Fertilizer Markets and Finance

On this blog I publish posts & news about what's new in the fertilizer industry and how it's markets are affected by geopolitical developments, environmental changes and monetary policies. I also focus on how farmers are affected by government decisions, and economic fundamentals of the market place. I am passionate about agriculture in Trinidad and write about problems farmers face in the agriculture industry especially in rural areas. Thanks for viewing.

Jonathan Mohan


Some of my highlighted work -
The destruction of Trinidad and Tobagos’ local banana market.
http://tinyurl.com/pne2lwv

The geopolitics and economic stratagem of Uralkali’s bombshell will change the global potash oligopoly.
http://tinyurl.com/l57nco8
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Posts tagged "food"

Read more at Business Spectator

Pop-Corn Revolution World takes to streets to protest Monsanto & GMO. A worldwide rally against genetically modified food giant Monsanto is being held across the globe. Activists are protesting the use of potentially harmful chemicals in food production, something Monsanto says is the only way to feed the globe’s growing population. Hundreds of cities are set to take part in the march across more than 60 countries. RT’s Marina Portnaya reports from New York. LIVE UPDATES http://on.rt.com/4x3bwp

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Thousands took to streets across the world’s cities on Saturday to protest the use of GMO products, with Giant Monsanto being the main target. Over 50 countries have been taking part in the march for world food day, and across 47 different US states. RT’s Anissa Naouai reports. READ MORE http://on.rt.com/jrts7f

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Read more at WSJ

On May 31 world media headlines read “Monsanto backing away from GMO crops in Europe.” But before the world opens the champagne to celebrate the death of GMO, it is worthwhile to look more closely at what was officially said and what not.

The original source for the story is attributed to a German left daily, TAZ which printed excerpts from an interview with an official spokeswoman of Monsanto Germany. 

Ursula Lüttmer-Ouazane reportedly told Taz “We’ve come to the conclusion that this has no broad acceptance at the moment.” 

Her remarks were circulated worldwide and Reuters interviewed Monsanto corporate spokesman Thomas Helscher who reportedly said, “We’re going to sell the GM seeds only where they enjoy broad farmer support, broad political support and a functioning regulatory system. As far as we’re convinced this only applies to a few countries in Europe today, primarily Spain and Portugal.”  

A Monsanto interview with a leftist German paper created the impression around the world that the world’s largest patent-holder of GMO seeds is in full retreat from pushing their GMO seeds, at least in the European Union. The reality is anything but that.  Among other things, on June 10 the EU Commission plans to approve a new Monsanto GMO maize sort. 

Read more at Russia Today

Britain will be forced to become a net importer of wheat for the first time in a decade this year, after the recent bitter weather devastated crops.

A disastrous 12-month cycle of poor weather has ruined harvests across the UK, costing farmers an estimated £500m, the chief economist of the National Farmers Union (NFU) warned.

The conditions mean Britain – traditionally a significant net exporter of wheat – will have to boost imports by more than a million tonnes.

While the effect on the price of a loaf of bread is expected to be minimal, the dismal harvests will increase the country’s reliance on the secretive trading firms which dominate the international grain market.

The crop damage deals a further blow to Britain’s beleaguered farming industry, which is already reeling from a spate of recent livestock deaths due to the cold weather. To make matters worse, the weather has made planting new crops more difficult and damaged many of the seeds that have been sown in recent weeks.

Read more at The Independent

The Financialization of Food. Sasha Breger Bush: In the name of democratizing finance, derivative exchanges are achieving the opposite

A new report has recently come from the United Nations marking the fertilizer crisis that the author of the report said the world is facing. They claim that an imbalance has started occurring with far too little use of fertilizers in some places, and far too much in others.

The report “Our Nutrient World” is issued today. In the report, experts have warned that the fertilizers are not being used properly across the world, which has started creating an imbalance in the eco system.

Plant growth needs an adequate application of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients, an increase or decrease can start doing a trouble. Similar have become the concerns of the professionals too because they have noticed that plant growth, which is very beneficial for world food and energy production, is affected due to improper use of fertilizers.

