eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight session closed relatively flat with soybeans around 3 cents firmer, corn a cent or so firmer and wheat mixed 3 cents higher to 2 cents lower.

Crude oil seems to have stabilised at just over $40/barrel after dropping 10% Monday, as too do the worlds stock markets which fell to multi-year lows yesterday. OPEC meet again at the middle of the month, there is some talk that with prices where they are now nobody is making any money so a serious production cut could be on the cards.

The situation in Argentina is being closely watched with a meeting scheduled for later today between farm leaders and the government.

Nobody really seems to know exactly what is going on, and whether the story about nationalising the grain trade was deliberately leaked to the press to put pressure on the farm groups ahead of the meeting.

It seems like the government proposals effectively would allow them to control what is exported and when. That way they presumably would attempt to wring as much tax revenue as possible, as quickly as possible from the agricultural sector.

The government can dress it up any way it likes (and will), but at the end of the day it is a given that there is only one sides best interests the proposed agency would have at heart. For that reason I'd say it is pretty unlikely that the farmers will want to run with it, but we shall see.

Pacific Ethanol has stopped production at two more plants, one in Idaho and the other in California.

Japan is in the market for 118,000mt of wheat, of which 55,000mt is destined to be US origin with the rest coming from Canada & the Australia. I hope they don't want the last bit in a hurry!

The US wheat crop continues to go downhill with little drought relief in the forecast this week. Crop condition ratings in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas all fell last month.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: July corn called steady to 2 cents higher; July soybeans called 1 to 3 cents higher; July CBOT wheat called 1 to 2 cents lower.