First Thing Today (VIP) -- May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013 01:17 AM


CORN AND WHEAT MIXED, BEANS FIRMER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are mixed, soybeans are 3 to 6 cents higher and wheat futures are narrowly mixed at all three exchanges. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

SENATE AG PANEL MARKS UP FARM BILL TODAY... Don't get bogged down in the details. Whatever comes out of the panel today could look far different once it gets to the Senate floor, especially after working out differences with a coming House measure that will look far different in may key areas -- including farm safety net programs and food stamp funding and perhaps dairy policy. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released budget scores for both the Senate and House farm bills late Monday. CBO first subtracted $6.4 billion in savings as a result of sequestration. That put the 10-year savings for the Senate bill at $18 billion dollars, and $33.3 billion for the House measure. Key farm bill issues ahead include: food stamp cuts, the farmer safety net, dairy policy, the Conservation Reserve Program and energy programs. We'll have details on the key issues in "Evening Report."

CHINESE SOYBEAN PRODUCTION FORECAST TO DECLINE AGAIN... Chinese soybean production is forecast to fall by 3.9% this year to 12.3 MMT as seeding are expected to decline by 3.7%, according to China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC). With production forecast to decline for a third straight year, China will need to import more soybeans. Meanwhile, CNGOIC forecasts Chinese soybean imports this month will rise to 5.6 MMT from 3.98 MMT in April.

HRW CCI RATING TICKS UP... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), the HRW improved a modest 1 point to 252. That's the first uptick in the HRW CCI rating since the growing season started last fall. The SRW CCI rating also improved 1 point last week to 373.

FIRM LOWERS UKRAINE WHEAT PRODUCTION, EXPORT FORECASTS... Private consulting firm UkrAgroConsult says the condition of the winter and spring wheat crops signals production will be slightly lower than previously thought. The firm lowered its 2013 Ukraine wheat crop forecast to 20.16 MMT from 20.23 MMT last month and its 2013-14 wheat projection to 8.55 MMT from 8.75 MMT previously.

CHOICE BOXED BEEF HOLDING STRONG... Choice boxed beef was 15 cents higher Monday and finished just 36 cents below the all-time high posted last week. While traders sense the product market is in the process of putting in a short-term top, Choice boxed beef is holding strong despite the very lofty price level.

PORK CUTOUT FIRMS, BUT MOVEMENT SLOWS... After posting sharp losses yesterday morning, the pork cutout value rebounded to end the day 60 cents higher. But packers moved only 255.6 loads of product on the day. For now, tight market-ready supplies are enough to keep the cash hog market supported, but packer demand could wane if the product market weakens.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 60,000 MT of optional origin (likely South American) corn and 53,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat. Japan is seeking 147,620 MT of wheat in its weekly tender.


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