Early Call On Chicago

12/03/12 -- Predictably, before the ink is even dry, Friday's USDA report is fish & chip wrappings and we are now all waiting to see what they have to say about prospective plantings at the end of the month.

With prices where they currently are US growers are spoilt for choice. Much of the US will experience temperatures well above normal during the next two weeks with highs in the low 80's on the cards by midweek.

Farmers will be itching to get their crops in nice and early by the looks of it. That should maximise spring crops yield potential unless Mother Nature turns nasty with an April frost. A scenario not unknown.

The overnights finished mostly a tad lower with the exception of nearby corn which was 2 1/2 cents firmer. Crude is down sharply with Brent losing around USD1.60/barrel and NYMEX falling almost USD2.00/barrel as tensions between Iran and the West ease a little.

News that China has just unveiled it's largest trade deficit in at least a decade last month hasn't helped ease fears of slumping growth hurting demand for crude.

As yet there has been no confirmation of the rumoured Chinese buying of US corn that dragged the market higher on Friday despite a bearish slant to the USDA numbers for corn.

Customs data shows that China imported 3.83 MMT of soybeans in February, down 17% from the 4.61 MMT brought in in January.

Early calls for this afternoon's CBOT session: Beans flat to down 2 cents, corn mixed up 2 to down 3 cents and wheat flat to down 2 cents.