Weekly commodity wrap-up

Hurricane Beryl, friend or foe?

Hurricanes are not typically a welcome sight, and for a few islands in the Caribbean, Hurricane Beryl was a train wreck. But, as Beryl steamrolled across the Atlantic into the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm it weakened considerably as it hit the Gulf waters and alternate wind shear, weakening it from a Category 5 to a Category 2 early Friday morning as it made landfall over the north end of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The latest projected paths now show Beryl hitting northern Mexico and southern Texas after it clears the Yucatan and moves across the Gulf of Mexico.

If the damaging power of the storm subsides enough to prevent major damage, the moisture that it brings as it creeps further inland will be welcome in most spots outside of Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Rain in July is a welcome sight most anywhere that grows food. From central Mexico to the west Texas plains on into Oklahoma and Kansas, no one would turn down a good soaker.

An alternative path across the southeast United States from Mississippi to Virginia also would be welcome as these areas are suffering from a moderate drought. Neither of these areas are king corn’s main homeland but they are fringe production areas that also grow soybeans, cotton and rice, to name a few of the commonly traded commodities that could benefit.

Jobs revised lower

The U.S. payroll report for June was released Friday. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 206,000 but job growth in the prior two months was revised lower by 111,000 in what has become a common theme for revisions. The unemployment rate rose to 4.1%, the highest since November of 2021. The increase in unemployment furthers the argument for those in favor of rate cuts by the Fed sooner rather than later.

Of the jobs added in June, nearly three quarters of them were in health care and government.

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