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OIL SLIPS AFTER TURMOIL SURROUNDING DONALD TRUMP

Oil is getting ensnared in the turmoil surrounding Donald Trump just as signs emerge that US crude production which has undercut OPEC’s output curbs is finally easing.

Oil prices slipped on Thursday as the market remained well supplied with crude despite efforts by OPEC and other big exporters to curb production and support prices.

Brent crude was down 17 cents at $52.04 a barrel. US crude oil was 16 cents lower at $48.91 on Thursday. Both benchmarks rose on Wednesday after news of a drawdown in US crude inventories and a dip in US output. The US Energy Information Administration said inventories fell 1.8 million barrels in the week to May 12 to 520.8 million barrels.

Futures declined as much as 0.6 percent in New York last week, as investors across financial markets fled risky assets while Trump faces the biggest crisis of his presidency over a series of damaging revelations.

A surplus of US supply has led to large volumes of crude being exported from the United States to northern Asia, undermining the OPEC-led efforts to tighten the market. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia pledged to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2016, a deal likely to be extended until the end of March 2018. But other producers have been quick to fill any supply gaps.

Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows that US crude exports to Asia have soared from a handful of tankers a quarter throughout 2015 and 2016 to 10 tankers in the first quarter of 2017 and that figure is expected to rise.

North Sea oil shipments to Asia have also been at record highs this year, with 19 tankers delivering in the first quarter and a similar amount expected to go to Asia in the second.

OPEC ministers meet in Vienna on May 25 to decide production policy for the next six months and are expected to prolong their agreement to limit production, perhaps by up to nine months.

SAVE ATMOSPHERE FROM 2-3BN TONS OF CO2 BY 2030

Five years ago, before the landmark Paris Agreement was signed at COP21, the simple thought of China and India stopping coal use was seen as topic in some circles. These are the most populated states in the world with some of the fastest growing economies, all predicated on burning fossil fuels. Something happened in the meantime, though, since the two nations have drastically cut down on coal. According to a new report, a staggering two billion to three billion tons of CO2 will no longer be released into the atmosphere by 2030 compared to forecasts made only a year ago.

EXEMPTION OF VAT ON EDIBLE OIL PROBABLE

The government is likely to waive VAT on edible oil to prevent the risk of price hike of the essential cooking ingredient by dishonest traders when new laws come into effect from July this year.

The move comes in the face of worries among consumers that implementation of the new VAT law will fuel a hike of living costs because of implementation of a uniform 15 percent VAT instead of the multiple rates applicable now to many goods and services.

At present, a VAT of 15 percent is collected on import of raw and refined soybean, palm and other types of vegetable oils. But this tax is waived on processing or production stage making it difficult for importers to claim rebate.

LNG IS A CRUCIAL PART OF JAPAN’S ENERGY MIX

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a crucial part of Japan’s energy mix, according to the US Energy Information Administration, the country is the largest importer of LNG on the planet.

In Japan, one business is looking to harness the power of natural gas and make it an integral part of home life. The ENE-FARM is described by Tokyo Gas as being a residential-use fuel system which is able to simultaneously produce electricity and hot water using city gas. The system produces electricity by extracting hydrogen from city gas and inducing a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air, with water and heat also produced.

 

EGYPTIAN SUGAR PRODUCTION TO INCREASE BY 7PC

The sugar crisis, which has been casting its shadow for several months over the Egyptian market, has been resolved at last. Now that the government has made sugar available in the Egyptian market, sugar reserves are forecast to rise in the country during the upcoming months of the new fiscal year.

This is expected to result in higher sugar imports and more sugar availability in the market. The Egyptian government is now buying at higher prices, encouraging farmers to increase their production in order to avoid another year of short supply.

The annual report, issued by the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) of the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) for 2017, has forecast that total raw sugar production in Egypt is expected to increase by 7 percent, or 150,000 metric tons (MT), in marketing year (MY) 2017/2018, to eventually reach 2.42 million metric tones (MMT).

GOLD PUSHES LARGER, SILVER CLIMBS

In India, riding on the tailwinds of global cues and domestic buying, gold prices covered up by Rs 160 to Rs 28,760 per 10 grams today. Silver too was back on the top of the Rs 39,000 level as it surged Rs 400 to Rs 39,300 per kg, spurred by higher buying by industrial units and coin makers.

According to sources, a shaky dollar gave the precious metals some traction among investors, which too found support from local jewellers at the domestic market.

Globally, gold rose by 0.51 percent to $1,243 an ounce and silver by 0.03 percent to $16.84 in Singapore. In the national capital, gold of 99.9 percent and 99.5 percent purity recovered by Rs 160 each to Rs 28,760 and Rs 28,610 per 10 grams, respectively.

URANIUM PRICES STEADY

Uranium prices steadied in late 2017 after spot prices collapsed to a 17-year low. The price recovery picked up steam in early 2017, with the catalyst behind uranium’s turn higher Kazakhstan’s production cuts.

Uranium producers have been reducing output since the Fukushima disaster, which dented immediate demand for uranium and put the future of nuclear power in question.

With healthy stockpiles of uranium sitting around the globe, the commodity’s collapse put most production into loss-making territory. Market participants took notice of Kazakhstan’s cuts due to their magnitude. In January 2017, Kazakhstan made a decision to reduce uranium production by 10 percent, equivalent to 3 percent of world production.

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