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World oil prices up after tensions over and OPEC output cuts

Oil futures rose on Friday as tensions over Iran and an extension to output cuts by OPEC and its allies boosted prices, but mixed economic data limited the rally.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled at $64.23 a barrel, up 93 cents, or 1.47%. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 settled at $57.51 a barrel, up 17 cents. The U.S. market was closed on Thursday for a national holiday. Both benchmarks were down for the week as concerns about a slowing global economy outweighed risks to supply. Brent recorded a 3.3% weekly loss and WTI shed roughly 1.8%.

The US-China trade war has dampened prospects of global economic growth and oil demand, but talks resume next week in a bid to resolve the deadlock.

The US Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday a weekly decline of 1.1 million barrels in crude stocks, smaller than the 5 million barrel draw reported by the American Petroleum Institute and less than analysts had forecast.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers such as Russia, known as OPEC+, supported prices by extending their deal on supply cuts.

Gold prices slip, set fall in the coming week

Gold slid as much as 2 percent on Friday and was set for its first weekly fall in seven weeks after data showed U.S. jobs growth rebounded strongly in June, which lowered the likelihood of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve this month.

Spot gold dropped 1.2% to $1,398.71 per ounce in New York trade close of Friday having hit a low of $1,386.52 earlier. The metal is set for a weekly decline of about 1%, which could be its biggest since mid-April.

US gold futures settled 1.5% down at $1,400.10.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 224,000 jobs last month, the most in five months, data showed. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising by 160,000 jobs.

Silver slid 1.9% to $14.99 per ounce, while platinum dipped 3.4% to $804. Palladium gained 0.58% to $1,571.01 an ounce and was heading for a fifth straight weekly gain.

Copper hovers near 2-week low

Copper prices were stuck near a two-week low on Wednesday as uncertainty over US-China trade talks injected pessimism into the demand outlook and stockpiles in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses jumped to the highest in a year.

Benchmark copper on the LME closed up 0.5 percent at $5,918 a tonne after slipping to $5,840, the weakest since June 18. Investors fear protectionist trade policies will damage economic growth, weakening metals consumption. Copper, used in power and construction, cost more than $7,000 a tonne in June last year before US President Donald Trump began his trade dispute with China.

Chicago-corn climbs; soy, wheat rise

Chicago corn, soybean and wheat futures all settled higher on Wednesday on technical buying and as traders adjusted positions ahead of the Independence Day holiday. The September corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade settled up 17-3/4 cents at $4.36-3/4 a bushel. The August contract for soybeans settled up 10 cents to $8.89-3/4 a bushel, regaining some ground after falling 1.1 percent on Tuesday. September wheat future prices settled up 10-3/4 cents at $5.14 a bushel. CBOT grain markets will be closed on Thursday for Independence Day.

Ukraine state firm exports 2.4m tonnes of grain

Ukraine’s state grain firm GPZKU said on Wednesday it exported 2.44 million tonnes of grain in the 2018/19 July-June season, including 921,000 tonnes to China. The company gave no export data for the previous season.

Under a $1.5 billion Chinese loan-for-grains deal signed in 2012, GPZKU is meant to supply 5 million tonnes of grain to Chinese trading firm CCEC each year. Ukraine exported a total of 49.7 million tonnes of grain in the 2017/18 July-June season.


Malaysian palm edges down

Malaysian palm oil futures charted a decline on Wednesday evening after two sessions of gains, falling over 1 percent tracking overnight weakness in crude oil and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soyoil. The benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.6 percent at 1,955 ringgit ($472.79) per tonne by the close of trade. It earlier fell as much as 1.5 percent to 1,938 ringgit, matching Tuesday’s intraday low that was the weakest level since August 2015. Palm oil may retest a support at 1,944 ringgit per tonne, a break below which could cause a drop to 1,908 ringgit, Wang Tao quoted as saying.

Germany set for larger wheat crop, smaller rapeseed crop

Germany is on course for a larger winter wheat crop in 2019 after drought caused massive harvest damage last year, the association of German farmers DBV said on Wednesday. Germany will harvest about 24.1 million tonnes of winter wheat in 2019, up from the especially small crop of 19.6 million tonnes last year, the DBV said in its first harvest report of this year.

The winter rapeseed crop will fall to 3.1 million tonnes from 3.7 million tonnes last year. A fall in the rapeseed harvest is anticipated after a sharp reduction in sowed area after poor autumn weather in Germany.

India raises common rice purchase price by 3.7pc

India has raised the price at which it will buy new-season common rice varieties from local farmers by 3.7 percent, the farm minister said on Wednesday. For common grades of rice, the government has fixed the support price at 1,815 rupees ($26.34) per 100 kg, Narendra Singh Tomar quoted as saying in a press conference.

The government announces the so-called minimum support prices (MSPs) for 22 crops to set a benchmark. But state agencies buy limited quantities of staples such as rice and wheat at those prices, restricting benefits of guaranteed prices to only around 7 percent of the country’s 263 million farmers, according to various studies.

Softs-Arabica coffee heads back towards 7-month peak

Arabica coffee futures on ICE rose on Wednesday, heading towards this week’s seven-month highs as a weaker dollar and lingering worries over frost risk in top producer Brazil prompted funds to cover their shorts. September arabica coffee rose 2.9 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $1.1245 per lb at 1342 GMT, after touching $1.1410 on Monday, its highest since Nov. 29. South and central Brazil are expected to be hit by the coldest temperatures of the year in coming days, and frost will likely form in some coffee areas, but it is unlikely to be widespread and will not be intense, forecasts indicate.

Ethiopia sugar imports to jump

Sugar imports into Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, are expected to climb 29 percent in 2019/20 from the previous year as production falls, a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) attache said in a report published on Wednesday. Ethiopian sugar production for the 2019/20 season is pegged at 240,000 tonnes, down sharply from the USDA’s previous estimate of 400,000 tonnes, as the sector grapples with bad weather and mismanagement, the attache in Addis Ababa said. Currently, the state-owned Ethiopian Sugar Corporation (ESC) is in charge of sugar production and trade and operates 13 mills across the country – 10 of which have for years been only partially-completed because of corruption and bad management, the attache said.

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