The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 151.8 points in April 2016, up 1.1 points (0.7 percent) from March, but almost 10 percent below its April 2015 level. A relatively strong rise in vegetable oil quotations coupled with a more modest gain in international prices of cereals more than offset a decline in dairy and sugar prices.
Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said on Thursday that all agriculture products are included in negotiations for a wide ranging trade and cooperation agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. The chief negotiator for Mercosur underlined that contrary to what was announced by some media, beef and ethanol are included in the proposals exchanged on Wednesday in Brussels between the two blocks.
The European Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, announced on Tuesday that beef will not be part of the current Mercosur trade deal negotiations. The news follows a meeting between the Commissioner and NFU Cymru, which was held on Glamorgan NFU Cymru Chairman, Abi Reader’s farm, in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.
European farmers took to the streets of Dublin outside the EU Commission offices to highlight the potential “sellout” of the multi-billion-euro beef industry in trade talks with Mercosur. Concerns have been rising over discussions at EU level over the impact a deal with Mercosur would have on Ireland's €2.5bn beef industry, which depends on EU markets for over 90% of its exports.
Argentine farm exports rocketed 68% higher in the first quarter compared to the same 2015 period, thanks to new policies that prompted growers to sell stockpiles built up under the previous administration, the government announced.
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) is to protest on Wednesday May 4, in Dublin against the proposed Mercosur and TTIP trade deals. The protest will take place outside the offices of the European Commission in the Irish capital.
Brussels must do more to help producers ride out the slump in agricultural commodity prices, European farm leaders have warned. Immediate solutions were needed to tackle the “unprecedented” crisis that had hit agricultural markets, said European farm umbrella organization Copa-Cogeca.
Uruguay's emergency committee reported on Thursday another death and over 10.000 people displaced because of widespread floods that followed a tornado and several days pouring rain. The ninth victim is a farmhand who fell off his horse while trying to cross an overflowed canal. A few hours before the body of a missing farmer was found kilometers down a river that sucked him while he was trying to save cattle.
Monsanto has rejected a request by Argentina for more time to collect monies owed by small farmers for royalties on genetically modified soybean seeds. Argentine agricultural minister Ricardo Buryaile and members of his staff have met with Monsanto representatives, including chief operating officer Brett Begemann to request a waiver on the monies owed.
Despite growing optimism among Mercosur member countries of reaching a trade agreement with the European Union, Argentine minister of foreign affairs Susana Malcorra has cautioned that the road ahead is not a bed of roses, and the coming exchange of goods and tariff reduction proposals will not satisfy any of the two sides, but that is where serious discussions begin.