Overnight developments in the grains market

Corn futures are around 2c lower this morning after the USDA's planting progress & crop development report failed to throw up any shocks. The figure of 63% of the crop rated good/excellent was within to slightly above expectations with estimates ranging from 55% to 65%. Planting progress was seen at 95% complete.

Wheat is 4-5c easier, with the US crop generally regarded to be in good shape and harvesting about to start in Europe.

Beans are 4-5c firmer, having been 10c down earlier in the session. Emergence was a little low at 32% and the on-going Argentine farmers strike is adding short-term support. With corn only managing 95% complete however that would suggest that at this late stage much of that remaining 5% may well go into beans.

Trade in the grain market was partly subdued yesterday following a government investigation of U.S. futures trading, which may encourage some investors and speculators to reduce bets on rising commodities, and this week's meeting of world leaders on food security.

The World Food Security summit started today in Rome to address surging food costs, attracting about 35 government leaders, including Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said May 29 it was investigating oil prices, which have almost doubled in the past year. The agency is also probing erratic cotton futures trading. Hedge funds and other large speculators cut net-long positions by 2.2 percent in Chicago corn futures in the week ended May 27, while soybean net longs fell 1.7 percent.

Crude is little changed at $127.20 and the pound also shows little change at $1.9670.