The market may tomorrow focus on corn and soybeans, with the release of a key US crop report.
But Thursday belonged to coffee, arabica beans in particular.
A New York arabica market that spent early deals an inch into positive territory at 08:30 local time leapt in the whole nine yards, and closed up 3.6% at 120.60 cents a pound for December delivery.
The catalyst was the announcement by Brazilian authorities of R$1bn in support for the coffee industry in the top producing country, including R$284m for funding storage of crop, so reducing the pressure on growers to sell, and R$242.6m in working capital for producers.
'Encouraged short covering'
"That helped prices," Boyd Cruel, soft commodities analyst for Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said.
"It encouraged short covering," which was the fuel behind the rally, with hedge funds net short of a sizeable 22,700 arabica coffee futures and options as of Tuesday last week.
Not that Mr Cruel was optimistic about the rally lasting long, saying that while there was some scope for the short covering to continue short-term, "long-term, fundamentals remain bearish.
"Supply is abundant," after a strong Brazilian harvest, with a larger one expected next year, and with a decent Vietnamese robusta crop on the horizon too.
The comments concurred with those of Goldman Sachs, which also took a downbeat line on arabica futures, cautioning that strong supplies "will bring stocks to their highest level in five years and creates downside risk to our recently lowered price forecast of 130 cents a pound".
The bank was cautious over cocoa too, saying that it saw "limited upside for now given the still high cocoa stocks-to-use ratio",
And that forecast looked more immediately on the button, with New York's managing a gain of only $1 to $2,571 a tonne, falling back from a one-year high of $2,599 a tonne reached earlier, with the contract's failure to take the $2,600 mark seen as a technical setback.
In London, December cocoa dropped 0.2% to £1,685 a tonne.
'Plentiful supply situation'
Staying among softs, raw sugar, which has itself staged some recovery from four-year lows, notched up its first negative session in five, if only by the minimum 0.01 cent a pound to finish at 17.17 cents a pound.
While Czarnikow has sparked concerns that demand is being underestimated, Commerzbank said that "latest reports tend to confirm the picture of a plentiful supply situation".
India's National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories, for instance, has estimated that the country's sugar production in 2013-14 will fall only slightly short of this year's figure of 25m tonnes, thanks to the good monsoon, the bank noted.
"Thus domestic demand should certainly be covered, with enough sugar left over for export."
Among grain and oilseeds, narrow trading ranges, albeit with choppy price movements within them, were the order of the day as investors awaited Thursday's US Department of Agriculture Wasde crop report.
The monthly Wasde reports represent highlights of the grain trading calendar, giving fresh estimates for world crop supply and demand, although with a particular market focus on estimates US row crop yields this time, especially the soybean one.
Considerations of whether the Wasde will indeed cut the estimate for the US soybean yield by 1.4 bushels per acre, and the corn yield by 0.7 bushels per acre, overhung trading.
And many investors opted to get out and close positions, which in corn futures, in which hedge funds have a hefty net short, meant supporting prices.
'Rains are not there'
Not that there weren't other factors to trade too.
In soybeans, there was the weather, which has turned out drier than had been expected.
WxRisk.com said: "Well here we are on September 11 and the supposed big bad cold front that was all the talk for last week is now over the central Plains and western Corn Belt.
"But the rains are not there."
'Complete pattern change'
That said, the forecast ahead is looking more promising for rain, with Darrell Holaday at Country Futures flagging a "complete pattern change", meaning that "the Plains and Midwest will be looking at many rain opportunities over the next two weeks".
But will it be too late to save even soybean yields?
"Crops are reaching point were rains would interfere with harvest activity more than benefit production potential," Benson Quinn Commodities said.
Soybeans for November closed up 0.2% at $13.58 ¼ a bushel.
'Basis levels slide'
For corn, news was more mixed, with the CNGOIC estimate of a 215m-tonne Chinese harvest - well ahead of consumption, so easing import needs – followed by a Lanworth upgrade to its forecasts for US and world production.
The US harvest estimate was lifted by 66m bushels to 13.396bn bushels, with that for the world upgraded by 2m tonnes, reflecting mainly a lift in the Ukraine output estimate to 26.4m tonnes "following moderately wet and unexpectedly cool conditions during the last 10 days of August".
Then there is the weakness in the US cash market as harvest ramps up, boosting supplies and giving buyers more market power.
"Basis levels for corn continue to slide as more processors reduce bids by $0.35-0.50 a bushel," Paul Georgy at broker Allendale said.
Indeed, "yield results thus far on corn remain impressive," US Commodities said, noting that "harvest pressure continues to increase as we move forward in time".
That said, "of course, the concern is in the heart of the grain belt", where dryness has been more severe, the broker said.
And US ethanol data provided another reason to keep short-covering going, with output jumping 29,000 barrels a day last week to 848,000 barrels a day.
In corn terms, "that is an annual grind rate of 4.710bn bushels," CHS Hedging said, higher than the 4.65bn bushels the US managed in 2012-13, if below the 4.90bn bushels expected for the newly-started 2013-14 season.
December corn added 0.7% to $4.72 ½ a bushel in Chicago.
That helped fellow grain wheat make some ground too, although the day provided some extra reasons for fundamental support, with the USDA announcing the export sale of 120,000 tonnes of US hard red winter wheat to Nigeria.
Then Iran forecast its imports at 7.5m tonnes for the year to March 2014, well above market expectations. The USDA forecasts purchases of 4m tonnes in 2013-14 (not exactly the same period).
In France, the official FranceAgriMer crop bureau pegged French soft wheat exports outside the European Union at 11.0m tonnes in 2013-14.
That was mixed news, up 9.9m tonnes year on year, but with some analysts having already pencilled in a higher figure after a strong start to the season.
Chicago wheat for December closed up 0.2% at $6.48 a bushel.
In Paris, November wheat edged 0.1% higher to E188.00 a tonne, with London's November lot closing up 0.3% at £155.00 a tonne.