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Commodities Briefing - Category | Trading more

IEA Sees New ’Zombie’ Oil Refineries as Trading Grows

Posted on 02 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traders are increasingly taking control of failing refineries in Europe, betting they can make profit from plants that lose money for conventional oil companies, the International Energy Agency said.
The refineries, often acquired for almost no fee, will increase output quickly when margins from fuel sales surge and keep run rates down at other times, Antoine Halff, the head of the IEA’s oil industry and markets division, said at a conference in Singapore today. Conventional oil companies maintain higher processing rates during periods of weaker demand, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

An already ugly September for commodities just got real

Posted on 01 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

September was already shaping up as a brutal month for most major commodites. For some markets, it just got a lot uglier. What’s slamming broad swaths of the commodities market? Everything from supply gluts to the dollar’s Samson-like strength of late.
More specifically, oil has been weighed down by a supply glut tied partly to growing U.S. shale production and waning global demand. Gold futures have slumped amid lackluster physical buying, while grain futures have been slipping due to bountiful crop………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Commodity super cycle turning downward, says RBI

Posted on 01 October 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said global commodities prices have already touched inflexion points and are now on a downward path. The central bank’s statement is based on data on commodity prices, both energy and non-energy, for the past five decades. “Since 1894, four super cycles have been identified, with the last starting in the late 1990s and attributed to rapid and sustained industrialisation and urbanisation in China and other emerging economies,” RBI said.
In the latest commodity super cycle, inflation adjusted prices of commodities rose 60-500 per cent between 1999 and 2010. Oil price rose 467 per cent, metals 202 per cent and the prices of agricultural commodities 77 per cent, the steepest price increases among the four commodity super cycles (after adjusting for inflation)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

CIC to Cut Stake in Singapore Commodity Trader Noble Group

Posted on 30 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign-wealth fund China Investment Corp. is seeking to raise up to 405 million Singapore dollars (US$318 million) by selling a portion of its stake in Singapore-listed commodity trader Noble Group, people with knowledge of the deal said Monday.
CIC, which currently owns close to a 15% stake in Noble Group, will see its holding fall to about 10% post sale, one of the people said. China’s sovereign-wealth fund had spent US$850 million in 2009 to buy a stake in the Hong Kong-based Noble Group, a diversified commodities company with assets ranging from Brazilian sugar mills to Australian iron ore to oilseed-processing facilities in China and India………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Time to buy uranium? The best ways to play it

Posted on 29 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Patience could finally start to pay off for investors waiting for a revival of the uranium market that imploded in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster in 2011. After the spot price hit a nine-year low of $28 (U.S.) this spring on oversupply concerns, dragging uranium equities down with it, many investors believe the commodity used to fuel nuclear power plants has finally hit bottom, as the demand picture brightens.
The price has risen about 30 per cent in recent weeks, to $36.50, driven by additional U.S. and European sanctions against Russia, a major uranium supplier, in its conflict with Ukraine. That threatens to put pressure on the global uranium supply, alongside a recent two-week strike at Cameco Corp.’s McArthur River and Key Lake operations in Saskatchewan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Commodity Traders Are Making One Big Bet

Posted on 26 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A number of years ago, I worked as an equity portfolio manager at a Commodity Trading Advisor that used trend following models. While I knew nothing about the specifics of their models, I knew that the traders next door appeared white-knuckled at the end of the day. Even though they were diversified across many different contracts, the trading system often steered them into a single big macro bet.
The bet might be characterized as a directional exposure to interest rates, or currencies, etc. It was then I realized that the application of trend following models on commodity, bond and currencies was picking up directional economic trends - but that’s another story………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Inexorable Rise of Asian Commodities Buyers

