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Saudi central bank insists economy can manage oil price slump

Posted on 22 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Saudi central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), has announced that the recent slump in oil prices had not hurt the country’s economy. In a rare statement, Governor of the Central Bank Fahd al-Mubarak expressed his “confidence in the steadfastness of the Saudi economy in the face of the oil price decline in the medium term.”
The governor’s comments come amidst reports of potential massive losses in revenues by the countries that mainly export oil. Saudi Arabia is the number one economy in the Middle East in terms of size, but that’s mainly due to its 10.5 million barrels of oil being produced on a daily basis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Crude Oil Market Outlook

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The North Sea crude oil market showed mixed signals May 15, with Dated Brent versus second-month cash up $0.21/barrel at minus $0.94/b, even as Forties came off a touch. A late May cargo traded at Dated Brent minus $1.00/b, Gunvor to Unipec.
However traders were not convinced this signaled Forties as a whole would continue to trade weaker, with June still seen as tighter due to two or three VLCC fixtures this week. “Maybe, it is just that Forties cargo is too prompt,” said one trader………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is US Shale Becoming The Global Swing Producer?

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Many industry experts predicted that US shale oil companies would quickly go bankrupt when oil prices started to decline in the last quarter of 2014. Jobs would be forever lost, financing would dry up and OPEC would remain the world’s oil cartel.
Instead, merger activity has been relatively muted, companies are driving down costs, and drilling activity appears to be picking up again in the second quarter of 2015 as the oil market finds its equilibrium. All this means that US shale is likely to remain a permanent feature of the global energy landscape, with the US, not only OPEC, as the new “swing producer” in the global oil market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Gold monetisation scheme to help bring idle gold into market

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The government on Tuesday proposed a new scheme offering tax-free interest on depositing the yellow metal with banks. The idea is to mobilise idle gold worth up to Rs 60 lakh crore held by households and institutions.
According to the draft gold monetisation scheme, there will be incentives for banks, too. While individuals and institutions could deposit even 30 grammes of gold, the interest earned on these deposits would be exempt from both income tax and capital gains tax………………………………………..Full Article: Source

LME’s Owner Seeks Commodities Trade Link to Mainland China

Posted on 21 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. is in the early stage of creating a commodities trading connection with mainland China. HKEx, owner of the London Metal Exchange, the world’s biggest metals bourse, aims to make international benchmark commodity futures available to traders in China while offering mainland contracts to overseas traders, Chief Executive Officer Charles Li said Wednesday.
The country opened its stock market to foreign investors through the Shanghai-Hong Kong exchange link in November and authorities are planning a similar equity link between Hong Kong and Shenzhen later this year. “We are trying to see whether we can connect the international product to domestic liquidity and the domestic product to international liquidity,” Li said in an interview with Bloomberg………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Finding Some Shine In This Gold Bear Market

Posted on 19 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two factors drive gold: the Love Trade and the Fear Trade. In 1997 and 1998, the bottom of the emerging market meltdown took place. Four years later, we saw China and Asia starting to take off and GDP per capita rise. This is an important factor in this whole run-up that I would characterize as the Love Trade. A strong correlation is rising GDP per capita, and in China, India and the Middle East, they buy gold and many gifts of love.
We saw the Fear Trade starting to take place after 9/11. The biggest factor behind the Fear Trade is negative real interest rates. So when you had both—negative real interest rates and rising GDP per capita in the emerging countries—you had gold demand going to record numbers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shale-Oil Companies Ready to Raise Output—Energy Journal

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. shale-oil companies that cut production when prices plunged are prepared to return rigs to operation as prices rise, Georgi Kantchev and Bill Spindle report. The companies are being seen as so-called swing producers that can boost production when prices are high and cut back when they fall. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate settled at $60.50 a barrel on Wednesday in the wake of a 40% rally in crude prices since March, and some companies said they would resume production if WTI reaches $70.
U.S. shale companies could provide some counterbalance to big global market swings, although that flexibility hasn’t been fully tested in a major market downturn. Big cuts have left the industry with 930 fewer rigs, a 58% reduction from their 1,609 peak in October, according to Baker Hughes Inc., which tracks drilling activity…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zinc’s Rally Is Not Just Speculation

