First Thing Today (VIP) -- June 4, 2013

June 4, 2013 01:14 AM


PRICE PRESSURE OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 4 to 9 cents lower, soybeans are 9 to 17 cents lower, Chicago wheat is 7 to 8 cents lower, Kansas City wheat is 4 to 5 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat is around 1 cent lower. The U.S. dollar index is mildly firmer this morning, but off its overnight highs.

FARM BILL DEBATE BOGS DOWN OVER ELUSIVE AMENDMENT AGREEMENT... Unless a deal regarding the number of amendments and time given for debate on each amendment is reached early this morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will file cloture to end debate. If so, that would set up a Thursday vote and could mean the farm bill debate will slide into next week -- ahead of an expected start of debate and votes on the immigration reform bill. In late-Monday action, the Senate approved two noncontroversial amendments -- one that would require USDA to develop an insurance product for alfalfa and another that would increase from $40 million to $60 million the amount of food aid that could be purchased locally under the farm bill.

CORN CCI RATING STARTS UNDER YEAR-AGO... When USDA's initial crop condition ratings of the spring are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), the corn crop stands at 371. That's 18 points lower than the first corn CCI rating last year (on May 20) and 10 points lower than this date year-ago. The first spring wheat CCI rating is well under year-ago at 363 -- down 22 points from last year's initial rating (on May 20) and 25 points lower than the CCI reading for this date last year.

USDA EXPANDS GMO WHEAT INVESTIGATION... USDA said Monday it now has 15 investigators collecting data and information in the GMO wheat case, up from nine last week. An Agriculture Department spokesman told Reuters there are "no indications" of any GMO wheat in the commercial wheat supply. But some U.S. trading partners are waiting on results of USDA's investigation before lifting their temporary bans on U.S. wheat. Included in that group is Japan, who is not seeking any U.S. western white wheat in its weekly tender.

CAUTIOUS CASH CATTLE ATTITUDES... With boxed beef prices signaling a short-term top is in place and demand concerns hanging over the market, traders have cautious attitudes toward cash cattle trade this week. But packers haven't been active buyers of cash cattle the past couple weeks and margins are strong, so firmer cash cattle trade can't be ruled out. Cash sources expect cash negotiations to last deep into the week.

DEMAND FOR CASH HOGS SOFTENING... Packer demand for cash hogs was weaker than anticipated Monday as some plants are starting to cut back in kill runs amid tight margins and limited market-ready supplies. With pork product movement slowing after the initial wave of post-Memorial Day buying last week, some pork plants are also lowering cash hog bids in an attempt to improve margins.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 50,000 MT of South African corn. Japan is seeking 163,605 MT of wheat in its weekly tender. Algeria tendered to buy 50,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat.


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