CORN MIXED, BEANS WEAKER, WHEAT HIGHER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are 3 to 5 cents higher in old-crop contracts and 1 to 2 cents lower in new-crop contracts, soybeans are 4 to 9 cents lower, Chicago and Minneapolis wheat are 2 to 4 cents higher and Kansas City wheat is 6 to 7 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under heavy pressure this morning.
ANOTHER FREEZE IN THE PLAINS... Temps dropped below freezing across much of HRW wheat country again overnight. Generally, the coldest readings were in areas that were hardest hit Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. The sub-freezing temps undoubtedly did some harm, but damage assessments won't be complete for at least one to two weeks, according to crop-watchers in the region.
PERSPECTIVE ON CROP INSURANCE FUNDING CUTS IN OBAMA BUDGET PROPOSALS... While we see farm-state lawmakers rejecting President Obama's multi-tiered cuts to crop insurance via his Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposals, our sources say they will be fodder for future budget savings for the years ahead. The most likely cut ahead is a reduction in the government subsidy for crop insurance premium buy-ups, which are now subsidized at 62%. Unclear is when the likely reduction would occur.
USDA PROPOSES CRP ACRE TRIM IN BUDGET... Echoing proposals in the House and Senate farm bill versions from 2012, USDA's FY 2014 budget plan proposes trimming maximum Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to 25 million by 2018 from the current 32-million-acre cap. USDA also expects the general CRP signup coming in May will attract 2.8 million acres and put enrollment at the end of 2013 at 27.3 million. As of March, there were 27.02 million acres in the program, with 3.304 million scheduled to expire as of September 30, 2013.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES REPORT OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended April 3, traders expect: corn sales between 250,000 and 400,000 MT; wheat sales between 300,000 and 600,000 MT; soybean sales between 500,000 and 800,000 MT; soymeal sales between 75,000 and 200,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 0 and 15,000 MT.
CHINA TO CONTINUE COTTON STOCKPILING PROGRAM... China plans to stockpile domestic cotton supplies from September through March 2014 at 20,400 yuan ($3,248) per ton, according to China Cotton Association citing an official document from the National Development and Reform Commission. That's the same price the Chinese government paid for 2012-13 cotton. There's no limit on the tonnage that can be stockpiled.
LIGHT CASH CATTLE TRADE AT LOWER PRICES... Some cattle moved at $127 in Texas and Kansas Wednesday, which was $1 lower than the bulk of last week's trade. But most feedlots are still holding out in hopes of getting at least $128 bids. Most feedlots are current on marketings and don't have an urgency to move cattle, which could limit sales volume this week if packers don't raise bids from yesterday's levels.
CASH HOGS CALLED MOSTLY STEADY... Some plants are still in need of hogs for late-week kills, although most are well supplied and are hoping to improve cutting margins before more actively pursuing hogs. Cash hog bids are expected to be steady at most Midwest locations today, but mixed undertones are possible amid varied packer demand.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Taiwan purchased 83,980 MT of U.S. wheat. Japan bought 120,108 MT of wheat in its weekly tender, including 75,095 MT of U.S. supplies. Bangladesh purchased 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat. Vietnam bought 15,000 MT of Indian corn.