Posted on 15 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The prices of some commodities, such as oil and iron-ore, may remain depressed in the near term, but zinc appears poised for growth. The price of the base metal, which is used mainly to galvanize steel and mixed with copper to make brass, has climbed by 20% since mid-March to last week’s peak of $2,400 per tonne.
Overall, zinc has climbed 7% this year at the London Metals Exchange, and could continue going higher. The recent increase in prices is due in part to the growth in speculative interest. As per LME’s most recent Commitments of Traders Report dated May 8, traders held 98,417 lots of net long positions in zinc - that’s equivalent to more than one-fifth of the total number of futures contract. No other base metal at the LME has higher long positions…………………………………..Full Article: Source

US shale has ‘blinked’ in battle against OPEC: IEA

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

U.S. oil producers appear to have lost their battle with OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) over market share, but the war is only just beginning, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Wednesday..
“In the supposed standoff between OPEC and U.S. light tight oil (LTO), LTO appears to have blinked,” the Paris-based energy think tank said in its new monthly report. “Following months of cost cutting and a 60 percent plunge in the U.S. rig count, the relentless rise in U.S. supply seems to be finally abating.”……………………………………Full Article: Source

Saudis spend like there’s no oil price drop

Posted on 14 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If lower oil prices are straining Saudi Arabia’s economy, it certainly does not show. In Riyadh, dozens of cranes loom over the King Abdullah Financial District, destined to be the kingdom’s answer to Canary Wharf in London, with around 60 gleaming towers and its own monorail. Across the city, immigrant workers toil on new residential developments aimed at plugging the country’s acute housing gap. Meanwhile, roads are being dug up for a new metro system.
It is quite a transformation for a place that started off as a mud-brick stopover on a desert trading route. With its glass-clad skyscrapers, spanking new universities, five-star hotels and outposts of western department stores like Harvey Nichols, Riyadh is transforming itself from a somewhat shabby city into a gleaming symbol of the kingdom’s oil wealth…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Gold – looking vulnerable as resistance persists

Posted on 13 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite an initial lift from safe-haven demand early in the year, gold remained overshadowed by dollar strength – markets continued to price in the start of higher interest rates in US later this year. Seasonally strong physical demand helped cushion the impact of speculative and investor disinvestment and will continue to do so into the second quarter.
But while this demand fades, gold will be increasingly vulnerable to downside pressure, we feel. Still, the dollar may have run ahead of itself so a period of dollar weakness could provide some lift. For the second quarter we are looking for a range of $1,170-$1,250 per ounce………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities hit bonds again

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The first half of Q2 has seen a strong rally develop in commodities prices. Brent crude oil is up 24% (after performing flat in Q1), copper 12% and even gold has risen a little. Despite the fact that agricultural commodities and livestock prices have continued to be weak, the S&PGSCI spot price index has made its best start to a year since 2011, up 8% in the year-to-date.
Although the price rebound is directly benefitting commodity index investors much less then the spot price gains might suggest (because the high cost of carry has reduced total returns), the strength of the commodity recovery is greatly influencing global growth expectations and movements in other asset classes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper declines after China’s stimulus support

Posted on 12 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Copper slid a second day, shrugging off China’s bid to boost growth with a third interest rate cut in six months in the world’s largest consumer of the metal. Copper entered a bull market last week and rose to the highest since December amid speculation China’s policy makers would add stimulus and on signs that supply is tightening.
While prices slipped 0.6 percent in the last two days, the metal has rallied 18 percent from a five-year low in January. “With the slowing data, the market is just going to stand back,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney. “The import numbers were quite weak. Any rate cut now won’t start to impact demand until beyond next month.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bullion to benefit from likely financial markets volatility

Posted on 11 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Analysts are unsure as to how gold prices will move next week and expect bullion to take its cues from the financial markets, where any sign of volatility could help boost the metal’s safe-haven status. Analysts will be tracking the Bank of England’s (BoE) interest rate decision alongside GDP data from the UK, Germany and from the Eurozone next week.
They will also be watching retail sales and manufacturing data due out in the US, and the financial markets’ reaction to economic data through the week. The yellow metal could also draw support from any unexpected geopolitical event………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil market ‘not out of the woods yet’

