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Riyadh dancing in new oil market

Posted on 31 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia is forced to react to changing crude oil market dynamics by offering discounts to its potential clients in Asia, Wood Mackenzie said Monday.
“Saudi Arabia had to cut its price in Asia to ensure its crude oil remained attractive to the region’s refiners,” Wood Mackenzie market analyst Sushant Gupta said in a statement Monday. “Hence, having competitive prices will be an important mechanism that Saudi Arabia would be adopting to secure its market share.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Cotton, the other globally glutted commodity

Posted on 31 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of a given commodity is falling, rapidly. A key market has way more of the stuff than it used to. Producers are panicking and trying to shift resources to avoid selling into the glut—not to mention the strong US dollar is making it harder for manufacturers around the world to import what they need.
That’s a scenario that has been playing out a lot recently, as a global economic slowdown (paywall) makes it harder for countries around the world absorb all the natural resources getting plucked and mined from the earth. One of the latest examples: cotton. And the key market stuffed to the brim with it? China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Angola joins Venezuela among biggest losers of oil’s tumble

Posted on 30 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Plunging oil prices have been an economic windfall for U.S. consumers, primarily through greater savings at the pump. In energy-reliant countries around the world like Angola, however, the effect has been far less beneficial.
Social and economic turmoil in countries like Venezuela and Russia—largely because of the swoon in global oil prices—has drawn attention away from Angola, an OPEC member that is Africa’s second-largest oil producer. The country churns out 1.75 million barrels of oil per day, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iraq supports Opec policy to defend market share

Posted on 27 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Iraq supports the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec’s) policy of defending the group’s market share by keeping oil production steady, an Iraqi parliamentary oil official said, despite pressure on the Arab state’s budget.
The Opec holds its next meeting in June and so far looks set to keep policy unchanged. Adanan Al Janabi, Iraq’s chairman of oil and energy parliamentary committee, said this would be a move he agreed with. “Iraq is with the general consensus of Opec that we should not be fighting for the price but rather for market share,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event in Doha………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Taiwan’s commodity price bulletin board to go online soon

Posted on 25 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As part of efforts to promote the transparency of data on commodity prices, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan or Cabinet is establishing a commodity price bulletin board that will be put online by the end of the month, Vice Premier Chang San-cheng said Monday.
The planned “Commodity Price Bulletin Platform” will offer viewers information on prices of 60 kinds of vital products and will also have a special page where people can express their opinions and proposals, increasing the opportunities for citizen participation, Chang said during a meeting of the Executive Yuan’s price stabilization panel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Preparing for a Brent Benchmark With No Brent Oil

Posted on 20 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It was once a behemoth, a massive North Sea oil field whose importance to the world crude market was summed up by its name atop the global benchmark price: Brent. Today, the Brent field, northeast of Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands, is all but tapped dry. It produces about 1,000 barrels a day in a global market of 93 million daily barrels.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC is awaiting approval to scrap the first of four Eiffel Tower-sized platforms that have sucked Brent-branded crude from the seabed for almost 40 years. In a few years, the Brent benchmark—a crucial metric for global oil prices—will contain no actual Brent at all………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities explained: The new gold fix

Posted on 20 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

London is the centre of the gold world, accounting for about three quarters of the world’s bullion trading. On Friday the twice-daily process used for almost a century to “fix” the price of precious metal goes digital.
What is the gold fix? Started in 1919, the daily meeting to decide on a benchmark price was held at NM Rothschild with five bullion dealers and an agent of the Bank of England. Originally held once a day, companies involved in the early years included Rothschild, Mocatta & Goldsmid, Samuel Montagu, Sharps Pixley and Johnson Matthey Bankers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Way Gold Prices Are Set is Changing Forever

Posted on 19 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Almost a century of tradition will disappear from the gold market as technology takes over. Thursday will be the last day that traders at four banks agree by phone twice-daily prices used by miners to central banks to deal and value bullion. Gold will be the last precious metal to drop the London fixings after silver, platinum and palladium made way for electronic auctions last year.
More firms able to participate in the benchmark will make the $18 trillion global market more transparent, said ICE Benchmark Administration, which will start running the LBMA Gold Price on Friday. Anyone can follow auctions online, rather than needing a line to a fixing dealer………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iran oil supply concerns are ‘unduly bearish’: Analyst

