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Cold weather pushes oil to fresh records

Oil settled at RECORD HIGHS back above $100 a barrel Wednesday. US refineries are about halfway through their seasonal maintenance programmes and refinery utilisation has sunk to its lowest level for almost two years. Nymex March heating oil gained 2.97 cents to hit a RECORD $2.8150 a gallon. Tin rose 1.4 per cent to a RECORD $17,950 a ton, supported by supply interruptions in Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Declines in LME tin stocks suggest the market is tightening. Aluminium rose 2.41 per cent to $2,972 a ton as concerns about the impact of power supply problems on Chinese production grew. Silver added 3.2 per cent at $18.65 a troy ounce hitting a 27-YEAR HIGH, as investor buying has picked up following gold and platinum's RECORD-BREAKING RUNS. Spring wheat at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange dipped $1.30 to $22.70 a bushel after hitting a RECORD $24 a bushel on Monday, supported by supply concerns after Kazakhstan decided to impose export tariffs to curb grain sales. The move by Kazakhstan, one of the world's largest grain exporters, follows similar export restrictions in Russia and Argentina, and should ensure further pressure on global wheat stocks, which have shrunk to the LOWEST LEVEL IN 30 YEARS.

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