eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnights closed mixed, mostly up a little, but off early session highs. Beans closed around 2-3 cents firmer, with wheat up 1-2 cents and corn narrowly mixed either side of unchanged.

Yesterday's nervousness ahead of last night's State of the Union address by Obama has petered out, along with some relief that he didn't announce any major banking reforms.

Weekly export sales from the USDA were in line with expectations with wheat at 689,200 MT, corn at 902,300 MT, and soybeans at 857,100 MT. As per usual China took the vast majority of the beans. Interestingly, they also booked 50,000 MT of US wheat.

The US Census Bureau report that the soybean crush in December was a record 173.0 million bushels. Whilst China also continues to take US soybeans at the current rate, that all adds up to a pretty impressive rate of disposal. However, there are some reports that at least one cargo of US beans is in trouble in China due to quality issues. There are also reports of a few Chinese cancellations/reschedules kicking around.

Meanwhile they continue to toughen up lending and reserve regulations for their own banks.

Record soybean production from Brazil and Argentina awaits, the only question left to be answered is how big is big? Corn output there is also seen higher than originally thought.

US wheat sales and shipments have picked up a little this past couple of weeks, and they need to to reach the USDA's projected target. Egypt remains unimpressed, buying three cargoes of all-Russian wheat again yesterday.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called flat to 2 higher; beans called 2 to 4 higher; wheat called 1 to 3 higher.