Posted on 18 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Concerns that a nuclear deal with Iran could end sanctions on that country and flood an oversupplied market with oil are “unduly bearish,” the managing director at Clearview Energy Partners said. “The deal they have probably won’t bring back crude exports to their full level right away,” Kevin Book said. “It’s probably going to be a series of gates and steps, a process where Iran has to do some things, the West will give some sanctions relief.”
Oil prices began another leg downward last week as participants in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program suggested they are making progress toward a deal. The April contract for U.S. crude touched a six-year low below $43 on Monday after prices rebounded slightly in January and February………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold havens hit by dollar ascendancy

Posted on 17 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold bugs are wary of a strong dollar, and with good reason. In the early 1980s, gold fell 60 per cent from a peak of $850 as the US currency strengthened. By contrast, in 2001 gold started its long march upwards just as the dollar started to weaken.
As the US dollar surges again, the market is wondering how far gold has to fall. The strong dollar has already capped a rally in January, which was spurred by uncertainty over Greek elections and European quantitative easing. Gold is down 39 per cent since August 2011 as the trade-weighted dollar index has risen 36 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Global scenario muddies commodities outlook

Posted on 16 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities present a spectre of confusion; seen from ­Europe, the picture becomes even harder to read. For every good indicator, there’s a contrarian possibility. With Europe, this comes in spades. This edition of Pure Speculation comes from Paris. From here the problems that loom so large in Australia — the iron ore and coal bleakness, the juniors running out of money — somewhat recede in the face of an emerging global scenario that hints at serious portents for commodity prices.
Sitting here at the centre of the storm, the desperate situation in which Europe finds itself becomes all the more worrying than they appear from Sydney or Perth. Over the weekend, the media here was celebrating the fact that Ireland, after all its economic troubles, was showing a real spurt of growth. But that’s about it with the good news………………………………………..Full Article: Source

More Coal Cuts Seen Ahead as Demand for Steel Slows: Commodities

Posted on 13 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the last year, mining companies eliminated about 15 million tons of production capacity for the coal used to make steel, while outlining plans to double those cuts in the near future. It won’t be near enough.
That’s the determination of Chief Executive Officer Don Lindsay at Teck Resources Ltd., the world’s second-biggest exporter of metallurgical coal. For supply to match flagging demand, the industry must cut a total of as much as 45 million tons, he says, raising the ante as prices sit at a six-year low………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shale oil to dominate Russia-OPEC talks in June

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia said on Wednesday it would meet OPEC in June to discuss the impact of shale oil on global markets, just days before the producers’ group decides whether its policy of high production is sufficient to stifle the U.S. energy boom.
The comment, from Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, comes as Saudi Arabia has said in recent weeks it wanted non-OPEC producers to cooperate with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in future because the group would not cut output unilaterally and lose market share as a result………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Palladium Set to Keep Top Performer Status among Precious Metals in 2015

Posted on 12 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Palladium seems to be the sole bright spot in the murky precious metals sector once again as it extends its 2014 rally with prices rising six percent on the first month of the year. This is in sharp contrast with its sister metal, platinum, which is facing its third year of losses.
“We foresee another positive year for palladium based upon attractive supply/demand fundamentals, despite the backdrop of a relatively weak global economy,” said Ross Norman, chief executive of Sharps Pixley, a London-based precious metal seekingalpha.com broker. He saw an ongoing supply deficit of around 1.4 million ounces, propelling an average price forecast of $845 per ounce, up from 2014′s $799. Palladium is expected to extend those gains to an average of $900 per ounce in 2016………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Positive Outlook On Gold From PDAC

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In 2014, the tone at the Prospectors & Developers of Canada (PDAC) Convention was decidedly chillier inside the hall than it was outside. I couldn’t get one gold or silver company executive to look me in the eye. Some didn’t even come to the conference!
But today, the atmosphere inside the convention hall is warm and jovial. There’s a heavy layer of snow on the ground, but hundreds of precious metals and industrial metals companies are out in full force. That’s because gold has started to emerge from a six-year slump. And the reasons to own gold and mining shares are piling up like mountains of bullion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners pray the commodities collapse has hit rock-bottom

