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Commodities In 2021
How India’s rice production can adapt to climate change challenges

As the global population grows, the demand for food increases while arable land shrinks. A new University of Illinois study has investigated how rice production in India can meet future needs by adapting to changing climate conditions and water availability. “Rice is the primary crop in India, China, and other countries in Southeast Asia. Rice consumption is also growing in the US and elsewhere in the world,” said Prasanta Kalita, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois and lead author on the study. “If you look at where they traditionally grow rice, it is countries that have plenty of water, or at least they used to. They have tropical weather with heavy rainfall they depend on for rice production. Overall, about 4,000 litres of water go into production and processing per kilogram of rice,” he said.

Nigeria’s crude oil production declined by 19.6pc in q4

Nigeria’s crude oil production declined by 19.6 percent to an average of 1.52 million barrels per day (mbpd) in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with the 1.89 mbpd recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed this in its fourth quarter 2020 economic report. The report revealed that of the 1.52 mbpd produced in the review period, an average of 1.07 mbpd was exported, while the balance was allocated for domestic consumption. The decline in production was as a result of Nigeria’s commitment to the OPEC+ production cuts agreement aimed at supporting the rebalancing of the crude oil market and hence prices.

However, Nigeria’s production was expected to increase from January 2021, as OPEC+ agreed to increase total production by 0.50 mbpd by January 2021, until it gradually reaches its two mbpd target agreed at the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC).

It explained: “Domestic crude oil production and export recorded a slight decrease in the fourth quarter of 2020, as the OPEC+ sustained its agreed production cuts with improved compliance from Nigeria and other countries participating in the DoC.

States looking to decarbonize may need to weigh their gas’s origin – study

As U.S. states look to decarbonize, where they get their natural gas may be an important part of their emissions profiles, according to a recent study.

Calculating the upstream greenhouse gas intensity of each state’s gas supplies, researchers at Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering found that gas consumed in 2018 in the Lower 48 had methane emissions profiles that ranged from 0.9 percent to 3.6 percent of the total gas withdrawn that supplied states’ consumption.

“It really does make a difference where your natural gas is coming from and what that production leak rate is from your basin,” said Diana Burns, the study’s lead author who is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental engineering at Georgia Tech. “It can be high enough that it makes a big impact on greenhouse gas emissions.”

Kansas, Arizona and New Mexico consumed natural gas that emitted over three times more methane during production than most Northeast states in 2018, the study found. Methane, the key component of natural gas, has a shorter atmospheric life than carbon dioxide but has a much stronger warming effect. As a result, researchers and environmentalists have pointed to methane emission reductions, particularly from the oil and gas industry, as an opportunity to help mitigate climate change in the near-term.

Israel’s wheat production ticks up

Despite a forecasted 6.25 percent increase in the 2021-22 marketing year, wheat production is still below Israel’s 10-year average, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Israel’s wheat production for the 2021-22 marketing year is estimated to be 85,000 tonnes, while approximately 1.65 million tonnes will be imported. The USDA attributes the boost in wheat production to favorable rainfall.

However, wheat producers are being encouraged to harvest early for silage to avoid burnt crops. Palestinian protestors have burnt about 400 hectares in past years.

The USDA forecasts Israel’s barley production in the 2021-22 marketing year to total 15,000 tonnes, with imports reaching about 400,000 tonnes in the same marketing year.

Israel is entirely dependent on imports for feed corn due to water constraints. The USDA expects corn imports for the 2021-22 marketing year to be 2 million tonnes.

How will high feed prices impact milk production this year?

Feed prices have been on the climb for most of this season, putting pressure on farm finances, but what impact are they likely to have on milk production?

High feed prices on their own aren’t necessarily a problem, provided farmers can afford them. What’s more important is feed prices relative to milk prices – which we calculate in the Milk to Feed Price Ratio (MFPR).

Historically, we have seen that extreme levels of the MFPR correspond with a reaction in milk production. In other words, farmers make changes to their herd size or yield goals based on the financial situation. For example, when the MFPR hit a low in 2016, milk production reduced. When the MFPR then peaked in 2017 and 2018, we saw production increase.

The relationship isn’t always clear though, because there are numerous other factors influencing milk production. Over the last three years, the MFPR has remained relatively stable, predominantly between 1.16 and 1.30, and milk production has also remained relatively stable. It is when the MFPR goes outside these boundaries that we see an impact on milk production.

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