Vietnam to export more rice to cash in on surging demand

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HANOI (Commodity Online) : World’s second largest Riceexporter Vietnam said it will export more rice to cash in on the demand boom for the commodity.

Vietnam Food Association said country’s rice exports rose 26 percent year-on-year in the first seven months as importers looked for new suppliers in anticipation that Thailand will raise its prices.

Vietnamese government has ordered the Vietnam Food Association to ensure that increased rice exports will not hurt the domestic market.

Vietnam shipped 4.61 million tons of rice during the period, up 16.7 percent in terms of volume from a year ago. Export revenues reached $2.18 billion, a 26 percent increase over the same period last year.

In July, local exporters continued to sign new contracts for a total volume of one million tons, which the association said, is a new record.

Thailand, the world’s largest Rice exporter, is expected to offer higher prices to its farmers, prompting many buyers to scout for other supply sources.

The US has cut back on rice production by 30 percent this year while the demand for the grain in Asian markets like Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines is still high, the Vietnam Food Association said.

The average price of Vietnamese rice was $473.3 per ton in the January-July period, up 8 percent from a year before.

Hope for autumn demand to improve pig market


Signs are emerging that the slide in spot prices may soon level out, writes pig market commentator and consultant Peter Crichton. However the Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price dropped again to 148.05p/kg on Wednesday for the seventh successive week. Most of the weekly contract or shout prices set by processors followed suit.

With the holiday period drawing to a close, demand should soon improve, coupled with a slight hardening of EU pigmeat prices as we enter autumn. As a result most spot bacon was traded slightly ahead of 140p/kg with 4p to 8p/kg premiums for lighter weights.

Reasonably firm cull sow demand in Europe is also putting a base in the trade and signalling more stability in the EU mainland pigmeat market as a whole.

UK cull sow exporters were looking for bigger numbers and prices were mainly in the 107p to 110p/kg range, according to specification.

The relative strength of the euro, which closed on Friday worth 87.9p, is also helping to maintain cull sow values as well as making pigmeat imports less competitive.

The weaner market however remains a troubled sector. Larger numbers are coming forward at a time when finishing space is at a premium. The latest AHDB 30kg weaner average fell again to a five-month low of £41.85 a head, with reports of spot weaners being traded as low as £35 a head ex-farm.

Finally, the news from the cereals market is not good for pig producers, with ex-farm feed wheat quoted at £165/t and LIFFE November feed wheat traded at £172/t.

Dillon Feuz: Beef demand on the rise for several reasons

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Fed steer prices in Nebraska through mid-August have averaged $112 per hundredweight this year. Over the same time period last year they averaged $92 per hundredweight. That is a price increase of 22 percent relative to last year. Is there one reason, or several reasons, for this price increase? As an economist, I am always going to look at supply and demand to try and answer this question.
Let’s begin with supply. Even though the U.S. cattle inventory has been declining for the past few years, this year the number of fed cattle marketed on a monthly basis has exceeded the prior year in four of the first seven months of the year. In two months, fed cattle marketing numbers have been about equal with last year and in only one month have the number of head marketed been lower. Through the first seven months, the total number of fed cattle slaughtered has been greater this year than last year. If everything else had remained unchanged from last year (it obviously hasn’t) then I would have expected fed cattle price to be lower rather than higher than last year’s prices.
Total beef production has also been greater this year than last year. Fed cattle weights have been greater than a year ago and that has added more total pounds of beef to the market place. Again, I would expect price to be lower rather than higher based on these supply numbers.
Let’s consider beef trade and the impact it might be having on prices. Total beef and veal imports into the U.S. are down about 13 percent relative to last year. That tends to reduce the overall supply of beef that the U.S. consumer sees at the market place. Beef and veal imports are actually down 35 percent relative to the previous five-year average. Total U.S. beef and veal exports are up almost 30 percent over last year through July. Again, if we are exporting more beef out of the country, then that tends to reduce the domestic supply available to U.S. consumers. Beef trade has been a very positive in the last few years. Our exports are up over 200 percent over the prior five year-average and we are now back near pre-BSE trade ban export levels.
So, as we consider the actual supply of beef available to U.S. consumers, accounting for domestic production, imports and exports, rather than having a supply increase this year over last year, there has been a slight decrease in supply. This would be supportive of slightly higher beef prices and be supportive of slightly higher fed cattle prices. However, I don’t think it would be supportive of 22 percent higher fed steer prices.
What about beef demand? How has beef demand held up in what seems to be a struggling national economy? It turns out that beef demand has increased this year over last year. Economists estimate that beef demand was up 4 percent in the first quarter of this year and up another 1.5 percent in the second quarter. I won’t try to explain all the details that economists use to come up with these estimates, but I will point out the two main components – which are the price of beef and the supply of beef. Retail beef prices have been up about 10 percent over last year’s prices. So, why do we not say that beef demand is up 10 percent? From the prior paragraph, I documented that the total beef supply available to U.S. consumers was actually lower this year when trade is considered. A lower supply would lead to higher prices, if everything else was unchanged. Therefore, in the current situation some of the 10 percent increase in beef prices in attributable to a decrease in supply, and the remainder is attributable to an increase in domestic beef demand.
What does an increase in beef demand really mean? It essentially means that at least some U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for the same amount of beef they consumed last year, or perhaps some are actually consuming more beef and at higher prices. That is a simplified description, but hopefully you get the point.
I don’t know how it is in your neighborhood, but in many locations the steak restaurant chains are struggling a little in this economy. If that is the case, how is beef demand stronger? It turns out that except for a few people who buy locker beef, most U.S. consumers don’t have a demand for beef, but they have a demand for various beef products: steaks, ribs, roasts, ground beef, etc. Is the demand for each of these beef products the same? The short answer to that question is no. If you consider that we really have not changed how we cut up a beef in the last year, then the relative proportions of cuts should be about equal from last year to this year. However, prices for different beef cuts have been significantly different from year to year.
If we use the price for ribeye to represent the high value cuts from beef, we can see that prices this year for ribeye have been about equal to last year and about 5 percent lower than the previous five-year average. That does not sound like an increase in demand for beef steaks. However, looking at the prices for chuck, round and boneless trim; those prices have been up almost 20 percent over the prior year. That sounds like an increase in demand for lower value beef cuts.
So, what it appears that consumers are doing in this struggling economy is rather than buying a cheaper protein source, such as chicken, to substitute for steak, they are buying cheaper value cuts of beef and more ground beef. This is really a good sign for the beef industry. It appears that consumers are remaining loyal to their beef purchases.
Now going back to the original question – why are fed steer prices 22 percent higher this year than last year? I would say the two main reasons are a very positive beef trade (more exports, fewer imports) and a strong U.S. beef demand. That beef demand is particularly strong for lower-valued beef cuts, which actually make up the largest share of the beef carcass.

