HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM PRO FARMER... As you are celebrating Thanksgiving with your family and friends tomorrow, take a moment to reflect on all the things you are thankful for over the past year. Your Pro Farmer staff would like to thank you for your loyalty to us and to wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.
All markets and government offices are closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. Grain and livestock markets will trade abbreviated hours Friday, Nov. 23. (9:30 a.m. CT to noon CT for grain futures at the Chicago Board of Trade and Kansas City Board of Trade, and 9:30 a.m. CT to 12:15 p.m. CT for wheat futures at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Livestock markets are open from 9:05 a.m. CT to 12:15 p.m. CT.)
Pro Farmer updates will be limited to "First Thing Today" and "After the Bell" on Friday.
PORK STOCKS RECORD LARGE, BUT NOT AS BIG AS ANTICIPATED... USDA's Cold Storage Report showed pork stocks in frozen storage at the end of October at 606.175 million lbs., which bested the October 2008 record of 528.031 million lbs. in storage, but came in well shy of the average pre-report trade guess of 632.5 million pounds. Pork stocks were down 3.8% from September, but 24.0% above year-ago.
Beef stocks at the end of October totaled 423.799 million lbs., which was just above the average, pre-report trade guess of 420.2 million pounds. Beef stocks were 0.3% below September, but 1.6% above October 2011.
Total poultry stocks at 1.104 billion lbs. came in 6.1% under September and 0.2% under September 2011 inventories.
ADVERSE WEATHER HURTS ARGENTINE AND AUSTRALIAN CROP PROSPECTS... While most forecasters, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, have been saying ENSO conditions are neutral, Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com says a strong El Nino signal in October produced adverse weather in Argentina and Australia, resulting in flooding in Argentina and drought in eastern Australia.
Martell says in addition to likely lowering corn acreage in Argentina, the flooding and excess moisture will lead to shallow rooting, increasing the risk of moisture stress if conditions become hot and dry during the growing season. Martell says, "The forecast is wet in the grain belt, after a three-week stretch of dryness that permitted planting to advance. At least one inch of rain is predicted in the primary grain belt, but potentially more with locally strong thunderstorms."
Meanwhile in eastern Australia, wheat prospects were severely damaged by the October drought, according to Martell. This was when the wheat crop was heading and filling grain. The reduced yield prospects in the eastern states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia combined with a poor outlook in Western Australian will significantly reduce Australian wheat production and therefore export potential.
ETHANOL PRODUCTION SLOWS, STOCKS CLIMB... Ethanol production declined by 13,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 811,000 bpd for the week ended Nov. 16, according to the Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, ethanol stocks rose by 1.08 million barrels to 18.93 million barrels.
OMNIBUS SPENDING MEASURE HOPEFULS EYE LAME-DUCK SESSION... Members of the House and Senate appropriations committees are making progress in their efforts to put together an omnibus spending bill for the 2013 fiscal year and aides from both parties are hopeful it will be considered during the lame duck session, according to reports from several Washington contacts.
Omnibus spending bills have been popular among some lawmakers and groups because in the past they have been able to attach favorite spending measures to them, though this may not be the case in the current economic environment.
Most lawmakers do not want to keep kicking the funding bill down the road, so there is growing support for completing a major spending bill when lawmakers return. The present temporary, continuing resolution runs out March 27, 2013. Something will have to happen regarding FY 2013 spending, because any spending bill could have an eventual farm
bill added to offset spending.