Brazil's Pelotas port resumes operations

  • Spanish Market: Agriculture, Fertilizers
  • 21/05/24

Brazil's Pelotas port, one of the three main ports in flood-swept southern Rio Grande do Sul state, resumed operations on Tuesday.

Cargo handling had been suspended since the beginning of May as heavy rains hit the region in late April and caused the biggest flood in the history of the state.

The port of Rio Grande, the largest in the state and one of the most relevant for grains and fertilizers in Brazil, continues to operate normally. Rio Grande did not suspend operations at any time during the floods, but cargo handling slowed in recent weeks. For safety reasons, the port authority reduced the draft to 12.8 meters (42ft) at the Bunge, Bianchini and Termasa/Tergrasa terminals.

The port of Porto Alegre has suspended operations because Lake Guaiba's level is at 4m, 1m above its flood level, according to the state's civil defense.

There are 77 stretches of on 46 highways in Rio Grande do Sul totally or partially blocked, including roads, bridges and ferries.

Since the floods began, 464 cities have been impacted, affecting around 2.4mn people. The floods have left 161 people dead, 85 missing and over 581,600 people displaced.


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21/06/24

Urea paper markets rise on India tender rumours

Urea paper markets rise on India tender rumours

Amsterdam, 21 June (Argus) — Urea derivatives have reversed their downwards trajectory and moved back in line with physical prices today, driven by rumours that the Indian government may float a purchase tender next week. Middle East urea swaps rose to $340-350/t fob basis bids and offers for July-August contracts, up from $325-335/t fob at the start of the week. Chinese domestic urea futures also jumped later in the day, with the July contract up by as much as 1.82pc on the 20 June close, before settling up by 0.79pc at Yn2,160/t. The August contract was up by 2.19pc late in the afternoon trading session, before falling sharply to close up by 0.95pc at Yn2,130/t. Rumours of a potential tender to buy in India, the largest global urea importer and second-largest consumption market, appear to be the key driver of the bullish sentiment in the paper markets, reversing the downwards trend throughout most of this week. The tender's timing, if confirmed, would be contrary to most expectations, given that there is plenty of urea availability in India, with inventories climbing to more than 11mn t at the end of May, buoyed by strong domestic production. And the monsoon rains so far this season have lagged the long-term average by 17pc. But a tender issuance would imply that the government expects a potential surge in demand in July-September. Urea prices at major fob origins jumped by 27-28pc from early May to mid-June, but the resumption of production in key supply-market Egypt, following a gas shortage, weighed on physical prices this week to 20 June, pressuring levels by $5-10/t in most markets. By Harry Minihan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update


21/06/24
21/06/24

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update

Adds comment from an EU official in paragraph six London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. An EU official confirmed receipt of the US letter to Argus and said the commission would reply in due course. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem and Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation


21/06/24
21/06/24

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation

London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. The US authorities are understood to not have received a formal reply to the letter from the commission yet. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Shipping industry urges action to stop Red Sea attacks


20/06/24
20/06/24

Shipping industry urges action to stop Red Sea attacks

Dubai, 20 June (Argus) — The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called for urgent action to stop "unlawful attacks" on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi rebels after the sinking of a second bulk carrier since November last year. "This is an unacceptable situation, and these attacks must stop now," the ICS said. "We call for states with influence in the region to safeguard our innocent seafarers and for the swift de-escalation of the situation in the Red Sea." The Iran-backed Houthis began attacking ships in the Red Sea six weeks after the Israel-Hamas war broke out last year in what they claim is an act of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The British-owned, Belize-flagged Handysize bulk carrier Rubymar sank on 4 March this year, four weeks after a Houthi attack. And the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said on 19 June that it believes the Greek-owned and operated bulk carrier Tutor has also sunk after the Houthis struck it with an unmanned surface vessel on 12 June. Since the attacks began, three sailors have been killed and two ships seized in separate incidents, one of which has since been freed. "We have heard the condemnation and appreciate the words of support, but we urgently seek action to stop the unlawful attacks on these vital workers and this vital industry," the ICS said. "And we must not forget the crew members from the [cargo vessel] Galaxy Leader and [containership] MSC Aries who are still being held captive." The Houthis have stepped up their attacks in recent days, prompting counter measures by US and UK military forces deployed in the area. The Red Sea is one of the world's most important shipping lanes, serving as a vital trade link between Europe and Asia. The attacks have led to an increase in freight rates and shipping insurance costs. And they have disrupted trade flows through the Suez Canal at the northern end of the Red Sea as many shipowners opt to avoid the area by taking the longer route around the southern tip of Africa. The combined flow of crude and oil products transiting the Suez Canal in both directions dropped by 34pc on the month and by 65pc on the year in May, according to preliminary data from trade analytics firm Kpler. Most oil passing through the canal southbound is now of Russian origin — 92pc in May, according to Kpler data. India, China and the Middle East were the main destinations. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australia’s 2022-23 cattle herd estimate revised higher


20/06/24
20/06/24

Australia’s 2022-23 cattle herd estimate revised higher

Dalby, 20 June (Argus) — The estimated size of the Australian cattle herd as of 30 June 2023 has increased significantly with a methodology change for collecting data. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) previously relied on producer surveys to estimate beef and dairy herd sizes but a poor response rate forced it to gather data from other sources. This led to a change in the estimated herd size from 24.4mn head of cattle in Australian paddocks at the close of the 2022-23 fiscal year to 27.8mn. The data primarily serves as a retrospective figure with a minimal impact on future slaughter rates and current market prices. But government and industry research agencies use it to forecast future herd movements and to estimate the impact of livestock. A change in the methodology is the inclusion of cattle on smaller farms. Since 2015 the ABS excluded livestock businesses with annual output of less than A$40,000 ($26,700) to reduce reporting burdens on micro-size producers. When releasing its new estimated herd size the ABS explained that this was because of a herd rebuild in Queensland, the largest contributing state to the Australian cattle population, where cattle numbers increased by 4.2pc from a year earlier to 13.2mn head. Beef cattle numbers also increased in New South Wales by 6.2pc to 5.9mn and in Victoria by 5pc to 2.9mn. But the value of livestock disposals in 2022-23 fell by 1pc to A$23.3bn, according to the ABS. Lower rainfall through the early stages of 2023 reduced producers' confidence, resulting in volatile market conditions and affecting prices for red meat throughout the second half of the year. By Amy Phillips Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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