CHOPPY PRICE ACTION OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are fractionally to 1 cent lower in all but the July contract which is 3 cents higher, soybean futures are mixed with old-crop contracts firmer and new-crop contracts mildly weaker, Chicago wheat futures are fractionally to 1 cent higher, Kansas City wheat is 2 to 3 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat is 4 to 5 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.
FSA MOVES ACREAGE REPORTING DEADLINE TO AUG. 2... FSA is providing 18 more days for reporting acreage, moving the deadline to Aug. 2 from the usual July 15 date, making the move to help with the situation where some areas of the country have had planting delays and have increased levels of prevented planting or failed acreage. However, the Risk Management Agency said the RMA acreage reporting date will remain at July 15 for most spring-planted crops. Any prevented planting acreage has to be reported in writing to your insurance company within 15 days after the final planting date.
EPA NOMINEE PART OF SENATE PUSH FOR VOTE NEXT WEEK... Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday set the clock ticking toward a vote on Gina McCarthy, who was nominated by President Obama to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Reid filed for cloture on McCarthy, a procedural step that sets up a likely vote next Tuesday on the nominee, who is currently the EPA’s top air pollution regulator. Importantly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) acknowledged Thursday that McCarthy has more than the 60 votes needed to beat back a filibuster. However, McCarthy is moving toward a vote amid a controversial Senate procedural battle. Reid is threatening to trigger the "nuclear option" to have Democrats change Senate rules to bar filibusters of White House nominations. Some sources signal EPA wants McCarthy in place at her new post before announcements are made relative to Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements for 2013 and shortly after that for 2014.
CHINESE WINTER WHEAT PRODUCTION FORECAST RAISED... China harvested a record 115.67 MMT of winter wheat this year, up 1.3% from year-ago, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Many industry sources feel the production figure is inflated as China experienced poor late-season weather and has recently been actively buying wheat. USDA raised its 2013-14 Chinese wheat import forecast by 5 MMT in yesterday's Supply & Demand Report and imports are now seen up 5.3 MMT from 2012-13.
BRAZILIAN STEVEDORES BACK TO WORK, ARGENTINE DOCKWORKERS ON STRIKE TODAY... Brazilian dockworkers returned to work at midnight following a one-day strike in protest of government plans to privatize ports. Meanwhile, Argentine dockworkers are conducting a one-day strike today as they demand lower income taxes and increased benefits. Market impact from these short-term strikes is very limited.
STILL WAITING ON CASH CATTLE TRADE... Packer interest in buying cattle remained limited Thursday, while feedlots have little interest in moving cattle at lower prices again this week. With bids and asking prices still far apart in the Plains, active cash cattle trade is not expected until late today -- possibly after futures close.
PORK CUTOUT CONTINUES TO DROP... The pork cutout value was another $1.37 lower Thursday and is now down $8.30 so far this month. With the product market reeling and packer margins below breakeven, cash hog bids are under pressure. While market-ready hog supplies remain tight, packers are reportedly having few problems securing slaughter needs.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Japan tendered for 25,000 MT of feed wheat and 7,000 MT of feed barley.