Archive for the ‘demand’ Category

China’s President Gives Grim Economic Assessment

November 30, 2008

Chinese President Hu Jintao warned at a weekend meeting of the Communist Party’s elite Politburo that China is losing its competitive edge as international demand for its products is reduced, according to official state media reports Sunday.

China’s growth rate has been forecast to be about 9 percent in 2008, down from 11.9 percent the year before and close to the 8 percent that economists say China must maintain in order to keep the labor market stable.

“China is under growing tension from its large population, limited resources and environment problems, and needs faster reform of its economic growth pattern to achieve sustainable development,” Hu said, according to the People’s Daily newspaper, the official Communist Party newspaper. He did not provide specifics. 

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service

Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks during a news conference ...
Hu Jintao by Reuters

“External demand has obviously weakened and China’s traditional competitive advantage is being gradually weakened,” as international demand is reduced, Hu told members of the Political Bureau of the party’s Central Committee, according to the state-run New China News Agency.

Protectionism has also started to increase in investment and trade, Hu added. China’s export growth in October was 19.2 percent, down from 21.5 percent in September.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
2008/11/30/AR2008113000773.html

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OPEC Meeting Unable to Set Production Goals, Prices – For Now

November 29, 2008

OPEC ended a hastily convened meeting in Cairo Saturday without announcing new output cuts, despite the steep drop in crude prices and the threat it poses to member governments’ national budgets.

The oil producing group’s president, Chakib Khelil, said OPEC is concerned about the weakening world economy and its impact on oil prices. The group, however, will likely wait until a meeting in Algeria on Dec. 17 to decide whether to cut additional crude supplies from the market.

Khelil said oil ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “agreed to take any additional action on 17th of December to balance oil supply and demand and achieve market stability.”

By TAREK EL-TABLAWY and ADAM SCHRECK, Associated Press Writers

Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi is surrounded by journalists ... 
Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi is surrounded by journalists during the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) meeting in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov.29, 2008. OPEC oil ministers downplayed expectations of, but didn’t dismiss outright, an immediate output cut as they faced a third test in as many months of their ability to engineer a rebound in oil prices.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

His comments came after the group convened what it called a consultative meeting in Cairo to take stock of market situations and to asses whether members were complying with a 1.5 million barrel per day output cut announced Oct. 24 in Vienna, Austria.

Khelil said preliminary market data indicated members were complying with the earlier cuts.

Saudi Arabia’s king said in an interview published Saturday in a Kuwaiti newspaper that the price of oil should be $75 a barrel, much higher than it is now, but the conclusion of the Cairo meeting with no announcement on output indicated no measures would likely be taken until OPEC meets again next month.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081129/ap_on_bi_ge/ml_opec_meeting;_ylt=Am
EwHA1NJCG3tEyQPVj2nDms0NUE

Vietnam Needs to Increase Rice Exports to Africa, Tuoi Tre Says

November 26, 2008

Vietnam needs to increase rice shipments to Africa as there is strong demand for the country’s exports, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing three officials from the continent.

African nations buy about 20 percent of Vietnam’s rice exports and have become the third-largest market after Asia and the Middle East, the report said, citing government data released yesterday at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Southeast Asian nation shipped about 1 million metric tons of rice to Africa this year, Tuoi Tre said, without giving figures for earlier years.

The officials named in the report included Macaria Baira, vice chairwoman of International Cooperation and Integration for South Africa and Jules Touka from Cameroon’s Chamber of Commerce.

From Bloomberg,
By Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen

Iran Again Pushes OPEC to Cut Oil Production, Raise prices

November 15, 2008

Iran called on OPEC Saturday to cut production by a further 1 million to 1.5 million barrels per day when it meets in Cairo later this month, state television’s website reported Saturday.

Iran’s OPEC governor, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, said the cartel needs to act to slash output because demand for oil has declined due to the global financial meltdown.

OPEC, which produces about 40% of the world’s crude oil, decided to cut production by 1.5 million barrels a day last month in response to a dramatic fall in oil prices from a record $147 in July to below $70 last month.

