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Long-term weather and prospects for recovery of corn prices

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Corn and other grain prices have declined sharply since 2013 and have recently been as low as $3 per bushel on a monthly average basis. The low level of prices has prompted some observers to declare that the “new era” in grain prices that began late in 2006 has come to an end. Whether the new era is indeed over depends on the mix of factors that have driven prices so low. If these factors are unlikely to be reversed, then there is little chance for a major price recovery. If at least some of these factors can be reversed then there is a possibility of price recovery within the new era price range. The answer has obvious and important implications for farm incomes, land prices, crop input prices, land rental rates, and marketing strategies. The answer will also have important policy implications for U.S. agriculture.The first major factor on the demand side is economic growth. The average rate of global economic growth was 4.25% over 2000-2008 compared with 3.25% over 2009-2016, a drop of 30% in the growth rate. Whether the world can return to the higher growth rates is certainly an open question, but it is at least plausible and would do much to help corn prices recover. The second major factor on the demand side is ethanol. Our original argument was that the new era was primarily driven by the rise of ethanol production. There has been a plateauing in U.S. corn use for ethanol production since 2010, but the plateau is at a very high level, above 5 billion bushels. Nonetheless, there is little prospect of ethanol driving a major recovery in corn prices.Turning to the supply side, the boom in corn prices led to almost a 25% increase in corn acreage around the world. History shows that reversing this acreage response will be a very slow process. But, total corn acreage has been flat since 2013. Yield is, of course, the other major factor in determining supply, and weather around the globe has generally been favorable since 2013. In fact, the global average corn yield exceeded 85 bushels per acre in each year over 2013-2016. The previous high yield on a global basis was 83 bushels. So, good yields have certainly contributed to the current surplus in the corn market and low prices.The influence of the recent run of good weather on corn yields may be under-appreciated. One way of looking at this question is to ask what would have happened in the last four years if global corn yields had been at trend values instead of the high averages actually observed. On net, the above-trend yields since 2013 have added about 1.7 billion bushels to world corn ending stocks, or about one-third of the average level of ending stocks over 2000-2012.So, what are the odds that the current run of good weather will end in the near future and lift corn prices? Long-term data on U.S. corn yields provides a useful perspective on this particular question. The above chart shows the percentage deviations from U.S. corn trend yields over 1895-2016, and these deviations can be considered the net impact of weather on yields. This data suggests the last 20 years have been among the best runs of favorable weather in the modern history of U.S. corn production. For all practical purposes, the U.S. has only had one truly bad corn crop (2012) in the last 20 years. There have been other years of below-trend yields but these have been relatively modest from a long-term perspective.In sum, the combination of good weather and good yields has been a major contributor to the current episode of low corn prices. While we cannot predict when the current run of good weather will end, history suggests the current run is unusual and rather long in the tooth.last_img read more

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Army denies link with ‘soldiers’ in video over Gorkhaland

first_imgWe don’t support Gorkhaland: BJP  The authorities also pointed out that one person in the video refers to the “Gorkha Rifles as Gorkha Regiment” which an “Indian Army Gorkha will not do”.“Also consider the fact that Gorkhas both from Nepal and India are employed by security agencies and such companies in many countries; especially in Afghanistan,” the statement said.‘CM should be hanged’The video, slightly longer than two minutes, shows a group of men, purportedly carrying guns, raising slogans in support of the demand for the State of Gorkhaland. One of them also said that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee “should be hanged”.As for the agitation in Darjeeling by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), one person in the video asked, “What is happening in Darjeeling? Just because we voiced our demands and two or three stones were thrown, they (police) have to open fire?”Also Read After a video surfaced showing a group of men claiming to belong to the Indian Army and threatened to “hang” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the Gorkhaland issue, the Indian Army has denied any association with them.“It is to inform that the video circulated is not of serving Indian Army soldiers,” the Army Headquarters in New Delhi said in a statement. It also argued that the uniform of the men in the video is different from the usual Army uniform and the type of vehicle they were sitting in is not used by the Indian Army.Points out loopholes“The uniform is different. The vehicle appears to be a Toyota which is not used by the Indian Army,” the authorities said. They also said that the identity card worn by the men in the video appears to be of a “different pattern”.Also Read GJM offers Muslims 12-hour ‘window’ for Eid celebrations “Listen Mamataji, we also know how to use a gun,” the man in the video said.The development comes at a time when there is high tension in Darjeeling Hills over the GJM’s agitation demanding a separate State of Gorkhaland with the West Bengal government calling in the Army.Ham operators pick up suspiciousHam radio operators working with the security forces to track down radio communications of underground GJM leaders have picked up “suspicious and coded signals” of the activists to other countries and states.The security forces and intelligence agencies first got the clue that the GJM was using radio signals as a mode of communication when two radio sets were seized during the June 15 raid on the premises of some Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leaders.It was then that the police administration decided to deploy a group of Ham radio operators to track the radio communication of GJM activists.The operators picked up the suspicious cross border signals during the drill.“Most of the coded signals and communications were in Nepali and Tibetan languages. After decoding the words, we came to know about some kind of consignment that is about to come. The rest is classified and we cannot disclose it,” an official privy to information told PTI.last_img read more

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Rights Tracker will launch a new cloudbased scree

first_imgRights Tracker will launch a new cloud-based screening service for distributors, Assetry Screen, at MIPCOM.The company has specialised in online rights management systems and is pitching the new service as a tool for distributors who want to have their own branded screenings services, offering a greater degree of control and feedback than the likes of Vimeo and YouTube.“New cloud technology handles the encoding and storage and Assetry Screen is a way for distributors to take control of their websites, rather than using a third party,” Ross Bentley, CEO of Rights Tracker told DTVE sister title TBI.“Branding and control can get lost on sites like YouTube and Vimeo, with this you control and manage your rights and brand.”The new service offers content companies real-time reports and the ability to create branded channels and playlosts. Clients will be charged a monthly fee dependent upon the volume of content uploaded and the amount of times it is screenedBeta testers of the new system included kids specialist distributor Cake and Edwina Thring’s Wild Thring Media. Inn both cases Rights Tracker reworked the distributor’s websites to incorporate new video and screenings services.“We have already found Assetry Screen to be a powerful sales and marketing tool for our business,” said Edward Galton, CCO and managing director of Cake.“Uploading and managing our content online is now so simple and having real-time, detailed viewing statistics helps us target buyers very effectively.”The service can stand alone or sit alongside the core Rights Tracker system.Thring added: “My business seeks co-production finance, sells completed programming and manages talent: the thought of building and budgeting for a website that dealt with all of these elements initially filled me with horror.“However, with Assetry Screen I quickly got what I needed, at minimum cost, and it’s made sharing content and doing business with broadcasters so much easier and quicker.”last_img read more

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