GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Drop as Traders Take Profits on Recent Rallies

Grain and soybean futures fell as traders booked profits on recent rallies.

Prices rose this week as traders focused on weather issues, with dry forecasts in the Midwest stressing late maturing soybeans and corn while Hurricane Irma threatened to hit the Carolinas in the coming days.

Wheat prices led losses. Most active December soft-red winter wheat futures fell 1.9% to $4.37 1/4 a bushel on Thursday at the Chicago Board of Trade.

World Food Prices Down 1.3% in August Due to Cheaper Grain, Sugar, Meat

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LONDON--World food prices fell in August due to less expensive cereals, sugar and meat prices, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday.

The FAO's food price index fell by 1.3% last month from July, up 6% on its August 2016 level.

The cereal price index dropped 5.4% from July, with fears over hot, dry weather across North America, Europe and Australia giving way to cooler, wetter weather and a return to a focus on high global supplies, further boosted by increased Black Sea production during August. Rice prices, meanwhile, were steady, the U.N. body's report said.

General Mills Says Sales Are Improving Modestly -- Market Talk

11:35 ET - General Mills (GIS) Chief Financial Officer Don Mulligan says at an investor conference that after a rough first half of the year, GIS is starting to see "modest" sales improvements over the past few months, thanks to higher pricing at traditional grocers and growth among smaller stores, natural and organic stores and online grocery shopping. GIS still expects its comparable sales to decline for the fiscal year ending in May after falling 4% in FY17. But it's putting efforts in place to reverse that trend. "The biggest change we'll see in the US food industry in the next decade will be driven by how consumers get their food with e-commerce at the forefront of that change," he says. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Arkansas to Consider Monsanto Critiques -- Market Talk

16:16 ET - The Arkansas State Plant Board will review a lengthy critique and data provided by Monsanto (MON), as the body weighs further restrictions on a herbicide blamed for millions of acres of crop damage around the Midwest. A spokeswoman for the Arkansas agency said Monsanto's documents will be included for consideration at two meetings to be held this month, after which any recommendations will go to Arkansas' governor and a legislative subcommittee. Monsanto, which makes a version of the herbicide dicamba and seeds that can tolerate it, laid out a case Thursday that further restrictions aren't needed, but rather better training and education of farmers who use the spray. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Food Makers Still Hope for Digital GMO Disclosure -- Market Talk

14:44 ET - The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the trade group represents most major food makers, said that consumer education will be vital in implementing disclosures of the use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in food through digital links like QR codes. The USDA report issued today found that using digital links to disclose GMOs poses a disadvantage for low-income consumers, rural residents and people over age 65, because of the technological challenges, logging a win for consumer activists who have been pushing for written disclosure. But the GMA noted that the report concludes by stating that "most consumers would be able to access this information given the proper education and tools," not ruling out digital links which the labeling bill passed by Congress allowed in place of written disclosure. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Tumble; Cattle Prices Rise

Hog futures fell over 3%, undoing a rally earlier this week, while cattle futures rose.

Some of the momentum came as traders reversed bets that hog prices would rise and cattle would fall, said Jason Britt, president of Central States Commodities in Kansas City, Mo., by selling their long hog positions and buying out of cattle shorts.

The cash cattle trade has been slow to get going this week, however. Meatpackers and feedlots have mostly clashed horns over prices. Not many cattle have changed hands since the online Fed Cattle Exchange auction on Wednesday morning, at which 125 head sold for $1.63 a pound on a dressed basis.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 07, 2017 17:43 ET (21:43 GMT)