WORLD COMMODITIES TRADING
World oil prices rise but on track for weekly loss
Oil rose about 1% on Friday after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week raised concerns about potential supply disruptions, but prices remained on track for a weekly loss on fears that trade disputes will dent global oil demand.
Brent futures settled 70 cents, or 1.1%, higher at $62.01 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $52.51.
The attacks on oil tankers near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz pushed up oil prices by as much as 4.5% on Thursday. It was the second time in a month tankers have been attacked in the world’s most important zone for oil supplies as tensions increase between the United States and Iran. Washington blamed Iran for Thursday’s attacks, prompting a denial and criticism from Tehran.
The International Energy Agency cut its demand growth forecast for 2019 by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million bpd, citing worsening prospects for world trade.
However, the Paris-based agency said it expects demand growth to climb to 1.4 million bpd in 2020. On Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its 2019 forecast for growth in global oil demand even lower than the IEA, to 1.14 million bpd.
Gold prices move away
Gold prices retreated on Friday as upbeat US retail sales somewhat eased fears that the economy was slowing down in the second quarter.
Prices had jumped 1% earlier in the session on market expectations of at least two US central bank rate cuts in 2019.
Spot gold dipped 0.2% to $1,339.49 per ounce as of 1:55 p.m. EDT(1755 GMT). Prices rose to a high of $1,358.04, last touched on April 11, 2018.
US gold futures settled 0.1% higher to $1,344.50 per ounce.
Among other precious metals, spot silver fell 0.6% to $14.81 per ounce, while platinum dipped 1.2% to $798.23.
Palladium gained 1.3% to $1,463.52 per ounce, on track for its best week since April 2018. Prices were up for a seventh straight daily session.
Corn nears four-year high, soybeans up
US corn futures neared a four-year high on Thursday, buoyed by worries about yield prospects for the delayed crop and firm cash markets, analysts said. Soybeans also advanced as weather worries threatened to curtail US production of the oilseed, and wheat futures followed the firm trend. Chicago Board of Trade July corn settled up 12 cents at $4.42 per bushel after reaching $4.42-3/4, the highest for a most-active contract since July 2015. New-crop December corn set a contract high at $4.56-3/4. CBOT July soybeans ended up 10 cents at $8.88 a bushel and July soft red winter wheat futures finished up 9-1/4 cents at $5.35-1/2 a bushel. Corn led the way up, with technical buying accelerating as the new-crop December contract pushed above its previous contract high of $4.54.
CBOT wheat ends higher, following strength in corn
Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures closed higher on Thursday for a fourth straight session on spillover strength from corn and firming cash values for soft red winter wheat, traders said. CBOT July soft red winter wheat settled up 9-1/4 cents at $5.35-1/2 per bushel and gained relative to back months on spreads, supported by strong domestic cash basis bids. K.C. July hard red winter wheat ended up 5-1/2 cents at $4.68-1/4 a bushel, while MGEX July spring wheat rose 1-1/2 cents to $5.66-1/4, trailing advances in the other two markets. The Commodity Weather Group said rains through Saturday would bring minor relief to dry wheat areas in the Canadian Prairies.
Brazil coffee stocks up 31pc in 2019 at 12.8mn bags
The amount of coffee in the hands of private companies in Brazil reached 12.8 million bags as of March 31, up 31percent from the 9.8 million bags seen a year earlier, the government’s food supply and statistics agency Conab said on Thursday. Conab, which conducts annual research on the level of coffee stocks in Brazil, said most of the coffee in warehouses at the end of March was arabica, at 92percent of the total, or 11.8 million bags. It is the highest level of stocks since 2016, a result of a record crop in 2018 of almost 62 million bags, according to Conab. More than 9 million bags of the stocks were in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s leading coffee producer and home to the country’s largest coffee exporter, the Cooxupé cooperative.
Ottawa expands insurance for Canadian canola exporters
Ottawa increased the insurance coverage available for canola exporters, a government corporation said on Thursday, as it seeks to reduce trade risks amid a dispute with China. China halted purchases of Canadian canola in March, citing pests in shipments by Richardson International Ltd and Viterra Inc. The move, coming as Beijing has also expressed anger that Canadian police had arrested a Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive in December, has pressured canola prices. Export Development Canada (EDC), a government corporation, will increase the credit insurance available to exporters by an additional C$150 million ($112.59 million) worth of sales, EDC Executive Vice President Carl Burlock said at a news conference announcing the change.
New York cotton up on rallying grains, rainy weather
Cotton prices rose for a second straight session on Thursday, following a rise in the grains market, while rain in the cotton-planting belt continued to support the natural fiber. The most active cotton contract on ICE Futures US, the third-month December contract, rose 0.62 cent, or 0.94percent, at 66.50 cents per lb. It traded within a range of 65.47 and 66.75 cents a lb. There is an overall optimism in commodities. Corn, soy and wheat are up and that is helping cotton,” said Sid Love, commodity trading adviser at Kansas-based Sid Love Consulting.
Copper recovers on rising prospects of fed rate cuts
Copper prices rose on Thursday after weak US data reinforced prospects of rate cuts from the US central bank, but worries about demand in top consumers China and the United States capped gains. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.2 percent at $5,864 a tonne at 1506 GMT. Earlier in June, prices of the metal used widely by investors as a gauge of economic health touched $5,740 a tonne, the lowest since Jan. 3.
China’s iron ore stages late-day bounce, sets record high
China’s iron ore resumed rally during the last few minutes of trading on Thursday to set a fresh record, still buoyed by expectations that supply will remain tight and demand could pick up. Bucking the downtrend in the ferrous complex, the most-actively traded September 2019 iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose as much as 1.6 percent to 782 yuan ($113.01) a tonne, before closing at 781.5 yuan. It fell 1.5 percent earlier in the session as market participants locked in gains after the steelmaking feedstock’s surge to record highs earlier this week fuelled by expectations that supply would not improve in the second half of the year.