Weekly commodity wrap-up

Thanksgiving dinner costs an arm and a leg

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Farm Bureau released data this week indicating Thanksgiving foods, including turkeys, will reach record highs due to inflation. The Farm Bureau estimated the average cost of the dinner to be about $49. The feed for turkeys, as well as chickens, hogs and cattle, contain corn which has been climbing steadily during the past couple of months. Turkey production dropped off after a last year’s price decline during the major COVID wave, confirming commodity prices run through cycles of supply and demand.

Wheat for bread, pie crust and cookies is higher, and coffee has practically doubled in the last twelve months. Gasoline prices have been on a dramatic rise all year as well, making the trip to Grandma’s house even more pricey. Corn for December delivery traded at $5.66 per bushel on Friday afternoon. December Chicago wheat traded at $7.69. December gasoline went for $2.37 per gallon, before taxes.

Commodities watching D.C., Glasgow, Jackson Hole

Producers, investors and traders will watch and listen closely for news out of Washington, D.C., as President Biden wrestles with progressive Democrats on his proposed $1.85 trillion spending plan. The plan contains both social-spending and climate change elements, and it needs to get passed so House Democrats can address the public works bill that passed in the Senate. The new “Build Back Better” proposal is roughly half the size the President had proposed initially.

The climate crisis, weather-related storms, fires, droughts, floods and sustainability will be addressed at UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland this coming week. It will be the world’s largest meeting of climatologists, agronomists, economists and others concerned about rising global temperatures. The leaders of participating countries must consider their constituents, who tend to be looking at shorter-term costs and political concerns. One topic that will receive attention is China’s reluctance to reduce CO2 emissions and their recent expansion of coal-fired power plants in response to their slowing economy. As many as 60% of the world’s youth describe themselves as “very worried” or “extremely worried” about climate change.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Nov. 3 in Jackson Hole might have surprises that could immediately impact interest rates, housing, general inflation, the dollar, and precious metals. Crude oil for December delivery traded at $83.20 per barrel midday today.

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