Grain, Soybean Futures Fall as Supply Threats Recede -- Market Talk
14:53 ET - Grain and soybean futures end the week lower as weather reports forecast the onset of spring-like conditions in the central US. That should allow farmers to make up for recent delays in planting this year's corn and soybeans, easing concerns about disruption to early crop development. By contrast, wetter forecasts for the southern Plains, where the wheat crop has suffered through a drought, also pressured grain prices. Analysts say receding supply threats have prompted funds and other speculative investors to pull out of some bets that prices would rise. CBOT May wheat futures fall 2.8% to $4.63 1/4 a bushel. May corn slides 1.4% to $3.76 1/2 while May soybeans fall 0.8% to $10.28 3/4. ([email protected]; @b_parkyn)
Can China-Bound Sorghum Shipments Find a New Home? -- Market Talk
14:50 ET - Traders are chattering about the fate a series of US sorghum shipments that were en route to China when Beijing announced duties of 179% on American imports earlier this week. Market participants estimate that anywhere from a half dozen to over 20 ships have changed course in search of nearby markets to deliver their grain or simply turned back. While the US sorghum trade is small compared to that in soybeans and other crops, it is almost wholly dependent on China. "The problem is the US has 82% of the export market in sorghum and China has 74% of the import of that market, making it really only a two-country game," says Michael McDougall of ED&F Man. "The Chinese knew which market to hit to make a statement with the US." ([email protected]; @b_parkyn)
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Brazil Soybean Harvest Approaching End -- Market Talk
15:00 ET - Brazilian farmers finished 91% of their harvesting work as of Thursday, according to Brazilian agricultural consultancy AgRural. The figure is close to the 92% pace on the same date last year and the 90% average over the past five years, according to the consultancy. Harvesting work in the states of Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Sao Paulo and Rondonia has already finished, and is almost done in Minas Gerais, Parana and Tocantins, AgRural said. Brazil is the world's second-biggest producer of soybeans after the US, where farmers are just beginning to plant their crop for harvesting in late September through November. ([email protected])
Bayer Gains Russian Approval for Monsanto Deal
Bayer said Friday that Russian antitrust authorities have approved its proposed $57 billion acquisition of Monsanto on the condition that the German company transfers certain technologies to Russian recipients.
Under the terms of the approval, Bayer agreed to transfer selected molecular breeding assets in several crops for a period of five years, the company said. It didn't specify who the Russian recipients will be.
Cattle Feeders Curb Herd Growth
Cattle producers are feeling less bullish.
Feedyard operators eased their herd growth in March, ending a year of relentless expansion as profitability took a hit.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that feedyard operators placed 1.92 million cattle in their lots for fattening last month, down 9% from a year earlier. That was the first month of smaller placements in a little over a year.