GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

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Soybean Futures Rise as Planting Misses Expectations--Update

U.S. farmers made a less drastic shift to soybeans from corn than expected this year, according to official estimates that pushed oilseed prices higher on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects farmers to sow 89.5 million acres of soybeans this year, below analysts' forecasts but still the largest acreage on record. The government said farmers also planted more corn than initially estimated, boosting its acreage total by almost 1 million acres to an estimated 90.9 million.

Wheat Marches Higher as Acreage Misses Expectations -- Market Talk

12:41 ET - Wheat prices are on a tear as federal forecasters say U.S. farmers sowed even fewer acres of the grain than previously anticipated. Wheat plantings already had been predicted at a record low, and the government is now dropping its estimate further, saying farmers planted just 45.7M acres this season. The lower estimate surprised analysts, who were expecting wheat acreage around 46.05M. It also comes as dry weather is dogging the spring wheat crop in the northern Plains, threatening yields of the high-protein varietal. July wheat soars 5.3% to $5.05 3/4 a bushel. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Grains Leavened By Heat Fears -- Market Talk

1515 GMT - Grain prices are pushing higher with cold, wet weather in North America and hot, dry weather in eastern Europe stoking fears of crop damage heading into a holiday weekend for both the U.S. and Canada. Wheat was last up 2.6% at 5.09 a bushel, corn is up 1.22% at $3.74 a bushel, and soybeans are up 0.32% at $9.28 a bushel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Acreage, Grain Stocks, and Quarterly Plantings reports are due out in the coming hours, and they're expected to show close to--if not record--numbers for all three of those grains. "Given this bumper supply, we're trying to work out if this increase is justified or the result of low volumes," a grain trader says. (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

Corn Futures Pare Gains on Acreage Increase -- Market Talk

12:18 ET - Corn prices trim gains after federal estimates for planted corn acres come in above analyst expectations, potentially offering a buffer in case of adverse weather during the growing season. USDA estimates farmers planted 90.886 million acres of corn this year, a boost from its March estimate and higher than analysts had anticipated. Still, corn prices stay in the green since the acreage figure is well below last year's, and traders also are concerned about forecasts for dry weather in the Midwest in coming weeks, which could dent yields of the crop. CBOT July corn recently up 1% to $3.63 1/2/bu. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Extend Rally After Inventory Report

Hog futures rose on strong pork demand Friday despite a government report showing the U.S. herd swelling to the largest on record for this time of year.

Lean hog futures for July delivery climbed 1.3% to 90.625 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, hitting a fresh 2 1/2-year high. The more actively traded August contract jumped 3.7% to 83.75 cents a pound.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 30, 2017 17:14 ET (21:14 GMT)