4 November 2009South Africa’s First National Bank has started operating in Zambia, taking advantage of an investor-friendly environment with low political risk to expand in the southern African country.Since receiving its Zambian banking licence in November 2008, First National Bank (FNB) has opened three full-service branches, including a commercial branch, in Lusaka, and a branch in Zambia’s copper belt. A further two branches have already been planned for 2010.“Despite the current global economic climate, Zambia provides an investor-friendly environment and is a low political risk country,” FNB chief executive Michael Jordaan said in a statement last week, coinciding with the official opening of FNB’s first branch by Zambian President Rupiah Banda.“FNB believes that it can add value to the Zambian banking industry by bringing the best of our acquired skills and knowledge on the continent in terms of our innovative products, services and technology,” Jordaan said.“One of our key strategic focus areas is to deliver innovative banking services to all our customers in Africa by further expanding outside of South Africa. In line with this, FNB’s vision is to be the pre-eminent financial services group in South Africa and the rest of Africa.”FNB Zambia CEO Richard Hudson said the bank’s Zambian offerings included branches and ATMs, as well as electronic and cellphone banking. “To ensure efficient execution, our strategy is to roll out products, services and channels in a phased approach.“In addition, FNB has a multi-currency product offering that offers accounts in five different currencies,” Hudson said. “It is also the group’s first subsidiary to utilise full satellite technology.”Hudson said he believed that the Zambian personal and business banking environment was open and receptive to new market players.“FNB has industry leading innovations which have been successfully launched in other African countries, and now Zambia will reap the benefits of FNB’s innovative thinking,” he said.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The British voted to leave the EU. This decision leaves many unknowns on how this will affect the market long term. So far, this hasn’t affected the grain markets significantly. However, with the dollar stronger, beans may be hit as exports will be more expensive. Are The Highs Over For The Year?It depends on the weather. If forecasts remain wet, the highs are likely done. If weather gets hot and dry, the sky is the limit. The next three weeks of forecasts will determine the corn market. Following is a summary of weather conditions:1/3 of corn belt – great conditions1/3 of corn belt – dry, needs rain1/3 of corn belt – “normal” for this time of yearWith timely rains, expect trend-line or above average yields. Large scale dry conditions may bring a market rally back to recent highs.WheatThe wheat harvest continues to push north and yields are great. There is too much wheat that needs a home. The market is noticing the wheat surplus and end users are trying to find ways to displace corn in the ration. As corn struggles, wheat will likely follow….both will hold the other back.BeansThe effects of weather on beans has more time than corn. Without a yield reduction, beans are likely overvalued long term. Market ActionIt has been a very busy two weeks. Following provides details on recent trades including strategy and rationale.1) Bean BasisLast week I finally priced all of my 2015 bean basis at –.70 the July futures basis picked up on the farm. With the very large carryout this year, I wanted to take the basis now versus waiting (it could be worse down the road). Also, my local processor rolled their bids from the July to November, which indicates they have sufficient coverage on and there is likely little upside basis potential left. In doing this roll they also further lowered the bid they were paying when the spreads in the market are factored in. This was 30 cents from the top of the market over the marketing year and 5 cents better than at harvest last fall.While I’m satisfied with the basis price, I was a little disappointed I didn’t hit the top. There were a few unexpected circumstances that made basis prices behave differently than in years past.Soymeal demand was lower than prior years, so processors didn’t need to push prices as expectedMore farmers took advantage of deferred pricing (DP) programs offered by local processors than ever beforeBean prices rallied unexpectedly in April, causing basis to fall apart. 2) Corn BasisLast week I priced 70% of my 2015 corn basis at -.42 basis picked up on the farm. This basis was 20 cents from the top of the market for the marketing year and 5 cents better than basis at harvest. I avoided long lines and moisture discounts by storing at home but I missed the chance at higher basis levels earlier in the year. Similar to beans I think there is limited basis potential by waiting at this point because many farmers still need to move their stored grain before harvest, which will likely ramp up in late July and August.This year basis moved a little uncharacteristically and I missed the top largely because of two unexpected factors:More farmers took advantage of deferred pricing (DP) programs offered by local processors than ever before, which enabled ethanol plants to procure corn without pushing basis higher.The unexpected 10 inches of rain in December in the upper Midwest caused large elevators with uncovered ground piles to move grain much earlier than intended. This suppressed demand and kept basis uncharacteristically lower. This has only happened once in the last 30 years (1993), so this