Posted on 19 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Labeling importers in Asia Pacific as keen buyers of commodities, especially crude oil and natural gas, is right on the money and somewhat unremarkable. Emerging markets are all about development and growth plans needing materials and fueled largely by hydrocarbons.
Purchasing power of commercial buyers always matters, but what I encountered on back-to-back visits to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, earlier this month was the indisputable clout of those seeking minerals and materials. This palpable shift in power from West to East has gone well beyond setting prices and is inevitably extending to dictating terms and rules of engagement in the physical commodities market……………………………………..Full Article: Source

China Opens Gold Market to Foreigners Amid Price Ambition

Posted on 19 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China will give foreign investors direct access to its gold market for the first time today as the biggest-consuming nation seeks to exert more influence over prices while boosting the yuan’s global use.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange will start trading contracts in the city’s free-trade zone that will be linked to its domestic spot market and available to about 40 international members including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG. Access was previously limited to some Chinese units. Gold in China this year cost as much as $31 an ounce more and $42 less than the London spot price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg……………………………………..Full Article: Source

International gold trading launched in Shanghai free-trade zone

Posted on 19 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Shanghai Gold Exchange officially launched its international trading platform in the city’s free-trade zone (FTZ) last night, the first such board in the zone, with hopes of setting benchmark prices for the precious metal in Asia. It could pave the way for the launch of crude oil futures and other key commodities including iron ore in the testing ground for mainland economic reform.
Premier Li Keqiang made an inspection tour of the 28 square kilometre zone yesterday following a no-show on September 29 last year, when it was inaugurated. “The free-trade zone in Shanghai will have a brighter future and Shanghai will have a brighter future,” the premier told officials and others during the tour, Xinhua reported. “I wish the FTZ to be prosperous and developed.”…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Calm before the storm? Commodity volatility mired at low levels

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity traders curse it while industrial users of oil, metals and grains applaud it. Several years of low volatility on commodity markets have hammered profits for speculators and constricted trading opportunities, while providing stability for firms that buy such goods.
But both camps may get more than they bargained for when the current period of extraordinarily narrow price movement ends, entering uncharted territory after a number of banks departed the sector…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Citi buys Deutsche’s base metals trading book: report

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Deutsche Bank has sold its global base metals trading book to Citigroup Inc, the U.S. bank’s latest move to expand its commodities trading business, according to a report by SparkSpread.
The deal is the second by Citi since Germany’s largest bank and one of the biggest financial players in commodities said it would stop trading energy, agriculture, base metals, coal and iron ore. It has retained its precious metals desk…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Bank commodity trading and the US Fed: An unfolding relationship

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last week something serendipitous happened. I went to what was ostensibly a briefing and news broke out. The news was that the big French bank BNP Paribas, after some high-level recruitment from a decamping JP Morgan Chase, intends to try and rebuild North American physical electricity trading to go along with its existing natural gas trading operations done primarily through its offices in New York.
BNP’s decision bucks the trend set by a number of other big banks—most notably JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Barclays Plc– who have pulled out of several areas of physical energy commodity trading due to a combination of changing market conditions and flagging revenues, but perhaps most importantly, due to mounting regulations…………………………………….Full Article: Source

The Soft-Commodity Outlook

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Almost perfect weather conditions across the principle growing regions in the U.S. and the prospect of record crops continue to push soft commodity prices lower. And with harvesting underway, this trend looks set to continue, with further good weather to come.
For U.S. Wheat, the bearish trend has been slow and steady, starting back in May with the commodity trading at 760 per bushel, before declining steadily, followed by a pause in the 580 to 620 per-bushel area, before that level was also breached, with a further move down followed by an extended phase of price congestion, which extended through the summer months in the 580 to 540 per-bushel region creating a strong and well-defined level of resistance and support…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Biggest banks to overhaul currency trading

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s biggest banks are overhauling how they trade currencies to regain the trust of customers and pre-empt regulators’ efforts to force changes on an industry tarnished by allegations of manipulation.
Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and UBS, which together account for 43 percent of foreign exchange trading by banks, are introducing measures to make it harder for dealers to profit from confidential customer information and take advantage of clients in the largely unregulated $5.3 trillion (R58.4 trillion)-a-day currency market, according to people with knowledge of the changes…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Increase in Iran oil storage to increase export flexibility

