Middle East & Africa Stay updated with Business News, Pakistan news, Current world news and latest world news with Business Recorder.. http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa.html Fri, 28 Nov 2014 05:32:50 +0000 SRA Framework 2.0 en-gb Uganda coffee exports rise 9pc http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/206946-uganda-coffee-exports-rise-9pc.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/206946-uganda-coffee-exports-rise-9pc.html imageKAMPALA: Uganda coffee exports for October rose by 9 percent to 229,438 60-kg bags of coffee compared with the same month a year ago, an industry body said on Wednesday, reversing a pattern of lower exports this year.

Shipments in October fetched $30.7 million compared with $22.7 million earned in the same month a year ago, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority source said.

David Muwonge, head of marketing and production at the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises, said there was "a good mix of rains and dry conditions which are helpful especially in the maturing stages of the crop."

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:59:04 +0000
Saudi Arabia buys 345,000 tonnes of hard wheat http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/206506-saudi-arabia-buys-345000-tonnes-of-hard-wheat.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/206506-saudi-arabia-buys-345000-tonnes-of-hard-wheat.html

imageDUBAI: Saudi Arabia bought 345,000 tonnes of hard wheat (12.5 percent protein minimum) for delivery between February-March 2015, its Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organisation (GSFMO) said on Monday.

The shipment will be sent to the kingdom's ports in Jeddah and Dammam.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:20:52 +0000
South Africa's Gold Fields Q3 dips on lower South Deep output http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205904-south-africas-gold-fields-q3-dips-on-lower-south-deep-output.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205904-south-africas-gold-fields-q3-dips-on-lower-south-deep-output.html imageJOHANNESBURG: South African bullion producer Gold Fields posted a 6 percent drop in third-quarter earnings on Thursday after its flagship South Deep mine saw an 18 percent decline in production as upgrades continued.

Adjusted headline earnings per share in the three months to end-September totalled 23.1 cents per share from 24.6 cents in the previous quarter.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:24:37 +0000
Saudi Arabia tenders to buy 330,000 tonnes hard wheat http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205903-saudi-arabia-tenders-to-buy-330000-tonnes-hard-wheat.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205903-saudi-arabia-tenders-to-buy-330000-tonnes-hard-wheat.html imageHAMBURG: Saudi Arabia's state grains authority GSFMO said on Thursday it has issued an international tender to purchase 330,000 tonnes of hard wheat.

Tender deadline is Friday, Nov. 21, Waleed el Khereiji, Director General of GSFMO said.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:23:26 +0000
Iraq tenders to buy a minimum 10,000 tonnes sunflower oil http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205763-iraq-tenders-to-buy-a-minimum-10000-tonnes-sunflower-oil.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205763-iraq-tenders-to-buy-a-minimum-10000-tonnes-sunflower-oil.html imageHAMBURG: Iraq's trade ministry has issued an international tender to purchase at least 10,000 tonnes of sunflower oil which can be sourced from any origin worldwide apart from China, European traders said on Wednesday.

Tender deadline is Nov. 25 and offers must remain valid until Nov. 30, traders said.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:23:21 +0000
Ivorian cocoa regions thrive in good weather, await Harmattan http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205246-ivorian-cocoa-regions-thrive-in-good-weather-await-harmattan.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205246-ivorian-cocoa-regions-thrive-in-good-weather-await-harmattan.html imageABIDJAN: Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions benefited from sunshine and patchy rains last week, farmers said on Monday as they awaited the start of the dry season and the arrival of the dry, potentially harmful Harmattan desert winds.

The 2014/15 October-to-March main crop in the world's top cocoa grower opened early in October.

Exporters on Monday estimated that around 61,000 tonnes of beans were delivered to Ivorian ports between Nov. 10 and 16, bringing cumulative arrivals to around 342,000 tonnes, down slightly from last season.

The Ivorian dry season typically runs from mid-November to March. Farmers are expecting an abundant harvest of quality beans through January thanks to good soil moisture levels.

They voiced concerns, however, that a strong Harmattan - a dry, dusty wind that generally blows in from the Sahara from December to March - could trim output.

In the southern region of Divo, farmers reported two good showers mixed with strong sunshine.

"Right now, everything is going well. But we are waiting to see the Harmattan, because if it's strong from December, we'll lose lots of small pods and we'll see less harvesting in February," said Divo farmer Amadou Diallo.

In the western region of Soubre, in the heart of the cocoa belt, an analyst reported 34 millimetres of rainfall, compared with 69 mm the previous week.

