Soybean prices reached the highest they’ve been in nearly a decade.
Per the Wall Street Journal, prices have surged 30% this year, with the continuous contract for the crop ending trading on the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday at $17.69 a bushel. This surpassed the previous high of $17.68 set in September 2012 when the crop was hit by a massive drought. The price dropped slightly on Friday after reports revealed that the already record-high inflation rose even higher, upping investor fears of steeper interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
The health of this year’s U.S. soybean crop is seen as the bellwether for what global markets will do. Investors and end-users alike worry that if the weather in the Corn Belt is bad, supply may get even tighter. Don Roose, president of the West Des Moines, Iowa-based brokerage U.S. Commodities, told the Journal: “With the tighter world supplies, if anything goes wrong with the weather then prices have to move.”
The Corn Belt is expected to experience a prolonged La Niña weather pattern this week, which should introduce hot and dry conditions to the region. While this may help at the outset by drying out saturated crops in the eastern portion of the area, an extended hot and dry period could hurt production.
Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that purchasing commitments for soybeans planted this spring that have only just started to grow are up 68% from this time last year.
The Invesco DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) is a combination of futures within several areas of agriculture, including wheat, soybeans, coffee, corn, cattle, cocoa, sugar, hogs, and cotton. It invests in a diversified basket of various agricultural natural resources and seeks to track changes in the level of the DBIQ Diversified Agriculture Index Excess Return plus the interest income from its holdings of primarily U.S. Treasury securities and money market income.
The index is a rules-based index composed of futures contracts on some of the most liquid and widely traded agricultural commodities. The fund and the index are rebalanced and reconstituted annually in November.
DBA has an expense ratio of 0.93%.
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