Milling & Baking News - April 7, 2009 - (Page 1)

THE NEWS WEEKLY OF GRAIN-BASED FOODS APRIL 7, 2009 / Varied ideas about soybean, corn and wheat prices, with key in weather SPECIAL Baking Hall of Fame Story on Page 27 LATE NEWS Campbell acquiring artisan bread baker CAMDEN, N.J. - Campbell Soup Co. has entered an agreement to acquire East Brunswick, N.J.-based Ecce Panis, Inc., a baker of handcrafted, stone-baked artisan bread that is sold primarily through in-store bakeries and grocery chains in the United States. Once the transaction is completed later this spring Campbell said it plans to operate Ecce Panis as a distinct brand within its Pepperidge Farm portfolio. "The acquisition of Ecce Panis is consistent with our strategy to drive growth in our core categories through strategic acquisitions and outside partnerships," said Douglas R. Conant, president Continued on Page 8 KANSAS CITY - Armed with the most recent grain planting intentions and stocks data, analysts offered mixed forecasts for soybean, corn and wheat prices for the next six months. At the same time, there was consensus that outside factors would continue to be major marketmoving influences but increasingly would play second fiddle to spring weather. "Soybeans got a shot of adrenaline, corn is already trading weather, and wheat will continue to follow other markets," Steve Freed, vice-president, ADM Investor Services, Chicago, said after release of the March 31 U.S. Department of Agriculture Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks reports. "But weather is key, even in a recession." Extremes in weather have been the rule in late winter and early spring, with dry conditions in much of the hard red winter wheat region, drought turning to excessive moisture in parts of the Delta and Southeast, excessive moisture and cold across the Corn Belt and massive flooding along the Red River and its tributaries in the Upper Midwest's spring wheat/durum region. The Prospective Plantings report updated the U.S.D.A.'s January winter wheat seeding estimates and provided the first survey-based input about farmers' 2009 spring planting intentions (see story on Page 18). The new data also fine-tuned trend-based projections issued at the annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in late February. The U.S.D.A.'s Grain Stocks report, also released last week, yielded supply data as of March 1 and showed significant increases in farmer-held stocks of wheat, up 205% from a year ago, soybeans, up 11%, and corn, up 8%. March 1 stocks in all positions were up 46% for wheat and 1% for corn, while soybean Continued on Page 20 Sara Lee considering sale of International Household and Body Care business DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. - Having received "expressions of interest" in its International Household and Body Care business, Sara Lee Corp. on March 30 said it is "considering all alternatives for the segment, including the option to divest the business." If Sara Lee chooses to sell the business, the transformation of the company from a diversified consumer products company to one focused exclusively on food and beverages would be complete. Remaining Sara Lee divisions would include Fresh Bakery, North American Retail, Food Service, International Beverage and International Bakery. Based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, the International Household and Body Care segment manufactures, distributes and markets products in more than 150 countries around the world. With $2.3 billion in sales and 8,000 employees, its household line includes hair care, shoe care, insecticide and laundry care Continued on Page 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Milling & Baking News - April 7, 2009


Milling & Baking News - April 7, 2009