Weekly commodity wrap-up

Hi-yo silver away

The World Gold Council is reporting U.S. dollar dumping and record gold-buying, which has stimulated sudden interest in accumulating precious metals. According to the Council, central banks are buying in record amounts. Hot inflation numbers were announced in several European countries. Easy money policy comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Powell on Wednesday contributed to a renewed interest as well. Bipartisan progress on the infrastructure bill caused additional concern from those who fear our burgeoning federal deficit will lead to further inflation. Gold for October delivery was $1,819 per ounce, whereas in September silver traded at $25.55. Both markets are up sharply compared to last week.

Palmer amaranth weeds are moving

This is the time of year farmers are scouting for the fast-growing Palmer amaranth. While Palmer amaranth has been identified in more than half of Iowa’s counties, new identifications have waned since its widespread introduction in 2016. However, Minnesota recently reported finding it in a county previously not known to have infestations, therefore the weed is on the move.

A native of the American southwest, Palmer amaranth is more competitive than common water hemp, a pigweed native to Iowa. Both species are known for their herbicide resistance and copious seed production. Early detection is key to eradication.

This week, wheat was the strongest grain while soybeans dropped the most. September wheat traded at $7.06 per bushel midday today, December corn at $5.48, and November beans at $13.48.

Scientists warn more weather extremes to come

Scientists from around the world are preparing to give an update on their collective global climate research. It’s not looking good. Just in the past month, there’s been devastating flooding, drought, wildfires and record high temperatures — and this might be just the beginning of worsening climate conditions.

We’ve been warned of this likelihood for decades, but the models might have underestimated the impacts of our rapidly changing climate. Few predicted it would get this bad this fast. It’s unknown how these extremes will manifest at local levels. Top scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish their sixth annual report soon.

Virus adds volatility

The Center for Disease Control stated the “war” against COVID-19 has changed. The delta variant can spread as easily as chickenpox, causes more severe illness and vaccinated people can transmit the strain easily.

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