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The booming Russian agriculture sector is attracting new customers, with China and Venezuela planning to increase imports of Russian wheat. The country is expecting a record grain crop this year, exceeding the numbers from 1978.
Four thousand tons of spring wheat will be delivered to China from Russia’s Novosibirsk region by October 10. It’s the first batch of wheat purchased by China's largest food processor COFCO.
"Together with our suppliers, we plan to discuss how to better meet the demand of Chinese mills. We want to know more about the production and the quality of Russian wheat in order to prepare for the expansion of imports,” said COFCO’s general manager for wheat Ma Lijun.
COFCO is among the 500 largest global companies and is ready to import up to two million tons of Russian grain, gradually increasing to five million tons.
Venezuela is also expecting to increase Russian wheat imports. President Nicolas Maduro says he plans to discuss it with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
"I will talk to President Putin - very soon I'm going to Moscow – about increasing [deliveries of wheat – Ed.] to 100,000 tons," said Maduro at a meeting of the country’s Constitutional Assembly. The current agreements is for Venezuela to import 60,000 tons per month.
Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt have also expressed an interest in buying more grain from Russia, including wheat.
Last year, Russia managed became the world’s leading exporter of grain, after shipping 34 million tons out of its 119 million ton harvest.
According to the Moscow-based grain consultant ProZerno, the country is expected to harvest 130.7 million metric tons this year. It is 2.6 percent more than the previous record set in 1978 before the Soviet-Afghan War.
Agriculture has become Russia’s second biggest export after oil and gas.
The head of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Jose Graziano da Silva said Russia has made considerable progress in developing its agricultural sector and is now a major player in the world agricultural market.
At a meeting of a Russian-Mongolian working group in October, Russia will put forward a number of alternatives to Mongolia’s project to build a hydroelectric power plant (HPP) on a river that feeds the world-famous Lake Baikal, Russia’s natural resources minister told TASS on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
'A working group on the Selenga project has been formed, and it will convene in early October in Ulaanbaatar, prior to the intergovernmental committee’s meeting due in late October,' the minister added.
According to Minister Donskoi, the initiatives include the modernisation of the existing and the construction of new power transmission lines to supply electricity to Mongolia and its transit to China. In this case, the minister said, it will supply Mongolia with power that would be even cheaper than the electricity generated by the HPP.
Among other alternatives, suggested by Donskoi, is the construction of advanced coal-powered thermal power stations and the use of other renewable energy sources.
The construction of hydroelectric power chain on the Selenga River, the main tributary of Lake Baikal, and the rivers flowing into Selenga is aimed to help Mongolia solve the problem of energy deficit. But scientists fear that the project may negatively affect the ecosystem of Baikal and Selenga. They also drew attention to seismic danger of the territory where the power stations may be built.
Earlier, First Deputy Minister of Energy Aleksei Teksler told reporters that his ministry considers it reasonable to build electric transmission lines to Mongolia instead of hydroelectric power stations. He noted that the construction of the power transmission line will cost 3.5 times cheaper per MW/h, in comparison with the cost of construction of a new power generation facility.
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, a move aimed at pushing companies to speed efforts in developing electric vehicles for the world’s biggest auto market.
Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.
A ban on combustion-engine vehicles will help push both local and global automakers to shift toward electric vehicles, a carrot-and-stick approach that could boost sales of energy-efficient cars and trucks and reduce air pollution while serving the strategic goal of cutting oil imports. The government offers generous subsidies to makers of new-energy vehicles. It also plans to require automakers to earn enough credits or buy them from competitors with a surplus under a new cap-and-trade program for fuel economy and emissions.
Honda Motor Co. will launch an electric car for the China market in 2018, China Chief Operating Officer Yasuhide Mizuno said at the same forum. The Japanese carmaker is developing the vehicle with Chinese joint ventures of Guangqi Honda Automobile Co. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co. and will create a new brand with them, he said.
Internet entrepreneur William Li’s Nio will start selling ES8, a sport-utility vehicle powered only with batteries, in mid-December. The startup is working with state-owned Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group, which also is in a venture with Volkswagen AG to introduce an electric SUV next year.
China, seeking to meet its promise to cap its carbon emissions by 2030, is the latest country to unveil plans to phase out vehicles running on fossil fuels. The U.K. said in July it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air pollution and meet targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
PARIS (Reuters) - France, Germany, Italy and Spain want digital multinationals like Amazon and Google to be taxed in Europe based on their revenues, rather than only profits as now, their finance ministers said in a joint letter.
France is leading a push to clamp down on the taxation of such companies, but has found support from other countries also frustrated at the low tax they receive under current international rules.
Currently such companies are often taxed on profits booked by subsidiaries in low-tax countries like Ireland even though the revenue originated from other EU countries.
