Editor in Charge, Commodities and Energy, Washington
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Jan 12, 2011

U.S. slashes soy, corn stocks, markets soar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s stockpiles of corn and soybeans will be drawn down to uncomfortably thin levels this year, according to a government report on Wednesday that sent grain prices soaring and added to concerns over surging world food prices.

Dwindling stocks in the world’s biggest food exporter and poor outlooks from other major exporting countries are combining to produce one of the toughest outlooks for prices and supply since 2008.

Jan 12, 2011

U.S. crop stockpile thins as weather and demand drive prices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States, long the breadbasket to the world, is expected to confirm on Wednesday that its grain stockpiles are the lowest in years, darkening hopes for any quick relief from surging global food prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture was expected to show in its monthly crop report a further deterioration in supplies at home, and to forecast how severe weather was hurting harvests from such powerhouses at Argentina and Australia.

Dec 12, 2010

Climate talks end with modest steps, no Kyoto deal

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – The world’s governments agreed on Saturday to modest steps to combat climate change and to give more money to poor countries, but they put off until next year tough decisions on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The deal includes a Green Climate Fund that would give $100 billion a year in aid to poor nations by 2020, measures to protect tropical forests and ways to share clean energy technologies.

Dec 10, 2010

Mexico pushes for deal as climate talks near close

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexico scrambled to break an impasse between rich and poor nations over future cuts in greenhouse gas emissions on Friday as 190-nation climate talks went down to the wire.

“It’s beginning to stack up and I am cautiously optimistic. We are in a much better situation than we were in Copenhagen at this stage of the game last year,” said Chris Huhne, Britain’s energy and climate change secretary.

Dec 10, 2010

U.N. talks on knife edge, Brazil, Japan see hope

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – Talks on a 190-nation deal to slow global warming were on a “knife edge” on Thursday as Brazil and Japan expressed guarded hopes of ending a dispute between rich and poor about curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Negotiators were set to work through the night seeking to end a standoff over the future of the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol, which binds almost 40 rich nations to curb emissions until 2012, before the final day of the two-week talks on Friday.

Dec 9, 2010

U.N. climate talks on knife edge

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – Talks on a 190-nation deal to fight global warming were on a “knife edge” on Thursday as Bolivia stuck to hardline demands and accused capitalist climate policies of causing genocide.

A deadlock between rich and poor countries on whether to extend the United Nations’ Kyoto Protocol, which obliges almost 40 rich nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions until 2012, continued to overshadow the two-week meeting in Mexico, which is due to end on Friday.

Dec 9, 2010

U.N. climate talks seek to avert damaging failure

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – The world’s governments struggled on Wednesday to break a deadlock between rich and poor nations on steps to fight global warming and avert a new, damaging setback after they failed to agree a U.N. treaty last year in Copenhagen.

Several ministers warned that failure at the talks in Cancun, Mexico, could undermine faith in the ability of the United Nations’ 194 member states to tackle global problems in the 21st century as power shifts toward emerging nations led by China and India.

Dec 8, 2010

U.N.’s Ban urges climate deal, short of perfect

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – Saying the health of the planet is at stake, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged 190 nations meeting in Mexico on Tuesday to agree to steps to fight climate change that fall short of a perfect deal.

“We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Ban told a first session of environment ministers at the November 29 to December 10 talks in the Caribbean resort of Cancun where rich and poor nations are split over cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Dec 7, 2010

China buoys climate talks with “binding” target

CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – China on Monday offered for the first time to submit its voluntary carbon emissions target to a binding U.N. resolution, buoying climate talks where Bolivia accused rich world policies of causing “genocide.”

China’s target would still be voluntary, stressed China’s chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua, a distinction from developed nation targets under Kyoto: “Developing countries can … make their own voluntary emissions commitments and these should be under the Convention.”

Nov 2, 2010

USDA issues draft plan allowing GM sugar beets

WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of
Agriculture issued a draft proposal on Tuesday to again allow
farmers to grow Monsanto Co’s (MON.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) genetically modified
sugar beets, which are fiercely opposed by environmentalists.

A U.S. district court in California has ruled that the
sugar beets cannot be produced until the USDA issues a full
environmental impact study, which the department does not
expect to complete until May 2012.

    • About Russ

      "I'm the Editor in Charge of Commodities and Energy in Washington, which involves breaking news and producing insightful stories while covering government agencies, the White House and Congress. Previously I was the Commodities Editor for Asia, based in Singapore, where I lead a continent-wide team reporting on the rise of China and other emerging markets. Before that,I was Bureau Chief of Canada in Toronto, overseeing seven bureaus. Also with Reuters, I have worked as a political correspondent in Ottawa and a technology reporter in San Francisco."
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