"The pods are piled up on the plantations. There was lots of harvesting last week," said Lazare Ake, who farms in the outskirts of Soubre. "There's still good rainfall. We'll have big, good quality beans into January."

Good growing conditions and were also reported in the southern regions of Aboisso, Agboville, and Tiassale and in the western regions of Duekoue and Gagnoa.

In the centre-western region of Daloa, which produces a quarter of Ivory Coast's national output, farmers said hot weather was helping to slow an outbreak of fungal black pod disease.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin) Middle East & Africa Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:53:30 +0000
Battered by falling prices, Kenya's tea farmers threaten to uproot http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205066-battered-by-falling-prices-kenyas-tea-farmers-threaten-to-uproot.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/205066-battered-by-falling-prices-kenyas-tea-farmers-threaten-to-uproot.html imageNANDI HILLS: Emerald-coloured tea bushes blanketing the rolling hills of Nandi County have long provided a livelihood for small-scale farmers, helping make Kenya one of the world's biggest tea exporters.

But ideal weather and bigger harvests, instead of producing bumper earnings, have led to a glut of Kenya's speciality black tea. Samuel Busienei, a 72-year-old tea farmer, says he earns 40 percent less for each kilogramme of tea sold than he did three years ago and is considering tearing up his crop.

"It was a very good life," said Busienei, who first planted the crop in the 1980s. "But if the price doesn't change, we will have to remove the tea."

The threat facing Busienei and other smallholders, who produce about two thirds of Kenya's tea output, could spell broader trouble for the east African nation's economy.

Tea exports are now one of Kenya's biggest sources of foreign exchange, alongside flowers and other horticultural exports, and generated $1.3 billion in 2013 on record output of 432 million kg.

In contrast, coffee exports earned just $214 million in 2012/13.

As Kenya's economic growth has slowed to below 6 percent, from 7 percent in 2007, tea has become a main driver of growth, overtaking tourism which has been hit by attacks blamed on Somalia-based militants, including the 2013 attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall.

Tea revenues are also helping support the Kenyan shilling as it faces pressure from a dollar shortage.

"Kenya is at the top of the scale in terms of quality," said Edward George, head of group research at Ecobank in London. "It should be looking to maintain its very powerful position as the key supplier of black tea to the global market."

Tea prices have been under pressure globally as other countries have increased output and exports. Top grade Kenyan tea, which fetched a maximum price of $3.78-$4.38 per kg in 2012, was sold at auction in Mombasa last week for $2.10-$3.40.

Kenya vies with China and Sri Lanka as the world's top tea exporter. But more small farmers in Kenya now produce tea, so even as export earnings rise the proceeds are spread more thinly.

To ensure small farmers don't switch away from the cash crop or sell land for real estate, analysts say the government must introduce a more effective mechanism to cushion price swings and find new export markets.

PROMISING ACTION

For now, 70 percent of output goes to five countries with a taste for Kenya's black tea. One of them is Britain, the former colonial power which established tea planting in Kenya on a large scale in the 1940s but whose domestic consumption has reached a plateau. The others are Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where political turmoil frequently hits purchases.

Agriculture Minister Felix Koskei visited Nandi, about 300 km (190 miles) northwest of Nairobi, last month to urge farmers to keep growing and promised help.

"The more we rely on these traditional markets, the more we lose," Koskei told Reuters from his office in Nairobi. Kenya was seeking to attract new buyers in eastern Europe and the Middle East, two big tea-drinking regions, he said.

He said the government plans to set up a price stabilisation fund, which would involve the state buying up some of Kenya's tea when prices are low and selling it onto the global market once prices stabilize, to cushion farmers against fluctuations. The government is in the process of hiring a consultant for the plan, Koskei said, adding it was too early to give details.

Most small-scale farmers are members of the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), a cooperative since the government sold it in 2000. Tea is also produced on big farms run by firms such as Williamson Tea Kenya and Unilever.

KTDA, which represents 560,000 farmers, offers a guaranteed sum for each kg of tea on delivery at tea-collecting stations, plus a sum paid annually linked to global prices. Overall, farmers received 31.61 shillings (35 U.S. cents) per kg in the 2013/14 season, down from 50.01 shillings (55 U.S. cents) in 2011/12.

The system is set up to ensure that growers get some income immediately on delivery, but they do not get the full amount until a sale is made on the global market.

ADDED PRESSURE

There are other pressures. Tea pickers are demanding higher pay. Many now earn just 10 shillings per kg, working from daybreak to pluck new leaves from bushes that sweep across the main tea-producing areas, including Nandi, Kericho, Mount Kenya, Aberdares and Kisii, in the Kenyan highlands.