Posted on 08 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The price of oil has made minor gains over the past few weeks or so but analysts tell CNBC it’s not yet time to celebrate. Crude prices have made steady gains this spring, rising nearly every week since mid-March. Brent is up nearly 25 percent since March 16, with WTI jumping 35 percent over the same period. Brent was edging near $68 as of 14:00 GMT Thursday, with WTI up near $60.
But some analysts say the recovery won’t hold. “We don’t think we’re out of the woods yet when it comes to oil markets improving,” Barclays oil analyst Miswin Mahesh told Worldwide Exchange Thursday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC policy rollover likely in June as oil rebounds -delegates

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC countries are set to maintain current production levels at a meeting next month, three delegates said, as Gulf states continue to focus on market share and a rally in crude prices mutes calls from other members for supply cuts.
While the June 5 meeting in Vienna is likely to hear demands from some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for a reduction in the amount of oil pumped, even officials from countries which favour a curb see it as unlikely………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Market U-Turn Rams Hedge Funds

Posted on 06 May 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A broad market reversal is battering hedge funds, spoiling the industry’s strongest annual start since the financial crisis. Many funds that bet on global financial and economic trends run by firms such as Fortress Investment Group LLC and Discovery Capital Management LLC suffered losses in April as they tried to benefit from a constellation of market moves that gained momentum in mid-2014 and were widely expected to continue throughout 2015.
They included rising European bond prices, spurred by the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program, and falling commodity prices as global growth stalled. But several factors upended those bets, beginning in late March and intensifying recently. Several rounds of unexpectedly weak U.S. economic data forced many investors to push back their forecast for when the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold snaps two-day rally before Fed statement

Posted on 30 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold fell on Wednesday as investors took profits following a two-day rally, but soft US economic data that hurt the dollar and lowered expectations for a Federal Reserve rate rise in June limited losses.
Spot gold was down 0.3 per cent at $1,210.91 an ounce at 1309 GMT. It has gained nearly 3 per cent in the last two sessions, climbing to a three-week high of $1,215 on Tuesday. US gold futures for June delivery fell $5.90 an ounce to $1,207.80, after rising to their highest level since April 7 in the previous session………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Opec officials said to plan technical talks with non-Opec in May

Posted on 29 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Opec officials will meet with representatives from oil producers outside the group to discuss the global market in May, a few weeks before the organization’s ministerial meeting, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Technical experts from Russia, Mexico and Oman will confer with counterparts from the OrganiSation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ 12 members at the group’s secretariat in Vienna on May 12 to 13, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The conference was suggested by member nation Venezuela, they said, which has urged OPEC to revive prices by cutting output………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Strong demand to rebalance oil market by early 2016

Posted on 23 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global oil demand is set to rise by 1 million or even 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, according to a range of forecasters. Coupled with a fall in shale output in the second half of the year, as the decline in the US rig count takes effect, that should be enough to bring the oil market near to balance by early 2016.
Worldwide consumption will increase by a little over 1 million bpd in 2015, according to forecasts published this month by both the International Energy Agency and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Ian Taylor,CEO of Vitol, the world’s largest oil trader, has also predicted demand will grow by around 1 million bpd, at a conference hosted by the Financial Times……………………………………Full Article: Source

Will outlook turn bright for Cotton in CY2015-16?

Posted on 22 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At a time when Cotton farmers are committing suicides in India over the depressive price regime, reports suggest that outlook is likely to remain bleak in CY 2015/16. Prices, both international and domestic, are unlikely to see triggers for any upside. China’s new cotton policy has triggered the declining trend for international cotton prices and prices has been traversing the downward trajectory since April 2014. Cotton prices has been range-bound since November 2014 at $1.5/Kg.
The prices remain significantly lower over the previous corresponding period and were lower by 26% in February 2015 on YoY basis. India-based rating firm ICRA in its latest report has predicted that the cotton prices are expected to remain at similar levels in CY 2015/16 with downside bias…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Fed could be to blame for oil’s decline: Analyst

Posted on 21 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The dramatic 10-month drop in the price of oil could be due to ultra-loose monetary policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve, according to a senior analyst at a major financial services company. Mark Lewis from Kepler Cheuvreux said on Monday that the boom in U.S. shale gas production over the last few years that had helped push down oil prices was partly driven by the Fed’s “very, very low interest rates.”
“The financial dimension to the shale story is hugely important,” he told CNBC. “I think it’s questionable whether we would ever have had the increase in oil production we’ve had out of the shale plays over the last three or four years if we hadn’t been in this environment.”………………………………….Full Article: Source

Steel demand in China forecast to decline through 2016

Posted on 21 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Steel demand in China will shrink this year and next to extend the first annual contraction since 1995 as economic growth in the world’s biggest producer slows, according to the World Steel Association.
China’s steel use will drop 0.5 per cent to 707.2 million metric tons in 2015 and fall to 703.7 million tons next year, the group said in a statement. In 2014, demand declined 3.3 per cent to 710.8 million tons, according to the Brussels-based body, whose members account for 85 per cent of global output…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold production may peak in 2015 — report

Posted on 20 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

World gold production may peak this year, as plummeting prices for the precious metal make it difficult for companies to develop new mines. According to a report by the World Gold Council, the industry’s market development organization, production rose 2% to 3,114 tons last year from the previous year, setting a new record for the sixth straight year.
However, the report also said gold production will reach its highest point in 2015 and then slow. Given the WGC was established by mining companies, the report could be seen as a message from gold producers that they will reduce output……………………………………Full Article: Source

Saudi Arabia Leads OPEC Oil Boom as U.S. Shale Growth Slows

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia pumped close to a record amount of crude oil last month, leading the biggest surge in OPEC output in almost four years just as the U.S. shale boom shows signs of slowing, the International Energy Agency said.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may extend its biggest output gain since June 2011 into next month as recovery in Libya and Iraq adds to the Saudi increase, the IEA said. Average U.S. oil production of 12.6 million barrels a day in the first six months of 2015 will slide to 12.5 million by the fourth quarter as companies curb drilling, the agency said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Bullion To Max Out At $5,000 Per Ounce

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Renowned financial analysts and trends forecaster Martin Armstrong has said that gold will “probably max out at $5,000 per ounce” as “people lose confidence in government” and that we will see riots and unrest globally in the coming months – the fall of this year.
It a very interesting interview with Greg Hunter of the excellent USAWatchdog.com, Armstrong says: “Gold rises when people lose confidence in government. It has nothing to do with inflation. So, when you start to worry about government is not going to survive or who’s going to win, that’s when gold rises. Short term, we still have the risk of it going under $1,000 per ounce. It’s going to flip when everything is right. It will probably max out at $5,000 per ounce.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Indian gold market subdued, premiums low and likely to stay so: sources

Posted on 16 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Indian gold market is not expecting any fireworks in terms of premium business in 2015, with most participants downbeat, expecting premiums to trade in a tight range of $1-$2/oz above the dollar spot price, sources said this week.
One broker said that unless the dollar gold price dramatically drops $100-$150/oz, it is doubtful that premiums will move higher from the current range. He noted that Indian physical buyers have become too savvy and that as soon as the price in local currency terms dips, they are quick to buy. However, the local market has ample supply, so premiums see little reaction………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IEA Chief Economist: No Immediate Oil Market Impact After Iran Deal

Posted on 14 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It could take three to five years for a new wave of Iranian oil to significantly increase world petroleum supplies and have a lasting impact on prices, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency said Monday.
The prospect of a deal to lift Western sanctions in exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear program has added a new layer of volatility to an oil market reeling from a historic collapse in prices, from about $115 a barrel last summer to a low of $47 in January. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at about $59 Monday afternoon in London………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious metal bears eating bulls for lunch

