Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd Hubbs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of IllinoisThe midpoint of the 2018-19 marketing year for corn arrived on Friday, March 1. Typically, the market begins to focus on new crop acreage and production prospects. Uncertainty regarding trade negotiations and lower use in domestic consumption categories may keep old crop consumption closer to the forefront than usual.Corn consumption slowed in ethanol production and other domestic uses during the first half of the marketing year. Exports slowed a bit from the strong start to the marketing year, but remain on pace to hit the current USDA forecast of 2.45 billion bushels. While changes in trade policy may impact corn exports significantly over the next year, the following analysis assumes a continuation of the current trade environment. Through February 21, total commitments of corn total 1.557 billion bushels. Total commitments sit 11 million bushels above last year’s total through week 25. At the latest sales and accumulated export levels, the current pace implies an additional 892 million bushels need to be sold and exported for the remainder of the marketing year. This amount for corn exports is equal to last year’s total over the same period. While it is feasible to hit last year’s pace, a note of caution is warranted due to a variety of factors including higher levels of corn production in major exporting countries, falling wheat prices leading to wheat as a substitute in feed rations, and the continuing spread of African swine fever throughout Asia. A resolution to the trade dispute with China could outweigh all of these factors in 2019.Production of corn in Brazil, Argentina, and Ukraine looks to outpace last year’s production levels by 1.49 billion bushels. The potential for increased competition in the world export market in the second half of the marketing year appears set to be quite strong. Current corn production projections for Brazil (3.72 billion bushels) and Argentina (1.81 billion bushels) seem unlikely to move lower this year. Prospects for the safrinha crop in Brazil, which makes up approximately 70% of corn production, look good after some dryness earlier in the production year. Good growing conditions in Argentina led to harvest beginning early on their large crop with exports set to enter the market in March. While the Brazilian crop may not enter world markets until late June or July, the large Ukrainian crop (1.397 billion bushels) is already competing in the world market.Corn used for ethanol production continues to lag last year’s pace. Through January, corn use for ethanol sits at 2.264 billion bushels, down 3.78% from last year over the same period. The recent EIA short-term energy outlook projects gasoline prices in 2019 at $2.47 per gallon, down from $2.73 in 2018. While gasoline demand showed weakness during the early portion of the first quarter in 2019, an expectation of stronger demand for gasoline in the second and third quarter indicates increased ethanol use for the remainder of the marketing year. Despite ethanol use for corn lagging during the first half of the marketing year, higher gasoline demand and continued strength in ethanol exports support meeting the current USDA projection of 5.575 billion bushels.The release of the February WASDE report saw feed and residual use for corn reduced by 125 million bushels to 5.375 billion bushels. If this projection is correct, feed and residual use in the second quarter will come in near 1.52 billion bushels. With lower ethanol production levels and reduced distiller’s grain production, corn use in rations may be stronger than currently projected. Feed and residual use shows no signs of moving lower than current projections. Corn use is on pace to hit reach USDA projections in most categories with exports and ethanol use meriting close observation over the second half of the marketing year.Through the first half of the marketing year, the U.S. average farm price received for corn is estimated at $3.46, below the midpoint of the USDA’s forecast average of $3.60. Support for corn prices could materialize with a trade deal or lower than expected production. Current market consensus projects farmers to plant more corn acres in 2019 than the 89.1 million acres planted last year. The USDA Outlook Forum projected 2019 corn acres at 92.0 million acres. Due to wet and cold weather over much of the Corn Belt, high fertilizer costs, and lack of fieldwork last fall, many market observers believe corn planted acreage may come in significantly below the current USDA projection. While this scenario could occur, it may not be reflected in the March Prospective Plantings report on March 29. Weather and price developments this spring will set the tone for expectations on 2019 corn production.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier: We’re in crisisby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham midfielder Eric Dier insists there are no splits in the squad.But he says the north London club are in crisis after conceding 10 goals in their last two games.“We are obviously going through a difficult period,” said the England midfielder. “Is saying it’s a crisis a bit too strong? No.“If you lose like we’ve lost in these last two games, it’s normal. For us, this is the worst period we’ve been in, but we have to be all together and push through it.“The stuff about the squad, I know that’s not the case. But it’s natural these things will come up now because of the situation we find ourselves in.“It’s the first time that we’ve found ourselves in this position, we can’t back down from it. We’ve got to push through it.”
