What Traders are Talking About:
Overnight highlights: As of 6:00 a.m. CT, corn futures are fractionally higher in most contracts, soybeans are mostly 2 to 4 cents higher and wheat futures are 1 to 3 cents higher. Price action is expected to be light and choppy amid pre-report positioning today. Cattle and hog futures are expected to open mixed to mostly firmer this morning.
* Smaller crop, carryover forecasts expected. Traders are anticipating USDA will lower its corn and soybean crop estimates in Thursday's Crop Production Report. The average trade guesses according to a Dow Jones newswire survey put the corn crop at 13.646 billion bu. on a yield of 153.9 bu. per acre and the soybean crop at 3.149 billion bu. on an yield of 41.3 bu. per acre. In August, USDA estimated the corn crop at 13.763 billion bu. on a yield of 154.4 bu. per acre and the soybean crop at 3.255 billion bu. on a yield of 42.6 bu. per acre. Amid the expectations for smaller crops, traders expect USDA to lower its 2013-14 corn and soybean carryover projections. New-crop corn carryover is guessed at 1.697 billion bu. and soybean ending stocks are expected to be 161 million bu., down from 1.837 billion bu. and 220 million bu., respectively, last month.
The long and short of it: Traders are expecting friendly corn and soybean numbers tomorrow. But the key is whether there's a bullish price reaction if the data is indeed friendly.
* Scattered western Corn Belt rains, cooler temps coming. Very light and scattered rains developed over the western Corn Belt overnight, with forecasters saying the best rains were 0.25 to 0.5 inches in areas that were lucky enough to receive them. Locally in Cedar Falls, Iowa, we received our first 0.12 inches of rain this month overnight. Cooler temps are also moving into the region, though today's high is still expected to be a solid 10 degrees above normal. By Friday, highs are forecast to be in the upper 60s to low 70s as the cool front is fully established.
The long and short of it: Rains will help soybeans some, though they are too late for some of the crop that has prematurely shut down. The rains are also too late for corn, which has been really pushed hard by the unseasonably hot temps since mid-August.
* Surprise, China forecast to have record corn production. China's corn crop is forecast to be record-large at 215 MMT, up 4.6% from year-ago, according to China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC). Chinese total grain production is also expected to be record-large at 589.57 MMT. The state-run think-tank lowered its 2013-14 corn consumption forecast to 199.79 MMT, down 2.84 MMT from its previous forecast, amid what it called slowing economic conditions. Chinese 2013-14 corn imports were left at 5.5 MMT, which is below USDA's August forecast of 7 MMT. Meanwhile, CNGOIC forecasts Chinese soybean production at 12.5 MMT, down 4.2% from year-ago.
The long and short of it: Virtually everyone believes the Chinese corn production numbers are fabricated. The truest measure of Chinese corn supplies is how much the country imports.
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