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Morning round-up, Friday February 21


* China’s Ministry of Finance said on Friday that the country has put aside 1.4bn yuan ($200m) to protect crops from pests, including fall armyworm and locusts.


According to Reuters, fall armyworm has spread over a million hectares of Chinese farmland since it was first reported in January 2019.


The pest is expected to hit more areas this year, putting corn and wheat output at risk.



* Customs figures from Algeria showed that the country’s spending on cereal imports dropped by 11.7% in 2019.


This is in line with the government’s plans to reduce spending on cereal imports after a drop in energy earnings.



* China on Friday said that it would be banning poultry imports from Slovenia, Hungary, Germany and Ukraine due to bird flu.



* According to estimates from the US Depart of Agriculture (USDA), China’s hog production shrunk by 195m animals from 2018 due to African swine fever.


It added that the disease will likely kill another 80m pigs in 2020.



* The department on Thursday announced plans to have biofuels make up 30% of the US’s transportation fuels by 2050.


According to the US Energy Information Administration, the current level is about 10%.



* ASB Bank said that dairy production in New Zealand is likely to shrink by 0.5% in 2019-20 compared with the year before.


The bank said that worsening dry weather in the country had prompted it to adjust its forecast.


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