Monday, November 28, 2011


Walker's World: The euro endgame

by Martin Walker
London (UPI) Nov 28, 2011

Pessimists in Europe now assume the euro will collapse before Christmas. Optimists think it can limp on until the last week in January, when Italy has to persuade the markets to buy $43.7 billion of its debt.

Even if that feat is achieved, and assorted Italian patriots are campaigning for the country's still-wealthy citizens to buy it themselves, in the final week of February another $65.5 billion of Italian debt has to be sold to the markets.

Asian and U.S. banks andinvestors are dumping euro-denominated bonds and obligations. The Fitch ratings agency claims that U.S. money-market funds have cut their exposure to European banks by more than 40 percent in the last six months. U.S. banks and pension funds appear to be dumping their nearly $400 billion euro holdings.

It all looks very grim and the whole European economy is sinking fast into recession. The old continent's governments have launched a series of austerity measures that promise to cut public spending by up to 2 percent of gross domestic product (depending on whether those harsh pledges can be kept). Leading indicators, like the Purchase Managers Index, suggest that even the mighty German economy is shrinking.

Being outside the troubled eurozone is no guarantee of relief. 

Britain, which is still able to borrow easily and cheaply on the international markets (and its bond yields last week were even cheaper than those of Germany), will slide into its double-dip recession next year, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development predicted.

Its closely watched analyses suggest German economy will shrink 1.3 percent in the final quarter this year, with France and Italy also contracting.

The real question is what we mean by the loose term "euro collapse." 

There are four main possibilities and two open questions.

The first form of collapse would be limited and manageable, in which one or two small countries are forced into default and leave the euro, at least temporarily. The obvious candidates are Greece and Portugal. Since the euro-zone's on rescue funds are committed to seeing Greece through its borrowing needs for the next two years (providing Greece delivers on its promises of further draconian spending cuts), Portugal might be the more vulnerable to the markets.

Such a limited departure would trigger the first open question, which is whether the first such breach in the dam would lead to several more and the contagion spreading fast to other euro-zone members in domino effect. Certainly some form of credible financial firewall would have to be erected to protect Spain and Italy.

The second form of collapse would be for all the weaker members to leave the euro at the same time. These would be Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Italy and Spain. Again, the open question of contagion arises, which could draw in Cyprus and Belgium and even France.

Either each of these countries tries, during the inevitable days of panic and capital flight and currency controls, to reintroduce the old national currency or they seek to develop to make this orderly be moving together into a new euro-south currency, worth perhaps two-thirds of the traditional euro.

The third possibility is that Germany alone, or possibly with its stronger partners like Holland, Finland and Austria, withdraws and returns to the super-Deutschemark. However much some Germans may like this prospect, it would be grim for Germany's tireless exporters, who would see their currency soar in value and price at last some of their goods out of any market.

The fourth possibility, which depends on the second open question, is that somehow the euro holds together, grits its collective teeth and goes through some tough years of recession and austerity and ruthless reform of their welfare systems and labor markets and emerge, lean but solvent, at the other end.

This scenario, which is what German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems to believe, isn't altogether impossible. It is based on the assumption that when the full disaster of a euro collapse looms, with its implication of a new Great Depression, then other governments and institutions around the world would see it in their own interest to rally to keep it solvent.

The Beijing government, dreading the loss of its largest export market, pledges some of its $3.2 trillion war chest (10 percent would suffice) to buy French, Spanish and Italian debt. The United States takes similar action. The most painless way would be for the Fed to agree to buy all euro-denominated debt from U.S. institutions and hold it on its own balance sheet. That would stop a dollar run or a further damaging dump.

This could then trigger a virtuous circle, in which the Bank of Japan and of England follow suit, and so does the Gulf Co-operation Council of the oil-rich Arab states. The International Monetary Fund and the governments of the Group of 20 all agree to help buy up other foreign holdings of euros that come onto the market.

It is a slim prospect, given the inevitable outcry against such a bailout by the U.S. Congress and its begs the question: Why not take the easier path of allowing the European Central Bank to do what the central banks of the United States and Britain and Japan have long done, which is stand as lender of its last resort for its own currency? Germany says "No." But why should the world have to step in where Germany fears to tread?

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Mr. Will Cavan
Executive Director
International Mango Organization (IMO)
Vista, California

November 28, 2011

Dear Mr. Cavan,

We have the pleasure to present to you and your influential organization, the final agenda for The Durban Trade and Climate Change Symposium that will take place on December 5th and 6th at the Southern Sun North Beach Hotel in Durban alongside the UNFCCC COP 17.

