GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybeans Fall on Large Supplies; Harvey Concerns Muted

Grain and soybean futures started the week lower on large harvest forecasts, while traders watched for signs that Tropical Storm Harvey could hamper U.S. crop supply. Prices fell on Monday after advisory firm Pro Farmer forecast last week another large U.S. corn and soybean harvest, with soybean production at 4.33 billion bushels and corn at 13.95 billion bushels this year. Meanwhile, rising wheat production estimates from Russia added to the pressure.

Spring Wheat Harvest Progressing -- Market Talk

16:17 ET - This year's spring wheat harvest is more than three-quarters complete. The USDA says 76% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, up from 58% last week but down from 79% this time last year. Large swathes of the crop in the northern Plains have been roiled by severe drought, denting yields and leading some farmers to cut their wheat early for hay. The share of the corn crop rated good or excellent was steady from last week at 62%, the agency said, while good-or-excellent soybeans rose to 61% from 60% last week. Both were in line with expectations. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

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Texas Grain Exports Grounded After Hurricane Harvey -- Market Talk

12:37 ET - Grain exports out of Texas are paralyzed as Hurricane Harvey continues to roil the Gulf coast. Ports in the region are expected to remain closed for at least the next 48 hours, according to the West Gulf Maritime Association, while grain elevators in the region are also unable to operate. A delay of around a week would cause minimal disruption to supply, Blue Water Shipping's Matt Boucree says, but could be more significant if weather damages power infrastructure at the elevators. Around a quarter of US wheat is exported out of Texas, forcing exporters to delay or reroute grain shipments. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

India Soybean Production to Fall 17% This Crop Season -- Market Talk

0501 GMT - India will likely produce 17% less soybean crop this summer, hurt by lower sowing area and incidents of crop damage following a long dry spell in the peak planting season. Total area under soybean plantation stood at 10.2 million hectares by mid-August, compared with 10.9 million in the same period last year, according to a survey conducted by the Soybean Processors Association, an industry body. "Extended period of dry spell caused attack of pests and insects in some areas that caused damage to the standing crop," said Davish Jain, the association's president. The Indian government has been encouraging farmers to bring more area under soybean cultivation -- the country's top oilseed -- to reduce dependence on edible oil imports. The government recently raised the import tax on crude and refined edible oils. India imports around 55% of its annual consumption of around 24 million tons. (vibhuti.agarwal@wsj.com)

Amazon Brings New Playbook to Grocery -- Market Talk

8:07 ET - Amazon (AMZN) doesn't need to make money from its new Whole Foods Market grocery division yet, but food sales are crucial for traditional players like Kroger (KR), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT). Supermarkets' success has mainly relied on getting customers into conveniently located stores with deals. By cutting prices on high-volume staples like bananas, eggs and ground beef in 470 Whole Foods stores, Amazon is signaling it will compete for that traffic. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Climb on Slower Placements

Cattle futures started the week higher as traders reacted to a government report last week suggesting cattle supply would moderate in the months to come. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday that feedlot operators placed 1.6 million head of cattle in commercial yards in July, up 3% from a year earlier. That was below expectations and much slower than recent months. A drought in the Dakotas this summer contributed to a 16% rise in placements in June from a year earlier as ranchers offloaded cattle.

TOP STORIES:

Grain, Soybeans Fall on Large Supplies; Harvey Concerns Muted

Grain and soybean futures started the week lower on large harvest forecasts, while traders watched for signs that Tropical Storm Harvey could hamper U.S. crop supply. Prices fell on Monday after advisory firm Pro Farmer forecast last week another large U.S. corn and soybean harvest, with soybean production at 4.33 billion bushels and corn at 13.95 billion bushels this year. Meanwhile, rising wheat production estimates from Russia added to the pressure.

Spring Wheat Harvest Progressing -- Market Talk

16:17 ET - This year's spring wheat harvest is more than three-quarters complete. The USDA says 76% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, up from 58% last week but down from 79% this time last year. Large swathes of the crop in the northern Plains have been roiled by severe drought, denting yields and leading some farmers to cut their wheat early for hay. The share of the corn crop rated good or excellent was steady from last week at 62%, the agency said, while good-or-excellent soybeans rose to 61% from 60% last week. Both were in line with expectations. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Texas Grain Exports Grounded After Hurricane Harvey -- Market Talk

12:37 ET - Grain exports out of Texas are paralyzed as Hurricane Harvey continues to roil the Gulf coast. Ports in the region are expected to remain closed for at least the next 48 hours, according to the West Gulf Maritime Association, while grain elevators in the region are also unable to operate. A delay of around a week would cause minimal disruption to supply, Blue Water Shipping's Matt Boucree says, but could be more significant if weather damages power infrastructure at the elevators. Around a quarter of US wheat is exported out of Texas, forcing exporters to delay or reroute grain shipments. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

India Soybean Production to Fall 17% This Crop Season -- Market Talk

0501 GMT - India will likely produce 17% less soybean crop this summer, hurt by lower sowing area and incidents of crop damage following a long dry spell in the peak planting season. Total area under soybean plantation stood at 10.2 million hectares by mid-August, compared with 10.9 million in the same period last year, according to a survey conducted by the Soybean Processors Association, an industry body. "Extended period of dry spell caused attack of pests and insects in some areas that caused damage to the standing crop," said Davish Jain, the association's president. The Indian government has been encouraging farmers to bring more area under soybean cultivation -- the country's top oilseed -- to reduce dependence on edible oil imports. The government recently raised the import tax on crude and refined edible oils. India imports around 55% of its annual consumption of around 24 million tons. (vibhuti.agarwal@wsj.com)

Amazon Brings New Playbook to Grocery -- Market Talk

8:07 ET - Amazon (AMZN) doesn't need to make money from its new Whole Foods Market grocery division yet, but food sales are crucial for traditional players like Kroger (KR), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT). Supermarkets' success has mainly relied on getting customers into conveniently located stores with deals. By cutting prices on high-volume staples like bananas, eggs and ground beef in 470 Whole Foods stores, Amazon is signaling it will compete for that traffic. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Climb on Slower Placements

Cattle futures started the week higher as traders reacted to a government report last week suggesting cattle supply would moderate in the months to come. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday that feedlot operators placed 1.6 million head of cattle in commercial yards in July, up 3% from a year earlier. That was below expectations and much slower than recent months. A drought in the Dakotas this summer contributed to a 16% rise in placements in June from a year earlier as ranchers offloaded cattle.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 28, 2017 17:36 ET (21:36 GMT)