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World food prices stable in November, drought in west Africa raises worries of famine

ROME, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- World food prices were flat in November, as prices remained stable overall, with lower sugar prices pushing the main index lower amid a rise in cooking oil prices, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. FAO also estimated worldwide production of grain and cereals, including rice, would reach a new all-time high this year, likely guaranteeing price stability for that food sector as well.

Governments seek to raise the EU cap on food-based biofuels

By Charlie Dunmore BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union governments are trying to raise a planned limit on the use of transport fuels made from food crops, despite warnings that the fuels can harm the environment and push up food prices. Last year in response to such warnings, the European Commission, the EU executive, proposed capping the bloc's use of crop-based biofuels at 5 percent of total transport fuel demand.

Japan prices excluding food, energy at 15-year high, industrial output rises

TOKYO - Japan's economy is gaining momentum, data for October showed, with consumer prices excluding food and energy rising 0.3 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest gain since 1998. However, household spending remained tepid, as incomes slipped from the same month a year before. The slew of indicators released Friday suggests that the ultra-loose monetary policy and stimulus strategy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is helping end a long bout of deflation for the world's No. 3 economy.

Analysis: Still-pricey ethanol credits show risk of EPA rule challenge

By Cezary Podkul NEW YORK (Reuters) - In theory, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move last week to slash the amount of ethanol to be blended into gasoline next year should have reduced the value of volatile compliance credits to near zero.

EU hits Argentina, Indonesia with biodiesel duties

The European Commission imposed Thursday punitive anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia so as to protect home producers. EU member states agreed the move Monday, which keeps the bloc open to Argentine and Indonesian production while refusing to remain "idle and tolerate structural" distortions, EU Trade spokesman John Clancy said. "Now we can be reassured that our green energy sector is not under threat and will continue developing," Clancy added in a statement.

EU hits Argentina, Indonesia with biodiesel duties

The European Commission imposed Thursday punitive anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia so as to protect home producers. EU member states agreed the move Monday, which keeps the bloc open to Argentine and Indonesian production while refusing to remain "idle and tolerate structural" distortions, EU Trade spokesman John Clancy said. "Now we can be reassured that our green energy sector is not under threat and will continue developing," Clancy added in a statement.

In win for Big Oil, U.S. proposes biofuel mandate cut

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration proposed on Friday slashing federal requirements for U.S. biofuel use in 2014, bowing to pressure from the petroleum industry and attempting to prevent a potential fuel crunch next year. It was the first cut to renewable fuel targets written into a 2007 law, and seen as a clear win for oil refiners and a loss for biofuel producers. It followed a prolonged lobbying blitz on both sides of the issue.

Biofuel stocks mixed on EPA mandate, biodiesel hit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Shares of biofuels makers and oil refiners were mixed on Friday after the Obama administration proposed slashing federal requirements for U.S. biofuel use in 2014, with biodiesel maker Renewable Energy Group Inc's <REGI.O> stock falling 5 percent on the news. The EPA's proposal to reduce the renewable fuels targets, which followed a prolonged lobbying blitz on both sides of the issue, is seen as a partial win for the petroleum industry, but a loss for biofuels producers.

Proposal would lower amount of ethanol and other biofuels required by law for first time

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Friday proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply for the first time, acknowledging that the biofuel law championed by both parties in 2007 is not working as well as expected. While the proposal highlights the government's struggle to ramp up production of homegrown biofuels that are cleaner-burning than gasoline, but is unlikely to mean much for consumers at the pump. The change would require almost 3 billion gallons less ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into gasoline in 2014 than the law requires.

U.S. EPA to announce key biofuels rule Friday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Environmental Protection Agency will propose, later on Friday, a new federal target for U.S. biofuel use in 2014, attempting to prevent a projected fuel-blending crunch next year. Market watchers will likely scan the proposal to see if it contains as deep a cut in the amount of ethanol that must be blended into U.S. gasoline next year as seen in an agency document leaked last month and seen by Reuters.
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