Early Call On Chicago

17/02/11 -- The overnight grains closed firmer with beans up around 12-13c, wheat 8-10c higher and corn up 7-9c.

Consolidation from the recent break in prices was evident. Outside markets are offering few clues with the dollar, crude and equities little changed.

Weekly export sales were strong, with corn topping 1 MMT for the third week running. Wheat also came in above expectations, but "unknown" new crop cancellations dragged beans a bit lower than trade ideas.

South American weather looks largely non-threatening, the trade is becoming resigned to a record Brazilian soybean crop and the inevitable switch away of Chinese interest.

Europe has removed it's duty on feed wheat and barley imports, which could pave the way for lower grade Australian, and possibly Ukraine wheat to make some inroads. Ukraine have recently increase the volume of wheat and corn it will allow for export in the current marketing year, and are talking about possibly removing quotas on corn altogether.

The USDA have announced the sale of 101,600 MT of corn to Japan.

China say that the winter wheat area under threat from drought has reduced slightly.

Strategie Grains have trimmed their EU 2011 wheat, barley and corn crop production estimates slightly from last month, although all three are showing increases on last season's output.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans up 10-12c, what up 8-10c, corn up 7-9c.