What follows are opening calls for U.S. grain and oilseed markets.
-- Wheat futures may open 2 cents to 4 cents a bushel lower on the Chicago Board of Trade, the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange on speculation that rain next week from Texas to Nebraska will boost soil moisture for winter crops, Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview.
-- Corn futures are called to open down 2 cents to 3 cents a bushel in Chicago on signs that U.S. farmers have stepped up sales after spot prices jumped to the highest in almost three months, Schultz said.
-- Soybean futures may open 3 cents to 5 cents a bushel lower on the CBOT as the rally to a five-month high this week encouraged more sales by U.S. farmers, Schultz said. Rains stabilized yields in dry areas of South America. Soybean-oil futures are expected to open 0.3 cent to 0.4 cent a pound lower, and soybean-meal futures may open steady to $1 lower per 2,000 pounds.
WHAT TO WATCH: (ALL TIMES NEW YORK) 2 p.m. USDA daily cattle & hog slaughter TOP COMMODITY STORIES: -MF Global Criminal Investigation Said to Slow After Quick Start -U.S. Food-Stamp Use Rose to Record 46.5 Million in December -U.S. Exporters Sell 285,000 Tons of Soybeans to Unknown Buyers -China Should Allow More Imports of Corn, New Hope Chairman Says -Monsanto Sees Greater China Investment on Par With Brazil -Ukraine’s Grain Shipments Fell by 11% in February, Group Says -Ukraine’s Spring Grain Sowing May Be Delayed, Researcher Says -Russian Grain Crop Seen at 93.5 Million Tons, Interfax Reports -Russia Grain Exports Gained 32% to 18.3 Million Tons in 2011 -Palm Oil Posts First Weekly Decline in Four as Exports Weaken -Palm-Oil Imports by Pakistan to Slump as Strike Shuts Factories -Soybeans in Dalian May Advance on Bull Flag: Technical Analysis TOP ECONOMIC AND GOVERNMENT NEWS: -Euro Falls, German Bunds Gain as U.S. Stocks Are Little Changed -Oil Drops as Saudi Arabia Denys Pipeline Blast, Dollar Gains -U.S. Housing Lays Foundation for Recovery as Buyers Coaxed Back -Williams Says Fed Should Maintain Stimulus, QE3 an Option -EU Leaders Declare Crisis Turning Point as They Shift to Growth MARKETS (AS OF 9:45 A.M. NEW YORK TIME): Last %Chg Corn $6.5075 -0.5 CBOT Wheat $6.615 -0.4 Soybeans $13.1775 -0.4 Soybean Oil $0.5385 -0.8 Soybean Meal $355.30 -0.1 WTI Crude Oil $107.74 -1.0 N.Y. Gasoline $3.3002 -1.5 U.S. Dollar Index 79.347 0.7 S&P 500 1,371.86 -0.2