eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnights closed lower, giving up earlier highs, with beans ending around 10 cents lower, wheat down around 3 cents and corn off in the region of 2 cents.

Crude oil moved lower during the morning, which was sufficient excuse for the grains to work easier too. Early in the session a weak dollar had been supportive, and some consolidation from recent steep losses was also in evidence.

The US weather continues to provide little in the way of short-term threats, and production for corn and beans looks like being bumper in 2009.

For corn Monday night's crop progress report continues to indicate that although conditions remain good, progress is lagging, with only 40% of the crop at the dough stage, compared with 64% normally. The crop was 9% dented, below the average of 26%, although good to excellent ratings held steady at 68%. Soybeans are 72% setting pods compared to 85% for the five year average. The crop progress report showed 94% of the winter wheat is harvested, in line with normal. However only 13% of the spring wheat crop is harvested compared to 33% last year and 48% for the five year average.

It is this late development that may provide a tail-end threat at the back end. With maturity some 2-3 weeks behind normal, frost could potentially be a problem, should it manage to push into the Midwest before harvesting commences.

China will hold another auction for 500,000 MT of government-held soybean stocks tomorrow. Sales so far have been less than impressive, however reports that the government are said to be considering a 200 yuan/tonne ($29.26) subsidy to soybean crushers to encourage them to purchase government stocks might help.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called steady to 3 lower; soybeans called 8 to 12 lower; wheat called 2 to 5 lower.