Commodities & Metals

Tensions in Ukraine Raise Commodity Prices

Paul Ausick

Oil and gold were not the only commodities to trade at higher prices Monday. Agricultural commodities, too, are getting even bigger boosts from the troubles in Ukraine.

During the Soviet era, Ukraine was often referred to as the Soviet Union’s breadbasket for the vast amounts of wheat and grain the area produced. That production did not end with the demise of the Soviet Union. In eastern Ukraine, the area that identifies most closely with Russia, more than 35% of arable land was sown in winter wheat in 2010, and the country was on track to be the world’s sixth-largest exporter of wheat and the third-largest exporter of corn in the 2013-2014 crop year.

Any threat to those shipments will cause the price to rise, and that is exactly what happened Monday. On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn was up 1.35% at nearly $4.70 a bushel, and wheat was up more than 4% at about $6.27 a bushel.

The PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF (NYSEMKT: DBA) was up 2% in afternoon trading Monday, at $27.92 after hitting a new 52-week high of $52.94. The low is $24.04.

The Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEMKT: CORN) was up around 0.3%, at $32.57 in a 52-week range of $29.50 to $44.22.

The Teucrium Wheat Fund (NYSEMKT: WEAT) was up more than 3.5%, at $15.01 in a 52-week range of $13.31 to $19.71.