raised for China. Global sunflowerseed production is raised 0.3 million tons due to higher estimates for China and EU-27. Global cottonseed production is reduced with lower production in China, India, and Uzbekistan only partly offset by increases for Australia and Brazil.

Global oilseed supplies, crush, and ending stocks are projected higher this month. Soybean crush is projected higher for Brazil and India, and sunflowerseed crush is raised for China and EU-27. Higher soybean stocks for Brazil and Argentina are only partly offset by reductions for China, Canada, and India. Higher rapeseed stocks are projected for EU-27, Australia, and Turkey. Global protein meal production, consumption, and stocks are all projected higher this month.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 24, 2011, 01:28:56 PM
Feed Outlook - March 2011
World coarse grain production and beginning stocks forecast for 2010/11 are reduced this month, lowering supply 2.5 million tons, according to the latest report from the USDA Economic Research Service.
 

However, projected global use is 3.3 million tons lower this month, allowing for a 0.8-million-ton increase in ending stocks to 154.9 million tons. The global stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 13.8 per cent, slightly lower than in 2006/07 when stocks were 9 per cent lower but use was smaller. US 2010/11 supply and use forecasts for feed grains are unchanged this month except for a small reduction in barley exports and an offsetting increase in ending stocks. Price projections are adjusted, but the midpoint of the forecast corn farm price range is unchanged.


DOMESTIC OUTLOOK

2010/11 Feed Grain Supplies and Use Essentially Unchanged This Month
US feed grain supplies for 2010/11 remain at 380.3 million metric tons this month, unchanged from last month’s projection but down 4.4 per cent from last year. Total use of the four feed grains is nearly unchanged this month at 359.5 million metric tons. With demand exceeding supply, ending stocks are expected to be drawn down to 20.8 million metric tons, the lowest level since the end of the 1995/96 marketing year.The midpoint of the projected range for the 2010/11 corn price received by farmers remains at $5.40 a bushel this month, but both the lower and upper end of the range are reduced by 10 cents, to $5.15-$5.65 a bushel. With the exception of last month, corn prices at the farm gate have been below $5.00 a bushel so far this year. If the preliminary February price of $5.66 a bushel is confirmed, this will be the first time since September 2008 that prices at the farm gate have exceeded $5.00.

Feed and residual use for the four feed grains plus wheat on a September-August marketing year basis is unchanged this month, remaining at 142.7 million metric tons. Grain-consuming animal units (GCAU’s) are projected at 93.3 million this month, up slightly from last month's 93.1 million due to an increase in broiler production. The broiler production increase largely reflects relatively heavy bird weights, but the increase in forecast turkey production reflects higher poult placements as well as increased bird weights. Feed and residual use per animal unit is unchanged this month at 1.53 tons, which is down from 1.54 tons in 2009/10.

Minor Changes Made to Feed Grain Price Projections
The midpoint of the projected range for the 2010/11 corn price received by farmers remains at $5.40 a bushel this month, but both the lower and upper end of the range are reduced by 10 cents, to $5.15-$5.65 a bushel. With the exception of last month, corn prices at the farm gate have been below $5.00 a bushel so far this year. If the preliminary February price of $5.66 a bushel is confirmed, this will be the first time since September 2008 that prices at the farm gate have exceeded $5.00.

 

 

 


The farm price has been below prevailing cash market bids due to farmers forward contracting when prices were lower. Farm gate prices are expected to well exceed $6.00 per bushel in the coming months to reach the $5.40 midpoint of the projected season average price range.

The projected sorghum price received by farmers is lowered by 20 cents at the top end of the range, to $5.15-$5.65 a bushel. This lowered the midpoint by 10 cents to $5.40 per bushel, reflecting year-to-date price data. The barley and oat price estimates were also changed slightly this month, reflecting year-to-date data. The barley farm price projection is reduced by 10 cents and now stands at $3.70-$3.90 per bushel. The oat farm price projection is increased by 5 cents, to $2.35-$2.55 per bushel.

US barley exports for the 2010/11 crop year are lowered from 10 million bushels to 8 million bushels, reflecting shipments to date and minimal outstanding sales.

 

 

 


Ethanol Projection Unchanged
Corn used for fuel is unchanged. Recent lower weekly ethanol production and higher stock levels, according to Energy Information Administration data, are consistent with last month’s projection. Current ethanol production has returned to levels close to those prier to last December's increase. High petroleum and gasoline prices have reduced gasoline demand, lowering gasoline production. As ethanol blending nears practical limits, demand has deepened.

March Planting Intentions and Stocks Report are Keys to Price Prospects
Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings are the key reports that will be released by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service on March 31, 2011. The stocks report will show grain stocks as of 1 March 2011. Stocks that are lower-thanexpected will imply greater feeding in the quarter ending 1 March and would be bullish for prices. A higher-than-expected stock level may moderate price increases somewhat.

At the 25 February 2011, USDA Outlook Conference, corn plantings this spring were projected at 92 million acres. Prices will likely respond if planted acreage is much different than this projection. In the past 20 years, the March projection was below the final acreage number 8 times and above it 12 times.

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK

World Coarse Grain Production Prospects for 2010/11 Reduced
Global coarse grain production for 2010/11 is projected down 1.8 million tons this month to 1,079.7 million. Reductions for Mexico, India, and Australia more than offset improved expectations for Brazil. World corn, barley, and sorghum production are each reduced 0.5 million tons, while global oats production is trimmed 0.3 million.

Mexico’s corn production for 2010/11 is cut 2.0 million tons to 22.0 million as an early February freeze devastated the crop in Sinaloa. The corn marketing year for Mexico is October-September, with about 75 per cent of the crop being produced in the main season (harvested in the fall). However, most of the winter-crop corn is grown in Sinaloa with irrigation. An exceptional freeze hit in the first week of February, with about 80 per cent of the corn planted. Satellite imagery verifies that much of the corn crop was killed. Some replanting will limit losses, but high temperatures later in the season will limit the window for replanting. Most of the Sinaloa corn is white corn destined for products for human consumption, such as tortillas.

India’s coarse grain production is cut 1.3 million tons to 40.4 million based on more complete harvest reports covering the last monsoon season. Sorghum area harvested came in 4 per cent below previous expectations, with average yields trimmed slightly more, cutting production 0.7 million tons to 6.8 million. Corn area was reported higher than expected, but yields were lower leaving production reduced 0.5 million tons to 20.5 million. Millet production is trimmed 0.1 million tons, but barley is increased 0.05 million.


Australia’s coarse grain production is reduced 0.5 million tons this month to 13.4 million. More complete harvest reports indicate lower barley yields, cutting production 0.5 million tons to 9.3 million. Oats area and yields are reduced, cutting production 0.25 million tons to 1.5 million, but excellent sorghum yield prospects boost projected production 0.25 million tons to 2.2 million. Ukraine oats production is trimmed as lower area more than offset good reported yields. Also, Moldova’s 2010/11 coarse grain production is reduced slightly with a decline in barley more than offsetting a small increase in corn.

Brazil’s corn production prospects are increased 2.0 million tons this month to 53.0 million. Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture reported excellent yields for the mainseason corn crop now being harvested. While the second-crop corn planted following short-season soybeans has been delayed by slow soybean harvesting, especially in Mato Grosso, the Government has extended the permitted planting window, supporting area prospects. However, late planted second-crop corn in Mato Grosso is more susceptible to an early end of the wet season, potentially limiting production prospects.

World coarse grain beginning stocks for 2010/11 are reduced this month by 0.7 million tons to 195.1 million. The largest reduction is for Brazil, with corn beginning stocks cut 0.4 million tons to 10.1 million due to stronger-than-expected exports during the March-February 2009/10 local marketing year (just ending). India’s coarse grain beginning stocks are down 0.1 million tons, mostly because of strong corn feed use and exports in 2009/10, partly offset by increased millet stocks. Saudi Arabia’s beginning stocks for 2010/11 are down 0.1 million this month as 2009/10 trade data show barley imports fell short of previous expectations. There are also small reductions in corn beginning stocks this month for Kenya and Taiwan.


Global Use of Coarse Grains Reduced for 2010/11
Total world coarse grain use in 2010/11 is projected down 3.3 million tons this month to 1,119.9 million. Feed use is forecast up 0.3 million tons, but food, seed, and industrial use is down. Trade changes contribute heavily to the projected decline in global use.

Projected EU coarse grain total use is up 1.2 million tons this month with increases of 1.0 million tons for corn and 0.2 million for sorghum. Import licenses are up as prices in the EU encourage imports. Ukraine’s total coarse grain use is up 0.5 million tons, with feed use up 0.4 million as the slow pace of barley exports and uncertainty about export licenses is expected to encourage domestic use. Corn feed use prospects are increased slightly for Moldova.

Coarse grain feed use prospects are cut 0.9 million tons for Russia as the grain export ban has kept internal prices low, especially for low-quality wheat, discouraging imports and feeding of corn (down 0.5 million tons) and barley (down 0.4 million). Australia’s feed use is trimmed 0.4 million tons, with lower barley and oats production more than offsetting increased sorghum. There is also a small reduction in corn feed use prospects this month for Taiwan.

India’s coarse grain total use is down 1.3 million tons this month to 37.6 million. Lower production of sorghum, corn, and millet is expected to cut human consumption, with a reduction in projected sorghum feed use of 0.2 million tons. Food use is also cut this month for Mexican corn (down 0.3 million tons), Kenyan corn (down 0.1 million), and Chinese barley (trimmed 0.1 million).

Local marketing year trade changes can alter global use (see last month’s write up). With the sum of local marketing year coarse grain exports reduced 1.1 million tons this month, while the sum of imports are increased 0.9 million tons, the trade changes combine to reduce global coarse grain use by 2.0 million tons.

World Ending Stocks Projected Higher
Projected 2010/11 coarse grain use is cut more this month than supply, boosting forecast global ending stocks 0.8 million tons to 154.9 million. World corn ending stocks are up 0.6 million tons to 123.1 million. Global barley and millet stocks are up slightly while sorghum and oats prospects are trimmed.

The largest increase in projected 2010/11 ending stocks is a 1.6-million ton-increase for corn in Brazil to 8.8 million tons. Increased production is only partly offset by reduced beginning stocks, and forecast use (on a local marketing year) is unchanged. Brazil’s 2010/11 ending stocks are still projected lower than beginning stocks, but the tightening of stocks is not as great as projected a month ago. Other increases in projected ending stocks include a 0.3-million-ton increase in barley for both the EU and Ukraine, as well as small increases for US barley and Taiwan corn.

Partly offsetting the 2010/11 increased ending stocks expected for Brazil and others this month are several countries with reduced expected ending stocks. Mexico’s corn stocks are reduced 0.4 million tons to 1.5 million due to the cut in production. Australia’s coarse grain ending stocks are reduced 0.4 million tons this month, with reductions for barley and sorghum. Saudi Arabia’s coarse grain ending stock prospects are down 0.3 million tons with a decline for barley more than offsetting a small increase for corn. Ending stocks for corn in Kenya are down 0.2 million tons due to reduced imports. There are also small reductions this month for barley in China, corn in Moldova, and coarse grains in India, where a reduction for corn is almost offset by increases for millet, sorghum, and barley.

World Corn Trade Boosted Slightly, US Export Prospects Unchanged
Global corn trade for 2010/11 is forecast up 0.8 million tons this month to 92.1 million. Imports for Mexico are up 1.1 million tons to 9.0 million due to the production shortfall. EU imports are boosted 1.0 million tons to 6.5 million as import licenses are large and domestic prices encourage imports. Saudi Arabia’s corn import prospects are increased 0.1 million tons to 1.9 million, reflecting higher imports and feed use revealed by the latest estimates for 2009/10. However, corn imports for Russia are cut 0.5 million tons to 0.5 million as grain prices in Russia have not been high enough to encourage imports and no significant corn imports have occurred yet. Kenya’s corn imports are trimmed 0.25 million tons due to sufficient domestic supplies and lower estimated 2009/10 corn imports than previously forecast.

Brazil’s 2010/11 October-September corn exports are increased 1.0 million tons to a record 10.0 million. The shipment pace from October 2010 to February 2011 has been very rapid, at about 7.5 million tons, but is expected to slow dramatically as port capacity is switched to exporting soybeans, a more valuable crop. The availability or lack of government transport subsidies to move corn from the interior to the coast tends to accentuate the “lumpiness” of Brazilian corn exports.

Mexico, with reduced corn production, is expected to export 0.2 million tons less corn, leaving projected 2010/11 exports at only 0.1 million. Kenya’s corn exports are also reduced slightly.

US corn exports for 2010/11 are unchanged this month at 50.0 million tons (1.95 billion bushels for the September-August local marketing year). The forecast is nearly the same as the 49.9 million tons shipped the previous year. Census data for October-January indicate shipments of 14.0 million tons, virtually the same as a year earlier. However, grain inspections for February were 0.5 million tons less than those reported a year ago. The recent slow shipment pace is expected to increase as outstanding sales as of March 3, 2011, reached 12.8 million tons, up 2.3 million from a year earlier and the third highest for early March in the last 20 years.

World barley trade projected for 2010/11 is reduced 1.1 million tons this month to 16.0 million. Saudi Arabia’s barley imports are cut 0.6 million tons to 6.7 million on the slow pace of purchases and the Government’s goal of reducing subsidies.


Imports by Russia and China are also reduced due to the slower-than-expected pace of purchases. The slow pace of sales and shipments supports a reduction in barley exports of 0.8 million tons for Ukraine, and 0.3 million for the EU. US barley exports are reduced for the local June-May marketing year but unchanged for the October-September trade year.

Global sorghum trade for 2010/11 is increased slightly with 0.2-million-ton increases for Australia’s exports and EU imports. US sorghum export prospects are unchanged this month at 3.8 million tons. The pace of exports for the first 5 months of the trade year has been sluggish, but at the beginning of March 2011, outstanding export sales are up 21 per cent from a year ago.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 29, 2011, 09:17:44 AM
S Korea Says FMD Costs Near $2.7 Bln
SOUTH KOREA - South Korea, battling against its worst ever outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease said on Thursday that the crisis has cost nearly 3 trillion won (S$3.42 billion) so far.


Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik also said in a statement that the government would lower its disease alert to "watch" from "seriousness", noting the cases were waning, while stepping up quarantines at borders including airports to block the potential entry of any virus.

In the past four months, Asia's fourth-largest economy has culled a third of its hog population and five per cent of cattle in a bid to stop the disease. It has also vaccinated animals.

"The government will make a routine to vaccinate cows and pigs to prevent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak," Prime Minister Kim said.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 01, 2011, 10:45:06 AM
Report Re-Examines Link between Meat Intake and Human Cancers
A major analysis of the sometimes contradictory scientific evidence by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) concludes that high red meat consumption increases the risk of bowel cancer, while high white meat consumption does not, the Soil Association states in the appendix to a briefing on The Role of Livestock in Sustainable Food Systems.
A few individual studies have also found a link with prostate and pancreatic cancer.

The Soil Association says that widely-accepted concerns that the saturated fats found in red meat increase the risk of heart disease have found their way into the Government’s healthy eating guidelines.

There has also been research in Spain linking high red meat consumption to low male fertility.

However, it says that none of these negative effects has been established for chicken and other intensively produced white meat, so far.

One rather bizarre aspect of this issue, which has received little consideration, the Soil Association says, is that weekly consumption of beef in the UK fell from 244g per person in the early 1950s to 126g in the 1990s. In contrast, chicken consumption during the same period increased from 19 to 237 grams and has risen further since. Yet this is the very period during which cancer and heart disease has increased dramatically, the briefing note says.

This period equates to the major phase of agricultural intensification, when virtually all chickens and a significant proportion of cattle, even in the UK, were brought indoors and fed on a predominately cereal-based diet to increase productivity.

The organic food group points to research by scientists at the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition in London that has recently highlighted the fact that more than half the energy in a modern broiler chicken (as well as some organic chickens) comes from fat, whereas 60 years ago, the vast majority of the energy came from protein.

Even more significantly though, the Soil Association says, the proportion of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, found at significant levels in grass, has fallen dramatically in chicken meat, which today contains only one-fifth of the level found in wild birds.

In contrast, levels of the omega-6 fatty acids derived from grain have not fallen, giving a highly unhealthy balance of almost 10 times as much omega-6 as omega-3.

The scientists study associates this with the rise of brain dementia.

Professor Michael Crawford, one of the authors, says: "Essential fats for the brain are the priority. In biochemical terms, the limiting factor for the brain is the omega-3 [docosahexaenoic acid; DHA] to get the same amount of DHA from a modern broiler chicken you need to eat about three to five chickens at a cost of over £12 and with 5,000 calories of thrombogenic and atherogenic fats included." (Crawford, 2009, personal communication).

While a similar trend has occurred with intensively produced beef and pork, grass-fed beef has an omega-6 to omega-3 ration of just 1.65:1.

A very high proportion of beef in recent decades, however, has been produced intensively, in feedlots in the US and many other countries, and in the barley-beef systems pushed by MAFF for so many years.

The Soil Association asks if could this be an explanation for the studies that have found harmful trends associated with high red meat consumption.

"We have to remember too that the WCRF included pork in their definition of red meat and worldwide a high proportion of pork is produced in the most appallingly intensive conditions," the Soil Association says.

The beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids are, as yet, widely accepted only in relation to cardiovascular disease and it is for this reason that we are advised to eat two portions of oily fish a week, but recent research has shown that Western diets are typically as high as 16:1, omega-6 to omega-3, but that reducing this to:

2.5:1 reduced colo-rectal cancer cells and the risk of breast cancer in women, and
5:1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (Simopoulos, 2008).
Even the WCRF, which has been at the forefront of the global campaign to reduce the consumption of red meat, has acknowledged that the meat of wild animals has a very different fat profile to that of most farmed animals and may therefore not be linked to increased cancer risk, the association's briefing says.

