Early Call On Chicago

21/04/11 -- The overnight grains closed with wheat around 4-5c higher and corn & soybeans up 5-7c. Outside markets are supportive with crude and gold higher and the dollar weaker.

It's a three day weekend in Chicago, with the markets re-opening Sunday night whilst the rest of us get a deserved extra day off. Liffe/Euronext is closed both Friday and Monday.

Whilst early calls are higher, there could be some pre-weekend book-squaring. Corn put in a sad performance yesterday and whilst much of the latest impetus has come from delayed US spring plantings, given that the forecasts have just turned slightly more beneficial in the last 24 hours, we may see some weakness re-emerge again this afternoon if long-holders decide to trim their positions further as forecasts could be very different by Monday.

Weekly export sales were strong again for corn, although they were expected to be so at a combined 857,300 MT. Soybean sales were above expectations at 555,300 MT, whilst wheat sales were below trade ideas at 303,200 MT.

There were no Chinese cancellations of US soybeans, indeed they booked 176,500 MT of old crop and 165,000 MT of new crop. Still, reports suggest that they have been cancelling/deferring South American purchases.

For wheat, US, EU and Russian crop problems haven't gone away, although noises coming out of Ukraine suggest that confidence in a decent crop there in 2011 is running pretty high.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn and beans 5-7c higher, wheat up 3-5c.