GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain Prices Rise on Tough Americas Weather

Grain futures rose to multimonth highs Monday as concerns about weather across the Americas prompted hedge funds to pull out of bets that prices would fall. Soybean contracts also rose. Weather forecasts for Argentina turned drier over the weekend, with little rainfall expected over the next two weeks. That would lead to stress for around half of the country's corn and soybean belt, the Commodity Weather Group said, with the chance of crop loss increasing over that period.

Lighthizer Launches Fresh Attack on Canada's WTO Complaint -- Market Talk

15:30 ET - US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland exchanged verbal volleys over Canada's complaint with the World Trade Organization over how Washington applies tariffs. "Clearly the case they brought at the WTO is unprecedented, and it is imprudent, and my suspicion is, spiteful," Lighthizer told journalists following the closing press event at the sixth round of Nafta talks. Freeland said the complaint was triggered by US tariffs on Canadian softwood, which it views as unfair and punitive. She added Canada was clear it would take this legal route if necessary. "I don't think I need to have to defend Canada's actions when it comes to protecting our workers and our industry," she said, adding a negotiated settlement on softwood lumber could lead to withdrawal of Canada's complaint. (paul.vieira@wsj.com; @paulvieira)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

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Grocery Spending Going Online Faster than Expected -- Market Talk

12:06 ET - Seventy percent of US grocery shoppers will be buying staples online in the next five to seven years, a faster pace than projected just a year ago, a new report from Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute finds. Nielsen previously projected it would take eight to 10 years for the majority of Americans to shop for groceries online. The data firm estimates that $100B will be spent on food, beverages and consumer products online by 2022 or 2024, or $850 per household. Amazon is growing its food offerings through its Whole Foods acquisition, while other grocers race to provide the services themselves or through-deals with providers such as Instacart. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

EU Postpones Review of Bayer's Acquisition of Monsanto -Reuters

--The EU's antitrust authority extended its investigation into Bayer's takeover of Monsanto by five days, Reuters reports, citing an EU statement.

--The EU did not state a reason for the extension to March 12 to deliver its verdict on the merger, which effectively gives Bayer a new deadline of midnight Feb. 5 to propose concessions such as asset sales, Reuters says.

--Bayer confirmed the extension but declined to comment, according to Reuters.

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Rally on Higher Physical Prices

Cattle futures rose after a late surge in physical cattle prices last week. Futures traders spent much of last week trying to anticipate how much meatpackers would pay feedyards for their cattle, with the two groups in a deadlock. When the trade finally kicked off on Friday afternoon, prices came in higher than expected. That sparked a bounce when futures markets reopened on Monday.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 29, 2018 17:34 ET (22:34 GMT)