Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: Storm Season, Trade Deficit and More

09:32AM Aug 06, 2020
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Here are audio highlights from around the ag industry, courtesy of Pro Farmer.
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Good Morning farm country. Davis Michaelsen here with your morning update for Thursday, August 6. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

Corn futures saw two-sided action overnight, with futures currently posting losses around a penny. Soybean futures are steady to 2 cents lower, with futures hitting new lows for the week. Winter wheat futures are down 3 to 5 cents, with HRW wheat testing this week’s contract lows. Spring wheat futures are a penny lower after hitting new contract lows overnight. The U.S. dollar index is just above unchanged, while crude oil futures are facing light pressure.

Traders today will closely examine the weekly U.S. jobless claims report, which is expected to show new claims of around 1.423 million in the week ending Aug. 1, down slightly from the week prior. Today’s report is likely to give fresh insight on notions the U.S. economic recovery is slowing down

China once more sold all of the reserve corn put up for auction this week. Over the past 11 weeks of auctions, China has cleared all of the supplies it has offered, adding to ideas the country is dealing with a shortfall and could increase purchases of corn from the U.S

Forecasters at Colorado State University (CSU) warned yesterday that they expect 24 named storms in the current Atlantic hurricane season that kicked off June 1, half of which are likely to develop into hurricanes. Five of those hurricanes are likely to be major.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo detailed a new five-pronged "Clean Network" effort aimed at curbing potential national security risks. The U.S. wants to see "untrusted Chinese apps" removed from Apple's and Google's app stores, called for companies to limit availability of their apps on phones made by Huawei and urged firms to halt using Chinese cloud providers for storing sensitive data.

The U.S. recorded a new monthly record trade deficit of $1.13 billion in June, the second month in a row for a new record trade gap for the sector that has historically recorded trade surpluses on a monthly and annual basis. Cumulative ag exports for fiscal year 2020 stand at $102.22 billion against imports of $100.49 billion for a trade surplus of just $1.734 billion.

There were slight to moderate gains for most live and feeder cattle futures contracts on Wednesday, with traders encouraged by an uptick in boxed beef movement and some early higher cash cattle prices. Today’s export sales update will be the focus in the lean hog market, especially any business to China. Average hog weights in the Iowa/southern Minnesota market fell 1.4 lbs. the week ending Aug. 1, with weights now up “just” 3.3 lbs. from year-ago.

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