Posted on 09 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Life in Australia’s gold pits are not what it once was, but dealmakers in the ailing sector are ready to strike after betting on a turnaround. At the height of the mining boom, lorry drivers working in Western Australia’s Pilbara iron ore belt would have expected to take home something in the region of £100,000 a year in basic salary as China’s demand for commodities countinued unabated.
Nowadays, mining companies Down Under have even cut steak sauce off the menu and cancelled the free staff barbecues to cut costs. The days of mineworkers earning salaries and bonuses comparable to a fully qualified doctor are long gone………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rated Funds 2015: Commodities

Posted on 06 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities have been a disappointing asset class to invest in over the past three years but our four Rated Funds in this group are managed by respected specialists in their field. We have sought to provide “best in class” ideas for investors interested in agricultural commodities, energy, industrial commodities and precious metals.
Like other more specialised asset groups, such funds can provide good diversification and the potential for handsome gains in a portfolio that is already well-represented by traditional asset classes such as equities and bonds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Newest Commodity: Oil Storage Space

Posted on 06 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. crude-oil storage tanks are filling rapidly, with inventories posting their largest gain in nearly 14 years last week. The cost to store oil is also rising, as tank space becomes scarce in some regions. Gulf Coast storage is at an all-time high of 219.9 million barrels, the U.S . Energy Information Administration said Wednesday, which is about 77% of capacity.
Perhaps coincidentally, CME Group Inc. said Wednesday that it’s starting a new futures contract to trade – what else? – Gulf Coast crude-oil storage. CME owns the New York Mercantile Exchange. The exchange operator says this is the first-ever oil-storage futures contract. It will work like this:……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Why OPEC is dead

Posted on 05 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With oil’s price collapse, we can now declare that OPEC’s reign as king of the market is over. However, just as certain is the fact that there is no one to assume the throne. A new oil market and industry are taking shape—and without clear leadership, there will be many positive and negative consequences for global energy security.
As we consider OPEC’s fall, it is important to understand that it was never able to fully control the oil spigot at whim, nor the global economic forces most responsible for setting the oil price. In fact, at the rise of its intervention in the oil market in the 1970s, when its Arab members ordered an embargo that sent prices skyrocketing, OPEC’s actions actually hurt itself more than its consumers and contributed to its eventual decline………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Extends Gains On Seasonal Demand, Global Cues

Posted on 03 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold prices maintained its upward journey for the second day with a gain of another Rs 180 to Rs 27,300 per 10 gm, supported by increased buying and a firming trend overseas. Silver also moved up by 400 to 37,600 per kg on increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.
Traders said increased buying by jewellers and retailers, triggered by wedding season demand and a firming global trend, mainly kept precious metals higher. Globally, the precious metal advanced to the highest level in almost two weeks, after China announced a second interest-rate cut in three months and the U.S. reported a slower pace of economic expansion than estimated, traders said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Budget on commodities

Posted on 02 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An important proposal that will impact the commodity industry is the plan to merge commodities market regulator Forward Market Commission with capital market watchdog SEBI. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said “the proposed merger would help streamline the monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculation.”
This proposal is likely to bring convergence in regulation of various financial markets, such as securities, commodities and currency derivatives. Tracking of related money flows into such markets will also be easier. This will lead to implementing the long pending FCRA amendment bill. For brokers, substantial savings in costs are anticipated as separate set-ups for regulatory compliance may not be required………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India Budget 2015: High profile oil & gas sector gets no mention by FM Jaitley

Posted on 02 March 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Barring duty rejig for petrol and diesel, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not mention the high profile oil and gas sector in his Budget speech yesterday. This happened against the backdrop of certain inputs by the Petroleum Ministry being found among the stacks of stolen documents.
Jaitley, presenting the Budget for 2015-16 yesterday in the Lok Sabha, did not mention of any initiative in the oil and gas sector other than an excise duty rejig on petrol and diesel to make available Rs 40,000 crore for roads and highway construction. A dozen persons were arrested last month for allegedly stealing official documents from the coal, power and oil ministries. The stacks of stolen documents recovered included details of exploration sites, natural gas pricing and the Oil Ministry’s arbitration with Reliance Industries……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil industry investment plunges after commodity price tumble