OTTAWA – When Genevieve Boutin and her colleagues at the United Nations Children’s Fund were finished verifying the aftermath of last week’s carnage at the Gaza-Israel fence, they added seven more to their tally of dead children.That included a statistical first — a girl — the first female killed among the 13 children shot since protests erupted at the fence on March 30, a burning fuse that exploded Monday into the bloodiest day between Gaza and Israel in four years.They are among the 59 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces, a total that includes a Canadian doctor trying to help the wounded. A Hamas official has since said that 50 of those were from their militant group.That Hamas number that has been seized on by Israel, and their Canadian supporters, to fire back politically at several world leaders — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — for implying in their calls for an independent investigation of the incident that the Israeli military may have used excessive force.At least one Canadian Jewish group says Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields and that the Trudeau government should be standing in firm solidarity with Israel’s right to self-defence.For Boutin, a Quebec City native who is UNICEF’s special representative in the West Bank and Gaza, the politics and statistics graze the surface of a burning question that she has tried to answer in numerous conversations with injured children and their grieving families: what draws you to that dangerous fence?The answers she’s getting can’t be measured solely by rhetoric or numbers: “They exemplify the human drama that is taking place in Gaza.”In the first few weeks, many kids told her that “life is boring here, nothing ever happens” so they were curious about the growing fuss over their fence.“As the weeks wore on, more and more kids obviously know the risks as they go,” said Boutin. “There’s a number of kids who say, ‘there’s nothing I have to lose, I don’t see a future for myself and I’m showing the world our situation has to change so I am participating in it’.”In addition to the fatalities, more than 1,000 Palestinian children have also been wounded by live fire since March 30, said Boutin, 43.“Many of them are serious injuries that could lead to amputations and certainly handicaps for life. Just that, in and of itself, is horrific in terms of the impact on children.”She recalled consoling the father of a 10-year-old boy who was shot in the early days of the protests several weeks ago. The boy was hit by a bullet after running off. The father still has his son, but is tormented with regret.Two other older teenagers who were killed defied the stereotype of the bored, vulnerable youth who become easy prey for militants — both were about to take the equivalent of their final high school exams.“That means some of these kids were engaged still in the education system,” said Boutin.International law makes a simple point, she said: “a child is a child” and they shouldn’t be targeted by anyone — whether they were coerced into a dangerous situation or not.Still, UNICEF and others are trying to keep them away from the fence.“We’ve been advocating with community leaders and parents to try to say it would be good to discourage children from being there on the front lines. But we also are mindful that the right to peacefully protest is a right that children have.”Smoke from burning tires and the periodic crackle of gunfire returned Friday to the Gaza fence as the rallies resumed for the first time since Monday. Hamas, which took over Gaza in 2007, says they will continue until the blockade that Israel and Egypt has imposed is lifted.Israel is accusing Hamas of using the protests to carry out attacks and says it has to protect its border.But the condemnation of the international community against Israel is growing.The UN Human Rights Council said Friday it will set up a commission of inquiry into the Gaza border violence, something Israel rejects as the product of “a built-in anti-Israel majority, guided by hypocrisy and absurdity.”Part of Boutin’s job is to independently verify casualties and to ensure that emergency supplies, especially medical aid, reach those who need it most.The ripple effect of the increased violence has been crushing on a Palestinian medical system that was already under massive strain.Boutin sees hope fading in the faces of the local medical staff.“They were so devastated after the events of Monday. They keep doing their work. They’re very admirable, but it’s very hard for them to understand what’s happening … the international community — in their eyes — is not reacting as they would like it to react.”Boutin said she didn’t personally know Dr. Tarek Loubani, the Canadian citizen who was shot in both legs Monday while treating the wounded at the fence even though he and his team wore high-visibility jackets that identified them as medical staff.Trudeau said he was appalled by that shooting and called for an investigation.An Israeli embassy spokesman in Ottawa said Israel has asked Canada to help with information to assist the Israeli Defence Forces investigation of the incident.B’nai Brith Canada says Trudeau must apologize to Israel for not acknowledging the responsibility of Hamas. On Friday, the organization also released a statement that “suggests that a Gazan paramedic slain after assisting Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani was a member of the Hamas terrorist group and employed by its Interior Ministry.”Another group, Independent Jewish Voices, accused some Canadian Jewish organizations of acting as “little more than PR for the Israeli government.”Boutin had no comment on the political fallout of Monday’s events, including the response by her own government in Ottawa.Her main message is simple: it’s just as wrong to shoot doctors, as children.“Not only is it a last recourse to shoot at peaceful protesters, but there are certain categories that should be specifically protected.”
