CORN MIXED, BEANS AND WHEAT FIRMER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are narrowly mixed, soybeans are 3 to 7 cents higher through the July 2014 contract and wheat futures are mostly 2 to 5 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning following two-sided trade overnight.
WASHINGTON FOCUS THIS WEEK IS ON HOUSE RETURN; KEY ECONOMIC REPORTS... House members return today from their holiday break, while the Senate does not return until Dec. 9. The House expects to adjourn for the year by Dec. 13, while the Senate has Dec. 20 as its tentative departure date. That leaves only a few mid-December days for in-person negotiations among top congressional leaders. Meanwhile, key economic reports are coming this week, with Thursday's GDP update and Friday's major Employment Report.
FARM BILL CONFEREES COULD BE CALLED INTO SESSION ON WEDNESDAY... The four farm bill conference "principals" continued to meet and talk last week, and there is at least a possibility that conferees could be called back to Washington this Wednesday for a full conference session. Some sources say a final farm bill could provide savings for a Fiscal Year 2014 budget accord that may not be finalized until early 2014.
CHINA'S MANUFACTURING SECTOR CONTINUES TO EXPAND... China's official Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) came it at 51.4 in November, which was unchanged from October and an 18-month high. The sub-index for export orders improved to 50.6 last month from 50.4 in October. China's final HSBC PMI, which measures smaller manufacturers, dipped to 50.8 last month from 50.9 in November, but that was higher than the flash reading of 50.4. Any PMI reading above 50 signals expansion within the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, China's National Development and Reform Commission says it expects the Consumer Price Index to expand in the lower end of the forecast 3% to 5% range next year.
BULLISH CASH CATTLE HOPES... Traders start the week with bullish hopes for cash cattle trade this week after packers raised prices to $132 in the Plains last week. But with Choice boxed beef prices above $200, traders will closely monitor post-holiday beef trade to see if there's enough movement for packers to justify raising cash bids again this week.
CASH HOGS CALLED MOSTLY STEADY... Packers are expected to open the week with steady cash hog bids at most Midwest locations. But given strong cutting margins, it wouldn't be surprising to see some firmer bids as packers are likely to be a little short-bought on slaughter supplies after Thanksgiving.
WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Bangladesh tendered to buy 50,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat.