The wheat and natural gas markets looked like a political football game. Prices exploded, then crashed, then exploded again as deals were made and broken regarding imports and exports to Ukraine. Since Friday, Russia has drastically reduced exports from the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Europe by 80%, creating a shortage and a sharp rise in prices there. The Russian bombardment of Kharkiv and Kherson near the Black Sea dashed hopes of a UN-brokered deal that would have allowed grain exports. People are starving as millions of tons of this year’s harvest are now stuck in silos.
Compared to last week, September wheat jumped 30 cents to $8.10 a bushel, December corn to $6.24 and November beans to $14.72. US natural gas futures for September delivery were $8.30 per 10,000 mm BTU.
As our own persistent heat records in the United States are surpassed and wildfires continue to burn thousands of acres, the threats and damage to Europe have also increased. Around 2,000 wildfires have scorched EU countries including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and France.
From fire to flood
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has released its most recent sea level rise projections for all US states. The projections are scary. Our recent battle with droughts and fires has been difficult, devastating and deadly. But NOAA’s projections, the first since 2017, provide another set of data that is far more threatening for those living in coastal areas or near current sea level. This week’s flash flooding in St. Louis and Kentucky may serve as a preview of what’s to come.
Silver bull run to buy the blue metal
The all-metal futures rush continued this week, with silver leading the way. September silver is up $1.50 since last Friday, trading at $20.20 an ounce. December gold was at $1,780. October platinum went for $888 and September copper fetched $3.57 a pound.
List the seven nations that border Ukraine and identify the political leader of each.
Answers next week.
Opinions are solely those of the author. Walt Breitinger is a commodity futures broker in Valparaiso, Ind. He can be reached at (800) 411-3888 or www.indianafutures.com. This is not a solicitation of a market order to buy or sell.