AUGUST BEANS CONTINUE TO PLUNGE... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, August soybeans are 25 cents lower while new-crop contracts are 7 to 13 cents lower, corn futures are steady to fractionally lower, SRW AND HRW wheat futures are fractionally to 1 cent higher and HRS wheat futures are around 2 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is mildly favoring the downside this morning.
DAY 2 HRS TOUR RESULTS... Scouts on the second day of the Wheat Quality Council HRS tour found an average yield of 45.1 bu. per acre from hard red spring wheat samples taken along routes in northwestern, central and north-central North Dakota. That compares to last year's day 2 results of 45.5 bu. per acre and the five-year average of 42.6 bu. per acre on similar routes. Scouts will sample fields in north-central and northeast North Dakota and northwest and west-central Minnesota today. Final tour results will be released this afternoon.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES REPORT OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended July 18, traders expect: corn sales between 600,000 and 950,000 MT; wheat sales between 400,000 and 600,000 MT; soybean sales between 300,000 and 650,000 MT; soymeal sales between 35,000 and 150,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 0 and 20,000 MT.
BUSINESSMAN AND FORMER CONGRESSIONAL STAFFER MAY CHALLENGE REP. PETERSON... Scott Van Binsbergen, a Minnesota businessman and former staffer for retired Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.) confirmed to CQ Roll Call that he is eyeing a bid against Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) in the state's 7th District, a district that Republican presidential candidates have carried each of the past three presidential cycles. Van Binsbergen said he has met with the National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as delegates from the Minnesota Republican Party, as he considers the race. In 2006, Van Binsbergen ran an unsuccessful bid for state House in Minnesota. Peterson’s seat is a top target for Republicans in 2014. Congressional sources signal that if there is a new farm bill completed and signed by President Obama, that could up the odds of Peterson leaving Congress, but if there is another farm bill extension, Peterson may seek reelection, despite meager campaign funding thus far. Peterson is currently the ranking member on the House Ag Committee.
FED CHAIR ‘RACE’ DOWN TO TWO, SAYS WSJ... Current Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen and former Treasury Sec. Larry Summers are cited as the top two candidates to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke when his term expires at the end of Jan. 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The two have been mentioned along with several others, but the WSJ now labels them the finalists. They are two very different personalities, each with attributes that make them attractive to the White House as the administration ponders who will succeed Bernanke in the expectation he will not stay for another term atop the Fed. But the possibility of Summers is raising concerns on Capitol Hill, and most of the skepticism is coming from Summers’ own party. Many liberal Democratic lawmakers reportedly support Yellen, although their differences in monetary policy are unclear. Yellen would make history as the first-ever woman Fed chairman.
LAWMAKERS SEND LETTER TO SMITHFIELD PRESIDENT RE: HEPARIN CONCERNS... House Energy and Commerce leaders from the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees sent a letter to Smithfield Foods President Larry Pope, requesting information regarding the pending acquisition of the company with questions spurred by the committee’s ongoing heparin contamination investigation, which dates back to 2008. The pending acquisition of Smithfield Foods raises new concerns regarding the supply of heparin in both the U.S. and China and the potential threat of contamination, some lawmakers have noted. The letter cites the U.S. company's importance as an ingredient supplier for the blood-thinning drug heparin. Crude heparin is extracted from the intestines of pigs.
CASH CATTLE TRADE STARTS AT $119... Moderate cash cattle trade was seen at steady $119 prices in Kansas Wednesday, but feedlots passed on similar bids in other areas of the Southern Plains amid hopes of getting firmer prices for this week's supplies. If packers increase bids to $120 or more, it would suggest a seasonal low is finally in place, though the boxed beef market has not yet given that signal.
PORK PRICES RESUME DOWNTREND... After a 62-cent gain on Tuesday, the pork cutout value was $1.01 lower yesterday as all cuts were under pressure with losses ranging from 65 cents to $5.97. With pork prices still in the seasonal downtrend, the cash hog market will remain weak, though cash bids are expected to be mostly steady today.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 60,000 MT of corn and 60,000 MT of feed wheat, both Black Sea origin. South Korea passed on a tender to buy 40,000 to 70,000 MT of optional origin corn. South Korea also tendered to buy 60,000 MT of optional origin corn. Japan purchased 107,371 MT of wheat in its weekly tender, including 61,295 MT of U.S. supplies. Syria tendered to buy 200,000 MT of optional origin soft milling wheat.