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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016
Grains go for Elevator Ride
Posted Friday, April 22, at 5:01 PM
Grain elevators full of corn, wheat, and soybeans had a wild week, making a quick price trip up and then back down again. Prices for the three major US commodity crops exploded to multi-month highs on Thursday as fears abounded that the South American corn and soybean crops could fall short of expectations...

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Sour Outlook Boosts Orange Juice Prices
Posted Friday, April 8, at 1:41 PM

Orange juice reached the highest level of the year, rising as concerns mount about Florida's orange crop. This year's harvest is expected to be the worst in more than 50 years as Florida battles a tree disease known as citrus greening. The disease drains nutrients from the trees, causing them to drop premature fruit, and ultimately kills trees. ...

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Crude Spurts Higher
Posted Friday, March 11, at 1:29 PM

Oil gushed to $39 per barrel on Friday morning, the highest price in over three months. Prices gained after the International Energy Agency suggested that "black gold" may have bottomed out. The agency pointed to potential deals between major oil producers to cap production as a factor that could further boost prices...

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Gold Vaults to One-Year High
Posted Friday, March 4, at 2:40 PM

Gold prices exploded this week, topping $1280 per ounce, the highest price since January 2015, when prices peaked out near $1310. Gold bugs are rushing out of the woodwork as investors shy away from volatile stocks, bonds, and crude oil, seeking the perceived safety of the yellow metal...

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Refinery Cutbacks Supercharge Gasoline
Posted Friday, February 26, at 1:44 PM

Gasoline prices jumped this week after data showed that US gasoline stockpiles fell for the first time in nearly four months, a sign that demand has finally caught up with supply. Gasoline consumption is estimated to be up over 5% from last year, as drivers take advantage of cheap fuel...

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Oil Deal Slips Away
Posted Friday, February 19, at 2:19 PM

Major oil producers announced a deal Tuesday that could halt the bloating of global oil supplies, potentially boosting prices. Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's two largest exporters, along with Qatar and Venezuela, two OPEC members, agreed to cap oil production at current levels...

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Gold Bugs are Buying
Posted Friday, February 5, at 12:50 PM

Gold prices exploded to a three-month high on Friday, pushing over $1160 per ounce. Gold has been climbing as US Federal Reserve members signaled that interest rates are likely to stay low for a while. Higher interest rates can dampen demand for precious metals, but rates at their current level could encourage buyers...

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Petro Catches on Fire
Posted Friday, January 22, at 9:59 PM

Crude oil, heating oil, and gasoline prices staged a massive turn to the upside this week as investors stepped up bargain hunting and speculators scrambled to take profits on oil they had sold short during the past few months. Despite record global supplies and many production facilities still pumping at hefty rates, analysts alerted opportunists and end users to grab the dirt cheap fuel (below $27 per barrel on Wednesday), hoping to beat the crowd before the market turns upwards in earnest. ...

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Diesel in a Deep Dive
Posted Friday, January 15, at 5:27 PM

Petroleum markets continued their downward spiral this week, led lower by diesel fuel. Futures prices, which don't include taxes or other expenses, fell as low as 95 cents per gallon on Friday, the lowest price since 2004. Diesel is predominantly used in large, powerful vehicles, but it is also an important heating fuel, especially in the Northeast, where consumers are enjoying sharply lower heating oil bills this winter...

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2015: A Year of Commodity Volatility
Posted Sunday, January 3, at 6:16 PM

As the year ends, we want to take a look back at the record-breaking commodity moves and the events that drove them during 2015. New drilling technologies over the past few years allowed the US to rapidly expand oil and natural gas production, making it the largest producer of hydrocarbons in the world, outpacing Russia and Saudi Arabia...

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Fed Rate Hike Sends Dollar Climbing
Posted Friday, December 18, at 2:46 PM

Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve, announced Wednesday that the Fed was raising interest rates for the first time since 2006, taking the benchmark rate up by 0.25%. While largely anticipated, the move signaled increasing confidence in the strength of the US economy, which gave a boost to stock markets and the US dollar. Longer-term, the Fed expects rates to rise toward 3%, which would significantly raise borrowing costs for consumers and boost returns for savers...

