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Crimea crisis pushes up global food prices

World food prices reached their highest level for 10 months in March due to poor weather in major producing countries and the crisis in Ukraine, a top grain exporter, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said its monthly food price index rose by 4.4 points to 212.8 points -- an increase of 2.3 percent from February and the highest level since May 2013.

U.S. EPA head defends proposed cuts in biofuel target for 2014

By Ayesha Rascoe WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. energy markets cannot absorb the levels of biofuels required by law to be blended into the fuel supply in 2014, Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy said on Thursday, defending a controversial proposal to slash the target for this year. The EPA is working on final 2014 biofuel use targets after issuing a proposal in November that slashed federal requirements for ethanol in U.S. fuel supplies.

USDA expects higher U.S. food price inflation in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Various measures of U.S. food price inflation are expected to rise by 2.5 to 3.5 percent in 2014, roughly in line with the historical norm after price increases were tepid in 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. The agency evaluated expected increases in overall food, food-at-home and food-away-from-home prices.

Pricier beef 'here to stay' as food costs seen higher: USDA

By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. food prices are expected to rise more rapidly this year after a very tame 2013, led by gains in beef, poultry and egg prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. The food price inflation outlook assumes normal weather, the USDA said, adding that the California drought poses a risk of bigger increases in many food categories, and that high supermarket prices for beef are "here to stay."

Bringing home the bacon ... and eggs and coffee is costing more as drought, disease lift costs

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The price of bacon is surging and the cost of other morning staples, like coffee and orange juice, is set to rise because of global supply problems, from drought in Brazil to disease on U.S. pig farms.

Colombia eyes big boost in biofuel production

Cartagena, Colombia, Mar 21 (EFE).- Colombia, the fifth-largest producer of palm oil-based biodiesel and 10th-largest maker of sugarcane-based ethanol, plans to boost production of both biofuels by around 50 percent in the 2014-2015 period. The National Biofuels Federation's director of planning, development and innovation, Carlos Mateus, made the announcement to reporters Thursday prior to the inauguration of the inaugural International Conference on Biofuels in this Caribbean city. International scholars and private- and public-sector experts are attending the conference.

Cargill soy processor in Ohio resumes operations after fire

(Reuters) - Cargill Inc.'s <CARG.UL> soybean processing plant in Sidney, Ohio, is up and running after a fire on Monday that took nearly four hours to extinguish, a company spokesman said on Tuesday. "Minor fire at refinery, which is back in operation," Cargill spokesman Mark Klein said in an email, adding there was "no effect on crush." The plant processes soybeans into soybean meal, a popular livestock feed, and soyoil, which is used in foods and to produce biodiesel.

S. Korea's consumer prices grow 1.1 pct on-year in January

SEJONG, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer price growth stayed in the 1-percent range in January thanks to the stabilization of farming product prices, a government report showed Tuesday. The country's consumer price index rose 1.1 percent in January from a year earlier, unchanged from the previous month's on-year gain of 1.1 percent, according to the report by Statistics Korea. This marked the third straight month that the growth has stayed in the 1-percent range.

S. Korea's consumer prices grow 1.1 pct on-year in January

SEJONG, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer price growth stayed in the 1-percent range in January thanks to the stabilization of farming product prices, a government report showed Tuesday. The country's consumer price index rose 1.1 percent in January from a year earlier, unchanged from the previous month's on-year gain of 1.1 percent, according to the report by Statistics Korea. This marked the third straight month that the growth has stayed in the 1-percent range.

U.S. EPA to reconsider 2013 cellulosic ethanol target

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. environmental regulator informed oil industry groups on Thursday that it would reconsider the 2013 target for advanced ethanol made from grasses and trees as producers struggle to make the fuel. The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute had petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the target. Producers were on track to make only about 1 million gallons of cellulosic last year, well short of the mandate of 6 million gallons.
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