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The move by the government to increase tea production as well as improve the conditions of the tea gardens is quite timely and, thus, most welcome. Tea industry, apparently a trouble-free production sector, is reportedly showing signs that warrant urgent and steadfast actions to sustain its very existence in the not-too-remote future.

This is not to say that this promising sector has so long been left to its own fate. Some extension activities have taken place, newer technologies have also been introduced to some tea estates. But absence of required investment, lack of gas and shortage of power are considered to be largely responsible for the deterioration of the industry. This is starkly reflected in the fact that Bangladesh imported 7.70 million kgs of tea in 2016, as against 4.13 million kgs in 2011. The country exported 10.56 million kgs in 2007, but exports sharply dropped by 0.47 million kgs in 2016.


Oil slipped on Thursday, pressured by an unexpected increase in US crude inventories, high US production and exports, but stayed near multi-month highs on support from tighter crude markets.

Brent crude was down 35 cents at $58.09 a barrel by 1335 GMT. The global benchmark is not far below its 26-month high of $59.49 hit in late September. US light crude was 10 cents lower at $52.08. Markets have been supported by comments from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister earlier this week reiterating the kingdom’s determination to end a global supply glut that has weighed on prices for more than three years. Crude oil for immediate lifting has moved to a premium over later futures prices, indicating that demand for oil is strong in many of the biggest consuming regions, including Europe.

Oil prices have been rising for weeks and some investors have begun to take profits, brokers say. US crude inventories rose by 856,000 barrels last week, US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed.

Analysts had expected a fall of 2.6 million barrels.US gasoline and heating oil futures contracts rallied after the EIA data showed inventories of gasoline and distillate fuel, which includes heating oil and diesel, both fell by more than 5 million barrels. The fuel inventories dropped despite a rise in refining output.



Raw sugar futures fell on Thursday as speculative selling emerged against a backdrop of a weaker Brazilian currency, while a weaker British pound boosted London cocoa prices.

March raw sugar was down 0.10 cent, or 0.7 percent, at 14.08 cents per lb by 1400 GMT, reversing earlier gains as the Brazilian real resumed its downtrend.Dealers noted speculators had begun selling in light volume as prices came under pressure again from a weaker real. December white sugar fell $3.00, or 0.8 percent, to $371.10 a ton, with dealers noting the recent climb in prices had also spurred hedging by EU producers.


Irish milk production levels are up 8.2 percent in the first nine months of this year, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Between January and September of this year, a total of 6,100.7 million litres of milk were produced on dairy farms across Ireland.This was increase of 8.2 percent – or 462.3 million litres of milk – compared to the same period in the previous year, figures show.Meanwhile, domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 644.8 million litres for September of this year, the CSO added. This was 10.5 percent above the corresponding figure for 2016.When comparing the milk produce figures for September 2017 to the same month last year, the CSO indicated that the total milk sold for human consumption increased by 0.1 percent to 44.4 million litres. The level of butter production also fell by 2.8 percent to 17,900t, it added.



CBOT December corn may drop to $3.47 per bushel, as suggested by a Fibonacci retracement analysis and a head-and-shoulders. The analysis is on the downtrend from the Sept. 6 high of $3.62 to the Oct. 12 low of $3.42-1/2. It reveals a support at $3.49-3/4, which does not seem to hold, after a bounce triggered by this level was totally reversed.

In the meantime, a small head-and-shoulders has been almost confirmed, suggesting a target at $3.43-3/4. Resistance is at $3.52-1/4, only a break above which could signal the continuation of the uptrend from the Oct. 23 low of $3.43, towards $3.54-1/2.


Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Friday and were headed for a third consecutive session of gains, on the back of strength in soyoil markets, solid export data from cargo surveyors and a weaker ringgit.

The benchmark palm oil contract for January delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 0.5 percent at 2,827 ringgit ($666.59) a tone. It has risen more than 3 percent so far in the week, in what could be its sharpest gain in six weeks. Traded volumes stood at 16,700 lots of 25 tons each at the midday break on Friday. The December soybean oil contract on the CBOT rose by 0.3 percent. The January soybean oil contract on the Dalian gained up to 0.3 percent, while the January palm olein contract rose as much as 0.5 percent.

The market is buoyed by continued optimism about exports, while concerns that the La Nina weather pattern could hurt production also supported prices.

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