U.S. soy and corn futures rallied on Monday as dry weather in agricultural powerhouses Brazil and Argentina raised concerns over supplies in the new year, overriding worries about the global economy and Europe's debt crisis.
Wheat also rose quite sharply, despite a picture of plentiful world supplies and a strengthening of the dollar following news of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's death.
India said it was on track to produce a new record wheat crop in 2012 after harvesting 85.93 million tonnes this year.
Fields in parts of Brazil, which is set to supplant the United States as the world's top soybean exporter next year, and in Argentina, the No. 3 shipper, need more rain, while rising temperatures forecast for this week could stress crops.
"We are more bearish on wheat because of ample supplies, so there could be more downside for wheat."
Chicago Board of Trade January soybeans rose 1.5 percent to $11.46-3/4 a bushel by 1250 GMT, while March corn gained 2.2 percent to $5.96 a bushel. March wheat erased earlier losses to gain 1.8 percent at $5.94-3/4 a bushel.
Ukraine has been undercutting U.S. corn exports, while the prospects of a bumper crop before the current weather concerns had put importers of U.S. soybeans on hold.
Agricultural meteorologist Drew Lerner, president of private forecaster World Weather Inc, said it would be warmer than normal in Argentina early this week, with temperatures rising into the 80s and 90s Fahrenheit.
The dry weather that will reduce soybean yields from last year's record in Brazil's southernmost state is hitting corn fields in the same areas even harder, crop specialists said.
Still, there was a bearish influence from outside markets.
Asian stocks fell, with Korean shares down as much as 5 percent, U.S. index futures extended losses and the dollar rose after North Korean television reported that Kim Jong-il had died at the weekend, which sparked immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear programme.
In Europe, stocks in defensive sectors such as food and beverage led a small rise in equity markets.
For the wheat market, prospects of higher winter crop production in the United States remained bearish.