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Naveen Thukral

GRAINS-U.S. wheat hits 5-week high on prospects for higher demand

9:54am IST

* Chicago wheat up for 3rd session on hopes for strong demand * Soybeans gain more ground as dry weather curbs Brazilian crop (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 24 Chicago wheat rose for a third consecutive session on Thursday, climbing to its highest in five weeks on expectations of higher demand for U.S. supplies as inventories dwindle top exporter Russia. Soybean futures rose for a second session amid concerns over prolonged dry weather hurting the crop in Brazil. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.3 percent at $5.27-1/2 a bushel, as of 0407 GMT, having risen earlier to $5.28-1/2 a bushel, its highest since Dec. 19, 2018. Soybeans gained 0.3 percent to $9.17-1/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.6 percent on Wednesday; while corn climbed 0.1 percent to $3.79-1/4 a bushel, having closed little changed in the previous session. The wheat market is being buoyed by tightening supplies and rising prices in Russia and Ukraine after brisk early-season shipments by the Black Sea-exporting countries. "Russian prices are rising which is making Black Sea wheat less attractive for importers," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist, National Australia Bank. "This could provide opportunity for U.S. wheat to make its way into Asia and the Middle East." Forecasters have been scaling back estimates for Brazil's soybean harvest due to drought, and hot weather this week was expected to keep some regions dry. The average estimate of Brazil's 2018-19 soybean production in a Reuters poll of analysts was 117.06 million tonnes, down from the average in a November poll of 120.8 million tonnes. Looking ahead to U.S. plantings for 2019, private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, projected that farmers would plant more corn and less soybeans and wheat compared to 2018. The firm put 2019 soybean plantings at 86.2 million acres, up 1.1 million acres from its mid-December forecast, but still down nearly 3 million acres from 2018. IEG projected U.S. 2019 corn plantings at 91.5 million acres, up from the 89.1 million acres in 2018. The firm put total U.S. wheat seedings for 2019 at 47.163 million acres, compared with the 47.8 million a year earlier. Grains prices at 0407 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 527.50 1.50 +0.29% +1.20% 518.88 69 CBOT corn 379.25 0.50 +0.13% +0.07% 379.33 52 CBOT soy 917.25 2.25 +0.25% +0.88% 909.52 61 CBOT rice 10.73 -$0.03 -0.28% +0.75% $10.57 70 WTI crude 52.41 -$0.21 -0.40% -0.30% $49.34 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.139 $0.001 +0.05% +0.25% USD/AUD 0.7121 -0.002 -0.28% -0.01% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

GRAINS-Soybean prices rise as adverse weather hits S.American crop

23 Jan 2019

* U.S. wheat up for 2nd day on hopes of higher demand (Adds comment, detail)

GRAINS-Soybeans gain for second session on S.American crop woes

17 Jan 2019

* Soybeans rebound from a three-week low * Dryness curbs yields in Brazil; worries over excess rains in Argentina (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 17 Chicago soybean futures rose for a second session on Thursday with prices supported by adverse weather in South America though concerns over a prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing curbed gains. Wheat ticked lower, while corn gained for a second session. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.3 percent at $8.96-3/4 a bushel, as of 0255 GMT. In the previous session, prices had hit $8.91-1/4 a bushel, their lowest since Dec 28, 2018. Wheat slipped 0.2 percent to $5.11-1/2 a bushel, having closed 0.3 percent firmer on Wednesday and corn climbed 0.1 percent to $3.74-1/2 a bushel, having gained 0.7 percent in the previous session. "Brazil's crop forecasts are being lowered, which is supporting prices but we don't expect the market to rally as U.S-China trade war is weighing on the sentiment," said one Singapore-based trader. Brazilian agribusiness consultancy Céleres on Wednesday cut its soy harvest forecast for the country due to drought, but the 117.2-million-tonne estimate is largely in line with other analysts. Thomson Reuters Agriculture Research on Wednesday lowered its forecast of Brazil's ongoing harvest by 2 percent to 118 million tonnes, joining other crop watchers in factoring in the impact of dryness on yields. In Argentina, there are worries about excessive rains. Concerns over a prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing are weighing on agricultural markets. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced bills on Wednesday that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate U.S. sanctions or export control laws. This could prolong the trade war between the two countries. Russia's Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday it was not discussing imposing any limits on grain exports abroad, RIA news agency reported. The ministry said earlier on Wednesday it expected a grain harvest of 114.3 million tonnes this year. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn, wheat and soymeal futures contracts on Wednesday and net sellers of soybeans, traders said. Grains prices at 0255 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 511.50 -1.00 -0.20% -0.53% 518.93 46 CBOT corn 374.50 0.50 +0.13% -1.06% 380.09 43 CBOT soy 896.75 2.25 +0.25% -0.75% 911.60 50 CBOT rice 10.52 $0.05 +0.48% -0.66% $10.61 59 WTI crude 51.98 -$0.33 -0.63% -0.25% $49.23 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.139 -$0.008 -0.65% -0.92% USD/AUD 0.7168 -0.005 -0.65% -0.24% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

