CORRECTIVE GAINS IN GRAINS OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 1 to 4 cents higher, soybeans are 6 to 11 cents higher, Chicago and Kansas City wheat are 3 to 4 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat is 2 to 4 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under heavy pressure this morning.
LUCAS SIGNALS $38 BILLION IN FARM BILL SAVINGS... Ron Hays, of the Oklahoma Farm Report and Radio Oklahoma Network, spoke Wednesday with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) about several farm bill issues. Lucas revealed the coming farm bill markup draft will look similar to last year's Committee-passed version and will save around $38 billion over ten years. A May 15 markup is expected. "You might see some more CRP (acres) out. You most assuredly will see more reforms in the nutrition title. You’ll see some adjustments in the commodity title," Lucas said.
OBAMA, DEMOCRATS START TO BACK DOWN ON SEQUESTER... The White House and Senate Democrats are altering prior views over whether to halt the sequester -- a sign of the increasing pressure Congress is facing to prevent at least some of the automatic budget cuts, especially due to the frustrations voters are having over airline flight delays. Of note, the White House has dropped -- for now -- the president’s demand that any sequester replacement bill be offset by some new revenue and is backing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s stop-gap proposal to cancel the sequester through September. The White House stressed Reid’s bill was a short-term measure rather than the long-term deal including revenues that the White House continues to seek. Republicans seized on the shift as evidence the White House and Democrats are feeling the heat over the sequester as it leads to airline delays for thousands across the country as air traffic controllers are furloughed.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES REPORT OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended April 18, traders expect: corn sales between 200,000 and 600,000 MT; wheat sales between 500,000 and 800,000 MT; soybean sales between 600,000 and 1 million MT; soymeal sales between 100,000 and 250,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 0 and 15,000 MT.
CASH CATTLE HOPES BUILD... Traders are anticipating steady to higher cash cattle bids in the Plains compared with last week's mostly $126 trade. While packer margins are negative and beef demand remains a concern, it's thought packers are short-bought on slaughter needs, thus increasing demand for cash cattle compared with recent weeks.
PORK PRICES EASE... The pork cutout value was 79 cents lower Wednesday following strong gains the first two days this week. But the bulk of the decline was in belly prices, which dropped $8.00. Despite the price drop, packer cutting margins are still deep in the black, which will keep the cash hog market supported as market-ready supplies are tightening.
OVERCROWDING THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF CHINESE PIG DEATHS... After an official investigation including interviews with farmers, Chinese authorities have determined massive overcrowding on farms was the main cause in the death of an estimated 16,000 hogs that were found floating down the Huangpu River last month. The overcrowding caused diseases to spread, which ultimately led to the heavy death loss.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Japan purchased 95,621 MT of wheat in its weekly tender, including 65,821 MT of U.S. supplies. South Korea purchased 55,000 MT of optional origin corn. Jordan tendered to buy 150,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat.