GRAINS MOSTLY FIRMER IN QUIET OVERNIGHT TRADE... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn and wheat futures are mixed with an upside bias, while soybeans are 2 to 3 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is weaker this morning.
CROP INSURANCE PAYOUTS PASS $5.2 BILLION FOR 2013 CROPS... Indemnities under the federal crop insurance program on 2013 crops have reached $5.215 billion as of Nov. 4 with the loss ratio edging up to 0.45, according to Risk Management Agency (RMA) data. Wheat remains the top payout for crops thus far at $2.062 billion with a loss ratio of 1.05. Of the major crops, only cotton has a loss ratio of over 1.0 as indemnities on cotton have reached $674 million with the loss ratio at 1.02. So far, 39.5% of the payouts made for 2013 crops have gone for wheat. Risk Protection (RP) policies remain the primary policy type that producers utilize, with 189 million net acres insured with an RP policy and payouts at $4.346 billion or roughly 83.3% of the payouts made thus far on 2013 crops.
CHRISTIE WINS BIG IN NEW JERSEY; DEMOCRAT McAULIFFE WINS TIGHT GOVERNOR RACE IN VIRGINIA... Initial reports following Tuesday elections signal New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) will use his big-margin victory as a stepping stone for a run at the presidency in the 2016 contest. In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe did not win nearly as big as pre-election polls indicated, with some observers noting opponent Ken Cuccinelli's recent blast at the signup problems of ObamaCare helped close the gap.
RUSSIA LIFTS BAN ON IMPORTS OF U.S.. BEEF, TURKEY... Russia has officially announced the removal of some restrictions on beef and turkey imports from the U.S., which were introduced earlier this year over a ractopamine dispute. The turkey import ban will reportedly be canceled at the end of this month, while the U.S. will again be able to supply beef to Russia at the beginning of next year. We'll have more in "Evening Report" tonight.
BEEF MOVEMENT REMAINS LIGHT... Choice boxed beef prices remain well above the $200 level while the Select price is nearing $190, but packers are struggling to move product at these prices. Packers moved only 122 loads of beef Tuesday. If boxed beef movement doesn't pick up, packers will have to lower prices to encourage more demand, which is likely to also cause packers to lower cash cattle bids.
CASH HOGS TO REMAIN STEADY/WEAKER... Packers continue to work with strong cutting margins, but they are having no problems securing needed slaughter supplies. Therefore, there's no need for them to raise cash hog bids. Cash hog prices will remain steady to weaker across the Midwest today.
CARGILL ANNOUNCES NEW LABELING FOR LFTB... Cargill Beef will begin labeling its ground beef products containing lean finely textured beef (LFTB) prior to the 2014 grilling season with "Contains Finely Textured Beef." "Our research shows that consumers believe ground beef products containing Finely Textured Beef should be clearly labeled," said John Keating, Cargill Beef president. "We’ve listened to the public, as well as our customers, and that is why we are declaring our commitment to labeling Finely Textured Beef."
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Bangladesh purchased 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat. South Korea passed on a tender to buy 70,000 MT of optional origin corn. Japan purchased 115,000 MT of feed barley and no wheat in a tender for 120,000 MT of feed wheat and 200,000 MT of feed barley. Japan is skipping its weekly milling wheat tender this week. Egypt tendered for at least 55,000 MT of wheat, 20,000 MT of soyoil and 20,000 MT of sunflower oil. Algeria tendered to buy 50,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat.