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March 2nd, 2015

Sime Darby Plantation Completes Acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil

On Monday the plantation arm of Sime Darby Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation (SDP), completed its acquisition of Papua New Guinea New Britain Palm Oil Ltd. (NBPOL). The acquisition adds 135,000 hectares of land to SDP’s holdings, bringing it’s global land area to nearly one million hectares across five countries. NBPOL will also expand SDP’s reach in both Papua New Guinea and create opportunities for growth in downstream operations in Europe. The fit is a natural one, as SDP is a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and NBPOL has a strong sustainability record. The companies’ combined capacities will produce 26% of global Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. 

25th Annual Practical Short Course on Membrane & Other Separations Technologies at Texas A&M University from May 3-7, 2015. A practical Workshop with Daily Pilot Plant Demonstrations
Input Capital Corp. to Study Streaming Soybeans 

Canadian agricultural commodity streaming company, Input Capital Corp., which currently has 42 streaming contracts in canola in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, has announced it has begun a study to examine the possibility of developing a streaming structure for soybeans. Under its current canola streaming structure, Input purchases a fixed portion of an operation’s canola crop at a fixed price for the duration of the contract. Input is currently examining the soybean market, and if ample opportunity is found, it will establish a limited number of soybean contracts under a pilot program, and if proven successful, will offer standard soybean streaming contracts alongside its canola streaming contracts. 
83rd Oil Mill Operators Short Course April 12-14, 2015. Omaha, Nebraska

Profit Loss of 30% for GrainCorp on Small Grain Crop, Low Exports; Positive Outlook for Edible Oils

GrainCorp is expecting a profit loss of at least 30% year on year compared to fiscal year 2014 because of a smaller winter crop and the lowest export volumes in five years. GrainCorp reported that it expects earnings before tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of between $240 million and $270 million compared to fiscal year 2014’s EBITDA of $293 million, and net profits after tax of between $45 million and $60 million compared to net profits after tax of $95 million for fiscal year 2014. Low carryover grain inventories and a small winter grain crop has left the industry with an exportable surplus that is almost 2 million tons less than average, and total grain exports from eastern Australia could be cut by almost half, 2 million tons less than last year’s 4.4 million tons. GrainCorp managing director, Mark Palmquist stated at the company’s annual meeting that greater diversification in origination of the group’s key export crops of wheat, barley, and canola is pivotal in helping the company manage seasonal and market volatility. Mr. Palmquist remains positive in regards to the company’s edible oil processing business though, stating that the lower Australian dollar has helped drive higher levels of non-grain exports through GrainCorp port terminals.

Live Commodity Prices on

USDA Projected Soybean Planting Surprisingly Low

The recently released Grain and Oilseeds Outlook report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which anticipates supply and consumption for soybeans, corn and wheat for the 2015/16 marketing year, has forecast a decline in projected plantings across all three commodities. Despite this, recent trade estimates have projected that U.S. farmers will be switching more acreage from corn to soybeans because of its lower cost of production, leading to forecasts for soybean plantings as high as 88.3 million acres, 4.8 million acres above the record planting of 2014. Surprisingly, the USDA has dismissed these estimates and has issued a planting projection of 83.5 million acres – 200,000 acres below 2014, and has projected 82.6 million acres of harvested soybeans, down 500,000 acres from last year. 

What We Have Heard:

  • Because of the poor condition of the crop and depending on spring weather, as much as 40% of Russia’s grain crop could fail this year, according to the Russian Agriculture Ministry.
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