eCBOT Close, Early Call

eCBOT grains closed modestly higher with beans and wheat up around 4 cents, and corn around a cent firmer.

Crude oil is steady at $44.20/barrel whilst the dollar is weaker after US jobs data reported 8.1% unemployment in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs.

The weaker dollar is seen supporting grains in today's session, but poor weekly soybean exports revealed by the USDA yesterday may weigh as the session wares on.

It seems clear that Chinese soybean buying is slowing or at the very least switching to South America.

Weather remains a concern on the US Plains for winter wheat. Reports are coming in of US farmers "burning down" their poorly established wheat crops in readiness for planting corn of soy instead.

Syria's state-owned wheat buyer Hoboob (no I'm not making it up) is expected to buy 200,000mt of Russian wheat in a tender to be concluded next week.

Early call for this afternoon's CBOT session: July corn called 1 to 2 cents higher; July soybeans called 3 to 5 cents higher; July CBOT wheat called 2 to 4 cents higher.