First Thing Today (VIP) -- July 31, 2013

July 31, 2013 01:21 AM


LIGHT AND CHOPPY TRADE OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are steady to 2 cents lower, soybeans are narrowly mixed with old-crop contracts mildly weaker and new-crop contracts slightly firmer, while SRW and HRW wheat futures are slightly higher and HRS futures are narrowly mixed. The U.S. dollar index is anchored near unchanged as traders await GDP data and the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

FOMC MEETING WRAPS UP THIS AFTERNOON... Traders are hoping to get a better idea of when the Fed will begin to taper its bond-buying program from the statement at the end of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting around 1 p.m. CT. Prior to that, investors will be focused on second-quarter GDP, which will be released at 7:30 a.m. CT.

A LONG TIMELINE FOR 2013 RFS VOLUME REQUIREMENTS... The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still has not announced its final 2013 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) volume requirements. An EPA table on the matter simply says "August 2013" as the projected date of release. Whether or not that will include initial volume requirements for 2014 remains uncertain.

OFFICIAL: CHINA ON PACE TO HIT ECONOMIC GROWTH TARGET... China will meet its economic growth target of 7.5% GDP this year, according ot the head of the country's National Development and Reform Commission, as it continues to implement prudent monetary policy and keep ample liquidity in the marketplace. The official also says the Chinese government will unveil an urbanization plan and will push ahead with housing registration and land reforms.

ATTEMPT TODAY TO END ALL U.S. AID TO EGYPT EXPECTED TO FAIL IN SENATE DEBATE... Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) push to end all aid to Egypt is expected to be defeated in the Senate today via vote on the FY 2014 Transportation-HUD spending bill (S 1243). However, alternative language is being reviewed and will likely be presented by other lawmakers, perhaps when they return in September from the summer recess. Even lawmakers who have called for a suspension of aid to Egypt after the military’s ouster of democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi oppose Paul's proposal. Possible changes include providing a waiver for President Obama or establishing some conditions for aid.

HIGHER CASH CATTLE TRADE FACES SOME HURDLES... Choice boxed beef prices were 37 cents higher Tuesday, but Select beef dropped 56 cents and packers moved only 142 loads of product on the day. With a sputtering boxed beef market, bigger showlist supplies and limited packer inquiry into buying cash cattle thus far, hoped-for firmer cash cattle trade is in question, which is likely to limit buying interest in cattle futures today.

PORK MARGINS STRENGTHEN... The combination of pressure on cash hog bids and recent strength in the pork cutout market has resulted in packer cutting margins moving solidly into the black. As a result, some plants may increase cash hog bids, though it appears most packers are trying to strengthen margins further ahead of a seasonal buildup in supplies.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea passed on a tender to purchase up to 70,000 MT of optional origin corn.


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