GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Corn, Soybean Futures Recover From Selloff

Corn and soybean futures rose Wednesday, changing course after losses earlier this week.

Improving weather forecasts had put pressure on prices this week. But ongoing concerns that some of the problems that hampered steady crop growth in July could continue this month encouraged bargain hunting in Wednesday's session.

Bunge CEO Still Sees Need for Consolidation -- Market Talk

8:28 ET - After a tough quarter for Bunge's (BG) grain-trading division, CEO Soren Schroder reiterates that "there's no question that consolidation in parts of our industry is warranted." The most effective way to achieve that, Schroder tells analysts on its quarterly earnings call, is through "regional partnerships" -- not large-scale M&A, which has been much on investors' minds after Glencore confirmed in May that it had approached Bunge about a deal. Year-to-date Bunge shares remain 8% higher, compared to rival Archer Daniels Midland, which has declined 5.2% amid struggles in the agriculture industry. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Canadians Open to Agri Changes in Nafta Talks -- Market Talk

11:20 ET - A Canadian poll suggests a majority of its citizens say the country should consider changes to its supply-management agricultural regime if it means securing a better deal in the coming talks to revamp Nafta. Angus Reid Institute said over a quarter of respondents said Canada should offer to US and Mexico to scrap its supply-management regime, which has already earned criticism from President Trump, and 45% suggested Canadian negotiators should use the scheme as a bargaining chip in talks. Meanwhile, 29% said the system must be preserved. Under supply management, prices for dairy products, eggs and chickens are set based on the average costs of production. Production is controlled through a regulated quota system, and competition is thwarted through tariffs. (paul.vieira@wsj.com; @paulvieira)

Bunge Versus the Slow-Selling Farmer -- Market Talk

8:50 ET - Agribusiness giant Bunge (BG) says that "slower than expected farmer selling in South America" contributed to a 33% decline in 2Q profit. It's become a common problem for Bunge: The grain trader has cited farmers' reluctance to market crops to trader-processors like Bunge in 10 of the last 12 quarters. Bunge and other agribusiness executives have said that low crop prices leave farmers in South and North America reluctant to sell crops to grain companies, forcing companies to pay higher rates and cutting into processing profits. Bunge CEO Soren Schroder says the company is looking at ways to encourage farmers to open up their grain bins, like providing more risk-management services and helping them access more farm supplies. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Bunge Profit Misses on South American Agribusiness -- Market Talk

6:40 ET - Bunge (BG) 2Q earnings fall short of expectations after the company said last month that didn't expect to meet analyst earnings expectations of a more moderate fall. BG's agribusiness was weighted by slow farmer selling in South America and weak margins. The company said, "we are optimistic about a much better second half of the year," but that the soybean crushing industry oversupplied the market in 2Q, and 3Q margins are expected to take the toll. Shares, up 23% from a year ago, are inactive premarket. (justina.vasquez@wsj.com; @helloimjustina)

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Gain on Rally

Hog futures leapt Wednesday as traders tried to close a sharp discount to cash and pork prices.

Most-active October lean hog futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange rose 2.8% to 66.225 cents a pound, while the front-month August contract climbed 2.7% to 81.95 cents a pound.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 02, 2017 18:19 ET (22:19 GMT)