BEANS LEAD GAINS OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, soybean futures are trading 10 to 12 cents higher, corn futures are 1 to 3 cents higher, Chicago and Kansas City wheat are around a penny higher and Minneapolis wheat is 2 to 4 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure this morning.
JOBS REPORT IN FOCUS TODAY... With speculation continuing on how and when the Fed may phase out its economic stimulus, this morning's jobs report will be dissected closely. Economists polled by Reuters expect the Labor Department to report non-farm payrolls increased by 170,000 in May, while the unemployment rate likely held at 7.5%. But after a disappointing private-sector jobs report from ADP on Wednesday, there are some doubts the labor market expanded as much as anticipated.
SENATE FARM BILL EXPECTED TO BE APPROVED MONDAY... The Senate is expected to pass its five-year farm bill (S 954) on Monday after agreeing Thursday, 75-22, to cut off debate on the bill. Votes on germane amendments to the bill are still possible if an agreement can be reached, although they are unlikely to include controversial measures. Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has deemed all EPA-related amendments to the 2013 farm bill to be non-germane. As many as 240 amendments have been filed, but few or none will make it to the floor. A vote on final passage will take place at 4:30 p.m. CT Monday after thirty minutes of floor debate. The Senate is expected to easily pass the farm bill. Focus now turns to the House bill (HR 1947), which is expected to be debated the week of June 17.
ODDS IMPROVING FOR HOUSE FARM BILL PASSAGE... Despite wide differences among Republicans and Democrats regarding how much to cut food stamp/SNAP funding, congressional sources signal improving odds the votes to clear the measure will be found. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) expressed support Thursday for House action on its five-year farm bill. "I think it's important for the House to work its will on the farm bill. I'm hopeful that we can pass a farm bill and get to conference with the Senate and resolve this issue for Americans, farmers, and ranchers," he said. A more upbeat mood started after around 70 House members stayed to hear an explanation of the farm bill Tuesday, following the Republican caucus. However, an overwhelming number of Republicans will be needed to get the bill passed, as only 25 to 30 Democratic members at this stage are expected to approve the bill. Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), sources say, will not actively oppose the measure. While House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) reportedly said 30 to 50 amendments could be offered, only 15 to 20 amendments will likely be debated and/or voted on, according to congressional contacts.
FIRST ARGENTINE GMO CORN HEADED TO CHINA... As we reported earlier this week, the first commercial shipment of Argentine GMO corn (60,000 MT) since the two countries signed a phytosanitary agreement in February 2012 is en route to China. Exporters will now wait to see if the corn is accepted once it reaches China. Even if there are no problems with this initial shipment, export sources tell Reuters they don't expect additional Argentine corn exports to China until after the 2013-14 Argentine crop is available.
TYSON MAY NEED TO IMPORT CORN... Tight domestic supplies may require Tyson Foods to import corn this summer to meet demand needs, according to CEO Donnie Smith. However, Smith is "comfortable" his company will be able to secure needs through a combination of domestic supplies and imports.
LIMITED DEMAND FOR CHINESE COTTON RESERVES... China has sold only 2.5 MMT of cotton from state reserves so far in 2012-13 out of state stockpiles of roughly 10 MMT, according to an official with the China Cotton Association (CCA). The government had hoped to sell a total of 4.5 MMT by the end of July, but domestic textile mill demand has been limited as global prices are cheaper, causing mills to import cotton instead. Chinese cotton imports through April were up sharply from year-ago at 757,000 MT. Meanwhile, the CCA official says China's cotton production is expected to fall 5% this year to 6.5 MMT.
STILL WAITING ON CASH CATTLE TRADE... Bids and asking prices remain far apart in the Plains, suggesting cash cattle trade may not be seen until late today. Most traders are expecting cash cattle trade to eventually be seen at steady to lower prices compared with last week's mostly $124 trade in the Central and Southern Plains.
BELLY DROP PRESSURE PORK CUTOUT... Belly prices plunged $5.61 Thursday, pulling the cutout value $1.20 lower for the day. While the pork cutout value has been strong this spring, there is concern that belly prices have largely been driving the rally. If the belly market softens, traders fear it will pull the carcass value lower.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Exporters reported no tenders or purchases.