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

January 29, 2013 12:36 AM


QUIET PRICE ACTION... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading fractionally to 2 cents higher in old-crop contracts and fractionally lower in new-crop contracts, soybeans are steady to 2 cents higher, Chicago and Kansas City wheat are 1 to 2 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat is mixed. The U.S. dollar index is anchored near unchanged.

IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLY AVAILABILITY COULD REDUCE 2013 CORN YIELDS... One veteran crop scout lowered his projected U.S. 2013 corn yield range to 153 to 155 bu. per acre. He calculates water supply availability could be down 15% to 18% based on calls to contacts and a recent trip throughout some states. U.S. irrigated corn production is around 18% to 20% of the national output. The analyst acknowledges he would upwardly adjust his corn yield projection if there is a better irrigation water supply outlook by mid-March/early April.

RUSSIA TO CUT ITS GRAIN EXPORT FORECAST... Russia will soon officially cut its 2012-13 grain export forecast to 14 MMT from 15.5 MMT, according to deputy ag minister Ilya Shestakov. The country has already exported around 13 MMT of grain, but has fulfilled all of its export contracts and supplies are tight. Shestakov says the country plans to sell another 3 MMT of intervention stocks into the domestic market to help alleviate rising domestic prices due to tight supplies.

JAPAN TO BOOST GRAIN RESERVES... Japan plans to increase its animal feed reserves by 44% to 1.15 MMT in the 2013-14 fiscal year, (begins April 1), according to the farm ministry. The government wants to boost its emergency reserve for livestock feed makers to help ease the price shock if there's a global supply shortage.

BULLISH CASH CATTLE HOPES... Sharp gains in cattle futures Monday have feedlots expecting firmer cash cattle prices compared with last week's $122 to $123 trade in the Plains. The boxed beef market also got off to a solid start as prices were mildly higher and movement was decent at 189 total loads. If the product market strengthens through the week it would add to feedlots' bullish cash cattle expectations.

CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/FIRMER... After limited movement of hogs in some areas of the Midwest Monday due to icy road conditions, many packers remain short-bought on slaughter needs for the week. As a result, cash hog bids are expected to remain steady to firmer, although negative margins may keep bids from being as strong as they were in some areas yesterday as road conditions are much improved.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Algeria purchased between 500,000 MT and 600,000 MT of optional origin durum wheat. India tenders to export 125,000 MT of wheat.


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