GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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US Corn Planting Advances -- Market Talk

16:19 ET - US farmers planted 71% of this year's corn crop as Sunday, according to the USDA, above average analyst estimates. That was up from 47% last week and the five-year average of 70%. Farmers in large parts of the Midwest made the most of clear skies to work overtime in recent days, while the Commodity Weather Group says dry conditions are expected to continue for much of this week. Soybean planting advanced to 32% from 14% last week, while 78% of the spring wheat crop is planted over 54% last week. Winter wheat rated good or excellent fell to 51% from 53%. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

Soybean Futures Rise on Better Corn Planting Conditions

CHICAGO--Soybean futures rose on Monday as traders bet good corn-planting weather would discourage farmers from switching acreage to the oilseed.

Clear skies over much of the Midwest this weekend allowed farmers to work overtime to catch up on corn seeding, which has recently been delayed by rain. That weighed on corn prices, but analysts said it would likely limit the amount of soybeans farmers that choose to plant instead.

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Brazil Economy May Have Begun to Turn Around in 1Q -- Market Talk

9:38 ET - After 11 consecutive quarters of contraction, multiple indicators signal that Brazil's economy started to turn around in the first quarter, according to Alberto Ramos, economist at Goldman Sachs. The Brazilian central bank's GDP indicator, the IBC-Br, showed real activity declined 0.44% in March, after rising in January and February. The bank's indicator isn't always reliable for predicting full-quarter GDP movement, and other recent indicators including confidence and purchasing manager indices, along with some hard data, suggest the recession might have come to an end in the first quarter, Ramos said. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

Rains Boost Crop Prospects Across East Africa -- Market Talk

0749 GMT - Late season rains are intensifying across East Africa, aiding crop recovery in the drought-affected region, says Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or Fewsnet. Improved rains in late April and early May have boosted cropping prospects across agricultural heartlands of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and northern Tanzania. Fewsnet however notes that flooding has already damaged crops around Kenya and may affect some parts of Ethiopia, Africa's No.1 coffee grower. The rains are relief for the region which produces more coffee beans than any other country in Africa, in addition to key crops such as cotton, cocoa, cereals and grains. The U.S-funded research group says the rains are "expected to generally reduce moisture stress that had negatively affected cropping conditions" (Nicholas.Bariyo@wsj.com ; @Nicholasbariyo)

A Farm Grows in the City -- WSJ

Billions of people around the world live far from where their food is grown.

It's a big disconnect in modern life. And it may be about to change.

The world's population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, 33% more people than are on the planet today, according to projections from the United Nations. About two-thirds of them are expected to live in cities, continuing a migration that has been under way around the world for years.

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Fall in Volatile Session

CHICAGO--Cattle futures closed lower in a volatile Monday session, as traders bet high beef prices would scare consumers away.

Live cattle futures for June delivery opened slightly higher before falling toward the lower limit of the daily trading band. June live cattle contracts closed 2.2% lower at $1.2245 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. August feeder cattle futures closed down 1.4% at $1.42525 a pound.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 15, 2017 17:25 ET (21:25 GMT)