Commodity Research Report Ways2Capital 12 Sep 2017


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Precious metals saw a sharp run-up last week following a nuclear test by North Korea which led to escalation in geopolitical tensions


Precious metals saw a sharp run-up last week following a nuclear test by North Korea which led to escalation in geopolitical tensions. The dollar continued its downtrend and the ECB hint about its plan to taper sent the euro to a 33 month high. The economic impact of twin hurricanes in the US led to further reduction in rate hike chances which benefitted gold. On the demand side, physical demand in Asia is likely to pick up seasonally. ETF’s have also seen inflows with SPDR gold holdings up by 18 tonnes so far this month. Silver ETF’s on the other hand saw outflows last week of nearly 130 tonnes. Looking ahead, the broader trend still remains positive for gold as it has shifted into a higher range. In the short-term, cooling of geo-political tensions could lead to a slight pullback in prices. The precious metals complex has continued to hold on at Gold prices have convincingly broken out of the broad consolidation that we saw in the first eight months of this year as geo-political tensions coupled with dollar weakness lifted prices. The conflict in the Korean peninsula is at a dangerous juncture after the nuclear test by North Korea. The UN is likely to impose fresh sanctions on the Korean regime which may result in further deterioration in relations. There is likelihood of another ICBM launch by NK if sanctions are imposed in the UN vote this week. This is likely to keep risk premium elevated in gold prices and dips will attract buying as long as uncertainty holds.

The other important driver for gold has been consistent weakness in the US dollar. The US dollar index is at its lowest since Jan 2015 and the weakness has been amplified by the excessive euro strength. The ECB in its meeting last week tried to maintain a dovish tone but its lack of concern over euro strength led the currency to jump higher. The ECB will also be ready with its plan for unwinding stimulus by the next meeting in October which will support the euro. On the other hand, the two hurricanes in the US have created a lot of economic damage which will impact the Fed’s ability to increase rates in December. The US debt ceiling debate has been pushed until December which will act as another source of uncertainty for the dollar. Lack of Inflation on the other hand remains a challenge for the Fed. US CPI print for July showed that inflation was up 0.1% m/m and that core CPI was stuck at 1.7% y/y. This was the sixth consecutive miss on the inflation data. The core PCE in July was at 1.4%, the lowest in two years. If inflation remains elusive, the Fed will be forced to go slower with further rate hikes. The odds of a December rate hike are now down to 33%. In the jobs market, we have seen an average 184k payrolls growth in the first eight months, slightly lower than the 2016 average of 193k. In August, we saw the 83rd consecutive month of job additions, the longest streak on record. The unemployment rate is at a 10-year low of 4.3%, near the Fed’s long term target. While, the overall labor market looks healthy, wage growth has still room to improve. The last time unemployment rate was at 4.3% in 2007, wage growth was around 3.4%. Compared to that, the current growth rate of 2.5% shows that the labor market still isn’t tight. On the demand side, Gold ETF’s have started to see inflows following the price rally and SPDR holdings are up by 18 tonnes so far this month. Indian gold prices continue to be at a discount but the upcoming festive season may see a pickup in gold demand. Silver ETF’s on the other hand have seen outflows with iShares holdings down 130 tonnes last week alone which explains the relative underperformance compared to gold price.

China's central bank plans to scrap reserve requirements for financial institutions settling foreign exchange forward yuan positions with effect from Monday, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday. The non-commercial futures contracts of Gold futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 245,298 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday September 5th. This was a weekly jump of 14,251 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 231,047 net contracts. The non-commercial futures contracts of Silver futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 64,171 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday September 5th. This was a weekly increase of 10,526 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 53,645 net contracts. SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.28 per cent to 834.50 tonnes on Friday from 836.87 tonnes on Thursday. China's consumer prices rose 1.8 percent year-on-year in August of 2017, following a 1.4 percent rise in July while market expected a 1.6 percent gain. The producer price index in China increased by 6.3 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 5.5 percent rise in the previous three months and above estimates of a 5.6 percent gain. It was the twelfth straight month of increase in producer inflation and the highest since April

 

? BASE METAL

Base metals rally came to a sudden halt last Friday as the prices of iron ore, copper, lead nickel and zinc slid. The slide came despite another bout of weakness for the US dollar, which fell to near three year lows, and normally should help commodity price. Not even solid Chinese import figures for iron ore, coal, copper and oil could help commodities prices as selling set in in China, Europe and the US. Copper jumped more than 20% this year until Friday’s slide, surprising investors as unlike aluminium or zinc, there has been no attempt to cut supply of the metal by Chinese authorities or other producers or regulators this year. This kind of surge was not justified given China's copper imports had only been stable for past four months. China’s import data shows a mixed picture. Its combined imports of copper products (including anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper products) stood at 390KT in June 17. Even though imports of combined copper products have declined on a YoY and MoM basis data suggests stable demand from China. However, China’s imports of refined copper declined by 24.6% YoY in the first half of 2017. Remarkably, this has not been the case with copper scrap imports into China, which has demonstrated increasing trend so far. In the months ahead there might be a lift in metal imports if there is a restriction on smelter production due to environmental inspections.

