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Jul 23, 2013

Nigeria fuel list includes firms named in subsidy fraud probe

GENEVA/ABUJA July 23, (Reuters) – Nigeria has expanded its
list of fuel suppliers to include companies previously named in
a multi-billion dollar subsidy fraud investigation, sources
familiar with the matter said, while large global trading houses
have been left empty-handed.

Africa’s most populous country, which relies on fuel imports
because it lacks the capacity to refine its own crude oil, tried
to remove fuel subsidies last year but was forced to partially
reinstate them after a wave of strikes and protests.

Jul 17, 2013

Testing group SGS may revise 2014 goals after earnings shortfall

ZURICH/GENEVA, July 17 (Reuters) – SGS SA, the
world’s biggest testing and inspection company, has warned it
may fall short of its ambitious growth forecasts because of a
slowdown in key European markets.

“There has been a distinct slowdown in Europe … and that’s
influenced a number of our businesses with a large European
presence,” Chief Executive Chris Kirk told a news conference,
adding the company may have to revisit its 2014 targets.

Jul 16, 2013

Angolan oil exports slip, far off 2 mln bpd target

GENEVA, July 16 (Reuters) – Angola’s monthly crude exports
will slip in September to 1.67 million barrels per day (bpd), a
provisional shipping list showed, indicating that Africa’s
number two oil producer may struggle to reach an output target
for next year.
OPEC member Angola, which pumps nearly all of its oil from
offshore fields, was scheduled to export 1.70 million bpd in
August.
Production from the southern African country has reached a
plateau in recent years, despite ambitions to boost output to at
least 2 million bpd. Oil minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos
was quoted as saying last year that Angola could increase
production to this level by 2014.
Flat output is mostly due to a natural decline in output of
some fields, such as the Exxon Mobil-operated field Xicomba,
although new volumes BP’s Pazflor have helped to offset
the fall.
Reuters data shows that average monthly loadings are 1.72
million bpd in 2013 so far compared with top producer Nigeria’s
1.90 million bpd.
Output could jump if oil majors are successful in
discovering fresh oil in the Kwanza Basin seabed, a region
deemed to have a similar geology to Brazil where large fields
containing high-quality light oil have been discovered.
“The 2 million bpd production figure seems ambitious.
Production is also partly based on demand from different parts
of the globe and that figure seems high based on current trade
flows,” said Rolake Akinkugbe, head of oil and gas research at
Ecobank.
In a worrying development for Angola, which earns over 95
percent of export revenues from oil, Asian demand for West
African crude has slowed in recent weeks. This is partly due to
a stronger premium of Brent to Dubai grades – an indicator of
export profitability to Asia.
The total volume of around 50 million barrels will be
exported on 52 tankers, the programme showed.
The shipping list indicated that the number of tankers from
two of the largest fields, Plutonio and Dalia, would be
unchanged at six in September.
There will be no cargoes of Gimboa in September, it showed.For a chart of Angolan exports by grade, see below:

**ANGOLAN Cargoes Barrels
MONTHLY per day
PROGRAMMES
Cabinda 5 158,000
Girassol 5 167,000
Palanca 1 33,000
Nemba 6 190,000
Saturno 3 95,000
Xicomba 0 0
Kuito 1 31,000
Dalia 6 190,000
Hungo 5 158,000
Plutonio 6 200,000
Mondo 1 32,000
Kissanje 4 127,000
Saxi 2 63,000
Pazflor 7 222,000
Gimboa 0 0
TOTAL* 52 1,670,000
* Figures may be subject to rounding errors
** Loading programmes may be revised and are subject to change

Jul 11, 2013

Africa needs to boost regional trade flows-U.N.

GENEVA, July 11 (Reuters) – African governments should give
more support to entrepreneurs to help boost regional trade
flows, to allow businesses to benefit from growing consumer
demand and insulate the continent from global financial crises,
a U.N. study said on Thursday.

In a break with past recommendations on African trade, the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said
boosting regional trade would require solutions that do more
than simply remove trade barriers.

Jul 9, 2013

No tax guarantee from commodity trading hub Geneva

GENEVA, July 9 (Reuters) – The Swiss canton of Geneva,
pressured by EU demands to end tax breaks, cannot guarantee its
proposal for a tax compromise will get through, its finance
minister said, even though trading houses said less attractive
conditions could drive them away.

In April the co-owner of Gunvor, Gennady Timchenko, said it
could move to Singapore, a rival commodity trading hub, if
Switzerland became less attractive.

Jul 3, 2013

Snowden still in Moscow despite Bolivian plane drama

VIENNA/GENEVA (Reuters) – Bolivia on Wednesday accused the United States of trying to “kidnap” its president, Evo Morales, after his plane was denied permission to fly over some European countries then inspected at Vienna airport on suspicion he was taking fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden to Latin America.

Snowden was not on the plane and is still believed to be stranded in the transit lounge of a Moscow airport. The United States has been trying to get its hands on him since he revealed details of its secret surveillance programs last month.

Jun 27, 2013

GAM Holding to launch physically backed base metals funds

GENEVA/NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) – Swiss asset manager GAM
Holding said on Thursday it plans to launch base metals
funds backed by physical aluminium, copper, nickel and zinc
stored in Trafigura’s warehousing unit.

The JB Industrial Metals Funds will use North European
Marine Services (NEMS), a warehousing company owned by
commodities trader Trafigura, to store the metals in London
Metal Exchange-registered facilities, a Swiss & Global
spokeswoman said.

Jun 20, 2013

Swiss firm Afegra cuts trading after losing Iran cereals business

GENEVA, June 20 (Reuters) – Geneva-based agricultural trader
Afegra – an exporter of cereals to Iran until last year – is
parting company with its managing director and its trading team,
sources familiar with the matter said.

Gert Bosscher, a former Glencore trader, has
resigned as managing director, and a team of at least six
traders will be made redundant this summer at Afegra, which was
launched in 2010 and specialises in wheat, barley, corn and
rice, the sources said.

Jun 18, 2013

Gunvor signs $500 mln deal to create Gabon fuel hub

LIBREVILLE/GENEVA, June 18 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Gunvor
has signed a deal with Gabon to create a joint venture to sell
refined oil products along the western coast of Africa, sources
said on Tuesday, as the trader seeks to expand in one of the
world’s fastest growing fuel markets.

Gunvor will provide a loan of around $500 million to help
start the joint venture, which will be 55 percent owned by the
Gabonese state and 45 percent owned by the trader, they said.

Jun 17, 2013

Louis Dreyfus CEO resigns after 8-year reign

GENEVA/PARIS, June 17 (Reuters) – The chief executive of
Louis Dreyfus Commodities has resigned, the company
said on Monday, ending an eight-year reign in which the
agribusiness giant more than tripled turnover and its profits
rose to a record last year.

Serge Schoen, the firm’s chief executive since 2005, will
step down as of June 30 and be succeeded by Ciro Echesortu, who
is now chief operating officer and head trader, the group said.