Edition:
United States

Colin Packham

Cheers mate: Australia to allow kava imports to bolster Pacific ties

Jan 16 2019

SYDNEY Australia will allow imports of the intoxicating drink kava, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday, as it seeks to forge closer ties with its Pacific neighbors amid growing Chinese interest in the region.

GRAINS-Soybeans edge up from two-week low, but trade fears cap gains

Jan 15 2019

* Soybeans under pressure from U.S.-China trade war * Corn rebounds from 6-week low, wheat firms 0.4 pct By Colin Packham SYDNEY, Jan 16 U.S. soybean futures rose 0.5 percent on Wednesday, rebounding from a two-week low in the previous session, although gains were checked amid concerns over a prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing. Corn rose 0.6 percent, rebounding a six-week low touched on Tuesday, while wheat also firmed. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade rose 0.5 percent to $8.97-1/4 a bushel by 0431 GMT, having closed down 1.1 percent on Tuesday when prices hit a $8.93 a bushel - the lowest since Jan. 2. Despite edging higher, analysts said the market remains on edge over the outcome of talks between the United States and Beijing aimed at preventing prevent an escalation of the trade war between the world's two biggest economies. "If you look at the data, China has not been buying as much as I would have imagined. If the talks break down without an agreement, you would imagine this trend will only get worse," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer did not see any progress made on structural issues in trade talks between Washington and Beijing last week, Senator Chuck Grassley said. Analysts also noted support from concerns over dry weather in Brazil and Argentina, which threatens production. The most active corn futures rose 0.6 percent at $3.73-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 1.9 percent in the previous session when prices hit a low of $3.71 a bushel - the lowest since Nov. 28, 2018. The most active wheat futures were up 0.4 percent at$5.13-1/4 a bushel, having closed down 0.6 percent on Tuesday when prices hit a of low of $5.08 a bushel - the lowest since Jan 3. Grains prices at 0431 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 513.25 2.25 +0.44% -0.19% 518.98 48 CBOT corn 373.50 2.25 +0.61% -1.32% 380.06 40 CBOT soy 897.25 4.00 +0.45% -0.69% 911.62 51 CBOT rice 10.36 -$0.02 -0.19% -2.13% $10.61 44 WTI crude 52.12 $0.01 +0.02% +3.19% $49.26 64 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.140 -$0.001 -0.09% -0.61% USD/AUD 0.7198 0.000 -0.03% +0.04% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)

U.S. oil prices edge down amid uncertain global economic outlook

Jan 15 2019

SYDNEY, Jan 16 U.S. oil prices inched lower on Wednesday after gains of more 3 percent in the previous session, pressured by concerns over the outlook for the global economy.

Australia's Navitas backs revised $1.5 billion takeover offer

Jan 14 2019

SYDNEY Australian adult education provider Navitas Ltd on Tuesday said it will back a sweetened buyout proposal worth A$2.09 billion ($1.50 billion) from its founder and a private equity firm, sending its shares to more than a two-year high.

China begins anti-subsidy probe on Australian barley

Dec 21 2018

BEIJING/SYDNEY China's commerce ministry on Friday launched an anti-subsidy probe into Australian barley imports, ramping up pressure on suppliers and increasing uncertainty in the market after an anti-dumping probe announced last month.

GRAINS-Soybeans recoup from 3-wk low, set for second straight weekly fall

Dec 20 2018

* Soybeans down for second straight week * Corn edges higher, on course to finish the week down 2 pct * Wheat poised to record biggest weekly loss in six By Colin Packham SYDNEY, Dec 21 U.S. soybeans futures held steady on Friday after hitting a three-week low earlier in the session, but the oilseed was poised to finish the week down nearly 1 percent amid tepid Chinese demand. Corn edged higher, but the grain was on course to record weekly losses of more than 2 percent, while wheat was poised to record its biggest weekly loss in six months. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were unchanged at 8.93-1/2 a bushel by 0401 GMT, after earlier hitting a low of $8.91-1/2 a bushel - the lowest since Nov. 30. Soybeans closed down 0.7 percent on Thursday. Soybeans are on course to finish the week down nearly 0.8 percent. Analysts said soybeans are under pressure amid weaker-than-expected Chinese demand. "China has bought some cargoes but it has fallen short of market expectations," said a Melbourne-based grains trader. He declined to be named as he is not authorised to talk to the media. China's COFCO group said it had recently bought two batches of soybeans from the United States, amid a truce in a trade war between the two nations. Chinese importers are planning to make a third round of U.S. soybean purchases within days, two sources said on Thursday. But sales so far totalling more than 3 million tonnes have fallen short of the pace suggested by forecasts for record-sized U.S. and global supplies of soybeans this season. The most active corn futures were up 0.4 percent at $3.76-3/4 a bushel, after closing down 1.7 percent in the previous session. Brazilian farmers have started harvesting some soybean fields and crop prospects have improved with beneficial rains following early-week concerns about adverse weather. Despite edging higher, corn is down more than 2 percent for the week, their biggest weekly loss since the week ended Sept. 14. The most active wheat futures was little changed at $5.23-1/4 a bushel, after closing down 1.9 percent on Thursday. Wheat is down more than 1 percent for the week, the biggest weekly loss in six weeks. Grains prices at 0401 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 CBOT wheat 523.25 -0.25 -0.05% +0.14% 518.67 CBOT corn 376.75 1.50 +0.40% -1.31% 378.83 CBOT soy 893.50 0.00 +0.00% -0.72% 895.03 CBOT rice 10.51 -$0.02 -0.19% +0.05% $10.73 WTI crude 46.49 $0.61 +1.33% -1.50% $52.42 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.145 $0.000 +0.04% +0.65% USD/AUD 0.7114 0.001 +0.07% +0.10% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

