Irish beef farmers strongly reject accord with Mercosur; protest letter to Trade Commissioner Malmstrom
The Irish Farmers' Association has described an European Union offer to allow limited access to the EU market for Mercosur beef producers as “unfair”. The offer, which includes beef producers in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, is about to be presented to European Union member states for discussion, ahead of a proposed formal exchange of offers as part of the EU-Mercosur trade negotiations in May.
The FAO Food Price Index for March rose by 1.0% compared to February, as soaring sugar prices and continued increase in palm oil quotations more than offset plunging dairy product prices. The Index averaged 151.0 points in March, its highest level in 2016, but still some 12.0% below its level of a year earlier.
World cereal production in 2016 is set to amount to 2 521 million tons, just 0.2% off last year's large output and the third-highest global performance on record, according to FAO's first forecast for the new season, released on Thursday. Large inventory levels and relatively sluggish global demand mean that market conditions for staple food grains appear stable for at least another season, the agency's latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief predicts.
FAO's latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief forecasts a 1.4 percent drop in worldwide wheat output in 2016, due mainly to dry weather leading to reduced winter plantings in the Russian Federation and Ukraine. However, China and Pakistan are expected to sustain near-record wheat harvests, and India's output is anticipated to recover.
Mercosur and the European Union will exchange trade proposals in April, a key step for the long delayed trade and cooperation agreement between the two blocks and which has gained strength since the change of administration in Argentina with president Mauricio Macri.
American Airlines said this week it will ax its Caracas to New York route on April 4 due to low demand just over three months after reinstating it. The surprise move comes amid a years-long battle between American Airlines Group and the Venezuelan government in which the world's largest airline says it has not been able to repatriate revenue.
In rare coincidence with the International Women´s Day, the Falkland Islands celebrated ”Tussac Tuesday'', the Poa flabellata grass, one of the most valuable native plants to farmers and wildlife in the Islands. It is palatable all year round and can provide good supplementary forage for cattle, horses and sheep.
French government has been trying to defuse the week-long protests by farmers over the collapsing prices of agriculture including cereals, milk and vegetables.The depression of prices is partly due to EU agriculture ministers, who have come under pressure from the French government to ease Russian trade sanctions and to remove excess meat and dairy products off the European market.
As the soybean harvest gets under way in Brazil, analysts are having a clearer picture of whether the forecast record-setting crop will hit the century mark of 100 million tons despite hot and dry weather in Mato Grosso and northeastern Brazil as pods set and fill.
France called on the European Commission to do more to help its struggling livestock industry, seeking to defuse protests that have seen farmers block highways and supermarkets.