Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Stopgap Funds, Round Two CFAP and More

11:42AM Sep 16, 2020
Here are audio highlights from around the ag industry, courtesy of Pro Farmer.
( Pro Farmer )

Good Morning farm country. Davis Michaelsen here with your morning update for Wednesday, September 16. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

Corn futures faced pressure overnight, but the market has since moved well off its lows to trade around a penny lower. Soybean futures are trading high-range and up 5 to 6 cents after two-sided overnight action. SRW wheat is a penny or two lower, while HRW and HRS wheat futures are narrowly mixed. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure, and crude oil futures are posting solid gains.

The case is building for higher Chinese corn imports. Three typhoons since August that brought high winds and heavy rains to China’s main corn producing region in the northeast have stoked speculation about the extent of crop damage.

The conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting today at 1:00 p.m. CT will bring the post-meeting statement and updated forecasts from Fed officials. Those updated forecasts are looked to paint an improved picture of the U.S. economic outlook — likely a less-negative U.S. economic outlook for 2020 but potentially a less-positive set of forecasts for 2021. The unemployment rate has already fallen below the levels Fed officials expected in their latest forecasts delivered in June.

A House vote on a stopgap funding measure could come next week. Negotiators want agreement on details of a stopgap funding measure this week ahead of a possible House vote early next week, as the Sept. 30 fiscal year deadline approaches. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, “I think it’ll come to the floor earlier in the week, rather than later in the week. And I think clearly it has enough time to pass the Senate," This would give the Senate time to vote on the bill before Sept. 30.

In a recent press release, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) wrote, “USDA is expected to announce a much-needed second round of CFAP support in the coming weeks.”

Covid-19 is still spreading across nation’s midsection. This week, Kansas and Tennessee each reported their highest tallies yet of virus-related deaths in a seven-day period. And Missouri, Wisconsin and North Dakota reported record numbers of new cases. North Dakota now has the highest number of new cases per capita in the country.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled Tuesday that some U.S. tariffs against China broke international trading rules, but likely will have no consequence for American tariff policy because the organization’s appellate system currently doesn’t function. U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer criticized the WTO’s ruling, saying that it underscored the problems with the Geneva-based WTO.

Showlist estimates are down about 19,000 head this week as drop in cattle placements during February and March is now beginning to be seen. This has traders expecting steady to higher cash cattle action this week. The pork cutout value jumped $4.55 on Tuesday with all cuts posting solid gains and hams and loins leading the charge. Movement was also impressive, signaling strong demand ahead of October, which is national pork month.

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