Many markets managed a firm performance on Tuesday, boosted by more strong Chinese economic data.
Chinese industrial output grew 10.4% year-on-year in August, up from a 9.7% rise in July and ahead of market forecasts, the national statistics bureau said.
Retail sales were up 13.4% year-on-year, after growing by 13.2% in July.
The data, following on from well-received trade and inflation statistics at the weekend, helped shares gain 1.2% in Shanghai and 0.8% in Hong Kong, in late deals, while Tokyo stocks added 1.5%.
'Further declines in condition ratings'
However, grains and oilseeds struggled to join in the rally, despite it being a Tuesday, by repute the day of turnarounds in Chicago – which would imply stronger prices this session.
Not that worries about crop deterioration in the Midwest are over, especially for soybeans, which are being especially tested by dryness.
Data overnight showed the condition of the US crop falling two points to 52% "good" or "excellent, trading new depths for the season, and with the potential for a further decline to come.
"Dry weather forecasted for this week would stress the US soybean crop even more, and this could lead to further declines in condition ratings and yield prospects," Joyce Liu at Phillip Futures said.
Nonetheless, the condition decline was actually more modest than many investors had expected, given recent weather.
"I'm not sure how the crop only decline two points under 90+ degrees Fahrenheit heat," Kim Rugel at Benson Quinn Commodities said, also noting that only three of 18 states surveyed showed improved crop condition, and 12 deterioration.
Indeed, the crops in Iowa, the top producing state, deteriorated by seven points to just 33% rated good or excellent, while those in second ranked Illinois dropped by three points to 49% good or excellent.
In fourth-ranked Indiana, the drop was seven points to 55% rated good or excellent.
Among the big producing states, Ohio did best by showing crop condition stable at 72% good or excellent.
'A little wetter'
As for further declines, the weather outlook is not as dry as it was, with the European weather model getting closer to the GFS model in taking a wetter turn, if hardly looking abundant in terms of precipitation.
"The European model is in strong agreement and if anything is actually a little wetter than the GFS model in the six-to-10 day outlook across the central Plains and the western Corn Belt," WxRisk.com said.
"The European shows a large area of 1-2 inch rains covering most of Iowa, eastern portions of South Dakota most of Minnesota and Wisconsin."
The rains also "get into north western portions of Illinois and east central Missouri".
'Much better world supply situation'
Sure, there is the prospect of a USDA Wasde crop report on Thursday, which updates estimates on world crop supply and demand, and is expected to cut the forecast for the US soybean yield below the current forecast of 42.6 bushels per acre, with investors foreseeing a figure of about 41 bushels per acre.
(Linn Group has unveiled a figure of 41.4 bushels per acre for yield, and 2.139bn bushels. But that is an estimate for final production rather than the Wasde.)
However, that too has been built into markets, which are also, on the bearish side, looking for strong Argentine and Brazilian crops early in 2014.
"We are in a much better world supply situation after coming off of a record South American production year," one broker said.
"We need to keep this in mind and continue to stay well hedged going into harvest."
Furthermore, harvest is approaching on soybeans, typically a negative period for values of any crop.
"Seasonally, markets head lower at this time as harvest gets underway and more physical product is sold," the broker said.
And, technically, the soybean picture has deteriorated too, with Richard Feltes at RJ O'Brien saying that the decline in the last session offered "more evidence that the soy charts are topping out".
The November contract, dropping 0.6% to $13.48 ¼ a bushel as of 09:40 UK time (03:40 Chicago time), crept back towards the chart gap created by a jump in prices on August 26, and a feature on which many traders have been focused since, given the idea that such voids can be a magnet for filling.
Corn maintained its outperformance this week of soybeans, losing only 0.1% to $4.63 a bushel for December delivery.
That cut the soybean: corn price ratio back to 2.91: 1, from a 2013 high of nigh on 3: 1 reached last week.
The rating on the US corn crop fell too by two points, to 54% good or excellent, with the drop in Iowa at four points, to 35% in the top two grades.
However, huge sowings, and strong results from the early harvest, are offsetting any fears of a shortfall in US supplies.
Indeed, Mr Feltes said that "fundamentally, baring a unusually low Midwest corn yields, we think December corn futures will penetrate the mid-August lows in the $4.45-a-bushel area as harvest accelerates".
He cited pressure from a "doubling or more of US corn carryover stocks over 2013-14, intense competition for corn export market share and prospects for further gains in 2014-15 US corn stocks even with a 3m-4m acre-cut in 2014 US corn planted area".
Wheat actually managed to buck the negative trend, adding 0.4% to $6.44 a bushel in Chicago for December delivery, helped by further positive demand signals.
Not only has Egypt's Gasc grain authority unveiled another tender, albeit one which US supplies are unlikely to win, but Brazil, whose crop has been hurt by frost, lifted it duty-free wheat import quota by 400,000 tonnes.
"Global demand for wheat remains decent," Benson Quinn Commodities said.
Australia's Abares cut its forecast for the domestic crop too, by nearly 1m tonnes to 24.5m tonnes, a downgrade a little bigger than many commentators had expected, with recent estimates at 24.9m tonnes.
Furthermore, technically, there are ideas that the grain has been oversold.
Among soft commodities, cotton for December added 0.5% to 83.90 cents a pound in New York for December delivery.
While there was no change in US crop condition, according to USDA data out overnight, with 45% rated good or excellent, there are ideas that Thursday's Wasde will cut the domestic production estimate.
Raw sugar added 0.1% to 17.03 cents a pound, with its return to a close above 17.00 cents a pound in the last session seen as a technical positive.
"The close above 17 cents now paves the way for further near term gains to 17.30 cents a pound and beyond," Luke Mathews at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said.
Still, much may depend on the latest data from industry group Unica on sugar production in Brazil's key Centre South region.
Elsewhere, in Kuala Lumpur, palm oil fell 1.7% to ringgit a tonne despite data showing that Malaysia's palm oil stocks climbed only marginally to 1.67m tonnes last month.
Investors had expected a 1.74m-tonne figure.
Cargo surveyor Intertek reported a 10.8% rise in Malaysian exports for the first 10 days of September too.