CBOT Early Call

The overnight grains closed slightly firmer in a modest correction from last night's losses. May corn was up 3 1/4 cents at USD3.86 1/4 per bushel, May wheat was up 2 1/4 cents at USD5.04 1/2, and May soybeans were up 3 cents at USD9.45.

Breaking news just out says that US non-farm payroll employment fell by 36,000 jobs in February, substantially less than the 68,000 job losses that had been expected. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous month at 9.7 percent, against expectations of a slight increase to 9.8 percent.

Increased production estimates from Informa for Argie soybean and corn output yesterday, plus them leaving their Brazilian soybean estimate unchanged when others are predicting slightly lower yields are all still bearish.

News that the US agricultural attache says that Chinese wheat production was overstated by 8.5 MMT last year does not yet seem to have caused too many ripples in the market.

Maybe traders are waiting to see what the USDA themselves say next Wednesday?

As well as tweaks to world crop production numbers, US corn and wheat ending stocks are also expected to be reduced a little.

The jobs data should add further support to the dollar, which looks set to cap any significant attempts to rally, although there may be some position squaring ahead of the weekend. Bearing in mind the size of spec shorts on wheat in the market we can't rule out some sort of short-covering rally between now and Tuesday.

For now early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session are: corn and wheat called 1 to 2 higher, soybeans called 2 to 4 higher.