GRAINS-Soybeans rise on S.America weather woes, capped by slowing China demand

15 Jan 2019

* Chicago soybean futures rise after closing lower on Monday * Bargain-buying, adverse weather in South America support prices * Slowing Chinese soybean consumption limits price gains (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 15 Chicago soybean futures ticked higher on Tuesday, recouping some of the previous session's decline on concerns over adverse weather in South America, although slowing demand in China limited the gains. Wheat prices firmed after Monday's deep losses, and corn rose having closed last session little changed. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade added 0.5 percent to $9.07-3/4 a bushel by 0318 GMT, having closed down 0.7 percent on Monday, when prices dropped to their lowest since Jan. 2 at $9.01-1/2 a bushel. Wheat climbed 0.3 percent to $5.16 a bushel. Corn rose 0.5 percent to $3.80-1/4 a bushel. "The market is still trying to quantify what the losses may be from the adverse weather, and most estimates come in around the 5 to 10 million tonnes mark," said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. "This is putting some immediate floor in the market, but the political battlefield is likely to have a much larger impact than South American crop losses. Without a resolution to the U.S-China issue, beans are likely to slide back below $9 a bushel again." Brazilian agricultural consultancy Agroconsult slashed its forecast for Brazil's 2018/2019 soybean crop by 5.2 million tonnes on Thursday, citing a dry spell that has hurt soy fields. In Argentina, there were problems due to excessive rains. Grain markets also languished as Chinese trade figures dampened demand sentiment and fuelled worry across financial markets about an economic slowdown in China and beyond. China's General Administration of Customs said December soy imports fell 40 percent from a year earlier, to the lowest for the month since December 2011. China's soybean imports also fell for all of 2018, the first annual fall since 2011. U.S. soybean crushing volumes in December were likely the largest on record for that month as soy plants continued their recent strong crushing pace, according to analysts polled ahead of a monthly National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) report. Fears for the U.S. winter wheat crop eased after several inches of snow fell over the weekend. The snow cover should protect dormant crops as severely cold weather hits the region this week. Russian agriculture ministry on Monday confirmed its outlook for 2018-19 grain shipments, tempering concerns about limited sales from one of the world's largest exporters. Commodity funds were net buyers of CBOT corn and soyoil futures contracts on Monday and net sellers of soybeans, soymeal and wheat futures, traders said. Grains prices at 0318 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 516.00 1.75 +0.34% +0.44% 519.47 51 CBOT corn 380.25 1.75 +0.46% +1.06% 380.62 55 CBOT soy 907.75 4.25 +0.47% +0.11% 912.96 42 CBOT rice 10.59 $0.00 +0.00% -2.44% $10.65 49 WTI crude 51.14 $0.63 +1.25% -0.87% $49.26 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.148 $0.002 +0.14% -0.13% USD/AUD 0.7214 0.000 -0.01% +0.40% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Tom Hogue)

