Gasoline rallies, sputters as COVID expands

Alex Breitinger

Gasoline futures shifted midweek from an upward bias to a downhill direction as record positive 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 hotspots 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 over $1,000,000 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 of a 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.

Alex Breitinger

Alex Breitinger is a commodity futures broker with Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kansas.