FOLLOWTHROUGH BUYING IN CORN AND BEANS... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 5 to 7 cents higher, soybeans are mostly 7 to 15 cents higher, Chicago and Kansas City wheat are narrowly mixed and Minneapolis wheat is 1 to 2 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is holding near unchanged after two-sided trade overnight.
HRW CCI RATING CONTINUES TO DROP... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), the HRW crop dropped another 9 points to 255. Crop deterioration was noted in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma, while the Colorado crop improved modestly and Nebraska was virtually unchanged. Meanwhile, the SRW CCI rating was unchanged at 373. For a more in-depth look at the winter wheat CCI ratings, click here.
WHERE DID SPRING GO?... "The weather map ... looks like something out of The Twilight Zone," Minneapolis meteorologist Paul Douglas of WeatherNation TV wrote on his blog last week. Record cold and snow has been reported in dozens of cities, with the worst of the chill in the Rockies, upper Midwest and northern Plains. Several baseball games have been snowed out in both Denver and Minneapolis, USA today notes. Bottom line: More snow and cold temps, along with still more rain are in the forecast, which will continue to delay corn planting across key production areas.
DRYNESS A CONCERN IN EASTERN AUSTRALIA... Concerns are building with dryness in New South Wales and Victoria in eastern Australia as the lack of rainfall is pushing back planting of the wheat crop. If the dryness persists into mid-May, some private crop forecasters say it will begin to hurt yield potential.
INDIA MAY CHANGE WHEAT EXPORT TERMS... An Indian ministerial panel will consider lowering the minimum price at which it will sell government reserves to private companies for export as the current price floor is above international prices, according to Food Minister K.V. Thomas. He also says the panel is considering extending the timeline to export 5 MMT of government wheat stocks beyond June 30.
BRAZIL PRESIDENT TALKS ABOUT ETHANOL INCENTIVES... The finance ministry in Brazil is set to allot aid of $480 million towards tax breaks and $1.9 million in loans for ethanol during 2013. Brazil finance minister Guido Mantega stated the government would also provide additional financing of $998.5 million for ethanol reserves and tax credits for the chemical industry. The funds, expected to commence in May, are aimed at encouraging investments in the sector and increasing production to reduce demand for gasoline. The incentives are in the wake of record processing of sugar cane crop at ethanol mills with prices dropping for the crop and an increase in gasoline imports from major companies. Brazil president Dilma Rousseff noted: "The ethanol sector is here to stay and, from time to time, we need to revisit it to see what we can do to help our producers. Sometimes the price provides returns, other times it doesn't."
ICE TRIMS GRAIN TRADING HOURS... The IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) will trim its grain trading hours starting May 13 in response to customer feedback. The new ICE grain trading hours will be from 5 p.m. CT on Sunday to 1:30 p.m. CT Monday, with trade from 7 p.m. CT to 1:30 p.m. CT Tuesday through Friday.
BOXED BEEF PRICES SURGE, BUT MOVEMENT REMAINS LIGHT... Boxed beef prices were $1.79 (Select) to $1.90 (Choice) higher Monday, but packers moved only 134 loads of product amid the sharply higher prices. Given recent trade, it appears packers are more focused on raising prices than moving a lot of product as they work to improve margins.
GOOD DEMAND FOR CASH HOGS... Pork plants need hogs for late-week slaughter runs and market-ready supplies are tightening. As a result, demand for cash hogs should remain strong enough to keep cash hog bids steady to firmer across the Midwest.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 48,900 MT of U.S. wheat.