eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnights closed firmer in what was probably a bit of consolidation from recent losses, and pre-report positioning. Beans closed around 13-14 cents higher, with corn up 3-4 cents and wheat 3-5 cents firmer.

The USDA are out tomorrow with their revised stocks numbers and possibly a few tweaks to global production too.

For corn 2009/10 ending stocks are seen falling from 1.764 billion to 1.748 billion bushels, soybeans are seen declining from 245 million to 219 million and wheat stocks are expected to drop from 976 million last month to 973 million this time round.

At least that is what the average trade guess reckons.

Some are forecasting that corn and wheat ending stocks could actually increase. As the USDA aren't expected to make any revision to this season's production numbers this month then any change to ending stocks will have to come from increase usage or exports.

Whilst we all know that US soybean exports have been running along at a great old pace, the same isn't quite true for corn or wheat.

Taking the shine off any reduction in the US soybean ending stocks number, will be a possible increase in global ending stocks, and maybe even slightly increased output again from South America.

World wheat ending stocks rose by almost 5.7 MMT last month to 195.6 MMT, a further increase there would put wheat under more pressure even with the US winter wheat acreage for next harvest being to lowest since 1913.

Global corn ending stocks also rose by almost 4 MMT last month, and soybean carryout by 2.7 MMT.

Last month's USDA report didn't appear to accurately reflect this season's problems with the corn harvest, an abundance of low quality corn will surely impact upon wheat demand from the feed sector? US wheat exports have picked up somewhat in recent weeks, but are still running behind schedule to hit the USDA's target of 22.5 MMT this marketing year.

Today's normal weekly export inspections report from the USDA has been delayed until Tuesday due to a large winter storm over the weekend in Washington.

Crude oil is around USD71.50/barrel and the dollar appears poised for another strong week boosted by risk aversion. That could temper any gains tonight, although the market will be wary of the USDA throwing in another curveball.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 2 to 4 higher; soybeans called 8 to 12 higher; wheat called 3 to 5 higher.