CHICAGO, July 22 (Reuters) – Last week’s heat wave across
the central and southern United States stressed the developing
corn and soybean crops, causing the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to cut its ratings for both on Monday.
USDA rated 63 percent of the U.S. corn crop good to
excellent, versus 66 percent a week ago. For soybeans, 64
percent of crop was rated good to excellent, down 1 percentage
point from a week ago.
, July 16 (Reuters) – Soaring U.S. farmland
prices remain a cause of concern for many bankers and
policymakers, but the forces driving gains nowadays are
different from the debt-driven farmland crash in the 1980s,
Kansas City Federal Reserve president Esther George said on
George, who flagged concerns about a potential farmland
“bubble” in remarks earlier this year, has argued consistently
for higher interest rates and an end of the Fed’s easy money
policies. But in remarks to a gathering of bankers and business
leaders at a conference here, she expressed confidence that both
farmers and banks had learned and remember the hard lessons of
being “over-leveraged” in the 1970s. When the Fed raised
interest rates sharply in the 1980s to subdue inflation,
thousands of farmers were pushed into bankruptcy as land values
popped and collateral for their bank loans collapsed.
Chicago (Reuters) – U.S. drought conditions expanded for the fourth week in a row as dryness persisted in the western half of the country, including key crop states of Kansas and Nebraska, while conditions in the South reached their driest in two months, according to a weekly drought report.
In contrast, the eastern half of the United States remained out of drought, given steady summer rains and cool temperatures.
CHICAGO, July 3 (Reuters) – Drought conditions expanded in
the contiguous United States over the past week given persistent
heat and dryness in the southern Plains, while the eastern half
of the country is out of drought amid steady rains, according to
a weekly drought report.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, issued by state and federal
experts on Wednesday, said drought areas in the “moderate to
exceptional” categories grew to 44.06 percent, from 43.84 a week
CHICAGO, July 1 (Reuters) – It was business as usual on the
first day of pit trading for Kansas City Board of Trade wheat on
the floor of CME’s Chicago Board of Trade on Monday, marking the
start of a new era for U.S. wheat futures trading, traders and
There was no fanfare, with no celebrities ringing an opening
bell and no donuts or cake served in the hallways to mark the
transfer of KCBT floor trading to the Chicago floor. The KCBT
closed its pits for good on Friday following CME Group’s
purchase of KCBT last fall.
CHICAGO, June 27 (Reuters) – Grain analysts are nervously
expecting the U.S. Agriculture Department to drop another
bombshell on Friday when it issues its U.S. quarterly corn
stockpile estimate, a key number they have wildly missed
forecasting the past three years.
The missed forecasts have resulted in wild price moves in
the world’s biggest grain market, Chicago Board of Trade
CHICAGO, June 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of
Agriculture has commissioned an industry study on the agency’s
estimate of U.S. stockpiles of corn to address widespread
concerns about the accuracy of the bellwether quarterly report,
USDA chief economist Joseph Glauber said on Thursday.
“The presumption from a lot of people is the survey is
wrong,” Glauber told Reuters on the sidelines of a grain
industry meeting in Chicago. “I have a project ongoing right now
looking at that issue. I contracted out some work.”
CHICAGO, June 19 (Reuters) – With the U.S. grain harvest set
to bounce back and pressure crop prices after last year’s
drought, some economists have cautioned that sky-high U.S.
farmland prices may be a bubble about to burst.
Kansas City Fed President Esther George has warned of rising
farmland values. Capital Economics economist Paul Ashworth said
in a recent research note to clients “there does appear to be a
localized bubble in Corn Belt farmland values” and the biggest
factor has been a surge in grain prices.
CHICAGO, June 7 (Reuters) – Demand from overseas buyers
remained quiet in the U.S. white wheat market in the Pacific
Northwest this week, after the discovery of a genetically
modified (GMO) wheat strain in Oregon was reported May 29, grain
merchants said on Friday.
Japan, the U.S. largest white wheat customer, declined for
the second straight week to bid at its weekly white wheat tender
due to concerns about importing the unapproved type of wheat.
South Korea has formally suspended U.S. wheat purchases, while
the European Union said it would step up testing.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Financial trading in world markets has grown so lightning-fast that effective regulation is growing tougher by the second, increasing the threat of crashes sparked by hoaxes, electronic glitches or yet-unknown causes.
The latest alarm was triggered by a fake tweet saying that the White House was bombed, prompting a U.S. market nosedive that ended minutes later when the Associated Press said its Twitter account had been hacked. In 2010 U.S. stocks plunged in a “flash crash” following aggressive sales of stock-index futures by a mutual fund.