Wednesday’s U.S. Department of Agriculture report sent soybeans sailing higher as estimates of this year’s stockpile of beans came in under expectations.
Continued good export sales and dry weather in most of the U.S. and much of Brazil contributed to the bullish sentiment as farmers and investors watch weather for further clues to the next big move.
Beans for November delivery jumped over 30 cents per bushel and remained over $10.20 toward week’s end.
**Wheat Rallies on Drought in the Plains
The plains, where a large portion of our hard red winter wheat is being planted, is suffering from exceptional drought and helping wheat prices rally. Russia’s wheat crop is being threatened by extreme dry weather as well.
Kansas City hard red winter wheat is the variety commonly used for bread as opposed to pastries and pasta. KC Wheat for December delivery traded at $5.10 per bushel late Friday morning.
**Petroleum Sinks as Demand Dries Up
Disney announcing lay-off of 25,000 employees, airline companies laying off 32,000, and millions of workers staying home all contributed to a dismal outlook for crude oil and demand for its products.
The virus, of course, is the main culprit but long-term factors remain negative as well. The gradual but steady move toward renewable energy, especially solar, seems well-grounded now in the U.S. despite attempts to subsidize the oil industry. Most of the larger fossil fuel companies are announcing plans to reduce shale and gulf drilling due to financial losses.
Crude slid more than $4.00 per barrel while gasoline for November delivery dropped roughly 10 cents per gallon.
**President Trump Catches COVID-19
President Trump tweeted late Thursday night that he and his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus. Hope Hicks, a senior aide, exhibited symptoms Wednesday when traveling with the president to the debate. Considering the president’s age and weight, he is in the most vulnerable high-risk category, but as of midday Friday was not exhibiting symptoms.
When the news first hit, gold rallied, and stock index futures tumbled sharply and continued to be volatile Friday. Treasury bond futures fell while the U.S. dollar index rallied. All eyes will be watching for health updates for clues as to what is coming next.