Early Call On Chicago

17/10/11 -- The overnight grains were mixed with beans around 13-15 cents lower, corn 1-3 cents weaker and wheat mostly 1-2 cents firmer.

Crude was trading higher in morning exchanges but has slipped into negative territory now that Germany has warned against placing too much optimism on this weekend's meeting of EU finance ministers.

That's set the euro back and firmed the US dollar a little.

The USDA will report after the close on harvest progress, with soybeans likely to be around 70% done and corn up to around 40% or so complete.

As ever, the market is already starting to look to South America before the US harvest is even over. In Brazil it's estimated that around 7% of the planned soybean area has so far been planted.

With beans having gained over a dollar a bushel last week and corn 40 cents, we may be in for a bit of profit-taking amidst harvest pressure to begin the week. Direction after that could be decided by the vibes coming out of Europe.

With wheat having gained the least last week, that may start the week the strongest leg of the three. The size of the fund short in wheat may also limit the downside for the time being.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans down 10-15 cents, corn down 2-3 cents and wheat 1-3 cents firmer.