eCBOT Close, Early Call, Export Sales

eCBOT closed with nearby beans again leading the way around 10-11 cents higher, corn and wheat closed around unchanged to slightly easier.

After eCBOT closed the USDA released their weekly export sales report. Corn came in strongly at 1,214,300 MT for old crop plus 69,500 MT of new crop. Pre-report expectations were for sales of 800,000 - 1 MMT.

Soybean sales were 617,100 MT for old crop and a very healthy 824,200 MT for new crop. China booked 186,300 MT of old crop and 232,500 MT of new crop, there were also new crop sales of 582,000 MT to "unknown" which often translates as China. Expectations were for sales of around a million tonnes.

Wheat sales were 232,200 MT old crop and 199,300 MT for new crop, expectations were for 300-400,000 MT.

May beans hit their 200 day moving average of $10.57 overnight, and closed within a gnats chuff of that at $10.56 1/2.

Another week of decent export sales and the continued presence of China may see the market attempt to break through 10.57 this afternoon. If it can achieve that and hold there then there could be enough momentum to press on a bit higher yet, at least before US farmers get stuck into soybean planting.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange trimmed it's production estimate for Argy soybeans again, this time to 36.2 MMT, that is now 2.8 MMT below the last USDA estimate.

Spring wheat plantings in top producing state of North Dakota remain at a standstill after heavy flooding earlier in April. Japan bought 148,000 MT of wheat overnight with 86,000 MT coming from the US.

US farmers, itching to get cracking with corn planting, will also be keeping an eye out for news from California this afternoon where there is a debate and vote for potential changes in ethanol policies. That could be negative for corn later in the day.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn futures are expected to open steady to 1 cent higher; soybeans 9 to 11 higher; wheat steady to 2 cents lower.