Please note our program has changed (

We also have the pleasure to announce the list of confirmed panellists for our High Level Session that will take place on December 6th from 19:15 to 20:45:

• Minister Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa

• Mr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO

• Ms. Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, CEO of ArcelorMittal South Africa

• Mr. Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Chief Executive of ICTSD

• Ms. Amina Mohamed, Deputy Executive-Director of UNEP

• Mr. Harsha V. Singh, Deputy Director-General of the WTO

• Ms. Rachel Kyte, Vice-President and Head of the Sustainable Development Network, World Bank

Places are limited, please register online (

For more information, please visit:

We look forward to seeing you in Durban!

Thank you for your tireless work in promoting sustainability in the International mango Industry.


ICTSD Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainable Energy



Mr. Will Cavan

Executive Director

International Mango Organization (IMO)

Vista, California

November 28, 2011

Respected Sir,

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Peru beats Mexico on dried mango export returns

November 29th, 2011

Peruvian dried mango exports are fetching better prices than their Mexican counterparts in key destination markets, website reported.  


The story reported the Peruvian dried fruit was selling for between US$6-10 per kg (2.2lbs) while Mexican dried mangoes were stuck at around the US$6 per kg mark.

Procesos Agroindustriales general manager Luis Llanos, said this was because the mangoes were organic and dehydrated using hot air to evaporate the water to keep the fruit’s flavor.

He added that Peruvian fruit had a similar taste to South African dried mangoes because the same processes were used.

“We buy directly from farmers without intermediaries, and depending on the type of mango we pay 25 to 30 US cents per kilo,” he was quoted as saying.

Although Procesos Agroindustriales grow their own mangoes, because of increasing demand and low projected yields per hectare this year they will have to source more fresh produce from other farmers in Chulucanas, Motupe, Olmos, Patanguilla, Virú and Casma.

“We buy fruit that is not exportable, which may not be sold in the local market due to the degree of maturity,” he said.

Exports of the dried fruit go to the U.S., U.K., Japan, China and Germany.

Procesos Agroindustriales was set up three years, and along with such companies as Sunshine Export comprises the Peruvian firms that export dried mango.

This year the company expects to increase dried mango production by 25%, while last year it exported 170MT.



Vermicompost beneficial for organically grown tomatoes

by Staff Writers
Guelph, Canada (SPX) Nov 24, 2011


Tomatoes grown in a substrate of coconut coir/vermicompost and those grown in a substrate composed of aged pine bark/coconut coir/vermicompost had significantly higher marketable yields per plant when compared with plants grown in rockwool.

Marketable yields of organic horticultural crops frequently fall below those of conventional crops; this and other factors restrict widespread adoptionof organic production.

Researchers recently studied the growth and yield responses of tomatoes grown in organic substrates amended with vermicompost and compared the results with plants grown in a popular growing medium.

"More research in this area is needed to provide a base of information that will lead to the expansion of the organic sector, especially in thegreenhouse industry, to meet consumer demands and preferences", they explained.

Four substrates were used in experiments to determine if any of the substrates could improve the marketable yield of tomatoes when compared with rockwool under greenhouse conditions. The researchers used Solanum lycopersicum L. 'beefsteak' tomato in the experiments.

According to the study published in HortScience, the experimental results revealed significant differences in both the marketable and commercial yields obtained from the organic substrates compared with the rockwool-grown plants.

Tomatoes grown in a substrate of coconut coir/vermicompost and those grown in a substrate composed of aged pine bark/coconut coir/vermicompost had significantly higher marketable yields per plant when compared with plants grown in rockwool.

"The result may be explained by individual components (vermicompost or composted manure) and the right ratios of the combination of the growing substrates", explained author Youbin Zheng. "Both substrates contained varying proportions of vermicompost."

The researchers concluded that the addition of vermicompost to growing substrates in organic production was beneficial for tomato growth.

In additional to the benefit of higher yields, the substrates containing vermicompost also produced a significantly lower incidence of defective fruit when compared with rockwool-grown tomato plants.

The complete study and abstract are available here.


HYUNDAI vessel INTEGRAL delivered one container bound for Canada via the Port of NY/NJ on the 25th of November 2011.

By Will Cavan
Executive Director
International Mango Organization (IMO)
Vista, California

November 28, 2011

One container with 5,016 (4kg) cartons of mangoes from Ecuador was shipped by PLANTEIN S.A. to ALIMENTS IMEX FOOD of Montreal, Canada.

The container was discharged at the Port of NY/NJ on the 25th of November, 2011.

MAERSK vessel WAKAYAMA delivered three containers of mango from Ecuador at the Port of NY/NJ on the 25th of November 2011.

Three containers for three receivers from two shippers in Ecuador made their way into the USA market via the Port of NY/NJ on the 25th of November.

