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World Commodities

Oil flat over tropical storm disruptions

Oil prices were little changed on Friday as U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude output dropped by more than half from disruptions caused by a tropical storm, but concerns over a global crude surplus in the months ahead limited gains.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures settled at $66.72 a barrel, climbing 20 cents. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures settled at $60.21 a barrel, up 1 cent. Brent has gained 4% this week while WTI posted a 4.7% rise. Both benchmarks fell last week.

Tropical Storm Barry, which is expected to become a hurricane just before making landfall this weekend, boosted crude futures as oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico sliced production.

Nearly 59%, or 1.1 million barrels per day, of crude oil production in the U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico has been cut because of the storm, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast surging U.S. oil output will outpace sluggish global demand and lead to a large inventory build around the world in the next nine months.

Gold prices inch higher

Gold prices inched higher on Friday as investors shrugged off concerns that stronger-than-expected consumer inflation in the United States could influence the U.S. central bank’s decision on aggressive monetary policy easing.

Spot gold rose 0.7% to $1,412.88 per ounce as of 1:47 p.m. EDT (1748 GMT), having touched $1,413.41 earlier in the session. Prices have risen nearly 1% so far this week. US gold futures settle 0.4% up at $1,412.20 per ounce.

In the physical market, gold buying stalled in top Asian hubs this week as consumers sold back bullion to cash in on the steep price rally. A recent import duty hike further dented waning interest in an Indian market hit by a surge in local rates.

Among other precious metals, platinum rose 0.4% to $824 per ounce while, palladium fell 1.1% to $1,544.25. Silver rose 0.8% to $15.23 an ounce. Palladium was set for its first weekly decline in six weeks, down 1.4% in the week.

Nickel prices climb in London, Asia

Nickel prices hit a three-month high on Wednesday, leading a wider rally in most base metals, following news that US and Chinese trade officials marked a new round of talks with a “constructive” phone conversation. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the call “went well” and the two sides were talking about a face-to-face meeting, but he warned there was no magic way to reach what has so far been an elusive deal.

London nickel rose as much as 2.1percent to $12,970 a tonne, its highest since April 17, while Shanghai nickel jumped to 103,160 yuan ($14,984.60) a tonne, a three-month high, before easing to end at 102,010 yuan a tonne.

Jordan issues new tender to buy wheat

Jordan’s state grain buyer the trade ministry has issued an international tender to buy 120,000 tonnes of milling wheat, which can be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Wednesday. The tender deadline is July 16. Jordan has faced a difficult time buying wheat and barley in tenders in the past few months after changed terms for quality specifications and payment reduced participation by international trading houses.

Jordan also made no purchase in previous tenders for 120,000 tonnes of wheat on June 26, June 20, June 12, May 28, May 21 and May 14. Jordan’s last reported wheat purchase was 60,000 tonnes in a tender on May 7. The new tender seeks hard wheat for shipment in a range of possible combinations in 60,000 tonne consignments. Possible shipment periods are Oct. 1-15, Oct. 16-31 and Nov. 1-15. A separate international tender to purchase 25,000 tonnes of milling wheat from Jordan’s state-owned Silos and Supply General Company also closes on July 16.


Brazil sugar production falls late in June

Brazil’s center-south produced 2.19 million tonnes of sugar in the second half of June, 4 percent less than in the same period a year earlier, said industry group Unica on Wednesday Brazil’s center-south mills crushed 46.08 million tonnes of cane in the second half of June, 1.2 percent more than in the same time a year earlier, said Unica Brazil’s center-south produced 2.33 billion liters of ethanol late in June, 1.15 percent less than a year earlier Unica said that more time is needed to assess eventual production impact from frosts in Brazil’s center-south.

Bosnia’s sole aluminium smelter to go for bankruptcy

Bosnian aluminium smelter Aluminij will file for bankruptcy after closing on Wednesday, putting at risk some 10,000 jobs, including contractors and those at the processing firms it supplies. The smelter was disconnected from the power grid just after midnight over debts incurred because of high electricity and alumina prices, officials said.

The asset is one of Bosnia’s biggest exporters, employing 900 workers in the southern town of Mostar. Nermin Dzindic, energy minister in the government of the autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, Aluminij’s biggest single shareholder with a 44 percent stake, said the company would file for bankruptcy. Small shareholders hold another 44 percent stake in the firm and the Croatian government the rest. The closure followed a failed attempt to find a strategic partner for the company, which has total debts of nearly 380 million Bosnian marka ($219 million).

Malaysian palm oil declines

Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Wednesday evening weighed down by higher than forecast inventory levels in June according to a data release from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

The benchmark palm oil contract for September delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 0.3percent at 1,937 ringgit ($468.21) per tonne at the close of trade, a third straight session of declines. Industry regulator the MPOB released official data for the month of June which showed that inventory levels came in higher than forecast. Malaysian stockpiles at end-June eased 0.97percent on-month to 2.42 million tonne, versus a Reuters survey which forecast a 4percent decline to 2.35 million tonnes.

NY COCOA may seek support at $2,496

New York September cocoa may seek a support at $2,496 per tonne and then resume its rally. The support is provided by the 23.6percent projection level of an upward wave C from $2,420. This wave was disrupted by a resistance at $2,582. The drop triggered by this barrier looks like a pullback towards a falling trendline. A break below $2,496 could cause a further slide to $2,467, while a break above $2,544 may signal the continuation of the wave C towards $2,582. Charts are not available in reports received in email box through “Alert”. To get charts, use the news code of to retrieve the original reports.

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