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Archive for the ‘METALS’ Category

CHINA OFFICIALS ‘TOLD FIRM TO BUY RECALLED GYOZA’

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 25, 2009

Jan. 26, 2009

Satoshi Saeki – Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY YOMIURI’ (Japan)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY YOMIURI’ (Japan)

Posted in CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FRAUD, HEALTH SAFETY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MILK, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

BHP BILLITON TO SHED 6,000 JOBS (Australia)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 21, 2009

January 21, 2009

by Rohan Sullivan – Associated Press Writer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, UNEMPLOYMENT | Leave a Comment »

GLOBAL CRISIS HITS $1.7B MINING PROJECTS (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 20, 2009

15:02:00 01/20/2009

by Judy Quiros – Mindanao Bureau

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COPPER, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

FASTENAL COMPANY ANNOUNCES CASH DIVIDEND (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 20, 2009

1/19/2009 5:21:00 PM

PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network

PUBLISHED BY ‘STOCKHOUSE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘STOCKHOUSE’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA | Leave a Comment »

RIO TINTO STRUGGLES TO SELL ASSETS TO CUT DEBT BURDEN (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

Monday, 19 January 2009

by Mathieu Robbins

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INDEPENDENT’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CHEMICALS (crude components), CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

GERDAU ALTERA TURNOS EM CHARQUEADAS E DEMITE EM SAPUCAIA DO SUL – AJUSTES SÃO REALIZADOS DESDE DEZEMBRO PARA ADAPTAR A PRODUÇÃO AOS EFEITOS DA CRISE FINANCEIRA (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 13, 2009

13/01/2009 – 00h07min

Zero Hora

PUBLISHED BY ‘ZERO HORA’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ZERO HORA’ (Brazil)

Posted in BRASIL, CEMENT, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDÚSTRIA DA CONSTRUÇÃO CIVIL, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O MUNDO DO TRABALHO - BRASIL, OS TRABALHADORES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT, UNEMPLOYMENT | Leave a Comment »

ZINC MINERS TRIM AS DEMAND SLUMPS – THE ZINC PRICE, ALONG WITH THE PRICE OF ALL BASE METALS LINKED TO THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, CONTINUED TO HOVER AT LOW LEVELS IN 2008, LEADING TO A LIST OF MINE CLOSURES IN THAT SECTOR (Australia)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

January 10, 2009

by Sarah-Jane Tasker – The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT, ZINC | 1 Comment »

IRON ORE FALLS TO EARTH WITH CORRECT PRICE – IT’S PROBABLY A BIT EARLY TO CALL A RECOVERY BUT GLOBAL IRON ORE PRICES ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF LIFE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 10, 2009

January 09, 2009

by Andrew Main – The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRON ORE, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

TECK COMINCO CUTS 1,400 JOBS, 13 PER CENT OF WORKFORCE, TO DEAL WITH FALLING PRICES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

1/8/2009 10:33:00

The Canadian Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘STOCKHOUSE’ (canada)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘STOCKHOUSE’ (canada)

Posted in CANADA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT | Leave a Comment »

LEAN TIMES AHEAD FOR AUSTRALIAN MINERS – MORE CUTBACKS, CONSOLIDATION AND STRATEGIC FOREIGN PARTNERSHIPS ARE EXPECTED IN THE JUNIOR MINING SECTOR IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2009

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

January 08, 2009

by Sarah-Jane Tasker – The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN WORK FORCE - LEGAL, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT | Leave a Comment »

U.S. AND EUROPEAN DATA GRIM AS TOYOTA AND ALCOA TO CUT BACK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

January 6, 2009

by Matt Daily – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in ALUMINUM, AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA | Leave a Comment »

FTSE EDGES HIGHER ON MINERS AND RETAILERS (UK)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 6, 2009

January 6, 2009

Reuters – Additional reporting by Phakamisa Ndzamela – Editing by Hans Peters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

MINING FIRM TO SECURE CANADA-COMPLIANT RESERVE ESTIMATE FOR LEYTE, KALINGA PROJECTS (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

by Nick Zieminski – Editing by Gunna Dickson – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE MANILA BULLETIN’ (Philippines)

Posted in CANADA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

OZ MINERALS ON ROAD TO MARTABE SELL-OFF

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 2, 2009

January 02, 2009

by Matt Chambers – The Australian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDONESIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

FLORESTA NACIONAL DE CAÇADOR PODE PERDER STATUS DE RESERVA PROTEGIDA POR LEI – OUTRAS TRÊS ÁREAS EM SÃO PAULO, PARAÍBA E PARÁ ESTÃO NA MESMA SITUAÇÃO (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 – 11h10min

Agência Estado

PUBLISHED BY ‘A NOTÍCIA’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘A NOTÍCIA’ (Brazil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO AGRÁRIA, AS INDÚSTRIAS DE MINERAÇÃO, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMBATE À CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMES AMBIENTAIS - BRASIL, CRIMES EMPRESARIAIS, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, DESENVOLVIMENTO SUSTENTÁVEL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, MINISTÉRIO DO MEIO AMBIENTE, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, O PODER JUDICIÁRIO, PA, PB, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SP, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PROTEÇÃO A QUATRO FLORESTAS PODE SER SUSPENSA (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 – 09h51

O Estado de S. Paulo e UOL Notícias

PUBLISHED BY ‘BRASIL ON LINE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BRASIL ON LINE’

Posted in A QUESTÃO AGRÁRIA, AS INDÚSTRIAS DE MINERAÇÃO, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMBATE À CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, CRIMES AMBIENTAIS - BRASIL, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, DESENVOLVIMENTO SUSTENTÁVEL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, MINISTÉRIO DO MEIO AMBIENTE, O MOVIMENTO DOS SEM-TERRA (MST), O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, POLÍTICA REGIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

LARGEST U.S. ZINC PRODUCER SUED BY “GREEN” GROUP

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 31, 2008

December 30, 2008

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE BOSTON GLOBE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, ZINC | Leave a Comment »

ORE EXPORTS DOUBLE IN NOV ON CHINESE DEMAND (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 27, 2008

26 Dec 2008, 01:08 hrs IST

by Ruhi Kandhari – ET Bureau

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRON ORE, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

POSCO EMITE BÔNUS PARA ASSEGURAR OPERAÇÃO EM MINA BRASILEIRA (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 26, 2008

Quinta-feira 25 de dezembro de 2008 10:38

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL UAI – O ESTADO DE MINAS’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL UAI – O ESTADO DE MINAS’ (Brazil)

Posted in AS INDÚSTRIAS DE MINERAÇÃO, BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, MINISTÉRIO DAS MINAS E ENERGIA, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, RECESSION, RELAÇÕES COMERCIAIS INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SOUTH KOREA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

MMX VAI COMEÇAR SONDAGEM DE MINA MESMO COM A TURBULÊNCIA GLOBAL, QUE REDUZIU DEMANDA POR MINÉRIOS, GRUPO PREPARA COMPLEXO DE BOM SUCESSO (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 26, 2008

Quinta-feira 25 de dezembro de 2008 09:32

Marta Vieira – O Estado de Minas

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL UAI – O ESTADO DE MINAS’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL UAI – O ESTADO DE MINAS’ (Brazil)

Posted in AS INDÚSTRIAS DE MINERAÇÃO, BRASIL, CIDADES, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, MINING INDUSTRIES, MINISTÉRIO DAS MINAS E ENERGIA, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

METALS TAKE A BEATING, BUT STAY IN SHAPE (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 24, 2008

24 Dec 2008, 00:59 hrs IST

by Nidhi Sharma – ET Bureau

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDIA, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS | Leave a Comment »

