Weekly commodity wrap-up

China breaks corn-buying record

Corn continued its rally, and expectations of higher prices for consumers for corn products contributed to heavy buying. By midweek, China bought 9 million tons in 10 days, breaking another record. China also is buying up soybeans from Brazil.

Unlike corn, wheat prices suffered as rain hit some of the driest areas of our Southwest. A national wheat tour, sponsored by the USDA, was being closely monitored during the week, as well. Corn for July delivery traded at $6.60 per bushel as of noon Friday, and December corn brought $5.49, July Wheat $6.71 and July beans $15.28.

Gold glitters

Compared to Bitcoin, Dodgecoin, SPAC companies and even real estate, gold has been sleeping with little attention from speculators or the media. But for several weeks, sentiments have shifted about our federal debt. Rising inflation has been building interest in the oldest, time-tested, hedge against uncertainties, paper investments, and now, crashes in cyber coins. Unlike it’s close relatives—silver, platinum and copper, which have industrial uses—gold’s role has been primarily as a shield against threats of financial uncertainties. Gold for delivery in June sold for $1,877 on Friday, whereas July silver traded for $27.60 per ounce.

Climate change: Corn to crude, copper to cotton

We have more heat waves than we did 100 years ago, increasing from an average of two annually to six. The intensity of the heat has spiked, too. These ongoing weather changes will undoubtedly impact the markets. The U.S. government said, “There is no small town, big city, or rural community that’s unaffected by the climate crisis.” Cotton and corn will be vulnerable to temperatures. The price of crude could go up as the heat pressures us to use more fuel to keep cool.

NASA uses data from more than 26,000 weather stations to measure surface temperatures. Some areas, like the Arctic, are warming faster than others, making it difficult to predict what will happen and how to prepare. Brace yourself for a hot one this summer: This year is expected to be the hottest on record since we started tracking it nearly a century and a half ago, according to a recent federal report.

Words of wisdom for commodity traders

A good gardener spends 10% of time planting seeds, and 90% pulling weeds.  -Unknown

Opinions are solely the writer’s. Walt Breitinger is a commodity futures broker with Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kan.