CORN MIXED, BEANS LOWER AND WHEAT MODESTLY FIRMER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading narrowly mixed, soybeans are 5 to 12 cents lower and all three wheat flavors are fractionally to 1 cent higher. The U.S. dollar index is modestly weaker this morning.
MOSTLY QUIET WEEK FOR CONGRESS AHEAD OF LONG SUMMER RECESS, BUT KEY ECONOMIC REPORTS ON TAP... A Fiscal 2014 spending bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), a student loan compromise and Senate consideration of some President Obama's nominations highlight the week in Congress before lawmakers take off for a five-week summer recess, returning on Sept. 9. Financial markets will have a lot to watch as the end of July rolls around and August begins after a mixed bag of economic data last week. Wednesday afternoon brings the conclusion of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Beyond the FOMC meeting, the main focus will be on the July Employment report on Friday morning. For agriculture, besides today's Crop Progress Report and Thursday's Weekly Export Sales Report, Friday brings USDA reports on Land Values and Farm Production Expenditures.
FORECAST REMAINS COOL, WITH RAIN CHANCES... Temps are forecast to remain below normal across the Corn Belt this week, while there are multiple chances for light, scattered rains across the region. The computer-generated National Weather Service 6- to 10-day forecast for Aug. 3-7 calls for below-normal temps and above-normal rainfall across the Corn Belt.
JAPAN MAY RESUME U.S. WESTERN WHITE WHEAT PURCHASES THIS WEEK... Japan may lift its ban on U.S. western white wheat as early as this week, industry sources that attended a meeting held by Japan's ag ministry last Friday told Reuters. One source told Reuters Japan may require USDA to provide a letter certifying samples taken in the U.S. prior to shipment, though that has not been finalized yet.
HOUSE MEMBERS TAPPED BY ENERGY PANEL CHAIRMAN TO EXPLORE RFS REFORM... House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) has asked four GOP members of his panel to take the lead on reforming a federal biofuels mandate. The four members represent districts with diverse industries with a stake in the debate, including oil refineries, corn growers, livestock farmers and biofuels producers. Rep. John Shimkus, a senior member of the committee who represents the key corn state of Illinois, will lead the GOP team. Congressional sources and others say Shimkus is key to any RFS reform as no legislation is likely without his support, something chairman Upton understands. The group will work on policy actions that reform but do not repeal the RFS mandate. As for the Senate, no major action on the RFS topic has occurred.
BULLISH CASH CATTLE HOPES... Cash cattle traded at steady $119 prices in Texas and Kansas last week, while Nebraska feedlots moved cattle at firmer prices. The strength in the Nebraska market gives traders some hope for firmer cash prices throughout the Central and Southern Plains this week. But with the boxed beef market struggling to put in a low, firmer cash prices is far from a certainty.
CASH HOGS CALLED MOSTLY STEADY... Packers are expected to open the week with steady cash hog bids at most Midwest locations. While plants still need hogs for mid- and late-week kills, negative cutting margins are expected to keep them from raising cash hog bids.
WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... South Korea tendered to purchase up to 140,000 MT of optional origin corn. Iraq tendered to buy at least 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat. Jordan tendered to buy 100,000 MT of optional origin wheat. Egypt is seeking 60,000 MT of optional origin soyoil in two separate tenders.