If it had not been for Wheat, human beings may never have socially and culturally developed as cosmopolitan as we have. Wheat was the first crop to be cultivated on a grand scale and stored long-term, enabling the start of city-based societies and the dawning of civilization.
Soybean Oil is the natural oil extracted from whole Soybeans. Typically, about 19% of a Soybean’s weight can be extracted as crude Soybean Oil. The oil content of U.S. Soybeans correlates directly with the temperatures and amount of sunshine during the Soybean pod-filling stages.
U.S. interest rates can be characterized in two main ways, by credit quality and by maturity. Credit quality refers to the level of risk associated with a particular borrower. U.S. Treasury securities, for example, carry the lowest risk. Maturity refers to the time at which the security matures and must be repaid.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. It is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases formed primarily of methane, but it can also include ethane, propane, butane, and pentane. Natural gas is combustible, clean burning, and gives off a great deal of energy.
Gold has been coveted for centuries for its unique blend of rarity, beauty, and near indestructibility. The Egyptians mined gold before 2,000 BC. The first known, pure gold coin was made on the orders of King Croesus of Lydia in the sixth century BC.
Evidence of man’s use of animal milk as food was discovered in a temple in the Euphrates Valley near Babylon, dating back to 3,000 BC. Humans drink the milk produced from a variety of domesticated mammals, including cows, goats, sheep, camels, reindeer, buffaloes, and llama. Today, the largest milk and dairy producers in the world are India, the U.S., Germany, and Pakistan.
A stock index simply represents a basket of underlying stocks. Indices can be either price-weighted or capitalization-weighted. In a price-weighted index, such as the Dow Jones Industrials Average, the individual stock prices are simply added up and then divided by a divisor, meaning that stocks with higher prices have a higher weighting in the index value.
Soybean Meal is produced through processing and separating Soybeans into oil and meal components. By weight, Soybean Meal accounts for about 35% of the weight of raw Soybeans (at 13% moisture). If the Soybeans are of particularly good quality, then the processor can get more meal weight by including more hulls in the meal while still meeting the 48% protein minimum.
Cocoa is the common name for a powder derived from the fruit seeds of the cacao tree. The Spanish called cocoa “the food of the gods” when they found it in South America 500 years ago. Today, it remains a valued commodity.
The two key factors affecting a currency’s value are central bank monetary policy and the trade balance.