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LIVESTOCK-Cattle erase losses to finish flat; hogs mostly lower

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CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - U.S. live cattle futures finished roughly unchanged on Friday, reversing from earlier steep losses as investors squared up positions ahead of a monthly supply report that was released after the market close, traders and analysts said. Feeder cattle and lean hogs also settled about flat at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, in technically driven trades against the backdrop of abundant U.S. meat supplies. Front-month CME October live cattle futures fell more than 1 percent to a 1-1/2 week low early in the session as investors priced in an expected jump in placements in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cattle on Feed report. USDA in the report said…
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U.S. August cattle feedlot placements jump to 4-year high

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CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - U.S. feedlots in August brought in 15.0 percent more cattle compared with a year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday, topping average trade estimates and the highest for the month in four years. Analysts attributed last month's sizable placement increase to ranchers who moved cattle to market earlier than they would have otherwise as prices deteriorated during the second half of August. Feedyards finally retrieved cattle fattened outside of feedlots for several months on healthy pastures. Less-costly corn also reduced costs for cattle feeders. There were two extra days to process cattle in August than a year ago, analysts said. They…
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Alberta releases latest crop report

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Good harvest progress was made with warm, dry weather but the return of rain later in the week slowed operations to a crawl. Chickpea harvest at 63 percent complete, potatoes 42 percent, sugar beets four percent and dry beans at 70 percent. Half of the dryland hay crop and 60 percent of irrigated production is expected to grade as good or better. CENTRAL Only 20 percent of harvest is complete because of wet field conditions. That’s behind the five-year average of 46 percent. Forty-five percent of dryland hay production is expected to grade good or better for quality. NORTHEAST Precipitation halted harvest progress, which is 29 percent complete. Sixty percent of dryland…
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Canola futures rise $11.30 on week, but harvest stalls on rain

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Rain has stopped harvest in much of Saskatchewan today and will affect Manitoba as the slow moving system moves east into Saturday. The system is expected to miss Alberta. Accumulation amounts are expected to be substantial, with two inches or more in some south-central parts of Saskatchewan, meaning it will be some days for fields to dry. Canola futures fell Friday, weighed down by falling soybeans and soy oil, but on the week canola posted a modest gain. November closed at $468.30 down $2.70 on the day but up $11.30 on the week. Through the week, canola had been supported by rising vegetable oil prices and the new long-term agreement between Canada and China settling the…
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Germany’s top court to decide on EU-Canada trade deal in October

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KARLSRUHE, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Germany's Constitutional Court will rule on Oct. 13 on a complaint by activists aimed at stopping an ambitious trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. Three German groups handed in 125,000 signatures to the court in August to try and scupper the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which opponents fear will undermine workers' rights and environmental and consumer standards. The court said on Friday it will hold proceedings on Oct. 12 and rule on the emergency appeal a day later. Activists want to prevent the government backing the pact which is due to be signed at an EU-Canada summit at the end of next month. The European…
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Harvest halts, processors close as rains swamp upper Midwest

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CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Heavy rains and flooding swamped a broad swathe of the northern Midwest this week, halting the harvest of corn and soybeans and forcing the closure of at least two Iowa crop processing plants, traders and farmers said on Friday. Farmers' concerns grew that standing water in fields could damage unharvested crops, while floodwaters swelled the Mississippi River and threatened to disrupt the loading of export-bound grain barges. Parts of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota received several inches of rain at midweek, with two-day rain totals topping 10 inches (25 cm) in some areas, meteorologists said. The region is expected to see two days of drier…
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EU bids to seal Canada trade pact as U.S. deal prospects fade

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BRATISLAVA, Sept 23 (Reuters) - EU ministers took steps on Friday to approve a contentious free trade deal with Canada, while France and Austria demanded that talks towards a similar agreement with the United States should stop. Both deals have triggered demonstrations by unions and protest groups who say they will spark a 'race to the bottom' in labour, environmental and public health standards and allow big business to challenge governments across Europe. After a first session devoted to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) struck with Canada two years ago but still awaiting approval, ministers agreed the two sides would produce a binding declaration that spelt out…
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India cuts import taxes on wheat, palm oil, refined oils

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NEW DELHI, Sept 23 (Reuters) - India has cut import taxes on wheat, crude palm oil and refined vegetable oils, a finance ministry order showed on Friday, as part of efforts to curb food inflation. The international wheat trade hopes India will cut the taxes further to stimulate more imports and draw down modestly the international surplus of the grain New Delhi lowered the wheat import tax to 10 percent from 25 percent and cut the import duty on both crude palm oil and refined edible oils by five percentage points to 7.5 and 15 percent respectively, the order on a government website, showed. Wheat output in India, the world's second-biggest producer, has fallen well below the peak…
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China slaps anti-dumping duties on U.S. distillers grains

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CHICAGO/BEIJING, Sept 23 (Reuters) - China on Friday slapped anti-dumping duties on a U.S. animal feed ingredient known as distillers' dried grains (DDGS) amid an intensifying spat between the world's two largest economies over agricultural trade which totaled over $20 billion last year. Beijing's preliminary decision calls for duties of 33.8 percent, effective immediately, the Ministry of Commerce said. The move comes after a months-long probe following complaints by China's ethanol producers that the U.S. industry was unfairly benefiting from subsidies. China is the world's top buyer of DDGS, a by-product of corn ethanol used by feed mills as a substitute for corn and soymeal. China…
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Saskatchewan releases latest crop report

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SOUTHEAST Precipitation varied from four to 10 mm but most areas stayed dry and windy, which allowed for good harvest progress. Seventy-three percent of the crop is combined, and 16 percent is swathed or ready to straight cut. SOUTHWEST Sixty-six percent of the crop is in the bin with 16 percent of the crop swathed or ready to straight-cut. Most crop damage is due to bleaching, sprouting and staining while downgrading of durum is mostly due to fusarium. EAST-CENTRAL Harvest progress is on par with the five-year average of 53 percent in the bin with 38 percent swathed or ready to straight cut. Precipitation ranged from four to 18 mm, but weather was generally dry and…
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