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World oil prices retreat

Oil prices fell on Friday, pulling back from two-month highs as concern over U.S.-China trade talks overshadowed expectations of an extension to OPEC+ production cuts.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 eased 58 cents to settle at $63.39 a barrel, having touched a high of $64.27 early in the session. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 fell 81 cents to settle at $57.77 a barrel, dropping from its session high of $58.74. After paring their gains, both benchmarks ended the week little changed.

Pakistan wheat support price increased to Rs1,350

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), in a meeting chaired by Finance Adviser Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday, increased minimum support price for wheat by Rs50 to Rs1,350 in order to safeguard growers’ interests.

The increase comes after a gap of five years, as the government last raised wheat support prices by Rs100 to Rs1,300 for 40kg bags back in 2014.

Although, the move will benefit local wheat growers, it is expected to push up prices of rotis which have already increased two times in the last twelve months owing to rising flour and gas prices.

However, a Ministry of Food Security official claimed the new minimum support price would not translate in any increase in the price of rotis. He said the minimum price will help farmers cover rising input costs.

He said the minimum support will encourage wheat production in the country while adding that the revised price is also lower than the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) official rate of Rs1,375 on which wheat is being released to provinces.

The ECC meeting also reviewed various factors such as the global wheat situation, cost of production, export-import parity and domestic producer prices.

It was estimated that the cost of production of wheat had risen in 2019-20 to Rs1,349.57 per 40kg in Punjab and Rs1,315.72 per 40kg in Sindh, as per findings of the Agriculture Policy Institute.

The meeting was also told that the global wheat price hovers around Rs1,575 per 40kg and Rs1,440 per 40kg excluding duties.

The ECC also asked the Ministry of Food Security to approach provinces to make adequate wheat procurement in the coming season. In case of failure to procure stocks, any request by provinces to Passco would entail 100 percent payment of incidental charges.

The ECC also asked the ministry to invite provincial chief secretaries or their representatives in the next meeting for a detailed presentation on the rising circular debt on the commodity operation which had already crossed Rs450 billion.

On the proposal of Rs6bn PM Relief Package for Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the ECC approved a transfer of Rs4bn from the Benazir Income Support Programme and another Rs2bn by the Finance Division for provision of essential commodities such as flour, sugar, ghee, rice and pulses at a fair price to the under-privileged sections of the society.

Pakistan wheat support price increased to Rs1,350

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), in a meeting chaired by Finance Adviser Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday, increased minimum support price for wheat by Rs50 to Rs1,350 in order to safeguard growers’ interests.

The increase comes after a gap of five years, as the government last raised wheat support prices by Rs100 to Rs1,300 for 40kg bags back in 2014.

Although, the move will benefit local wheat growers, it is expected to push up prices of rotis which have already increased two times in the last twelve months owing to rising flour and gas prices.

However, a Ministry of Food Security official claimed the new minimum support price would not translate in any increase in the price of rotis. He said the minimum price will help farmers cover rising input costs.

He said the minimum support will encourage wheat production in the country while adding that the revised price is also lower than the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) official rate of Rs1,375 on which wheat is being released to provinces.

The ECC meeting also reviewed various factors such as the global wheat situation, cost of production, export-import parity and domestic producer prices.

It was estimated that the cost of production of wheat had risen in 2019-20 to Rs1,349.57 per 40kg in Punjab and Rs1,315.72 per 40kg in Sindh, as per findings of the Agriculture Policy Institute.

The meeting was also told that the global wheat price hovers around Rs1,575 per 40kg and Rs1,440 per 40kg excluding duties.

The ECC also asked the Ministry of Food Security to approach provinces to make adequate wheat procurement in the coming season. In case of failure to procure stocks, any request by provinces to Passco would entail 100 percent payment of incidental charges.

The ECC also asked the ministry to invite provincial chief secretaries or their representatives in the next meeting for a detailed presentation on the rising circular debt on the commodity operation which had already crossed Rs450 billion.

On the proposal of Rs6bn PM Relief Package for Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the ECC approved a transfer of Rs4bn from the Benazir Income Support Programme and another Rs2bn by the Finance Division for provision of essential commodities such as flour, sugar, ghee, rice and pulses at a fair price to the under-privileged sections of the society.

 

Brazil’s cs sugar season ends earlier due to dry weather

Brazil’s center-south is approaching the end of this year’s sugarcane season much earlier than expected, as drier-than-normal weather during most of the last weeks sped up harvesting and led to several mills announcing the end of crushing.

The main Brazilian sugar belt crushed 32.6 million tonnes of cane in the second half of October, 30percent more than in the same period a year earlier, a similar quick-pace performance seen in previous two-week periods.

Sugar production reached 1.51 million tonnes, 57percent higher, while ethanol output reached 2.04 billion liters, 45percent more than in same period last year.

The quick current pace of the harvest will lead to a longer inter-crop period. Center-south mills normally crush until early December, closing down then to come back around the end of March. But most will be done by November this year and there will not likely be much cane to be processed early next season.