VANCOUVER – Severely ill Canadians who don’t qualify for medical help in dying will suffer even longer while they wait to find out whether the federal government has violated their right to a medically assisted death after a court ruling in B.C. on Wednesday, a civil liberties group says.Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of the British Columbia Supreme Court said the government should be given a second chance to argue the findings of fact that were used by the country’s top court to overturn a ban on assisted dying in 2015.The federal government’s legislation, which came into effect last year, needs to be assessed on “relevant, current evidence,” Hinkson wrote. Barring the courts from considering the most up-to-date information would prevent a judge from being able to decide what evidence is important and how much weight it should be given, he added.The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is spearheading a lawsuit launched in June 2016 that challenges the federal law, which it says is more limited than the assisted-dying regime the Supreme Court of Canada envisioned in its landmark ruling, referred to as the Carter decision.Caily DiPuma, the group’s litigation director, said she is disappointed in Wednesday’s decision but does not believe it undermines the underlying legal challenge.“While today’s outcome is unfortunate, it’s really just a bump in the road,” she said outside the courthouse in Vancouver.“We’re focused on the ultimate outcome. We defeated these arguments in Carter in 2015 and we’re confident we’ll defeat them again.”In the meantime, people will continue to suffer while the case proceeds through the courts, she added.“Every day that this issue remains unresolved is a day that a person in Canada … spends trapped in intolerable suffering … under a law that unjustly restricts medical access to assisted death.”Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould said the government would continue to defend its legislation.“It strikes the appropriate balance between respecting the personal autonomy of those seeking access to medical assistance in dying and protecting the rights of vulnerable Canadians,” she said in a statement.The federal government asserted in earlier submissions that new arguments are required because the latest case involves different plaintiffs, a different legal regime and a different set of issues compared with 2015.Shanaaz Gokool, head of Dying With Dignity Canada, said Wednesday’s ruling comes at the expense of people already experiencing intolerable pain and suffering, who should have found relief under the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada.“Obviously, we’re very disappointed in the ruling,” she said. “It means that we can expect a lengthy trial, and a very expensive one.”Gokool said she is aware of at least four people who have gone to Switzerland in the past year to have an assisted death because they were ineligible in Canada.The Supreme Court of Canada ruled medical assistance in dying should be available to capable, consenting Canadian adults suffering intolerably from “grievous and irremediable” medical conditions.Two B.C. women were included as plaintiffs alongside the civil liberties association, though one woman has since died.Robyn Moro, 68, suffered from Parkinson’s disease but was initially denied medical help in dying because her natural death was not considered reasonably foreseeable. She was added to the case in May and ended her life with the help of a doctor in late August following an Ontario Superior Court ruling that clarified how imminent a natural death had to be to qualify for assisted dying.The second plaintiff, Julia Lamb, 26, has spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative disease she worries will lead to years of unbearable suffering by robbing her of the ability to use her hands and forcing her to use a ventilator to breathe and a feeding tube to eat.A trial date has not been set and it is uncertain whether the civil liberties association will file an appeal to Wednesday’s decision, DiPuma said.— Follow @gwomand on Twitter
OTTAWA – Canada’s share of the fastest growing industry in the world has been shrinking over the last decade — and a new report says it’s time to step it up or miss out on a trillion-dollar opportunity.The Ottawa-based Smart Prosperity Institute report — to be released today in Vancouver at the Globe Forum Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business — says clean technology will be a $2.2-trillion industry worldwide by 2022, with an estimated $3.6 trillion of investment up for grabs globally between now and 2030.However, Canada’s market share in the global clean tech industry has fallen 12 per cent in the last decade, and will continue to contract without a solid, long-term commitment to growing the industry, said institute co-chair Stewart Elgie, a professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa.“Clean innovation is the big global economic prize in the next decade that leading nations are pursuing around the world,” Elgie said. “If Canada wants to win that race, we’ve got to raise our game.”However, the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change lays out a number of policies that will compel more clean tech innovation in Canada, he said, including a price on pollution with a carbon price, to be in place across Canada by the start of next year, as well as a promised national clean fuels strategy, better energy efficiency standards and limits on greenhouse gases like methane.There also needs to be significant government funding available to help get good Canadian ideas through the development stage and to market. Canada does well at coming up with ideas and making them work, Elgie said, but it’s not so good at commercializing those ideas and scaling up production, often because of a lack of available capital.The private sector is often still leery about clean technology, because it’s all very new.