Posted on 12 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A substantial increase in Iranian oil storage capacity will give the sanctions-hit country more flexibility to export crude, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.
The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme, preventing it from reaching production capacity. Limited storage capacity has forced it to keep crude on National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC)-controlled tankers at sea………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China to export more steel

Posted on 11 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“The mills in China have been consistently overproducing. The major reason for this is the strong profitability of the industry – the price of both the ingredients (iron ore, coal, freight, fluxes etc.) and the finished steel has decreased, but the costs of producing a ton of steel fell more, so the profit margins have actually improved.
“For overproduction, steel is either stockpiled or it is exported. A quick look at the inventory numbers (nominal or seasonally adjusted) reveals that steel has actually been drawn out of stockpiles, not added. Hence we are left with the export option………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EU pushes for urgent energy deal in U.S. trade pact

Posted on 10 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The United States should commit to exporting oil and natural gas to Europe under a transatlantic trade deal in light of the European Union’s geopolitical situation, the EU trade commissioner said on Tuesday.
Tension between Russia and the West over the future of Ukraine is spurring the European Union to renew efforts to end decades of dependence on Russian gas. One solution would be greater access to abundant U.S. resources………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China commodity imports flashing warning signs: Russell

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

If you were trying to distil China’s commodity imports for August into a single word, that word may be cautious. Crude oil imports rose 6 percent from a month earlier, but China was a net fuel exporter for a fourth month this year, meaning that some of the additional crude imports were shipped out as refined products.
In assessing the state of Chinese oil demand, the impact of the trade in refined products is becoming increasingly important, as the trend is now clearly toward rising net exports, particularly of diesel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s Copper Imports Slow Due to Probe

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s commodity imports in August mostly softened, led by a 12% decline in the volume of copper shipments from a year earlier due to the fallout from a government probe into metal financing at Chinese ports. Copper imports fell to 340,000 metric tons, according to customs data Monday.
Chinese authorities earlier this year launched investigations into alleged fraud involving aluminum and copper stocks used as collateral for loans in China. Commodity-backed financing has fueled imports of copper in recent years, but this appears to be ebbing due to the investigations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity trading: End-to-end game

Posted on 05 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Banks, harried by regulators and short of capital, are fleeing the commodities business. Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS either shuttered or shrank their commodities operations last year; this year Barclays, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase have scaled back. But even as they retreat, commodity-trading houses, most of which began life as simple middlemen, are getting ever more deeply involved in the extraction, shipping and refining of raw materials.
The buyer of JPMorgan Chase’s physical commodities unit, for instance, was Mercuria, a ten-year-old firm based in Switzerland that started out trading oil but now owns (or has joint ventures with) oil-exploration companies, oil-terminal and pipeline operators, coal and iron-ore mines and biofuel refineries………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity Trade Finance: uncovering the Opportunities in Africa

Posted on 04 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a recent Opalesque Radio interview with Sona Blessing, Nicolas Clavel, founder and chief investment officer of Scipion Capital, an investment manager specialising in self-liquidating short-term Commodity Trade Finance (CTF) with a focus on Africa, elaborates on the commodity trade finance opportunities, the hurdles and their ability to deliver consistent risk-adjusted returns.
From a sector perspective, the commodity trade finance fund focuses on minerals and agricultural commodities produced in Africa, which then tend to be shipped to destinations such as (mainly) China and Europe. The fund also finances the import of commodities into Africa, which is in sync with the continent’s growth and lack of available supplies for high in demand inputs such as cement and diesel………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities trading the latest move by Shanghai to talk up free trade zone

