In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.
Grain prices appear to have stabilized. Corn futures, at $8.02 per bushel, have been in the $7.79 to $8.31 range since mid-July.
The International Grains Council said 2012–2013 world corn output will decrease 4 percent from a year ago, with global corn supplies falling to a six-year low. However, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa crops (to be harvested in March) could be very large, and several U.S. poultry producers may be importing corn from Brazil by spring. Similarly, wheat futures (at $8.70) were in the $8.46 to $9.13 range for August as a good U.S. crop is offsetting supply issues in Russia/Ukraine.
Soybean prices are now in the hot seat. After averaging $13.48 for the first half of the year, futures prices hit record highs of $17.75 on Thursday before settling at $17.64 on Friday. Soybean crops in U.S., Brazil and Argentina all faced drought problems this year.
Contact John T. Barone at firstname.lastname@example.org.