Evening Report (VIP) -- April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013 09:30 AM

COLD STORAGE REPORT REFLECTS DISAPPOINTING DEMAND... This afternoon's USDA Cold Storage Report is getting a negative read as it showed beef and pork stocks above traders' expectations, which confirms concerns about meat demand. The report showed total pork stocks at the end of March of 648.789 mil. lbs., which was around 7 million lbs. above traders' expectations, but is below the record for the month set in 2008 of 657.3 million pounds. Pork stocks were up 2% from last month and were up 6% from year-ago.

Total beef stocks in frozen storage of 513.243 million lbs. were around 22.8 million lbs. above traders' expectations and came in 2% above year-ago and represent a 5% build in supplies from last month.

Total frozen poultry stocks at the end of March were down 2% from last month but up 7% from year-ago at 1.021 billion pounds.



WINTER WHEAT CONDITION DECLINES SLIGHTLY... The condition of the winter wheat crop dropped slightly over the past week, with 30% rated "good," which is down one percentage point from last week, while 14% is rated "very poor," up two percentage points from last week.

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As of Sunday, USDA reports 8% of the crop was headed, which compares to 42% last year and 19% on average. None of the Kansas crop is headed (9% on average); Oklahoma is at 5% (43% on average); and Texas is at 34% headed (41% on average).



SPRING WHEAT PLANTING REMAINS SLOW... As expected, very little of the spring wheat crop was planted last week and given the forecast for another winter blast tonight for the Dakotas, planting will look even later in next week's report. As of Sunday, USDA reports 7% of the crop has been planted, which compares to 6% last week, 52% last year at this time and 24% on average. Planting is the most advanced in Washington at 71% complete (55% on average), followed by Idaho at 59% (47% on average). But just 6% has been seeded in South Dakota (40% on average) and no planting has yet occurred in North Dakota (15% on average) or Minnesota (30% on average).



MINIMAL CORN PLANTING LAST WEEK... As of Sunday, USDA reports just 4% of the nation's corn crop was planted, which is only a two-percentage-point improvement from last week. This compares to 26% last year and 16% on average. Just 1% of the crop has been planted in Illinois and Indiana (24% and 16% on average, respectively), with no seed in the ground in Iowa. Corn futures were pressured today as traders believe a more favorable weather outlook will allow for planting by week's end.



COTTON PLANTING ONE-TENTH COMPLETE... USDA reports as of Sunday that 10% of the cotton crop was planted, which compares to 8% last week, 17% last year and 14% on average. Leading the way is California with 60% planted (53% on average), followed by Arizona at 55% (42% on average). Texas has 12% of the crop planted compared to 22% last week and 17% on average.



NWS 6- TO 10-DAY MORE FAVORABLE FOR WESTERN CORN BELT PLANTING PROGRESS... The National Weather Service forecast for April 28 to May 2 calls for above-normal temps across Nebraska and Kansas westward, as well as across Ohio. But the remainder of the Corn Belt is expected to see normal temps and below-normal temps are expected in the far northern Plains. Meanwhile, drier conditions in Nebraska and Kansas are expected, with above-normal precip expected in much of Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. The central Corn Belt is expected to see normal precip. The forecast is more favorable for planting conditions in the western Belt, but isn't as favorable for the eastern Belt. Click here for related maps.



FDA REBUKES EWG INTERPRETATION OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE DATA... In a rare move, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chastised the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for its interpretation of the 2011 Retail Meat Annual Report of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). The FDA notes that while it is always concerned when it sees antimicrobial resistance, "we believe the EWG report oversimplifies the NARMS data and provides misleading conclusions. We do not believe that EWG fully considered important factors that put these results in context."

FDA also said it believes it's "inaccurate and alarmist" to define bacteria as "superbugs" if they are resistant to one or a few antimicrobials if these bacteria are still treatable by commonly used antibiotics. "This is especially misleading when speaking of bacteria that do not cause foodborne disease and have natural resistances, such as Enterococcus," FDA continues. Get more specifics of FDA's critique here.


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