Avian flu threatens Australian cattle markets

  • Spanish Market: Agriculture
  • 23/05/24

Victorian state agriculture body Agriculture Victoria has detected avian influenza while investigating poultry deaths at a farm, prompting concerns that it could affect Australian cattle markets as it has in the US.

Avian flu cases are spreading globally and can spread from birds to livestock and humans, although transmission is rare. Avian flu has been detected in livestock in the US since March 2024. Over 50 dairy herds in nine states have confirmed cases of avian influenza and two dairy workers were infected. Infected cows have symptoms of lower lactation and appetite but recover with little to no mortality, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not anticipate the virus will affect beef production, although the outbreak possibly weighed on US cattle futures despite avian flu not yet being detected in any commercial beef herds. The Australian market is still digesting the news of avian flu in Victoria state, with the Argus Northern feeder steer price unchanged this week from the previous week at A$3.34/kg.

Agriculture Victoria said further tests were being done at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness to determine the type of virus. Avian influence strains can be low pathogenicity avian influenza or high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI). HPAI strains are lethal to infected poultry and can kill entire flocks within days, according to the USDA.

Preliminary results indicate the virus strain is not the same as that reported in the US and Antarctica, according to Australia's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The Victorian property with avian flu has been being quarantined. Poultry farmers and bird owners are encouraged to report any unexplained bird deaths.


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20/06/24

Australia’s 2022-23 cattle herd estimate revised higher

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.

Porto Alegre, Brazil partially reopens post-flood


17/06/24
17/06/24

Porto Alegre, Brazil partially reopens post-flood

Sao Paulo, 17 June (Argus) — The Porto Alegre port, in Brazil's flood-hit southern Rio Grande do Sul state, partially resumed operations last week while other area ports continue to recover. Activities had been suspended at Porto Alegre since 2 May, following the unprecedented floods that hit the state in late April and May, but there was a partial reopening on 14 June. Porto Alegre is still carrying out cleaning and maintenance, and port authority Portos RS is still analyzing damage to infrastructure. The first operation will take place at the POA02 terminal, leased by logistic firm Serra Morena. The 60,456 dwt bulk carrier Nord Mississipi will be unloading inputs for fertilizer production. Porto Alegre is one of three ports in Rio Grande do Sul, along with Pelotas and Rio Grande. Pelotas was also hit by the floods but resumed operations on 21 May. The port of Rio Grande did not suspend operations but has had to reduce the draft of ships allowed in to port because of debris and sediment left by the flooding. The draft at the Bunge, Bianchini and Termasa/Tergrasa terminals was reduced to 12.8 meters (42ft) on 21 May and is now 11.9m. Rio Grande do Sul is once again on alert because of the forecast of new rains in the state over the next few days. By João Petrini Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Rains return to Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state


17/06/24
17/06/24

Rains return to Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state

Sao Paulo, 17 June (Argus) — Rainfall returned to Brazil's flood-hit Rio Grande do Sul state over the weekend and is likely to remain until Wednesday, according to meteorological firm Climatempo. Downpours started in late April brought havoc to the state, flooding rivers and lakes and hampering several logistics points. Several state and national highways are still damaged and the state's main airport is likely to remain closed until the end of the year. The weather had eased in the last few weeks, with lake and river levels dropping below flood levels since at least 9 June. But two new cold fronts brought rains to the state once again on 15 June, Climatempo said. Rains are likely to reach an accumulated 200-300mm (7.9-11.8in) from 15-19 June in the state's central-northern and northwestern regions, Climatempo said. Other areas will receive 80-150mm in the same span. Showers in the central-northern region of the state hit 50-60mm on 16 June alone, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Cai and Jacui rivers have reached above-flood levels once again, according to the state's civil defense. The Taquari River's levels are "above caution quotas," reaching 17m (55.7ft). Levels need to be below 5m to be considered normal. Civil defense authorities have also issued a flood warning for those that live close to the Sinos River, asking them to evacuate risky areas. Rio Grande do Sul is one of Brazil's main agricultural states. The US Department of Agriculture has cut the state's 2023-24 soybean production estimate because of the floods. The extreme weather has left at least 176 dead and over 422,000 people displaced, according to the civil defense's latest report published on 14 June. By Lucas Parolin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Low-CO2 biofuel feedstock imports to rise: USDA