GERDAU PAGA CERCA DE 200 MILHÕES DE EUROS E AMPLIA FATIA NA SIDENOR (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19/12/2008 20:11

Valor Online

PUBLISHED BY ‘VALOR ECONÔMICO’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘VALOR ECONÔMICO’ (Brazil)

Posted in A BOLSA DE VALORES, BRASIL, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FUSÕES E/OU INCORPORAÇÕES EMPRESARIAIS, INDÚSTRIA DA CONSTRUÇÃO CIVIL, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, RECESSION, STEEL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

O que vale e o que não Vale! (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

Edição no 270 19 a 25 de dezembro de 2008

por Valter Pomar – Secretário de Relações Internacionais do PT

PUBLISHED BY ‘VISÃO OESTE’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘VISÃO OESTE’ (Brazil)

Posted in AS INDÚSTRIAS DE MINERAÇÃO, AS RELAÇÕES DE TRABALHO E EMPREGO, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O MUNDO DO TRABALHO - BRASIL, OS TRABALHADORES, PARTIDO DOS TRABALHADORES (PT), RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SINDICATOS DAS CATEGORIAS PROFISSIONAIS, STEEL, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

MEANWHILE, IN LIBERIA, SCRAPDEALERS DEMAND TO ‘STOP THE COLLECTIVE JUSTICE’ AGAINST THEIR BUSINESS ACTIVITIES … BY ACCEPTING ANYTHING THAT’S BROUGHT TO THEM AS SCRAP, SCRAPDEALERS ARE BEING ACCUSED OF HINDERING RE-CONSTRUCTION EFFORTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 19, 2008

Monday, 8th December 2008

THE INQUIRER (Liberia)

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INQUIRER’ (Liberia)

CLICK HERE FOR THE

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INQUIRER’ (Liberia)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, LIBERIA, METALS, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

COOPER TIRE TO CLOSE ALBANY, GA., plant (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 18, 2008

Dec. 17, 2008, 9:02AM

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF TEAL MINORITIES AND THE FORMATION OF A JOINT VENTURE WITH VALE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 18, 2008

December 15, 2008

CNW Group

PUBLISHED BY ‘CNW GROUP’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘CNW GROUP’

Posted in BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

RESOURCES, METAL STOCKS KEEP JSE FIRM

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 18, 2008

17 December 2008

NZPA

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

GM CUTTING NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF PRODUCTION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008 – 10:20 AM EST

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAYTON BUSINESS JOURNAL’ (USA)

General Motors Corp. today announced it will cut North American production volume by about 250,000 units, or 30 percent, during the first quarter of 2009.

The cuts will affect 14 U.S. plants, including the Bowling Green, Ky. plant, which makes the Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac XLR. It also will affect three Canadian plants and three plants in Mexico.

General Motors (NYSE: GM) attributed the cuts to “the ongoing and severe drop in industry sales.”

GM’s November sales were down 36 percent from a year ago. Sales for the first 11 months were down 41 percent versus the same period in 2007, the company said in a news release.

“The speed and severity of the U.S. auto market’s decline has been unprecedented in recent weeks as consumers reel from the collapse of the financial markets and the resulting lack of credit for vehicle financing,” the company said in the release.

GM will close its truck and SUV assembly plant in Moraine later this month and also employs about 100 at a parts and service center in West Chester.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAYTON BUSINESS JOURNAL’ (USA)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEM - USA, CANADA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEPRESSION, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

INNOVATION IS KEY (Iceland)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

12/12/2008 – 11:00

ESA

PUBLISHED BY ‘ICELAND REVIEW’

Last week I wrote that if I were the boss of Iceland I would bet my money, or rather the nation’s money, on innovation rather than large-scale labor-intensive industries, such as aluminum smelting, which some people seem to think is the solution to all of our problems—never mind the fact that the world market price of aluminum is plummeting.

However, there are plenty of creative, ambitious and hard-working Icelanders out there who share my opinion that it would be a mistake to rely too heavily on only a few industries. They would rather see Iceland become a platform for a host of companies of different genres and they are working towards making that happen. Like me, they believe innovation is key to the reconstruction of Iceland’s economy.

Such companies are known as sprotafyrirtaeki in Icelandic, literally “sprout companies,” but more commonly referred to as start-ups or starters. The term is not new in Iceland and has become somewhat of a fad in recent years.

Business magazine Frjáls verslun published a list of 100 starters to watch right before the collapse of the economy, and shortly thereafter Björk stepped forward and presented innovative companies she had been working with.

So the problem is not that we don’t have innovation, the problem lies with the government, which doesn’t seem to realize the potential in start-ups. Instead of giving young and promising companies the support they need to thrive, which with time can become valuable sources of income for the economy as a whole, the government searches for easy short-term solutions. Or so it seems.

The Icelandic media is stepping up by reporting on initiatives aimed at encouraging innovation and there appears to be a lot going on in that field.

The Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavík University and Bifröst University are cooperating on three projects aimed at encouraging innovation and education, among them an interactive online starter development center entitled “I Am Innovation” where people will be able to share their business ideas and seek partners.

There are also umbrella organizations for innovation, such as Klak Innovation Center, whose purpose it is to enhance the growth of start-up IT companies.

I wanted to find out if and to what extent the government is supporting Klak’s important initiative and asked the innovation center’s CEO Eythór Ívar Jónsson, who is also an associate professor in entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business School.

Jónsson said the government’s support to Klak has not been at all sufficient. He explained that although Klak and the companies supported by the center operate within the private sector, it is important to receive funding from the government for the first three years of their existence, often referred to as “death valley.”

During the first three years companies are spending but not earning money and during that period investors avoid them like the plague. During that period many promising companies give up, in many cases because of lack of funds. Therefore the government should step in.

Such support is not thought of as charity. Jónsson explained that the government has to adopt a different attitude towards innovation and realize that investing in starters is beneficial for the national economy.

Many of these companies (it is too optimistic to believe that every company will survive) will flourish and deliver profits for the state treasury. It will take time, though, five to ten years, and the government wants to see money flowing in right now.

For this reason the government was reluctant to support innovation before the crisis hit and now there is no money. Or is there? It is all a question of prioritizing, Jónsson stated.

Had he really made an effort talking to the appropriate ministries, I wondered. At that, Jónsson laughed, saying that he had spent eight months arguing with the Ministry of Industry. People seem positive and eager but then nothing happens. However, Jónsson is hopeful that Minister of Industry Össur Skarphédinsson will soon start lobbying for innovation for real.

After all, the Ministry of Industry does operate the Innovation Center Iceland which recently launched Torgid, “The Square,” a trade center offering facilities to young promising companies to work on their business ideas. Thirteen companies are operating there already.

Skarphédinsson himself discusses Torgid on his blog while referring to himself as the “Minister for Sprout Affairs,” describing how his ministry has been flooded lately with innovative ideas from people who are determined to turn this crisis around and transform it into a business opportunity.

“That’s how adversity often creates new opportunities that didn’t exist before and creates an environment which enforces and fabricates new business opportunities in the form of mini sprouts,” the minister writes. “We don’t mess around in the Ministry of Industry. If we see a good idea we’ll make it happen in an instant.”

So is this a sign that times are about to change? I certainly hope so.

In my last column I wondered whether any Icelanders would respond. Many foreign readers did and had some excellent ideas at that, but not a single native.

That leads me to conclude that despite the fact that icelandreview.com is among the 20 most popular websites in Iceland, week after week, after Eve Online the most popular English-language Icelandic website and a regular source of information for foreign media outlets, it goes unnoticed by most Icelanders.

