Early Call On Chicago

18/01/12 -- The overnight grains closed lower in turnaround Tuesday style, even though today is technically Wednesday. The market was closed on Monday, so today is really only a Tuesday despite what it might say on your calendar, so stop going on about it will you. Like a bloody dog with a bone you are, let it rest, it's Tuesday.

Right, the overnight grains closed lower in classic turnaround Tuesday fashion. Beans ended with losses of around 7 cents, with corn and wheat both falling in the region of 4-5 cents.

Front month March corn is hovering precariously around the six dollar mark. There's more rain in the forecast for Brazil and Argentina than there was yesterday. It's also trending cooler in Argentina. Improved weather conditions there are likely to be of more benefit to beans heading into the reproductive stage than they will now be for corn.

Fresh news is limited apart from that. The European debt crisis still looms large over the market, like an enormous immobile and irritating black cloud. Or Emile Heskey if you prefer.

The dollar remains strong, which is a hindrance to US exports. Friday's delayed weekly sales figures will be scrutinised for signs of promise after last week's numbers came in pretty flat.

Weekly shipments for soybeans are well behind year ago levels, whilst for wheat they persistently show clear signs of failing to meet the level required to hit the USDA's target of 25 MMT in 2011/12.

Western Australia has just about finished bringing in an all-time high grain harvest, according to media reports.

The USDA have just confirmed the sale of 120,000 MT of US corn to Egypt.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans 5-7 cents lower, wheat down 3-4 cents and corn also 3-4 cents weaker.