Though the USDA hasn’t specifically reported a large U.S. grain purchase by China in several weeks, new data show the export pace to that nation surged earlier this fall, and that’s buoying soybean prices heading into thisLoading corn into semi-truck week’s trade that will be shortened by the New Year’s Day holiday Friday. Corn futures were also higher in overnight trading heading into Monday’s session, while wheat futures were slightly lower. Federal reports on one of the largest consumers of U.S. corn — the ethanol industry — show stocks of the fuel are at seven-month highs as production ramped up by almost 20,000 barrels/day between the first two full weeks of December. See more of what’s affecting the markets to start the week.