GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Fall on Commodity Weakness

Grain and soybean futures fell amid pressure on commodities more broadly and ongoing U.S. harvest progress.

Crude oil prices were lower on Monday as money flowed out of the commodity sector, making grain and oilseed-based biofuels less competitive. A higher dollar also made U.S. crops more expensive for global buyers. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.4% to 86.63.

US Harvest Progress Falls Short -- Market Talk

16:18 ET - American farmers harvested less grain and oilseed than expected last week, according to the USDA. The US corn harvest was 17% complete as of Sunday, below average analyst estimates and last year's pace. The agency says farmers collected 22% of soybeans, also lagging recent years. Rain this week is expected to delay fieldwork across the Corn Belt further. The quality of the corn crop increased to 63% good or excellent, meanwhile, up from 61% last year. Analysts didn't expect to see improvement. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Bayer's Monsanto Deal Looking More Like a Bargain -- Market Talk

10:20 ET - Bayer a little over a year ago agreed to buy biotech seed giant Monsanto in a $57B deal that ranked as the biggest-ever for a German company, but that price looks more and more like a bargain as Monsanto's business improves, Susquehanna analysts say. Monsanto returned to earnings growth earlier this year and should keep that trajectory in 2018, as new biotech soybeans and pesticide sales lift profits, Susquehanna says. While Bayer's deal still looks likely to pass antitrust reviews, the analysts think Monsanto's share price would only fall to $112 or so if regulators block it, and could rise to the $128-a-share Bayer agreed to pay within 12-24 months, the firm says. Susquehanna still expects Monsanto's typically weak 4Q report Wednesday to deliver a 32-cents-a-share loss, though that's rosier than Monsanto's own guidance. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Brazil's Trade Surplus Brings Good News For Growth -- Market Talk

14:38 ET - Brazil's $5.2B trade surplus in September was an all-time high for the month, says the Trade Ministry, which began taking tabs with current methodology in 1989. Pundits forecast more surpluses, as the economy starts to rebound from a multi-year recession. Exports, as usual, were driven by commodities like soy, corn, cotton and iron ore, but sales of machinery and vehicles also rose, among other items. In a good sign for economic recovery, imports of capital goods expanded 34.5% in September over August, more than any other item Brazilians bought overseas. (paulo.trevisani@wsj.com; @ptrevisani)

River Breakdown Slows Grain Vessels -- Market Talk

13:34 ET - More than 65 transport vessels loaded with grain and other commodities have been backed up on the Ohio River after a hydraulic system failed at a lock gate near Brookport, Illinois, according to the Waterways Council. The industry group and commodity-shipping companies have long warned about such breakdowns due to aging US river infrastructure, and they point out the failure occured just a few months after Trump used the Ohio River as a backdrop for his call for investment in domestic transport infrastructure, which has yet to be formally detailed. The Waterways Council says the lock, which also had to be closed for maintenance two years ago, reopened around midday. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Start Week With Bounce

Hog futures rallied, supported by bets that prices for physical hogs were reaching a low point.

Falling cash prices for slaughter-ready hogs, a product of growing herd sizes and heavier hogs, weighed down futures through much of September. But prices last week showed signs of stabilizing, rising 53 cents to $47.74 per 100 pounds on Friday. Analysts expected prices to continue steadying this week.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 02, 2017 17:40 ET (21:40 GMT)