First Thing Today (VIP) -- December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013 12:09 AM


FIRMER TONE EARLY THIS MORNING... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are 1 to 2 cents higher, soybeans are mostly 3 to 8 cents higher, SRW and HRW wheat futures are 1 to 3 cents higher and HRS wheat futures are narrowly mixed. The U.S. dollar index is anchored near unchanged this morning.

CHINA GMO CORN UPDATE... China has now rejected five batches of U.S. corn totaling 120,643 MT this month, which is in addition to the rejection of a 60,000-MT cargo of U.S. corn in November, according to China's quarantine authority. All of the rejected shipments have contained Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera corn (MIR 162), which is not yet approved for import in China. Quarantine authority officials have told the U.S. to tighten inspection procedures. Nearly 2 MMT of U.S. corn are currently en route to China.

HOUSE SPEAKER BOEHNER URGES ACTION ON FARM BILL, BUDGET CONFERENCE... Senate Democrats need to "get serious" on both the farm bill and the budget conferences, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday. Characterizing House efforts as "good faith," Boehner stated, "I want the farm bill conference to be completed. Chairman Lucas has made a number of good-faith efforts, we can’t get Senate Democrats to the point of saying ‘yes.’" As for the budget conference, Boehner lamented the situation is one with the "same problem. Chairman Ryan’s done a very good job of outlining very serious offers, but we can’t get Senate Democrats to say ‘yes.’ It is time for the other chamber to get serious about getting this work finished." This marks some of the first comments from Boehner in a while on the farm bill side, countering continued Senate criticism of the House on the farm bill relative to nutrition programs.

BIGGER CANADIAN CROP ESTIMATES EXPECTED... Statistics Canada is widely expected to increase its wheat, canola and barley crop estimates in its final forecasts for this year's crops this morning. The pre-report trade guesses peg all wheat between 33.325 MMT and 35.300 MMT, canola between 16.600 MMT and 18.000 MMT and barley between 9.400 MMT and 9.475 MMT.

AG MINISTER: RUSSIAN GRAIN CROP AT LEAST 90 MMT... "Today we can say with confidence that the (grain) harvest will be 90 MMT and even more with pulses," Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolay Fyodorov told Interfax news agency. Previously, the Russian ag ministry said the grain crop could be up to 90 MMT. Last week, private consulting firm SovEcon forecast the Russian grain crop at 89.5 MMT.

SLOW CASH CATTLE NEGOTIATIONS... Packers have been slow to establish cash cattle bids in the Plains, while feedlots are asking higher prices for this week's supplies. With wintry weather forecast for the Plains late this week packers and feedlots likely want to get cash cattle trade started before late Friday, but there seems to be a lack of urgency thus far.

PORK CUTOUT SOFTENS... The pork cutout value was 90 cents lower Tuesday and there is concern additional near-term price pressure will be felt on the product market as market-ready supplies are plentiful and hog weights are record-high. Plus, holiday ham purchases by retailers is likely coming to an end. Hams and picnics each dropped more than $2 Tuesday.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Exporters reported no tenders or purchases.


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