Despite a record U.S. crop that is starting to be harvested, the corn market continues its "a-maize-ing" rally. Corn prices made fresh 14-month highs on Friday morning, with September corn trading at $4.42 per bushel. Since late June, corn prices have surged $1.10/bu, up 33%. The market has been able to ignore the prospect of an enormous U.S. crop, mostly because demand appears to be outstripping the increases in supply. Global crop calamities, stretching from Australia to Russia have damaged grain harvests, forcing many foreign countries to import grain from the United States. Additionally, increased Asian desire for animal feed and American demand for ethanol have boosted corn use as well.
In the coming weeks, traders will closely monitor the U.S. corn and soybean harvest for any potential delays, which could drive the markets even higher.
Sugar's Frenzy Resumes
Sugar extended its four-month rally this week, climbing another penny (+5%) to 20.94 cents/lb. Sugar's continued strength has come as a record Brazilian sugar cane harvest refuses to materialize. Furthermore, sugar beet production in Russia and Eastern Europe has been hard hit by this year's drought, decreasing output. Over the last four months, sugar prices have shot 7.3 cents higher, up 53%.
Metals Continue Higher
The metals markets were all sharply higher this week as renewed interest in precious metals pushed gold and silver higher. Gold gained $18 to $1256 per ounce and silver leapt 60 cents higher to a three month high at $19.70/oz. Stronger manufacturing and employment data this week also aided the copper market, causing the red metal to climb 13 cents to $3.53/lb. Platinum was pulled $30 higher to $1566 on Friday morning, following the industrial and precious metals markets higher.