The week started with a fast and furious rise in wheat prices in response to President Putin’s warning that Russia would halt grain shipments from Ukraine via the Black Sea. After jumping more than 75 cents a bushel in response, wheat turned around falling 75 cents as Putin tempered his threat, saying his halt would not be enforced immediately by his military, but only if further news. negotiations did not resolve the concerns.
Fed chief surprises rate watchers
Jerome Powel, Chairman of our Federal Reserve Board, delivered the most “dovish” policy statement in a year. He hinted that smaller rate hikes were ahead of us. leading to a stock market rally. Stock index futures fell on Thursday, however, when he said rates could rise more than expected. His key phrase was: “It is very premature to talk about pausing the rate hike cycle.”
Lula becomes president of the world’s largest bean exporter
Brazilians elected President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and rejected Jair Bolsonaro, ending four years of contentious relations with most Western leaders and more than half of Brazil’s population. Bolsonaro has been criticized for his social policies, but also for his sudden and massive deforestation of the rainforest to increase production of soybeans, cattle and oil. Its release could slow that effort, please climate scientists and environmentalists while boosting market share for U.S. farmers and ranchers. In 2013, Brazil overtook the United States as the world’s largest exporter of soybeans and has maintained that status ever since.
Answer to the quiz on raw materials
The countries that emit the most greenhouse gases are China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan. The European Union, taken as a whole, would rank third, with Germany being the main offender.
Weekly winners and losers
Cotton rose 12 cents a pound, copper about 25 cents and crude $4 a barrel. Other metals and “soft” markets including sugar, coffee, cocoa were all up. Corn, wheat, beans and soybean oil were up. The biggest losers were hogs (down nearly three and a half cents a pound), cattle and lumber.