GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Inch Higher

Grain and soybean futures were steady to higher on Friday as harvest difficulties deflected some pressure from other markets.

Contracts were initially mixed. Sharply lower prices for crude oil and falling commodity indices pressured agricultural markets, as traders exited the sector ahead of the weekend. A higher dollar, meanwhile, made U.S. crops more expensive in the export market.

Future 'Doesn't Seem Bad' for Key Fertilizer Makers -- Market Talk

13:43 ET - The future could be a bit brighter for some fertilizer companies, as increasing prices are seen benefiting producers plagued by an industry slump. Rising nitrogen prices have recently benefited CF Industries) and Norway's Yara, as demand for their fertilizers has recovered in India and competition from Chinese exports eased, according to BMO. Ongoing environmental concerns in China could lead to lower production, further benefiting nitrogen prices, BMO says. Still, concerns remain for Mosaic, which makes fertilizer out of phosphate and other materials. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Saskatchewan Harvest Is 89% Complete; Yield Are Estimates Average

WINNIPEG -- Saskatchewan farmers were able to get back into the fields following several days of rain delays last week, and 89% of the provincial crop is harvested, according to the provincial ministry of agriculture.

Harvest was most advanced in Saskatchewan's southwest, where 98% of the crop was combined. In the southeast and west-central regions 92% was harvested, the ministry said Thursday. In the east-central region 89% was combined and in the northeast 78% was done. The northwest had 69% combined.

USDA Says 195,000 Tons of Corn Sold to Unknown in 2017-18

WASHINGTON--Private exporters reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture export sales of 195,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017-18 marketing year.

The marketing year for corn began Sept. 1.

Boost For GMO Crops As Uganda Passes Key Law -- Market Talk'

0717 GMT - Uganda's parliament passes the long-delayed biosafety legislation, paving way for the introduction of genetically modified crops in the East Africa nation. Agriculture state minister Christophe Kibazanga notes that the law will allow Uganda to boost harvests, from grains to fruits and cotton, through the application of modern research and technology and help farmers cope with increasingly rampant crop failures blamed on changing weather patterns. It's a boost for agrichemical companies, such as Monsanto, currently trying to firm presence in Africa. Uganda now joins South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan as GMOs crops gain traction in a continent dogged by decades of low agricultural yields. (Nicholas.Bariyo@wsj.com; @Nicholasbariyo)

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Tumble After Week of Gains

Hog futures fell sharply as traders locked in profits on a multi-day rally this week.

October lean hog contracts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell 2.9% to 59.175 cents a pound. Prices were still up almost 7% for the week.

Analysts said Friday's selling was driven in part by bets that the futures market was out of step with cash prices for slaughter-ready hogs. The October contract was above average cash prices and the CME Lean Hog Index, which tracks the cash market.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 06, 2017 17:36 ET (21:36 GMT)