Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Reason to Read the Farm News

Please put this on your near-term threat watch:

Soybeans soar 5 pct on immature crop, China
By Christine Stebbins

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures rose more than 5 percent Monday, extending gains to a one-week high on jitters that the immature American soy crop could be hurt by chilly temperatures.Ongoing Chinese demand for U.S. soy and a 10-month high in equities on optimism about economic recovered fueled additional buying.

"Beans are up on China buying, drought in China and ongoing worries about what devastation there would be if an early frost hit," said Vic Lespinasse, analyst for

This is one of those stories that will hopefully just be a passing worry. For those of you down Texas way and on the East Coast, you've had a lot of hot weather this year, but for those of us in much of Flyover Country, we've had a very mild summer, almost worringly mild.

If the weather stays cool and we do get a hard frost in September (unlikely, but not an unreasonable worry) then the soybean crop could be hurt and hurt badly.

Stocks of grains are low world-wide and this could cause significant food price gyrations and farm failures. In other words, a big steaming bowl of not-good.

I don't think we are talking famine, but it certainly could mean food taking a bigger bite out of people's budgets going into winter.

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