GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

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Corn Harvest Remains Slow; Soy Nearly Done -- Market Talk

16:50 ET - US corn harvest is still lagging behind schedule, while farmers have collected nearly all the nation's soybeans, according to the USDA. The government says 70% of US corn was harvested as of Sunday, marking a sizeable jump from a week earlier though the pace is still slower than the average 83% for this time over the past five years. Inclement weather, particularly in the eastern Corn Belt, has slowed the corn harvest this year, though yield reports have been more generous than expected, fueling anticipation that federal forecasters will bump up their estimate this week for the US crop. Soybeans, meanwhile, were 90% harvested, about in line with recent years. Winter wheat plantings also are on schedule, with 91% of that crop in the ground. (jesse.newman@wsj.com;@jessenewman13)

USDA Drops Proposed Biotech Crop Revamp -- Market Talk

12:11 ET - USDA is rethinking a proposed revamp to the way the agency regulates genetically engineered crops, essentially hitting reset on a process that already was expected to take well over a year. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is withdrawing a proposed rule that would have provided a clearer path to market for crops tweaked with new gene editing technologies like CRISPR-Cas9, as well as plants engineered with genes from similar species, exempting them from being regulated in the same way as products modified using genes from other species. The rule met some support from the seed industry and opposition from consumer groups, but USDA says it wants a new start that will explore "alternative policy approaches." (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

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Soybeans Recover Ahead of Crop Report; Corn Dips

Soybean futures rebounded Monday as buyers returned to the market ahead of a monthly crop report expected to show smaller U.S. yields for the oilseeds. Wheat rose while corn slipped.

Soybean prices recovered from a selloff in the market on Friday, bolstered by light buying in advance of a government report due out this week that's expected to trim federal estimates for the U.S. crop. Analysts on average predict the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday will peg the nation's soybean harvest at 4.4 billion bushels on yields of 49.2 bushels. That's down from the government's estimates in October for 4.43 billion bushels on yields of 49.5 bushels. The declines come as the later stages of the U.S. fall harvest revealed less-stellar yields than earlier phases.

Brazil Soybean Planting Trails Last Year -- Market Talk

9:35 ET - Brazilian soybean had farmers finished 41.7% of their planting for the 2017-2018 growing season as of Nov 3, according to agricultural consultancy Safras & Mercado. The five-year average for the date is 47% and on the same date last year planting was 52.5% finished, Safras said. Lack of rain has slowed planting in some areas. Planting was 80% complete in the states of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul, and 64% finished in Mato Grosso, according to Safras. Brazil is the world's second-biggest producer of soybeans, after the US. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Slide as Demand Assessed; Hogs Mixed

CHICAGO--Cattle futures tumbled as traders questioned whether demand will be able to keep pace with rising beef prices. Hog contracts were mixed.

Meatpackers over the past two weeks have paid sharply higher prices to secure cattle ahead of an anticipated bump in holiday beef demand, traders said. Some of those price increases are being handed to consumers in the form of higher wholesale beef prices.

Swelling supplies of pork and beef, and concerns that export and domestic demand could falter as prices climb, sent live cattle futures prices sharply lower Monday, the second such decline in three trading sessions. December-dated live cattle contracts fell 1.6% to $1.2532 a pount at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 06, 2017 17:23 ET (22:23 GMT)