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.
Friday’s USDA WASDE report was mildly bearish for grain prices. Corn yields were raised slightly, from 122.0 to 122.3 bushels per acre (bpa). Total corn production is forecast at 10.7B bushels, up slightly from the October report but still down 13 percent from 2011. Corn futures finished the week down modestly at $7.38.
Late season rains helped soybean yields, which were raised from 37.8 bpa to 39.3 bpa. Soybean output, at 2.97B bushels, has increased 4 percent from last month’s report but is still 4 percent below last year. Soy-oil futures dropped to $4.770 on Friday.
Cheese prices finally moved lower last week, with block at $1.92, a decrease of $0.19, and barrel at $1.8350, a decrease of $0.24. The USDA held its 2013 block forecast at $1.78 in Friday’s WASDE report. Cheese futures for the first quarter of 2013 are averaging $1.85, and in the second quarter of 2013 they're averaging $1.84. Contracting cheese for next year remains a very difficult decision.
Contact John T. Barone at firstname.lastname@example.org.