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The Week Ahead: Feb. 11-17, 2013

February 11, 2013
By: Jim Wiesemeyer, Pro Farmer Washington Consultant
Untitled Document

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

State of Union address | Longerm baseline projections | Farm income update

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

President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday evening before a joint session of Congress is the highlight of this week's Washington events.

The Senate plans a vote on legislation (S 47) to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and the House will consider a bill (HR 273) that would prevent a scheduled March pay hike for federal employees. The pay freeze legislation would overturn a December 2012 executive order by President Obama that gives federal employees a 0.5 percent across-the-board pay hike effective March 27, 2013.

President Obama is expected to call for legislation to avoid budget sequestration cuts, scheduled to take effect March 1, as well as set forth his proposals on immigration reform and gun control measures. He will also focus on jobs, renewable energy and climate change during the annual address.

Treasury secretary nomination. Jacob “Jack” Lew, President Obama's choice for Treasury secretary, will testify Feb. 13 before the Senate Finance Committee on his nomination.

Several Senate committees have scheduled organizational meetings for the 113th Congress during the week, including the House Ag Committee on Wednesday and the Senate Ag Committee on Thursday.

Natural disasters will be the topic of a Thursday Senate Ag panel hearing that will focus on the economics of disasters for US agricultural producers. Witnesses include the Department of Agriculture's chief economist Joe Glauber and Roger Pulwarty, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Integrated Drought Information System.

Economic data releases this week will give an update on consumer and business activity via the Retail Sales report on Wednesday with Business Inventory data also out that day. Weekly Jobless Claims figures arrive in their usual Thursday slot with updates on manufacturing in New York on Friday along with Industrial Production and Consumer Sentiment. Markets will also look forward to remarks from KC Fed President Esther George, the lone dissenter during the most-recent FOMC meeting as she speaks on Tuesday.

For agriculture, key updates are due out Monday, including Farm Income and USDA’s Longterm Baseline projections. Beyond those, the weekly export update on Thursday will also get noticed. Otherwise, the focus will be on weather in the US and in South America in particular. Livestock markets will also take note of whether Russia’s threatened ban on imports of U.S. pork and beef materializes.

This week's Washington-related agenda: The agenda for congressional committees features hearings on the Congressional Budget Office's recently updated budget outlook, charitable deductions, the U.S. Postal Service, sequestration impact, and organizational meetings.

Monday, Feb. 11
Federal Reserve: Janet Yellen, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, speaks on the economy.
EU: Euro-zone finance ministers meet.
Markets: Chinese markets close through Thursday. Brazil's close through tomorrow.
Economic reports:
Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve)
USDA reports:
Export inspections (AMS) | Livestock and Meat Trade Data | US Agricultural Trade Data Update (ERS) | Farm Sector and Household Income Forecast ERS | USDA Long Term Agricultural Projections (ERS)

Tuesday, Feb. 12
President Barack Obama delivers the annual State of the Union address.
Federal Reserve: Kansas City Fed President Esther George speaks about the economy.
Spain: Mario Draghi, European Central Bank president, appears before the Spanish parliament in Madrid to discuss a bond-buying program that investors and eurozone policy makers have urged Madrid to seek. Mariano Rajoy, Spanish prime minister, has so far avoided using this credit line.
EU finance ministers: The Ecofin Council, with finance ministers from the 27 EU states, meets in Brussels to discuss economic policy co-ordination, economic surveillance, monitoring of budgetary policy and public finances, the euro, markets and relations with other?nations.
CBO outlook: Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf will appear before the Senate Budget Committee to discuss his agency's outlook on the budget and the economy. That report was released last week.
Natural gas: Committee hearing. Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the opportunities and challenges related to natural gas. The focus will be on issues surrounding natural gas, including environmental implications, exports, and economic impacts.
Economic reports: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | NFIB Small Business Optimism Index | Treasury Budget
USDA reports: Rice Outlook (ERS) | Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Wheat Outlook (ERS) | (NASS) | Feed Grains Outlook (ERS) | Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB)

Wednesday, Feb. 13
Federal Reserve: FOMC voter James Bullard speaks about the economy.
Iran: United Nations nuclear watchdog and Iran hold talks in Vienna over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.
Treasury secretary nomination: Committee hearing. Senate Finance committee. Witness: Jacob “Jack” Lew, President Obama's choice for Treasury secretary.
Budget and economic outlook: Committee Hearing. House Budget Committee to hearing CBO Director Elmendorf discuss the CBO's budget and economic outlook.
Federal role in America's infrastructure: Hearing. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hear from Thomas Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the US Chamber of Commerce, and Edward Rendell, America's Future co-chair and former governor of Pennsylvania.
American energy outlook: Subcommittee hearing. House Science, Space, and Technology Energy Subcommittee will focus on energy technology, the market, and policy drivers.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA).
Economic reports: Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | MBA Purchase Applications | Retail Sales | Import and Export Prices | Business Inventories
USDA reports: Broiler Hatchery (NASS) | Aquaculture Trade Data (ERS) | Bioenergy Data (ERS) | National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS)

Thursday, Feb. 14
MF Global: A US bankruptcy court in New York considers the outline of a plan to pay creditors of MF Global Holdings.
Japan: Analysts look for the Bank of Japan to hold monetary policy steady.
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors' deputies meet in Moscow, through Saturday.
Organizational meeting: Senate Ag Committee.
Natural disasters: Committee hearing. Senate Ag Committee hearing on the economics of disasters for US agricultural producers. Witnesses include the Department of Agriculture's chief economist Joe Glauber and Roger Pulwarty, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Integrated Drought Information System.
Tax reform: Hearing. House Ways and Means Committee hearing will examine itemized deductions for charitable contributions as part of comprehensive tax reform.
Health insurance exchanges: Hearing. Senate Finance Committee.
Wall Street's financial stability: Oversight hearing. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Wall Street's financial stability, as well as consumer and investor protections.
Effects of rising energy costs: Subcommittee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements. Hearing will examine the effects of rising energy costs on households and employers.
Unemployment: Subcommittee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs hearing on the federal government's response to the unemployment crisis.
Transportation: Weekly Traffic of Major Railroads (Assn. Of American Railroads) | Grain Transportation Report (AMS).
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 |
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Livestock, Dairy, and; Poultry Outlook (ERS) | Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook (ERS) | Feed Grains Database (ERS) | Turkey Hatchery (NASS)

Friday, Feb. 15
Economic reports:
Empire State Mfg Survey | Treasury International Capital | Industrial Production | Consumer Sentiment
USDA reports: Peanut Prices (NASS) | Potato Stocks NASS | Crop Values (NASS) | Tree Nuts: World Markets and Trade (FAS)

Saturday, Feb. 16
USDA reports: National Dairy Products Sales Report (AMS) | Announcement of Advanced Prices and Pricing Factors (AMS)

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






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