eCBOT Close, Early Call

The overnight grains closed flat, consolidating from last nights losses, but kept in check by a firm US dollar.

Crude oil isn't doing a great deal thus far either today, in what is shaping up to be a bit of a yawn type afternoon. But then again it is Tuesday, so don't rule out another turnaround reversal of yesterday.

Japan are tendering for 132,000 MT of wheat this week, of which 65,000 MT is US origin. Vietnamese buyers may also be in the market this week for 460,000 MT of soymeal for May/Jul delivery.

Brazilian soybean production estimates seem to have peaked at 68 MMT and are now being trimmed back a little to the 64-65 MMT mark, still a record mind. As too will be Argentine output by the looks of it, albeit again maybe not quite so high as some of the 53 MMT+ estimates that we've seen.

US weekly export inspections came in above expectations for beans, corn and wheat last night. Wheat exports look like they are now actually in line to reach the USDA's 2009/10 marketing year target of 22.5 MMT despite the firm dollar. Even so US ending stocks will be 320% higher than they were two years ago.

Concern over cold and wet conditions, with snowmelt and flooding when temperatures finally do warm up, is already bringing back memories of twelve months ago for US growers. That seems to be keeping a bit of a floor in corn values, at least until we get a bit further into spring.

A further significant strengthening of the US dollar is perhaps the most likely factor that could see further price erosion this week. The potential size of the South American harvests should already be priced in. Logistical problems there might cause some extra export business to go the way of the US in the near-term.

We have the USDA out on Friday with their regular weekly export sales report, followed by world crop production numbers next Wednesday, and the quarterly stocks and prospective plantings report due out at the end of the month.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session are flat to mixed for beans, corn and wheat.