GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Rise; Traders Watch Argentina Weather

Grain and soybean futures ended the week with a bounce.

Analysts said that traders had exhausted reasons to sell this week, prompting a correction on Friday. That helped create buying interest in the soybean market on Friday. January oilseed contracts rose 1.9% to $9.90 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Cereal Sales Declines Hurt Post -- Market Talk

10:25 ET - Post foods said cereal sales are still struggling in North America and the UK, and its executives don't expect things to get better next year. Cereal is the biggest business for Post, which owns Honey Bunches of Oats and Weetabix. In North America, adult cereals are the weakest. "Older consumers are seeking breakfast alternatives with more protein," CEO Robert Vitale said. In mainstream grocers in the US, cereal industrywide is declining by low-single-digit percentages, "and our expectations for 2018 are consistent with recent performance," he said. However, he added, "we do believe the rate of decline is overstated," as sales at non-traditional outlets are growing. Post shares fall 2.5%. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

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Monsanto Escalates Legal Defense of Herbicide -- Market Talk

11:41 ET - Monsanto escalates its legal battle with the state of Arkansas, which has proposed the US's most restrictive limits on a controversial weedkiller after nearly 1,000 complaints of crop damage rolled in over the summer. Monsanto in October sued Arkansas over the state's hesitance to allow Monsanto's new version of the herbicide dicamba--Arkansas wants state scientists to do more research on its potential to damage neighboring crops. On Friday, Monsanto amends that lawsuit to also contest Arkansas' proposed ban on spraying dicamba over growing crops after April 15, which could cut into sales of the spray, and potentially sales of soybean and cotton seeds engineered to withstand dicamba. A spokeswoman for the Arkansas State Plant Board, which regulates herbicides, has no immediate comment. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Missouri Restricts Use of BASF Crop Spray -- Market Talk

11:19 ET - After a wave of complaints alleging crop damage from the herbicide dicamba last summer, Missouri is the latest state to apply tighter restrictions to it ahead of next year's growing season. Farmers will be barred from using Engenia, BASF's new dicamba formulation, on soybeans and cotton in 10 southeastern Missouri counties starting Jan. 1, and no farmers in the state will be able to spray it onto those crops following July 15, according to the state's agricultural department. The move follows Arkansas last week formally proposing a statewide ban on dicamba on growing crops after April 15, and further moves could be coming in Missouri: The state ag department says new regulations around dicamba products from Monsanto and DowDuPont are "coming soon." (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbbunge)

Unease over Nafta Growing in the Farm Belt -- Market Talk

13:50 ET - Worry is mounting in rural America as Nafta negotiations drag on and farmers continue to trudge through a multiyear downturn in the farm economy. If Trump withdraws from the trade pact--which he has threatened to do--it would be an "enormous blow" to the US farm sector, Piper Jaffray says, adding the agreement has offered farmers a ready destination for their corn and other commodities during a time when many are just breaking even or losing money. "A disruption with NAFTA could send grain prices in a spiral," the firm says, adding that farm machinery and agricultural supply companies would also suffer "if we were to lose export demand and send ag into a depression." (jesse.newman@wsj.com; @jessenewman13)

Brazilian Soybean Planting Three-Quarters Finished -- Market Talk

15:15 ET - Brazilian soybean farmers had finished 73% of their planting as of Nov. 16, according to agricultural consultancy AgRural. That's the same pace as last year on the same date and ahead of the five-year average for the date of 68%, AgRural said. Good weather around the country helped speed the planting work, according to the group. Brazil is the second-biggest soybean producer in the world, after the U.S. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Placements Rose Above Expectations in October

Feedlots placed more cattle than expected in lots for fattening last month, suggesting that beef supplies will continue to grow next year.

Cattle futures for December closed 0.6% lower at $1.1885 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange before the cattle on-feed report was released Friday afternoon. Futures fell 1.4% over the week.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2017 17:33 ET (22:33 GMT)