eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains were firmer, with beans around 10 cents higher, corn around 3-4 cents higher and wheat up 5.

The outside markets are all slightly friendly. The dollar is down a tad, crude oil up a little after briefly dipping below USD70/barrel yesterday and stocks and gold also a bit firmer.

It is not expected that the US corn harvest has moved on greatly this week from the 88% done last Sunday, as heavy snow, sleet, rain and strong winds all batter what's left in the fields.

In South America the outlook is for heavy to excessive rains across Southern Brazil today (centered on Sao Paulo) and now, substantial and important rains for Argentina over the next seven days to two weeks, say QT Weather. Increasing and persistent rainfall across Argentina will be particularly important, as corn and beans are still being sown (corn 80% complete, beans 71%).

The Argy rains will come too late to help the wheat crop, that's already around a quarter harvested, if anything these rains will harm not help what is only expected to amount to a crop of around 7-7.3 MMT this year.

Delivery intentions are picking up for corn despite the weather at 1,052 contracts, whilst for wheat they are falling away at 505 contracts.

Yesterday's USDA stocks numbers still weigh as being a little bit higher than anticipated for beans, corn and wheat.

Taiwan purchased 60,000 tonnes of US corn overnight.

China 'only' imported 2.89 MMT of soybeans in November, that seems less than I'd have thought, although Dec and Jan imports could be 4-4.5 MMT each.

Indian wheat plantings are only in line with last season's pace at 21.7 million hectares, despite an early start and government urgings to increase production.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 2 to 4 higher; soybeans called 8 to 10 higher; wheat called 3 to 5 higher.