What Traders are Talking About:
Overnight highlights: As of 6:10 a.m. CT, corn and soybean futures are mixed with a slight upside lean in the mostly actively traded contracts. SRW and HRW wheat futures are 1 to 2 cents lower, while HRS futures are narrowly mixed. Very light trading volume is expected during today's shortened session. Cattle futures are expected to open mixed to slightly firmer, while hogs are called slightly lower.
* Merry Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love giving presents to friends and family and seeing the joy it brings to their faces, especially my boys. Because my wife and I have been blessed, we are also able to provide food, clothing and money for those less fortunate than us. The spirit of giving shines brightest during the Christmas season. But the real joy of the season for me is celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I wish you and your family a joyous and blessed Christmas.
* Reduced trading hours today. Grain markets close at noon CT ahead of Christmas, while trading in livestock markets halts at 12:15 p.m. CT. All markets and government offices are closed Wednesday for Christmas. There is no overnight trade Wednesday. Grain markets will resume trading at 8:30 a.m. CT Thursday, while livestock markets will reopen at 9:05 a.m. CT.
The long and short of it: Trading volume is expected to be very light today as many traders are opting to take an extended holiday break. That typically means quiet trade, but it can lead to increased volatility as it doesn't take as much to get markets moving.
* U.S. DDGs still flowing to China. While China has rejected 545,000 MT of U.S. corn to date due to the presence of an unapproved GMO trait, shipments of U.S. dried distillers grains (DDGs) have not been affected, according to China National Grain and Oils Information Center. The state-run think-tank expects monthly Chinese imports of DDGs to average about 500,000 MT the remainder of the marketing year and forecasts 2013-14 imports of the corn by-product to be record-large at 4.5 MMT, which would be a 60% increase from 2012-13.
The long and short of it: The fact DDG shipments have so far been uninterrupted is even a stronger signal the issue with corn shipments is mostly political.
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