Overnight Developments

eCBOT grains are modestly lower Tuesday morning as a firmer dollar hampers export hopes, with corn, beans and wheat all around 4-6c easier.

After the close last night the USDA pegged the corn harvest at just 78% done, compared with 97% a year ago. That leaves 22% of the crop still in the field, and shows only a minimal improvement on the week, from 29% last weekend. Rain and snow continues to hamper wrapping up this last 20-30% of corn and could provide some modest support over the next few weeks.

By contrast 95% of the soybean crop is in, compared with 98% a year ago. US winter wheat crop conditions dropped two points to 66% good/excellent.

Japan is tendering for wheat this week, as too are the Philippines and Bangladesh. The Philippines are also in for soymeal.

The dollar is firmer against a basket of currencies, although weaker against the pound at $1.5025. In the current climate the US is being seen as the best of a bad bunch, possibly with the exception of Japan, when it comes to investing. If you want to buy US assets then you need US dollars, its a simple as that.

Crude oil is little changed at $54.83/barrel. Prices have arrested their recent steep decline on news of the hijacking of a Saudi Arabian tanker carrying 2m barrels of oil, 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa.