Saturday, August 8, 2009

Agriculture Investor Weekend Reading

Soleil sees potash prices set to skid, from Vancouver Sun

Soleil Securities said on Friday that potash prices were set to skid about 25 percent, noting that Agrium Inc AGU.TO said late on Thursday that it cut U.S. potash pricing. Soleil analyst Mark Gulley said Agrium is dropping its U.S. list prices around 25 percent, in line with price cuts by Russia’s Silvinit SILV.RTRS and Germany’s K+S SDFG.DE.

The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals, from The American

I’m so tired of people who wouldn’t visit a doctor who used a stethoscope instead of an MRI demanding that farmers like me use 1930s technology to raise food. Farming has always been messy and painful, and bloody and dirty. It still is.

But now we have to listen to self-appointed experts on airplanes frightening their seatmates about the profession I have practiced for more than 30 years. I’d had enough. I turned around and politely told the lecturer that he ought not believe everything he reads. He quieted and asked me what kind of farming I do. I told him, and when he asked if I used organic farming, I said no, and left it at that. I didn’t answer with the first thought that came to mind, which is simply this: I deal in the real world, not superstitions, and unless the consumer absolutely forces my hand, I am about as likely to adopt organic methods as the Wall Street Journal is to publish their next edition by setting the type by hand.

Jim Rogers Says U.S. Commodity Curbs to Drive Markets Overseas, from Bloomberg

As the U.S. contemplates tighter regulation, China’s interest in commodities is accelerating, Rogers said. The world’s most populous country already accounts for about one- third of global copper usage. It also accounts for about one- sixth of wheat demand and one-fifth of soybeans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The three commodity exchanges in China are booming,” he said. “Dalian trades more soybean contracts than Chicago does already, and that’s with a blocked currency, a closed market. Can you imagine what’s going to happen if and when they open that market up to foreigners? It’s going to explode.”

Sugar Climbs to 28-Year High in N.Y. on India Weather Outlook, from Bloomberg

Sugar climbed to the highest price in more than 28 years in New York on concerns that low monsoon rainfall may stunt cane crops and reduce output in India, the world’s largest producer after Brazil.

“Subdued rainfall activity is likely to continue over western, central and peninsular parts of the country” in the next two to three days, the India Meteorological Department said today. Precipitation in India, the world’s largest sugar consumer, was 64 percent below the long-term average in the week ended Aug. 5, the weather bureau said yesterday.

“Concerns over poor supply and strong imports in India have been a major driver of recent price strength, and further fuel for the rally today came from forecasts by the Indian weather office for weak rains in most cane regions,” London- based Barclays Capital said in a report.