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Fertoz sees solid and increasing demand for deliveries as it ‘dips its toes’ into US online retail market

Fertoz Ltd (ASX:FTZ) is experiencing solid and increasing demand for deliveries during the Northern Hemisphere Fall despite COVID-19 and border crossing delays into the US, which negatively impacted forecast sales in the June quarter.

Regular shipments from its high-grade Mexico stockpile commenced during the June quarter, albeit slowed by border crossing delays that abated when the new US/Mexico Free Trade Agreement came into effect on July 1, 2020.

A large increase in organic food buying over the June quarter, particularly in the US, is expected to drive larger-than-forecast growth in organic planting in 2021.

Moving into home market[hhmc]
The organic phosphate development company is also moving into the retail home gardeners market with new consumer-sized packaging in the US, as home gardeners look to grow their own organic produce.

Fertoz executive chairman Patrick Avery said: “As most of us are seeing globally, this has been an odd year. COVID-19 has impacted everyone, and one..

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Fertoz Ltd (ASX:FTZ) is experiencing solid and increasing demand for deliveries during the Northern Hemisphere Fall despite COVID-19 and border crossing delays into the US, which negatively impacted forecast sales in the June quarter.

Regular shipments from its high-grade Mexico stockpile commenced during the June quarter, albeit slowed by border crossing delays that abated when the new US/Mexico Free Trade Agreement came into effect on July 1, 2020.

A large increase in organic food buying over the June quarter, particularly in the US, is expected to drive larger-than-forecast growth in organic planting in 2021.

Moving into home market

The organic phosphate development company is also moving into the retail home gardeners market with new consumer-sized packaging in the US, as home gardeners look to grow their own organic produce.

Fertoz executive chairman Patrick Avery said: “As most of us are seeing globally, this has been an odd year. COVID-19 has impacted everyone, and one key challenge we face is that of lower costs for conventional fertilisers making organic inputs less competitive.

“During the quarter we faced several supply chain slowdowns for lack of workers, drivers and other essential inputs. We had dozens of education sessions planned but all were cancelled.

“This combination of factors has slowed our penetration of the higher-value fruit and vegetable markets. In the face of this, we had to source new third party processors to process our ore, additional transportation firms to move product to customers and move to online meetings and agronomy sessions with our customers.

“We have ensured the lines of communication with our customers have stayed open through the pandemic, and after having regularly updated the organic articles and blogs on our website, we were pleased to see a strong response in the number of hits each month, not only from established organic farmers but also home-gardeners looking to grow their own organic produce in this COVID world."

Fall bookings

Avery said: “Although spring sales were slow, our fall 2020 bookings are increasing, in part due to increased website hits and in part due to the increasing number of distributors in our key target regions.

“Finally, we are pleased to announce the start of shipments from our Mexico stockpile into the southeast of the USA, amid increased market awareness of our very high phosphate ore from this site.

“We look forward to achieving an increase in deliveries over the coming quarter, as well as our first website sales.”

September quarter plans

Its activities planned for the current quarter include:

➢ Building momentum with distribution agreements and third-party suppliers which offer potential to add significant volumes;

➢ Development of an organic N-P product planned for fall 2020;

➢ Offering 1 pound, 2 pound and possibly 10 pound bags to retail customers, ordered via the Fertoz website; and

➢ Updating the scoping study to shift granulation in-house, offering the potential to significantly reduce production costs of its most popular lines.

Retail market

The company said during the COVID pandemic, it had seen online sales increase dramatically across the organic retail sector.

As such, it is planning to offer smaller consumer-sized bags in the US, as part of a small initial consumer/retail products offering, as it dips its toes into the online retail sales over the remainder of 2020.

Its investigations indicate that this is a very high margin sector.

Regular shipments

The company said it had good bookings for Fall 2020 in North America as it began regular shipments from its Mexico stockpile.

It had stimulated strong early customer interest from two large suppliers.

Fertoz expects to adjust to the new rules of the new US-Canada-Mexico trade agreement and expects this operation to report steady sales in the rest of 2020.

It is working with two new, major fertiliser distributors on final drafts of distribution agreements.

One of them includes the 'full cycle concept', offering grain contracts to growers and recommending or supplying Fertoz products, and the other is one of the largest input providers in eastern Canada and northwest US.

Fertoz is also working with a major, diversified agriculture products and services company, which supplies high-tech farm information, inputs and advisory agronomic services, to carry and recommend its products.

It also plans to install required water monitoring wells in the Marten area, as required by its BC Bulk Sampling permit and is likely to extract ore from this bulk sample in the summer of 2021.

The company received a notice of compliance following an inspection under the EnvirRead More – Source

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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Australia

Australia v India: Five touring players in isolation after restaurant visit

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Five India players are isolating as a precaution after a video on social media showed them eating indoors at a Melbourne restaurant.

Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini – all part of India’s Test squad to play Australia – will be isolated from other players but are still able to train.

Both teams are investigating to determine whether bio-secure protocols for the tour have been breached.

The third Test begins on 6 January.

The tour is being played with restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

While in Melbourne, where the recent second Test was played, players and staff are allowed to leave their hotel but if they attend a restaurant they must remain outdoors.

An India supporter posted a video on social media of the five players eating indoors at a restaurant on New Year’s Day.

“The BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] and CA [Cricket Australia] are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols,” a Cricket Australia statement said.

“In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution.

“This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue.”

On Monday the teams are due to travel from Melbourne to Sydney for the third Test which will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

No details were given on whether the five players would be able to play in Sydney.

Pant and Gill both played in the second Test, which India won to level the four-Test series, while vice-captain Rohit was expected to play in the third, having recently quarantined for 14 days to join the squad late after injury.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/55514593

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Covid: Sydney announces new restrictions ahead of New Year

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Australia has announced new restrictions for Sydney ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The city is battling a worsening outbreak after months of next to no local cases. Officials reported it had grown to 147 cases on Wednesday.

The news comes amid anger over footage of young revellers seen on Sydney’s Bronte Beach on Christmas Day.

Immigration minister Alex Hawke said tourists caught flouting public health restrictions could be deported.

The virus’s re-appearance in Sydney a week before Christmas sparked a swift re-introduction of restrictions in the city, including clampdowns on holiday gatherings and a lockdown of the worst-affected region, the Northern Beaches.

On Wednesday, the New South Wales (NSW) state government announced further restrictions for New Year’s Eve following the discovery of a new cluster in a separate part of the city – believed to have spread during Christmas gatherings.

“We don’t want New Year’s Eve to be the cause of a super-spreader [event],” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Households will now be restricted to only five guests from Thursday, down from the previous 10-person limit. Outdoor gathering numbers have also been cut to 30 from 50.

Every other state and territory in Australia maintains a travel ban on people from Sydney.

Sydney’s traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations will still go ahead but authorities have already banned group gatherings at vantage points around the harbour.

Australia has recorded 909 deaths and about 28,300 cases since the pandemic began – a number far lower than many other rich nations.

 

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55481851

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