Early Call And All That

The overnights all closed lower, pressured by a firmer US dollar, weaker crude oil and book-squaring and profit-taking ahead of Thursday's USDA report.

Wheat closed around 8 cents easier, with beans down 8-12 cents and corn off 5-6 cents. Crude oil has just crashed through the USD80/barrel support level.

The Russian Grain Union threw a small spanner in the works by saying that the country's beleaguered grain production would in fact come in higher than the latest 60-65 MMT Ministry estimate.

One or two are now starting to wonder if maybe things might have been a bit overdone here, and indeed have the Russians in fact been a tad over zealous in their production slashes?

Nobody likes a good conspiracy theory more than me. With twenty three (or is it twenty five now?) different regions all announcing states of emergency and crying poverty and deprivation to Moscow, there has to be a chance that some have over-egged the pudding as far as crop damage is concerned in an attempt to wring out a few more roubles in compensation for themselves.

The USDA are out on Thursday with what is expected to be increased production numbers for US corn (13.282 billion bushels), soybeans (3.366 billion) and all wheat (2.233 billion).

The USDA today report the sale of 120,000 MT of wheat and 100,000 MT of soybeans to Egypt for 2010/11. They also say private exporters sold 400,000 MT of new crop soybeans to China and 180,000 MT to "unknown".

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn down 3-5 cents, soybeans down 6-8 cents, and wheat down 7-9 cents.