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Australia wheat struggles to compete as dryness cuts output

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SINGAPORE, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Australian wheat prices have risen above offers being made for U.S. cargoes in Asia, a rare market situation that is expected to drive more purchases from North America, two trade sources said. Australian wheat exporters have made little progress in selling new-crop wheat into Asia this year as the smallest crop in eight years is forcing farmers to hold back supplies, lifting prices above the international market. "Earlier Australia faced competition from the cheaper producers, Russia and Ukraine, but now U.S. is offering competitive prices," said a Singapore-based trader who sells wheat into Asia. The new-crop Australian Standard White wheat was…
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Live cattle surge on cash optimism, technical buying

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CHICAGO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures notched their biggest gains in 11 months on Wednesday, boosted by optimism for higher cash cattle prices and technical buying, traders and analysts said. Higher cattle sales at a weekly online auction helped to trigger the rally. Feeder cattle and lean hog futures also were mostly higher. Front-month October live cattle jumped by their daily price limit of 3.000 cents before settling up 2.975 cents higher at 110.950 cents per pound, highest since Aug. 8. The percentage gains of 2.8 were the largest since Oct. 20, 2016. "The Fed Cattle Exchange hasn't been too big of a focus lately but today it did trade…
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Canola up for sixth day as crop futures generally rally

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Canola futures rose for a sixth day, part of a general up trend in crop markets on Wednesday. The rise in canola continued to be modest with the November contract still well shy of the $500 a tonne mark, but January flirted with $500 mark. Snow in parts of Alberta as well as rain in some regions and overnight frost all provided modest direct support for canola prices but the upside was limited by the expectation of a record large canola crop. On Tuesday Statistics Canada issued new crop forecasts based on satellite monitoring and weather data. It pegged the canola crop at a new record high of 19.7 million tonnes, up 1.5 million from the August report, which was based on farmer…
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Corn and soybeans look for export demand amid harvest pressure

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WINNIPEG, Sept. 20 (CNS) – The ongoing U.S. harvest is keeping a lid on rallies in corn and soybean markets. Corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade chopped above and below the psychologically-important US$3.50 per bushel mark during the week ended Sept. 20. Soybeans felt some pressure from fund selling and generally seemed to be stuck in a range between US$9.62 to $9.75. One bright spot for the soybean market though was the unexpected sale of 1.08 million tonnes of soybeans to unknown destinations on Sept. 20. “It helps when we have demand news like that,” said Jack Scoville of Price Futures Group in Chicago. He says many participants are waiting for yield reports…
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Cargill CEO says worst case for NAFTA is ‘torn-up’ pact

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NEW YORK, Sept 20 (Reuters) - The worst case outcome for ongoing negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico to re-work the North American Free Trade Agreement is that the trade pact is "torn up," Cargill chief executive David MacLennan said on Wednesday. About 10 percent of the company's revenues are related to NAFTA, MacLennan, the head of the global commodities trader, said on the sidelines of the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York. "We're tracking them very closely," MacLennan said of the negotiations, which enter their third round next week. "A significant portion of our corn sweetener business is NAFTA-related." MacLennan said that the pact has provided…
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U.S. regulator aims to allow dicamba use with safeguards

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WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is aiming to allow farmers to spray the controversial weed-killer dicamba next year, but with additional rules for its use, an official with the agency said on Tuesday. Reuben Baris, acting chief of the herbicide branch of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs, said the agency had not yet determined what steps it would take to mitigate problems with dicamba drifting into non target fields. The EPA has discussed with state regulators ways to prevent such crop damage. Use of dicamba, which is produced by BASF SE and Monsanto Co, spiked after U.S. regulators last year approved a…
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Feeder cattle hit 2-month high, hogs firm on technical buying

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CHICAGO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - U.S. livestock futures gained on technical buying on Tuesday, with feeder cattle rising to a two-month high and lean hogs climbing by as much as 2.6 percent, traders said. Fresh news remained scant, but traders were more optimistic about higher cash prices for both cattle and hogs. Declining prices for corn cut feed costs for livestock producers, bolstering profit margins and boosting demand for feeder cattle. "I think the (cattle) market is trying to bottom," said independent livestock trader Tommy Beall. "Corn is cheap enough... and that's supportive." Chicago Mercantile Exchange October feeder cattle firmed by 0.850 cent to settle at 152.800 cents…
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Canola edges higher despite bearish StatsCan report

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Canola futures edged higher Tuesday for a fifth straight session, supported by crusher buying and slowing farmer sales, traders said. Rain in areas across the Prairies is stalling harvest. There was snow northwest of Edmonton. Canola’s mild strength today did not come from soybeans, which ended the day a little lower. STATISTICS CANADA There was also bearish news from Statistics Canada. A StatsCan report based in part on satellite and climate data put Canada's 2017 canola crop at 19.7 million tonnes, or 1.5 million tonnes more than the government's Aug. 31 estimate of 18.2 million tonnes, based on a farmer survey. The all-wheat crop was pegged at 27.1 million tonnes, up…
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Canada wheat production down, according to new StatsCan analysis

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OTTAWA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Wheat production in Canada fell by 14.5 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, according to a Statistics Canada report based in part on satellite and agroclimate data. The report, released on Tuesday, also said oat production grew by 19 percent while barley production fell by 16.8 percent. Canola production was forecast to edge up by 0.5 percent. StatsCan said the lower overall wheat yield was due to very dry conditions in the south central region of the Prairies. Production estimates for Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are calculated using model-based yields. Estimates for Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British…
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Bayer says needs more time for Monsanto deal approval

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MONHEIM, Germany, Sept 19 (Reuters) - German drugs and pesticides group Bayer said on Tuesday it was now likely to be early next year before it can complete its US$66 billion deal to acquire U.S. group Monsanto, later than previously expected. The European Commission has been scrutinising the proposed takeover with a deadline of Jan. 8 but Bayer said in a statement it had asked the regulator for an extension on the investigation to Jan. 22, to which the EU Commission responded by saying it would take a decision shortly. Liam Condon, head of Bayer's Crop Science division, said: "An anticipated closing of the deal in early 2018 is now more likely than end of 2017." He also expressed his…
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