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CRUDE DIPS, GASOLINE SPIKES AS FLOODS KNOCK OUT QUARTER OF US REFINERIES

Oil prices dipped on Wednesday but gasoline spiked to its highest since mid-2015 as flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey knocked out almost a quarter of US refineries, crimping demand for crude but raising fears of fuel shortages. Harvey, which has been downgraded to a storm, has caused massive floods across coastal Texas, including in Houston. It is now moving into Louisiana, where more floods are expected.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.35 per barrel at 0644 GMT, down 9 cents from their last close. Brent crude futures were down 6 cents, at $51.94 a barrel. In the refined product market, price movements have been more dramatic.

INDIA’S SUGAR OUTPUT MAY GO UP BY 24PC

The sugar production in India is estimated to rise 24 percent to 25.1 million tons in the next marketing year starting October on higher sugarcane area. Sugar production in India, the world’s second largest producer after Brazil, is estimated at 20.2 mt in the ongoing 2016-17 marketing year (October-September).

The production is expected to rise in 2017-18 on the back of higher cane area because of good monsoon. Sugar production is estimated at 25.1 mt in 2017-18 against 20.2 mt in the current year. The government had allowed duty free import of 5 lakh tons of sugar in April-May this year to boost domestic supply.

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AUSTRALIAN MILK PRODUCTION BOUNCES BACK

Australian milk production has bounced back, according to the latest figures from Dairy Australia. Production was up 2.7 percent Australia wide in July compared with the same time last year. The increase was led by Victoria, up 4.8 percent, and NSW up 3.0 percent. But milk production in South Australia took a big hit in July, down 14 percent on last July.

Northern Victoria showed the biggest increase with production up 8.6 percent on July 2016, while Gippsland and Western Victoria production lifted 3.5 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.

SILVER, GOLD LACKLUSTER

Silver and gold were trading on a flat note in morning deals on Wednesday on account of lackluster demand in precious metals from jewellers and industries. MCX Gold futures was up 0.02 percent at 30,229 per 10 gram around 10.25 am (IST), while MCX Silver futures was up 0.08 percent at Rs 41,455 per 1 kg at around the same time.

US CORN EASES

US corn eased on Wednesday as expectations that the market will soon be flooded with ample North American production pushed prices towards an eight-month low.

The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.1 percent to $3.48-1/2 a bushel by 0304 GMT, having closed down 0.9 percent in the previous session when prices hit $3.47 a bushel – the lowest since Dec. 27, 2016. it is said corn was under pressure from the approaching US harvest that is expected to supply the market with plentiful supplies, despite dry weather earlier in the season.

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MALAYSIAN PALM OIL SLIPS

Malaysian palm oil futures fell slightly on Monday, weighed down by expectations that production in August would rise slightly, and a stronger ringgit. The ringgit was up 0.2 percent around noon at 4.2650 per dollar, after earlier hitting its strongest level in more than two months. Gains in the ringgit, the currency of trade for palm oil, typically pressure palm prices by making it more expensive for buyers holding foreign currencies.

The benchmark palm oil contract for November delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.2 percent at 2,744 ringgit ($643.38) at noon. Earlier in the session, it went as high as 2,766 ringgit.

SOYMEAL BASIS OFFERS STEADY

Soymeal spot basis offers were steady to up $2 per ton on Friday, supported by an uptick in demand after futures fell to the lowest levels in more than a year earlier this week. Basis offers also were underpinned by seasonal maintenance downtime at a processors that limited available supplies.

A soy crush plant in Claypool, Indiana, was scheduled to come back online later on Friday after being idled since Saturday. Chicago Board of Trade September soymeal futures were down 90 cents to $296.80 per ton by late-morning, holding above Wednesday’s 16-month low of $292.00. Some domestic and foreign buyers took advantage of the downturn to book sales.

GLOBAL BLACK TEA PRODUCTION DOWN

Global black tea production so far this calendar has fallen by 2.48 percent over the same period of 2016. Black tea production around the world so far this year has fallen to 909.30 million kg (mkg) from 932.41 mkg. This fall of 23.11 mkg marked a decline of 2.48 percent. The major fall has happened in Kenya due to adverse weather conditions. Here, the production has fallen to 232.47 mkg from 280.09 mkg. This fall of 47.62 mkg marked a decline of as much as 17 percent. Bangladesh is the other country production has fallen – by 4.12 mkg to dip to 19.62 mkg. All other countries have posted an increase in production. India topped at 443.15 mkg – up by as much as 19.11 mkg. Sri Lankan production rose by 7.25 mkg to reach 181.09 mkg.

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