eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnights closed mixed, with beans ending mostly around 13-15 cents higher, and corn & wheat generally a cent or so either side of unchanged.

Corn dipped below $3/bu in early trade but regained some strength as the dollar weakened, and crude oil firmed ahead of this week's OPEC meeting in Vienna. Crude is currently more than $2/barrel higher, back just above the $70 mark.

Today's early weather forecasts from the US continue to point to no frost threat for the next fortnight.

The USDA are out on Friday with their latest production estimates, and before that they will pontificate on crop conditions tonight. Expect more fuel for the bears in that lot.

Meanwhile, crops numbers everywhere else seem to be growing too. The French have upped their estimate on soft wheat production to 37.2 MMT, that's more than last year despite a lower acreage.

China sold almost 2 MMT of corn at their weekly auction today. Some stories suggest that the reason these corn offers are being taken up so relatively eagerly is that this season's crop will come in substantially lower than official estimates.

They'll hold another soybean auction tomorrow, but don't expect too many takers there.

Japan is looking for 133,000 MT of wheat thus week, of which 70,000 MT is US origin. Taiwan is shopping for 60,000 MT of US corn.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called steady to 2 higher; beans called 10 to 15 higher; wheat called steady to 2 lower.