Irma eats orange crop

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - BUSINESS -

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.

Ea­gle

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.

Bea­gle

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.

[AP PHOTO]

This year’s corn har­vest could be larger than pre­vi­ously fore­cast, which has pushed corn prices lower.

Walt & Alex Bre­itinger www.paragon in­vest­ments.com

Don Me­coy dme­coy@ op­ubco.com

EA­GLE & BEA­GLE

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