Early Call On Chicago

13/01/11 -- The overnights closed mostly firmer with corn leading the way in follow through trade from last night's strong close after the USDA released their bullish crop data.

Corn finished the Globex session around 9-11c higher, with wheat and beans up 6-7c. Just to add to the underlying support for corn the USDA this afternoon reported the sale of 116.000 MT of US corn to unknown.

The dollar is sharply weaker on jobs data, falling to around 1.5850 against the pound.

Weekly export sales were in line with trade expectations for corn (507,500 MT) and soybeans (675,000 MT) but well under expectations of 400 - 500 TMT for wheat at only 175,200 MT.

Wheat struggled to stay up with beans and corn last night and may perform similarly tonight on the back of those sales. The USDA didn't paint as bullish a picture for wheat as the others two yesterday either.

Japan bought almost 120,000 MT of US wheat in its regular Thursday tender. Jordan tendered for 100,000 MT of hard wheat today.

All eyes remain on Argentina, the threat of drought there comes of course too late to affect wheat production, the USDA raised that by half a million tonnes yesterday, but it is right in the eye for corn and soybeans.

The October-December rainfall in Argentina is tracking close to that of 2007, also a La Nina year, warn Martell Crop Projections. "We will have to wait and see what happens in January with rainfall. This month's growing conditions would influence kernel-filling and late corn pollination. The next week's forecast is quite wet," they add.

In Brazil things look much more promising apart from in southern RGDS where it's very dry. Further north, in Matto Grosso very early soybeans are already being harvested with decent yields.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Beans up 6 to 8 cents, corn up 8 to 10 cents, and wheat up 6 to 8 cents. Once again I'd expect corn and beans to lead the way and wheat to remain the laggard.