While crop weather and the continuing drought storyline continue to influence U.S. crop prospects and corresponding grain market prices, there are some macroeconomic factors in play, and it’s a good idea to stay on top of the risk they represent for market direction. In addition to global crop weather — largely dominated by La Niña right now, in the U.S. and abroad — the energy markets, global currency markets and China are the primary outside market drivers. Grain export demand and currency valuation and domestic industrial growth are all components of why China matters so much to the U.S. grain markets. Currency values — especially in the Brazilian Real and Russian Ruble — also can influence the cost-competitiveness of U.S. grain on the global market. See more macroeconomic analysis from CME Group.