You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • GM quarterly profit falls 85% on recall costs
    DETROIT – Recall expenses chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors’ bottom line in the second quarter, as it added up the costs of repairs for nearly 30 million cars and set aside funds to compensate victims of small-car crashes.
  • China detains employees of suspect meat seller
    Five employees of a company accused of selling expired beef and chicken to McDonald’s, KFC and other restaurants in China were detained by police Wednesday after an official said illegal activity was an organized effort by the
  • Meat supplier in China scandal has global reach
    It isn’t a household name, but the company at the center of a food scandal in China helps make some of the world’s most popular foods, including the Big Macs and Quarter Pounders served at McDonald’s locations.

Column: Soybeans sucked lower


South American farmers are preparing to harvest their soybean crop, a factor that is pulling prices around the world lower.

Brazil and Argentina produce nearly half of all soybeans worldwide, and the influx of their beans can have a wide-reaching effect.

Most recently, it has been rumored that Chinese soybean buyers are cancelling contracts to buy U.S.soybeans, choosing instead to buy less-expensive Brazilian soybeans.

Expectations that more demand will be shifted to South America in the coming months caused a selloff in the U.S. markets, pulling prices down by as much as 50 cents per bushel this week.

By Friday morning, prices declined to $12.64, near the lowest price so far this year. In the coming weeks, the market will continue to watch South American harvest weather and Chinese demand for fresh news that could shake the soybean market.

Cold snap shoots crude oil prices higher

Crude oil rallied this week on continued strong demand for heating oil during the cold snap across much of the United States.

Made from crude, heating oil is a significant source of heating fuel in the U.S., especially in the Northeast, where a quarter of homes use the fuel.

There was also fresh news this week that another pipeline has begun alleviating the glut of landlocked crude in Cushing, Okla., the central repository for U.S. crude and the benchmark for U.S. prices.

As crude oil moves away from the saturated Midwest and into oil-hungry Gulf Coast refineries, that can help demand and raise prices.

Finally, peace talks between the Syrian regime and rebels stalled this week after the parties refused to meet face-to-face, reigniting fears that peace in the Mideastern country was still a lofty goal.

As of midday Friday, crude oil for delivery in March was trading at nearly $97 per barrel, near the highest price in three weeks.

Gold sparks higher

Gold rattled to a two-month high on Friday, trading near $1,275 an ounce for the first time since November.

Prices rose sharply after government reports showed rising unemployment in the U.S. and weaker manufacturing data.

Economic weakness inspired hope the Federal Reserve will extend its economic stimulus program, which is generally considered a bullish factor for gold prices.

Meanwhile, a pullback in U.S. stock markets on Thursday and Friday may have also inspired some traders to sell stocks and buy gold, which rose $35 per ounce during a two-day period.

Walt Breitinger is a commodity futures broker in Valparaiso. He can be reached at (800) 411-3888 or This is not a solicitation of any order to buy or sell any market.