Oil slides towards weekly loss on excess supply worries
Oil prices fell for a sixth day on Friday, and were on track for their biggest weekly losses in 10 months, as record-high US crude output added to concerns about a sharp rise in global supplies.
The drop came amid a rout in global equity markets sparked by inflation fears.
Brent futures LCOc1 were down 64 cents at $64.17 a barrel by 1252 GMT. On Thursday, Brent fell 1.1 percent to its lowest close since Dec. 20. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 90 cents at $60.25 a barrel, having settled down 1 percent in the previous session, its lowest close since Jan. 2.
Both contracts have fallen more than 9 percent from this year’s high point in late January. Brent was heading for a weekly loss of more than 6 percent, its biggest since April, while WTI’s weekly decline of nearly 8 percent is the steepest since March.
US domestic crude production hit a record of 10.25 million barrels per day (bpd) for the most recent week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), while an outage on a key oil pipeline in the North Sea proved short-lived.
OPEC member Iran also announced plans on Thursday to increase production within the next four years by at least 700,000 barrels a day, which Brennock said marked “a hat-trick of heartaches” for oil bulls.
Gold slips but underpinned by weaker dollar outlook
Gold slipped on Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and global shares clawed their way off two-month lows, though the precious metal was underpinned by the view that the dollar’s bear run remains in place despite rate hike expectations.
A stronger dollar makes dollar-priced gold costlier for non-US investors. Gold, seen as a safe haven asset, has failed to capitalise this week from the biggest selloff in six years in global equities, but the precious metal, still driven largely by dollar movement, is not poised to unwind.
Spot gold had dipped 0.1 percent to $1,323.88 per ounce, as of 1445 GMT. Prices fell over 1 percent to hit their lowest since Jan. 11 at $1,319.96 on Tuesday. US gold futures for April delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,326.80 per ounce.
Copper price plunges to 8-week low
Investors sold off copper on Wednesday as the US dollar strengthened and equity and bond market volatility spilled over onto commodity markets.
Comex copper plunged more than 3 percent to a low of $3.085 a pound ($6,800 per ton) in New York, an eight-week low. Volumes were particularly heavy, with more than 185,000 lots worth some $14.3 billion traded by the close. After a 30 percent jump in 2017, copper has now lost 6.5 percent of its value year-to-date. Given its widespread use in construction, transportation and power grid infrastructure copper is considered a good barometer of the world economy. With forecasts for the global economy pointing to 4 percent growth in 2018, demand for the metal should remain robust this year.
Brazil to harvest 112.6m tons of soyabeans
Optimism related to the size of Brazil’s grain crop in the 2017/18 cycle has gathered momentum, with forecasters now indicating production of soybeans nearing the record of 114.1 million tons harvested in the prior season.
According to the average of 11 forecasts compiled, Brazil is expected to harvest 112.6 million tons of soybeans this year, more than the 110.2 million expected in a January survey. On Thursday, the Brazilian and US governments are expected to update their own forecasts for Brazil’s grain production this season.
Chicago wheat up 4-5 cents
Following are US trade expectations for the resumption of the grain and soy complex trading at the Chicago Board of Trade at 8:30 a.m. CST (1430 GMT) on Wednesday. Wheat ups 4 to 5 cents per bushel. Heading higher for a second straight session on technical buying and worries about dry conditions hurting yield prospects in the southern US Plains winter wheat belt. Rallies capped by ample world wheat stocks and sluggish export demand for US supplies.
India’s soymeal exports could fall 38pc
India’s soymeal exports are likely to fall nearly 38 percent from a year ago to 1.25 million tons in 2017/18 due to a drop in soybean production, a trade body said on Wednesday. Lower exports from India will help major growers such as the United States, Argentina and Brazil increase sales of the animal feed to Asian buyers such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and Japan.
Iraq seeking at least 30,000 tons of rice in tender
Iraq’s trade ministry is seeking at least 30,000 tons of rice, of any origin, in an international purchasing tender, a trade ministry source said on Wednesday. The deadline for offers is Feb. 18 and they should remain valid until Feb. 22, the source said.
ICO sees marginal global coffee deficit
The International Coffee Organization on Wednesday raised its forecast for global coffee production in 2017/18 to 158.93 million 60-kg bags, marginally above a previous forecast of 158.78 million.
Arabica production upwardly revised to 98.84 million against 97.32 million. Robusta production seen at 60.09 million, down from 61.46 million previously forecast.
Raw sugar falls as short-covering wanes, London cocoa near 2-month high
Raw sugar futures retreated on Wednesday as speculative short-covering waned and technical signals weakened, while London cocoa hovered near a two-month high. March raw sugar was down 0.09 cent, or 0.7 percent, at 13.75 cents per lb by 1139 GMT, after falling to a session low of 13.62 cents.
Azerbaijan ships 80,000 t of oil via Russia in Jan
Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR shipped 80,000 tons of oil via Russia in January, almost the same amount as in January last year, when it shipped 79,935 tons, the company said on Wednesday.
SOCAR aims to reduce its oil export volumes via Russia to 1.35 million tons in 2018 from 1.5 million tons in 2017.
Tight NZ milk production helps lift global dairy prices
Shrinking New Zealand milk production has seen global dairy prices surge for the third straight rise this year, lifting them to their highest level for four months.
Dairy prices have risen at the overnight Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction, making all of the moves positive for the year so far. The overall index was up 5.9 percent to US$3553, following rises of 2.2 percent and 4.9 percent in January. It is now at its highest point since early October. The price of whole milk powder (WMP) was up 7.6 percent and cheddar 7.2 percent. Butter continued its recent upward momentum, rising 7.9 percent, following on from an 8.8 percent increase last auction.