Milling & Baking News - November 16, 2004 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods / NOVEMBER 16, 2004 U.S.D.A. confirms presence of Asian soybean rust in the U.S. Right time to rise Story on Page 21 Stephen Sanger: 'It's pretty clear that carbs are back!' MINNEAPOLIS - Sales growth propelled by the company's new grain-based foods products suggests significantly improved consumer trends in the sector, said Stephen W. Sanger, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills, Inc. Mr. Sanger spoke Nov. 3 about General Mills at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer Conference in New York. Mr. Sanger's assessment was based on the success of the new General Mills products rather than on the latest data about low-carbohydrate dieting. "Our innovation efforts are stimulating unit volume growth for us so far this year," Mr. Sanger said. "In the first quarter, our U.S. retail volume was up 4% in total. When you Continued on Page 16 WASHINGTON - The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Nov. 10 confirmed for the first time the presence of the Asian soybean rust fungus in the United States. The disease, which adversely impacts yields in affected areas, was found Nov. 6 on soybean leaf samples taken from two Louisiana State University research plots near Baton Rouge, the U.S.D.A. said. The agency sent its soybean rust detection assessment team to the site to assess the situation, conduct surveillance and determine the spread of the disease. The U.S.D.A. noted that the fungus would have minimal impact on this year's record large U.S. soybean crop, which was 87% harvested as of Nov. 7 and likely will be more than 90% complete by week's end. In Louisiana, the harvest was 95% complete on Nov. 7. Soybean futures markets on Nov. 10, the day of the announcement, traded 12½c to 20½c a bu higher on the news. The largest gains were in deferred contracts. The U.S.D.A. does not expect the outbreak of rust to affect U.S. soybean exports. Dr. Keith Collins, U.S.D.A. chief economist, noted that other countries with the disease, including Brazil, have been exporting soybeans. "Our soybean competitors around the Continued on Page 12 MGPI sees positive outlook amid trend in favor of whole grains ATCHISON, KAS. - Demand for low-carbohydrate specialty ingredients has fallen sharply in recent months, but the boom earlier in the year left MGP Ingredients, Inc. well positioned to grow in the specialty ingredient market, the company's top executives said last week. In a conference call Nov. 9 following the release of first-quarter financial results, Ladd Seaberg, president and chief ex- LATE ecutive officer, and Michael J. Trautschold, executive vice-president, marketing and sales, suggested that MGPI will benefit greatly from increased interest in whole grains products. While MGPI was barely profitable in the first quarter and its Ingredients segment suffered a loss, Mr. Seaberg noted significant and sustainable growth in sales of Continued on Page 14 NEWS WASHINGTON - Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman, answering questions from farm broadcasters and reporters last week, hinted she would be willing to serve in her current capacity during the second term of President George W. Bush. In response to a reporter who asked about the prospects of her remaining in the next administration, Secretary Veneman said, "As you know, we in the cabinet Continued on Page 8 Veneman comments on future inside THIS WEEK Ingredient Difficult pasta market persists for AIPC Bunge, P.&G. in ingredient venture 9 15 Auto exec named new c.f.o. at ConAgra 32 Week 34

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Milling & Baking News - November 16, 2004