First Thing Today (VIP) -- October 9, 2012

October 9, 2012 01:36 AM


PRICE STRENGTH OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 3 to 4 cents higher, soybeans 10 to 20 cents higher, Chicago wheat 5 to 8 cents higher, Kansas City wheat 4 to 7 cents higher and Minneapolis wheat 6 to 7 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is also firmer this morning.

AUSSIE SCIENTISTS: ODDS OF EL NINO IN 2012 'FURTHER REDUCED'... The chances of El Niño developing this year are declining, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The bureau says, "The tropical Pacific continued its retreat from El Niño thresholds, remaining within the neutral range (neither El Niño nor La Niña). Other ENSO indicators such as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and tropical cloud patterns have persisted at neutral levels since late July. Given the rate of ocean cooling, and the continued neutral conditions in the atmosphere, the chance of an El Niño developing in 2012 has reduced further over the past two weeks. However, some risk still remains while the trade winds in the western Pacific continue to be weaker than normal. Climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology have increased their chances of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean remaining at neutral levels, though still warmer than average, for the remainder of 2012."

IMF LOWERS GLOBAL GROWTH FORECASTS AGAIN... The International Momentary Fund (IMF) lowered its global growth forecasts for a second time since April and says risks for a serious global slowdown are "alarmingly high." The IMF dropped this year's growth outlook to 3.3% (3.5% previously) and its projection for next year to 3.6% (3.9% previously). The IMF sees the impending U.S. "fiscal cliff" and the euro-zone debt crisis as the primary risks to the global economy.

RUSSIAN AG MIN UPDATES CROP, EXPORT FORECASTS... Russia's Ag Minister Nikolai Fyodorov says the country will harvest 70 MMT of grain (40 MMT of wheat) and will be able to export 10 MMT in 2012-13. Previously, he had forecast grain production at 70 MMT (wheat at 40 MMT to 42 MMT) and put exports in a range from 10 MMT to 12 MMT. Fyodorov reiterated his opposition to using grain export restrictions.

CHINA 2013 GRAIN, COTTON IMPORT QUOTAS UNCHANGED... China will set its low-tariff import quotas for 2013 at levels equal to this year as part of its commitment of being a member of the World Trade Organization. Import quotas will be: 7.2 MMT for corn (60% for state-owned firms); 9.636 MMT for wheat (90% for state-owned firms); and 894,000 MT for cotton (33% for state-owned firms).

IEA PREDICTS BOOM FOR IRAQ’S OIL INDUSTRY... Iraq’s oil output is to more than double by the end of the decade and by the 2030s the country will be the world’s second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, according to an in-depth study by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, told the Financial Times ahead of the launch of the report today that Iraq’s oil production would be "crucial for the health of the global economy". He said Iraq would account for 45% of the anticipated growth in global oil supply over the current decade. Under the IEA’s central scenario, Iraq would more than double exports to 6.1 million barrels per day by 2020 and accumulate $200 billion a year on average in revenues from oil exports to 2035.

VARIED START FOR BOXED BEEF MARKET... Boxed beef prices were 58 to 78 cents higher Monday, but packers moved only 138 loads of product for the day. With something for both bulls and bears in Monday's boxed beef performance, cattle traders will continue to search for clearer indications of this week's cash cattle tone.

SLUGGISH PORK PRODUCT MARKET PERFORMANCE...The pork cutout value was 2 cents higher Monday and packers moved only 20.5 loads of product for the day. If the pork product market remains sluggish it would stir talk of a short-term top as there are concerns supplies could start to outweigh demand with October pork purchases complete.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 70,000 MT of South American corn and tendered for 55,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat. Iran may buy 2 MMT to 3 MMT of Indian wheat longer-term.


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