First Thing Today (VIP) -- September 13, 2012

September 13, 2012 01:07 AM


MIXED TO FIRMER TONE THIS MORNING... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are narrowly mixed, soybeans mostly 3 to 6 cents lower and wheat futures mixed with an upside bias at all three exchanges. The U.S. dollar index is modestly weaker this morning.

FOMC MEETING CONCLUDES WITH BERNANKE PRESS CONFERENCE... Attention is on the Fed as the monetary policy board wraps up its two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting around 11:30 a.m. CT, followed by Chairman Ben Bernanke's press conference at 1:15 p.m. CT. Investors are generally anticipating a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) will be announced as the Fed looks to boost economic activity.

CNGOIC FORECASTS SHARP DROP IN CHINESE CORN IMPORTS NEXT YEAR... Chinese corn imports are expected to fall sharply to around 1 MMT in 2013 as high U.S. corn prices curb demand and cause importers to seek alternatives, according to state-run China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC). For 2012, CNGOIC forecasts Chinese corn imports at 5.5 MMT. The CNGOIC forecast is much smaller than others are projecting, and if realized, would be the smallest Chinese corn import figure since 2009.

NUTRITION FUNDING, BUT NO FARM BILL EXTENSION INCLUDED IN HOUSE CONTINUING RESOLUTION... The House today will vote on, and likely clear, a six month continuing resolution aimed at keeping spending priorities and government programs in a holding pattern until a new Congress and perhaps a new president take office. The language does not include any extension of the 2008 Farm Bill. It does, however, provide $254 million in annualized funding for USDAs Commodity (Nutrition) Assistance Program, including $187 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) has stated he expects a one-year extension by the end of the month. "I believe in the options that are left to us, there’s a growing probability that’s the most practical thing," he said. Lucas said House GOP leadership will address the issue after the House votes on its continuing resolution.

WEEKLY EXPORT SALES REPORT OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended Sept. 6, traders expect: corn sales between 350,000 and 450,000 MT; wheat sales between 450,000 and 600,000 MT; soybean sales between 600,000 and 750,000 MT; soymeal sales between 150,000 and 250,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 15,000 and 30,000 MT.

HIGHER CASH CATTLE TRADE EXPECTED... With overall showlist supplies tighter than week-ago in the Plains and the boxed beef market turning in a solid performance so far this week, cash cattle sources are expecting firmer cash cattle prices compared with last week's $124 to $125 trade in the Plains. But with bids and asking prices still far apart, active cash cattle trade doesn't appear likely until Friday.

PORK STRENGTH PROVES SHORT-LIVED... After strong price gains in the pork product market Tuesday, the cutout value dropped $1.70 yesterday and movement slowed to 99.25 loads. As a result, hopes for a short-term low in the pork product market remain on hold as heavy supplies continue to pressure the market.

ICE HALVES FEES FOR GRAINS CONTRACTS... The IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) will cut in half the exchange fees for its U.S. grain and oilseed futures and options contracts in an attempt to boost business. ICE announced fees for its cash-settled corn, wheat, soybean, soybean meal and soybean oil contracts will drop to 75 cents from $1.50 starting Oct. 1.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Japan purchased 112,441 MT of U.S, Canadian and Australian wheat in its weekly tender. Egypt tendered for optional origin wheat.


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