GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Soybean Futures Fall Sharply on Better Crop

Soybean futures fell more than 3% Tuesday after a report showed an unexpected improvement in the U.S. crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said late Monday that the share of the oilseed crop in good-or-excellent shape rose to 59% as of Sunday from 57% a week earlier. Analysts expected the good-or-excellent ratings to be steady to lower.

Zimbabwe Pauses Corn Imports After Bumper Harvest -- Market Talk

12:36 ET - Zimbabwe won't import corn in 2017-18--the first time in over a decade--after registering a bumper crop boosted by favorable weather conditions, says the US Department of Agriculture Bureau in Pretoria, South Africa. Corn production is projected to hit 2.2M tons, more than four times the 512,000 tons produced last season, propelled by good rains and a government import substitution program. Wheat output is also expected to reach 105,000 tons, which is more than 5 times last season's output. But the nation is expected to import some 200,000 tons of wheat to bridge a domestic shortfall. It's good news for the economically strained Southern African nation, which imported more that 1.6M tons of corn last season. (nicholas.bariyo@wsj.com; @Nicholasbariyo)

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Grain Trading Rebounds at ADM -- Market Talk

9:23 ET - A near-doubling in profit from Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) agricultural services division, which has struggled against persistently low crop prices, helps lift ADM's adjusted 2Q profit above analysts' expectations. ADM's grain merchandising division swung from a prior-year loss to a $40M profit for the period, which executives attributed largely to strong performance in North America, where ADM ranks among the largest processors and exporters of crops. Corn processing profits jumped by more than one-third, while oilseeds processing declined 12% and its flavorings business dipped slightly. ADM shares off slightly in premarket trading. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Bayer Submits Remedies to EU for Monsanto Deal -- Market Talk

10:55 ET - Bayer (BAYRY) on Monday submitted to the European Commission concessions for the German chemicals conglomerate's $57B takeover of Monsanto (MON), according to a regulatory filing. The EU expects to decide whether to open an in-depth review of the deal by Aug 22, a step many analysts expect given the size of the deal, which would unite Monsanto's biotech crops franchise with Bayer's pesticides business. To win antitrust approvals, Bayer already has pledged to sell its glufosinate herbicide business along with related crop genes that render plants impervious to the chemical, and cotton and canola seed units are also widely expected to be sold. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

ADM Trims Ethanol Output -- Market Talk

10:02 ET - Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is modifying one of its Illinois ethanol plants to produce industrial alcohols, another signal that ADM's cooling on the ethanol business, where the Chicago company is one of the top players. Ethanol manufacturers have dealt with downdrafts in crude oil prices over the past two years that pressured profits, and ADM last year said it would explore a possible sale of several of its ethanol plants. That strategic review continues--"no rush," says CEO Juan Luciano -- but in the meantime ADM's move to shift production at the Illinois plant will remove about 100M gallons annually from the US industry total capacity of 15.7B gallons annually. ADM up 1.8% to $42.95. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Farm Challenges Continue to Pressure Mosaic -- Market Talk

10:51 ET - Mosaic (MOS) shares drop 7% despite what analysts regard as a rather good 2Q performance for the fertilizer manufacturer in a tough agricultural economy. The Minnesota company swung to a $97.3M net profit for the quarter, topping analysts' expectations, and net sales grew -- but updated projections for the third quarter undershoot what some analysts had hoped for, as Mosaic lowers expectations for some sales. MOS recently $22.46, extending the stock's year-to-date decline to 23%. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Rise From Low for the Year

Cattle futures bounced from a low for the year to close higher Tuesday as traders bet that prices had bottomed.

Contracts for live cattle have fallen from a seasonal peak in early June to trade at 2017 lows in July, sliding around 15% as seasonal pressures such as growing supplies and weaker beef demand pressure prices.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 01, 2017 17:15 ET (21:15 GMT)