CBOT Early Call

The overnight grains closed modestly steadier, with beans and corn 1-2 cents higher and wheat up fractions.

The dollar is weaker, and crude oil 87c higher at USD82.57/barrel.

Argy strike rumours are still just Argy strike rumours, but let's face it if you were a militant Argy dock worker then you'd be stupid to strike in January of February before the harvest licks off and there's nothing left of old crop to export.

Is there any smoke without fire?

Tensions and mistrust between the farmers and government are still in evidence. Argentine Agrarian Federation Eduardo Buzzi continued to criticise the government this week over their plans to restrict meat exports.

Regardless of strike action, many Argy and Brazilian farmers will only be looking to sell on the spot market if they absolutely have to, record crop or not.

I don't think that it is beyond the realms of possibility that South American shippers saw monster crops coming and, thinking that they had local growers by the short & curlies, sold the market short either do you?

Oil World warn that US domestic stocks are "unusually thin" after months of largely having the export market to themselves.

With US farmers seemingly already facing another struggle to get corn and soybeans into the ground this spring amidst saturated soils, we could be in for some nervousness.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced yesterday that a huge snowpack from a fierce winter will cause massive flooding this spring in the Upper Midwest and in the major corn-producing state of Iowa.

I still foresee front-end premiums throughout the summer months. A quick glance down UK shipper price-lists today reveals more poa's, asa's and last halves than you can shake a stick at.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn called 1 to 3 higher; soybeans called 2 to 4 higher; wheat called flat to 1 higher.