eCBOT Close, Early Call, Strong Weekly Export Sales

Thursday's overnight eCBOT market posted strong gains on the back of a weak dollar and firmer crude oil and equities. Beans finished with gains of around 22 cents and wheat & corn 6-8 cents.

Crude oil bobbed back up above 450/barrel on (possibly misplaced0 optimism that the G20 meeting will stabilise the global economy and that the worst is over. Hmmmmm.

The dollar was lower which also added a little enthusiasm for grains. The euro rose after the ECB only cut interest rates in the Eurozone by a quarter to 1.25% instead of the half point cut that had been expected. The pound rose against the dollar after the Nationwide said UK house prices rose unexpectedly in March. Traders are cautious on the dollar ahead of key jobs data due later this afternoon.

Corn also gained support on speculation that wet, cool weather may delay crop planting in the Midwest.

On the export front the US missed out on an Iraqi wheat tender, with them buying 50,000 MT of Russian and 100,000 MT of Australian wheat.

In it's weekly export sales report, which only came out after the close of the eCBOT market, the USDA reported another impressive number for corn: Old crop net sales of 1,251,300 MT were even higher than last week and above expectations of 850-1,100,000MT.

Soybean sales were also impressive: Old crop net sales of 599,800 MT were up 40 percent from the previous week, new crop net sales of 581,100 MT for delivery in 2009/10 included 412,000 MT for China. expectations were for combined sales of 500-700,000 MT.

Wheat sales came in at 283,500 MT for old crop and 100,400 MT for new crop against expectations of 300-425,000 MT.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn futures are expected to open 6 to 8 higher; soybeans 20 to 25 higher; wheat 5 to 7 higher.