First Thing Today (VIP) -- August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012 01:36 AM



SOYBEAN FUTURES LEAD CHARGE OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, soybean futures are 13 to 20-plus cents higher, with many nearby contracts posting contract highs. Corn and most wheat contracts are 4 to 5 cents higher on spillover from soybeans and help from a weaker U.S. dollar index.

DAY 1 CROP TOUR RESULTS... The first day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour revealed a corn yield in Ohio of 110.5 bu. per acre, which compares to 156.26 bu. per acre last year and a three-year average of 160.53 bu. per acre. Ohio soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square totaled 1,033.72, which compares to 1,253.21 last year and a three-year average of 1,240.85. The Tour found a South Dakota corn yield of 74.26 bu. per acre, which compares to 141.1 bu. per last year and a three-year average of 143.88 bu. per acre. South Dakota soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square totaled 584.93, which compares to 1,106.66 last year and a three-year average of 1,116.87. Today, scouts on the eastern leg of the Tour begin their day in Fishers, Indiana, and travel to Bloomington, Illinois, while western Tour scouts begin their day in Grand Island, Nebraska, and travel to Nebraska City. Tour results from Indiana and Nebraska will be released tonight.

CORN CONDITION STEADY, BEANS IMPROVE... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the state-weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 = crop failure; 500 = perfect crop), it shows the corn crop is unchanged from last week at 247.55, while the bean crop improved 3 points to 276.29. The soybean crop in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota improved, while Missouri soybeans saw slight deterioration.

EPA POSTS NOTICE RE: CORN ETHANOL RFS WAIVER REQUEST... The EPA posted a notice in the Federal Register on Monday opening up a 30-day public comment period on a waiver request from several governors regarding the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The governors of North Carolina and Arkansas asked the agency last week to temporarily waive the U.S. mandate on ethanol made from corn, citing the worst drought in 50 years has driven corn prices higher and hurt livestock producers who depend on the grain for feed. The 30-day comment period will begin once the notice is published in the Federal Register. By law the agency has until November 13 to make a decision on the waivers, meaning EPA could act on the requests after national elections on November 6. In the notice, EPA said any additional requests that come in will be considered with the requests already received. "This notice is in keeping with EPA's commitment to an open and transparent process to evaluate requests the agency receives under the Clean Air Act, and does not indicate any predisposition to a specific decision," agency spokeswoman Alisha Johnson said in a statement. Click here for more.

CHINESE SOYBEAN DEMAND STRENGTHENS IN JULY... According to official Chinese customs data, the country's soybean imports in July of 5.87 million metric tons (MMT) were 10% higher than the previous year. For the first seven months of the year, soybean imports of 34.92 MMT were up 20% from the previous year. Meanwhile, China's corn imports rose in July, with imports of 721,598 metric tons (MT) reported, raising its seven-month total to 3.13 MMT -- a 14-fold increase from year-ago as the country worked to refill its state reserves.

CHINA: NO MAJOR CORN LOSSES DUE TO PESTS... Last week we reported Chinese officials were concerned about an outbreak of army worms in their corn crop. Now the Vice Agriculture Minister says the spread of the pest has been curbed and the outbreak is not expected to cause any severe losses to the crop.

BEEF MARKET STARTS THE WEEK STRONG... The boxed beef market started the week strong, with Choice values up 82 cents and Select up 53 cents on solid movement of 109 loads. This week's showlist is smaller than last week, so if the beef market continues to strengthen, traders will be comfortable adding a premium into nearby futures to last week's $120 to $121 cash cattle trade.

PORK CUTOUT VALUES FIRM, BUT MOVEMENT SLOWS... Pork cutout values firmed 46 cents yesterday, but movement was slow at 36.25 loads. While packers' are dealing with profitable margins, they aren't willing to raise bids as supplies are largely booked well into the week.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND HIGHLIGHTS... South Korea is seeking 22,000 MT of non-GM soybeans for November delivery. India has sold 60,000 MT of wheat from government warehouses to Australia's JK International. Bangladesh has issued an international tender to purchase 50,000 MT of wheat.


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