The favourites in agricultural commodity markets in both Chicago and New York began the week on a duff note.
In New York, cocoa closed at $2,554 a tonne for December delivery, easing 0.4% from the last session, when it reached its highest for nearly a year.
But then perhaps a little profit-taking was warranted after what Commerzbank termed an "impressive upswing", with prices up 6% last week, and 15% in 2013 so far.
And, after all, hedge funds hold a large net long position in cocoa on which to take profit – the largest indeed in more than five years.
'Uncertainty about supply'
Indeed, the bank flagged reasons for bulls not to panic, with fundamental reasons for elevated prices, given that West Africa, the top producing region, has "seen only roughly half its usual rainfall in recent weeks is fuelling fears about the next main harvest, due to begin in October.
"What is more, Ghana is planning to reduce subsidies for the use of pesticides by cocoa farmers, which is adding to the uncertainty about supply," the bank said.
Then to factor in are "declining stock levels on the exchanges, which are being interpreted as indicators of strong demand".
And the comments from within the International Cocoa Organization hinting that lower-than-expected deliveries of the bean in Ivory Coast mean that the world production deficit in 2012-13 may be far bigger than had been thought.
'Turned substantially wetter'
In Chicago, soybeans, the market leader of late, lost early headway too to close lower.
"This was somewhat surprising given the lack of rainfall in the Midwest over the weekend," Darrell Holaday at Country Futures said, with dryness in the Midwest being the key concern of investors, who last week drove the benchmark November lot briefly back above $14 a bushel.
However, the coming of the working week has brought some rainfall, with WxRisk.com noting that "the Monday morning national radar shows somewhat more activity than what we seen as of late.
"There is a cluster of storms over central and south eastern Michigan, and another cluster over north eastern Minnesota and north west and Wisconsin", besides showers over north and central North Dakota and some of South Dakota into Wyoming too, the weather service said.
Furthermore, Mr Holaday noted that the GFS weather model, "which has been hinting at a significant weather change this week, cooler and wetter, turned substantially wetter in the midday run.
"The Central Plains turns wet later this week and then the Plains remains wet and the moisture spills into the Midwest later in the weekend with substantial rain in Midwest early next week."
'Limited margin for error'
That, in theory, bodes well for soybean yields which are coming under particular scrutiny ahead of a US Department of Agriculture Wasde crop report due on Thursday, and expected to see some downgrade from the current estimate of 42.6 bushels per acre.
While corn crop have also been hurt to some extent by the dryness, there is a large cushion for yield damage, given massive US sowings.
US Commodities said: "The soybean yields remain the most concerning. The margin for error on soybeans is limited."
The market is factoring in a "soybean yield of 40-41 bushels per acre", the broker said.
How much help?
How much soybeans will benefit from rains late this week and afterwards is open to question, given the extent of development in the oilseed too, for which "large scale Midwest harvest" is some three weeks away, according to Richard Feltes at Chicago-based broker RJ O'Brien.
"Soybeans turning colour won't benefit from upcoming rains whereas beans that are still green will at least get better fill on the existing pod set," Mr Feltes said.
Mr Holaday said: "Rain over the next two weeks would be helpful, but would not restore all of the yield damage that has occurred."
'Never a positive fundamental signal'
Still, on the price-negative side, at least the hotter weather has dispelled ideas of an early frost to hurt crops.
Furthermore, ideas of forthcoming South American crops remain large, and getting generally larger, with Argentina's crop reportedly seen on Monday potentially beating the 53.5m tonnes the USDA currently pegs the harvest at.
And, as a big support to bears, the close-to-expiring September contracts in both soybeans and soymeal took a drubbing, closing down 2.3% at $13.04 ¼ a bushel, and 3.4% at $465.80 a short ton, respectively.
"It is never a positive fundamental signal to see the front end of a market break down," Mr Holaday said.
November soybeans ended down 0.8% at $13.56 ½ a bushel, with hedge funds taking the opportunity to close some of their hefty long positions.
'Bids dropped sharply'
For corn, a slide in Chicago's September contract was evident too, with the lot tumbling 2.9% to $4.77 ¼ a bushel, under pressure from the mounting US harvest, and results which are beating early fears so far.
"The yields on corn continue to be larger than expected in the south. Early yields as the corn harvest moves north continue to be impressive," US Commodities said.
Paul Georgy at Allendale flagged the impact on cash basis, noting that as "harvest started in the eastern Corn Belt, processors dropped bids sharply on Friday".
Rains in Argentina ahead of sowings added extra pressure too, as did weekly US exports of 9.83m bushels last week, down from 17.8m bushels the week before.
Corn December, the best-traded lot, closed down 1.0% at $4.63 ½ a bushel.
Another Egyptian tender
And against that, it was tricky for fellow grain wheat to do anything but decline too, without much help on its own fundamentals.
Chicago wheat for December ended down 1.0% at $6.41 ¼ a bushel.
Sure, Egypt's Gasc grain authority unveiled yet another wheat tender, signalling yet more demand from the world's top buyer, but this was revealed after the close of markets.
During market hours, the UK revealed a sharp improvement in wheat crop quality, including the best Hagberg falling number in 13 years, only adding to ideas of ample milling supplies in the European Union.
Paris wheat for November fell 0.8% to E188.75 a tonne, while London feed wheat for November dropped 0.2% to £154.75 a tonne.
'Pick-up in export sales'
Back among soft commodities, cotton for December managed just to extend its recovery from a three-month low on Thursday, edging 0.3% higher to 83.50 cents a pound in New York.
Broker Doane flagged "a pick-up in US export sales", which more than doubled week on week in the latest USDA data to hit 163,339 running bales.
Doane also flagged "persistent trade sentiment" that the USDA will cut its domestic cotton yield estimate in Thursday's Wasde crop report.
However, raw sugar did better, adding 1.3% to 17.01 cents a pound for October delivery, buoyed by a stronger Brazilian real, which recovered 1.3% against the dollar, and continuing ideas that demand may be stronger than had been thought.