GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Corn Futures Drop Ahead of Crop Ratings

CHICAGO -- Corn futures fell Monday as traders bet recent weather would aid the U.S. crop.

Analysts expect the U.S. Department of Agriculture to show an improvement in corn conditions in its weekly crop report Monday afternoon, with rain and cooler temperatures in the Midwest aiding soil moisture. Traders wager better growing conditions will likely limit the impact of erratic weather so far this season, contributing to large global supplies and depressing prices.

Spring Wheat Crop Quality Declines Further -- Market Talk

16:54 ET - US spring wheat condition continued to fall last week, as drought-like weather in the northern Plains stresses the crop. The USDA rated 41% of the crop good or excellent as of Sunday, down from 45% last week and 76% this time last year. Analysts had expected improvement. They say some of the spring wheat is now beyond repair. Tough growing conditions have helped push Minneapolis spring wheat futures to the highest point in almost two-and-a-half years. The USDA also says that 28% of the winter wheat crop is harvested, a slower-than-expected pace, and 49% of it is rated good or excellent. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Amid Glencore Approach, Bunge Investors' Patience 'Frayed' -- Market Talk

11:54 ET - Miner Glencore's (GLEN.LN) interest in a deal with grain company Bunge (BG) carries a whiff of opportunism, given the agriculture sector's recent challenges, but BG investors' thinning patience could work in Glencore's favor if it moves ahead with a deal proposal, according to Vertical Group analysts. "Although we believe the shares could fetch >$100, we strongly believe that at least some shareholders would accept the mid-$90s as their patience is very frayed," analysts say. Vertical Group expects BG to look at monetizing its challenged sugar business and unveil "ambitious" cost cuts. BG up 1.3%, and shares have climbed 11.5% since the WSJ in May reported Glencore's approach. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Hopes India Can Curtail Cotton-Import Needs -- Market Talk

0702 GMT - Thanks to the early arrival of seasonal monsoon rains, there's hope that a bumper cotton crop this year will reduce import needs, traders say. The country has traditionally been a net exporter, but weak output due to pest attacks the last couple years have required some importing of the fiber. But the area under cotton cultivation this summer, which is the main planting season, has jumped 36%, the agriculture ministry says. (vibhuti.agarwal@wsj.com)

U.S. Beef Is on Table Ahead of China Talks

BEIJING -- Ahead of a high-level U.S.-China security meeting in Washington, Beijing is doing its utmost to show why close trade links with China are a good thing for America, and starting with Iowa beef.

Chinese and U.S. officials are set to kick off an annual security dialogue on Wednesday that will address an impasse over North Korea's missile development and nuclear program.

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Shed Recent Gains

CHICAGO--Cattle futures fell to a 10-week low on Monday as last week's softer cash prices continued to pressure the market.

Live cattle futures for June delivery fell 1.4% to $1.20 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since April 6. That erased two recent rallies that pushed prices as high as $1.389 a pound. Feeder cattle futures also fell.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 19, 2017 18:10 ET (22:10 GMT)