Despite the cut, oil prices have continued to decline. Light, sweet crude for December delivery fell $1.20 to settle at $57.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday.

Diving prices have forced OPEC to plan an extraordinary meeting in Cairo, scheduled for Nov. 29, to discuss the plunge.

Iran, OPEC's number two oil producer, favours a cut in crude ... 
Iran, OPEC’s number two oil producer, favours a cut in crude production of 1.0 to 1.5 million barrels per day when the oil cartel meets in Cairo later this month, state television has reported.(AFP/Getty Images/File/David McNew)

Read the rest from the Associated Press and USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/
2008-11-15-opec_N.htm?csp=34

Russian Oil Exports Down 25%

November 9, 2008

By Maria Ermakova

Bloomberg — Russian oil exports have dropped 25 percent below “normal” levels, OAO Transneft Chief Executive Officer Nikolai Tokarev told reporters today, according to Interfax.

An oil pump is seen on the shore near Santa Cruz del Norte, ...

The reductions are “temporary,” Tokarev said, according to the report. “The companies have contracts and obligations to their foreign partners, and they will fulfill them.”

Russia cut its crude export duty by 23 percent to $287.30 a metric ton from Nov. 1, according to a government order published in the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper on Nov. 5.

Transneft is Russia’s state oil pipeline operator.

Mikhail Barkov, spokesman for Transneft, and Marina Dracheva, spokeswoman for TNK-BP, BP Plc’s Russian oil venture, declined to provide an immediate comment on the report. Vladimir Semakov, spokesman for OAO Lukoil, Russia’s largest non-state oil producer, couldn’t be reached.

Iran: OPEC may need further cut if prices drop

November 6, 2008

OPEC may need to cut its oil output more but it remained too early to tell if a further reduction was needed, Iran’s OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Reuters on Wednesday.

“It is too soon to say whether OPEC’s November cut agreement has been successful. We should wait and see,” Khatibi said.

“But if crude prices continue to fall, then an additional OPEC cut may be needed.”

The producer group agreed to cut output from November 1 by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) after oil prices dived from a July record of $147 a barrel to less than half that. U.S. crude was trading around $68 a barrel on Wednesday.

Venezuela said on Tuesday it will propose another cut of 1 million bpd at the cartel’s next meeting, which is expected to be held in December.

Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, has already started informing buyers that it is cutting back sales. Iran’s share of OPEC cut was 199,000 bpd.

“Iran and other OPEC members have been committed to OPEC’s November cut agreement,” Khatibi said.

“Creating a balance between oil supply and demand is OPEC’s priority.”

An oil pump decorated to look like a bird stands at rest Wednesday, ...
An oil pump decorated to look like a bird stands at rest Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, in oil fields near Awali, Bahrain. Oil prices slid below US$68 a barrel Wednesday on expectations a slowing global economy will cut crude demand, and even indications OPEC is enacting its decision to take a daily 1.5 million barrels from the market failed to support prices.(AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081105/bs_nm/us_iran_opec_1

Auto sales ‘unsustainably weak’; GM’s fall 45 pct.

November 3, 2008

General Motors’ October U.S. sales plunged 45 percent, and Ford’s and Chrysler’s weren’t far behind, as low consumer confidence and tight credit combined to bring the industry’s sales to an “unsustainably weak level” that is the worst in 25 years.

GM logo

Automakers sold 838,156 vehicles in October, 32 percent fewer than the same month last year and the worst performance since January 1991, according to Autodata Corp. and Ward’s AutoInfoBank. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 10.6 million vehicles was the lowest since February 1983.

“It’s really an unsustainably weak level for all manufacturers,” said Mike DiGiovanni, GM’s executive director of global market and industry analysis. “This is clearly a severe, severe recession for the U.S. automotive industry and something we really can’t sustain.”

By TOM KRISHER and BREE FOWLER, AP Auto Writers

The annual sales rate in October 2007 was 16.1 million.

Chrysler’s sales tumbled 35 percent and Ford’s dropped 30 percent. Toyota’s sales fell 23 percent despite its zero-percent financing offer, and Nissan and Honda posted 33 percent and 25 percent declines, respectively.

