The German Hamburg based publication Oil World has cut its estimate of the Brazilian 2007/08 soy crop to 59.3 million tons, down from the previous 59.8 million tons.
China's trade surplus soared 22.7% in January as the economy continued to boom despite efforts to cool the rate of growth, official figures have shown. The gap between what China exports and what it imports grew to 22.7 billion US dollars last month, 15.9 billion a year earlier.
Soaring international cereal prices and freight rates are projected to increase import bills for the world's poorest countries 35% for the second year running affecting the most vulnerable populations, points out FAO in its latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
The US trade deficit narrowed in 2007 after five years of consecutive records, pushed by exports that helped offset the country's large growth in oil imports and trade gap with China. The deficit reached 711.6 billion US dollars in 2007, down from 758.5 billion in 2006, a 6.2% decline the Commerce Department said.
An initial estimate shows that Euro zone economic growth dipped last year to 2.7%, but still easily outpaced the US economy for the first time since 2001. The rate marked only a marginal slowdown from 2006 when the Euro zone economy grew by 2.8%. The US economy slowed to 2.2% in 2007.
Mining giant Rio Tinto expects commodity prices to remain historically high in 2008 and well beyond in spite of the US economic slowdown, said on Wednesday chief economist Vivek Tulpule.
Six major United States banks are taking part in an initiative to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, JP Morgan Chase, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo are those taking part in Project Lifeline.
Farmers in Paraguay, the world's fourth-largest soybean exporter, improved their chances of a record harvest after abundant rainfall aided crops in the first half of the growing season, said the Paraguayan Chamber of Cereals and Oilseeds Exporters, CAPECO.
Venezuela and Argentina agreed Tuesday to exchange food for energy thus helping to overcome both countries' weak points following a high level meeting in Caracas. Argentina is to supply 1.000 tons of beef monthly and Venezuela will provide all the crude needed to ensure Argentina's human and industrial development.
The International Monetary Fund Director General Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned that emerging economies are not immune to a slowdown resulting from the financial crisis in United States and thus must prepare to cope with the negative effects.