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 Sun, 01 May 2016 09:51:07 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb April Cameroon cocoa prices remain largely steady versus March http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/292388-april-cameroon-cocoa-prices-remain-largely-steady-versus-march.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/292388-april-cameroon-cocoa-prices-remain-largely-steady-versus-march.html imageYAOUNDE: Cocoa prices in Cameroon remained largely steady in April, ranging from 1300 CFA francs ($2.23) in the South-West region to 1600 CFA francs in the Centre.

Joachim Landry Nanga Mevoa, the general director of the Cameroon agro-business cooperative (Camagrob), said the crop has not been good so far, partly because farmers have used non-approved pesticides.

But Laurent Atangana, a cocoa producer, blamed buyers who purchase beans illegally before the crop has been dried or harvested, depressing the price for producers.

Not all regions have been affected by stagnant prices and buyers have regularly purchased beans in the Centre area for prices higher than in other zones.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Middle East & Africa Mon, 25 Apr 2016 19:34:15 +0000
Iraq issues tender to buy at least 50,000 tonnes of wheat http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/292238-iraq-issues-tender-to-buy-at-least-50000-tonnes-of-wheat.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/292238-iraq-issues-tender-to-buy-at-least-50000-tonnes-of-wheat.html imagePARIS: Iraq's state grains board has issued an international tender to buy at least 50,000 tonnes of wheat, traders said on Monday.

The tender closes on May 8 and offers must remain valid up to May 12, they said.

The wheat can be sourced optionally from the United States, Canada or Australia, they said.

In its last reported purchase on April 15, Iraq's grain board bought 50,000 tonnes of wheat to be sourced from Australia.

However, Iraq frequently buys more than it tenders for.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:36:12 +0000
Egypt buys 57,000 tonnes of local wheat since start of season http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/292137-egypt-buys-57000-tonnes-of-local-wheat-since-start-of-season.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/292137-egypt-buys-57000-tonnes-of-local-wheat-since-start-of-season.html

imageABU DHABI: Egypt's Supply Ministry said on Sunday it had purchased 57,000 tonnes of local wheat from farmers since the start of the season on April 15.

Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is planning to buy 4 million tonnes of Egyptian wheat in the local season which started on Friday. Farmers are being paid a fixed price of 420 Egyptian pounds ($47.30) per ardeb (150 kg) of wheat after abandoning plans to pay farmers global rates for their crop.

The higher fixed price, well above global market rates, is meant to encourage farmers to grow wheat but has previously led to smuggling involving the sale of cheaper imported wheat to the government falsely labelled as Egyptian.

Egypt's wheat harvest begins in April and runs through July. Last year the government said it procured a record 5.3 million tonnes of the grain, up from 3.7 million the year before.

Industry players have said that last year's record procurement was the result of falsely labelled foreign wheat and that it drained nearly 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($255 million at exchange rates at the time) from the government budget.

The supplies ministry has repeatedly denied this.

The government nonetheless announced a series of new measures this month to tighten control of wheat circulation during the harvest that include prohibiting the internal trade of wheat during the procurement season.

The country has increased its storage capacity for grains since last year with the addition of 17 new silos constructed as part of a United Arab Emirates grant, the ministry said. Another 105 of the country's open air storage facilities were recently modernised by Blumberg Grain and linked up to a central logistics command centre.

The company says the project will save Egypt hundreds of millions of dollars on previously squandered grain.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Middle East & Africa Sun, 24 Apr 2016 13:28:46 +0000
Egypt buys 10,000 tonnes local wheat in first five days of season http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/291222-egypt-buys-10000-tonnes-local-wheat-in-first-five-days-of-season.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/291222-egypt-buys-10000-tonnes-local-wheat-in-first-five-days-of-season.html imageCAIRO: Egypt has purchased 10,000 tonnes of wheat from farmers in the first five days of the local procurement season, the supply minister said on Tuesday.

Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is planning to buy 4 million tonnes of Egyptian wheat in the local season which started on Friday.

Farmers are being paid a fixed price of 420 Egyptian pounds ($47.30) per ardeb (150 kg) of wheat after abandoning plans to reform its wheat farmer subsidy system.

The new system would have paid a smaller direct subsidy to farmers before purchasing their wheat at global rates.

The higher fixed price, well above global market rates, is meant to encourage farmers to grow wheat but has previously led to smuggling involving the sale of cheaper imported wheat to the government falsely labelled as Egyptian.

Egypt's wheat harvest begins in April and runs through July. Last year the government said it procured a record 5.3 million tonnes of the grain, up from 3.7 million the year before.

Industry players have said that last year's record procurement was the result of falsely labelled foreign wheat and that it drained nearly 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($255 million at exchange rates at the time) from the government budget.

The supplies ministry has repeatedly denied this.

The government nonetheless announced a series of new measures this month to tighten control of wheat circulation during the harvest.

Wheat can no longer be traded domestically during the harvest season without permission and cannot be transported between governorates.

