World oil prices stay lower
Oil prices fell on Friday, but Brent crude was on track for a sixth straight week of gains, boosted by plummeting Venezuelan production, strong global demand and looming U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Brent futures LCOc1 for July delivery fell 26 cents, 0.3 percent, to $79.04 a barrel, by 1:08 p.m. EDT (1708 GMT). The global benchmark on Thursday broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014, and investors anticipate more gains due to supply concerns, at least in the short-term. Brent has gained about 20 percent since the start of the year.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 for June delivery dropped 21 cents to $71.28 a barrel, a 0.3 percent loss. The contract was on track for a third straight week of gains.
OPEC leading producer Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it would make sure the world is adequately supplied with oil just as major consumer India expressed frustration with rising prices.
Traders were looking ahead to Venezuela’s election on Sunday, which could then trigger additional U.S. sanctions if President Nicolas Maduro is re-elected for a six-year term, though the opposition party has largely boycotted and two of his most popular opponents have been banned from running.
Soybean fall, wheat firms
US soybean futures fell 1.9 percent on Wednesday, dropping below $10 a bushel for the first time since April 4, on renewed fears about a trade dispute chilling demand from China, the world’s top buyer of the oilseed. Wheat futures ticked higher on short-covering, recovering from a three-week low hit on Tuesday, while corn edged lower. Chicago Board of Trade July soybean futures settled down 19 cents at $9.99-3/4 a bushel.
Traders were assessing the prospects for a resolution to a trade standoff between Washington and Beijing. CBOT July soft red winter wheat settled up 3/4 cent higher at $4.94-1/4 a bushel. A stretch of six negative sessions in seven days that slashed 8.7 percent of the value from the July soft red winter wheat contract attracted some bargain buyers.
Copper bouyed by upbeat Chinese data
Copper ended marginally higher on Wednesday after two losing sessions, with the uplift from encouraging Chinese home sales data capped by a stronger dollar. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange finished 0.2 percent up at $6,826 a tonne after falling by more than 1 percent on Tuesday.
Copper, used in power and construction, is down 1.8 percent this week. For the most part, the likes of copper are bouncing from the sell-off yesterday, but (it’s) very sideways trading.
Malaysia keeps June crude palm oil export tax at 5pc
Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm oil producer, kept its crude palm oil export tax at 5 percent in June, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board on Wednesday, citing the national customs department.
The Southeast Asian nation calculated a palm oil reference price of 2,421.19 ringgit ($611.41) per tonne for June. Any price above 2,250 ringgit incurs a tax. Malaysia resumed export taxes on crude palm oil in May at a 5 percent rate, after suspending it for four months at the start of the year to increase demand and boost prices. Palm oil’s benchmark prices were last trading down 0.7 percent at 2,718 ringgit on Wednesday.
Japan to import 17,460 tonnes feed wheat
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture said it would import 17,460 tonnes of feed-quality wheat for livestock use via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that closed late on Wednesday.
The ministry had sought 120,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 200,000 tonnes of feed barley to be loaded by Aug. 31 and arrive in Japan by Oct. 31 in the tender that is usually conducted weekly. It is seeking the same amounts for each grain to be loaded and shipped during the same period in a similar tender that will be held on May 23.
China sells 18,200 tonnes of cotton
China sells 18,200 tonnes of cotton at auction of state reserves at average price of 14,450 yuan ($2,280.76) per tonne, according to industry website cncotton.com. Sale represents 60.74 percent of total cotton available at the auction.
Aluminium on track for weekly loss on price correction
Aluminium fell to its lowest in week on Friday and was poised to end the week lower as the market corrected following a recent price surge over US sanctions on a major shareholder the world’s largest producer.
Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 2.8 percent to $2,269 per tonne by 1130 GMT, its lowest since May 3. The price in the light metal rallied to a nine-year high last month. Washington last month announced sanctions on Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and several companies in which he is a large shareholder, including Rusal.
Raw sugar prices ease
Raw sugar futures on ICE were slightly lower on Friday with concerns about oversupply keeping the market on the defensive, while arabica coffee prices also eased. July raw sugar was down 0.06 cents, or 0.5 percent, at 11.21 cents per lb by 1148 GMT.
Dealers said the strong early start to the harvest in Brazil had added to concerns about oversupply. Brazil’s centre-south, the world’s largest sugar producing region, crushed almost 50 percent more cane in April, the first month of the 2018/19 local crop season, than it did a year earlier, as dry weather accelerated field work.
Vietnamese rice prices soar
Export prices for rice surged to a near four-year high in Vietnam this week due to strong demand, while slow buying interest put pressure on prices of Indian rice.
The threat of floods also raised the prospect of Bangladesh stepping up purchases. Vietnam’s 5 percent broken rice prices rose to $455-$460 a tonne, their highest since August 2014, versus $445-$450 last week. Prices continue to rise on stronger demand and tight supplies.
The Philippines is expected to purchase another 250,000 tonnes in an open tender on May 22, after accepting 250,000-tonne offers from Vietnam and Thailand last week.
Asia coal industry sees strong demand
Asia’s coal miners, shippers and traders are seeing strong demand and rising prices for their fuel, and they expect this happy situation to persist for several years to come.
It was a challenge to find anybody pessimistic about the outlook for coal in Asia, the world’s largest producing and consuming region, at this week’s annual gathering of the industry on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. This was in stark contrast to the Coaltrans Asia conferences in prior years, where the moods were gloomy as the industry battled to survive five years of declining prices from 2011 to 2015 and policies aimed at cutting the use of the polluting fuel in the two biggest importers, China and India.