First Thing Today (VIP) -- November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012 12:01 AM


CORN MOSTLY FIRMER, BEANS AND WHEAT LOWER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are mostly 2 to 4 cents higher, soybeans mostly 16 to 23 cents lower and wheat futures 5 to 7 cents lower at all three exchanges. The U.S. dollar index is anchored near unchanged this morning.

BRAZILIAN WEATHER IMPROVES... Northern production areas of central and eastern Brazil received beneficial rains over the weekend and more precip is in the near-term outlook, with the 10-day forecast calling for above-normal rains through the region. Meanwhile, wet areas of southern Brazil are forecast to see drier weather in the 10-day outlook. Conditions remain much too wet in central Argentina.

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE REMINDER... Government offices are closed for Veterans Day, but grain and livestock markets are open for normal trading hours. Due to USDA being closed, weekly export inspections and crop progress data are delayed until Tuesday.

OBAMA, LAWMAKERS TAKE CENTER STAGE IN WASHINGTON EVENTS... Congress returns Tuesday, Obama will hold a Wednesday press conference and will meet at the White House Friday regarding efforts to avoid the "fiscal cliff." Those are the key items on tap in Washington this week, along with two congressional hearings on the attack in Benghazi and a key trade policy vote in the House on trade with Russia.

CHINESE SOY IMPORTS DROP SHARPLY IN OCTOBER... China imported 4.03 MMT of soybeans in October, according to official customs data, a 19% decline from September, but 6% above year-ago. Through the first 10 months of this year, China has imported 48.34 MMT of soybeans, an increase of 16.6% from year-ago.

CHINESE TRADE SURPLUS WIDENS MORE THAN EXPECTED... China's trade surplus swelled to a 45-month high of $31.99 billion in October, up from a $27.67 billion surplus in September. Chinese exports were the strongest in five months in October and increased 11.6% from year-ago, while imports rose only 2.4% from last year.

WHITE HOUSE: OBAMA NOT PLANNING A CARBON TAX PROPOSAL... President Obama has no plans to propose a tax on carbon emissions, a White House official said. "The administration has not proposed nor is planning to propose a carbon tax," the official said. The issue arose recently when an analyst with banking giant HSBC predicted that Obama might pursue a carbon tax. Three think-tanks and the International Monetary Fund are co-sponsoring a Nov. 13 forum on carbon taxes that’s slated to include remarks by a senior Treasury Department official.

GEITHNER STAYING AT TREASURY INTO 2013... Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to stay on in his current position at least until President Obama officially begins his second term. "Secretary Geithner has indicated that he will stay on through inauguration," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "He will obviously be a key participant in the negotiations around the so-called 'fiscal cliff' issues, and the president very much appreciates that." Geithner previously had said he did not plan to stay on for the president's second term, but he never gave a specific date for his departure.

BEARISH CASH CATTLE EXPECTATIONS... Cash cattle traded $1 lower in the Plains for a second week in a row last week. While market-ready supplies are tight, packers are working with highly negative margins, making them reluctant to pay up for cash cattle. As a result, traders are expecting steady to weaker cash cattle prices again this week.

CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/WEAKER... Packers are bought ahead on slaughter needs for the week and market-ready hog supplies are plentiful. As a result, packers are expected to open the week offering steady to weaker cash hog bids across the Midwest.

WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Bahrain purchased 30,000 MT of optional origin wheat.


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