GRAINS-Soybeans ease as China's imports drop; wheat snaps 2-day rally

14 Jan 2019

* Chicago soybeans drop after closing higher on Friday * China's soybean imports drop in 2018 for first time since 2011 * Wheat eases after gains, prices supported by demand hopes (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 14 Chicago soybean futures lost ground on Monday as imports by the world's biggest buyer China dropped for the first time since 2011, following a trade war between Washington and Beijing. Wheat slid after two days of gains which were driven by expectations of increased demand for U.S. supplies due to shortage in rival exporters Russia and Ukraine. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade fell 0.3 percent at $9.07-3/4 a bushel as of 0310 GMT, having firmed 0.4 percent on Friday. Wheat was down 0.3 percent at $5.18 a bushel, while corn unchanged at $3.78-1/4 a bushel. China's 2018 soybean imports fell by 7.9 percent from a year earlier to 88.03 million tonnes, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday. That was the first annual drop since 2011, according to Reuters records. China's December soybean imports at 5.72 million tonnes, according to Reuters calculations, are the lowest December total since 2011. "China isn't buying U.S. beans, despite expectations that they would eventually need to tap the U.S. market," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. The top soy importer has booked an estimated 5 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans over the past month, but no further deals have been reported. U.S. officials expect China's top trade negotiator may visit Washington this month, signalling that higher-level discussions are likely to follow last week's talks with mid-level officials in Beijing as the world's two largest economies try to hammer out a deal to end a tit-for-tat tariff war. Agricultural consultancy Safras & Mercado on Friday slashed its forecast for Brazil's 2018/19 soybean crop by 6.5 million tonnes to 115.72 million tonnes, citing a prolonged dry spell in southern parts of the country. Expectations that thinning supplies in Russia would raise export opportunities for U.S. wheat underpinned prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have normally published a fresh crop forecast on Friday but updates have been postponed indefinitely due to the government shutdown. Grains prices at 0310 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 518.00 -1.50 -0.29% +0.83% 519.53 55 CBOT corn 378.25 0.00 +0.00% +0.53% 380.55 50 CBOT soy 907.75 -2.50 -0.27% +0.11% 912.96 51 CBOT rice 10.75 -$0.02 -0.19% -0.92% $10.65 59 WTI crude 51.30 -$0.29 -0.56% -2.45% $49.28 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.147 $0.000 -0.01% -0.28% USD/AUD 0.7186 -0.003 -0.40% +0.01% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

GRAINS-Soybeans face 1st loss in 3 weeks on lack of Chinese purchases

11 Jan 2019

* Soybeans down 1.2 pct this week as market awaits Chinese buying * Chicago wheat under pressure as Egypt buys Russian wheat (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 11 Chicago soybean futures ticked higher on Friday but the market is poised for its first decline in three weeks on lack of further purchases by China despite it holding trade talks with the United States. Wheat is set to end the week little changed as Egypt purchased Russian wheat in a tender, erasing the recent gains. The most-active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade are down 1.2 percent for the week, the first weekly fall in three weeks. Soybeans hit a low of $9.05-3/4 a bushel on Thursday, the weakest since Jan. 3. Wheat is up 0.1 percent this week after closing 1 percent higher in the previous week and corn futures down nearly 1.1 percent for the week after closing up 2 percent last week. "The market has been expecting China to make more purchases of U.S. soybeans but that has not happened," said a Singapore-based trader. "Brazil is about to start harvesting its crop and there will be more competition in the market to sell beans." China's commerce ministry said on Thursday this week's trade talks were extensive and detailed, while the U.S. Trade Representative's office said that China had pledged to purchase "a substantial amount" of U.S. agricultural, energy and manufactured goods and services. In Brazil, statistics agency Conab cut its estimate of the 2018-19 soybean harvest that is underway to 118.8 million tonnes from 120.1 million in December, near the high end of trade expectations. Brazilian agricultural consultancy Agroconsult slashed its forecast for Brazil's 2018/2019 soybean crop by 5.2 million tonnes on Thursday, citing a dry spell that has hurt soy fields. U.S. wheat export sentiment has taken a hit as Egypt bought Russian wheat in a tender. The 415,000-tonne deal countered recent expectations that Russian wheat was becoming uncompetitive overseas after a brisk first half of its export season. There is a 65 percent chance of an El Niño weather pattern emerging during the northern hemisphere spring this year, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday. Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said. Grains prices at 0307 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 517.75 4.00 +0.78% +0.00% 519.06 53 CBOT corn 378.75 2.50 +0.66% -0.33% 380.19 51 CBOT soy 910.00 3.25 +0.36% -0.93% 912.59 50 CBOT rice 10.86 $0.01 +0.09% +1.07% $10.67 68 WTI crude 52.44 -$0.15 -0.29% +0.15% $49.31 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.152 $0.013 +1.11% +1.12% USD/AUD 0.7192 0.008 +1.12% +2.67% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