Posted on 27 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A sharp fall in oil prices has led to a decline in investment by the oil and gas industry, which statisticians believe reflects falling profitability in the sector. Investment in the oil and gas industry slumped in the final three months of last year, amid a dramatic collapse in the price of oil.
Business investment fell by £0.6bn in the final quarter of 2014, down 1.4pc on the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The unexpected drop marked a second quarterly fall in investment. The Bank of England had pencilled in growth of 2.5pc for the period………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Demand Seen as Growing

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Demand for crude oil is growing, Saudi Arabia’s top oil official said Wednesday, amid new data showing the world is getting hungry again for petroleum products and potentially bolstering OPEC’s decision to maintain production in the face of a price collapse.
Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi used his first public comments since December to note that the oil market had become “calm” and chided anyone who would “rock the markets.” “Why do you want to rock the markets? The markets are calm…Demand is growing,” Mr. Naimi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Jazan, a coastal city in Saudi Arabi’s southwest………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Signal May Be Flashing Green

Posted on 26 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper has been down for so long that some are saying the only way is up. A key signal in the market is starting to flash green, with bets that copper prices will continue to fall recently hitting a record high on the London Metal Exchange, though they’ve since started to fall back. For some, that suggests the red metal’s fortunes may be about to turn. At these levels, there’s simply no more stomach to bet against copper, they say.
“People have kind of run out of ammunition,” said Guy Wolf, global head of market analytics at Marex Spectron, a broker “There’s no more new money to come in.” According to Marex Spectron, there were 130,000 lots that were bets that copper would fall on Jan. 29. That was equivalent to 76% of all copper contracts registered with the London Metal Exchange, a record high, above even the bets made against copper during the global financial crisis of 2008, according Mr. Wolf………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Market not paying enough attention to copper supply situation: Citi

Posted on 25 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The current bearish sentiment toward copper is being driven by concerns about China’s economy slowing with the market ignoring the fact that mine supply is looking increasingly constrained, Citibank’s research department said Tuesday.
Over the last decade, average global copper consumption growth has been in the region of 2.5% a year, “a remarkably low average given the strong growth in China consumption rates. This average annual rate is less than half that for aluminium.” Analyst at the bank David Wilson said that two factors have been at work to limit the rate of global copper demand growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper Tells Two Stories on Global Economy

Posted on 24 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is often claimed that copper prices are a reliable barometer of the global economy’s health. Those who monitor the metal closely are sharply divided over its condition. As of Monday, copper’s spot price on the London Metal Exchange had fallen nearly 10% since the start of the year. Even so, the metal has staged a partial recovery from a five-year low reached on Jan. 29, rising 5.1% from that low to $5,672 a ton on Monday.
The whipsawing in prices has been mirrored in the shares of major copper producers. Chile-based Antofagasta PLC’s stock fell 13% in January but has since recovered the lost ground………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Comodities ‘super-cycle’ stalls without wheels

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

We may have been deluding ourselves with regard to the recent commodity super-cycle — the apogee of which, by the way, has probably been over for as long as seven years. It may not been so super after all. Charts produced during the week by London-based Capital Economics reveals a pattern of commodity moves that should confound any view that these items have retained good value over the long term.
For one thing, the price surge that reached its most exciting level just before the GFC struck in 2008, was not the greatest in real terms. Adjusted for inflation, the highest peak for commodities was caused by World War I, followed by the oil shock of the 1970s (and sustained by the gold burst in 1980)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Gold Is Looking Lustrous Once Again

Posted on 23 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since peaking above $1,900 an ounce in September 2011, gold prices have declined by nearly 40%, settling at around $1,200 an ounce on Friday. I became bearish on gold in January 2013 and discussed why this January 25, 2013 global macroeconomic commentary, citing: 1) the passing dangers of a euro zone breakup (after Spain, Portugal and Greece were bailed out by their richer peers), 2) the recovering U.S. economy, and 3) that gold was highly vulnerable to a major decline after a 12-year bull market.
I slapped a 12- to 18-month price target of $1,100-$1,300 an ounce—when gold traded at $1,660 an ounce. It now appears that the decline in gold prices is nearly over, and that there will be a great long-term buying opportunity in gold this year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nickel Falls to 12-Month Low as Greece Impasse Fuels Demand Woes

