GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

Continue Reading Below

Grain Futures Rally on Weather Concerns, Fund Buying

CHICAGO--Grain futures jumped to multimonth highs on Wednesday as concerns about hot and dry weather in U.S. growing regions pushed speculators into peeling back pessimistic bets.

Corn futures at the Chicago Board of Trade broke out of a narrow trading band for the first time in months, and reached a near 12-month high. Contracts for July delivery closed up 2% at $3.84 3/4 a bushel. CBOT July wheat futures gained 2.1% to end at $4.44 3/4 a bushel, the highest since mid-February.

Agribusiness Angles for Infrastructure Upgrades on U.S. Inland Waterways

President Donald Trump's focus on infrastructure this week highlights a long-festering problem in the U.S. heartland: crumbling river systems that can make it more costly to transport crops.

Continue Reading Below

The U.S. river system ferries nearly three-quarters of export-bound U.S. grain to ocean ports that ship U.S. goods around the world. But most locks and dams, which allow grain-laden river barges to move between higher elevations and lower-lying waters, have outlived their intended 50-year lifespans, according to U.S. farm and industry groups.

Egyptian Ergot Ban May Plunge Wheat Market into Uncertainty -- Market Talk

1459 GMT - Wheat prices are climbing in the wake of media reports that an Egyptian court has ruled to re-instate a zero tolerance policy on common grain-fungus ergot in a move which could bring uncertainty to the globe's largest wheat importer. Egypt removed the ban last year after it prevented the nations state grain body -- GASC -- from filling tenders. Reuters reports that trading houses refused to participate with the ban. In the ban's place was a 0.05% ergot threshold, which one trader describes as being the international norm. The ban has yet to come into effect, but it could bring "significant uncertainty" to the wheat market if implemented, a trader says. Wheat was last 1.7% higher at $4.43 a bushel.(david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari

STORIES OF INTEREST:

As Corn Stockpiles Swell, Farm Group Eyes New Uses -- Market Talk

12:00 ET - With global corn stocks at a record high, US farm groups are looking for new sources of grain demand. The National Corn Growers Association is offering prizes for proposals to use corn as an industrial chemical feedstock. That's part of its strategy to develop three alternatives that use a combined 75M bushels of corn or more by 2020, a modest goal compared with the 1.7B bushels that sat in US silos at the end of the 2016 crop year. Analysts say corn champions are hoping to recreate the success of ethanol, which went from less than 1% of US corn consumption in 1981 to over a third last year. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

JBS Won't Sell Pilgrim's, Other 'Core' US Assets -- Market Talk

15:48 ET - Embattled Brazilian meatpacker JBS says it isn't planning to sell its majority interest in US chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride (PPC), or other "core assets" in the US, which span beef and pork operations, according to a spokesman. JBS Tuesday announced a $300M deal to sell its beef businesses in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, and the meat industry has been watching for whether any other pieces of the Brazilian meat empire--rapidly assembled through a series of massive deals over the past decade--will be sold off amid a corruption scandal that has ensnared JBS's owners, and led to a $3.14B legal settlement in Brazil for JBS's holding company. PPC up 3.9%. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Recover From Sell-Off; Hogs Steady

CHICAGO--Live cattle futures rebounded on Wednesday from a steep reversal earlier in the week, closing higher during a volatile session.

Live cattle contracts for June delivery rose 0.8% to $1.312 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, while August feeder cattle futures slid 0.4% to $1.548 on the back of higher feedgrain prices.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 07, 2017 17:40 ET (21:40 GMT)