eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed firmer with beans around 8-9 cents firmer, with corn up around 6 cents and wheat 7 cents higher.

The dollar is lower (again), and crude oil a little higher. Ethanol futures have also posted decent gains recently.

Wheat is gaining from ideas that there will be more interest from the US feed sector as corn prices remain steady.

The USDA will report tonight on the corn and soybean harvest and wheat planting progress.

The NOPA October soybean crush came in comfortably higher than expected at 155.3 million bushels, up 45% from September and 8% from a year ago.

El Nino seems to be delivering the promised rainfall for South America, in all but western and southern parts of the Argentine grain belt. Rain now is probably too late to be anything but a hindrance to wheat, but should aid early corn and soybeans.

It could be a case of there's already too much rain in parts of Brazil.

"Brazil farms have received at least one inch of rainfall in the past week, but locally more in Rio Grande do Sul, Goias and eastern Mato Grosso. There are no seriously dry areas in soybeans. In fact, excessive wetness may become a problem in Rio Grande do Sul with heavy rain again this week," says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.

China's CNGOIC says that the country will import a record high 42.9 MMT of soybeans in the 2009 calendar year, that's 15% more than in 2008.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT opening: corn called 4 to 6 higher; soybeans called 6 to 10 higher; wheat called 6 to 7 higher.