“We should no longer accept that these companies do business in Europe while paying minimal amounts of tax to our treasuries,” the four ministers wrote in a letter seen by Reuters.
The letter, signed by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Wolfgang Schaeuble of Germany, Pier-Carlo Padoan of Italy and Luis de Guindos, was addressed to the EU’s Estonian presidency with the bloc’s executive Commission in copy.
They urged the Commission to come up with a solution creating an “equalization tax” on turnover that would bring taxation to the level of corporate tax in the country where the revenue was earned.
“The amounts raised would aim to reflect some of what these companies should be paying in terms of corporate tax,” the ministers said in the letter, first reported on by the Financial Times.
Le Maire, Schaeuble, Padoan and de Guindos of Spain said they wanted to present the issue to other EU counterparts at a Sept. 15-16 meeting in Tallinn.
The EU’s current Estonian presidency has scheduled a discussion at the meeting about the concept of “permanent establishment”, with the aim of making it possible to tax firms where they create value, not only where they have their tax residence.
France has stepped up pressure for EU tax rules after facing legal setbacks trying to obtain payments for taxes on activities in the country.
A French court ruled in July French court ruled that Google, now part of Alphabet Inc, was not liable to pay 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in back taxes because it had no “permanent establishment” in France and ran its operations there from Ireland.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices edged up on Monday after the Saudi oil minister discussed the possible extension of a pact to cut global oil supplies beyond March 2018 with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts.
The news of the talks on Sunday helped offset the downward pressure on oil prices amid worries that energy demand would be hit hard by Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma knocked out power to more than 3 million homes and businesses in Florida on Sunday, but it has weakened to a Category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (177 kph).
U.S. crude for October delivery CLc1 was up 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $47.77, having tumbled 3.3 percent on Friday.
London Brent crude for November delivery LCOc1 was up 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $54.01 a barrel by 0023 GMT, having settled down 1.3 percent.
OPEC and other producers, including Russia, have agreed to reduce crude output by about 1.8 million barrels per day until next March in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.
The Saudi energy ministry said Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih agreed with his Kazakh counterpart that the option to extend the rebalancing effort would be considered in due course.
Elsewhere, Iran will reach an oil production rate of 4.5 million barrels per day (bpd) within five years, Ali Kardor, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said Sunday according to the oil ministry news site SHANA.
Iran has been producing around 3.8 million bpd in recent months.
Saudi Arabia on Saturday also suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of “distorting facts”, just after a report of a phone call between the leaders of both countries suggested a breakthrough in the Gulf dispute.
Mining and metals investors were offloading the sector's big names on Friday after sharp declines in iron ore and base metals prices which according to some market observers have been running ahead of fundamentals.
While gold was trading at near 12-month highs on the back of safe haven buying, copper fell more than 3% to $3.03 a pound or $6,706 a tonne, bringing the bellwether metal's impressive two-month rally to a screeching halt. For the week, lead was hardest hit among base metals, dropping 4% to $2,311 a tonne, while zinc gave up more than 3% exchanging hands for $3,094 on Friday.
The iron ore price which has been also been defying expectations turned lower on Friday with benchmark Northern China import prices declining nearly 3% to $73.70 a tonne, a three week low. Coking coal was also softer on Friday, but at $209.40 a tonne premium Australian exports are up nearly 40% from its 2017 lows struck in June.
The bearishness spilled over to the sector heavyweights with investors rushing for the exits and booking gains on stocks that have enjoyed huge run-ups since the summer doldrums.
Shares in world number one miner BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) lost 3.2% in New York while Vale (NYSE:VALE.P), the world's top iron ore and nickel producer, fell 4.2%. While BHP is looking to shed assets, Rio de Janeiro-based Vale is said to be targeting acquisitions in an effort to diversify its portfolio.
The world's second largest miner based on revenue Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) declined 2.9% in New York. The Melbourne-HQed company is the world's number two iron ore producer and number seven copper producer, but unlike BHP and Vale which upped iron ore production by more than 5% during the second quarter experienced declining output of the steelmaking raw material.
Anglo American (LON:AAL) gave up 3.1% in New York, but year to date gains for the world's fourth largest diversified miner are still near 30%.
Top listed copper producer Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) plunged 6.5% and with Vale was among the NYSE's top 10 most actively traded stocks on Friday. The Phoenix-based company announced last week that it's negotiating a deal with the Indonesian government to give up a majority stake in its iconic Grasberg mine in the remote Papua province of the Asian nation.
Glencore (LON:GLEN) was also marked down, with its over the counter units trading in the US losing 1%. Glencore is the world's third largest copper company in terms of output with production of 1.3m tonnes last year, but with little exposure to iron ore other than through its trading arm escaped some of the damage. Glencore is also benefitting from being a major producer and top trader of coal.
