Gas prices are on the rise

Natural gas prices in Europe have skyrocketed this year while storage levels are low, as the threat of power cuts over the upcoming winter loom. The unstoppable increase of global gas prices has been raising concerns across the world, especially in Europe. As of Wednesday, the European benchmark natural gas futures contract hit a record high by reaching about 117 Euros ($134), with more than a 14 percent daily jump, posing a potential threat of shortage over the winter and interruption of industrial production. Gas prices in Europe have skyrocketed to more than 400 percent compared to last year. Despite heavy investments in renewable energy, natural gas still plays a key role in heating houses and supporting industrial production in European countries. Europe could face power cuts unless Russia increases gas supplies to the bloc, Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank told Russian news outlet Sputnik.

Oil prices hit a seven-year high

Oil prices hit their highest levels since 2014 as officials from OPEC, Russia and other oil producers decided on Monday to stick with their previous agreement to only gradually add oil to the market. The announcement came despite rising demand for energy as businesses around the world resumed operations. The 23-member group, known as OPEC Plus, said in a terse news release that it would raise production by a modest 400,000 barrels a day in November, less than 0.5 percent of world demand, under a deal reached in July. In effect, the group shrugged off political and commercial pressure to ramp up oil production to ease a tightening market.

Global sugar supply to improve as output rises in Asia, Europe

The world’s sugar supply balance is expected to improve in the 2021/22 season that started this month due to higher production in Asia and Europe, which will partially offset another poor year in Brazil, broker StoneX said in a report on Tuesday. Despite the improvement, the season will still see demand surpassing production for the third consecutive year, the report said, projecting a supply deficit of 800,000 tonnes in 2021/22 compared to a deficit of 2.9 million tonnes in 2020/21, meaning stocks will continue to decrease. Thailand’s sugar production is seen jumping 39% in the new season to 10.5 million tonnes, while India is expected to have another large crop at 31.5 million tonnes, 2% more than the previous, due to overall favorable weather conditions in Asia. Indian production would have been higher, StoneX says, if not for a diversion of sucrose to ethanol production equivalent to 3 million tonnes of sugar.

As coal stocks shrink, India faces growing energy shortage crisis

India is grappling with an escalating crisis as stockpiles of coal, the fuel used to generate about 70% of the nation’s electricity, dwindle to the lowest in years just as power demand is set to surge. Coal-fired power stations have an average of four days’ worth of stock of the fuel, according to the latest data, and more than half the plants are already on alert for outages. Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh has warned that the nation could be handling a supply squeeze for as long as six months.

Cheese affecting the geographic future of milk production in U.S

The location of future U.S. milk production growth will be closely linked to large-scale regional cheese processing capacity, according to Ben Laine, dairy analyst with RaboResearch. Laine discussed a recent RaboResearch paper, “Milk cow migration spurred by processing capacity,” in an interview during World Dairy Expo. Historically, U.S. production and dairy herd location had been driven by the need for fluid milk by processors serving consumers in high-population areas, Laine said. That’s changed as domestic dairy consumption has evolved. And while more recent cow movement is being driven by multiple factors, one of the chief reasons relates to growth in cheese processing capacity and production.

Balanced plant nutrition critical for sustainable tea cultivation

Sri Lanka is a humid tropical country with two main monsoon seasons endowed with well-distributed year-round rainfall. Tea is the only major perennial commercial economic crop grown widely in all three elevations and rainfall zones and in 14 districts under varying temperature, rainfall, elevation, topography and terrain. It provides direct employment to over 600,000 people engaged in cultivation and processing and indirect employment to a further 200,000 involved in the supply chain. Thousands of townships and village economies in tea growing areas are sustained by and completely depend on the tea industry. The sector provides complete livelihood support for a resident population of one million in Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and 450,000 tea smallholder operators, hence supporting a total population of nearly 1.5 million.

Prices of basmati rice, edible oils & pulses increases ahead of festive season

Prices of basmati rice, edible oils, and pulses are skyrocketing as the festive season approaches, putting a damper on consumer. The basmati and pulse crops have been harmed by dry spells in August followed by heavy rains in September. The wholesale price of the 1509 basmati rice variety used in biryani increased by 36% compared to the previous festive season. Rains have damaged the quality of pulses, and certain kinds of pulses have seen price increases ranging from 10% to 12%. However, edible oil costs have decreased by Rs.10 per litre in the last two months, but there is no chance of additional price reductions in the short term since worldwide prices remain high. However, traders believe that the price increase will have little effect on consumer demand for these essential commodities because consumer sentiment is positive.

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