Global benchmark Brent crude dips
Global benchmark Brent crude dipped on Thursday as concerns about mounting supply returned after a brief rally earlier in the session on comments that Saudi Arabia’s exports would fall in August.
Crude prices fell from session highs reached after Saudi Arabia’s OPEC Governor Adeeb Al-Aama statement that the kingdom expects crude exports to drop by roughly 100,000 bpd in August as it limits excess production.
Brent oil fell 32 cents, to settle at $72.58 per barrel, previously reaching a session high of $73.79. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was 70 cents higher, or 1 percent, settling at $69.46. US crude prices had reached a session high of $70.17 earlier in the session before paring gains.
Brent has fallen about 8 percent from last week’s high above $79 on emerging evidence of higher production from Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as Russia and the United States.
EU to curb steel imports in response to Trump tariffs
The European Union will launch measures on Thursday designed to prevent a surge of steel imports into the bloc following the U.S. imposition of tariffs on incoming steel and aluminium. The European Commission has proposed a combination of a quota and a tariff to counter EU concerns that steel products no longer imported into the United States would instead flood European markets.
The measures announced on Wednesday are the third part of the EU’s response to US tariffs. It has also imposed tariffs on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of US imports, including bourbon and motor bikes, and has launched a legal challenge at the World Trade Organization. The quotas for 23 steel product categories have been set at the average of imports over the past three years, with a 25 percent tariff set for volumes exceeding those amounts. The quotas are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Malaysian palm oil jumps over 2pc
Malaysian palm oil futures jumped more than 2 percent to a one-week high on Wednesday evening, as the ringgit weakened and related edible oils recovered.
The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1.8 percent at 2,211 ringgit ($544.98) a tonne at the close, after rising to its highest since July 11 at 2,218 ringgit. Trading volume stood at 63,352 lots of 25 tonnes each at the end of the trading day. The ringgit, palm’s currency of trade, fell 0.3 percent to 4.0570 per dollar, its weakest since late December, making the edible oil cheaper for foreign buyers. The rebound in related oils such as US soyoil also helped palm gain, said another trader. Palm oil prices are usually affected by the performance of other edible oils as they compete for a share in the global vegetable oils market. The Chicago December soybean oil contract was up 0.8 percent, while the September soybean oil contract on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, the Dalian September palm oil contract was up 0.2 percent. Palm oil is expected to retest support at 2,148 ringgit per tonne, according to Wang Tao.
CBOT wheat ends down
Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures reached their highest prices in more than a week on Wednesday on concerns about poor crop weather reducing global harvests, before ending lower. Chicago Board of Trade September soft red winter wheat lost 3-1/4 cents at $4.94-1/2 per bushel. The most active contract traded up to $5.05, its highest since July 10, before paring gains. K.C. September hard red winter wheat dipped 3 cents to $4.87-3/4 a bushel.
Bangladesh tea prices rise for ninth week
Tea prices in Bangladesh rose at the weekly auction for the ninth time in a row on strong demand for quality leaf and tight supplies. Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of 261.46 taka ($2.7) per kg at the new auction centre in Srimangal on Monday, compared with 257.73 taka at the previous sale in the port city of Chittagong.
There was robust demand from buyers in the new auction centre in the country’s northeastern region where most of the tea gardens are located, an official at National Brokers said. About 2.3 percent of the 1.79 million kg offered in the auction was left unsold. At the previous auction, around 1.95 million kg was offered, of which 1.8 percent went unsold. Bangladesh’s tea production dropped to nearly 79 million kg in 2017 from a record 85 million kg the previous year, which officials attributed to excessive rainfall.
India’s coal demand up 7.5pc to 900m tonnes in 2017-18
India’s coal demand rose 7.5 percent to about 900 million tonnes in the year ending March 2018, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal told lawmakers on Wednesday.
Coal is expected to remain India’s main energy source for the next three decades, even as the country encourages the use of renewable power generation. India, the third world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter and one of the world’s largest coal producers, depends on coal for about three-fifths of its energy needs.
Environmentalists that India’s rising use of coal at a time when many Western nations are rejecting the dirty fossil fuel will hamper the global fight against climate change. India’s coal imports are expected to rise in 2018 after two consecutive years of decline, in what would be a setback to the government’s plans to reduce dependence on foreign supplies. India’s thermal coal imports rose by more than 15 percent in the first three months of 2018.
Serbia seeks investors for copper mine
Serbia published a tender on Wednesday looking for a strategic partner to invest $350 million in its ailing copper mine and smelter RTB Bor. In a tender published in the Politika daily, the Economy Ministry did not say how big a stake it would give to the partner in return for its investment.
Companies dealing with copper production with a minimum annual revenue of $500 million will have until August 20 to send their bids. Serbia has tried and failed three times since 2007 to sell the debt-laden mining complex, which suffered a long period of neglect during the Balkan Wars and the country’s international isolation in the 1990s.
India raises 2018/19 sugar cane floor price
Indian cabinet has approved raising the price that sugar mills must pay for cane in the next season beginning Oct. 1, to 275 rupees ($4.01) per 100 kg, up from 255 rupees a year earlier, a federal minister said on Wednesday. The federal government raises the floor price for cane every year, but northern Uttar Pradesh state, the country’s top cane producer, invariably raises the floor price further to woo million of cane growers, an influential voting bloc.