Potato prices down as supply exceed demand

The potato harvest Potato prices have dropped again, with available supplies exceeding demand due to the early harvest.

The Potato Council’s weekly average price fell by 12% in the week to 19 August, to £120.65/t – £50/t below the same time last year. However, free-buy markets have dropped even more sharply in recent weeks, and are now more than £80/t lower than last year, at £90.44/t.

"Where farmers had water to irrigate, potato crops responded very positively to the sunshine in May, so there is likely to be a big crop this year," said Nick Tapp, head of agribusiness at Bidwells. Last year, prices were the highest for 10 years, with drought in Russia boosting export demand. "This year, Europe and Russia seem to be having a reasonable harvest, so that demand won’t be there to underpin the market. It could be a pretty hard season for those growers selling on the free-buy market."

Growers were now lifting more maincrop varieties, so contract prices were also declining, with early premiums likely to drop away further in the coming weeks. By 19 August, farmers had lifted 18% of the planted area, compared to 17% last year and 11% in 2009, said Jim Davies, senior analyst at the Potato Council. Plantings were also 0.4% higher, due to last year’s strong prices. "But there is still a long way to go – in previous years the weather has affected markets, so it will remain important as lifting progresses."

Growers were burning off produce for storage earlier than normal, as some crops had reached their potential and started to senesce. "Crop health is generally good, although some blackleg and scab is reported. Greening is also apparent in some high yielding crops where they have broken the soil in the drills.

"General clearance rates have been helped by the strong movement of contract material and the ability to store earlier. However, free-buy crops, particularly early varieties, are slower on clearance."

Free-buy demand for medium-size potatoes was helping the movement of the ware fraction of salad crops, and interest in salad varieties was also starting to improve, said Mr Davies. Baker supplies were ample due to the heavier than expected yields, and were difficult to sell at £100/t in the packing sector. In the bag market, interest in first early varieties was declining in favour of Sagitta, Caesar, Victoria, Cabaret and Maris Piper, with chipping movement heavily dominated by contract loadings.

