Sellers got back to work on Monday, pushing prices in the range of risk assets lower, including most agricultural commodities.
The US having, not unreasonably, criticised the eurozone over its slow implementation of debt reduction plans, looks to have encountered another impasse between Democrats and Republicans, on the so-called supercommittee set up to come up with plans to cut the budget deficit.
Oil's dip, as well as profit-taking, hardly helped palm oil, much of which is used in making biodiesel, which dropped 0.3% to 3,237 ringgit a tonne in Kuala Lumpur as of 08:15 GMT for February delivery – failing for the first time in 14 sessions to set an intraday high above the previous day's.
The selling mood engulfed even
For a start, the "will-it-won't-it rain" weather forecasts for the southern Plains, where winter wheat seedlings need moisture, took a turn for the drier.
WxRisk.com said that, as of late Sunday, there were "scattered light showers" over north eastern Texas, but the region was otherwise pretty dry over the weekend. (There was up to six inches of snow in parts of Wyoming and South Dakota.)
And two rain systems forecast for the next 10 days "will bypass drought areas of western and central Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas", if reaching easterly parts of those states.
On the demand side, Egypt over the weekend purchased a healthy 240,000 tonnes of wheat, its biggest usual order size, if from the Black Sea rather than the US, (which again failed to show up in the tenders).
Egypt, the world's top wheat importer, bought 180,000 tonnes from Russia at $249 a tonne, and 60,000 tonnes of optional Black Sea origin wheat, at $247.69 a tonne.
And Syria on Sunday chipped in with an order for 100,000 tonnes of soft wheat, any origin, while Algeria is near to breaking wheat import records for a calendar year, Thomson Reuters calculations show, with buy-ins of 6.35m tonnes up to the end of October, compared with a full-year high of 6.9m tonnes set three years ago.
Furthermore, on technical, regulatory data released late on Friday showed speculators near-record net short in Chicago wheat. Large short holding can make speculators reluctant to sell more, for fear of being caught out by a wave of position covering.
Still, trapped by the headwinds, Chicago wheat for December shed 0.5% to $5.95 a bushel.
And that was little help to
Thinking of China, the country's recent purchases of US
"China bought US soybeans last week, thus the news isn't horrible," Mike Mawdsley at broker Market 1 said.
Still, "with the window to step up soybean exports due to the possibility of less competition from South America closing, the few remaining bulls are leaning on growing conditions in South America turning less favourable", Brian Henry at Benson Quinn Commodities said.
"As it stands, growing conditions in much of this region have been quite good, but Argentina has been trending a little drier."
Soybeans for January eased, but retained their relative strength over grains, dropping 0.4% to $11.64 a bushel.
The states said that they did not see any immediate need for intervention, believing seasonal effects would soon kick in to buoy prices.
But New York