Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Chemicals, Commodities, Europe, Potash | Tags: Potash, potash belarus, potash market, potash price, potash russia | No Comments »
The Russia-Belarus potash war could be ending as Suleiman Kerimov, the Russian oligarch and primary shareholder of the world’s largest potash miner Uralkali, has agreed to sell his 21.75 per cent stake to billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, in a move which is likely to calm tensions between Russia and Belarus.
The potash industry has been in disarray since Uralkali announced in late July that it was leaving a trading partnership with Belarus which controlled around 40% of the world’s trade in the fertilizer ingredient. The move effectively ended an informal global pricing cartel, sent potash prices tumbling and stock prices for the world’s top producers into a tailspin. 3 weeks later, China‘s sovereign wealth fund (CIC) acquired a 12.5 percent stake in Uralkali.
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Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Chemicals, Commodities, Europe, Potash | Tags: Potash, potash belarus, potash market, potash price, potash russia | 2 Comments »
Potash is produced worldwide at amounts exceeding 30 million tonnes per year, mostly for use in fertilizers. In 2013, almost 70% of potash production was controlled by two cartels, Canpotex (Canada) and the Belarusian Potash Company (Russia/Belarus).
The latter was a joint venture between Belaruskali (Belarus) and Uralkali (Russia), but angered by a law passed in Belarus last year allowing Belaruskali to make sales outside the marketing venture, Uralkali quit the cartel on July 30, saying it would seek to maximize its own volumes. It warned that prices could fall as much as 25 percent this year to less than $300 per tonne.
On August 26th, Belarusian officials detained Vladislav Baumgertner, CEO of Russia’s Uralkali, as he was departing the Minsk airport after he was invited to the capital by the Belarusian Prime Minister. Baumgertner is charged with ‘abusing power’ as chairman of Belarusian Potash Company and causing damages of about $100 million.
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Posted: August 8th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Commodities, Food, Soybaens | Tags: soybean | No Comments »
The Russian government has decided to increase customs duties on soybeans, APK Inform reported. Currently set at 5%, with a minimum of 8.5 euros per tonne, they are raised from August 23rd to 20% with a minimum of 35 euros per tonne.
These tariffs apply to all countries except members of the Custom Union, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
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Posted: July 16th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Agricultural, Commodities | Tags: grain, russia | 3 Comments »
2012 Russian grain harvest is now estimated at less than 80 million tons by the National Union of grain producers as of July 12. Forecast is down again, since in June, the Department of Agriculture announced a harvest of 85 million tonnes, down from 94.2 million tonnes last year.
Pouring rains in the south, especially at the beginning of July, and severe thunderstorms are the reasons for this adjustment.
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Posted: May 24th, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Agricultural, Food | Tags: wheat | No Comments »
Wheat traded in Chicago rose as much as 18 percent in the 10 days through May 21 on concern that the market is returning to the droughts of 2010. Russia and Ukraine curbed exports that year and prices more than doubled to $9.1675 a bushel by February 2011, the month when world food costs tracked by the United Nations rose to a record. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect futures to gain 13 percent to $7.51 by mid-July.
Droughts withering wheat crops from the U.S. to Russia to Australia will probably spur the biggest reduction in global supply estimates since 2003 and drive prices to the highest in almost a year.
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Posted: April 7th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Energy, Natural Gas | Tags: energy, natural gas | No Comments »
In 2011 Gazprom supplied Greece with 2.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
On February 29, 2012 the Greek Government announced the start of a bidding procedure for privatization of DEPA, the state-run gas company.
DEPA is focused on wholesale purchases, sales and supplies of natural gas to industrial consumers and households in Greece. At present, the Greek Republic owns a 65 per cent stake in the company and a 35 per cent stake is held by the domestic refining company Hellenic Petroleum.
“We have submitted a preliminary bid and are hoping that we will pass the qualification process. The price we will offer will be completely real, we will not overpay,” deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said Saturday.
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Posted: December 15th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: China, Commodities, Metals, Palladium, Precious metals, Russia, South Africa | Tags: palladium, palladium price, palladium production, palladium russia, palladium south africa, palladium stockpile, palladium supply | No Comments »
Of all the LME-listed metals, palladium is the only one not to have decreased since the beginning of the year. Gold and platinum dropped 26% and 10% respectively, copper 14% and aluminum 15%. The London Metal Exchange Index, the composite index of the LME‘s six primary non-ferrous metals, fell more than 15%.
The precious metal has sound fundamentals especially with a Chinese car production growth in double digits. The listing of an ounce of palladium could reach $800 in 2014 and gradually climb to $1,000.
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Posted: November 12th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Commodities, Lead, Metals, Zinc | Tags: lead, lead forecast, lead outlook, lead price, recycled lean, zinc, zinc forecast, zinc outlook, zinc price | No Comments »
From aluminum to copper, prices of almost all metals have been in decline since the beginning of the year, plagued by stocks and surpluses. But two of them have moved in the opposite direction: lead and zinc prices are on the rise, a trend that is unique among metals.
70% of worldwide lead comes from batteries recycling. Since the financial crisis and the impact it had on western countries new car sales, recycled lead quantities have dropped. At the same time, production of primary lead also decreased.
The International Lead and Zinc Study Group expects that there will be a small 22,000 tonnes surplus in the global market for refined lead metal in 2013. In 2014, the market is expected to be in deficit for the first time since 2009 with the extent of the shortage estimated at 23,000 tonnes.
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Posted: September 25th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Chemicals, Commodities, Europe, Potash | Tags: Potash, potash canada, potash china, potash market, potash price, potash reserve, potash russia | 1 Comment »
China‘s sovereign wealth fund (CIC) has acquired a 12.5 percent stake in Uralkali, the Russian fertilizer giant currently embroiled in a highly politicized dispute with its Belarusian counterpart, according to a statement released by Uralkali on Tuesday.
Analysts said the Chinese government’s first direct investment in a producer of the soil nutrient often used in fertilizer follows a pattern of China’s acquiring direct control of overseas mineral companies to keep price and supply stable. As a result, it threatens the exports of other major producers to the Chinese market, including Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan and Belarus state-owned Belaruskali.
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Posted: June 17th, 2013 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Energy, Shale gas | Tags: shale gas, shale gas potential, shale oil, shale oil potential | No Comments »
The world gas and oil shale reserves are a lot larger than expected two years ago, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Africa‘s potential exceeds that of North America.
Shale gas buried underground is estimated to increase recoverable gas in the world by 50%. Shale oil would allow oil reserves to expand by 10%. The US Energy Information Administration changed its estimates after a new study where it took into account twice as many oil and gas fields than in 2011.
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