MARKET NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
November 7, 2018
became the 6th
country to formally ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive
Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which is the number
required for the 11-nation trade deal to be activated. The CPTPP is
the former TPP without the US. Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan,
and Singapore have also ratified the agreement. The other countries
in the pact that have yet to ratify it are Brunei, Chili, Malaysia,
Peru, and Vietnam. The CPTPP will reduce tariffs for a number of
agricultural commodities including dairy, beef, and pork products.
has developed an industry-first robotic cattle driver aimed at
improving animal welfare and employee safety at its beef processing
facilities. The robots are designed to move cattle from pens to the
harvest area. Employees operate the robots from a catwalk located
above the pens. Cargill Protein spent two years developing the
prototype, with significant input from animal welfare experts
including Temple Grandin of Colorado State, beef plant employees,
and engineers from equipment supplier Flock Free based in New
Jersey. The robotic cattle drivers are currently being implemented
at Cargill Protein beef plants in the US and Canada.
Several large US pork companies were hit with an antitrust lawsuit on November 1st, accusing them of conspiring to inflate pork prices in an effort to boost profit at the consumer's expense. Thirteen individual consumers from around the country are seeking class-action status and a variety of damages for alleged overcharges since January 1st, 2009, in a complaint filed with the federal court in Minnesota. According to the complaint, the pork conspiracy began when the defendant Agri Stats, Inc. began giving pork companies "benchmarking" reports which typically allow comparisons of profit and performance. The complaint said Agri Stats went farther, offering "sensitive" data on costs, prices, and slaughter rates and the ability to decipher which data belonged to which companies. The case resembles litigation in Chicago federal court where customers accused many companies of conspiring to fix broiler chicken prices. Agri Stats is also a defendant in the broiler chicken case.
new futures price limits for grains have been set and will be in
place from November 1st
to the first trading day in May. The only change was in soybeans
where the new daily price limit will be $.60 per bushel versus $.75
per bushel. The daily price limit on corn remains at 25 cents, and
at 35 cents for both Chicago and Kansas City wheat.
Ltd. announced it has appointed four new directors to its board and
has set up a strategic-review committee that could open the door to
a potential sale of the company. In taking these actions, Bunge has
completed settlements with two activist investors, hedge fund D.E.
Shaw & Co. and Continental Grain Co. Three new directors -
Continental Grain Chief Executive Paul Fribourg, Flatwater Partners
Founding Partner Gregory Heckman, and Pacific Point Capital LLC
President Henry "Jay" Winship - joined the board on
One more director will join the board by the end of the year, which
will leave the board with 15 members. The White-Plains, New
York-based company reported a third quarter profit of $365 million
compared to $92 million a year ago.
reported that US exports of ethanol totaled 89.8 million gallons in
September, up 7% from a year ago. Canada was the top destination,
followed by Malaysia and the Netherlands. For the first 9 months of
2018, ethanol exports were up 25% on the year. US exports of
distillers grains totaled 1,028,254 metric tons in September, up 15%
from last year. Year-to-date, distillers grain exports are up 10%
from last year.
Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos upheld a jury's
verdict that found Monsanto's weed killer caused a groundskeeper's
cancer, but slashed the amount of money to be paid to DeWayne
Johnson from $289 million to $78 million. Judge Bolanos gave
DeWayne Johnson until December 7th
to accept the reduced amount or demand a new trial. Monsanto said
the company was pleased with the reduced reward, but still planned
to appeal the verdict.
Winter wheat planting is way behind normal. As of November 4th, USDA reported Kansas was 83% planted versus 95% for the 5-year average. Oklahoma was 82% and Texas 72% planted compared to the 5-year average of 93% and 82% respectively.