First Thing Today -- July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012 01:36 AM


PRICE STRENGTH OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures were trading mostly 7 to 8 cents higher, soybeans 20 to 24 cents higher, Chicago wheat mostly 12 to 15 cents higher, Kansas City wheat 10 to 13 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat 12 to 14 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is modestly lower this morning after two-sided trade overnight.

INFORMA TO UPDATE CROP ESTIMATES... Due to the persistence of unfavorable weather, Informa Economics will update its corn and soybean production forecasts assuming unfavorable August weather at 10:30 a.m. CT. This update will not incorporate Informa's August 1 survey of crop production.

HIGH ODDS FOR AG DISASTER BILL TIED WITH FARM BILL EXTENSION... The House next week will likely vote on a combined ag disaster/farm bill extension bill. It will pass if enough Democratic votes are found to go with Republican supporters. The House disaster aid will be limited to livestock producers. When the bill reaches the Senate, leaders will likely modify the ag disaster language and insert the Senate-passed farm bill language into the measure and request a conference. If so, staffers will work on a conference bill during the August recess, but sources do not expect a final vote until after the Nov. 6 elections. That may mean eventually pulling the ag disaster language into a separate bill.

CHINA URGES EDIBLE OIL MAKERS TO HOLD PRICES STEADY... China's government is advising edible oils processors to avoid raising prices "unless absolutely necessary," according to the country's top production company. The Chinese government is also considering releasing subsidized feedstocks needed for edible oils production to help processors with rising commodity prices. With the Chinese government working hard to boost economic growth, the last thing it wants to see is rising food prices.  

RUSSIAN WEATHER CENTER SLASHES GRAIN FORECAST... Russia's national weather center, Rosgidromet, slashed its grain production forecast due to drought conditions in key growing regions of the country. The weather center now sees Russian grain production at 77 MMT to 80 MMT compared to a prior forecast of 83 MMT to 86 MMT.

COMMERCE DEPT. TO ISSUE PRELIM FINDINGS TODAY RE: ANTI-DUMPING PROBE OF CHINA WIND ENERGY PRODUCTS... Any new tariffs would follow a late-May initial decision to place tariffs on the towers on alleged unfair Chinese subsidies for both producers and exporters. Of note will be China's reaction to any new tariffs.

Cash cattle trade got started at $114 in Kansas and Texas late Thursday, which is $1 higher than last week's trade. Sales were relatively light at those levels as most feedlots are still hoping for even stronger prices. August live cattle futures ended Thursday at more than a $4 premium to the initial cash cattle sales.

PORK CUTOUT CONTINUES TO FIRM... Price strength in the pork product market has not been widespread this week, but there's been enough gains in several of the cuts to keep the cutout value pointed higher. With the cutout value firming and the cash hog market generally steady to weaker, packer margins are improving, with some now cutting in the black.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea passed on a tender for up to 170,000 MT of corn and up to 70,000 MT of feed wheat. Algeria tendered for 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat. India's state-run grain trading firm plans to tender to export more wheat in early August and issue additional tenders later this year.


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