Rice crops face risks from higher fertilizer prices

Soaring fertilizer costs threaten to drive up prices of crops worldwide, from US corn to Brazil coffee and China wheat. Rice, as one of the biggest users of fertilizer, could face some of the greatest risks from increased farm input costs. Rising prices for rice, a staple food for more than half of the world’s population, could pose a particular threat to people’s livelihoods and to many countries’ political stability. Higher fertilizer expenses are likely to be passed along as increased food prices. Farmers also could choose to reduce their fertilizer usage, which could lower yields and result in decreased crop production. After corn and wheat, rice is the third-biggest user of fertilizer, accounting for an estimated 14 percent of all fertilizer use among global crops.

China data: October natural gas output rises 5pc on month to 16.5 bcm

China produced 16.5 Bcm of natural gas in October, up 5.1 percent on the month and up 0.5 percent year on year, according to data released Nov. 15 by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The month-on-month growth rate in October rebounded from a 1.3 percent decline in September, the data showed.

Over January-October, China produced 168.4 Bcm of natural gas, up 9.4 percent year on year.

State-owned oil and gas producers continued to ramp up their natural gas production last month in a bid to ensure gas supply in the peak winter season, market sources said.

Sinopec raised gas production from its Puguang gas field in southwestern Sichuan province by around 1.21 million cu m/day to 17.5 million cu m/day since October, local media reported.

Sinopec further increased gas production from its Fuling shale gas field in southwestern Chongqing, with eight new well being put into operations in November, adding 480,000 cu m/day of shale gas, the company said Nov. 11.

Improving refinery utilisation

The reopening of the global economy after pandemic-induced lockdowns and travel restrictions increased crude oil consumption. The surge in fuel demand has pushed oil prices through the roof. That’s weighing heavily on Pakistan, an oil-importing country. To make matters worse, the country’s oil refineries have been running well below their installed capacities forcing Pakistan to import expensive fuels. To soften the blow policymakers should take measures that can help push refinery utilisation higher.

The world’s crude oil consumption was more than 101 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), but dropped to 92.42m bpd in 2020. The fall in demand pushed oil prices to historic lows. But from this year, oil demand started to recover after restrictions eased. The global oil consumption could increase to 97.73m bpd in 2021, as per the EIA’s estimate, and seems well on its way to climbing back to pre-pandemic levels soon.

Global $21.44 billion milk substitutes (non dairy milk) market analysis & forecasts

The global milk substitutes (non dairy milk) market is expected to grow from $19.93 billion in 2020 to $21.44 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 percent. The growth is mainly due to the companies resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal while recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges.

Major players in the milk substitutes (non-dairy milk) market are Hain Celestial Group, WhiteWave Foods, ADM, Nutriops S.L and Blue Diamond Growers.

The milk substitutes (non-dairy milk) market consists of sales of milk substitutes. This industry includes establishments that produce milk substitutes such as soy milk, almond milk and rice milk.

The milk substitutes (non dairy milk) market covered in this report is segmented by type into soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, others. It is also segmented by application into food, beverages; by distribution channel into supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores, specialty stores, online retail stores, others and by formualtion into plain-sweetened, plain-unsweetened, flavored-sweetened, others.

How China shapes the world’s coal

Coal, the most carbon intensive fossil fuel, has come under increasing pressure from climate campaigners and communities affected by pollution from the industry. In recent years, at least 100 major banks – including the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and many others – have divested from coal mining or coal-fired power plants.

But as many financial institutions have taken a step away from coal, some countries moved in to fill the void, such as China, South Korea and Japan. China has played a particularly big role – the country provided half of overseas public finance to coal-fired power plants between 2013 and 2018.

China’s massive foreign investments in coal have given it the reputation as a lender of last resort for many African and Asian countries eager to boost power capacity to fuel economic growth.

Flour crisis on the cards

The failure to increase wheat production per acre and alleged corruption and mismanagement in wheat procurement and storage at the government level has raised fears of another flour crisis in the country.

At present, the Food Department in most districts of Punjab, including Faisalabad, has run out of wheat stocks, while the new crop is still four to five months away. In addition to the reduction in the supply of wheat to flour mills by the government and the reduction in the grinding charges, the owners of flour mills have been shutting down their mills indefinitely due to the rising cost of rent because of procurement of government wheat from other districts. Consideration has begun.

It should be noted that the average production of wheat per acre in Pakistan has been limited to 30-33 maund per acre for the last three decades while in India and other countries, this rate is more than 60-70 maund per acre.

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