GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Soybean Futures Higher, Lead Mixed Grain and Oilseed Markets

Soybean futures turned higher Wednesday on heightened demand prospects.

Traders bought oilseed contracts in reaction to updated forecasts for higher Chinese soybean imports this year. State-owned Cofco Corp. put soybean imports at 100 million metric tons in 2017-18, market observers said, above the 97 million forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

January soybean futures rose 0.9% to $9.76 1/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, rebounding from a month low. December corn futures rose 0.2% to $3.38 1/4 a bushel after falling to the lowest close since August on Tuesday.

Monsanto, Farm Groups Try New Herbicide Defense -- Market Talk

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09:14 ET - Monsanto and farm groups are trying a First Amendment defense in the latest legal effort to block California from requiring cancer-warning labels on glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the seed company and groups including the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Corn Growers Association argue that California's requirement to include cancer warning labels on glyphosate products violates First Amendment protections against "compelled false speech" -- in this case, warning labels the groups claim to be erroneous. California, which will require such labels on glyphosate next year, followed the International Agency for Research on Cancer's 2015 determination that glyphosate is likely carcinogenic. Monsanto, other pesticide makers and farm groups fiercely contested that conclusion, pointing to decades of scientific reviews that found no clear cancer link. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com ; @jacobbunge)

U.S. Is the Key to Global Grain Storage -- Market Talk

1544 GMT - Looking at global wheat surpluses beyond China and India, the Black Sea region has become a major global power in wheat trade since the early 2000s, says ConsiliAgra Managing Director Emily French. However, she adds that it is not "the Black Sea's role" to store the world's wheat. Speaking at the Global Grain conference in Geneva, she says, "Europe holds about 9% of the world's exportable surplus...and then there's America. They are the world's wheat storage tank. As a buyer you've got to love it. If you can't buy wheat, come to America." (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Agricultural Commodities Could Miss out on Market Party if Chinese Economy Sags -- Market Talk

1551 GMT - While most emerging markets and developed nations are undergoing synchronized global growth and edging toward central bank balance sheet tightening, one exception appears to be China, says Erik Norland, executive director and senior economist of CME Group. While nations had increased debt to stimulate major economies, "debt accumulation is no longer so positive and that [Chinese] debt has continued to soar," Mr. Norland said at the Global Grain conference in Geneva. With a GDP five-to-seven times the size of the other BRIC countries, a weakening Chinese economy would weigh on agricultural commodities demand, he adds. (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

Nestle Will Move Infant Nutrition Unit to Regionally Managed Business

ZURICH--Nestle SA (NESN.EB) said Wednesday that it will reorganize its infant-nutrition division as it moves to spur more rapid growth in a unit it has been identified as one of its priorities.

Infant nutrition will move from the global-nutrition division to a regionally managed business starting Jan. 1, Nestle said. A strategic business unit will be created to implement the company's nutrition strategy.

La Nina Could Shock Volatility into Grains Prices -- Market Talk

1555 GMT - With core grains consumption only growing and prices becoming more and more inelastic, "it will take a weather event" to inject any volatility into prices, says Emily French, Managing Director at ConsiliAgra, at the Global Grain conference in Geneva. "Everyone's excited now that we have [weather system] La Nina. If it comes to fruition and we have a supply shock..." the price movement therein would still be small when compared with those seen in 2005 and 2006, she says. (david.hodari@wsj.com; @davidhodari)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Turn Higher Despite Meatpackers Lowering Bids

Cattle futures rebounded Wednesday despite falling prices for physical cattle.

Meatpackers lowered their bids for slaughter-ready cattle in Tuesday's and Wednesday's cash markets. They paid between $119 and $119.25 per 100 pounds in the closely watched online Fed Cattle Exchange auction, down from $124 last week.

Hog futures were mixed.

The front-month December lean hog contract ended a streak of 10 consecutive days of losses by rising 1.9% to 61.125 cents a pound. Prices for later months mostly fell.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 15, 2017 17:37 ET (22:37 GMT)