Christine's Feed
Oct 30, 2013

Trick or Treat? Grain hedgers haunted by the ghost of MF Global

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Two years ago on Halloween thousands of U.S. grain farmers got the scare of their lives when broker MF Global collapsed and more than a billion dollars of their money went missing.

MF Global customers have now, through a court-appointed trustee, recovered about 98 percent of the money, which had been in supposedly “safe” margin accounts. The balance is expected by year’s end.

Oct 22, 2013

USDA to keep releasing crop reports during CME trading hours, despite complaints: official

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A top U.S. Agriculture Department official said key monthly U.S. crop reports will continue to be released during CME Group Inc trading hours, despite complaints from the grain industry that high-speed traders have access to the data before it becomes available on public websites.

“This business of the markets being open during the release of the reports is not going away and will stay with us for a while,” Gerald Bange, chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Outlook Board, told a group of agricultural economists and traders at a meeting in Chicago on Monday.

Oct 17, 2013

Cargill to close Lockney, Texas, cattle feedlot in summer 2014

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness conglomerate Cargill Inc CARG.UL said it will close its Lockney, Texas, feedlot next summer due to shrinking supplies of cattle and high feed costs.

The pending closure comes months after the company shut one of its Texas beef packing plants also because of fewer cattle.

Oct 11, 2013

Grain trade in the dark without monthly USDA crop report

CHICAGO (Reuters) – For the first time in 40 years, farmers, exporters, processors and traders will have to live without a key monthly crop report that they rely on to forecast market direction because of the U.S. government shutdown.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture report that was due to be released on Friday covers everything from the size of the U.S. corn harvest to China’s soybean imports.

Oct 9, 2013

Cargill profits slump, grain sector hit by 2012 drought

CHICAGO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill
Inc on Wednesday reported a 41 percent drop in
quarterly profits as the lingering effects of the 2012 severe
drought in the United States reduced grain-handling
opportunities.

The company struggled with razor-thin inventories in the
world’s top farm exporter, which kept grain pricey and lowered
processing volume and export demand during the summer months.

Oct 3, 2013

USDA shutdown hobbles livestock markets, grain traders make do

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. livestock markets are reeling from this week’s disruption of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the federal government shutdown drags on, while grain traders are muddling through without a key report on weekly export sales.

“It’s a bigger deal for the livestock traders as they rely on daily numbers – slaughter, wholesale pork and beef prices. On the grains, you’re missing more of the big picture,” said Don Roose, president of Des Moines-Iowa brokerage U.S. Commodities, which serves both crop and livestock customers.

Sep 27, 2013

U.S. farmland market cooling entering key auction season

CHICAGO, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The red-hot rush for U.S. grain
land is cooling after years of record prices, but prime acreage
is still attracting top dollar in the heart of the Corn Belt so
far this fall, according to land auctioneers.

“On higher quality land it’s been pretty strong steady, but
on medium and lower quality land we’ve seen some pullback,” said
Randy Hertz, CEO of Iowa-based Hertz Farm Management. “There’s a
lot of uncertainty out here in terms of what the future holds.”

Sep 11, 2013

Soy price premium to corn points to record soy acres in S.America

CHICAGO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Worry that a late-summer heat
wave in the U.S. Midwest is shrinking the soybean crop, boosting
the premium of soybean prices over corn, which should encourage
South American farmers to plant a bumper soy crop there, traders
said.

The Chicago Board of Trade soy/corn ratio, or the price of
soy divided by corn, is a keystone annual reference point used
by farmers in the United States and South America to determine
profitability and allocate acres for planting each crop. To a
great extent, both hemisphere crops are also hedged at the CBOT.

Sep 11, 2013

Cargill picks new CEO to take over December 1

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Agribusiness Cargill Inc CARG.UL on Wednesday said its chief executive officer will step down on December 1 in the latest management shuffle among the world’s top agricultural trading houses.

CEO Gregory Page, 62, will be replaced by David MacLennan, Cargill’s president and chief operating officer, as part of the company’s ongoing succession plans, the company said.

Sep 5, 2013

Illinois farm mangers see land values easing from record prices

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Farmland values in the key U.S. grain state of Illinois are seen easing slowly over the next 12 months after years of record prices due to a fall in both corn prices and government subsidies for crop insurance, according to a survey of the state’s farm managers.

Eighty percent of the farm managers and rural appraisers responding to a mid-year survey of the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers expected the value of the state’s farmland to hold steady or decline over the next year. (Survey: link.reuters.com/caf82v)

    • About Christine

      "As community editor for Thomson Reuters global on-line chatroom for grains traders and analysts, the Global Ags Forum, I lead chats on the latest factors driving grains and oilseeds markets worldwide, organize chat events with expert industry sources and promote the room to potential market players. Based in Chicago, I also report on U.S. cash and futures grains and oilseeds markets."
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