GRAINS-Soybean prices fall to 3-wk low as Chinese demand underwhelms

Dec 19 2018

* Traders eyes Chinese purchases of U.S. beans * U.S.-China trade war truce fuels expectations * Wheat ticks higher, corn unchanged By Colin Packham SYDNEY, Dec 20 U.S. soybean prices hit a three-week low on Thursday, with investors disappointed by the strength of Chinese demand for North American supplies amid a truce in a trade war between the two nations. Corn prices held steady, while wheat rose after slumping 2 percent in the previous session. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.4 percent at $8.96-1/2 a bushel by 0203 GMT, their lowest since Nov. 30. Soybeans closed down 0.7 percent on Wednesday. "The market is disappointed by Chinese demand. Eventually, they will have to come to the market in larger volumes, but the market has clearly been expecting more," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. China's Sinograin said it had recently bought a few batches of soybeans from the United States, the first official confirmation from the Chinese side of such buying. The most active wheat futures were up 0.3 percent at$5.24 a bushel, having closed 2.1-percent lower on Wednesday. Wheat prices have come under pressure amid ample global supplies that have dented demand for U.S. cargoes. The most active corn futures were unchanged at $3.81-3/4 a bushel, having ended 0.7-percent lower in the previous session. Analysts noted pressure from weaker ethanol production. Some ethanol makers have slowed output because of poor profits, threatening corn demand from an industry that consumes about a third of the U.S. harvest. U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed output at an average of 1.046 million barrels per day last week, unchanged from the previous week. Grains prices at 0314 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 CBOT wheat 524.00 1.50 +0.29% -1.64% 518.43 CBOT corn 381.75 0.00 +0.00% -0.97% 379.32 CBOT soy 896.50 -3.50 -0.39% -1.24% 894.64 CBOT rice 10.44 -$0.06 -0.57% -0.85% $10.73 WTI crude 47.43 -$0.74 -1.54% +2.57% $52.94 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.138 $0.000 +0.04% +0.16% USD/AUD 0.7101 -0.001 -0.08% -1.10% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham Editing by Joseph Radford)

GRAINS-Soybeans hold steady on hopes of continued Chinese orders

Dec 18 2018

* Traders expect China to purchase U.S. beans * Corn edges lower, wheat extends losses By Colin Packham SYDNEY, Dec 19 U.S. soybean futures held steady on Wednesday as expectations of continued large-scale Chinese purchases offset weakness across the broader grains market. Corn fell, giving back most of the gains from the previous session. Wheat extended two days' of losses to fall more than 1 percent. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were unchanged at $9.07-3/4 a bushel by 0426 GMT, after rising 0.3 percent on Tuesday. "China will have to buy U.S. beans, and they might as well do it now when relations are better than they have been for a while," said Phin Ziebell, agri-business analyst, National Australia Bank. Chinese importers bought an unknown quantity of U.S. soybeans on Tuesday in the first major purchases since booking more than 1.5 million tonnes of U.S. soy shipments last week, three traders with knowledge of the deals said. The most active corn futures were down 0.1 percent at $3.85 a bushel, after gaining 0.4 percent in the previous session. Analysts said it was due to the threat to production of corn and soybeans in South America. Heavy rains in parts of Argentina and southern Brazil, and dry conditions in central Brazil have stoked worries that crop yields could be lower than initially expected. The most active wheat futures were down 0.8 percent at $5.28-1/2 a bushel, after ending 0.5 percent lower on Tuesday. U.S. wheat has been bolstered by improving export data as well as signs that Russian wheat is becoming less competitive overseas. Grains prices at 0426 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 CBOT wheat 528.50 -4.25 -0.80% -1.26% 518.43 CBOT corn 385.00 -0.50 -0.13% +0.26% 379.48 CBOT soy 907.75 0.00 +0.00% +0.33% 894.33 CBOT rice 10.65 $0.12 +1.14% +0.90% $10.74 WTI crude 46.28 $0.04 +0.09% -7.22% $53.39 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.139 $0.003 +0.24% +0.37% USD/AUD 0.7195 0.002 +0.21% +0.32% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

Australia's GrainCorp says needs more information on $1.8 billion takeover proposal

Dec 18 2018

SYDNEY Australia's GrainCorp Ltd still does not have enough information about a A$2.38-billion ($1.76-billion) takeover offer from a little-known asset manager to recommend the deal to shareholders, the nation's largest listed bulk grains handler said.

Embattled Australian government forecasts budget 'war chest' ahead of tough 2019 election

Dec 16 2018

SYDNEY Australia's government on Monday forecast the strongest budget outlook in 10 years, arming embattled Prime Minister Scott Morrison with a war chest which could fund possible tax cuts ahead of an early 2019 election which he is forecast to lose.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Australia's budget deficit for the fiscal year to June 2019 would be slashed to A$5.2 billion ($3.7 billion) from the A$14.5 billion projected back in May.

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