CORN AND WHEAT FIRMER, BEANS LOWER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 4 to 7 cents higher, soybeans mostly 10 to 14 cents lower, Chicago wheat 3 to 7 cents higher, Kansas City wheat 4 to 7 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat 5 to 7 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.
HURRICANE SANDY CAUSES SOME CLOSURES... Due to Hurricane Sandy, U.S. stock markets are closed today, reversing a decision Sunday to allow electronic trading to take place. CME Group is closing its stock market futures and options trade at 8:15 a.m. CT and the bond market is closing at 11 a.m. CT. Pit trading at the NYMEX is also closed today, although electronic trading on the exchange is open. Federal government offices along the East Coast are also closed today, meaning USDA's weekly export inspections and crop progress data is delayed. Hurricane Sandy could cause more closures and delays on Tuesday.
HURRICANE SANDY IMPACTS WEEK AHEAD IN WASHINGTON... The arrival of Hurricane Sandy has already altered schedules for the week, with President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney both scrapping some campaign appearances due to the storm. The market closures currently set for today along with the delayed release of USDA data due to the hurricane could continue into Tuesday depending on how the storm goes. The balance of the week will be focused on Friday's Employment report which is the final release of this key indicator before the November 6 elections. Congress remains on its post-election break.
CHINESE SOY IMPORTS TO RISE SHARPLY... China is expected to import a record 57.5 MMT of soybeans this year, up 9.3% from 2011, according to a story by state-run Xinhua news agency citing data from the Ministry of Agriculture. The report says due to dwindling domestic production and soaring demand, China is relying more on imported beans.
WATCHING FOR A TOP IN BOXED BEEF... After posting an all-time high earlier last week, boxed beef prices closed out the week under heavy pressure. As a result, traders are watching for further signs of a top in the product market. If the boxed beef market softens, cash cattle prices will also likely come under pressure. But pressure on futures should be relatively limited as December live cattle are already trading below last week's cash trade.
CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/WEAKER... Packers are expected to open the week offering steady to weaker prices for cash hogs. Packer margins are tight, the product market is signaling a short-term top is in place and market-ready hog supplies are plentiful. As a result, demand for cash hogs is expected to be limited.
WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 26,000 MT of U.S. wheat and 38,800 MT of Australian wheat. Japan bought 29,300 MT of wheat and 9,500 MT of barley. Israel tendered for 90,000 MT of corn, 30,000 MT of feed wheat, 25,000 MT of feed barley and 25,000 MT of sorghum -- all European origin.