Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

August 31, 2013

Futures File: Crude prices seesaw with news of Syria

Crude oil prices exploded higher this week as U.S. officials’ rhetoric toward Syria grew increasingly bellicose.

By mid-week, U.S. military intervention in Syria appeared imminent, which caused traders to buy up crude oil on the fear that a greater conflict could ensue, threatening global oil supplies. The primary concern was that Iran could launch counterattacks against Israel or attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway through which 20 percent of global oil travels. These concerns pushed crude oil to $112.24 per barrel mid-week.

Later in the week, commitment to immediate intervention appeared to be waning as American ally France urged the U.S. to wait for United Nations inspectors to investigate reports of chemical warfare, while the British Parliament voted against military action. These setbacks caused an about-face in the crude oil market, which tumbled as low as $106.75 on midday Friday. As uncertainty abounds in the Middle East, many oil watchers expect continued volatility in prices, like this week’s $6.68 (6.3 percent) shift from high to low.

Petroleum volatility spread to the gasoline market as well, where prices rose four cents per gallon during the week.

Soybeans soar

Soybean prices started the week with a bang, climbing the exchange-maximum 70 cents per bushel during the day on Monday, eventually climbing to an eleven-month high at $14.09.

Beans rallied on a lack of rain, especially in the western half of the Midwest, where the plants need more moisture to fill their pods. Most farmers are finding the soybeans in the pods are much smaller than normal for this time of year due to this year’s late planting date, a factor that would decrease the overall size of this year’s harvest. By Friday, a little more rain was forecast, helping to drive prices back down to $13.55.

Text Only

the BIZ

AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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