What follows are opening calls for U.S. grain and oilseed markets.
-- Corn futures are called to open 2 cents to 3 cents a bushel higher on the Chicago Board of Trade on speculation that overnight rain in northwestern Argentina failed to bring relief to crops after hot, dry weather reduced soil moisture earlier this month, Jason Ward, a market analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview.
-- Soybean futures may open 3 cents to 4 cents a bushel higher on the CBOT on speculation that rain forecast for Brazil during the next three days will miss the driest growing regions, worsening crop conditions, Ward said. Soybean-oil futures are expected to open 0.2 cent to 0.25 cent a pound higher, and soybean-meal futures may open $1 to $2 higher per 2,000 pounds.
-- Wheat futures may open steady to 1 cent a bushel higher on the CBOT, the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange on speculation that demand will increase for the grain in livestock rations as higher corn prices encourage substitution, Ward said.
WHAT TO WATCH: (ALL TIMES NEW YORK) 9:55 a.m. University of Michigan December Confidence Index 10:00 a.m. U.S. November Leading Indicators 10:00 a.m. API Monthly U.S. Oil Report 10:30 a.m. U.S. EIA Natural Gas Storage Report 1:00 p.m. Baker Hughes Weekly U.S. Rig Count 2:00 p.m. USDA Cattle, Hog Slaughter 3:00 p.m. USDA Cold Storage Report TOP COMMODITY STORIES: -Corn Crop Heads for Record to Feed 1 Billion Cows: Commodities -Hong Kong Live Poultry Ban, Cull Hurts Solstice Banquet Plans -China May Not Import Corn Before January Festival, Center Says -Palm Oil Climbs to Two-Week High as Rains Threaten Production -U.S. Agriculture Export Sales for the Week of Dec. 15 -South African Corn Stocks Declined 40% During November -German Farmers Sowed 3% More Winter Grain in Fall Plant Period -Western Australia May See More Wheat Downgrades, Bankwest Says -Britons’ Christmas Dinner Costs Rise 7.5%, Outpacing Inflation -U.S. Drought Monitor Report for the Week Ending Dec. 20 -India Should Allow Banks to Trade in Commodities, Panel Says -Uralkali Cuts Output Target for Next Year to Buoy Prices -Oil to Set Record in 2012 as U.S. Dodges Slump: Energy Markets -Wyoming Tops BEES Economy Index as Commodity States Outperform TOP ECONOMIC AND GOVERNMENT NEWS: -U.S. Stocks Rise as Jobless Claims Data Overshadow GDP Report -Economy in U.S. Grew Less Than Last Estimated in Third Quarter -Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease to Lowest Since April 2008 -Greece’s Creditors Said to Resist IMF Push for More Losses -More Bankers Predict China Easing as Economy Cools, PBOC Says -Mexican Consumer Prices Rose 0.51% in First Half of December -Brazil Jobless Drop to Record as Bank Sees Inflation Risk -India Fiscal Stress May Worsen on Subsidies, Reserve Bank Says MARKETS (AS OF 9:38 A.M. NEW YORK TIME): Last %Chg Corn $6.1725 0.1 CBOT Wheat $6.17 unch Soybeans $11.655 0.2 Soybean Oil $0.5001 0.4 Soybean Meal $303.70 0.3 WTI Crude Oil $99.49 0.8 N.Y. Gasoline $2.6252 0.2 U.S. Dollar Index 80.038 0.02 S&P 500 1,248.38 0.4