First Thing Today (VIP) -- February 21, 2014

February 21, 2014 12:22 AM

Good morning!

Mostly weaker tone this morning... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading steady to 1 cent lower, soybeans are mostly around a penny lower and wheat futures are mixed with SRW and HRW contracts mildly favoring the downside. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

USDA releases full 2014-15 Supply & Demand tables at Outlook Forum... Corn crop is put at 13.985 bil. bu. on 165.3 bu/ac yield on 84.6 mil. harvested acres. Feed residual use at 5.4 bil. bu. combined with total FSI use of 6.43 bil. bu. (5.0 bil. for ethanol) and exports of 1.550 bil. for 2.111 bil. bu. carryover. Season-avg. price: $3.90 per bu.

Soybean crop of 3.550 bil. bu. on 45.2 bu/ac yield on 78.5 mil. harvested acres. Total domestic use of 1.83 bil. bu. (crush of 1.725 bil.) and exports of 1.6 bil. bu. push carryover up to 285 mil. bushels. Season avg. price: $9.65 per bu.

Wheat crop of 2.160 bil. bu. on 45.8 bu/ac yield on 47.2 mil. harvested acres. Total domestic use of 1.231 bil. bu. (including 190 mil. bu. feed/residual) and exports of 1.050 bil. put carryover at 587 mil. bushels. Season avg. price: $5.30 per bushel.

Cotton crop of 16.3 mil. bales on yield of 805 lbs./ac on 9.7 mil. harvested acres (16.0% abandonment). Mill use at 3.7 mil. bales combined with exports of 11.0 mil. bales to push carryover up to 4.6 mil. bales. Season-avg. price of 68 cents/pound.

2014 beef production seen at 24.4 bil. lbs (-6%) on total slaughter decline of more than 5%. Beef exports at 2.34 bil. lbs. (down nearly 10% vs. 2013) with imports of 2.29 bil. pounds. Season-avg. price is projected at a record $132-$140. Retail prices seen up 2% to 3% vs. 2013 record of $5.29/pound.

2014 pork production seen at 23.4 bil. lbs. (+1%) but slaughter down on PEDV impact. Pork exports seen at 5.14 bil. lbs. (+3%) while imports 880 mil. pounds. Season-avg. price of $61-$65 vs. $64.05 in 2013. Retail prices seen 6% to 7% under 2013 record of $3.61/pound.

2014 broiler production 38.9 bil. lbs (+3%), with higher weight birds expected. Exports seen at 7.50 bil. lbs. (+1.8%) with season avg. price of $0.94 to $10.1 per lb. ($1 in 2013).

Milk output to rise 4.5 bil. lbs. on 1.9% more milk per cow. Exports seen falling from 2013 record.

Weekly export sales report out this morning... For the week ended Feb. 13, traders expect: corn sales between 700,000 and 1.25 million MT; wheat sales between 400,000 and 700,000 MT; soybean sales between 150,000 and 500,000 MT; soymeal sales between 75,000 and 200,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 10,000 and 50,000 MT.

Census of Ag takes look at structure of industry... In 2012, crop sales exceeded livestock sales for only the second time in Census history; the other time was in 1974. In 2012, the average farm size was 434 acres. This was a 3.8% increase over 2007, when the average farm was 418 acres. The amount of land in farms decreased in 31 states but increased in 19 states. In 2012, the average age of principal farm operators was 58.3 years, up 1.2 years since 2007, and continuing a 30-year trend of steady increase.

Big range of estimates for Placements in COF Report... USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed Report will show feedlot numbers below year-ago for the 17th consecutive month. The category where someone will be surprised is Placements as the guess range in 11.4 percentage points. The average pre-report estimates put On Feed at 96.0%, Placements at 102.6% and Marketings at 95.4% of year-ago.

Beef, pork stocks expected to rise from December... Traders are expecting USDA's Cold Storage Report to show pork stocks at the end of January at 608.7 million bu., based on the average pre-report estimate. That would be up 9.3% from the end of December and 0.4% above year-ago. Beef stocks at the end of January are guessed at 441.1 million lbs., which would be 0.7% greater than the end of December but 9% less than year-ago.

Still waiting on cash cattle trade... Traders are expecting cash cattle trade to be seen at $1 to $2 higher prices than week-ago in the Plains, though they are still waiting on confirmation. Unless packers raise cash bids this morning, it appears active cash trade may not be seen until after USDA's Cattle on Feed Report this afternoon.

Poor travel conditions for hogs... Hog movement will be slowed across much of the Midwest today by ice/snow covered roads and windy conditions. With conditions expected to improve, packers may avoid getting too aggressive with cash bids to close out the week in hopes of stronger hog movement next week.

Overnight demand news... Exporters reported no tenders or purchases.


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