The USDA has predicted a three percent drop in soybean production in 2005, while last week's terrorist attack on London has affected a number of commodity markets.
- The soy complex closed mostly lower on July 7 reflecting improved prospects for rain into the central Corn Belt for this week if Hurricane Dennis tracks as expected. Most weather models assume a westerly track and that the hurricane's moisture would reach west of Illinois.
The terrorist activity in London also contributed to active fund selling in a wide range of commodity markets.
- US soybean planted area for 2005 could reach 29.7 million hectares, down three percent from last year's record high acreage, according to USDA. Area for harvest, forecast to be 29.3 million hectares, is down two percent from 2004.
- Iowa State University is beginning a study of the molecular interaction between a soybean plant and the Asian rust fungus, one of the first studies to look at the molecular changes that occur in soybeans infected by the pathogen. Researchers affiliated with Iowa State's Plant Sciences Institute hope the investigation can someday lead to the development of a soybean variety resistant to the deadly pathogen.
Iowa State plans to capture genetic material at the earliest stages of the infection because the molecular interactions between the soybean plant and the rust fungus at that time are expected to be critical in determining the fate of disease progression.
- The American Soybean Association (ASA) has welcomed the US Senate's approval of the trade agreement between the United States, the Dominican Republic, and the Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (CAFTA).
The association claims that the deal will greatly benefit the US soy industry, with some economists estimating that US agricultural exports could be increased by $1.5 billion when fully implemented.
- Elsewhere, Brazil's agriculture ministry held its estimate for the 2004-05 soybean crop (October-September) at a record 50.2 million tonnes in its July forecast. The production estimate is marginally higher than last year's record 49.8 million tonnes.
However, output could have been 10 million tonnes higher, were it not for a sustained drought in the south of the country, said the ministry.
- Argentina intends to fight a lawsuit filed by Monsanto over alleged infringement of property rights by farmers planting genetically modified soybeans. Last week, Monsanto filed a patent infringement suit in Denmark against traders in Argentine soybeans produced from its genetically modified Roundup Ready (RR) seeds.
- And finally, China is expected to produce around 11 million tonnes of rapeseed this year, 15 percent less than 2004, according to the China National Grains and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC).
However, ample supplies of other oils mean that neither rape oil prices nor rapeseed imports are likely to benefit from the shortfall. Rapeseed production has been hit by cold spring weather in central China, and this is reported to have reduced the oil yield. CNGOIC estimates this year's harvest at 11.2 million tonnes.
Canada has increased its canola area this year and had hoped to fill some of the supply gap created by lower Chinese rapeseed production.