First Thing Today (VIP) -- September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013 01:10 AM


CORN AND WHEAT FIRMER, BEANS LOWER OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading fractionally to 1 cent higher, soybeans are mostly 7 to 15 cents lower, SRW wheat is 1 to 2 cents higher, HRW wheat is around 2 cents higher and HRS wheat is mixed with a slight upside bias. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure.

FEDERAL RESERVE EVENTS TOP THIS WEEK IN WASHINGTON... The big focus will stay on the Fed in the week ahead as the Federal Open Market Committee holds its two-day meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. The main focus for the meeting conclusion and subsequent quarterly press conference by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be on whether the Fed opts to start tapering its asset purchases. If they do, Bernanke will use the press conference to fully explain the move and underscore that even if they do start to taper the asset buys, there will still be a lot of stimulus going to the economy and that interest rate hikes are a long ways off. Most economists polled by Reuters expect the Fed to taper its purchases by about $10 billion per month, to $75 billion per month. In Congress, the House is expected to take up a food stamp funding bill, with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Tuesday releasing its annual update of the nation's long-term budget outlook. On the energy policy front, Platts on Tuesday will hold a discussion on revisions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and other issues, with Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) a participant.

WHO WILL HEAD THE FED AFTER BERNANKE'S CURRENT CHAIRMANSHIP ENDS NEXT JANUARY?... The topic saw some weekend developments as one of the candidates, Lawrence Summers, took himself out of contention. The two other top contenders mentioned by President Barack Obama to head the Fed are Janet Yellen and Donald Kohn, the Fed's current vice chairwoman and past vice chairman, respectively. Both were architects of the central bank's programs since the 2008 financial crisis and supporters of the policies laid out by Bernanke.

SMALLER CRUSH PACE EXPECTED... NOPA is expected to show August soybean crush totaled 110.7 million bu., based on the average pre-report guess. If accurate, that would be down 4.9% from July, 12.7% lower than year-ago and the smallest monthly crush figure since September 2011. Soyoil stocks are guessed at 1.856 billion pounds.

SOUTH KOREA TO STOCKPILE WHEAT AND SOYBEANS... South Korea will start stockpiling wheat and soybeans as of Sept. 23 due to increased consumption, according to Yonhap news agency. No tonnage for planned stockpiles was given.

CHINA SOYBEAN AUCTION SUSPENDED THIS WEEK... China will not hold its weekly soybean auction this week due to public holidays. The Chinese government has sold 1.63 MMT of soybeans from state reserves at weekly auctions since early August.

BULLISH CASH CATTLE HOPES... Cattle traders start the week with bullish hopes for the cash cattle market after last week's trade was better than expected at steady $123 prices in the Plains. While traders have bullish cash hopes, they are likely to remain relatively cautious toward adding long positions as October live cattle futures hold more than a $2 premium to last week's cash trade.

CASH HOGS CALLED MOSTLY STEADY... Packers are expected to open the week offering steady cash hog bids at most Midwest locations. While plants are in need of slaughter supplies, cutting margins are tight and hog movement is expected to pick up following a couple weeks of slowed marketings due to extreme heat across the Midwest.

WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... Exporters reported no tenders or purchases.


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