PRICE RECOVERY IN GRAINS... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading mostly 3 to 7 cents higher, soybeans are 6 to 10 cents higher, Chicago wheat is 7 to 10 cents higher, Kansas City wheat is 6 to 7 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat is 10 to 14 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is modestly firmer after being lower overnight.
HRW, SRW CCI RATINGS PLUNGE... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), they show the the condition of both the HRW and SRW crop worsened over the winter. The HRW CCI rating dropped 15 points since the final reading last fall to 277, while the SRW crop fell 12 points to 362. For HRW, CCI ratings in Kansas, Texas and Colorado declined, while the Oklahoma CCI rating improved. Nebraska's CCI rating was virtually unchanged from last fall. For SRW, the most notable declines were in Michigan and Ohio.
BRAZIL SOYBEAN EXPORT UPDATE... Brazil exported 3.54 MMT of soybeans last month, according to trade ministry data. While up sharply from February exports, that was below March 2012 exports of 4.24 MMT, signaling some of the logistics problems the country is facing in exporting this year's record crop. Meanwhile, the country's foreign trade secretary denies China has canceled any cargoes of Brazilian soybeans due to shipping delays. Instead, he says those soybeans will be delivered at a later date.
CROP INSURANCE PAYOUTS EDGE CLOSE TO $16.1 BILLION... Indemnities for 2012 crops have hit $16.089 billion as of April 1, according to the Risk Management Agency (RMA), with payouts for corn at $10.7 billion. The loss ratio for the program is now up to 1.45 -- indemnities of $1.45 for every $1 in premiums paid in. For corn, the loss ratio stands at 2.48 with cotton at 1.29 on $1.078 billion in indemnities. However, the indemnities will rise as GRIP payments will come soon, with indications those payouts could be hefty in Illinois.
CHOICE BOXED BEEF HIGHER, BUT MOVEMENT LIGHT... Choice boxed beef prices were $1.48 higher Monday (Select cuts were 7 cents lower), but packers moved only 143 total loads of product on the day. For packers to raise cash cattle bids again this week after paying as much as $4 higher prices for cattle last week, stronger boxed beef prices and movement are likely needed.
SLUGGISH PORK MOVEMENT... The pork cutout value was 75 cents higher Monday, but packers moved only 11.25 loads of product. Until packers are able to actively move pork at higher prices, there won't be a clear indication of a short-term low in the product market.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 130,000 MT of corn (likely South American), 55,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat and 110,000 MT of South American soymeal, but passed on a tender to buy 55,000 MT of optional origin corn. Bangladesh bought 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat. Taiwan tendered to buy 82,330 MT of U.S. wheat. Jordan tendered to purchase 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat and 100,000 MT of optional origin feed barley.