GRAINS-U.S. soybeans edge lower, market eyes Chinese purchases

10 Jan 2019

* Chicago soybeans ease after closing higher on Wednesday * Market eyes Chinese purchases of U.S. beans as trade talks end * Wheat dips after two sessions of gains, corn falls (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 10 Chicago soybean futures slid on Thursday, giving up some of last session's gains, although losses were limited on optimism the United States and China may be inching toward a trade deal, soothing fears of an all-out trade war. Wheat eased after two sessions of gains while corn edged lower after gaining around half a percent on Wednesday. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade gave up 0.2 percent to trade at $9.22 a bushel as of 0215 GMT, having firmed 0.6 percent on Wednesday. Wheat dipped 0.1 percent to $5.19-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 0.4 percent on Wednesday, and corn slipped 0.2 percent to $3.81-1/4 a bushel, having gained 0.5 percent in the previous session. "Beans are under a bit of pressure after gaining ground in the last session on hopes of China making further purchases," said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. "The market is keen to see Chinese purchases actually take place before any further gains." China's commerce ministry said on Thursday trade talks with the United States this week were extensive and detailed, and established a foundation for the resolution of each other's concerns. The three-day talks in Beijing that wrapped up on Wednesday were the first face-to-face negotiations since U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Buenos Aires in December and agreed a 90-day truce in a trade war that has disrupted the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars of goods. The U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Wednesday that China had pledged to purchase "a substantial amount" of agricultural, energy and manufactured goods and services from the United States. Brazil's 2018/19 soybean production is likely to be slightly lower than earlier estimates. Consultancy AgRural slashed its Brazilian soy crop estimate on Wednesday to 116.9 million tonnes, from 121.4 million tonnes previously, citing poor weather in southern Brazil. The wheat market is coming under pressure, as disappointment over Egypt's purchase of only Russian wheat in a tender is weighing on the market. Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, bought 415,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in international purchase tender on Wednesday, traders said. France's farming agency on Wednesday trimmed its forecast for wheat exports outside the EU this season, cautioning that competition would continue to be tough in key North and West African markets. Grains prices at 0215 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 519.75 -0.25 -0.05% +0.58% 518.68 60 CBOT corn 381.25 -0.75 -0.20% -0.26% 379.80 60 CBOT soy 922.00 -2.00 -0.22% -0.24% 911.81 61 CBOT rice 10.79 -$0.01 -0.14% +1.17% $10.67 66 WTI crude 51.80 -$0.56 -1.07% +6.76% $49.19 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.155 $0.016 +1.38% +1.39% USD/AUD 0.7155 0.004 +0.60% +2.14% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

GRAINS-Soybeans ease from 3-week top, market eyes U.S.-China trade talks

08 Jan 2019

* Chicago soybeans fall after four sessions of gains * Market awaits outcome of U.S.-China trade talks * Wheat prices ease for 2nd session, corn tick higher (Adds details, quote) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 8 Chicago soybean futures lost ground on Tuesday for the first time in five sessions as the market dropped from its highest in three weeks with eyes on trade talks between Washington and Beijing. Wheat slid for a second session while corn ticked higher after closing marginally lower on Monday. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 0.2 percent at $9.22-3/4 a bushel as of 0242 GMT, having climbed to the highest since Dec. 12 at $9.27-3/4 a bushel on Monday. Wheat futures slipped 0.2 percent to $5.16 a bushel and corn was up 0.2 percent at $3.83 a bushel. "Soybeans have rallied but the market wants to see positive outcome from these trade talks before gaining further or sustaining these gains," said PhinZiebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank. "There is no shortage of beans, fundamentals do not really support of a rally in prices." Chinese importers made their third large U.S. soybean purchase in the past month on Monday, as officials from both countries meet this week for the first face-to-face talks since agreeing to a 90-day trade war truce on Dec. 1, two traders with knowledge of the deals said. Chinese state-owned firms bought at least three cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Monday morning, or about 180,000 tonnes, the traders said. One of them said the total was closer to 15 cargoes, or about 900,000 tonnes. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted on Monday that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that "we can live with" as dozens of officials from the world's two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to end their trade dispute. Adverse weather conditions in Brazil for soybeans provided additional support to prices. Consultancy INTL FCStone cut its estimate of Brazil's soybean crop on Friday by about 4 million tonnes to 116.25 million tonnes due to a drought affecting some areas. Grains prices at 0242 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 516.00 -0.75 -0.15% +0.44% 518.11 53 CBOT corn 383.00 0.75 +0.20% +0.86% 379.03 68 CBOT soy 922.75 -1.50 -0.16% +1.10% 909.38 71 CBOT rice 10.68 $0.01 +0.09% +2.20% $10.67 57 WTI crude 48.70 $0.18 +0.37% +3.42% $49.21 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.145 $0.006 +0.48% +0.49% USD/AUD 0.7142 0.003 +0.42% +1.96% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sunil Nair)

