First Thing Today (VIP) -- September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012 01:23 AM


PRICE PRESSURE OVERNIGHT... As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading 3 to 6 cents lower, soybeans 6 to 12 cents lower, Chicago wheat 3 to 6 cents lower, Kansas City wheat 4 to 5 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat 5 to 7 cents lower. The U.S. dollar index is firmer this morning.

CHINA REVISES UP 2011 GDP... China's gross domestic product (GDP) for 2011 was revised up to 9.3% from 9.2% previously, according to the country's statistics bureau. Growth in the ag and manufacturing sectors were revised down, but the services sector was revised up.

SOYBEAN CCI RATING IMPROVES MARGINALLY... When USDA's weekly crop condition ratings are pulled into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (0 = crop failure; 500 = perfect crop), the soybean crop improved 2 points to 276, while the corn CCI rating was steady at 243. With corn harvest progressing and soybeans quickly turning yellow and dropping leaves, traders won't pay much attention to crop condition ratings.

GROUPS SUE WTO, OTHERS TO KEEP COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN LABELING IN FORCE... The Made in the USA Foundation led a coalition of groups filing suit against the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary of Agriculture to keep the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling Act (COOL) in force. The WTO ruled this summer that COOL, which required meat from Mexico, Canada and other nations to be labeled as such, discriminated against imported beef. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colo., seeks a court order declaring that the WTO does not have the authority to override U.S. law. The Country of Origin Labeling Act requires all meat, fish, chicken and produce to be labeled at the grocery store with an accurate country of origin. The topic was on a WTO meeting agenda last Friday, but details about that confab are lacking. Trade policy sources give the suit low odds of forcing changes to the WTO ruling.

JAPANESE PANEL RECOMMENDS RELAXING U.S. BEEF REGULATIONS... A Japanese government panel on food safety says raising the upper age limit on imported beef to 30 months from the current 20 months "posed little risk and its impact on human health would be negligible." The recommendation to raise the age limit applies to beef from the U.S., Canada, France and the Netherlands. The recommendation will now have a 30-day public comment period before moving to the health ministry. Cabinet ministers will hold more meetings before a final decision is made.

SOLID START FOR BOXED BEEF MARKET... Boxed beef prices were 83 cents (Choice) to $1.23 (Select) higher Tuesday and packers moved a solid 176 loads of product on the day. If the boxed beef market builds on yesterday's strength it would raise odds of steady to firmer cash cattle prices compared with last week's $122 to $123 trade in the Plains.

PORK CUTOUT CONTINUES TO SLIDE... While packers moved a strong 101.5 loads of pork Tuesday, the pork cutout value was 85 cents lower. With the pork cutout value continuing to retreat and given abundant market-ready hog supplies, packers have no incentive to actively pursue cash hogs. As a result, cash hog bids will remain under pressure.

OVERNIGHT DEMAND NEWS... South Korea tendered for up to 210,000 MT of corn and up to 140,000 MT of feed wheat.


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