June crude oil closed up $2.79 at a new contract high of $108.55 with little hope that OPEC can or will do anything to help contain prices.

OPEC's Secretary General continues to say that there is plenty of crude oil available and that high prices are the result of a weak U.S. dollar.

A fire at a refinery in Finland was blamed for today's 9 cent jump in the price of June heating oil.


The USDA said that last week's exports of:

Corn totaled 48.5 million bushels, up 75% from a year ago.

Soybeans totaled 12.3 million bushels, down 47% from a year ago.

Wheat totaled 23.9 million bushels, up 70% from a year ago.

July corn closed down 8 cents at $6.032.

The 6 to 10 day forecast from the National Weather Service is expecting below average precipitation for the western two thirds of the U.S., including winter and spring wheat crop areas. July wheat fell 57 cents to $9.345 anyway.

Late this afternoon, the USDA will release this year's first national crop ratings for wheat.


Reuters news reported that the cocoa crop in the Ivory Coast received beneficial doses of rain and sunshine last week and predicted that this year's mid crop will be up 28% to 321,000 tons. July cocoa closed up $52 at $2,351.


Since the St. Patrick's week massacre in commodity prices, July sugar has been steady and closed up .57 at 12.63 today, the highest close in three weeks, helped by rising energy prices.


June gold closed up $13.60 at $926.80, the highest close in a week, still drawing support from Friday's weak U.S. employment figures.

U.S. Economy

There is talk that private investors are about to invest $5 billion in Washington Mutual, the largest savings and loan in the U.S. The June S P 500 is steady with some support from talk that the financial industry may be slowly emerging from its problems. The March eurodollars were down .105 to 97.505.


Canadian municipalities issued C$5.8 billion of building permits in February, down 1.0% from January's pace. The June Canadian dollar ended down .40 at 98.63.

Japan's Cabinet Office said that its index of leading indicators increased from 36.4% to 50% in February, the best in seven months. The June yen closed down .0068 at .9799.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that it expects real GDP in Japan to increase 1.6% in 2008 and 1.8% in 2009.