Therefore, I’m going to bring the website, and this particular column, to the attention of the “Minister for Sprout Affairs,” and see whether he would like to contribute to the discussion on the international platform that this website represents.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘ICELAND REVIEW’

Posted in ALUMINUM, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, ICELAND, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

SEVEN INVESTORS SUBMIT OFFERS FOR RUNNING KREMIKOVTZI (Bulgaria)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 11, 2008

11 December 2008, Thursday

PUBLISHED BY ‘BULGARIAN BUSINESS – NOVINITE.COM’

Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry has received seven offers with bids for the purchase or the operation of the troubled Bulgaria's Economy Ministry has received seven offers for Kremikovtzi by Bulgarian and foreign companies - Photo by Yuliana Nikolova - Sofia Photo Agencysteel-maker Kremikovtzi, the Trud Daily reported Thursday.

The paper points out that the most serious bidder is the Ukrainian company Smart Group which offers an emergency plan for saving the factory, and a longer-term recovery program by restructuring and acquisition of new assets. It is expected to present its demands about Bulgarian state guarantees for Kremikovtzi within several days.

The Czech company ML Moran offers to finance Kremikovtzi enabling the plant to buy raw materials, and manufacture and sell its production. The bulk of the revenue, however, would go to the creditor so the main advantage of this plan would be to keep the factory running.

Each of two other foreign companies – the Russian Prominvest, and an unnamed Italian company – are offering to provide raw materials, and working capital for Kremikovtzi in exchange for guarantees by the Bulgarian state.

The former owner of the steel mill Valentin Zahariev, who sold the plant to the Indian tycoon Pramod Mittal in 2005, has offered to run the plant after setting up a new firm for the purpose. In the event of liquidation of the factory, however, he is asking to be allowed to buy out the assets on sale.

The Bulgarian metal wastes trader Econmetal Engineering, whose facilities are located nearby Kremikovtzi, is offering to provide 60.000 tons of raw materials for the steel-maker in exchange for being allowed to realize the manufactured products on the market after that.

A group of bond holders is offering the factory a credit of EUR 345 M in exchange for Bulgarian state securities with a redemption date in 2013.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BULGARIAN BUSINESS – NOVINITE.COM’

Posted in BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRON ORE, ITALY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RECYCLING INDUSTRIES, RUSSIA, STEEL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UKRAINE | Leave a Comment »

RESOURCE COUNTERS HELP SEND STOCKS TO FIVE-WEEK HIGH (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

December 10, 2008

Reuters and Bloomberg

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Johannesburg – Stocks climbed to a five-week high yesterday buoyed by firmer mining shares.

The Top40 index rose 5.28 percent to 19 986.66 points on Wednesday, while the broader all share index climbed 4.67 percent to 21 930.94 points, levels last seen on November 5.

Gideon Muller, a trader at Thebe Securities said: “Commodity prices are picking up our market [such as] your mining houses and platinum shares.”

BHP Billiton rose 11.48 percent to R188.95 and rival Anglo American gained 7.71 percent to R230.50.

AngloGold Ashanti rose 11.08 percent to R271.

Anglo Platinum increased 8.92 percent to R455 and Impala Platinum advanced 2.5 percent to R121 after platinum prices firmed.

Pallinghurst Resources fell 2.25 percent to R4.35. The company and the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela tribe would invest $175 million (R1.8 billion) in Platmin to allow the company to fund the construction of its Pilanesberg platinum mine in the North West.

Sasol climbed 7.01 percent to close at R299.63.

Kumba Iron Ore slipped 3.7 percent to R157, the biggest decline since November 28. The iron ore producer plans to proceed with an R8.5 billion expansion as its competitors slash output.

Banking stocks, which are sensitive to interest rate moves started to march higher after a report showed retail sales slumped for a sixth month, raising speculation the central bank will cut rates today.

African Bank Investments Limited rose 6.11 percent to R28.12 and Standard Bank ticked up 1.09 percent to R83.49.

Garth Mackenzie, the head of derivatives trading at BoE Stockbrokers, said:

“The stimulus packages continue to boost growth expectations. “We are also seeing quite big gains in the local retailers ahead of the interest rate announcement.”

MTN surged 7.7 percent to R102.99. JD Group increased 8.7 percent to R33.95.

Tiger Brands rallied 3.5 percent, to R147.

Simeka Business Solutions added 7.7 percent to 42c, rising for the first time in six days. The information technology company said first-half earnings a share advanced as much as 40 percent.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COPPER, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GOLD, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRON ORE, METALS, MINING INDUSTRIES, PLATINUM, PRECIOUS METALS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

AFRICOM CHINA AND CONGO RESOURCE WARS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008

by F. William Engdahl – Online Journal

PUBLISHED BY ‘INFOWARS’

Just weeks after President George W. Bush signed the order creating a new US military command dedicated to Africa, AFRICOM, events on the mineral-rich continent have erupted which suggest a major agenda of the incoming Obama Presidency will be for the son of a black Kenyan to focus US resources, military and other, on dealing with the Republic of Congo, the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, the oil-rich Darfur region of southern Sudan and increasingly the Somali ‘pirate threat’ to sea lanes in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The legitimate question is whether it is mere coincidence that Africa appears just at this time to become a new geopolitical ‘hot spot’ or whether it has a direct link to the formal creation of AFRICOM.

What is striking is the timing. No sooner had AFRICOM become operational than major new crises broke out in both the Indian Ocean-Gulf of Aden regarding spectacular incidents of alleged Somali piracy, as well as eruption of bloody new wars in Kivu Province in the Republic of Congo. The common thread connecting both is their importance, as with Darfur in southern Sudan, for China’s future strategic raw materials flow.

The latest fighting in the eastern part of the Congo (DRC) broke out in late August when Tutsi militiamen belonging to the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP, National Congress for the Defense of the People) of General Laurent Nkunda forced loyalist troops of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC, Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) to retreat from their positions near Lake Kivu, sending hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians fleeing in the process and prompting the French foreign minister, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, to warn of the imminent risk of ‘huge massacres.’

Nkunda, like his mentor, Rwanda’s Washington-backed dictator, Paul Kagame, is an ethnic Tutsi who alleges that he is protecting the minority Tutsi ethnic group against remnants of the Rwandan Hutu army that fled to Congo after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. MONUC UN peacekeepers reported no such atrocities against the minority Tutsi in the northeast, mineral rich Kivu region. Congolese sources report that attacks against Congolese of all ethnic groups are a daily occurrence in the region. Laurent Nkunda’s troops are responsible for most of these attacks, they claim.

Strange resignations

The stage for political chaos in Congo was further set in September when the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 83-year-old prime minister, Antoine Gizenga, resigned after two years. Then at end of October, with suspicious timing, the commander of the United Nations peacekeeping operation, the Mission de l’Organisation des Nations-Unies au Congo (MONUC, Mission of the United Nations Organization in the Congo), Spanish Lieutenant General Vicente Diaz de Villegas, resigned after fewer than two months on the job, citing, ‘lack of confidence’ in the leadership of DRC President Joseph Kabila. Kabila, the Congo’s first democratically elected president, has also been involved in negotiating a major $9 billion trade agreement between the DRC and China, something which Washington is clearly not happy about.

Nkunda is a long-standing henchman of Rwandan President, US-trained, Kagame. All signs point to a heavy, if covert, USA role in the latest Congo killings by Nkunda’s men. Nkunda himself is a former Congolese Army officer, teacher and Seventh Day Adventist pastor. But killing seems to be what he is best at.

