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Grains-wheat falls 1pc, but losses limited by global output worries

U.S. wheat futures fell 1 percent on Thursday, as traders booked profits after prices hit a near six-year high in the previous session, although losses were limited on concerns about adverse weather in key producing regions.

Corn edged lower despite concerns about global production; soybeans also fell.

The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 1 percent at $6.23 a bushel by 0356 GMT. Wheat hit a near six-year high of $6.38 a bushel on Wednesday, but ended 0.4 percent lower.

Despite edging lower, analysts said wheat remains underpinned by concerns about global production.

“Weather forecasters can see a little rain forming for dry Black Sea and U.S. grain regions at limits of the projection horizon,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

There’s nothing that can stop the world’s next oil hotspot

While the deeply impoverished South American country of Guyana is attracting the lion’s share of attention when it comes to oil, it is neighboring Suriname where the next major petroleum discovery could occur. ExxonMobil’s raft of discoveries in offshore Guyana, including the latest Redtail-1 find its 18th offshore discovery in the impoverished former British colony, underscores the considerable potential held by the Guyana-Suriname Basin. The growing regional importance of Guyana’s and Suriname’s burgeoning oil boom was highlighted by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo visiting both countries last month. That visit was designed to show support for the newly elected leaders of both countries after they experienced political turmoil and crises. It was in early-August that Irfaan Ali was sworn in as Guyana’s president after a tense and long standoff with outgoing president David Granger, who had declared victory after the March 2nd election. It was early-July when Suriname’s parliament chose former police chief and justice minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi to replace Desi Bouterse who is facing murder and narco-trafficking charges.

In dubai, oil-rich UAE sees a new wonder: a coal power plant

A new wonder is rising in the southern desert of Dubai against the backdrop of Persian Gulf beaches, but it’s not another skyscraper to grace the futuristic sheikhdom. Instead, it’s one of mankind’s oldest power sources gaining its own space on the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula — a coal-fired power plant.

The construction of the $3.4 billion Hassyan plant in Dubai appears puzzling, as the United Arab Emirates hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency. It’s also building the peninsula’s first nuclear power plant and endlessly promotes its vast solar-power plant named after Dubai’s ruler. Dubai has also set the lofty goal of having the world’s lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050 — something that would be impacted by burning coal.

The coal plant’s arrival comes as Gulf Arab nations remain among the world’s hungriest for energy and amid political concerns over the use of natural gas imported from abroad, concerns underscored by a yearslong dispute with gas-producer Qatar, which is boycotted by four Arab nations, including the UAE.

India’s Isma forecasts 2020-21 sugar output rising 13 percent on year to 31 mil mt

India’s sugar production is forecast to rise 13 percent year on year to 31 million mt in the Oct. 1 2020-Sept. 30, 2021 marketing year, the Indian Sugar Mills Association said in its latest update Oct. 19, due mainly to increased cane acreage in key producing western and southern regions.

Total cane acreage in India is 9 percent higher on the year at 5.27 million hectares, despite a marginal decline in the cane area in the leading producing northern state of Uttar Pradesh, ISMA said.

India’s opening stock for the new marketing season was estimated at 10.64 million mt Oct. 1, down 27 percent on the year, ISMA said. Analysts attributed the lower opening stocks to lower sugar production coupled with stronger export sales in the 2019-20 marketing year.

However, the opening stocks for 2020-21 were still 5.5 million mt higher than domestic demand for the initial months of the new season, when new crop sugar is not easily available in the market. Cane crushing will commence in November or December.

BHP posts 7 pc rise in iron ore output

BHP Group posted on Tuesday a 7.2 percent rise in first-quarter iron ore production, slightly above expectations, supported by stable demand from China, the world’s top consumer of the steelmaking ingredient.

As the world grapples with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, major miners are hoping Beijing’s commodity-intensive stimulus measures will deliver an economic rebound for China.

The world’s largest listed miner produced 74 million metric tons (Mt) of Western Australia Iron Ore in the three months ended Sept. 30, up from 69 Mt a year earlier and slightly above a UBS estimate of 73.5 Mt.

BHP said, however, that December quarter iron ore production will be affected by work linking its Mining Area C and South Flank projects in Western Australia. Its full-year forecast of 276 milllion – 286 million tons was kept unchanged.

Why China developed a fresh taste for milk

China’s appetite for milk has exploded in recent years. The nation of nearly 1.4 billion people is now the world’s second largest consumer of dairy products, and imports are flying over the border, with dairies from New Zealand to Germany topping off the behemoth’s demands for milk.

An intriguing little detail in all this frothy commerce is that many people in China, like much of Asia, are lactose intolerant. Human children produce an enzyme that allows them to digest milk, but in much of the world, its levels taper off as they grow up.

People of European descent are somewhat unusual in that they mostly continue to digest dairy effortlessly as adults. In China, a much-cited study estimated that 92 percent of adults had trouble absorbing lactose; more recently, China’s preventative medicine agency suggested that by the time kids are 11 to 13 years old, around 40 percent have lost the ability to digest it.

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