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The overnights closed higher with beans around 10 cents firmer, with corn & wheat up around 3-4 cents.

Chinese markets closed firmer as the government there continues it's aggressive domestic purchasing policy. Yesterdays early sell-off on the back of the first confirmed mainland case of "swine flu" seems to be now being seen as a knee-jerk reaction.

Last night's USDA crop progress shows that corn plantings are still lagging at 48% done compared to 71% normally. The figure was however in line with expectations. Of the eighteen top producing states, only three, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, are ahead of the respective five year averages.

Soybeans are now 14% planted as of Sunday night, pretty much bang in line with expectations, but also well behind the 25% normal pace.

Winter wheat conditions fell 1% to 46% good to excellent. Spring wheat planting is well in arrears at 35% done, compared with 78% normally at this time of year.

All eyes will be on the USDA at 13.30BST to see what they have to say re ending stocks and wheat production.

Old crop soybean carryout could be this afternoon's hot potato, with the average trade guess coming in at 130 million bushels, down from 165 million last month. Some punters are calling it lower than that though, the lowest of the trade estimates is just 86 million. A number like that would be seen as very supportive for old crop.

Perhaps the other main number that could spring a surprise would be winter wheat production. The average trade guess is 1.526 billion bushels, that's 18% lower than last year, although some peg it as much as 22.5% lower.

All will be revealed at 13.30, meanwhile here's a reminder of what is expected:

Wheat Production
Avg Est Range
All Wheat 2.091 1.994-2.145
Winter Wheat 1.526 1.446-1.550
2008/09 End Stocks
Corn 1.711 1.645-1.879
Beans 0.130 0.086-0.148
Wheat 0.687 0.655-0.700
2009/10 End Stocks
Corn 1.383 1.129-1.720
Beans 0.239 0.148-0.528
Wheat 0.653 0.570-0.742