Thursday, January 15, 2009

News reel: Economic Meltdown p3 – Commodities

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Gold Little Changed in Asia as Dollar Steady Before ECB Meeting – Bloomberg LP - Jan 15, 2009

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Gold traded little changed in Asia as the dollar steadied before a European Central Bank meeting where interest rates are widely expected to be cut by at least half a percentage point. Platinum declined.

Resources downturn trips up contractors – The Australian – Jan 16, 2009

MINING companies slashing costs and cutting production as they struggle to cope with the global financial crisis is driving down revenue in Australia's engineering, contracting and services sectors.

Although analysts believe that the diminished income and the prospect of further contract cancellations are already being incorporated into share prices, they said the full impact had not yet been incorporated.

Metal meltdown rocks global miner Rio Tinto – The Australian – Jan 16, 2009

RIO Tinto continues to be battered by the global slowdown, with fourth-quarter iron ore sales falling 31 per cent.

Slumping metal prices are set to wipe more than $US500 million ($758 million) from the miner's bottom line and more aluminium production cuts have been flagged.

Under new management, miner ready to tackle debt – The Australian – Jan 16, 2009

RIO Tinto's board has shown it is serious about its turnaround by dumping chairman Paul Skinner 11 months ahead of plan. And yesterday's 18 per cent fall in iron ore production underlined the magnitude of the cutbacks ahead.

Rio's fourth-quarter production report is, of course, just a warm-up to the real event on February 12, when its half-year profits are released.

Oil Falls Below $34 After OPEC Reduces 2009 Demand Forecast – Bloomberg – Jan 15, 2009

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell below $34 a barrel after OPEC said that demand for its crude will decline 4.2 percent this year as the recession in the U.S., Europe and Japan curbs fuel use.

Natural Gas Falls After U.S. Supplies Drop Less Than Forecast – Bloomberg – Jan 15, 2009

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Natural gas fell to the lowest in more than two years in New York as government reports today on gas stockpiles, producer prices and manufacturing pointed to slower demand as the U.S. recession deepens.

Stockpiles declined 94 billion cubic feet last week, less than the 102 billion analysts expected, an Energy Department report showed. Prices paid to producers in the U.S. dropped for the fifth straight month and manufacturing in the New York and Philadelphia areas shrank. Slowing demand from factories and power plants has helped send gas down 15 percent this month.

Copper Prices Drop for Second Day in N.Y. as Stockpiles Rise – Bloomberg – Jan 15, 2009

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Copper futures fell for a second straight day as climbing inventories signaled global output of the metal is exceeding demand.

Stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange climbed 1.4 percent to 387,325 metric tons today and have jumped 14 percent this month after surging 72 percent last year. Before today, copper prices plunged 65 percent from a record in May as slumping global growth slashed demand for the metal used in pipes and wires.

Soybeans Prices Jump on Adverse Weather in Argentina, Brazil – Bloomberg – Jan 15, 2009

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans prices jumped on signs that demand for U.S. supplies will increase as adverse weather damages crops in Argentina, the world’s biggest exporter of vegetable oil and animal feed made from the oilseed.

Australia Expects ‘Significant’ Drop in Coal, Iron Ore Prices – Bloomberg – Jan 15, 2009

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Export prices for coal and iron ore from Australia, the world’s biggest shipper of the raw materials, may drop significantly this year as slowing industrial growth curbs demand, the nation’s central bank said.