GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

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Grain, Soybean Futures Fall on Cooler, Wetter Forecasts

CHICAGO--Wheat futures led losses Monday as improving weather forecasts prompted a selloff in the grain and soybean market.

Rainfall over the weekend in the parched northern Plains eased concerns about the stressed wheat crop there. That, and a higher U.S. Department of Agriculture wheat production forecast for this year, had traders betting on another large American grain harvest, reversing course from last week.

"Unless a strong export program develops unexpectedly," said Dave Marshall, a farm-marketing adviser at brokerage First Choice Commodities in Nashville, Ill., "we're going to have plentiful supply going forward."

Hot, Dry Weather Singes Spring Wheat Crop -- Market Talk

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16:24 ET - This year's spring wheat crop quality declined markedly from a week earlier, the USDA says, on drought-like conditions in parts of the northern Plains. The proportion of the crop in good or excellent condition fell to 45% as of Sunday, compared with 55% last week and 79% this time last year. Analysts surveyed by WSJ were expecting a rating of 52%. Rainfall over the weekend should help ease stress on the spring wheat crop, according to weather forecasters. The condition of the corn crop was steadier, however, with a good-or-excellent rating of 67% compared with 68% last week. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

Big Tractor Sales in May Sink to 13-Year Low -- Market Talk

16:46 ET - Retail sales of high-horsepower, two-wheel-drive farm tractors in the US and Canada last moth came in at the lowest May volume since 2004, JP Morgan says. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers reports sales of large tractors fell 18% in May from last year with sales in the US alone down 20%. Sales of harvesting combines were up 12%, helped by a big increase in Canada off an anemic year-ago comparison. US combine sales were down about 9%. The outlook for farm income this year remains weak and is likely to continue to weigh on demand for big, expensive farm machinery. (robert.tita@wsj.com; @bob_tita)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Saudi Arabia Buys 805,000 Tons of Hard Wheat

LONDON--Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer Monday said it agreed to purchase 805,000 metric tons of hard wheat.

The tender from the Saudi Grains Organization closed on Friday, and SAGO was looking for wheat to be delivered between August and October.

The purchase was broken down into 13 shipments purchased at an average price of $216.67 a ton including shipping fees.

Egypt Buys 240,000 Tons Russian Wheat, 120,000 Tons Romanian Wheat

LONDON--Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, bought 240,000 metric tons of Russian wheat and 120,000 metric tons of Romanian wheat in its latest state tender, traders said Saturday.

The deal came after the GASC announced a tender for an unspecified amount of wheat several hours after the end of trading on Friday.

The tender will comprise six lots of 60,000-ton cargoes of grain. This marked the third wheat purchase by GASC in the past month. Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat.

THE MARKETS:

Livestock Futures Fall on Demand Concerns

CHICAGO--Cattle futures fell sharply on Monday as traders bet that light demand from meat-packers could signal the beginning of a seasonal downturn.

Light demand kept the cattle trade slow last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday morning. Average cattle weights inched higher, expanding supply. That, combined with a failure to break through last week's recent highs, helped prompt a selloff in the futures market.

Large herds on-feed mean any slowdown in the cash trade could lead to a quick run-up in the number of available cattle, said Ted Seifried, chief market strategist at Chicago-based risk management firm Zaner Group. "If weights do start to come up by a halfway decent amount, then we're really increasing the supply," he said.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 12, 2017 17:32 ET (21:32 GMT)