CORN AND BEANS FIRMER, WHEAT WEAKER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading mostly 2 to 4 cents higher, soybeans are 8 to 15 cents higher, Chicago wheat is 3 to 5 cents lower, Kansas City wheat is mostly 4 to 5 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat is 1 to 3 cents lower. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.
GMO WHEAT UPDATE... South Korean millers have temporarily halted purchases of U.S. wheat as they await test results from their government on recent shipments. Those results are expected sometime next week. Separately, the South Korea agriculture ministry says it will heighten quarantine measures on U.S. feed wheat shipments. Meanwhile, Taiwan is "reviewing" U.S. wheat shipments and may ask exporters to guarantee they are GMO-free.
CONTROVERSY BREWING OVER USDA'S LACK OF TRANSPARENCY ON OREGON GMO WHEAT INCIDENT... A controversy has developed on why USDA notified some foreign governments and others before publicly announcing the GMO wheat discovery. South Korea's ministry says it received the information on the GM wheat from the U.S. via its Seoul embassy on May 29, ahead of the broader U.S. announcement. The news thus broke in Asia ahead of U.S. trading hours. Some say South Korea and others were notified even before USDA officials contacted Monsanto -- the developer of the GMO seed. Meanwhile, USDA has nine investigators on the ground trying to determine what happened relative to the volunteer unapproved GMO wheat being present in the Oregon field and how widespread the situation may be.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES REPORT OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended May 23, traders expect: corn sales between 500,000 and 800,000 MT; wheat sales between 300,000 and 700,000 MT; soybean sales between 300,000 and 800,000 MT; soymeal sales between 100,000 and 250,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 0 and 15,000 MT.
STILL WAITING ON CASH CATTLE TRADE.. Some packers inched cash cattle bids higher Thursday, but they remain below week-ago sales levels. Given tightening market-ready supplies, strong packer margins and near-record Choice boxed beef prices, feedlots are hoping to get at least steady prices compared with week-ago for this week's cattle sales.
CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/FIRMER... Some plants still need hogs for Saturday's kill, but most have turned their attention to next week. Still, with market-ready hog supplies tight, there should be enough demand to keep cash hog bids steady to firmer across the Midwest to close out the week.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Taiwan passed on a tender for 23,000 MT of U.S. corn and 12,000 MT of U.S. soybeans. Iraq purchased 250,000 MT of Russian wheat. Thailand bought 109,000 MT of Black Sea feed wheat. Japan purchased 17,500 MT of wheat (7,720 MT Australia, 7,700 MT Canadian and 2,080 MT French).