Milling & Baking News - December 16, 2003 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods LATE NEWS WA S H I N G T O N - Wheat futures prices fell sharply Dec. 11 on all three exchanges after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued U.S. and global December supply and demand data. Declines of 9c, 9c and 7½c a bu for March wheat contracts in Kansas City, Chicago and Minneapolis, respectively, were attributed to a larger-than-expected world ending stocks forecast and to indications that China had bought large quantities of wheat from Canada. World wheat ending stocks for 2003-04 were projected at 127.93 million tonnes, up 1.62 million Continued on Page 8 Report prompts price tumble Aurora's bankruptcy yields $50 million in debtor financing ST. LOUIS - As it had planned for months, Aurora Foods Inc. last week filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, an action that moves it closer to completing its pending merger with Pinnacle Foods Corp. Aurora, which had revealed its Chapter 11 plans this summer, said it expects to complete the restructuring process by March 31, 2004. In conjunction with the filing, the company said it has secured $50 million of debtor-in-possession (D.I.P.) financing, subject to approval of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court. Combined with Aurora's Continued on Page 10 / DECEMBER 16, 2003 Interstate Bakeries issues sales, earnings warning for quarter KANSAS CITY - Interstate Bakeries Corp. said last week it expects net sales and operating income to fall 1% and 30%, respectively, in its fiscal second quarter ended Nov. 15. I.B.C. said its second-quarter results will include restructuring charges of approximately $2 million related to the announced closing of the company's Grand Rapids, Mich.-based baking plant as well as restructuring ac- tivities initiated in the prior fiscal year. I.B.C. also said that results will reflect a second-quarter, year-over-year interest expense reduction of about $1 million. The company will release its quarterly results on Dec. 18. "Over the past year, the company has initiated a series of changes designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, Continued on Page 9 Corn refiners, growers answer network charges on obesity WASHINGTON - Assertions made in the Peter Jennings/ABC News television report, "How to Get Fat Without Really Trying," were challenged last week by the Corn Refiners Association and the National Corn Growers Association. "This report was little more than a subjective attack on the tens of thousands of hard-working Americans in the corn growing and refining industries who provide our families with the safest, most abundant and affordable food supply in the world," said Audrae Erickson, C.R.A. president. "In addition to containing numerous factual errors about refined corn products, this television program overlooked the importance of achieving a balance between fitness and nutrition to Continued on Page 12 Story on Page 23 inside THIS WEEK Ingredient Fischler seeks 'give and take' in trade talks Further Panera expansion near N.Y.C. 9 15 Lower wheat loan rates set for 2004 by U.S.D.A. Week 17 33

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Milling & Baking News - December 16, 2003