Early Call

The overnight grains closed mostly lower, with nearby months on beans ending negative after trading to the upside for most of the session, but ultimately unable to swim against declining what and corn.

Nearby beans closed 3-4c lower, corn was down 6-8c and wheat around 10-12c weaker.

Front month December corn slipped back below the pivotal USD5/bu mark, and wheat settled within sight of USD7/bu, whilst beans tried but failed to break through USD11/bu.

Export sales came in at 459,800 MT for wheat, 561,800 MT for corn and 1,083,700 MT for beans. Expectations for wheat were 450,000 to 650,000 MT; 650,000 to 750,000 MT for corn and 550,000 to 750,000 MT for beans.

Net wheat sales were negative to the tune of 490,500 MT for the marketing year 2011/12. That included 275,000 MT to unknown and 220,000 MT to Egypt.

Hence, corn sales were a bit disappointing, wheat was in line and beans beat expectations.

Also supportive for beans was the August Census soybean crush at 128.1 million bu, meaning that the crush for '09-'10 marketing year exceeds the USDA's estimate by 2.7 million bu.

Add to that planting concerns in central Brazil, and the continued heavy buying by China, who took 810,500 MT of this week's soybean sales, beans undoubtedly the strongest leg of the complex at the moment to my mind.

The IGC left their world wheat production estimate unchanged from last month at 644 MMT, carryover stocks were reduced 1 MMT to a still more than ample 183 MMT. World corn production was trimmed 5 MMT from last month to 824 MMT, whilst ending stocks fell 4 MMT to 131 MMT.

"Given the generally adequate supply situation for wheat and other grains, despite recent crop concerns, many have expressed surprise at the ferocity of recent market responses," they noted.

Informa Economics are expected to release their first look at US new crop acreage estimates later today. Depending on what they have to say, anything could happen this afternoon.

US lawmakers are expected to vote next week on legislation aimed at penalising China for keeping its currency artificially low. That may encourage some nervous profit-taking.

Private exporters today confirmed sales of 120,000 MT of beans unknown, 120,000 MT of beans to China and 120,000 MT of wheat to Egypt, according to the USDA.

In what could be a volatile session, early calls are: corn down 6-8c, beans down 2-4c, wheat down 10-12c.