Milling & Baking News - May 18, 2004 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods Monsanto halts wheat program; turns focus to other crops ST. LOUIS - Monsanto Co. announced May 10 that breeding and field level research on Roundup Ready wheat has been discontinued and that its introduction of bioengineered wheat has been deferred. Comments by a top Monsanto executive cast at least some doubt as to whether the company would ever attempt a return to the bioengineered wheat business. Research and development at Monsanto will be realigned "to accelerate the development of new and improved traits in corn, cotton and oilseeds," the company said. Monsanto said the decision to defer the introduction followed "extensive consul- LATE tation" with wheat industry customers, particularly growers in the United States and Canada. Also figuring large in the decision was a perception by Monsanto that the wheat market was becoming less and less of an attractive investment. "Due to the decline in the size of the spring wheat market, the business opportunities with Roundup Ready wheat are less attractive relative to Monsanto's other commercial priorities," the company said. Carl Casale, executive vice-president of Monsanto, explained, "Acreage planted in the spring wheat market in the United Continued on Page 10 U.S.D.A. projects winter wheat crop down 9% from last year WASHINGTON - The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on May 12 projected 2004 winter wheat production at 1,550,395,000 bus, down 156,674,000 bus, or 9%, from 1,707,069,000 bus last year. If realized, 2004 production would be 56,765,000 bus above the recent five-year average of 1,494 million bus, which in- cludes the 2002 crop of 1,137 million bus, the smallest in 32 years. The U.S.D.A. projection was in line with average pre-report trade estimates of 1.55 billion bus. The U.S.D.A. projected lower yield and harvested area than a year ago. The national average yield of 44.2 bus per acre was down 2.5 bus from 46.7 bus per acre Continued on Page 14 Looks good, tastes good, too The technology of flavor and color enables creativity and novelty but also can mask offflavors, add uniformity and aid appearance. Story on Page 17 inside MAY 18, 2004 / NEWS WA S H I N G T O N - U.S. flour production in the first quarter of 2004, or January-March, increased 0.6% over a year ago, aggregating 95,715,000 cwts, against 95.1 million in the same quarter of 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of the Census. Output in the quarter was down 4% from 99,686,000 in October-December. The 24-hour capacity of U.S. mills in the first quarter was 1,464,000 cwts, down 13,000 from OctoberDecember and down 17,000 from the first quarter of 2003. Mills in January-March operated at 84.9% of six-day capacity compared Continued on Page 8 Flour output up 0.6% in first quarter New World Pasta files Chapter 11; obtains $45 million in financing HARRISBURG, PA. - New World Pasta Co. last week filed a voluntary petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The filing will enable the company to operate under the protection of the court while it reorganizes and reduces its debt, strengthens its financial position and restructures its balance sheet. In connection with the filing, New World Pasta announced that it has obtained a commitment for a $45-million debtor-in-possession financing facility Continued on Page 9 THIS WEEK Sara Lee cuts further at Fort Payne 9 Ingredient Krispy Kreme to sell Montana Mills 12 Dale Morrison to helm of McCain Foods 30 Week 31

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Milling & Baking News - May 18, 2004