Early Call On Chicago

29/12/10 -- The overnights closed with beans down 6-7c, wheat generally 2-4c lower and corn mixed, and that is where the opening calls now are for this afternoon.

Fresh news is limited, all three markets have posted impressive gains this month so a bit of year-end profit taking is probably more than overdue. Don't go expecting any wholesale exodus this week however, there seems to be a feeling that things can only move higher again come the new year.

There's already talk of the Argie corn crop having suffered damage due to heat and lack of moisture, soybeans too also now seem to be under threat before the crop is even fully planted. Some forecasts today appear to be factoring in a bit more rain than yesterday however.

"Significant precipitation of greater than one inch will reach La Pampa and Buenos Aires 6 days from today (Jan 5-6). The best chance for rain farther north in the remainder of the humid Pampas is one day later (day 7), with 0.15-0.50 inches expected at 60% coverage. Another six days of dry weather is then seen," say QT Weather.

The USDA have today reported 120,000 MT of soybeans sold to China despite prices now pushing USD14/bushel. Mexico also bought a similar quantity of US corn.

European grain futures hitting contract highs is adding support.

The dollar and crude oil are both a little lower, although the latter is close to the highs of the year at over USD91/barrel.