Corn Futures Slide as Coronavirus Infections Accelerate
Corn for March delivery fell 0.9% to $3.79 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday, with hopes for stronger export demand in the near future being dashed as coronavirus outbreak appears to be growing. Wheat for March delivery fell 0.6% to $5.44 1/4 a bushel. Soybeans for March delivery rose 0.4% to $8.96 1/4 a bushel.
China reported a tenfold increase in new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, causing traders to worry about demand for grains. "The CBOT has lacked volume as traders try to understand the demand risk of China's coronavirus against its pledge to open its markets and secure U.S. ag goods as early as next week," AgResource said.
Kraft Heinz Plans Marketing Binge to Lift Sales -- 2nd Update
Kraft Heinz Co. and other big food makers are ramping up advertising after years of cost cutting, recognizing a need to generate new enthusiasm for their condiments, candies and snacks.
Kraft Heinz, which reported lower fourth-quarter sales on Thursday, said additional spending was necessary to bolster its strongest products as shoppers drifted toward lower-price store brands and newer niche products.
For the fourth quarter, Kraft Heinz posted a 2.2% drop in comparable sales globally, including a 2.7% decline in the U.S., its biggest market. The sales metric excludes the effect of currency fluctuations, mergers and divestitures.
Bayer Wants To Sell Its Corn Short -- Market Talk
10:00 ET - Bayer doesn't want its corn to grow up too fast. The seed and pesticide manufacturer is developing a new, shorter variety of corn that the company says will reduce farmers' crop losses, as shorter stalks will be less likely to break due to wind. Shorter corn plants would also let farmers run sprayers in their fields later in the season, rather than spraying insecticides from planes, which Bayer's agricultural R&D head says will allow farmers spray less and with more precision. The company says the shorter corn varieties could eventually be planted across 220M acres, including farms in Europe and Asia. (email@example.com; @jacobbunge)
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Farmland Sales Pick Up in Plains States -- Market Talk
1536 ET - Farmland sales increased in 2019 across US Plains States like Missouri and Nebraska after years of declines, according to a Kansas City Fed survey. About 74% of farmland sales in the KC Fed district last year were made to other farmers, versus investment funds and other speculators; farmers' percentage of land purchases has steadily decreased since 2014. Farmland values in the district increased slightly in 2019's fourth quarter, but more land coming onto the market could push values lower, Fed researchers said. (firstname.lastname@example.org; @jacobbunge)
Mexico's Grupo Bimbo to Move into Kazakhstan -- Market Talk
12:19 ET - Mexican baker Grupo Bimbo is adding Kazakhstan to its global reach with a 51% stake in a joint venture with Food Town, the exclusive supplier of buns and McDonald's franchisee in the central Asian republic. The operation is expected to be completed this quarter, bringing to 33 the number of countries where Bimbo, the world's largest bakeries company by sales, has a presence. Financial details weren't disclosed. Bimbo shares fall 2.2% to $33.18. (email@example.com)
Cattle Futures Turn Corner, Hogs Finish Higher -- Market Talk
15:33 ET - After spending much of the day trading lower, live cattle futures finished trading Thursday up 0.6% at $1.18525 per pound--making it two sessions in a row that cattle futures have improved. In the past month, cattle futures have shed 8.7%. However, they've since recovered 1.3%, leading some traders to suggest they've been oversold. Meanwhile, hog futures finished the day with a rise of 0.5% at 64.075 cents per pound. The decline puts an end to a three-day slide in the hog contract, although for the week hog futures remain off 3.3%. (firstname.lastname@example.org; @kirkmaltais)