OIL MARKETS SPRING BACK AS OPEC, RUSSIA SUPPORT
Oil prices held steady on Thursday after falling late in the previous session, supported by ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia.
Brent futures were at $63.66 per barrel at 0246 GMT, up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close, but about $1 off the over two-year high of $64.65 a barrel reached earlier this week.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $56.94 per barrel, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, but also some way off this week’s more than two-year high of $57.69 a barrel.
INDIA Q4 GOLD IMPORTS MAY DECLINE 25PC IN Q4
India’s gold imports in the last quarter of 2017 could drop by a fourth from a year ago due to weak demand during key festivals and as investors seek better returns from riskier assets like equities, industry officials and analysts said.
Lower gold purchases by India, the world’s second-biggest consumer after China, could drag global prices that have already fallen nearly 6 percent from this year’s peak. October imports were lower than last year and even in November and December they are likely to be lower than last year.
India’s imports could fall to around 175 tones in October-December from 234 tons a year ago. In the first nine months of 2017, the country’s gold imports surged 131 percent to 638.4 tons, according to GFMS data, as jewellers advanced buying in the first half of the year ahead of a sales tax hike that took effect from July 1. Gold demand usually strengthens in the final quarter as Indians brace for the wedding season as well as festivals such as Diwali and Dussehra, when buying bullion is considered auspicious.
IVORY COAST COCOA OUTPUT TO FALL 12PC BY YEAR-END
Cocoa output in Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer, is expected to fall by nearly 12 percent by the end of the year for the current growing season due to diseases caused by heavy rains, exporters said.
Some farmers have been upbeat during the current season, which opened on Oct 1, about a healthy mix of rain and sun but flooding in June and July and heavy rains in the following months have spread disease, including brown rot and black pod disease, according to exporters.
SOYBEANS KEEP MOVING UP AS USDA MAY REDUCE YIELD ESTIMATE
Chicago soybean futures rose for a third consecutive session on Wednesday with support from expectations that the United States government will lower its production estimates for the crop which is being harvested. Corn eased for a fourth straight session while wheat lost more ground as both markets were weighed down by plentiful world supplies.
The Chicago Board of Trade most-active soybean contract increased 0.2 percent at $9.97-1/2 a bushel by 1225 GMT, having climbed 0.2 percent on Tuesday.
CORN, SOY BIDS IN US MIDWEST STEADY
Spot corn and soybeans basis bids at processors and elevators on Wednesday in the US Midwest were steady to higher after farmers reduced sales, grain merchants said.
Some producers scaled back corn and soybean sales while wrapping up the fall harvest. Others resisted selling grain before Thursday’s US Department of Agriculture monthly supply and demand report. Firmer basis bids for corn and soybeans at Midwest river elevators reflected good export demand, which supported bids for grain loaded on barges destined for US Gulf Coast terminals.
PALM OIL UP IN EUROPEAN MARKET
Palm oil prices on the European vegetable oils market firmed on Wednesday because of positioning ahead of fresh industry data and due to concerns that wet weather could disrupt Malaysian palm oil output.
On Thursday the USDA will release its November crop and supply/demand reports and MPOB will follow a day later with the palm oil October ending stocks. Asking prices for palm oil were between $5 and $12.50 a tone higher after Malaysian palm oil futures closed mostly between 30 and 36 ringgit per tone up.
NICKEL STAYS LOWER AS SPECULATIVE FLOWS REVERSE
Nickel extended losses on Wednesday as investors judged its recent rally as mainly driven by speculators rather than supply/demand factors.
Other base metals were pressured by weak imports in top metals consumer China. Nickel surged 10 percent last week during the LME Week industry gathering when some investors enthused about prospects for higher demand from the growing electric vehicle (EV) sector. But analysts say demand from EVs will take years to kick in, while in the meantime Indonesia is raising nickel ore exports.
ITALY’S OLT LNG TERMINAL SEEKS DEC CARGO
Italy’s OLT liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal moored off the Tuscan coast is seeking a cargo for delivery between Dec. 1-31. The size of the cargo, to be used for managing peak demand in the first quarter of 2018, will be between 80 to 125 cubic metres of LNG and the tender deadline is Nov. 22, it said.
TECHNICAL BUYING BOOSTS GOLD, SILVER RATES
Gold and silver prices posted good gains Wednesday, with gold scoring a three-week high. The gold market saw a bullish upside “breakout” from a sideways trading range on the daily bar chart, which prompted technically oriented traders to step in on the buy side. Buy stop orders were also triggered in the gold futures market on today’s advance. December gold was last up $9.40 at $1,285.20. December silver was up $0.20 at $17.14. A power shake-up in Saudi Arabia last weekend and an attempted missile strike on Saudi Arabia from Iran-backed terrorists has injected a bit of anxiety into the world marketplace this week, which has prompted some safe-haven demand for gold and silver. The key “outside markets” Wednesday saw Nymex crude oil futures prices lower and trading around $56.50 a barrel, after hitting a two-year high on Tuesday. The rally in oil prices the past few weeks has been a bullish underlying element for the raw commodity sector, including the precious metals. However, it will be very tough for Nymex crude to sustain prices at or above $60.00 a barrel. Meantime, the U.S. dollar index was slightly lower Wednesday on a corrective pullback after hitting a nearly four-month high on Tuesday. The dollar index remains in a near-term price uptrend.
