eCBOT Close, Early Call

eCBOT grains closed a little lower with March beans down 5 3/4 cents, March wheat down 3 3/4 cents and March corn off 3 1/4 cents.

The Argy farmers strike is set to end today, and talks with the government begin. Just about the only thing that would surprise me there would be any kind of indication that some common ground had been found, and that another strike isn't lined up sometime at the start of March.

Crude oil and the dollar are steady for now.

Syria bought 200,000mt of Russian wheat in a tender. No surprises there then.

Argentine weather is forecast dry for the rest of the week and into the weekend. Although conditions have improved they are far from ideal.

Severe drought has already decimated Argentina’s corn and wheat crops but soybeans are coming on strong with heavy rainfall since January 25th. The leading soy districts in Santa Fe and Cordoba have received anywhere from 6 to 9 inches of rainfall in the past 4-5 weeks that has boosted pod filling. On the negative side, Buenos Aires soybeans have not recovered from drought and will produce a poor yield, but this province grows only 15-18% of the national soy crop.

In the US Texas remains in the grip of drought, with little relief in sight according to QT Weather.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: March corn called 2 to 4 cents lower; March soybeans called 5 to 7 cents lower; March wheat called 2 to 4 cents lower.