Karachi's rooftop cattle get a crane lift to the ground

KARACHI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Residents of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, watched as cattle were lowered by crane from the top of a four-storey home ahead of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha.

Unlike other Muslims who buy animals for slaughter a few days before the sacrificial holiday, Syed Ejaz Ahmad, 55, said raising his own calves was more economical.

Ahmad started raising calves in a rooftop shed about 15 years ago. As they grew in size, it became difficult to lead oxen down the narrow staircase of his house.

His solution? Call a crane service.

Wheat area in England falls 0.6 percent, rapeseed sowings rise

LONDON, Aug 16 (Reuters) -

* The wheat area in England for this year's harvest fell 0.6 percent to 1.64 million hectares, Britain's farm ministry said on Thursday issuing provisional results of an annual survey

* The rapeseed area rose for the first time since 2012, rising 7.9 percent to 564,000 hectares, the survey showed

* The barley area declined by 3.1 percent to 816,000 hectares with winter barley down 6.2 percent at 338,000 hectares and spring barley falling a more marginal 0.8 percent to 478,000 hectares.

(Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by David Evans)

Russia mulls response to U.S. sanctions over North Korea - Ifax

MOSCOW, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Russia is working on retaliatory measures against the United States after it imposed sanctions on a Russian company for aiding North Korea, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency on Thursday.

Washington sanctioned Russian-based Profinet Pte Ltd and its director general, Vasili Aleksandrovich Kolchanov, on Wednesday for providing port services on at least six occasions to North Korean-flagged ships.

Financial investors increase net long position in Euronext wheat

PARIS, Aug 16 (Reuters) -

* Non-commercial market participants increased their net long position in Euronext's milling wheat futures and options in the week to Aug. 10, data published by Euronext showed.

* Non-commercial participants, which include investment funds and financial institutions, increased their net long position to 64,860 contracts from 44,705 a week earlier, the weekly data showed.

* Commercial participants increased their net short position to 129,872 contracts from 112,163 a week earlier.

Another vessel carrying U.S. soybeans enters China's Dalian port

BEIJING, Aug 16 (Reuters) -

* A vessel carrying U.S. soybeans entered China's port of Dalian after sitting off coast since July 24, according to shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon on Thursday

* The movement of the ship, the Star Jennifer, suggests it is preparing to unload its cargo, the second to enter China this week and incur hefty import tariffs Beijing imposed on U.S. products last month amid an escalating trade row

No relief in sight as Australian drought fuels bushfires

By Erin Cooper

SYDNEY, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The drought sweeping through large tracts of Australia is set to intensify over the next three months and is fuelling unseasonal winter bushfires, the leading meteorological agency and a fire official said on Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast of more warm, dry weather suggests hopes for a reprieve from what farmers describe as the worst drought they have ever seen are unlikely to be realised before the Australian summer.

GRAINS-Soybeans rise on news of U.S.-China trade talks; corn, wheat up

* Soybeans up 2.3 pct; corn, wheat rise over 1 pct * China's Dalian soybean prices fall in relief for processors (Adds quote, recasts with rally in U.S. soybeans, updates prices) By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures bounced back on Thursday, rising more than 2 percent as news on Beijing-Washington holding new round of trade talks boosted hopes of U.S. soybean sales to top importer China. A Chinese delegation led by vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen will travel to the United States for trade talks in late

Vessel carrying U.S. soybean cargo empties cargo at Chinese port - shipping data

BEIJING, Aug 16 (Reuters) -

* A vessel carrying about 70,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans has unloaded its cargo worth at least $23 million at the Chinese port of Dalian, according to shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon on Thursday.

* Data showed the draft of Peak Pegasus was 47 percent, which means it has emptied its load.

* The vessel docked on Saturday in the port. It is carrying one of the first U.S. shipments to incur higher import charges as part of the U.S.-China trade row.

GRAINS-Corn eases for second day on supply pressure

SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Chicago corn futures lost more ground on Thursday with prices being pressured by expectations of a bumper U.S. harvest and a strong dollar. Wheat was largely unchanged after edging lower in the previous session. FUNDAMENTALS * Prices for wheat, corn and soybeans have lost ground since a bearish U.S. Department of Agriculture monthly crop report last Friday predicted bigger-than-expected U.S. soybean and corn harvests as well as larger global wheat supplies. * A strong U.S. dollar, which makes the greenback-priced