NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Reuters)- For the small club of companies
who trade the food, fuels and metals that keep the world
running, the last decade has been sensational. Driven by the
rise of Brazil, China, India and other fast-growing economies,
the global commodities boom has turbocharged profits at the
world’s biggest trading houses.
They form an exclusive group, whose loosely regulated
members are often based in such tax havens as Switzerland.
Together, they are worth over a trillion dollars in annual
revenue and control more than half the world’s freely traded
commodities. The top five piled up $629 billion in revenues last
year, just below the global top five financial companies and
more than the combined sales of leading players in tech or
telecoms. Many amass speculative positions worth billions in raw
goods, or hoard commodities in warehouses and super-tankers
during periods of tight supply.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brazil’s richest man said on Friday he has abandoned talks to sell stakes in his offshore oil prospects, which had drawn interest from China, because he already has billions in cash on hand.
Eike Batista’s flagship oil company OGX had been in talks with companies including oil firms from China, but no longer sees any need to sell because a $2.6 billion bond issue earlier this year left it flush, he said in a three-hour interview at Reuters’ headquarters.
SAO PAULO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank unexpectedly acted to halt the currency’s slide on Thursday, highlighting growing concern among officials that the global financial crisis is damaging Brazil’s economy and could cause a potentially destructive spurt in inflation.
The bank’s decision to sell $2.75 billion in currency swaps — a move that propped up the real — marked a sudden shift in strategy for a government that has complained for the past year about a “currency war” that left the real badly overvalued compared to its neighbors.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices ended lower on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the economic outlook remained grim, which overshadowed an unexpectedly steep drop in crude supplies in the world’s top oil consumer.
Brent for November delivery fell 18 cents a barrel to settle at $110.36, after topping $112 earlier. U.S. crude settled $1.00 lower at $85.92 a barrel after rising as high as $87.99.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brent crude rose above $112 a barrel on Wednesday after U.S. crude inventories dropped by the most in nine months last week, suggesting supplies are tighter than expected in the world’s top oil consumer.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 7.34 million barrels in the week to September 16, the biggest one-week drop since December, after U.S. crude imports fell and refiners unexpectedly boosted their crude processing rates, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a smaller drawdown of 700,000 barrels. <EIA/S>
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brent crude fell on Friday, reversing earlier gains, as European debt woes weakened the euro and a U.S. consumer outlook fell to a 31-year low.
The dollar firmed, making oil more expensive for holders of foreign currencies. The euro came under pressure on speculation that debt-laden Italy may have its sovereign rating downgraded, just as Greece finalizes plans to restructure its own debt payments. <USD/>
NEW YORK (Reuters) – It might not sound like much of a victory. The United States and other oil consuming countries release emergency stocks of oil to put a lid on prices. The result: oil prices in London rise by $1 since the program began, three months ago.
But many oil experts say the strategic releases — just the third-ever by a group of consumer countries — were a major success. Not only did they likely avert a further rise in oil prices during the peak U.S. driving season, but they set a precedent for consuming countries to keep bullish oil speculators in check.
NEW YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Kansas-based Lario Logistics
said it will open a 100,000 barrel-per-day crude-by-rail
terminal in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale oil area this month, a
move that will boost the region’s capacity to ship crude on
railways by about 75 percent.
Lario’s terminal, known as the Bakken Oil Express (BOE) and
located near Dickinson, North Dakota, will serve oil shippers
including the Wyoming-based True Companies, which hold oil and
gas stakes in several North American regions, BOE managing
director Steve Magness said in an interview on Wednesday.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil fell on Friday as stalled U.S. job growth in August rekindled worries there will be another recession, which would slow oil and gasoline use, traders said.
Pressure from the jobs data more than offset support from oil companies shutting down nearly half of the production in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Lee.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Energy firms along the Eastern Seaboard scrambled on Monday to resume operations after Hurricane Irene left millions of customers without power.
Refineries and other energy facilities escaped serious damage, while utilities, whose power lines were battered by the storm over the weekend, faced the most daunting workload, with over 5 million homes and businesses from North Carolina to Maine still cut off on Monday.