First Thing Today (VIP) -- July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013 01:26 AM


CORN WEAKER, BEANS AND WHEAT FIRMER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading mostly 2 to 3 cents lower, soybeans are 9 to 15 cents higher in old-crop contracts and mostly 2 to 4 cents higher in new-crop contracts, Chicago wheat is 1 to 2 cents higher, Kansas City wheat is 3 to 4 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat is 2 to 3 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure this morning.

RAINS GENERALLY DISAPPOINTING, BUT TEMPS EXPECTED TO MODERATE... Weekend rainfall was lighter and not as widespread as expected, especially in the western Corn Belt. But the combination of some weekend rainfall and forecasts for much cooler temps this week is putting light pressure on corn futures this morning.

RFS HEARING ON TAP... Debate on some Fiscal Year 2014 spending bills, work on a student loan compromise, a House subcommittee hearing on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and a hearing on the highway trust fund are key focal points in Washington this week. USDA on Thursday will release a food price outlook update. Financial markets will have some economic data to focus on as the pre-FOMC blackout period arrives, which will keep Fed officials quiet midweek forward. But the data flow isn’t significant even though there are a couple important updates on tap.

HOUSE FARM BILL NEXT STEP DEPENDS ON FATE OF NUTRITION BILL... Democratic members of Congress continue their drumbeat for an official conference, but GOP House leadership and House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) say an attempt is being made to see if a separate nutrition funding and reform bill can be developed. Some House Democratic members want a hearing on the topic, but Lucas said extensive farm bill-related discussions on the matter have already been held. What few observers admit at this stage is that any solo farm bill conference report would not likely make it through both chambers. But an agreement at the leadership level beyond the Ag panels to attach any agreement to another conference report such as an increase in the debt limit could stand a chance for the farm bill to be completed. Absent that, another extension of current law, perhaps a two-year extension, is the likely outcome.

COLD STORAGE REPORT OUT THIS AFTERNOON... Traders are looking for USDA's data to show modest reductions in pork and beef stocks from the end of May, but both are expected to be record large for June 30. The average trade guess for pork stocks is 626 million lbs., while beef stocks are guessed at 474 million pounds.

CATTLE ON FEED REPORT MOSTLY NEUTRAL... Last Friday's Cattle on Feed Report showed the On Feed and Placements categories right in line with the average pre-report trade guesses, while the Marketings figure was stronger than anticipated. As a result, market reaction should be muted, though front-month futures may see a little buying interest. But much of the attention will be on the boxed beef and cash cattle markets as they try to put in lows.

CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/LOWER... Packers are thought to be bought ahead on slaughter needs for the week. As a result, cash hog bids are expected to be steady to weaker across the Midwest to open the week as packers work to improve their margins.

WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Japan bought 120,000 MT of Ukrainian corn and 180,000 MT of Brazilian corn. Iraq purchased 50,000 MT of Australian wheat. Vietnam purchased 20,000 MT of South American corn. Algeria tendered to purchase 50,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat.


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