MIXED TONE OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading fractionally to 1 cents higher, soybeans and Kansas City wheat narrowly mixed and Chicago and Minneapolis wheat fractionally to 1 cent lower. The U.S. dollar index is weaker this morning.
INTEREST IN CHINESE STATE-OWNED SOYBEANS DROPS SHARPLY... The Chinese government sold only 39,189 MT of state-owned soybeans out of 398,025 MT offered for sale in its biweekly auction. The average sale price of 4,527 yuan ($718) per ton is roughly the same as that of imported soybeans.
WEEKLY EXPORT SALES REPORT OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended Oct. 18, traders expect: corn sales between 150,000 and 250,000 MT; wheat sales between 350,000 and 450,000 MT; soybean sales between 650,000 and 850,000 MT; soymeal sales between 150,000 and 250,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 15,000 and 35,000 MT.
USDA TO UPDATE FOOD PRICE FORECASTS TODAY... USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) has held its food price forecasts steady for several months, calling for food prices to rise 2.5% to 3.5% in 2012 with another 3% to 4% increase forecast for 2013. ERS's forecasts have remained static despite continued increases in prices for grains and livestock linked to drought conditions in the United States. The focus now will mostly shift to USDA's 2013 outlook with 2012 quickly winding down.
BRAZIL TO RAISE ETHANOL BLEND PERCENTAGE BY MID-2013... Brazil will raise the required amount of ethanol blended into gasoline to 25% from the current 20% next May or June, according to the head of the country's oil regulator. Brazil lowered the amount of ethanol in gasoline to 20% in October 2011 due to a shortage of sugarcane, which is primarily used to make the biofuel in the country.
ALL-TIME HIGH IN CHOICE BOXED BEEF... Choice boxed beef prices rose another 86 cents Wednesday to an all-time high of $199.38. Select cuts were 58 cents higher to $183.92. Despite record prices, beef demand remains solid as packers moved 189 loads of product yesterday. Continued strength in the boxed beef market has traders anticipating firmer cash cattle prices compared with last week's $127 to $127.50 trade in the Plains.
PORK CUTOUT DROPS AGAIN... The pork cutout value dropped for a third consecutive day Wednesday, declining $1.99 on losses in all cuts except ribs. With pork prices retreating and an abundant supply of market-ready hogs, concerns the contra-seasonal rally is over in the cash hog market and lean hog futures are likely to build.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Taiwan purchased 23,000 MT of U.S. corn and 12,000 MT of U.S. soybeans. Iraq delayed a decision on its wheat tender until next week.