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Commodity Markets

OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report – September 2017

9

disruption in Chile and Peru at the beginning of the year supported prices. Average copper inventories at the

London metal exchange warehouse system dropped by 23% to 228k tonnes during the month, suggesting a

temporary tightening market as well.

In the group of energy commodities, oil prices advanced on sustained withdrawals from inventories and the

continuing conformity with the Declaration of Cooperation. Natural gas prices declined in the US in the first

weeks of the month on lower temperatures in eastern and southern regions which limited demand, but prices

recovered toward the end of the month, partly in anticipation of the impact of Hurricane Harvey. In the

aftermath of the storm, prices have remained stable in the band between $2.90/mmbtu and $3.1/mmbtu,

were they have stayed since mid-March. Natural gas prices in Europe advanced due to higher demand

resulting from low temperatures and lower natural gas deliveries from Norway. Natural gas inventories for the

EU Member States increased to 76.7% of capacity at the end of August from 63.4% in the previous month,

though last year’s end of August inventories were at 83.7%. Thermal coal prices jumped by 9.6% as a result

of strong demand for power generation in China and supply delays in Indonesia and Australia due to severe

weather. Thermal power generation in China increased by 10.5% in July, and by 7.8% y-o-y from January -

July, as a result of a summer heat wave, higher industrial production and reduced hydro electrical output

which was down by 3.4% y-o-y in the January - July period according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The Government of China recently banned coal, iron ore and lead imports from North Korea to comply with

the UN resolutions. In 2016, shipment of Anthracite (high quality coal) from North Korea to China reached

22.4 MMT, while due to a preliminary suspension as of February 2017, only 2.67 MMT have been shipped in

2017, according to Chinese customs official data.

Table 2 - 1: Commodity price data

% Change

Jun 17 Jul 17 Aug 17 Aug 17/Jul 17

2016

2017

Energy*

60.4

62.3

65.0

4.4

51.3

65.3

Coal, Australia

US$/mt

81.0

87.5

95.9

9.6

54.7

83.5

Crude oil, average US$/b

46.2

47.7

49.9

4.8

40.2

50.6

Natural gas, US

US$/mbtu

2.9

3.0

2.9

-2.7

2.2

3.0

Non-energy*

81.7

83.3

84.3

1.3

79.4

84.0

Agriculture*

87.4

88.0

86.5

-1.7

88.7

88.8

Food*

91.9

92.6

89.5

-3.4

91.9

92.6

Soybean meal

US$/mt

336.0 352.0 342.0

-2.8 385.5 358.1

Soybean oil

US$/mt

827.0 834.0 855.0

2.5 779.1 831.6

Soybeans

US$/mt

380.0 408.0 390.0

-4.4 403.5 401.4

Maize

US$/mt

157.9 157.5 148.5

-5.7 163.1 157.6

Wheat, US, HRW US$/mt

189.6 202.5 171.2

-15.4 175.6 171.5

Sugar, world

US$/kg

0.3

0.3

0.3

-1.7

0.4

0.4

Base metal*

79.2

82.1

88.4

7.6

65.9

81.4

Aluminum

US$/mt

1,885.3 1,903.0 2,030.0

6.7 1,565.9 1,900.7

Copper

US$/mt

5,719.8 5,985.1 6,485.6

8.4 4,731.3 5,874.3

Lead

US$/mt

2,132.9 2,269.9 2,348.5

3.5 1,754.7 2,241.5

Nickel

US$/mt

8,931.8 9,491.4 10,890.0

14.7 9,073.7 9,862.1

Tin

US$/mt

19,658.8 20,223.5 20,521.0

1.5 16,659.4 20,065.9

Zinc

US$/mt

2,573.4 2,787.2 2,980.7

6.9 1,905.6 2,735.5

Iron ore, cfr spot

US$/dmtu

57.5

67.7

76.1

12.3

53.9

73.9

Precious metals*

97.9

95.6

99.4

4.0

97.3

97.1

Gold

US$/toz

1,260.3 1,236.9 1,283.0

3.7 1,249.9 1,243.8

Silver

US$/toz

16.9

16.2

17.0

4.9

16.9

17.2

Note: * World Bank commodity price indices (2010 = 100).

Source: World Bank, Commodity price data.

Unit

Commodity

Monthly averages

Year-to-date