Brazil: Stevedores at the important port of Santos staged a one-day strike Thursday in solidarity with other union demonstrations in several Brazilian cities, according to Reuters. The strikers blocked truck entrance to the port and in the process held up 13 container ships. Despite their efforts, bulk cargo shipments of corn were not impacted. Bulk cargo of grains is generally less affected by strikes due to the reduced labor required in its movement. Brazil is currently exporting corn at a record rate.
France: Corn producers in France’s rain soaked Southwest are being forced to leave the remaining unplanted area fallow due to flooding and generally inclement conditions, reports Bloomberg News. As of July 1, farmers in Aquitaine had planted 95 percent of their planned area, while farmers in the neighboring region of Midi-Pyrenees had sowed 96 percent. These two regions account for 30 percent of French corn. 44 percent of the corn crop in Aquitaine currently rates as good or excellent, which is the same percentage as the week previous. As of July 1, 56 percent of the overall French corn crop has been rated good or excellent, which is 1 percent over the previous week and down from a 77 percent rating in May. The overall condition of French corn at this time last year stood at 75 percent good or excellent. France is typically the largest corn producer in the EU and accounted for 23 percent of all EU corn production in 2011.
Russia: Russia is projected to export 233,400 MT of barley from the port of Novorossiysk in July, according to Bloomberg News. Grain exports are projected to increase as the summer wears on and the harvest progresses. 11 percent of the grain crop was harvested by July 9 for a total of 16.7 MMT and the total grain crop is projected to reach 95 MMT this year, which is a 34 percent increase over last year’s drought blighted harvest.
South Africa: Corn futures have risen to their highest point in three weeks due to speculation of tight local supplies, according to Bloomberg News. White corn for December delivery increased by 2.4 percent to $238/MT, while yellow corn for September delivery increased by 1.5 percent to $225.94/MT. The Grain and Oilseeds Supply and Demand Estimates Committee projected in a June 28 report that South Africa will likely consume 4.54 MMT domestically and has the potential to supply 5.74 MMT in the marketing year through April.
United Kingdom: After being forced to abandon some 22 percent (156,000 hectares) of their winter rapeseed crop, British farmers have opted to replant the fields with barley among other crops, reports Bloomberg News.