1. ADM to expand its Argentina export facilities
Archer Daniels Midland Company said it is improving and expanding its port facilities in Puerto San Martin in the Argentine state of Santa Fe to improve its ability to export grain and other agricultural products from the region.
The improvements include a berth for barge discharge and adding storage capacity, all of which should be completed by early 2016.
ADM is improving port facilities around the world. It previously said it will expand export facilities in Romania on the Black Sea and to its port in northern Brazil.
"We are executing on our plan to diversify and expand our trade and origination territory," Joe Taets, president of ADM's Agricultural Services business unit, said in a statement.
The current export facilities in Puerto San Martin have an annual throughput of approximately 2 million metric tons and the improvements will increase that by 25%, to 2.5 million tons. The increase will allow ADM to reduce its reliance on third-party facilities, which currently limit its ability to export increasing volumes from Paraguay.
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"The improved Puerto San Martin facility, along with our export elevator just downriver in Arroyo Seco and our deep water port at Bahia Blanca, will have a total annual throughput capacity of 7.5 million tons, giving us the ability to take full advantage of expanding agricultural production in Paraguay and Argentina," said Taets.
2. Argentina soybean crop raised to record 60 million metric tons: Reuters
Argentina's 2014/15 soybean crop is now estimated by the government at a record 60
million tonnes, that is up from a previous forecast of 59 million and 53.4 million for the previous season's crop, Reuters reported.
The agriculture ministry also raised its forecast for the 2014/15 corn crop to 31 million tonnes from its previous estimates of 30 million. Last year, Argentina produced 33 million.
USDA currently estimates the Argentina soybean crop at 58.5 million and the corn crop at 24.5 million.
3. Drought may force lower corn estimate for South Africa: Bloomberg
South Africa will probably cut its corn production estimate for 2015 by 0.6% after a drought earlier this year damaged crops in the African continent's largest grower of the grain, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Local farmers may reap 9.7 million metric tons this season, according to the median of six analysts' estimates in the survey. That would be the least since 2007 and lower than the April 29 outlook from the Crop Estimates Committee, which will release its forecast on May 26.
The worst drought since 1992 hurt crops in the Free State and North West provinces, which accounted for almost two-thirds of corn production last year, and prompted the nation to import corn last month for the first time in almost a year.
"The yields are reportedly far below average in many areas of Free State and North West, but irrigation areas are reportedly good and the sentiment within farmers is promising," Wandile Sihlobo an economist at Grain SA, a growers lobby group, said in the Bloomerg story.
Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 9.28 million tons to 9.83 million tons. Farmers, due to finish harvesting in September, reaped 14.3 million tons in 2014, the most in 33 years.