Pacific Basin sees brighter prospects in second half of 2014

Pacific Basin Shipping says rising affluence on the mainland means more demand for food and building supplies, which account for two-thirds of its cargoes. Photo: Bloomberg

The mainland's seemingly insatiable appetite for grains, oilseeds and construction supplies should see demand in the dry bulk shipping sector stay strong despite the still uncertain outlook for the global economy.

Friday, 7 March, 2014, 12:57am

Indonesian hunger for 'cheap and tasty' noodles buoys wheat prices

Indonesians’ growing appetite for cheap wheat-based foods like noodles is underpinning wheat prices. Photo: Reuters

After a hard morning poring over his books, Indonesian student Mohammed Rezky Utama refuels with a steaming bowl of noodles, shunning the more expensive rice dishes that were once his staple diet.

18 Jul 2013 - 10:29am

Plant scientists question Monsanto's findings about escaped wheat variety

An anti-Monsanto protest in California in May. Photo: AFP

In its first detailed response to the announcement that a genetically modified wheat not approved for use was found growing in an American farmer's field, Monsanto said that it tested 31,200 seed samples in the US states of Oregon, where the wheat was found, and Washington and found no contamination.

9 Jun 2013 - 2:37am

Mapping of genetic codes likely to lead to better varieties of wheat

Mapping of genetic codes likely to lead to better varieties of wheat. Photo: Xinhua

Once scientists finish precisely mapping all the wheat genomes, higher-yielding varieties that are more resilient to disease and harsh weather conditions are expected to be developed.

3 Apr 2013 - 2:27pm

Western Europe wheat harvest may not be enough to offset shortage

A French farmer harvests his wheat crop in Gremonville REUTERS: PASCAL ROSSIGNOL

Wheat harvests in western Europe’s main producers are close to last year’s levels as reaping goes on, but that will not be good enough to make up for poor crops in the United States and Russia which have caused fears of a global food shortage.

23 Aug 2012 - 3:47pm

Bumper harvest predicted despite severe droughts

The mainland is still hopeful of seeing a bumper wheat harvest this summer, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu says, despite the severe drought that has affected most wheat-producing areas this spring.

1 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Drought could see wheat imports double

Mainland wheat imports may double this year to around three million tonnes as the country grapples with one of the worst droughts in decades.

The forecast, by Commodore Research, will put further pressure on grain prices while also providing a fillip to the over-tonnaged dry bulk shipping sector, especially for Hong Kong shipowners such as Pacific Basin and Jinhui Shipping.

14 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Africa land grab not the answer to food security

In the past two years, various non-African countries - China, India, South Korea, Britain and the Arab Gulf states lead the pack - have been taking over huge tracts of farmland in Africa by lease or purchase, to produce food or biofuels for their own use. Critics call them 'neo-colonialists', but they will not be as successful as the old ones.

12 May 2009 - 12:00am

Huge haul of smuggled grain for S America seized

Guangzhou customs have seized what they described as the largest haul of smuggled grain - enough to feed 800,000 people for a month - in shipping containers destined for Latin America, local media reported yesterday.

Customs officers found 40,000 tonnes of rice and wheat powder during a regular check in July, the Guangzhou Daily quoted a government spokesman as saying.

12 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Flour ban could see stocks running out within a month

Importer warns mainland action may be disastrous

One of the largest flour suppliers in Hong Kong is rejecting orders from new customers, and estimates its stock could last no more than one month in light of a mainland ban on flour exports meant to stabilise domestic supply.

5 Jan 2008 - 12:00am

Bread prices may soon soar

Hong Kong bread prices are set to climb after the mainland suspended flour exports temporarily.

Some bakeries have already raised their prices, while others are waiting to see how long the higher wholesale flour prices - reported to be up as much as two-thirds - last.

4 Jan 2008 - 12:00am

Is the age of low-cost food about to end?

It's enough to make anyone feel a touch queasy.

The weekly supermarket trip is getting more expensive. Prices are creeping up.

But here's something to really put you off your dinner. The long and lucrative era of cheap food is coming to an end.

8 Jul 2007 - 12:00am


Should savage pruning be classified as felling?

The photograph of the trees in front of environment minister Sarah Liao Sau-tung's office ('Brutal treatment of banyan trees on environment chief's doorstep', March 29) is more proof that Hongkongers are totally clueless and uncaring about nature.

6 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Auctions held to help ease grain shortages

Sale of 1.6m tonnes should also stabilise prices, say analysts

The State Grain Administration has held two large auctions within a week to ease the mainland's grain shortage and stabilise market prices pushed up by previous central reserve purchases.

6 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

John Howard can sacrifice wheat cartel to spruce up his Teflon coat

AUSTRALIA'S JOHN HOWARD, alias the Teflon prime minister, has been frantically trying to flick wheat chaff off his famously scandal-proof official suit since a United Nations report implicated his government in the Iraqi oil-for-food bribery mess.

22 Apr 2006 - 12:00am