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Morning round-up, Friday August 6 2020

  • China’s soybean imports rose 18% this year through July compared to the same period a year ago, according to General Administration of Customs data. This comes as large volumes of soybeans from Brazil purchased cheaply arrived in the country. China brought in 10.09m tonnes of soybeans last month which is up from 8.63m tonnes in July 2019, but below the record of June’s 11.16m tonnes.

  • Labour prosecutors called for JBS SA to suspend work at a chicken processing facility in the town of Garibaldi in southern Brazil and test employees there for Covid-19 after an investigation into an outbreak there, according to Reuters. The plant has 230 confirmed cases, including seven hospitalizations and one death.

  • Brazil could buy wheat from Lithuania next year, diversifying their wheat imports now that the government has authorized this supply alternative, according to the Russia trading company Sodrugestvo. The first purchases are not expected until 2021 due to bureaucratic challenges.

  • Farm office FranceAgriMer said the small French soft wheat harvest is showing good crop quality for milling and export markets. The ministry forecast earlier this week that soft wheat production would drop by 25% compared with last year due to poor weather.

  • Two senior U.S. senators are in a disagreement over a bill introduced in May that would force meatpackers like JBS USA, Tyson Foods and Cargill Inc to buy at least half the beef cattle they slaughter directly from producers on the open market, then kill those animals within two weeks, according to Reuters. Detractors say meatpackers are against this bill, as are some producer groups that oppose federal government directing free market practices. Supporters say it will make it easier for farmers to track prices and increase meatpacker competition.

  • A prolonged drought in Argentina has continued to put downward pressure on the recently planted wheat crop for 2020-21, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange. The dry weather has already caused the exchange to cut its forecasted planting area to 6.5m hectares from 6.8m hectares. It’s unlikely that the 2021-21 harvest will hit the originally estimated 21m tonnes.
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