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Fonterra Lowers NZ Milk-Production Forecast -- Market Talk

Fonterra Co-operative has cut its forecast for New Zealand milk collections the year through May 31 by 3% 1.48 billion kilograms of milk solids. That should support global dairy prices as Fonterra processes the majority of New Zealand's milk production and the country is responsible for around 1/3 of global exports. Fonterra notes it has already started to reduce volumes available at the Global Dairy Trade auctions and has a program in place to manages sales through the end of the season. (lucy.craymer@wsj.com)

Corn and Wheat End 2017 With a Whimper; Soybeans Rise

CHICAGO--Agricultural futures wound down a quiet week of trading with little change in prices Friday, as soybean contracts settled slightly higher while corn and wheat fell.

January-dated soybean futures closed 6 cents higher, rising 0.6% to $9.51 3/4 a bushel, despite lower-than-anticipated export sales for the week ended Dec. 21, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report early Friday.

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STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Stocks Slip at End of Strong Year

U.S. stocks posted exceptional gains in 2017. For the first time since 2012, international equities did even better.

Global stock benchmarks have surged to multiyear or record highs this year, boosted by a rally in shares of technology companies, a synchronized pickup in growth around the world and unexpectedly benign inflation readings that have kept central bank policy ultraloose. Expectations for lower taxes have also helped fuel the rally in U.S. stocks, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to 71 record closes, the most in a calendar year, and its best year since 2013.

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Dec 29

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Dec 29 +$37.37 +$ 36.97

Dec 28 +$35.00 +$ 35.79

Dec 27 +$34.79 +$ 33.38

* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production.

A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of

production of the animals.

Beef-O-Meter

This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite

values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices.

Beef

For Today Choice 100.5

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 99.9

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 62 cents per hundred pounds, to $202.90, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.07 per hundred pounds, to $192.98. The total load count was 82. Wholesale-pork prices rose 55 cents, to $77.60 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 29, 2017 18:44 ET (23:44 GMT)