eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnights closed lower, giving up some of last night's frost-related steep gains as some forecasters toned down their estimates for next week.

Beans closed around 12 cents lower, with wheat down around 6 and corn off around 3 cents.

Crude oil is flat around $70.50/barrel ahead of the US Energy Dept's stocks estimates due at 3.30 BST.

Ben Bernanke's comments that the recession is probably over, were echoed by BoE boss Mervyn King, try telling that to the 2.5 million unemployed Merv.

One of my weather chums, Gail Martell, says that the frost threat is not as great as some of yesterday's computer models were making out. "The upper air trough is not deep enough and a warm ridge from the west will quickly move into the Northern Plains-Upper Midwest," she says.

Before Oct 1, two frosts are still likely, says Allen Motew of QT Weather. "The first shows about a week from today for Tuesday and Wednesday Sept 22-23 in North Dakota and Minnesota. The second, a bit stronger and more widespread for the last days of the month. Both events are toned-down on today’s model runs compared to yesterday," he says.

The first frost will see temperatures drop to 8 degrees below normal across the heart of the Corn Belt, he adds. The second "appears to be the colder of the two and a crop threat. Sunday-Sept 27 is shown as one of the possible periods as a freeze hits the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin," he concludes.

On the export front South Korea are said to have passed on their 110,000 US corn tender, saying that prices were too high. Egypt passed on US, Canadian and French wheat yesterday in favour of Russian. Jordan is also said to have bought 50,000 MT of Russian wheat overnight. Algeria may have bought up to 300,000 MT of French wheat, according to some reports. Japan is expected to by 75,000 MT of US wheat in a tender tomorrow, along with a further 42,000 MT of Canadian/Australian wheat.

China only managed to sell 15,500 MT of soybeans in today's auction, with prices still way too high compared to US levels.

Tomorrow's USDA export sales will be scrutinised to see if sales to the Far East are still holding up.

Brazilian farmers in Mato Grosso have begun planting what will probably be a record large soybean crop for 2010.

European stocks are a little steadier and Wall Street is expected to open likewise. The dollar is little changed.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session are: corn called 2 to 5 lower; beans called 10 to 15 lower; wheat called 5 to 8 lower.