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PM for advanced planning to meet wheat requirement

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed for advanced planning to meet the wheat requirement of the country in the coming months and to finalize the estimates and procedures on fast track basis. He was chairing a meeting to devise a course of action regarding wheat situation in the country, national demand, and available stock and future requirements. The Prime Minister said flour is a staple food and people should not face any difficulty in its availability. Imran Khan also emphasized to give special attention on checking the hoarding and profiteering of wheat. The meeting was briefed on overall wheat situation, wheat production in previous years, national consumption, import and export of this commodity in the past and prevalent situation.

Russia warns market that its oil production could drop

Russia may not be able to maintain the level of its oil production in the future due to the current taxation system on the oil industry, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday. Currently, Russia produces around 11.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and condensate. The energy ministry sees risks in Russia’s goal to keep its oil production levels due to higher production costs and dwindling reserves, Russian media quoted Novak as saying at a meeting to discuss the country’s economic policy on Wednesday. Russia is currently overhauling its taxation system to move from a tax based on production to a profit-based taxation and to gradually phase out the crude oil export duty by 2024, which is expected to increase export netbacks for oil producers. Russia’s energy ministry plans to update this year the energy strategy through 2035, said Novak, who kept his job in the recent reshuffle of the Russian government. The energy strategy is filed with the government, there are disagreements on it, but they will be discussed soon, Novak said today.

Oil and gas industry contracts, production still increases in texas

According to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP) Texas Petro Index (TPI), 2019 was a year of contraction in the Texas upstream oil and gas economy. This is the key finding enunciated by TAEP Executive Vice President and Economist Karr Ingham during a briefing for industry media in Houston on Tuesday. According to Ingham, the index achieved its cyclical peak in February 2019 and declined for 10 straight months to finish the year at 193.6 in December, down 9.1 percent from the December 2018 TPI figure of 213.1. Through December, the TPI has lost 9.4 percent of its value since the February cyclical peak. The year was characterized by lower wellhead prices for crude oil and natural gas compared to 2018; a declining rig count; decreases in drilling permits issued; and lower numbers of oil and gas well completions. Total statewide industry employment is down as well, to 212,300 people during December 2019, with 14,400 jobs lost since October 2018.

 

China steel demand/output falls on virus

The knock-on impact of the coronavirus outbreak is likely to bring down prices for steel and possibly scrap, following a sharp price drop in iron ore Tuesday. A temporary fall in Chinese steel production and demand due to the outbreak and related restrictions could lead to higher steel production elsewhere and a build-up of inventories that may weigh down global steel prices, according to analysts at brokerage firm Jefferies. S&P Global Platts research also leads to the expectation steel prices might fall, following Tuesday’s 8 percent drop in the iron ore price. Steel prices are likely to fall at a greater rate than those of iron ore, with steel production temporary reduced in the Chinese cities affected, they said. China is the world’s biggest steelmaker, producing 996.3 million mt of crude steel in 2019, up 8.3 percent on 2018 and accounting for 53.3 percent of global output, a growing share, the World Steel Association reported Monday.

Four pc rise recorded in tea production in 2019

The country’s tea production is up by close to 4 percent to 1,389.70 million kg (mkg) during the calendar year 2019, over 1,338.63 mkg in 2018. The production is up by over 3 percent to 1,286.09 mkg during the April-December 2019 period, compared with 1,246.43 mkg during same period the previous year. The increased production comes at a time when the industry has been reeling under the pressure of higher costs outstripping price realizations. Most of the rise in production comes from small growers, who do not have to bear cost pressures as their peers in the organised sector do. According to data available on the Tea Board website, during the calendar year 2019, production of North India tea gardens was up by over 5 percent to 1,170.66 mkg as against 1,113.76 mkg in 2018. The production by small tea growers in North India was up by over 7 percent to 578.15 mkg (538.30 mkg), while that by big growers increased by close to 3 percent to 592.51 mkg (575.46 mkg).

Gold holds support as silver searches for bottom

Gold and silver are working in opposite directions. After Tuesday’s sell-off, gold is finding support. At the same time, silver is desperately searching for a bottom. Both metals appear to be in a little trouble, but silver is very weak and, in our opinion, has become a short. As of this morning, we are long gold, short silver and looking for the current patterns to continue. The patterns are clear for now as there appears to be no interest in silver as it continues to break support levels. Gold has held the major levels and looks to be in position to test the recent highs. There is always a possible issue that can arise that could disrupt these patterns. The Fed reports a decision on interest rates, which should be a big nothing. However, the Street will be dissecting every word looking for clues. For now, we expect the status quo.

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