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Crude oil prices move higher

Crude prices rose on Friday, but declined on the week on worries that oversupply would weigh on the US market while trade disputes and slowing global economic growth would dampen demand for oil.

US crude declined for the seventh consecutive week, and global benchmark Brent was dropped for a third week.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 settled up 40 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $71.83 a barrel, after touching a high of $72.49 earlier in the session.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) CLc1 rose 45 cents , or 0.7 percent, to $65.91, after touching a session high of $66.39.

For the week, Brent was down 1.4 percent, and U.S. crude fell 2.6 percent.

Gold recovers some ground

Gold recovered some ground on Friday as a weakening US dollar relieved pressure on prices, but the precious metal remained near 19-month lows and looked poised for its biggest weekly drop since May 2017.

Spot gold added 0.31 percent to $1,177.21 ounce in New York trade, but was down 2.7 percent this week in its sixth consecutive weekly loss. On Thursday, it touched $1,159.96, the lowest since January 2017.

US gold futures for December delivery settled up 20 cents, or 0.02 percent, at $1,184.20 per ounce.

Gold has tumbled 14 percent from its April high as a rally in the greenback made dollar-priced bullion more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

Investors seeking a safe place to store assets amid trade disputes and a Turkish currency crisis have preferred the dollar to gold, undermining the reputation of bullion as a safe haven.

But news of planned US-China trade talks and a partial recovery of Turkey’s lira have steadied investors’ nerves slightly.

In technicals, Fibonacci resistance was at $1,185.30 with support at the January 2017 low of $1,146.20, analysts at ScotiaMocatta said, adding that gold would likely fall further.

Meanwhile, silver gained 0.3 percent to $14.66 an ounce, but was down more than 4 percent on the week, the biggest weekly loss since February. On Thursday it touched its lowest since February 2016. Platinum increased 0.2 percent to $778.40 an ounce and was set for its biggest weekly drop since November 2015 of about 6 percent. It hit a 10-year low on Thursday. Palladium gained 1.1 percent to $898.90 per ounce, but was down 1.4 percent this week having struck a one-year low.

Wheat, soy futures fall

US grains and oilseed futures fell on Wednesday, pressured by broad selling in commodities and equities as a firmer dollar prompted worries about export prospects for American supplies, traders and analysts said.

Wheat prices notched some of the biggest declines among agricultural products, dropping after rising slightly during the previous session. Rainfall in parts of the southern US Plains boosted soil moisture ahead of the winter wheat planting season, further weighing on the market.

Chicago Board of Trade September wheat settled down 9-1/2 cents at $5.32-1/4 per bushel, above its earlier 2-1/2-week low of $5.28-1/4. Prices for wheat, corn and soybeans have lost ground since a bearish US Department of Agriculture monthly crop report on Friday predicted bigger-than-expected US soy and corn harvests as well as larger global wheat supplies. The continuing trade dispute between the United States and China is also burdening markets. USDA will release weekly US export sales data on Thursday. CBOT November soybeans closed down 10-3/4 cents to $8.69 per bushel. CBOT December corn edged 1/2 cent lower to $3.76, tracking the larger declines in wheat and soy. US processors crushed a bigger-than-expected 167.733 million bushels of soybeans in July, their second-largest monthly total ever, the National Oilseed Processors Association said on Wednesday.

Bangladesh tea prices fall for second week

Tea prices in Bangladesh fell at a weekly auction for a second straight session on tepid demand from local buyers despite lower volumes on offer.

Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of 279.29 taka ($2.7) per kg at the auction in the port city of Chittagong which took place on Tuesday. That was down from an average price of 281.59 taka at the previous sale.

About 4.7 percent of the 2.29 million kg offered in the auction was left unsold. At the previous auction, around 2.34 million kg was offered, of which 6.4 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.

The South Asian country was the world’s fifth-largest tea exporter in the 1990s, but is now a net importer due to a surge in domestic consumption in line with economic growth.


Vietnam July coffee exports down

Vietnam, the world’s second biggest coffee producer, exported 132,777 tonnes (2.21 million 60-kg bags) of coffee in July, customs data showed on Thursday, slightly higher than the government estimate of 130,000 tonnes.

Coffee exports in July were 15 percent lower than June and brought the coffee exports in first seven months of 2018 to 1.17 million tonnes, a 12.4-percent rise from a year earlier, Vietnam Customs said in a monthly report.

Coffee export revenue in the seven-month period fell 4.3 percent to $2.25 billion, it said.

Aluminium hits 6-week highs as supply fears revive

Aluminium prices hit six-week highs on Thursday after a strike at Alcoa’s alumina refineries in Australia and warnings of shutdowns by Rusal revived concern about supply shortages.

Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) ended down 1.3 percent at $2,078 a tonne on profit-taking after the New York open. Earlier it touched $2,147.50, its highest since June 29.

It hit a 15-week low of $2,000.85 in late July on expectations that the United States would allow aluminium made by Rusal, the biggest producer outside China, to keep trading on global markets and trade disputes would weaken metals demand.

Thai rice offered at lowest price in Iraq buying tender

The lowest offer in the international tender from Iraq’s state grains buyer to purchase at least 30,000 tonnes of rice was $449.50 a tonne c&f free out for rice to be sourced from Thailand, traders said.

No decision about a purchase was believed to have been made in the tender, which closed on Sunday. Offers must remain valid until Aug. 16.

The lowest offer was made for 40,000 tonnes. Another offer for Thai rice was made at $469.80 a tonne c&f free out, traders said.

Most offers were made for rice from Uruguay, with the lowest price at $568.75 a tonne c&f free out.

South Africa hikes sugar import duties

South Africa has raised import duties on sugar to $680 from $566 a tonne to protect the domestic industry against a surge in imports, the trade and industry minister said on Wednesday.

The South African Sugar Association applied in February to have the tariff raised to $856 a tonne, but the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC), which conducts customs tariff investigations and proposes trade remedies, set a lower import duty.

The sugar industry contributes around 14 billion rand to South Africa’s gross domestic product and employs 85,000 people directly and another 350,000 indirectly in the main sugar-growing regions of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces.

China sells 7,900 t of cotton at auction of state reserves

China sells 7,900 tonnes of cotton at auction of state reserves at an average price of 15,034 yuan ($2,185.33) per tonne, according to the industry source. Sale represents 26.48 percent of the total cotton available at the auction.

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