eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight markets closed with little change for once, beans 1-2 cents higher, corn up a half and wheat 3-4 cents lower.

After another week of solid gains. with beans pushing to seven month highs, then I guess that some light profit-taking is due today. July beans are currently 37 1/2 cents higher than last Friday night (including the overnight session), and have risen more than 25% from a March 2nd low of $8.41.

Chinese demand, dwindling US stocks and sharply lower production in Argentina - plus the ongoing political uncertainty there - are the main stories for beans.

US plantings may well pick up a million or two acres from corn yet, but that is some way down the line.

Next week's forecast for much of the Midwest finally seems to be presenting a window of opportunity for US farmers to crack on with corn and soybean plantings in earnest. That might encourage traders to take some money off the table ahead of the weekend.

Corn demand also remains pretty robust, with another week of strong export sales under it's belt from the USDA yesterday.

Wheat remains the poor relation by comparison, although spring planting delays in North Dakota in particular are a concern.

Lower European and Black Sea production and sharply reduced plantings in Argentina may provide US producers with some more opportunities for increased wheat sales longer-term.

Crude oil is lower, 86 cents down at $57.76/barrel, and the dollar is a little higher which may add a bit of a bearish note. For crude, although stocks fell this week OPEC are pumping around a million barrels/day over quota and world demand keeps falling.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn steady to 1 higher, Soybeans 1 to 2 higher, Wheat 3 to 5 lower.