Reports & Statistics

According to Commerce Department data, construction spending rose 0.8 percent in September following a revised 0.1 percent dip in August. Forecasts had pointed to the potential for a 0.2 percent drop.1  Pending home sales gained 6.1 percent in September.2  The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) factory index gained in October, hitting 55.7.3 Some forecasts had suggested anticipation for a reading of around 53.4  The ISM non-manufacturing index fell to 50.6.5  Polls suggested expectations for a reading of 51.5.6 Unemployment was expected to breach 10 percent and show 175,000 job losses for October.7  Actual Labor Department data showed the unemployment rate at 10.2 percent and shedding 190,000 jobs.8

EIA data showed crude oil stocks lower by 4 million barrels. Forecasts pointed to a gain of 1.4 million barrels. Gasoline supplies fell by 300,000 barrels compared to forecasts for a 300,000 barrel build. Distillate supplies dropped 400,000 barrels compared to estimates for a 1 million barrel dip.9

Precious Metals

India’s reserve bank scooped up 200 tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last month. The IMF may sell another 200 tons. There is no clear indication who could be potential buyers, although speculation points to China.10  A former People’s Bank advisor is suggesting it may be cheaper for China to make domestic gold purchases.11

Grains & Oilseeds

Forecasts for continued warm, dry weather in the Midwest will help farmers trying to harvest corn and soybeans.12  Rains in Brazil may have boosted the outlook for soybean production. New data from Conad – the crop forecast source – puts production estimates between 62.5 and 63.6 million tons. Corn production estimates for the South American grain grower are between 50.9 and 52.2 million tons.13

Coffee, Cocoa & Sugar

In Ivory Coast, labor unions continue to talk to government officials and cancelled planned strike actions. Talks are aimed at getting higher prices and additional financing.14  In a separate issue, the elections in the top cocoa producing nation have been postponed.15  In coffee, Columbia is likely to produce the smallest crop in over thirty years according to exporters and producers. The harvest is unlikely to top 9 million bags. “Bad flowering” is being cited as a significant cause.16  Winds and heavy rains from Typhoon Mirinae may disrupt the coffee bean harvest in Vietnam. 17 


H1N1 has been discovered in a hog herd in Indiana but a USDA spokesperson has stated that there is no “food safety or public health risk.”18  The World Organization for Animal Health has been quoted as saying they see no need for tests or restrictions on global swine trade.19  Nearly half a million pounds of ground beef are included in a recall over possible E. coli contamination. Two deaths and twenty-eight illnesses may be linked to the meat.20

Coming Up Next Week:

Crop Progress
WASDE, Crop Production
Gas Storage, Energy Stocks
US Trade Balance

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