Irma eats orange crop
The aftermath of two powerful hurricanes continues to impact markets and leads this edition of our weekly commodities wrap-up.
The aftermath of two powerful hurricanes continues to impact markets and leads this edition of Futures File, our weekly commodities wrap-up.
Florida oranges decimated
As Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, it brought high winds, tornadoes, drenching rain and flooding, damaging property across the Sunshine State. The loss of life and property were substantial, but damage was not as severe as feared before the storm made landfall.
Among those devastated by Irma were Florida’s orange growers, who already are suffering from the malaise of citrus greening, a disease that has reduced production by 70 percent over the last decade. The storm may have destroyed over a third of Florida’s oranges this year as winds knocked fruit off branches. Worse yet, winds toppled trees and flooding could kill others, leaving long-lasting scars across the landscape and Florida’s billion-dollar citrus industry.
On concerns of crop losses, futures traders took frozen concentrated orange juice to a fivemonth high, trading over $1.60 per pound.
USDA shows more corn
This year’s corn crop could be bigger than previously thought. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent estimate, the corn harvest this year should near 14.2 billion bushels, potentially the third-largest on record.
This news knocked corn near the lowest level of the year, with December corn futures trading for $3.46 per bushel on Tuesday.
These low prices are disappointing for producers and investors who had been expecting a rally after this summer’s heat and dry weather damaged the crop. However, the USDA continues to expect that the crop emerged largely unscathed, projecting a healthy harvest and grain surplus in the coming months.
Oil launches to new high
Crude oil prices are nearing a four-month high as global oil production slides and threats abound.
OPEC nations have largely kept their promises to cut production, and U.S. drillers have begun to show signs of slowing down production, both of which are helping to reduce supplies, which dropped globally for the first time in four months.
Meanwhile, North Korea launched another missile Friday morning, keeping the United States and its allies on edge. The threat of war or disruption of trading routes in Asia has been buoying commodities prices, especially oil, which traded to $50.50 per barrel this week.
Opinions are solely the writers’. Walt and Alex Breitinger are commodity futures brokers with Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kansas. They can be reached at (800) 411-3888 or www. paragoninvestments.com. This is not a solicitation of any order to buy or sell any market.
There’s an old saying around Wall Street that there are many reasons why corporate insiders sell stock, but there is only one reason why they buy it — they expect the price to rise.
Last week, the CEO of a Tulsa-based energy company bought 75,000 shares of his company’s stock. And, so far, he was correct.
The stock was NGL Partners, which jumped more than 17 percent last week.
NGL units closed Friday at $10.20. CEO Michael Kimbrill paid about $8.86 a share for his new holdings, a total of more than $600,000.
Those who did likewise last week also benefited.
Major markets continued their record-setting ways last week.
The Dow closed Friday at a record high after its best week of 2017. The S&P 500 topped 2,500. All three major indexes, including the Nasdaq, were up at least 1.4 percent over the past five trading days.
That was reflected in our local stocks, where winners outpaced losers by more than a 10-to-1 margin.
With less than a handful of local losers, this week’s beagle designation went to a little firm, ADDvantage Technologies of Broken Arrow.
Shares of the cable TV equipment company slipped 5.4 percent last week. While that sounds fairly dire in such a bullish market, AEY shares lost just 8 cents before closing Friday at $1.40.
And with trading volume barely in five figures per day, a longer, deeper loss would be required before declaring this firm’s stock to be in a losing trend.
Eagle & Beagle is a weekly look at the state’s highperforming (eagle) and low-performing (beagle) stocks by Business Editor Don Mecoy.
This year’s corn harvest could be larger than previously forecast, which has pushed corn prices lower.
EAGLE & BEAGLE