Much of Nkunda’s well-equipped and relatively disciplined forces are from the bordering country of Rwanda and the rest have been recruited from the minority Tutsi population of the Congolese province of North Kivu. Supplies, finance and political support for this Congolese rebel army come from Rwanda. According to the American Spectator magazine, ‘President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has long been a supporter of Nkunda, who originally was an intelligence officer in the Rwanda leader’s overthrow of the Hutu despotic rule in his country.’

As the Congo News Agency reported on October 30, ‘Some have bought into the pretext of an endangered Tutsi minority in Congo. They never fail to mention that Laurent Nkunda is supposedly fighting to protect “his people.” They have failed to question his true motives which are to occupy the mineral-rich North-Kivu province, pillage its resources, and act as a proxy army in eastern Congo for the Tutsi-led Rwandan government in Kigali. Kagame wants a foothold in eastern Congo so his country can continue to benefit from the pillaging and exporting of minerals such as columbite-tantalite (coltan). Many experts on the region agree today that resources are the true reason why Laurent Nkunda continues to create chaos in the region with the help of Paul Kagame.’

The USA role and AFRICOM

Evidence which was presented in a French court in a ruling made public in 2006 claimed that Kagame was responsible for organizing the shooting down of the plane carrying Hutu President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana, in April 1994, the event that set off the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands of people, both Hutu and Tutsi.

The end result of the killings in which perhaps as many as a million Africans perished was that US and UK backed Paul Kagame — a ruthless military dictator trained at the US Army Command-General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas — was firmly in control as dictator of Rwanda. Since then he has covertly backed repeated military incursions by General Nkunda into the mineral-rich Kivu region on the pretext it was to defend a small Tutsi minority there. Kagame had repeatedly rejected attempts to repatriate those Tutsi refugees back to Rwanda, evidently fearing he might lose his pretext to occupy the mineral riches of Kivu.

Since at least 2001, according to reports from Congo sources, the US military has also had a base at Cyangugu in Rwanda, built of course by Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, conveniently enough near the border to Congo’s mineral-rich Kivu region.

The 1994 massacre of civilians between Tutsi and Hutu was, as Canadian researcher Michel Chossudovsky described it, ‘an undeclared war between France and America. By supporting the build up of Ugandan and Rwandan forces and by directly intervening in the Congolese civil war, Washington also bears a direct responsibility for the ethnic massacres committed in the Eastern Congo, including several hundred thousand people who died in refugee camps.’ He adds, ‘Major General Paul Kagame was an instrument of Washington. The loss of African lives did not matter. The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.’

Now Kagame’s former intelligence officer, Nkunda, leads his well-equipped forces to take Goma in the eastern Congo as part of an apparent scheme to break the richest minerals region away from Kinshasha. With the US military beefing up its presence across Africa under AFRICOM since 2007, the stage was apparently set for the current resources grab by the US-backed Kagame and his former officer, Nkunda.

Today the target is China

If France was the covert target of US ‘surrogate warfare’ in 1994, today it is clearly China, which is the real threat to US control of Central Africa’s vast mineral riches. The Democratic Republic of Congo was renamed from the Republic of Zaire in 1997 when the forces of Laurent Désiré Kabila brought Mobutu’s 32-year reign to an end. Locals call the country Congo-Kinshasa.

The Kivu region of the Congo is the geological repository of some of the world’s greatest strategic minerals. The eastern border straddling Rwanda and Uganda, runs on the eastern edge of the Great African Rift Valley, believed by geologists to be one of the richest repositories of minerals on the face of the earth.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo contains more than half the world’s cobalt. It holds one-third of its diamonds, and, extremely significantly, fully three-quarters of the world resources of columbite-tantalite or “coltan” — a primary component of computer microchips and printed circuit boards, essential for mobile telephones, laptops and other modern electronic devices.

America Mineral Fields, Inc., a company heavily involved in promoting the 1996 accession to power of Laurent Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo’s civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. Major stockholders included long-time associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as governor of Arkansas. Several months before the downfall of Zaire’s French-backed dictator, Mobutu, Laurent Desire Kabila based in Goma, Eastern Zaire, had renegotiated the mining contracts with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields. Mobutu’s corrupt rule was brought to a bloody end with the help of the US-directed International Monetary Fund.

Washington was not entirely comfortable with Laurent Kabila, who was finally assassinated in 2001. In a study released in April 1997 barely a month before President Mobutu Sese Seko fled the country, the IMF had recommended “halting currency issue completely and abruptly” as part of an economic recovery programme. A few months later upon assuming power in Kinshasa, the new government of Laurent Kabila Desire was ordered by the IMF to freeze civil service wages with a view to “restoring macro-economic stability.” Eroded by hyperinflation, the average public sector wage had fallen to 30,000 new Zaires (NZ) a month, the equivalent of one US dollar.

According to Chossudovsky, the IMF’s demands were tantamount to maintaining the entire population in abysmal poverty. They precluded from the outset a meaningful post-war economic reconstruction, thereby contributing to fuelling the continuation of the Congolese civil war in which close to 2 million people have died.

Laurent Kabila was succeeded by his son, Joseph Kabila who went on to become the Congo’s first democratically elected President, and appears to have held a closer eye to the welfare of his countrymen than did his father.

Now, in comes the new US AFRICOM. Speaking to the International Peace Operations Association in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27, General Kip Ward, commander of AFRICOM defined the command’s mission as ‘in concert with other US government agencies and international partners, [to conduct] sustained security engagements through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.’

The ‘military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy,’ today, are clearly aimed squarely at blocking China’s growing economic presence in the region.

In fact, as various Washington sources state openly, AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties. By informed accounts, the Chinese have been far shrewder. Instead of offering only savage IMF-dictated austerity and economic chaos, China is offering large credits, soft loans to build roads and schools in order to create good will.

Dr. J. Peter Pham, a leading Washington insider who is an advisor of the US State and Defense Departments, states openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM is the objective of ‘protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance . . . a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.’

In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is closely associated with the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated, ‘This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy, averaging 9 percent growth per annum over the last two decades, has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels — roughly a third of its imports — come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that . . . perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years. Last year the Chinese regime published the first ever official white paper elaborating the basis of its policy toward Africa.

‘This year, ahead of his 12-day, eight-nation tour of Africa — the third such journey since he took office in 2003 — Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a three-year, $3 billion program in preferential loans and expanded aid for Africa. These funds come on top of the $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in export credits that Hu announced in October 2006 at the opening of the historic Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which brought nearly 50 African heads of state and ministers to the Chinese capital.

‘Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa — especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline — will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.’

Notably, in late October Nkunda’s well-armed troops surrounded Goma in North Kivu and demanded that Congo President Joseph Kabila negotiate with him. Among Nkunda’s demands was that Kabila cancel a $9 billion joint Congo-China venture in which China gets rights to the vast copper and cobalt resources of the region in exchange for providing $6 billion worth of road construction, two hydroelectric dams, hospitals, schools and railway links to southern Africa, to Katanga and to the Congo Atlantic port at Matadi. The other $3 billion is to be invested by China in development of new mining areas.

Curiously, US and most European media neglect to report that small detail. It seems AFRICOM is off to a strong start as the opposition to China in Africa. The litmus will be who President Obama selects as his Africa person and whether he tries to weaken Congo President Joseph Kabila in favor of backing Nkunda’s death squads, naturally in the name of ‘restoring democracy.’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘INFOWARS’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CHINA, CIVIL WAR - CONGO, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONGO, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, IMF, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PETROL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN), THE UNITED NATIONS, USA | 1 Comment »

UNIONS SEEK ALTERNATIVES TO MASSIVE MINING RETRENCHMENTS (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 6, 2008

December 4, 2008

by Justin Brown

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Johannesburg – Trade unions in the mining sector are fighting to avert the devastating impact of retrenchments across the industry, which could swell to include more than 12 932 permanent and contract positions.

