Charles's Feed
Mar 31, 2011

Ethanol makers seek to reform $6 billion U.S. subsidy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. ethanol makers are working on reforms to replace a 45-cent a gallon tax break that expires this year, said the No. 1 maker on Wednesday, which could help the United State reduce its dependence on crude oil imports.

Tax credits for corn-based ethanol and biodiesel cost around $6 billion a year. The excise tax credits, and an accompanying tariff on ethanol imports, are set to die on December 31. The Senate may vote this week on a proposal to kill them immediately.

Mar 17, 2011

Starving CFTC of funding puts billions at risk: Gensler

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. futures regulator told lawmakers he was sympathetic to their efforts to rein in spending, but warned it would be a mistake to withhold funding from the agency and could put billions of taxpayer dollars at risk.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is writing dozens of regulations to implement the Dodd-Frank law, which was enacted last July and gives the agency oversight of the $600 trillion global swaps market. Most rules have not been finalized.

Mar 16, 2011

Budget crisis no reason not to fund CFTC: Gensler

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the futures regulator told lawmakers he was sympathetic to lawmakers trying to deal with the budget crisis, but warned it would be a mistake to withhold funding from the agency and potentially put billions of taxpayer dollars at risk.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is engaged in the arduous task of writing dozens of regulations to implement the Dodd-Frank law, which was enacted last July and gives the agency oversight of the $600 trillion global swaps market. Most rules have not been finalized.

Mar 10, 2011

Farmland boom may carry long-term risk: FDIC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The steep rise in farmland prices creates the potential for agricultural credit problems if there is a sharp downturn in the sector, a leading financial regulator said on Thursday.

Farmland prices doubled in the past decade, reaching an average value of $2,140 an acre in 2010. Record-high crop prices and low interest rates make farmland an attractive investment, analysts say.

Mar 10, 2011

U.S. farmland boom may carry long-term risk -FDIC

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – The steep rise in U.S.
farmland prices creates the potential for agricultural credit
problems in the future if there is a sharp downturn in the
sector, a leading U.S. financial regulator said on Thursday.

Farmland prices doubled in the past decade, reaching an
average value of $2,140 an acre in 2010. Record-high crop
prices and low interest rates make farmland an attractive
investment, analysts say.

Mar 1, 2011

Ethanol law reform could save $5.7 billion per year: GAO

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Reform of U.S. ethanol incentives could save up to $5.7 billion a year, a congressional watchdog said on Tuesday as ethanol critics called on Congress to let the tax breaks expire at the end of this year.

In an examination of federal spending, the Government Accountability Office said the ethanol tax credit and a federal law requiring use of biofuels “can be duplicative … and can result in substantial loss of revenue.”

Feb 25, 2011

U.S. has “foot on the gas” on ethanol: Vilsack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States “can do it all” — turn more corn into ethanol without running short of food, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday, as oil prices soared and the government raised its forecast of food price increases this year.

“There is no reason for us to take the foot off the gas,” said Vilsack, referring to biofuels at a two-day Agriculture Department conference on the outlook for this year’s crops. “We can do it all.”

Feb 24, 2011

U.S. crop boom not enough to rebuild thin supplies

ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) – Huge U.S. corn and soybean plantings this spring will likely fail to refill razor-thin stocks enough to quell the surge in grain prices, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday.

In updated forecasts for the world’s biggest crop exporter, the USDA warned that it could take several years to restore inventories to comfortable levels. It mostly maintained earlier forecasts on how many acres farmers would sow this spring, but said stocks at the end of the 2012 season would remain tight.

Feb 24, 2011

U.S. crop boom not enough to rebuild supply

ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) – Huge U.S. corn and soybean plantings this spring will likely fail to refill razor-thin stocks enough to quell the surge in grain prices, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday.

In updated forecasts for the world’s biggest crop exporter, the USDA warned that it could take several years to restore inventories to comfortable levels. It mostly maintained earlier forecasts on how many acres farmers would sow this spring, but said stocks at the end of the 2012 season would remain tight.

Feb 24, 2011

Grain supplies to remain thin despite huge U.S. crops

ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) – U.S. farmers will plant massive corn and soybean crops this spring but it may take more than two years to rebuild razor-thin stocks and quell the global surge in grain prices, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday.

With growing concern among world governments over rising food prices, the U.S. corn stockpile is forecast to be the smallest since 1996 and soybeans would amount to a mere two-week supply by time this year’s crops were ready for harvest.