was ultimately bad luck and not due to faulty strategy.I still have 10% of my 2015 production basis left to sell. I’m going to wait on this to see if there is a drought, which could cause a basis rally in my area. If a drought happens, I could store the last 10% and carry it over to the next year to get a better basis value. Obviously I don’t want a drought to happen, but I’m keeping a little flexibility in my marketing just in case it does.3) Bean SpreadIn late April I had a May futures position (sold at $9.20) I rolled to the July for a 10 cent premium ($9.30). Last week, fearing dry weather and increased exports could push the July prices to extreme inverses (when July is higher priced than futures months after it), I moved my futures position to the August at a 2.5 cent inverse or loss (now $9.265 against the Aug including commissions).Right now there is a 13-cent inverse (decrease) from Aug to Nov, which increases my risk of taking a loss yet on this trade. Typically beans adjust to a carry position closer to the delivery period when there is a large carryout (like we have in the market currently), so I’m going to wait it out. I think the risk is manageable and I’m comfortable with what I know today. Two months ago this spread was a 20 cent loss, so it is narrowing. This still leaves me 100% priced on my 2016 production at a $9.45 average.4) Corn Option #1On Dec. 10, 2015 I sold a $4.30 July corn call for 10 cents. On Tuesday last week when corn was lower, I bought back my sale for a half cent and half cent of commission or a total of 1 cent. While this option expired only three days later, I felt in case weather forecasts changed and pushed the market substantially higher I should exist the position. In other words, why risk 1 cent of profit for no real upside potential? I net 9 cents profit on this trade.5) Corn SpreadLast Nov I had 22% of my 2016 production hedged in Dec ’15 corn futures. I rolled those forward to the Jul ’16 contract hoping to pick up more in the spread between July and Dec than was offered in the market at the time (which was only 10 cents). This last week I rolled those July sales including the one in #6 below to the Sep futures for a 3.5-cent carry (or profit).I did this now because if weather forecasts show hot and dry, I would prefer the 3.5-cent profit versus taking a potential loss on the trade. I still have some risk on the Sep/Dec futures spread, but with potentially 1.7 billion bushels of U.S. corn carryout, I don’t think many end users will want to take grain delivery two weeks before harvest starts (when corn prices are usually at their lowest). The market needs to pay somebody to hold the grain into the future. I want to capitalize on that possibility and I’m willing to take a little risk on 33% of my crop for it. I’m expecting to take more than 8 cents on this Sep / Dec spread and thus doing better than what the market was giving me back in November.6) Corn Option #2On Feb. 19 I sold a $3.80 July corn call for 15 cents. With corn above $3.80 on the July ($3.85) my call turns into a futures contract. This is like a $3.95 sale against the July futures and I still have the potential of the spread between July and December futures. As illustrated in #5 above I have added another 3.5 cents making this trade worth $3.985 now. PositionWith the basis trades now set I can finally set my price for the 2015 crop year. I will reexamine the results of my 2015 sales in late August to assess how my trades look compared to the opportunities I was presented over the marketing year. POSITION – CORN20152016Corn Sold100%55%CBOT Price$4.58$4.17Market Carry$0.185$.25 estBasis on Farm($0.42)($.25) estOptions & spread profits–$0.03 estCash Price$4.34$4.20 estPOSITION – BEANS20152016Beans Sold100%100%CBOT Price$10.79$9.20Market Carry$0.165$.30 estBasis on Farm($0.70)($.30) estCash Price$10.25$9.20 est I have another 22% of my production locked up in covered calls. While they don’t provide downside protection, in a sideways market they are the best play. Even in up and down markets they provide some extra premium potential. Following is a summary of my current options position: Options-CornDate Option PlacedExpiration DateStrike PricePremium Received2/19/20168/26/2016$4.00$0.194/26/20168/26/2016$4.00$0.194/26/20168/26/2016$4.50$0.099/15/201511/25/2016$4.80$0.183/24/201611/25/2016$4.40$0.166/6/201611/25/2016$5.00$0.10 If corn futures were to rally, and all of these covered calls were hit, it would be an average sale price of $4.25 futures with 15 cents additional premium from the call value. That price value of $4.40 is well above my breakeven and after this week certainly looks like a value I would like to have on my entire crop.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A newly developed genetically modified soybean, called Balance GT, was highlighted at a recent field day in Miami County. This new trait, developed by Bayer and MS Technologies, confers tolerance to both isoxaflutole (an HPPD inhibitor) and glyphosate herbicides and is intended to be an important tool for weed control and herbicide resistance management. The first launch is planned for the U.S. in 2017, pending final key import approvals.Plots showcased how well the new herbicide, Balance Bean, and the Balance GT varieties have performed so far this summer. Similar results are being noticed across the region.