According to Reuters, Chinese corn buyers are cancelling orders from the US and are switching to Ukraine as Beijing tightens controls on processing GM varieties.
It was unclear how many shipments had been affected, but one source said up to four cargoes totalling 210KMT and worth about $40 million had been cancelled last month.
The World Bank announced it is rolling out crop receipts across Ukraine to expand access to finance for small scale farmers.
Crop receipts are a pre-harvest financial instrument which allows farmers to use future harvests as collateral allowing them to purchase seeds, fertiliser and chemicals.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have also agreed to provide financial assistance in Ukraine, this time for the construction of the first stage of a 72MW solar plant on the site of a former chemical plant in Lviv, Ukraine.
I’m sure solar power makes sense in Ukraine but if it was me, I’d fund the development of biomass production around each major conurbation which could then provide power and central heating.
Russia has presented a new doctrine on food security to the Public Council at the Ministry of Agriculture with the Chair of Council saying, "This is a strategic document that will determine the development of agriculture for the next 10 years, which will make it possible to take agriculture to a new level."
The Director who presented the doctrine said it includes measures to stimulate development of exports, improve quality of food, increase volume of grain processing, formation of production clusters, development of agricultural cooperation and a network of wholesale distribution.
It sounds like it could be significant, and we should all endeavour to get a copy, translate it and read it.
One point of interest I did spot was an apparent U turn to previous announcements that Russia wanted to extend import substitution policy to include seeds when the Director of Department of Plant Production spoke about measures to improve the regulatory framework and procedure for importing seeds into Russia.
New Zealand’s Fonterra cooperative is to expand its business in Russia by acquiring a 49% stake in a St Petersburg-based joint venture with Foodline.
The investment is not without controversy as it appears to indicate a change in trade policy by New Zealand after previously standing with the EU, US and others who had imposed sanctions on Russia in response to the annexation of Crimea and conflict in Ukraine.
Remote sensing of Russian and Ukraine snow conditions showed thawing across major winter wheat growing regions last week, it’s unlikely to have much impact on yield prospects at this stage as temperatures are relatively mild but we will know more in March when we kick off our first Crop Tour of the 2018 season.
Finally, on a sad and sobering note, there are no reported survivors from the Russian passenger plane, believed to be carrying 71 people, that crashed Sunday afternoon shortly after taking off from Moscow.