29th July 2017

Highlights for July... Commodity markets surged in July to a two-month high as measured by the Reuters-Jefferies CRB index (plotted below). The agricultural commodities were the index’s main upside contributors during the first half of July. To wit, soybeans, wheat and corn all gained anywhere between 5%-9% as measured from the June close to the early July high, with prices in all three complexes hitting one to twoyear peaks in the process. The gains were triggered by hot weather conditions blanketing key growing areas in the US High Plains; farmers in Montana for example, complained that they had experienced their worst growing season in 30 years, while reports from South and North Dakota revealed that 75% of growing areas were in moderate or severe drought. However, by month-end, weather conditions turned more favorable and USDA crop assessments improved, prompting all three markets to roll back a substantial portion of their earlier gains, although all three still finished up on the month.

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