Commodities Update — Gold prices fall; Indonesia to raise palm oil export quota; Russia reduces grain export taxes

Commodities Update — Gold prices fall; Indonesia to raise palm oil export quota; Russia reduces grain export taxes
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Updated 03 July 2022

Commodities Update — Gold prices fall; Indonesia to raise palm oil export quota; Russia reduces grain export taxes

Commodities Update — Gold prices fall; Indonesia to raise palm oil export quota; Russia reduces grain export taxes

RIYADH: Gold prices fell on Friday as a firm dollar and looming rate hikes soured appetite for the non-yielding asset, while India’s import tax hike on bullion also dampened its demand prospects.

Spot gold is currently priced at $1,811.43 per ounce, while US gold futures settled down at $1,801.50. 

Silver, Platinum fall

Spot silver is priced at $19.67 and has dropped about 6.5 percent this week, its biggest weekly fall since January 2022.

Spot platinum is priced at $892.73 per ounce, on course for its fourth consecutive weekly fall, while palladium is at $1,959.58, gaining about 4.5 percent this week.

Indonesia looks to raise palm oil export quota

Indonesia proposed raising palm oil export quotas on Friday and is considering increasing mandatory levels of biodiesel in fuel mixes to prop up prices for farmers when domestic palm oil inventories are high, a senior minister said on Saturday.

Palm oil inventories ballooned, and mills limited purchases of fresh fruit bunches from farmers after Jakarta stopped exports of crude palm oil and some other derivatives for three weeks to May 23 in a bid to contain soaring domestic cooking oil prices.

Indonesia replaced the ban with a domestic market obligation, requiring companies to supply a portion of their products to the domestic market through the government’s bulk cooking oil program and linked DMO volumes to companies’ export permits and quotas. 

DMO volumes as of the end of June were around 270,000 tons, the government said.

The government will now allow palm oil companies to export seven times the amount of their sales from currently five times, senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan said.

“I asked the Trade Ministry to increase the export multiplication factor to seven times starting July 1, with the main objective to increase farmer’s FFB prices significantly,” Luhut said in a statement.

Russia reduces grain export taxes to support exports

Sanctions-hit Russia has sharply reduced its grain export taxes after changing the formula it uses for calculating them to support shipments in the July-June marketing season, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

Russian farmers are expected to harvest a massive wheat crop this summer, bringing a record exportable surplus in the 2022-2023 season. 

However, shipments are complicated by high export tax, a strong rouble and sanctions-inflated costs for freight and insurance.

The ministry said that the new base price for calculating the wheat export tax is set at 15,000 roubles ($283.68) per ton.

It was previously in US dollars at $200 a ton. The agriculture ministry used the base price and price indicators reported by traders to determine the level of tax weekly.

The wheat export tax is set at 4,600 roubles ($85.8) per ton from July 6-12 against $146.1 per ton from June 29 to July 5, the ministry said in a separate note.

President Vladimir Putin said this week that Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and aims to remain so. Despite disrupting the Black Sea supply chains, it continues to supply its traditional markets in the Middle East and Africa.

(With inputs from Reuters)


Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil
Updated 15 sec ago

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Wednesday, falling 3.69 percent to $22,981 as of 7:46 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,683 falling by 5.46 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

In response to this year’s rout in risky assets, Coinbase Global Inc. reported a bigger than expected quarterly loss after the bell on Tuesday, sending its shares down 6 percent, Reuters reported.

Retail trading fell by 68 percent at the cryptocurrency exchange in the second quarter, while institutional trading dropped by 46 percent.

The cryptocurrency exchange’s trading volumes also dropped more than half to $217 billion.

Despite the collapse of certain crypto ventures and a broad selloff in financial markets, Coinbase expects trading volumes to fall further in the current quarter.

The downturn in 2022 has sent Bitcoin 50 percent lower, forced Coinbase to cut jobs and raised fears of a drop in small-scale trading interest.

In the April-June quarter, Coinbase’s monthly transacting users decreased by 2 percent to 9 million.

Based on Refinitiv data, the adjusted loss for the quarter was $4.76 a share. Analysts had expected $2.65 a share. Market expectations were missed by 63 percent.

Despite a 37 percent increase in operating expenses, the company lowered its technology, development, and administration expenditure forecast to between $4 billion and $4.25 billion from $4 billion to $5 billion.

First cryptocurrency import order from Iran

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim agency reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has registered its first official order to import $10 million worth of cryptocurrency, Reuters reported.

Alireza Peymanpak, head of the country’s Trade Promotion Organization said: “This week, the first official import order registration worth 10 million dollars was successfully completed using cryptocurrency.

“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries.”

(With inputs from Reuters)

 


Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah

Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah
Updated 26 min 53 sec ago

Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah

Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah

RIYADH: BinDawood Holding Co., a Saudi-based grocery retail operator of hypermarkets and supermarkets, has opened two Danube Express stores at the Haramain High Speed Railway stations in Jeddah and Makkah.

The opening marks the first express stores with two more to follow in the city of Madinah as well as the King Abdullah Economic City in 2022, the company said.

“The Haramain railway is expected to carry over 60 million passengers annually, and we are thrilled to reach more customers across the Kingdom and introduce them to the Danube experience through the new ‘express’ model,” said Ahmad BinDawood, CEO of BinDawood.

Following the announcement, shares of the retailer rose 1.17 percent to reach SR86.6 ($23) in the early hours of Wednesday.


