GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Soybeans Rise on Good Demand, Yield Concerns

Soybean futures gained to a near three-week high Thursday as solid demand and expectations for smaller crop yields boosted the market. Corn and wheat also rose.

Prices for the oilseeds drew strength from weekly export sales data showing net soybean sales for the week ended Oct. 26 totaled almost two million metric tons, which topped some analyst expectations. That's good news for U.S. soybeans, which face growing competition in the global marketplace from other big producers, like Brazil.

Soybeans for November delivery rose eight cents, or 0.8%, to $9.89 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest closing price since Oct. 16.

US Corn Farmers Aren't in 'Catbird Seat' Anymore -- Market Talk

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13:19 ET - US farmers love planting corn, but the world is growing less enamored with American grain. The US remains the world's largest corn exporter, but other big farm countries are catching up. For the most recent crop year, the US supplied 36% of the world's corn exports, down from 57% a decade ago as abundant, cheap grain elsewhere in the world wins export business. Going forward, analysts expect a handful of countries to compete fiercely: the US, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and possibly Russia. "The US farmer can't think of himself as having the catbird seat, or being the dominant force of world agriculture anymore," said Dan Basse of Chicago-based AgResource Co. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

Global Oversupply of Grains Puts a Squeeze on Giant Processors

Farmers have spent the past few years cutting their spending to cope with a global glut of crops. Now it's commodity traders' turn.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd., among the companies that dominate world-wide grain trading and processing, said this week that they are slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in annual spending and restructuring operations to navigate a world awash in corn, soybeans and wheat.

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Starbucks Lowers Long-Term Target, Selling Tazo to Unilever

Starbucks Corp. said it would sell its Tazo brand of teas in the coffee seller's latest move to focus on its core operations.

The company also on Thursday lowered its forecast for long-term profit growth, sending shares down 6.5% in post-market trading, as it also recorded same-store sales growth below its benchmark target and posted an unexpected revenue decline.

Rashes Delay Launch of New Monsanto Product -- Market Talk

15:24 ET - Monsanto has faced delays in launching new genetically engineered seeds and pesticides as regulators evaluated its products, but Monsanto this week says it's choosing to "pause" its introduction of a new pesticide product after some people reported skin irritation and rashes during this year's trials. Monsanto had planned a 2018 commercial launch for NemaStrike, which can be applied to seeds before they're planted to defend crop roots against tiny wormlike creatures called nematodes, but "out of an abundance of caution" the company's putting that on hold as it evaluates the rashes, according to a letter sent to customers. So far, Monsanto says, those cases seem related to how protective equipment is used. The company expects to continue trials of the product in the spring, according to the letter, previously reported by Farm Journal. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Fertilizer Exports a High Point for CF -- Market Talk

10:35 ET - Exports were a bright spot for Illinois-based fertilizer maker CF, which shipped record volumes in 3Q as international prices trumped those in North America. Strong fertilizer demand in India and Brazil benefited CF, as did slowing Chinese production and shipments. A big global appetite for nitrogen fertilizer came at the right time, CF executives said on an earnings call, as North American customers are dealing with price fluctuations by buying products as they need them and maintaining lower inventories. CF is hopeful environmental reforms in China will continue to curtail production there, keeping a lid on global competition as the company works through an ongoing supply glut next year. (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle and Hog Futures Decline

Most U.S. livestock futures fell Thursday as the prospect of larger supplies started to chip away at the elevated cash prices that have triggered contract highs in recent sessions.

The most heavily traded lean-hog contract fell 1.2%, and its live-cattle equivalent shed 1.8%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 02, 2017 17:35 ET (21:35 GMT)