They fear that the imbalance has not only started causing a web of water or air pollution but also, it has started affecting the human health. More of toxic algal blooms and killing of fish has become a big threat for our sensitive ecosystem. And, this is what is mostly affecting climate change too, mentions the report.

There are also some parts of the world, which have insufficient access to fertilizers, added the report.

It’s now time that the concerned authorities and departments call for a major global rethink upon how to efficiently use fertilizers across the world, suggests report.

John Gibbons on global agribusiness & the supply-demand imbalance at Future Farm Americas John Gibbons, President of Olam Americas, gave a talk at last year’s Future Farm Americas titled “Keynote address: From ABCD to NOW: leading the way in global agribusiness & combating the supply-demand imbalance”.

Future Farm Americas is the leading technology and innovation event for agribusiness and suppliers. Farming companies, agribusiness, investors and technology providers will come together to see the latest products and new advances in ‘Smart’ farming.

For more information, go to www.terrapinn.com/farmamericas. Or, check out our blog at blogs.terrapinn.com/total-asset for up to date information on the agribusiness sector.

Tim Wise and Sophia Murphy: More than a billion people without food security need action on speculation, biofuels, land grabs, climate change and low levels of public food reserves

Grocery Bills on the Rise TWILA TV’s Neil Melancon tells us why we may see a spike in grocery store prices this year.

Almost-finalised plans for exporting Indian wheat to Iran, touted as a major initiative as part of rupee-payment for Iran oil, remain a non-starter.

Under the rupee payment mechanism, 45% of the oil import bill from Iran is credited in rupees and at present Iran has US $5 billion in rupees in the account from this. The rupee trade for oil means Iran has to make use of that money in India. Out of the US $15.94 billion in 2012, Indian exports accounted for just US $2.40 billion.

With US sanctions looming large over Iran for its nuclear programme, New Delhi is worried about its export basket not expanding to make use of the rising rupee payment.

The plan was agreed upon during prime minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Iran last year, but both sides are yet to sort out the quality issues so they can enter into a long-term arrangement for wheat export.

The quality issue is with regard to a fungal disease, known as ‘Karnal bunt’, in Indian wheat. Iran had stopped buying wheat from India in 1996 alleging high levels of Karnal bunt in grain.

India has subsequently argued that its wheat has internationally permissible levels of Karnal bunt and that Iran was using a similar yardstick of quality for wheat from USA.

NEW DELHI: Food Corporation of India (FCI) is sending a delegation to study wheat exports with international wheat buyers in Singapore and Australia. The visit is significant as the food agency is keen to clear its choked warehouses ahead of the new harvest in April.

The delegation, led by FCI CMD Amar Singh, will also study gradation system, silo storage and port operations in these countries. “It’s only three months left for the fresh harvest. We need to evacuate the warehouses to create space. Our delegation will not only explore export opportunities but also study technical aspects of grainBSE 3.74 % handling, port operations, logistics and scientific storage,” said a senior food ministry official.

The delegation will also study quality up-gradation of wheat to make Indian wheat competent against the crops of Australia and Ukrainian. India exports wheat to South Korea, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand andMalaysia.

"Indian wheat draws lesser price than that of Australia and Ukrainian due to quality issues. Most of them are related to post-harvest management. We want to implement the best global practices to upgrade the quality. We need more markets to clear the surplus stock," the official added.

India is preparing to export a record 9.5 million tonne wheat in the current fiscal year from the government stock. The government has already allowed 4.5 million tonne export.

"We are considering allowing private players to draw from government stocks to speed up exports. We need to make room for fresh harvest," said Union Food Minister KV Thomas.

The government is skeptical about the storage facilities ahead of the new harvest, which promises a record production. The government is sitting on a huge pile of wheat stock of 38 million tonne and it is likely to procure another 40 million tonne this season - up from last year’s purchase of 39 million tonne. At present, the government has a storage capacity of around 71 million tonne including 18 million tonne of cover and plinth capacity that can’t keep the grains intact for more than a few weeks.

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India exports wheat to South Korea, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia.