CBOT Early Call

31/03/11 -- The bulls have the upper hand again it would seem judging by the early reaction to this afternoon's eagerly awaited USDA numbers. Early calls from the floor are: corn up 20-30c, beans up 50-70c, wheat up 5-10c.

Are things really that bullish?


Spring plantings were pegged at 92.2 million, up 4 million on last year and close to the upper end of the range of trade estimates. March 1st stocks however were below even the lowest trade estimate at 6.52 billion bushels. Weekly export sales were huge ar 2.23 MMT, but then again we already knew of 1.5 MMT of that from last Friday so the figure isn't really that surprising. China were not confirmed as a buyer of any of that volume. Given the stock situation we should see the old crop premiums widen further over new crop this afternoon.


Spring plantings are seen lower than the average trade guess, although not by too much, and some 800,000 below last year. Stocks are now also starting to get squeaky tight, so it may come as some relief to see export sales fall below expectations at just 257,800 MT, with China accounting for 181,300 MT of those.


All wheat plantings are seen a little higher than expected and towards the upper range of trade estimates at 58 million acres. The question now is how many of those will get abandoned? Stocks were also a little higher than expected and weekly exports were lower than anticipated, making wheat the poor relation of the three.

Now that that little lot is out of the way the trade will refocus on the weather. With wet and cold hampering early planting progress in the Midwest and dry conditions potentially harming HRW wheat in the Southern Plains.