CORN AND BEANS LOWER, WHEAT MIXED OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading mostly 5 to 6 cents lower, soybeans are mostly 8 to 12 cents lower and wheat futures are mixed. The U.S. dollar index is solidly higher this morning.
USDA THURSDAY REPORTS AND VP DEBATE KEY EVENTS ON TAP THIS WEEK... The U.S. government is out for the Columbus Day holiday, but most markets (not bonds) are open. That means Crop Progress is out Tuesday and Export Sales will come Friday. Key USDA reports this week come Thursday with the latest crop production estimates, and supply/demand projections. Economic reports of note include the Fed's Beige Book (Wednesday), weekly Jobless Claims (Thursday) and the Producer Price Index (Friday). The vice presidential candidates square off in a Thursday debate. Congress remains on their pre-election break with a lame-duck session on tap following the Nov. 6 elections.
WORLD BANK CUTS CHINESE GROWTH FORECASTS... The World Bank now sees 2012 Chinese GDP at 7.7% versus its previous forecast of 8.2% growth and 2013 GDP at 8.1% compared with its prior forecast of 8.6% growth. Despite the reduced economic growth forecasts, the World Bank anticipates a soft landing for China's economy and sees limited risk of a hard landing.
BERG SAYS FARM BILL VOTE 'THIS YEAR'... Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) told a business roundtable meeting in Grand Forks on Friday that he expects the farm bill to come to a vote in the current Congress, according to The Jamestown Sun newspaper. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) "made a commitment to bring the farm bill up before the end of the year," Berg said. "I take him at his word." The bill has a good chance of passing after the November election when political pressures holding up the bill are gone, he said. "The last thing we want to do is to create this cloud of uncertainty over agriculture," Berg told a group of about 20 representatives of the agriculture, transportation and banking industries, and others.
RUSSIAN GRAIN HARVEST SEEN AROUND 70 MMT... Russia has currently harvested 68 MMT of grain and total production will come in around "70 MMT, maybe even a little more," according to the deputy prime minister in charge of agriculture. That's lower than the 72 MMT to 73 MMT forecast from the country's ag ministry. Russian grain exports for 2012-13 are expected to fall in the 10 MMT to 14 MMT range.
FRANCE CUTS WHEAT CROP FORECAST... France's ag ministry cut its wheat crop forecast to 35.9 MMT from 36.5 MMT previously. This year's crop would still be 5.6% higher than the 2011 crop.
WATCHING BOXED BEEF TRADE... Cattle traders will closely watch boxed beef trade early this week as they formulate opinions about this week's cash cattle trade. If here are hopes of building on last week's $1 higher cash cattle prices in the Plains, the boxed beef market likely needs to show strength given negative packer cutting margins.
CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/FIRMER... Packers are expected to open the week offering steady to firmer bids for cash hogs across the Midwest as they are working with positive cutting margins. But there are some questions about whether the recent cash strength may be coming to an end as retailer buying for October "pork month" features is complete and market-ready supplies are plentiful.
WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Iraq passed on a tender for optional origin wheat, but the country's grain board plans to buy around 300,000 MT of wheat per month the rest of 2012.