First Thing Today (VIP) -- April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013 01:15 AM


PRICE STRENGTH OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 3 to 6 cents higher, soybeans are 7 to 9 cents higher in old-crop contracts and 3 to 5 cents higher in new-crop contracts, Chicago wheat futures are 5 to 7 cents higher, Kansas City wheat is around 4 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat is 3 to 5 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

OBAMA BUDGET INCLUDES PLAN TO RESTART DISCONTINUED CENSUS DATA AT USDA'S NASS... The restarting of data for oil oilseed crushing, fats and oils data, wheat milling information and cotton stocks would take place under the budget plan for FY 2014 unveiled this week by the Obama administration, with the responsibility falling to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NASS). The Census Bureau cited budget cuts when it halted these reports in 2011. The funding for NASS to take over the four industrial reports is accomplished by earmarking $1.3 million from the Census of Agriculture pool of money, contacts advise, so it would not be "new" funds being used to facilitate conducting data gathering and providing the reports.

HOUSE PANEL APPROVES BILL TO BLOCK E15 FUELS FROM ENTERING MARKET... The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee narrowly approved, 18-17, a bill Thursday that would repeal waivers provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for introducing gasoline containing up to 15% ethanol (E15) into the market until further scientific review. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced the bill in February. The bill (HR 875) would require the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct an assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of using mid-level ethanol blends before introducing them to the market. The bill would protect motorists from inadvertently voiding their warranties by using E15 blends. Our sources do not see this bill winding up on President Obama's desk.

JAPAN, U.S. AGREE ON TRADE-TALKS ENTRY... Japan said it has reached agreement with the U.S. over its entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks, which significantly ups the odds Japan will be included. While President Obama wants to complete the negotiations by the end of this year, officials from other countries predict a 2014 conclusion. Several sensitive ag-related trade issues are among the hurdles to be cleared.

INDIA FIGHTING FOOD INFLATION DESPITE BULGING STOCKS... India's ministerial panel is discussing ways to bring down domestic prices of wheat and rice, as prices of those food staples have risen sharply despite abundant government stocks, according to Food Minister K.V. Thomas. Domestic wheat prices in India are up 10% to 20% from year-ago, while rice prices are 40% to 60% higher. Industry sources told Dow Jones newswire rising state-purchase prices, poor food distribution networks and higher export prices are to blame for the sharp rise in domestic prices.

BOXED BEEF MOVEMENT IMPROVES... Packers moved 212 boxes of beef yesterday, but the increased movement came amid a sharp drop in prices. While falling boxed beef prices would put more near-term pressure on the cash cattle market, that appears to be what's needed to kick start retailer beef purchases.

PORK MOVEMENT PICKING UP... Packers moved 543.0 loads of pork Thursday following strong movement of 559.6 loads on Wednesday. Importantly, the increased pork movement has come amid higher prices, suggesting retailers are more actively gearing up for grilling season -- and pork may be prominently featured.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Exporters reported no tenders or purchases.


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