Archive for February, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013 @ 07:02 AM
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Feb. 28, 2013 by Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily
Have you ever heard the phrase, “overfed but undernourished?” This aptly describes the two-thirds of Americans who are considered overweight or obese. As a society, we are eating plenty, but are we getting the nutrients we need to thrive? And, if not, how does this impact our daily performance, longevity and future generations?

Amidst a sea of Meatless Mondays campaigns and anti-beef sentiments, a new study in the United Kingdom (UK) highlights the crucial role of red meat in the diet.

The study, which is entitled, “The Seven Ages Of Man – Is There A Role For Meat In The Diet?” is set to be published in the British Nutrition Foundation’s Nutrition Bulletin.
Here’s an excerpt from a report on the study:

“Millions of people are putting their health at risk because of inadequate intakes of vital vitamins and minerals, a new study has revealed. But the research also highlights just how important the role of red meat is in the diet in helping to cover this nutrition gap. Meat has been a staple part of the human diet since the dawn of mankind, but in recent years there has been some debate over whether too much red meat can raise the risk of health problems. Now a team of researchers has studied the issue of meat in the diet to help gauge just how important it is for a healthy mind and body – as well as the crucial nutrients that red meat in the diet brings.

“The latest study found that data from dietary surveys indicates that diets for people of all ages can be worryingly low in nutrients normally found in meat, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium and potassium. The researchers say that integrating red meat into diets across the age spectrum, from infanthood to old age, may help to narrow the present gap between vitamin and mineral intakes and recommended levels. In addition, there is emerging evidence that nutrients commonly found in red meat may play a role in supporting cognitive function, immune health and addressing iron deficiency.”

So, what is red meat’s role in the diet? Here is what the study finds:

“Red meat – defined as beef, veal, pork and lamb, which is fresh, minced or frozen – is a source of high-quality protein and important micronutrients. Beef and lamb are classed as a ‘rich source’ – more than 30% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) – of vitamin B3 (niacin), B12 (cyanocobalamin) and zinc. It is also a ‘source’ – 15% or more of the RDA – of iron, potassium and phosphorous. Pork is also a ‘rich source’ of vitamin B1 (thiamin). Meat, particularly from grass-fed animals, can be a valuable source of long chain (LC) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) such as omega 3 fatty acids. Research shows that these fatty acids support normal fetal development as well as help lower the risk of inflammatory conditions, depression and dementia in later life. Red meat is also an important source of heme iron – a type that is readily absorbed – and data shows that average iron intakes in the UK are inadequate, especially among females in general and during pregnancy.”

I encourage you to read through the study’s findings, which rebut pronouncements that beef has an adverse effect on health. Additionally, it breaks down the deficiencies most commonly found in babies, young people and the elderly, and how red meat can help bridge the nutritional gap.

This is a fantastic study to read and share. Check it out and post it on your favorite social media sites. The good news is you can enjoy your steak or burger, knowing that it’s not just good, but it’s nature’s multi-vitamin, too.

Thursday, February 21, 2013 @ 09:02 AM
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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) — Soybeans fell in Chicago on speculation the U.S. government will forecast record planting this year, boosting prospects for global oilseed supplies. Corn and wheat dropped.
Farmers in the U.S. will probably sow a record 78.1 million acres of land with soybeans, almost doubling inventories before the 2014 harvest, according to the average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to update its estimates on planting and supply at an annual forum that begins today.
“Prices are very lucrative for farmers to expand planting,” Faiyaz Hudani, a Mumbai-based grains and oilseeds analyst at Kotak Commodity Services Ltd., said today. “That’s pressuring prices lower.”
Soybeans for delivery in May slid 0.3 percent to $14.6425 a bushel at 6:53 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after rising 4.3 percent in the three prior sessions. Trading volume was 35 percent more than the 100-day average at that time of day.
Corn for delivery in May declined 0.4 percent to $6.9375 a bushel. U.S. farmers may seed 97.7 million acres with the grain, the highest since 1936, spurring record production of 13.863 billion bushels, according to the Bloomberg survey.
Wheat for delivery in May fell 0.6 percent to $7.41 a bushel. On NYSE Liffe, milling wheat for the same delivery month rose 0.3 percent to 239.25 euros ($315.48) a metric ton in Paris and feed wheat for delivery in May was unchanged at 207.75 pounds ($316.90) a ton in London, after gains in three of the last four sessions.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 @ 03:02 PM
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By Tony C. Dreibus and Whitney McFerron, Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.