Posted on 20 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nickel prices dropped to a 12-month low on concern that European demand for industrial metals will falter amid signs of snags in Greece’s debt talks. Germany rebuffed Greece’s request for an extension of its aid program as euro-area finance ministers prepare to meet to avert a cash crunch for the region’s most-indebted nation. A gauge of the six main prices on the London Metal Exchange has declined 6.6 percent this year.
“There are lots of concerns in Europe whether a deal will be done, and that’s still very much hanging in the balance,” Nic Brown, the head of commodity research at Natixis SA in London, said in a telephone interview. “Issues in Greece epitomize the wider problems for Europe.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Gold Edges Higher After Fed Minutes Reveal Rate Worries

Posted on 19 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold reversed losses Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed some central bank officials were worried about raising rates too soon. Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, was recently up 0.2% at $1,211 a troy ounce in electronic trading on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices ended floor trading down 0.7% at $1,200.20 an ounce, the lowest settlement since Jan. 2.
Minutes from the Fed’s Jan. 27-28 policy meeting showed some officials believed it would be prudent to delay raising interest rates, fearing that financial markets may overreact to tighter monetary policy. Other Fed officials continue to argue for a rate increase in the near term, the minutes showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

RBA Cut as China Commodity, Local Consumption Doubts Remain

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Reserve Bank of Australia said doubts about a pickup in domestic spending and China’s appetite for raw materials prompted this month’s decision to lower interest rates, and reiterated that the Aussie dollar remains too high.
“There was considerable uncertainty around the timing and extent of the expected increase in household consumption growth and non-mining business investment,” it said in minutes of the first meeting of the year, where it debated whether to cut straight away or wait a month. There was also a lack of clarity on “the outlook for the Chinese property market and its implications for Chinese demand for commodities,” it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Misconceptions About Gold

Posted on 18 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Few markets are as widely misunderstood and subject to as many misconceptions as the gold market. Many of these misconceptions stem from gold’s dual characteristics as a commodity and money. Is it actually correct to claim that “gold is money”? After all, it is not used as official money anywhere and barring isolated instances of payments made from digital gold accounts, it is unlikely that one will ever make payments in gold these days.
In addition to this, central banks have been intent on “demonetizing” gold, and many of the biggest central bank holders of gold (except the US) have unloaded their gold reserves for years, ostensibly in order to earn the higher returns provided by bonds. It has always struck us as odd that they would be selling gold for this reason………………………………………..Full Article: Source

25% of physical gold buyers are crazy, metals executive says

Posted on 13 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A lot of people who buy bits of physical gold aren’t looking to make a bracelet or ring. They buy gold because they believe disaster is imminent. These investors are convinced gold will spike to $10,000 an ounce (it’s currently around $1,225) when the U.S. government implodes, said Peter Hug, an executive at metals retailer Kitco.
Hug calls these people “crazies” and says they form a substantial amount of the U.S. physical gold market — at least 25%. It’s no secret that gold has long been viewed as a form of insurance against disaster. The thinking is that even if the financial or political system collapses, gold will still hold value………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Rosneft’s Sechin Accuses OPEC of ‘Destabilizing’ Oil Market

Posted on 11 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of top Russian oil producer Rosneft on Tuesday criticized OPEC policy and warned lower oil output as a result of falls in crude prices may lead to a supply shortage as early as the fourth quarter. Igor Sechin, speaking at the International Petroleum Week industry forum in London, said producer group OPEC had “lost its teeth” and its policy had led to “destabilization” of the oil market.
Oil prices collapsed in 2014 in a decline that deepened after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in November shifted strategy and chose not to cut its own output. The 12-country group instead moved to retain its market share, which has been eroded by rival supply sources such as U.S. shale oil………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is OPEC winning an oil price war against the US?

