Early Call On Chicago

18/02/11 -- The overnight grains were lower with wheat down around 12c, corn around 6c easier and beans falling 20c or so.

Corn had hit a fresh 2 1/2 year high in early Globex trade before China took the wind out of the bulls sails by raising it's bank reserve requirement by 0.5% for the second time this year, in another attempt to curb rising inflation.

It's a long weekend in the US with Monday being President's Day, thus record or near record fund length in wheat, corn and beans may encourage some money to be taken off the table today.

India says it has planted a record wheat area this year, and is expecting a bumper crop. China has bought 125,000 MT of Australian feed wheat, bringing it's total purchases to date from that quarter to 375,000 MT.

The USDA have confirmed the sale of 100,000 MT of US HRW wheat to Turkey, it is not clear if that is additional business to the 150,000 MT sale made earlier in the week. Mexico have also bought another 156,100 MT of corn, they add.

There are rumblings coming out of Ukraine that a recent unseasonably warm spell, quickly followed by a return to sub-zero temperatures, may have caused some crop damage.

China's wheat growing areas have seen crop conditions improve slightly this week, but some serious precipitation still needed to get this crop home.

Heavy rains are disrupting the Brazilian soybean harvest, but a record 70 MMT or higher crop now seems assured. Argentina is more likely to have a crop of around 47-49 MMT according to most analysts estimates, some 5.5-7.5 MMT down on last year.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans down 18-20c, corn down 6-8c and wheat down 10-12c.