World oil prices dip on soaring us production
Oil prices dipped on Thursday as soaring US output, fast approaching 10 million barrels per day (bpd), outweighed a drop in American crude inventories. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.02 a barrel at 0540 GMT, down 7 cents from their last settlement. Brent crude futures, international benchmark for oil prices, were at $64.45 a barrel, down 11 cents.
Both crude benchmarks gained around 1 percent during their previous sessions, lifted by official data showing a 6.5 million-barrel fall in US crude inventories in the week to Dec. 15 to 436 million barrels, the lowest level since October 2015. Outweighing this on Thursday was another increase in American crude oil production, while a rise in gasoline stocks pointed to a slowdown in demand. The energy minister of Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter and OPEC’s de-facto leader, said it would take more time to rein in a global supply overhang, which was created by strong global production increases in the years up to 2015.
Wheat at two-week high as cold weather threatens US crop
Chicago wheat edged higher on Thursday to its highest in two weeks as concerns above-normal temperatures across the US grain belt underpinned the market. Soybeans rose as the market took a breather after dropping for the last four sessions to their weakest since early October.
The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract was up 0.2 percent at $4.24-1/2 a bushel by 0331 GMT, after climbing to its highest since Dec. 7 at $4.25 a bushel. Temperatures in hard wheat-growing areas in the United States are expected to be below normal next week. Soybeans rose 0.1 percent to $9.54-3/4 per bushel. The market is trading not far from Wednesday’s 2-1/2-month low of $9.52-3/4 as rains in Brazil and Argentina are expected to improve crop condition. Corn gained 0.1 percent to $3.49-1/2 a bushel.
Palm oil falls on lingering stockpile concerns, weak rival oils
Malaysian palm oil futures tumbled in early trade on Thursday, as worries over soft demand leading to high stockpiles in December lingered while weakness in rival oils compounded the bleak picture.
The benchmark palm oil contract for March delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange dropped 1.32 percent to 2,466 ringgit ($605.00) a tone at the midday break, and looked set for a third straight session of falls. Trading volumes stood at 16,130 lots of 25 tonnes each. Malaysian palm oil shipments fell 2 percent on Dec. 1-20 compared with the same period last month. Inventory levels in Malaysia rose to their highest in nearly two years, by 16 percent to 2.56 million tones, while exports for November fell 11.9 percent on-month.
Copper hits two-month high
Copper hit a two-month high on Wednesday as the dollar fell and investors remained upbeat about global growth prospects as a US tax overhaul neared completion and China’s economy remained on a firm footing. A weak dollar makes dollar-priced metals cheaper for non-US investors. Overall it seems investor confidence has come back. When we crossed $6,700 again last week it triggered buying. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up 1.5 percent at $7,0454 a tone, crossing the psychologically important $7,000 mark and hitting its highest since mid-October at $7,070.50
New York state monthly milk production decreases
Despite more cows being milked, production on New York’s dairy farms dropped slightly in November, according to the monthly report from the New York Agricultural Statistics Service. The agency said Wednesday that November milk production totaled 1.191 million pounds in the Empire State, a decrease of 0.3 percent. There were 5,000 more cattle in production, at 625,000, but the milk output per cow dropped from 20 pounds to 1,905 pounds. In addition to the November production report, price data was released for October. The average milk price received by New York dairy farms was $18.20 per hundredweight, an 80-cent increase over the previous year but down 20 cents from September.
Gold, silver prices hit 2-week highs
Gold and silver prices are trading moderately higher and have scored two-week highs in early US trading Wednesday.
Technically related buying is featured this week, amid a lack of major, markets-moving fundamental news. February Comex gold was last up $4.30 an ounce at $1,268.60. March Comex silver was last up $0.102 at $16.255 an ounce.
Colombian coffee output seen falling 20pc
Wet weather will cut coffee output in Colombia, the world’s biggest producer of mild arabica beans, by 20 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period this year, the head of the growers federation said on Wednesday.
Output is already expected to drop by a third in the fourth quarter of this year, also due to heavy rains. The cloud cover that comes with bad weather can also damage the flowering of coffee trees. The country produced 6.37 million 60-kg bags in the first half of 2017. Output for this year will be below a previously predicted 14 million bags. It would not surprise me if we finished this year with production of between 13.8 and 13.9 million bags.
China tightens import specifications on US soybeans
China, the top soybean importer, will reduce the amount of foreign material allowed in shipments of US soybeans as of January 1, the US Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday.
Up to 1 percent of foreign material will be allowed in US soy shipments, down from 1 to 2 percent previously, according to Will Wepsala, a spokesman at USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.