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].
A positive GDP number out of China influences commodities today. I think today was an overreaction, but a good sign medium and longer term. Crude picked up 1% today and has quickly pulled away from the very critical $100 mark with prices approaching $104/barrel. I maintain that if we stay below $104 on a settlement basis going into the weekend we will see a sub $100 trade next week. My target remains 97.50 in May futures. I believe, today, the case was the strength in the distillates lifted Crude.
The agriculture sector has long been a popular place for commodity trading. After all, it was with agricultural futures that commodity trading got its start. Farmers had originally used these contracts to help offset any losses in crop yields. Now, the agricultural space has blossomed into a market chock full of options for investors, but many investors are still unaware of the vast opportunities that this sector offers [see also Invest Like Jim Rogers With These Three Agriculture Stocks]. No matter what kind of investor you are, there is certainly an agriculture/agribusiness option that fits your investment style. Below, we outline 50 ways to invest in agriculture to help investors pick the correct security for their portfolio:
Like just about every other asset class, agricultural commodities have been on a wild ride over the last several trading sessions, fluctuating along with equity markets as investors have tried to evaluate the latest news out of Europe. The last week has generally been a strong stretch for agricultural and soft commodities, as a rally in stock markets and return to risky assets has created a wave of moderate optimism among investors. The following table shows the performance of several popular commodity exchange-traded products for the week ended November 8. It should be noted that each of the funds included below utilizes futures contracts to achieve its stated objectives; as such, returns may not be reflective of changes in spot prices:
Thursday started off as the first solid day of the week, but as the trading session progressed with little to no information on the U.S. debt deal, major equities gave back their gains to finish yet another day in the red. As we draw ever closer to the August 2nd deadline, many analysts have begun to worry that both sides are deadlocked, and with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate, that will make it next to impossible to pass any legislation unless one side gives way to the other. While it seems highly unlikely that the U.S. will default on its debts, it is still a possibility at this point in time, a situation that could put the already beleaguered economy into an even bigger hole.
American markets started the day on a high note only to finish the much closer to the breakeven level as traders digested testimony from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. In his report, the Chairman suggested that another round of stimulative measures wasn’t completely out of the question and that more ‘untested’ methods may be used to bring the economic growth rate back up. Utilities were one of the losers on the day while traders continued to push into the basic materials and services sector as strong prices for natural resources and hopes for more easing carried the riskier sectors higher on the day.