Christine's Feed
Jun 12, 2014

Exclusive: CME sees no wheat convergence issue despite widening spread concerns

CHICAGO (Reuters) – CME Group (CME.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has scrutinized trading in its wheat futures contract after receiving complaints that heavy last-minute spread trading could influence a hike in storage rates, but found no evidence that was the case, its top commodities researcher told Reuters.

The current price spread between July and September wheat contracts on the world’s biggest agricultural commodities exchange is wide enough to prompt a 3-cent increase in storage rates for the first time in three years.

May 15, 2014

U.S. grain belt land values ease in first quarter

CHICAGO, May 15 (Reuters) – Farmland prices in the U.S.
Plains and Midwest eased along with farm income in the first
quarter of 2014 and more weakness was expected into the summer,
according to Federal Reserve Bank quarterly surveys issued on

Tighter profit margins for crop producers were a drag on
farm income in the first quarter despite improved profitability
in the livestock sector, the Kansas City Fed reported.

Apr 28, 2014

Hedge fund buying doubles Minneapolis Grain Exchange seat prices

CHICAGO, April 28 (Reuters) – Hedge fund manager Murray
Stahl has bought 13 percent of the seats on the last independent
U.S. grain exchange, doubling prices and fueling speculation he
may want a platform to trade his fund’s products or even to cash
in on a potential takeover, industry sources said on Monday.

The Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) survived rounds of
consolidation among global exchanges that created giants like
CME Group, based in Chicago, and ICE, a network
of exchanges including the New York and Euronext stock markets.

Apr 21, 2014

U.S. dairy insurance plan a template for reluctant livestock farmers

CHICAGO, April 21 (Reuters) – A plan in the new U.S. farm
law to help dairy farmers limit losses from rising feed costs or
falling milk prices may become a model in coming years for
livestock producers who have resisted similar types of

The plan, called the Margin Protection Program, takes a page
from the popular multibillion-dollar government-backed crop
insurance programs for grain, cotton and other crops. In short,
MPP will create formulas to insure against loss of “revenue”
rather than actual loss of animals.

Apr 2, 2014

Iowa farmland prices fall more than 5 percent -survey

CHICAGO, April 2 (Reuters) – Farmland values in Iowa, the
top U.S. corn and soybean state, fell 5.4 percent over the past
six months, under pressure from lower grain prices, according to
a benchmark survey of realtors.

Still, the market remains underpinned by strong demand from
wealthy farmers and non-farming investors, said the Iowa
Realtors Land Institute survey, which is based on information
from local farm real estate brokers, lenders and others with
knowledge of land prices.

Mar 14, 2014

Smithfield halts hog kill at N. Carolina plant due to hog virus -sources

March 14 (Reuters) – Smithfield Foods Inc, the world’s
largest pork processor, suspended hog slaughter at its Tar Heel,
North Carolina, plant on Friday because of the spread of the
deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) which has
tightened hog supplies, industry sources said.

The Tar Heel plant, the company’s largest pork processing
facility, reduced its slaughter schedule this week to four days
from five days, said the sources, who have knowledge of the
plant’s operations and hog purchases. They requested anonymity
because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. crop insurance reformers fume as farmers sign up for 2014

CHICAGO, March 14 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers this week
finalized their crop insurance plans for spring planting with
critics of the government-subsidized program saying insurers are
set up for a bonanza after passage of the new five-year farm
bill last month.

Farmers who sign up for crop insurance by March 15 won’t in
fact enjoy the enhanced subsidies of the new federal law, which
go into effect with the 2015 crop year.

Feb 22, 2014

Facebook’s big buy, WhatsApp messaging app, back up after outage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – WhatsApp, the rapidly expanding mobile messaging app, suffered an outage for more than three hours on Saturday, frustrating users just days after its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion.

“WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime…,” WhatsApp tweeted to its more than 1 million Twitter followers on Saturday around 5:48 p.m. EST (2248 GMT).

Feb 19, 2014

U.S. farm bill holds crop insurance coverage steady for 2014

CHICAGO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers and bankers have
almost a year to get ready for major changes in 2015 as crop
insurance rather than direct cash payments to producers becomes
the centerpiece of farm policy under the five-year farm bill
signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month

For 2014 plantings, analysts said there will be no major
changes to crop insurance except sharply lower grain prices than
in 2013, which will lower potential payments and premiums. Then
in 2015, farmers will have a new insurance option for
supplemental coverage based on local county yields.

Feb 14, 2014

U.S. Plains farmland holds value, but market soft -KC Fed

Feb 14 (Reuters) – Farmland values in the U.S. central and
southern Plains held steady in the fourth quarter from the
previous period, but the market tone is soft, and bankers expect
weakness in the coming months, the Federal Reserve Bank of
Kansas City said on Friday.

“Cropland values increased only modestly in the fourth
quarter compared with the rapid pace of the past few years,” the
Kansas City Fed said in its quarterly survey of 226 farm

    • 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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