First Thing Today Audio | July 29, 2021

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Corn futures are a penny higher in early trade after a quiet overnight session. Soybeans are up 5 to 7 cents, but off overnight highs. Spring wheat futures are 6 to 10 cents higher, and the market could be heading toward a test of contract highs registered July 19. Winter wheat futures are 5 to 8 cents higher. The U.S. dollar index is under pressure and has hit a new low for the month. Crude oil futures are slightly higher.

On Day 2 of the Wheat Quality Council’s spring wheat tour through North Dakota and neighboring areas, scouts calculated an average yield estimate of just 24.6 bu. per acre, a dramatic drop from 40.8 bu. per acre in 2019 and the five-year average of 42.4 bu. per acre.

Brazil’s statistics agency Conab issued a warning to producers earlier this week about the threat yet another round of frost poses for corn and wheat in the country’s southern and southeastern states. Conab said moderate to severe frost Wednesday and Thursday could damage filling safrinha corn and flowering wheat in Sao Paulo and Parana, with Mato Grosso do Sul also expected to see some frost.

The Senate on Wednesday voted to open formal debate on the bipartisan infrastructure proposal. The resulting bill would provide about $550 billion in new federal money for roads, bridges, rail, transit, water and other physical infrastructure programs. Many of its spending provisions are unchanged from the original framework.

A U.S. clampdown on oil to meet climate-change goals will likely result in higher inflation and benefit crude-producing rivals, according to pipeline giant Enterprise Product Partners. Nations pledging to slash greenhouse-gas emissions through 2050 have largely failed to enact policies designed to curb fossil fuel demand and the U.S. is mostly alone in bearing the costs of curtailing oil-and-gas supplies.

USDA has confirmed African Swine Fever (ASF) in samples from pigs in the Dominican Republic via a cooperative surveillance program, USDA announced Wednesday.

China’s cabinet on Wednesday said it would step-up emergency adjustments of its pork reserves and take steps to stabilize hog prices, according to state media reports cited by Reuters. A surge in marketing of heavy hogs late-winter and into spring caused Chinese hog and pork prices to tank.

Choice beef has climbed nearly $8 over the past week, with Select up more than $7. But so far, that hasn’t translated to cash market strength. Some light sales occurred yesterday from $121 to $123 in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, with the latter two locations leading gains.

Daily trading limits expand to $4.50 today after a limit-lower close for the October contract on Wednesday. Profit-taking was largely to blame, with traders taking advantage of recent gains. News about ASF creeping closer to the U.S. may also have come into play. Cash hog bids dropped a national average of $1.74 yesterday.



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