“The truth of it is every major commercial technology of the last century has involved significant public investment and public support,” Elgie said. “Every one — even the oilsands, which has had billions of dollars in public investment before it ultimately became commercially viable and the private sector ran with it.”Last year, Canada jumped three spots to number four on the Global Clean Tech Innovation Index, a measure of where the best clean technology ideas are expected to come from in the next decade. But if Canada can’t provide the financial help to get those good ideas out, it will miss out on huge opportunities, he warned.Of course, not everybody sees the Liberal government’s policies — particularly the carbon price — as helpful.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, new Ontario counterpart Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives, have all promised to cancel or roll back carbon pricing if elected. They call carbon pricing a tax that will make Canada uncompetitive, particularly up against a U.S. that doesn’t have a similar burden.Kenney, for one, has called it a “massive tax on everything” and “a massive wealth distribution scheme requiring a massive bureaucracy to administer.”The report says encouraging clean innovation requires government both pushing and pulling industry along. That means setting standards that encourage the new technologies, such as a promised renewable fuels standard, aimed at encouraging ways to ensure fuel consumers like cars and furnaces produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.— follow @mrabson on Twitter
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Wall Street Journal is reporting that CBS and its parent company National Amusements are in talks to settle pending litigation over who controls the broadcaster.CBS and National Amusements, run by media mogul Shari Redstone, have been duking it out in court since May when CBS attempted to issue a special dividend that would strip National Amusements of its controlling stake in the media company.According to the Journal, the settlement talks include CBS dropping the dividend. In exchange, National Amusements would agree not to push for a merger between CBS and Viacom, which it also controls. The trial had been set for early October.The report cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. National Amusements and CBS both declined to comment.
The goal for Callihoo’s First Nation is to become a self-sufficient community that does not rely on government subsidies for the next seven generations, he said, and a stake in the pipeline project would go a long way to achieving that objective.The McMurray Metis are flourishing thanks to the economic opportunities provided by the oilsands, said chief executive officer Bill Loutitt, pointing to higher-than-average numbers of Aboriginal graduates in the region. The group will continue to push for a stake in Trans Mountain, he said.Loutitt said Trudeau’s government should pass legislation to urgently resume construction on the project in Alberta, while also fulfilling their obligations to consult and review tanker traffic impacts. It should consider including Alberta Indigenous groups in talks with B.C. First Nations, he added.“The one common thing that we’re concerned about is the environment,” he said. “But the way to take care of the environment is to be involved on the inside. That’s where you’re able to make the changes.” The McMurray Metis have opposed projects in the past and learned development usually happens regardless, he said, so the only difference is whether the community benefits from the project and has control over it.“I really see an opportunity for the coastal First Nations to be a big part in piloting these tankers and actually taking control of what’s going on in their backyard,” he said.But Rueben George, a representative of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in North Vancouver, said he couldn’t imagine his community ever supporting the project or purchasing a stake.The Tsleil-Waututh commissioned its own 1,200-page environmental assessment and concluded the project was a threat not only to its traditional territories but to the global fight against climate change, he said.“This isn’t good for Canada. This isn’t good for the world,” he said.The community could have negotiated a mutual-benefits agreement worth millions but it chose to protect the land and water instead, he added.But George said he understands why dozens of First Nations signed agreements and why some want to go further and invest in the project. Indigenous Peoples are statistically not doing well in Canada and communities have to make hard choices to keep members fed and housed, he said.“In some communities in our country, we have 90 percent, 95 percent unemployment. I understand they have to make moves forward,” George said. “They have to look out for their people.