eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed mixed with beans a tad either side of unchanged, corn down 1-2 and wheat 2-3 lower.

The dollar is up, crude is down and Wall Street is expected to open narrowly mixed.

The USDA's annual outlook forum pegs this year's corn acres at 89 million, up 3%, soybean area is seen 0.5 million lower at 77 million and the all wheat area at 53.8 million, down 9% on last season.

All these are broadly in line with Informa's ideas released late last month, both imply that US spring wheat area will increase quite significantly as the USDA last said that the winter wheat area was down 14%.

Japan bought 100,000 MT of mixed origin wheat, 60,000 MT was US material. Egypt are tendering for 120,000 MT of wheat, with Russia and Kazakhstan the favourites.

There are mixed reports coming out of Pakistan and India concerning the size of their wheat crops. Whilst official estimates remain bullish on crop production there, private reports suggest that output could be down, and maybe significantly so in Pakistan.

With food price inflation soaring, going public with lower output estimates is not in the best interests of the governments there.

Output in Europe is seen rising however, as Strategie Grains increase their wheat production estimate here to 134.7 MMT for soft wheat and 8.8 MMT for durum, giving a total crop of 143.5 MMT, 5.5 MMT up on last year.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 1 to 2 lower; soybeans called mixed; wheat called 2 to 3 lower.