Weekly commodity wrap-up

Soy Sinks on Dollar, Fertilizer Costs

Soybeans and bean products dropped this week as a stronger dollar made our crops more expensive for our customers to import. Another factor adding pressure to beans is the rising price of fertilizer, causing more farmers to plant beans and fewer to plant corn. Corn requires the higher input cost of nitrogen fertilizers, whereas beans are nitrogen “fixers” and add N to the ground. The USDA will be releasing a major report next Tuesday that will help farmers and investors get a better idea of planting intentions.

China’s importing of our soybeans continues to make records as their stockpiles are low, and demand continues to grow, especially for poultry feed. In addition, President Xi continues to issue directives regarding food, the so-called Clean Plate Campaign.

As of Friday’s close, November beans traded at $11.96 per bushel, while December corn brought $5.54, and wheat for December delivery in Chicago was at $7.67.

Why Phase Out Fossil Fuels?

The COP 26 summit is still underway and has included debates about ending the use of coal, which was met with resistance by China, Australia, India, and the U.S. The term “fossil fuels” refers to the massive amount of underground deposits left from plants and animals that lived millions of years ago and turned into coal and oil. Natural gas, gasoline, heating oil, diesel, and jet fuels we’ve burned for roughly 150 years are refined from or derived from those deposits. The extraction and burning of those fuels creates gases (CO2 and NH4) that cause global warming since they trap heat in our atmosphere.

Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel are made mostly from plants that live on earth today, and they emit virtually no particulate matter when burned in internal combustion engines. Renewables such as solar, wind, and geo-thermal approach zero net emissions of CO2 and particulate pollution. December Crude oil traded at $81.40 per barrel midday Friday.

Interest Rates left near Rock bottom

The Bank of England rattled world economists when they announced a decision to leave interest steady. The US and UK have decided to leave rates low. The Bank of England and our Fed chose a wait-and-see approach, as rising inflation may be temporary due to COVID and not a reason to raise rates immediately. They believe supply chain problems and inflation could moderate as our economies return to normal.

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.