Early Call On Chicago

31/05/11 -- The overnight grains finished mixed but mostly lower led by wheat which fell around 15-17c following the news coming out of Russia. Corn was a cent up on old crop and 4-5c weaker on new crop, beans were mixed.

Crude oil is around USD1.75/barrel firmer, which should lend support as should a weaker dollar.

Reports suggest that Ukraine has already been a busy little bee making new crop wheat sales to Africa and the Middle East in the few days since it lifted it's export restrictions. Russia will surely be busy on the phone right now too.

Parts of Western Australia saw up to 50mm of rain over the weekend, which should aid winter wheat plantings.

The SE of England, France, Germany and Poland are all in the grip of varying degrees of drought. Yields will undoubtedly be affected but nobody seems to have a clear handle on by how much.

Some speculate that France's exportable wheat surplus could more than halve.

The USDA will report on planting progress for corn, beans and spring wheat tonight together with winter wheat crop conditions. Although wheat is the weakest leg today, tomorrow things could look different armed with those numbers.

Dockers in Rosario are threatening a port blockade in a dispute with fertilizer company Mosaic.

The IGC say that China may produce a record 170 MMT of corn this year. Rabobank say that Chinese corn imports could "at least" double. Sounds exciting doesn't it, although twice of not that much really is still not much really in the overall scheme of things.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: wheat 15-20c lower, corn steady to 3c lower, beans 2-4c easier.