First Thing Today (VIP) -- August 29, 2013

August 29, 2013 01:06 AM


WEAKER TONE OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 1 to 4 cents lower, soybeans are 2 to 6 cents lower and wheat futures are generally 1 to 3 cents lower. The U.S. dollar index is sharply higher this morning.

NWS FORECAST TURNS DRIER... The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast for Sept. 3-7 is drier than the 6- to 10-day outlooks the past couple days. It features below-normal precip over the entire Corn Belt during the period, while much of the western Corn Belt is expected to see above-normal temps and much of the eastern Belt is expected to see below-normal temps.

WEEKLY EXPORT SALES OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended Aug. 22, traders expect: corn sales between 325,000 and 675,000 MT; wheat sales between 400,000 and 600,000 MT; soybean sales between 600,000 and 1.1 million MT; soymeal sales between 125,000 and 325,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 0 and 25,000 MT.

ETHANOL PROPONENTS URGE EPA TO REJECT PETITION TO REDUCE 2014 MANDATE... A petroleum industry petition seeking a reduction in the 2014 renewable fuel blending mandate does not meet the statutory requirements for granting a waiver, ethanol producers said in an Aug. 28 letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy. The Renewable Fuels Association urged EPA to reject the petroleum industry petition because the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers are trade groups and are not directly subject to the Renewable Fuel Standard's (RFS) requirements. Only states and companies directly regulated by the RFS have the standing to request a waiver to reduce the blending requirement under provisions of the Clean Air Act, the ethanol trade group said. Petitions should come from individual petroleum refiners and importers subject to the renewable fuel standard's blending requirements, the ethanol group said. "As trade associations, API and AFPM are not directly responsible for fuel production or import and, as such, are not subject to the RFS's regulations," the Renewable Fuels Association said. The American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers petitioned EPA Aug. 13 to reduce the 2014 blending requirement. EPA has 90 days to respond to the petition. EPA said it would consider reducing the 2014 RFS volume requirements to avoid hitting the blend wall when it issued its long overdue RFS final rule for 2013 on Aug. 15.

RUSSIAN WHEAT EXPORT SUPPLIES TO REMAIN TIGHT... Private firm SovEcon says Russia's exportable surplus for wheat will remain tight this year despite a sharp increase in production as the Russian government rebuilds intervention stocks. The firm raised its Russian wheat crop forecast to 51.7 MMT from 50.5 MMT previously, but left its exportable surplus forecast at 14.5 MMT.

FOCUS ON ECONOMIC NEWS RETURNING... While much of the global market focus has been on tensions with Syria, U.S. economic news will start coming back more in focus with the release of the second estimate of second quarter 2013 U.S. GDP. Expectations are for little change from last month's initial 1.7% reading. And that focus will rise in the post-holiday period next week with the release of August employment data on Friday, Sept. 6.

SLOW CASH CATTLE NEGOTIATIONS... Despite buying a limited number of cattle in the Southern Plains last week, packers have been slow to establish cash cattle bids. That suggests active cash cattle trade isn't likely until Friday as packers are in no hurry to buy cattle and feedlots appear willing to wait on higher cash cattle bids.

PORK MOVEMENT RISES ON LOWER PRICES... Packers moved a strong 484.5 loads of product Wednesday, though the pickup in movement came amid a $1.60 drop in the cutout value. While packers are still working with strong margins, hog supplies are building seasonally and packers aren't having to raise cash hog bids to attracted needed supplies.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 57,600 MT of U.S. wheat. Taiwan bought 60,000 MT of Brazilian corn. Israel purchased 25,000 MT of corn, 12,000 MT of feed wheat and 12,000 MT of feed barley -- all optional origin (likely Black Sea).


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