Reports & Statistics

US GDP data showed a decline of 1 percent versus forecasts for 1.5 percent.1  Durable goods orders posted a 4.9 percent increase in July while new home sales posted a 9.6 percent increase.2  A MarketWatch survey of economists shows expectations were for a 4 percent gain in durable goods orders.3  Consumer spending in July rose by 0.2 percent, less than forecast. Spending is still down since the start of the recession.4  Consumer confidence was up to 54.1. 5

Crude oil inventories increased 200,000 barrels versus forecasts for a decline of 2.7 million barrels. Distillate inventories were 800,000 barrels higher compared to forecasts for a 700,000 barrel drop. Gasoline inventories dropped 1.7 million barrels compared to estimates for a 1.5 million barrel decline.6  Natural gas in storage gained 54 billion cubic feet according to the latest Department of Energy data. 7

Top Commodity News

Precious Metals

Output of gold from Russian mines has increased 21 percent during the first part of this year. Over 100 tons of production has been reported compared to around 84 tons during the same time last year.8  ETF Securities have reported the “biggest ever one-day inflow into its ETFS Physical Gold exchange-traded commodity”.9  A strike of Impala Platinum mine workers in South Africa continues. 20,000 workers went on strike on Monday.10  The striking workers have demanded a 14 percent pay increase. An offer of a 10 percent increase was rejected. 11

Grains & Oilseeds

Export sales of soybeans beat estimates and demand is seen as “robust”.12  Improved crop conditions have been observed in the US.13  Concerns have been raised regarding the potential for frost threat on a late fall harvest of certain crops.14  Corn yields in the Corn Belt could be lowered if there is frost damage.15  A week-long strike by Argentine farmers is set to begin today. 16

Coffee, Cocoa & Sugar

Despite higher sugar prices, dealers on the physical market indicate that demand still exists from India, Pakistan, and Egypt. 17 There may be concerns over potential El Nino conditions hitting Southeast Asia and worsening drought in India, the world’s second largest sugar producer.18 Imperial Sugar executives have said that US sugar supplies are “adequate this year”. Sugar cane and sugar beet harvests will begin in the next several weeks. 19 In coffee, Brazil’s arabica growing region experienced some rains early in the week then dry weather after Wednesday. The government in Brazil may also buy less coffee than previous agreements had suggested.20  Vietnamese traders are disputing the coffee association chairman’s output forecast drop, suggesting instead that there were a large number of cherries on plants. 21 Cocoa yields in Indonesia may have improved, prompting an upward revision of the crop year forecast to 490,000 tons. 22 Cameroon’s exports may also increase. 23 Beans from Ivory Coast may not increase over last year’s harvest due to black pod disease. 24


Despite expectations for a 6.5 percent increase of cattle on feed in July, the USDA reported a 12.5 percent increase. Beef in storage grew by 4 percent in July, as noted in the Cold Storage report. 25

Coming Up Next Week:
Monday: Crop Progress
Tuesday: Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing
Wednesday: Energy Stocks, FOMC Minutes
Thursday: Gas Storage, ISM Non-Manufacturing
Friday: Employment Situation

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