"However, it has failed to acknowledge that production systems much closer to the wild are likely to produce meat with similar characteristics to wild animals.

"This is a serious omission, because in the absence of such a recognition economics are driving extensive producers out of business at a much faster rate than intensive ones.

"Meat and milk from predominantly grass-fed animals have other advantages too: higher levels of beneficial conjugated linoleic acid and many other important micro-nutrients associated with increased well-being," the Soil Association concludes.

March 2011
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 07, 2011, 12:23:00 AM
Foot and Mouth Disease – Asia's Fastest Growing Challenge?
"FMD control has been an enduring priority globally and today presents the fastest growing challenge facing Asia," stated Dr Sacha Seneque of Merial Australia, at the 5th Asian Pig Veterinary Society Congress, held last month in Pattaya, Thailand, writes Stuart Lumb.

Efforts in pursuit of FMD control have had enormous political, financial and emotional impact. Dr Seneque cited the recent outbreaks in Korea and Japan as examples, in terms of the impact these two outbreaks have had on the respective countries. The current type O outbreak in South Korea is the worst in the country's history and and the most significant in the world since the the UK outbreak in 2001.

Many will remember the unprecedented media coverage and the concerns about how that outbreak was handled. When animal suffering and destruction are measured in millions of head and where the financial impact is measured in millions of UK pounds and where the social and emotional costs are inordinately high the quest to improve control efforts and minimise FMD's destructive impacts are worthy priorities.

FMD's impact is growing in Asia due to several factors:

The disease has greater negative effects on growing populations of improved and more efficient production animals
There is greater virus risk of virus spread due to increased movement of humans and livestock products
There is an increasing gap between the developed and developing countries in Asia.
The result is that we are faced with a situation where increased populations of concentrated and highly susceptible animals are having greater risks of being exposed to FMD virus (FMDV).

FMDV has a discrete range of serotypes (seven are known to exist) and several sub-types each with an ability continually to evolve and mutate, contributing to wide genetic and antigenic variation, plus the disease can be spread in widely ranging ways.

The epidemiology of FMD in Asia is influenced by a combination of factors, said Dr Seneque. This includes: variation in the virus strain; the consistency of effective control measures and new strain introductions (originating from distant outbreaks that are transmitted via animal movement or other mechanisms) to susceptible populations. Seasonal and cyclical periods of increased disease prevalence are observed, suggesting that there are factors that favour periods of increased transmission or host susceptibility that predispose epizootic risk.

The current state of play in Asia is as follows, regarding the distribution of FMD viruses, Dr Seneque continued. Today, serotypes O, A and Asia 1 are considered endemic in one or more of the FMD-affected countries in Asia, with type C having last been reported in the Philippines in 1995. Type O strains have been responsible for the most severe epidemics experienced in Asia, e.g. Taiwan in 1997 and Korea in 2009/10.

Virus Spread
It is accepted that the most important endemic mechanism of virus spread in Asia is by live animal movement, both within disease-affected countries and and across borders. This is largely driven by the economics of trade, explained Dr Seneque. Cattle, buffalo or pig movements are the source (or implicated) in most cases, and well documented trading patterns that reflect local demand have a high correlation to outbreak risk factors and disease 'hotspots' in the Indochina region.

In the absence of other possible sources, the many biosecurity failures observed over recent years suggest that people have been responsible for transferring FMD between farms. This may prove to be an important and underestimated transmission risk within this region.

Country/Zone FMD status
Classification with Zone 1 is given to those countries or regions that are FMD-free, where routine vaccination is not practised.

In Zone 2 are countries or zones where FMD is endemic. This group is subdivided into Zone 2a, i.e. areas where commercial livestock enterprises are not well developed, veterinary services may be weak and FMD cases are not uncommon, and Zone 2b, i.e. those that have well developed commercial sectors with interests in securing and developing the considerable premium trade opportunities that present with increased market access. These countries generally have well developed veterinary services.

Vaccination
In FMD-endemic countries, vaccines are often regulated to aid vaccination compliance aims and to ensure appropriate quality vaccines are used. In Asia, available FMD vaccines are routinely used in the vast majority of commercial herds (usually at the producer's motivation and expense) and today, more than 95 per cent of pigs in commercial units are vaccinated.

In FMD-free countries, routine use of FMD vaccination is banned (in compliance with OIE disease-free status requirements).

FMD vaccination limitations exist: vaccination with one FMD serotype does not confer cross-protection against other serotypes, plus vaccine efficacy may vary between isolates of the same FMD serotype if antigenic diversity is great.

Experiences and Challenges
Recent years have seen several regional countries secure 'Disease-Free' recognition that have required validation of disease freedom after disease, e.g. South Korea and Japan, eradication from an established endemic or outbreak situations, e.g. Philippines and Indonesia). Others, although not disease-free, have reduced outbreak prevalence to sporadic outbreaks, e.g. Taiwan, Viet Nam and Thailand, after successful implementation of comprehensive disease control initiatives.

Dr Seneque concluded that Asia has unique diversity that is relevant to trans-boundary disease movement risks, e.g. animal movement pathways. Add to this the dynamic socio-economic and urbanisation changes that can influence disease epidemiology and it could be viewed as inevitable that there will be FMD movement from endemic hot-spots or outbreak areas to neighbouring geographies.

FMD in South Korea: an Update
Dr Seneque gave an update on the current situation in South Korea. The outbreak started on 23 November 2010 and, within six weeks, it had spread over 60 per cent of the country. By the end of December, it was realised that slaughtering was ineffective and so ring vaccination was implemented, followed by blanket vaccination. By early March 2011, huge numbers of animals had been slaughtered, including 2.2 million pigs. The army is now involved with movement controls, disinfection and vaccination now implemented.

Water and soil contamination has occurred and meat consumption has dropped due to consumers' food safety concerns. It is estimated that 40,000 jobs have been lost in the countryside as a consequence of FMD, the animal population has dropped by 30 per cent and the outbreak has had serious ramifications as far as the tourism industry is concerned.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 12, 2011, 12:18:04 PM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates - April 2011
The forecast for 2011 red meat and poultry production is virtually unchanged from last month, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Wheat
US wheat ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected slightly lower this month reflecting a small increase in seed use. Higher planted area as reported in the 31 March Prospective Plantings raises projected seed use four million bushels. Small by-class changes are made for imports with Soft Red Winter (SRW) wheat raised five million bushels and Hard Red Spring and durum wheat together lowered an offsetting amount. The marketing-year average price received by producers is projected 10 US cents lower on each end of the range at $5.50 to $5.70 per bushel. Farm prices continue to be reported well below prevailing cash market bids indicating that farmers priced a substantial portion of this year’s crop well ahead of delivery.

Global 2010/11 wheat supplies are nearly unchanged as higher beginning stocks are mostly offset by lower world production. Production is lowered 1.3 million tons for Egypt as the latest reports indicate a sharp year-to-year drop in yields as unusual, early season heat affected pollination and reduced grain size. Production is raised 1.1 million tons for Iran on higher area.

Global wheat trade is projected higher with imports raised for Turkey, Indonesia, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt and Peru. Lower expected imports for Syria and Afghanistan are partly offsetting. Global exports are raised 1.1 million tons with 1.0-million-ton increases for both Australia and EU-27, and a 0.6-million-ton increase for Brazil. Exports are lowered 0.5 million tons each for Canada and Ukraine, 0.4 million tons for Pakistan and 0.3 million tons for Mexico.

Global 2010/11 wheat consumption is lowered 0.8 million tons reflecting small reductions in food, seed, and industrial use in a number of countries. Changes in wheat feeding are mostly offsetting with China raised 1.0 million tons and Pakistan and Egypt lowered 0.6 million and 0.4 million tons, respectively. Global ending stocks are projected 0.9 million tons higher.

Coarse Grains
US corn ending stocks are unchanged this month as a projected increase in corn use for ethanol is offset by a reduction in expected feed and residual use. Corn used to produce ethanol is raised 50 million bushels as strong blender incentives and positive ethanol producer margins continue to encourage expansion in ethanol production and use. Rising gasoline prices have pulled ethanol prices higher helping to offset increases in corn feedstock costs for ethanol producers.

US corn feed and residual use is lowered 50 million bushels as increased prospects for 2011 SRW wheat production and higher year-to-year corn plantings in the South reduce expected corn feed and residual disappearance during the second half of the 2010/11 corn marketing year. SRW wheat plantings are up sharply year-to-year with the 31 March Prospective Plantings report further increasing acreage in the SRW wheat states. A weighted average of early April crop conditions in the SRW states shows the highest percent of the crop in good-to-excellent condition in five years. Winter wheat conditions are especially favourable in Arkansas and North Carolina where wheat feeding is an alternative for poultry and hog producers. Cash and futures prices for SRW wheat have recently dropped below those for corn on a pound-for-pound basis creating opportunities for wheat to replace higher priced corn in feeding rations. Prospects for early new-crop corn usage ahead of September 1 are also increased with the largest intended southern corn plantings since 2007 and high expected summer corn prices.

Other 2010/11 US feed grain changes this month include higher feed and residual use and higher food, seed and industrial use for sorghum which boost expected domestic usage 15 million bushels. Sorghum exports, however, are projected 10 million bushels lower. Oats imports are raised slightly and feed and residual use is projected lowered leaving ending stocks up 18 million bushels. Price ranges for all the feed grains are narrowed five cents per bushel on each end. The season-average corn price is projected at $5.20 to $5.60 per bushel.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2010/11 are projected 6.3 million tons higher this month with a 1.8-million-ton increase in beginning stocks and a 4.5-million-ton increase in production. Higher corn and barley beginning stocks in Iran account for most of the increase in carry-in. Nearly half of the increase in coarse grain production reflects upward revisions to sorghum production in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries. Increases in millet production for countries in this same region add 1.4 million tons to global coarse grain output.

Global corn production is raised 1.2 million tons with the biggest increases for Brazil, Uganda and Paraguay. Production for Brazil is raised two million tons with higher reported area and yields for their primary summer crop and an increase in reported plantings for their winter crop. A 0.5-million-ton increase for Uganda corn is part of a number of revisions for African countries this month. Production for Paraguay is raised 0.4 million tons as favourable growing season weather boosted yields. Production is lowered 1.3 million tons for Indonesia and 0.5 million tons each for Egypt and South Africa.

Global 2010/11 corn trade is up slightly this month with imports raised 0.9 million tons for Indonesia and 0.5 million tons for China. The increase in expected China imports reflects the short-term decline in world corn prices in mid-March that created a buying opportunity for Chinese importers. No official confirmation of such purchases has yet been made. Corn imports are lowered 0.4 million tons for Canada based on the slow pace of US shipments to date. Corn exports are raised 1.5 million tons for Brazil and 0.3 million tons for Paraguay with increased production and supplies in both countries. Exports are lowered 0.5 million tons each for South Africa and Thailand. Global corn consumption is increased 3.1 million tons with increases in feeding for China, Brazil, and Thailand, and increased food, seed, and industrial use for China and for several African countries where corn is a food staple. Projected global corn ending stocks are lowered 0.7 million tons.

Rice
No changes are made on the supply side of the US 2010/11 rice supply and use balance sheets. On the use side, all rice domestic use and residual is estimated at 127.0 million cwt, still a record, but down 2.0 million from last month, but 4.4 million above 2009/10. All of the reduction is in long-grain rice now estimated at a near-record 99.0 million cwt.

Combined medium- and short-grain domestic use is unchanged at 28.0 million cwt. The changes in the 2010/11 domestic use and residual estimates are based largely on the March 1 Rice Stocks report released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on 31 March. NASS reported all rice stocks on a rough-equivalent basis at nearly 130.0 million cwt, up 17 per cent from a year earlier, and above trade expectations.

The all-rice 2010/11 export projection is unchanged at 116.0 million cwt; however, the rough-rice export projection is lowered 3.0 million to 39.0 million because of slower-than-expected sales and shipments to markets primarily in Central America. Conversely, the combined milled and brown rice export projection is raised 3.0 million cwt to 77.0 million (on rough-rice basis) due mostly to recent, large food-aid announcements. The 2010/11 long-grain export projection is raised 1.0 million cwt to 79.0 million, while the combined medium- and short-grain export projection is lowered the same amount to 37.0 million. The increase in the long-grain export projection is due mostly to an increase in the non-commercial portion of exports (virtually all long-grain rice) and the reduction in the combined medium- and short-grain export forecast is due to lower-than-expected exports to Taiwan. All rice ending stocks are projected at 54.8 million cwt, 2.0 million above last month, 18.1 million above the previous year, and the largest stocks since 1985/86. Long-grain and combined medium- and short-grain rice stocks are each raised 1.0 million cwt to 43.9 million and 9.4 million, respectively.

The combined medium- and short-grain 2010/11 price range is projected at $16.75 to $17.25 per cwt, up 50 cents on each end of the range from a month ago. The NASS February full-month combined medium- and short-grain rice price is up 60 cents from the February preliminary price. In addition, an unexpectedly large jump in the preliminary March farm price reported by NASS in Agricultural Prices at $20.30 per cwt is up 15 percent from the February full-month price. These two factors are largely responsible for the upward revision. The long-grain price range is projected at $11.05 to $11.55 per cwt, unchanged from last month. The rice by-class prices indicate an all rice season-average farm price for 2010/11 at $12.35 to $12.85 per cwt, up 10 cents per cwt on both ends of the range from a month ago.

Global 2010/11 rice production, imports and ending stocks are lowered from last month, while consumption is raised slightly. World rice production is reduced 0.8 million tons to 450.7 million based mostly on decreases for Indonesia, Iran, Laos, North Korea and Sri Lanka, which is partially offset by increases for Brazil and Colombia. Global imports for 2010/11 are lowered 0.8 million tons to 29.2 million due mostly to reductions for Malaysia, Madagascar, the Philippines and Thailand, which is partially offset by increases for some Sub-Saharan Africa markets. Additionally, global exports are lowered from last month owing to expected declines in shipments from mostly South American markets including Argentina, Peru and Uruguay. Global consumption is increased slightly based mostly on increases to a number of Sub-Saharan Africa markets. Global ending stocks are projected at 97.1 million tons, down 1.7 million from last month, but an increase of 3.3 million from 2009/10, and the largest stocks since 2002/03. The largest reductions in ending stocks occurred in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, which are partially offset by an increase for Brazil.

Oilseeds
US soybean exports for 2010/11 are projected down 10 million bushels from last month. The slower-than-expected shipment pace through March combined with increased export competition resulting from larger crops for Brazil and Paraguay leave US exports projected at 1.58 billion bushels. Although there are no changes in the US soybean meal supply and demand projections, the soybean crush is reduced 5.0 million bushels to 1.65 billion due to an increase in the meal extraction rate. Seed use is reduced to reflect plantings for 2011 reported in the 31 March Prospective Plantings report. Residual use is raised based on indications from the 31 March Grain Stocks report. US soybean ending stocks remain unchanged at 140 million bushels.

The US season-average soybean price range is projected at $11.25 to $11.75 per bushel, up 15 cents on the bottom and down 35 cents on the top of the range. Soybean meal prices are forecast at $340 to $360 per short ton, down $10 on the top of the range. The soybean oil price is projected at 53 to 55 cents per pound, up 1.5 cents on the bottom and down 0.5 cents on the top of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2010/11 is projected at 447 million tons, up 2.8 million tons from last month. Higher soybean, sunflowerseed and rapeseed production more than offsets lower cottonseed production. Global soybean production is increased 2.6 million tons to 261 million. Soybean production for Brazil is projected at a record 72.0 million tons, up two million from last month as ample moisture and favourable late-season weather in the southern states improved yield prospects. Soybean production for Paraguay is projected at 8.1 million tons, up 0.6 million, also based on higher yields. Global rapeseed production is raised 0.2 million tons to 58.6 million due to increased output in Russia. Global sunflowerseed production is projected higher as increased production in Argentina and Turkey more than offset reductions for India and Russia. Other changes include reduced cottonseed production for Pakistan and Turkey, and higher cottonseed production for Brazil. Malaysia palm oil production is reduced 0.5 million tons to 17.5 million due to lower-than-expected yields.

Global oilseed supplies and ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected higher this month while crush is reduced. Lower soybean crush, led by Argentina and China, is only partly offset by increased rapeseed crush, with the largest gains in Mexico, Pakistan, and United Arab Emirates. Global oilseed stocks are raised 2.5 million tons, with the largest gains for soybeans in Brazil and Argentina.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The forecast for 2011 red meat and poultry production is virtually unchanged from last month as small increases in beef and pork production are largely offset by a slightly reduced forecast of broiler and turkey production. Beef production is forecast higher as higher cow and bull slaughter more than offsets slightly lower steer and heifer slaughter. Pork is forecast higher on slightly larger slaughter and higher-than-expected first quarter weights. Broiler and turkey production forecasts are reduced on moderating weight gains. The egg production forecast is reduced slightly as higher feed costs squeeze returns.

The forecast for beef exports for 2011 is raised from last month as the relatively weak dollar and economic growth in a number of countries support export growth. Conversely, the weakness in the US dollar and economic growth in other major importing countries will limit US beef imports. Thus, the forecast for beef imports is reduced from last month. The pork export forecast is unchanged from last month but imports are forecast slightly lower. Broiler exports are forecast lower on weaker expected demand.

Prices for livestock and poultry are raised from last month. Meat supplies remain tight and improving domestic demand and strength in red meat exports are supporting prices for livestock and poultry. Egg prices are forecast higher on the anticipated smaller production increase.

