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Commodities are in the news right now.

Corn Pops to Two-Year Peak on Supply Fear -- Sparking the surge was a U.S. government report issued Friday that slashed estimated corn output for the fall harvest. Further fuel came Tuesday as end users, such as ethanol plants and livestock producers, bought up futures amid concerns prices have further to climb, said Arlan Suderman, an analyst for Farm Futures, an agricultural publication.


Trade Negotiators Push to Liberalize Public Procurement -- Government procurement has moved center stage after the economic crisis put public infrastructure spending at the heart of economic stimulus packages. At the same time "Buy American" policies in the United States and similar measures in other countries have raised fears of protectionism in the sector. And the huge infrastructure needs and projects of emerging economies have raised the prospect of lucrative new markets opening in an area so far dominated by rich nations. Diplomats at the W.T.O. say a new government procurement agreement (G.P.A.), or at least its outlines, could be concluded this year and talks to bring in new members have gathered pace.

Wal-Mart killing "Mom & Pop" shops again, this time in Africa.

Wal-Mart talk raises food safety supply concern -- Ecowise, a hygiene and sanitation company servicing the food sector, said there had been increased speculation that as part of its aggressive pricing techniques Wal-Mart would make use of its global food importing network to import cheaper food products into South Africa, rather than source from local producers.

Sheena Moore

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