Lesiba Seshoka, a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson, said the union did not yet have specific alternative measures to stop the retrenchments, but it was part of a task team that would look at ways to avert the job losses.

The task team was established earlier this week by representatives of mining trade unions, the Chamber of Mines and the department of minerals and energy to find solutions that would avoid the lay-offs or mitigate their effects.

Jaco Kleynhans, a Solidarity spokesperson, said: “Solidarity is extremely concerned about the effect that the retrenchments of several thousand mine workers will have on social welfare conditions in the mining communities in particular.

“According to our calculations, about eight people live on one mine worker’s salary. Solidarity is tremendously concerned about the survival of the towns whose lifeblood will be cut off if the retrenchments are implemented.”

Kleynhans said that what the unions had available during the restructurings was the 60-day consultation process required by the law.

During this period the union would seek to provide companies with alternatives to the restructurings they had announced, to prevent or minimise retrenchments, he said.

Solidarity was in the process of compiling documents on companies’ financial status and other information.

Seshoka said it was possible that the NUM would seek the intervention of the state.

However, he said, it was difficult to justify using taxpayers’ money to help private companies keep jobs.

Seshoka said the NUM had ended its strike at Lonmin’s Limpopo platinum mine following the issuing of a section 189 notice of restructuring at the operation.

“We are talking to the company about the retrenchments,” he added.

Lonmin said on Monday that 1 500 permanent jobs were likely to be lost at the Limpopo operation. This followed Friday’s announcement that 4 000 jobs were at risk at its Marikana mine.

Regarding DRDGold’s East Rand Propriety Mines (ERPM), the NUM has hired geologist Peter Camden-Smith as a consultant in an effort to avert the loss of 1 700 jobs at the mine on Gauteng’s East Rand.

James Duncan, a DRDGold spokesperson, said the firm had started the restructuring process at ERPM and a facilitator from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had been appointed to the process and accepted by all parties.

The first session of the CCMA procedure had started, Duncan added.

He said that DRDGold had decided last month that the R115 million cost of pumping at the mine, which would take 12 months to complete, was “not affordable”. During that time the total workforce could not be kept on full pay, especially in light of the losses that ERPM had been sustaining over the past year.

ERPM contributed almost 80 000 ounces of gold, or a quarter of DRDGold’s production, in the year to June.

Duncan said DRDGold had received no expressions of interest from parties that might want to acquire the mine.

“This was not surprising, given the state of the markets,” he added.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS REPORT’ (South Africa)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES – Not a pretty site – Project reviews in the mining sector have raised uncertainty about growth and helped undermine building and construction share prices (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 4, 2008

28 November 2008

by Andrew McNulty

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

A few months ago, building & construction shares were priced at a large premium to the local stock market. After steep falls in recent weeks, that has changed markedly.

Murray & Roberts (M&R) and Aveng, the two biggest companies in the sector, have fallen by almost 60% in less than three months. They now trade on historical p:e ratios of less than eight, in line with – or below – the market average.

This may seem anomalous, as infrastructure and related investment is expected to be the healthiest area of the economy over the next year. Several companies have reported large order books and expressed confidence that the work will go ahead.

But the shares reflect dwindling investor confidence in the sector and increased uncertainty about the earnings outlook beyond next year.

WHAT IT MEANS
Earnings and order books remain strong

Uncertainty about the outlook has increased

The price weakness is linked partly to weakness in specific areas. After the collapse in commodity prices, mining companies are reviewing capital projects and some have announced project deferrals. The steel sector is cutting production and curbing prices. And activity in the residential sector is flat or declining.

These changes will directly affect some companies’ earnings. At Aveng’s AGM on October 24, chairman Angus Band said a lower steel price and lower vehicle sales will be bad for the group’s manufacturing and processing businesses, which include Trident Steel, a trading company.

However, Band also highlighted a broader change. His annual review, written in July, said the infrastructure landscape remained “very positive”, with opportunities extending well beyond 2010, especially in the power, roads and transport environment, while commodity prices were expected to fuel demand for infrastructure projects for mining houses.

At the AGM, Band said the global investment climate had since changed significantly because of the liquidity squeeze and economic slowdown.

He added that Aveng’s customers will “inevitably find it more difficult and more expensive” to fund projects and that’s likely to affect the group’s order books in the medium term.

Aveng’s share has fallen 33% since Band made that statement. For many investors, it confirms a more uncertain and possibly bearish outlook for a sector with a cyclical history.

“Nasty surprises are the norm in the international building & construction sector,” says independent analyst Mark Ingham, who has specialised in the sector for more than a decade. “A few companies, such as WBHO, have been consistent, but people did get carried away with the ‘dotcon’ theme.”

Ingham cites two areas of uncertainty. One is order books, and whether these companies will continue to secure new work in the medium term to replace existing projects. The other is margins, which are at historically high levels but may fall as competition increases.

“I’ve felt for a while that margins are topping out,” Ingham adds. “In the commercial & residential sector, margins are slipping as more firms are competing for work again. The smaller contractors are already under strain.”

Coronation Fund Managers analyst Quintin Ivan says construction has been one of the most cyclical sectors on the market, and there’s little reason to think that has changed. “They don’t have annuity income streams. It’s feast or famine,” he says.

Ivan adds order books have grown to high levels, which could make it difficult for these companies to maintain growth in a slowing economy.

Investec Asset Management portfolio manager Chris Freund says the recent price declines in the sector mostly reflect selling by foreign investors and are part of a global pattern.

A year ago, rising infrastructure spending in emerging markets was being cited as a reason to buy stocks that benefit directly. Slowing global growth, withdrawal of capital from emerging markets and currency weakness are now seen as reasons to question whether spending will continue as planned.

The selling reflects a broad approach but the prospects – and uncertainties – vary between companies.

In a trading statement this week, M&R says it maintains the market guidance published earlier for the year to June 2009, but cautions shareholders to be prudent with this as “the potential impact of current market volatility may manifest itself on the construction sector and group performance in the future”.

It says cash flow constraints in a few clients has resulted in suspension or delay of projects in each of the group’s markets. It adds its project order book provides a solid performance foundation for the period up to 2012 and beyond.

This includes public works and other strategic projects – local and international – that are likely to continue and will provide stability through the “difficult times” ahead.

Cautious investors say the large SA groups’ international activities are in areas that could become more competitive. Aveng and M&R have operations in Australia; M&R and Group Five have important contracts in the Middle East. Lower prices for oil and mining products could lead to less spending on infrastructure in these regions.

However, offshore operations have helped to diversify these groups’ order books and may help mitigate weakness in domestic markets.

For now, public sector spending in SA is expected mostly to go ahead as planned. Energy and transport remain key areas. Ingham says Basil Read is well placed to benefit from an expected upturn in local roadbuilding. Raubex could also do well in this sector.

Cement & and lime producer PPC’s cement volumes were flat in the year to September. CE John Gomersall says margins are under pressure because of surging costs such as energy and transport, and the group may add an energy surcharge to its prices.

However, Gomersall says the effect on the SA economy from global market volatility is likely to be less in the infrastructure sector than in the formal residential sector. He adds that cement demand for rural and affordable housing is expected to continue, as government plans to eliminate the backlog of almost 3m houses by 2014.

Freund believes shares in the sector have been oversold. They could rise sharply when private-sector projects have resumed and there is evidence that order books are growing again. The sector would also benefit from an upturn in commodity prices.

