The Journal Gazette
Friday, January 21, 2022 2:22 pm

Column: Crude oil moves with Russian troops

WALT BREITINGER | Breitinger & Sons LLC

President Biden threatened severe economic sanctions and transfer of U.S. weapons to Ukraine if Russia moves troops across the Ukrainian border.

Although all markets could be affected by any military confrontation, crude oil spiked to new highs and seemed especially sensitive as negotiations and diplomacy were weighed by politicians and investors alike.

Other NATO members, especially Germany -- terminal of the natural gas Nord Stream pipeline -- were also watched closely because each plays a role in determining the region’s reactions should Putin decide to invade.

March crude oil hit a seven year high of $87.10 per barrel on Thursday, then backed off at midday Friday to $85.15 per barrel, up about $4 on the week. March gasoline was trading at $2.44 at midday Friday.

Soybeans soar on South American supply threats

Continued concerns about South American weather, farmers' reluctance to sell soybeans and continued good U.S. exports converged to pull soybean prices higher most of the week.

Soybean oil was also tugged upward by rising crude and diesel because of its growing popularity as a renewable fuel when mixed with diesel.

To some extent, soybeans have become yet another inflationary hedge. More economists and analysts are jumping on the bandwagon and predicting anything tangible will outperform paper investments such as stocks, bonds, currencies and cryptocurrencies.

When asked, “What’s the best thing to do with your U.S. dollars?” the answer is “buy anything.”

Soybeans for March delivery brought $14.18 a bushel on Friday, up about 40 cents on the week. March corn traded at $6.17 per bushel, while March Chicago wheat rose to $7.86 per bushel.

Inflation fears ignite metals

Silver sliced through former high marks as trade volume picked up along with the hype that inflation could accelerate.

Inflation records in Great Britain, Japan,and Canada were also broken as evidence of worldwide monetary stimulation or accommodation.

March silver jumped about $1.35 per ounce this week, trading at $24.34, while April platinum jumped $80 per ounce, to $1,040. Gold’s increase was much more subdued at $1,832 per ounce.

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.

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