The milk production forecast for 2011 is reduced slightly from last month. Relatively high milk prices are being offset by high feed costs and only slight growth is expected in the herd for the remainder of the year. Fat-basis imports are lowered from last month but skim-solids imports are forecast higher. Both skim and fat-basis exports are raised largely on the strength of first-quarter butter, cheese and non-fat dry milk (NDM) sales.

Butter and cheese prices are forecast lower this month, reflecting recent price declines but NDM and whey price forecasts are raised. The Class III price forecast is lowered as the weaker cheese price more than offsets higher whey prices. The Class IV price forecast is raised as higher NDM prices more than offset the lower forecast butter price. The all-milk price is forecast to average $18.15 to $18.65 per cwt for 2011.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 14, 2011, 11:56:32 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
New Agreement Eases China–Brazil Beef, Poultry Trade
CHINA & BRAZIL - The Presidents of the two countries have hailed a new strategic partnership as key deals and agreements have been signed on products including chicken, beef and bovine embryos and semen.

 


China pledged to diversify its trade with Brazil and boost imports from South America's biggest economy, as Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff began her debut presidential trip outside Latin America yesterday (12 April), according to official sources.

President Hu Jintao and Rousseff signed a joint communique, which included China's pledge to diversify trade, after talks at the Great Hall of the People. Both President Hu and President Rousseff praised the strategic partnership of the two countries.

Both countries agreed to promote the registration of Brazil's poultry and beef companies and vowed to quicken procedures to add new products onto their import and export lists.

The products include gelatin, corn, tobacco leaf, bovine embryos and semen and fruit from Brazil as well as fruit from China.

The two countries also called for the Doha trade talks to produce comprehensive and balanced results that address the concerns of the world's least developed countries, Xinhua said.

The Doha talks have stalled repeatedly since their start. Some countries earlier identified 2011 as a 'window of opportunity' and a chance to secure an agreement.

China and Brazil agreed to work more closely on reforming international financial and monetary systems under the G20 framework, the communique said.

Under the communique, both countries called for increased supervision to avoid new crises while working toward global economic recovery.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 19, 2011, 01:44:08 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011
Japan’s Compound Feed and Livestock Production
JAPAN - Since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan on 11 March, surrounding Japanese feed millers have stepped up to fulfill the demand in the affected area, the US Grains Council’s Tokyo office reports.


“With the flow of compound feed from outside areas, combined with feed produced in some of the mills in the Tohoku area which were capable of working, livestock farms in the Tohoku area could get roughly half of its normal demand during the month since the earthquake,” said Hiroko Sakashita, USGC associate director in Japan.

While livestock in the Tohoku area are on a significantly reduced feed ration, a livestock expert informed the Council that animals will survive but will experience some growth reductions. Once feed supplies recommence, producers will resume normal feed rations for production and shipment and animals will mature.

“We have not heard devastating reports in regards to animal losses at large cattle, swine and chicken farms,” reported Ms Sakashita. “The livestock population in the whole country was not significantly impacted. Therefore there will be no significant reductions in feed demand.”

This takes into consideration the livestock operations that were forced to evacuate due to their proximity of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“The animal population within a 20 kilometer (13 mile) radius of the power plant was not significant to the total Tohoku area,” she said.

Transportation costs and power outages remain a concern for feed millers in the mid to long term. Ports are recovering but it is not clear when a Panamax-size vessel will be accepted into the affected area.

Japanese feed manufacturers submitted a letter of request to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, which administers the ports, in an effort to secure a stable supply of compound feed and feed ingredients. The appeal included radioactivity declaration of safety of those ports and early accessibility recovery for Panamax-size vessels.

For mills in Kashima, which account for 15 per cent of Japan’s total compound feed production, some have recovered in volume of production and shipment to the level of before the earthquake, with reduced variety of compound. As a whole, all feed mills in Kashima expect to resume full production in the latter part of April or beginning of May.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 24, 2011, 12:57:45 AM
Thursday, April 21, 2011
NDRC Expects Food Prices to Stabilise
CHINA - China's consumer prices are likely to remain high in the second quarter of this year, but food prices, the main driver of the country's inflation, are predicted to stabilize, a senior official from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Wednesday.


Soaring prices for commodities in the international markets, including crude oil, iron ore, and grains, may continue to fuel the nation's inflation in the second quarter, said Zhou Wangjun, deputy head of the pricing department of the NDRC, the country's top economic planner.

"Food prices tended to be stable and some even declined in March, signaling the government's measures to rein in prices have taken effect," Mr Zhou said.

The nation's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, climbed to a 32-month high of 5.4 per cent in March, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Food prices, which account for about 30 per cent of the CPI basket, increased by 11 per cent in March from a year earlier, the same amount as the year-on-year rise in the first two months of this year, indicating a stabilizing trend, the NBS said.

The Chinese government has made stabilizing prices a key task in the first year of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). The authorities have stepped up efforts to postpone price rises of utilities, increased support for grain producers and took administrative measures to control prices.

In March, vegetable prices fell by 6.2 per cent, egg prices by 7 per cent, and the price of aquatic products by 2.3 per cent, compared with a year ago, according to Zhou.

He said that industrial products in China are oversupplied, and food supply can "completely" satisfy consumers' demand. "The Chinese government has the ability to curb inflation," Mr Zhou said.

Zhu Hongren, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said on Wednesday that other than food prices, surging international raw-material prices are adding to the pressure of imported inflation in China, and this has been boosted by the quantitative easing policy in some major developed economies.

A report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said on Monday that the country's total grain output may increase to 550 million tons this year, from 546.41 million tons in 2010.

The output of oil seeds may increase by 2 per cent to more than 33 million tons in 2011 from a year earlier, and the output of meat is likely to grow by 3.5 per cent to at least 82 million tons, helping to counter food price increases this year, the CASS report said.

According to an NBS survey of more than 70,000 rural households, the planting area for grain was predicted to be 110.28 million hectares, 400,000 hectares more than that in 2010, the bureau said.

In the first three months of this year, the total output of pork, beef, mutton and poultry increased by 1.8 per cent year-on-year to 21.42 million tons, according to the data from the NBS released on 15 April.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 07, 2011, 09:20:50 AM
Friday, May 06, 2011Print This Page
Feed Additive Market Estimated at $19 Billion in 2016
GLOBAL - The worldwide animal feed additives market is estimated to reach US$18.7 billion in 2016, according to a new market report.


The report, Global Animal Feed Additives by Type, Livestock, Geography, Regulations Trends & Forecasts (2009-2016) from MarketsandMarkets (M&M) defines and segments the global animal feed additives market with analysis and forecasting of the global revenues for feed additives. It also identifies driving and restraining factors for the global feed additives market with analysis of trends, opportunities, and challenges.

The market is segmented and revenues are forecasted on the basis of major geographies such as North America, Europe, Asia, and Rest of the World (ROW).

Further market is segmented and revenues are forecasted on the basis of products such as antibiotics, amino acids, feed acidifiers, antioxidants.

The global feed additives industry has been in a higher growth trajectory from the last four years, according to the report. This growth is largely fuelled by the increasing meat consumption and rising concerns over meat quality and safety. Some of the major drivers of the global feed additives industry identified in this report are rise in global meat consumption, increasing awareness towards meat quality and safety, increasing mass production of meat, and recent livestock disease outbreaks. Major restraints identified in this report are regulatory structure and intervention, and rising raw material cost. Growth is particularly high in emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil due to increasing income levels and rising per capita meat consumption.

The report estimates the global feed additives market will reach $18.7 billion in 2016 with an expected CAGR of 3.8 per cent from 2011 to 2016. The Asian market is driving the sales and is expected to hold 28.5 per cent of the global market share in 2016. The Asian market is expected to have a high CAGR of 4.74 per cent due to increasing demand for meat products in the region, and rising domestic meat production. Europe is the leading market for feed additives, with 35 per cent share in 2011 resulting from higher regulatory concerns over meat quality and safety, and increasing per capita meat consumption. North America is the second largest market, with a share of 28.5 per cent in 2011; the US is the largest market with a share of more than 80 per cent.

Antibiotics is the leading demand generating product with a share of more than 27 per cent in 2011, followed by amino acid – 26.5 per cent share in the global feed additives market. The consumption of antibiotics is high due to increasing demand in Asian and Latin American regions to meet the high domestic and export demand for meat.

Scope of the report
This research report categorizes the global market for animal feed additives on the basis of product types, livestock, and geography; forecasting revenues, and analyzing trends in each of the following sub-markets:

on the basis of product types: antibiotics, feed acidifiers, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins
on the basis of materials: pork, sea food, cattle and poultry
on the basis of geography: North America (US and Canada), Europe (German, UK, France and Russia), Asia (China, India and Japan), and ROW (Brazil and Argentina)
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 12, 2011, 08:27:16 AM
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Agricultural Trade Reaches An All-Time High
GENERAL - Over the past year, agricultural trade has reached an all-time high, at least 12 per cent above the previous record set in 2008. The impact of the economic crisis led to a contraction of six per cent in 2009 but global agricultural exports rebounded by over 19 per cent last year.


The EU as well as the other top exporters all benefited from buoyant markets. Following the slump in 2009, the EU, the US and Brazil bounced back with over 20 per cent growth in exports, to reach record levels in 2010.

For the past three years, the EU and the US have been roughly neck and neck as the world's leading agri-food exporters.

In 2010 US exports reached an all-time high of €92 billion, just ahead of the EU's record €91 billion exports.

The EU remains by far the world's biggest importer with imports worth €83 billion in 2008-10, well ahead of the US. EU imports grew by nine per cent in 2010 though they remain five per cent below the peak of 2008.

US imports grew strongly by 17 per cent in 2010. China's meteoric growth in imports, surging by 47 per cent in 2010, means that it surpasses Japan as the third largest importer.

The EU's trade balance improved to the extent that it turned into a net exporter in 2010, for the first time since 2006. The €6 billion agricultural trade surplus is largely due to expansion in the value of exports, driven by stronger demand for final products, as the EU's trading partners came out of recession and higher prices for commodities and intermediate goods. Exchange rate fluctuations may also have contributed, given the weakening of the Euro against a number of major currencies in 2010.

The EU remains the biggest importer of agricultural products from developing countries, importing €59 billion worth of goods in 2008-10. This is far ahead of the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand put together, whose combined imports from developing countries reached just €49 billion over this period.

The US reached a record agricultural trade surplus of €27 billion with the value of exports up by 24 per cent to an all time high. Brazil also saw record exports and growth of 23 per cent despite the strengthening of the Real against the US$, potentially damaging its competitiveness on global markets.

The recovery of the markets of some major importers is witnessed by the sharp growth in imports; Russia's imports rebounded by 26 per cent, despite continued market access restrictions for poultrymeat while China's imports surged by 47 per cent.

The prosperity of overseas markets is a key factor in determining opportunities for EU businesses. Trade growth now appears to be back on track after the exceptional decreases in 2009.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 14, 2011, 07:48:26 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates – June 2011
With many important crop-growing regions affected by flooding or drought, the projections are 'highly tentative', according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Note: Because spring planting is still underway in the Northern Hemisphere and remains several months away in the Southern Hemisphere, these projections are highly tentative. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) forecasts are used for US winter wheat area, yield and production. For other US crops, methods used to project planted acreage, harvested acreage and yield are noted on each table.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The forecast for 2011 total meat production is raised from last month, reflecting higher beef production. Large cattle placements and larger cow slaughter, due in part to drought in the Southern Plains, is reflected in an increase in the beef production forecast. However, forecasts for pork and poultry are reduced from last month as higher forecast grain prices are expected to trim hog weight gains and put additional pressure on broiler producers. USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report to be released on 24 June will provide an indication of producer farrowing intentions for the remainder of the year. For 2012, meat production forecasts are reduced as higher forecast feed costs pressure hog weights and slow the expected recovery of the poultry sector. Higher feed prices are expected to slow feedlot placements as producers keep cattle on forage longer. The egg production forecast for 2011 is raised on stronger second half production but the forecast for 2012 is reduced on higher feed prices and less demand for hatching eggs.

Export forecasts for red meat and poultry are raised from last month. Beef exports for 2011 are forecast higher on strength in a number of markets and expected improvements in exports to Mexico. Pork, broiler, and turkey exports were larger than expected in the first quarter and the forecasts for the remainder of 2011 are raised. Beef and turkey exports are raised for 2012, but no changes are made to pork or broiler exports.

Cattle and broiler prices for 2011 are lowered from last month on weaker-than-expected demand but hog prices are unchanged. Broiler prices are lowered for 2012.

The milk production forecast for 2011 is raised. Producers are expected to continue to expand herds through the middle of the year and although herds may begin to decline toward the end of the year, cow numbers are expected to be above 2010. However, higher feed costs will impact profitability and the dairy cow inventory is expected to decline in 2012. Tighter feed supplies will also likely impact the rate of increase of milk per cow. As a result, the milk production forecast for 2012 is reduced from last month. Commercial exports are forecast higher for 2011 largely due to stronger expected cheese exports. However, imports of cheese and milk proteins have been stronger than expected and the import forecast for both 2011 and 2012 is raised.

Dairy product price forecasts are raised from last month. Butter supplies are tight and demand for cheese, non-fat dry milk (NDM) and whey are expected to support product prices. Class III and Class IV price forecasts are raised from last month in line with the increased product prices. The all milk price is forecast at $19.65 to $20.05 per cwt for 2011. Price forecasts for 2012 are also raised as the smaller production increase is expected to support higher product and Class prices. The all-milk price is forecast at $17.75 to $18.05 per cwt for 2012.

Wheat
US wheat supplies for 2011/12 are lowered this month as reduced carry-in more than offsets an increase in expected production. Beginning stocks are lowered 30 million bushels with a 10-million-bushel reduction in imports and a 20-million-bushel increase in exports for 2010/11, both based on the pace of shipments to date. All wheat production for 2011/12 is forecast at 2,058 million bushels, 15 million higher than last month. The winter wheat production forecast is raised 26 million bushels with higher forecast yields for Hard Red Winter, Soft Red Winter, and Soft White Winter wheat. Partly offsetting is a projected 11-million-bushel reduction for durum and other spring wheat production as seedings are projected 290,000 acres lower. Flooding and persistent wet soils have delayed planting in North Dakota and Montana well beyond the normal planting window.

US wheat usage for 2011/12 is unchanged. Ending stocks are projected 15 million bushels lower at 687 million bushels but remain above the 10-year average. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at a record $7.00 to $8.40 per bushel, up 20 cents on both ends of the range, reflecting both tighter domestic supplies and higher expected corn prices. The forecast 2010/11 wheat farm price is also raised this month, up five cents per bushel to $5.70 per bushel.

Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are projected slightly lower this month as an increase in beginning stocks is more than offset by lower production. Global beginning stocks are projected 4.9 million tons higher mostly reflecting increased stocks in Russia as feeding is reduced 2.0 million tons and 3.0 million tons, respectively, for 2009/10 and 2010/11. Beginning stocks for 2011/12 are also raised 0.5 million tons each for Argentina and Canada with the same size reductions in 2010/11 exports for each country. Partly offsetting is a 1.5-million-ton decrease for 2011/12 beginning stocks for Australia with higher 2010/11 exports.

World wheat production is projected 5.2 million tons lower for 2011/12. At 664.3 million tons, production would be the third highest on record and up 16.1 million from 2010/11. This month’s reduction for 2011/12 mostly reflects a 7.1-million-ton decrease for EU-27 wheat output. Persistent dryness, particularly in France but also in Germany, the United Kingdom and western Poland, has reduced yield prospects for EU-27. Production is also reduced 1.0 million tons for Canada as flooding and excessive rainfall, particularly in southeastern Saskatchewan and adjoining areas of Manitoba, are expected to reduce spring wheat seeding. Production is increased 1.5 million tons for Argentina and 0.5 million tons for Australia, both reflecting favourable planting conditions and strong producer price incentives to expand area. Production is also raised 0.5 million tons for Pakistan as increased use of higher quality seed and adequate water supplies resulted in higher-than-expected yields.

Global wheat trade for 2011/12 is projected slightly higher reflecting a 0.5-million-ton increase in expected imports by EU-27. Exports are lowered 3.0 million tons for EU-27. Export increases of 2.0 million tons and 1.0 million tons, respectively, for Australia and Argentina offset the EU-27 reduction. Exports are raised 0.3 million tons for Pakistan with the larger crop. Global wheat consumption is projected down 3.3 million tons, mostly reflecting a 2.5-million-ton reduction in EU-27 domestic use. Wheat feeding is lowered 0.5 million tons for Canada. Global ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 3.0 million tons higher as decreased wheat feeding in earlier years raise projected stocks in Russia, more than offsetting declines in Australia and EU-27.

Coarse Grains
Projected US feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are sharply lower with reduced prospects for corn acreage. Corn planted area for 2011/12 is lowered 1.5 million acres from March intentions to 90.7 million acres. Planting delays through early June in the eastern Corn Belt and northern Plains are expected to reduce planted area, more than offsetting likely gains in the western Corn Belt and central Plains where planting was ahead of normal by mid-May. Harvested area is lowered 1.9 million acres, to 83.2 million with the additional 400,000-acre reduction reflecting early information about May flooding in the lower Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and June flooding along the Missouri River valley. Production is projected at 13.2 billion bushels, down 305 million from last month, but still a record, and up 753 million from 2010/11.

