First Thing Today (VIP) -- August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012 01:36 AM


PRICE PRESSURE OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 4 to 9 cents lower, soybeans mostly 8 to 12 cents lower, Chicago wheat 6 to 17 cents lower, Kansas City wheat 12 to 16 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat 10 to 13 cents lower. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure this morning.

WEEKEND RAINS, NON-THREATENING FORECAST... Areas of the Corn Belt got precip over the weekend, although the event was not widespread or heavy. Forecasts for this week call for seasonal to below-normal temps with a mid-week rain event likely. The National Weather Service forecast for Aug. 18-22 calls for below-normal temps and below-normal precip over much of the country, including the entire Corn Belt.

MORE GOVERNORS EXPECTED TO SOON PETITION FOR RFS WAIVER/MODIFICATION... Sources say that groups seeking a change in the corn ethanol mandate via the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) have a strategy whereby several additional governors will soon seek a change in the mandate. The piecemeal approach is apparently to keep the issue in the public's focus. Democratic Govs. Jack Markell of Delaware and Martin O’Malley of Maryland last Thursday filed petitions with EPA to waive the RFS. Meanwhile, a report from some Senate staffers is expected to be released soon from a bipartisan investigation into the market impacts of the RFS. The study group, known formally as the "Senate Biofuels Investment and Renewable Fuels Standard Market Congressional Study Group," is co-chaired by Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member on the Environment & Public Works Committee, and Chris Coons (D-Del.), who are both critics of corn ethanol mandates.

G20 LEADERS CONSIDERING MEETING ON GRAIN PRICES... Leaders from the U.S., France and Mexico will hold a conference call at the end of August to discuss whether a meeting of G20's Rapid Response Forum is needed regarding surging grain prices, according to an official with France's farm ministry. The official says, "The aim is to talk about the situation and avoid measures like export embargoes which would be damaging for everyone." Reportedly, the meeting could happen as soon as early September.

FRENCH WHEAT CROP ESTIMATE RAISED... French farm office FranceAgriMer raised its soft wheat crop estimate to 36.5 MMT from 35.9 MMT previously as late-season rains boosted yields. France's farm ministry estimates the French wheat crop at 36.7 MMT.

CASH CATTLE TRADED HIGHER LATE FRIDAY... Cash cattle traded at $119 late Friday, which was $1 higher than the previous week. But with cash trade occurring so late in the day, traders must wait until later this morning to see if showlists were completely cleaned up. This week's supply of cattle could have major impact on cash cattle trade this week.

CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/LOWER... Packers are expected to open the week offering steady to weaker cash hog bids across the Midwest as most plants are bought ahead on slaughter needs and don't foresee problems securing additional hogs. With margins near breakeven, there isn't enough incentive for packers to aggressively pursue cash hogs.

WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Egypt purchased 120,000 MT of Russian wheat.


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