Posted on 10 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The latest oil market report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries paints a not-so-rosy picture for US drillers under pressure from lower oil prices. But even OPEC admits that US oil production has remained surprisingly stable despite collapsed oil prices and cutbacks in US energy.
Demand for oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to rise this year, while growth in US oil production will slow as American energy firms cut back on drilling. That’s the conclusion of the latest monthly oil report from OPEC, the 12-member oil cartel that accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s oil production. If the forecasts prove true, it suggests that OPEC is winning an undeclared price war against a growing rival: namely, the US………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Big oil is not the biggest victim of cheap crude

Posted on 05 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If only oil-producing countries that got into trouble could merge, bring in fresh management, lay off citizens, cut costs and restructure their operations. At this point in the energy cycle, betting on a national merger wave similar to the corporate one that created supermajors such as ExxonMobil and BP in the late 1990s would be a good investment.
Brazil could merge with Venezuela, helping to solve both the Petrobras scandal and the latter’s lurch toward default. The United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia could roll up Nigeria and Russia. Norway could acquire Scotland from the UK………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Believe it or not, oil is in a bull market

Posted on 04 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It doesn’t feel like a bull market. But by the accepted rule of thumb, the recent rise in the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil is just that. Moves of at least 20% in either direction commonly define things as being in bull- or bear-market territory.
At the time of writing, the price of Brent, the international oil benchmark, is up 25% from its low point last year, thanks to a 7% jump today. But if you’re breaking out the champagne, drink responsibly. From its 2014 high, the price of the international oil benchmark is still down by some 50%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Standard Bank considers 2015 a tough year for commodities (Video)

Posted on 03 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Standard Bank has said it considers 2015 to be a tough year for commodities, favouring precious and base metals over bulk for the next three years. The bank released its 2015 mining outlook ahead of the Indaba taking place in Cape Town next week. CNBC Africa’s Christine Mhundwa caught up with Rajat Kohli, global head of mining and metals at Standard Bank for more.……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Do Commodities Belong in Your Portfolio?

Posted on 02 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Equities are far from the only investing game in town. Gold and other commodities, like corn, beef, oil and natural gas can have much appeal for not only the sophisticated investor, but the average Jane and Joe. “Anyone can invest in gold and silver, regardless of income. We have clients who have begun accumulating precious metals through payroll deductions as little as $10 per pay period, alongside people who have invested over $1 million in gold and silver,” says Josh McCleary, chief operating officer of Mass Metal.
“Investing in commodities is much easier than it has been prior to the last decade. Prior to that period, you would need to invest in futures contracts in order to get exposure to commodity prices. While you could invest in companies that produced those commodities, direct exposure was only available via the futures market,” says Kirk Chisholm, wealth manager and principal with Innovative Advisory Group………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India reclaims top spot as No. 1 gold consumer

Posted on 02 February 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

India is back to being the number one consumer of gold, knocking China off the top of the podium as the country that consumed the most bullion in the form of gold bars, coins and jewelry, in 2014. The latest update of the annual study by GFMS of world gold supply and demand found that sliding demand from China – which grabbed the top gold consumer mantle from India in 2011 – is behind the shift.
The report by GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters showed that Chinese gold demand dropped by over a third to a four-year low of 866 tonnes, while scrap gold supply rose to a new high of 182 tonnes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy Economist: Shale oil’s response to prices may call for industry re-evaluation

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Shale oil’s investment cycle is shorter and its decline profile sharper than conventional oil production. Current indicators suggest legacy declines from shale will catch up fast with the industry. This points to a sharp deceleration in US shale oil output. But, while conventional oil takes time to slow down, it also takes time to speed up.
It will be shale that is best placed to benefit from any oil price recovery, as Ross McCracken, managing editor of Platts Energy Economist, explains in this month’s selection from the publication. The full analysis can be found in the February 2015 issue, which is also issue 400 of Energy Economist. Global crude oil production has only fallen in six years since 1984 and then generally as a result of geopolitical disruptions to supply or restraint by OPEC, rather than as a reaction to price………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How far will OPEC go?

