CORN AND BEANS FIRMER, WHEAT WEAKER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 1 to 2 cents higher, soybeans are 6 to 9 cents higher in old-crop contracts and 2 to 3 cents higher in new-crop contracts, while wheat futures are fractionally to 2 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.
STABENOW TALKS FARM BILL TIMELINE... In a telenews conference Thursday, Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) talked about the speed at which her panel-approved farm bill will get to the Senate floor. "I don’t know if this is a record, but it’s got to be one of the -- possible records for getting a bill from committee on to the floor for consideration, so I’m very pleased about that… After coming out of the committee with 15 to five strong bipartisan votes, we did not have objection to moving to the bill, and there are very few things that have occurred this year, or in -- in over the last number of years, that did not require a motion to proceed, and several days of waiting, and a cloture vote, and so on, in order to get to the bill. We did not have to do that, there was not an objection to going to the bill, and I hope that bodes well for moving things through next week."
CBO SCORING OF OBAMA'S BUDGET TODAY... The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today will release its score of President Obama’s Fiscal 2014 budget. The report, combined with CBO’s updated projections for spending, revenue and the deficit for the current fiscal year, will provide a baseline to measure spending priorities and their projected effects.
BRAZIL CONGRESS PASSES PORT MODERNIZATION BILL... A bill that would likely boost private investment in Brazilian ports and the hiring of non-union workers cleared Brazil's House and Senate Thursday. The country's president now has 15 days to sign it into law. Earlier this week, union dockworkers at Brazil's three main ports, including the key grain ports at Santos and Paranagua, staged a temporary walkout to protest the bill.
INFORMA TO UPDATE ACREAGE ESTIMATES... Informa Economics will update its acreage forecasts at 10:30 a.m. CT. The estimates are based on the firm's early May survey.
CATTLE ON FEED REPORT OUT THIS AFTERNOON... The focus in USDA's monthly look at feedlot activity is the Placements category, as trade guesses range from 104.9% to 122%. Despite the expected big rise in the number of cattle entering feedlots last month, On Feed is expected to come in 5% to 8% under year-ago, with the average guess at 96.3%. Marketings are guessed at 102.9%.
U.S. EXPECTED TO WIN CHALLENGE RE: CHINESE CHICKEN IMPORT DUTIES... A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel is set to issue a ruling backing the U.S. in its challenge to Chinese antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of U.S. chicken broiler products. A WTO panel issued a provisional ruling May 8 backing U.S. claims that China violated global trade rules in determining that U.S. chicken exporters were unfairly receiving subsidies and dumping their products on the Chinese market, sources told BNA Bloomberg. China and the U.S. will now have the chance to comment on the preliminary findings before the panel is due to issue its final ruling by the end of June. Both countries can appeal the panel's findings after the ruling is made public.
LIGHT CASH CATTLE TRADE AT $125... Some cattle moved at $125 in Texas Thursday, which was $1 below the bulk of last week's trade. But given strong packer margins and tight market-ready supplies, most feedlots are holding out for at least steady bids with week-ago. At this stage, it's looking like active cash cattle trade may not be seen until after USDA's Cattle on Feed Report this afternoon.
SURGING BEEF HELPING PORK... The surge in boxed beef prices is carrying over to the pork product market as retailers see pork as a relatively cheap alternative to record beef prices. The pork cutout value was $1.43 higher Thursday and at $92.38 it's at the highest level since last August. Rising pork prices and tightening market-ready supplies should keep cash hog bids mostly steady across the Midwest today.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Exporters reported no tenders or purchases.