Commodity Conversations News Monitor

The Indian government has announced it will repeal three contentious farm laws that prompted a year of protests and unrest in India. The government passed the three farm laws in 2020 to overhaul India’s agriculture sector by rolling back farm subsidies and price regulations on crops. The country’s PM said he was adamant that the laws were necessary reforms but acknowledged that they were unfeasible given the fierce opposition from farmers.

Cargill’s CEO has warned that disruptions to the global supply chain may persist, keeping food prices high through 2022. He said, “I thought inflation in ags and food was transitory. I feel less so now because of continued shortages in labour markets.”

Bloomberg, however, argues that shipping costs are beginning to trend lower and wonders whether the worst supply chain problems may now be over.

Arabica coffee prices have hit ten-year highs and are nearly double a year ago. With a La Nina pattern forecast for early 2022, some analysts worry it could take years for the market to recover. Coffee connoisseurs are worried that roasters will downgrade quality by using more of the cheaper robusta beans.

Prices are also rising in Italy for food staples like tomatoes, pasta, and olive oil. The cost for tomatoes increased 12 per cent last month compared to a year ago, while pasta saw an almost 5 per cent rise.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach delayed to 22nd November their plan to fine shipping companies that let cargo containers stack up at terminals. Both ports have seen a “significant improvement” in clearing the containers out of the shipping terminals since they announced the $100 per day fines for leftover cargo on 25th October. “Sweeper ships” have taken away many of the empty containers.

The ‘storm of the century’ in British Columbia has left the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest port, stranded without access to trucks and rail cars. Water and landslides have blocked the tracks of the nation’s two major railways and washed away parts of the main east-west road artery, the Trans-Canada Highway.

Satellite data from Brazil’s national space research agency INPE showed about 877 square kilometres of Amazon rainforest forest were cleared last month, up 5 per cent from October 2020 and the worst October deforestation since the current monitoring system began in 2015.

The EU has unveiled new regulations to curb deforestation that cover imports of soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, and coffee and some derived products such as chocolate, leather, and furniture. The plan will require backing from member states and the European Parliament to enter into force.

China bought at least 30 soybean cargoes from the US and Brazil last week, with more than half from Brazil. If Brazil continues to steal market share from the US, it could further weaken Chicago soybean futures prices. Soybean futures in Chicago are already down about 25 per cent from a high reached in May.

A US Senator has introduced legislation to halt the import of Brazilian beef into the US after media reports that Brazil delayed reporting two cases of mad cow disease. The US imported $62.3 million of beef and beef products from Brazil in the first nine months of this year, up 36 per cent over the same period a year earlier.

Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM may soon bring their cattle feed ingredient Bovaer to market following a positive assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). DSM says the ingredient cuts cattle’s methane emissions by between 20 and 35 per cent without affecting production.

Bayer and Microsoft have announced plans to collaborate on developing digital tools and data science capabilities for agricultural businesses and associated industries. Plans include helping companies better process satellite imagery, tracking farm inputs and practices to follow environmental regulations.

ADM has invested in Farmers Business Network (FBN). FBN’s platform has been dubbed a “Google for farmers”, providing its 33,000 members new distribution outlets for their crops and alternative options to purchase seeds and chemicals. The investment comes five weeks after ADM and its rival Cargill sold their farmer facing digital joint venture GrainBridge to software company Bushel.

CME Group Inc.’s plan to move core trading systems to Google Cloud could impact high-frequency traders (HFTs) who have installed their computers as close as possible to the CME’s computers. HFCs may need to restructure and rethink their systems if CME moves their trading infrastructure to the cloud.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed giving oil refiners more time to prove compliance with the nation’s 2020 and 2021 biofuel blending mandates. Several oil refiners have slowed or stopped buying compliance credits in a bet the EPA would ease the requirements.

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