Iron ore price meltdown

Posted: January 30th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Australia, China, Commodities, Iron ore, Metals, Steel | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Iron ore price meltdownAt the end of the latest offshore session, benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China was trading at $62.80 a tonne, down 0.8 per cent from its previous close of $63.30 a tonne. The price is now at its weakest point since the middle of 2009. It has now lost 11 per cent of its value since January 1 after suffering a 47 per cent decline in 2014.

The raw material has been in a bear market since March after Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA spent billions of dollars to boost low-cost output even as China slowed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. joined global banks on Friday in cutting price forecasts for 2015, predicting a return to a bull market is probably more than a decade away. The love affair between China and iron ore is cooling, the bank said.

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Has our profession made strides over the last 7 years? – Part 1

Posted: January 29th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Best practices, Gem, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Results of two time-staggered surveys

As you may know, back in 2003, we asked people to fill in an on-line survey to help Purchasing Professionals gauge their organization’s overall purchasing effectiveness.

We asked 7 questions that touched on senior management attitudes, corporate systems in place for gauging purchasing effectiveness, and the activities that consumed purchasers’ time.

We repeated the Purchasing Effectiveness Survey last month and over 600 people participated. We now have enough information to compare results and determine if anything has changed since 2003.

We plan to review one question each week. Here is the first one.

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WTI at $45: have we reached the bottom yet?

Posted: January 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Oil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

WTI at $45: have we reached the bottom yet?West Texas Intermediate for March delivery decreased as much as $1.24 to $44.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was down 57 cents to $45.02 at 12:14 p.m. London time. The contract lost 72 cents to $45.59 on Jan. 23, the lowest close since March 2009. The volume of all futures traded was 24 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.

Brent for March settlement slid as much as $1.22, or 2.5 percent, to $47.57 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It gained 27 cents to $48.79 on Jan. 23. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.14 to WTI.

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Gasoline heads toward $2

Posted: January 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: USA | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Gasoline heads toward $2Average pump prices—$2.04 a gallon Thursday—are now down more than 40% since last June, when they stood near $3.68 a gallon, according to the auto club AAA. Gas prices are below $2 a gallon in 27 states. Since 1980, gas prices have only once seen a bigger six-month decline.

Gas prices appear headed below a nationwide average of $2 a gallon in coming days, one of the swiftest declines on record and one that is beginning to ripple through the U.S. economy in ways both familiar and unpredictable.

Via As Gasoline Heads Toward $2, the Benefits Start to Trickle Down – WSJ


US Electric Power Markets – National Overview

Posted: January 24th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Gem, Negotiating with Suppliers, Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Electrical powerIf you have ever wanted to understand changes in your suppliers’ electricity costs, you might find this U.S. federal government website useful. It identifies regions and ‘hubs’. The best news is that pricing for most hubs is free and a matter of public record.

via FERC: Electric Power Markets – National Overview.


Oil rout impacts the Canadian economy

Posted: January 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Canada, Energy, Oil | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Oil rout impacts CanadaA new Conference Board of Canada report released today at the Oil and Gas Summit 2015 in Calgary estimates Canada’s economy will suffer a 0.4 per cent hit to growth this year. Lower oil prices will have sharply differing effects across Canada’s regions and industries.

The Canadian dollar fell to its weakest in five years Tuesday on speculation the more than 50% drop in oil prices since June would lead to sharp economic revisions by the central bank.

In a shock move, the Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday to counter the effects of cheaper oil on economic growth and inflation and help guard against the risks of a housing market downturn.

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Who moved my cheese? – The Swiss Franc debacle

Posted: January 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Currencies, Swiss franc, Switzerland, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

The Swiss Franc debacleThe Swiss National Bank’s surprise decision on Thursday caused the franc to surge against the euro and dollar, sending shockwaves through the global financial system. The euro suffered its biggest-ever one-day fall against the franc on Thursday, dropping more than 18 percent, after the SNB stunned markets by scrapping its three-year-old pledge to limit the franc’s value to 1.20 per euro.

On Thursday its value had fallen to just 0.85 francs. A number of hedge funds across the world made big losses. The Swiss stock markets plunged by more than 10% after the announcement. Why did the SNB provoke such chaos?

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Sustainability Trends

Posted: January 19th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Best practices, CSR in purchasing, Gem, Greening the Supply Chain, Negotiating with Suppliers, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Conference Board of CanadaWe have picked up a few tips recently from participating in a Conference Board of Canada webinar where sustainability thought leader and governance specialist, Coro Strandberg discussed the drivers and trends of CSR governance and shared emerging best practices in the Canadian context.

We have also been reviewing the Carbon Disclosure Project and other reports to highlight some of the key points that are useful to the supply chain profession.

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US dollar index (USDX) definition

Posted: January 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Currencies, Economic Indicators, US Dollar, USA | Tags: , | No Comments »

US dollar index (USDX) definitionThe US Dollar Index (USDX) was launched after the end of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system agreement in 1973 by the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT). At its inception, the US Dollar Index was set at a base value of 100. It is an index (or measure) of the value of the United States dollar relative to a basket of foreign currencies.

It has since then ranged between 164.72, in February 1985, and its all-time low of 70.70 on March 16, 2008. The reading is interpreted by comparing its current value and change of the dollar’s strength against its counterparts to its initial value.

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Copper’s price plunge and hits lowest in 5-1/2 years

Posted: January 16th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: China, Commodities, Copper, Metals | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Copper’s price plunge and hits lowest in 5-1/2 yearsCopper for delivery in three months dropped 5.3 percent Wednesday to settle at $5,548 a metric ton ($2.52 a pound) on the London Metal Exchange, after dropping as much as 8.6 percent, the biggest intraday loss since October 2008. It then rebounded on Thursday by rising as much as 2.5 percent to $5,685.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was at $5,631 in Hong Kong.

Copper is the worst performing non-energy raw material this year on the Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), which has tumbled to the lowest in 12 years amid forecasts for China’s slowest economic growth since 1990. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. this week highlighted tighter credit in the country, the world’s biggest metals consumer, as a challenge for copper prices.

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