eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains began the week higher ahead of tomorrow's USDA numbers and a continuation of the widely anticipated fund rebalancing.

Beans closed 1-2 cents higher in company with corn, whilst wheat was around 3 cents firmer.

The dollar is down and crude oil higher, nudging USD84/barrel.

There's a mountain of information out from the USDA tomorrow, the gist of which seems to be bearish production numbers for soybeans, with increases to US and Brazilian (and possibly Argentinean as well) output for 2009/10, and slightly more bullish information likely for corn and wheat.

Corn output in the US is likely to be revised lower, although there may be increases from South America.

Plantings for 2010 are expected to be higher for corn, with US farmers sowing 90 million acres, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. They see soybean area down half a million to 77 million.

The USDA won't report on 2010 US corn and soybean acreage tomorrow, but they will release their estimate on US winter wheat plantings, cutting their area to 40.5 million acres down from 43.3 million acres a year ago.

The American Farm Bureau Federation meanwhile peg 2010 all wheat acres in the US down 4.1 million to 55.0 million acres.

Jordan is looking for 100,00 MT of wheat and a similar quantity of barley in a tender. It's unlikely that the US will stand a chance with either Russian or Ukraine grain likely to be the favourite candidate.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 1 to 2 higher; soybeans called 1 to 2 higher; wheat called 2 to 3 higher. March beans have settled lower in 6 of the past 8 years in the session immediately prior to the January USDA crop report, conversely March wheat has settled higher 6 out of the past 8 years.