NEAR-TERM COKING COAL RATE DIRECTION UNCLEAR, HINGES ON CHINA: EXECUTIVES, ANALYSTS
Industry participants at the Met Coke World Summit in Chicago expressed mixed views on the outlook for coking coal’s near-term price direction Wednesday, although almost all agreed that much of the outcome would hinge heavily on China. The spot price of Australian premium coking coal was “likely to decline,” but still stay at profitable price levels. This is because China is not expected to see import demand growth compared with 2017. Truman believes China is unlikely to increase its hot metal steel production in 2018 and to hold on to the gains it has made this year. China is the largest coking coal importer in the world. In 2016, China imported 59 million mt of coking coal, and data for the first nine months of 2017 indicate it has already imported 53 million mt so far this year, according to customs authorities. China is also the biggest spot buyer, accounting for 73 percent of spot metallurgical coal purchases for all product categories such as premium, second-tier, PCI and semi-soft coking coals, according to S&P Global Platts data for the first 10 months of 2017.
A MAINTAINABLE MODEL FOR SAFE MILK PRODUCTION
Kottur grama panchayat in Kozhikode district is making it to the list of many firsts in the State. The panchayat was the first in the State to propose a comprehensive project for enhancing milk production through people’s planning. It is also home to the Narayamkulam cluster for safe milk production and protection of animal health, the first such cluster in the State. It was in August this year the panchayat launched its ‘Mission Safe Milk’ program with focus on hygienic cattle farming and milk production. But it was not an easy task for the panchayat and officials of the veterinary hospital. It had earlier noted that poor sanitation in and around cattle sheds was the prime reason for the spread of dengue fever among farmers. Moreover, milk production in the panchayat was adversely hit as several farmers remained bed-ridden. To address the issue, a special composting method was adopted for cow dung, while separate channels were built inside the sheds to prevent urine and dung from getting mixed. The clear urine thus collected in a tank is used as manure. A separation wall was set up for animals to prevent spread of infection. Milking is done at a ‘milking parlour’ outside the cattle shed to avoid contamination of milk. Veterinary-healthcare-safe milk boxes have been kept in the sheds to stock necessary medicines and personal hygiene kits of milkers.
BACKWARDATION IN ZINC MARKET SIGNALS STRONG DEMAND & TIGHTENING SUPPLIES
Zinc is in a bull market. Over the past two years, global supplies of the metal have fallen by 3-4 percent while demand has continued to rise. In recent months, the resulting price increases have been accelerating. One-year spot zinc trading at $1,000 per pound in June 2017 is now near $1,500 per pound. That 50-percent increase has led to a market condition known as backwardation, when spot prices rise above current futures prices. The recent increases in the spot price of zinc will undoubtedly make shuttered operations look more viable.
GLOBAL GROUND AND PRECIPITATED CALCIUM CARBONATE MARKET 2017 – $23.5 BN GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES TO 2022
The “Growth Opportunities in the Global Ground and Precipitated Calcium Carbonate Market” report has been added to Research and Markets’ offering. The global ground and precipitated calcium carbonate market is expected to reach an estimated $23.5 billion by 2022 with a CAGR of 4.6 percent from 2017 to 2022. The future of ground and precipitated calcium carbonate market looks good with opportunities in the packaging, building & construction, transportation, and industrial end use industries. The major growth drivers for this market are increasing per capita paper consumption and growth in plastic demand in the building and construction industries. Emerging trends, which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the ground and precipitated calcium carbonate industry, include growing consumption of nano-precipitated calcium carbonate and the emergence of green product for low carbon footprint. Ground and precipitated calcium carbonate companies profiled in this market include Omya, Imerys, Mineral Technologies, and Nordkalk are among the major suppliers of ground and precipitated calcium carbonate. The report forecasts that GCC will remain the largest segment due to the growth in plastic and coating applications. On the basis of its comprehensive research, Lucintel forecasts that PCC will witness the highest growth during the forecast period and this growth will be supported by increasing penetration in plastic and paint & coating applications due to its high brightness, opacity, and absorption level. Within the GCC and PCC market, the paper segment is expected to remain the largest application market by value and volume consumption. Growth of the packaging and tissue paper market is expected to drive the paper segment over the forecast period. Lucintel predicts that demand for calcium carbonate in the paint and coating market is expected to witness the highest growth in the forecast period due to increasing usage of calcium carbonate as a substitute of titanium dioxide.