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A broad and powerful rally in commodities markets has gathered steam in recent weeks, fuelling expectations among some traders and analysts that a “supercycle” has kicked off as big global economies rev up in tandem. Strong demand from China, a boom in government spending on post-pandemic recovery programmes and bets on the “greening” of the world economy have lifted the price of many important raw materials.
British Sugar bosses have accepted the balance between risk and reward was "incorrect" during a beet campaign beset by bad weather and crop disease - following demands for better prices from disgruntled growers. The disastrous 2020/21 season saw yields ravaged by aphid-borne virus yellows disease in the absence of banned pesticides, while the driest May on record affected the crop’s establishment before heavy rain caused harvesting difficulties in the winter. Some growers lost thousands of pounds as yields plummeted, and some have quit the crop entirely, blaming low prices for failing to cover the rising risks.
Adequate thermal and topsoil moisture conditions allowed for a timely start to the sugar beet sowing campaign in France, around mid-March. However, freezing temperatures recorded during the first dekad of April had a very negative impact on plants during emergence and early development, especially in the central regions. As a consequence of frost damage, approximately 10% of the sown sugar beet area in France needs to be re-sown. In Germany and Poland, below-average daily temperatures during the first and second dekads of March led to delayed warming of the topsoil, and hence some delay in the sowing campaign (7-10 days, compared with last year). Favourable thermal conditions and dry weather allowed for good sowing progress during the third dekad of March, while in April, cold temperatures and rainfall events slowed the pace of field operations. Nevertheless, the sowing campaign is close to being finalised in Poland, where 90% of the area had been sown by 20 April. Similar agrometeorological conditions prevailed in the Benelux countries, where sugar beet sowing has almost been completed, as well as in Czechia, Slovakia and Austria. Across western and central Europe, cold spells during the first dekad of April prolonged the emergence and early development of sugar beet and raised concerns regarding the health of seedlings. In the UK, agrometeorological conditions were favourable for a timely start to sugar beet sowing during the second dekad of March, and the sowing campaign was conducted under adequate seed bed conditions.
After more than a decade of continuous growth, the £104bn UK food and drink sector experienced a significant drop in exports in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. However, there remains “significant headroom for growth for UK food and drink exports, both within the EU and further afield”, according to a report by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and Santander. Ian Wright, chief executive, FDF, said that “food and drink exports are a UK success story”. Although exports fell by nearly a tenth (9.7%) in 2020, valued at £21.3bn, the industry was the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector by turnover, accounting for almost 20% of total UK manufacturing and employing 440,000.
Meat and dairy are regularly targeted for their environmental impact. In the UK, for example, the government’s Committee on Climate Change has recommended a 20% cut in meat and dairy by 2030, rising to 35% by 2050 for meat only. Sugar may be next, warns a report from AI data firm Spoonshot
Cosun Beet Company and Avantium plan to form the joint venture in 2021, with the aim to make an investment decision for the foreseen commercial plant in the first half of 2023 and commercial operations commencing in 2025. The joint venture is envisioned to be a world class producer of plant-based glycols to actively contribute to a fossil-free future.
The EU’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) risks unfairly penalising the exports of developing countries. If the mechanism applied to the imports of all goods currently covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading System, up to $16 billion of developing country exports to the EU could face an additional charge.
AB Sugar revenue was marginally ahead of last year in the first half at constant currency. Adjusted operating profit was significantly ahead, driven by Illovo, which benefited from increased domestic demand and higher prices. All businesses continued to deliver savings from the ongoing performance improvement programme. UK sugar production for the 2020/21 campaign was 0.9m tonnes, well down on last year's 1.19m tonnes, due to wet weather conditions at the time of planting and the severe impact of virus yellows, which is transmitted by aphids, on the sugar beet. As a result of prolonged cold temperatures this February which substantially reduced the likelihood of virus yellows this summer, the conditional permit for the use of neonicotinoids was not needed. We continue to work to secure a neonicotinoid-free long-term solution in partnership with sugar beet growers and seed producers. Looking ahead to the 2021/22 campaign good progress was made in drilling the crop in March due to favourable planting conditions. Sugar production is expected to be just over 1.0m tonnes with a reduced planting area compensated by more normal yields.
