LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Propane has been the
best-performing part of the barrel this autumn thanks to a
record-busting but damp corn harvest across the Midwest United
States, which has sent demand from crop driers soaring.
In response, U.S. propane prices have firmed, which should
eventually slow the rate of exports and rebuild stocks at home.
Price increases have started to ripple out worldwide.
LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – No bank ever made a loan it did
not believe would be repaid.
But as the economic and financial cycle matures, lending
standards tend to decline. Borrowers stretch themselves, and
banks interpret standards more flexibly to accommodate them.
LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Speaking to the Economic Club of
New York on Monday about Britain’s economic recovery, Bank of
England Governor Mark Carney drew inspiration from Charles
Dickens’ nineteenth-century parable about miserliness contained
in his celebrated novel “A Christmas Carol”.
But perhaps the governor should consult a much older work,
Henry of Huntingdon’s twelfth-century “History of the English
People”, which relates the story of King Canute unsuccessfully
attempting to hold back the tide.
LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The Critical Minerals Policy Act
of 2013, backed by a bipartisan group of 18 senators, is one of
those pieces of special-interest legislation that deserves to
die in the U.S. Congress.
The bill (S 1600), pending before the Senate Committee on
Energy and Natural Resources, directs the secretary of the
interior to designate a list of up to 20 “critical minerals”
based on the risk of potential supply restrictions and their
importance to the economy.
LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank’s decision to quit
trading in most commodity markets is another sign of the excess
capacity across the commodity-trading sector and likely
foreshadows further consolidation over the next two to three
Deutsche, rated one of the top five commodity
banks globally, will cease trading in energy, agriculture, base
metals, coal and iron ore, while retaining its precious metals
business and popular index funds.
LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has
directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
finalise regulations on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2)
emitted by existing coal-fired power plants by June 2015, as
part of the White House Climate Action Plan.
The EPA has already published draft regulations that would
limit greenhouse emissions from new coal plants to no more than
1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity
LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Supporters of renewables often
imply the clean-energy revolution is close to phasing out fossil
fuels for electricity generation in the United States,
especially polluting coal-fired power plants.
They point to the wind farms sprouting up in Texas and
across the Great Plains, as well as the giant solar thermal
arrays being commissioned in California, as signs that coal’s
days are numbered.
LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Imitation is the sincerest form of
flattery. So the package of measures designed to cut average
British household gas and electricity bills by around 50 pounds
($82) a year, outlined by Conservative and Liberal Democrat
ministers on Sunday, is a compliment to the opposition Labour
Labour had successfully made the rapidly escalating price of
energy a central political issue, part of its focus on the “cost
of living crisis”, and drawn a clear distinction between its
policies, which would halt price rises for 20 months after the
next general election, and those of the ruling Conservative and
Liberal Democrat parties.
LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – There is widespread agreement on
the problem facing Europe’s troubled oil refining sector but no
consensus about how to solve it.
Europe’s refineries were mostly built between the 1950s and
1970s and geared to producing as much gasoline as possible.
LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Great leaders and statesmen must
know when to betray their most ardent followers to reach a deal
with former enemies, turning opponents into partners in an
agreement – if not friends.
Striking a compromise is one of the most perilous moments
for a leader because it involves sacrificing maximalist goals to
offer terms that can be accepted by former enemies.