The government has also said it will closely monitor shipments of wheat entering the country.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin) Middle East & Africa Tue, 19 Apr 2016 13:28:00 +0000
Jordan studying wheat import specification changes http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/290268-jordan-studying-wheat-import-specification-changes.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/290268-jordan-studying-wheat-import-specification-changes.html imageABU DHABI: Jordan is studying changing the specifications and terms for importing wheat on the request of global suppliers, a government source told Reuters on Wednesday.

"There are specialised committees that are studying the specifications and conditions upon the request of suppliers," the source said.

"It is possible that within two weeks this will be announced," he said.

Jordan has been having trouble importing wheat and barley since late 2015 when new terms on quality control and payment were introduced, reducing participation by international trading houses.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Wed, 13 Apr 2016 08:51:23 +0000
South Africa increases wheat import duty by 34pc http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289576-south-africa-increases-wheat-import-duty-by-34pc.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289576-south-africa-increases-wheat-import-duty-by-34pc.html imageJOHANNESBURG: South Africa's finance ministry said on Friday it had approved a 34 percent increase in the tariff on wheat imports to 1,224.31 rand per tonne from 911.20 rand per tonne.

"The Ministry of Finance is particularly concerned about the impact of the higher import duty on wheat on the price of bread and other staple food, but also mindful of the need to ensure policy certainty, food security and the financial health of the farming industry," it said in a statement.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Middle East & Africa Fri, 08 Apr 2016 14:50:31 +0000
Africa gold producers wary despite price rebound http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289408-africa-gold-producers-wary-despite-price-rebound.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289408-africa-gold-producers-wary-despite-price-rebound.html

imageDAKAR: A steep rise in gold prices may have given hope to a battered mining industry in 2016, but after four tough years producers in Africa are still too wary to call the bad times over.

Gold prices surged 15 percent in the first three months of 2016, the biggest quarterly rise in nearly 30 years, boosting miners' share prices, attracting new investment and promising to bolster the economies of gold-rich countries.

Experts say the rebound could spur development of major unexploited deposits after low prices since 2012 crippled exploration and made countless projects unprofitable.

Still, Africa-focused gold producers are not quite ready to make investment decisions because of a brief price rise.

Prices have often spiked in recent years only to quickly retreat - indeed, the recent rally has stalled in the last few weeks after the very strong start to the year.

Prices aside, some industry experts say a recent spate of takeover bids could be another indication of a sector recovery.

Amara Mining, which has projects in Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, was subject in February to an $85 million bid by Australia's Perseus Mining. Canada's Endeavour Mining, which owns gold mines in Ivory Coast, Mali and Ghana, is in the process of taking over TrueGold, another West Africa-focused miner.

At two major industry conferences he attended last month, Amara Chief Executive John McGloin said there was a sense that things could be turning around.

But no one was getting overly excited.

"People weren't high fiving," he said. "There is confidence, not exuberance."

OPTIMISTIC CAUTION

Gold prices dropped from over $1,900 an ounce in 2011 to near $1,000 at the end of last year. Mines that were profitable at $1,500 suddenly became loss-makers. Exploration halted; share prices dived.

Gold production has remained robust, mainly due to production from existing mines.

Without major new exploration, however, output could drop in the years to come.

Prices are now over $1,200 per ounce, helped by low interest rates.

The cost of producing gold, which came down during the slump, remains low for now, which could aid exploration efforts.

Endeavour Mining has seen its production costs fall from $1,137 an ounce to around $900.

At its Agbaou mine in Ivory Coast, it produces gold at about $700 an ounce.

"There is optimistic caution," Endeavour Chief Executive Neil Woodyer said.

"It is a time for getting ready rather than any huge commitments." Endeavour, whose share price rose nearly 50 percent in the first three months of the year, expects to spend $14 million this year in "non-sustaining exploration", or exploration involving new finds, up from $8 million last year. It hopes to soon begin construction of the Hounde mine in Burkina Faso that over 10 years will produce about 1.9 million ounces of gold.

Investors are taking notice.

"Over the last two years they have been in defensive mode and cutting costs, now they are starting to generate cash," said Andrew Breichmanas, analyst at BMO Capital Markets in London.

Erich Meier, who runs a suite of gold funds at Konwave AG in Switzerland, said his funds have yielded over 60 percent this year, a rebound from a drop of 27 percent last year.

"There are further risks remaining for an attack on gold prices." Meier said.

"But we are entering into a three-to-five year bull market." Randgold Resources, a firm with mines across Africa, stood out from peers by continuing to explore through the downturn.

Last year it produced a record 1.2 million ounces of gold, it said in a statement last week.

According to Randgold Chief Executive Mark Bristow, however, the industry needs more time to recover and generate cash. Much of that will depend on the market.

"The gold price has to get over $1,500 to change the viability of the industry," said Bristow.

"There is no way that will happen this year."

