Early Call On Chicago

09/09/11 -- The overnight grains finished mostly higher with corn up 2-3 cents, beans 4-6 cents firmer and wheat 1-2 cents weaker.

Weekly export sales from the USDA were better than expected for wheat, and in line with expectations for corn and beans.

Wheat sales came in at 512,200 MT compared to estimates of 350-450 TMT, with unknown destinations (251,400 MT) the biggest buyer.

Corn sales of 870,600 MT were in line with the 800 TMT - 1 MMT expected with Mexico (313,800 MT) the largest buyer. There were 2,795,700 MT in sales outstanding at the end of the 2010/2011 marketing year (Aug 31st) which were carried over to the 2011/12 marketing year.

Soybean sales of 444,900 MT were in the middle of the 350-650 TMT expected with China featuring as the largest buyer booking 192,200 MT. A total of 2,281,900 MT in sales were outstanding on August 31 and were carried over to the 2011/12 marketing year.

On the week so far we have Dec wheat down 37 1/2 cents, Dec corn down 26 cents and Nov beans down 27 1/2 cents.

Crude oil is down more than USD2/barrel on the back of the firm dollar, which won't help US exports too much.

There are reports from the USDA however of the sale of 127,506 MT of corn overnight to unknown.

It's shaping up like a quiet pre-weekend and pre-USDA report session. On Monday the USDA are expected to peg US corn production this season at around 12.5 billion bushels, with soybean output coming in a shade over 3 billion.

Early calls: beans up 3-5 cents, corn up 1-3 cents, wheat mixed down 2 cents to up 2 cents.