Meanwhile, the effects of the government shutdown continue to grow. Unless it ends this weekend, today will be the last day of work for the Energy Information Administration. That will end the flow of data that shapes oil and gas prices in the U.S., a change that will be felt by consumers as well as the industry.
In Minnesota today, several thousand of the nation's graphic designers and commercial artists continue the AIGA national conference at the Minneapolis convention center. Dozens of the state's bloggers will gather for a conference in St. Paul tomorrow. The harvest continues on farms all around the state. Owners of B&Bs and small town motels expect a lot of visitors as pheasant season begins and the time for checking out the fall colors bring out tourists. Vikings fans await a decision on who will quarterback Sunday's game against Carolina.
Based on a law passed in 2007, the amount of corn-based ethanol produced next year was set to rise to 14.4 billion gallons. Rising ethanol production and corn consumption has been cited as a major factor in high corn prices over recent years, a welcome boost to farmers.
Although the proposal has yet to be approved by the White House, corn prices plunged when the news hit the market, falling to $4.33 per bushel by Friday, the lowest price in over three years.
Sugar Rushes HigherSugar prices rose to a six-month high this week, reaching 18.88 cents per pound on Friday. The move comes on the heels of reports that Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer, could have a shortfall this year due to heavy rains preventing sugarcane harvest. Meanwhile, the US sugar market has been getting a boost recently as the government has stepped in and purchased excess domestic supply.
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Good weather has lead to a bumper U.S. corn crop. So farmers will have a lot of corn but not surprisingly they won't be fetching prices anywhere near what they got in drought-ridden 2012, when the grain was scarce. Corn futures hit three-year lows today.