Santa was busy stuffing Christmas stockings with presents and toys last week, while the Grinch was handing out lumps of coal to grain producers! While Christmas tidings were a little late, rewards were presented right after the holiday break.
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 16.6 million barrels per day during the week ending December 23, 2016, 101,000 barrels per day less than the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 91.0% of their operable capacity last week.
New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Crude oil prices edged up for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, close to their highest levels since mid-2015, ahead of United States oil inventory figures and as the market awaits evidence of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) supply reductions in the new year.
Foreign Exchange Market (Forex): The United States Dollar Index is up 0.35% to 103.38, gaining ground against its European competitors in particular. Today's rally faded a bit after the strong 5-year Treasury note auction pushed yields lower.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Cotton futures ended Wednesday trading with most contracts nearly steady on the session. March17 traded as high as 70 cents/pound, but slipped back a quarter cent to settle at 69.75, a single point gain.
Cotton prices began to break down below key support levels early last week only to get a strong one day bounce back to the upside which looks like it could have been a short covering move like many seen in the grain complex lately.
Corn prices also saw a massive move back to the upside on the first day of trading this week, but if you'll go back and see most of the price breaks which have taken place over the last few months, it's not all that unusual to see a large pop back up after prices have moved down for five or six days.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Raw sugar futures were higher with the market appearing to have built a base after a prolonged slide during the last few weeks. March raws were up 0.17 cents, or 0.9 percent, at 18.71 cents a lb.
Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Wheat futures were lower in all three markets today. Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT) was down 8 3/4 to 9 1/4 with MPLS down 5 1/4 to 8 1/4 and Chicago Soft Red Winter (SRW) down 4 ½ to 8 cents.
Major headlines for crude oil have bookended calendar year 2016: first, the prolonged price collapse that culminated in February's dozen-year low for spot crude of $26.05 per barrel; and more recently, the Nov. 30 OPEC decision to implement cuts equivalent to roughly 1% of global production.
The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 2.1% in the fourth week of December following a 1.5% gain the prior week. Month-to date, December was up 1.3% compared to December of last year (relative to a target of a 1.6% gain).
As we enter 2017, we expect the current economic rebound to continue suggesting GDP growth will likely move toward the 3% level by the end of the year based on less monetary stimulus, more fiscal stimulus, a reduction in the corporate tax rate, and deregulation.