eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed lower across the board, pressed by a firmer US dollar. Beans finished around 7 cents lower, with corn down 5 and wheat down 9-10.

While the Fed left rates unchanged as expected, the announcement that liquidity measures would expire in February 2010 is being seen as a big positive for the greenback, which is up around 1.3% on the day against the euro and 1.5% against the pound.

Whilst not entirely unexpected, Greece getting another downgrade from S&P is also knocking the euro.

Weekly export sales for corn at 1,227,100 MT - a marketing year high - were well above trade expectations. Wheat and bean sales in line with expectations. Soybean shipments of 1,663,100 MT were again mostly to China at 1,303,900 MT.

Strategie Grains say that EU corn production will rise to 57.7 MMT in 2010 from 56.0 MMT this year. Meanwhile soft wheat production will increase by 3% to 133 MMT they say, that's at the expense of barley output which is seen down 6% to 58.7 MMT.

Japan bought 126,000 MT of wheat - 86,000 MT of that will be US origin. Taiwan purchased 58,000 MT of US soybeans overnight too, and private exporters reported another 116,000 MT of US beans sold to China.

The Arg Ag Ministry say that this season's soybean area will be 300,000 less than they previously estimated at 18.2 million hectares. They seem to think that less corn acreage will be switched to beans than most other pundits believe. Even so 18.2 million is easily a record.

There is some talk of excessive rains in southern Brazil possibly leading to an upswing in Asian rust incidences.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 3 to 5 lower; soybeans called 6 to 8 lower; wheat called 8 to 10 lower