US feed grain usage changes for 2011/12 include a 100-million-bushel projected decline in corn feed and residual use and a five-million-bushel increase in sorghum exports. Feed grain ending stocks are sharply lower with expected corn ending stocks down 205 million bushels to 695 million. Corn ending stocks are projected 35 million bushels lower than beginning stocks indicating a stocks-to-use ratio of 5.2 percent compared with the 2010/11 forecast ratio of 5.4 percent. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for corn is projected at a record $6.00 to $7.00 per bushel, up 50 cents on both ends of the range. Projected farm prices are also raised for the other feed grains.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected down 7.8 million tons this month with lower beginning stocks and production. Reduced US corn production, lower EU-27 barley production and reduced corn beginning stocks in China, more than offset increases in China corn production. EU-27 barley production is lowered 2.2 million tons as prolonged dryness across western and northern Europe has sharply reduced yield prospects in the major producing countries. China corn area is raised for 2010/11 in line with the most recent official government area estimates with the year-to-year percentage increase for 2011/12 largely maintained.

China corn production increases 5.0 million and 6.0 million tons, respectively, for 2010/11 and 2011/12 with yields unchanged month-to-month. More than offsetting the higher production levels is higher estimated corn consumption for both feeding and industrial use. China corn consumption is raised 8.0 million tons and 13.0 million tons, respectively, for 2010/11 and 2011/12. Together these changes leave projected 2011/12 corn ending stocks down 12.0 million tons for China. At the projected 51.0 million tons, China’s stocks would be down 2.7 million tons from 2010/11 and just below the levels of the preceding two years, better reflecting the continuing rise in domestic corn prices as production struggles to keep pace with rising usage. Although China’s stocks represent 46 percent of the world total for 2011/12, China is not expected to be a significant exporter.

Global 2011/12 corn trade is raised slightly this month with higher imports for EU-27 and higher exports for Ukraine. Ukraine exports are raised 1.0 million tons with higher production and stronger expected demand from EU-27. Russia exports are lowered 0.5 million tons with lower production. Other important trade changes this month include a 0.2-million-ton increase in sorghum imports by Mexico, driving the US export increase, and a 1.5-million-ton reduction in EU-27 barley exports with lower production and tighter supplies. Barley imports are lowered for Saudi Arabia and China. Global corn ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected down sharply this month, falling 17.3 million tons mostly reflecting the usage revisions in China. The projected 5.2-million-ton drop in US ending stocks accounts for most of the rest of the decline. Global corn stocks are projected at 111.9 million tons, the lowest since 2006/07.

Oilseeds
This month’s US oilseed supply and use projections for 2011/12 include higher beginning and ending stocks and reduced exports. Although adverse weather has slowed soybean planting progress this year, area and production estimates are unchanged with several weeks remaining in the planting season. Higher beginning stocks reflect a lower export projection for 2010/11. Soybean exports for 2010/11 are reduced 10 million bushels to 1.54 billion bushels reflecting the export pace to date for the marketing year and reduced global import demand, led mainly by lower projected imports for China. Soybean ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected at 180 million bushels, up 10 million. US soybean exports for 2011/12 are reduced 20 million bushels to 1.52 billion, reflecting increased competition from South America resulting from an increase in the recently harvested Brazilian soybean crop. With larger supplies and reduced exports, ending stocks for 2011/12 are increased 30 million bushels to 190 million. Other changes for 2010/11 include reduced soybean oil used for biodiesel production, reduced projected food use of soybean oil, and lower soybean oil exports, all resulting in increased ending stocks for 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Soybean, meal and oil prices are all raised this month. Led by higher corn prices, the US season-average soybean price for 2011/12 is projected at $13.00 to $15.00 per bushel, up $1.00 on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices for 2011/12 are projected at $375 to $405 per short ton, up $25 on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are projected at 58 to 62 cents per pound, up two cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 456.9 million tons, down 2.3 million from last month, mainly due to lower rapeseed production. EU-27 rapeseed production is reduced 1.2 million tons to 18.8 million mainly due to lower yields resulting from dry conditions in April and May in major producing areas of France and Germany. Rapeseed production for Canada is lowered 0.5 million tons to 13.0 million due to reduced area planted resulting from excessive moisture this spring. China soybean production is reduced 0.5 million tons to 14.3 million reflecting lower area as producers shifted to corn. Other changes include increased sunflower seed production for Russia and reduced cottonseed production for Australia, Pakistan and the United States. Brazil’s 2010/11 soybean production is increased 1.5 million tons to a record 74.5 million, reflecting yield and production increases reported in the most recent government survey.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 20, 2011, 11:38:12 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates – June 2011
With many important crop-growing regions affected by flooding or drought, the projections are 'highly tentative', according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Note: Because spring planting is still underway in the Northern Hemisphere and remains several months away in the Southern Hemisphere, these projections are highly tentative. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) forecasts are used for US winter wheat area, yield and production. For other US crops, methods used to project planted acreage, harvested acreage and yield are noted on each table.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The forecast for 2011 total meat production is raised from last month, reflecting higher beef production. Large cattle placements and larger cow slaughter, due in part to drought in the Southern Plains, is reflected in an increase in the beef production forecast. However, forecasts for pork and poultry are reduced from last month as higher forecast grain prices are expected to trim hog weight gains and put additional pressure on broiler producers. USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report to be released on 24 June will provide an indication of producer farrowing intentions for the remainder of the year. For 2012, meat production forecasts are reduced as higher forecast feed costs pressure hog weights and slow the expected recovery of the poultry sector. Higher feed prices are expected to slow feedlot placements as producers keep cattle on forage longer. The egg production forecast for 2011 is raised on stronger second half production but the forecast for 2012 is reduced on higher feed prices and less demand for hatching eggs.

Export forecasts for red meat and poultry are raised from last month. Beef exports for 2011 are forecast higher on strength in a number of markets and expected improvements in exports to Mexico. Pork, broiler, and turkey exports were larger than expected in the first quarter and the forecasts for the remainder of 2011 are raised. Beef and turkey exports are raised for 2012, but no changes are made to pork or broiler exports.

Cattle and broiler prices for 2011 are lowered from last month on weaker-than-expected demand but hog prices are unchanged. Broiler prices are lowered for 2012.

The milk production forecast for 2011 is raised. Producers are expected to continue to expand herds through the middle of the year and although herds may begin to decline toward the end of the year, cow numbers are expected to be above 2010. However, higher feed costs will impact profitability and the dairy cow inventory is expected to decline in 2012. Tighter feed supplies will also likely impact the rate of increase of milk per cow. As a result, the milk production forecast for 2012 is reduced from last month. Commercial exports are forecast higher for 2011 largely due to stronger expected cheese exports. However, imports of cheese and milk proteins have been stronger than expected and the import forecast for both 2011 and 2012 is raised.

Dairy product price forecasts are raised from last month. Butter supplies are tight and demand for cheese, non-fat dry milk (NDM) and whey are expected to support product prices. Class III and Class IV price forecasts are raised from last month in line with the increased product prices. The all milk price is forecast at $19.65 to $20.05 per cwt for 2011. Price forecasts for 2012 are also raised as the smaller production increase is expected to support higher product and Class prices. The all-milk price is forecast at $17.75 to $18.05 per cwt for 2012.

Wheat
US wheat supplies for 2011/12 are lowered this month as reduced carry-in more than offsets an increase in expected production. Beginning stocks are lowered 30 million bushels with a 10-million-bushel reduction in imports and a 20-million-bushel increase in exports for 2010/11, both based on the pace of shipments to date. All wheat production for 2011/12 is forecast at 2,058 million bushels, 15 million higher than last month. The winter wheat production forecast is raised 26 million bushels with higher forecast yields for Hard Red Winter, Soft Red Winter, and Soft White Winter wheat. Partly offsetting is a projected 11-million-bushel reduction for durum and other spring wheat production as seedings are projected 290,000 acres lower. Flooding and persistent wet soils have delayed planting in North Dakota and Montana well beyond the normal planting window.

US wheat usage for 2011/12 is unchanged. Ending stocks are projected 15 million bushels lower at 687 million bushels but remain above the 10-year average. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at a record $7.00 to $8.40 per bushel, up 20 cents on both ends of the range, reflecting both tighter domestic supplies and higher expected corn prices. The forecast 2010/11 wheat farm price is also raised this month, up five cents per bushel to $5.70 per bushel.

Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are projected slightly lower this month as an increase in beginning stocks is more than offset by lower production. Global beginning stocks are projected 4.9 million tons higher mostly reflecting increased stocks in Russia as feeding is reduced 2.0 million tons and 3.0 million tons, respectively, for 2009/10 and 2010/11. Beginning stocks for 2011/12 are also raised 0.5 million tons each for Argentina and Canada with the same size reductions in 2010/11 exports for each country. Partly offsetting is a 1.5-million-ton decrease for 2011/12 beginning stocks for Australia with higher 2010/11 exports.

World wheat production is projected 5.2 million tons lower for 2011/12. At 664.3 million tons, production would be the third highest on record and up 16.1 million from 2010/11. This month’s reduction for 2011/12 mostly reflects a 7.1-million-ton decrease for EU-27 wheat output. Persistent dryness, particularly in France but also in Germany, the United Kingdom and western Poland, has reduced yield prospects for EU-27. Production is also reduced 1.0 million tons for Canada as flooding and excessive rainfall, particularly in southeastern Saskatchewan and adjoining areas of Manitoba, are expected to reduce spring wheat seeding. Production is increased 1.5 million tons for Argentina and 0.5 million tons for Australia, both reflecting favourable planting conditions and strong producer price incentives to expand area. Production is also raised 0.5 million tons for Pakistan as increased use of higher quality seed and adequate water supplies resulted in higher-than-expected yields.

Global wheat trade for 2011/12 is projected slightly higher reflecting a 0.5-million-ton increase in expected imports by EU-27. Exports are lowered 3.0 million tons for EU-27. Export increases of 2.0 million tons and 1.0 million tons, respectively, for Australia and Argentina offset the EU-27 reduction. Exports are raised 0.3 million tons for Pakistan with the larger crop. Global wheat consumption is projected down 3.3 million tons, mostly reflecting a 2.5-million-ton reduction in EU-27 domestic use. Wheat feeding is lowered 0.5 million tons for Canada. Global ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 3.0 million tons higher as decreased wheat feeding in earlier years raise projected stocks in Russia, more than offsetting declines in Australia and EU-27.

Coarse Grains
Projected US feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are sharply lower with reduced prospects for corn acreage. Corn planted area for 2011/12 is lowered 1.5 million acres from March intentions to 90.7 million acres. Planting delays through early June in the eastern Corn Belt and northern Plains are expected to reduce planted area, more than offsetting likely gains in the western Corn Belt and central Plains where planting was ahead of normal by mid-May. Harvested area is lowered 1.9 million acres, to 83.2 million with the additional 400,000-acre reduction reflecting early information about May flooding in the lower Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and June flooding along the Missouri River valley. Production is projected at 13.2 billion bushels, down 305 million from last month, but still a record, and up 753 million from 2010/11.

US feed grain usage changes for 2011/12 include a 100-million-bushel projected decline in corn feed and residual use and a five-million-bushel increase in sorghum exports. Feed grain ending stocks are sharply lower with expected corn ending stocks down 205 million bushels to 695 million. Corn ending stocks are projected 35 million bushels lower than beginning stocks indicating a stocks-to-use ratio of 5.2 percent compared with the 2010/11 forecast ratio of 5.4 percent. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for corn is projected at a record $6.00 to $7.00 per bushel, up 50 cents on both ends of the range. Projected farm prices are also raised for the other feed grains.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected down 7.8 million tons this month with lower beginning stocks and production. Reduced US corn production, lower EU-27 barley production and reduced corn beginning stocks in China, more than offset increases in China corn production. EU-27 barley production is lowered 2.2 million tons as prolonged dryness across western and northern Europe has sharply reduced yield prospects in the major producing countries. China corn area is raised for 2010/11 in line with the most recent official government area estimates with the year-to-year percentage increase for 2011/12 largely maintained.

China corn production increases 5.0 million and 6.0 million tons, respectively, for 2010/11 and 2011/12 with yields unchanged month-to-month. More than offsetting the higher production levels is higher estimated corn consumption for both feeding and industrial use. China corn consumption is raised 8.0 million tons and 13.0 million tons, respectively, for 2010/11 and 2011/12. Together these changes leave projected 2011/12 corn ending stocks down 12.0 million tons for China. At the projected 51.0 million tons, China’s stocks would be down 2.7 million tons from 2010/11 and just below the levels of the preceding two years, better reflecting the continuing rise in domestic corn prices as production struggles to keep pace with rising usage. Although China’s stocks represent 46 percent of the world total for 2011/12, China is not expected to be a significant exporter.

Global 2011/12 corn trade is raised slightly this month with higher imports for EU-27 and higher exports for Ukraine. Ukraine exports are raised 1.0 million tons with higher production and stronger expected demand from EU-27. Russia exports are lowered 0.5 million tons with lower production. Other important trade changes this month include a 0.2-million-ton increase in sorghum imports by Mexico, driving the US export increase, and a 1.5-million-ton reduction in EU-27 barley exports with lower production and tighter supplies. Barley imports are lowered for Saudi Arabia and China. Global corn ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected down sharply this month, falling 17.3 million tons mostly reflecting the usage revisions in China. The projected 5.2-million-ton drop in US ending stocks accounts for most of the rest of the decline. Global corn stocks are projected at 111.9 million tons, the lowest since 2006/07.

Oilseeds
This month’s US oilseed supply and use projections for 2011/12 include higher beginning and ending stocks and reduced exports. Although adverse weather has slowed soybean planting progress this year, area and production estimates are unchanged with several weeks remaining in the planting season. Higher beginning stocks reflect a lower export projection for 2010/11. Soybean exports for 2010/11 are reduced 10 million bushels to 1.54 billion bushels reflecting the export pace to date for the marketing year and reduced global import demand, led mainly by lower projected imports for China. Soybean ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected at 180 million bushels, up 10 million. US soybean exports for 2011/12 are reduced 20 million bushels to 1.52 billion, reflecting increased competition from South America resulting from an increase in the recently harvested Brazilian soybean crop. With larger supplies and reduced exports, ending stocks for 2011/12 are increased 30 million bushels to 190 million. Other changes for 2010/11 include reduced soybean oil used for biodiesel production, reduced projected food use of soybean oil, and lower soybean oil exports, all resulting in increased ending stocks for 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Soybean, meal and oil prices are all raised this month. Led by higher corn prices, the US season-average soybean price for 2011/12 is projected at $13.00 to $15.00 per bushel, up $1.00 on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices for 2011/12 are projected at $375 to $405 per short ton, up $25 on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are projected at 58 to 62 cents per pound, up two cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 456.9 million tons, down 2.3 million from last month, mainly due to lower rapeseed production. EU-27 rapeseed production is reduced 1.2 million tons to 18.8 million mainly due to lower yields resulting from dry conditions in April and May in major producing areas of France and Germany. Rapeseed production for Canada is lowered 0.5 million tons to 13.0 million due to reduced area planted resulting from excessive moisture this spring. China soybean production is reduced 0.5 million tons to 14.3 million reflecting lower area as producers shifted to corn. Other changes include increased sunflower seed production for Russia and reduced cottonseed production for Australia, Pakistan and the United States. Brazil’s 2010/11 soybean production is increased 1.5 million tons to a record 74.5 million, reflecting yield and production increases reported in the most recent government survey.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 22, 2011, 10:01:19 AM
Meat Can be Produced Without Animals

If we are to produce sustainable and healthy food for the global population of nine billion people that is projected in 2050, then we must think along completely new lines.
 


Imagine this: With a clear conscience you sink your teeth into a juicy and tasty hamburger. No animal has been slaughtered to deliver the meat, no new forest felled to make way for animal feed, no bovine methane burps have affected the climate and no slurry has been released into the environment. The hamburger also has a satisfyingly low fat content and the fat consists only of fatty acids that are good for you.

Does this sound like something from Utopia’s kitchen? It does not need to be the case, according to senior scientist Niels Oksbjerg from the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University. He and his colleagues have the expertise to create muscle (meat) cells in the laboratory and are itching to develop the technique to make it possible to produce meat with the ultimate sustainability for the world’s growing population.

- If you have one embryonic stem cell from, for example, a calf, then you can produce an infinite number of new cells. Theoretically, you can produce meat for the whole world from one stem cell, says Niels Oksbjerg.


From research to red meat
 
Theory is one thing while practice is another. Before farming moves into the laboratory a lot of research and development must be carried out – but the senior scientist is not starting from scratch.

- For years we have grown muscle cells in the laboratory to be used as a model for muscle in various studies so we know that it is possible to get them to grow. One of the challenges lies in getting the cells to grow in more than one cell layer so we can produce a three-dimensional mass, says Niels Oksbjerg.

- If the cells grow in one layer, then we need approximately one square metre to produce 2.5 g of meat. We need to develop edible scaffolds that the muscle cells can grow on, says Niels Oksbjerg.

Stem cells for lab meat can come from either farm animal embryos (embryonic stem cells) or from farm animals after birth (adult muscle stem cells). Until now, the scientists have worked with cells from pigs, calves and chicks. The cells divide, find each other and form muscle fibres.


Designed meat
 
Embryonic stem cells can become all types of cells whereas the adult stem cells in muscle fibres can become muscle, fat, bone or connective tissue, depending on which conditions they are offered. It is also possible to grow muscle cells in combination with fat cells. In this way scientists can design meat so it has a taste and nutritional content that satisfies consumer demands.

To begin with, the laboratory product will not be able to replace traditional meat but can act as a healthy and sustainable supplement in pizza fillings, meatballs and sausages.

- It is not the ultimate solution to the world’s food problems but all efforts that contribute to the food supply for the nine billion people that are expected to live on this earth in 2050 are welcome, says Niels Oksbjerg.

His colleague at Aarhus University, research professor Jørgen E. Olesen from the Department of Agroecolgy and Environment, agrees.

