First Thing Today (VIP) -- October 16, 2012

October 16, 2012 01:07 AM


CORRECTIVE BUYING OVERNIGHT... Grain and soy futures rebounded overnight following Monday's losses. As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 4 to 7 cents higher, soybeans 6 to 12 cents higher, Chicago and Kansas City wheat 5 to 6 cents higher, and Minneapolis wheat 6 to 8 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure this morning.

CRITICAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TONIGHT... The two presidential candidates will spar far more tonight than their initial debate. The issues will be many, but with the candidates differing on so many topics, which one can more clearly define the agenda ahead will likely get the upper hand. A split-decision tonight, some say, will not be enough for President Obama to help stem the surging GOP challenger Mitt Romney. The media spin could be just as important as the actual debate.

CHINESE CORN FORECAST RAISED... State-run China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC) now forecasts the 2012 Chinese corn crop at 201 MMT, up 4 MMT from its prior estimate and 8.6 MMT higher than last year's record crop. CNGOIC lowered its soybean crop forecast to 12.8 MMT from 13 MMT previously.

UKRAINE GRAIN STOCKS DOWN SHARPLY FROM YEAR-AGO... Ukraine had 19.4 MMT of grain stocks as of Oct. 1, down 11% from record stocks on this date last year as drought cut production, according to the state statistics agency. Meanwhile, the country's ag ministry says grain exports from July 1 to Oct. 15 have totaled 6.64 MMT, an increase of 73% from last year. For 2012-13, the ag ministry forecasts grain exports at around 20 MMT.

FAO SESSION STILL FOCUSES ON FOOD PRICES... Even though an emergency session of a G20 panel was deemed unnecessary, the meetings of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome still focused on food prices and "the effectiveness of measures to address food price volatility and to reduce its impact on the most vulnerable." FAO chief Jose Graziano Da Silva said that promises made by governments during the price rises in 2007 and 2008 to eradicate hunger have not been kept.

COCA-COLA MOVING TO MORE CORN-BASED SWEETENERS... Coca-Cola Co. is using more high fructose corn syrup in its products as its cheaper than sugar, the company's director of global agricultural commodity risk management told Dow Jones newswire. He also says the company is looking to expand contract farming to include products such as coffee, tea, fruits and dairy.

STRONG START FOR BOXED BEEF MARKET... Boxed beef prices surged $1.85 (Select) to $2.29 (Choice) Monday and packers moved a decent 152 loads of product. If the boxed beef market continues to strengthen through the week, cattle traders will expect steady to firmer cash cattle prices again this week as showlist numbers are down from week-ago.

PORK CUTOUT STRENGTHENS... The pork cutout value was 83 cents higher Monday to build on recent price strength. That will be enough to keep cash hog bids steady to firmer across the Midwest as packers are working with strong margins. But hog traders are sensing a short-term top in the product market is close.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Japan purchased 250,000 MT of Ukrainian corn and is seeking 126,144 MT of wheat in its weekly tender. South Korea purchased 55,000 MT of U.S. or South American corn.


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