Fruit, vegetable demand up by 60 pc

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MUSCAT — Shopping malls and grocery shops across the Sultanate have witnessed more than 60 per cent increase in demand for fruit and vegetables during Ramadhan. All shopping malls, including Lulu Hypermarket, Family Shopping Centre, KM Trading, Safeer Hypermarket, City Centre, Sultan Centre and Khimji Marts are supporting Ramadhan activities and have made elaborate arrangements for Ramadhan shoppers.
However at some supermarkets, prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up sharply from the very beginning of this month. In general, many fruits and vegetables are available from within Oman. In case of shortages of some local items, "we source the same from neighbouring countries," a hypermarket spokesman told the Observer. But prices, he stressed, are maintained at the same level as previous months.
Moreover, hypermarkets remain open from 9 am to 1 am daily during the month. Every effort has been made to ensure that there are no shortages for Ramadhan shoppers. Prices of some fruits and vegetables increase slightly only due to heavy rush of shoppers. Some hypermarket sources said actually the cause of the slight rise in prices is due to increase in demand during the month. Huge public parties are organised in mosques, public parks, corporate houses and elsewhere for Iftar and Suhur every day and this pushes up the demand substantially.
Traditionally, foods eaten for the Suhoor and Iftar are light, nutritious meals containing fresh fruits, vegetables and chicken. With millions of people from across a range of communities observing Ramadhan fasting, a large variety of foods is prepared in Omani hotels, mosques and homes. For example, in some communities cucumber salad with yogurt is very popular. This recipe is perfect for Iftar and Suhoor.

Another popular preparation includes fruit-filled spring-rolls with a simple yoghurt-based sauce. It is a light, cool and refreshing dish, perfect for Iftar parties. People use any kind of fruit they have on hand, but some fruit mentioned in the Quran is used more frequently than others. The Quran has encouraged the consumption of fruit and vegetables for good health. Some of them such as date, olive, pomegranate, grape, banana, fig, cucumber, garlic, lentil and onion have been specially mentioned for their immense benefits. Therefore, their demand shoots up ever more rapidly.
Part of the reason for not a big increase in prices is that the government recently exhorted traders, suppliers and shop owners to control prices of essential commodities, especially during Ramadhan. This was part of the government’s various steps to rein in prices, said marketers.

Experts say greater consumption of fruit and vegetable during Ramadhan is a very healthy trend. Ramadhan involves a total fast with zero consumption of all foods and drinks from dawn to dusk. When a person fasts, his/her digestive system gets a chance to rest.
The body has to break down fats already present in the body in order to utilise the energy there. Thus, harmful toxins, which are stored in fat, can be expelled from the body. Fruit and vegetable consumption further enhances this process of detoxification.
It is important to choose fresh fruit and vegetables. Local products are the freshest. Also, it is important to always avoid genetically modified products as well as frozen and canned foods.

Reduced Pork Production and Strong Demand

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US & CANADA – A US-based agricultural economist credits lower than expected slaughter numbers, reduced slaughter weights and strong demand for pork for record high North American hog prices this summer, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The second week of August saw record high US hog prices with pork cutout values reaching 1.10 per pound of carcass weight and US hogs reaching 105 dollars per hundredweight on a carcass weight basis.
Dr Ron Plain, an agricultural economics professor with the University of Missouri, credits lower than expected pork production resulting from fewer than expected numbers of hogs coming to market, the lowest slaughter weights in two years due to the warm summer and strong demand for pork fueled by strong exports.

Dr Ron Plain-University of Missouri

In the US, domestic market bacon is the key pork cut this year.
We’re looking at bacon prices higher than boneless pork chop prices and we’ve been for about a year and a half in a bit of a food fad here in the United States with some very strong prices for bacon and that has certainly helped out.
Then overall the export market has been very strong this year, especially to Asia.
We’re seeing very strong demand coming out of South Korea, in part because they’re battling foot and mouth disease and been forced to reduce the size of their swine herd, and then there are a lot of prospects of some very strong shipments in to China which is also coming in a little bit short on production compared to their targets.

Dr Plain observes the US dollar has been weakening for several years which makes US exports of all products including pork more attractive and given the economic problems it looks like the US will continue to have a very weak currency.
He notes, in recent months, the Canadian dollar has been at par and at times more valuable than the US dollar which tends to be a negative development for profits on the Canadian side of the line.

Demand for beef to rise during fasting month

tải xuống (5) PEKANBARU: Demand for meat in Pekanbaru, Riau province, is predicted to increase by up to 35 percent ahead of and during Ramadhan, which falls on Aug. 1 this year, as meat consumption typically increases during the fasting month, an official says.
During normal days the city needs 30 cows, or six tons of beef daily. “[Demand] is now already 40 cows a day,” municipal Agriculture and Husbandry Agency head Sentot Djoko Prayitno said on Tuesday.
He added that the demand for beef would further increase drastically prior to the Idul Fitri celebration that marks the end of Ramadhan, during which demand can reach up to 117 cows a day. “In total, Pekanbaru will need up to 1,611 cows during this year’s fasting month,” he said.
He called on the public not to worry about supply, adding that the municipal administration guaranteed demand would be met.

Live cattle mostly lower on corn and demand questions

tải xuống (14) Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were mixed, mostly lower on the higher Dow, mostly lower corn and demand uncertainties. August was $.40 higher at $110 and October was up $.10 at $115.40.

