WTI closed above $107/ Barrel by end of last week and was at a 2 week high last week on account of unrest in Egypt and Libya. Egypt’s unrest is raising concerns that Middle East oil supplies may be disrupted. Suez Canal is controlled by Egypt, a key waterway through which nearly 10 percent of world energy supply is shipped annually. Strikes at oil facilities in Libya has curtailed its production.Such strikes have helped cut Libyan production to 650,000 barrels a day from 1.65 million barrels a day a year ago. WTI also rose last week after U.S. retail sales gained and German investor confidence topped forecasts. US retail sales data rose for a fourth month in July 2013. Brent Crude closed above $110/Barrel by end of last week on account of instability in Middle-east and North Africa. Oil prices have also remained at high levels as US Federal Reserve continues to keep its Quantitative easing measures. Tapering of easing measures by Fed can result in fall in oil price. Natural gas closed at $3.368/ MMBTU. It had declined on outlook of Milder Eastern U.S Weather. Earlier natural gas prices surged on reports that heat wave will stay till the end of August 2013.
Gold price closed above $1,375/ Ounce by end of last week. Gold prices arose last week as demand surged in China which was the second largest consumer last year. Silver closed above $23/ Ounce by end of last week. The China Gold Association recently stated that Gold purchases rose 54 percent to 706.4 metric tons in the first half this year from a year earlier. China consumed 832.18 tonnes in all of 2012. India’s consumption this year is expected to be lower than last year’s 860 tonnes as the government is trying to curb imports and reduce its trade deficit. India raised import duties for the third time in 2013 last week to curtail the current account deficit and stem volatility in the rupee.Earlier Gold had fallen in 1st week of July 2013 to $1225/ Ounce on concerns of tapering by Federal Reseve. Similarly Silver had fallen in last week of June 2013 below $19/ Ounce. However Gold and Silver prices have recovered since then on dovish comments from the Fed. Precious metals continued to witness rally on account of physical demand and inflows to ETFs as equities market slumped and dollar index weakened. Dollar index was at 81.257 by end of last week. The recent commodities rally can be curtailed if US Fed tapering begins.
Base Metals had rallied in London Metal exchange this month on account of improvement in Chinese trade data. By end of last week Copper was above $7,370/ Tonne , Aluminium was close to $1,898 / Tonne, Nickel was above $14,900/ Tonne and Lead was above $2,240/ Tonne. In Intercontinental exchange cocoa was above $2,495/ Tonne. It arose this month on concerns dry weather will damage crop in Ivory Coast, the top producer. Sugar was close to $17Cents / Pound. It arose to a six-week high in New York last week on concerns colder weather in Brazil, the leading producer could further damage this year’s crop. Soybean headed for its weekly gain last week in New York after data showed a rise in unplanted acres in the U.S., the largest grower of the oilseed, and dry weather boosted crop concerns. Global coffee production will exceed demand by 4.46 million bags in 2013-14, from a 10 million-bag surplus a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Excess stock piles can result in fall in coffee prices.