Early Call On Chicago

18/04/11 -- The overnight grains closed mixed, with wheat around 10-12c firmer, corn 2-3c lower and beans fractions either side of unchanged.

Crude oil is down a dollar and a half and the dollar is a bit steadier.

Wheat was up on lower than anticipated weekend rains in Kansas, and a growing awareness that European grain crops are starting to suffer from lack of rain too.

The northern Plains and Canadian Prairies have the opposite problem.

The USDA will report after the close tonight on winter wheat crop conditions and corn planting progress.

Rabobank say that China will only import 53 MMT of soybeans this year, 4 MMT less than the USDA's latest prediction. The Chinese central bank increased bank reserve requirements again this weekend.

Ukraine say that almost 94% of it's winter grains are in good/satisfactory condition.

Russia dismiss talk of an early return to the grain export market, saying that the embargo will last until July at the least.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: wheat up 10-12c, corn down 2-3c old crop and up 3-5c new crop, beans mixed.