LIVESTOCK-CME live cattle rebound; shorts cover, funds buy

By Theopolis Waters
CHICAGO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures closed higher on Thursday after short-covering
and fund buying pared Wednesday's losses, said traders.
Expectations for steady to weaker prices for
slaughter-ready, or cash, cattle by Friday pulled futures from
morning highs, they said.
December live cattle finished up 0.625 cent per
pound at 116.275 cents, and above the 10-day moving average of
116.040 cents. February ended 0.775 cent higher at
119.150 cents.

Argentine drought could reduce 2017/18 soy planting area -exchange

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 14 (Reuters) - A drought that has blighted
Argentina's Pampas farm belt since November could provoke a cut
in estimated 2017/18 soybean planting area, the Buenos Aires
Grains Exchange said on Thursday.

The exchange's soy area estimate is 18.1 million hectares,
1.1 million hectares of which were sown over the previous seven
days, the exchange said in its weekly crop report.

GRAINS-U.S. soybeans drop 1.2 pct; wheat firms, corn slips

(Updates with closing prices, adds analyst quote)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures sagged to
their lowest in more than two months on Thursday, weighed down
by forecasts for much-needed rains in Argentina, traders said.

Wheat futures closed firm, supported by strong export data,
while corn slipped.

UPDATE 1-Russia restricts tea supplies from Sri Lanka after finding beetle

(Adds comment from Russia's tea producers' lobby group,
context)

MOSCOW, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Russia will place temporary
restrictions on imports of all agricultural products from Sri
Lanka, including tea, from Dec. 18, the Russian agricultural
safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Thursday.

The watchdog said it had taken the decision to impose
restrictions after it found an insect, known as the Khapra
beetle, in the packaging of one consignment of tea from Sri
Lanka.

Brain cells develop more mutations as we age

By Will Boggs MD

(Reuters Health) - Brain cells - neurons - develop gene
mutations over the course of a lifetime, contributing to normal
aging and potentially presenting a target for treatments that
stave off dementia and other types of cognitive decline,
researchers say.

The team developed a way to sequence the genomes of
individual neurons, which allowed them to see what changes are
normal and also what happens in specific brain diseases.

GRAINS-U.S. soy futures drop on Argentine rain view; wheat, corn flat

(Recasts, updates with U.S. trading, adds export sales data,
changes byline/dateline; pvs LONDON)

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures sagged to
their lowest in more than four weeks on Thursday, weighed down
by forecasts for much-needed rains in Argentina, traders said.

Bigger crops to help French farmers' income recover in 2017 - survey

PARIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) - A rebound in crop production is
set to push up French farm revenues this year but subdued market
prices will limit the recovery after last year's decline in the
EU's biggest agricultural economy, official data showed on
Thursday.

Gross farm income per capita is forecast to rise 7.7 percent
in real terms in 2017 compared with last year, after a 8.4
percent annual drop in 2016, statistics office INSEE said.

Russia to restrict tea supplies from Sri Lanka

MOSCOW, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Russia will place temporary
restrictions on imports of all agriculture products from Sri
Lanka, including tea, from Dec. 18, the Russian agricultural
safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Thursday.

The watchdog said it had taken the decision to impose
restrictions after it found an insect, known as the Khapra
beetle, in the packaging of one tea supply from Sri Lanka.

Tea is Sri Lanka's main agricultural crop.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Susan Fenton)

UPDATE 1-Brazil beef exporters see volumes up 10 pct in 2018

(Recasts to focus on 2018 volumes)

By José Roberto Gomes

SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian beef exporters see
shipments growing 10 percent in 2018 after rising an estimated 9
percent this year despite corruption and food safety scandals
that temporarily closed off major markets.

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