First Thing Today (VIP) -- October 4, 2013

October 4, 2013 01:07 AM


CORN AND WHEAT FIRMER, BEANS WEAKER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading around 1 cent higher, soybeans are 4 to 6 cents lower and wheat futures are 1 to 4 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

UKRAINE WHEAT PRODUCTION COULD FALL BY ONE-THIRD... Ukraine's 2013-14 wheat crop could be cut to around 15 MMT from around 22 MMT this year as heavy rains are reducing winter wheat seeding, according to the country's ag minister While production will be cut dramatically, the country is still expected to produce enough wheat to meet domestic needs, though exports in 2014-15 will be limited.

INFORMA TO ISSUE OCTOBER CROP REPORTS THIS MORNING... Informa Economics will issue its October crop reports 10:30 a.m. CT. The report will contain updated production forecasts for corn, soybeans and cotton. USDA's October Crop Production Report is scheduled to be released Oct. 11 at 11:00 a.m. CT, though this may be changed based on how long the government shutdown lingers.

CANADIAN CROPS REPORT ALSO OUT THIS MORNING... Statistics Canada will update its Canadian crop production forecasts at 7:30 a.m. CT. Analysts polled by Reuters expect record production estimates for wheat and canola. Based on the average pre-report guesses, all wheat production is expected at 32.9 MMT, the canola crop at 16.6 MMT and barley output at 9.5 MMT -- all up sharply from the previous forecasts.

JOBS DATA POSTPONED... The U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday that due to the government shutdown, the September jobs data won't be released this morning, as previously scheduled. The Labor Department didn't give an alternative date for the release.

WAIT CONTINUES FOR OBAMA’S FED CHAIR PICK... No announcement of President Obama’s nominee to be the next Chair of the Federal Reserve is expected this week, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. Asked why the process has taken so long, Furman said, "It’s an important decision. The president took this decision very seriously and there’s somebody who is in the job right now whose term doesn’t expire, you know instantly, and there will be more than enough time for Congress to consider whoever the president chooses to nominate. More than enough time." Furman would not comment on who that pick is or whether President Obama has picked current Vice Chair Janet Yellen, the person others in the administration say is the front runner.

CFTC CHIEF TO STEP DOWN... Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler reportedly intends to leave CFTC by the end of the year after five years in the post. Gensler's term has included the financial crisis, an overhaul of derivatives rules under the Dodd-Frank law and the prosecution of major banks for manipulating the Libor rate. Formerly of Goldman Sachs, Gensler took an aggressive approach to reform.

COOL SITUATION UPDATE... Four additional groups will be able to argue in defense of USDA's mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules in a pending lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund of the United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) announced in a statement. U.S. and Canadian meat and livestock organizations brought a suit July 8 against COOL and a U.S. District Court rejected a request for a preliminary injunction Sept. 11, a decision which the groups are appealing. The case has been stayed by the district court due to the government shutdown. This follows a request by the groups earlier to USDA to delay implementation of the final rule USDA published in May.

CASH CATTLE TRADE STEADY/LOWER... Cash cattle trade got started at steady $126 prices in Texas and Kansas yesterday afternoon, while Nebraska cattle traded $1 below last week's price action. Feedlots reportedly passed on steady bids earlier yesterday. The steady to weaker cash trade is a disappointment following back-to-back weeks of cash strength and given tighter showlist supplies this week.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Taiwan tendered to buy 40,000 to 60,000 MT of U.S. soybeans and a similar amount of Brazilian soybeans. South Korea passed on a tender to buy 140,000 MT of optional origin corn.


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