Early Call On Chicago

The overnight trade closed mostly lower. Crude oil is staging it's own quiet little mini-rally, around a dollar higher at USD81/barrel, its best level since 11th August.

On the week as a whole so far (excluding the overnights) we see Dec wheat down 46c, Dec corn down 26c, Nov beans down 19 1/4c, Dec meal down USD10.10 and Dec soyoil up 20 points.

Corn is still under pressure from yesterday's shock stocks number from the USDA. More than one news wire is pointing out that these extra stocks are sufficient to counteract 2010 yields coming in 4 bu/acre lower than the USDA's September estimate, as many in the trade are forecasting.

That has taken a lot of wind out of the bulls sails. The much higher stocks figure also implies that usage has slowed at these prices. The weight of existing spec length is also a potentially bearish factor. Will funds continue to pile into corn now we are into a new month and new quarter, given the size of longs they already hold?

For beans we have the ongoing US harvest, which isn't throwing up any yield concerns, assisted by warm and dry conditions. Soaking rains are on the horizon for Brazil too, although Chinese demand continues unabated with weekly sales of 1,295,200 MT yesterday.

FCStone are reportedly out with their crop production numbers later this afternoon, ahead of the USDA's WASDE report next Friday.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Corn down 6-8c, beans down 5-7c, wheat down 2-4c.