Inside these posts: Commodities

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Despite tractor boom, Deere CEO wary of recovery

Deere CEO Samuel Allen. (AP/Deere)

Federal Reserve officials are correct to worry more about stimulating the U.S. economy than about inflationary price pressures bubbling in the fuel and food sectors, the chairman and chief executive of Deere & Co. said Tuesday.

In an interview, Samuel R. Allen said he worries about the strength of the U.S. recovery even though the farm equipment giant he leads is reaping the benefits of a global farming boom he expects to continue for years. Get the full story »

CBOT corn tops wheat for first time in 15 years

Central Illinois farmer Gary Niemeyer, not pictured, unloads harvested corn grain near Auburn, Ill., in this photo from 2008. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)

For the first time in 15 years, wheat prices fell below those for corn on Tuesday, opening the door wider for wheat, which is used to make cakes and bread, to become fodder for livestock and poultry.

Soft red winter wheat futures briefly traded below prices for corn at the Chicago Board of Trade, the pinnacle of corn’s climb to record highs this week amid dwindling U.S. supplies. Get the full story »

Inflation, oil prices risks to global economy: IMF

Soaring oil prices and inflation in emerging economies pose new risks to global recovery but are not yet strong enough to derail it, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. Get the full story »

Corn futures match all-time high

U.S. corn futures matched their all-time high Monday on increased concerns federal forecasters will slash their supply outlook this week. Get the full story »

Cocoa supply concerns rise for Blommer, others


Ivory Coast’s increasingly violent political crisis has cast doubt not only over the availability of this year’s cocoa crop, but also its quality. The country supplies around one-third of the world’s cocoa.

“Concerns now are being raised in regard to how a long drawn out solution could negatively impact the quality and quantity of the country’s upcoming mid crop,” said Kip Walk, head of cocoa at Chicago-based Blommer Chocolate Co., one of the world’s largest cocoa processors that sells to major candy makers. Get the full story »

CFTC’s Gensler: Financial system still uncertain

Preventing another financial crisis similar to the one that shook the markets in 2008 requires a global effort and cannot be done by one nation alone, the head of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Tuesday.

Gary Gensler, the chairman of the CFTC, the regulator of futures markets, said even though it is more than two years since the crisis exposed flaws in global financial and regulatory systems around the world, “significant uncertainty” still remains. Get the full story »

Sara Lee plans more price increases

Sara Lee Corp. will raise overall prices in the high single-digit percentages this fiscal year, with increases on everything from Jimmy Dean sausage to frozen pies, an executive said at the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit Monday. Get the full story »

Gold rises above $1,430 an ounce

Gold rose above $1,430 an ounce on Tuesday, supported by clashes in Libya, but remained well off the previous session’s record high as a retreat in oil prices prompted some investors to cash in gains in the metal. Get the full story »

Cotton prices drive up cost of dollar bills

A Bureau of Printing and Engraving employee holds sheets of one dollar bills prior to cutting. (AP/Hillery Smith Garrison)

Sure, packs of T-shirts and socks are getting expensive because of skyrocketing cotton prices. Guess what else is made of cotton? The dollar bill in your wallet. In 2010, the cost of making one note jumped 50 percent from what it cost the government in 2008. Get the full story »

World food prices hit new record high

The FAO index of global food prices climbed to a fresh record high in February, above 2008 peaks when high food prices sparked riots in several countries, U.N Food and Agriculture Organisation data showed on Thursday.

The index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket composed of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 236 points in February, the record in real and nominal terms, up 2.2 percent from January’s record and rising for the eighth month in a row. Get the full story »

Oil briefly hits $100, gold reaches two-week high

Gold rose to its highest in more than seven weeks Wednesday, closing in on record highs as escalating unrest in Libya and soaring crude oil prices fueled fears of inflation and slower economic growth.

U.S. crude oil futures marched rapidly to hit $100 a barrel on possible supply disruption from Libya, stoking inflation concern. They later settled up nearly $3 at about $98 a barrel, its highest since October 2008. Get the full story »

Nasdaq may partner with CME on NYSE bid

Chicago's CME Group offices at 30 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

Nasdaq OMX Group could launch a rival bid for NYSE Euronext to avoid being left on the sidelines, a source said, as traditional exchanges race to merge to see off upstart electronic rivals.

This is one option Nasdaq, valued at $5.7 billion, is considering as a spate of deals shakes up an industry under intense cost pressure from new entrants such as BATS Global Markets, which last week snapped up rival Chi-X.

Nasdaq’s alternatives include tying up with IntercontinentalExchange Inc or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to wrest NYSE from its planned $10.2 billion takeover by Deutsche Boerse, the source familiar with the matter said. Get the full story »

Gold falls back to $1,400 as equity markets drop

Gold fell back toward $1,400 an ounce on Tuesday, breaking a six-session rally, as turmoil in Libya prompted bullion investors to take profits and as sharp losses in equities and other commodities markets prompted margin selling. Get the full story »

As commodity costs rise, Kraft looks to advertising

Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to bulk up its marketing efforts and introduce several new products in an effort to offset higher ingredient costs.

The company estimates that pricier ingredients will cost it between $700 million and $800 million in North America alone. The higher costs will be particularly important to areas where Kraft competes the most, including meat, cheese, chocolate and coffee. Get the full story »

Commodity prices rise on inflation worries

Most commodity prices are climbing after a new government report indicated inflation may be inching higher, with prices for wheat, corn, soybeans and metals all higher. Energy contracts are mostly lower. Get the full story »