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Commodities Update — Gold prices fall; Indonesia to raise palm oil export quota; Russia reduces grain export taxes
RIYADH: Gold prices fell on Friday as a firm dollar and looming rate hikes soured appetite for the non-yielding asset, while India’s import tax hike on bullion also dampened its demand prospects.
Spot gold is currently priced at $1,811.43 per ounce, while US gold futures settled down at $1,801.50.
Silver, Platinum fall
Spot silver is priced at $19.67 and has dropped about 6.5 percent this week, its biggest weekly fall since January 2022.
Spot platinum is priced at $892.73 per ounce, on course for its fourth consecutive weekly fall, while palladium is at $1,959.58, gaining about 4.5 percent this week.
Indonesia looks to raise palm oil export quota
Indonesia proposed raising palm oil export quotas on Friday and is considering increasing mandatory levels of biodiesel in fuel mixes to prop up prices for farmers when domestic palm oil inventories are high, a senior minister said on Saturday.
Palm oil inventories ballooned, and mills limited purchases of fresh fruit bunches from farmers after Jakarta stopped exports of crude palm oil and some other derivatives for three weeks to May 23 in a bid to contain soaring domestic cooking oil prices.
Indonesia replaced the ban with a domestic market obligation, requiring companies to supply a portion of their products to the domestic market through the government’s bulk cooking oil program and linked DMO volumes to companies’ export permits and quotas.
DMO volumes as of the end of June were around 270,000 tons, the government said.
The government will now allow palm oil companies to export seven times the amount of their sales from currently five times, senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan said.
“I asked the Trade Ministry to increase the export multiplication factor to seven times starting July 1, with the main objective to increase farmer’s FFB prices significantly,” Luhut said in a statement.
Russia reduces grain export taxes to support exports
Sanctions-hit Russia has sharply reduced its grain export taxes after changing the formula it uses for calculating them to support shipments in the July-June marketing season, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.
Russian farmers are expected to harvest a massive wheat crop this summer, bringing a record exportable surplus in the 2022-2023 season.
However, shipments are complicated by high export tax, a strong rouble and sanctions-inflated costs for freight and insurance.
The ministry said that the new base price for calculating the wheat export tax is set at 15,000 roubles ($283.68) per ton.
It was previously in US dollars at $200 a ton. The agriculture ministry used the base price and price indicators reported by traders to determine the level of tax weekly.
The wheat export tax is set at 4,600 roubles ($85.8) per ton from July 6-12 against $146.1 per ton from June 29 to July 5, the ministry said in a separate note.
President Vladimir Putin said this week that Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and aims to remain so. Despite disrupting the Black Sea supply chains, it continues to supply its traditional markets in the Middle East and Africa.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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