First Thing Today (VIP) -- September 24, 2012

September 24, 2012 01:09 AM


BEANS LEAD LOSSES OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures were trading mostly 1 to 2 cents lower, soybeans mostly 9 to 15 cents lower, Chicago wheat 3 to 6 cents lower, Kansas City wheat around 5 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat around 3 cents lower. The U.S. dollar index is higher this morning.

LAWMAKERS EXIT WASHINGTON UNTIL AFTER NOV. 6 ELECTIONS... It should be relatively quiet in Washington this week as the House and Senate wrapped up the few things they could settle on before all of the House and one-third of the Senate face voters Nov. 6. Lawmakers will return Nov. 12 for an unspecified lame-duck session in which the farm bill could be part of the agenda, as well as an extension of some sort for the 2008 Farm Bill. The Senate cleared a six-month stop-gap spending measure early Saturday after a week of negotiations laced with electoral politics. The Senate cleared the spending bill 62-30, with 10 Republicans voting with the Democratic majority and only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.V.), voting against. The measure, which President Obama is expected to sign soon, will extend spending through March 27 and increases levels for most programs and agencies by about 0.6%.

INDIA FORECASTS SUMMER-GROWN GRAINS DOWN NEARLY 10%... India's summer-grown grain production is forecast at 117.18 MMT, according to the country's farm minister, down 9.8% from 2011-12 due to erratic rains during the first two months of the June-September monsoon season. The country hopes overall grain production for 2012-13 will hit 249 MMT, down 3.3% from 2011-12, with wheat production targeted at 86 MMT.

INSTITUTE RAISES RUSSIAN GRAIN PRODUCTION, EXPORT FORECASTS... Russia's 2012 grain crop is forecast at 70 MMT, up from a previous estimate of 69 MMT, according to the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR). The institute sees exportable supplies of 12.2 MMT, up from its prior forecast of 10 MMT, with wheat exports expected to account for 9.5 MMT of that total. IKAR says Russia has already exported 7 MMT of grain since the beginning of the 2012-13 marketing year on July 1. Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly says Russia's 2012 grain crop will be around 70 MMT. Russia's ag ministry put the country's grain crop at 72 MMT to 73 MMT last week and reiterated that exportable grain stocks will be 10 MMT to 14 MMT.

BEAR SPREADING EXPECTED IN CATTLE FUTURES... The combination of lighter-than-expected Placements and Marketings in last Friday's Cattle on Feed Report should encourage traders to bear spread the market. Another factor which will likely pressure nearby live cattle futures is the belief the cash cattle market has posted a short-term top. But downside risk is limited by tightening feedlot supplies.

PORK INVENTORY TO PRESSURE HOGS... Last Friday's Cold Storage Report featured record pork stocks for the end of August. That's expected to weigh on lean hog futures to open the week. But if the cash hog market builds on last week's strength, downside risk will be limited. Cash hog bids are called mostly steady today.

WEEKEND DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 65,000 MT of corn out of a tender for up to 140,000 MT and rejected all offers for up to 70,000 MT of feed wheat. Iraq tendered for at least 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat.


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