Analysts speculate on corn prices as shutdown continues

In this weekly Commodities Watch [3] column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.

It has now been two weeks with no USDA data since the U.S. government furloughed nonessential employees [4] and shut down many services on Oct. 1.

In lieu of Friday’s cancelled October WASDE report from the USDA, here’s what private analysts are saying: The average analyst surveyed by Bloomberg expected the USDA to raise corn yields from 155.3 to 156.5 bushels per acre, further confirming a record large harvest this year of at least 30 percent larger than last year’s drought-reduced crop. Last week, corn futures prices fell from $4.49 to $4.33 per bushel, a 43-percent decline from $7.53 a year ago. Rumors that the EPA will reduce the ethanol mandate are also adding a bearish tone to corn prices.

The Energy Information Administration also shut down this past Friday, so government energy reports and prices are now blacked out. That includes the EIA’s on-highway diesel prices, on which many distribution contracts and surcharges are based.

Contact John T. Barone at [email protected] [5].