eCBOT Close, Early Call

eCBOT grains closed flat, barely unchanged in a very lacklustre session.

The financial bailout in the US has met with a lukewarm reception. Whilst it may stimulate some demand for grains, the cost to the US taxpayer is very significant.

On a supportive note, Argentine farmers may announce a series of strikes, demonstrations and/or a suspension of cattle and grain movements as early as today in protest to crippling losses faced by farmers who are being taxed to the hilt.

Whilst the drought situation in the country has improved somewhat, crop losses are still expected to be very significant in 2009.

The USDA lowered it's wheat production estimate for the crop just harvested to 8.4mmt on Tuesday. That has almost halved from output of 16mmt last season.

Japan bought 132,000mt of mostly US wheat overnight. Egypt may buy US or Russian wheat today, whilst South Korea is shopping for corn and soymeal.

Pakistan, the Philippines and Morocco are also in the market for wheat.

Congestion and delays at Australian ports may put them out of the export arena until April, according to some reports.

Early calls for this afternoon's session: Wheat down 1-2c, corn flat to down 1c and soybeans steady to 2c firmer.