GRAINS-Soybeans up for 4th session on U.S.-China trade optimism

07 Jan 2019

* Soybeans at highest since Dec 12, rise for 4th session * Washington-Beijing trade talks boost soybean export hopes (Adds details, quotes) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Jan 7 Chicago soybean futures rose for a fourth consecutive session on Monday to their highest in nearly three weeks as trade talks between Washington and Beijing boosted expectations of U.S. soybean exports to China. Corn ticked lower while wheat prices were largely unchanged. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.3 percent at $9.24-1/4 a bushel by 0353 GMT, after climbing to the highest since Dec. 12 at $9.26 a bushel. Corn was down 0.1 percent at $3.82-3/4 a bushel, having gained 0.9 percent in the previous session, while wheat was unchanged at $5.17 a bushel, having closed up 0.6 percent on Friday. Soybean prices are being buoyed as the United States and top global soy buyer China hold trade talks this week. "Chinese buying is key for U.S. soybean prices but the market is not likely to rally until Beijing removes import tariff on U.S. beans," said one Singapore-based trader. "The U.S. has a lot of soybeans to sell." There was additional support for soybeans stemming from dry weather in Brazil. Brazilian soy farmers face the prospect of more crop failures, a grain growers group said on Friday, as a leading agribusiness consultancy revised its forecast for the country's crop this year due to a drought that is hurting fields. INTL FCStone cut its estimate of Brazil's soybean crop by about 4 million tonnes to 116.25 million tonnes due to a drought affecting some areas. Wheat draws support from projections for a drop in U.S. winter wheat plantings compared to a year ago. Private analytics firm IEG Vantage, formerly known as Informa Economics IEG, estimated U.S. winter wheat seedings for the 2019 harvest at 31.513 million acres, down from the 32.535 million acres the U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers planted a year earlier. The U.S. Department of Agriculture delayed several major domestic and world crop reports because of the two-week-old partial government shutdown, the agency said on Friday. New release dates for the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report and other data originally scheduled for Friday, Jan. 11, will be set once government funding is restored, USDA said. U.S. soybean crushing in November likely totalled 5.309 million short tons, or 177.0 million bushels, according to the average forecast of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters ahead of a monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture report. If realized, the average trade estimate would be down from a 182.9 million-bushel crush in October, but above the November 2017 crush of 173.3 million bushels. Grains prices at 0353 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 517.00 0.00 +0.00% +2.02% 517.80 54 CBOT corn 382.75 -0.25 -0.07% +1.86% 378.69 66 CBOT soy 924.25 2.75 +0.30% +1.90% 908.58 72 CBOT rice 10.50 $0.02 +0.19% +1.45% $10.68 41 WTI crude 48.60 $0.64 +1.33% +3.21% $49.20 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.142 $0.003 +0.25% +0.26% USD/AUD 0.7134 0.002 +0.31% +1.84% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sunil Nair)

METALS-Copper recovers on fresh round of U.S.-China trade talk plans

04 Jan 2019

SINGAPORE, Jan 4 London copper rose more than 2 percent on Friday, recovering from an 18-month low hit in the previous session, as investor sentiment was bolstered by China's announcement of a new round of trade talks with the United States.

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