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South Korean steelmaker POSCO said on April 21 its quarterly operating profit rose 20 percent, beating estimates, as lower iron ore input costs more than offset the impact of weaker steel prices. POSCO, the world's sixth-biggest steelmaker, said operating profit in the January to March quarter was 622 billion won

Plunging iron ore prices are providing a lifeline for some of China's biggest steel mills, but raising the prospect of a rising tide of exports and increased friction with the European Union and countries such as India. Even as China's domestic steel demand shrinks and the industry battles chronic overcapacity, lower iron ore prices have helped many large mills post better earnings in 2014 than a year earlier, supported by record exports.
Brent oil prices jumped this week to the highest level so far this year, as the latest Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen stoked supply tensions in the crude-rich Middle East. Elsewhere, precious metal gold sank on sliding safe-haven demand as a result of easing tensions over Greece.
Banks' exodus from commodities and tighter capital requirements for financial institutions are squeezing liquidity from some markets, leaving them vulnerable to big price moves, major trading houses say. Some major banks have turned away from the multi-billion dollar oil and metals arena under regulatory scrutiny, lower margins and restrictions on trading for their own book after the financial crisis.
The United States underscored Friday its opposition to a new European Union plan to allow member states to block genetically engineered imports after bilateral talks on a transatlantic free-trade pact. "It is hard to square this proposal with either EU long-standing internal obligations or their aspiration for a seamless internal market," said Dan Mullaney, the assistant US trade representative for Europe and the Middle East.
Ukrainian farmers had sown 2.4 million hectares of spring grain for 2015 harvest as of April 22, or 34 percent of the initial sowing area, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. The acreage includes 1.5 million hectares of spring barley, 139,000 hectares of spring wheat, 204,000 hectares of oats, 168,000 hectares of peas and 324,000 hectares of maize.
Export premiums for old-crop soyabeans shipped from the US Gulf Coast held mostly steady on Friday on seasonally slow demand while new-crop basis offers were firm on improved demand prospects, traders said. A Brazilian truckers' strike lost momentum on Friday, reducing fears of an export disruption during the country's peak export season.

 



 
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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyMarch
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln