Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 85

Quote of the week:

“In good or bad times, we still need to eat.”

Sabri Ahmad, CEO of Felda Global Ventures, a Malaysian palm-oil producer, makes a case for palm-oil being a recession proof commodity. Felda raised $3.1 billion in an IPO that was second only to Facebook’s $16 billion sale so far this year. Shares in Felda Global Ventures rose as much as 20% in their trading debut in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday. Felda’s IPO is being looked at as a rare success story in Asian markets, which continue to struggle with weak trading volumes and lackluster demand for new offerings because of weak macroeconomic sentiment about Europe and China. The float is reportedly supported by Malaysian pension funds, including Tabung Haji, an Islamic fund.

1)      Milking profits amid scandals in China

Global dairy companies have found a lucrative market in China as consumers grow weary of local milk brands and are willing to pay a premium for the perceived-safer foreign ones

Having given consumers- including babies- mercury, liver damaging aflatoxin and protein boosting industrial chemical…

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Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 84

Quote of the week:

“We will show at Rio+20 that, independent of anything, we have built one of the biggest, low-cost and high-quality agricultural industries on the planet and still managed to preserve 61% of our forest, a thing that no other country in the world can claim,”

Senator Katia Abreu, president of the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil to the Financial Times on the sidelines of the Rio+20 global earth summit. There has been a long-running debate in Brazil over the so called ‘forest code’- a new law governing the future of the Amazon jungle. The key to the ‘forest code debate’ is that in Brazil, responsibility for conservation falls largely on private landowners rather than the state. Environmentalists want the government to strengthen the law which they say grants an amnesty to illegal deforesters but farmers see the Rio Summit as an opportunity to burnish Brazil’s environmental credentials, arguing that the law is the world’s most stringent regarding conservation on private land.

 1)      Agri trading M&A heats up

The agricultural-trading industry is being redrawn and North…

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Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 83

Quote of the week:

“GM crops are neither all good nor all bad and GM is not going to feed the world overnight. But it is a very powerful tool and should be kept in the tool box”

Professor Guy Poppy, an ecologist at the University of Southampton commenting on new research published in the journal Nature. Crops genetically modified to poison pests can deliver significant environmental benefits, according to the study spanning two decades and 1.5m square kilometres. The benefits extended to non-GM crops in neighbouring fields, the researchers have found. Plants engineered to produce a bacterial toxin lethal to some insects but harmless to people were grown across more than 66m hectares around the world in 2011. Bt cotton is one type and now makes up 95% of China’s vast plantations. Since its introduction in 1997, pesticide use has halved and the study showed this led to a doubling of natural insect predators such as ladybirds, lacewings and spiders. These killed pests not targeted by the Bt cotton, in cotton fields, but also in conventional corn, soybean and peanut fields.

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