Posted on 29 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities exchanges the latest idea for city’s free trade zone, and part of its plan to establish itself as a hub for international commerce. In the latest attempt to raise the profile of its Hong Kong-style free port, Shanghai has unveiled ambitious plans to create a clutch of international commodity trading platforms in its free-trade zone (FTZ).
According to an action plan to develop the city into a centre for international commerce, major commodities including iron ore, cotton and copper will be traded on the internationalised markets inside the 28.8 sq km FTZ by 2015. The announcement follows long-heralded plans to establish international boards for crude oil futures and gold trading in the zone………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China to Let Foreign Investors Trade in Shenzhen Carbon Market

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, said it will allow foreigners to trade carbon permits in Shenzhen, making it the nation’s first emissions exchange to welcome outside investors. The Shenzhen exchange has yet to set the date or finalize other entry procedures for foreign investors. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange has allowed foreign participation in principal, according to a statement today on the website of the China Emissions Exchange.
The southern city of Shenzhen near Hong Kong started carbon trading last year as the first of seven pilot programs in China. The exchanges, constituting the world’s biggest emissions trading system after Europe, may be a precursor to a nationwide system………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ICAP launches Singapore coal derivatives trading

Posted on 22 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, has opened a coal derivatives trading desk in Singapore in a move that highlights the growing importance of the Asian city-state as a commodities trading hub amid robust Chinese demand for coal. It is another sign of London-based ICAP’s ambitions to tap increasing demand in Asia for hedging of physical purchases of commodities.
In May the company launched an electronic trading platform for iron ore swaps in Singapore, in part to capture demand from Chinese traders………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities: You don’t need to know them to trade them

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While there are more opportunities to trade commodities these days, investors remain reluctant to jump on board, citing a lack of understanding about what they are as a key reason. Commodities include products such as gold, silver, oil, wheat, sugar, cattle and pork bellies. OANDA senior technical analyst Stuart McPhee says he finds retail investors aren’t generally interested in trading commodities.
“Anecdotally, when you talk about trading something like sugar or wheat, people say they don’t understand it and wouldn’t know how to trade it. Our trading activity reflects this.” This is despite there being more ways to trade them, he says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BHP Billiton plans mining’s biggest spin-off as commodity boom falters

Posted on 20 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

BHP Billiton Ltd. announced what’s poised to be the biggest spin-off in the mining industry, separating aluminium, coal and silver assets to create a company valued at about $15 billion after it begins trading next year. The new unit will operate in five countries from Australia to South Africa, the Melbourne-based producer said on Tuesday in a statement, while announcing a 10% jump in full-year profit to $13.4 billion.
BHP’s London-listed shares fell the most in 14 months. A decision to skip a widely anticipated share purchase will disappoint investors, who had expected a $3 billion buyback, Citigroup Inc. said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity trading in India on the rise as investors return

Posted on 20 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A year after a US$920 million payment default at a spot commodities bourse cut trading from gold to soya beans futures, jolting India’s biggest brokerages, investors are returning as newer regulations buoy confidence.
The volume of commodities traded on the Multi Commodity Exchange Ltd, India’s biggest commodity bourse, has rebounded from a five-year low after the regulator tightened warehousing and shareholding norms in response to the payment crisis that unravelled at the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). Volumes on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange of India Ltd, the second largest bourse, have recovered from a 10-year low………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 Commodities Setups to Play

Posted on 20 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Stocks made big gains yesterday, the big NASDAQ Composite in particular making new multiyear highs as buyers charged into equities to start the week. But one corner of the market has quietly been outperforming the rest — and no, it’s not technology. I’m talking about the “commodity stocks,” basic materials sector names with outsized exposure to the commodity markets. Typically, commodity-centric names tend to have low correlations with the rest of the broad market, but not in 2014. Instead, materials names are just magnifying the S&P 500’s gains this year.
So far, the S&P has managed to climb 7.19% higher since the start of the calendar year — but the basic materials sector has basically done double, climbing 14.34% over that same stretch. Even better, there are still some big trading opportunities in materials right now………………………………………..Full Article: Source

After the Boom–Commodity Prices and Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

