While the colours of a new day silhouette a pump jack near Sexsmith, Alta., earlier this month did not dawn as brightly for the oil industry as decreased demand and a bid by Saudi Arabia to flood the market to try and shut out Russian and American shale sent oil prices tumbling. | Randy Vanderveen photo

Record surplus of oil possible by April

(Reuters) — Goldman Sachs said the oil market could see a record surplus of about six million barrels per day by April, considering a bigger- than-expected surge in low-cost output, while a slump in demand was “increasingly broad” triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. Oil prices plummeted after top producer Saudi Arabia slashed its selling prices […] Read more

Russians consume about 440,000 tonnes of buckwheat annually.  |  File photo

Virus-spooked Russians hoard buckwheat

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russians spooked by the coronavirus epidemic have started hoarding a trusty national staple that has helped them get through multiple crises in their troubled history: buckwheat. Cheap, filling and beloved by Russians as a side dish or as a meal in itself, buckwheat — “grechka” in Russian — was sold out in […] Read more

The timing could not be worse for farmers preparing to plant crops. | File photo

North America farm suppliers race COVID-19 spread for planting season

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/CHICAGO (Reuters) – North America’s biggest farm suppliers are accelerating shipments of fertilizer, seeds and agricultural chemicals to crop-growing regions in an unprecedented race against the COVID-19 virus that threatens to disrupt planting season. The timing could not be worse for farmers preparing to plant crops. Disruptions in deliveries of fertilizer, seeds or chemicals […] Read more

$9.5 billion would be used to specifically assist livestock producers affected by the pandemic, such as cattle ranchers, and hog and dairy farmers. | File photo

U.S. COVID-19 stimulus bill adds billions in support for farmers

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. COVID-19 stimulus bill that U.S. senators will vote on would add $14 billion to the Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corp spending authority, and authorize another $9.5 billion for U.S. farmers hurt by the fast-spreading pandemic, according to a copy of the bill’s text. The $2 trillion bipartisan legislation, set for […] Read more

In a joint statement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative listed a number of steps taken that should help boost U.S. exports of beef, poultry and other farm products to China, and said U.S. food and agricultural products exports were benefiting from Chinese tariff relief.|  REUTERS/Aly Song photo

USDA, USTR cite progress on farm provisions of U.S.-China trade deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and China have made progress in implementing the agriculture-related provisions of a Phase 1 trade deal that took effect on Feb. 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative said on Tuesday. In a joint statement, they listed a number of steps taken that should help boost […] Read more

Chicago May wheat futures WK0 were up more than 3% on Monday and hit a one-month high on strong global demand, while premiums for certain grades of milling wheat surged last week. | File photo

North American millers, bakers scramble to satisfy bread-buying binge

CHICAGO/WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – North American flour mills and bakeries are rushing to boost production as the spread of the new coronavirus leads to stockpiling of staples like bread and pasta. The virus’ spread prompted orders to stay at home in some U.S. states, including New York, California and Illinois last week following similar measures […] Read more

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Canada’s stretched hospitals brace for impact

TORONTO, (Reuters) – Canada’s health system is preparing for an influx of coronavirus patients in the midst of a long-running bed shortage, calling doctors out of retirement and ramping down any treatment that can wait. A shortage of beds during periods of peak demand, like the flu season, is a longstanding problem in the publicly […] Read more

Brazil agribusiness groups seek govt support to keep ports running – letter

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – A group of almost 50 agribusiness associations has sought support from the federal government to guarantee Brazilian ports continue to operate amid the coronavirus crisis, according to a letter dated March 18 seen by Reuters. In the letter addressed to President Jair Bolsonaro and Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, farmers […] Read more