New month, new look?
Bulls certainly had the run of both grain and soft commodity markets on Tuesday, and some analysts attributed the improved sentiment in part to the start of July, and a fresh financial quarter, bringing in fresh fund money.
But there were fundamental reasons for prices to head upwards too.
"The market remains backed up by nearby demand, congested port terminals in Brazil, expectations of a sharp reduction in Unica's estimate for the 2011-12 crop in a report due later this month, a weaker dollar and new fund buying," Nick Penney at Sucden Financial said.
"It seems the market has been caught short again and we suppose the next target will be 30 cents a pound."
In fact, New York's October sugar contract finished 1.5% higher at 27.60 cents a pound. London white sugar for August closed up 0.8% at $771.30 a tonne having hit $78.70 earlier on, the highest since February.
"After an excellent 2010-2011 harvest, attention is now turning to the next season," Commerzbank said.
"It is doubtful whether the weather in the m
Still, these gains were swamped by those in grains, especially for near-term contracts, on evidence that last month's liquidation was sparking a rash of interest among buyers, notably in Asia.
These buyers include China, whose presence on
"Rumours abound that China is an active buyer of US corn, with latest being China purchased upward of 500,000 tonnes over the holiday weekend and may have purchased upward of 2.5m tonnes of US corn last week," Benson Quinn Commodities said.
And the facts point to such trade at least making financial sense.
"The interesting thing is US corn is also cheaper than Chinese corn including all taxes- this is something to watch closely," Matthew Pierce at PitGuru said.
There was also some talk of weather concerns although, as ever, much lay in the interpretation.
Benson Quinn said that US "weather forecasts for the next two weeks are mostly favourable and are seen limiting gains".
WxRisk.com said that latest weather models show that "a worrying heat ridge remains intact over the next 14 days.
"However, right now, none of the models are bringing the ridge/dome north or north east," where it risks causing greater damage.
Still, there is a growing list of weather threats abroad, with Mr Pierce noting "issues developing in Northern China" and "continued 100 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in central Mexico [which] are hammering their winter corn late development and their summer corn early development".
Furthermore, "Ukrainian rains have cut their crop expectations even further", while "heat in the Russian plains is making the former Soviets sweat just a little".
With a lack of deliveries – still - against expiring July corn and soybean contracts further supporting sentiment, Chicago corn for July entered the last half an hour of trade up 6.3% at $6.81 a bushel for July delivery.
The better-traded December lot was 1.7% higher at $6.07 a bushel.
Soybeans for July gained 0.4% to $13.27 a bushel, maintaining a slow but steady rise, while the November lot edged 1 cent higher to $13.13 ½ a bushel.
And, in Europe, Paris wheat for November closed up 2.3% at E197.50 a tonne, with London's November lot adding 1.8% to £165.50 a tonne.