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Electric Vehicle excitment and changing China regulatons have seen nickel soar in 2017 with prices up about 30 percent since mid-June. At LME week the industrial metal has all the buzz as battery makers are using more nickel in electric vehicle's power sources.

Industrial metals have been on a tear in 2017 and the London Metal Exchange has taken the start of LME week Monday to announce that it is planning to launch futures contracts for the battery metals Lithium and Cobalt as early as the start of 2019.

Australian mining giant BHP Billiton posted quarterly production guidance with higher copper output helping offset lower iron ore volumes out of the Pilbara and lower petroleum production from Hurricane Harvey. $BHP has maintained full-year production guidance for all its commodities despite softer quarterly numbers. 

Copper prices soared on Monday after weekend data from China to the highest level since August 2014. The move was also fueled by position taking ahead of China's 19th Communist Party Congress this week.

Australian beef and cattle exports fell in 2016/17 as a 16% reduction in cattle slaughter impacted export volumes Rural Bank's 2016/17 Australian Agriculture Trade Performance report showed. Beef exports to the US declined -39%, the most out of Australia's major markets.

Australia’s agri-food exports increased in value for the seventh consecutive year in 2016/17, the top five destinations accounting for 48.2% of the value. The largest growth market in 2016/17 was India with China still the main destination.

Australian cotton exports increased significantly in 2016/17 largely due to an expansion in the area of cotton planted leading to increased production Rural Bank's 2016/17 Australian Agriculture Trade Performance report showed.

Strong demand from China for Australian wool  in 2016/17 saw higher exports with higher prices Rural Bank's 2016/17 Australian Agriculture Trade Performance report showed. 

The destruction wrought by Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria has seen a slew of commodities prices go skyward. The most noted are lumber and gasoline. Perhaps the most poignant as we watch recocery as the mountains of sheetrock we see on curbs. The key commodity here is gypsum with its a price determined by a handful of players.

Lumber futures are at 12 year highs after Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Prices have been rallying since the housing crash of 2008 and earlier this year the U.S. administration imposed tariffs on plywood coming from China and lumber coming from Canada. Wildfires across Canada and the western U.S. also pushed prices higher pre hurricanes.

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