eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains finished with beans down around 6-7 cents, wheat was around 3 cents easier with corn down a cent or so.

A firmer dollar, on the back of last nights surprise move by the Fed to increase the discount rate, set the tone. Crude oil is slightly easier.

This weeks USDA Outlook Forum pegged 2010 US wheat production down around 7 MMT to 53 MMT, a drop of some 12% or so. Corn acreage is seen rising 3% to 89 million acres, but a return to "normal" yields of 160.9 bu/acre (from 165.2 bu/acre in 2009) will see output remain flat at around 334 MMT. Soybean area is seen falling slightly to 77 million acres, with yields coming in at 42.9 bu/acre (44 bu/acre in 2009). That would produce a crop of around 88.7 MMT, down 3% on this season's 91.5 MMT.

Weekly export sales were strong for corn, and slightly above expectations for wheat. Soybean sales were poor at little more than 200,000 MT, with no sales at all to China. There were cancellations to "unknown" of 279,000 MT as well, which seems to confirm that China are starting to look to South America for supplies now.

US wheat missed out again in Egypt's latest tender, reportedly being priced some USD40/tonne over the winning French and Russian bids.

US wheat production might be falling in 2010, but EU output is seen almost 5 MMT higher in the coming season. That would push ending stocks up to around 23% of annual usage here in the EU. US ending stocks for 2010/11 are now seen at 25.6 MMT, down 2.1 MMT from 2009/10.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 1 to 2 lower; soybeans called 5 to 7 lower; wheat called 2 to 3 lower.