eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed modestly lower with corn and beans down 1-2 cents and wheat off 2-3 cents.

The dollar is firmer, boosted by US GDP growing by 5.7% in Q4, that's much better than the 4.5-4.7% that the market had been expecting, and substantially up on growth in Q3.

A winter storm across the US Southern Plains has brought freezing rain, snow and sleet to the winter wheat states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Precipitation will accumulate to 1-1.5 inches in the Texas panhandle and 1.5-2 inches in Oklahoma, where moisture is badly needed to alleviate drought. Texas wheat conditions have deteriorated to 28% good-excellent, 38% fair and 34% poor to very poor, says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.

Very cold weather has resumed in the US Great Plains and Midwest after a 10-day respite. Morning temperatures are 10- 12 F below zero in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Wind chills near 0 F are being reported Kansas, Missouri and southern Illinois. Bitterly cold weather is expected to persist through the weekend. Moderating temperatures are expected next week, yet temperatures will remain below average, adds Gail.

There are the first signs of a potential weather problem brewing for Argentina, with a hot and dry weekend in store. Some forecasters are predicting rain from next Wednesday however.

Continued heavy rains in Brazil are making the early Mato Grosso harvest a stop start affair.

US wheat export sales have now had two decent weeks on the trot, that's the first time that has happened for a while, although two swallows don't make a summer (ooh Missus).

There is still some talk of China having cancelled US cargoes of soybeans recently.

Yesterday's US crush numbers for soybeans were record large, which should add some support.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn and beans called steady to 2 cents lower; wheat called 1 to 3 lower.