Reports & Statistics

The US trade balance “widened more than forecast to $36.5 billion in September and import prices rose 0.7% last month” according to today’s data.1  Initial jobless claims reported this week by the Labor Department came in lower than expected. At 502,000 filings, it was also the lowest number since January.2

This week’s EIA data showed crude stockpiles gaining 1.8 million barrels compared to expectations for a gain of 1 million. Gasoline inventories gained 2.5 million barrels compared to forecasts for supplies to remain even. Distillates gained 349,000 barrels compared to estimates for a 400,000 drop.3 4 

Precious Metals

Demand for gold in India may have helped increase imports according to commented from a state-run gold importing firm. October may have shown a 45 percent gain in imports, up to 48 tons.5  Gold Fields in South Africa may face challenges as the National Union of Mineworkers has given approval for workers to strike over recruitment disputes.6  Chile is aiming to increase gold production nearly threefold by 2015. Current production is around 39 tons.7

Grains & Oilseeds

Forecasts for corn and soybean production in the US remain near highs. The official USDA forecast for corn was one percent lower than last month’s, but still near the record high. Yield may reach 162.9 bushels per acre. Soybean forecasts are up two percent from last month’s forecast. Average yields may be 43.3 bushels per acre.8

Latest WASDE –

Latest Crop Production –

Coffee, Cocoa & Sugar

In Ghana, the COCOBOD is investigating a case in which 3000 bags of cocoa went missing last season.9  This scrutiny of the marketing and warehousing of cocoa in the West African country comes at a time when the government is being criticized for the new producer price.10  Robusta coffee crops in India may benefit from the rainfall received from Cyclone Phyan.11  Heavy rains may damage the arabica crop and reduce the size by ten to fifteen percent. The Coffee Board chairman suggests damage was not widespread and rains could help control berry borer.12  The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is suggesting bad weather in Brazil, Vietnam, and Columbia could drop 2009/10 coffee production “below last year’s level of 128.1 million bags”.13  In sugar, flooding from the cyclone in India may delay sugar cane harvesting.14   


Coharie Hog Farm in North Carolina – a large US pork producer – has filed for Chapter 11. They will likely have to liquidate the “30,000-sow operation”, a move seen as a potential sign that the hog industry may still be struggling.15  Cargill plans to vaccinate their sow herd for H1N1.16  A federal food nutrition program may result in a deal for the USDA to purchase $50 million in pork products.17   The latest WASDE shows larger production forecasts for beef and pork in the US.18  

Coming Up Next Week:

Retail Sales, Crop Progress
PPI, Industrial Production, Utilization
Housing Starts, Permits, CPI, Energy Stocks
Gas Storage
Livestock Slaughter

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