World number five copper producer Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) took a 3.6% hit while Canada's largest diversified miner, Teck Resources (NYSE:TECK) lost 5.5% in New York. Teck's valuation took a drubbing this week after it was revealed that a Chinese sovereign wealth company slashed its 17% stake in the Vancouver-based company first acquired in 2009....
The Bank of Mongolia traded 770.5 billion MNT worth 1-week maturity central bank bill (“CBB”), with weighted average yield of 12.0 percent per annum.
1 - week CBBs
1-week CBB plays an important role in managing the reserves of banks and is the core monetary policy instrument of the Bank of Mongolia. The interest rate on CBB will be the policy rate of the BOM and will serve as a guide interest rate on the interbank market. It was first introduced in July 2007, with fixed rate and unlimited bidding, and traded on a regular basis every Wednesday at the interbank market. This had attracted the banks’ interests providing the possibility for the banks to place their excess reserve in short term asset. Since the introduction of this instrument, there has been a substantial change in the way banks manage their reserves. For the favorable adjustment of CBB rate and loan principle along with the well balance of togrog and foreign exchange, 1 - week CBB auction has been held in the form of competitive interest rate since May 2010. In doing so, the upper and lower limits of the bank bids are to set +/- 2 per cent of the policy rate.
On September 7, 2017, the authorities of Mongolia began publishing critical macroeconomic data on the website of the National Statistics Office—the National Summary Data Page (NSDP). This marks the culmination of efforts conducted in recent period by the principal statistical agencies working together to publish the data recommended under the IMF’s enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS), while utilizing the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange. In support of these efforts, a mission of the IMF’s Statistics Department visited Ulaanbaatar during June 28-July 4, 2017 to assist with the implementation of the e-GDDS.
Publication of essential macroeconomic data through the new NSDP will provide national policy makers and domestic and international stakeholders, including investors and rating agencies, with easy access to information that the IMF’s Executive Board has identified as critical for monitoring economic conditions and policies. Making this information easily accessible in both human and machine-readable formats, and in accordance with an Advance Release Calendar, allows all users to have simultaneous access to timely data, bringing greater data transparency.
On Thursday, gold's status as a hedge against uncertainty were burnished again as investors worried about impact of storms in the US and escalating geopolitical tensions marked down the dollar.
Gold futures in New York for delivery in December, the most active contract, ended at $1,354.00 an ounce, up more than 1% compared to Wednesday's closing price and not far off its highs for the day. Gold is now up 17.6% or over $200 so far in 2017.
Gold's rally from it's summer lows was given fresh impetus from a sharp fall in the US dollar on Thursday. A decision to hold rates in Europe, disappointing US job numbers combined with mounting costs for damages from hurricane Harvey and the possible devastating effect of approaching storm saw the greenback trade at its lowest level against the country's major trading partners since January 2015.
The standoff with North Korea also attracted safe haven buying of gold with no sign that the world's major powers are any closer to finding a way to deal with the nuclear-armed rogue state:
“Investors don’t want to go into the weekend when North Korea is scheduled to show its military prowess during the Founders day celebration without their hedges in place,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial told MarketWatch.
Gold's leg up saw major gold mining stocks enjoying another positive day of trading.
World number two producer Newmont with output of 5m ounces expected this year, was one of the best performers of the day with the Denver-based company rising 3.2% in New York. With a $21.1 billion market cap Newmont is now worth more than top producer Barrick Gold. The Toronto-based company has shrunk its portfolio of mines and this year is predicting between 5.3–5.6m ounces of gold production, down from a peak of 7.7m ounces six years ago.
Goldcorp added 2.5% for a market cap of $12 billion, but the Vancouver-based miner's advance so far this year has been modest as just over 4%. The third largest gold miner in terms of output, AngloGold Ashanti trading in New York leaped 4.9% pushing the company back into positive territory for the year.
Fellow South Africa-based producer Sibanye fresh off a $2 billion acquisition of a North American platinum producer and a name change was the odd one out with a decline on the day, but Harmony Gold and Gold Fields advanced with the latter now sporting year-to-date gains of 55%. Africa-focused Randgold Resources added 3.8% lifting the company's market value on the Nasdaq to above $10 billion and year to date gains to above 40%.
Toronto's Kinross Gold climbed 4.5% pushing its market value above $6 billion. The Canadian miner with four mines in the US, a couple in Russia and operations in Brazil and West Africa is now up more than 47% in 2017. Other Canadian gold companies also performed well with Agnico Eagle up 1.6%, Yamana Gold adding 1.8% and Eldorado Gold gaining 1.6%