Was that it?
After a dismal day for agricultural commodity futures in the last session, when US data showing stronger-than-expected crop stocks surprised the market, the calendar provided another reason for investors to be wary this time.
Friday 13 hardly appeared a promising day for bulls to begin a fightback, especially given that it precedes a holiday in the US, which celebrates Martin Luther King day on Monday, with long weekends often seen as a time which encourages investors to get to the sidelines.
But in fact, the recovery late on Thursday, at least in
"But May and July contracts did trade near the close. Selling pools were not deep," Mike Mawdsley at Market 1 said.
"Usually the market will continue another day or two in the market made on crop report day – ie down. [But] Could corn possibly bottom here?"
Options had indicated that Chicago corn had a further 10 cents to fall this session. And in fact, the March contract had not even managed that as of 08:45 GMT.
After hitting an early bottom of $6.05 a bushel, a drop of 6.5 cents, the lot recovered 3.25 cents to stand at $6.11 ¼ a bushel, representing a fall of 0.25 cents on the day.
And that helped stabilise fellow crops, with wheat standing 0.2% higher at $6.06 ¼ a bushel – its, atypical, discount to corn cut back to 5 cents a bushel.
Soybeans were 0.3% higher at $11.86 ½ a bushel, as yet coming nowhere near revisiting the $11.50-a-bushel mark hit in the last session.
The resilience was helped by firm external markets, which took cheer at successful Italian and Spanish bond auctions.
But there was also plenty of feeling that, while Thursday's slew of US data may have shown crop supplies ahead of market expectations, stocks are still thin in corn and soybeans by historic standards.
Luke Mathews at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said: "We wouldn't go so far as saying the USDA reports were outright bearish for corn values.
"After all US corn inventories were reduced slightly month on month and are forecast at their second tightest level in history.
"And we do believe that further reductions to South American corn and soybean production prospects may be forthcoming in future USDA report, particularly if weather conditions deteriorate again over the next few weeks."
At Standard Chartered, Abah Ofon said that, while the USDA data had "wrong-footed" investors, he remained "bullish on oilseeds and corn", while adding that "we maintain the view that the current market sluggishness will linger well into the first quarter of 2012 before more bullish momentum sets in".
The resilience spread to New York
In fact, the USDA lowered its estimate for Malaysia's end-2011-12 palm oil stocks by 540,000 tonnes to 1.9m tonnes, citing higher export hopes.