eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed lower on profit-taking following recent steep rises, and weaker crude oil. Wheat finished around 10-12 cents lower, with corn off 3-4 cents and beans 7-8 cents easier.

Crude is currently down 68 cents at $67.87/barrel, with talk the much of the recent rally has been contrary to supply and demand fundamentals. The US Energy dept will be out later this afternoon with their take on US inventories for last week.

Crude stocks are expected to decline 1.4 million barrels, although the American Petroleum Institute yesterday pegged the crop at only 828,000 barrels.

Cool and wet is the theme for Missouri, Illinois and Indiana over the next two weeks, according to Allen Motew of QT Weather. In addition, freezing conditions hit W Canada, Montana and North Dakota yesterday and then spread southeastward today, he says. This cold pool of air will remain over Canada during the next 10 days, with temperatures for the remainder of the week averaging -3 to -18 degrees F below normal across the Northern Plains and Western Corn Belt.

That could be a little bullish for wheat and corn, but bearish for new crop beans.

For old crop beans the tightness of the ending stocks is the primary concern. Coming up tomorrow we have the USDA's weekly export sales report, which will be scrutinised to see if old crop bean sales are now finally about to start falling away.

Next week we have the USDA's revised S&D and stocks data, although various trade estimates peg old crop ending stocks around the 100 million bushels or less level, it seems that nobody really expects the USDA themselves to peg it quite that low.

They are frequently slow to follow a shrinking (or increasing) market it seems, and coming out with a number around 100 or lower may be simply "too scary" for them to contemplate.

Wall Street is expected to open lower on ideas that the recent bullishness over economic recovery might have been overdone.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: July corn called 3 to 5 lower; July soybeans called 8 to 10 lower; July CBOT wheat called 10 to 12 lower.