The US Department of Agriculture may have halted its dataflow, victim to the government's partial shutdown, but that does not mean that agricultural commodity investors are completely deprived of statistics.
Thursday bought two sets of much-watched statistics, the first on cocoa, and European processing volumes for the July-to-September quarter.
The grind was up 4.7% year on year at 331,514 tonnes, the European Cocoa Association said.
That was a strong number, if towards the bottom end of a range of 3-10% growth.
Cocoa for December added 0.6% to $2,720 a tonne as of 09:20 UK time (03:20 Chicago time).
Palm oil data
Meanwhile, palm oil investors are assessing data showing that Malaysian stocks of the vegetable oil rose last month, but not by nearly as much as they had expected, in adding 7% to 1.78m tonnes.
Output grew less strongly than had been forecast, while exports beat expectations.
Palm oil for December stood 0.9% higher at 2,390 ringgit a tonne in Kuala Lumpur, grappling with its 75-day moving average, on a continuous chart.
'Offers continue to rise'
Grain markets will have some data to work off to later on, with the release of results from a wheat tender by Egypt's grain authority, Gasc, which revealed late on Wednesday that it was returning to the market for the first time in a month.
Gasc is seeking offers "soft and/or milling" wheat from a range of countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Russia and the US, and the tender, besides meaning the return of the top wheat importer, will offer an insight into the relative competitiveness of grain from different origins.
Typically, Russia would be seen as the origin to bet at this time of year, with stocks replenished by harvest, but a disappointing result this time, and the prospect of government buying, is damaging its price competitiveness.
"Black Sea offers continue to rise, with the quality [issues] and the eventual start of Russia's plan to replenish reserve stocks," Brian Henry at Benson Quinn Commodities said.
'Momentum is waning'
The Gasc tender injected a little verve into a market which has shown signs of fatigue after a rally which, on Tuesday, took it to within 0.25 cents of hitting $7.00 a bushel in Chicago for the first time since July.
But only a little.
"Recent price action in wheat has a feel of consolidation, but momentum is waning and stories are getting stale," Mr Henry said.
If the Commodity Futures Trading Commission were, rather than itself being closed, to produce data on investor positioning on commodities, it would "show that funds have bought enough wheat".
'Collapse in US wheat feeding'
Luke Mathews at Commonwealth Bank of Australia also noted the pressure for profit-taking in wheat, given "the outperformance in recent weeks", and against a backdrop of "expectations for a collapse in US wheat feeding based on the current premium over corn".
Furthermore, he noted "more favourable winter wheat planting weather in Russia", where rains have hampered sowings of winter crops.
Joyce Liu at Phillip Futures flagged "forecasts of dry weather which would allow faster planting of winter wheat in Russia's southern region", if adding that "it remains to be seen if this faster planting could significantly improve Russia's wheat output".
Wheat for December stood 0.4% higher at $6.93 a bushel in Chicago, while adding 0.3% to $7.61 ½ a bushel in Kansas City.
'A cover to buy supplies'
That helped fellow grain corn add a little ground too, with Wednesday's apparent confirmation of orders of 420,000 tonnes of the grain from the US also continuing to attract comment.
The report has given "the market the fuel to trade off of the low end of recent ranges", CHS Hedging said.
Indeed, it has given some weight to ideas that China may be undertaking a more widespread purchasing programme, exploiting the lack of data from the USDA, which normally issues weekly export sales reports, and daily alerts on large orders.
"There are reports that China is currently using the US government shutdown as a cover to buy supplies whilst it can't be reported by the USDA," Mr Mathews said.
'Totally in the dark'
"With no export news or government reports, all traders have to go on at the moment is yield results," Mike Mawdsley at broker Market 1 said.
"We are totally in the dark whether any business, or how much business, is going on."
Still, "even if the Chinese are ramping up their US corn purchases, it shouldn't make a significant dent in our final carryout assuming we get that strong national average yield we are expecting", one US broker said.
And, with harvest progress continuing apace, gains in corn were limited to 0.4%, taking the December contract to $4.45 ¼ a bushel.