Thursday, April 1, 2010

Underemployment Increases to Record 20.3%

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup Daily tracking finds that 20.3% of the U.S. workforce was underemployed in March -- a slight uptick from the relatively flat January and February numbers.
These results are based on March interviews with more than 20,000 adults in the U.S. workforce, aged 18 and older. Gallup classifies respondents as underemployed if they are unemployed or working part-time but wanting full-time work. Gallup employment data are not seasonally adjusted.

Grain Prices Continue Slide After Overnight Rally

I excited about this, because it means that I'm going to be able to buy grains at great prices! Soybeans is still the highest priced and most overbought, but corn and wheat are both selling at very cheap prices!

Crude Nears New Recession High, Hits $85/Barrel

This is the highest crude oil price in about two years.

Natural Gas Short-Covering Rally Following EIA Report

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

USDA Forecasts Significant Rise In Grain Planting

I suspect that this information will ultimately prove wrong, but this is the news today. Grains were down across the board today.

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. wheat stockpiles were 30 percent higher on March 1 than a year earlier as exports fell, the Department of Agriculture said today in a report.
Inventories jumped to 1.352 billion bushels, the USDA said. Exports have declined as competitors including Russia increased shipments. Spring-wheat acres will rise 4.8 percent from a year earlier to 13.9 million, the USDA said in a separate report. Durum acres will fall 13 percent to 2.22 million.
“Our exports have been so poor we’re going to see big stocks,” said Louise Gartner, owner of Spectrum Commodities in Beavercreek, Ohio. “There’s been little farmer movement. As far as planting, there’s just not much money in it.”
The total area planted with wheat, including winter varieties, will fall 9 percent to53.8 million acres, the USDA said.
Through March 18, U.S wheat exports totaled 17.295 million metric tons in the marketing year that began June 1, down 21 percent from the previous year, according to the USDA.
Wheat futures for May delivery rose 7.25 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $4.72 a bushel yesterday on the Chicago Board of Trade. The most-active contract has fallen 13 percent in the first quarter of the year.
The U.S. and Canada are the world’s two biggest wheat exporters, followed by Russia.
Rice stockpiles as of March 1 totaled 10.2 billion pounds, up 11 percent from a year earlier, the USDA said. The area seeded with the grain may rise 8.8 percent to 3.41 million acres, the government said. The U.S. is the world’s fourth-biggest exporter of the grain, behind Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan, USDA data show.
Rice futures for May delivery rose 20 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $12.575 per 100 pounds yesterday in Chicago. Futures have declined 16 percent this year.
--With assistance from Alan Bjerga in Washington. Editors: Daniel Enoch, Steve Stroth.

USDA Report Sends Grains Tumbling

USDA grain estimates and updates this morning have sent the grains tumbling across the board.

Dollar Decimation

ADP Indicates Private Job Sector Still Losing

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Losses on U.S. stock futures accelerated Wednesday after ADP said private-sector employment dropped by 23,000, confounding economist expectations for a 40,000 rise. Shortly after the data, S&P 500 futures fell 3.6 points to 1,165.80 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 5.5 points to 1,960.00.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Energy Tyranny Has Arrived!

Monday the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuels Standard 2 (RFS2) rule. The RFS2 rule was finalized and published in the Federal Register March 26.
The groups are challenging the legality of EPA's actions because the agency made the rule effective on July 1, 2010, but combines the 2009 and 2010 biomass-based diesel volumes and makes the rule retroactive to January 1, 2010.
The organizations both state they don't question the role renewable fuels can play in the nation's transportation fuel mix. In fact, API's statement said the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is the biggest consumer of ethanol and other biofuels. Almost 80% of all gasoline now produced in the United States contains ethanol. API said it supports a "realistic and workable RFS."
“While the U.S. oil and natural gas industry recognizes and appreciates the role of ethanol and other biofuels in the fuel marketplace, we are deeply concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s final RFS2 rule could result in higher consumer costs. By setting retroactive requirements, refiners, and ultimately consumers, will be penalized for EPA's inability to get this rule out on time as directed by Congress," API said.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required EPA to promulgate and finalize certain standards under the RFS2 program by specific dates in 2008 and 2009.  The agency, however, failed to meet those statutory deadlines. Instead, in its recently published RFS2 final rule, "EPA retroactively and unlawfully imposed RFS2 compliance burdens on obligated parties, many of whom are NPRA members," the organization noted
“Simply put, the fact that EPA failed to meet its statutory obligations under current energy law does not give the Agency license to impose retroactively additional compliance burdens on obligated parties," said NPRA President Charles Drevna. "At the least, such action calls into serious question the fundamental fairness of EPA’s RFS2 rulemaking process."