LME copper inventories in LME-approved warehouses inched higher on Friday, indicating the market was generally well supplied, but stocks have declined by about 26% over the last month. Diminished expectations for a third rate hike this year compounded by heightened tensions with North Korea and worries over the economic impact of hurricanes in the southeastern U.S. pressured the dollar lower. Concerns over political turmoil in Washington have also fed into recent dollar weakness. An agreement to postpone U.S. debt ceiling talks until Dec, which would coincide with Fed's policy meeting have diminished chances for rate hike. A weaker dollar underpinned metals prices, however, after ECB head Mario Draghi said bank was looking at how to wind down its 60 billion euro a month buying programme. The nickel price had been boosted by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte waging a war on the mining industry but despite the lower ore supply, stocks of refined metal are still very high. Cuba has begun to shut down its nickel industry in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Cuba plans to produce 54,500 tons of nickel and cobalt sulfides this year. Aluminum prices held steady for the week even as other corrected. Other factors for upward price movement in aluminium are supply reforms arising from China, the US policy focus on infrastructure development and higher coal prices. The sector experienced radical supply reforms on account of environmental concerns, forcing capacity idling during winter months and curbing of capacity without approvals. According to some estimates, the potential for Chinese capacity cuts stands over 6 million tonnes due to these reasons. News reports indicate capacity idling of approximately 2.5 million tonnes of outdated smelter capacity that will be replaced by new capacity. Further, the Chinese government has announced 4200 4700 5200 5700 6200 6700 90 190 290 390 490 590 690 Sep-16 Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 Jan-17 Feb-17 Mar-17 Apr-17 May-17 Jun-17 Jul-17 Aug-17 Sep-17 Thousands Copper LME stocks SHFE stocks and LME Price SHFE Copper stocks LME Copper stocks LME Copper($) Source : Reuters Please refer to the disclaimer at the end of the report. 3 For any details contact: substantial reduction in coal consumption in electricity generation over the course of the current five-year plan (2016-20) by ceasing production of 150GW of new coal-fired power plants and idling 20GW of obsolete coal-fired production. Chinese aluminium sector mostly utilises power for its smelters via coal (often in captive plants). Reducing of such capacity will further intensify supply-side disruptions, driving aluminium prices upwards. China’s aluminium exports are the lowest since March which reflects a supply side contraction. The number could contract further in the months ahead because we have had some shuts of illegal capacity and there are going to be winter shuts from Nov. 15.

 

