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Tue, Apr. 29, 7:15 PM
- U.S. government forecasters predict a more than 65% chance for an El Niño weather phenomenon by the end of the year, a development that threatens to drive up prices for food and other staples.
- El Niño has a reputation for triggering sharp run-ups for prices in markets as diverse as nickel, coffee and soybeans, and commodities investors, traders and analysts are bracing for impact at a time when global supplies of many raw materials already are stretched.
- Global food prices - which at the start of 2014 were expected to be largely flat this year - could easily climb 15% to record highs in as a little as three months after an El Niño occurs, says World Bank economist James Baffes.
- But Société Générale analysts say it is miners, not farmers, who have the most to worry about; since 1991, nickel prices rose the most (13.9%) during El Niño years among commodities the bank tracks.
- ETFs: DBA, CORN, DBC, JO, JJC, RJA, JJG, WEAT, SOYB, DJP, SGG, DBB, COW, NIB, GSG, RJI, CAFE, BAL, GCC, DAG, USCI, JJA, GRU, CHOC, CANE, JJN, RGRA, AGA, JJT, RGRC, CPER, AGF, GSP, BOM, RJZ, JJU, GSC, LSC, FUD, DJCI, USAG, BOS, SGAR, JJM, DEE, BDD, UCI, LD, WEET, UAG, DYY, DIRT, BCM, CMD, DDP, NINI, JJS, CTNN, TAGS, UBC, CUPM, FOIL, UCD, ADZ, RGRI, LEDD, UBM, CMDT, BDG, SBV, USMI, DPU, LSTK, CSCB, GRWN, HEVY, CSCR
Oct. 5, 2013, 8:25 AM
- The U.S. government shutdown and the resulting lack of official statistics are prompting traders to shun agricultural commodities due to concerns about the vacuum of information and fears of a data dump that will hit markets hard when the shutdown ends.
- Likely to fall victim to the shutdown is the USDA's monthly Wasde crop production report, set for Oct. 11, which affects prices of grains and other agricultural commodities around the world.
- Analysts say concerns over a delay could lead to additional short-covering as speculative shorts look to take risk off the table; once the USDA resumes operations, a torrent of backlogged data could trigger a highly volatile reaction.
- ETFs: MOO, CROP, PAGG, VEGI, JJG, GRU, CORN, WEAT, SOYB, COW, UBC, JJA, RJA, AGF, DBA, FUD, UAG, DAG, AGA, ADZ, JJS, TAGS, USAG, RGRA.
Sep. 30, 2013, 3:49 PM
- Corn (CORN -2.4%) and Soybeans (SOYB -3.2%) tumble - with corn hitting a 3-year low - after the USDA reports estimated corn stocks of 824M bushels, off 17% from a year ago, but far higher than trade estimates for 687M. Bean stocks are estimated at 141M bushels, also off 17% from a year ago, but 13% above estimates. Stocks still remain low, but these are old crop numbers, and forecasters are looking forward to a big crop this fall.
- Wheat (WEAT -2.7%) stocks of 1.85B bushels were slightly below expectations.
- Lower-than-expected feed usage and export demand were behind the big corn number - high prices had pig farmers substituting corn for wheat.
- Relevant grain ETFs: JJA, RJA, AGF, DBA, FUD, UAG, DAG, AGA, ADZ, JJS, TAGS, USAG, RGRA, JJG, GRU.
Aug. 12, 2013, 12:26 PM
- The grain pits party after the USDA lowers its corn production estimate to 13.76B bushels - still a whopper of a number, but off from 13.95B in July. Ending stocks are cut to 1.837B bushels.
- Bean production is cut to 3.255B bushels from 3.42B as acres planted are cut 500K and yield is lowered to 1.9 bushels/acre.
- No change is made to the wheat production estimate, but 25M bushels of extra exports cuts ending stocks by the same amount.
- December corn erases a sizable early loss, now up $0.15 to $4.69/bushel. CORN +1.5%.
- SOYB +3.4%, WEAT +0.3%.
- Grain ETFs: JJG +1.8%, GRU +2.5%.
- Other related: JJA, RJA, AGF, DBA, FUD, UAG, DAG, AGA, ADZ, JJS, TAGS, USAG, RGRA.
May. 15, 2013, 11:38 AMAgricultural commodity prices (DBA) could fall a big 13% over the next year, says Goldman, predicting bumper crops across the globe. With weak demand and a record South American harvest (CORN, SOYB, WEAT) already in the books, it would require a major weather shock in the U.S. to keep prices near current levels. Earlier: Deere tumbles as poor weather slows U.S. planting progress. | Comment!
Apr. 25, 2013, 3:19 PMThe flow of key farm products (DBA) to the world from North and South America, highlighted by congestion at Brazilian ports and limited selling of crops by U.S. farmers, will keep global grain supplies tight despite expectations for big harvests later this year, Bunge (BG +6.5%) says after its Q1 report showed a 16% jump in agribusiness sales to $10.77B. | Comment!
Apr. 8, 2013, 10:22 AM
Feb. 14, 2013, 10:28 AMAgricultural commodities continue an underreported slide, with J.C. Parets noting corn is down for the 10th consecutive session. Earlier this week, the USDA estimated farm income in 2013 will be the highest in 40 years thanks to high prices. A weak harvest has little impact thanks to the use of crop-insurance programs. DBA -5.2%, CORN -4.4% YTD. | 2 Comments
Jan. 11, 2013, 12:13 PMThe inaugural midday release of the USDA's January crop report doesn't disappoint, with corn reversing early losses and now sharply green as Dec. 1 stocks come in at 8.03B bushels vs. expectations of 8.21B. Ending stocks are estimated at a slim 602M bushels vs. expectations of 667M. Beans are down after production came in higher than expected. Wheat jumps on lower-than-anticipated planted acres. | Comment!
Jan. 3, 2013, 9:19 AM
Dec. 21, 2012, 11:59 AMBrazil’s government go-ahead for Petrobras (PBR -3.6%) to raise its gasoline prices in early 2013 likely will raise demand for domestically produced sugar-based ethanol, but effects also could reach U.S. shores. Ethanol output in the U.S. is expected fall ~10% next year, and a robust export market could give Brazilian mills even more incentive to produce ethanol instead of sugar. | 4 Comments
Dec. 4, 2012, 5:57 PMPhosphorus: The finite supply of it is why Jeremy Grantham predicts a grim future for much of the world's population. As production of the critical ingredient for fertilizer drops, so will crop yields, which will threaten the ability to feed the world's population. Grantham thinks the finite supply of fertilizer and limits of crop yields already are starting to affect food prices. | 6 Comments
Nov. 12, 2012, 12:47 PMThe grains get a downgrade from Goldman following Friday's USDA report raising harvest estimates. Acknowledging continued tight supplies of corn and wheat, Goldman says "risks of critically tight soybean inventories continue to fade quickly." The grains are off sharply today: CORN -3.1%, SOYB -2.8%, WEAT -1.6%. | Comment!
Nov. 9, 2012, 7:04 AMCorn could move up to the unheard level of $9-$10/bushel in 2013, says Morgan Stanley's Hussein Allidina. A few weak export numbers from the U.S. has left the market complacent, he says, but supplies remain super-thin and current prices aren't high enough to ensure there will be corn around until the next crop. CORN -7.9% over the last 90 days. | 1 Comment
Oct. 25, 2012, 11:04 AMCommodity investors will have interest in a comparison of the Rogers Commodity ETN (RJA) vs. the much more popular DB Agriculture ETF (DBA). RJA offers diversity, investing over a far wider range of contracts than DBA, which has 72% of its assets in just its top 6 holdings. Performance: Rogers dominates by 1400 basis points over 3 years, but DBA by about 700 basis points over 5 years. | Comment!
Oct. 19, 2012, 7:27 AM
JJS vs. ETF Alternatives
The Dow Jones-UBS Softs Subindex Total ReturnSM is a sub-index of the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnSM and is intended to reflect the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on physical commodities comprising the index as well as the rate of interest that could be earned on cash collateral invested in specified Treasury Bills. The Dow Jones-UBS Softs Subindex Total ReturnSM is a multiple-commodity sub-index consisting of the contracts included in the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total ReturnSM related to soft products. Contracts for three commodities are currently included in the Dow Jones-UBS Softs Subindex Total ReturnSM: coffee, cotton and sugar.
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