“University weed scientists are saying that the best thing they have seen, in terms of control, is Balance Bean in combination with a little bit of Metribuzin or Dual is keeping the weeds out for 60 days plus, said Mike Reed, seed technology account manager with Bayer Crop Sciences. “All of the other new traits that are coming only just address the post emergence side of things, but Balance GT actually brings with it a residual that will keep fields clean until you can get back in a spray the post product.”The Balance™ GT system will give growers the benefit of two modes of herbicide action to combat a broad spectrum of grasses and broadleaves, including a number of herbicide-resistant weeds.The dual herbicide tolerance trait recently received a positive scientific opinion from EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which was subsequently accepted by the European Commission for the importation of Balance ™ GT soybeans for food and feed uses. This follows approvals received already from the U.S, Canada, and Brazil for cultivation, and is near completion of receiving all key required import approvals globally.“We were very excited to make that announcement just a few days ago,” said Lindsay Seitz, brand manager for MS Technologies. “It’s a step in the right direction and we are hoping that China will follow suit shortly and everything is progressing as well as we could hope for.”Balance™ GT is owned by MS Technologies and is being co-developed through a joint development agreement between MS Technologies and Bayer.Bayer and MS Technologies have been collaborating since 2007 with new herbicide tolerance technologies for soybeans.Currently, more than 90 percent of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified and tolerant to either glyphosate or glufosinate (Liberty®) herbicides. Balance™ GT is expected to be one of the key dual-herbicide tolerant products for soybeans on the market in the U.S. and an important alternative to current herbicide options.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmer optimism for the state of agriculture, their current business health and their outlook on the future continues to climb, according to the results of the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Agriculture Confidence Index. In fact, farmers indicate they are more confident than ever, pushing the index to 164.8, exactly 30 points higher than the most recent index in spring of 2018.When asked, farmers rated their present situation at 172.4, up 68 points from spring of 2018 and 100 points above what they felt about conditions one year ago. In comparison, farmers in the recent index rated their optimism for the future at 161.1, which is 11 points below their optimistic rating for the current situation, but still significantly positive.“These results are not just record-setting, but they are also extremely surprising,” said Greg Horstmeier, DTN editor-in-chief. “What’s more is that we found consistency across all regions and types of farmers studied in the survey, whether Midwest, Southeast, or Southwest, and whether crop grower or livestock producer.”AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visits with Horstmeier about the latest Ag Confidence Index Audio Playerhttp://ocj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/DTN-Greg-Horstmeier-Confidence-Index-09.28.18.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.DTN/The Progressive Farmer also surveys agribusinesses and developed a separate index for their rating of the current and future situation. In that survey, the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Agribusiness Confidence Index also indicated an improvement over the last 12 months in the present situation, but much less dramatic of an increase. The overall Agribusiness Confidence Index is 95.6, which is down 15.4 points from spring of 2018 and down 11 points from a year ago. Agribusinesses are positive about their current situation, rating it at 110, up 15.8 points from a year ago.“Overall, agribusinesses sharply disagree with what farmers are saying,” Horstmeier said. “We believe this is due to the overall farm economy; farmers have slowed their spending with agribusinesses over the past four years and those businesses are feeling the pinch.“When you boil this down to what it means for agriculture in America, there are trends that farmers have adapted to the current farm economy and are positive about their present and future conditions. Conversely, we are starting to see rural agribusinesses that support America’s farmers begin to struggle and may be a leading indicator of where agriculture is heading over the next few years,” Horstmeier said.
In a shocking incident of mob violence triggered by rumours spread on social media platforms, a 40-year-old beggar woman was hacked to death in Ahmedabad by a mob which mistook her as a member of child-lifting gang. The victim was identified as Shantiben Marwadi, who was declared dead by Ahmedabad civil hospital where she was rushed in after being mercilessly thrashed by a mob in Vadaj area of the city. Three other women beggars were also thrashed by the mob that turned violent as the four women were found begging the city amidst rumours that a gang of women involved in child lifting is roaming around in the city. All the four women came to Ahmedabad for begging from neighbouring Rajasthan. They stayed in hutments in the outskirts of the city. Startled by the incident, Ahmedabad police issued an advisory asking people not to believe in social media messages and videos on child-lifting gang roaming in the city. The police also warned those spreading rumours on Whatsapp, Facebook and other platforms to incite people.Similar incidents of people being thrashed over social media rumours were earlier reported from several states including Tamil Nadu, Assam, Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.