First Thing Today (VIP) -- September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012 01:32 AM


CORN AND BEANS FIRMER, WHEAT MIXED... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 1 to 2 cents higher, soybeans 6 to 14 cents higher and wheat futures at all three exchanges mixed with a slight upside bias. The U.S. dollar index is holding near unchanged this morning after two-sided trade overnight.

ILLINOIS REQUESTS FDA OK TO BLEND AFLATOXIN CORN... Illinois has now requested FDA approval to blend corn containing aflatoxin with "clean" corn this fall. The state said the request was made based on a finding of above-normal levels of samples of this year's corn crop having aflatoxin, a situation typically made worse by drought. The state Department of Agriculture said initial results from a statewide sampling of the corn harvest showed that 18 of 223 samples contained 100 parts per billion (ppb) to 200 ppb of aflatoxin, and six samples contained more than 200 ppb. Last week FDA cleared Iowa's request to blend aflatoxin corn.

USDA TO UPDATE FOOD PRICE FORECASTS... USDA economists today will issue their monthly forecast update for food prices in 2012 and 2013. The figures have remained steady for several months despite drought pushing commodity prices higher. USDA has said the effects of drought will take time to filter through to food prices, with most of the impact likely to be seen in 2013. Their current forecast is for a 3% to 4% rise in food prices in 2013 after a 2.5% to 3.5% increase this year.

RUSSIA TEMPORARILY HALTS IMPORT, USE OF NK603 CORN... Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor says the country has temporarily suspended the import and use of Monsanto's NK603 genetically modified corn after a study alleged the corn causes cancer. The study, conducted by the University of Caen in France, alleged that lab rats fed the corn over a two-year period developed more tumors and other severe diseases than a test group fed with regular corn.

CHINA TO 'FINE TUNE' MONETARY POLICY TO PROMOTE GROWTH... China's economy is showing signs of stabilizing and inflation is stable the People's Bank of China said in a statement after its third-quarter monetary policy meeting. The central bank says, "We will continue to implement prudent monetary policy, make policies more targeted, flexible and forward-looking, while fine tuning policy according to the economic situation. We will use various policy tools to guide the steady and appropriate growth in money and credit and maintain reasonable social financing aggregate."

POOR START FOR BOXED BEEF MARKET... Boxed beef prices were 65 cents (Choice) to $1.43 (Select) lower Monday and packers moved only 139 loads of product. Many traders already feel a short-term in the cash cattle market is close. If the boxed beef market continues to weaken, it will increase odds of a short-term top.

CASH HOGS CALLED STEADY/FIRMER... The pork cutout value firmed 50 cents Monday and while that didn't keep pace with gains in the cash hog market, packers are still working with strong cutting margins. With packers having incentive to push as many hogs through kill lines as possible and market-ready supplies tightening ever so slightly, cash hog bids are expected to remain steady to firmer across the Midwest.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea purchased 133,000 MT of South American corn and 120,000 MT of optional origin corn. Taiwan tenders for 50,550 MT of U.S. wheat. Algeria tendered for 50,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat.


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