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AmInvest Research Reports

Author: AmInvest   |   Latest post: Wed, 3 Jun 2020, 10:58 AM

 

Plantation - News flow for week 23 - 27 Mar

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  • Bloomberg reported that planters and mills in Indonesia, including smallholders, are required to have the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification. Smallholders can get funds from the state or local government’s budget. Sanctions will be imposed on companies or smallholders, who fail to comply with the ISPO criteria. The ISPO certification is valid for five years. The rule takes effect from 16 March 2020 onwards.
  • Dow Jones reported that for the first time, the RPSO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) has been asked to review allegations that one of its member companies paid bribes to cover up the improper use of protected forest land in Indonesia. The bribery and land-use claims against Golden Agri Resources are currently under review by the RSPO. The complaint against Golden Agri was filed by UK-based human rights organisation Forest Peoples Programme and US-based Elk Hills Research. The two groups used public records and satellite imagery to examine the deforestation on Golden Agri’s plantation estates and encroachment on protected areas. The complaint also ties the alleged land-use violations to a case in 2018, in which Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission brought bribery charges against three employees in Golden Agri. Golden Agri said it plans to contest all of the claims.
  • Soybean exports from Brazil and Argentina may be disrupted in the coming months. Bloomberg reported that a union of Argentine soybean crushers has threatened to strike if exporters and ports respond unsatisfactorily to a request to take measures that will ensure the health of the workers during the Covid-19 outbreak. Currently, grain terminal operations are exempted from Argentina’s lockdown.
  • In Brazil, there is a shortage of containers. Bloomberg quoted Cargonave, a group representing foreign carriers in the country, as saying that container flow in the final weeks of March is seen falling as much as 10% from the current levels while equipment shortage may become worse in April. So far, operations at the main ports in Brazil have not been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Bloomberg quoted Cargill Inc as saying that China offers hope for meat markets, which are currently hit by the Covid-19 outbreak. Cargill is starting to see demand in China come back. Cargill’s poultry processing plant in China is running at a rate of at least 80%, up from the lows of 30% to 40% during the outbreak. China has also said that it would allow transportation systems to resume at Wuhan on 8 April, effectively lifting a mass quarantine on the city. In North America, panic buying is still setting in and Cargill is running meat plants at full capacity and shifting its business to supply grocery stores.

Source: AmInvest Research - 30 Mar 2020

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