Bahrain takes giant discovery of 80bn barrels of oil
Bahrain announced on Wednesday the size of the oil reserves in the giant discovery that it had made, and figures dwarf the proved reserves that the island kingdom in the Persian Gulf had prior to the latest oil find.
The huge discovery in west Bahrain, named Khalij Al-Bahrain Basin, is estimated to hold more than 80 billion barrels of oil, Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa quoted as saying. The volume of natural gas at the field is estimated to be between 10 trillion and 20 trillion cubic feet.
Oil drops as trump sees more tariffs on China
Oil prices fell about 2 percent on Friday after US President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on China, reigniting fears of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies that could hurt global growth.
Trump said on Thursday he had ordered U.S. trade officials to consider tariffs on an extra $100 billion of imports from China, escalating tensions with Beijing.
China warned on Friday it was fully prepared to respond with a “fierce counter strike” of fresh trade measures if the United States follows through on Trump’s threat.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures settled down $1.22 at $67.11 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell $1.48 to $62.06 a barrel, a 2.3 percent loss.
Brent crude dropped 2.8 percent in the week while US crude fell 4.4 percent, the biggest weekly decline since early February.
OPEC member Libya’s oil output is at around 1.05 million barrels per day despite a continuing outage since February at its 70,000 bpd El Feel oilfield, a Libyan oil source told Reuters on Friday.
US drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to April 6, bringing the total count up to 808, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other large oil producers led by Russia have agreed to curtail their combined output by around 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of 2018 to smooth out bloated oil inventories.
Asian oil traders are stumped by how Saudi Arabia derived its official selling prices (OSP) for May after the world’s top oil exporter unexpectedly raised the price for its flagship Arab Light crude sold to Asian refiners.
Gold backs from 1-week high
Gold prices eased from a one-week high, but still remained up on Wednesday, as the US dollar dipped versus the yen and share markets faltered after China retaliated against a US move to slap tariffs on $50 billion worth of its imports.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,335.66 per ounce by 1:33 p.m. EDT (1733 GMT), while US gold futures for June delivery settled up $2.90, or 0.2 percent, at $1,340.20.
Copper eases as US-China trade row escalates
Copper snapped a four-session winning streak on Wednesday after China slapped tariffs on US goods, amid an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended down 1.1 percent at $6,724 per ton.
The metal used in power and construction recorded its worst one-day performance in over two weeks. The United States on Tuesday imposed 25 percent tariffs on about $50 billion worth of goods, including some metals products.
US soybean, corn and wheat tumble
Chicago soybean futures tumbled 3 percent on Wednesday, headed for the biggest daily loss since August after China proposed tariffs against US soy, corn, beef and other goods to retaliate against the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese exports as a trade war intensified.
US corn futures also fell sharply, then recovered a portion of the heavy losses as trading resumed following a midmorning pause.
Wheat prices ticked narrowly lower, tracking soy and corn. Soybeans for May delivery were off 31-3/4 cents at $10.06-3/4 per bushel at 10:02 a.m. CDT (1502 GMT). Earlier, soybeans had plunged 5 percent to a two-month low of $9.83-1/4.
Malaysian palm oil closes higher
Malaysian palm oil futures edged up on Wednesday evening in its third session of gains in four, as traders forecast end-March stockpiles to be lower when official data comes in next week.
The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 0.7 percent to 2,454 ringgit ($634.44) a ton at Wednesday’s close of trade. Trading volumes stood at 68,240 lots of 25 tons each at the end of the trading day. Palm had earlier fallen more than 2 percent to a 3-week low of 2,383 ringgit in the afternoon session tracking US soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade.
EU sugar companies struggle to survive as prices plunge post-quotas
European Union sugar companies have emerged from the cocoon of production quotas and are now fighting to survive in a fiercely competitive world market with prices and profits plunging.
The EU’s largest sugar producer, Suedzucker, has said it expects to report an operating loss of 100 million to 200 million euros in its sugar segment in 2018/19 while its rivals are also struggling.
Russian gas transit via Ukraine set for major slump
Transit of Russian natural gas via Ukraine will be reduced to just about 10-12 billion cubic meters annually after the completion of two new pipelines—Turkish Stream and Nord Stream 2.
That’s what Gazprom’s chief executive Alexei Miller told, confirming Kiev’s fears that Nord Stream 2 will deprive it of a lot of income in the form of transit fees. The significance of the new figure can easily be seen when compared with the transit quantities for last month: Gazprom sent 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas via Russia’s eastern neighbor in March, a 21.3-percent increase on the year.
China’s Luoyan port bans coal imports temporarily
China has temporarily banned the small port of Luoyan in the eastern province of Fujian from receiving foreign coal cargoes from April 1, according to a government notice reviewed by sources, the latest move by Beijing to curb imports of the fuel. A government official confirmed it was authentic. The General Administration of Customs did not respond to requests for comment.
China sells 16,247 tonnes of cotton
China sells 16,247 tons of cotton at auction of state reserves at average price of 14,155 yuan ($2,252.58) per ton, according to industry website. The sales represent 54.15 percent of the cotton available for auction.