CORN AND WHEAT LOWER, BEANS FIRMER... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading mostly 2 to 5 cents lower, soybeans 6 to 14 cents higher, Chicago wheat 1 to 6 cents lower, Kansas City wheat 5 to 8 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat 2 to 3 cents lower. The U.S. dollar index is weaker this morning.
SEPTEMBER CROP REPORTS OUT THIS MORNING... USDA is expected to lower its corn and soybean crop estimates from last month, with the average trade guesses pegging the corn crop at 10.403 billion bu. and the soybean crop at 2.638 billion bushels. Carryover forecasts -- both old- and new-crop -- for corn and soybeans are seen declining from August, while the 2012-13 wheat carryover projection is expected to increase from last month.
POET MAY LOOK TO ALTERNATIVES TO CORN FOR ETHANOL... Ethanol maker POET says it could turn to alternative sources to corn for ethanol production as early as next month given the high price and limited availability of corn due to this year's drought. In an interview with Reuters, POET CEO Jeff Lautt says some alternatives, including wheat, work so well that "it comes down to overall availability and price." Lautt says once harvest is complete the company will determine whether to use alternatives to corn at some of its ethanol facilities.
UKRAINE WHEAT EXPORTS WON'T EXCEED 5 MMT... Ukraine's ag minister says 2012-13 wheat exports could total "4.5 MMT to 5 MMT." Last week the ag ministry and the exporters' union agreed to limit 2012-13 wheat exports to 4 MMT, although that figure will be reviewed every month.
STABENOW'S PREDICTION OF ENOUGH VOTES TO PASS HOUSE BILL DISPUTED... Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow's (D-Mich.) comments on Tuesday that the House has enough votes is being disputed by several other farm bill observers. Meanwhile, Farm Bill Now, a lobbying group pushing to get a new farm bill passed is not having the impact its leaders hoped for. The group will hold a rally today in Washington, D.C. The focus in the House is now on some type of 2008 Farm Bill extension.
LATE-WEEK CASH CATTLE TRADE LIKELY... Cash cattle sources aren't expecting active cash cattle trade to be seen in the Plains until late Thursday or Friday. Initial bids and asking prices are $4 to $5 apart and neither packers nor feedlots seem likely to aggressively weaken their stance until much later in the week.
PORK PRODUCT MARKET STRENGTHENS... The pork cutout value was 96 cents higher Tuesday and packers moved a strong 172.5 loads of product on the day. While that may signal the pork product market is nearing a short-term low, price strength was not seen in all cuts -- picnics and bellies were sharply lower. Traders will want to see strong signs of a short-term low in the product market before they actively cover short positions in futures as pork supplies are building seasonally, putting more pressure on demand to keep up.
OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... The United Arab Emirates tendered for 20,000 MT each of corn and feed barley -- both optional origin.