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.
Inventories of all wheat varieties as of June 1, 2014, will total 659 million bushels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. That’s more than the 655 million projected by analysts in a Bloomberg survey and less than the 670 million the government forecast in May. U.S. output will drop this year to 2.08 billion bushels, compared with last month’s prediction of 2.057 billion.
Wheat traded in Chicago, a global benchmark, fell about 10 percent this year on the outlook for rising production. The projected rebound follows drought in 2013 that hurt harvests in Russia, Ukraine, southern Europe and the U.S.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress report, published last week, showed conditions deteriorated in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas following freezing temperatures in April.
Winter extended unusually in the United States, there were more than 30 cm of snow in western Iowa, a major grain states in the country. When there is no snow, it’s rain preventing farmers from sowing. Having sowed only 5% of corn in may had not happened in the United States for nearly thirty years.
“We’ve been concerned by some extraordinarily cold morning temperatures,” said Todd Hultman, a grains analyst at DTN. “The USDA report just added confirmation that people are expecting damage from those conditions.”
The two largest platinum group metals producers, South Africa and Russia who together control about 90% of the world’s supply, have finally decided to join forces to try to curb excess production bringing down platinum and palladium prices.
At the summit of the BRICS, held in Durban at the end of march, the South African Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, met her Russian counterpart Sergei Donskoy. The two ministers, following previous discussions in Moscow in November and Pretoria in February, signed on March 27th a framework agreement for the creation of an OPEC-type trading bloc to coordinate exports of platinum group metals.
After falling 5.74% between the 2011/12 and the 2012/13 season to 656 Mt according to the International Grain Council, the world wheat production should bounce back. In 2013/14, the harvested areas should be at their highest level in four years, while a rise in yields would stimulate the production by 4%.
These estimates are similar to those of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), published earlier this month. In 2013, global wheat production (690 Mt according to FAO, +4.3%) should be driven by the European Union (138 Mt), where the acreage should increase thanks to high prices.
The energy revolution experienced by the United States for the past ten years will not come to Europe anytime soon. Members of the European Union are indeed very divided on the issue of the exploitation of non-conventional energy resources.
In November 2012, after 3 studies published earlier by the European Commission which concluded that Europe would not reach energy self-sufficiency, the European Parliament invited to comment on the development of shale gas, was unable to pass a binding resolution. In the end, the two resolutions adopted in Strasbourg just called for the Member States to exercise caution in this area because of environmental constraints.
A binding resolution encouraging to explore or exploit shale reserves would probably not have had a majority of votes because of many European MPs opposition, as risks associated with shale gas extraction are not perceived in the same way throughout Europe.
The steel sector still shows a significant global over-capacity according to Ernst & Young’s report, Global steel: A new world, a new strategy, highlighting the issues and challenges facing the sector.
The planet will still produce too much steel this year. Europe may well have closed many furnaces last year, emerging markets have not cut their production and instead increased it! China has an overcapacity of around 40 million tons of steel: its economy can not absorb all this metal since construction as well as the automobile industry slowed down and will only gradually start picking up.
Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has lifted restrictions on the controversial practice of shale gas hydraulic fracturing, giving a green light to drilling, in a country that consumes the most gas in the EU but where conventional gas reserves are dwindling.
From a net exporter, the UK has become an importer. Promises of shale gas from Cuadrilla Resources, a small British company, could increase energy independence. Some hope that domestic shale gas production could reduce prices by 2% to 4% from 2021. But there is a world between promises and reality.
Prices have surged 37 percent this year, more than any of the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index. Lumber has more than doubled since January 2009, when the recession and a collapse in the U.S. housing market left a glut of wood. Since then, output plunged in Russia while China boosted imports, limiting supplies in North America just as demand rebounds, according to International Wood Markets Group.
Sugar will expand global supply already forecast by the International Sugar Organization to reach a record this season. Producers from Russia to Thailand raised output after prices averaged the most in three decades in 2011.