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Morning round-up, Thursday February 15

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GrainCorp forecast a sharp drop in underlying earnings to Aus$50m-70m for it 2018 financial year, from uus$142m last time, blaming a 2017-18 grains harvest which in its core eastern Australian stamping ground came in “significantly below the long-term average”.


Crop receivals this financial year, which started in October, at 5.8m tonnes, were well behind the 15.0m tonnes for the last financial year (in full).


“Significantly lower grain stocks across the eastern seaboard means a large portion of the crop will remain in Australia, either on-farm or secured by domestic customers,” said Mark Palmquist, the GrainCorp chief executive, forecasting a 60-75% tumble in GrainCorp’s exports this financial year.


GrainCorp shares nonetheless rose by 4.1% to Aus$7.64 in Sydney.




In trade news, Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Grains Organization tendered for 960,000 tonnes of feed barley, for delivery April 1 to May 15, with a deadline of Friday for offers.


And Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture bought 84,683 tonnes of milling wheat from the US and Canada in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.




Terra Forte pegged the Brazilian coffee harvest this year at 59.15m bags, up from 48.17m bags last year.


The exporter’s estimate comprises 43.62m bags of arabica production, up from 37.09m bags last year, with robusta production seen soaring to 15.53m bags from 11.8m bags in 2017.




Derek Chambers, who has been head of cocoa for Sucden since he opened the desk for the French-based commodities trader in July 2011, will step down this year and be replaced by his deputy Paul Davis, Reuters reported.


Mr Chambers will resign in April as head of the cocoa desk in April, but will stay on for at least two years as an advisor, he told Reuters in an emailed statement.




Pilgrim’s Pride reported a 5.4% jump in operating income for its fourth fiscal quarter, on sales up 15.7% at $2.74bn.


The results include an extra week from last time, being based on the 14 weeks to December 31, rather than the 13 weeks to December 25 as in 2016.


The figures were also adjusted to include a full period of contributions from Moy Park, the UK-based chicken producer whose $1.3bn purchase was announced in September.

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