"The suggestion that news services have an unfair advantage will strike many journalists as absurd. Cargill has huge positions in commodity futures markets and millions of dollars to gain or lose on government data. The sole job of news services is disseminating information, not trading.
Mark Klein, a Cargill spokesman, says the distinction between media and market participant is not so neat. At Cargill divisions such as AgHorizons, which offers farmers grain marketing help and agronomic advice, and Grain and Oilseed Supply Chain, where employees dispense knowledge alongside bids.
“The wire services are in the business of selling information and part of our business is providing information to our farmer customers, so in a sense we’re in the same business,” Mr Klein says. “Everyone should be able to analyse the information at the same time."