GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Corn Futures Fall to 10-Week Low

Corn futures sank to the lowest close since August as traders soured on the grain.

Analysts said there were few developments in the corn market, but a backdrop of oversupply weighed down prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that this year's U.S. corn harvest would produce more grain than previously expected. The recent pace of exports, meanwhile, has underwhelmed market observers.

Barley, Soybeans to Help Drive Russian Agricultural Growth -- Market Talk

1549 GMT - The world's insatiable appetite for meat has driven up animal feed barley prices so much that the grain may soon push corn and some wheat out of already-inundated Black Sea ports in Russia, says Andrey Sizov Jr. managing director at SovEcon at the Global Grain conference in Geneva. Looking further ahead, he says, "Russia's far east may become a huge exporter of corn and soybeans to far-east Asia." Chinese soybean imports have recently provided some support to prices despite heavy global supply out of the U.S. and South America among other places. (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

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Policy Changes Which Spurred Russian Grain Growth -- Market Talk

1538 GMT - "We expect Russian grain production to hit 134 million metric tons this season," says Andrey Sizov Jr., managing director at SovEcon at the Global Grain conference in Geneva. "Wheat has actually in recent decades become a more important crop for Russia." Grain production growth in Russia hasn't fallen in at least five years. Mr. Sizov outlines the two major factors behind that Russian wheat boom since the nineties: the granting of farmers' rights to buy or lease their land and the liberalization of trade. (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

South, Central Drought to Drag Down Ukrainian Wheat Production -- Market Talk

1222 GMT - With its Black Sea neighbor Russia set to break record wheat yields for the second time in two years, Ukraine may not follow suit, says Simon Cherniavsky, CEO of Mriya Agro Holding, at the Global Grain conference in Geneva. "Central and south Ukraine have seen worse conditions this year, with droughts," says Mr. Cherniavsky, adding that while conditions were better in the west of the country, he still expects a wheat-yield fall of 10% on year. He does, however, expect Ukrainian corn yields to rise. (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Russia's South is its Grain Powerhouse -- Market Talk

1541 GMT - "We now see an expansion of grain plantings... although Russia has abandoned 30 million hectares of land since the early nineties," says Andrey Sizov Jr., managing director at SovEcon at the Global Grain conference in Geneva. While Russian plantings have contracted in recent decades, Mr. Sizov says that "the lion's share of that [contraction] has been in Siberia, the Urals, the Far East, and Volgograd. Regions like the South - the number one export region - now have more people growing there than in Soviet times." Looking further into the future, plantings may expand in the less productive, more far-flung regions of Russia but "not for the next five years at least," Mr. Sizov says. (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

Russian Wheat Takes on Fresh Markets -- Market Talk

1236 GMT - High-protein Russian wheat is expanding its market share in unexpected places, says Swithun Still, director of Solaris Commodities at the Global Grain conference in Geneva. "You're getting Russian wheat even into Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Asia is a huge market and it's getting pumped into Indonesian mills for at least six months of the marketing year before the Australians get back their market share in the winter months," he says. As for the Black Sea competition, he says, lower-protein Ukrainian wheat "has a nice niche market in many destinations and Russian wheat is compatible with that flow." (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

Logistical Problems Dog Russian Grain Exports: Solaris Director -- Market Talk

1222 GMT - Russia's logistics are seriously lacking right now, Solaris Commodities Director Swithun Still confirms, adding that though the problem isn't yet as bad as Brazil's, it's starting to get that way. Speaking at the Global Grain conference in Geneva, he cites "two big issues" in Russia: its internal and outward-facing infrastructure. "There is not the same capacity for deep water [at Russian ports] as there is in Ukraine," he says, adding that until there are internal logistical and railway improvements, there will be bottlenecks. "It's a big investment and I'm not sure the Russian government is willing to put money on the table to build a second tunnel to Novorossiysk [the Black Sea port]." (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Tumble to Month-Low

Hog futures fell over 3% as hedge funds got out of long positions in the market.

Lean hog contracts for December at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell 3.7% to 59.975 cents a pound on Tuesday, the 10th-consecutive day of losses and lowest close since Oct. 9.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 14, 2017 17:32 ET (22:32 GMT)