GRAINS WEAKER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are mostly 2 to 3 cents lower, soybeans are 1 to 4 cents lower, SRW wheat is 4 to 6 cents lower, HRW wheat is 1 to 3 cents lower and HRS wheat futures are narrowly mixed. The U.S. dollar index is modestly weaker this morning.
FARM BILL PROGRESS MADE ON MANY FRONTS; VOTE LIKELY IN JANUARY 2014... There's finally some progress to report on lingering farm bill issues. The four farm bill principals met in Washington on Wednesday and all of them reported substantial progress was made on a host of sensitive topics -- including food stamp funding cuts and policy. House Ag Committee staff will reportedly try to come up with an alternative approach on how to pass target price-related payments via a new farm bill, as that plantings versus base factor has been a contentious issue notably with corn and soybean lobbyists who favor a base approach for target price payouts. If a farm bill agreement is reached by the end of next week, the language will be put in legislative form with enough time for various scoring by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in time for both chambers to consider the conference report sometime after lawmakers return Jan. 7, 2014.
MARATHON EPA SESSION TODAY ON AGENCY'S 2014 RFS DRAFT PLAN... The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding a public meeting today near Washington, DC, on the agency's plans announced in November for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard biofuels requirements. Some 144 industry representatives are scheduled to testify, with at least 24 separate panels. The session is expected to last for some 12 hours and comes a day after biofuels backers and opponents squared off in separate events to outline their views on the EPA plan that proposes to reduce biofuels usage levels for 2014 compared to the marks set down in the 2014 energy law.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended Nov. 28, traders expect: corn sales between 850,000 and 950,000 MT; wheat sales between 450,000 and 550,000 MT; soybean sales between 900,000 and 1.2 million MT; soymeal sales between 250,000 and 300,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 20,000 and 40,000 MT.
THINK-TANK UPDATES CHINESE CORN FORECASTS... China's corn production likely expanded to 217.51 MMT this year amid higher planted area and improved yields, according to state-run China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC). That would be an increase of 4.6% over year-ago and well above USDA's November projection of 211 MMT. CNGOIC forecasts 2013-14 Chinese corn consumption at 199.79 MMT, up 5.2% from 2012-13.
FAO UPWARDLY ADJUSTS WORLD CEREAL GRAINS, WHEAT FORECASTS... The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) raised its 2013-14 world cereal grains output forecast by 2 MMT to 2.5 billion MT and raised its 2013-14 world wheat crop forecast by 2.3 MMT to 710.8 MMT. FAO's 2013-14 world cereal grains stocks forecast was raised nearly 9 MMT from last month to 572 MMT. Meanwhile, FAO's world food price index averaged 206.3 in November, virtually unchanged from the revised value for October.
STEADY OR BETTER CASH CATTLE TRADE EXPECTED... Cash cattle negotiations are still far from being completed, but traders are anticipating steady to firmer prices compared with last week's mostly $132 trade in the Plains. Fueling the bullish cash hopes are smaller showlist numbers and decent beef movement despite high prices.
PORK MOVEMENT RISES AS CUTOUT VALUE DROPS... There is still plenty of retailer demand for pork as packers moved 506.42 loads of product yesterday, but the strong movement this week has come amid pressure on prices. The cutout value was $1.24 lower Wednesday. Traders are anticipating packers may have to keep lowering pork prices to keep product moving through the pipeline as supplies are building amid hefty market-ready hog numbers and record slaughter weights.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Iraq tendered to buy at least 50,000 MT of U.S., Canadian or Australian wheat. Taiwan tendered to buy 35,000 MT of U.S. wheat. Egypt tendered to purchase 20,000 MT of optional origin soyoil and 20,000 MT of optional origin sunflower oil. Japan received no bids in a tender to buy 120,000 MT of feed wheat and 200,000 MT of feed barley.