DUREXPORTA S.A. shipped one container each to AMAZON PRODUCE and FRESKA PRODUCE. Each container had 5,280 (4kg) cartons.

COMPANIA AGRICOLA GANADERA shipped one container with 5,280 cartons to PANORAMA SALES.

Peak volume will arrive within the next few days from Ecuador.


Smaller mango crop tipped

By Marlina Whop

Posted November 29, 2011 08:58:42



Queensland mango growers are disappointed they will not get the bumper crop they had been hoping for.

Many orchards flowered well but a long, cool winter stifled pollination.

Ian Groves owns a mango farm near Rockhampton and says production will be down from about 30,000 trays to just 1,000.

"We'd put all the fungicides and sprays onto the flowers right through winter and into spring and they looked fantastic all the way," he said.

"We had little fruits appear to set but as they became a little larger it became obvious there was no seed inside them.

"Now I can drive up and down rows and find one or two mangoes only, it's pretty disappointing."

Trevor Dunmall from the Australian Mango Industry Association says the picking season is in full swing.

"In north Queensland around Townsville and the Burdekin they've started," he said.

"It's a reasonable crop and there should be a good supply of mangoes right throughout the season but not as big as some originally thought.

"For many growers last year's was one just to forget very quickly.

"It was a very average season especially around that Townsville, Burdekin area where they started picking probably around the same time as rain came."

The slimmer pickings could drive up prices but growers are urging consumers to have some compassion for the industry.

Mr Dunmall says he is confident there will be enough to go around for the festive season.


Perú: Mangos deshidratados peruanos tienen mejor cotización que los de México

28 de Noviembre de 2011

Los mangos deshidratados peruanos de exportación se cotizan entre seis y diez dólares el kilo en el mercado internacional, precio superior al que obtiene el mismo fruto de origen mexicano, por el que se paga aproximadamente seis dólares, informó el gerente general de Procesos Agroindustriales, Luis Llanos.

El precio que se paga por el mango deshidratado peruano es similar al que obtiene el fruto de origen sudafricano porque son similares en sabor y en proceso de deshidratación, precisó a la agencia Andina.

Agregó que la empresa, que se instaló hace tres años en el Centro de Exportación, Transformación, Industria, Comercio y Servicios (Ceticos), es junto a Sunshine Export, una de las productoras y exportadoras de mango deshidratado de Perú, pero también exporta plátano y hortalizas.

Los mercados a los que exporta son Estados Unidos, Reino Unido, Japón, China y Alemania.

Explicó que las frutas con la que trabaja la empresa son orgánicas y en el proceso de deshidratación utilizan un sistema de aire caliente que evapora el agua de la fruta, lo que permite mantener su sabor.

La empresa es productora de mangos pero debido a la demanda por los frutos deshidratados compra el fruto de 15 organizaciones de agricultores de Chulucanas, Huancabamba y Malingas en Piura, precisó.

“Compramos directamente a los agricultores y sin intermediarios y pagamos por sus productos, dependiendo del tipo de mango, entre 25 y 30 centavos de dólar por kilo”, dijo.

Señaló que debido a la creciente demanda de mango deshidratado y la escasa producción de ese fruto, la empresa tendrá que comprar a los agricultores de Chulucanas, Motupe, Olmos, Patanguilla, Virú y hasta Casma.

El mango utilizado en su proceso productivo es el que no puede ser exportado fresco debido a que no presenta las características físicas que lo califican como fruto para el mercado externo, es decir, no tiene el color adecuado o está manchado con el látex natural de la planta.

“Compramos todo el fruto que no se exporta y que no podrá ser vendido en el mercado local debido al grado de maduración”, manifestó Llanos.

Este año Procesos Agroindustriales espera incrementar su producción en 25 por ciento, el año pasado exportó 170 toneladas de mango deshidratado.

Fuente: Andina

JUST-FOOD EDITORIAL # 600 ....November 28, 2011

Issue 600

November 28, 2011


Dean Best

Multinational retailers beware.

For all the headlines last week, the passage into India's fledgling and potentially lucrative retail sector is likely to be anything but smooth.

News that the Indian government plans to relax restrictions on foreign investment in the country's retail industry would have initially been greeted warmly in boardrooms at the likes of Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco.

New Delhi's decision to, for example, allow overseas retailers to take a majority stake in a supermarket chain in India does, on the face of it, present a very appealing opportunity for Western retailers keen to tap into the country's growing and ever-more wealthy middle class.

However, the devil is in the detail.

 A retailer that wants to set up a supermarket chain in India will have to meet certain conditions, including a stipulation that it must invest US$100m - and half of that must be spent on infrastructure.

Companies will also be forced to buy 30% of produce from small and medium enterprises and will only be able to establish stores in cities with a population of one million people or more.

