CORN FIRMER, BEANS WEAKER, WHEAT MIXED TO FIRMER... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 3 to 4 cents higher, soybeans steady to 3 cents lower, Chicago wheat mixed and Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat slightly firmer. The U.S. dollar index is weaker this morning.
REP. LUCAS: NEXT FEW DAYS KEY FOR FARM BILL IN HOUSE... House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) says he has been "like a rash" with House leaders relative to the issue of trying to get floor time scheduled for the version of the farm bill his committee passed earlier this summer. The next few days to two weeks will be key for determining the farm bill end zone, he said in Austin, Texas. But he predicted there "will be a new farm bill, we just don't know when and how."
ABARES CUTS AUSSIE WHEAT CROP ESTIMATE... The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) cut its wheat crop estimate by nearly 7% from its previous outlook to 22.5 MMT due to drought in key growing regions, especially Western Australia where production is expected to fall by nearly 40%. The ABARES wheat crop forecast is down 24% from last year's record crop.
UKRAINE WHEAT EXPORTS TO FALL SHARPLY BY NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER... Ukraine's wheat exports will decline sharply to "50,000 to 100,000 MT per month" starting in November or December, according to an ag ministry official. That's the first "official" confirmation of what private export sources have been saying as aggressive wheat exports now will lead to shortages in export supplies by late this year.
INDIA TO KEEP EXPORTING WHEAT, RICE... India's farm minister confirmed what export sources have been saying that the country will continue to export wheat and rice despite disappointing monsoon rains. Indian wheat and rice stocks on Aug. 1 were around 3 times greater than the official government target, meaning the country has plenty of supplies to export even if this year's crop is reduced by the lower-than-normal rainfall.
FARM OFFICE CUTS FRANCE WHEAT FORECAST... Farm office FranceAgriMer cut its wheat crop estimate to 36.1 MMT from 36.5 MMT last month. On Monday, the ag ministry released a crop estimate of 36.5 MMT. The FranceAgriMer estimate is still 6.2% above year-ago.
PREMIER: CHINA ON PACE TO HIT ECONOMIC TARGET... China is on pace to meet its economic growth target for the year, according to Premier Wen Jiabao. He says the country is giving greater prominence to policymaking to stabilize its economy. The comments come after another round of disappointing economic data out of the country.
VARIED START IN BOXED BEEF MARKET... Choice boxed beef prices were 59 cents higher Monday, but Select cuts dropped $1.02 and packers moved only 151 loads of product on the day. With Choice boxed beef prices at levels that have slowed retailer buying in the past, there are concerns the product market may be near a short-term top. As a result, traders will watch boxed beef trade closely as they formulate cash cattle opinions.
LIMITED DEMAND FOR CASH HOGS... Pork plants are well bought ahead on slaughter needs for the week and market-ready supplies are abundant. That will continue to limit packer demand for cash hogs despite strong cutting margins. As a result, cash hog bids will remain steady to weaker across the Midwest.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Egypt tendered for optional origin wheat. Japan is seeking 112,441 MT of U.S., Canadian and Australian wheat in its weekly tender. Bangladesh purchased 50,000 MT of Indian wheat.