Re: Dollar stuff
You hit the nail on the head!
The devalued Dollar has been the principal driver for grain prices in the international markets since 2002. The devaluation of the Dollar was an intentional act to solve a couple of problems.
First, it makes U.S. goods and services much more competitive in the international markets. Not only has it strengthened the price for agricultural commodities, but it has also increased the demand worldwide for U. S. built farm equipment while making products manufactured in other countries much more expensice here in the U.S. A devalued Dollar had the effect of making U.S. produced commodities much cheaper and international buyers were willing to pay more Dollars per bushel especially when it required the same amount of local currency to make the trade. You have heard about the dreaded "speculator" that ran up the commodity prices and now he has a face.
Second, our national debt began to grow around the turn of the century and one way to reduce it was to devalue the Dollar. Investors must repay those bonds with U.S. Dollars and now it requires many more local yen, euros and rubels to satisfy that debt.
A strengthening Dollar is a negative sign for future commodity prices.