Corn farmers have been hard at work planting this year's crop, and now have over half of their acreage planted nationwide after this week's dry weather let them get into their fields. On average, those farmers are a full week ahead of schedule, putting downward pressure on corn prices.
Early planting removes the annual threat of unplanted acres, but it also increases yields over the course of the growing season, which could boost the overall crop size.
As a result, corn prices fell to a three-week low on Thursday, nearing $3.70 per bushel.
Meanwhile, wheat farmers are getting ready to harvest the winter wheat crop that they planted last fall. The wheat is looking great, with the leading producer, Kansas, set to produce the largest crop in over a decade. This knocked Kansas City wheat to a nine-year low, with May KC wheat dropping to $4.38 per bushel.
Gold Market Glitters
Gold prices pushed over $1300 per ounce for the first time in over a year, much to the delight of gold bugs and investors.
Prices gained this week after another disappointing US jobs report that showed only mediocre job creation again last month. Weak job growth will likely force the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low, making gold and other precious metals more appealing investments.
As of midday Friday, gold was trading for $1295 per ounce.
Black Outlook for Coffee Prices
The world's largest coffee producer is seeing good weather and a stormy political climate, pushing coffee prices lower. Brazil grows about 40% of the global coffee crop, and this year's harvest could be its largest ever.
Meanwhile, Brazil's government is embroiled in political crisis, as its current and former president are under investigation for corruption charges. Brazil is caught in a multi-year economic slump, which has pushed its currency, the real, near record lows. A weak real encourages farmers to sell their crop aggressively, as they can get more valuable foreign currency for their beans.
For coffee drinkers, the large crop and troubled economy have been beneficial, briefly dropping coffee futures to $1.19 per pound this week, the lowest price in over two months.