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First Thing Today (VIP) -- June 24, 2013

06:04AM Jun 24, 2013


CHINESE CONCERNS, WEATHER WEIGH ON GRAINS... Liquidity concerns with China's banking sector and a "rain makes grain" attitude among traders are weighing on grain and soy futures to open the week As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 5 to 9 cents lower, soybeans are 3 to 13 cents lower, Chicago wheat is mostly 5 to 7 cents lower, Kansas City wheat is around 4 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat is 1 to 2 cents lower. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

MORE HEAVY RAINS IN WETTEST AREAS... The wettest areas of the Corn Belt received more heavy rains over the weekend, causing washouts, ponding and localized flooding. Forecasts call for more rains (likely heavy for some areas) through mid-week as there's a lot of energy in the atmosphere. Drier conditions are expected the second half of the week, while temps will be above-normal for most areas of the Corn Belt throughout the week. While producers have concerns about the too-wet conditions in some areas, traders have a "rains makes grain" attitude.

IMMIGRATION REFORM, ENERGY BILLS AND USDA REPORTS FOCUS OF WASHINGTON THIS WEEK... Senate leaders want to finish its immigration reform bill (S 744) before leaving on a week-long July Fourth recess. The Senate will also consider several nominations, including President Obama's choice for Transportation and Commerce secretaries. The House plans to debate offshore drilling bills. Meanwhile, House GOP and Agriculture panel leaders will try to pick up the pieces of last week's politically tinged failure by the House to pass the farm bill, but the exact outlook remains murky. Committee focus is on various markups of FY 2014 appropriations measures. USDA on Friday will issue key reports on Acreage, Grain Stocks and the Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report.

WEDNESDAY HOUSE HEARING ON RFS... On Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing entitled "Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Government Perspectives." The committee has issued several bipartisan white papers this year examining a range of emerging issues with the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) system and has received an outpouring of responses from interested stakeholders. This week’s hearing will feature testimony from a panel of government witnesses who will provide an overview of the statute’s implementation.

DIFFERING CATTLE, BEEF DATA... Last Friday's Cattle on Feed data was negative as all three categories came in on the bearish side of the average pre-report trade guesses. Meanwhile, beef stocks in storage at the end of May were well below the average pre-report guess in the Cold Storage Report. It will be interesting to see which data traders favor.

CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/FIRMER... Packers are expected to open the week with steady to firmer cash hog bids across the Midwest amid tight market-ready supplies and favorable cutting margins. But some plants have cut back on kill runs due to the tight supplies, which could limit demand for cash hogs.

WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Israel tendered to purchase up to 85,000 MT of corn, 50,000 MT of feed wheat and 20,000 MT of feed barley -- all North American, South American, European or Black Sea origin.