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'Soft Commodities' Traders Look Beyond The Cornfields


Corn may get all the press, but "the other ethanol" -- sugar -- is just one of the alternatives recommended by Jim Bower and Jeanette Young. The two traders joined "Power Lunch" to tout the "soft commodities" they favor.

Raising Grain

Young, an independent orange trader at the New York Board of Trade, "particularly" likes coffee. She told CNBC's Sue Herera that she is "thinking about" the approaching South American winter; as long as coffee doesn't drop below $108.30, she'll be bullish.

Calling sugar "the other ethanol," she said the "waterfall on the downside has abated." But she is still waiting for a solid bottom to buy. Orange juice looks sweeter: she said the "very resilient" commodity could go up to $2 "without trouble."

Bower, the president of Bower Trading, said the news that corn plantings would be the biggest since World War II led to a "rock concert atmosphere." But the party may have been premature: He said "the last several days" contained hints that corn acreage might be unpredictable, with the north-central Plains States and Midwest suddenly hit with a brutal cold spell.

Instead, Bower likes soybeans and soy meal: 8.38 million fewer acres planted than last year -- a known quantity -- "could force the carryout to a very, very low number." He says that hedge funds are watching soybeans, too.