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Alex Breitinger column: New year brings new markets

6:30 PM, Dec. 27, 2013
After a record crop this year, corn prices collapsed from $7.46 last January to only $4.26 on Friday.
After a record crop this year, corn prices collapsed from $7.46 last January to only $4.26 on Friday.
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As we prepare to switch the calendar, many futures market participants are already looking ahead, trying to predict the values of commodities for the upcoming year.

As farmers plan out the crops they'll plant and the size of livestock herds they'll keep, they frequently use the futures markets to help them lock in prices for grain and animals to help ensure profits. Likewise, mining companies and energy producers use projections to help make decisions on new projects.

Meanwhile, end users of commodities are hoping to lock in prices for the goods they buy so that they can profitably convert ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports