Overnight developments

Corn futures are up 4-5c overnight after the USDA planting progress report showed 27% of the new corn crop was in the ground as of Sunday, well under the 45% planted a year ago.

"It's still of a concern," Simon Roberts, head of agricultural commodities at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Sydney today. "But there is the general perception that like last year, if there are any breaks in the weather you'll see a rapid planting progress."

Dale Durchholz, an analyst at AgriVisor in Bloomington, Ill., cautioned against reading much into the numbers because plantings were unusually early between 2004 and 2006. The percentage planted nationwide in those three years was 84%, 79% and 70%, respectively, he said.

"You've got to step back and see that made some kind of a distortion," he said.

Soybean futures are around 11c firmer this morning. Soybean planting was 5% complete as of Sunday, below the average of 14%,according to the USDA. Analysts' expectations were for 7% to 9% complete.

Market participants are closely watching a meeting in Argentina, the world's second-largest corn exporter and the third-biggest in soybeans, today to resolve a dispute between farmers and the government over taxes that disrupted crop exports.

The U.S. has a large amount of unshipped soybean export sales on the books that would be susceptible to cancellation if the dispute is resolved soon.

Wheat is little changed overnight after the USDA report threw up little in the way of a surprise.

The USDA said 47% of the winter wheat crop was rated good to excellent, up from 46% last week and 57% a year ago. Traders had expected the good-to-excellent rating to improve by 1 to 2 percentage points from a week ago.

Durchholz said that as with the other crops' progress reports, there was little in the winter wheat progress that was likely to move the market.