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The Week Ahead: Aug. 22-26, 2011

August 21, 2011
By: Jim Wiesemeyer, Pro Farmer Washington Consultant

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Fed meeting | Farm bill field hearing in Kansas | CBO updates on economy, budget | CFTC focus on commodity markets


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


President Obama and his family is on summer holiday, as is Congress. Top policy items on the agenda this week include the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke slated to address the gathering on Friday. Europe's ongoing debt situation will likely be the topic of discussion at the Fed meeting when European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet addresses the meeting, also on Friday.

On the farm bill front, the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a field hearing in Wichita, Kansas, on Thursday, with Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) hosting the meeting.

The Congressional Budget Office on Wed., Aug. 24, will release its updated budget and economic outlook. The updated figures should be important relative to upcoming budget-cutting debates.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Office of Chief Economist will host a high-level research conference on August 25-26, to discuss key issues affecting commodity markets. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler will give opening remarks at 9 a.m. ET on August 25, 2011.

The first day of the conference will feature presentations of academic papers grouped into three distinct subject areas: commodity index trading, market sentiment, and hedging and arbitrage. The second day will consist of two academic panels. The first panel, organized jointly with the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy, will focus on issues related to the energy markets. The second panel, organized jointly with the Economic Research Service (ERS) of USDA, will address issues associated with the agricultural markets. Howard Gruenspecht, Acting Administrator of the EIA, will give opening remarks at the beginning of the first panel. Laurian Unnevehr, Acting Administrator of the ERS, will give opening remarks at the beginning of the second panel. Andrei Kirilenko, the Chief Economist of the CFTC, will offer both welcoming and concluding remarks.

Conference details: The Conference will be held in the Conference Center at the CFTC’s Headquarters, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC. The conference will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public also may listen by telephone. Call-in to a toll-free or toll-telephone line to connect to a live audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name and affiliation. Conference call information is listed below:

U.S. Toll Number: 203-369-5026
Domestic Toll-Free Number: 866-844-9416
Participant Passcode/Pin: 5689


This week's Washington-related agenda:

Monday, Aug. 22

VP Biden in Japan: Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Japan from China, in his first visit to East Asia as vice president. The U.S. debt ceiling agreement and the US' recent credit-rating downgrade by S&P are likely some agenda items for discussion.
Economic reports:
Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve).
USDA reports:
Export inspections (AMS) | US and Canadian Hogs (NASS) | US and Canadian Cattle (NASS) | Catfish Processing (NASS) | Cold Storage (NASS) | Chickens and Eggs (NASS) | Catfish Feed Deliveries (NASS) | Wheat Data (ERS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | Season-Average Price Forecasts (ERS) | Aquaculture Data (ERS) | Crop Progress (NASS).

Tuesday, Aug. 23

Energy reports: Weekly National Petroleum Report (API).
Economic reports: New Home Sales.

Wednesday, Aug. 24

CBO budget, economic update: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases its updated budget and economic outlook. The report will be available on CBO's website at 9:30 a.m. ET. There will be a press briefing following the release from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf will make brief remarks and answer questions about the report.
Port of Houston security assessment:
Subcommittee field hearing, Houston, Texas. House Homeland Security â€" Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | Durable Goods Orders | House Price Index Estimates.
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS).

Thursday, Aug. 25

France: France reveals its package of deficit-cutting measures.
Farm bill field hearing, Kansas: Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee, will host a field hearing in Wichita to discuss reauthorization of the farm bill.
CFTC conference on commodity markets: The first day of a two-day conference. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Office of Chief Economist hosts a high-level research conference to discuss key issues affecting commodity markets. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler will give opening remarks at 9 a.m. ET.
Transportation: Weekly Traffic of Major Railroads (Assn. Of American Railroads).
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | ICI weekly money market mutual fund data.
IGC: International Grains Council report.
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Grain Transportation Report (AMS) | Poultry Slaughter (NASS) | Monthly Milk Cost of Production (ERS) | Vegetables and Melons Outlook (ERS).
Census: Census Bureau issues monthly Oilseed Crushings, Cotton Consumption & Stocks.
South Africa: South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee releases the 7th production forecast for 2010-2011 summer crops.

Friday, Aug. 26

Bernanke, Trichet speak: Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet will address the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Last year Bernanke unveiled QE2 at the confab.
Economic reports: GDP | Consumer Sentiment.
USDA reports: Dairy Products Prices (NASS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Livestock Slaughter (NASS) | Rice Stocks (NASS).


 

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

 

 

 

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