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Weekly Commodities ETF Report: Crude Sinks as US Approves Exemptions to Ban on Iran Crude Imports; Hopes for US-China Trade Deal Lifts Copper, Soybeans

(MT Newswires) – Crude ended Friday’s session with sharp losses, hovering near seven-month lows, as the US agreed to waivers for eight jurisdictions to continue to import Iranian crude following the imposition of sanctions next week. Even with these exemptions, expectations are for a supply contraction of 500,000 barrels per day in Iranian exports, which will help in balancing the effect of the crude oversupply that the market has been seeing, and bringing the market back into balance, according Jefferies, in a note to clients. The issue of oversupply has remained in the forefront, especially following recent data that indicates OPEC’s October output is at its highest level since November 2016. This is coupled with a strong build in oil inventories in the US. The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that weekly crude oil inventories in the US rose 3.22 million barrels, less than the 4.11 million barrels gain expected. This also compares with the American Petroleum Institute’s report last Tuesday that US crude supplies rose by 5.7 million barrels last week, more than analyst forecasts for a 4.1 million-barrel build. The last bit of data for the week is Baker Hughes’ (BHGE) report late Friday that the number of oil rigs operating in the US fell by one to 874 in the seven-day period ending Nov. 2. The combined oil and gas rig count in the US also fell by one to 1,067 as gas rigs were flat at 193.

Light, sweet crude oil for December delivery had a weekly decline of 6.97%, settling at $63.14 per barrel at the end of Friday’s session. In other energy futures, gasoline declined during the week, slumping 6.14% lower and settling at $1.71 per gallon on Friday. Meanwhile, natural gas rose 0.21% this week and was up Friday at $3.31 per 1 million British thermal unit.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Index Total Return Index (SDCITR) fell 1.86% this week, from a decline of 0.04% in the previous week.

Gold ended the Friday session lower, settling at $1,233.30 and ended the week down 0.07%, as the dollar strengthened on upbeat economic data throughout the week. The yellow metal sank to a three-week low on Wednesday after upbeat US consumer confidence data. According to the Conference Board on Tuesday, US consumer confidence increased to 137.9 in October, hitting its highest level since September 2000. Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to drop to 136.3. On Thursday, gold enjoyed a brief rebound as the dollar index eased on reports of progress in Brexit negotiations. The UK and EU negotiators entered into a tentative deal on all aspects of a future partnership on services, as well as the exchange of data, the Times reported. By Friday, however, gold had given up those modest gains after the dollar traded higher once again following a report that US job growth rebounded sharply in October and wages recorded their largest annual gain in nine and a half years. Meanwhile, copper ended Friday’s session higher at $2.81, and gained 2.46% for the week. The red metal’s prices had fallen to a six-week low Tuesday on continuing concerns that the trade war between the US and China would restrict demand for industrial metals. However, copper had risen sharply after President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that he had a conversation with China President Xi Jinping that went well, saying the two had discussed trade. Trump added that he was optimistic about a trade deal. Bloomberg then reported Friday that Trump had requested a drafting of a US-China trade accord. Although Larry Kudlow, top economic adviser to Trump, refuted the report, Trump reassured reporters late Friday that the two countries are much closer to a trade deal. According to UK-based brokerage Kingdom Futures, the copper rally Friday is a “hint” of what effect a trade deal would have on the metals market.

Agriculture commodities ended the week mixed. Sugar had a weekly decline of 2.89% and settled at a price of $0.13 per pound on Friday; coffee was around $1.20 per pound at Friday’s close, up 0.29% for the week; and cocoa rose 1.72% for the week and closed Friday’s session at $2,301 per tonne.  Among grains, soybeans surged 3.41% for the week, closing at $8.88 per bushel on Friday, reaching their biggest weekly gain in six months following news of the possible trade deal between the US and China. Meanwhile, wheat rose 0.74% on the week and settled at $5.09 per bushel at the end of Friday’s session; and corn was up 0.68% in the week and settled at $3.71 per bushel in Friday’s session. The US Department of Agriculture released its baseline projections for 2019, saying that corn will become the most widely planted US crop next year. Corn acreage is expected to expand by 3%. Based on normal weather and yields. The USDA is expecting corn plantings of 92 million acres, which would result in  14.93 billion bushels, the second-largest ever. The USDA also noted how corn prices have strengthened, suggesting that the crop is more profitable than soybeans, which continue to be affected by trade developments. Corn prices are expected to improve for the 2019 crop.

The SummerHaven Dynamic Agriculture Index Total Return Index (SDAITR) rose 0.88% for the week, compared with an incease of 0.27% in the prior week.


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