eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed mixed to mostly lower. Wheat finished 4-5 cents easier, with corn down 1-2 cents and beans fractions either way.

The stage looks set for another "turnaround Tuesday" after the complex posted some decent gains yesterday. Crude oil is back below USD80/barrel, currently USD1.56 lower at USD78.75/barrel, which will add a bit of spillover weakness to the grains sector.

Reports from South America indicate that yields from early and middle maturity beans in Brazil have been a little disappointing, although later maturing varieties should fare better, it might be that talk of a 68 MMT crop is a bit ambitious.

Recent heavy rains in Argentina may also have taken the top off yields somewhat. "At least one analyst VP Ricardo Baccarin of Panagricola SA is speaking of a smaller crop, due to potential disease issues. He predicts the soybean harvest may top out at 51 MMT," says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.

It's early days yet, but the US weather also seems to be possibly shaping up for a repeat performance of last year, are we in for another cold and wet spring? Flooding looks like it might be a problem in many areas once again.

"North-Central Iowa has received 12.4 inches of moisture between October 1 and mid February. That compares to 6.3 inches normally and threatens to break a 1970-71 record. Western and Central Illinois have received 165-180% of normal precipitation since October 1," adds Gail.

CBOT Early Calls: Corn Down 1-2c, Wheat Down 3-5c, Soy Flat-Down 2c.