3 Picks: Shipping Rates, School Lunches, Chinese Chicken


Photo by F Delventhal @Flickr CC

Below, are today’s three chosen agricultural-related news picks.

1) Grain-Carrier Rates Rising as Crop Cargoes Near Record: By Isaac Arnsdorf and Rob Sheridan. “Near-record agricultural exports are diminishing the capacity glut in grain carriers, boosting rates for Safe Bulkers Inc. and other owners to the highest in almost two years. … The glut in Panamaxes is bigger than for other vessel classes and capacity will expand 9 percent this year, faster than any other type of commodity carrier, according to Clarkson. Orders at shipyards equal 25 percent of the existing fleet, the most of any vessel type, Couldson, England-based research company IHS Maritime says. The overcapacity extends across the shipping industry. The Baltic Dry Index of costs to transport grains and minerals plunged 92 percent from its peak in June 2008 and supertankers hauling 2 million-barrel oil cargoes to Japan from Saudi Arabia are losing money, according to the Baltic Exchange.”

2) Some school districts quit healthier lunch program: by Carolyn Thompson. “After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students turned up their noses at meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that the cafeterias were losing money. … Districts that rejected the program say the reimbursement was not enough to offset losses from students who began avoiding the lunch line and bringing food from home or, in some cases, going hungry.”

3) U.S. to Import Poultry from China: by Stephanie Strom. “The Department of Agriculture on Friday approved four Chinese poultry processors to begin shipping a limited amount of meat to the United States, a move that is likely to add to the debate over food imports. Initially, the companies will be allowed to export only cooked poultry products from birds raised in the United States and Canada. But critics predicted that the government would eventually expand the rules, so that chickens and turkeys bred in China could end up in the American market.”

This news post was written and compiled by K. McDonald.

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