eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnights closed narrowly mixed, with beans around 2-3 cents higher, wheat 1-2 cents lower and corn around a cent easier.

It's pretty much a case of nothing much new really. Fundamentally, the market is treading water until the USDA come out with their planting estimates on March 31st.

The US is a country of two halves with drought continuing in the south & the Plains, and sharply higher temperatures causing rapid snow-melt in the north threatening flooding across North Dakota, N Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, with a chance of spreading into South Dakota.

Most of the major wheat areas are forecast to remain dry over the next few days. In the last 90 days, many of the major wheat areas have seen 40% or less of normal precipitation. In much of Western Kansas, which is the major wheat growing area of the state, less than 20% has fallen.

Nothing concrete came out of the meeting between farm leaders and government representatives in Argentine yesterday. Some media reports suggest that grassroots support is being "mobilised" for roadside protests against the soybean export tax, but the general sentiment so far seems to be of pursuing the matter through Congress, at least for now.

The weather in southern Brazil and Argentina is set to remain warm & dry for the rest of the week. There are some reports that this is encouraging early ripening of beans planted a little later in the season in these areas, which may result in lower final output.

South Korea bought 110,000 tonnes of US corn overnight, but apart from that their is little too exciting to report on the export front.

Crude oil is flat ahead of stocks data from the Energy Dept due later this afternoon.

Also this afternoon the Fed is expected to conclude it's two-day meeting to decide what the hell to do next.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called flat to 1 cent lower; soybeans called 2 to 4 cents higher; wheat called steady to 2 cents lower.