eCBOT Close, Early Call, Go Do The Math

The overnight grains closed lower, in a modest correction from last night's strong gains. Beans ended mostly 3-5 cents easier, with corn off around 4-5 cents and wheat down around 9-10 cents.

Still, the trend remains higher, with old-crop beans now established above $12/bushel, against a backdrop of a weak dollar and tight stocks. It now seems pretty much accepted that the USDA's projected 2008/09 carryout of 130 million bushels is way too high (Informa say 77 million).

Now it is interesting to note here that the USDA's figure gives us the tightest stocks to usage since 1968 at 4.3%. Just get your head around the concept that things are in reality likely to be a lot tighter than the tightest since 1968!

The current USDA number is around 16 days worth of supply, the reality of it could be more like a week. And at 66% complete as of Sunday, US soybean plantings are running around a week behind schedule. As they say across the pond, go do the math.

Corn planting in the US has almost caught up with normal at 93% completed, and 70% is looking good/excellent according to the USDA. That's an improvement on last year's first crop condition report.

Spring wheat was 89% planted as of Sunday, down from 100% last year and the average of 98%. North Dakota still lags at 82% done compared with 100% last year and the average of 97%. Meanwhile, winter wheat conditions are slipping a little, down one point in the good/excellent category in the top producing state of Kansas.

Wall Street is expected to open little changed, as the market takes a breather from yesterday's rally. Crude oil is a little easier at $68.02/barrel.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn 4 to 6 lower, Soybeans 3 to 5 lower, Wheat 8 to 10 lower.