Grains and oilseeds represent a better bet than soft commodities, ABN Amro said, forecasting a return in wheat to more than $9 a bushel, and soybeans to back nearly to $17 a bushel.
"Increasing demand will cause prices for soybeans and wheat to rise again," the bank said, flagging, for the grain, a drop of only 2% in demand in 2012-13, well short of a 6% drop in production.
"Demand will remain stronger than usual and outstrip production," ABN analyst Mathijs Deguelle said, flagging also the "poor start" US winter wheat seedlings are making, with 40% in the top producing state of Kansas rated "good" or "excellent", even lower than last year's lowly figure.
"As such, we believe that wheat prices will remain at a high level for at least the next three months."
'Insufficient to meet demand'
Chicago soybean prices, meanwhile, are on track to recover to $16.80 a bushel on a three-month horizon, well above the level that futures are pricing in, underpinned by demand for soyoil, both as a feedstock for biodiesel plants and a food ingredient.
A ruling by the US Environmental Protection Agency requiring domestic blending of 1.28bn gallons of biodiesel in fuel next year, up from 1bn gallons this year, "by itself could expand demand for soyoil by over 1bn pounds, which could trigger a steep drop in season-ending stocks to 1.27bn pounds", Mr Deguelle said.
"This level is insufficient to meet US domestic demand."
China's appetite for the complex will be boosted by soyoil's status as the country's favourable cooking oil, accounting for some two-thirds of the market.
"This trend will likely only increase in the near future.
"Just like the growing domestic demand in the US, this will support a further rally in soybean prices."
'Global stocks will be rebuilt'
ABN also forecast a rise in corn prices ahead, to $7.80 a bushel on a three-month timescale, saying it was "yet unclear" that the US livestock herd liquidation forced by elevated prices "will be as significant as currently forecasted".
However, while relatively upbeat on prospects for raw sugar futures, seeing a return to 21.0 cents a pound early in 2013 thanks to greater competition with ethanol for cane supplies, the bank was at best neutral on other soft commodities.
In coffee, "production and consumption forecasts point to a production surplus – global stocks will be rebuilt.
"In the fourth quarter of 2012 coffee prices will remain at current levels. In 2013, prices will decline slightly."
Cocoa futures are set to stay at around $2,500 a tonne in New York, as a small rise in world production in 2012-13 meets a mixed demand picture.
"Consumption in developed economies will be weak due to weak consumer demand and the poor economic growth prospects," ABN said.
In emerging markets, "long-term cocoa grindings are expected to grow due to strong demand for dark chocolate with a high cocoa content and an increasing demand for cocoa powder".
And cotton is set to remain close to current levels, as support from China's cotton stockpiling programme offsets pressure from record world inventories.