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Rains refresh Aussie crops, but miss sheep farms

Australia & New Zealand Bank says weak rains are questioning a forecast that Australia's wool production will stabilise at record lows

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Bonus payouts, egg setbacks slow Sanderson growth
The poultry producer unveils a slower-than-expected boost to earnings, blaming staff bonus payouts and below-target meat volumes
Hedge funds extend bearish positions on ags, again
Hedge funds cut their net long position in US-traded agricultural for an eighth successive week with sugar, livestock suffering particularly
Hormel pork margins to dip, as hog prices plunge
Hormel unveils quarterly results ahead of Wall Street forecasts. But, with pork margins to fall, the group sticks with expectations for the full year
Russia boost to send Brazil chicken exports flying
Brazil's broiler meat shipments will top 4m tonnes next year for the first time, strengthening the country's grip as the top exporter
JBS sees big windfall from Russia's ban on US beef
The Brazil-based group says that Moscow's shift of meat sourcing to the country will be "very beneficial" - and is upbeat on US beef-packing too
Cotton, sugar lead hedge fund pessmism on ags
Hedge funds cut further bullish positioning on ags. They turn net short on cotton and sugar, more than offsetting less dismal positioning on grains
Cargill admits below-par year despite meat revival
The group, joining the likes of Ford taking a hit against Venezuela currency changes, reveals falling profits - even though protein results soar
Russian food import bans to lift local prices - UN
The UN food agency says Russia's imports curbs could affect local food prices, and exporter stocks - as it reports a four-year low in cereals values
Ranchland prices grow faster than cropland values
Pastureland overtakes a slowing cropland market in terms of price rises - reflecting sector economics which see wheat areas outperform corn states too
Hedge funds close to most bearish ever on wheat
Hedge funds lift bets on wheat price dips to the second highest ever, and are notably downbeat on cotton too - dynamics ironically seen helping prices
Bunge upbeat on Chinese soy crush margin prospects
Curbs on Chinese imports of US distillers' grains, a rival to soymeal, have only improved prospects for a - delayed - rebound in soybean crush margins
ANZ downbeat on cotton, sugar - but not on beef
The bank foresees "no reprieve" for cotton prices, and is cautious over dairy and sugar values too. But the outlook for beef prices is "very strong"
Feature
Cattle futures - will they rise yet again in 2014?

Both feeder and live cattle futures have risen for five successive years. Will they make it six? Or will consumers reject elevated beef prices?

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