Early Call On Chicago

18/04/12 -- The overnight grains ended with beans around 14 cents weaker, and corn & wheat mixed a cent or so either side. Crude is down 40-50 cents.

Given that Chicago soybean prices have increased by around 30% from the mid-December lows, yet corn is only up 6% and wheat up 7% since then, I guess that if there's any consolidation due then it's more likely to be in soybeans.

That is also where the hefty spec longs are, followed by corn. Any downside for beans may generate some liquidation amongst some of the weaker just along for the ride longs. Fundamentally though the bullish outlook for beans is unchanged.

Insatiable China has bought 120,000 MT of new crop US soybeans overnight, unperturbed by price.

Bangladesh has bought 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat from an Indian trading house, so I guess that there's a good chance they will get Indian wheat.

Concerns seem to be growing that Europe's wheat and rapeseed crops may have suffered more winter losses than originally thought. Following on from Oil World's downgrade to the EU-27 rapeseed crop yesterday, German farm group DRV today pegged rapeseed production there at 4.32 MMT this year, around half a million lower than Coceral's March estimate although up 420,000 MT on last season's drought-ravaged crop.

Soft wheat production in Germany will come in at 20.9 MMT they say, which is 1.5 MMT below the number Coceral gave last month.

The USDA said last night that corn planting was "only" 17% complete, which is actually lower than most of the estimates that were being bandied about.

Winter wheat crop conditions good/excellent improved three points for a second week in succession and now stand at 64% versus 36% a year ago. Maturity is well advanced too with 29% of the crop headed compared to 8% normally.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans 10-15 cents lower, wheat flat to 2 cents higher, corn mixed 2 cents lower to 2 cents higher.