据美国国家事务出版公司(Bureau of National Affairs)报道，康涅狄格大学植物学家已开发出一种据称可以限制转基因生物通过其改造基因污染非转基因生物的工具。控制改造基因通过花粉及种子流入自然界是转基因作物反对者们的主要呼声之一。康涅狄格大学在一次新闻发布会上说，一种由植物学副教授Yi Li及其它人员在政府资助下开发的新型“转基因消除”技术可以减轻人们对转基因的顾虑，因为这种技术在运用于转基因作物的染色体后，可以几乎百分之百地将改造基因从转基因作物的花粉和种子中除去。
The Soy Export Weekly Update
Soybean Crush Declines Slightly In January
The January NOPA crush of 4.05 million tonnes reflected a slight reduction in the crush from December, which was down from November and October. It appears that the crush rate will slip further in the coming months given weak cash soybean meal and oil markets that have eroded cash crush margins. Moreover, soybean meal exports continue to be disappointing, suggesting lower crush rates.
The crush so far in 2006-07 was 3.8 percent above last year. While a continuation of this year-over-year percentage increase the rest of 2006-07 would result in a crush of 49.1 million tonnes, it is unlikely that this year’s crush will be able to keep up with the unusually strong crush of the last half of 2005-06.
World Soybean Oil Exports Plummet in January
The oil product share has dropped from 44 percent in December and 43 percent at the start of 2007 to less than 40 percent currently. This erosion in the oil share may be due to lack of biodiesel profitability in the U.S. and the sharp drop off in the soybean exports from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina since the first of the year.
Soybean oil exports were strong at the end of calendar year 2006 to China and the EU-25, but those exports dropped precipitously during January. There may have been a rush to export soybean oil before the January 1 deadline to use double-hulled vessels for shipping soybean oil and a strategy to position vessels in China to be double-hulled. In the EU-25, a deterioration of biodiesel margins appears to have undermined soybean oil imports.
Preliminary data suggests that soybean oil exports from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina will rebound to more than 700,000 tonnes in February from just 344,000 tonnes in January. Exports to China look like they will bounce back nicely to about 350,000 in February from 166,000 tonnes in January. Soybean oil exports to the EU-25 during February, however, will remain below the 100,000-tonne level that was exceeded from June to November.
Also weighing on the oil share has been a surge of speculative buying of soybean meal, a larger than-expected increase in NOPA soybean oil stocks and a smaller-than-expected decline in Malaysia palm oil stocks. As has often been the case since biodiesel has come on scene, oil stocks have not tightened as much as the market has expected. That looks to be the case again this year after 30-cent soybean oil and sub-$60 crude oil has undermined biodiesel production.
Transport Demand Improved During December
The volume of freight moving on the U.S. infrastructure improved during December, up less than one percent from November. However, volumes year-over-year were down more than 2 percent. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics freight transportation services index provides a snapshot of transport demand. The uptick in December is encouraging following recent declines. The decent weather until just recently will probably lead to further improvement reported for January. However, February will be pressured due to the weather.
The volume of freight provides some insight into the economic health of the country. The volume has generally been in the same range for three years, back to December 2003. This plateau is a new operating level for the U.S., but also one that might reflect the capacity issues this country faces. Without considerable investment in the infrastructure, whether highways, bridges, railroads, navigation, locks and dams, and ports, this maybe the maximum level for movement.
Meanwhile, railroad performance is being affected by the winter weather. Grain train speeds are off 8 percent to 19.4 miles per hour among the Class I railroads. But most of the drop is on the eastern railroads that have been facing the brunt of the severe winter weather through the Northeast and other areas of the eastern United States.
Grain carloadings to export position dropped more than 3,000 carloadings for the week that ended February 7. The decrease was mostly seen along the Gulf Coast, from Mobile, AL to Galveston, TX. The Pacific Northwest did see carloadings drop as well, but not in a similar fashion as the other port areas. Also, U.S. grain exports have slowed, leading to a subsequent slowness in carloadings to export positions.
University Of Connecticut Develops Tool That Limits Biotech Crop Contamination
The Bureau of National Affairs reports that University of Connecticut plant biologists have developed a tool they say could prevent biotech crops from contaminating nonbiotech crops or weeds with their transgenic genes. Controlling the flow of transgenic genes into the wild via pollen and seeds has been a major source of public opposition to biotech crops. The university said in a news release that a new “genetically modified gene deletor” technology, developed with government funding by Yi Li, an associate professor of plant science, and others, could help alleviate this concern. That is because the technology, when incorporated into the genome of biotech crops, eliminates nearly 100 percent of the transgenic genes from the pollen and seeds of those crops.
However, this process has been criticized because it renders the biotech crops sterile and thus forces farmers to buy new seeds every year, according to the news release. “With our technology, the seeds the farmers save will not have genetically-modified traits,” said Hui Duan, one of Li’s fellow researchers. “The farmers would need to buy new seeds each year if they want the crops to have genetically-modified traits such as insect resistance or herbicide resistance. But if they did not want to do so or could not afford to do so, they would still be left with viable [nonbiotech] seeds to replant.”
Soy Complex Up As Soybeans Hit Contract Highs
The soy complex was up on February 22 with soybeans making new contract highs and the oil share rebounding further along with petroleum futures despite larger-than-expected soybean oil stocks. Soybean futures are highly influenced by corn as that market has once again taken the lead as the competition for acreage continues and weather concerns emerge for spring planting and summer crop development. March bean futures closed up $0.92 finishing at $287.98; May was $0.92 higher, closing at $294.13; and July gained $1.29 ending at $299.55. March meal was up $0.11 closing at $255.07; May was $0.99 higher, finishing at $262.46; and July increased $1.54 to finish at $267.86. March oil closed $4.41 higher to finish at $668.43; May was up $3.09, closing at $680.34; and July gained $3.75, ending at $690.70.