Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Metals, Rare Earths | Tags: metal, rare earth | No Comments »
The stakes are significant: the rare earth elements have become key industries in developed countries, actors essentials of a multitude of industrial products, including applications designed to have their claims explode over the coming years, such as electric cars and wind turbines.
The supply of these precious minerals is highly constrained due to an incredible concentration in China, there will be no longer enough to satisfy everyone. And as China’s high-tech industries grow, supply issues will likely get only worse.
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Posted: April 28th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Food, Soybaens | Tags: Corn, food | No Comments »
Corn prices jumped 4.6% after the federal government reported the sixth-largest export sale ever for the grain, which analysts believe is headed for China.
But the confirmation of a big sale renewed concerns that Chinese demand could stretch already-tight U.S. inventories of corn, pushing prices above their trading range of the past two weeks.
Corn for May delivery rose 29 cents, to settle at $6.53 a bushel Friday at the Chicago Board of Trade.
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Posted: April 25th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Energy | Tags: energy, oil | No Comments »
U.S. gasoline-futures prices have dropped 16 cents a gallon over the past eight trading days, as more U.S. crude becomes available for refining into gasoline and fears about a shortage of refining capacity fade.
Reformulated gasoline blendstock futures fell 2.8 cents Tuesday to settle at $3.1593 a gallon, and have repeatedly traded near seven-week lows in recent days. Many traders said futures prices may have hit their summer peak in late March, at near $3.42 a gallon, and see futures falling further in coming weeks, easing retail prices at the pump.
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Posted: April 25th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Precious metals | Tags: precious metal | No Comments »
After lagging behind other precious metals for much of the year, prices for the white metal—a key element in cars’ catalytic converters—are pulling ahead. Since the beginning of the month, palladium has risen almost 2%, hitting a one-month high on Friday.
Palladium is mostly used in gasoline exhausts, which are more common in the U.S. and China. Platinum, on the other hand, is for diesel-fueled cars like those driven around Europe. Demand for new vehicles in Europe remains anemic as the Continent struggles to fend off an economic slowdown.
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Posted: April 23rd, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Agricultural, Food | Tags: agriculture, palm oil, soybean | No Comments »
Palm oil production in Malaysia is set to slow in the first half of this year, says Dorab Mistry at Indian consumer products group Godrej International, who correctly forecast that palm oil prices would bottom last autumn.
Maybe even more importantly, he says, the current drought in South America will damage the harvest in soybean crops. These are also used in making cooking oils. If fewer soybeans are available, that will mean extra demand for palm oil to plug the gap.
via Palm oil is set to boom: you should buy in now – MoneyWeek.
Posted: April 18th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Energy, Natural Gas | Tags: energy, natural gas, shale gas | No Comments »
As France takes the path of experimentation on shale gas, many European countries have launched investigations for future exploitation. But Bulgaria, Germany and the UK recently froze all exploration.
After commissioning a study on the various regulations and procedures relating to the exploration and exploitation of shale gas in Poland, France, Germany and Sweden, the European Commission estimated that there was no need to introduce new regulations at European level.
According to the institution, in the four countries studied, laws already cover the various issues raised (legal, financial, safety, water, noise …). However, Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, previously estimated that harmonization of standards is needed because the situation is very different from one country to another.
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Posted: April 16th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Currencies, US Dollar | Tags: china, currency, dollar, yuan | No Comments »
The Chinese government has agreed to loosen controls somewhat on the yuan and let it fluctuate more widely. As a result, Chinese goods may become more expensive, especially if growth in the yuan’s value accelerates, Purchasers need to keep a close eye on the Chinese currency, and would be well advised to consider looking elsewhere for cheap products. if it starts rising sharply.
Over the week-end, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) took another step in the process towards the yuan to the status of a convertible currency by announcing a doubling of its daily trading range.
From today, the Chinese currency will be allowed to rise or fall by 1% each day from its central rate against the greenback. Its fluctuation, upward or downward, was limited until now to 0.5%.
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Posted: April 12th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Economic Indicators | Tags: economic indicator | No Comments »
The international trade growth will decelerate in 2012 for the second consecutive year and will be reduced to a rate of 3.7%, but serious risks could lower it even more, below its average rate of 5, 4% over the last 20 years, said Thursday the World Trade Organization (WTO).
A recovery could intervene, however, next year, with a volume growth that would reach 5.6%. These projections assume a growth of world output by 2.1% in 2012.
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Posted: April 11th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Energy, Natural Gas | Tags: energy, natural gas | No Comments »
The natural-gas surplus has implications for a variety of industries. Energy companies that produce gas are seeing revenue shrink and are searching for more lucrative oil. Cheap gas is stealing power-generation markets from coal, spreading gloom across a mining industry that is being spurned by its most important customer.
Railroads, whose single largest source of revenue is typically hauling coal, are hurting. The economics of building a nuclear plant, wind farm or solar-power installation look shakier than ever.
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Posted: April 10th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Metals, Rare Earths | Tags: china, rare earth | 1 Comment »
The Chinese government announced Monday the creation of an association of producers of rare earths, while being criticized by its trading partners for export restrictions of these essential minerals in high technology.
The USA, EU and Japan have complained to the World Trade Organization last month, arguing that the Chinese industry sector sought to use its position of near monopoly.
China alone extracted more than 95% of rare earth on the planet.This is a group of 17 minerals possessing chemical and electromagnetic relatives, among others used to make computers, monitors, audio equipment, cameras and cameras, automotive parts, batteries or bulbs.
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