Posted on 14 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Weekend reading has served us rather well to catch up on current (potentially future) views and thoughts. Concern about the world economy is still the spotlight, continued fight of deflation and lower crude oil prices, China economy hard landing hitting the front page, volatile Middle East wars and the never ending tension between Ukraine and Russia seems to sum up a fair amount of uncertainty and volatility.
Looking at this week, China GDP data will serve as a catalyst to currencies that heavily depend on it. Further contraction in the 2nd largest economy could spell disaster as global demand could diminish and a snowball effect of fear may grip the market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World Oil Demand On The Rise Says Saudi Oil Minister

Posted on 13 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia’s oil production was up to 10.3 million barrels in March, and an senior Saudi energy official says that will meet an annual global rise in demand of as much as 1 million barrels a day. In fact, total yearly demand around the world is expected to reach 105 million barrels a day by 2025, Ibrahim al-Muhanna told an energy conference in Riyadh on April 10.
Al-Muhanna, an adviser to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, said the current depression in both oil prices and demand is a “temporary, unnatural situation,” and that in the foreseeable future there will be “continued growth in demand for the various types of energy, including oil.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodity trading in Switzerland

Posted on 10 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Representatives from the Swiss Government, individual trading companies and transparency advocates will discuss the current lack of publicly available information about commodity trading in Switzerland at UNCTAD’s sixth annual Global Commodities Forum at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 13–14 April 2015.
The Forum continues a debate, begun at the 2014 event, on the need for improved transparency in the commodity trading sector – with Switzerland as its focus this year. The current dearth of information complicates governments’ responsibility to formulate policies that are effective as well as feasible to implement, and a lack of transparency represents a growing and significant reputational risk to firms, and their home and host governments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC’s no-cut strategy is not working, Iran says

Posted on 10 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC’s strategy of holding output steady is not working and the group’s members should discuss production levels before its next meeting in June, Iran’s oil minister said, a sign of the pain lower prices are causing OPEC’s less wealthy producers.
However, Bijan Zanganeh also told Reuters it was up to other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to make way for any extra Iranian crude that reaches world markets if Western sanctions on Tehran are lifted………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s iron ore tax cut puts heat on Australian miners

Posted on 09 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China has sent a blunt warning to governments in Australia that it will strive to keep its domestic iron ore miners afloat by announcing a new round of tax cuts for the embattled industry. Just days after the Western Australian Government started giving royalty relief to junior miners like BC Iron, China’s State Council announced that Chinese iron ore miners would receive a 6 yuan ($1.27) tax cut on each tonne of iron ore produced.
The introduction of a subsidy by the world’s largest steelmaker may further hurt iron ore prices which fell to a 10-year of $US47.08 per tonne last week, and is bad news for Australian miners hoping to survive long enough to succeed the Chinese domestic miners………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OPEC has lost its swagger — and may never get it back

Posted on 07 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

OPEC is losing its clout. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, which controls more than 80% of the world’s oil reserves (as of 2013), isn’t wielding the unrivaled sway over crude-oil prices that it has been credited with in the past.
Since the 12-nation organization announced last year that it wouldn’t slash oil production to curb a mounting supply glut fueled, in part, by U.S. shale producers, a growing chorus of market watchers are declaring the cartel dead — or at least significantly neutered. Bank of America’s Head of Commodities Francisco Blanch is the latest Wall Streeter writing OPEC’s epitaph………………………………………..Full Article: Source

10 Commodities Investments to Rev Up Your Portfolio

Posted on 02 April 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

You may not have much of a taste for commodities right now, and who could blame you? At a time when Wall Street has seen healthy run-ups, many commodities stocks have taken a beating. But as equities experts put it, you can’t keep a good stock down, especially when it trades in an area where there’s a proven need or demand that’s bound to increase.
“The [Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity CRB Index] has been in a bear market since its peak in 2011, making commodities seem like a questionable investment,” says John O’Donnell, chief knowledge officer of Online Trading Academy, based in Irvine, California. “But just like it’s proven contrarian wisdom that the best time to buy is when there’s ‘blood in the street,’ courageous and patient investors now have the opportunity to buy when there’s gold in the street.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

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

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