Commodities

Fiscal woes Down Under

Australian budget struck by falling commodity prices

SYDNEY -- Plunging commodity prices and weak growth are taking a severe toll on the Australian government's budget, which has ballooned into a deficit of 40.4 billion Australian dollars ($33.2 billion). Despite its vow to restore the budget to he...

  • President calls for 'drastic steps'

    Kyrgyzstan mulls gold mine's nationalization

    BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyzstan government is edging closer toward nationalizing Kumtor, the former Soviet republic's biggest exporter, employer and taxpayer, following a string of legal claims by foreign investors aggrieved about other projects. In a ...

  • Cheap oil

    Plunging prices spark cheers, jitters

    NEW YORK -- Continued slides in crude oil prices are bringing about benefits in developed economies. Cars were lined up at a gas station in Oklahoma City in the central U.S. in early December, as drivers filled up their tanks with gasoline that w...

  • Gulf oil production

    No plans to scale back investment

    DUBAI -- State-owned oil producers in the Persian Gulf are not planning to cut investments for increasing production despite low oil prices. Late last month, Khalid al-Falih, CEO of Saudi Arabian state-run Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil pr...

  • Synthetic fiber feedstocks

    Asian chemical prices following crude oil's slide

    TOKYO -- Prices for raw materials used to make synthetic fibers are down across the board in Asia as demand slows and users hold off on purchases in anticipation of even lower prices in the wake of crude oil's steep plunge. The East Asian spot pr...

  • Weakening Brazilian currency

    Sugar, coffee slide on bets of increased exports

    TOKYO -- International prices for sugar and coffee beans are falling on expectations that the Brazilian real's decline in value versus the dollar will prompt greater exports from the major producer of the commodities. The New York futures price f...

  • On the rebound

    Stainless steel plate prices stop falling in Asia

    TOKYO -- The decline in prices of stainless steel plate in Asia is coming to a halt, with the benchmark SUS 304 now trading around $2,500 a ton, up from mid-November when it reached its lowest point in eight months. Stainless steel plate jumped r...

  • US shale oil

    Output increase continues despite plunging prices

    NEW YORK -- Market players around the world are watching shale oil companies in the U.S. for hints about when the pace of production will slow. But while some of these companies are planning to reduce capital investment, there is no clear indication ...

  • William Barkshire

    A new paradigm in global commodities pricing

    Price formation in key global commodities continues to be driven in the West, primarily in London, New York and Chicago. However, this activity is increasingly taking place in Asia, a shift that will have fundamental consequences in terms of the bala...

  • Cutting costs

    Tepco, Chubu Electric to solicit bids from LNG sellers

    TOKYO -- Tepco and Chubu Electric Power will jointly conduct an international tender to select a supplier of liquefied natural gas, the first time a Japanese company has turned to international bidding to procure the fuel. The utilities will soli...

  • Bulk carrier rates

    Capesize spot rates down 90% on China concerns

    TOKYO -- Time-charter rates for iron ore carriers are plunging amid signs of slower shipments to China, the world's largest consumer of iron ore. Spot charter rates for standard Capesize vessels have dropped steadily since late November and are c...

  • Rampant volatility taking toll

    Tumbling crude prices shaking financial markets

    TOKYO -- Plunging crude prices are sending shock waves around the world, undercutting the currencies of oil-producing countries and sapping energy-related stocks and corporate bonds while boosting the yen and other safe havens. The Central Bank o...

  • Lynas pitches to customers in Japan

    Rare earths producers outside China turn to long-term contracts

    TOKYO -- Australian and U.S. rare-earth metals producers are asking buyers to sign long-term contracts with higher prices in exchange for guaranteed supplies. Prices for rare earths prices spiked in 2011 when China, the world's largest producer, ...

  • Polyethylene prices

    Plunging crude oil drives resin to 27-month low

    TOKYO -- The domestic price of polyethylene resin, a general-purpose synthetic resin used in packaging materials and daily necessities, has sunk to a 27-month low, undercut by plunging crude oil prices. Since the start of this month, domestic res...

  • Oil prices

    Is crude's free fall good or evil for BOJ?

    TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan's updated monetary policy, to be announced Friday, is unlikely to cause a stir on the market. After holding its two-day policy board meeting, the central bank is expected to release an assessment of the effects of its addit...

  • Crude oil prices

    Are 'Cov-lite' loans the new subprime?

    TOKYO -- A collapse in oil prices has been shaking global stock markets of late. Lower crude prices bring advantages, including increased buying power and consumer spending, to resource importers like Japan. Exporting nations, on the other hand, will...

  • Sanctions worth $40 billion a year

    Falling oil prices choke Russia's economy

    MOSCOW -- Russia's economy is sinking like a stone, as plunging oil prices drag down the value of the country's vital oil exports. The sharp fall in crude prices over the past few months has been a body blow to an economy already battered by Wes...

  • High global supply

    Japan cheese lovers benefit from falling import prices

    TOKYO -- Shoppers in Japan will continue to benefit from lower import prices for cheese, thanks to strong supplies and lower demand from China and Russia. For the first six months of 2015, trading companies and Oceania cheese producers have agree...

  • Falling oil prices

    Still no sign of a bottom

    TOKYO -- The price of crude oil continues to fall, and while cutbacks to U.S. shale oil production could help bring supply in line with demand, the effect will likely take time to spread. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, has dropped b...

  • Asian steel market

    Japan's imports from China, South Korea surge

    TOKYO -- Sluggish demand for steel products in China is pushing down market prices and sending more Chinese and South Korean products to Japan, though the weak yen is worsening the profitability of imports. Japan imported 5.1 million tons of stee...