- There are definitely promising perspectives in a meat production system that does not involve animals. The perspectives are in regard to animal welfare, climate and the environment. With regard to climate, several more things must be developed, though. Even stem cell production requires a supply of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. They have to come from somewhere. There will also be waste materials that need to be managed. So, even with meat production based on stem cells there will be environmental and climate challenges that must be dealt with, says Jørgen E. Olesen.


May 2011
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 23, 2011, 12:22:58 PM
Food Outlook – Global Market Analysis – June 2011
High feed prices and disease outbreaks in Asia limit global pig meat production prospects, according to the latest Food Outlook report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Meat and Meat Products Market Summary
High feed prices, disease outbreaks and depleted animal inventories are forecast to limit the expansion of global meat production to only one per cent in 2011, to 294 million tonnes. The increase is anticipated to be driven by gains in the poultry and pig meat sectors, while world bovine and ovine meat outputs are expected to be constrained by a retention of animals for herd rebuilding.

Strong demand for imports, especially in Asia where a number of countries are facing tight supplies and high domestic prices, is expected to foster a 2.4 per cent growth in world meat trade, bringing it to 26.8 million tonnes. Much of the expansion would stem from increased flows of pig meat, and to a lower extent, poultry and bovine meats. On the other hand, trade in ovine meat may stagnate, limited by short availabilities in traditional exporting countries.

Relatively high retail prices are foreseen to keep per capita meat consumption in 2011 stalling around 41.9kg. In the developing countries, steady economic growth may foster a minimal increase to 32.0kg, while per capita consumption in the developed countries is expected to remain at 78.4kg.

International meat prices have maintained steady increases since January 2011, progressing by five per cent over the first quarter, mainly sustained by a 10 per cent increase in pig meat prices. In the near term, the combination of strong world import demand and limited export availabilities points toward a further firming of world meat prices in the next few months.

World meat markets at a glance
  2009 2010
est. 2011
f'cast Change 2011
over 2010
  million tonnes %
WORLD BALANCE
Production 283.2 290.6 294.0 1.1
Bovine meat 64.9  64.9 65.0 0.2
Poultry meat 93.6 98.0 100.2 2.3
Pig meat 106.3 109.2 110.0 0.7
Ovine meat 12.9 13.0 13.1 0.5
Trade 25.2 26.2 26.8 2.4
Bovine meat 7.2 7.5 7.7 1.9
Poultry 11.1 11.5 11.7 1.6
Pig meat 5.8 6.1 6.4 5.0
Ovine meat 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.8
SUPPLY AND DEMAND INDICATORS
Per capita food consumption (kg/year):
World 41.3 41.9 41.9 0.1
Developed 78.0 78.4 78.4 0.0
Developing 31.1 31.8 32.0 0.5
FAO MEAT PRICE INDEX
(2002-2004=100) 2009 2010 2011
Jan-May Change:
Jan-May 2011
over Jan-May 2010
(%)
  133 152 175 19.9






FAO international meat price indices
(2002-2004 = 100)
Pig Meat
Pig meat output in 2011 is forecast at 110 million tonnes, less than one per cent more than last year. In China, which holds nearly 50 per cent of global pig inventories, an elimination of sow subsidies as well as outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) and swine blue ear disease (PRRS), are limiting output growth to two per cent.

Nearby in the region, the Republic of Korea, Asia's fourth largest economy is expected to witness a severe output contraction after FMD outbreaks in late 2010 and in April 2011 led to the slaughter of nearly one-third of the national pig herd at an estimated cost of US$2.7 billion.

High feed prices are limiting expansion of production in the Philippines. In Japan, the five north-east provinces that were affected by the 'triple disaster' hosted 40 per cent of the country's pig population. Animal deaths and the slaughtering at lower weights are expected to depress pig meat production by seven per cent this year. In Thailand, high and rising pig prices prompted the Government to freeze both farm-gate hog prices and retail prices, contributing to a seven per cent production fall.

Little change in pig meat output is currently forecast for the developed countries, as high feed prices continue eroding producer returns. In the United States, poor margins will limit production gains. In Canada, where a hog farm transition programme encourages producers to exit the industry, output is expected to decrease by 1.5 per cent.

In the EU-27, industry restructuring, prompted by high feed prices and the approaching 2013 implementation of new environmental and animal welfare requirements portends a one per cent drop in production. Meanwhile, sliding EU pig prices, due to a late 2010 dioxin crisis in Germany, led to the short-term opening of a private storage aid in early 2011. Despite investments made in the Russian Federation sector, high feed prices and continuing outbreaks of African swine fever in 2011 will limit production gains.



Evolution of pig meat/feed index prices (2002-2004=1)
Trade in pig meat is forecast to hover around 6.4 million tones in 2011, five per cent above last year. Much of the increase is expected to be spurred by double digit growth in imports into Asia, which account for more than half of world trade. In the Republic of Korea, FMD-depleted supplies and the issuance of a new tariff rate quota (TRQ), which allows import of 130,000 tonnes of duty-free product through mid-year, will push up imports to the country by close to 60 percent. Japan is also expected to step up its purchases to compensate for the anticipated production shortfall. In China, recent food scares, related to reported illegal use of chemicals in pig production, may also translate into higher imports.

Pork deliveries to the Russian Federation, the second largest market, are expected to remain in the order of 800,000 tonnes, reflecting sluggish domestic consumption growth and rising production.

In Mexico, pig meat imports for 2011 are forecast to grow moderately but the expansion could be stronger if a recent agreement to solve a long-standing dispute with the United States over the cross-border use of trucking services results in the lifting of import duties on certain pork cuts from NAFTA.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*
"Reduced supplies in Asia to prompt record pig meat imports" 

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Strong import demand and limited export availability in competing countries is forecast to propel exports by the United States to a record. Sales from Canada are expected to benefit from a trucking dispute between Mexico and the United States in 2010. Rising import demand in traditional markets, in particular Hong Kong and Japan, is also expected to boost deliveries from China.

With continuing high feed prices, pork exports by the European Union are forecast to increase only marginally from last year's record.

Likewise, increasing internal demand and high domestic prices are limiting to two per cent the recovery of exports in Brazil from last year's double-digit fall. However, the recent opening of the Chinese market to Brazilian pork will offer an opportunity for further expansion of trade between the two countries.

Pig meat statistics (thousand tonnes, carcass weight equivalent)
  Production Imports Exports Utilisation
  2010 est. 2011 f'cast 2010 est. 2011 f'cast 2010 est. 2011 f'cast 2010 est. 2011 f'cast
ASIA 61,926 62,572 2,665 2,993 504 563 64,131 65,000
China 52,019 53,061 769 817 436 489 52,352 53,390
- of which Hong Kong, SAR 122 124 513 532 150 150 485 506
India 485 490 1 1 2 2 484 489
Indonesia 670 680 3 2 1 – 672 682
Japan 1,291 1,200 1,141 1,200     2,429 2,402
Korea, D.P.R. 190 195         190 195
Korea, Rep. 1,110 760 358 562     1,515 1,322
Malaysia 205 208 12 10 5 55 212 213
Philippines 1,731 1,737 70 75 2 2 1,799 1,810
Thailand 700 650 1   17 18 684 633
Viet Nam 2,578 2,620 42 42 33 38 2,578 2,620
AFRICA 1,173 1,187 197 204 9 9 1,362 1,382
Madagascar 55 55     – – 55 55
Nigeria 225 227         225 227
South Africa 320 325 35 35 4 4 351 356
Uganda 110 115         110 115
CENTRAL AMERICA 1,671 1,709 721 739 97 105 2,295 2,344
Cuba 182 185 30 30 – – 212 215
Mexico 1,165 1,195 568 575 80 88 1,653 1,682
SOUTH AMERICA 5,023 5,143 93 101 747 769 4,370 4,476
Argentina 245 250 36 40 2 2 279 288
Brazil 3,226 3,307 1 1 625 636 2,602 2,672
Chile 518 522 10 10 120 130 408 402
Colombia 190 200 7 9 – – 197 209
Venezuela 174 178 15 16 – – 189 194
NORTH AMERICA 12,115 12,167 624 673 2,839 3,047 9,900 9,788
Canada 1,928 1,899 189 220 1,049 1,067 1,068 1,052
USA 10,187 10,268 430 448 1,790 1,980 8,827 8,731
EUROPE 26,832 26,739 1,185 1,185 1,852 1,855 26,165 26,069
Belarus 385 390 40 39 50 59 375 370
European Union 22,544 22,341 32 32 1,754 1,750 20,822 20,623
Russian Fed. 2,260 2,298 785 786 23 23 3,022 3,061
Serbia 500 480 42 44 6 6 536 518
Ukraine 650 730 122 126     772 856
OCEANIA 475 483 219 226 35 37 659 671
Australia 335 342 170 177 35 37 470 482
Papua New Guinea 68 68 4 4     72 72
WORLD 109,216 110,001 5,705 6,123 6,083 6,385 108,881 109,731
Developing
countries 67,983 68,886 2,420 2,718 1,352 1,441 69,099 70,159
Developed
countries 41,233 41,115 3,285 3,404 4,731 4,944 39,783 39,572
LIFDCs 55,767 56,841 635 676 347 409 56,055 57,108
LDCs 1,191 1,217 138 145 – – 1,329 1,363
LIFDCs = Low-Income, Food-Deficit Countries
LDCs = Less Developed Countries

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 23, 2011, 12:27:57 PM
Monday, June 20, 2011
Higher Commodity Prices Here to Stay
GLOBAL - The latest OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2011-2020 predicts the impact of high prices on the poor in developing countries can be devastating.


Higher food prices and volatility in commodity markets are here to stay, according to a new report by the OECD and FAO.

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2011-2020 says that a good harvest in the coming months should push commodity prices down from the extreme levels seen earlier this year. However, the Outlook states that over the coming decade real prices for cereals could average as much as 20 per cent higher and those for meats as much as 30 per cent higher, compared to 2001-10. These projections are well below the peak price levels experienced in 2007-08 and again this year.

Higher prices for commodities are being passed through the food chain, leading to rising consumer price inflation in most countries. This raises concerns for economic stability and food security in some developing countries, with poor consumers most at risk of malnutrition, the report says.

OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, said: "While higher prices are generally good news for farmers, the impact on the poor in developing countries who spend a high proportion of their income on food can be devastating.

"That is why we are calling on governments to improve information and transparency of both physical and financial markets, encourage investments that increase productivity in developing countries, remove production and trade distorting policies and assist the vulnerable to better manage risk and uncertainty."

FAO Director-General, Jacques Diouf, commented: "In the current market context, price volatility could remain a feature of agricultural markets, and coherent policies are required to both reduce volatility and limit its negative impacts", noting that "the key solution to the problem will be boosting investment in agriculture and reinforcing rural development in developing countries, where 98 percent of the hungry people live today and where population is expected to increase by 47 per cent over the next decades."

Action should focus in particular on smallholders in low-income food-deficit countries, he added.

G20
The Outlook reinforces the core messages for mitigating and managing price volatility in a recent inter-agency report to the G20, 'Price Volatility in Food and Agriculture Markets: Policy Responses', coordinated by FAO and OECD on behalf of 10 international organisations.

The report suggests, among other things, that G20 countries take steps to boost agricultural productivity in developing countries, reduce or eliminate trade-disorting policies and establish a new mechanism to improve information and transparency on agricultural production, consumption, stocks and trade.

Fisheries
The Outlook, which covers fisheries for the first time, sees global agricultural production growing more slowly over the next decade than in the past 10 years. Farm output is expected to rise by 1.7 per cent annually, compared to the 2.6 per cent growth rate of the past decade. Despite this slower growth, production per-capita is still projected to rise by 0.7 per cent annually.

Per-capita food consumption will expand most rapidly in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, where incomes are rising and populations growth is slowing. Meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar should experience the highest demand increases, according to the report.

Global production in the fisheries sector is projected to increase by 1.3 percent annually to 2020. This is slower than growth over the previous decade, due to reduced or stagnant capture of wild fish stocks and lower growth rates in aquaculture, which underwent a rapid expansion over the 2001-2010 period.

By 2015, aquaculture is projected to surpass capture fisheries as the most important source of fish for human consumption, and by 2020 should represent about 45 per cent of total fishery production, including non-food uses.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 08, 2011, 09:21:34 AM
Thursday, July 07, 2011
FAO Food Price Index Up Slightly in June
GLOBAL - FAO's Food Price Index rose one percent to 234 points in June 2011 - 39 per cent higher than in June 2010 but four per cent below its all-time high of 238 points in February of this year.




FAO Food Price Index upA strong rise in international sugar prices was behind much of the increase, according to FAO.

The FAO Cereal Price index averaged 259 points in June, down one per cent from May but 71 per cent higher than in June 2010. Improved weather conditions in Europe and the announced lifting of the Russian Federation's export ban contributed to the price drop.

However the maize market remained tight because of low 2010 supplies and continued wet conditions in the United States. Prices of rice were mostly up in June, reflecting strong import demand and uncertainty over export prices in Thailand, the world's largest rice exporter.

Sugar rises on Brazil prospects
The FAO Sugar Price Index rose 14 per cent from May to June, reaching 359 points, 15 per cent below its January record. Production in Brazil, the world's biggest sugar producer, is forecast to fall below last year's level.

The FAO Dairy price Index averaged 232 points in June, virtually unchanged from 231 points in May. The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 180, marginally up from May with poultry meat rising three per cent and climbing to a new record, while pig meat prices declined somewhat.

New cereal forecast
Following two consecutive revisions to the US crops and planting prospects for 2011, FAO's latest forecast for world cereal production in 2011/2012 stands at nearly 2 313 million tonnes, 3.3 per cent higher than last year and 11 million tonnes above FAO's last forecast on 22 June.

World cereal utilization in 2011/2012 is forecast to grow 1.4 per cent from 2010/2011, reaching 2 307 million tonnes, just five million tonnes under forecast production.

World cereal stocks at the close of the crop season in 2012 are now expected to stand six million tonnes above their opening levels. While wheat and rice inventories are expected to become more comfortable, coarse grains stocks, especially maize, would remain tight.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 18, 2011, 12:06:35 AM
World Agricultural Supply And Demand Estimates – July 2011
Meat production in the US is expected to remain stable next year, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The forecast for 2011 total meat production is lowered from last month as lower beef production more than offsets higher expected pork and turkey production. Beef production is lowered as steer and heifer slaughter in the second quarter was lower than expected although more cows were slaughtered. In addition, recent placements of lighter-weight cattle are expected to moderate carcass weight growth during the year. The 2011 pork production forecast is raised on larger fourth-quarter slaughter. Broiler production for 2011 is unchanged as higher second-quarter production is offset by lower forecast production in the fourth quarter. Turkey production is raised largely on higher second-quarter production. No change is made to table egg production but hatching egg production is lowered due to a stronger forecast decline in last-quarter broiler production.

For 2012, meat production forecasts are reduced as a sharper reduction in the broiler production forecast more than offsets higher pork and turkey production. Larger cut-backs in broiler production are expected to carry into 2012 before production increases gradually later in the year. The pork production forecast is raised slightly, driven primarily by gains in pigs per litter. Despite higher forecast hog prices, producers are expected to remain cautious in expanding farrowings. Egg production forecasts for 2012 are reduced on less demand for hatching eggs.

A small increase is made to the export forecast for beef in 2011 but no changes are made to pork or broiler exports. For 2012, pork exports are raised, but no changes are made to either beef or broilers. No changes are made to beef, pork, or broiler imports for either 2011 or 2012.

Cattle and hog prices are forecast higher for 2011 but forecast broiler prices are lowered as large supplies are pressuring prices. For 2012, cattle price forecasts are unchanged. Hog price forecasts are raised as demand strength carries into 2012, but price gains will be moderated by higher production. Broiler prices are raised slightly as 2012 supplies are forecast to be tighter.

Milk production forecasts for 2011 and 2012 are raised. Cow numbers are forecast higher as higher milk prices and lower forecast feed prices support further herd expansion, but milk per cow is unchanged from last month. Commercial exports on a fat basis are forecast higher for 2011. Ending stock forecasts are raised as cheese stocks are larger than expected.

Dairy product price forecasts for 2011 are raised from last month. The Class III and Class IV price forecasts are raised from last month in line with increased product prices. The all-milk price is forecast at $20.00 to $20.30 per cwt for 2011. For 2012, the butter price is forecast slightly higher than last month, but forecasts for other products are unchanged. Class price forecasts are unchanged. The all milk price forecast for 2012 is unchanged at $17.75 to $18.75 per cwt.

Wheat
US wheat supplies for 2011/12 are raised 90 million bushels as higher carry-in and production more than offset reductions in imports and higher use. Beginning stocks are raised 52 million bushels mostly reflecting higher estimated carryout for 2010/11 as reported in the 30 June Grain Stocks report. Production for 2011/12 is forecast at 2,106 million bushels, up 48 million from last month as higher winter wheat production and higher forecast yields for durum and other spring wheat more than offset lower area as estimated in the 30 June Acreage report. Partly offsetting is a 10-million-bushel reduction in projected imports with lower expected supplies in Canada.

US wheat usage for 2011/12 is raised with a shift in expected seed usage from 2010/11 and higher expected exports compared with last month. Seed use for 2011/12 is raised seven million bushels as late planting in the Northern Plains shifted seed usage for the 2011 crop into the 2011/12 marketing year which began on 1 June. Exports are raised 100 million bushels with larger domestic supplies and reduced competition expected from Canada. Ending stocks are projected 17 million bushels lower at 670 million. While ending stocks remain adequate for most classes of wheat, durum stocks are projected to be especially tight with sharply lower area and production this year. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for all wheat is lowered 40 cents on each end of the projected range to $6.60 to $8.00 per bushel, mostly reflecting the sharp drop in projected corn prices this month.

Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are projected 0.9 million tons higher as larger beginning stocks more than offset lower expected world production. Larger carry-in in the United States and Russia accounts for most of the increase in 2011/12 world beginning stocks. Revisions to 2010/11 trade and usage for a number of other countries, based on the latest data, also affect world beginning stocks for 2011/12.

World wheat production for 2011/12 is projected down 1.9 million tons with reductions in Canada, Ukraine and Mexico more than offsetting increases for the United States, Turkey and EU-27. Canada production is lowered 3.5 million tons as persistent heavy rains and flooding well into the second half of June limited planting opportunities for spring wheat in southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba. Production is lowered 1.0 million tons for Ukraine as persistent spring dryness in north central areas of the country stressed developing plants and appears to have limited vegetative growth and tillering. Production is lowered 0.4 million tons for Mexico based on the latest official reports. Turkey production is raised 1.1 million tons as abundant spring moisture boosted yields across the country. EU-27 production is raised 0.6 million tons as higher yields for Spain and Romania more than offset a reduction for Hungary.

Global wheat exports for 2011/12 are projected 2.4 million tons higher, mostly with higher expected exports from the United States and Russia. Imports are raised for EU-27, Egypt, Mexico, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Yemen. Partly offsetting are import reductions for the United States, South Korea and Viet Nam. Exports are raised for Russia as relatively low prices make Russian wheat competitive into North Africa and Middle East markets. Exports are also raised for Turkey with larger production. Exports are lowered for Ukraine reflecting the smaller expected crop. Lower exports from Canada are more than offset by higher exports from the United States.

Global 2011/12 wheat consumption is raised 3.0 million tons, mostly reflecting higher wheat feeding in EU-27, Russia and Turkey, higher food use in Egypt, Japan and Russia, and higher industrial use in Canada. Partly offsetting these increases are reductions in wheat feeding in Australia, Canada and South Korea. Global ending stocks are projected 2.1 million tons lower with most of the decline expected in the Russia, Canada and the United States.

Coarse Grains
US feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected higher this month mostly with higher expected beginning stocks and production for corn. Corn beginning stocks are raised 150 million bushels reflecting changes to 2010/11 usage projections. Corn production for 2011/12 is projected 270 million bushels higher based on planted and harvested area as reported in the Acreage report. Feed and residual use for 2011/12 is raised 50 million bushels with larger supplies and lower expected prices. Corn use for ethanol is raised 100 million bushels with larger supplies and an improved outlook for ethanol producer margins. Exports are raised 100 million bushels mostly reflecting increased demand from China. Ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 175 million bushels higher at 870 million. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for corn is projected at a record $5.50 to $6.50 per bushel, down 50 cents on both ends of the range.

Lower production for the other US feed grains for 2011/12 mostly reflect lower estimated area from the Acreage report, which is partly offset by higher forecast yields for barley. Oats yields are lowered. Domestic use is projected lower for sorghum and oats, and sorghum exports are lowered. Projected farm prices are lowered for sorghum, barley and oats.

Total US corn use for 2010/11 is projected 145 million bushels lower mostly reflecting the larger-than-expected stocks estimate on 1 June. Feed and residual use is lowered 150 million bushels. Ethanol use is raised 50 million bushels with larger supplies and improved ethanol producer margins. Partly offsetting is a 20-million-bushel reduction in use for sweeteners reflecting slower demand from Mexico. Corn exports are lowered 25 million bushels based on the slower-than-expected pace of shipments in recent weeks. Imports are raised five million bushels with continued strong shipments from Canada. Ending stocks for 2010/11 are raised 150 million bushels to 880 million. The season-average farm price is projected at $5.15 to $5.35 per bushel compared with $5.20 to $5.50 last month.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected 10.3 million tons higher mostly on higher corn beginning stocks and production in the United States. Foreign coarse grain beginning stocks changes are mostly offsetting with corn carry-in lowered 0.5 million tons for Canada and barley carry-in raised 0.2 million tons and 0.3 million tons, respectively, for Argentina and Australia. Foreign corn production is lowered 0.6 million tons. Corn production is lowered 0.5 million tons each for Mexico and Russia, and 0.2 million tons for Canada. Ukraine corn production is raised 0.5 million tons and production for Belarus is raised 0.2 million tons. World barley production is raised 1.3 million tons with production raised 1.0 million tons for Russia, 0.8 million tons for Turkey, 0.4 million tons for EU-27 and 0.2 million tons for Argentina. Partly offsetting is a 1.0-million-ton reduction for Ukraine barley. Canada oats production is lowered 0.4 million tons.

Global corn trade for 2011/12 is raised with higher imports for China. China corn imports are raised 1.5 million tons to 2.0 million tons, reflecting the recently announced sale to China and favourable pricing opportunities for US corn into southern China where growing demand is reducing stocks. Corn exports are lowered 0.5 million tons for Canada and 0.2 million tons each for Mexico and Russia, partly offsetting the US increase. Global corn consumption is raised 5.9 million tons with higher expected feeding in China, the United States and Ukraine, and higher industrial use expected in the United States and Canada. Global corn ending stocks are projected 3.8 million tons higher with the US increase only partly offset by reductions for Canada and Mexico.

Rice
US rice supplies in 2011/12 are lowered six per cent to 256.6 million cwt as beginning stocks and production are reduced 6.0 million and 12.5 million, respectively. These reductions are partially offset by a 1.0 million cwt increase in imports to 19.0 million. Ending stocks for 2010/11 (beginning stocks for 2011/12) are lowered 6.0 million cwt as 2010/11 domestic and residual use is raised based on the Rice Stocks report showing stocks as of 1 June, which indicated lower-than-expected stocks and implied higher 2010/11 annual usage than previously estimated. Rice production in 2011/12 is lowered six per cent to 187.0 million cwt, due entirely to a reduction in acreage. Harvested area for 2011/12 is lowered 185,000 acres to 2.65 million. The average all rice yield is raised slightly to 7,059 pounds per acre. Area in 2011/12 is the lowest since 1987/88, and the crop size would be the lowest since 1997/98.

Total use for 2011/12 is lowered 5.0 million cwt to 227.0 million as exports are lowered 6.0 million (all in long-grain rice) to 100.0 million, partially offset by a 1.0 million increase in domestic and residual use. Rough rice and combined milled and brown rice exports (rough-equivalent basis) are each reduced 3.0 million cwt to 36.0 million and 64 million, respectively. Tighter supplies in 2011/12 along with plentiful supplies among the major exporters will likely limit US exports. Ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 29.6 million cwt, down 12.5 million, or 30 per cent from a month ago, and 21.0 million or 42 per cent below 2010/11.

The 2011/12 long-grain rice US season-average farm price is projected at $12.00 to $13.00 per cwt, up 70 cents per cwt on each end of the range from last month compared to $11.10 per cwt for 2010/11. The combined medium- and short-grain price is projected at $16.00 to $17.00 per cwt, up $1.00 per cwt from a month ago compared to $17.00 per cwt for 2010/11. The 2011/12 all rice price is projected at $13.20 to $14.20 per cwt, up $1.00 per cwt on each end of the range.

Global 2011/12 rice production and trade are little changed from last month, while consumption is lowered and ending stocks are raised. Global production is projected at a record 456.3 million tons, down fractionally as the drop in the US crop is nearly offset by an increase for Egypt. Global exports in 2011/12 are lowered slightly due mostly to an expected decline in US exports. Global consumption in 2011/12 is lowered 1.7 million tons due mostly to a reduction for India. World ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 96.3 million tons, up 1.4 million from last month, and nearly the same as the previous year. The increase in ending stocks is due mostly to an increase for India.

Oilseeds
US oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 96.3 million tons, down 2.3 million tons from last month, with lower soybean production accounting for most of the change. Soybean production is projected at 3.225 billion bushels, down 60 million due to reduced harvested area. Harvested area, estimated at 74.3 million acres in the Acreage report on 30 June, is 1.4 million below the June projection. The soybean yield is projected at 43.4 bushels per acre, unchanged from last month. Soybean supplies are 40 million bushels below last month's forecast as higher beginning stocks partly offset lower production. Exports for 2011/12 are reduced 25 million bushels to 1.495 billion reflecting lower US supplies, increased supplies in South America this fall and reduced global imports. US soybean ending stocks are projected at 175 million bushels, down 15 million.

US soybean exports for 2010/11 are projected at 1.52 billion bushels, down 20 million from last month in part reflecting lower projected imports for China. Soybean ending stocks for 2010/11 are projected at 200 million bushels, up 20 million.

The 2011/12 US season-average soybean price is projected at a record $12.00 to $14.00 per bushel, down $1.00 on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $345 to $375 per short ton, down $30 on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are projected at 54 to 58 cents per pound, down 4 cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 455.5 million tons, down 1.4 million from last month. Lower soybean, peanut and rapeseed production estimates are only partly offset by increases for sunflower seed. Global soybean production is projected at 261.5 million tons, down 1.3 million mostly due to lower production in the United States. Higher soybean production for Russia resulting from increased area partly offsets the US reduction. Rapeseed production is reduced for Canada due to lower harvested area. Despite a record planted area estimate reported by Statistics Canada based on producer surveys conducted in late May and early June, much of the intended area in southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba did not get planted due to excessive moisture through late June. As a result, the Canada rapeseed crop is projected at 12.6 million tons, down 0.4 million from last month. Other changes include increased rapeseed production for Russia, increased sunflower seed production for Russia and Ukraine, and reduced canola, cottonseed and peanut production for the United States.

Sugar
Projected US sugar supply for fiscal year 2011/12 is increased 218,000 short tons, raw value, from last month. Higher imports from Mexico more than offset lower beginning stocks. Total 2011/12 US sugar use is unchanged.

For Mexico, 2010/11 ending stocks are increased 102,000 metric tons, raw value, with lower production more than offset by reduced domestic use and exports. For 2011/12, the larger beginning stocks and decreases in domestic use and ending stocks result in higher exports of 258,000 tons. The decrease in 2011/12 domestic use is in line with weaker demand for total sweeteners in Mexico.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 15, 2011, 09:05:01 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates – August 2011
Meat and poultry supplies are expected to remain stable while corn, wheat and oilseed supplies this month are forecast to be down, according to the August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
Small changes are made to the 2011 forecast of total red meat and poultry production. Beef production is reduced slightly. Although fed cattle slaughter is raised to reflect the large number of cattle placed in feedlots during the second quarter due to drought in the Southern Plains, second-half carcass weights have been reduced. The pork production forecast is lowered due to the expected short-term effect of recent hot, humid weather on third-quarter hog weights. For the year, broiler production is unchanged from last month. Production in June was higher than expected which offsets a sharper expected decline in second-half production. Turkey production is raised as higher forecast turkey prices are expected to moderate the expected decline in second-half production. The egg production forecast is reduced slightly from last month.

For 2012, beef production is reduced due to slower carcass weight growth and slightly lower later year slaughter. Higher feed prices are expected to slow the pace of later year marketings as cattle are kept on forage longer. Pork production is lowered as tight feed supplies pressure hog weights. Broiler production is forecast lower as the stronger second-half production declines carry into the first part of 2012. Turkey production is expected to grow more slowly as higher feed prices partly offset higher turkey prices. Egg production is reduced from last month on higher feed prices.

Beef imports are forecast higher in 2011 as demand for processing meat remains relatively strong. Beef exports are raised for both 2011 and 2012. A favourable exchange rate is expected to support exports to a number of countries. Likewise, pork export forecasts are raised for both 2011 and 2012. A favourable exchange rate and relatively strong demand for pork in Asia are expected to boost exports. US pork imports are reduced slightly in both years. No change is made to broiler exports for either 2011 or 2012 but turkey exports in 2011 are expected to be slightly stronger.

Cattle prices are forecast slightly lower for the third quarter but subsequent forecasts are unchanged. Hog prices are forecast higher for both 2011 and 2012 as stronger export demand in both years support prices. Broiler prices are lowered in both 2011 and in the first part of 2012 as supplies remain relatively large.

The milk production forecast for 2011 is reduced. Although the July Cattle report indicated that producers are holding relatively large numbers of dairy replacement heifers which supports a higher forecast dairy herd, recent hot, humid weather and relatively high priced feed may constrain the growth in milk per cow. Milk production is forecast higher for 2012, reflecting a larger herd in the first part of 2012 but slightly slower growth in milk per cow. Commercial exports for 2011 are forecast higher on the strength of butterfat exports. Imports are lowered reflecting lower imports of cheese and milk proteins. Trade forecasts for 2012 are unchanged.

Cheese, butter, and whey prices are forecast higher for 2011, but non-fat dry milk (NDM) is forecast lower. Tighter milk supplies are expected to support higher product prices but softening international prices will likely weigh on US NDM markets. The Class III price is raised, based on higher forecast cheese and whey prices, but lower forecast NDM prices will outweigh higher butter prices and the Class IV price forecast is reduced. For 2012, NDM prices are forecast lower on expected weaker early-year demand but cheese prices are forecast slightly higher. Forecast butter and whey prices are unchanged from last month. The Class III price is raised reflecting higher forecast cheese prices but lower NDM prices result in a reduced forecast for the Class IV price. The all milk price forecast is raised to $20.30 to $20.50 per cwt for 2011 and $17.80 to $18.80 per cwt for 2012.

Wheat
US wheat supplies for 2011/12 are lowered 30 million bushels this month as higher forecast winter wheat production is more than offset by lower area and production for durum and other spring wheat. Total use for 2011/12 is lowered 30 million bushels with a reduced outlook for exports more than offsetting an increase in expected feed and residual use. Exports are projected down 50 million bushels with increased competition, particularly from FSU-12 countries, where production prospects are raised. Projected feed and residual use is raised 20 million bushels, reflecting a continuation of competitive prices for feed-quality wheat and lower projected corn supplies. Ending stocks are nearly unchanged. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at $7.00 to $8.20 per bushel, up from last month’s range of $6.60 to $8.00 per bushel supported by higher projected prices for corn.

Small changes are made to 2009/10 and 2010/11 supplies and usage reflecting the latest revisions to trade estimates from the US Bureau of Census. These revisions result in adjustments to feed and residual use in both years.

Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are projected 11.4 million tons higher with higher beginning stocks and a sharp increase in production. World wheat production for 2011/12 is raised 9.7 million tons with increases in FSU-12, India, China and EU-27 more than offsetting a reduction for Argentina. Russia production for 2011/12 is raised 3.0 million tons on harvest reports for winter wheat and continued favourable weather in most of the country’s spring wheat areas. Ukraine production is increased 3.0 million tons on higher-than-expected yields; however, heavy rains during harvest have reduced this year’s crop quality. Kazakhstan production is increased 1.0 million tons on abundant spring and early summer rainfall. India wheat production is up 1.9 million tons based on the latest official government estimates. China production is raised 1.5 million tons based on the latest official government indications. Production is increased 1.4 million tons for EU-27 with increases for France, Romania and Bulgaria. Harvest results from France indicate yields were hurt less by prolonged spring dryness than early reports had suggested. Partly offsetting is a 1.5-million-ton reduction in expected production for Argentina as the latest planting progress reports suggest less acreage increase this year.

The 2011/12 outlook for world wheat trade and consumption this month is shaped by growing supplies of wheat, especially in FSU-12 and EU-27, and tighter supplies of corn in the United States. Imports are raised 3.0 million tons with increases for South Korea, Algeria, Indonesia, Syria and Kenya. World wheat feeding is increased 4.9 million tons with higher expected feeding in EU-27, China, Canada, South Korea and the United States. Exports are raised 4.0 million tons for Russia and 1.5 million tons for Ukraine, more than offsetting reductions of 1.5 million tons for Argentina, 1.4 million tons for the United States and 1.0 million tons for Canada. World wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 6.7 million tons higher at 188.9 million tons. Stocks are expected to decline slightly from 2010/11 with higher usage but remain 62.9 million tons above their recent low in 2007/08.

Coarse Grains
US feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected lower this month with sharp drops in forecast corn and sorghum production. Corn production for 2011/12 is forecast 556 million bushels lower with a reduction in harvested area and lower expected yields. The national average yield is forecast at 153.0 bushels per acre, down 5.7 bushels from last month’s projection as unusually high temperatures and below average precipitation during July across much of the Corn Belt sharply reduced yield prospects.

Total projected corn use for 2011/12 is reduced 340 million bushels. Feed and residual use is projected 150 million bushels lower reflecting the smaller crop and higher expected prices. Corn use for ethanol is projected 50 million bushels lower with tighter supplies and lower forecast gasoline consumption for 2011 and 2012. Projected corn exports for 2011/12 are reduced 150 million bushels with wheat feeding expected to increase. Ending stocks are projected 156 million bushels lower at 714 million. The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 5.4 per cent, compared with last month’s projection of 6.4 per cent. The season-average farm price is projected at $6.20 to $7.20 per bushel, up 70 cents on each end of the range.

Other significant 2011/12 feed grain changes include a sharp reduction in the forecast sorghum yield and production with prolonged drought and excessive heat in the central and southern Plains. Sorghum exports are projected 20 million bushels lower. Domestic use is also projected lower with a 10-million bushel reduction in food, seed and industrial use and a 25-million bushel reduction in feed and residual use.

Small changes are made to 2009/10 feed grain supplies and usage reflecting the latest revisions to trade estimates from the US Bureau of Census and revisions for 2010 calendar year ethanol production from the Energy Information Administration. Estimated feed and residual use for 2009/10 is adjusted based on these revisions.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected lower with a 3.6-million ton increase in beginning stocks more than offset by a 14.0-million ton reduction in output. The decline in global production is driven by reduced corn and sorghum production in the United States with foreign corn, barley and oats production all expected higher. Corn production is raised for Brazil, Ukraine and EU-27 but lowered for Egypt. Barley production is raised for Ukraine and Argentina but lowered for EU-27. World oats production is raised slightly with an increase for EU-27. World rye production is reduced with a smaller expected crop for EU-27.

