There is nothing like a bit of market dislocation to keep buyers interested.
If Argentina has, in retreating from a forecast of an 8.8m-tonne crop, eased concerns of it banning wheat exports, another threat to smooth market operations has appeared in rumours of contract default.
"There are now reports that Black Sea [wheat] producers are not delivering on earlier contracts because the price has rallied and are simply not delivering," Darrell Holaday at Country Futures said.
"This is not uncommon in that part of the world where contracts don't mean much. That is creating a problem and so buyers are opting to pull away from them and go somewhere where a contract is honoured."
'Suspend selling wheat'
Whether the allegations - which come at a sensitive time for Russian agriculture, the subject of a heated debate among Agrimoney.com readers following allegations by Velcourt over dishonesty – are accurate or not, the country's growers have certainly gained market power.
SovEcon, the influential analysis group, says that Russia's export prices, for wheat with 11.5% protein, rose $10 a tonne last week to $272.50 a tonne, free on board, in deep water ports.
Russia's flour millers and exporters "are actively buying milling wheat", SovEcon said, flagging a growing tendency .
"In this situation many farmers have started to suspend selling wheat in anticipation of higher prices."
Prices nudge higher
And this is supporting prices in other exporting countries.
Wheat for December closed up 0.1%, sure, not a huge gain, but enough to see the lot close at $7.00 ¾ a bushel, only its second finish above $7 a bushel since June.
Hard red winter wheat, the type traded in Kansas City, and over which there are ideas of particular demand from importers such as Brazil, ended up 0.6% at $7.65 ½ a bushel.
Closer to the Black Sea, Paris wheat for November added E0.25 a tonne, again not a huge rise, but enough to lift the contract to its best close in four months.
Sure, wheat's performance was not enough to eclipse, among the more minor grains, oats, which soared 1.4% to $3.41 ¼ a bushel, which will interest Chicago traders believing the grain is a leading indicator.
But it trounced corn, which felt pressure as ever-increasing ideas for the US harvest found some traction at last in the cash basis, which had been held up by a reluctance by growers to sell.
"With reports of exceptional yields in the eastern Corn Belt, producers have been more willing sellers than the trade was expecting," CHS Hedging said.
"Basis levels eased at eastern ethanol plants with increased harvest activity," it added.
As for harvest expectations, these only received a boost from the US Department of Agriculture crop progress report out overnight which showed an improvement of five points, to 60%,since the end of September in the proportion of the US crop rated "good" or "excellent".
Typically, crops would be expected to deteriorate at this time of year.
In fact, "the last time ratings have improved into harvest, the resulting yield was a record at 164.7 bushels per acre in 2009, when crop rated 70% good or excellent", Benson Quinn Commodities said.
US Commodities said: "It is very unusual for the crop ratings to improve going into the harvest.
"The odds of yields improving in the November report are huge."
And the same goes for soybeans too, for which the proportion of the US crop rated good or excellent was lifted by four points to 57%.
"The last time we saw USDA raise ratings into harvest yields were record large at 44.0 bushels per acre in 2009," Benson Quinn Commodities said.
US Commodities said: "The risk is if yields are much better than the trade estimates."
Certainly, the prospects of a huge yield overshadowed a caution from Oil World over dryness in Argentina, which has already set the sunflower harvest on course for a 30-year low, and allowed soybeans for November to nudge down 0.1% to $13.02 ¼ a bushel in Chicago.
Corn for December slumped 1.3% to $4.38 ¼ a bushel, reopening its discount to December wheat back above $2.60 a bushel.