Posted on 15 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After skyrocketing over the past decade, commodity prices have remained stable or eased somewhat since mid-2011—and most projections suggest they are not likely to resume the upward trend observed in the last decade. This paper analyzes what this turn in the commodity price cycle may imply for output growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The analysis suggests that growth in the years ahead for the average commodity exporter in the region could be significantly lower than during the commodity boom, even if commodity prices were to remain stable at their current still-high levels. Slower-than-expected growth in China represents a key downside risk. The results caution against trying to offset the current economic slowdown with demand-side stimulus and underscore the need for ambitious structural reforms to secure strong growth over the medium term………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Free exchange: Aid to the rescue

Posted on 15 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Fifty years ago the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development launched a debate about how much money rich countries should give to poor ones to reduce poverty and bolster growth. In the end, the UN settled on a figure of 0.7% of national income—a target subsequently reaffirmed by endless international powwows.
Although few countries have met it, aid spending in real terms has nonetheless increased steadily ever since, to $134.8 billion in 2013. Yet economists are still arguing about how much the aid helps—if it helps at all………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity Price Volatility: What Should Distributors Do?

Posted on 14 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Dealers in commodities, or in parts that use a significant amount of a commodity with large price fluctuations, have significant business challenges. In previous articles I’ve written about the nature and impacts of commodity price volatility: This article will cover the two challenges of dealers: pricing and working capital.
The owner of a gas station has the same pricing challenge as a copper and brass distributor or a cocoa wholesaler: how to set selling prices when your buying prices change frequently. To understand the right way to set prices, it’s easiest to understand the wrong way: pricing based on historic cost. Let’s say that the gas station owner marks up the price of gas by 50 cents, so when he buys for $3.50, he sells for $4.00………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Escalating geopolitical discord lifts commodities

Posted on 12 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After hitting a sixth month low at the end of July, the broad based Bloomberg Commodity Index (formerly known as DJ-UBS) managed a small comeback this week. Multiple geopolitical worries halted the slide in crude oil and gave precious metals a lift while industrial metals took stock following disappointing economic data from China and Europe.
The agriculture sector was higher as the grain sector returned from the abyss, thereby helping to offset losses in soft commodities, not least coffee and sugar, while livestock fell for a third week……………………………………Full Article: Source

China’s mixed commodities imports data shows demand revival absent

Posted on 11 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s imports of iron ore and soybeans maintained their upward trajectory in July but shipments of crude oil, copper and coal dropped, underscoring the relatively sluggish domestic demand in the world’s second-biggest economy. Copper shipments fell 2.9 percent compared to June, coal imports dropped 8.1 percent and crude oil imports slid 1.1 percent to their lowest daily rate since March, but July deliveries of iron ore surged 10.7 percent and soybeans rose 17 percent on the month, customs data showed on Friday.
The rise in imports of both iron ore and soybean, however, was attributed by analysts to opportunistic buying on favourable price moves, with subdued domestic demand seen potentially driving a surge in the stockpiles of both the commodities……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia bans agricultural products from EU, USA, Australia, Norway, Canada

Posted on 08 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on the full ban for imports of beef, pork, poultry meat, fish, cheese, milk, vegetables and fruit from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway. The ban will last a year, starting August 7.
The Prime Minister also said Russia has stopped transit flights by Ukrainian airlines to such destinations as Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, adding that the country was considering a ban of transit flights for European and US Airlines to the Asia-Pacific region………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia to ban all U.S. agricultural imports

Posted on 07 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Retaliating for U.S. sanctions over Ukraine, Russia will ban or limit all American agricultural products for up to a year, a Kremlin official said Wednesday. All fruits and vegetables from the European Union will also be locked out, the country’s agricultural and veterinary watchdog told RIA Novosti. Produce from Canada and Japan will also be blocked.
The complete list of banned products, to be announced Thursday, will be “very substantial,” said Alexey Alekseenko, an assistant to the head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Africa: Commodities: The Trade Challenge

