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Syrians face drought, wheat production seen at record low: WFP

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Syrians battered by years of war are facing a major drought that could cut wheat production in the country's northwest breadbasket to a record low of 1.7 million to 2 million metric tonnes, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday. Millions more people could face hunger and shortages if the drought, which is also being felt across the Middle East, takes hold, the United Nations agency warned.

Monsanto profit beats expectations on strong corn, soybean demand

By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday as its corn and soybean businesses expanded globally. The company, which specializes in developing genetically engineered crops that withstand herbicides and ward off insects, said the profit margin in corn, its top revenue producer, increased 2.5 points in the second quarter ended on February 28.

Political instability in Ukraine, weather worries on American plains driving up wheat prices

WICHITA, Kan. - Political instability in Ukraine —coupled with potential freeze damage to winter wheat in the United States and a deepening drought in some major wheat producing countries — are conspiring to significantly drive up wheat prices, economists say.

Political instability in Ukraine, weather worries on American plains driving up wheat prices

WICHITA, Kan. - Political instability in Ukraine —coupled with potential freeze damage to winter wheat in the United States and a deepening drought in some major wheat producing countries — are conspiring to significantly drive up wheat prices, economists say.

Record Argentine soy crop to pump exports despite hoarding

By Hugh Bronstein BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina will put downward pressure on world food prices by exporting more soy this year, even as growers hedge against the country's dysfunctional financial system by hoarding a bigger chunk of what is expected to be a record high crop.

Middle East drought a threat to global food prices

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - The Middle East's driest winter in several decades could pose a threat to global food prices, with local crops depleted and farmers' livelihoods blighted, U.N. experts and climatologists say. Varying degrees of drought are hitting almost two thirds of the limited arable land across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.

U.N. world food price index jumps 2.6 percent in February

By Naomi O'Leary ROME (Reuters) - Global food prices rose 2.6 percent in February in the sharpest climb since mid-2012 due to unfavorable weather, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday, with the crisis in Ukraine threatening to cause future volatility. The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) price index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 208.1 points in February, up 5.2 points from a slightly revised January index of 202.9.

Slow U.S. winter thaw needed to avoid more wheat damage: USDA

By Colin Packham CANBERRA (Reuters) - A gradual end to the U.S. big freeze is needed to prevent further damage to the country's wheat crop, the chief economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Tuesday. U.S. wheat futures have firmed in recent weeks amid concerns over potential curbs to yields as a result of cold weather across the U.S. plains. "The persistence of winter has been a problem...," said the USDA's Joseph Glauber at a commodities conference in the Australian capital Canberra.

US crop values declined in many states last year as corn, soybean prices dropped

DES MOINES, Iowa - The value of U.S. crops fell 9.8 per cent last year as prices declined for major crops, including corn and soybeans, from 2012's record high levels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual estimate. The value of field crops fell 9.8 per cent to $166.95 billion in 2013, down from $185.12 billion in 2012, the USDA said in Friday's report. The value is determined by multiplying the average price for a crop from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 by the total production.

Brazil soy, corn production overcome drought

Weeks of drought and heat have hit Brazil's soy and corn production, but the agriculture ministry on Tuesday still predicted a record 2014 harvest. Corn production is set to total 75.5 million metric tons, down from a January estimate of 79 million, state food supply agency Conab said in its monthly report. Soy production will be 90 million tons, just off a January forecast of 90.3 million, and still 10.4 percent higher than last year, Conab said. For soy, grain and rice combined, Conab now expects 2013 to show a 3.6 percent increase overall, to 193.6 million tons.
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