Italian Debt Concerns Weigh on Markets
Nov 10, 2011
Italy’s skyrocketing interest rates have sent shockwaves through the financial and commodity markets. The Dow has had volatile trade and is down 89.38 points this week to close Thursday at 11,893.86. Oil’s surprise reduction in stocks coupled with Middle East unrest has led the market higher adding $3.16 a barrel to close today at $97.65. The dollar index is up sharply due to the Euro’s decline and gold has tacked on 90 cents an ounce finishing at $1,758.90 today. The grain markets have sold off across the board.
Wednesday’s USDA/WASDE reports were bullish for corn on paper, but the trade did not reflect this sentiment. Corn is down 10 ¼ cents on the December contract ending trade at $6.45 ½ today. The USDA reduced expected yield to 146.7 bushels per acre, but decreased feed consumption by 100 million bushels. Harvest is nearly complete at 87% and exports missed expectations. Export sales were reported as 251,900 MT, which is down 59.5% from last week.
A larger than expected ending stocks revision has a very bearish overtone for soybeans. The USDA increased ending stock by 35 million bushels in Wednesday’s report adding to an already bearish technical and fundamental trade. South America’s planting season has been almost ideal for their expected record crop. These factors will continue to push beans lower and should keep export demand lackluster. Export sales were better this week, however, at 604,000 MT which is up 188% from last week.
WASDE reaffirmed a glut of wheat on the world market this year. Domestically, we did see a slight reduction in yield and production for this past season. Not a lot of support can be found for wheat lately as ample supplies, weak export demand, and a stronger dollar all weigh on the market. Winter wheat planting is nearly complete at 94% and the crop is rated 49% good to excellent. Export sales continue to be routine at 298,400 MT, down 6.8% since last week.
Italy’s growing debt concerns has kept a lid on any rally for the equities and commodities alike. A weaker Euro causes the dollar to strengthen with the effect of decreasing export demand. A friendly USDA/WASDE report from Wednesday was overshadowed by the rising concerns surrounding Italian debt. This situation will have to be monitored moving forward as will the planting season for South America.
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