The grain markets had one of their most explosive weeks in over a year, despite a holiday-shortened trading week. As wet weather continued to cause headaches for many Midwestern farmers, the USDA released a slew of data Wednesday that helped fuel a rally.
US stockpiles of corn and soybeans from last year's harvest were smaller than expected, showing stronger demand for US grains. Looking forward, this year's planted acreage of corn and beans was smaller than expected, which could keep supplies tight in coming months, especially if rain soaked fields don't get planted.
As a result, December corn prices pushed to $4.39, the highest price of this year, gaining a whopping 75 cents per bushel (+21%) in just over two weeks. Not to be outdone, November soybeans topped out at $10.40, the highest price since last November, gaining over $1.40 per bushel (+16%) since mid-June.
This rally brought welcome relief to many farmers, allowing them to lock in more profitable prices using the futures and options markets.
Greek Drama Leads to Default
After months of negotiations with Greece's creditors, Greek Prime Minister Tsipras decided not to make a bailout deal himself, instead leaving the decision to the Greek citizens in a vote to be held Sunday, July 5. This delay caused Greece to miss a debt payment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, placing Greece officially in default.
Meanwhile, Greek banks have been shut down and citizen are limited to cash withdrawals of 60 euro ($66) per day, wreaking economic and social havoc.
While the Greek drama plays out, the Eurocurrency has been dropping, trading Thursday afternoon for $1.11, near the lowest level in a month.
Crude gets Crushed
Crude oil prices fell to ten-week lows on Thursday, nearing $56.50 per barrel.
Prices are under pressure after news broke that US drillers recently boosted production to the highest level since the 1970s. Given the industry's expansion in the face of lackluster prices during recent months, some traders expect US an ongoing glut of oil, encouraging them to knock prices sharply lower.
Diesel fuel prices also fell to new lows for the month, while gasoline prices barely budged.