Early Call On Chicago

17/05/11 -- The overnight grains closed mixed, but mostly higher with corn and beans both around 4-6c firmer, and with wheat generally 2-6c lower.

Crude oil is a bit easier and the dollar slightly firmer, both negative influences.

Last night's planting progress was better than expected for beans and corn. For beans yesterday's crush data was negative and so too were weekly export inspections.

Spring wheat plantings continue to lag however, and winter wheat crop conditions continue to slip.

Spring grain plantings in Russia and Ukraine seem to have caught up after a slow start. Ukraine in particular look nailed on for a decent harvest and are likely to adopt a "hit the ground running" approach to the 2011/12 export campaign.

Cash-strapped Russia and Kazakhstan may not be too far behind either. Think the January sales in Primark, Matalan and TKMaxx and you're not too far away. If it's not nailed to the floor it'll be going on a boat for overseas.

European concerns remain.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn up 4-6c, beans up 3-5c, wheat flat to up 2c.