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If you are a business-news junkie like me, you could hardly miss the trends of the past two months that presumably predict the 2015 economy. Before the holiday season and on into January, retailing was a priority fiscal indicator. Now we have oil production as a runner-up for the most crucial headline of the day.
I already vented my dismay over the emphasis of shopping for deals on Thanksgiving Day and the public’s apparent monthlong need to storm the stores and crowd the Internet right up to Christmas Day in my Jan. 1 column (“Spirit of Christmas centers on malls”). Despite my reaction to commercial exploitation of family traditions, the retailers loved it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Consensus forecast 2015 gold price average: DOWN

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold on Thursday plunged more than $30 an ounce as eurozone troubles fade from headlines and the focus shifts to US fundamentals, the rampant dollar and a likely June rise in interest rates.In heavy trade of more than 22m ounces by lunchtime in New York, gold for delivery in April fell over $35 an ounce or 2.8% from Wednesday’s close hitting a low of $1,251.84 an ounce – the lowest in two weeks and the worst trading day in more than a year.
The metal is still trading up nearly $70 or almost 5.5% in 2015, but is down sharply from an intra-day high of $1,307 hit last week. Gold’s gains this year have been ascribed to safe haven buying amid currency turmoil, a slowing global economy, the continuing fallout of the collapse in oil prices and a crisis in the Eurozone………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia buys record amounts of gold

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russia accounted for about one-third of central banks’ gold purchases last year as the country spent more on the metal than at any time since the break-up of the Soviet Union amid escalating tensions with the west and a collapse in the value of the rouble.
Central banks around the world bought a net 461 tonnes of gold in 2014 — 13 per cent higher than the previous year and the second-highest level since the collapse of the gold standard in 1971 — as they continued to diversify their currency reserves following the financial crisis. They have added 1,800 tonnes to their holdings in the past six years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Growth in China’s nonferrous metals consumption seen to shrink further

Posted on 30 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The growth rate of China’s consumption of nonferrous metals will dip into the single-digit range in 2015 and is expected to fall further in coming years due to the structural challenges facing the sector, Shaanxi Magnesium Industry Group said Thursday, January 29.
The group in a report said surplus supply in the aluminum and copper segments were among the key challenges. The “wave-style” expansion of consumption seen in recent years has ended and traditional markets have become saturated amid the emergence of new technologies, new products and new industry and commercial modes, the group said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Iraq oil surge to fan OPEC rivalry that triggered slump

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The battle for customers among OPEC members that helped trigger oil’s collapse is about to escalate. Iraqi crude production is climbing from a 35-year high as it adds growing Kurdish supplies to its exports, while southern oilfields remain unscathed by Islamic State militants. Finding buyers for the new output means offering more attractive terms than rivals in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, say Citigroup, DNB and Barclays.
Oil’s biggest slump in six years gained momentum in October as a wave of discounts by Middle Eastern producers signaled OPEC members were intent on defending market share against booming shale output from the U.S. The price of Saudi crude for Asian buyers was cut to the lowest in at least 14 years last month, a move followed by Iraq, Kuwait and Iran………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There’s a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again. It’s a market that’s “in contango,” says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. “It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something.”
And Shaffer says that some oil speculators see an oil market that is in contango in a major way. “Some people out there think that oil is going to get more expensive so it’s worthwhile now to buy oil, lock it in, and have those supplies, have them stored and have them available to sell a few months down the line, if you actually believe it’s going to go up,” she says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Industrially exposed precious metals are looking attractive relative to Gold

Posted on 29 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ECB’s commitment to create inflation, if successful, should benefit gold but it could be more beneficial to the other more industrial cyclical commodities and precious metals , most notably platinum, said ETF Securities.
Despite nearing recession, European auto sales increased 1.4% in 2014 which was the first annual increase since 2011 (see chart on page 2). Pent up demand appears at play as vehicles last only so long. Platinum is the primary catalyst for diesel vehicle emission controls and Europe is the world’s largest diesel market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Turkey is microcosm of int’l gold market: Council

Posted on 28 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold plays a huge role in Turkish consumers’ lives and the economy, making the country the world’s fourth largest gold consumer, says a new report by the World Gold Council. At an average of 181 tons per annum over the past 10 years, Turkey is the world’s fourth largest consumer of gold, accounting for around 6 percent of global consumer demand.
The “Turkey: Gold in Action” report, published on Jan. 22, described Turkey as a “microcosm of the global gold market” as it is home to the entire gold value chain from mining and refining, to jewelry design and investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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