First Thing Today (VIP) -- November 14, 2012

November 14, 2012 12:28 AM


PRICE STRENGTH OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 1 to 3 cents higher, soybeans 11 to 15 cents higher, Chicago wheat 5 to 6 cents higher, Kansas City wheat 3 to 8 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat 2 to 7 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is holding near unchanged this morning after favoring the downside overnight.

HRW CCI RATING CONTINUES TO DROP... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), the HRW crop dropped another 10 points last week to 295. Top producer Kansas led the HRW crop deterioration with 5-point decline. Meanwhile, the CCI rating for the SRW crop improved 3 points to 379.

BIG INCREASE EXPECTED IN OCTOBER CRUSH PACE... NOPA members are expected to report soybean crush increased to 144.4 million bu. in October, up from 119.7 million bu. in September as new-crop supplies became available. But the guess range is very wide at 127.1 million bu. to 152.5 million bushels. Soyoil stocks are expected to increase to 2.091 billion lbs. from 2.043 billion lbs. in September.

OBAMA TO HOLD PRESS BRIEFING, MEET WITH BUSINESS EXECS... President Obama today will hold his first post-election press briefing. He will also meet with several business executives. Both events will focus on the president's coming public push to pressure Congress to extend most of the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts except those for the top 2% in income. He will urge approval of a Senate bill that would do just that. Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that Obama on Friday during talks with congressional leaders will push for $1.6 trillion in tax revenue -- a considerably larger figure than the $800 billion mark Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) discussed last summer, and even the later push by Obama for $1.2 trillion tax revenue -- a development Boehner said collapsed budget deficit-cutting talks last year. That at least signals a possible $1 trillion compromise relative to tax revenue -- but as we have seen on this topic, coming negotiations will be lengthy and volatile.

FED'S YELLEN SAYS FED CLOSER TO ADJUSTING COMMUNICATION STRATEGY... The Fed is moving closer to stating specific marks on inflation or unemployment that they would use as a guidepost on raising interest rates, according to Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen. However, even if the Fed moves to signal specific marks that would trigger action, Yellen said the decision to make the adjustment would still require Fed "deliberation and judgment." Yellen has headed up the Fed's effort on refining their communications to the public and is seen as a top contender to succeed Ben Bernanke when his term as Fed Chairman expires in January 2014.

CROP INSURANCE INDEMNITIES SHOOT PAST $5 BILLION... Indemnities paid out for 2012 crops under the federal crop insurance program reached $5.005 billion as of Nov. 12, via a big jump in payouts for corn, according to Risk Management Agency data. As of Nov. 5, total indemnities stood at just $3.596 billion. Indemnities for corn rose by more than $1 billion dollars over the past week, pushing total corn payouts to $2.697 billion and sending the loss ratio on the crop to .63 as of Nov. 12. Soybean payouts rose by nearly $200 million and the indemnities for 2012 cotton rose by $100 million in the most recent week. The big jump also pushed 2012-crop indemnities closer to the level that 2011 crops were at a year ago -- $5.7 billion. Payouts for 2011 crops set a record with the current tally at $10.845 billion.

FRANCE'S GRAIN STOCKS FORECASTS REVISED... FranceAgriMer raised its 2012-13 French soft wheat stocks forecast to 1.95 MMT, up 170,000 MT from October, but still down 22% from 2011-12. The French farm office forecasts less feed wheat use than previously expected. FranceAgriMer now sees 2012-13 French corn ending stocks at 1.9 MMT, down 1 MMT from October and now 17% below 2011-12.

BOXED BEEF MARKET STRENGTHENS AGAIN... Boxed beef prices were 9 (Choice) to 88 cents (Select) higher Tuesday and packers moved 195 loads of product on the day. While the product market is strengthening this week, it remains unlikely packers will pay higher money for cash cattle given negative margins, bigger showlist supplies and the fact they are buying animals for a holiday-shortened kill next week.

PORK PRODUCT MARKET DROPS SHARPLY... Despite strong gains in ribs and pinics Tuesday, the pork cutout value plunged $1.61 as all other cuts were lower to sharply lower. Falling pork prices, plentiful market-ready supplies and a holiday-shortened kill schedule next week will keep cash hog bids weaker at most Midwest locations.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased a total of 269,500 MT of mostly optional origin corn from multiple tenders. Japan canceled a tender for 120,000 MT of feed wheat and 200,000 MT of feed barley due to a lack of bids, but issued a like tender with a later bid date. India tendered to export 100,000 MT of wheat.


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