The global energy space has been dominated by discussions about fossil fuel alternatives in recent years, as there are a number of solutions to our addiction to these commodities. One of the most popular options has been the use of corn-based ethanol in crude oil, which decreases the amount of crude oil needed when the ethanol is mixed in. While it is not a one-stop solution, many see it as a sign of weening ourselves off of crude oil and working towards a more renewable resource [for more ethanol news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
When it comes to agribusiness stocks, there is perhaps no name bigger than Monsanto Company (MON) – the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate and the second biggest producer of genetically engineered seeds. Headquartered in St. Louis, the firm has grown into an over $55 billion company, with operations spanning across the U.S., Europe, Africa, Brazil, Asia-Pacific, Argentina, Canada and Mexico [for more agricultural news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
On Tuesday, the CME Group announced that it will reduce grain and oilseed trading hours to 17.5 hours from 21 hours. This comes after last year’s largely controversial expansion, which got significant backlash from traders, brokers and agricultural companies alike. Managing Director of Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments at CME Group, Tim Andriesen stated that “Over the past several months, we have received significant customer feedback about the current CBOT grain trading hours. While there were varying opinions about what the modifications to hours should be, we believe these changes balance the needs of our diverse global customers based on their feedback” [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The agricultural industry was hit hard by the most severe and extensive drought in at least 25 years in 2012, which had an impact on crops, livestock and food prices at all levels. While prices have already started to increase in the fourth quarter of 2012, the majority of the impact on retail food prices will likely be seen throughout 2013, according to a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) analyzing the drought [for more agricultural news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As 2012 comes to a close, Wall Street begins to look ahead to the coming year and what trends will have the biggest impact on the commodity world. Financial behemoth Citigroup (C) recently came out with an all-encompassing forecast for the next two years for almost every major commodity. Of particular interest was their outlook on ags, as these commodities have been on a wild ride for 2012; one of the hottest summers on record and an extended drought sent futures all over the board [for more agricultural news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Bargain shoppers have arrived early on Wall Street ahead of Black Friday as last week’s brutal sell-off has left the marketplace scattered with ripe opportunities for seasoned veterans not shaken up from all of the volatility. Renewed optimism from President Obama that Congress would strike a deal before we drive off the “fiscal cliff” has been a major catalyst behind this week’s bounce, while encouraging housing market data has also brought the bulls back to the equity front [for more economic news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].