China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters
Updated 31 min 51 sec ago

China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

RIYADH: The yuan eased on Wednesday, weighed down by signs that China’s COVID-19-hit economy is struggling to regain momentum and by lingering concerns over heightened Sino-US tensions over Taiwan.

The currency’s losses were limited, however, by caution ahead of US inflation data later in the global day, which could provide hints to the Federal Reserve’s plans for future monetary tightening and the direction of the dollar.  

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.7612 per dollar prior to the market open, weaker than the previous fix of 6.7584. 

Factory inflation at 17-month low

China’s factory-gate inflation eased to a 17-month low in July, defying global cost pressures as slower domestic construction weighed on raw material demand, although consumer prices picked up pace, driven mostly by tight pork supplies.

The producer price index rose 4.2 percent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics, said on Wednesday, after a 6.1 percent uptick in June and missing analyst forecasts for a 4.8 percent increase.

China’s producer price growth has slowed from a 26-year high hit in October last year, giving policy makers some leeway to stimulate the flagging economy even as central banks elsewhere scramble to hose down rampant inflation with aggressive interest rate hikes.

China’s Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

Lenovo Group, the world’s biggest maker of personal computers, reported flat revenue for the April to June quarter when many Chinese cities were hit by COVID-19 lockdowns, marking its most subdued result in eight quarters.

Total revenue during the period was $16.96 billion, up 0.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago though it was in line with an average Refinitiv estimate of $16.87 billion drawn from seven analysts. That was the smallest quarter-on-quarter increase since the period ending in March 2020.

However, Lenovo has made big strides in expanding into other higher-margin businesses such as server operation, information technology services and mobile devices, with Lenovo’s non-PC business now accounting for 37 percent of the company’s revenue. For the quarter, net income attributable to shareholders rose 11 percent to $516 million.

Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo’s chairman and CEO, said the company is “diversifying from a pure PC business to a company that offers a broad range of intelligent products and solutions.”

(With input from Reuters)

 


MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high
Updated 10 August 2022

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high

REUTERS: Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Wednesday, ahead of the release of US inflation data that could point to the Federal Reserve’s appetite for more aggressive rate increases.

The Abu Dhabi index touched a record peak, rising 0.7 percent to 10,193 points and bolstered by a 2.1 percent gain in conglomerate International Holding Co. (IHC), which is on course to gain for a fourth session in five.

On Monday, IHC reported a quarterly profit of 6.81 billion dirhams ($1.85 billion), up from 2.87 billion a year earlier, mainly driven by acquisitions.

IHC, which has a market capitalization of more than $167 billion and assets in the fast-growing health care and industrial sectors, is Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed company.

Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company jumped 4 percent, after reporting a sharp rise in first-half net profit.

Dubai’s main share index eased 0.1 percent, hit by a 1.5 percent fall in its top lender, Emirates NBD.

The bank has given most employees a pay rise of up to 8 percent to help cushion rising costs of living, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Dubai average rental prices for apartments and townhouses rose by 29 percent and 33 percent in the first half of the year and for villas by 64 percent, according to Betterhomes, as the property market continued a strong post-pandemic recovery.

The Dubai index’s losses, however, were limited by a 1.3 percent rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added 0.1 percent, helped by a 0.5 percent gain in Al Rajhi Bank.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco has told at least four North Asian buyers that it will supply full contractual volumes of crude in September, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Shares of Aramco were down 0.5 percent.

The Qatari benchmark dropped 0.4 percent, driven down by a 0.6 percent fall in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Among other losers, Salam International Investment jumped 3.8 percent following a decline in first-half profit.

Crude oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, fell ahead of a key US report on inflation and after industry data showed US crude inventories had unexpectedly risen last week, signalling a potential hiccup in demand.
 


Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften
Updated 10 August 2022

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften

RIYADH: Gold prices hovered on Wednesday near their highest level in more than a month, supported by a weaker dollar with investors awaiting US inflation data, which is expected to influence the pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes.

Spot gold held its ground at $1,793.39 per ounce, as of 0318 GMT, after hitting its highest since July 5 at $1,800.29 on Tuesday. US gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,810.

Silver eases

Spot silver eased 0.2 percent to $20.47 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.4 percent to $930.14. 

Palladium edged 0.1 percent higher to $2,217.40.

Corn ease, wheat up

Chicago corn futures eased on Wednesday, as the market took a breather after climbing to a one-week high in the previous session on concerns over hot and dry weather in parts of the US Midwest.

Wheat rose for a third consecutive session, although hopes of more grain exports from Ukraine limited gains.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose a quarter of a cent to $6.14-1/4 a bushel, as of 0028 GMT, and soybeans slid 0.1 percent to $14.27-1/2 a bushel.

Wheat added 0.5 percent to $7.85-3/4 a bushel.

London base metals soften

Prices of most base metals in London eased on Wednesday after China’s inflation in July hit a two-year high, while investors were braced for continued hawkishness from the Federal Reserve ahead of the highly anticipated US inflation data.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange lost 0.8 percent to $7,920.50 a ton by 0309 GMT.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dipped 0.3 percent to $9,026.33 a ton.

LME zinc fell 1.1 percent to $3,499 a ton, lead lost 0.8 percent to $2,149 a ton, tin declined 0.8 percent to $24,235 a ton.

(With input from Reuters)