First Thing Today (VIP) -- October 29, 2013

October 29, 2013 01:09 AM


CORN WEAKER, BEANS AND WHEAT FIRMER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading around 1 cent lower, soybeans are steady to 2 cents higher and wheat futures are fractionally to 1 cent higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

CHINESE CORN IMPORTS ON THE RISE... China is expected to import 5 MMT of corn from all sources in 2013, according to China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC). The state-run think-tank says 100,000 MT of U.S. corn is arriving at Chinese ports this month with another 800,000 MT expected to arrive in November.

HRW CCI DROPS, SRW IMPROVES... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 to 500 point scale), the HRW crop declined 8 points to 360, while the SRW crop improved 1 point to 377. HRW CCI ratings dropped in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota and Montana. Last year at this time, the HRW crop had a 312 CCI rating, while the SRW crop stood at 376.

FOOD STAMPS TO BE CUT ABOUT 5% ON NOV. 1... Congress is expected to let a temporary increase in food-stamp benefits end later this week for more than 47 million people. The extra Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamp) benefits were part of the 2009 stimulus law. Unless legislation is enacted before Nov. 1, which is unlikely, benefits for a family of four would be reduced by $36 per month, according to USDA. At maximum benefit levels in the 48 contiguous states and D.C., that would work out to 5.4% less for that family of four. "This change will affect each household," Kevin Concannon, USDA under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, said in a statement posted to USDA's blog. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced legislation (H.R. 3108) that would extend the benefits to Sept. 30, 2016. The measure, filed on Sept. 17, has 55 co-sponsors, all Democrats. But it has not moved in the House Agriculture Committee. Rep. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), a member of the conference committee working on farm subsidies and nutrition aid (HR 2642), said he doesn't expect debate on reviving the extra benefits.

CHINA REMOVES GMO RAPESEED OIL FROM STATE RESERVES... China Grain Reserves Corp. (Sinograin), the state-run stockpiling firm, has removed 1,477 MT of GMO rapeseed oil from state reserves as there is a ban on the stockpiling of genetically altered rapeseed oil. The firms who are responsible for the illegal stockpiling have been punished.

MOSAIC BUYS CF INDUSTRIES’ PHOSPHATE BUSINESS... Mosaic said it will buy CF Industries’ phosphate business -- its South Pasture phosphate plant and mine, a phosphate manufacturing plant and ammonia terminal and warehouse facilities that are all located in Florida -- for $1.2 billion in cash. Mosaic will also receive 1 MMT of ammonia per year as part of the deal and will allow the firm to end plans to build an ammonia manufacturing plant in Louisiana.

MOVEMENT SLOWS AS BEEF PRICES SURGE... Choice and Select boxed beef values each rose more than $2 Monday, but packers moved only 116 loads of product amid the sharply higher prices. If boxed beef movement remains slow, it would be an early indication the product market is working on a short-term top and could cause packers to resist raising cash cattle bids again this week.

CASH HOGS CALLED MOSTLY STEADY... Packer demand for cash hogs was better than expected Monday and the pork cutout value firmed 68 cents to improve cutting margins. Therefore, cash hog bids are expected to be mostly steady today.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 140,000 MT of U.S. corn and 65,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat. Bangladesh tendered to buy 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat.


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