Soybeans Gain as New U.S.-China Talks Get Started
Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.5% to $8.93 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, in reaction to Chinese officials arriving to Washington, D.C., to begin renewed trade talks. Corn for December delivery edged 0.4% higher to $3.72 3/4 a bushel. Wheat for December delivery fell 0.3% to $4.88 a bushel.
A measured level of optimism circulated among grains traders about the restart of U.S.-China trade negotiations. The Washington talks come ahead of a high-level meeting scheduled for October. "The markets like the fact that the two sides are talking," said Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone.
Olive Garden Boosts Darden Restaurants Results
Darden Restaurants Inc. said sales rose in its latest quarter as stronger results from its flagship Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands offset declines from its smaller chains.
The Orlando-based restaurant operator said on Thursday that total first-quarter sales grew 3.5% from a year earlier to $2.13 billion, slightly below what Wall Street analysts were expecting, according to FactSet.
Overall, the restaurant chain reported a profit of $170.6 million, or $1.37 a share, compared with $166.2 million, or $1.32 a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $1.36 a share.
Perdue Hopeful for Ethanol Compromise -- Market Talk
1423 ET - A new proposal that will mitigate damage to US ethanol producers from waivers to small gas refineries allowing them to not mix ethanol into their gas may come as soon as this afternoon, US Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue said during a press conference. "We hope that can happen this afternoon," Perdue said, adding that such an agreement would come after President Trump meets with US senators from corn-producing states. Perdue cautioned, the decision is ultimately Trump's, but the president wants to move on to other issues, he said. (firstname.lastname@example.org, @kirkmaltais)
STORIES OF INTEREST:
Glencore Joins Efforts to Modernize Agribusiness Shipping -- Market Talk
12:12 ET - Glencore's agriculture unit has joined a group of the biggest agribusiness companies in their efforts to modernize global shipping transactions. In a bid to drive down costs and boost efficiency. Archer Daniels, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus last October said they would use emerging digital technologies such as blockchain and artificial-intelligence to automate grain and oilseed transactions. China's Cofco got on board in December. The group says it expects to launch the new platform in the second half of next year. (email@example.com)
Mexican Tomato Growers Sign US Suspension Pact -- Market Talk
16:14 ET - Mexican tomato growers sign an agreement with the Commerce Department that suspends an antidumping investigation against imports from Mexico and the prospects of a 25% duty. Growers says there are some changes from the draft agreement reached in August, and that they welcomed Commerce's commitment to timely inspections of shipments by the USDA and continued access for Mexican growers to sell directly to US retailers. "We were able to secure a number of important provisions that will make this deal work for our distributors and customers," says Mario Robles of the Sinaloa tomato growers association. The agreement includes increased inspections, better enforcement and higher reference prices for Mexican tomatoes. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beyond Meat Names Sanjay Shah Operating Chief
Beyond Meat has hired former Amazon and Tesla executive Sanjay Shah as chief operating officer.
Effective Wednesday, Mr. Shah assumed responsibility for global operations and production.
Hogs Finish Slightly Higher, Cattle Down -- Market Talk
15:23 ET - After a back-and-forth day, December hog futures finish 0.2% higher at 67.95 cents a pound. A rise of over 3% in hog futures earlier today was due to computerized fund trading, not connected to fundamentals. Longer term though, traders believe the Chinese will return to the export market for pork--a sentiment shared by US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "We know their pork herd has been decimated by African swine fever," Perdue says. "We know they're in the market for pork." Meanwhile, live cattle futures finish down 0.3% to $1.05825. (email@example.com; @kirkmaltais)