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Commodities Update — Gold prices at four-week low; Wheat, corn fall; Indonesia modifies palm oil policy

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Oil Updates — Crude fluctuates; Bahrain appoints new oil minister; Colombia increases oil production

RIYADH: Oil prices seesawed in positive and negative territory on Tuesday, holding up despite recession fears and potential new COVID-19 curbs in China that could dampen demand as the market remains tightly supplied.

US West Texas Intermediate crude eased 4 cents to $120.89 a barrel at 0156 GMT, while Brent crude futures dipped 6 cents to $122.21 a barrel.

Bahrain gets a new oil minister

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa ordered a cabinet reshuffle on Monday that included appointing a new oil minister, state media reported.

Mohammed bin Mubarak Bin Dainah, who was the country’s envoy for climate affairs, was named minister of oil and environment, replacing Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa‮.‬

The reshuffle included appointing Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa as deputy prime minister and minister of infrastructure, Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani as industry and commerce minister and Fatima bint Jaafer al Sairafi as tourism minister.

Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa said the reshuffle “will bring new ideas and a renewed drive to continue advancing the public sector,” the state news agency quoted him as saying on Monday.

“The reshuffle, the largest in the country’s history, has resulted in a change of 17 out of 22 ministers, with the introduction of a large proportion of young ministers, including four females,” a government spokesperson said.

Colombia stepping up oil and coal production

Colombia is set to increase the production of coal and petroleum as it steps up to fill the void created by sanctions against Russia, Energy Minister Diego Mesa said on Monday.

The Andean county has restarted coal exports to Ireland, Mesa said on the sidelines of Canada’s PDAC conference in Toronto.

The European country stopped buying Colombian coal in 2016 on human rights concerns.

“Six years ago Ireland had replaced Colombian coal with Russian coal … but at the beginning of the war they came knocking at our doors again,” Mesa said.

The demand for coal is so high that mining companies like Drummond, one of Colombia’s largest producers, have managed to secure contracts for the next 18 months, Mesa said.

Poland has signed for one million tons of coal from Drummond and is expected to place a contract for an additional two million tons, he said.

Colombia has also increased its coal exports to the Netherlands, Spain, and Canada since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he added.

(With input from Reuters)

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