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Oil prices manage to close higher

Oil prices rose about 1 percent on Friday as strike actions in Norway and Iraq hit supplies, but futures were set for a second straight week of decline after Libyan ports reopened and on the view that Iran might still export some crude despite US sanctions.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 88 cents to settle at $75.33 a barrel, a 1.18 percent gain. The global benchmark fell about 2.7 percent for the week. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 68 cents to settle at $71.01 a barrel, but lost about 3.9 percent this week.

Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, closing Shell’s Knarr field, which produces 23,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day. In Iraq, about 100 protesters demanding jobs and better services closed access to Umm Qasr commodities port near the southern city of Basra on Friday, port employees said.

Gold, silver prices slip

Gold and silver prices slid to seven-month lows on Friday as the dollar rose to a two-week peak, buoyed by safe-haven purchases made in an ongoing US-China tariff trade war. Demand for the precious metals also waned on expectations of higher U.S. interest rates.

Spot gold lost 0.5 percent at $1,240.90 per ounce at the New York market close on Friday, after earlier falling to $1,236.58, its lowest since Dec. 12. US gold futures settled down $5.40, or 0.4 percent, at $1,241.20 per ounce.

Gold prices are down about 9 percent since mid-April. Bullion is heading for a 1 percent weekly decline.

Silver fell 0.6 percent at $15.80 an ounce, earlier hitting $15.67 per ounce, its lowest since Dec. 13. The white metal is heading for a 1.2 percent weekly drop.

A rising US currency makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, which potentially weighs on demand.

Higher interest rates make gold more expensive to own since bullion does not earn any interest or dividends, and costs money to store and insure. Speculators recently cut their net long position in COMEX gold to the weakest position since January 2016

Holdings for the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund, New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, have fallen more than 8 percent since late April to below 26 million ounces.

Platinum lost 1.9 percent at $823.50 an ounce, and palladium dropped 1.6 percent at $934.80. Both were headed for a nearly 2 percent weekly decline.

Global milk production expected to increase by 35 pc by 2030

Technology and innovation will be needed to cope with a surge in demand for milk over the next decade, an international research network has said. Currently, around 876 million tonnes of milk is produced worldwide with Oceania, EU and India among the leading producers but by 2030, that figure is expected to rise by 35 percent.

This is the estimate of the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) who last month released its latest Dairy Outlook report. It describes a future where the average cow will have to produce more than 20 percent more milk, while the average dairy farm will have to boost its output by more than 50 percent.

India’s rice exports set to ease

India’s rice exports are set to ease from October as the world’s biggest shipper of the grain boosts guaranteed prices that farmers receive for much of their crop, making new season cargoes expensive compared to supply from rival growers.

Lower exports would mean that India loses market share in key Asian and African markets, traders and industry sources said, with exports from countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar likely to fill any gaps. India on Wednesday raised prices paid to local farmers for common grade paddy rice by 13 percent from a year ago to 1,750 rupees ($25.50) per 100 kg, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi looking to woo millions of rural poor ahead of a general election next year.

US wheat falls for 3rd consecutive day

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures slumped for a third straight day on Wednesday, following both corn and soybean futures, as worries about growing trade tensions between the US and China hung over markets.

CBOT September soft red winter wheat ended the day down 20-1/4 cents at $4.71-3/4 per bushel. K.C. September hard red winter wheat ended down 20-3/4 cents at $4.74 a bushel. MGEX September spring wheat fell 12 cents, closing at $5.25-1/2 a bushel. Trade estimates for wheat exports: 200,000 to 500,000 metric tonnes for the 2018-2019 crop marketing year.

 

Palm oil on European market dips

Palm oil on the European vegetable oils market dropped on Wednesday, tracking a dip in Malaysian palm oil futures on the back of concerns over an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China.

Asking prices for palm oil were between $10 and $17 a tonne lower after Malaysian palm oil futures closed between 49 and 56 ringgit a tonne down. Weaker CBOT soyoil futures also weighed. At 1630 GMT, CBOT soyoil futures were between 0.44 and 0.50 cents per lb lower, tracking sharply lower Chicago soybeans on fears of reduced demand for US supplies from top global soy buyer China. A sharp fall in energy markets pressured soyoil futures as well.

Coffee prices weaken

Coffee and sugar prices settled lower on Wednesday, dragged down by losses elsewhere in commodity markets linked to an escalation in a trade conflict between the United States and China.

September arabica coffee settled down 2.75 cents, or 2.4 percent, at $1.1205 per lb, but remained well above last week’s 4-1/2-year low of $1.0690 per lb. September robusta coffee settled down $33, or 1.9 percent, at $1,672 per tonne.

Platinum reels from speculative sell-off, persistent surplus

A surplus of platinum and demand concerns due to a dispute over global trade have fuelled a sell-off that saw prices of the autocatalyst metal hit their lowest in a decade, below the cost of production for many mines in top producer South Africa.

Used mainly in vehicles’ emissions-reducing catalytic converters and in jewellery, platinum has slumped nearly 18 percent from a one-year high reached in January, also partly due to a stronger dollar. Last week the metal crashed to $793 an ounce, its lowest since December 2008 and its weakest ever relative to gold , which is trading near $1,250 an ounce. Platinum later recovered slightly to around $840.

Chile copper production increases

Chilean copper production increased by 6.1 percent in May from a year earlier to 494,500 tonnes in its best monthly performance so far this year, driven by the country’s largest mines, Chilean copper commission Cochilco said on Tuesday.

Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, added 2.36 million tonnes between January and May, a year-on-year increase of 13.5 percent. State-owned Codelco produced 681,000 tonnes in May, a year-on-year increase of 2.4 percent, while mining company Escondida, controlled by BHP, more than doubled its year-on-year production to 545,600 tons between January and May.

Zinc falls to lowest in more than a year

Zinc prices fell to their lowest in more than a year on Tuesday as expectations of rising supplies and a narrowing deficit sparked a sell-off that accelerated after prices fell below key technical support levels. Benchmark zinc on the London Metal Exchange was down 2.5 percent at $2,636 a tonne at 1049 GMT.

Prices of the metal used to galvanise steel earlier fell to $2,624.50, the lowest since June 21 last year. Shortages saw zinc prices rise 60 and 29 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Losses so far this year total 20 percent. U.S. President Donald Trump has rattled the world trade order this year by seeking to renegotiate the terms of some of the United States’ trading relationships, in particular with China.

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