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Morning round-up, Thursday February 27


* New Zealand’s a2 Milk on Thursday said that the coronavirus had little impact on its infant product demand in China, a category which helped the company deliver a half-year net profit of $116.73m.



* Rabobank said that China’s beef imports are likely to slow in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus preventing the use the of the high volume of beef secured for the Lunar New Year celebrations.

"This lower sales volume means beef demand will be weaker than normal years in H1," the bank explained.



* India’s food minister, Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday announced the lifting of a ban on onion exports.

The minister made the announcement on Twitter, adding that the decision to lift the ban was taken on expectation of a bumper crop and more stable onion prices in the country.



* Zimbabwe’s information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa announced a fivefold increase to the maize producer price to 6,958 Zimbabwe dollars (US$389) a tonne from 1,400 Zimbabwe dollars.

The increase is meant to encourage crop deliveries to state silos after a severe drought drained grain reserves last year.



* South Africa’s Corp Estimates Committee said the country will likely harvest 14.560m tonnes of maize in 2020, up 29% from the previous year’s 11.275m tonnes.

It said that good weather conditions and an increase in the hectares planted were behind the improved forecast.

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