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Commodities Briefing 16.Feb 2009

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Industrysearch.com: OPEC trimmed its forecasts for global oil demand on Friday, predicting that consumption would contract by a bigger-than-expected 0.67 per cent in 2009 as a result of the “economic depression” in industrialised countries.

“World oil demand continues its steep decline from last year and is expected to follow this strong negative pattern at least for the first three quarters of the year,” the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries wrote in its latest monthly report….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From IHT: A senior Qatari energy official said Sunday that OPEC is watching the oil market closely and stands ready to cut output further when it meets next month.

Mohammed Saleh al-Sada, Qatar’s minister of state for energy and industry affairs, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Doha that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “will respond appropriately” to the rapid drop in oil prices….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From AP: Venezuela’s energy minister says world oil inventories are too high and may require new output cuts from OPEC in March. Minister Rafael Ramirez warns that past cuts have not balanced supply with demand, which continues to fall amid the world economic crisis.

In comments published Sunday on the Energy Ministry’s Web site, Ramirez said Venezuela is willing to support new cuts when OPEC meets in Vienna March 15….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From AP: Crude oil prices have fallen to new lows for this year. So you’d think gas prices would sink right along with them. Not so.

On last Thursday, for example, crude oil closed just under $34 a barrel, its lowest point for 2009. But the national average price of a gallon of gas rose to $1.95 on the same day, its peak for the year. On Friday gas went a penny higher….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From AP: A top Kuwaiti oil official says crude oil prices are unlikely to rise above $40 per barrel, even if OPEC decides to enact a production cut of as much as 2 million barrels per day at its meeting next month.

Moussa Marafi, a member of the Supreme Petroleum Council, the highest oil policy-making body in Kuwait, told Annahar newspaper Sunday that oil prices are being pressured by a surging U.S. crude inventories, quota noncompliance by some OPEC members and continued pumping by non-OPEC producers….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Chinadaily.com: The deepening financial crisis has put China’s energy industry in a tougher situation: energy demand is dwindling, production is sagging, stockpiles are rising, and energy companies are competing to cut prices.

Meanwhile, the nation’s giant oil and electricity firms are losing money by a large margin….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Theherald.co.uk: A new way of purifying hydrogen could make fuel cells far more viable as a future clean power source, it was revealed yesterday.

Fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen from the air. However, they are hampered by the problem of having to find pure enough hydrogen….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Canada.com: As Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama prepare to discuss energy and climate change at their meeting next week, each man has a villain to deal with: `dirty oil’ from Alberta’s tarsands and `dirty coal’ in the United States.

Those major sources of energy are also huge sources of greenhouse gas emissions - carbon and other pollution caused by burning fossil fuels - that both governments have pledged to reduce in the international fight against climate change….. Full Article: Source

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From Guardian: Green companies are in retreat, with a wave of staff layoffs and production cuts that could have dire consequences for government efforts to fight climate change by quickly bringing low-carbon power projects on stream.

Siemens, Clipper Windpower and even BP are among the big names that say they are reacting to a slowdown in the clean energy sector, which had hitherto seen massive growth….. Full Article: Source

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From Scotsman.com: Scotland cannot rely on renewable energy alone and must turn to nuclear power to safeguard future electricity production, the Scottish Secretary said yesterday.

Jim Murphy said it was crucial to invest in renewable energy – such as tidal and wind power – but only as part of a wider mix. Asked if it was possible for the country to become self-sufficient from renewable sources, Mr Murphy said: “I don’t believe it is.”…. Full Article: Source

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From Guardian: The debate over the impact of fossil fuels has been reignited by the imminent approval of a power plant at Kingsnorth, Kent. Could advances in technology provide ways of capturing dangerous emissions and make coal safer?

Engineers on the Sleipner East platform in the North Sea can lay claim to a unique environmental honour. Each year for the past decade they have pumped a million tonnes of carbon dioxide into an old gas field below their rig, a helpful contribution to the easing of global warming….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Bullionvault.com: A senior figure at ETF Securities claimed yesterday (February 12th) that investors are now becoming increasingly convinced that Gold Prices are going to stay high, Citywire.co.uk reports.

Gold was one of a number of commodities to experience a particularly volatile 2008, with a record $1,033 per ounce attained in March but a drop below $700 following in October….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Reuters: Gold slid on Monday to hover below $940, but the precious metal’s allure as a safe-have asset remains intact as uncertainty continues to cloud the global economic outlook.

Gold was trading at $937.70 per ounce as of 0037 GMT, down 0.2 percent from New York’s notional close on Friday….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Mineweb.com: Back in biblical times gold and silver prices were at parity although by the Roman era the ratio had widened to between 15 and 16.

