Early Call On Chicago

26/09/11 -- The overnight grains finished mixed with soybeans 8-10 cents lower, corn 3-6 cents firmer and wheat up 2-3 cents. All those were much better than the session lows which saw beans down more than 30 cents at one point, with corn down 8 cents and wheat down 16 cents. Dec beans traded down to USD12.26/bu overnight - the lowest for a front month since last November.

There's a bit of fragile optimism that something will finally get done to sort out the Greek debt crisis in the form of a 50% debt write-down, even though the Greek finance minister is quoted as saying that an orderly default has not been discussed.

There's also talk of a eurozone interest rate reduction, although I don't see that coming down from 1.5% to 1% is going to make a whole deal of difference myself.

There are also rumours around that the ECB will discuss further bond purchases next week.

German business sentiment meanwhile has fallen for the third month in a row it has been reported today.

Informa said on Friday that US farmers will plant a post-WWII record 94.3 million acres of corn in 2012, up 2.5 million on this year. The soybean area will also increase 800,000 to 75.8 million and all wheat by 2.2 million to 56.6 million acres. Cotton sowings will decline 2.8 million to 12.0 million acres, they added.

There's a long way to go before we get there of course. For now market direction this week will likely be governed by whether fund money decides that it needs to further decrease exposure to grains, and that will probably be tied to tangible signs of concerted action on the European debt issue.

There wasn't much rain relief over the weekend for dry areas of the southern Plains hoping to plant winter wheat. The USDA will report on crop conditions and harvest progress for other crops after the close tonight.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: corn up 3-5 cents, wheat up 1-3 cents, beans down 6-8 cents.