Feeders were mostly higher on spillover from corn and demand questions. August was $.27 higher at $135.20 and September was up $.17 at $135.80.

The major direct feedlots were mostly quiet after Wednesday’s light to moderate activity. Kansas traded mainly at $108 Live and Texas activity was mostly at $108.50, both down about $2 to $3 from last week. Dressed business in Nebraska was primarily at $174 Dressed, down $3 to $5 on the week. DTN reports movement in Nebraska was 30,188 head, Kansas totaled 29,650 head and Texas came out at 11,072 head.

Given the extreme heat in the feedlots and concerns about demand, business is probably wrapped up for the week. There was a bit of clean up trade in Nebraska at $174 to $175 Dressed. Asking prices for what’s left on the showlists at $110 in the South and $176+ for the North.

USDA’s monthly cattle on feed and semiannual inventory numbers are out Friday at 2 PM Central.

Boxed beef cutout values closed lower on moderate to good demand and heavy offerings with Choice down $1.65 at $176.59 and Select $1.46 lower at $171.28. The estimated cattle slaughter was 127,000 head, down 1,000 on the week and 3,000 on the year.

Lean hogs were mixed with a mostly firm undertone. On the positive side, the cutout was up modestly Wednesday and cash trade was steady to higher. On the bear side, there are a lot of demand questions and there was spillover from the mostly lower live cattle and corn. August was up $.25 at $98.10 and October was $.25 higher at $90.65.

Cash hog business was steady to higher as packers assess their late week needs and make plans for next week. Saturday’s kill should be pretty light and the heat is limiting marketings, keeping some owners at home. Butcher hogs at the terminals were steady at $63 to $67. The Missouri Direct base carcass meat price was $1 higher at $87 to $90 and sows were up $1 to $2 at $48 to $57. Illinois Direct sows were $1 to $2 higher at $47 to $55.

Eastern Cornbelt barrows and gilts were up $1.49 with a weighted average of $91.79, the Western Belt was $1.61 higher at $95.56 and Iowa/Southern Minnesota was up $1.44 at $95.67.

USDA’s monthly cold storage report is out Friday at 2 PM Central.

The pork carcass cutout value was up $.30 at $99.73 in slow to moderate trade with light to moderate demand and offerings. The estimated hog slaughter of 411,000 head was up 1,000 from a week ago and 12,000 from a year ago.

Lean hogs supported by export demand

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Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were steady to higher ahead of USDA’s monthly cattle on feed and semiannual inventory numbers. There was also some follow-through connected to Thursday’s strong export sales figure, along with spillover support from the bounce in corn. August was up $.55 at $110.55 and October was steady at $115.40.

Feeders were up sharply ahead of the USDA numbers. August was $1.20 higher at $136.40 and September was up $1.57 at $137.37.

The major direct feedlots were at a standstill Friday and given the fairly light trade over the past week, some cattle will more than likely be carried over. Cattle on feed and inventory numbers look bearish, coming out larger than expected, with DTN citing hot, dry conditions in the pastures as a big factor.

Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings with Choice down $.89 at $175.70 and Select $1.17 lower at $170.11. The estimated cattle slaughter of 126,000 head was down 1,000 on both the week and the year.

Lean hogs finished higher with nearby months up sharply on strong export demand signals. Additional support came from cash trade, Thursday’s modestly higher move in the cutout and the year to year decline in June pork production. August was $2.72 higher at $100.82 and October was up $1.92 at $92.57.

Cash hogs were steady to higher, with buyers and sellers motivated by the weather. Butcher hogs at the terminals are steady at $61 to $65. The Missouri Direct base carcass meat price is steady to $1 higher at $88 to $90 with sows steady to $1 higher at $49 to $57. Illinois direct sows are steady to firm at $47 to $55.

The Eastern Cornbelt closed $1.87 higher with the weighted average at $93.63 while the Western Belt gained $3.88 to $99.36 and Iowa/Southern Minnesota shot up $3.96 to $99.55.

Pork trade was slow to moderate with very light to light demand and light to moderate offerings. The cutout was down $.80 at $98.93. Friday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 374,000 head, 9,000 less than a week ago but 15,000 more than a year ago.

Solid month to month demand for pork, beef

images (2) The monthly cold storage report shows bigger than expected month to month demand for pork and beef, primarily due to strong export demand, but supplies remain well above a year ago.

USDA placed beef in cold storage at 434.51 million pounds, down 5% from last month but up 16% from last year.

Pork came out at 496.627 million pounds, 9% below a month ago but 20% above a year ago.

The closely watched pork belly stocks were down 18% on the month but up 33% on the year at 47.039 million pounds.

Frozen poultry was pegged at 1.266 billion pounds, an increase of 5% from last month and 8% from last year.

Chicken made up the bulk of the total at 750.465 million pounds, 1% below a month ago but 13% above a year ago.