BEANS FIRMER, CORN AND WHEAT MIXED TO OPEN THE WEEK... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, soybean futures are 8 to 10 cents higher, while corn and all three wheat flavors are narrowly mixed. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.
USDA REPORTS THE FOCUS IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEK... Lawmakers remain on their summer recess until Sept. 9, but the focus this week is on today's August Crop Production and Supply & Demand Reports. This afternoon's Crop Progress Report will probably get overshadowed by the crop data. Demand news remains important for the market, which will keep USDA’s Weekly Export Sales Report on Thursday a potential attention-getter for the market. Besides some economic reports, Federal Reserve officials are also on tap to speak and their views on the timing of tapering of the Fed’s asset purchases will continue to keep markets on edge as investors try to handicap when the action will start.
AUGUST CROP REPORTS OUT LATER THIS MORNING... Traders are expecting USDA's first survey-based corn and soybean crop estimates to come in at 14.005 billion bu. and 3.336 billion bu., respectively, in the Crop Production Report. In the Supply & Demand Report, traders expect very slight downward revisions to the old-crop corn and soybean carryover estimates. For 2013-14, traders expect corn carryover to rise to 1.970 billion bu., soybean ending stocks to decline to 263 million bu. and wheat carryover to decline very modestly to 572 million bushels.
SCATTERED RAINS OVERNIGHT... Rains were lighter and more scattered than hoped across the western Corn Belt overnight. Those rains are breaking up this morning as they head east. There are additional scattered rainfall chances today, while dry conditions are expected the rest of the week. Temps are forecast to remain below-normal this week. But the computer-generated National Weather Service forecast for Aug. 17-21 shows above-normal temps over the northern half of the Corn Belt and below-normal precip across most of the region.
LIVESTOCK COMPANIES SEEK EXEMPTION FROM TRUCKING RULE... Livestock producers want an exemption for truck drivers carrying pigs, cows and other animals from federal rules requiring rest breaks every eight hours on the job. The National Pork Producers Council filed a petition with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) asking the agency to remove a requirement for daily 30-minute breaks for its truckers. Those breaks can be dangerous for livestock that have to sit in trucks during the summer heat and winter cold, the group said in its petition. For example pigs do not sweat, and are especially prone to suffering from heat stress. NPPC said the 30-minute break requirement "will cause livestock producers and their drivers irreparable harm, place the health and welfare of the livestock at risk and provide no apparent benefit to public safety, while forcing the livestock industry and their drivers to choose between the humane handling of animals or compliance with the rule." NPPC made the request on behalf of a number of livestock trade groups, including the National Chicken Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The FMCSA will review the petition and is asking for the public to weigh in the next 30 days. In July, the FMCSA granted a 90-day waiver of the exemption for drivers carrying livestock, but the groups want a longer exemption, which can last up to two years.
CASH CATTLE TRADED HIGHER... Cash cattle traded at $121 in Kansas and Texas late Friday, $1 to $2 above the previous week. While the cash cattle market is continuing to show signs a seasonal low is in place, traders are waiting on similar signs from the boxed beef market before they actively buy futures.
CASH HOGS CALLED MOSTLY STEADY TO WEAKER... Packers are expected to open the week with steady to weaker cash hog bids at most Midwest locations as they are bought ahead on slaughter needs and supplies are starting to build. But steady to firmer bids are possible in eastern locations as packers are more in need of supplies there.
WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Taiwan tendered to purchase 101,500 MT of U.S. wheat. Bangladesh tendered to buy 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat.