GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

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Soybean Crop Improves While Corn Declines, USDA Says -- Market Talk

16:20 ET - The US soybean crop improved last week, according to the USDA. The share of oilseeds in good-or-excellent condition inched higher to 60% as of Sunday, up from 59% last week. That's the second consecutive week of better ratings, due in part to cooler temperatures and more rainfall. Forecasts for the next 10 days are now drier, however. Corn rated good or excellent was also at 60%, a 1% drop from a week earlier. Meanwhile, the spring wheat crop, 24% of which is harvested, climbed one percentage point to 32% good or excellent. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

Grain, Soybean Futures Rally

Grain and soybean futures climbed after underwhelming rainfall over the weekend, renewing jitters about the condition of U.S. crops. Rainfall was smaller than expected in key states like Iowa, where forecasts for the next 10 days now show less rain ahead. The Commodity Weather Group expects 25% to 30% of corn and soybeans, mostly in Iowa, Illinois and the northern Plains, to be under notable moisture stress as a result. In particular, drought continues to sear crops in the Dakotas.

STORIES OF INTEREST:

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USDA Says 180,800 Tons of Corn Sold to Mexico in 17-18

WASHINGTON--Private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture export sales of 180,800 metric tons of corn for delivery to Mexico during the 2017/2018 marketing year. The marketing year for corn began Sept. 1, 2016.

USDA Says 206,000 Tons of Soybeans Sold to Unknown in 16-17

WASHINGTON--Private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture export sales of 206,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2016/2017 marketing year. The marketing year for soybeans began Sept. 1, 2016.

Albertsons Executive Hire Brings Tech Resume -- Market Talk

10:36 ET - Albertsons (27S.BE) hires former Microsoft (MSFT) COO Kevin Turner as the national grocery chain seeks to beef up its online capacity. Turner most recently served as the CEO of hedge-fund Citadel's electronic market-making unit, but stepped down after less than a year. Previously he served as chief executive of Wal-Mart's (WMT) Sam's Club warehouse store business. He will serve in a new role at Albertsons, acting as a senior advisor to CEO Bob Miller. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Venezuela's Suspension From Mercosur Is a Strong Measure -- Market Talk

13:13 ET - The decision to suspend Venezuela from the Mercosur trade bloc until democracy is reinstated in the South-American country is a strong measure, says Brazilian diplomat Paulo Estivallet de Mesquita. He says the door is open for Venezuela to regain full membership. "Venezuela's geographic location won't change and we have interest in a return to democracy," he says. "The essential decision must be made by the Venezuelan people. There's no silver bullet." Mercosur's other members are Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. (paulo.trevisani@wsj.com; @ptrevisani)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Fall on Growing Supply

Cattle futures started the week sharply lower as traders faced the prospect of an increase in supply over the coming weeks. Meatpackers slaughtered 634,000 cattle last week, up 9% from the same time last year, while beef production rose 7% year-over-year to 511.9 million pounds, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Average estimated cattle weights also rose.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 07, 2017 17:28 ET (21:28 GMT)