Oil falls 39 cents, settling at $52.62
The oil market fell on Wednesday as a widespread economic slowdown, which may dent growth in demand for fuel, weighed on energy prices. Crude futures earlier got a boost from hopes that Japan and China would take fiscal stimulus measures to stem the slowdown. Prices got further support from expectations that U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week and official data indicated slowing growth in U.S. shale oil output in the coming years. International Brent crude oil futures fell 35 cents, or about half a percent, to $61.15 per barrel around 2:30 p.m. ET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures ended Wednesday’s session down 39 cents, or about 0.75 percent, at $52.62 per barrel.
Milk production set to increase by 300m litres in 2019
The massive surge in milk production over the last decade looks set to continue into 2019, with all the main processors predicting continued supply growth. Industry sources forecast that milk supply expansion will increase by 300 million litres in 2019 and take overall production to more than 7.8 billion litres.
Milk supplies in 2018 are expected to top 7.5 billion litres on the back of a surge in deliveries during the back end of the year. This means Ireland will realise its Food Harvest 2020 target two years early by growing overall milk production by more than 50 percent since 2010. Glanbia expects its suppliers to deliver 5pc more milk in 2019, or an additional 120 million litres. The country’s largest milk processor has seen deliveries grow by 82pc between 2009 and 2018, increasing from 1.3 billion litres to 2.37 billion litres.
India cuts coffee output estimate by 16pc
India is likely to produce 319,500 tonnes of coffee in 2018/19, down nearly 16 percent from the previous estimate, after heavy rainfall hit yields in the top two growing states, the state-run Coffee Board said on Wednesday. The South Asian country, which is famous as a tea producer, is also the world’s No. 6 coffee grower, mainly churning out the robusta beans used to make instant coffee. It also produces some of the more expensive arabica variety.
The country had been expected to harvest a record crop of 380,000 tonnes, but heavy rainfall in the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala– the top two producing states – hit plantations in July and August 2018. India is likely to produce 224,500 tonnes of robusta in the marketing year ending on Sept. 30, down 17 percent from the previous estimate, the board said.
Aluminium trades near one-month high
Aluminium climbed to a one-month high on Wednesday as signs of a rise in demand caused by a fall in inventories on the London Metal Exchange (LME) attracted buyers. Three-month aluminium on the LME closed 1.4 percent up at $1,909 a tonne after touching its strongest since Dec. 24. Cancelled warrants or material earmarked for delivery in LME-approved warehouses, surged to 94,300 tonnes, accounting for 31 percent of the total 1.3 million tonnes.
As much as U.S. President Donald Trump wants to boost markets through a trade pact with China, he will not soften his position that Beijing must make real structural reforms, including how it handles intellectual property, to reach a deal, advisers say.
EU wheat stable as market seeks signs of export upturn
Euronext wheat futures ended flat on Wednesday as traders weighed up prospects for increased demand for west European supplies against limited evidence so far of an export upturn. March milling wheat, the most active contract on Paris-based Euronext, settled unchanged on the day at 205.75 euros ($234.33) a tonne. It earlier rose to a new two-week high of 206.75 euros but, similar to Tuesday, failed to breach resistance at 207-208 euros.
Brisk international demand and signs of tightening supply in the Black Sea region were maintaining hopes for an upturn in west European exports.
Gold steadies as stocks pullback dents risk sentiment
Gold prices steadied on Wednesday, clawing back from losses made earlier in the session, as a recovery in stock markets fizzled out on concerns over geopolitical and economic uncertainty, triggering investors to seek safety in the metal.
Spot gold was little changed to $1,283.43 an ounce, having fallen to $1,278 an ounce earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures settled unchanged at $1,284.
Palm oil hits 5 month top
Malaysian palm oil futures reversed earlier losses to rise to their highest in nearly five months on Wednesday evening, charting a fourth day of gains, on a weaker ringgit and tracking gains in US soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade.
The market had earlier declined on overnight weakness in crude oil prices and profit booking by investors. The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 0.9 percent to 2,283 ringgit ($552.12) a tonne at the close of trade. It earlier rose as much as 1.1 percent to 2,288 ringgit, its strongest levels since Sept. 6. Trading volumes stood at 33,984 lots of 25 tonnes each at the end of the trading day.
Chinese steel, iron ore slide as economic concerns persist
China’s steel and iron ore futures dipped on Wednesday following a broader sell-off across riskier assets, pressured by persistent concerns over weak demand amid a slowing global economy.
Benchmark Shanghai steel rebar futures eased following four days of gains and after hitting a 12-week peak in the previous trading session. They settled 0.6 percent down at 3,644 yuan ($537.13) a tonne when market closed. Prices of hot-rolled coil, a semi-finished product used to make automobile and household appliances, edged down 0.3 percent to 3,559 yuan.