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With new rules and new markets, African companies are fighting for a bigger stake in the continent’s resource bonanza. At the same time, multinational traders like Glencore are targeting Africa as they seek to control commodity value chains.
For a couple of days in mid-June, as the rest of the world settled down to watch the World Cup, Chad made a rare foray into the global news headlines. Idris Déby Itno, its dapper deal-making president who had paid a call a month earlier at the Elysée Palace to see France’s President François Hollande, announced that Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, was going to be headquarters for the regional campaign against jihadists in Nigeria, Mali and beyond………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Middle East supply fears send oil prices higher

Posted on 06 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil prices rose in Asia Tuesday on fresh fears of supply disruptions in the Middle East, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery rose 10 cents to $98.39, while Brent crude for September gained 15 cents to $105.56 in afternoon trade.
“We haven’t seen signs so far that the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East could cause disruptions, but those concerns are still there at the back of investors’ minds,” Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said. WTI on Monday snapped a five-day losing streak to gain 41 cents in New York trade following continued violence in crude producer Libya, where at least 22 more people died in Tripoli over the weekend………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Forward trades in commodity markets to begin this month

Posted on 04 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

India’s commodity markets will see the debut of forward contracts later this month, a move termed as an attempt to create a national agricultural market. The National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) will launch forward contracts based on two commodities—sugar and maize— by the third week of August after receiving a go-ahead from the commodity market regulator.
Commodity market participants say that the introduction of forward contracts could be a game-changer, as it reduces counter-party risk and keeps out speculators, besides creating a central platform for forward trading in agricultural commodities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity finance being done by Trading Houses

Posted on 30 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A story recently in Reuters talked about how the biggest trading houses are filling the traditional banks (and mostly European banks role) of funding traders. This got particular attention, especially in light of the Obama administrations sanctions on Rosneft and other big Russian commodity producers.
If you look at the big trading houses, do they really want to take over the role of banks (who have access to historically cheap deposits?). Or is it really a question of providing these large trading houses with huge credit lines to further provide upstream finance to their smaller counterparties?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodities Trading At Banks: Going, Going, Gone?

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While on a visit to the commodities unit of a major investment bank in New York roughly seven years ago, one was enveloped by a sense of exuberance on the trading floor. No less than three executives claimed their institution was among the “few banks” with separate units dealing in paper crude oil barrels, as well as loading and dispatching the physical stuff on to tankers somewhere off a foreign shipping terminal.
Given that the global financial crisis hadn’t taken hold and the year was 2007, such a claim could well be classified as the market overstatement of the decade then. In actual fact, most major banks were trading derivatives, futures, options and physical commodities at the time. Fast forward to the second half of 2014, and it is a different scenario altogether………………………………………..Full Article: Source

EIA: OPEC’s 2013 oil export revenues fall 7%

Posted on 29 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

According to recent estimates from the US Energy Information Administration, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, excluding Iran, earned about $826 billion in net oil export revenues in 2013, a 7% decrease from 2012 earnings. But this was still the second-largest earnings totals during 1975-2013—the timespan of how long EIA has tracked OPEC oil revenues.
For each country, EIA derived net oil exports based on its oil production and consumption estimates from the latest edition of the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. For countries that export several different crude varieties, EIA assumes that the proportion of total net oil exports represented by each variety is equal to the proportion of the total domestic production represented by that variety………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Halt in Iraqi oil, Egyptian gas supplies continues

Posted on 28 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Imports of natural gas from Egypt and crude oil from Iraq have been at a standstill since the beginning of this year, according to Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed. “Oil from Iraq is still completely halted due to the deteriorating security conditions there,” the minister told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
The Kingdom used to import around 10,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Iraq. Jordan has resorted to importing crude oil from the Saudi Arabian oil company, Aramco, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy supplier to the world