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Meat Markets COOL off
Posted Friday, December 11, at 2:07 PM

The US livestock industry is reeling from a recent decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that could restrict US meat exports. The WTO ruled against a current US law, known as country-of-origin-labeling (COOL), which mandates food labels that indicate where foods are produced...

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OPEC Dumps Oil on Markets
Posted Friday, December 4, at 2:11 PM

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held its semi-annual meeting on Friday in Vienna and shocked the oil market by announcing that it was going to increase oil production, despite the current global supply glut. The cartel, which is responsible for about a third of global oil output, raised its production ceiling from 30 million barrels per day to 31.5, a 5% increase...

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Turkey Prices Trot Higher
Posted Friday, November 20, at 1:45 PM

The avian flu epidemic that shot egg prices sky high this year is having an impact on your Thanksgiving meal as well. Over 8 million turkeys died as a result of the epidemic, forcing farmers to sell smaller, younger birds to market this year. As a result, the gobblers at the grocery may be smaller than usual, while prices could be up by almost 20% compared to last year...

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Orange Juice Market Shines
Posted Friday, November 13, at 4:11 PM

A cloudy outlook for Florida's orange crop has the OJ market going sky high. Prices for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) futures touched $1.60 per pound this week, the highest price since summer 2014. Due to an insect-borne disease known as citrus greening, Florida's crop will be the smallest over 50 years, shrinking 14% compared to last year, according to recent USDA estimates. ...

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Hot Jobs Melt Gold
Posted Friday, November 6, at 2:14 PM

Gold prices fell to a three-month low on Friday after a US jobs report showed a much stronger economy. Friday's nonfarm payrolls report showed a jump of 271,000 jobs during October, far higher than the expectations near 180,000. The same report also showed unemployment falling to 5.0% and wages climbing by 0.4%, two more signs of a strengthening economy...

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Hog Market Sees Red
Posted Friday, October 30, at 2:45 PM

Hog prices slammed to a seven-month low this week on the heels of a World Health Organization report that showed links between processed meats and colorectal cancer. The WHO report classified processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli meats as a Class 1 carcinogen, indicating the highest level of confidence that the foods increase risks of cancer...

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Energy Prices Cool Down
Posted Friday, October 23, at 1:04 PM

Thanks to rising US energy production and stagnant demand, this winter could be one of the cheapest in years for Americans to drive and to heat their homes. Gasoline prices are nearing a six-year low with futures markets (a price which doesn't include taxes and other expenses) trading as low as $1.25 per gallon this week. Drivers are enjoying nearly $1.00 per gallon in savings this year due to cheap crude oil prices and a near-record glut of gasoline inventories nationwide...

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Flu Fears Scramble Egg Prices
Posted Friday, October 16, at 1:00 PM

Egg prices cracked to a record high in September, nearing $3.00 per dozen, as the poultry industry continues to reel from the outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest this year. So far, the disease and attempts to contain it have killed nearly 50 million birds, most of them egg-laying hens, causing egg prices to rise 50% since May. This outbreak has not harmed human health...

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Trade Deal Could Boost Exports
Posted Friday, October 9, at 2:02 PM

On Monday, leaders of 12 countries announced that they had reached a monumental trade agreement after nearly five years of negotiations. Known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the agreement will reduce or eliminate tariff barriers to trade between the US, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, and a half-dozen other Pacific Rim countries. Altogether, these nations represent nearly 40% of the global economy...

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Commodity Futures File
Alex Breitinger
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Alex Breitinger, a 2009 graduate of DePauw University, is a commodity futures broker with Breitinger & Sons, LLC in Valparaiso. He can be reached at 800-411-FUTURES (3888) or online at www.indianafutures.com.
Hot topics
Grains go for Elevator Ride
(0 ~ 4:01 PM, Apr 22)

Sour Outlook Boosts Orange Juice Prices
(0 ~ 12:41 PM, Apr 8)

Crude Spurts Higher
(0 ~ 12:29 PM, Mar 11)

Gold Vaults to One-Year High
(0 ~ 1:40 PM, Mar 4)

Refinery Cutbacks Supercharge Gasoline
(0 ~ 12:44 PM, Feb 26)