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Commodities Update — Gold dips; Wheat slides; Peru’s inflation at 24-years high; Russia expects $200bn China trade

RIYADH: Gold prices fell on Monday, as elevated US Treasury yields pressured demand for zero-yield bullion, ahead of a widely expected big interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve to contain rising inflationary pressures.

Spot gold retreated 0.4 percent to $1,888.56 per ounce, as of 2.41 a.m. GMT. US gold futures dropped 1.3 percent to $1,886.90.

Silver, Palladium fall

Spot silver fell 0.6 percent to $22.60 per ounce, while platinum dipped 0.5 percent to $926.58. 

Palladium slid 2.2 percent to $2,268.48.

Wheat drops as US rains lift production prospects

Chicago wheat futures dropped to a three-week low on Monday, falling for a fourth consecutive session, as rains in key growing parts of the US plains provided much-needed relief to the crop.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was down 1.8 percent at $10.37 a bushel, as of 2.35 a.m. GMT, after hitting its lowest since April 8 at $10.34 a bushel earlier in the session.

Corn and soybean prices eased with a focus on US planting.

Corn fell 1.5 percent to $8.01 a bushel. Soybeans were down 1 percent to $16.68 a bushel.

Peru’s annual inflation rate hits a 24-year high in April

Peru’s annual inflation rate hit 7.96 percent in April, its highest level in 24 years, as the copper-producing Andean nation grapples with protests over rising food and energy costs, which are linked to a commodities price spike since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The country’s INEI statistics institute said on Sunday that 12-month inflation was at the highest since May 1998. Meanwhile, monthly inflation cooled slightly to 0.96 percent from 1.48 percent in March, which had been the highest monthly figure in 26 years.

To combat inflation, Peru’s central bank has steadily raised the country’s benchmark interest rate this year, hiking it in early April by 50 basis points to 4.5 percent, the highest since 2009.

Peru’s government tweaked some projections for 2022 over the weekend, trimming its growth outlook to 3.6 percent from 4.8 percent. The country is the world’s second-largest copper producer, though mining firms are being hit by a spate of community protests.

Russia expects trade with China to reach $200 billion by 2024

Russia said on Saturday it expected commodity flows with China to grow and trade with Beijing to reach $200 billion by 2024, as Moscow faces mounting isolation from the West.

China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and has criticized the unprecedented Western sanctions on Moscow. The two countries have bolstered ties in recent years, including announcing a “no limits” partnership in February.

“We are focused on achieving the goal set by the heads of state to bring bilateral trade turnover to $200 billion by 2024,” Georgiy Zinoviev, head of the Russian foreign ministry’s first Asia department, told the Interfax news agency.

“Moreover, we suggest that reaching this ambitious figure earlier than planned is quite possible.”

With Russian trade buffeted by sanctions, Zinoviev said time was needed to adapt. He said China’s struggle with COVID-19 in recent weeks was also a factor that could complicate efforts.

“Chinese business remains interested in expanding its presence in Russia, for whom additional opportunities are opening up given the departure of some Western companies,” Zinoviev said.


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