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May. 28, 2014, 7:30 AM
- An outbreak of a deadly pig virus at a farm in Indiana has rekindled fears the disease will reduce the U.S. hog population.
- The incident was a secondary outbreak which raises concerns that affected pigs aren't developing full immunity to the virus.
- Hog futures are up 26% since the PEDV first hit last summer.
- Related stocks: TSN, HRL, HSH, SEB, PPC
- Related ETFs: UBC, COW, LSTK.
Apr. 29, 2014, 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
Feb. 6, 2014, 9:33 AM| 1 Comment
Jan. 12, 2014, 7:10 AM
- The U.S. pork industry is attempting to cope with a virus that has killed thousands of piglets since first appearing in April and has boosted prices in the $9B hog-futures market.
- Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus is only fatal to young pigs and is not harmful to humans, but it could cause the loss of 2-3M head, or as much as 3% of the industry's total.
- Hormel Foods (HRL) has already warned that FY 2014 earnings could suffer the effects of "potentially volatile hog costs" because of the virus. Tyson Foods (TSN) is also a pork producer.
- Still, the USDA has predicted that pork output will increase 2% this year to 23.6B pounds, due to heavier hog weights.
- ETFs: UBC, LSTK, COW
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.
Aug. 12, 2013, 3:29 AM
- This time last year, the U.S. was suffering from a severe drought that hit production and sent corn prices (CORN) to a record high of $8.31 a bushel.
- Now, the harvest is expected to rise to at least 14M bushels from 10.8M in 2012, causing prices to sink to $4.65 a bushel. Soybean is down by over 20% from a year ago.
- While the drop in prices - which is forecast to continue - is hurting farmers, it's providing relief for meat producers and other food companies.
- Relevant livestock ETFs include COW and UBC.
Sep. 25, 2012, 6:22 AMThe drought-induced rise in corn-feed costs led farmers to up the pace of hog slaughtering to 73.3M pigs from Jan-Aug, the most in 3 years, although farmers are making steep losses as pork prices fall. The increased slaughtering has prompted the USDA to estimate that pork supply will next year fall to the lowest per capita since 1975. That may well cause prices to rebound, although it will still be cheaper than beef. | Comment!
Apr. 25, 2012, 2:53 AMSouth Korea will halt customs clearance of U.S. beef imports after the first U.S. case of mad cow disease in six years. South Korea was once the third-largest buyer of U.S. beef but began restricting shipments in 2003. Live cattle futures rebound after yesterday's beating; +0.3% as of 12:15p.m. Tokyo time. | Comment!
Nov. 30, 2011, 4:30 AM
Mar. 30, 2011, 12:14 PMIf you're keeping an eye on skyrocketing food and fiber prices (past 12 months: an 82% corn pop, a 142% gain in cotton, wheat prices soaring worldwide), then you'll want to join those scrutinizing tomorrow's annual crop-planting report - the best outlook on upcoming supplies until farmers actually put crops into the soil. Eyes are especially on corn (92M expected acres). | 2 Comments
UBC vs. ETF Alternatives
UBS ETRACS CMCI Livestock Total Return is designed to track the performance of the UBS Bloomberg CMCI Livestock Index Total Return, less investor fees. The CMCI Livestock TR measures the collateralized returns from a basket of futures contracts representing the livestock sector. The commodity futures contracts are diversified across two constant maturities of three months and six months.
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