GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Corn Futures Reverse Course on Poor Exports

CHICAGO--Corn futures turned lower Thursday as traders responded to weaker global demand for U.S. grain.

The Department of Agriculture reported weekly export sales of 277,700 metric tons for 2016-17, the lowest so far this year and below analyst expectations.

Most actively traded July corn futures fell 1.2% to $3.69 1/4 a bushel in Thursday's session at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Cropland Prices Dip In Some Places, Rebound in Others -- Market Talk

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10:00 ET - Farmland values softened in parts of the Farm Belt, but gained in others, in the first quarter of 2017, Midwestern Fed banks reported. Prices for nonirrigated cropland in the Kansas City Fed district -- which includes states like Kansas and Nebraska -- fell 3% versus a year ago, and irrigated land values also declined. Farmland in the St Louis region, including parts of Illinois and Indiana, regained some value, rising 10%, that Fed bank said. Still, a majority of bankers in the district expect land values will turn south again in the current quarter as incomes weaken further. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

Food Safety Officials Upbeat Under Trump, So Far -- Market Talk

11:42 ET - Top US food regulators are sanguine about food safety under the Trump administration to date. Alfred Almanza, head of USDA's food-safety division, is pleased as punch over the selection of Sonny Perdue, a former veterinarian, as USDA Secretary. "I believe food safety is going to be one of the best worlds to be in these next four years," he told the audience at a national food-safety conference. Stephen Ostroff, FDA's acting commissioner, says there will likely be budgetary constraints, hiring challenges and new approaches to regulations. "But in the food safety arena, I think we have a pretty good story to tell," he says. "We haven't heard anything to suggest that doesn't resonate with the administration." (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

China Vegetable Prices Will Likely Keep Falling -- Market Talk

0814 GMT - A flood of vegetables in China, which has pushed down prices, is likely to continue in coming months due to warmer weather, says the commerce ministry. To help farmers sell their stockpiles, the government will connect them with stores, says spokesman Sun Jiwen. Fresh-vegetable prices slumped 22% from a year earlier in April, the biggest downside pressure point on CPI. (liyan.qi@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Livestock Futures Slide as Sell-Off Continues

CHICAGO--Cattle futures fell on Thursday as traders bet a recent rally had reached a top.

Rising beef prices and lower-weight cattle have not been enough to stave off selling in the cattle market, with futures falling around 9% from a week ago.

"Traders are more and more convinced that a major peak is in place," said forecaster the Hightower Report in a note, adding that high beef prices may scare consumers away.

Live cattle futures for June delivery fell 0.2% to $1.23925 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Feeder cattle futures also closed lower.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 11, 2017 17:34 ET (21:34 GMT)