First Thing Today (VIP) -- September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013 01:26 AM


PRICE STRENGTH OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 4 to 5 cents higher, soybeans are mostly 6 to 12 cents higher and wheat futures are mostly 9 to 12 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure this morning as it continues to reel following the surprising move by the Fed Wednesday to maintain all of its monthly bond purchases.

HOUSE TODAY CONSIDERS CONTROVERSIAL FOOD STAMP FUNDING BILL... Today, the House considers a bill (HR 3102) that would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, by about 5%, or $40 billion over ten years. No Democratic members are expected to vote for it and the White House has threatened a veto. GOP aides said they would have the votes to pass it and had more than 200 confirmed votes by Wednesday afternoon. Once the bill is settled one way or another, the next move would be to eventually announce House farm bill conferees and work food nutrition funding back into a House-Senate farm bill conference report.

U.S. ASKS CHINA TO GIVE WTO INFO ON COTTON STOCKPILING PROGRAM... U.S. officials have requested China to provide WTO members with information on its cotton stockpiling program, which has seen the country build up reserves that account for an estimated 60% of global stocks. The U.S. will ask China via a Sept. 26 WTO ag committee meeting for info on its support measures, current stocks and how China aims to manage those stocks without impacting the global cotton market. This follows word Wednesday that China had started purchases of 2013-crop domestic cotton for state-owned reserves, a development that was a little surprising given late-August reports that China was aiming to end its stockpiling effort in favor of subsidies to farmers.

WEEKLY EXPORT SALES OUT THIS MORNING... For the week ended Sept. 12, traders expect: corn sales between 450,000 and 650,000 MT; wheat sales between 500,000 and 650,000 MT; soybean sales between 650,000 and 750,000 MT; soymeal sales between 100,000 and 230,000 MT; and soyoil sales between 5,000 and 15,000 MT.

USDA WILL NOT TAKE ACTION IN GMO ALFALFA CASE... USDA said Wednesday there's no need for government action in the case where a Washington state farmer found a small amount of GMO material in his non-GMO alfalfa crop, calling it a "commercial issue." GMO alfalfa is approved for production in the U.S., though some importers don't allow its presence in shipments.

LATE-WEEK CASH CATTLE TRADE EXPECTED AGAIN THIS WEEK... Packers have been slow to establish cash cattle bids in the Plains, suggesting active trade won't likely be seen until Friday again this week. It appears likely cash cattle trade won't be seen until after USDA's Cattle on Feed Report Friday afternoon unless packers raise bids enough to encourage feedlots to start moving animals before then.

PORK PRODUCT MARKET REMAINS STRONG... The pork cutout value was 16 cents higher Wednesday and packers moved a strong 443.34 loads of product on the day. With the product market showing no signs of slowing down, selling interest in lean hog futures will remain limited to profit-taking and futures may attempt to move the next leg higher.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... Japan purchased 108,901 MT of milling wheat in its weekly tender, including 62,831 MT of U.S. supplies.


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