eCBOT Close, Early Call, Argy Ag Sec Buys Tippex

The overnight eCBOT grains closed sharply lower, dragged down by a firm dollar and falling crude oil and equities.

Nearby May soybeans traded as much as 13 cents higher earlier in the session buoyed by reports of continued Chinese interest, but couldn't hold onto those gains closing 9 1/2 cents weaker. Nov beans finished the session sharply lower, down 22 1/2 cents.

Corn and wheat closed with losses of around 8-10 cents each.

May beans hit a six month high of $10.73 Friday, before profit-taking trimmed gains, on reports that China had bought a million tonnes of US and Brazilian beans last week, shunning Argentina.

As well as the Argy crop continuing to shrink the political situation is seen as being too volatile at the moment to make Argentina a reliable supplier. The government there announced over the weekend that it was pressing ahead with plans to nationalise the grain trade, which will doubtless cause further upheaval in the ongoing dispute with farmers.

Strikes, or at least the potential for further strikes, will likely keep foreign buyers wary in the run-up to the end of June elections.

The Agricultural Secretariat withdrew its delayed March soybean crop estimate last month saying that it contained errors. Its April report was due to be released Friday, but that never materialised either. The market initially traded higher Friday after the Ag Sec was seen nipping to the shops for some tippex, the report is now expected out tomorrow, once it dries.

The Buenos Aires Grain exchange now peg the soybean crop at 37 MMT, and the Rosario Grain Exchange at 37.3 MMT.

The weather in the US is finally set to warm up, which will be conducive for corn plantings, as soil temperatures rise. The 6-10 day forecast is also favourable.

The USDA will release their weekly planting progress report after the close tonight. Last week corn plantings were just 2% complete, I don't think things will have advanced much this past week, but significant progress should be made this next fortnight.

Crude oil fell out of bed, tumbling more than $2.50/barrel, and is now back below $50 at $47.76/barrel.

The Dow is expected to open lower, although the largest bank in the US - Bank of America - announced a surprise Q1 profit of $4.2 billion. After Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman & JPM all reported better than expected earnings recently there is some optimism that the worst is over.

If stocks can manage a rally later in the day then session lows might be made early in the day for the grains.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT: Corn futures are expected to open 8 to 10 lower; soybeans 10 to 12 lower; wheat 10 to 12 lower.