CBOT Early Call

The overnight grains closed with beans, wheat and corn all mostly around 1-2 cents lower.

The dollar is slightly firmer and crude oil a bit weaker, adding a little bit of pressure to the grains.

Although the Brazilian soybean harvest is only at the halfway point, there is already talk of vessels lining up at the ports and it taking up to three weeks to load a boat. That may create a little bit of extra interest for US beans although harvesting is also now just getting underway in Argentina.

Argy farmers aren't overly happy with prices at little more than USD200/tonne before the 35% export tax is knocked off, and may elect to sit and wait for better prices if they can afford to do so. Sales of "big bags" for on-farm storage are apparently buoyant.

The February NOPA crush figures have just been released showing 148.35 million bushels of soybeans were processed last month, a fair bit higher than the 144.5 million that had been expected.

Excessive Midwest wetness is still a potential worry for early corn planting.

South Korea says that it's January and February corn imports were up 25% on year ago levels. Today the USDA have just announced an additional 275,000 MT of old crop corn sold to them.

Iraq says it is looking for 100,000 MT of wheat in a tender. They usually buy more than the tender amount, with Russian and Canadian wheat fitting the bill last time round.

Some reports suggest that US farmers will plant less spring wheat acres than the USDA seem to think. Having already cut winter wheat acres to the lowest since 1913, many pundits expect a partial correction of that in the spring. However some are now suggesting that the further subsequent erosion in wheat values, and continuing heavy soils may see spring acres also reduced.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called steady to 2 lower; soybeans called flat; wheat called steady to 2 lower.