eCBOT Close, Early Call

eCBOT grains closed lower Monday, adding to Friday's generally weaker close on the same old story of global economic slowdown threatening demand.

Soybeans ended around 12-13 cents easier, with corn down 4-5 cents and wheat 7-8 cents lower.

Falling equities saw London's FTSE hit a six year low weighed down by more bad news from financial giants like HSBC. It is of course the same the world over with AIG reporting a $61.7 billion loss and taking another $30 billion handout from the US government.

Despite the outlook for strikes in Argentina following the revelation that the government there is looking at nationalising the grain trade, Even nearby months on beans couldn't hold onto Friday's modest gains this morning.

Russia continues to take most of the big wheat tenders, frustrating US and EU exporters. Reports of shipping delays out of Russian and Australian ports don't seem to be filtering through into hard orders as yet, although Algeria may have bought French wheat over the weekend according to some.

Having been holding up very well so far this year, US soy & corn export sales took a dip last week. The trade will be hoping that this was a one-off when the USDA announce it's next raft of export data Thursday. If the numbers are poor again, it may spark fears that the Chinese bird has flown and will now begin directing most of its interests towards South America.

Crude oil is almost $2.50/barrel lower. A report later today is expected to show that US manufacturing declined in February. If your factory isn't making anything then it doesn't need any oil does it?

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn futures are expected to open 4 to 6 lower; soybeans 12 to 15 lower; wheat 6 to 8 lower.