Overnight Markets

eCBOT grains are a tad easier Friday, with beans down 1-2c, wheat 1-3c lower and corn 5-6c easier.

All eyes are on Argentina this weekend with a chance of rain Sunday/Monday. Rains were in the forecast last weekend too, and they largely failed to materialise. Most of the forecasts I am reading are using words like 'scattered' or 'isolated' or 'light showers' so I don't hold out too much hope for any serious drought-busting going on.

But the threat is probably enough to keep a lid on any rally attempts this side of the weekend.

Recession fears are also weighing on the market this morning. The USDA weekly export sales report, due out at 13.30GMT, may provide some pointers this afternoon. Trade estimates are: soybeans 750-950,000mt; corn 400-600,000mt; wheat 150-350,000mt; soymeal 75-150,000mt; soyoil 0-10,000mt.

South Korea bought 110,000mt of corn, half US and half South American in an overnight tender.

Pakistan is expected to buy 250,000mt of wheat over the weekend and possibly a further 150,000mt at the end of the month.

Australian ASX March milling wheat is A$3 lower at A$293.50/tonne.

Crude oil is under pressure after stockpiles rose dramatically yesterday, up 6.1m barrels against expectations of an increase of just 1.4m barrels. Crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma - the delivery point for NYMEX crude - were the highest on record at 33.2 million barrels. That's a lot of oil.

All this comes at a time when US refineries are only operating at 83.3% capacity, the lowest level for this time of year since 1991.

The pound appears to have arrested it's steep decline, flattening off around $1.3660 against the dollar and 1.0640 against the euro.

Official data due out later is expected to confirm that the UK is in recession, apparently. Shock, horror, that crept up on us unseen didn't it? I can't imaging that the official confirmation of what every man, woman & child in the country already knows should make much difference to the exchange, but you never know.