Commodity Corner

Views on commodities and energy

The Devil is in the details


Numbers, or rather the lack of them, are the latest gripe of Argentina’s disgruntled farm sector.

Statistics published by the government for years have been disappearing since the Agriculture Secretariat ceded control of the country’s multibillion-dollar grains and beef trade to another state agency, the ONCCA, earlier this year.

Little by little, the government has stopped updating routine tables detailing weekly grains export commitments and purchases by soy crushers. Weekly corn and wheat sales, with details of buyer countries, have not been published since June.

Some new information has been posted in its place, but it smells like a conspiracy to grains exporters, meatpackers and farmers, whose relationship with the center-left government of President Cristina Fernandez seems irreparably damaged following this year’s messy conflict over soy taxes.

Commodities Agenda: Ike idles U.S. Gulf energy industry


Hurricane Ike on ThursdayOil prices are rising as Hurricane Ike moves within 24 hours of striking the coast near Houston with a possible 20-foot (6-meter) wall of water.  A slew of oil refineries located in Galveston Bay that account for around 12 percent of U.S. capacity were also in the storm’s likely path. Weather forecasters at Planalytics saw “major and long-term damage likely at the major refining cities.”

Ike, the federal response and updates of output will set the tone for the day. Here’s a look at output shut in the Gulf and list of oil companies shut and some other events in commodities: