eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed with beans around 4 cents lower, wheat down 2-3 cents and corn a cent or so easier.

Crude is flat at 9c/barrel firmer after rising more than USD3/barrel yesterday. The Energy Dept's stocks report is delayed until tomorrow due to Monday's President's Day holiday. Inventories are expected 1.5-2.0 million barrels higher.

Grains have dipped after yesterday's strong rises, as the dollar arrests Tuesday's declines.

Morocco bought 100,000 MT of US wheat, Japan is tendering for 100,000 MT of mixed origin wheat tomorrow. Iraq are also in the market for "at least" 100,000 MT, and Turkey is tendering to sell 300,000 MT of wheat next week.

Some reports suggest that Indian wheat production will not be in the region of 80-82 MMT this spring and that 78 MMT is nearer the mark.

Significant winterkill may have taken place to Ukraine crops uncovered by snow this year. We won't know the full story until winter grains emerge from dormancy. Alternate frosts and thaws in January and the early part of February has caused "ice crusting" which may mean that a significant acreage needs to be resown.

A few reports coming out of Brazil suggest that this season's soybean crop, whilst still a record, will not be as high as official estimates from Conab, Celeres and the like.

Has the strong seasonal tendency for a February bottom already occurred? March beans closed last night 65 1/2 cents higher than the recent Feb 4th low.

European equities are modestly firmer, and Wall Street is expected to follow suit.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 1 to 2 lower; soybeans called 2 to 4 lower; wheat called 2 to 3 lower.