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Crude oil rises on Iran sanctions

Crude oil prices rose more than 1.0 percent on Friday as US sanctions against Iran looked set to tighten supply, but futures contracts posted a weekly decline as investors worried that global trade disputes could slow economic growth and hurt demand for energy.

Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 settled 74 cents higher at $72.96 a barrel on Friday. US light crude CLc1 was 82 cents higher at $67.63 a barrel.

A sell-off on Wednesday left both benchmarks down for the week overall, with Brent off 0.5 percent and US crude 1.2 percent lower.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish positions on US crude in the week ending Aug. 7 to the lowest level since June, data showed on Friday.

US crude supplies fell less than expected in the latest week, and data released on Friday showed US energy companies this week added the most oil rigs since May.

Analysts expect Iranian crude exports to fall by between 500,000 and 1.3 million barrels per day, with buyers in Japan, South Korea and India already dialing back orders. The reduction will depend on whether buyers of Iranian oil receive waivers that would allow some imports.

The International Energy Agency said on Friday the oil market could see more turbulence. “The recent cooling down of the market, with short-term supply tensions easing, currently lower prices, and lower demand growth might not last,” the IEA said in a monthly report.

Gold off gains as Turkish currency crisis roils markets

Gold prices gave up earlier gains on Friday, with the crisis engulfing Turkey’s lira boosting demand for bullion as a safe investment while at the same time bolstering the US dollar, making gold more expensive for buyers with other currencies.

Investors rushed to the safety of the greenback as the lira collapsed as much as 23 percent to a record low, Russia’s rouble crumbled to its lowest in more than two years and the euro and pound touched their weakest levels in a year.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,211.94 per ounce by 1:43 p.m. EDT (1743 GMT), with the dollar more than 0.9 percent stronger against a basket of major currencies. Gold was set to end the week largely unchanged after four consecutive weeks of price falls. US gold futures for December delivery settled down 90 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $1,219 per ounce.

Gold has tumbled 11 percent from an April high to a one-year low of $1,204 last week as the dollar rallied to 13-month highs and investors exited gold positions and began to speculate on lower prices.

Expectations that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month bolstered the dollar and U.S. bond yields and damaged the appeal of non-yielding gold.

Silver was down 0.9 percent at $15.27 an ounce, platinum lost 0.2 percent at $828.50 and palladium gained 0.1 percent at $907.80 an ounce.

Soyabean rises on US yield risk, hopes of renewed China trade

US soybean and corn futures edged higher on Wednesday on declining crop conditions in the United States and forecasts for hot, dry weather in the western Midwest in the coming weeks.Soybeans drew additional support from rallying Chinese soy prices that signalled a possible resumption of buying by the world’s top importer of the oilseed.

Chicago Board of Trade November soybeans gained 6-1/4 cents to $9.12 per bushel by 12:15 p.m. CDT (1715 GMT), while December corn added 1-3/4 cents to $3.86-1/4 a bushel.CBOT September soft red winter wheat fell 1-1/4 cents to $5.67 a bushel in a second day of declines after closing at the highest level for a front-month contract on Monday.

German importers bought 400,000 tonnes of black sea feed wheat

German importers in past weeks purchased an additional 400,000 tonnes of feed wheat from European Union countries in the Black Sea region after the poor harvest in Germany this summer, traders said on Wednesday.

This brought German purchases of Black Sea wheat to around 800,000 tonnes this summer following earlier deals for at least 300,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes reported in July. Germany is traditionally a leading wheat exporter but a drought this summer means a sharp fall in the country’s wheat crop is expected, generating an unusual import need.


Thailand raises 2018 rice export forecast to 11m tonnes

Thailand expects to export 11 million tonnes of rice worth $5.6 billion in 2018, higher than an initial forecast, the country’s rice exporters association said on Wednesday.

Thailand, the world’s second-largest rice exporter after India, initially expected to export 9.5 million tonnes of rice this year. The association cited growing demand from importing countries, including Indonesia and the Philippines, and a weaker baht making Thai rice more competitive, as factors for the expected higher export amount.Thailand exported a record 11.63 million tonnes in 2017.

Palm oil jumps on zero tax forecast, technical rebound

Malaysian palm oil futures rose 1 percent by close of trade on Wednesday, reversing losses from earlier in the day to chart a fourth straight day of gains on expectations that Malaysia’s crude palm oil export duty for September could be a zero rate.

The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was up 1 percent at 2,258 ringgit ($554.25) a tonne in the evening. The market earlier climbed to 2,265 ringgit, palm’s strongest levelssince July 10, helped too by a technical rebound.

Arabica coffee falls

Arabica coffee futures on ICE fell on Wednesday, pressured by fresh selling by producers and speculators, while sugar prices also slipped as chart signals turned more bearish. September arabica coffee was down 0.75 cent, or 0.7 percent, to $1.0830 per lb, after dipping to a session low of $1.0750.

Traders also pointed to selling pressure by Colombian and Brazilian producers, with the latter being encouraged in recent days to hedge supplies by the weaker real currency. Indonesia’s 2018/19 coffee bean output is seen rising to 660,000 tonnes, the country’s Association of Coffee Exporters and Industries (AEKI) said on Wednesday. October raw sugar slipped 0.08 cent, or 0.7 percent, to 10.80 cents per lb. Dealers said the prior session’s decline, partly due to the weaker Brazilian real, weakened the technical structure and spurred more light selling on Wednesday.

Zinc prices gain on short-covering

Base metals rose on Tuesday on short-covering due to optimism that top metals consumer China will prop up its economy with stimulus and that the country’s currency is stabilising.

Shares in Chinese infrastructure firms received a boost from expectations of increased spending on public works projects. China Railway was reported in domestic media as saying China would boost its fixed asset investment in railways to 800 billion yuan ($117 billion) in 2018, an increase of 9.3 percent over its original plan.

Three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange was the top performer, rising 1.6 percent to $2,609 a tonne by 1000 GMT after falling 2.4 percent on Monday. Zinc has shed nearly a fifth since mid-June, largely due to fears about trade conflicts weighing on global growth and metals demand.

Zambia’s milk production soars

Zambia’s milk production has increased to 618 million litres per annum from the 188 million litres in the 1990s.Minister of Fisheries and Livestock KampambaMulenga said the current per capita consumption of milk stands at 20 litres and that Government plans to increase this to 35 litres by increasing milk production to 700 million litres per annum by 2027.MsMulenga said that not all milk produced is consumed; some milk is absorbed by industries while the rest is wasted.

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