GRAINS FIRMER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading around 2 cents higher, soybeans are mostly 1 to 2 cents higher and wheat futures are mostly 3 to 5 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is facing heavy pressure this morning.
U.S. GOVERNMENT REOPENS AFTER A 16-DAY SHUTDOWN... The reopening came one day before the U.S. was slated to reach its borrowing limit. Congress on Wednesday cleared, and President Obama signed, a measure (HR 2775) to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling. Federal workers are directed to return to work this morning, Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement. Federal workers, including about 800,000 who were furloughed due to the shutdown and those deemed essential, will receive back pay for the past 16 days. States that used their own funds to implement operations normally paid by the federal government will be reimbursed. The Senate on Wednesday night passed the bill 81-18. All of the senators who voted against it were Republicans. Before final passage, the Senate voted 83-16 to invoke cloture on the measure. Sixty votes were required; only Republicans voted no. Later Wednesday, the House cleared the bill 285-144. All 198 Democrats voted yes, along with 87 Republicans. The measure funds the government through Jan. 15 at the Fiscal 2013 post-sequestration spending level and suspends the debt limit until Feb. 7. Both chambers agreed to reconcile their budget resolutions adopted earlier this year and report by Dec. 13. The bill extends through Jan. 15 entitlements and other mandatory payments provided under the Food and Nutrition Act, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, direct payments to farmers and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments. It also includes a policy rider that would roll back USDA rules intended to strengthen the hand of chicken farmers in their dealings with poultry processors. The language is the product of a fight over regulations that the Grain Inspection Stockyard and Packers Administration (GIPSA) proposed to comply with a directive in the 2008 Farm Bill.
CHINA BUYS 1.2 MMT OF CORN THIS MONTH... Chinese firms have purchased 20 cargoes (1.2 MMT) of U.S. corn for March through June shipment so far this month, according to Chinese-based consulting firm Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. The firm says shipment of all the purchases will depend on the buyers getting required import quotas next year.
CHINA WEEKLY SOYBEAN AUCTION ATTRACTS SLIGHTLY BETTER DEMAND... The Chinese government sold 281,783 MT of soybeans at its weekly auction out of 500,503 MT put up for sale. The sales level and average selling price were each up slightly from last week.
UKRAINE WINTER GRAIN LOSSES WILL BE LESS THAN PREVIOUSLY EXPECTED... Ukraine now expects to lose no more than 500,000 hectares (1.24 million acres) of winter grain sowings due to unfavorable weather this fall, according to Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk. He previously said planting losses would be 1.5 million hectares (3.71 million acres). Prysyazhnyuk says a loss of up to 500,000 hectares of winter grains would be made up for with greater seedings of spring-planted grains.
CASH CATTLE TRADE HIGHER... Cash cattle trade got started at $129 in Texas and Kansas late Wednesday. While up $1 from last week's trade, most feedlots passed on that price in hopes of $130 or higher bids. October live cattle futures ended Thursday's session just above where cash cattle trade got started. Given tightening cattle supplies and the recent rise in cash prices, traders should build some premium into nearby futures.
CASH HOGS SEEN STEADY/WEAKER... Packers continue to work with profitable margins, but market-ready hog numbers have increased enough in most areas that packers don't have to raise bids to attract needed supplies. Cash hog bids are expected to remain steady to weaker at most Midwest locations today.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Taiwan bought 60,000 MT of U.S. soybeans. Japan purchased 112,031 MT of wheat in its weekly tender, including 79,733 MT of U.S. supplies. South Korea tendered to buy 23,000 MT of U.S. wheat. Libya tendered to buy 50,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat.