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FAO: Price Index declines in November amid cereals boom

Global food prices declined marginally in November, as lower dairy prices offset a sharp increase in sugar and vegetable oil quotations, according to the latest FAO Food Price Index issued today. The index averaged 175.8 points in November, down 0.5 percent from the previous month while still up 2.3 percent from a year earlier. FAO also revised upward its global cereal forecasts and now expects worldwide supplies to rise to nearly 3 331 million tonnes, an all-time high. The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change ...

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Brazil to decree trade terms for grains, oilseeds with Russia

Brazil will issue a decree on Friday laying out terms of grains and oilseeds trade with Russia, particularly wheat and soybeans, which could help reopen the Russian market for Brazilian meat, agriculture minister Blairo Maggi said on Wednesday. Maggi said the decree will detail conditions for possible imports of Russian wheat by Brazil, as well as exports of Brazilian soybeans to Russia. The minister said talks continue to lift restrictions on Brazilian meat imports by Russia and the United States. Source: Reuters (Reporting by José Roberto Gomes; Writing by Marcelo ...

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Kobe Steel Scandal May Open Doors for Rivals, Spurned Suitors

The worst product quality scandal in Kobe Steel Ltd.’s 112-year history has reignited speculation it could be broken up for sale or merged with a rival. The top Japanese makers of the key metal used in everything from cars to girders have all chosen to merge in the last 15 years, sacrificing independence to stay competitive with bigger producers, many of which are now Chinese. Kobe Steel is the one holdout. Now, analysts say the company’s resolve may weaken, especially if the cost of compensating customers balloons following the admission ...

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Surge in international iron-ore prices changing Indian market dynamics

The sharp rebound in international iron-ore prices over the last month is changing dynamics of the Indian market, with imports of the steel-making ingredient surging and local miners hiking prices. India’s largest miner, the government-owned and -operated NMDC has increased the domestic sales price for deliveries in December by 13% for high-grade iron-ore lumps to Rs2 968/t ($46/t). The domestic price for iron-ore fines was increased 10% at Rs2 486/t ($39/t). NMDC has justified the increase in domestic iron-ore prices during the past 13 months on the sharp surge in ...

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China exchanges hike fees to snuff out speculators in commodities

China’s commodity exchanges have hiked transaction fees and margin requirements for a range of futures this year in their latest effort to curb speculative trading that Beijing says has spurred recent price surges in markets from sugar to ferro-silicon. The Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange has hiked transaction fees and issued risk warning statement for ferro-silicon against recent surge in the market. In the past two years, the Dalian Commodity Exchange, Shanghai Futures Exchange and Zhengzhou have all used fee hikes and position limit curbs as ways to snuff out speculative rallies ...

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Chinese steel prices extend losses on winter demand concerns

Chinese steel futures on Thursday extended losses on concerns that demand in the world’s top producer will decline as winter kicks in, driving down prices for raw materials including iron ore and coke. The most active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange had dropped 1.6 percent to 3,894 yuan ($588.47) a tonne by the midday break. “Spot steel prices hit a multi-year high (on Tuesday), and traders are clearing their stocks to lock-in profit amid worries that the turning point may come soon as demand will drop off seasonally,” said ...

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Commodities Crumble Again as China Alarm Bells Sink Metals

Stocks and bitcoin may be having a stellar year, but one corner of global markets hasn’t shared the good fortune. The Bloomberg Commodities Index has fallen 4.1 percent in the past month, putting it on course for its sixth year of losses out of seven. The big question is whether the selloff is simply a snapback after a frenzied rally or the warning of a weaker economy. One bad sign for commodities going forward are expectations for a slower growth in China. The country’s pollution cleanup and a cooling property ...

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Energy commodity prices start to pick up late in Trump’s first year: Of Presidents and Prices

For the first time since Donald Trump was inaugurated president, more of the benchmark commodity prices tracked by S&P Global Platts since he took office are now slightly higher than when President Obama left. Until November, most prices had struggled to see their averages match — or surpass — the levels on the last day Obama held the office. Although fundamentals and a range of other factors influence commodity prices, a group of 11 benchmarks is being monitored by Platts and compared for Trump’s term versus Obama’s. The price of ...

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China’s warm start to winter heats up Chinese steel, mill profits

A warm start to the winter has boosted steel prices and margins for mills in China, the world’s top producer, as the higher temperatures have allowed projects to proceed that would normally have come to a halt. The delay in the seasonal drop-off in demand from the construction sector has prolonged a year-long rally in steel prices and pushed profits to their highest since at least 2008. The steady demand has exacerbated a supply shortfall caused by mills in 28 Chinese cities cutting their blast furnace output by as much ...

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Russia can repeat 2017 grain harvest record — agriculture minister

Russia can repeat the record grain harvest of this year in the future, Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said in an interview aired by the Rossiya-24 TV news channel. “In terms of grain production, I think that we are to meet the challenge. I am sure that we have the potential to repeat the record and probably even increase it in the future,” he said. According to the Agriculture Ministry’s data, as of December 5, 2017 Russia had produced 139.5 mln tonnes (124.6 mln tonnes in 2016) with an average yield ...

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Shanghai steel slides after recent rally, but sentiment still upbeat

Chinese steel futures dropped more than 3 percent on Wednesday after recent sharp gains that lifted prices to their strongest level in three months, although firm demand and tight supply kept investor sentiment upbeat. The pullback in steel prices also dragged down raw materials iron ore and coking coal, which similarly climbed to three-month peaks earlier this week, and followed a selloff in China-traded base metals led by copper as investors cut their exposure to risky assets. The most actively traded rebar for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ...

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Copper Flashes Red as Stockpiles and Spreads Point Bearish

Copper is coming off the biggest one-day slump in two years and the mood in the market is souring. Even though prices are still up dramatically this year, here are four reasons traders are cautious for the future. Supply Swell Copper inventories held in global exchanges remain stubbornly high, even after heavy disruptions to supply from mines in Chile and Indonesia at the start of the year. A large inflow on to the London Metal Exchange was a catalyst in Tuesday’s rout, as it sent a reminder that the market ...

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India: Steel-makers want cap on iron ore production raised

With the busy season on for steelmakers, stocks of steel companies are back in focus. Take, for instance, public sector behemoth Steel Authority of India, which is attracting analysts’ attention (with a medium-term perspective) though it made losses in the September quarter. Clearly, analysts are seeing good times ahead and therefore, have upped their price targets on the stock. This however, calls for adequate availability of raw materials — iron-ore in this case – at reasonable prices. Not just in the short run but also in the long run, the ...

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Egypt to retain tariffs on steel rebar from China, Turkey, and Ukraine for five years -trade ministry

Egypt will maintain tariffs on steel rebar from China, Turkey, and Ukraine for a period of five years, the trade ministry said on Wednesday, extending a temporary tariff imposed earlier this year. The tariff was first implemented in June to protect local manufacturers and set at 17 percent for Chinese steel, 10-19 percent for Turkish steel, and 15-27 percent for Ukrainian steel. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Eric Knecht)

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GRAINS-Soybeans up for 4th session on Argentina dryness, wheat dips

Chicago soybean futures rose for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, with the market trading near its highest since late July on concerns over dry weather reducing yields in Argentina, the world’s third-largest supplier. Wheat ticked lower as U.S. suppliers struggle to win business amid plentiful global supplies while corn edged up. Soybeans for January delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade were up 0.3 percent at $10.11-1/2 a bushel by 0318 GMT. That is just a tad off Tuesday’s peak of $10.15, which was the highest since July 28. ...

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