The soy complex closed lower on 16 June as a period of hot, dry weather was forecast, according to the American Soy Association (ASA). With the market becoming increasingly worried about the weather, the underlying fundamentals apart from yield prospects continue to tighten. In addition, a new outbreak of Asian soybean rust has been discovered near Tallahassee, Florida. This marks the fifth soybean rust discovery in Florida this season. None of the soybeans in the immediate area are at the critical stage of mid blooming to early pod development, the stage that most agronomists recommend consideration of preventative ASR fungicide treatments. The emergence of Asian soybean rust in the US has caused consternation in parts of the country. The disease is new to the States, having arrived after soybeans were already harvested in November 2004. Biotech firm Arcadia Biosciences has acquired Seattle-based Anawah, a food and agricultural research company focused on the development of value-added whole foods. Utilizing Anawah's proprietary Tilling technology, an advanced selective breeding technology that enables the identification and exploitation of genetic variation within a plant's genome, Arcadia hopes to develop more nutritious and better-tasting soy and grain-based products. The WTO ruling on a complaint filed by the United States, Canada and Argentina contesting what they claim is the EU's moratorium on approvals of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been put off until October. The chairman of the panel, Christian Haberli, said that the complexity of the case, the large amount of documentation submitted, as well as the decision to consult with scientific experts on technical issues raised as the reasons for the delay. Argentine farmers will harvest a record 38.3 million tons of 2004-05 soybeans, according to the Agriculture Secretariat. This estimate would put production up 21.6 percent from 31.5 million tons a year ago. The USDA expects 2004-05 Argentine production to be 39 million tons. Brazil is worried that China may impose restrictions on its soybean shipments in retaliation against proposed barriers targeting Chinese imports. Brazil is considering import tariffs and quotas on Chinese products that it believes are being dumped, including textiles and footwear. China will import 24.5 million tons of soybean in the 2004-05 fiscal year, a jump of 45 percent as compared with the figure in the 2003-04 fiscal year, according to China State Grain and Oil Information Center. The report from Asia Pulse Businesswire also says that China is likely to import some 12 million tons of soybean from the United States. Solae has organized a symposium entitled Emerging trends in soy health benefits: Resulting market opportunities" for the forthcoming IFT meeting in New Orleans next month. The session will explore emerging research relating soy protein to benefits for weight management, glycemic response, satiety and cancer risk reduction. It will also explore new theories around life cycle, which suggest that there may be certain life stages where consumption of soy-based foods may have the most profound impact on long-term health. And finally, the ASA has urged US farmers and livestock producers to support the United States-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The ASA wants its members to send an email or a letter to their legislators voicing their support of the agreement. Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua represent a growing region of 45 million people that imported $264 million in U.S. soy product in 2003.