That said, the most critical consideration for would-be investors is the fact that the Indian government's reforms have been met with fierce opposition in some parts of the country.

Individual states in India's federal political system will be allowed to ignore the new regulations if they wish - and there has already been defiant statements from some local politicians that overseas retailers will not be allowed entry to their markets.

Opposition leader Uma Bharti has reportedly even threatened to torch any Walmart store that may open in the country.

It, therefore, seems there is a long way to go before we see a network of Tesco supermarkets in India. And, from the public reaction so far - a spokesperson from Carrefour last week pointed out that "it's still an ongoing process" - Western retailers are fully aware of the potential obstacles that lie ahead.

India's planned retail reform was the big news story in a week dominated by developments at a number of global retailers.

One retailer that already has a presence in India through its wholesale network - Metro Group - was also in the spotlight with the appointment of its new CEO.

Finance director Olaf Koch will take the top job by next October and, after the uncertainty at the top of the retailer in recent months, investors will be pleased that a sense of normality is set to to return to the German retail giant.

 However, there are a number of challenges that lie ahead for Koch, including a need to revitalise sales at the company and successfully sell department store chain Kaufhof.

Ahold was another European retail giant under scrutiny last week.

The Dutch retailer unveiled a series of measures that it hopes will keep it at the "forefront" of the sector, including plans to treble its online sales, open more stores in Europe and expand private-label sales in the US.

Analysts welcomed Ahold's plans, although, interestingly, the retailer's share price fell in the wake of its announcement.

Were investors concerned that Ahold, despite its new initiatives, stuck to its target for sales and margin growth?

Are they anxious about Ahold's exposure to mature markets like the US, where the retailer is operating in a fiercely competitive and economically challenging environment?

There could be some truth in both but Ahold, with its new strategy, plans to demonstrate how it can navigate such tough trading conditions.

However, competition looks set to get tougher in Ahold's home market of the Netherlands, after local rival Jumbo acquired another Dutch retailer C1000 last week. 

Ahold could benefit in the short term as Jumbo integrates C1000 into its business.

However, looking further ahead, the acquisition is likely to put pressure on Ahold's margins, as a strong number two player is created to challenge the company's position as market leader.

Until next time...

Dean Best
Managing Editor


HAMBURG SUD vessel CAP JERVIS delivered 11 containers to the Port of Philadelphia on November 24, 2011

By Will Cavan
Executive Director
International mango Organization (IMO)
Vista, California

November 28, 2011

It would appear that FINOBRAS is the last Brazil shipper to the USA left standing.

11 containers of Brazil mangoes were shipped by FINOBRAS to three USA importers on HAMBURG SUD vessel CAP JERVIS.

AMAZON PRODUCE commands the USA market with 8 of the 11 containers from Brazil for a total of 44,352 (4kg) cartons.

CONTINENTAL FRESHH received two containers for a total of 11,088 cartons.

DAYKA & HACKET received one container with 5,544 cartons.



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Mangoes as beauty products

A NATURAL and organic personal care manufacturer is planning to come out with products made from Cebu’s mango fruit.

Anna Meloto- Wilk, Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. president, said the firm was negotiating with the University of Cebu and SCOPE Foundation for a partnership in developing natural personal care products from the waste mango skin and seed from dried mango factories in Cebu.

“I happen to be one of the judges for an inter-school event here last month and UC had this mango butter technology that we are very interested to try using in our products,” Wilk said.

Based on the information from UC, Cebu generates at least 75 percent of waste mango skin and seed every month.

She said these would be a good source of mango butter and oil that could be used in developing products like lotion, body butter, hair conditioner and massage oil.

“Mango oil is considered a premium product even more expensive than sunflower oil which we are now using in our products. We would be really glad if we can tap this available resource for more product developments under our Human Heart Nature brand,” said Wilk.

Over the last three years since launching their brand, Wilk said they already sold about 2 million products and they were expecting to hit 3 million products sold at the end of the year.

The firm has 22 branches nationwide and has recently opened outlets in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States. /Reporter Aileen Garcia Yap


Taiwan’s mango exports to Japan for the first 10 months of 2011 amounted to 1,161 metric tons, with a value of US$8.34 million, up 15.1 percent and 25.7 percent, respectively, from the levels for the same period a year earlier, the Council of Agriculture said Nov. 25. 

Taiwan mangos accounted for 22 percent of Japan’s total mango imports for the period, ranking second globally behind only Mexican mangoes. 

However, Taiwan mangos fetched the highest unit price at 641 yen (US$8.25) per kilogram, ahead of Thai mangoes at 480 yen and Mexican mangoes at 294 yen, according to the COA.