CHICAGO (Reuters) – Retail giant Wal-Mart (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) joined a group of volunteers counting corn ears and soybean pods in fields in the United States recently in a clear sign traditional crop tours are expanding their appeal from farmers and traders to all those with a stake in the U.S. food chain.
These annual trips to gather detailed on-the-ground information on crops in the world’s biggest grains producer have long been seen as a way to glean market-moving details not found in commodity analyst notes or government reports.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Global commodity merchant Cargill Inc is revamping its energy trading unit after two weak quarters in a row and refocusing on U.S. oil markets for a “fresh start” in fiscal 2015, a top executive said on Thursday.
Cargill was caught wrong-footed on energy positions during an exceptionally cold North American winter that triggered record volatility in energy prices. A large third-quarter loss was followed by damage control in the fourth quarter ended May 31. Energy trading was a factor behind a 12 percent decline in net earnings for the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter.
By Karl Plume
(Reuters) – Cargill Inc [CARG.UL], a top global commodities trader, said on Thursday its quarterly earnings fell as drought limited farm services opportunities in the United States and due to a loss stemming from the drop in the value of Venezuela’s currency.
Minneapolis-based Cargill was also stung by elevated rail shipping costs and railcar shortages in the northern U.S. Plains states, which have similarly impacted rival agribusinesses Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Bunge Ltd (BG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
Aug 7 (Reuters) – Cargill Inc, a top global
commodities trader, said on Thursday its quarterly earnings fell
as drought limited farm services opportunities in the United
States and due to a loss stemming from the drop in the value of
Minneapolis-based Cargill was also stung by elevated rail
shipping costs and railcar shortages in the northern U.S. Plains
states, which have similarly impacted rival agribusinesses
Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd.
CHICAGO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures jumped nearly
3 percent on Monday, the strongest gain in 3-1/2 months, as
grain quality concerns in western Europe due to persistent rain
increased investor appetite for U.S. supplies.
Corn and soybeans climbed in a short-covering bounce from
recent lows and as pockets of dry weather around the U.S.
Midwest sparked some scattered production concerns. But prices
remained anchored by the prospect of near-record production in
the United States.
(Reuters) – Russia’s threatened ban on U.S. poultry imports, the latest move in a sanctions skirmish over Moscow’s support of rebels in Ukraine, has agriculture companies alert to the risks of a conflict that’s already roiled trading of crops ranging from soy, beef and fruit to California pistachios.
Moscow has struck back against trade sanctions following the downing of a Malaysian jetliner last month by imposing food restrictions, and would add U.S. chickens to Ukrainian soy and other products Russia has blocked since it seized Crimea earlier this year: Australian beef, Latvian and Lithuanian pork, Moldovan fruit and Ukrainian juice.
July 31 (Reuters) – Bunge Ltd, one of the world’s
largest agricultural trading houses, on Thursday reported
higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings as strong demand
and record large soybean crops in the Southern Hemisphere
bolstered oilseed processing margins.
The White Plains, New York-based company forecast a solid
second half of 2014, skewed toward the fourth quarter, on steady
global demand for crops and as the U.S. and European harvests
CHICAGO, July 23 (Reuters) – As U.S. farmers turn in record
grain crops this autumn, many will have a powerful new tool –
giant sausage-shaped storage bags – to help them avoid the
lowest prices in years and gain more control over trade with
giants such as Cargill Inc.
Demand has surged this summer for the white polyethylene
bags the length of a football field and the equipment required
to fill them, according to manufacturers and wholesalers.
CHICAGO, July 8 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean futures fell for
the seventh straight session on Tuesday, and corn slid lower for
a sixth day as favorable weather around the Midwest buoyed
forecasts of record crops this autumn.
Wheat prices were narrowly mixed after hitting a four-year
low the previous day, with prices anchored by rising supplies
from an accelerating harvest and weak export demand for the U.S.
Some investors were positioning ahead of Friday’s monthly
U.S. Department of Agriculture supply and demand report, which
was expected to show higher old-crop soybean ending stocks and
record-large corn and soybean harvests.
Despite pockets of excessive moisture and flooding, crop
development conditions around the Midwest have been largely
ideal. Corn this month is entering its critical pollination
stage, a period when excessive heat and dryness can clip yields.
The USDA on Monday reported that the corn crop was in the
best shape for early July in 15 years and that soy crop
conditions were the best in 20 years.
“Weather outlooks are still suggesting below-normal
temperatures for corn pollination and so far no threat for
soybean production in the July/August time frame,” said Rich
Nelson, chief strategist with Illinois-based consultancy
Chicago Board Of Trade July soybeans were down 21
cents, or 1.5 percent, at a 4-1/2 month low of $13.42 a bushel
by 10:09 a.m. CDT (1509 GMT), while new-crop November futures
eased 4-1/4 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $11.21-1/4.
CBOT December corn declined 2 cents, or 0.5 percent,
to $4.05-1/4 a bushel. The spot corn contract hit a
four-year low of $4.05-1/2 a bushel on Monday.
The wheat market remained anchored by plentiful supplies in
key exporting countries and favorable weather for the spring
crop in the United States.
CBOT September wheat gained 1/2 cent to $5.57-1/4 a
bushel after posting its steepest percentage drop since March
2013 in the previous session.
The USDA on Monday reported that 70 percent of the U.S.
spring wheat crop was in good to excellent shape, unchanged from
a week earlier, and winter wheat was rated 31 percent good to
excellent, a point higher than the previous week.
Better-than-expected harvest results in Kansas, the top U.S.
wheat-growing state and part of a zone that suffered severe
growing weather this year, have also dampened prices this week.
Falling wheat prices have stirred some demand from
importers, but cheaper Black Sea production has pushed U.S.
wheat out of the frame in a string of tenders. Meanwhile, an
outlook for higher global bulk shipping rates further dampened
the export outlook for U.S. wheat shippers.
RIC Name Last Pct Chg Net Chg Pvs Close
1Cc1 CORN JUL4 408.25 -0.24 -1.00 409.25
1Sc1 SOYBEANS JUL4 1338.50 -1.80 -24.50 1363.00
1SMc1 SOY MEAL JUL4 437.20 -1.46 -6.50 443.70
1BOc1 SOYBEAN OIL JUL4 37.91 -1.17 -0.45 38.36
1Wc1 WHEAT SRW JUL4 545.50 0.09 0.50 545.00
1RRc1 ROUGH RICE JUL4 14.62 14.62
BL2c1 M.WHEAT EUR NOV4 182.75 0.14 0.25 182.50
CLc1 LIGHT CRUDE AUG4 103.52 -0.01 -0.01 103.53
.DJI DJ INDU AVERAGE 16908.20 -0.68 -116.01 17024.21
XAU= GOLD 1314.50 -5.39 1319.89
.BADI BALTIC EXCH DRY 881.00 -0.79 -7.00 888.00
.DXY US DOLLAR INDEX 80.17 -0.06 -0.05 80.22
CHICAGO, July 3 (Reuters) – The Illinois Supreme Court
decided Thursday that healthcare for retired state workers is a
constitutionally protected pension benefit, a ruling with
implications for pension reform legislation passed by the state
legislature earlier this year.
The 6-to-1 decision allows the continuation of class-action
challenges to a 2012 Illinois law that gave the state the right
to impose healthcare insurance premiums on its retired workers.
The challenge to the state effort to change healthcare benefits
centered on a constitutional provision that membership in any
public sector pension or retirement system “shall be an
enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which
shall not be diminished or impaired.”