? ENERGY

Oil prices ended nearly flat last week after a bout of choppy trading as markets grapple with the impact of the twin hurricanes that hit the US. We saw refinery utilization falling to the lowest since 2010 in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and it remains to be seen how fast the refineries can get back to normal operations. US production also saw a dip while oil rig count fell last week which supported prices at lower levels. Looking ahead, the monthly reports from the OPEC and IEA will be awaited this week for data on market balances and the level of global inventories. The near term action in oil prices will depend on how prolonged will be the impact of Hurricane Harvey on US oil infrastructure. The hurricane forced refineries across the US Gulf Coast to shut down impacting nearly 3.3 mbpd of refining capacity as per the EIA data released last week. Refinery utilization rates slumped to 79.7% of total capacity, the lowest since 2010. The immediate impact of the Hurricane on WTI was negative as it meant lower demand for crude oil from refineries. But as refineries gear up for a return, oil prices could find support and product prices could start to see a correction. Gasoline prices in the US have already corrected sharply after touching a twoyear high earlier this month. On the other hand, close to 0.75 million bpd of US oil output was impacted and US oil production fell to 8.78 mbpd last week which will support oil prices. We also saw a reduction in number of oil rigs which will further be price supportive. Keeping aside the impact of the twin Hurricanes, the oil market remains extremely choppy in the recent weeks and the IEA and OPEC monthly reports may provide definitive price triggers. In their last report, global demand forecast was revised higher by 0.1 mbpd by both. The OPEC now sees demand growth of 1.4 mbpd this year while IEA sees growth at 1.5 mbpd. At the start of August, the OPEC meeting raised hopes of better compliance with Saudi indicating more export cuts. Saudi suggested that it will export 6.6 mbpd in August, down from 7.1 mbpd in July. Reports also suggest that Saudi will cut allocations by 0.35 mbpd in October. Iraq has also hinted about better compliance and it will be crucial to see if it follows through given that Iraq has been of the worst in compliance so far. If we see better compliance as per data in the OPEC report due this week, it will help prices move up more convincingly. Looking at supply side fundamentals, OPEC output fell by 170,000 bpd in August to 32.68 mbpd on the back of improved compliance from members and fluctuating output from Libya. Oil exports by OPEC were 25.19 million bpd in August, their lowest level since April. Compliance to output cuts improved from 84% in July to 89%. Owing to the impact of Harvey, US crude inventories rose by 4.6 million barrels while gasoline stocks fell by 3.2 million barrels last week. We might see the impact of that continuing for the next couple of weeks as well before we see normal course of operations. Keeping that aside, US oil inventories have declined by ~70 million barrels since the end of March. US oil inventories are back within the fiveyear range and are at their lowest since January 2016. Gasoline stocks are down by 9.8 million barrels while distillate stocks are down by 4.4 million since the end of March. In Europe, ARA product stocks rose 1.4% last week but are 2.8% lower y/y at 44.64 million barrels. In July, OECD stocks declined by 19 million barrels to 3.02 billion barrels but stocks remain 219 million barrels above the 5- year average. A more meaningful reduction in global inventories will be imperative for establishing a firm floor for oil prices. For natural gas, prices fell overall production increased in spite of Hurricane Harvey reducing production in the Gulf of Mexico by an average of 409 million cubic feet per day Net inventory increase totaled 65 Bcf last week, compared with the five-year average of 58 Bcf in the same week

The news of the talks on Sunday helped offset the downward pressure on oil prices amid worries that energy demand would be hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma knocked out power to more than 3 million homes and businesses in Florida on Sunday, but it has weakened to a Category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (177 kph). Looking over the fundamentals from OPEC, The Saudi energy ministry said Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih agreed with his Kazakh counterpart that the option to extend the rebalancing effort would be considered in due course. Elsewhere, Iran will reach an oil production rate of 4.5 million barrels per day (bpd) within five years, Ali Kardor, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said Sunday according to the oil ministry news site SHANA. Iran has been producing around 3.8 million bpd in recent months. NG prices fell in previous sessions as the production started to crawl back to normal and due to alternative temperature conditions. With summer coming to an end and fall beginning in about 17 days, traders are preparing for a drop in demand. This is because temperatures are not likely to be too hot or too cold. As IRMA moved ahead of Florida, Lower air conditioning demand due to massive power outages could be very bearish for natural gas especially if it takes weeks instead of days to bring back electrical power.

 

 

NCDEX - WEEKLY MARKET REVIEW

Turmeric futures (Oct) may trade with a downside bias & remain below 7820 levels. At the spot markets, the price of spot turmeric decreased. At the Erode Turmeric Merchants Association Sales yard, finger turmeric sold at Rs.5,891 to 8,677 a quintal, root variety sold at Rs.5,543 to 8,311 a quintal. At the Regulated Marketing Committee, finger turmeric sold at Rs.7,209 to 8,473 a quintal, root variety sold at Rs.7,089 to 8,004 a quintal. At the Erode Cooperative Marketing Society, finger turmeric sold at Rs.6,889 to 8.829 a quintal, root variety sold at Rs.6,755 to 8,393 a quintal. Jeera futures (Oct) may trade with a bearish bias in the range of 19000- 19435 levels. Spot Jeera prices ruled flat in Unjha and Gondal market of Gujarat, whereas prices in the Rajkot market eased by Rs.35-85/20kg. Prices in Unjha and Rajkot market remain unchanged despite of lower arrivals as compared to previous session due to limited off take. On the other hand, prices in the Rajkot market eased due to muted demand against lower but decent arrivals. Coriander futures (Oct) will probably trade with a downside bias & test 4725 levels. Ample stocks in the country and bearish market sentiments prompted buyers to wait and watch. Prices are also being weighed by higher imports. Indian Coriander is 2-4% uncompetitive in the international market and any further reduction in prices will make prices in line with them and may help to curb imports.

