Associated British Foods (ABF), the parent company of Kingsmill, has ended the 16 weeks to 3 January 2015 with revenue 3% ahead of the same period last year. EU sugar prices, which had been lower in the period, are now seeing some stabilisation, said the firm. Sugar content in the beet is lower than last year, but is counterbalanced by good sugar extraction rates.UK sugar production in the current year is now estimated to be 1.40m tonnes, up from last year’s 1.32m tonnes.ABF’s Africa-based sugar subsidiary Illovo has performed consistently throughout the period, but cane availability was restricted in South Africa. Sugar prices in Africa have remained relatively stable with the exception of Tanzania, where low-cost imports continue to hold back domestic prices.A company statement said: “This year we expect grocery, ingredients and agriculture to make further progress in operating profit on the back of their very positive performance last year. With the fall in EU sugar prices and weakness in the world sugar price, we expect a further large reduction in profit from AB Sugar, but this will put much of the effect of the structural changes in EU prices, seen over the last three years, behind us.“We expect a decline in adjusted operating profit for the group, but the impact on earnings will be mitigated by much lower tax and interest charges. Sterling’s strength against most of our major trading currencies will also have a negative effect and we now expect a marginal decline in adjusted earnings per share for the group for the full year.”
Lettuce kicked off their first annual Fool’s Paradise event last night, hosting artists like Goldfish, Marvel Years, and GRiZ at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL. Not only did Lettuce perform a full set of raging tunes, but the band performed their first-ever collaboration with GRiZ. Dubbed “Lettuce-GRiZ,” the beloved saxophonist/producer unplugged and jammed hard with Lettuce for what was a major highlight of the first day at Fool’s.Among the songs performed was GRiZ’s funky tune, “Stop Trippin’.” Thanks to joshua lapoint, we have some fan-shot video from the performance:Keep it tuned to Live for Live Music for more Fool’s Paradise content! Today’s event will feature performances from Lettuce, Brasstracks, The Nth Power, Vulfpeck, and Chris Robinson’s Soul Revue (ft. Neal Casal, Ivan Neville, George Porter Jr., and more). More information for the festival can be found here.[Photo by Jeremy Scott]
Indian sub-continent shiprecycling destinations have seen another negative week of pricing following the release of the 2017 budget announcements, according to GMS, a cash buyer of ships for recycling.The Bangladesh Shipbreakers Association (BSBA) submitted an official appeal to the finance minister in order to try to reduce, or reverse the punitive duties and taxes imposed on the domestic shiprecycling sector by the budget.However, there has been no positive outcome and it does seem as though prices will soften by about USD 40 – 50/LDT going forward, especially if the full conditions of the budget come into effect.“The extent of the falls witnessed over the last month or so have indeed been rather unexpected and shocking to the industry overall,” GMS said, adding that at least USD 50/LDT have come off prices ever since the markets came to within inches of touching the USD 400/LDT mark during the first quarter of the year.Despite the firming levels at that time, supply remained relatively stagnant, especially when compared to the corresponding period last year. The markets have witnessed a sharp reduction in the number of containers and bulkers heading to the beaches this year with only a marginal increase in the number of tankers proposed so far, GMS informed.Given the recent negative ongoings, declining prices and bad budgets, “end buyers across the sub-continent markets remain extremely conservative and cautious with their pricing.”Considering that vessel prices had recorded a remarkable increase of over USD 100/LDT during the peak this year, even with the recent declines, levels today “are strong and remain about USD 50/LDT above those from January 1, 2017.”GMS said that it therefore expects the summer months to remain modest in terms of pricing and activity as cash buyers and sellers wait for some added stability and aggression to buy while the markets adjust to the new ‘lower’ prices on show.