Evening Report (VIP) -- February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013 08:39 AM

RAIN CHANCES IMPROVE FOR HRW WHEAT BELT... As midday weather models showed improved chances of precip for the U.S. HRW Wheat Belt, wheat futures turned lower amid profit-taking. Meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com says the subtropical jet stream is expected to strengthen late this week, improving moisture chances for Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. But Martell says there may be a sharp cutoff in moisture across the region, with a 50% chance of rainfall in central Kansas, and just a 25% chance of rain in western Kansas. "Wheat in western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle may also miss out on rainfall," she notes. Click here for related maps.



DROUGHT WORRIES SUPPORT SOYBEAN FUTURES... Traders returned from the weekend to add weather premium into soybean futures due to concerns about building heat and dryness across southern Brazil and Argentina. Martell says hot days and cool nights have dominated the weather pattern in recent weeks.

"Recurring high pressure has been very detrimental for crops. The subsiding air associated with high pressure has a drying effect on the atmosphere, lowering the humidity and creating a hostile environment for showers and thunderstorms," she says. "Scattered showers have occurred, periodically, but not enough to stem the tide of deterioration... We are watching a low-pressure system expected to develop on Thursday morning in southern Argentina that may produce significant rainfall later this week."

Meanwhile, Martell says while southern Brazil has gotten drier, Mato Grosso -- the top soybean state -- has been hit with heavy rainfall of 4 to 8 inches, delaying harvest and raising concerns about crop quality. Click here for related maps.



CME ANNOUNCES TRANSITION DATE OF KCBT WHEAT TO CHICAGO TRADING FLOOR... CME Group today said it will transition open-outcry trading of Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) HRW wheat futures and options to its Chicago trading floor on July 1, 2013, pending CFTC review. KCBT wheat futures and options will continue to trade on CME Globex and be listed by and subject to the rules of KCBT. The last day of open-outcry trading on the KCBT floor will be June 28. CME Group will operate an electronic trading center in the former KCBT floor space until the end of September, providing a place for Kansas City-based traders to execute trades on CME Globex.



MAL & LDP EXTENDED FOR 2013 CROP YEAR... USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the marketing assistance loan (MAL) and loan deficiency payment (LDP) provisions authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill have been extended for the 2013 crop year as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (fiscal cliff deal). MALs and LDPs provide financing and marketing assistance for wheat, rice, feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, cotton, honey and wool. Assistance is available to eligible producers beginning with harvest or shearing season and extending through the program year. Get more details.



EFFORTS TO GET PRESIDENT TO PROPOSE A BALANCED BUDGET... Tomorrow, House Republicans will continue their efforts to force the White House to submit a proposal to balance the U.S. budget. The House will debate the bill that would require the president to pinpoint the fiscal year during which the budget will be balanced. Under the Require a PLAN Act, if the administration's Fiscal 2014 budget request does not include a plan to balance the budget, the president would be required to submit a supplemental unified budget by April 1 of this year outline a timeline to balance the budget. Learn more about this and what's on tap in Washington this week.


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