Energy • WTI speculative long: Over the last reporting week, speculators increased their net long position in WTI crude oil by 23,013 lots, to leave them with a net long of 238,501 lots. This is the largest position speculators have held since the end of April and, given the price action seen since last Tuesday, this position is likely to be larger than what was reported in the latest release. • Another OPEC/non-OPEC meeting: OPEC members, along with a handful of non-OPEC producers, are set to meet in the UAE on 7-8 August, according to reports. The meeting will be to discuss compliance issues around agreed production cuts, and why some countries are falling short.
Metals • Chinese aluminium capacity cuts: Bloomberg reports that Shandong province in China will be even stricter on aluminium smelters during the winter months. Shandong province makes up c.30% of Chinese production and it was mentioned previously that smelters in the top seven producing cities would face capacity closures over the winter months if they did not meet emission standards. However, there are now reports that all cities in Shandong will be targeted. • Base metals push higher: Further positive data from China has pushed the whole base metals complex higher this morning. China released manufacturing PMI data that showed that factory activity in the country continued to expand, although it was slightly lower than what many were anticipating.
Agriculture • EU sugar prices rise: Latest data from the European Commission shows that average white sugar prices in the region climbed to EUR497/t in May 2017, up from EUR495/t the month before and the highest price reported by the EC since October 2014. However, with the lifting of production quotas from 1 October 2017, expect sugar prices in the EU to come under pressure. • Soybean speculative position: Speculators continue to build on their net long position in CBOT soybeans. Over the last reporting week, speculators bought 12,534 lots, to leave them with a net long of 50,885 lots. This is the largest position speculators have held in soybeans since March 2017. The bulk of the buying over the week was short covering, rather than fresh long positions.