NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's always lots to celebrate on the Fourth of July -- how lucky we are to be here in the U.S. and a part of the great history of this nation. But this year there's one more thing to celebrate: The prices for just about everything you'll need for your holiday barbeque are cheaper this year than last year.
That goes for everything from hot dog buns to soda, from the cheese you'll put on your hamburger to the mayonnaise you'll add on top. The only item that will cost you a bit more this year is the meat for that all-important burger patty.
That's because most of the major commodities have staged two-year bear markets here in the U.S., particularly the grains like corn and wheat. In the last two years, farmers have experienced weather conditions that bordered on perfection, and crop harvests have blown away predictions. This has led to a huge increase in stockpiles of both corn and wheat dropping the prices of the two most important grains in the U.S.
In this way, the grain markets have mirrored what has only happened relatively recently in the oil markets here in the U.S. as well, as shale players have also increased production faster than anyone thought possible and swelled the stockpiles of oil and helped to crater prices there.
Compared to just two years ago, wheat prices are down more than $2 a bushel from an average 2013 price of over $8 a bushel to just below $6 today. Corn prices have dropped from above $7.20 a bushel in 2013 to trade at just $4.20 today.
Both of these commodities have experienced even lower prices in their recent past, and have only in the last two weeks staged tremendous rallies. Wheat saw a low closer to $5 a bushel less than two weeks ago and corn has rallied more than 60 cents from $3.60 a bushel during that time as well. These rallies have been attributed to some smaller plantings than have been expected combined with wetter weather that has put this year's crop in question.
But even with these rallies, the costs of grains are still far below where they were last year at this time.
One commodity that is slightly more expensive is beef, which has been experiencing a multi-year rally since 2011. Much of that rally, however, hasn't taken place in the last year and even though meat prices are up, they aren't up enough to eradicate the costs savings you're getting virtually everywhere else.
So, enjoy the Fourth! As you are appreciating the joys of being a part of this great nation, you can also appreciate the incredible bounty created by this country's farmers and ranchers -- with a few more dollars in your pocket to boot.