Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

January 11, 2014

Futures File: Orange juice wakes up, oats hop up

TRAVERSE CITY — Orange juice futures shot sharply higher this week on fears the nationwide cold snap could damage Florida’s sensitive orange groves.

By the end of the week, it appeared that most Florida groves escaped freezing temperatures, and the market’s focus shifted to a USDA report that was going to update traders on the state of the US orange crop. Leading into the report on Friday morning, there was a sudden ten-cent move. The market held onto half of the rally after a USDA report showed that this year’s OJ crop would be smaller than previously expected, trading Friday near $1.47 per pound.

Oats hop higher

During the week, oats futures gained over fifty cents per bushel (+15 percent), topping out at over $3.95. Amazingly, oats prices neared that of corn, which is usually a much more valuable commodity. Just last year, corn was worth more than twice as much as oats.

The rally in oats came in spite of a large oat crop last year in the US and Canada. Prices are rising primarily due to logistical issues; farmers can’t get their oats quickly enough to end users like food companies or livestock feeders, which is creating a short-term shortage and helping prices surge.

Midday Friday, the USDA released a slew of reports about the grain markets, which initially caused a rally in the corn and soybean markets, seemingly confirming an old adage “oats knows” as the oats markets began rallying well before the rest of the grain complex.

Natural gas melts lower

Despite record-breaking cold temperatures this week, natural gas prices collapsed, a sign that too many investors had bought into the market before the cold hit. When demand fell short of expectations, traders liquidated, driving prices down to a one-month low on Friday.

Trading near $4 per million British thermal units, natural gas prices are still relatively high, and weather in the coming weeks could affect prices significantly.

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

1
Text Only

the BIZ

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide