To lose one price support is unfortunate, but to lose two looks careless.
China's latest auction of sugar from state stocks came up with some surprisingly weak prices, Agrimoney.com was told, with some apparently going for 5,500 yuan a tonne. (November futures had closed on the Zhengzhou exchange up 1.1%, at 7.225 yuan a tonne.)
Given the stress that investors have placed on the idea of weaker-than-expected output from Brazil the top producer, and soaring demand from China, the results were not pretty.
Especially with the European Union closing the door on further imports quotas at discounted duty rates too.
Sugar for October slumped 6.7% to a one-month closing low of 27.52 cents a pound. It was the worst fall for a spot contract for six months.
The better-traded December lot shed 6.6% to 26.31 cents a pound.
London trading closed early enough to spare white sugar the worst of the sell-off, with the December lot, in its first day as the spot contract, closing down 4.3% at $687.20 a tonne.
It was, nonetheless, the lowest finish for a spot contract since early June, and indeed the first below $700 a tonne since then too.
Indeed, if grain bulls thought they were badly off…
"US crop now looks safe from a freeze for the next 14 days. That should about do it from a freeze scare," US Commodities said.
Meanwhile, with wheat export weak and US corn ethanol production lower, "the tone remains negative as the trade focuses on demand erosion", Benson Quinn Commodities said.
OK, there are growing weather concerns in South America too, as corn sowings begin.
"The central and southern regions in Argentina looking dry with no break seen," GrainAnalyst trader Matthew Pierce said.
"Cordoba and Santa Fe [states] are trying to plant corn but it's not going well so far."
However, while "Argentina deserves watching and may be the next bullish catalyst, it is still too early to get fired up about that", he added.
Nor was he impressed by the US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency data on insurance claims, closely watched for indications of whether harvested acres will disappoint, terming the statistics "bearish".
Not all observers agreed, with Benson Quinn terming the numbers "a little supportive as they suggest a possibility of 800,000-1m fewer acres of corn, possibly 400,000 fewer acres of soybeans and potentially 1m fewer acres in the generic wheat category".
US Commodities said: "The report gave no indication that in the October [USDA US crop production] report corn harvested acres will not be reduced 400,000-600,000 acres on corn, soybeans 50,000-100,000 acres and spring wheat acres cut 200,000-400,000 acres."
Whatever, the data were not enough to support prices, especially when some more USDA data are looming large – and have a history of negative surprises.
A report on US crop stocks, due on September 30, "looms large", US Commodities said.
"Remember last year the government found a lot of bushels of corn in this report."
December corn dropped 1.3% to $6.92 a bushel, ending below $7 a bushel for the first time in a month.
Chicago wheat for December lot shed 1.1% to finish at a one-month low of $6.88 ¼ a bushel, at least closing its atypical discount by a further 1.25 cents.
Indeed, there was some thought that here prices may have gone low enough to summon up demand.
Indeed, rapeseed did better than European wheat, which closed up 0.1% at E197.00 a tonne in Paris, and up 0.3% at £161.75 a tonne in London.