GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

Continue Reading Below

Corn, Soybeans Tumble on Forecast For Another Bumper Harvest -- 2nd Update

Corn and soybean prices fell on forecasts for another bumper U.S. harvest, extending a yearslong glut that has hurt farmers' incomes and helped pull down food prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday unexpectedly raised its estimate for this year's soybean harvest to a potential record of nearly 4.4 billion bushels. The USDA's forecast for this year's corn harvest, 14.2 billion bushels, would be closer than expected to last year's record 15.2 billion-bushel haul.

Judge Mulls Sanctions After Monsanto Document Release -- Market Talk

10:38 ET - A federal US judge is considering sanctions for a plaintiffs' law firm that's suing Monsanto (MON) over the agricultural company's flagship herbicide, which farm workers allege to have caused cancer. Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman last week publicly released hundreds of pages of internal MON emails and documents concerning the weedkiller glyphosate, drawing a rebuke from MON's lawyers, who argued to the judge that release violated court protections for confidential information. The judge will hear formal arguments on Aug. 24, but says for now the episode strongly suggests Baum, Hedlund and potentially other plaintiffs' lawyers "acted in bad faith," which he says could result in the firm being removed from plaintiffs' legal leadership, or fined. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Continue Reading Below

Farmland Prices Nudge Higher in Chicago Fed District -- Market Talk

16:02 ET - Farmland values improved in key farm states during 2Q as deterioration in credit conditions slowed, the Chicago Fed bank reports. Prices for good-quality cropland in the district, which includes states like Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, rose 1% versus year-ago levels, marking the first such gain in three years. The modest increase came as livestock farmers saw higher prices for their products, though adverse weather failed to spark a rally in corn and soybean prices given still-ample inventories, the bank said. "Lower prices and dry weather in our area have farmers talking about meeting costs," says an Iowa banker. The Fed says federal crop insurance payments likely will contribute to incomes for many farmers in the region this year. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Doubt Surrounds USDA's Soybean Crop View -- Market Talk

14:01 ET - Grain analysts are full of questions after the USDA lays a whopper of a harvest estimate at the soybean market's doorstep. Federal forecasters say US farmers will reap a record crop this year, surprising analysts who didn't anticipate big changes to the government's monthly estimate since soybean yields are largely determined during August. If anything, they thought production would be pegged lower than last month due to dry weather that's blanketed 30% of the Farm Belt this year, and problems caused by the drifting of a powerful herbicide in the southern US, according to Arlan Suderman, of brokerage INTL FCStone. "I don't see anything [in USDA's report] that gives me a justification for the increase in yields," he says, adding that "the big question is will they hold true. It's total speculation at this point." (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

Tomatoes: The Bane of the Bank of Mexico -- Market Talk

14:53 ET - If tomato prices hadn't soared 22% last month and almost doubled from a year before, annual inflation would have been 6.17% in July instead of an 8-and-a-half-year high 6.44%, the Bank of Mexico laments in its monetary policy statement. Still, the central bank bases its 3% inflation target on CPI--including the volatile fresh fruit and vegetable prices--and not on core CPI which excludes them and is running at an annual 4.94%. On the bright side, the central bank notes that the upward trend in prices of energy and nonfood items has begun to turn, and the balance of risks for inflation is unchanged from June. (anthony.harrup@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Traders Sour on Cattle as Selloff Continues

Cattle futures extended losses for a fourth-consecutive day, falling to fresh lows for the year.

The cattle market has been under pressure recently from a slump in beef prices and growing supplies of cattle ready for slaughter.

Analysts say cattle futures have lost technical support by falling through a number of indicators. August-dated live cattle contracts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange dropped 1.1% to $1.0885 a pound on Thursday, down over 5% for the week and trading at the lowest point since December.

CME August feeder cattle futures fell 0.3% to $1.41175 a pound, the lowest close in almost three months.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 10, 2017 17:52 ET (21:52 GMT)