First Thing Today (VIP) -- August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012 01:49 AM



GRAINS FIRMER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are 3 to 5 cents higher, soybeans are 12 to 17 cents higher and wheat is mostly 7 to 9 cents higher. This all comes despite a firmer U.S. dollar index, as investors remain uncertain over whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will take steps to stimulate the economy amid rising concerns about global growth.

DAY 4 CROP TOUR RESULTS... The fourth day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour revealed a corn yield in Iowa of 137.27 bu. per acre, which compares to 164.62 bu. per acre last year and a three-year average of 171.66 bu. per acre. Iowa soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square totaled 999.80, which compares to 1,221.94 last year and a three-year average of 1,255.50. The Tour measured a Minnesota corn yield of 156.19 bu. per acre, which compares to 175.93 bu. per acre last year and a three-year average of 182.23 bu. per acre. Minnesota soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square totaled 934.35, which compares to 1,124.20 last year and a three-year average of 1,115.85.

PRO FARMER CROP ESTIMATES RELEASED TODAY... Pro Farmer will release its U.S. corn and soybean crop production estimates today at 2:00 p.m., CT. While data from the Crop Tour obviously plays a large role in determining the estimate, we also consider "other" factors such as crop maturity, soil moisture condition and more, outside of the Tour area.

G20 TO DISCUSS FOOD SITUATION NEXT WEEK, BUT ACTION NOT SEEN YET...Officials from the U.S., France and Mexico are to hold a conference call Monday on whether an emergency meeting of the G20 countries is needed to address the current food price situation. However, Reuters reported a French farm ministry official said the G20 will await a Ag Market Information Systems (AMIS) report in mid-Sept. on grain supplies before making any decisions.

JAPAN RESUMES BEEF EXPORTS TO U.S... Japan is poised to restart exports of beef to the U.S. today, according to the Japanese farm ministry, after USDA cleared imports of beef from cattle slaughtered on Aug. 18 or later. The U.S. had blocked imports of Japanese beef in April 2010 due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Prior to the FMD-linked ban, the U.S. bought 72 metric tons of Japanese beef, primarily the prized wagyu beef.

TYPHOON IS NEXT THREAT TO CHINA'S CORN CROP... A typhoon is brewing in the Pacific that is a potential threat to China's Liaoning province -- a major corn and soybean growing area in northern China. Traders will be watching weekend weather developments given tightening global corn and soybean supplies.

CASH CATTLE TRADE STEADY... Cash cattle trade began yesterday in the Southern Plains at levels fully steady with last week's $120 to $121 trade. Trade was more active in Kansas, with followup sales expected in Texas today at similar levels.

PORK CUTOUT STABILIZES... After posting sharp losses throughout the week, pork cutout values firmed 47 cents yesterday. Still, packers are having no difficulty securing needed supplies and cash sources look for steady to $1 lower cash hog bids again today.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND HIGHLIGHTS... There are no tenders or sales to report.

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