Silver backed major currencies right the way through to the nineteenth century although as economies evolved it tended to become the norm that silver was used for intra-national payments while gold was used for international transactions….. Full Article: Source

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From Commodityonline.com: Gold imports and sales in India, one of the largest consumers and importers of the yellow metal in the world, may pick up in April-May, bullion dealers said on Sunday.

Skyrocketing gold prices have overheated the Indian bullion market, resulting in lower imports and sales in January and in the first two weeks of February….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Economic Times: Indians are fond of the yellow metal and it’s not surprising that the country is the biggest buyer of gold in the world.

While physical gold has historically been a store of value and universal currency of exchange, in recent years, instruments like gold futures and gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have opened new avenues for investors….. Full Article: Source

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From Marketwatch.com:A nearly $800 billion economic stimulus plan and the Federal Reserve’s ballooning balance sheet are among the reasons for growing concern that the government’s efforts to jumpstart lending will spark high inflation.

To be sure, inflation has been pushed to the side with investors worrying about the opposite situation — deflation — infecting the economy….. Full Article: Source

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From Livenews.com: Rio Tinto’s largest London-based institutional shareholder has expressed concern about the proposed $US19.5 billion deal with Chinese state-owned aluminum group Chinalco.

And media reports also said other big shareholders based in the UK were also opposed to the deal….. Full Article: Source

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From FT: A mine known to the pharaohs has re-entered service as modern Egypt’s only large gold producer.

A papyrus map indicates that the Sukari gold deposit, in Egypt’s eastern desert near the Red Sea, was mined during the time of the pharaohs more than 2,000 years ago. Later, the Romans mined gold there, literally scratching the surface of a deposit that modern surveys show to extend deep into the earth….. Full Article: Source

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From Business-standard.com: How does one explain the more than doubling of the Baltic Dry Index, which measures dry bulk shipping rates on 40 global maritime routes, in the last five weeks?

The development will appear to be intriguing since the world’s major economies are reeling from a severe recession and China and India are seeing low growth rates….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Telegraph: Chinese exporters are defying their government and unilaterally offering their customers lower-than-official exchange rates on their products to keep their businesses churning out goods.

In a move which could exacerbate tensions at a particularly sensitive time for world trade, exporters in the heart of factoryland, who believe the strength of the yuan is causing the world to turn its back on cheap Chinese goods, are taking matters into their own hands….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: The yen rose after finance ministers from the Group of Seven nations said the “severe” global slump will persist for most of 2009 and Japan’s economy shrank by the most since 1974, spurring investors to sell riskier assets.

The yen snapped two days of losses against the dollar and the euro as G-7 officials refrained from making any statement to support efforts by Japan to weaken its currency….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Standartnews.com: The national currencies of the Central and Eastern European countries are under serious pressure. They have been displaying some fearful balances over the last few months of devaluation, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

Shortly after the recent lion’s leap of the Czech Koruna’s exchange rate, it suddenly crashed down, losing 20 percent of its value….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Xinhua: More countries and regions, especially China’s trading partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will step up to sign currency swap agreements with China amid the global economic downturn, economic experts said.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, had signed bilateral currency swap agreements with Malaysia, South Korea and China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the past two months, totaling 460 billion yuan (67.3 billion U.S. dollars)….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Commodities-now.com: Bad weather, violent conflict and volatile market prices could force a drop off in the global production of cereal crops this year, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) predicted today after already warning that some 1billion people worldwide are going hungry.

Drought and high food prices in much of the developing world coupled with a diversion to bio-fuels and the disincentive of high planting costs in the West look likely to reduce grain production in most of the world’s major producers….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Business24-7.ae: Dozens of companies have failed to reveal their provisional financial results for 2008 within the time limit set by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

The 45-day period established by the authority for companies listed on the UAE stock markets to announce their initial figures expired yesterday….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Arabtimesonline.com: New York crude oil prices sank this week as data revealed a large jump in US energy stockpiles and top industry bodies forecast falling demand because of the global economic slowdown.

However, prices recovered somewhat on Friday heading into a three-day holiday weekend with US financial markets closed for Presidents Day on Monday….. Full Article: Source

Posted on 16 February 2009 by VRS |  Email |Print

From Bloomberg: Crude oil traded little changed near $38 a barrel in New York on speculation the recession in the world’s largest economies will slash demand for fuel and energy.

Japan’s economy, the world’s largest oil consumer after the U.S. and China, contracted the most since 1974 in the fourth quarter, a government report showed today….. Full Article: Source

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