GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Start Week Lower

Grain and soybean futures fell as harvest pressure and improving weather forecasts weighed down prices.

Market participants expect Midwestern farmers to make rapid progress harvesting corn and soybeans this week, taking advantage of the best fieldwork weather so far this season. Forecasts show mostly clear conditions this week.

Brazil Soy Planting Advances Slowly -- Market Talk

6:43 ET - Brazilian soybean farmers had completed an estimated 12% of their planting work for the 2017-2018 season as of Oct. 12, consultancy AgRural says. That is in line with the five-year average for the date of 11%, but was behind the 18% reached on the date last year, the group said. Irregular rain in the center-west region delayed planting in many areas, AgRural said, with only 18% finished in the state of Mato Grosso, far behind the 31% finished on the same date last year. Brazil is the world's second-biggest soybean producer after the US. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Aramark to Buy Avendra and AmeriPride in Separate Deals

Food-service giant Aramark Corp. plans to acquire two closely held companies for a total of $2.35 billion, in its largest deals since going public nearly four years ago.

The company is buying Avendra LLC, which procures food, supplies and such services as landscaping for hotels and other institutions, for $1.35 billion; and AmeriPride Services Inc., a supplier of uniforms and towels, for $1 billion, officials said Sunday.

Data Science Will Transform Farming -- WSJ

About two decades ago, genetically modified organisms came into popular use. And the technique quickly drew fire from critics for introducing DNA from one organism into another.

Now there are new technologies on the rise that promise to reshape the world of agriculture.

Data science is making it possible to get a much more detailed look at things like how fertilizer can be used more effectively.

Venezuelan Bonds Drop On Election Outcome -- Market Talk

16:03 ET - Venezuela's benchmark bond index has dropped sharply following the government's disputed victory in Sunday's regional elections. The Venezuela portion of the JP Morgan EMBI Global Diversified index is down to its lowest level since Sept 20. Prices for PdVSA's benchmark bond due 2022 have fallen 4.6% since Friday and Venezuela's bond due 2028 has fallen 4.8%. Eurasia Group says the outcome, which surprised analysts, is likely to push the US and EU to respond with new sanctions but is unlikely to impact Venezuela's near-term ability to service debt. PDVSA's bond due 2020, which has an $800M principal payment due Oct 27, fell less sharply, down 2.3%. The government is late in making interest payments to its creditors totaling $349M due last week and has 30 days before creditors can attempt to accelerate, with $4.4B due over the next three weeks. (julie.wernau@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Rally on Cash Gains

Hog futures settled just short of a six-week high on Monday as traders anticipated higher prices in the cash market.

December lean hog contracts rose 2.4% to 63.7 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since Sept. 5.

Cash prices for slaughter-ready hogs have risen for 11 consecutive days, and were on track to rise again on Monday. New Midwestern slaughterhouses have given hog farmers more places to sell their hogs, helping to push up prices. Wholesale pork prices have also inched higher after hitting a bottom in early October.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 16, 2017 17:30 ET (21:30 GMT)