Reports & Statistics

Data from the Institute for Supply Management showed expansion in the service sector with the non-manufacturing index rising to 50.9. Expectations were for a gain to 50.0.1  According to the Commerce Department, “the trade deficit declined 3.5 percent to $30.7 billion” in August, possibly owing to a decline in foreign oil demand.2

EIA data showed a 1 million barrel drop in crude stocks. Analysts had forecast a build of 2.2 million barrels. Gas inventory grew by 2.9 million barrels compared to forecasts for a million barrel increase. Distillates rose by 700,000 barrels versus expectations for a 300,000 barrel gain.3 

Precious Metals

Record highs in gold price prompted comments from many people including Jim Rogers4  and the CEO of Harmony Gold.5  Spot gold prices were “above $1,040 an ounce on Tuesday”.6  In mining news, an Anglogold mine in Guinea was blocked by villagers protesting and demanding electricity from the company.7  HDFC Bank in India is “looking at offering silver bars for sale in some cities because of interest from investors”, according to a bank executive.8

Grains & Oilseeds

Record harvest forecasts may be in place for corn and soybeans9 , but forecasts for colder weather may threaten some Corn Belt crops.10  Maturation may be slower this year due to wet weather.11  Heavy rains in some areas may also delay harvest.12  In Pakistan, yields for wheat production may get a boost from improved irrigation in 2010.13

Latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates:

Latest Crop Production:

Coffee, Cocoa & Sugar

The 2008/09 cocoa harvest in Ghana topped the output of the previous season, coming in at over 700,000 tons.14  In Ivory Coast, weather is being closely monitored during October, a month considered important in terms of relating good rainfall to positive early output in December and January.15  Remarks from Cooxupe – a coffee cooperative in Brazil – suggest that arabica quality in the South American country may have been “hurt last month by the heaviest rains”.16  According to FCStone, sugar output in Brazil’s center couth region will be 2 million tons less than a former forecast.17 


Interfax News Agency is reporting that Russia “cut meat imports by nearly 27 percent in the first eight months of 2009”.18  In Canada, the Alberta government is suggesting that the beef cow herd in that province is “likely the smallest it’s been since the 1970s” at 1.36 million head.19  

Coming Up Next Week:

Tuesday: Crop Progress
Wednesday: Retail Sales, FOMC Minutes
Thursday: CPI , Energy Stocks, Gas Storage
Friday: Industrial Production, Utilization