Emma's Feed
Feb 26, 2013

Once prized African oil struggles to find new markets

LONDON/GENEVA, Feb 26 (Reuters) – African crude exports to
the United States could slip to a trickle this year as the
world’s top oil consumer enjoys a shale oil boom, allowing
China, often now the buyer of last resort, to become ever more
choosy.

The dire prospects for West African and Algerian exports to
the U.S. is also stoking competition among producers, which must
sell to a reduced pool of Asian and European clients.

Feb 21, 2013

East Africa oil product market draws fierce competition

DUBAI/GENEVA, Feb 21 (Reuters) – East Africa’s emerging oil
products market has sparked intense competition between traders
hunting for better profits to bolster tight margins in Europe
and the Middle East.

Oil traders with Gulf operations based in Dubai are looking
to sell into an East African market now worth $15 billion a year
to supply oil products to power emerging economies growing on
the back of a rising population and robust mining activity.

Feb 20, 2013

Vitol plans grain market debut, hires Viterra traders

* Trading houses expanding into new commodities markets

* Agriculture, oil markets more connected due to biofuels

* Grains margins seen as much higher than oil returns

By Emma Farge and Sarah McFarlane

LONDON, Feb 20(Reuters) – Top oil trader Vitol is building a
global grains desk and has taken advantage of Glencore’s
takeover of Canadian grains giant Viterra to hire a
team of its traders, trading sources said on Wednesday.

Vitol, which has an annual turnover of nearly $300 billion,
will vie for market share along with rival trading firms Gunvor
and Mercuria, which have also expanded in agricultural commodity
markets as they seek to expand across new markets.

Feb 19, 2013

Brent steady above $117 on dim EU growth prospects

LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Brent crude held near $117 per
barrel on Tuesday after falling in the last three sessions as
traders eyed lacklustre European growth and waited for U.S. data
to provide demand clues for the world’s largest oil user.

Forecasts for a slowdown in France’s GDP growth in 2013 and
elections in Italy have added to uncertainty on the euro zone
outlook, curbing investors’ appetite for riskier assets like
oil.

Feb 13, 2013

Vitol to offer $192 mln for Sterling Resources

GENEVA, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Top oil trading house Vitol plans
to offer C$192 million ($192 million) for Canada-listed oil and
gas group Sterling Resources, to gain a foothold in the
North Sea oil and gas sector.

The planned deal, worth C$0.85 per Sterling share – a 79
percent premium to Tuesday’s close at C$0.475, is the latest in
a series of moves by Swiss firm Vitol to acquire physical energy
assets.

Feb 12, 2013

SNB’s Jordan: not in currency war, expect franc to weaken

GENEVA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Swiss National Bank chief Thomas
Jordan rejected the idea that he was fuelling a currency war by
keeping a lid on the strong franc, saying on Tuesday he welcomed
the franc’s recent weakening and expected it to continue.

The safe-haven franc, on which the SNB imposed a 1.20 per
euro limit in September 2011 to prevent Switzerland sliding into
deflation and recession, has fallen more than 2 percent this
year as sentiment on the euro zone has improved.

Feb 12, 2013

Swiss deepen criminal probe into Congo oil contract

GENEVA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Switzerland has stepped up a
criminal investigation into an oil contract in the Republic of
Congo and will question a former Gunvor employee and his
associate on suspicions of fraud, the company confirmed.

The attorney general originally opened the money laundering
investigation in late 2011 but did not have sufficient evidence
until last month to identify the individuals and proceed with
questioning.

Feb 11, 2013

Commodity trading houses face growing pains-study

GENEVA, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Commodity trading houses pouring
millions of dollars into buying physical assets risk shifting
capital away from their core business and driving out top
talent, according to a study by advisory firm Deloitte
Switzerland.

Following the model of Swiss commodities giant Glencore
, many independent trading houses have sought to snap up
assets such as oil refineries and aluminium smelters.

Feb 5, 2013

Gandur’s AOG oil investment a return to African limelight

GENEVA, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Addax & Oryx Group (AOG) plans to
invest $400 million in Africa’s energy sector over the next five
years, its Chief Executive said, in a strategic U-turn after
sales talks collapsed last year.

AOG’s focus on the African downstream will pit the
privately-owned Swiss firm against rivals Vitol and Trafigura
which are also vying for assets in sub-Saharan Africa as trading
margins disappoint.

Feb 4, 2013

Sudan sells dispute oil from S.Sudan after talks fail

GENEVA/KHARTOUM, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Sudan has sold a cargo of
oil of disputed ownership from South Sudan oilfields, a minister
and trading sources said, in what is likely to be seen by the
south as a provocation after security and oil transport talks
between the two countries fell apart.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and South Sudan’s
Salva Kiir failed at talks in Ethiopia last month to end a
stalemate over withdrawing armies from a border region – a
pre-requisite for resuming oil exports.