USDA forecasts records for world wheat production, use and trade

The US Department of Agriculture in its September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report issued Sept. 10 said the global wheat outlook for 2021-22 was for increased supplies, higher consumption, increased trade, and higher ending stocks compared with August. The USDA forecast the 2021-22 world wheat supply at 1,072.84 million tonnes, up 7.1 million tonnes from the August projection, based on higher forecast beginning stocks in Canada, the European Union and India, and higher projected production for Australia, India and China. The USDA forecast 2021-22 wheat beginning stocks at 292.56 million tonnes, up 3.73 million tonnes from the August outlook. The largest increase in estimated beginning stocks was attributed to Canada, up 1.88 million tonnes from the August estimate to 5.71 million tonnes.

World’s largest uranium producing countries in 2020 – report

Permanent closures and temporary suspensions of mines due to the COVID-19 crisis hit global uranium production in 2020. Kazakhstan was the largest uranium producing country in 2020, followed by Australia and Namibia. Amid an emerging uranium market boom, which was recently spurred by relentless spot uranium purchases primarily by the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, the World Nuclear Association (WNA) released data on the global uranium production in 2020. According to WNA, in 2020, the world’s total uranium production amounted to 47,731 tonnes, a significant 13% decline over 2019 (54,742 tonnes), and the lowest level of uranium output in more than a decade. WNA said that last year, mined uranium covered only 74% of its global demand, which is also the lowest level in over a decade.

India emerges as global rice exporting hub

India has emerged as a major global player in rice export during the past 20 months. Part of its credit goes to the COVID-19 pandemic, because of which other major rice exporting countries failed to meet world demand and India took this opportunity to export more rice worldwide. The steep growth of the rice exports can be judged from the fact that India’s export during the fiscal year 20-21 has registered a 112 per cent increase—the highest ever growth since India started exporting rice. The situation is equally encouraging for this fiscal year where rice export registered 72 per cent in the first four months against the corresponding period last year. If rice exporters are to be believed, India could have exported much more than the present export, had there not been an acute shortage of containers, and rice in ocean and inland freight.

Oil prices fall with broader market on China’s economic concerns

Oil resumed declines amid growing concerns over the health of China’s economy that have triggered massive losses in equities. U.S. crude futures fell as much as 2.8% on Monday to the lowest in a week as worries mount over a possible implosion in the Chinese property sector that could impact the Asian giant’s appetite for crude. A stronger U.S. dollar is also making commodities priced in the currency less attractive. “China is the global swing demand center,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC. “If we lose China, we will lose much of the recent price gains.” Crude prices have fared well so far this month — U.S. oil futures are up about 4% in September — in part due to lingering supply disruptions from storms that have swept through the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Australia’s new hope on the hunt for acquisitions beyond coal

Australian coal miner New Hope Corp said on Tuesday it swung to a full-year profit as a strong performance on the back of solid coal prices put it in a good position to pursue acquisitions to boost growth. Coal prices surged in key markets due to a rebound in demand, putting the miner on track to have paid down its debt by year-end, as it scours the world for acquisition opportunities in coal and beyond, said Chief Executive Reinhold Schmidt. “As a business we are looking at everything that is out there, all commodities,” he said, speaking after New Hope booked a net profit of A$79.4 million ($57.63 million) for the year to July 31, compared with a loss of A$156.8 million a year earlier. New Hope has, however, said that any new M&A opportunities must be at the lower end of the deal cost curve, create value from day one and have long-term operational approvals in place – a key reason it has not emerged as a final bidder for BHP’s Mt Arthur coal project, up for sale since mid-2020.

Mining stocks carnage as iron ore, copper prices fall

Iron ore extended its slump below $100 a tonne and copper prices dropped in New York on Monday as China stepped up restrictions on industrial activity and fears about the collapse of the country’s largest property developer intensified. According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $92.98 a tonne, down 8.7% from Friday’s closing. Prices have collapsed about 60% since hitting a record in May, and are below three figures for the first time in more than a year. China produces more steel than the rest of the world combined and Beijing is implementing production curbs this year as it works toward a target of reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.

Organic food revolution in Sri Lanka threatens its tea industry

Sri Lanka’s drive to become the world’s first 100 percent organic food producer threatens its prized tea industry and has triggered fears of a wider crop disaster that could deal a further blow to the beleaguered economy. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa banned chemical fertilisers this year to set off his organic race but tea plantation owners are predicting crops could fail as soon as October, with cinnamon, pepper and staples such as rice also facing trouble.

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