Wheat Down as Weather Stays Wet
Wheat for September delivery fell 0.9% to $5.29 1/2 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday, with rainfall expected to aid sizable crop growth in the Midwest. Corn for December delivery rose 0.2% to $3.35 1/2 a bushel. Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.5% to $9.00 a bushel.
Rainfall expected this weekend puts some pressure on grains futures Thursday. "Corn and wheat futures remain reluctant to break through chart-based resistance amid favorable Central U.S. and Canadian weather," said AgResource. Scattered showers are expected to persist into next week across the Corn Belt with temperatures near or above normal, according to agricultural weather research firm DTN. Longer term, traders view world grain supply as ample, even if export demand for U.S. crops appears to be improving. "A mixed close is anticipated, with longer term direction still a function of U.S. crop sizes," said AgResource.
STORIES OF INTEREST:
Hershey Flags Risks To All-Important Halloween Sales -- Market Talk
08:09 ET - Halloween-related sales make up about 10% of the annual total at Hershey, and the candy marker is working to rethink how the holiday will work amid the pandemic. It won't be like years past, according to Hershey CEO Michele Buck, with kids trick or treating less out of Covid-19 worries. "We expect the virus and consumer sentiment to evolve in the months leading up to the season, which could present some risk to sell-through" tied to the holiday, she says. Trick or treating represents about roughly half of consumer spending for Halloween, with the other half driven by consumer desires for having a candy bowl around or treats for themselves, Buck says. Hershey is working with retailers to monitor consumer attitudes toward Halloween and local rules regarding the holiday, she adds. (email@example.com; @MicahMaidenberg)
Unilever 1st Half Net Profit Rose Despite Coronavirus Hit on Food, Non-Hygiene Products
Unilever PLC reported Thursday a rise in net profit for the first half despite the coronavirus headwind.
The Anglo-Dutch multisector retailer--which owns consumer brands such as Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Dove soap--made a net profit for the six months of 3.28 billion euros ($3.80 billion), compared with EUR3.01 billion in the year-earlier period.
"In North America and parts of Europe there was a positive impact from household stocking in March. Consumption patterns then normalized in the second quarter with heightened levels of demand for hygiene and in-home food products," the company said.
Turnover for the period decreased 1.6% on year at current rates to EUR25.71 billion, slowed by significant drops in the food service, out-of-home ice-cream, and non-hygiene personal-care products. Underlying sales fell 0.1% on year, below its multiyear target of 3% to 5% growth.
BJ's Restaurants' Zig-Zag Growth Amid Virus Resurgence -- Market Talk
1623 ET - A theme of the 2Q earnings season so far is companies that saw business rebound after the most intense period of coronavirus-related lockdowns but then watched those gains reverse amid surges in new virus cases in parts of the US. BJ's Restaurants, a casual-dining chain with more than 200 locations, is no exception. By late June, the company had reopened 95% of restaurants with limited capacities, but that slipped to 70% as of today due to government officials in California and elsewhere requiring restaurants to pull back on dine-in reopening efforts in tandem with new coronavirus infections. In June, the company captured 70% of historical volumes, but that has slipped back to 60% at present, the company says. (firstname.lastname@example.org; @MicahMaidenberg)
Hog Futures Higher on Supportive Cold Storage Report -- Market Talk
14:44 ET - Lean hog futures on the CME finished up 1.9% to 51.025 cents per pound. For hogs traders, the USDA's Cold Storage report showed frozen pork supplies as down 25% from this same time last year, with pork belly supplies down 8%. The drawdown of frozen pork comes as hog slaughters were up in June, a positive sign for pork demand. "Global production is expected to face challenges due to COVID and China is still dealing with the aftermath of [African swine fever]," says Craig Turner of Daniels Trading. Meanwhile, live cattle futures on the CME finished trading Thursday down 1.1% to $1.046 per pound -- with poundage of beef stored in freezers up 6% versus the same time last year. (email@example.com; @kirkmaltais)