Warehouses and customs intermediaries report surge in business following Brexit and pandemic 3 hours ago (0 Comments) Posted by: William Barns-Graham Share| customs broker The UK’s logistics companies are reporting a surge in business due to Brexit and following the ecommerce boom during the Covid-19 pandemic. Firms are increasingly seeking out specialist support to deal with new customs requirements and rules for trade with the EU, including completing declarations and storing goods in warehouses.
Container spot rates are beginning to head upwards again across all trades from already elevated levels, as carriers reduce their commitment to contract volumes in favour of much higher FAK rates. “Releasing the Ever Given mitigated the crisis, but in many ways the damage was already done,” said Freightos research lead Judah Levine. “Two weeks post-Suez blockage, global trade is beginning to feel the slow-moving hit on both capacity and pricing fronts.”
I am writing this in mid-March following the closure of the Wissington and Bury St Edmunds sites, but just before Newark and Cantley take in their final loads of beet for this exigent campaign. I would like to reflect on the determination and tenacity of the sugar beet grower after delivering crops to the factories for processing into sugar, despite the devastating campaign.
“The additional quantity of 3,675.13 tonne of raw/refined sugar to be exported to UK under TRQ up to September 30 this year is notified,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a public notice. It said the quota will be operated by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) as the implementing agency for the export. This additional quantity of sugar is beyond the EU (European Union) CXL sugar quota of 10,000 tonnes during 2020-21 notified by the DGFT last year.
British farmers fear their sugar beet will go the way of the crop in Ireland, where it hasn’t been grown for sugar since 2006. The crop is also in trouble in France, where last week’s freezing temperatures may have caused severe damage to newly planted sugar beet, adding to problems with crop disease and low prices in recent seasons. More and more British farmers are giving up the crop, saying it’s no longer profitable to grow. The UK’s National Farmers’ Union said recent measures by processor British Sugar are nowhere near enough to stop many growers giving up sugar beet for good when their current contracts finish. The NFU’s Michael Sly said low sugar contract prices, and much greater risks of yield loss from disease, are making sugar beet a non-viable part of the crop rotation for many growers. As a result, the area planted in 2021 is estimated to be reduced by 10-15%. It follows a crop damaged by heavy rains in February, 2020, then the driest May since 1862, and more heavy winter rain which caused harvesting difficulties.
European Union plans to impose taxes on carbon at its border are “discriminatory” and unfair to developing nations, ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China have warned. EURACTIV’s media partner Climate Home News reports. In a joint statement, the four nations, known as the BASIC countries, “expressed grave concern regarding the proposal for introducing trade barriers such as unilateral carbon border adjustment”.
The European Union has granted equivalence for UK certified seed of cereal, fodder, beet, vegetable, oil and fibre plants, a move that means seed of these crops can now be exported to EU member states. Exporters from Great Britain will now need to obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate before exporting a batch of seed. They must also arrange with their EU customer the completion of a Common Health Entry Document for Plant Products (CHED PP) through TRACES (Trade Control and Export System). This is an EU online system used by traders or their agents to provide pre-notification of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods entering the European Union. The seed will also need to be OECD labelled where it is a species in an OECD scheme; be ISTA sampled; and have an Orange International Certificate.
The transition period has ended and, in theory at least, Brexit is now complete. This should mean there is clarity where future UK-EU relations are concerned. Why, then, are litigators left scratching their heads? Here, we identify three areas of continuing uncertainty where parties should tread with care. When the Brexit trade deal was unveiled at the end of December, it came as no surprise that it said nothing about commercial disputes. These were not covered in the framework document that the deal was based on, and time was short anyway. Despite the importance to the UK of its legal services sector – it generates more than £35bn for the economy every year – facilitating cross-border litigation was clearly not at the top of the government’s list of priorities. The result is not catastrophic – most UK judgments will continue to be enforceable in most EU jurisdictions and breaches of exclusive jurisdiction agreements can often be dealt with by obtaining an anti-suit injunction from the English courts. These agreements will also continue to be supported by EU jurisdiction rules in certain situations, albeit on a discretionary basis. Nevertheless, the lack of any deal concerning commercial litigation is disappointing, since a large measure of continuity could have been achieved quite easily by allowing the UK to rejoin the Lugano Convention 2007 (Lugano), which currently covers the remaining EU member states and three of the four EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland).
Trade between the UK and France has recovered steadily and was “close to normal” during March, according to analysis by French customs officials. After dropping to 80pc of pre-virus levels at the start of the year as Britain’s new trading relationship with the EU came into effect, imports from the UK were at 107pc of reference levels, once the continued effects of the pandemic were taken into account, with exports at 96pc. The figures will raise hopes that UK trade is on track for a swift recovery after a severe fall during January as businesses got to grips with new customs arrangements.
