GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

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Grain, Soybean Futures Lower on Good Weather

CHICAGO--Grain and soybean futures fell on Monday as traders shrugged off concerns about recent bouts of bad weather.

Futures had some volatile days last week, with prices bouncing back and forth as traders tried to gauge the impact of rain and snow on this year's corn and wheat crops. But a spell of sunshine over much of the weekend, along with improving forecasts for the days to come, mitigated those concerns.

That left limited upside potential for crop prices already burdened by enormous stockpiles.

US Corn Planting Approaches Halfway Mark -- Market Talk

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16:32 ET - US farmers planted 47% of this year's corn crop as of Sunday, according to the USDA, largely in line with analyst expectations. Farmers took advantage of pockets of dry weather to proceed with fieldwork amid pouring rain in the Corn Belt. Corn planting increased from last week but is below this time last year. Farmers have planted 14% of the soybean crop and 54% of spring wheat, both behind last year. Winter wheat crop rated good or excellent declined one percentage point from last week to 53%, after late-season snow fell on the US Plains. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Brazil Soybean Harvest Almost Finished -- Market Talk

10:50 ET - Brazil's soybean harvest for the 2016-2017 growing season is almost finished, with harvesting work on 97.6% of the land planted with the crop completed as of May 5, according to agricultural consultancy Safras & Mercado. That's barely changed from the 97.5% finished on the same date a year ago and the 97.5% five-year average for the day. Good weather in many areas has helped farmers complete their work in the fields, Safras analyst Luiz Fernando Gutierrez Roque said. Harvesting is finished in the state of Mato Grosso, which produces close to one-third of Brazil's soybeans, while work in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina is 98% and 95% finished, respectively, Safras said. Brazil will produce a record crop of soybeans this year, topping 100 million metric tons, according to the government and various consultancies, including Safras. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

China's Soybean Imports Rise 13.4% in April -- Market Talk

0926 GMT - China imported 8.02 million tons of soybeans in April, up 13.4% from the same month in 2016. Strong imports in April continue a trend that has seen soybean imports hit record levels for each month in 2017, says Commerzbank in a note. "Imports are expected to grow further over the next few months as China's demand for soybeans to produce animal feed and edible oil remains unabated." Commerzbank adds that continuing robust demand -- especially from China, which accounts for over 60% of global imports -- is likely to support soybean prices. Three-month soybean futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed the session up CNY14 a ton at 3,833 a ton. (lucy.craymer@wsj.com; @lucy_craymer)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Mixed as Hogs Bounce

CHICAGO--Cattle futures were mixed on Monday as prices recovered from a sharp downward correction.

A supply pinch has sent cattle futures soaring recently. But a reversal on Friday dragged contracts down to their lower daily limits. Futures began to turn around again on Monday as wholesale beef prices rose.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 08, 2017 17:24 ET (21:24 GMT)