Tea production dips 8.5pc in 9 months

Kenya’s tea production dropped 8.5 percent in the nine months to September this year, attributed to dry weather and poor rainfall at the start of the year. Data from the Tea Directorate shows that the output fell to 316.8 million kilogrammes (kgs) from 346.23 million kgs the same period last year. Cumulative production for the period January-September 2019 was 8.50 percent lower owing to severe hot and dry weather conditions and the late onset of the long rains long rains experienced during the first quarter of the year as well as depressed rainfall conditions in April and September, said the industry regulator. Production in the west Rift region was the most affected, falling by 9.08 percent while production in the east Rift dropped by 7.48 percent. Tea exports rose however to 374.55 million kgs during the period from 349.12 million kgs during the same period last year. In September alone, Kenyan tea was exported to 42 countries, up from 38 during a similar period last year. This is even as production fell by 16 percent in September alone compared to a similar period in 2018. Pakistan remained Kenya’s key export destination – accounting for 35 percent of the total export volumes. It imported 12.8 million kgs in September alone. However, the exports fell 14 percent compared to September 2018, a worrying statistic for the biggest consumer of Kenyan tea. Other key export destinations included Egypt, UK and Russia.

India’s palm oil imports jump 8 percent as Malaysian shipments surge – trade body

India’s palm oil imports climbed 8percent in the marketing year ended Oct. 31 compared with the same period a year earlier as buying of refined palm oil from Malaysia surged after New Delhi reduced import tax on the oil, a leading trade body said on Friday. The higher palm oil purchases, hitting 9.4 million tonnes, lifted India’s total vegetable oil imports by 3.5percent for the 12 months to 15.5 million tonnes, the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) said in a statement. New Delhi’s refined palm oil imports in the 2018/19 marketing year jumped 28percent from a year ago to 2.7 million tonnes, the SEA said. India’s higher imports helped Malaysia to reduce its inventories and supported benchmark Malaysian palm oil prices that are trading near their highest level in two-years. Palm oil accounts for nearly two-thirds of India’s total edible oil imports. India buys palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, with its soyoil mainly imported from Argentina and Brazil. It purchases sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia. From January to August, refined palm oil imports from Malaysia were charged an import duty that was 5percent lower than supplies from rival Indonesia, which prompted refiners to raise purchases, said one Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.

Turkey collects over 730,000 tons of cow milk in September

Turkey collected 730,516 tons cow milk in September, the country’s statistical authority announced on Nov. 13. Cow milk production dropped by 7.3percent year-on-year in the month, Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said in a statement. In September, 112,983 tons of drinking milk was produced, down 5.2percent from the same month last year. Data also showed that cheese production from cow’s milk fell 4.6percent on an annual basis to 55,486 tons. “Cheese production from sheep, goat, buffalo and mixed milk was 2,120 tonnes increased by 20.9percent when compared to the same month of the previous year,” it added. In October, Turkey also produced 101,449 tons of yogurt, 65,045 tons of the salty yogurt drink, ayran, 5,839 tons of milk powder, 5,290 tons of butter, and 2,596 tons of cream. In the January-September period, the country collected 7.3 million tons of cow milk, down from 7.74 million tons in the same period last year. During the first nine months of 2019, Turkey exported dairy products worth $274.65 million, up 15percent on an annual basis, according to the National Milk Council data. Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the top destinations for Turkish dairy products exporters in the same period. Last year, over 10 million tons of cow’s milk was produced in Turkey, with 1.66 million tons of drinking milk production.

Copper price bulls take another beating

The price of copper fell on Thursday amid worries about China’s economic slowdown, vital to overall demand for the metal widely used in the manufacturing, construction, transportation and electricity sectors.

In afternoon trading in New York, copper for delivery in July was trading just off its low for the day of $2.61 a pound ($5,760 a tonne), down more than 4percent over the last week. The National Bureau of Statistics also outlined a drop in fixed investment from 4.8percent in September to 3.7percent last month. Adding to the bearishness of the numbers is the fact that state-owned firms kept capital spending largely intact (no doubt guided by the invisible hand of Beijing), but private firms were loathe to make any new investments. Chinese industrial production growth for October released on Thursday also came in way below expectations – falling to 4.7percent year-on-year from 5.8percent in September.

China-backed consortium wins $14bn guinea iron ore deal

The consortium of the Societe Miniere de Boke and Winning Shipping (SMB-Winning) offered $14bn to win a tender to develop part of Guinea’s Simandou iron ore project, edging out Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group, sources familiar with the talks told on Wednesday. The consortium – representing Chinese, French, Singaporean and Guinean interests – has committed to developing blocks one and two of the largest-known deposit of its kind, holding more than two billion tonnes of high-grade ore. Guinea has sought to develop the Simandou deposit for decades, but the project has been mired in protracted legal disputes while its high costs have curbed interest. The government required bidders to build a 650km railway and deepwater port to transport the ore from the remote southeastern corner of Guinea to the coast for export, deterring some miners from bidding. SMB-Winning put $14bn on the table to develop the blocks and build the infrastructure, according to a government source who asked not to be named because the source is not authorised to speak on behalf of the mining ministry.

Indian rice falls on weak demand

Indian rice export prices extended losses for a second week as the rupee weakened and demand from Africa remained low, while a cyclone damaged paddy fields in neighbouring Bangladesh. Top exporter India’s 5percent broken parboiled variety was quoted around $363-$368 per tonne, down from $365-$370 last week. In dollar terms, export prices are down due to the weak rupee. Local paddy rice prices are firm, an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh said. The Indian rupee fell to a two-month low on Wednesday, increasing exporters’ margins. Tepid demand from African countries for non-basmati rice has also played a role in dampening exports, which were down 29percent year-on-year in August at 644,249 tonnes. Many rice-growing states received rainfall earlier this month, which delayed harvesting and damaged paddy crops ready for harvesting, exporters said. Last week, cyclone Bulbul ripped through coastal areas of Bangladesh and eastern India, damaging 23,000 hectares (56,834.24 acres) of paddy fields, as per a preliminary assessment by Dhaka’s agriculture ministry.

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