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Middle East & Africa Thu, 07 Apr 2016 15:14:04 +0000
Ivory Coast mid-crop cocoa harvest hit by poor weather http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289071-ivory-coast-mid-crop-cocoa-harvest-hit-by-poor-weather.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289071-ivory-coast-mid-crop-cocoa-harvest-hit-by-poor-weather.html imageABIDJAN: Purchases of cocoa in Ivory Coast's mid-crop season that starts in April have ground to a halt because of a lack of rain and harsh winds that have also hit quality, farmers and buyers said.

Forecasts for the April-October mid crop say it could drop to between 380,000 and 390,000 tonnes, a 24 percent fall from 502,000 tonnes in the same harvest last year, according to several trading houses and cocoa producers.

The West African country is the world's biggest producer of cocoa, with output of around 1.8 million tonnes per year, of which the mid-crop represents about 30 percent.

Dry weather has already reduced forecasts for the 2015-2016 season to around 1.6 million. Many exporters have reduced or stopped buying altogether as a lack of rain has made beans smaller and twice as acidic as usual.

"The quality is at a level where we would prefer not to buy at the moment," said the director of an exports company in Abidjan, who declined to be identified.

"We will see in June if that changes." Only seven of more than 100 accredited operators have bought beans and opened their factories so far. About 80 percent of exporting companies have stopped buying, exporters said.

On Monday exporters bought 2,800 tonnes of cocoa in the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, down significantly from the normal haul of 20,000 tonnes.

While smaller beans may be bought by local grinders instead of exported, they produce more acidity and less butter than larger ones, forcing grinders to purchase more for the same result. Acidity levels, or FFA, stood at 3.5 percent against a usual level of 1.75 percent, exporters said.

As a result, grinders have largely foregone purchases so far this mid-crop season, opting to wait for any improvements in the crop that may appear toward the end of the harvest. Recent rain in the main cocoa-growing regions was too late to affect the development of pods on the trees, farmers said.

"We are happy with the rain's return, but it's too late for the production," said Salomon Lohami, who owns a seven-acre cocoa plantation in Kahin. "If it was January or February, that could change the harvest, but not at this point."

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Middle East & Africa Wed, 06 Apr 2016 14:20:22 +0000
Moroccan wheat trade seeks longer import window after drought http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289060-moroccan-wheat-trade-seeks-longer-import-window-after-drought.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289060-moroccan-wheat-trade-seeks-longer-import-window-after-drought.html

imageRABAT: Millers and wheat importers in Morocco have asked the government to extend a current import window and to allow an earlier start to next season's imports as drought threatens to slash the local harvest, trade sources said.

Moroccan wheat trade federation FNCL has proposed to the authorities that the import campaign close at the end of May instead of April 30 and for next season's import window to be opened in August, the sources said.

The country's import campaign typically runs from October until the end of April, after which import tariffs are raised in order to protect the local harvest.

No decision has been taken by the government but officials seemed responsive during a meeting held on April 4, the sources said.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Middle East & Africa Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:59:10 +0000
Syria tenders to buy 2,500 tonne corn and 2,500 tonne soymeal http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289023-syria-tenders-to-buy-2500-tonne-corn-and-2500-tonne-soymeal.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289023-syria-tenders-to-buy-2500-tonne-corn-and-2500-tonne-soymeal.html imageHAMBURG: A Syrian state grains agency has issued an international tender to purchase and import 2,500 tonnes of yellow corn and 2,500 tonnes of soymeal, European traders said on Wednesday.

The tender from the General Foreign Trade Organization (GFTO) closes on April 25, traders said.

The animal feed grade corn and soymeal should arrive three months after the opening of a letter of credit on the purchase, they said.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Wed, 06 Apr 2016 09:09:09 +0000
Egypt will contract directly for rice if traders do not lower prices http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289021-egypt-will-contract-directly-for-rice-if-traders-do-not-lower-prices.html http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/middle-east-a-africa/289021-egypt-will-contract-directly-for-rice-if-traders-do-not-lower-prices.html imageCAIRO: Egypt will look to make direct contracts with other countries to import rice should the prices offered by traders at tenders remain high, Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafi told Reuters on Wednesday.

A rice tender was cancelled last week after the state buyer was unable to agree on prices with suppliers.

Another tender was held on Tuesday and the results are expected on Thursday. Traders have said the government is insisting on prices which are not feasible.

The North African country produced 3.75 million tonnes of rice in the 2015 season and carried over 700,000 tonnes from 2014. With consumption at 3.3 million tonnes, that leaves a surplus of more than 1 million tonnes.

But the government's failure to stockpile rice earlier in the season has left it at the mercy of traders, some of whom have been unwilling to sell to the state and are choosing to stockpile as domestic prices of rice are rising daily.

Egypt said last week that it would reinstate an export ban on rice to preserve stocks for the local market and control rising prices.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri) Middle East & Africa Wed, 06 Apr 2016 09:04:20 +0000