Overall, General Motors Corp. sold 168,719 vehicles in October, while Ford Motor Co., including its Volvo brand, sold 132,278 light vehicles and Chrysler LLC’s sales totaled 94,530 units.

If GM’s sales were adjusted for population growth, October would be the worst month of the post-World War II era, DiGiovanni said.

“Clearly we’re in a very dire situation,” he said. Detroit-based GM said its light truck sales tumbled 51 percent compared with the same month last year, while demand for passenger cars fell 34 percent.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081103/ap_on_bi_ge/
auto_sales;_ylt=An1EW1LWe4Mcq4Rr2BeuHFWs0NUE

US manufacturing hits 26-year low

November 3, 2008

US manufacturing activity fell in October to its lowest level for 26 years, according to a new report from the Institute for Supply Management.

The report cited “significant demand destruction”, for the third consecutive month in which the sector contracted.

BBC

The figures were far worse than the market had expected and pushed the Dow Jones index briefly into negative territory in early morning trading.

However, US construction spending in September fell far less than expected.

The institute’s index of national factory activity fell to 38.9 from 43.5 in September. Any score of less than 50 represents a contraction in manufacturing.

Manufacturing recession

October’s score is the lowest-recorded since September 1982.

Every sector surveyed, apart from clothing and electronic products, reported a contraction for the month.

New orders, production, employment and supplier deliveries all fell, with only inventories of unsold goods increasing on September’s score.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7706905.stm

Oil drops near 6 percent on slumping demand

November 3, 2008

Oil fell nearly 6 percent on Monday as further indicators of falling demand linked to a potential recession offset OPEC plans to reign in output.

U.S. crude settled down $3.90 at $63.91 a barrel, after October saw the steepest monthly price decline ever for oil as global demand slowed. London Brent crude dropped $4.84 to settle at $60.48 a barrel.

By Edward McAllister, Reuters

Oil hit a record $147.27 a barrel in mid-July but has since more than halved as poor economic data added to pressure from weak demand reports in the United States and other key consumer nations.

Oil rigs extract petroleum in Culver City, Los Angeles, April ... 
Oil rigs extract petroleum in Culver City, Los Angeles, April 2008. World oil prices slipped on Monday as traders took profits after a pre-weekend rally, and tracked concerns about the impact of a global recession on energy demand, analysts said.(AFP/Getty Images/File/David McNew)

“The most devastating blow for crude oil today is data showing that U.S. manufacturing activity in October fell to the lowest level in 26 years, which means more worries for oil demand,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading, in Chicago.

“Manufacturing used to be a great forward indicator for oil demand, but if the manufacturing sector is down, it will be a struggle to keep oil demand up,” he added.

U.S. factory activity — a barometer for future oil demand — contracted sharply in October, falling to its lowest in 26 years as the financial crisis racked the world’s largest economy.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 38.9 in October from 43.5 in September. A reading below 40 is exceptionally weak.

BP (BP.L) Chief Executive Tony Hayward estimated U.S. demand has dropped 2 million barrels per day on the year over the last four weeks.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081103/bs_nm/us_markets_oil_9

Opec talks push oil prices higher

October 29, 2008

Global oil prices have risen on growing expectations that producers’ cartel Opec will vote to cut production.

US light crude was up $2.09 at $73.94 a barrel, with Brent up $2 at $71.62, ahead of Opec’s meeting on Friday.

Fears of a global economic slowdown have pushed oil prices down by half since July’s all-time highs.

Gulf of Mexico oil rig

Opec is meeting in Vienna on Friday

A number of Opec members, including Algeria, Iran and Venezuela, have already said they would like to see output cut to help shore up prices.

Growth risks

Opec’s meeting has been brought forward by three weeks in response to the recent fall in oil prices.

Algeria’s energy minister and Opec president Chakib Khelil said he expected the organisation to announce “substantial” output cuts.

Most oil analysts are now in agreement, with Merrill Lynch estimating that production could be cut by one million barrels per day.

Energy consultancy CGES says Opec will argue that it has to cut production to prevent a further “price collapse”.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7680671.stm