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GOLD, SILVER RECORD LOWER

Gold and silver prices on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) were trading lower in early trade on Thursday on account of weak demand of precious metals from jewellers, retailers and industries. The yellow metal was trading 0.17 per cent, or Rs 50, down at Rs 29255 per 10 kg around 10.25 am (IST), while the white metal was down 0.17 per cent, or Rs 73, at 41825 per 1 kg. According to SMC Investment and Advisors, bullion counter may witness volatile movement on mixed fundamentals on Thursday. However, Gold (June) can move in range of Rs 29,200-29,450 while silver (May) can move in range of Rs 41,500-42,300 in near term.

WET APRIL IMPACTS MILK PRODUCTION IN STRATFORD

Mid autumn milk production on the Stratford Demonstration farm is well ahead of last year’s facial eczema-affected results, but is relatively mediocre and frustrating for the good levels of grass available, with the cows not liking the wet conditions. March rainfall was a little over average and temperatures were quite warm but sunshine hours were near 20 percent less than average with a lot of cloudy and foggy weather, especially over the second half of the month. It has been very wet for April so far. Pasture growth has been very good at over 50 kg DM/ha/day which is around 25 per cent above average allowing for nitrogen responses so pasture covers are good at around 2400 kg DM/ha on DairyNZ levels.

MALAYSIAN PALM HITS 8-MONTH LOW

Malaysian palm oil futures hit an 8-month low on Wednesday, in line for a sixth consecutive session of declines, as it tracked weaker soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade and other related edible oils.

Expectations of rising production are also weighing on the market. The benchmark palm oil contract for July delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange lost 0.4 percent, reaching 2,464 ringgit ($559.49) a tone at the midday break. It earlier hit an intraday low of 2,452 ringgit, its weakest since Aug. 11. Traded volumes stood at 21,764 lots of 25 tones each at noon.

GAS MOVES TO THE NAUGHTY LIST

Power plants around the world are stepping up their use of gas as a fuel because it burns cleaner than coal—and in the U.S., at least, it’s cheaper.

Gas now supplies about a third of the country’s power, up from just 17 percent a decade ago. But U.S. environmentalists have vowed to go after gas-fired power plants with the same vengeance they’ve used to force the retirements of hundreds of coal facilities. Even coal miners are warning their fossil fuel kin to beware. Coal lost its place as America’s No.1 power plant fuel last year, dethroned by gas. More than a thousand coal mines have closed since 2009, putting about 36,000 people out of work.

OIL FUTURES TO CRACK $50 PER BARREL

US oil futures threaten to crack $50 per barrel, with just weeks to go before OPEC and other producers have to sign off on a new deal to hold down production.

The rapid decline in prices Wednesday was partly a technical response to the May futures contract’s expiration, as well as a negative response to an unexpected increase in US gasoline supplies. That futures contract expires at the close Thursday, and it lost 3.8 percent to $50.44 per barrel Wednesday.

The June contract fell to about the same level. Meanwhile, OPEC, Russia and other producers agreed in December to a six-month deal to cut 1.8 million barrels from the world market, helping boost oil prices to the mid-$50s.

 

SUGAR OUTPUT IN MAHARASHTRA SEEN JUMPING

Sugar output in Maharashtra will likely jump nearly 70 per cent in 2017/18 to 7 million tones as ample rainfall drives farmers to plant more cane. That jump would help push the country’s overall sugar production back near consumption levels after a drop expected in the current crop year, ending Sept. 30, in the wake of a strong El Nino weather pattern that prompted severe drought.

Increased output in the world’s top consumer of sugar, used to prepare everything from sticky desserts to sweets bought as treats during festivals, could sap demand for imports, dragging on international prices that are already trading near their lowest in 10-months.

SPOT PRICE OF IRON ORE REBOUNDS

The spot price of iron ore snapped two days of sharp losses, though there’s no sign yet that a new floor has been found.

Benchmark spot ore with 62 percent content in Qingdao rebounded 2.2 percent to $US64.20 a tone, at its latest setting. The price had dropped 4.6 percent on Tuesday after a 3.5 percent slide on Monday.

The spot price has tumbled more than 30 percent since its February 21 peak amid a mix of concerns about the outlook for steel demand in China. Steel mills in China aggressively ramped output early in the first quarter of 2017 to chase widening profit margins, driving the price of iron ore higher too. Since then the government has moved, along with the central bank, to rein in property development.

SMALL PACKS OF EDIBLE OIL IN INDIA

The food regulator wants edible oil manufacturers to bring out their products in smaller packs which daily wagers and rural buyers can afford.

Ashish Bahuguna, chairman of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), told that the regulator mandates that edible oils be sold in packaged form, but in rural areas these oils are being sold in smaller quantities from opened packs. For people earning their wages on a daily basis, it is difficult to afford oil packages of larger quantities.

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