There was much in the US weather outlook which, to some analysts, said "sell". What, with Chicago traders, who were on Wednesday basking in 99-degree (Fahrenheit) heat seeing rain on Friday – echoing the improvement in US crop conditions.
"The extreme heat for the Corn Belt has passed," US Commodities said.
Rival broker Benson Quinn Commodities said: "Net soil moistures remain in decline but with easing temperatures, crop stress is expected to moderate."
At Country Futures, Jerry Stowell advised: "Normally selling the rallies works best."
But traders seemed reluctant to take the advice, with questions remaining about some of the outlook.
Sure the midday GFS model saw the jet stream over the Canada-US border heading further south in the 11-to-15 day outlook, dragging colder and damper air deeper into the major American growing districts which could use a rest from heat.
"But I don't think that is the correct solution since that cool/wet idea has no other model support," David Tolleris at WxRisk.com said.
Furthermore, the six-to-10 day outlook still speaks of more hot weather to come, with "areas east the Mississippi River to see the significant heat next week - mid and upper 90s (degrees Fahrenheit)".
And then there was a report from consultancy Lanworth which estimated both soybean and, especially, corn production well below US Department of Agriculture estimates. Being based on satellite data, Lanworth estimates are treated with some respect.
"Could be why markets have been reluctant to pullback much, even with rain falling in Chicago," a US broker told Agrimoney.com.
Add in a cut by Goldman Sachs late on to its forecast for the US
Chicago's best-traded December corn contract ended 1.9% higher at $6.85 ½ a bushel, while the September lot gained 1.6% to $6.90 a bushel.
It was even more true of wheat, in which speculators last month built a net short position which has of late been encouraging position closing.
The performance was even worse in Europe, despite some revival in the dollar, making rival US exports that much less competitive. The greenback gained 0.3% against a basket of currencies.
Bargain basement Russian wheat exports were blamed for the decline.
"One cannot ignore the giant elephant in the room that is the Black Sea area discounts in wheat," Jaime Nolan at FCStone said.
With this week seeing upgrades to Russia's grain export estimate, and Ukraine's harvest forecast, "we can understand why, despite quality concerns in Europe, values need to work lower across the European Union", he added.
And there are some quality fears, notably in Poland, the EU's third-ranked grains grower, where "heavy rains these last two weeks have seen between four and seven inches fall and the market remains very nervous, with growing reports of quality buyers making enquiries elsewhere".
To be fair, the Black Sea outlook is not quite so clear cut, with lingering talk of rains turning Ukraine's crop lower quality too.
"There are reports that much of the recently harvested wheat has been downgraded to feed," the UK grain arm of a leading European commodities house said.
And in Russia, "there are some concerns about the return of the Sukhovey, the hot dry wind which decimated crops last year.
"This time, it's turned up too late to affect the winter wheat crop but it may have some impact on the spring wheats."
Nonetheless, Paris wheat for November dipped 0.6% to E193.00 a tonne, while its London peer lost 1.3% to £163.00 a tonne.
Returning across the Pond, Chicago
"Cotton prices look ready to stabilise," said Jurgens Bauer at PitGuru, restating a forecast that prices might "seek a floor" between 90 cents and 100 cents a pound.
"Mills may begin to buy, as they sense the drop is over and seek coverage," he adding, noting talk that "Indian mills may be preparing to step up" to purchase.
But, among soft commodities, it was
London white sugar for October closed up 4.0% at $812.70 a tonne, having hit a contract high of $814.70 a tonne earlier.
It was a different story in
The bank, whose research is undertaken with VM Group, hiked its forecast for the 2011-11 world cocoa surplus by nearly 50%.