But the shares are unlikely to recover much while the uncertainty about the growth outlook continues.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CEMENT, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

AFRICA’S CHINESE CONNECTION AND THE DOWNTURN (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

Posted to the web on: 27 November 2008

by Greg Mills – (*)

YOU know that it’s a globalised world when the man in front of you on the flight from Hong Kong THE GREAT WALLto Beijing starts a conversation, across several rows of seats, about the fast-bowling merits of Dale Steyn versus those of Morne Morkel — in Afrikaans.

Yet this very phenomenon — of an increasingly integrated world of trade, technology, skills and capital — is not only seen to be under threat due to the global economic crisis, but in the eyes of some is the cause of the crisis.

But that’s not how China sees things, in spite of some loss of export markets because of the credit crunch.

The formula for global economic growth has, over the past two decades , in simple terms, comprised western consumption of cheap Asian goods fuelled by access to cheap credit produced in turn by high Asian savings.

The cheapness of Asian goods relates to their productivity, which is related once again to the number of workers that are joining the global economy — 20-million annually from China’s rural to urban areas, at the last estimate.

Once in the cities they produce (up to three times) more and save more.

The downturn in demand for manufactured goods is likely to hit China hard — just as it has depressed commodity prices, the third leg of the western consumption-Asian thrift formula.

The supply of African oil and minerals has driven up continental growth rates, of course, and radically changed the level of external interest in African affairs.

China has been in part responsible for “globalising” Africa.

In doing so, it has certainly shown African prospects in a different light to the one shone by western firms and governments.

This relationship is represented in a plethora of statistics: In 1980, China’s share of world trade was less than 1%. By 2003 it had risen to 6%, where exports make up one-third of China’s gross domestic product. In 1980 China’s exports were worth less than $20bn. Last year, they exceeded $1-trillion. Such trade largely involves China’s processing of raw materials and the assembly of parts.

China’s trade with Africa has dramatically increased from $11bn in 2000 to $56bn in 2006 and $73bn last year, much of the increase due to oil.

Beijing has an African trade target of $100bn by 2010.

The second-largest global energy importer behind the US, China imported more than 6-million barrels of oil per day in 2006. This figure is expected to double in the next 15 years.

With only half of its energy needs now supplied by domestic sources, Angola has become China’s largest suppler of oil, while Sudan and Nigeria are important investment partners.

China today receives about one-third of its oil imports from Africa, comprising just less than 10% of the continent’s total oil exports. By comparison, the US purchased one-third of a percent of Africa’s total oil exports in 2006.

By 2006, more than 800 Chinese state-owned enterprises were active in Africa, with Chinese firms investing more than $6bn in 900 projects. The following year, China invested $4,5bn in African infrastructure projects alone.

Yet current figures put the downturn in manufacturing order books by more than 50% worldwide. China’s third-quarter growth has dipped to 9% from 12% last year. A loss of markets and growth, potentially compounded by rising labour costs depressing productivity, is a spectre that no Chinese politician fancies.

Beijing believes it will cope with the credit crisis by focusing on substituting its internal market for those lost overseas. Hence the announcement of a $586bn infrastructure stimulus package.

For example, the Chinese government has committed, in the short-term, an extra R1-trillion to railway infrastructure. That will buy a lot of steel, and much else, at current prices.

For this reason, for the moment, China aims to continue with its strategy to secure raw materials from Africa at source, in so doing managing the prospect of input price inflation.

This offers further prospects to African businesses with an appetite for partnership in exploiting the long-term trend of increasing global flows of capital to emerging markets.

But despite its strategy to beef up internal demand, China retains a big stake in globalisation.

Without sizeable external markets it cannot provide for its citizens, with all the economic fallout and political instability that would denote.

For experience teaches that large numbers of job seekers cannot be absorbed by government, or to satisfy local demand. For China, as in Africa, if they cannot find a place for themselves in the global economy, many will not be able to find a place at all.

(*) – Dr Mills heads the Brenthurst Foundation and has been researching in China.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS DAY’ (South Africa)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MACROECONOMY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, PETROL, RAILWAY TRANSPORT, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

SIDERURGIA: SAMARCO, DA VALE, REDUZ PRODUÇÃO DE PELOTA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 23, 2008

21/11 – 21:23

Redação – InvestNews

SÃO PAULO, 21 de novembro de 2008 – A joint venture não-consolidada da Vale, a Samarco, na qual a empresa possui participação acionária de 50%, ajustará a produção de pelotas de acordo com as condições de mercado atuais. A Samarco, cuja capacidade nominal de produção é igual a 21,6 milhões de toneladas métricas de pelotas por ano, reduzirá dois terços da produção de pelotas do final de novembro a meados de janeiro de 2009. A terceira planta da Samarco, que iniciou as operações em abril e que possui capacidade nominal de produção de 7,6 milhões de toneladas métricas por ano, continuará a operar.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘INVESTNEWS’ (Brasil)

Posted in BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, SETOR EXPORTADOR | 1 Comment »

BRAZIL’S ROBUST ECONOMY PROPELS QUEST TO BE GLOBAL PLAYER

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

Published: Nov 11, 2008 05:54 PM Modified: Nov 11, 2008 05:54 PM

by Tyler Bridges, McClatchy Newspapers

BRASILIA, Brazil – For years, critics said that Brazil was long on potential and short on performance. EXAMINING BRAZIL'S EXTERNAL DEBTNot anymore. This massive country has become one of the world’s biggest democracies and an economic powerhouse.

Now Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wants his nation to have a bigger role in world affairs. He’ll press his case when leaders from the major industrial and developing nations convene Saturday at the G-20 summit in Washington.

Before the meeting, Lula has called on wealthier nations to overhaul the global finance system and give a bigger say to developing countries such as Brazil.

“We need new, more inclusive governance, and Brazil is ready to face up to its responsibilities,” Lula said last Saturday at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank presidents in Sao Paulo. “It is time for a pact between governments to build a new financial architecture for the world.”

In the short term, Brazil wants the smaller G-7 group of industrialized countries to expand to include Brazil and other developing countries, said Amaury de Souza, a political analyst in Rio de Janeiro.

“We want a permanent G-14,” de Souza said, saying that Russia, China, Mexico and India should be among the additions.

Brazil also wants developing nations to have a greater voice at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations.

“Global power structures were frozen in the aftermath of World War II,” de Souza added. “Excessive latitude of action was given to European countries.”

Only a few years ago, Brazil’s president wouldn’t have dared to demand a greater role. Hyperinflation, a roller-coaster economy and political instability plagued Brazil in the 1990s.

The country’s stock market plummeted after Lula was elected in 2002. Investors feared the longtime leftist leader, a former auto factory worker who hadn’t graduated from high school.

However, Lula has promoted business investment while putting more money into the hands of the poor. The economy has boomed for three years, propelling millions of Brazilians into the middle class.

With the world’s 10th biggest economy, Brazil has surpassed the United States as the biggest producer of iron ore and coffee. It’s become the world’s biggest exporter of beef, poultry, biofuels and orange juice concentrate, and is rapidly gaining in soybeans, corn and pork.

Brazil also has accumulated $200 billion in foreign reserves, almost as much as the rest of Latin America combined. That money will help cushion the global meltdown

Now, Brazil wants to be recognized for its fiscal track record and to avoid the risks that come with a global economic crisis.

“Brazil has new standing in the world,” said Rubens Barbosa, a private consultant in Brazil who’s served as the ambassador to the United States. “We think we can contribute more.”

Quietly, Brazil already has become the most powerful country in Latin America.

Brazilian companies are expanding Caracas’ subway system, constructing a massive hydroelectric dam in Ecuador and building a highway in Peru that will give Brazilian companies better access to Peru’s ports.

