GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

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Soybean futures rose on strong export demand, particularly from China.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday that private exporters sold 132,000 metric tons of soybeans to Chinese buyers for delivery in 2017-18.

Soybean futures for September delivery rose 0.7% to $9.41 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday.

International Grains Council Raises 2017-18 Production Forecast

LONDON--The International Grains Council on Thursday said it raised its total global grain production forecast to 2,049 million tons due to better-than-expected wheat and barley harvests in the Black Sea region.

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The raised 2017-18 forecast constitutes a 12 million-ton month-on-month increase, but a drop of 4% from the previous season's record, the IGC said, citing smaller planting areas and poorer average yields.

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Grocer Shares Fall on Plan to Cut Whole Foods Prices -- Market Talk

14:43 ET - Shares of grocery store companies fell after Amazon (AMZN) said it planned to cut the prices of top-selling grocery staples at Whole Foods (WFM) after its $13.7B deal including debt for the premium grocery chain closes Monday. Kroger (KR) is down 7.2%, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) fell 2.1%, Costco (COST) slips 4.3%, Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) falls 4.6%, Supervalu (SVU) down 4.8% and Target (TGT) declines 4.1%. Grocers and investors are concerned that AMZN's move might start a price-war as it works to broaden the reach of Whole Foods. AMZN also said Prime members will receive in-store benefits and that it will continue cutting prices over time. Amazon shares are down 0.2%. (austen.hufford@wsj.com; @austenhufford)

THE MARKETS:

Livestock Futures Turn Higher

Hog futures reversed course to close higher, ending several consecutive days of losses.

Lean hog futures for October delivery rose 0.4% to 63.775 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, halting a six-day slump.

Cattle futures also rose after initially trading lower. The market has recently been in a slump similar to that weighing down hog prices, with meat and slaughter-ready cattle prices falling on growing supplies.

Some analysts say, however, that cattle futures may be reaching their seasonal low and are due for an upturn. CME most-active October live cattle contracts rose 0.6% to $1.06825 a pound.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 24, 2017 17:39 ET (21:39 GMT)