Early Call On Chicago

15/02/12 -- The overnight grains were mostly steadier with beans ending around 5-7 cents higher, with wheat up 2-3 cents and corn flat to a cent firmer. Crude is around a dollar or so higher.

I've just heard an unconfirmed report on the radio that today's meeting of EU financial leaders to ratify Greece's austerity "deal" has been cancelled, saying that further assurances are required first. I can't find confirmation of that on the BBC or Reuters though.

This has all the hallmarks of the largest and most ludicrously false application for a loan in history. With an election due in April it would seem that the Troika are looking for assurances that a new government won't simply turn round and say "I think you'll find that it was the last lot that signed that agreement, not us."

Not only is a Greek exit from the eurozone now being openly discussed, a bit like Carlos Tevez, the BBC are now reporting that some eurozone team-mates no longer want them in the bloc.

Soybeans look the strongest of the three, indeed wheat and corn have only closed lower that night's closing levels once this month.

China has bought 116,000 MT of US soybeans for 2011/12 delivery today, say the USDA.

Oil World have cut their Brazilian soybean estimate from 70.0 MMT to 69.5 MMT and also their forecast for Parguay from 6.0 MMT to 4.6 MMT. They've increased their Argentine estimate from 46.5 MMT to 47 MMT. All three figures are below the USDA's 72 MMT, 6.4 MMT and 48 MMT respectively.

Ukraine says they have no plans to limit grain exports. There were however suggestions last week that the government had "asked" shippers to lighten up on wheat exports due to doubts over the health of the current over-wintering crop.

Regardless of the state of the 2012 wheat crop in Ukraine there is no shortage of the grain elsewhere around the globe with Western Australia state saying that they have had a 15 MMT record grain harvest this year, backing up ABARES forecast of a record 29.5 MMT wheat crop in 2011/12 released yesterday. With forecasts of exports at 22.3 MMT that would make them second only to the US in terms of being the world's largest wheat seller.

Corn is what Ukraine has plenty of, and that situation looks like being replicated in 2012/13 by virtue of a large increase in planted area this spring due to the failure of winter wheat and rapeseed.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: beans up 6-8 cents, corn flat to 2 cents firmer, wheat up 1-3 cents.