"People really have been crying about the prices," said Leah Metto, 53, who grows tea on a three-acre plot in Nandi to supplement her teacher's income.

Some farms have already shifted to grow vegetables and other crops, or turned to dairy cattle, Nandi's main source of income before the British took to tea planting.

Once uprooted, returning to tea is a long process because a bush only fully matures after seven years.

"We are telling our members to diversify," said Wilson Tuwei, chairman of Siret Tea Company, a cooperative. His members are investing in a six-storey office tower under construction in Nandi to generate rental income.

KTDA's chairman, Peter Kanyago, has urged the government to simplify 24 different taxes that he said affected producers.

The government needs tax revenues from the tea sector as it seeks funds for development projects and aims to narrow a budget deficit running above 7 percent of GDP, but Koskei said the government is studying KDTA's request.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin) Middle East & Africa Sun, 16 Nov 2014 12:41:56 +0000
Top price of Kenya's best grade tea steady at latest auction http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/204509-top-price-of-kenyas-best-grade-tea-steady-at-latest-auction.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/204509-top-price-of-kenyas-best-grade-tea-steady-at-latest-auction.html imageNAIROBI: The maximum price of the top grade Kenyan tea held steady at$3.40 at this week's auction, Africa Tea Brokers (ATB) said on Thursday. Kenya is the world's leading exporter of black tea and the crop is a major source of foreign exchange.

The east African country holds its weekly sale at the port of Mombasa.

Best Broken Pekoe Ones (BP1s) fetched $2.10-$3.40 compared with $2.00-$3.40 per kg at last week's sale, ATB said in its weekly market report.

Best Brighter Pekoe Fanning Ones (PF1s) sold at $2.40-$2.84 compared with $2.42-$2.80 per kg last week.

Producers offered 9.57 million kg of tea during the sale and 15.86 percent did not get buyers, ATB said.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Middle East & Africa Thu, 13 Nov 2014 08:25:38 +0000
Price of top grade Kenyan coffee falls at latest sale http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/201224-price-of-top-grade-kenyan-coffee-falls-at-latest-sale.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/201224-price-of-top-grade-kenyan-coffee-falls-at-latest-sale.html imageNAIROBI: The maximum price of Kenya's top grade AA coffee fell to $329 per 50 kg bag at this week's auction on Tuesday from $371 at last week's sale, the Nairobi Coffee Exchange said.

The east African nation is a fairly small producer by global standards, but its quality beans are used by roasters to blend with beans from other regions.

Grade AA coffee sold at $195-$329 per bag, compared with $180-$376 at last week's auction, the exchange said in a market report.

Grade AB coffee fetched $208-$260 per bag compared with $146-$279 last week.

The average price of all grades was $230.18, compared with $247.19 at the last sale.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin) Middle East & Africa Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:01:28 +0000
Saudi August oil exports fall to lowest in three years http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/200640-saudi-august-oil-exports-fall-to-lowest-in-three-years.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/200640-saudi-august-oil-exports-fall-to-lowest-in-three-years.html imageDUBAI: Saudi crude exports fell in August for the fourth month in a row to their lowest levels in three years, while volumes used by local refineries rose to a record high, official data showed on Monday.

The world's top oil exporter and OPEC heavyweight exported 6.663 million barrels per day in August, down from 6.989 million bpd in July and 6.946 million bpd in June, according to data published by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI).

The August export figures were the lowest since March 2011, the data showed.

The kingdom's production dropped to 9.597 million bpd in August from 10.005 million in a month earlier, the data showed. But crude supplies - both domestically and for exports - were 9.688 million bpd in August, an industry source told Reuters, indicating no major change in the amount of crude supplied to the market from the kingdom.

Refiners processed 2.167 million bpd of crude in August up from 1.915 million bpd in July, and 2.055 million bpd in June, according to the JODI data. Crude volumes used by domestic refineries were the highest since at least January 2002, the start of JODI's records.

Meanwhile, Saudi oil use for power generation fell to 769,000 bpd in August from 899,000 bpd in July and 827,000 bpd in June.

The kingdom typically increases production during the hot summer months to meet a surge in electricity demand.

Oil markets closely monitor changes in Saudi production because it is the only country with spare capacity to significantly alter output according to demand.

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi often refers reporters to JODI, set up to promote transparency in oil markets, when asked how much the kingdom is pumping.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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rocking.saad.jabri@gmail.com (Saad Jabri) Middle East & Africa Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:29:59 +0000