The Journal Gazette
 
 
Friday, October 16, 2020 1:15 pm

Column: Gasoline rallies, sputters as COVID expands

WALT and ALEX BREITINGER | Breitinger & Sons LLC

Gasoline futures shifted midweek from an upward bias to a downhill direction as record positive novel coronavirus cases plagued several European countries and U.S. states.

Declining recreational travel and commuting to and from work sopped demand from unleaded fuel and allowed the price decline, even though supplies have declined sharply as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Brazil, Spain, and India are current hot spots for COVID while Texas, California and Wisconsin are seeing increased infections. Total U.S. cases reached their highest level since mid-August.

As of midday Friday, gasoline futures were down about 9 cents per gallon for the week.

Nobel Prize awarded for auction study

Farmers, ranchers, investors and traders make profits and losses every day based on short-term and long-term auctions. Livestock, land and equipment auctions are paramount to agribusiness, while trades in stock, bonds and financial futures have become virtual electronic auctions governing the foundation of our economy.

Drs. Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, two Californians, were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for new auction designs that could help allocate public resources for such diverse products as airport landing sites, electricity, online advertising and even protective surgical masks.

Following their designs and recommendations should cause auctions to operate more efficiently. The two academics received more than $1 million together for their work.

Wheat takes the lead in upward race

Corn, wheat and soybeans rallied most of the week on large and consistent Chinese buying, especially of beans.

Talk that China could purchase the most wheat in a quarter-century stimulated buying of many varieties of wheat, while dry weather in our southern plains added fuel to that fire. Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, had a record-breaking hot summer and is having a severe drought.

As of midday Friday, December Chicago wheat futures traded near $6.30 per bushel, a six-year high.

Walt and Alex Breitinger are commodity futures brokers in Valparaiso. They can be reached at (800) 411-3888 or www.indianafutures.com. This is not a solicitation of any order to buy or sell any market.


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