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Food Supply Stays Tight as Disappointing U.S. Harvest Adds to Global Challenges — Commodities Roundup

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–Brent crude oil inched up 0.1% to $92.05 a barrel.

–European natural gas rose 2% to EUR202.00 a megawatt-hour.

–Gold edges down 0.1% to $1,676 a troy ounce.

–LME copper declined 0.3% to $7,746 a metric ton.

–Wheat rose 0.4% to $8.34 a bushel.

TOP STORY:

Food Supply Stays Tight as Disappointing U.S. Harvest Adds to Global Challenges

A lackluster U.S. harvest this year is setting back efforts to relieve a global food supply that has been constrained by Russia’s war in Ukraine, agriculture-industry executives said.

Senior executives from companies such as Bayer AG, Corteva Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd. said worldwide crop supplies remain tight, and some said at least two more years of good harvests in North and South America are needed to ease the pressure. Persistent drought conditions in the U.S. and agricultural countries in South America, along with uncertainty over crop production in Ukraine, are making that harder, they said.

“When it comes to the global food-supply situation, I think things are going to continue to be tight for the time being,” said Werner Baumann, Bayer’s chief executive.

OTHER STORIES:

Mining Giant Makes Green Vow

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. will spend more than $6 billion on renewable energy and stop using fossil fuels by 2030, a pledge that the Australian iron-ore giant says will lower energy costs and mark a key step toward producing low-carbon steel.

Fortescue is committing to use a combination of wind and solar power, battery storage and hydrogen produced from renewable energy to generate the electricity and fuel needed to extract iron ore, company officials said. Buyers in the steel supply chain could then turn that “green iron ore” into steel.

Gold Loses Status as Haven

Investors expected sticky inflation to lift gold prices this year. Instead, the opposite happened.

The most actively traded gold contract is on pace to decline for six consecutive months, with a loss of 14% through that period so far. That is a significant drop for an asset that is supposed to be a haven and marks the longest losing streak since September 2018, when prices fell 9.9% over six months.

New Hope Weighs Renewable Investments, Coal Deals as High Prices Boost Profits

New Hope Corp. is scrutinizing possible renewable-energy investments in addition to further potential coal-mining acquisitions as it devotes some of the windfall from sky-high coal prices to growth, Chief Executive Rob Bishop said Tuesday.

Mr. Bishop said New Hope wants to take advantage of searing coal prices to grow the company, which could include developing wind or solar farms on rehabilitated mine land. The energy from such investments could be used to power its mine sites or be sold to the market, he said in an interview.

MARKET TALKS:

Palm Oil Rises; Prices Look Well Supported

1019 GMT – Palm oil prices ended the Asian trading higher, in line with the broad recovery in the commodities market Tuesday. While the edible oil has been retreating in recent months amid worries about rising interest rates and a global recession, Citi analysts think prices will be well supported into 4Q and any substantial downside looks unlikely. They point to potential production disruptions due to unfavorable weather conditions in the coming months, which “may present upside risk to CPO prices towards year-end.” The benchmark Bursa Malaysia Derivatives contract for December delivery rose MYR39 to MYR3,739 a ton (yifan.wang@wsj.com)

Metals Inch Higher as China Lockdowns Ease

0757 GMT – Copper prices are ticking higher on hopes that Chinese lockdowns will ease. Three-month copper on the LME is up 0.1% at $7,777.50 a metric ton while nickel gains 0.7% to $24,835 a ton. China eased lockdown measures in the megacity of Chengdu over the weekend, allowing millions of people to return to normal activities. Hong Kong officials have also agreed to end mandatory quarantines for arrivals, according to the South China Morning Post. Lockdowns in China have threatened to slow China’s economy and undermine demand for raw materials like metals, weighing on metals prices. (william.horner@wsj.com)

Oil Steady as Fed Meeting Awaited

0757 GMT – Oil prices are little changed as investors await monetary policy meetings from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England later this week. Brent crude oil edges up 0.6% to $92.56 a barrel while WTI increases 0.3% to $85.63 a barrel. Investors are girding for sizable jumps in interest rates from both central banks. The Fed is likely to raise rates by another 75 basis-point hike, while the BOE will likely decide between a half-percentage point hike and a 75bp one, BNP Paribas says. The Fed meeting is likely to have a big impact on risk assets like oil while also potentially presenting a driver for the dollar, indirectly influencing oil prices. (william.horner@wsj.com)

Copper Prices Rise; Interest-Rate Concerns May Weigh

0335 GMT – Copper prices are higher in early Asian trading as the metal continues to fluctuate amid a mixed bag of drivers. The commodities market will likely remain under pressure ahead of the Fed’s meeting, as investor fears grow over aggressive interest-rate increases, Galaxy Futures analysts say. However, copper is unlikely to suffer substantial declines, as continuing supply issues and restocking demand will keep buying interest high, the analysts add. The three-month LME contract is 1.1% higher at $7,835.50 a ton. (yifan.wang@wsj.com)

Write to Will Horner at william.horner@wsj.com

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