Weekly commodity wrap-up

Climate Crisis Worsens Faster than Predicted

The “average” American chose to ignore the magnitude and urgency of climate change, while some even dared to deny it. Until this year’s droughts, fires, and floods, that is. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is comprised of 195 nations, released a new report Monday that paints a dire picture for our planet. It says we will likely have ocean-level rising that’s irreversible for millennia. Acidification of our seas and land temperature increases might be reversible, but only if wide-scale policy and behavior changes happen immediately.

The earth is now warmer than any time since the beginning of the last Ice Age—125,000 years ago. Our planet is about two degrees Fahrenheit hotter since the Industrial Revolution began. That revolution spurred the release of industry-created greenhouse gasses, which humans must stop producing if we are to avoid worsening catastrophic storms, droughts, floods, fires, and other weather-related economic and health disasters.

Recent extreme events impact the livelihoods of our farmers, ranchers, fishers, miners, lumbermen, builders, and manufacturers. The politicians, bankers, insurers, and medical community that supports them are also realizing that neglecting to heed the warnings of thousands of scientists may have been a mistake. The Dixie fire in California and new flooding in Turkey continue to amplify IPCC’s call to action. The report lists drastic reduction of burning fossil fuels and deforestation as key components of a way forward.

Prices for crude oil for September delivery were $68.40 per barrel midday Friday, while October gasoline traded at $2.11 per gallon without tax.

Corn Pops on Crop Report

Following weeks of boring, quiet trade, corn staged a fantastic rally Thursday following a USDA report which lowered the US corn crop more than expected. The drought in our western corn belt continues to support prices as well. Beans rallied following the report, then jumped up further Friday on rumors of Chinese buying and fears the Brazilian crop may be in trouble due to dry weather. Wheat also rose on the report, which included lowered production figures for Canada and Russia. As a result, the world stocks-to-use ratio for wheat may now drop to a record low.

Corn for December delivery traded at $5.75 per bushel, while November beans brought $13.57 and September wheat $7.70. 

Opinions are solely the writer’s. Walt Breitinger is a commodity futures broker with Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, KS. He can be reached at (800) 411-3888 or www.paragoninvestments.com. This is not a solicitation of any order to buy or sell any market.