U.S. farmers are expected to grow large corn and soybean crops this year—but it is unclear if an economy recovering from coronavirus will be strong enough to consume the harvest.
Commodities & Futures
Prices for forest products like lumber and plywood have soared because of booming demand from home builders making up for lost time, a DIY explosion and a race among restaurants and bars to install outdoor seating.
Natural-gas prices have bounced back from the 25-year low reached late last month, but analysts and traders don’t expect them to go much higher. At least until it is time to turn on the heat.
Crude prices have stalled around $40 a barrel as traders wait for inventory data that might indicate whether the U.S. economy and demand for oil are indeed rebounding.
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Copper prices fell, signaling a pause in the industrial metal’s surge, on mounting concerns that the rally may have been overdone.
Global crude prices rose Thursday after employment data showed the U.S. economy gained more jobs than expected last month.
New infections grow in major meat-producing states as the industry has returned to regular production levels in recent weeks.
Saudi Arabia has threatened to ignite an oil-price war unless fellow OPEC members make up for their failure to abide by the cartel’s recent production cuts.
Hog prices have fallen for nearly two months, a decline that accelerated in recent sessions after a government report confirmed that U.S. swine production has bounced back from Covid-19 faster than anticipated.
Royal Dutch Shell is writing down the value of its assets by up to $22 billion because of lower energy prices following the demand-sapping coronavirus pandemic.
Lithium has been left for dust during the rebound in commodity prices, but it could be poised to benefit from stimulus packages that aim to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
Energy giant BP has agreed to sell its petrochemicals business to British chemicals company Ineos for $5 billion, marking the largest deal by an oil major since the new coronavirus was declared a pandemic.
Oil prices edged lower Friday to cap the second weekly decline since April, as investors adjusted expectations to account for rising crude inventories and surging U.S. coronavirus cases.
Sugar prices are poised for their best quarter in four years, driven by a recovery in oil markets and supply disruptions in the market for the sweetener. But traders say the rally may not last.
China has ramped up its purchases of U.S. soybeans recently, sparking a rebound in prices and making the crop profitable again for U.S. farmers after the coronavirus pandemic had slammed demand.
The recovery has lifted shares of energy companies and relieved some of the stress on oil-dependent economies such as Russia and Saudi Arabia. It is also squeezing profits at refiners, crimping a key source of demand for crude and potentially preventing prices from marching much higher.
The precious-metal’s price neared a 7½-year high as the recent rise in coronavirus cases lifted demand for the haven asset.
Oil prices climbed Thursday, nearing their highest levels since early March with traders expecting supply cuts to help balance the crude market.
The global oil market is slowly starting to rebalance thanks to production cuts and relaxing coronavirus lockdowns, but the industry is still swimming in excess supply, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said.