Reports of a fire at Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant pushed commodity prices even higher despite statements from the Ukraine authorities that the fire had not affected essential equipment.
Quoting Ukrainian authorities, Reuters reported earlier today that a fire had broken out at a training building at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is also the biggest in Europe. Video footage that Reuters said it had verified showed a building aflame.
Later in the day, the Russian section of the BBC reported, citing the authorities of nearby town Energodar, that the fire had been put out. The report also said fighting in the area had ceased.
The Ukrainian authorities have blamed Russian shelling on the fire, as well as intensive fighting in the area. Russian forces took control of the area, including the plant, earlier this week.
In response to fears about possible damage to the plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a statement on Twitter saying "#Ukraine tells IAEA that fire at site of #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has not affected "essential" equipment, plant personnel taking mitigatory actions."
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said, as quoted by Reuters, that there were no indications of elevated radiation around the Zaporizhzhia plant.
The White House, for its part, issued a statement saying, "President Biden joined President Zelenskiy in urging Russia to cease its military activities in the area and allow firefighters and emergency responders to access the site."
Following the news, commodity prices' rally intensified on renewed fears of supply disruptions, with wheat hitting the highest since 2008 and aluminum hitting a record of $3,850 per ton, Bloomberg reported.
Brent crude was trading at over $112 per barrel at the time of writing after it lost some of its gains this week on reports that the United States and Iran may be nearing a deal that could see U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil lifted. West Texas Intermediate was trading at over $109 per barrel, both benchmarks up by more than a percentage point from Thursday's close.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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