eCBOT Close/Early Call

The overnight grains closed modestly lower with beans around 2c weaker, and corn and wheat both down around 4-5c.

There's no shortage of feed grain around in the world, and with crude dipping below $50/barrel there doesn't seem to be too much support coming from the ethanol sector either.

Front-month corn has retreated from a record high in June of $7.65 and is now back to the level it was trading at the start of last year.

U.S. biofuels giant VeraSun went to bankruptcy last month, leading to concerns about the health of the U.S. ethanol industry and its demand for corn.

Crude dipped to a 3-year low of $48.25/barrel on more gloomy economic data from the US, before rebounding slightly to $50.75. A U.S. report showed the number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits reached a 16 year high.

Dryness in Argentina continues to be a concern, with wheat output estimated at around 10.5mmt, down 38% from 16.3mmt last season.

Japan bought 91,000mt US wheat in a tender. The Philippines bought 74,650mt feed wheat (unspecified origin, but probably Australian) from Glencore at $144.50/tonne, C&F for shipment in two consignments, one Feb and one Mar/Apr. The same buyers also took 78,450 metric tons of soybean meal from Cargill and Bunge. Interestingly, the Bunge sale was Indian soymeal.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn futures are expected to open 3 to 5 lower; soybeans 1 to 2 lower; wheat 3 to 5 lower.