Argentina's river Paraná is blocked since early March when a Cypriot flagged vessel broke down with a 45.000 tons cargo of soybeans, thus holding back access of another eighty vessels waiting to load in Rosario and other ports in the heartland of the grains and oilseeds country.
Weather-related events and increased demand came into play as the FAO Food Price Index registered its sharpest increase since mid-2012, averaging 208.1 points in February 2014. The new level is 5.2 points, or 2.6%, above a slightly revised index for January, but is still 2.1% lower than last year at the same time.
China's State-owned Chinese food giant Cofco Corp. on Friday announced it was buying a 51% stake in closely held grains trader Nidera NV. By investing in Dutch Nidera, Cofco--China's largest stated-owned grain trader-- would have greater control over pricing as well as better access to major grain-growing regions, such as Latin America and Russia.
Brazil's economic output grew 2.3% in 2013 for a third straight year of modest expansion by Latin America's biggest economy, the government announced on Thursday. GDP for the final quarter of the year rose a 0.7% compared to the third quarter, according to Brazil's Institute for Geography and Statistics, IBGE.
Brazil would like free-trade talks between the European Union and Mercosur to include Argentina, but would be prepared to proceed without its regional ally if an understanding can't be reached on March 7, according to the head of Brazil's farming confederation.
Weeks of drought and heat have hit Brazil's soy and corn production, but the agriculture ministry still predicted a record 2014 harvest. Corn production is set to total 75.5 million metric tons, down from a January estimate of 79 million, state food supply agency Conab said in its monthly report.
Falkland Islands farmers are being urged to plan for income reductions in the order of 15 to 25% for the season's wool production with the potential for more reductions, MLA Phyl Rendell announced in Legislative Assembly last week.
US Senate passes 1 trillion dollars farm bill with crop insurance program, cuts in subsidies and food stamps
The United States Senate on Tuesday passed the long-awaited almost 1 trillion dollars farm bill, ending two years of partisan clashes and stalled negotiations. The bill was approved with strong bipartisan support, 68 to 32.
The FAO Food Price Index averaged 206.7 points in December 2013, nearly unchanged from November, as a sharp increase in dairy prices and firming meat values largely balanced out a steep decline in sugar quotations and lower cereal and oil prices.
FAO’s latest forecast for world cereal production in 2013 has been revised upward marginally (2 million tons) since November to a new high of almost 2 500 million tons (including rice in milled terms), 8.4% more than last year and some 6% above the previous record in 2011.