Commodities

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Australian Swiss mining giant Glencore PLC announced a massive $5.6 billion restructuring of its troubled Congo copper company, Katanga Mining last week which resolved the fiery dispute with Congo’s state-run mining companies massive debt load.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARE) June crop report released Tuesday forecasts Australia to produce 21.9 million mt of wheat in the 2018-19 (October-September) season, up 3% from 21.2 million mt in the previous season.

Australian thermal coal prices have risen to their highest since Feb. 2012 fueled by hot weather across North Asia and China buying ahead of the peak summer demand season. Thermal coal up 130% since record lows.

Good news on replenishing the oceans, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2017 Status of Stocks report, indicates that the number of stocks facing overfishing or that are overfished is at an all-time-low since reports began in 2000.

The value of vineyards in one of the world's best regarded wine regions, South Australia's Riverland has tripled in the last few years as Australia continues to rapidly export wine to China. Australian wine exports to China grew by more than 50 per cent in the last financial year alone.

Western Australia in response to the 2017 sales of spodumene, the primary lithium bearing mineral produced in WA soaring 166% to reach A$780-million announced a taskforce to harness the potential for lithium and other energy materials.

Mining giant Rio Tinto has been approved by the Australian Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator to operate the world’s first heavy haul, long distance autonomous rail operation for it's ironore operatioin in Western Australia. $RIO says AutoHaul will improve safety, productivity and lower costs. 

Wool prices have been rising with shrinking supply and strong demand. Prices got a further boost to record levels with the falling Australian dollar, $AUDUSD traded down as low as US74.24c the lowest level since June last year.

Central banks have been trying to force inflation higher. Oil prices are rising but what really could cause an uprising is vanilla bean prices have soared creating a shortage of vanilla. Icecream or chocolate inflation is a scary thought.

In Australia the median price of farmland grew 7.1 per cent nationally over last financial year with gains South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and NSW. Values fell in Queensland, Western Austalia and the Northern Territory the Rural Bank said.

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