Posted on 25 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traders booked the most tankers in eight months to ship diesel and heating oil to Europe from the U.S. Gulf, where refining is surging as a consequence of America’s rising crude production.
Oil companies either booked or plan to charter 16 tankers to transport cargoes on the route for loading during the next two weeks, according to the survey of six people involved in the trade yesterday. That compares with nine last week and is the highest count since Nov. 6………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China gold demand falls by a fifth, but output rises

Posted on 25 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s gold demand fell by nearly a fifth in the first half of 2014 from a year ago as consumer interest in bullion bars and coins waned.
Soaring purchases by retail customers in 2013 helped China overtake India as the world largest gold consumer for the first time. That buying “frenzy”, as the metals consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS described it, was largely driven by the 28 per cent fall in the gold price last year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Credit Suisse heads for exit on commodities trading

Posted on 23 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When is an investment bank committed to a business? Until it’s not! That oft-quoted adage could be heard in the City of London on Tuesday morning after Credit Suisse joined the ranks of investment banks exiting commodities trading. The bank announced that it was winding down its derivative-focused commodities unit to focus on more profitable businesses such as structured products and credit.
Like its peers, Credit Suisse blamed tighter regulation and lower profitability due to stable prices for oil and other commodities for the decision, revealed after the bank announced its biggest quarterly loss since the collapse of Lehman Brothers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss Commodities Traders Go Big on African Oil

Posted on 22 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Swiss commodities traders are buying significant volumes of Africa’s oil in opaque and lightly-regulated deals, according to a new report that spotlights their commanding position in the continent’s energy markets.
Traders such as Glencore PLC and privately-owned Trafigura Beheer B.V. spent $55 billion buying a quarter of the oil produced by Africa’s top 10 suppliers between 2011 and 2013, according to the report by a trio of nongovernmental organizations, the Berne Declaration, the Natural Resource Governance Institute and Swissaid………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodities: Water should be traded on financial markets to avoid global crisis

Posted on 21 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Markets can play an important role in providing future water security. Britain, as the rest of the world, is facing a water crisis, leading some experts to predict that by the end of the decade H2O will be traded on financial markets like other finite commodities such as crude oil, or iron ore.
Although the Environment Agency says the past six months have been the wettest on record, summer hosepipe bans remain a possibility, partly because of historic inconsistencies in infrastructure investment. However, changing weather patterns and rising demand for water resources spell a potentially more nightmarish scenario within the next 20 years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Morgan Stanley rebuilds in commodities trading

Posted on 21 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After more than a year of scaling back in commodities, Morgan Stanley is ready to expand. The Wall Street bank plans to hire about a dozen traders, sales staff and other professionals in the United States. It’s building up commodities trading and financing businesses that can profit despite tougher regulations, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
“The moves that we’ve made are in large part because we looked at these businesses through a new capital lens,” said one executive involved in the business’s strategy who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “That’s just the reality of life on Wall Street these days.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodity traders and asset ownership

Posted on 17 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As trading has become more competitive and markets more transparent, big commodity traders have responded by sinking billion of dollars into refineries, power plants, ports and other assets.
It is a narrative that has taken up many column inches over the past couple of years and there is more than a kernel of truth to it. Some energy and metals traders have indeed become more asset heavy through targeted acquisitions. Vitol, for example, recently acquired Royal Dutch Shell’s Australian refinery and petrol station assets for $2.6bn, while Mercuria is set to buy the physical commodities business of JPMorgan Chase………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Saudi Kingdom’s oil exports hit 1.38bn barrels in 6 months

Posted on 17 July 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Saudi Arabia exported nearly 1.38 billion barrels of oil in the first six months of the current year (2014) that yielded SR565 billion, an economic expert was quoted by the local media. Local consumption is projected to hit 395 million barrels, or 22 percent of the total production, during the same period, Fahad bin Jumaa told Al-Riyadh Arabic daily.
The figures come at a time when OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) is poised to shrink its share of the global market for the third consecutive year by 2015 for a number of reasons, including boom of shale oil in the United States despite acceleration of global demand on oil, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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