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GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS : Top Stories of the Day

11/24/2020 | 05:28pm

TOP STORIES:

Wheat Up as U.S. Crop Condition Worsens

Wheat for March delivery rose 2.2% to $6.17 1/2 a bushel, on the Chicago Board of Trade Tuesday, in reaction to the USDA reporting a decline in the condition of U.S. winter wheat. Soybeans for January delivery were unchanged at $11.91 1/4 a bushel. Corn for March delivery fell 0.2% to $4.32 1/2 a bushel.

The state of U.S. winter wheat being in good or excellent condition dropped 3 points in the past week to 43%, according to the USDA. The main problem for the U.S. wheat crop is Texas, where only 24% of its crop is in good/excellent condition. The decline in crop condition comes amid dry weather throughout the world, which is expected to lift prices going forward.

Agricultural Commodities to Rise in 2021 -- Market Talk

0914 GMT - Agricultural commodity markets are set to begin 2021 with high prices and a range of factors that are likely to see prices hike further, according to Rabobank's annual outlook report. "The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw countries across the world stockpile goods, along with expected poor harvests due to dry weather conditions, are set to increase agri-commodity prices." It forecasts the strongest upside potential in soybeans, corn and wheat. However, Stefan Vogel, global strategist and head of agri-commodity markets at Rabobank notes that 2021 does bring its own risks. Even with rising hopes for a vaccine, Covid-19 remains a risk that is difficult to predict, while La Niña has the potential to hit crop yields across the world, he says. (lucy.craymer@wsj.com)

Food Makers Tweak Portfolios With Fresh Deals -- Market Talk

0832 ET - Dealmaking in the packaged-food industry continues on, with spice-maker McCormick this morning confirming a WSJ report that it struck a deal to buy the maker of Cholula Hot Sauce from a private-equity owner for $800M in cash. Meanwhile, last week Mars, the privately held food and candy giant, said it would buy bar-maker Kind's business in North America and in October, Smucker agreed to sell Crisco to B&G Foods for $550M. In September, Kraft Heinz said it would sell its US natural-cheese business and a mix of other cheese products to a French company for $3.2B. (micah.maidenberg@wsj.com; @MicahMaidenberg)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

JM Smucker Says 2Q Helped By Heightened Cooking From Home During Pandemic

JM Smucker Co. said it carved out gains across its consumer-food and coffee businesses during its latest quarter as consumers continue to eat more meals at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company behind Jif peanut butter, fruit spreads, Folgers coffee and other consumer products on Tuesday reported a profit of $230.8 million, or $2.02 a share, for its fiscal-second quarter, up from $211.2 million, or $1.85 a share, for the year earlier.

THE MARKETS:

Lean Hog Futures Sink After Yesterday's Uptick -- Market Talk

15:55 ET - Lean hog futures trading on the CME closed down 0.6%, to 66.75 cents per pound. The decline in the hogs contract comes despite the USDA data showing a drop in the amount of US pork held in US cold storage. Pork in cold storage totaled 448.2 million pounds at the end of October, down from 612 million pounds in 2019. Pork bellies had the greatest decline, going from 45.4 million pounds a year ago to just 19.7 million pounds at the end of October. Even so, traders remain nervous about continued strong export demand. "How long this demand will last is questionable as China continues to rebuild its domestic hog herd," says Karl Setzer of AgriVisor. Live cattle futures finished up 0.9% at $1.1395 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-24-20 1727ET

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