Soybean futures rose the most this month on signs of improved demand from China and mounting concern that rains missed crops in the driest parts of Argentina. Corn and wheat prices fell.
U.S. exporters sold 120,000 metric tons of soybeans to China, the world’s largest buyer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Rain and thunderstorms in Argentina, the world’s largest exporter after the U.S. and Brazil, probably missed north-central and northwest Buenos Aires, forecaster Telvent DTN said in a report today.
“Traders are optimistic we’re going to see a surge in soybean sales,” with China resuming purchases after the weeklong New Year holiday, Dewey Strickler, the president of Ag Watch Market Advisers in Franklin, Kentucky, said by telephone. “There were some rains in Argentina, but traders were disappointed with the coverage.”
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 1.8 percent to $14.4025 a bushel at 10:17 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest advance for a most-active contract since Jan. 30. Trading was 56 percent above the 100-day average for this time of day, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg. The market was closed yesterday for the Presidents Day holiday.
Farmers in Argentina are delaying sales on expectations that the depreciation of the peso against the dollar will accelerate, boosting revenue for exporters, Argentine newspaper Clarin reported yesterday. Farmers have sold 35 percent fewer soybeans from the coming harvest than they did at this time last year, Clarin said, citing Agriculture Ministry data.
Corn futures for May delivery fell 1.1 percent to $6.895 a bushel in Chicago. The price through Feb. 15 was down 5.9 percent since the end of January.
Soybean’s premium to corn has jumped to $7.50 a bushel after falling as low as $7.1325 on Feb. 12. The spread widened to $7.76 a bushel on Feb. 7.
Wheat futures for May delivery declined 1.7 percent to $7.36 a bushel in Chicago. The most-active contract through Feb. 15 was down 3.8 percent this year.

Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 11:02 AM
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World demand for soybeans will continue to be robust, but South America’s large bean crop will start hitting the market in about 30 days, which could push prices lower.

In its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) released Feb. 8, USDA cut projected ending stocks for the 2012-13 soybean crop to 125 million bushels, a drop of 10 million bushels from last month. The new projected carryout was slightly lower than trade expectations.
“The situation is still tight in the U.S., so prices will stay generally strong into the summer,” says Jack Scoville, vice president of The Price Futures Group, Chicago. Scoville was the commentator on an MGEX press briefing following release of the report. “Beans could fall to $10 or single digits this fall if we have a fabulous crop, but if we don’t we could see pretty extreme prices given demand, particularly from China.”
USDA raised its forecast for soybean crush by 10 million bushels to 1.615 billion bushels because of continued strong demand for soybean meal from end users, both foreign and domestic.
Tighter supplies spurred USDA to raise its U.S. season-average soybean price for the 2012-13 marketing year to $13.55 to $15.05 per bushel, up a nickel on both ends of the range. It left the soybean meal price unchanged at $430 to $460 per ton.
South America’s record strong crop

The biggest changes in USDA’s WASDE report for soybeans occurred in Argentina and Brazil. Timely rains that are expected to improve soybean yields convinced USDA to increase its forecast for bean production in Brazil, where growers are expected to produce a record-high crop of 83.5 million metric tons. That’s up 1 million tons from last month’s WASDE forecast. Earlier this week, the Brazilian government released its own estimate for the country’s soybean production at 82.65 million metric tons.
If Brazil’s output is realized, it will surpass projected U.S. output of 82.06 million metric tons.
“Prospects for Argentina’s soybean crop have diminished in recent weeks due to an extended period of dry weather,” USDA says in its report. As a result, the department lowered its forecast for Argentine soybeans by 1 million metric tons to 53 million.
“There will be plenty of beans coming out of South America starting in about 30 days,” Scoville says. Despite wet weather earlier in the season and persistently dry conditions now, harvest is progressing adequately in Argentina. “Even with all the weather problems, Argentina will be harvesting an awfully big crop,” he adds.
Changes in the global outlook, primarily in Brazil, raised world output for soybeans to 269.5 million tons, up slightly from last month’s 269.41 million, and ending stocks to 60.12 million tons, up from last month’s 59.46 million tons. While the 2012-13 projected ending stocks of soybeans are stronger than last year’s estimated 55.25 million tons, they are more than 15% lower than 2010-11’s 69.92 million metric tons.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 @ 11:02 AM
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CHICAGO—U.S. soybean futures rose to a seven-week closing high as dry weather threatened to damage crops in Argentina, the world’s third-largest soybean producer.
Soybeans for March delivery at the Chicago Board of Trade settled up 14 1/2 cents, or 1%, to $14.88 3/4 a bushel on Monday, the highest settlement for the front-month contract since Dec. 14.
Scorching heat and cloudless skies over the past few weeks have raised concerns that Argentina may not produce the expected bumper crops that would help rebuild tight global supplies of soybeans. The threat looms after droughts last year in both South America and the U.S. stunted production of the oilseed.
Weekend rains in Argentina were lighter than expected, renewing concerns about dryness in key growing areas. And no significant rain is expected until next weekend.
“We’re worried, and there’s not much we can do,” said Andres Rosenberg, a soybean grower in Argentina. Mr. Rosenberg predicted that portions of his crops in central Buenos Aires province will yield 15% to 20% fewer soybeans than they would with normal rainfall.
U.S. soybean futures soared to record highs last September as worries about the U.S. drought peaked. Prices then eased as the U.S. crop turned out better than expected, but supplies remain tight and demand is strong.
Futures also drew support Monday from reports indicating robust export demand for U.S soybeans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said private exporters reported selling 116,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China, the world’s largest soybean importer. It was the fifth time in two weeks that the USDA reported new sales of U.S. soybeans to China.
The USDA also said Monday that officials had inspected or weighed for export 53.89 million bushels of soybeans in the week through Thursday. That was well above the range of 36 million to 42 million bushels predicted by analysts.
“We’re just using beans faster than we should,” said Steve DeCook, president of Four Seasons Commodities Corp., a Dallas-based commodity trading advisory firm that manages about $64 million.
Heavy rainfall early in the growing season benefited crops in Argentina, but the recent drier weather trend has become prolonged enough to raise worries about production losses. Dry conditions are likely to persist in about 40% of the country’s soybean belt, private forecaster Commodity Weather Group LLC said Monday.
The weather has been more favorable for soy crops in Brazil, which is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world’s top soybean producer based on the size of its crop that will be harvested in the next few months.
Closely watched crop forecaster Informa Economics Inc. on Friday raised its production estimate for Brazil’s current soybean crop by 1% to 84 million metric tons, according to traders. But that was outweighed by a cut in Informa’s soybean production estimate for Argentina, by 7% to 54.5 million tons.
U.S. corn and wheat futures fell Monday after the USDA reported less than expected of each grain was inspected for export in the week through Thursday. Tepid export demand has weighed on the prices of both grains in recent months.
March corn futures settled down 1 3/4 cents, or 0.2%, at $7.34 1/4 a bushel.
CBOT March wheat settled down two cents, or 0.3%, at $7.63 a bushel. KCBT March wheat fell 5 cents, or 0.6%, to $8.17 a bushel. MGEX March wheat fell 4 3/4 cents, or 0.6%, to $8.47 a bushel.