CORN AND WHEAT MOSTLY FIRMER, BEANS LOWER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading mostly 1 to 2 cents higher, soybeans 3 to 7 cents lower and wheat futures mostly 2 to 5 cents higher at all three exchanges. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.
ELECTIONS KEY FOR WEEK AHEAD... While recovery from Sandy will be a focus as the East Coast struggles to get back to normal, the U.S. elections Tuesday will be the key focus here and abroad. Polls continue to show President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney neck and neck as Tuesday approaches. Markets will remain on edge as they await the election results and then gauge how this will play into addressing the fiscal cliff issues the balance of the year. Ag interests will also watch the elections but USDA's updates to production estimates and balance sheet projections will impact price action Friday.
IMPROVED SOUTH AMERICAN WEATHER OUTLOOK... Dry areas of central and eastern Brazil got some rains over the weekend and more are forecast throughout the week. Meanwhile, soggy areas in southern Brazil and central Argentina were dry over the weekend. Drier, warmer weather is forecast to continue throughout the week in southern Brazil, but a fresh wave of rains is forecast to return to central Argentina late in the week. The improved weather should give recently seeded crops a boost and also encourage more active seeding.
EXPORTER CUTS WESTERN AUSTRALIA WHEAT CROP FORECAST... The Western Australia wheat crop is forecast to be 8.5 MMT to 9.3 MMT, according to CBH, the country's largest exporter. CBH previously forecast the Western Australia wheat crop at 9.1 MMT to 9.3 MMT. The firm says it's too early to tell the quality of the wheat crop.
KAZAKHSTAN COMPLETES GRAIN HARVEST... Kazakhstan's grain harvest totaled 14.7 MMT by bunker weight, which should equate to between 12 MMT and 13 MMT by clean weight, according to the ag ministry. Last year, Kazakhstan reaped a record 27 MMT grain crop. The ag ministry says this year's yield was 0.98 MT per hectare compared to 1.77 MT per hectare last year.
WATCHING THE BOXED BEEF MARKET... After boxed beef prices dropped sharply last week, traders will expect cash cattle to trade steady to lower compared with last week's $126 to $127 trade in the Plains unless the product market shows signs of a short-term low. With December live cattle futures at a slight discount to the bottom of last week's cash trading range, price pressure should be relatively limited to start the week.
CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/LOWER... Pork plants are thought to be well bought ahead on slaughter needs for the week and market-ready supplies are plentiful. As a result, demand for cash hogs is expected to be limited and cash hog bids are seen steady to weaker across the Midwest to start the week.
WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Iraq tendered for 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat and 30,000 MT of optional origin rice.