Grain Highlights: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Soybean Futures Rise; Grains Succumb to Pressure

Dry weather in Argentina bolstered U.S. soybean futures on Monday, while grain futures retreated from early gains. Traders' primary focus was on weather conditions in Argentina, after weekend rains fell short of expectations. That left around half of the Argentine corn and soybean crops at risk of dry stress until the middle of the month.

Farmers Hail National Monument Reductions -- Market Talk

16:12 ET--Farmers and ranchers will benefit from President Donald Trump's move to slash the size of national monuments in Utah, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The group says the decision helps unwind the Obama administration's "quarantine" of millions of acres of grazing land, according to AFBF President Zippy Duvall, who says rural Americans suffered under a "remote bureaucracy." Duvall sees Trump's move in keeping with the original spirit of the 1906 Antiquities Act and follows similar reductions by past presidents like Taft and Kennedy. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

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Australia Govt Downgrades Wheat Production, Expected To Fall 42% -- Market Talk

1301 GMT -- Australia's government has again downgraded the country's wheat production forecast for the year ending in March, with production now expected to fall 42% on-year to 20.3 million metric tons. Such output, which has been hit by unseasonable weather conditions, would be 2% below the 10-year average. However, the government says that summer crop production is expected to increase by 23% to around 4.8 million metric tons. (lucy.craymer@wsj.com)

Pricing Pressure Isn't Culprit Of Big Foods' Problem -- Market Talk

15:54 ET -- Barclays thinks some of the packaged food industry's problems this year may be imaginary. The challenge that seems to worry investors most is the pressure from retailers to lower prices, "however, while price pressure may yet come, the data thus far simply do not bear out this concern." Among the largest packaged food categories, about two-thirds have higher prices than a year ago, and the percentage of items sold at a discount decreased, according to Barclays analysis of Nielsen data. Barclays says margins have decreased but that's due to higher freight costs, food prices and customer service costs. Pricing pressure isn't the "culprit." (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Fall to Multi-Week Low

Cattle futures fell to a five-week low, marking a third consecutive session of losses driven by concerns about buoyant supplies. Live cattle contracts for December slid 0.7% to $1.16375 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since Oct. 27.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 04, 2017 17:13 ET (22:13 GMT)