If some headline price falls, in the likes of cotton and corn, stole the market headlines on Tuesday, declines were not compulsory.
Indeed, even within ag classes there were splits, with Chicago
The gain reflected a downgrade of more than 300m pounds, to 1.76bn pounds, in the forecast for US inventories of the vegetable oil at the close of 2017-18, reflecting in part a reduced idea of stocks heading into the crop year, but also the knock-on effect of US levies on imports of Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel.
(Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils such as soyoil.)
The USDA flagged the prospect of "higher use" in the US of soyoil for biodiesel production to support domestic supplies, "reflecting recently-imposed duties for imported biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia".
The forecast for consumption of soyoil in US biodiesel plants was raised by 550m pounds to 7.00m pounds.
And this when vegetable oil markets were already firm, helped by Monday's lower-than-expected Malaysian
Paris futures in
The downgrade of 550,000 tonnes to 70.59m tonnes was down to a cut in hopes for the Canadian canola crop, thanks to a lower acreage figure.
Chicago wheat for December closed up 1.7% at $4.42 a bushel as it freed itself from the downward pull of
The report trimmed the estimate for world wheat stocks a little more than investors had expected, although it has to be said that supplies are far from tight.
Meanwhile, in New York,
Besides the continued weakness in Brazilian coffee exports – which look like falling year on year this month too, despite an industry forecast of a 20% jump in volumes from August – the country's 2018 crop prospects are coming under increasing scrutiny, thanks to the return of dry weather,
In Brazil, "moisture will continue to decline in central and northern areas," said MDA, with this region including the main coffee-producing state of Minas Gerais (also the top grower of first0crop corn).
And this matter when coffee plants are blossoming, and require follow-up rains for fertilized flowers to set fruit.
At US broker Price Futures, Jack Scoville said that while Brazilian coffee flowering has got "off to a very good start", helped by earlier rains, "coffee areas are dry again.
"Some producers are worried that the rains came too early and created premature flowering," with blossoms potentially dropping and curbing yield potential.
"There is also talk that the trees are old and not able to withstand stress and that lower production should be expected no matter what happens."
In the London market for
"Prospects for the upcoming Vietnamese crop seem positive," the International Coffee Organization said, Vietnam being the top robusta grower.
However, New York
Commentators had expected the data to show Centre South sugar output during the period at 2.82m tonnes, according to a survey by S&P Global Platts.
In fact, the figure came in at 2.54m tonnes (down 20% on output in the first half of August, and a little lower year on year too).
The drop reflected a weaker-than-expected volume of cane crushed and, at 46.95%, a smaller proportion of the crop diverted to cane than the 48.13% figure forecast.
However, one worry for sugar bulls is the proximity of so-called ethanol parity, pegged at about 14.30 cents a pound, which would appear to offer some kind of ceiling for prices.
Heading too high would risk turning mills back towards making more sugar than ethanol, and lift further expectations for the world output surplus in 2017-18.
By Mike Verdin