WORLD COMMODITIES TRADING
World oil futures fall
Oil futures fell on Friday, with US crude down nearly 3% ahead of a hurricane near the Florida coast that could dampen demand, but prices were still headed for the biggest weekly increase since early July, boosted by an easing of US-China trade rhetoric.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell 65 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $60.43 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures settled down $1.61, or 2.8%, at $55.10 a barrel.
Hurricane Dorian gained strength as it crept closer to Florida’s coast on Friday, raising the risk that parts of the US state will be hit by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for a prolonged period after it makes landfall early next week.
OPEC posts first 2019 output rise
OPEC oil output has risen in August for the first month this year as higher supply from Iraq and Nigeria outweighed restraint by top exporter Saudi Arabia and losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, a Reuters survey found.
The 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 29.61 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, the survey showed, up 80,000 bpd from July’s revised figure which was the lowest OPEC total since 2014.
The survey indicates Saudi Arabia is not deviating from its plan of restraining output by more than called for by an OPEC-led supply deal to support the market. Despite calls this year from US President Donald Trump on OPEC to raise output, the producers renewed the supply pact in July.
Gold heads for fourth monthly gain
Gold prices fell on Friday on a slight recovery in equities markets and Treasury yields but was on track for a fourth-straight monthly gain as fears of a global recession and uncertainty on U.S.-China trade relations drove investors to safe havens.
Spot gold fell 0.5% to $1,520.40 per ounce in New York trade on Friday and has gained 7.4% so far this month. US gold futures settled down 0.5% at $1,529.40.
Escalation in the trade war between the world’s biggest economies and heightened fears over a global downturn contributed to a rise of more than $100 for gold in August.
Elsewhere, silver fell 0.2% to $18.21 per ounce, on track for its biggest monthly percentage gain since June 2016, gaining 12% so far in August.
Spot platinum rose 1.3% to $928.05 per ounce, after hitting a near 16-month high, while palladium jumped 4.1% to $1,535.45 per ounce after hitting a one-month peak of $1,504.71 earlier.
Arabica coffee climbs as Brazil’s currency strengthens
Arabica coffee futures on ICE climbed on Wednesday, pulling away from the prior session’s three-month low, boosted by a stronger currency in top-grower Brazil, while cocoa rose for its third positive finish in 22 sessions. December arabica coffee settled up 1.4 cent, at 96.65 cents per lb. The market was supported by a firmer currency in Brazil, which helped the contract pull away from the three-month low of 93.40 cents hit on Tuesday. A stronger Brazilian currency discourages producer selling of dollar-denominated commodities such as coffee and sugar. Prices were also underpinned by a diminishing outlook for next year’s crop in Brazil following adverse weather. The blossoms could be shed in the high temperatures that are forecast for September, which would reduce the potential yields,” Commerzbank said in a market note. November robusta coffee settled up $4, at $1,328 per tonne.
Malaysian palm oil rises more than 1pc
Malaysian palm oil futures rose over 1 percent on Wednesday, supported by data pointing to slower than expected growth in production. The benchmark palm oil contract for November delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 1.4 percent at 2,208 ringgit ($528.86) per tonne, its biggest daily gain in a week. The contract rose to as high as 2,210 ringgit during the session. Palm oil production in Malaysia, the world’s second largest producer, rose 15.1 percent in July to 1.74 million tonnes, the highest monthly output this year. It also marked the biggest month-on-month rise since March 2018, according to data from industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. Meanwhile, US soyoil futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were last up 0.7 percent on Wednesday.
Copper prices firm ahead of FED minutes
Copper prices edged higher on Wednesday ahead of US Federal Reserve meeting minutes expected to shed light on actions to counter slow growth even as the US-China trade war continues to pose a threat to metals demand. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.5 percent to $5,733 a ton in Asian trade, having touched a two- week low on Tuesday.
Macroeconomic conditions have been the main driving factor behind the moves in base metals, said Deutsche Bank analyst Nick Snowdon, adding that traders were positioning in anticipation of more macro events. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump told reporters that he had to confront China over trade even if it caused short-term harm to the US economy, saying Beijing had been cheating Washington for decades.
China iron ore hits 10-week low as supply concerns EBB
Iron ore futures in China fell for a fourth straight session on Tuesday as supply concerns eased, while stepped-up production curbs in top steelmaking city of Tangshan added more pressure. The most-traded January 2020 iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended down 2.2 percent at the session’s lowest at 609 yuan ($86.25) a tonne, its weakest finish since June 11.
The most-active September 2019 iron ore contract on the Singapore Exchange was down 0.5 percent at $86.08 a tonne in late trade. Top steel producer China’s iron ore imports surged 21percent in July from the month before to their highest level since January, as supplies surged from miners in Australia and Brazil. Reduced iron ore shipments after a deadly tailings dam collapse in Brazil in January and a cyclone in Australia, and China’s ramped-up steel output, lifted spot prices of the raw material to five-year peak in recent months. Prices have pulled back but they remain well above 2018 levels.
EU wheat hits fresh lows on export doubts
Euronext wheat futures fell to new contract lows on Wednesday as ample international supplies and sluggish activity on the French market dampened export prospects. Benchmark December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled down 0.50 euro at 169.75 euros ($188) a tonne. It earlier touched a new life-of-contract low at 169.00 euros, below a previous low of 170.25 euros struck on Tuesday. A new three-month low for Chicago wheat added to technical pressure on Paris futures. Expectations of large global supplies have weighed on wheat markets, with tepid west European exports increasing pressure on Paris prices.
Illinois corn yields seen below average
Corn farmers in west-central Illinois are facing potentially smaller corn yields this fall in what has been a challenging growing season after extreme weather and heavy rains delayed plantings across much of the US Midwest, scouts on an annual tour said on Wednesday. Many of the soy fields surveyed in Illinois on the third day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour were also behind their normal growing schedule, as they were in parts of Indiana and Ohio, with fields of short soybean plants an indication of the late planting. On Wednesday, corn yield potential averaged 175.56 bushels per acre (bpa) through eight stops in the Illinois counties of McLean, Tazwell, Peoria, Knox, Stark and Henry. That is down from last year’s crop tour average in those areas of 201.45 bpa and the three-year tour average of 194.77 bpa. The tour does not estimate soybean yield potential, but instead calculates the number of soy pods in a 3-foot-by-3-foot square.