Brazil also has been flexing its diplomatic muscles throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It leads the main United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, where it has 1,200 soldiers.

Without fanfare, Lula has undercut the ambitions of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in South America, providing an important counterweight in the eyes of U.S. policymakers.

Lula has undermined Chavez’s dreams of building a 5,000-mile gas pipeline connecting Venezuela and Brazil and has stymied Chavez’s plan for the Bank of the South, meant to provide an alternative to the World Bank.

Now Brazil wants a reward for all its efforts.

“Brazilians view the current economic crisis as something of an opportunity,” said Jeffrey Cason, a political science professor and Brazil expert at Middlebury College in Vermont. “They think they can increase the interest of developed nations in giving them a seat at the table and place Brazil in a leadership position on behalf of poor countries.”

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.

© 2008, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEWS & OBSERVER’ (USA

Posted in A BOLSA DE VALORES, A PRESIDÊNCIA, A QUESTÃO ENERGÉTICA, AGRICULTURA, BALANÇA COMERCIAL, BANCO CENTRAL - BRASIL, BRASIL, CATTLE, CIDADANIA, COFFEE, COMÉRCIO - BRASIL, COMBATE À CORRUPÇÃO - BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEFESA DO CONSUMIDOR - BRASIL, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, DIREITOS HUMANOS - BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, EDUCAÇÃO - BRASIL, ENSINO FUNDAMENTAL - 1° e 2° GRAUS, EXPANSÃO AGRÍCOLA, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, INTERNATIONAL, IRON ORE, LUIS INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA, MEAT, METALS, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O MERCADO FINANCEIRO, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, O SISTEMA BANCÁRIO - BRASIL, ORANGE JUICE, ORÇAMENTO NACIONAL - BRASIL, PORK, POULTRY, PRODUTO INTERNO BRUTO NACIONAL, PROGRAMA DE ACELERAÇÃO DO CRESCIMENTO (PAC), RELAÇÕES INTERNACIONAIS - BRASIL, SETOR EXPORTADOR, SUPERÁVIT PRIMÁRIO | Leave a Comment »

OILS, OILSEEDS SLIP FURTHER ON NEGATIVE OVERSEAS ADVICES – Grains and non-ferrous metals presented mixed signals (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 17, 2008

16 Nov 2008, 0143 hrs IST, AGENCIES

NEW DELHI: The Delhi oil and oilseeds market remained depressive past week following discouraging VEGETABLE OILS - Indiaoverseas advices coupled with increased arrivals from producing centres. With the CPO (crude palm oil) in Malaysia down by $ 25 to $ 450 per tonne and Chicago soya oil futures tumbling to around 250 cent this led to nervous selling by stockists easing prices of all major edible oil on the Delhi wholesale market.

According to marketmen, increased arrivals of soya seed at crushing units also had a deep impact on edible oil prices. Soya seed which was quoting at Rs 1550/1600 per quintal in producing centres fell to Rs 1480/1500 per quintal.

Prices in Ratlam and Neemuch were seen quoting even lower at Rs 1375/1400 per quintal leading to sharp fall in soya oil prices. With soya oil in Indore down by Rs 350 to Rs 4000 per quintal its prices in Delhi also declined from Rs 4800 to Rs 4500 per quintal following heavy selling by stockists.

Cottonseed oil slumped to a low of Rs 4050, losing Rs 250 per quintal tracking the weak trend prevailing in Punjab where cottonseed oil prices came crashing down to Rs 3900 per quintal.

Sesame oil was also hit by selling pressure with prices easing by Rs 100 to Rs 4250 per quintal even as sesame seed held strong. Mustard seed slipped by Rs 25/50 to Rs 2900/3100 per quintal on weak demand.

GRAINS & PULSES

The Delhi wholesale grains and pulses market ruled mixed past week on the back of mixed signals from upcountry market centres. Tight inventory in roller flour mills appreciated mill-quality wheat Rs 56/58 to Rs 1150/1156 per quintal following spurt in demand.

Atta (wheat flour) was also quoting upward by Rs 30/35 at Rs 620/625 per 50 kg on heavy buying by local stockists and retailers. Wheat bran firmed by Rs 20 at Rs 430/450 per 50 kg on increased offtake by upcontry centres.

Fine rice 1121 average quality held steady at Rs 5900/6000 per quintal, while rice steam was quoting at Rs 6500/7000 per quintal end week. According to marketmen, sustained arrivals of fine paddy at mills in Haryana eased Paddy grade 1121 from Rs 3000/3100 to Rs 2800/2900 per quintal.

NON-FERROUS METALS

The Delhi non-ferrous metals market observed mixed trends past week. While Nickel and Tin closed firm in tune with the LME (London Metal Exchange) trend copper, brass and aluminium incurred losses. Nickel Russian Plate spurted by Rs 20 to Rs 765/775 per kg on hectic buying by stockists and speculators as nickel on LME rose from $ 11550 to $ 11578 per tonne.

Inco nickel was also quoting upward by Rs 10 at Rs 865 per kg. Lead desi soft and hard edged up by Re 1 to Rs 86.50 and Rs 85/89 per kg following firm LME lead which moved up by $ 40 to $ 1332 per tonne. Brass parts, huny scrap and sheet tumbled by Rs 7/8 to Rs 183, 186 and Rs 184 per kg respectively amid increased arrivals from Pune and Hyderabad.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, GRAINS, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, MALAYSIA, METALS, RICE, WHEAT | Leave a Comment »

PAN AMERICAN SILVER CUTS 500 JOBS (Canada)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

November 13, 2008 at 9:21 AM EST

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Pan American Silver Corp. is cutting 500 jobs, rolling back executive salaries by 10 per Silver and gold jewels and other itemscent and reducing exploration and capital spending to deal with weaker finances and a drop in prices of silver and zinc, its key metals.

The Vancouver company said Thursday the streamlining was required to cope with weaker metals prices, a 10 per cent drop in revenues and sharply lower profits in the latest quarter.

“These are challenging times for the global mining industry,” president and CEO Geoff Burns said in a release.

“We have responded by retooling our business plans to reduce costs and adjust to the new pricing environment. We have managed our business conservatively over the past couple of years and enter this difficult period in solid financial health, with no debt and with the skills and the experience to adapt and thrive without compromising our growth.

“There are many reasons to be optimistic about future silver and gold prices. Government bailouts and debts worldwide have reached epic proportions and will, in my opinion, eventually undermine the very value of the paper currencies and the economies those same governments were charged with protecting. This should benefit gold and silver prices and Pan American Silver.”

In its financial report, Pan American said its net earnings for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 fell to $6.4-million (U.S.) or eight cents a share, from $23.9-million, or 31 cents a share for the same 2007 period.

Sales fell 10 per cent to $79.5-million, said the company, which reports its finances in U.S. dollars.

Pan American has seven operating mines in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. An eighth mine in Argentina is scheduled to start up this month.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GLOBE AND MAIL’

Posted in ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, CANADA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, GOLD, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, MEXICO, NORTH AMERICA, PERU, PRECIOUS METALS, SILVER, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, ZINC | Leave a Comment »

RECYCLING SHOWS CONCERN FOR OTHERS, AS WELL AS ENVIRONMENT (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Nov. 13, 2008

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

First, an important announcement: This Saturday is America Recycles Day.

There will be an e-waste recycling fair, collecting all computers, monitors (no TVs), keyboards, mice, REDUCE REUSE RECYCLEprinters, fax machines and cell phones, whether they work or not. There is no charge for this service. They offer a secure hard drive erasure service for a small additional fee. The event is coordinated by the Blind Center of Nevada in conjunction with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebel Recycling Program and will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

The drop-off location will be at the UNLV Rebel Recycling Program behind the solar dishes off of East Flamingo Road east of Swenson Street. For detailed directions, call 895-3760. If you have questions about acceptable materials, please call 642-6000 or visit http://www.blindcenter.org.

