Iron ore price rises despite flat demand from steelmakers
The iron ore price rose on Tuesday despite traders fretting about high prices squeezing steel mill margins after Chinese demand for the steelmaking ingredient spurred an earlier rally.
Benchmark 62 percent Fe fines imported into Northern China rose 1.2 percent Tuesday morning, to $146.30 per tonne.
The most-traded September iron ore contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange ended daytime trading 0.6 percent lower at 928.50 yuan ($139.32) a tonne, after hitting a 10-week high on Monday.
Top steel producer China’s moves to ease covid-19 restrictions added fuel to the rally, as did shrinking stockpiles of imported iron ore at Chinese ports.
“The short-term iron ore demand has increased more than expected, but the profits of downstream steel mills are weak,” Sinosteel Futures analysts said in a note.
Rice productivity in Myanmar
Rice productivity at the national level during the monsoon of 2021 decreased on average by 2.1 percent compared to the monsoon of 2020. Considering estimated area reductions, national paddy production decreased by 3.4 percent compared to the monsoon of 2020.
Some areas performed substantially worse. Rice yields were low and declined significantly in Kayah and Chin, two conflict-affected states that have shown the highest levels of food insecurity in recent assessments.
Prices for most inputs used in rice cultivation increased significantly between these two seasons. Prices of urea, the most important chemical fertilizer used by rice farmers, increased by 56 percent on average and mechanization costs increased by 19 percent.
Indian sugar output could rise to a record, trade group says
India could produce a record 36 million tonnes of sugar in 2021/22, nearly 3 percent more than estimated, as output increased more than anticipated in the western state of Maharashtra and neighbouring Karnataka, a trade association said on Wednesday.
Record output in the world’s biggest sugar producer could weigh on global prices , but would help the south Asian country maintain ample carry forward stocks for domestic use, even if it exports all 10 million tonnes the government has allowed, which would also be a record for exports.
Pak-China coop in ‘biohealth agriculture’ to promote wheat production
Pakistan and China have further enhanced their cooperation in Biohealth Agriculture to promote wheat production, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Monday.
The report says, China-Pakistan wheat cooperation is of great significance. With the world’s population expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, populous countries like China and Pakistan needed to develop areas such as saline-alkali land to further meet food needs. It is imperative to develop drought-tolerant and saline-alkali-tolerant wheat varieties and improve the existing saline-alkali soil environment.”
Prof. Zhang Lixin from Northwest A&F University, China in an interview with CEN hoped that per unit yield of wheat in Pakistan will be increased from the current 200-300 kilograms to more than 400 kilograms through technologies, such as, biohealth agriculture.
According to the report, “It is expected that by 2040, due to the global warming, local temperature in Pakistan will increase by 3-4 degrees on the existing basis. It will lead to evaporation of water, which will bring soil drought, while rainfall will be further concentrated.
This means that droughts and floods will occur at the same time. Climate change is enough to reduce Pakistan’s wheat production by 15-20 percent. Therefore, if our wheat breeding doesn’t advance against climate change, a huge food crisis will pose a serious threat to human existence”, said Prof. Zhang Lixin.
Oil, gasoline prices to pare gains but remain high through 2022, 2023: EIA
Geopolitical uncertainty and the ongoing impact of the pandemic led to increased oil price volatility and contributed to a more than $4/b rise in the US Energy Information Administration’s 2022 oil price expectations, the agency said June 7.
The EIA in its June Short-Term Energy Outlook now sees WTI averaging $102.47/b in 2022, up $4.27/b from its prior estimate in May and expects Brent to average $107.37/b in 2022, up $4.02/b from the prior month. The EIA expects WTI at $93.24/b in 2023 and sees Brent at $97.24/b, both unchanged from the prior month.
“We continue to see historically high energy prices as a result of the economic recovery and the repercussions of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis said in a statement. “Although we expect the current upward pressure on energy prices to lessen, high energy prices will likely remain prevalent in the US this year and next.”
Already-high crude oil prices rose further as Shanghai and Beijing began easing COVID-19 restrictions end-May and the EU announced plans to cut its Russian oil imports by 90 percent by the year’s end.
Dry spell hits tea production in Kangra
Continuing dry spell in the region has adversely impacted the sowing and yield of many crops in Kangra and Chamba districts. Since about 80 percent area in Kangra and Chamba districts is rainfed, low rainfall in the region in the months of April and May has hit agriculture.
The worst-affected are tea farmers of Kangra. KG Butail, a leading tea farmer from Palampur area and former president of the tea farmers association, said that production of tea depended on moist weather. There has been scanty rain in the region in the months of April and May and temperature has been above normal.
“There was hardly any tea available for harvesting in my tea garden in the last two months. The tea farmers had to prune bushes of tea plants. There was no harvest as buds dried up early. The farmers are, however, keeping and sustaining the labour that comes from other states and used for plucking in the hope that tea production would improve in the coming months”, he said.