eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight market closed mostly lower with beans down 6-7 cents, corn down 1-2 cents and wheat a cent or so either side of unchanged.

Crude is a little higher after yesterday's API report said that US stocks unexpectedly fell 2.2 million barrels last week, against an anticipated rise of 1.4 million barrels. The US Energy Dept will give their estimate on stocks later today.

The market will be nervous, with Obama set to deliver his State of the Union address tonight, and what he might have in mind for US banks. If they can't put their own house in order, then they need somebody to do it for them. That might mean negative implications for the grains complex in the short-term.

Meanwhile China is also trying to reform it's own banking sector by tightening credit constraints. That too might lead to a drop in buying interest in US soybeans, although one report circulating this week suggested that China would increase it's soybean crushing capacity by 6 MMT during 2010.

The Fed are expected to leave US interest rates where they are today, but the wording of their accompanying statement for clues on a tightening fiscal policy will be heavily scrutinised.

Both the Rosario and Buenos Aires Grain Exchanges see the 2010 Argentine corn crop around 18 MMT, 3 MMT higher than the USDA's last estimate, and 5.4 MMT above last year.

Taiwan purchased 60,000 MT of Argentine/Brazil corn for March shipment overnight.

Egypt and Algeria are tendering for wheat this week, with few expecting US origin to get a look in.

Georgia has said it will allow Kazakhstan to use it's rail network to transport wheat to Egypt, which it says will make it much cheaper for landlocked Kazakh grain to get to the world's largest wheat buyer.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 1 to 2 lower; beans called 4 to 6 lower; wheat called steady to 2 lower.