Global coarse grain exports for 2011/12 are lowered slightly as reduced US corn and sorghum exports are mostly offset by higher expected foreign corn and barley shipments. Corn exports are increased 1.0 million tons for Ukraine, 0.5 million tons for Argentina and 0.5 million tons for Canada making up more than half of the reduction in US exports. Barley exports are increased 0.7 million tons for Ukraine, 0.5 million tons for EU-27 and 0.4 million tons for Argentina with the bulk of those increases to Saudi Arabia.

Global coarse grain consumption is projected down 8.4 million tons with most of this resulting from lower world corn feed and residual use. More than half of the reduction is from lower corn and sorghum feed and residual use in the United States. Corn feeding in lowered for EU-27, Canada and South Korea as rising supplies of competitively priced feed quality wheat displace corn usage. World corn ending stocks are projected down 1.1 million tons with increases for Brazil and EU-27 mostly offsetting the US reduction.

Oilseeds
US oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 91.7 million tons, down 4.7 million from last month. Soybean, canola and sunflower seed production are all projected lower. Soybean supplies for 2011/12 are reduced as lower forecast production is only partly offset by higher beginning stocks. Soybean production for 2011/12 is projected at 3.056 billion bushels, down 169 million due to lower harvested area and yields. Harvested area is projected at 73.8 million acres, down 0.5 million (using rounded data) mainly reflecting reductions for South Dakota. The first survey-based yield forecast of 41.4 bushels per acre is 2.0 bushels below last month's trend yield projection and 2.1 bushels below last year's yield. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 155 million bushels, down 20 million from July as reduced supplies are only partly offset by reduced exports and crush. Soybean exports are reduced 95 million bushels to 1.4 billion mainly due to the lower crop and increased projected supplies in South America this fall. Soybean crush is reduced 20 million bushels on lower domestic soybean meal use.

US changes for 2010/11 include reduced soybean crush and exports and increased ending stocks. Crush is reduced five million bushels to 1.645 billion reflecting reduced soybean meal exports. Soybean exports are reduced 25 million bushels to 1.495 billion reflecting lower-than-expected shipments in recent weeks. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 230 million bushels, up 30 million from last month.

Soybean and product prices for 2011/12 are all higher this month. The US season-average soybean price is projected at $12.50 to $14.50 per bushel, up 50 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $355 to $385 per short ton, up $10.00 on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are projected at 54.5 to 58.5 cents per pound, up 0.5 cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 451.4 million tons, down 4.1 million tons from last month mostly due to a reduction in the US soybean crop. Reductions for soybeans, rapeseed and cottonseed are only partly offset by increased sunflower seed and peanut production. Lower soybean production is projected for the United States, China and Ukraine. China’s production is projected at 14 million tons, down 0.3 million due to reduced harvested area. Brazil's soybean production is projected at 73.5 million tons, up one million tons due to higher expected yield. Production for Brazil’s 2010/11 crop is also raised this month to a record 75.5 million tons based on record yields. Rapeseed production is reduced for Ukraine and Belarus, reflecting lower yield prospects for both countries. Other changes include higher sunflower seed production for EU-27, higher rapeseed production for Australia, higher peanut production for China and lower cottonseed production for Brazil.

Rice
US total rice supplies for 2011/12 are projected at 257.2 million cwt, up 0.6 million from last month. Increases in both forecast beginning stocks and production more than offset a reduction in imports. USDA's first survey-based forecast of the 2011/12 US rice crop is 188.1 million cwt, up 1.1 million from last month's projection but down 23 per cent from the record 2010/11 crop. Average yield is forecast at 7,114 pounds per acre, up 55 pounds per acre from last month’s projection, and up six per cent from last year. Area harvested, at 2.64 million acres, is reduced slightly from a month ago. Long-grain production is forecast at 124.2 million cwt, up 0.7 million from last month, while combined medium- and short-grain production is forecast at 63.9 million, up 0.4 million from a month ago. The all rice import projection is lowered 1.0 million cwt to 18.0 million due in part to an expected slower pace of long-grain imports from South Asia.

US total rice use for 2011/12 is projected at 224.0 million cwt, down 3.0 million cwt from last month. Although all rice domestic and residual use is unchanged from last month at 127.0 million cwt, the long-grain projection is lowered 2.0 million to 94.0 million and the combined medium- and short-grain forecast is raised the same amount to 33.0 million. The export projection is lowered 3.0 million cwt from a month ago to 97.0 million based entirely on a decrease in combined medium- and short-grain exports. An increase in competition from both Australia and Egypt is expected in medium-grain markets in North Africa, the Middle East and Oceania. The long-grain export projection is unchanged from a month ago at 66.0 million cwt, and the combined medium- and short-grain estimate is lowered to 31 million. US all-rice ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 33.2 million cwt, up 3.6 million from last month, but down 35 per cent from the previous year.

The 2011/12 long-grain US season-average farm price is projected at $12.70 to $13.70 per cwt, up 70 cents per cwt on each end of the range. The combined medium- and short-grain price is projected at $14.50 to $15.50 per cwt, down $1.50 per cwt on each end of the range. The 2011/12 all rice price is projected at $13.20 to $14.20 per cwt, unchanged from a month ago. Higher prices are expected in Thailand due to a government intervention programme, which will provide support to global long-grain prices. Larger exportable supplies of medium-grain rice in both Australia and Egypt are expected to pressure global medium-grain rice prices.

Lower projected global 2011/12 total use more than offsets a slight increase in total supplies resulting in an expected increase in ending stocks. The increase in beginning stocks of nearly 0.7 million tons is primarily due to increases for India and Indonesia, which is partially offset by a reduction for Pakistan. Global production is lowered slightly due primarily to forecast reductions for Indonesia as well as North and South Korea, which is partially offset by an increase for Egypt and the United States. On the use side, global consumption is lowered 1.1 million tons, leading to an increase in projected global ending stocks. Domestic consumption is lowered for Pakistan and North Korea. Global exports are up from a month ago due to increases for Brazil, Egypt, India and Pakistan that are partially offset by reductions for Thailand and the United States. Global imports are up for Indonesia and China. Global ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 97.9 million tons, up 1.7 million from last month, largely the result of an upward revision for Thailand.


August 2011
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 15, 2011, 09:13:38 AM
Seasonality in Pigs
A summary of the findings to date from a research project carried out by the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds, published by BPEX in its series, Research into Action, number 10.
 
The research involved analysing a large data set as well as the weather, topography and staffing parameters to see what has an effect on production over summer and autumn.

For outdoor sows in the UK, several days of warm weather (average daily temperature above 18°C) during lactation and around weaning results in reduced and more variable farrowing rates in comparison to when temperatures are below 18°C.



Farrowing rate in relation to five consecutive days of weather conditions for five weeks prior to service date
Sow heat production increases as lactation progresses in line with increasing milk production; hence heat production, and so susceptibility to developing heat stress, is greatest just before weaning.

If environmental temperatures are warm then the sow may reduce her feed intake such that it fails to meet the metabolic demands of lactation; she will then mobilise her own body reserves to meet the ongoing requirements of lactation resulting in reduced body condition and possible adverse effects on developing ovarian follicles. Nutritional deficits are associated with reduced luteinising hormone (LH) production, resulting in delayed returns to oestrus and reduced conception and farrowing rates.

In this study, gilts were found to be the least affected by warmer temperatures, probably because they do not have the increased metabolic demand of lactation prior to service.

In order to cool down in warmer weather, sows redirect their blood flow to their skin and mammary tissues, away from the ovaries. The quality of their eggs and the readiness of their uterus for pregnancy may therefore be negatively affected.

The findings from this research suggest that cooling facilities should be provided to outdoor sows in the UK when daily average temperature rises above 18°C.

Management Guidelines
Monitor sow feed intake in warm weather. If sows are not eating, take steps to cool them down or provide more energy-dense feed


Provide wallows early on in the year as well as throughout summer, or sprinklers for sows to cool down in. In individual paddocks you could create a spray of water from the sow drinkers, providing an area of mud in which the sow can stand or wallow


Paint farrowing arcs white to reflect sunlight and reduce the temperature inside; painting huts white can reduce internal arc temperatures by around 7°C


Use insulated arcs, fully insulated where possible; combining this with painting arcs white will have an additive temperature reducing effect


Use an adjustable ventilation opening at the rear and re-align arcs to assist with air flow


Feed sows twice a day if not on an ad-lib system.



August 2011
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 22, 2011, 04:42:50 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates – August 2011
Meat and poultry supplies are expected to remain stable while corn, wheat and oilseed supplies this month are forecast to be down, according to the August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
Small changes are made to the 2011 forecast of total red meat and poultry production. Beef production is reduced slightly. Although fed cattle slaughter is raised to reflect the large number of cattle placed in feedlots during the second quarter due to drought in the Southern Plains, second-half carcass weights have been reduced. The pork production forecast is lowered due to the expected short-term effect of recent hot, humid weather on third-quarter hog weights. For the year, broiler production is unchanged from last month. Production in June was higher than expected which offsets a sharper expected decline in second-half production. Turkey production is raised as higher forecast turkey prices are expected to moderate the expected decline in second-half production. The egg production forecast is reduced slightly from last month.

For 2012, beef production is reduced due to slower carcass weight growth and slightly lower later year slaughter. Higher feed prices are expected to slow the pace of later year marketings as cattle are kept on forage longer. Pork production is lowered as tight feed supplies pressure hog weights. Broiler production is forecast lower as the stronger second-half production declines carry into the first part of 2012. Turkey production is expected to grow more slowly as higher feed prices partly offset higher turkey prices. Egg production is reduced from last month on higher feed prices.

Beef imports are forecast higher in 2011 as demand for processing meat remains relatively strong. Beef exports are raised for both 2011 and 2012. A favourable exchange rate is expected to support exports to a number of countries. Likewise, pork export forecasts are raised for both 2011 and 2012. A favourable exchange rate and relatively strong demand for pork in Asia are expected to boost exports. US pork imports are reduced slightly in both years. No change is made to broiler exports for either 2011 or 2012 but turkey exports in 2011 are expected to be slightly stronger.

Cattle prices are forecast slightly lower for the third quarter but subsequent forecasts are unchanged. Hog prices are forecast higher for both 2011 and 2012 as stronger export demand in both years support prices. Broiler prices are lowered in both 2011 and in the first part of 2012 as supplies remain relatively large.

The milk production forecast for 2011 is reduced. Although the July Cattle report indicated that producers are holding relatively large numbers of dairy replacement heifers which supports a higher forecast dairy herd, recent hot, humid weather and relatively high priced feed may constrain the growth in milk per cow. Milk production is forecast higher for 2012, reflecting a larger herd in the first part of 2012 but slightly slower growth in milk per cow. Commercial exports for 2011 are forecast higher on the strength of butterfat exports. Imports are lowered reflecting lower imports of cheese and milk proteins. Trade forecasts for 2012 are unchanged.

Cheese, butter, and whey prices are forecast higher for 2011, but non-fat dry milk (NDM) is forecast lower. Tighter milk supplies are expected to support higher product prices but softening international prices will likely weigh on US NDM markets. The Class III price is raised, based on higher forecast cheese and whey prices, but lower forecast NDM prices will outweigh higher butter prices and the Class IV price forecast is reduced. For 2012, NDM prices are forecast lower on expected weaker early-year demand but cheese prices are forecast slightly higher. Forecast butter and whey prices are unchanged from last month. The Class III price is raised reflecting higher forecast cheese prices but lower NDM prices result in a reduced forecast for the Class IV price. The all milk price forecast is raised to $20.30 to $20.50 per cwt for 2011 and $17.80 to $18.80 per cwt for 2012.

Wheat
US wheat supplies for 2011/12 are lowered 30 million bushels this month as higher forecast winter wheat production is more than offset by lower area and production for durum and other spring wheat. Total use for 2011/12 is lowered 30 million bushels with a reduced outlook for exports more than offsetting an increase in expected feed and residual use. Exports are projected down 50 million bushels with increased competition, particularly from FSU-12 countries, where production prospects are raised. Projected feed and residual use is raised 20 million bushels, reflecting a continuation of competitive prices for feed-quality wheat and lower projected corn supplies. Ending stocks are nearly unchanged. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at $7.00 to $8.20 per bushel, up from last month’s range of $6.60 to $8.00 per bushel supported by higher projected prices for corn.

Small changes are made to 2009/10 and 2010/11 supplies and usage reflecting the latest revisions to trade estimates from the US Bureau of Census. These revisions result in adjustments to feed and residual use in both years.

Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are projected 11.4 million tons higher with higher beginning stocks and a sharp increase in production. World wheat production for 2011/12 is raised 9.7 million tons with increases in FSU-12, India, China and EU-27 more than offsetting a reduction for Argentina. Russia production for 2011/12 is raised 3.0 million tons on harvest reports for winter wheat and continued favourable weather in most of the country’s spring wheat areas. Ukraine production is increased 3.0 million tons on higher-than-expected yields; however, heavy rains during harvest have reduced this year’s crop quality. Kazakhstan production is increased 1.0 million tons on abundant spring and early summer rainfall. India wheat production is up 1.9 million tons based on the latest official government estimates. China production is raised 1.5 million tons based on the latest official government indications. Production is increased 1.4 million tons for EU-27 with increases for France, Romania and Bulgaria. Harvest results from France indicate yields were hurt less by prolonged spring dryness than early reports had suggested. Partly offsetting is a 1.5-million-ton reduction in expected production for Argentina as the latest planting progress reports suggest less acreage increase this year.

The 2011/12 outlook for world wheat trade and consumption this month is shaped by growing supplies of wheat, especially in FSU-12 and EU-27, and tighter supplies of corn in the United States. Imports are raised 3.0 million tons with increases for South Korea, Algeria, Indonesia, Syria and Kenya. World wheat feeding is increased 4.9 million tons with higher expected feeding in EU-27, China, Canada, South Korea and the United States. Exports are raised 4.0 million tons for Russia and 1.5 million tons for Ukraine, more than offsetting reductions of 1.5 million tons for Argentina, 1.4 million tons for the United States and 1.0 million tons for Canada. World wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 6.7 million tons higher at 188.9 million tons. Stocks are expected to decline slightly from 2010/11 with higher usage but remain 62.9 million tons above their recent low in 2007/08.

Coarse Grains
US feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected lower this month with sharp drops in forecast corn and sorghum production. Corn production for 2011/12 is forecast 556 million bushels lower with a reduction in harvested area and lower expected yields. The national average yield is forecast at 153.0 bushels per acre, down 5.7 bushels from last month’s projection as unusually high temperatures and below average precipitation during July across much of the Corn Belt sharply reduced yield prospects.

Total projected corn use for 2011/12 is reduced 340 million bushels. Feed and residual use is projected 150 million bushels lower reflecting the smaller crop and higher expected prices. Corn use for ethanol is projected 50 million bushels lower with tighter supplies and lower forecast gasoline consumption for 2011 and 2012. Projected corn exports for 2011/12 are reduced 150 million bushels with wheat feeding expected to increase. Ending stocks are projected 156 million bushels lower at 714 million. The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 5.4 per cent, compared with last month’s projection of 6.4 per cent. The season-average farm price is projected at $6.20 to $7.20 per bushel, up 70 cents on each end of the range.

Other significant 2011/12 feed grain changes include a sharp reduction in the forecast sorghum yield and production with prolonged drought and excessive heat in the central and southern Plains. Sorghum exports are projected 20 million bushels lower. Domestic use is also projected lower with a 10-million bushel reduction in food, seed and industrial use and a 25-million bushel reduction in feed and residual use.

Small changes are made to 2009/10 feed grain supplies and usage reflecting the latest revisions to trade estimates from the US Bureau of Census and revisions for 2010 calendar year ethanol production from the Energy Information Administration. Estimated feed and residual use for 2009/10 is adjusted based on these revisions.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected lower with a 3.6-million ton increase in beginning stocks more than offset by a 14.0-million ton reduction in output. The decline in global production is driven by reduced corn and sorghum production in the United States with foreign corn, barley and oats production all expected higher. Corn production is raised for Brazil, Ukraine and EU-27 but lowered for Egypt. Barley production is raised for Ukraine and Argentina but lowered for EU-27. World oats production is raised slightly with an increase for EU-27. World rye production is reduced with a smaller expected crop for EU-27.

Global coarse grain exports for 2011/12 are lowered slightly as reduced US corn and sorghum exports are mostly offset by higher expected foreign corn and barley shipments. Corn exports are increased 1.0 million tons for Ukraine, 0.5 million tons for Argentina and 0.5 million tons for Canada making up more than half of the reduction in US exports. Barley exports are increased 0.7 million tons for Ukraine, 0.5 million tons for EU-27 and 0.4 million tons for Argentina with the bulk of those increases to Saudi Arabia.

Global coarse grain consumption is projected down 8.4 million tons with most of this resulting from lower world corn feed and residual use. More than half of the reduction is from lower corn and sorghum feed and residual use in the United States. Corn feeding in lowered for EU-27, Canada and South Korea as rising supplies of competitively priced feed quality wheat displace corn usage. World corn ending stocks are projected down 1.1 million tons with increases for Brazil and EU-27 mostly offsetting the US reduction.

