OK, crop markets hardly had a banner day.
But any gains were noteworthy when risk assets in general suffered on Monday, depressed by negative sentiment from some disappointment amid the US results season.
Caterpillar, for the second time this year, slashed its forecast for 2012 earnings, although shares in the construction equipment group actually showed a small gain in afternoon deals on Wall Street.
Shares in general fell, by 0.5% in New York as a whole, while commodities as measured by the CRB index dropped 0.8% too.
'Cash market tight'
But in Chicago, that idea of prices gaining support from the end of a period of harvest pressure gained some traction, as with corn and soybean supplies off the combine now scarce, and farmers' keeping silos closed after crop price falls last month, the US cash market firmed.
"The cash market remains tight," US Commodities said, noting basis levels in the eastern Corn Belt of some $0.50-0.60 a bushel over December futures, and of $0.40-0.45 a bushel in the western Corn Belt.
"The producer has now tucked most of the crop away. It is the job of the cash market to pry these supplies away from the producer."
Rival broker Benson Quinn Commodities said: "US corn and soybean basis values are historically high for harvest due to smaller crops and farmer holding tight to any unsold inventories with harvest near complete."
At Country Futures, Darrell Holaday said: "Cash strength continues to be the primary driving force in corn and soybeans as basis levels continue to get stronger in a larger part of the US production area."
'Explosive' market ahead
The strong cash market comes despite evidence in US data of a sharp drop in cattle placements on feedlots ahead, "explosive" for cattle markets perhaps, but not so hot for corn demand prospects.
Also, historically elevated corn prices have done a well-documented job in limiting US corn exports.
And there were ideas too of weather turning more benign in South America, bringing dry weather to Argentina, where excess rain has been an issue, and rains to northern Brazil.
'Supposed to be bought today'
However, not all commentators were quite so upbeat over the South America weather outlook.
Nor were many so downbeat over exports, with Benson Quinn Commodities noting that" US wheat and corn are still overpriced to global offers lower production from competitors is reducing inventories and offers with many looking for world importers to shift to US for supplies in short order".
And, in soybeans, there was a calendar factor too to excite bulls, with harvest pressure now on the wane.
"Seasonally, January soybeans are supposed to be bought today until November 15," US Commodities said, noting that a gain of 26 ¼ cents a bushel might be expected to judge by history.
"July soybeans are to be bought today until January 9 - 80% of the time the market goes up 69 ¼ cents a bushel during this period."
Chicago soybeans for November gained 0.7% to close at $15.46 ½ a bushe, with the January contract actually adding 0.9%, to reach $15.49 ¼ a bushel.
'Forecast is dry'
Corn for December dropped in late deals to close lower, but by a modest 0.1% to $7.61 ¼ a bushel, lagging December wheat, which gained 0.7% to $8.71 ½ a bushel.
But then wheat has more definite ideas of demand for US exports, with Black Sea supplies running dry, and European Union ones getting pricey.
"Wheat strength is still tied to ideas that US wheat exports will get stronger," Country Futures' Darrell Holaday said, citing the support from dry weather in parts of US winter wheat country too.
"The southern Plains forecast is dry and the look into next week remains dry. That is providing support to wheat."
'Difficulties in obtaining credit'
Among soft commodities, arabica coffee extended its rebound of late last week to end up 1.8% at 164.50 cents a pound, continuing a theme of exploring a price corridor between 160 cents a pound or so, which inspires end-user buying, and 180 cents a pound, when producer selling pressure has been overwhelming the market.
At Brazil's Conselho Nacional do Café, executive president Silas Brasileiro flagged that many roasters worldwide "are buying coffee hand to mouth as their most urgent needs" thanks to the difficult in winning financing for major orders.
"They face more difficulties in obtaining credit," he said.
And as an, ironic, extra impetus to buying pressure, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission late on Friday showed a collapse in speculators' optimism for the bean.
They increased their net short holding by a little over 8,000 contracts, the biggest negative swing of 2012, and taking the net short position above 13,000 lots, historically large, and the kind of figure that has many investors wondering how many more negative speculative bets are to come.
In raw sugar, speculators reversed some of their growing net exposure of recent weeks, cutting it by nearly 20,000 lots to 55,537 contracts, which seemed a better bet on Monday amid waning ideas for China's imports.
New York's March contract closed 0.8% lower at 20.06 cents a pound.
While, in London, December white sugar on Liffe closed up 0.4% at $550.10 a tonne, it was rebounding from a two-year low of $537.00 touched in the last session.