The rainfall and low temperatures of the last week have interrupted the very good start of sowing. In Jülich and Euskirchen, however, about 90% of the land has already been ordered. Experts are also well ahead with 76%. In Appeldorn 65% and 50% of the areas are sown. Also the run-up of the already sown beets is delayed by the cool weather. Now we have to wait for warmer weather. According to the weather forecast, this will not be until the end of next week. In other words, we will have to wait a little longer until the sowing is completed.
Freezing temperatures across much of France this week may have caused severe damage to newly planted sugar beet, adding to the difficulties of a sector hit by crop disease and low prices in recent seasons. In its initial assessment, CGB estimated that between 10,000 and 40,000 hectares of recently sown sugar beet had suffered massive losses that would require replanting, Timothe Masson, a CGB analyst, told Reuters on Wednesday.
With the global food sector using 70% of the world’s freshwater supply, moving food and beverage companies to protect water quality and supply is vital to the continuing availability of our freshwater resources. That’s why Ceres is proud to announce 3 new commitments, representing US$43 billion in annual revenue, to improve water stewardship as part of the Ceres and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) AgWater Challenge. The commitments come from agricultural giants Danone North America, owner of iconic dairy and plant-based brands, leading sweetener and starch producer Ingredion, and global food, confectionery and petcare company Mars, Incorporated. With these 3 commitments, the AgWater Challenge increases sustainably farmed land by 1.2 million acres over the next 10 years.
Rising demand for everything from soybeans to steel has sent the cost of hauling dry goods soaring more than 50% this year. Manufacturing, which first picked up in China, is now accelerating elsewhere, and countries are stepping up commodity purchases to rebuild stockpiles after running them down during lockdowns that slowed port operations and hit economic activity globally. Analysts say the rally isn’t over, with rates to carry unpacked commodities like grains, iron ore and coal -- known as dry bulk -- expected to remain high this year and possibly into 2022. That’s a stark turnaround for a market that slid to a four-year low less than 12 months ago, and comes amid a tight supply of vessels. It’s also happening as the uneven recovery scrambles movements of ship containers, which carry everything from furniture to packed commodities like coffee and white sugar.
The EU agricultural sector has shown resilience during the COVID‑19 crisis. Higher retail sales and home consumption partially compensated for losses in foodservice. With a dynamic global demand and the reopening of foodservice expected once the vaccination campaign is sufficiently advanced, prospects for EU agricultural markets are favourable in 2021.
The late frost episode we are experiencing occurs on young beets, some of which are emerging. This is another blow to our culture after the 2020 campaign. Tereos teams are mobilized to support you and find the best solutions. It is still too early to draw the consequences of the effects of the frost.
Delays, paperwork and additional costs are making British chocolate scarce in Europe. The trade deal struck late last year with the European Union spared Britain from a variety of tariffs that would have inflated the prices of goods that travelled to the mainland. It has not saved British companies from a maddening, unpredictable array of time-consuming, morale-sapping procedures and from stacks of paperwork that have turned exporting to the EU into a sort of black-box mystery.
An inquiry by European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has found that the European Commission should have concluded an updated sustainability impact assessment before signing the EU-Mercosur trade deal. But will this be enough to stop national parliaments from ratifying the deal? Hans Wetzels reports.
Brazil’s Copersucar will take over Cargill’s Alvean stake. Alvean accounts for one-fifth of world’s sugar shipments. Cargill Inc. agreed to sell its 50% stake in the world’s largest sugar trader to its Brazilian partner Copersucar SA as the closely held U.S. agricultural giant shifts focus to its food processing and meat businesses. The deal to offload its stake in Alvean, which handles about a fifth of the world’s sugar shipments, was signed on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The transaction is subject to approval from antitrust authorities. Cargill and Copersucar declined to comment.
More than a fifth of small British exporters have temporarily halted sales to the European Union and 4% have done so permanently, a survey showed on Monday, highlighting problems that have followed the Brexit trade deal. In the survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), 30 out of 132 exporters said they had stopped sales to the European Union temporarily, while five reported having done so permanently. Just over one in 10 said they had set up, or were thinking of establishing, a presence within an EU country, the research, conducted between March 1 and 15, showed.