The Park Service, of course, is precluded legally from accepting private offers to conduct its day-to-day operations. But gridlock in Washington apparently won’t stop the Army, Navy or the Air Force from playing their football games Saturday.
On Tuesday, the Department of Defense suspended all intercollegiate athletic events at its service academies because of the shutdown. One day later, however, the DOD approved its service academies playing football on Saturday. According to officials, all costs associated with the Air Force at Navy game and the Army at Boston College contest will be covered by non-appropriated funds.
While shutdown casualties garner the most attention, there were other developments this week with ramifications for commodity markets. The Agriculture Department is currently closed for business, but prior to the shutdown USDA bean counters released their latest quarterly stocks report.
Since current stockpiles reflect the 2012 harvest, it’s no surprise quarterly grain stocks were actually HIGHER at this time LAST year. According to USDA, stockpiles of all major grains were nearly 20 percent LOWER than in September of 2012.
Old crop corn stocks are pegged at 824 million bushels, down 17 percent from last year. And almost one-third of the coarse grain is being held in on-farm storage. Private estimates put the figure 20 percent lower than USDA figures. Disappearance for the third quarter was nearly 2 billion bushels, down 10 percent from last season.
Old crop soybean stocks fell to 141 million bushels, down 17 percent from last year. Nearly 30 percent of the oilseeds are stored on farms across the country. Private estimates had guessed the official figure would be 14 percent lower. Soybean use between June and August totaled 294 million bushels, down 41 percent from the same period a year ago.
Wheat stocks are estimated at 1.85 billion bushels which is 12 percent lower than 2012. Nearly 30 percent of the small grain is believed to be in on-farm storage. Private calculations were slightly more bearish with the average prediction 3 percent above the official number. Usage is up 10 percent from last year at 991 million bushels.
While the news was potentially bullish, the market appeared to be unimpressed. December corn fell 5 cents, November soybeans were off nearly a quarter and the nearby wheat contract lost 16 cents.