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Morning round-up, Friday August 30


* Reuters reported that Brazil is eyeing China’s ethanol market as the Asian nation looks into increasing its use of the fuel to improve air quality.


China wants a 10% blend in all gasoline by 2020, which could boost the country’s ethanol imports as local capacity is too small to meet the target.


This is good news for Brazil’s ethanol industry, with Felipe Vicchiato, the chief financial officer for producer Sao Martinho SA stating that Chinese officials seemed serious about implementing the ethanol plan during recent trade talks.


However, a source at commodities trader COFCO told Reuters that implementation of the plan has been really slow and that it is likely China will want to balance future ethanol use with local production.


This could delay the need for ethanol imports.



* Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, Tereza Cristina Dias announced that Indonesia has authorized 10 of the South American nation’s meat-packing plants for exporting beef.


A statement from the ministry said that exports from the plants could reach 25,000 tonnes of beef products.




* French sugar producer, Tereos announced on Thursday that it would be closing its offices in Kenya and South Africa by the end of March 2020, including suspending sugar trading and distribution activities in these countries.


The company said in a statement that it took the decision as part of its plan to review its global operational strategy.



* China’s commerce ministry said it would begin releasing state reserves of frozen pork, beef and mutton to increase the country’s meat supply.


This comes as African swine fever continues to devastate the country’s pig herd, leading to shortages and record-breaking prices for the country’s preferred protein.



* Chinese ministry officials also said that the country was in the process of discussing face-to-face trade talks with the United States that were scheduled for September.


According to spokesman, Gao Feng China is against escalating trade tensions with the US and was keen for both countries to work towards progressing negotiations.



* The Ukraine’s agriculture ministry on Thursday forecast that the country’s wheat harvest for 2019 could reach 27.8m tonnes, up from 2018’s 24.6m tonnes.


The ministry said that the country’s overall grain harvest could increase to 71.1m tonnes for the year from 69.8m tonnes in 2018.


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