First Thing Today (VIP) -- August 13, 2013

06:10AM Aug 13, 2013
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BEANS LEAD FOLLOWTHROUGH BUYING OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, soybeans are trading 11 to 14 cents higher, while corn and wheat futures are 1 to 3 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

CORN, BEAN CCI RATINGS SLIP... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), the corn and soybean crops each dropped 1 point to 366 and 362, respectively. In the key states, corn ratings declined in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, while the Indiana, Ohio and Missouri crops improved and Minnesota was unchanged. For soybeans, mild declines in Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota were more than modest improvements in Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.

U.S. REGISTERS BUDGET DEFICIT IN JULY… The U.S. had a $97.6 billion budget deficit in July, which was a marked shift from the surplus registered the prior month. Through 10 months of the fiscal year, the deficit is down 38% from year-ago levels as tax receipts are up 13.9% while outlays are down 2.9%. The total deficit so far in fiscal 2013 is $607.4 billion versus $973.8 billion at this time last year. This is lessening the government's borrowing needs and that could push back the timing of any required increase in the U.S. debt limit.

COOL SITUATION UPDATE: U.S. GOV'T FILES BRIEF IN LAWSUIT… Several groups, including the U.S. Cattlemen's Association and National Farmers Union, have filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit over Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and the request for a preliminary injunction. The groups said their filing was due to a view the situation impacts their interests. The government also filed its brief opposing the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, with a release from the American Meat Institute saying the government filing maintains those seeking the preliminary injunction are not entitled to the injunctive relief they seek.

Crop insurance indemnities for 2013 crops reached $1.936 billion as of Aug. 12, fueled largely by a rise to more than $1 billion in indemnities paid out for 2013 wheat. Payouts for 2012 crops have reached $17.396 billion, a record for the program.

CONSULTING FIRM RAISES UKRAINE GRAIN FORECAST... Private analyst UkrAgroConsult raised its Ukraine grain crop forecast to 53.83 MMT from 51.93 MMT previously due to favorable weather and higher yield forecasts for wheat and corn. The firm estimates wheat production at 20.69 MMT and corn production at 23.6 MMT. Ukraine's ag ministry is forecasting record grain production of 57.1 MMT.

FRENCH FARM OFFICE UPS FRENCH WHEAT CROP PEG... FranceAgriMer inched up its French wheat crop forecast to 36 MMT from 35.9 MMT previously and 35.6 MMT last year. The French farm office says crop quality is expected to be mostly good, though some lower protein wheat is likely.

NATIONAL BEEF PACKING, JBS WON'T CHANGE CATTLE BUYING PRACTICES... National Beef Packing Co. and JBS each announced Monday they would continue to buy cattle finished with Zilmax and other beta-agonists. Last week, Tyson Foods said it would stop buying cattle that are fed Zilmax as of Sept. 6 due to mobility concerns with the animals. JBS says it has seen some of the same issues as Tyson and will conduct "extensive monitoring," but won't change its buying practices.

WHOLESALE BEEF MARKET PERKS UP... Boxed beef prices were 85 cents (Select) to $1.29 (Choice) higher Monday and packers moved a solid 182 loads of product. While it's still too early to definitively say the product market has posted a seasonal low, Monday's performance suggests that process is in the works.

PORK CUTOUT WEAKENS... The pork cutout value dropped $1.16 yesterday as sharp declines in loins, picnics, hams and bellies more than offset strong gains in butts and ribs. With hog supplies starting to build seasonally, pork demand must be strong or the pork cutout value will come under heavier pressure.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Bangladesh purchased 200,000 MT of Ukrainian wheat via a government-to-government deal.