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) “There are no shortcuts when it comes to consultation,” said Brad Callihoo, the chief executive officer of the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation. “(The ruling) identifies an issue that needs to be addressed. The system is broken when it comes to consultation and we need to fix it.”Canada has purchased the existing Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion and pledged to complete the expansion project, which would triple the line’s capacity to 890,000 barrels of oil a day and increase the number of tankers in Metro Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet seven-fold.Several First Nations in coastal and central B.C. filed lawsuits against the project, citing inadequate consultation. As they celebrated their win on the banks of Burrard Inlet on Aug. 30, dozens of construction workers from Callihoo’s First Nation were sent home from their jobs.Indigenous communities on either side of the pipeline fight say they respect each other’s stance and feel no sense of division between them. First Nations aren’t always going to agree, but all deserve meaningful consultation, said Callihoo.“Do I think there could be common ground for all the First Nations? Absolutely. But we have to be able to come to the table and meet the demands of the B.C. First Nations, just as (was done with) the Alberta First Nations.”Not all Aboriginal groups in B.C. oppose the project. Thirty-three First Nations signed mutual-benefits agreements with Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. before the expansion was taken over by the federal government, and Cheam First Nation Chief Ernie Crey has expressed interest in buying a stake. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Some First Nations and Metis communities are determined to purchase an equity stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite a court ruling that halted construction and potentially set the project back for years.The Federal Court of Appeal ruling quashed the government’s approval of the project, requiring it to examine the impacts of increased tanker traffic and consult more deeply with Aboriginal groups along the pipeline route.Indigenous groups in Fort McMurray, Alta., say they still want to invest in the project and believe the ruling creates an opportunity for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to get consultation right.
Damascus: The Syrian government on Friday condemned US President Donald Trump’s pledge to recognise Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, saying it flies in the face of international law. Trump on Thursday called the Golan — a strategic area seized from Syria in 1967 and annexed in a move never recognised by the international community — “of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” The Syrian government denounced his comments, saying they flagrantly disregarded international law. “The American position towards Syria’s occupied Golan Heights clearly reflects the United States’ contempt for international legitimacy and its flagrant violation of international law,” a foreign ministry source told the official SANA news agency. The source said Trump’s comments showed the extent of his administration’s bias towards Israel. They “once again confirmed the United State’s blind bias in favour of the Zionist occupation forces and its unlimited support for their aggressive actions.” The source accused the US of stoking tensions and threatening international stability, and urged members of the international community to stand against such positions and act in accordance with international law. “The statements of the US president and his administration on the occupied Syrian Golan will never change the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian,” the source said. The Arab League echoed the Syrian government’s position.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to advocate Utsav Bains who has alleged that there is a conspiracy to frame Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case.The bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, while directing the presence of Bains on Wednesday in the court, asked him to produce evidence in support of paras 17 and 20 of his affidavit filed in the apex court on Monday. The court has taken suo motu cognisance of his affidavit.
New Delhi: Former Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag has been appointed as India’s next high commissioner to Seychelles, a country which is of strategic importance to India in the Indian Ocean region.”He is expected to take up the assignment shortly,” the Ministry of External Affairs said while making the announcement. General (retired) Suhag was the Army chief from July 31, 2014, to December 31, 2016. He was also part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in 1987. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’His appointment as Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles comes amid deepening military ties between India and the island nation. India is developing Assumption Island in Seychelles as a naval base to expand its footprint in the strategically-key region where China has been trying to enhance its military presence. An agreement to develop the island was inked in 2015 between India and Seychelles. In June last year, Seychelles President Danny Faure visited India during which both countries agreed to work together on the Assumption Island project. Before his visit to India, there were reports from the island nation that it was cancelling the pact with New Delhi to develop the naval base in Assumption island.