Commodities

Saudi Arabia struggles to boost crude oil share

TOKYO -- Major oil producer Saudi Arabia is in a tough fight to expand market share, and this battle could send prices falling if competition continues to heat up.The country's share has dropped recently compared with 2015 not only in Europe, but als...

  • Asian synthetic fiber prices climb on reduced output

    TOKYO -- Asian prices for synthetic fibers used in apparel and industrial materials are rising as producers curtail output to try to maintain profitability.The Asian spot price for polyester filament, which is used in shirts and automobile seat belts...

  • Asia slips on weaker Wall Street, dollar marks time before Yellen

    TOKYO (Reuters) -- Asian stocks slipped on Thursday, taking their cue from an overnight drop on Wall Street, while the dollar marked time ahead of Friday's speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the global central bankers' meeting.MSCI's bro...

  • Commodities eye

    Chinese refiners chip away at Japan's competitive edge

    TOKYO -- Japanese oil refiners are losing their competitive edge in the export market as Chinese rivals improve the quality of their products.Tougher environmental regulations have spurred Chinese refiners to raise their quality levels. Capacity at t...

  • Chinese steel climbing again as capacity cuts advance

    TOKYO -- China's steel prices are rising on a combination of capacity-reducing efforts and flood damage in a major production hub, bolstering a Japanese market slow to recover from a demand slump.Hot-rolled coil is trading at 2,900 yuan to 3,000 yuan...

  • Naphtha demand flags in Asia

    TOKYO -- Naphtha is making a slower recovery than crude oil, with demand for the key petrochemical feedstock waning in Asia as plants undergo routine maintenance and switch to a cheaper alternative.Spot prices for naphtha have averaged $20 to $25 mor...

  • In Asia, ethylene factories shut down and prices shoot up

    TOKYO -- Ethylene prices remain high in Asia, thanks to strong appetite for plastics and an unusually large number of factories having suspended production.As a result, supplies of the all-important raw material have been restrained.Ethylene was trad...

  • Wagyu beef under threat

    TOKYO -- High calf-prices are putting the famed Japanese wagyu beef industry in peril.

  • Weak truck fuel demand drags on Asian diesel market

    TOKYO -- Slack demand for diesel has limited Asian price increases compared with the recent jump for crude oil, with sliding refining margins potentially blunting the profitability of exports by Japanese petroleum companies.The price of gas oil stood...

  • Gold glitters even amid risk-on mood

    TOKYO -- Gold remains solid even after investors have regained an appetite for stocks, as negative-yielding bonds make the precious metal look like a better value.Gold futures traded around $1,350 a troy ounce in New York on Thursday, roughly 25% abo...

  • Interview

    Steel glut could take 'a generation' to fix, industry chief says

    FRANKFURT, Germany -- More than a third of all current steel production is unnecessary, says the head of the World Steel Association. But "political interests" mean that the industry is decades from true consolidation.

  • Output cutbacks raising prices of LCD panels for TVs

    TOKYO -- Prices of liquid crystal display panels for television sets are rising due to inventory shortages resulting from manufacturers' stepped-up production cutbacks in a bid to improve their earnings.The shortage of inventories, which is especiall...

  • Philippine mining turmoil drives nickel prices

    BANGKOK/MANILA -- Philippine mining companies are keenly awaiting the results of a nationwide government audit of their environmental standards, due for completion by the end of August, with some voicing concern that they could be hobbled by stricter...

  • Supply, demand pressures driving up Japan's food import costs

    TOKYO -- Prices of food imported into Japan are rising despite a stronger yen as a combination of supply shortages and rising global demand affects markets for such goods as bananas and prawns.From January to June, Japan imported 72,984 tons of banan...

  • Chinese appetite fuels higher pork prices

    BANGKOK -- Chinese consumers just cannot get enough pork. The richer the nation becomes, the more pigs its citizens want to eat. Despite a seasonal dip in pork consumption during July -- the Chinese eat less meat in warmer months -- prices are up 10%...

  • Chinese, Indians curtail gold buying as investors drive prices up

    TOKYO -- The Asian countries constituting the world's biggest consumers of gold are holding back on purchases as investors park money in the safe-haven metal, with the two sides pushing prices in opposite directions.In China, the largest consumer of ...

  • Central Tokyo office vacancies hit 8-year low

    TOKYO -- The office vacancy rate for Tokyo's five downtown wards has fallen to 3.94% -- the lowest level in roughly eight years -- according to figures announced Wednesday by office brokerage company Miki Shoji.Vacancy rates in Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato,...

  • Malaysian palm oil exports rebound on Chinese demand

    KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's palm oil shipments grew 21% on the month to 1.4 million tons in July, thanks to stronger demand from China and Europe, according to data released on Wednesday by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.Exports to China -- the top dest...

  • China steps in to tighten rare-metal markets

    TOKYO -- China is stockpiling rare metals and curbing output to tighten global markets, pushing up prices of some materials despite sluggish underlying demand.The metalloid antimony went for around $7,100 a ton on the London spot market in early Augu...

  • Mitsubishi battles commodities gloom by restructuring

    TOKYO -- Falling commodity prices have been plaguing trading houses the past few years, but in the April-June quarter earnings report, Mitsubishi Corp. is showing the beginnings of recovery.Net profit at its energy and metals divisions grew 2.4 times...