Friday, October 03, 2008

Agribusiness stocks, grain prices fall on credit fears

"Stocks of agricultural companies took a dive along with grain prices Thursday amid worries that the credit crisis would slow global demand for farm goods and pinch farmers who have been voracious buyers of farm supplies," Lauren Etter reports in The Wall Street Journal. Near-term corn futures fell to $4.54 a bushel, fertilizer maker Mosaic fell 41 percent, and "Other agriculture companies also suffered as commodity prices continued to decline."

"Earlier this year, agriculture commodities were seen as a safe haven for investors who wanted shelter from a downward-trending stock market," Etter writes. "Now it appears that the agriculture sector is being dragged down along with the rest of the economy. . . . Also, as grain prices continue to fall, farmers are growing increasingly worried that they'll be squeezed between lower grain prices and the rising cost of farming. The deepening financial crisis is also stoking fears that credit could be harder to come by when farmers need it most." (Read more)

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