GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day


Soybeans Up as Export Sales Build

Soybeans for July delivery rose 0.8% to $8.57 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Wednesday as the USDA confirmed another export sale of U.S. soybeans this morning, boosting the market's confidence that the phase one trade deal is still in force. Wheat for July delivery rose 0.8% to $5.12 a bushel. Corn for July delivery fell 0.1% to $3.24 a bushel.

186,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans have been sold to unknown destinations, the USDA said Wednesday. Of that, 66,000 tons are for delivery in the 2019-20 marketing year, and the remainder are for delivery in 2020-21.

Ahold Delhaize: Food Lion Buys 62 US Stores From Southeastern Grocers

Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV said on Wednesday that its Food Lion brand was buying 62 BI-LO and Harveys Supermarket stores from Southeastern Grocers for an undisclosed amount.

The Netherlands-based owner of grocery chains such as Stop & Shop and Giant Food said that the stores were located in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and they will be converted to Food Lion stores as part of the brand's continued expansion in the southeast of the U.S.


Cargill Closes a Window Into a Food Giant's Performance -- Market Talk

1157 ET - Cargill's decision to halt quarterly financial reporting and no longer disclose annual profits ends a practice that stretched back to 1996, and gave farmers, restaurant chains, packaged food makers and commodity-market speculators a window into one of the world's biggest food companies. Cargill's one of the biggest buyers of corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops, a top animal-feed producer and major meatpacker, processing beef and turkey in North America and chicken in Asia and Latin America. The company says its move, which comes after skipping a scheduled springtime earnings release due to the pandemic, frees up capital and aligns with other privately held companies' practices. (; @jacobbunge)

Chicken Stocks Sink on Executives' Price-Fixing Indictments -- Market Talk

13:01 ET - Shares of poultry processors slide after four industry executives, including the CEO of No. 2 US chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride, are indicted for price fixing by the US Justice Department. Pilgrim's stock, after a brief trading halt, falls 13% to $18.20. Pilgrim's CEO Jayson Penn, as well as a former Pilgrim's executive, were named in the indictment, WSJ reported; Pilgrim's had no immediate comment. Shares of other chicken companies not named in the indictment also decline, with Tyson Foods down 3.3% and Sanderson Farms down 8.7%. The DOJ's move follows years of civil lawsuits from restaurant operators and supermarket chains, alleging price-fixing by major poultry companies. (; @jacobbunge)

Guidance for Protecting Farmworkers Falls Short, Critics Say -- Market Talk

1702 ET - Labor unions and worker advocacy groups say guidance issued by the Trump administration to protect farmworkers from coronavirus pales in comparison to what's needed as outbreaks grow on farms. OSHA and the CDC released recommendations for steps agricultural employers should take to prevent the virus' spread, including screening farmworkers for symptoms, encouraging the use of face coverings and conducting more rigorous cleaning of shared housing. But critics say the guidance -- which is voluntary -- falls short. "Guidance is a series of vague suggestions that growers can ignore with impunity," said Erik Nicholson, national vice president for United Farm Workers, a union. "The essential women and men employed in agriculture need binding rules and regulations that are clear... and enforceable." (; @jessenewman13)


Hog Slide Extends Into June -- Market Talk

15:17 ET - A slide in lean hog futures beginning in May appears to have continued into June. Hog futures have shed over 11 cents per pound, or 17.9%, since May 4. "This is coming from the resumption of processing at packing plants in the US following Covid-19 outbreaks," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. "Packers are also facing a large backlog of hogs to process, and these are coming in at higher weights due to longer feeding times." CME July lean hogs futures closed trading Wednesday down 2.6% at 53.475 cents per pound. August live cattle futures finished 1.2% higher at 97.35 cents per pound. (; @kirkmaltais)

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  06-03-20 1734ET
  Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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