Commodities: OPEC oil production fell by 500,000 b/d in March

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The commodities complex was relatively well supported on Thursday despite the wave of risk aversion that swept across other asset classes.

Thus, for example, three-month copper futures actually finished the day higher by 0.6% to $6,636/metric tonne mark on the LME despite remarks from China’s Premier that the country will not embark on any significant stimulus to ward off a short-term economic slowdown.

Crude futures also took news of falling oil output from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in their stride.

Platts reported that production from the oil cartel fell by 550,000 barrels per day (b/d) during March, to hit 29.56m b/d. Nonetheless, most of that reduction was the result of insurgent attacks against a key export pipeline in Iraq and another decrease in Libyan production.

West Texas crude futures slipped by 4 cents to end the day at $103.4/barrel.

Global supplies of oil plunged by 1.2m barrels a day to 91.75m b/d in March, led by steeply lower OPEC output, but remained up by 1.1m b/d year-on-year, as non-OPEC growth of 1.98m b/d more than offset a near-1 mb/d drop in OPEC crude, Paris the International Energy Agency said in its monthly oil market report.

Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. lifted ‘force majeure’ at its Hariga oil export terminal after ceded control of it to the Libyan government.

Gold futures rose by $8.6/oz on COMEX on safe haven bids, as a result of the tensions in Ukraine and after the latest set of Fed minutes showed a more dovish bias than expected by some.

Wheat futures were lower by 0.6% to $6.6625/bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT) on heavier rainfall in Australia and Ukraine.

Corn futures dropped 0.5% to $5.0475/bushel


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