Archive for July, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015 @ 02:07 PM
posted by Administrator

Stock markets around the globe are mixed with very little in the way of new headlines. Yesterday’s GDP data for the U.S. showed the nation’s economy expanded at a 2.3% annualized rate in the second quarter, which was a touch below most analyst expectations. Commodities again feel under pressure as gold looks poised to retest multi-year lows on reports of “China’s H1 gold consumption plunging 19% on year”. Oil is also under pressure on morning headlines about record exports from China, Iran and Iraq. Here at home today the EIA releases its monthly Petroleum Supply report, which covers May activity. U.S. crude production hit a 44-year high in April of 9.7 million barrels per day. In their last update, they forecasted U.S. production would drop by 50,000 barrels per day in May and continue tapering off in the last half of the year. Obviously the trade will be anxious to see signs of this actually occurring. Remember, U.S. crude inventories are now estimated to be some 35% or 125 million barrels (plus) above the long-term 30-year average for this time of year. We also get the latest Baker Hughes rig count data this afternoon, along with energy companies like Exxon, Phillips 66, and Chevron reporting earnings. Also out today is the second-quarter Employment Cost Index, a closely watched indicator of potential inflation. Consensus is for an increase of +0.6%. Obviously, a big gain here would increase expectations for the Fed to raise rates in September or December. Looking to next week, investors are very anxious to see the July Employment Report which is due out next Friday. This is the first of just two monthly employment reports before the Fed’s next meeting in September. Other economic data next week includes: Personal Income and Outlays, PMI Manufacturing and Construction Spending on Monday; Factory Orders Tuesday; International Trade Wednesday. It will also be another busy week for earnings. Most of the major bellwethers have already weighed in but there are a lot of energy and biotech results still ahead. Also be aware that China weighs in over the weekend with Manufacturing data, which comes ahead of key trade data next Friday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 @ 08:07 AM
posted by Administrator

In the brutal commodities meltdown, all U.S. states are not created equal.

In fact, the impact has been vastly different. The Bloomberg Commodity Index last week reached a 13-year low and has plunged 61 percent since its peak in 2008. That matters a lot in, say, Wyoming, Louisiana, Texas and Nebraska. Not so much in New Jersey or Massachusetts, for example. The map below shows the top 10 states with the greatest exposure as measured by mining and agriculture’s share of the economy in 2014. The darker the color, the more the state’s economy is at risk.

Where it hurts the most

Wyoming is home to most of the top producing coal mines in the U.S. Its mining and agriculture industries generated 36 percent of its economic output in 2014, more than any other state, according to Moody’s Analytics’s calculations using Commerce Department data.

It's Been a Brutal Year

 

The top nine states on the map got  at least 10 percent of their gross state product from energy, mining and agriculture last year: Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and South Dakota. Another six got more than 7 percent, compared to just 3.9 percent for the U.S. as a whole.

New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut have almost none of their economies in those industries, just 0.3 percent or less.

A year ago, Federal Reserve policy makers and many private economists viewed falling oil prices as an economic boom that would boost consumer confidence and spending. While there’s been some evidence of that in restaurant sales for example, it’s been partly offset by the slowdown in mining and farming that has reduced employment in a checkerboard of states.

The commodities collapse has cut monthly employment gains in the U.S. by around 50,000 a month this year, estimates Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

“Growth has slowed sharply in the commodities-producing parts of the country, most significantly in the energy sector,” Zandi said. “The very heady rates of growth of recent years have given way to pedestrian growth and in some places no growth at all.”

Farming has seen a less significant loss of jobs, but “we will see much weaker income numbers in agriculture-producing regions,” he said.

That’s also reduced wage growth in those states, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist David Mericle wrote in a report July 20.

While Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said there are tentative signs wages are picking up, “a counterpoint to this generally encouraging picture is that the shale states have seen major setbacks recently,” Mericle wrote.

Getting Drilled

 

In June, there were job losses in Wyoming, West Virginia, Alaska and Idaho, states that all had more than twice as much of their economies tied to farming and mining than the national average. Unemployment showed statistically significant gains in June from a year earlier in only two states, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to the Labor Department.

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 01:07 PM
posted by Administrator
  • Studies clearly show that rescue applications during the late vegetative stages can result in increased yields and economic returns. However, it is important to remember that dry conditions after the rescue N application can limit the effectiveness of additional N because water is needed to move N into the root zone. Is It Too Late? Nitrogen applications after R1 (silking) are generally not encouraged, as some studies have shown that economic yield response to N fertilization seldom occurs after pollination. However, under severe N deficiency, some response may occur to applications of low rates of N (30 to 60 pounds) as late as three weeks afteDue to Nitrogen Dificiencyr pollination (Thomison, 2010).
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 @ 12:07 PM
posted by Administrator

From horse meat to seafood, food fraud is a growing problem worldwide. According to the World Customs Organization, food fraud is costing $49 billion annually. It is so lucrative, in fact, that drug cartels in South America and organized crime in Italy are involved in counterfeit groceries. Olive oil is recognized as the number one food product at risk of attracting the interest of organized crime. Crime syndicates are very stealth in keeping their schemes alive too – once one unlawful ingredient is detected, they move on to another. That makes it even harder for agencies trying to police the illegal trade, as they have to know what nefarious ingredient they are looking for in order to test for it.

Food Fraud

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 @ 11:07 AM
posted by Administrator

New Horizons spacecraft will sweep past Pluto this morning within just 7,800 miles of the previously unexplored world. New Horizons has traveled 3 billion miles over 9½ years to get to this historic point. The fastest spacecraft ever launched, it carries the most powerful suite of science instruments ever sent on a scouting and reconnaissance mission of a new, unfamiliar world. Read more at Space.com, where you can also see some of the images already sent back from New Horizons and get the latest news on the Pluto Flyby.

Pluto Journey