PRICE STRENGTH TO START THE WEEK... Fresh fundamental news is limited for grain and soy markets to start the week, but bulls have the upper hand. Macro-economically, focus is on Greece as euro-zone leaders are meeting today to discuss the next batch of emergency funding for the country. As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 3 to 5 cents higher, soybeans 4 to 8 cents higher and wheat futures are 4 to 6 cents higher at all three exchanges. The U.S. dollar index is trading just above unchanged this morning.
FULL WEEK AHEAD IN WASHINGTON... Lawmakers return (Senate on Monday and the House on Tuesday) to a full work schedule and another meeting is set to take place among the major players in the so-called "fiscal cliff" talks. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said over the weekend that so far little progress has been made. Meanwhile, the fate of the farm bill timeline should be better known as fiscal talks continue -- with sources saying a final decision should be evident by the end of the first week of December on whether the farm bill will be part of an end-of-year package, or bumped into 2013.
FAVORABLE WEATHER IN BRAZIL, TOO WET IN ARGENTINA... Areas of Brazil that were starting to become dry got rains over the weekend to maintain mostly favorable growing conditions. Meanwhile, conditions remain too wet in Argentina, which is limiting planting efforts and crop development. Forecasts call for mostly dry conditions across Brazil and Argentina early this week, but rains are expected late in the week.
ARGY CRUSHERS RETURN TO WORK... Argentine soybean crushers called off their strike Friday afternoon, the same day the work stoppage started. A spokesperson for the crushers union said work schedules are back to "normal."
FOCUS ON POST-HOLIDAY BEEF MOVEMENT... Retailers are expected to feature beef coming out of Thanksgiving, which could give the boxed beef market a boost. Cattle traders will closely monitor boxed beef movement this week as they gauge whether post-holiday demand lives up to expectations.
CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/FIRMER... Packers are expected to open the week offering steady to firmer bids for cash hogs as they work to fill post-holiday slaughter needs. Profitable margins give pork plants incentive to keep kill lines as full as possible.
WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Iraq tendered for a minimum of 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat. Jordan tendered for 100,000 MT of optional origin wheat and 100,000 MT of optional origin feed barley. South Korea tendered for up to 13,000 MT of soymeal.