Oilseeds
US oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 91.7 million tons, down 4.7 million from last month. Soybean, canola and sunflower seed production are all projected lower. Soybean supplies for 2011/12 are reduced as lower forecast production is only partly offset by higher beginning stocks. Soybean production for 2011/12 is projected at 3.056 billion bushels, down 169 million due to lower harvested area and yields. Harvested area is projected at 73.8 million acres, down 0.5 million (using rounded data) mainly reflecting reductions for South Dakota. The first survey-based yield forecast of 41.4 bushels per acre is 2.0 bushels below last month's trend yield projection and 2.1 bushels below last year's yield. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 155 million bushels, down 20 million from July as reduced supplies are only partly offset by reduced exports and crush. Soybean exports are reduced 95 million bushels to 1.4 billion mainly due to the lower crop and increased projected supplies in South America this fall. Soybean crush is reduced 20 million bushels on lower domestic soybean meal use.

US changes for 2010/11 include reduced soybean crush and exports and increased ending stocks. Crush is reduced five million bushels to 1.645 billion reflecting reduced soybean meal exports. Soybean exports are reduced 25 million bushels to 1.495 billion reflecting lower-than-expected shipments in recent weeks. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 230 million bushels, up 30 million from last month.

Soybean and product prices for 2011/12 are all higher this month. The US season-average soybean price is projected at $12.50 to $14.50 per bushel, up 50 cents on both ends of the range. Soybean meal prices are projected at $355 to $385 per short ton, up $10.00 on both ends of the range. Soybean oil prices are projected at 54.5 to 58.5 cents per pound, up 0.5 cents on both ends of the range.

Global oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 451.4 million tons, down 4.1 million tons from last month mostly due to a reduction in the US soybean crop. Reductions for soybeans, rapeseed and cottonseed are only partly offset by increased sunflower seed and peanut production. Lower soybean production is projected for the United States, China and Ukraine. China’s production is projected at 14 million tons, down 0.3 million due to reduced harvested area. Brazil's soybean production is projected at 73.5 million tons, up one million tons due to higher expected yield. Production for Brazil’s 2010/11 crop is also raised this month to a record 75.5 million tons based on record yields. Rapeseed production is reduced for Ukraine and Belarus, reflecting lower yield prospects for both countries. Other changes include higher sunflower seed production for EU-27, higher rapeseed production for Australia, higher peanut production for China and lower cottonseed production for Brazil.

Rice
US total rice supplies for 2011/12 are projected at 257.2 million cwt, up 0.6 million from last month. Increases in both forecast beginning stocks and production more than offset a reduction in imports. USDA's first survey-based forecast of the 2011/12 US rice crop is 188.1 million cwt, up 1.1 million from last month's projection but down 23 per cent from the record 2010/11 crop. Average yield is forecast at 7,114 pounds per acre, up 55 pounds per acre from last month’s projection, and up six per cent from last year. Area harvested, at 2.64 million acres, is reduced slightly from a month ago. Long-grain production is forecast at 124.2 million cwt, up 0.7 million from last month, while combined medium- and short-grain production is forecast at 63.9 million, up 0.4 million from a month ago. The all rice import projection is lowered 1.0 million cwt to 18.0 million due in part to an expected slower pace of long-grain imports from South Asia.

US total rice use for 2011/12 is projected at 224.0 million cwt, down 3.0 million cwt from last month. Although all rice domestic and residual use is unchanged from last month at 127.0 million cwt, the long-grain projection is lowered 2.0 million to 94.0 million and the combined medium- and short-grain forecast is raised the same amount to 33.0 million. The export projection is lowered 3.0 million cwt from a month ago to 97.0 million based entirely on a decrease in combined medium- and short-grain exports. An increase in competition from both Australia and Egypt is expected in medium-grain markets in North Africa, the Middle East and Oceania. The long-grain export projection is unchanged from a month ago at 66.0 million cwt, and the combined medium- and short-grain estimate is lowered to 31 million. US all-rice ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 33.2 million cwt, up 3.6 million from last month, but down 35 per cent from the previous year.

The 2011/12 long-grain US season-average farm price is projected at $12.70 to $13.70 per cwt, up 70 cents per cwt on each end of the range. The combined medium- and short-grain price is projected at $14.50 to $15.50 per cwt, down $1.50 per cwt on each end of the range. The 2011/12 all rice price is projected at $13.20 to $14.20 per cwt, unchanged from a month ago. Higher prices are expected in Thailand due to a government intervention programme, which will provide support to global long-grain prices. Larger exportable supplies of medium-grain rice in both Australia and Egypt are expected to pressure global medium-grain rice prices.

Lower projected global 2011/12 total use more than offsets a slight increase in total supplies resulting in an expected increase in ending stocks. The increase in beginning stocks of nearly 0.7 million tons is primarily due to increases for India and Indonesia, which is partially offset by a reduction for Pakistan. Global production is lowered slightly due primarily to forecast reductions for Indonesia as well as North and South Korea, which is partially offset by an increase for Egypt and the United States. On the use side, global consumption is lowered 1.1 million tons, leading to an increase in projected global ending stocks. Domestic consumption is lowered for Pakistan and North Korea. Global exports are up from a month ago due to increases for Brazil, Egypt, India and Pakistan that are partially offset by reductions for Thailand and the United States. Global imports are up for Indonesia and China. Global ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 97.9 million tons, up 1.7 million from last month, largely the result of an upward revision for Thailand.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 13, 2011, 10:09:29 AM
Sorghum has potential in Southeast Asia
//06 Sep 2011
 Sorghum is exceptionally well-suited for the tropical conditions in Southeast Asia because of its low vulnerability to moulds and mycotoxins and physical characteristics that allow it to be stored longer.
 

Two factors contribute to its current low use levels in the region, according to Adel Yusupov, US Grains Council regional director in Southeast Asia, who recently completed a ten-day sorghum promotion “road show” in Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
 
 
 
“Competitive pricing and consistent supply is a barrier,” he said, noting that prices for Argentine sorghum with less than 1.5% tannin were recently $45 per metric ton below Argentine corn and $54 per metric ton cheaper than US sorghum in containers.
 
 
 
Major competition in the region comes from “combo” shipments of Argentine corn and sorghum, which enjoy an additional advantage from feed millers’ preference for Argentine corn over US corn.
 
 
 
Yellow colour
 
A second barrier, according to Yusupov, is regional consumers’ preference for very yellow yolks, fat, and skin in swine and poultry products.
 
 
 
“It would be difficult to convince poultry or pig producers to switch to sorghum (which produces whiter fat in pigs and paler poultry),” he said. “In contrast, there is not the same preference in fish fillets, and the Council believes this is a ready niche market opportunity for sorghum in Southeast Asia.”
 
 
 
He believes progress on sorghum use in the region can be achieved by promoting sorghum to aquaculture feed producers and nutritionists.
Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 16, 2011, 10:54:16 AM
FAO Food Price Index Almost Unchanged
GLOBAL - World food prices remained virtually unchanged between July and August 2011 according to the FAO Food Price Index published today.


The Index averaged 231 points last month compared to 232 points in July. It was 26 per cent higher than in August 2010 but seven points below its all-time high of 238 points in February 2011.

Within the index, cereals prices rose, reflecting the fact that although cereal production is expected to increase, it will not do so by enough to offset the additional demand, so that stocks continue to be low and prices continue to be high and volatile.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 253 points in August, up 2.2 per cent, or 5 points, from July and 36 per cent higher than in August 2010. However, the firmer cereal prices were largely offset by declines in international prices of most other commodities included in the Food Price Index, oils and dairy products in particular.

Production rebound
Cereal price rises stem from a supply and demand balance that remains tight despite the anticipated increase in production. World cereal production in 2011 is now forecast to reach 2 307 million tonnes, 3 per cent higher than in 2010. But this latest forecast is nearly 6 million tonnes lower than the previous forecast published in July.

Among the major cereals, the maize supply situation is a cause for concern following downward revisions to maize crop prospects in the United States, the world's largest maize producer, because of continued hot weather in July and August.

Average wheat prices were also up 9 per cent in August given the strong demand for feed wheat and shrinking supplies of high quality wheat. Nonetheless, world wheat production is forecast to increase by 4.3 per cent (or 28 million tonnes), only 4 million tonnes below the 2009 record.

World coarse grain production is still heading for a record level of 1 147.5 million tonnes, up 2.4 per cent (or 27 million tonnes) from 2010, in spite of lowered maize production prospects in the United States, the world's largest maize producer.

Rice price gains
Rice prices also gained with the benchmark Thai rice price up 5 per cent from July, driven by a policy change in Thailand, the world's largest rice exporter, where paddy rice will be purchased from farmers at above market prices.

Global rice production prospects remain favourable, however, with output set to reach a new high of 479 million tonnes, up 2.5 per cent from 2010.

Low inventories
Total cereal utilization in 2011/12 is forecast to increase by 1.4 per cent, almost matching anticipated 2011 production. As a result, global cereal inventories by the close of seasons in 2012 are likely to remain close to their already low opening levels. Only rice stocks are expected to increase significantly, supported by record production.

Wheat inventories are likely to decline to their lowest level since 2009 and world stocks of coarse grains are also forecast to plunge, with maize inventories falling to 124 million tonnes, their lowest level since 2007. Given the tight global supply and demand balance for coarse grains, its stocks-to-use ratio is forecast to fall to a historical low of 13.4 per cent.

The FAO Oils/Fats Price Index averaged 244 points in August, following a declining trend since March but still remaining high in historical terms.

The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 221 points in August, significantly down from 228 points in July and 232 points in June, but still 14 per cent higher than the same period last year.

The FAO Meat Price Index averaged 181 points in August, up 1 per cent from July.

The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 394 points in August, down 2 per cent from July, but still 50 per cent higher than in August 2010.

Title: Re: WorldWatch:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 20, 2011, 09:16:52 AM
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates – September 2011
While coarse grain stocks are expected to be lower this month, wheat stocks are projected to be up, according to the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Livestock, Poultry and Dairy
The 2011 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised reflecting higher beef production but lower pork production. Continued large cow slaughter is expected to boost beef production. A slower pace of slaughter in the third quarter and slightly lower weights due to heat stress are expected to result in lower pork production compared to last month. USDA will release its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on 28 September, providing an estimate of sow farrowings in June-August and an indication of producer intentions for farrowings into early 2012. Broiler production is about unchanged as an increased forecast of third-quarter production is offset by lower expected production in the fourth quarter. No change is made to turkey production and only a slight revision is made to egg production.

For 2012, the beef production forecast is raised but pork and poultry production forecasts are reduced from last month. Larger forecast early year beef production reflects marketing of the large number of calves which are being placed as a result of drought in the Southern Plains. However, production in subsequent quarters will reflect tighter supplies of cattle and lighter expected carcass weights due to the placement of lighter cattle and relatively high feed prices. Pork forecasts are reduced as tight feed supplies dampen hog weights. Poultry production forecasts are reduced as relatively high feed costs limit the sector’s expansion. The egg production forecast is lowered due to lower hatching egg production.

Beef import forecasts are lowered in 2011 and 2012 as US cow slaughter remains relatively high. The beef export forecast for 2011 is little changed from last month as lower-than-expected second-quarter exports are largely offset by higher forecast exports in the second half of the year. The pork export forecast for 2011 is lowered as second-quarter exports were smaller than expected. The broiler export forecast is also reduced on lower-than-expected shipments in the second quarter. No change is made to red meat or poultry exports for 2012.

The cattle price for 2011 is about unchanged as a higher third-quarter price is offset by a lower fourth-quarter price. Cattle prices for 2012 are forecast slightly lower as larger marketings pressure cattle prices early in the year. Hog prices are raised slightly from last month for 2011 but are unchanged for 2012. Broiler prices are lowered for 2011 as supplies remain relatively large and demand relatively weak. Prices for 2012 are raised from last month on lower production.

The milk production forecast for 2011 is raised as the dairy herd has been expanding at a more rapid rate than expected. However, the forecast for 2012 is reduced as higher forecast feed prices reduce the rate of growth in milk per cow. Commercial exports for 2011 are raised on the strength of current product exports. For 2012, fat-basis exports are lowered, largely on slightly weaker butter exports. Skim solids imports are raised for both 2011 and 2012.

Cheese prices for 2011 are forecast lower but non-fat dry milk (NDM) and whey prices are forecast higher on the strength of relatively strong exports. Butter prices remain unchanged. The Class III price is lowered, based on the lower forecast cheese price, but the Class IV price forecast is unchanged from last month. For 2012, butter and cheese prices are unchanged but NDM and whey prices are forecast higher. The Class III price is unchanged, but the Class IV price forecast is raised. The all milk price forecast is lowered to $20.15 to $20.35 per cwt for 2011, but is unchanged at $17.80 to $18.80 per cwt for 2012.

Wheat
Projected US wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are raised 990 million bushels this month with higher expected imports and lower expected food use and exports. Imports are raised 1 0 million bushels with larger supplies in Canada. Food use is projected five million bushels lower in line with revisions to 2010/11 based on the latest and final US Bureau of Census mill grind estimates and reflecting reduced prospects for per-capita flour consumption during calendar year 2011. Exports for 22011/12 are projected 775 million bushels lower with larger supplies and exports expected for Canada and the EU-27. The season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at $7.355 to $8.35 per bushel, up from last month’s range of $7.00 to $$8.20 per bushel, supported by higher corn prices.

Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are projected 7.6 million tons higher mostly on larger beginning stocks in Canada and increased production for Canada, EU-27 and Ukraine. Beginning stocks for Canada are raised 1.3 million tons and production is raised 2.5 million tons, both reflecting the latest estimates from Statistics Canada. EU-27 production is raised 2.3 million tons with increases for Germany, Romania, France, Spain and Bulgaria as harvest reports and revisions to official estimates continue to indicate higher yields. Production for Ukraine is raised 1.0 million tons based on the latest harvest reports. Other smaller production changes include 0.2-million-ton increases for both Brazil and Morocco, and a 0.2-million-ton reduction for Uzbekistan.

World wheat trade is raised slightly for 2011/12 with increased imports projected for the United States and Uzbekistan. Global exports are also raised as higher expected shipments from Canada and EU–27 more than offset reductions for the United States and Turkey. Global wheat consumption is increased 1.9 million tons with higher expected wheat feeding in Canada, China, Morocco and Turkey more than offsetting a reduction for Russia. World wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 5.77 million tons higher at 194.6 million. At this level, global stocks would be up from 2010/11 and the second largest in the past decade.

Coarse Grains
US feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected lower this month with reduced corn production as summer heat and dryness continue to be reflected in survey-based yield forecasts. Corn production for 20111/12 is forecast 417 million bushels lower with expected yields down from last month across most of the Corn Belt. The national average corn yield is forecast at 148.1 bushels per acre, down 4.9 bushels from August and 16.6 bushels below the 2009/10 record. As forecast, this year’s yield would be the lowest since 20005/06. Despite the lower yield, production is forecast to be the third highest ever with the second highest planted area since 1944.

Total corn supplies for 2011/12 are lowered 4422 million bushels with a 20-million-bushel reduction in carrying and a five-million-bushel reduction in expected imports. Beginning stocks for 2011/12 drop with small increases in 2010/11 exports and use for sweeteners reflecting the latest available data. Imports for 22011/12 are reduced with the smaller forecast corn crop in Canada. Supplies for 2011/12 are projected to be the lowest since 2006/07.

Total corn use for 2011/12 is projected 400 million bushels lower with tighter supplies. Projected feed and residual use is reduced 20 million bushels, mostly reflecting lower expected residual disappearance with the smaller forecast crop. Corn use for ethanol is projected 100 million bushels lower with higher expected corn prices and continued weakening in the outlook for US gasoline consumption as forecast by the Energy Information Administration. Corn exports for 2011/12 are projected 100 million bushels lower with increased supplies and exports expected from Ukraine, Argentina and Brazil. US ending stocks are projected 42 million bushels lower at 672 million. The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 5.3 per cent, compared with last month’s projection of 5.4 per cent. The season-average farm price is projected 30 cents per bushel higher on both ends of the range to a record $6.50 to $7.50 per bushel.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected 3.1 million tons lower with larger barley, sorghum, millet and oats supplies only partly offsetting the reduction for corn driven by the US changes. Global corn supplies are reduced 4.5 million tons as increases in foreign beginning stocks and production partly offset the reduction in US supplies. Projected global corn production for 2011/12 is lowered 5.9 million tons as a 4.8-million-ton increase in expected foreign output is outweighed by the 10.6-million-ton US reduction. Brazil and Argentina production for 2011/12 are raised 4.0 million tons and 1.5 million tons, respectively, on higher expected area with rising returns for corn in both countries. Ukraine corn production is raised 1.5 million tons based on indications for higher yields. Production is raised 1.0 million tons for EU-27 with higher expected yields in France and several countries in Eastern Europe. Production is lowered 1.0 million tons for Canada based on the latest Statistics Canada estimates. Production is also lowered 2.1 million tons for Egypt as lack of government restrictions on planting resulted in a sharp shift in acreage away from corn and into rice.

Global coarse grain trade for 2011/12 is raised slightly with increased foreign trade in barley and corn more than offsetting the reduction in US corn shipments. Barley imports are raised for Saudi Arabia and Syria with larger shipments expected from Ukraine and Russia. Corn exports are raised for Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil and EU-27. Corn exports are lowered for Canada and Paraguay. Global corn consumption for 2011/12 is lowered 7.3 million tons, mostly reflecting lower expected use in the United States. Foreign corn feeding and consumption are nearly unchanged. World corn ending stocks are projected up 2.9 million tons with increases in South America, Ukraine and EU-27 more than offsetting the reduction projected for the United States.

Oilseeds
US oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 92.4 million tons, up 0.7 million from last month. Soybean production is projected higher, partly offset by declines for peanuts and cottonseed. Soybean production for 2011/12 is projected at 3.085 billion bushels, up 29 million due to higher yiel