- Bayer Announces Executive Leadership Team for New Crop Science Division
Liam Condon will lead Bayer’s new crop science division that’s slated to go into effect at the close of Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto. The closing is still subject to pending regulatory approval. Bayer and Monsanto continue to work closely with regulators in order to close the transaction in the second quarter of 2018, say Bayer officials. Condon continues to serve as a member of Bayer’s Board of Management and as president of the crop science division headquartered in Monheim, Germany. He is also responsible for Bayer’s Animal Health business unit. Bayer’s announcement coincides with Monsanto’s announcement that its CEO, Hugh Grant will be stepping down at the close of the proposed acquisition. Also stepping down following the deal’s close will be Pierre Courduroux, chief financial officer, and Robert Fraley, chief technology officer. The appointments will only become effective with the closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto which depends on receipt of the required regulatory approvals, say company officials. Until that date, both companies will continue to operate as competitors under their current structures.
- Oil surges on Venezuela-Conoco dispute, Iran sanction worries
Oil prices rose for the fourth straight day on Monday to hit levels not seen since late 2014, boosted by the latest trouble for Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and the possibility that the United States could re-impose sanctions on Iran.
- Conoco expected to soon temporarily seize PDVSA Curacao assets
The U.S. oil company last week took PDVSA oil inventories in St. Eustatius and a terminal in Bonaire under court orders to enforce a $2 billion arbitration award by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in April. It tried to do the same in Curacao, but the measures were rejected because of an error in the name of the entities, an employee close to the refinery’s operations said. New orders are expected, the employee added. Conoco’s writs of attachments are a legal maneuver to temporarily retain assets – from stored oil, to cargoes and facilities – and could give the U.S. company the ability to sell them later. In total, Conoco’s actions could affect about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) typically shipped from the three locations, about a third of PDVSA’s exports, according to Reuters calculations based on the state-run company’s internal reports.
USDA’s May crop production report will be released this Thursday, May 10th, at 11:00am CT. Profit-taking ahead of Thursday’s report appears to be in full swing. This report will include the USDA’s 1st look at new crop balance sheets on Corn, Wheat Soybeans. Dryness continues to cripple in the Safrinha Corn growing areas of Brazil but there is some precipitation in the forecast for tomorrow and in the extended 6 to 15-day forecasts. Corn planting progress is pegged at 35-37% complete for today’s Crop Progress report. The 5-year average pace is 44%. The Soybean planting projections are in line with the 5-year average of 13% coming in at 11-13% complete. The US/Chinese trade talks have hit a snag and appear to be slowing down. The next meeting is yet to be scheduled but speculation is that talks could resume in a month. The Spring Wheat Crop is running about a week behind schedule with estimates coming in at about 36% completed.
Soybean were the biggest loser on the day followed by Wheat both with double digit losses. Corn rounded out the day with 5.50 cents in losses.