13/06/24
13/06/24

Low-CO2 biofuel feedstock imports to rise: USDA

New York, 13 June (Argus) — A new US tax credit kicking off next year that is more generous for fuels that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions will likely spur more imports of low-carbon feedstocks, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a report this week. A raft of government incentives, including the federal renewable fuel standard and low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS) in states like California, has already spurred a boom in renewable diesel production, upping demand for feedstocks that can be used to make the fuel. The US was a net soybean oil importer for the first time ever in 2023 because of strong demand from domestic refineries, and the value of US imports of animal fats and vegetable oils more than doubled from 2020 to 2023 according to the report. That trend could become even more pronounced next year as the Inflation Reduction Act's 45Z tax credit, which offers up to $1.75/USG for sustainable aviation fuel and up to $1/USG for other fuels like renewable diesel, comes into force. The credit can only be claimed for fuel produced in the US, likely cutting biofuel imports and sending more feedstocks that would have been refined abroad to the US instead, the report says. The 45Z credit will also be more generous to fuels with lower carbon intensity, upping demand for waste feedstocks like used cooking oil that already fetch greater discounts in LCFS programs. Fast-rising imports of China-origin used cooking oil have already frustrated some agricultural groups, which lose out if there are more ample supplies of waste feedstocks. The report says that while soybean oil was the "crucial feedstock" allowing for the recent growth in US renewable diesel, its share of the feedstock mix has been trending downwards because of competition from lower-carbon feedstocks and lower-cost canola oil from Canada. While soybean oil exports have plunged because of the renewable diesel boom, they could recover slightly if refineries increasingly turning to waste feedstocks cuts into US soybean oil's current premium over global vegetable oils. The report adds that soybean oil's role in renewable diesel production is also at risk from rising supplies of soybean meal, which is produced alongside oil at crush plants and where the global demand picture is less clear. "Based on global demand for soybean meal, soybean oil cannot continue to fuel renewable diesel production growth at current rates during the next few years without major changes to global soybean meal demand, shifts in exporter market shares, or lower supplies in other exporting countries," the report says. By Cole Martin Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Romanian wheat crop to reach 10.45mn t in 2024-25


13/06/24
13/06/24

Romanian wheat crop to reach 10.45mn t in 2024-25

London, 13 June (Argus) — Argus forecasts Romanian wheat production at 10.45mn t for the 2024-25 marketing year, with favourable rainfall in April-May having supported crop development. The production forecast was revised down from the April projection of 10.6mn t. Yields were confirmed thanks to recent rainfall, while planted area estimates fell slightly, according to analysis from Argus ' June crop tour. Argus pegs yields at 4.6 t/ha, unchanged from the April forecast and above the five-year truncated average that excludes 2020 when yields were affected by drought. There is significant variation between regions as rainfall fell unevenly across Romania in April and May. Indicative yields in the Dolj and Olt regions are nearly 10pc higher than the five-year truncated average, while yields in the Buzau and Braila regions are more than 20pc below the five-year truncated average because of severe drought since sowing. Since the April crop tour, wheat areas estimates have been trimmed by 1pc to 2.27mn ha, but remain at their highest level in two decades. Wheat production in 2024-25 is set to exceed the previous record of 10.43mn t in 2021-22, thanks to increased area planted, despite projected yields being 0.2 t/ha lower. But warmer temperatures are expected in the coming weeks that could adversely affect yields given the fact that soil moistures remain low. Crop allocation in Romania is changing as a result of recurrent dry, hot summers and the 2020 harvest that was affected by drought. Farmers are planting more winter crops such as barley and wheat and reducing their spring crop plantings of non-irrigated corn. Similarly, because of dry weather in August and November, rapeseed plantings fell by 30pc in 2024-25 compared with 2023-24, according to Argus . By Edward Dunlop Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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