Prices of Jeera likely to get support at lower levels due to speculation over lower arrivals as heavy rainfall in Gujarat damaged stockpiles of Jeera stored in various warehouses. Downside in Dhaniya futures is likely to remain limited on support of lower levels buying. Subdued selling pressure in Indonesia on weaker production in current harvest may have a positive impact on International Pepper market which supports prices in local market. Below normal monsoon rainfall in major growing regions, lower carryover stocks and better export demand likely to support Cardamom prices in near term

Kapas futures (April) may witness an extended fall towards 865-860 levels taking negative cues from the international markets & subdued demand in the domestic market. ICE cotton futures fell more than three percent on Monday on profit taking ahead of a monthly crop supply and demand report from the U.S. government which is expected to show a large natural fiber crop. Market participants expected a big crop in Tuesday's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report despite the havoc created by Harvey in the top cotton producing state, Texas, and concerns of crop damage due to Irma in Georgia, the second major producer. Back at home, the textile industry has not witnessed massive revival ahead of festive seasons and this has impacted yarn procurement in the value chain. Further, expectation of drop in yarn price influenced by bumper crop pressuring new cotton bales price has curbed yarn procurement. Mentha oil futures (Sept) is likely to take support near 1180 levels & trade with an upside bias levels. At the spot market, sellers are not willing to liquidate their produce at the current prevailing rates. The overall estimates highlight that there is tight supply-demand equation for 2017-18 season, as the total availability of Mentha oil for 2017-18 season totaled at 35,000-37,000 tons against estimated demand of 40,000 tons. Cotton oil seed cake futures (Dec) is likely to fall further towards 1540-1530 levels. Spot cotton oil cake declined by Rs 20 at Rs 1,530/100kg in Kadi market of Gujarat amid poor demand from cattle feed manufacturers. According to traders cattle feed manufacturers are still not showing any interest in purchase of cotton oil cake as they are having sufficient stock in their inventory which can meet the near term demand.

KAPAS and Cotton prices at futures traded volatile due to short covering. Crop damages in United States may turn beneficial for India exporters as India is the second largest exporter of cotton after US. Cotton complex may witness some volatility due to profit booking. NCDEX (Oct) Chana recovered well from lower levels on support of festive demand. Overall trend still looks firm and price may get support of festive demand. Guar futures extended gains tracking positive crude oil prices. Overall sentiments likely to remain firm on improved export demand. Buy on dips is advised to the traders. Agriculture Min says: Intercropping can boost sugarcane farmers' income. World Food Price Index in Aug drops 1.3% on lower cereal, sugar, meat price: FAO.NCDEX Barley (Oct) likely to trade firm on lower levels buying.

Soybean futures (Oct) will possibly consolidate in the range of 3060-3130 levels. Soybean price in most of the market yards of the country ruled steady whereas plant rates declined amid poor demand from millers on sluggish sales of soymeal in domestic as well as international market. At present, much needed rain has occurred in key soybean growing areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra during the weekend which will be beneficial for the late sown soybean crop which has entered the pod filling stage. On the other hand, early sown crop may get damaged little bit as it was ready to harvest. Now, the farmers have to wait for harvesting until the moisture from soybean crop dries out. Mustard futures (Oct) may trade with a downside bias & test 3805 levels. Mustard seed prices have declined by Rs.15/100 Kgs at Jaipur, following subdued demand for the commodity. On account of lower sales of mustard oil, mustard oil cake and mustard meal, millers are procuring mustard seed as per their requirement. Farmers have slowed down the sales of mustard seed as millers are reluctant to offer higher prices. Soy oil futures (Oct) is likely to trade with a downside bias & test665-663 levels. Spot refined soy oil at the benchmark Indore market declined by Rs 2 to trade at Rs 660/10kg amid poor demand. According to traders retail demand of soy oil is sluggish due to on going Sharadh paksha period. CPO futures (Sept) may consolidate in the range of 530-537 levels. The market participanst are optimistic about the demand due to upcoming festive demand & also the sellers are not willing to at current prices. Malaysian palm oil ends up on robust export demand. Higher purchases by India and China lifted the market mood.

India Aug Rapeseed meal exports at 50,649 tons vs 32,371 tons a year ago: SEA of India. NCDEX (Oct) Castor extended its gains on lower levels buying. Demand for Castor seed from consuming industries such as soap and shippers are robust, which has kept Castor prices supportive. MCX (Sep) Mentha Oil traded volatile due to profit booking but managed to recover well from lower levels tracking strong fundamentals; fall in prices likely to cushion by robust export demand.

 

 

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