Please celebrate America Recycles Day by recycling your unwanted electronics and computers.

Now, some thoughts on recycling:

I believe that most Americans are good people. With all our diversity of color, beliefs and origin, the vast majority of people care about others. It’s part of what makes our country great. Given the opportunity, most people will come to the aid of someone in distress. It’s an admirable trait.

But if that’s the case, why are there so few red, white and blue bins on the sidewalk each recycling day? If we care about each other, why don’t more of us care about our waste? Perhaps it’s simply because we don’t realize the magnitude of our consumption and the harm it creates.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the three Rs: reduce, reuse, then recycle. Reducing our consumption is the most important principle. Finding ways to reuse more of what we do have is next. The final step is to recycle those things that have reached the end of their useful lives. No part of this equation contains the words “throw away.” In fact, you can throw those very words away. We need to eliminate the entire concept of waste, lest we ultimately suffocate ourselves with it. Besides, just where is “away?”

When we throw things away, it usually results in a trip to the landfill via the garbage truck, resulting in a toxic mix of stuff we’d like to just forget about. By consciously integrating the three Rs into our daily lives, we can greatly reduce the amount of stuff going to the landfill. But that is only the beginning of the benefits.

When we recycle, we reduce air pollution and the need for raw materials. We save lots of energy. Recycling helps keep our water clean. It should be an essential part of every household and business.

We could rebuild our entire commercial air fleet with just three months worth of the aluminum we currently send to landfills. Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours. The average person has the opportunity to recycle more than 25,000 cans in a lifetime. Why would we not?

The amount of paper we throw away each year is staggering, yet producing recycled paper reduces contributions to air pollution by 95 percent. Recycling a stack of newspapers just 3 feet high saves one whole tree. Just think of all the hugs.

Glass is forever. It never wears out and can be recycled over and over again. Using recycled glass cuts water pollution by 50 percent. Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to run an 11 watt compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours.

In 2005, 3.3 billion pounds of post-consumer plastics were recycled in the U.S. Just five PET (plastic soda) bottles yield enough fiber for one extra large T-shirt, 1 square foot of carpet or enough fiber insulation to fill a ski jacket. The plastic recycling industry alone provides jobs for more than 52,000 American workers.

A strong recycling ethic is a key element to a successful and sustainable community. Jobs are created, pollution reduced and entire forests can remain standing, continuing to clean our air and provide crucial habitat for other species. Imagine, we can reduce asthma and other respiratory problems simply by recycling. If we truly care about others, we must embrace recycling as an integral part of our lives.

Republic Services offers curbside recycling at no extra charge. It will provide you with recycling bins. Just call the company at 735-5151. There is no reason that every home should not have those red, white and blue bins on the curb every pick up day. Remember, compact fluorescent lamps can be safely recycled at any Home Depot store.

For commercial or construction project waste, call Evergreen Recycling at 646-1446. It is doing some great work. In just the third quarter of 2008, Evergreen recovered enough material to offset the equivalent of 97,000 metric tons of CO2. Yes, recycling is part of the solution to the climate crisis.

As is often the case, simple acts can lead to great results. Recycling costs us nothing, but provides tremendous benefits. It is part of the cycle of life.

– Steve Rypka is a green living consultant and president of GreenDream Enterprises, specializing in renewable energy, green building, alternative transportation and lifestyle choices for both residential and commercial clients. The company is committed to helping people live lighter on the planet. Rypka can be reached via e-mail at steve@greendream.biz. More information relating to this column is posted at http://www.greendream.biz.

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Posted in ALUMINUM, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, INDUSTRIES, METALS, RECYCLING INDUSTRIES, USA | Leave a Comment »

SHARP DIP IN INFLATION MAKES ROOM FOR RATE CUTS (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

14 Nov 2008, 0000 hrs IST, REUTERS

NEW DELHI: Inflation dropped sharply to its lowest in nearly six months in early November as prices of metals and fuels fell, and analysts said the unexpectedly low figure gave the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) room to cut rates.

The substantial easing in inflation comes at a time when Indian policy makers are struggling to protect growth and shield the economy from the impact of the global economic slowdown.

India’s wholesale price index, the most widely watched inflation measure, rose 8.98 per cent in the 12 months to Nov. 1, well below forecasts for a rise of 10.37 per cent, data showed on Thursday.

It was the lowest reading since May 24, when the rate was 8.90 per cent and well below early August’s peak of 12.91 per cent.

Analysts said a decline in global commodity prices, robust domestic agricultural output and a fall in demand in a slowing economy helped bring the rate to single-digits well ahead of earlier expectations.

“Taking comfort from the decline in inflation and responding to the worsening demand outlook, we expect the Reserve Bank of India to cut the reverse repo rate by 100 basis points and the repo rate by 150 points by March 2009,” said A. Prasanna, an economist at ICICI Securities.

He said inflation was likely to ease to 4.5 per cent by March 2009. The repo is the central bank’s main lending rate while the reverse repo is the rate at which it absorbs excess cash from the banking system.

Strong evidence that India’s $1 trillion economy, Asia’s third largest, is slowing has emerged in recent weeks. Factory output has been sharply lower, manufacturers have trimmed output and put expansion plans on hold. Government excise receipts — factory gate taxes — contracted in October.

Economists and policy makers expect growth to slow to 7 per cent in the current fiscal year to March, from the close to 9 per cent seen in the previous three years.

SLEW OF MEASURES

Despite rebounding in September to a just respectable 4.8 per cent, analysts have warned annual growth in industrial output, a key indicator, was set for a severe slowdown after the credit crisis paralysed India’s money markets in October.

That pushed up firms’ interest costs as they battled tough business conditions and shrinking export markets.

Authorities have taken a slew of measures in recent weeks including cutting the repo by 150 basis points to 7.5 per cent and lowering banks’ reserve requirements to improve liquidity and boost growth.

India’s financial markets, which have borne the brunt of the financial crisis in recent months, were closed on Thursday for a national holiday.

The receding threat of inflation will cheer India’s Congress Party-led ruling coalition as it gears up for a string of state elections in coming weeks and federal polls by early 2009.

Suresh Tendulkar, a top economic adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, told Reuters the latest inflation data provided room for the RBI to act on rates.

“My hunch is the Reserve Bank of India will wait for one or two weeks and then take a call,” he said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FUELS, INDIA, INFLATION, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

TATA STEEL EXPANSION PLAN ON FULL SWING; NOT TO CUT PRODUCTION (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

13 Nov, 2008, 2052 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: Country’s largest private sector steel producer Tata Steel today said its expansion plan is TATA GROUP, INDIA - DELHI - MUMBAIgoing on full swing and has no plan to scale down production despite softening of commodity prices across the world.

“Tata Steel expansion going on in full swing. There is no plan to cut down production,” Tata Sons Director J J Irani said here.

“We are in for difficult period ongoing projects would come. Money should not be a problem,” he said. However, he added, “Ratan Tata has sent a general message that we have to be careful in the present scenario”.

The leader of the over 62-billion dollar group has asked his top honchos to focus on conserving cash and put off expansion through inorganic route unless the acquisitions were strategic in nature.

Recently, the steel producer announced setting up of a new blast furnace at its Jamshedpur unit as part of the Rs 14,000-crore brownfield expansion to augment its production capacity to 10 million tonne in over two years.

The ‘I-blast furnace’, which would have a capacity to make 3.05 million tonne of hot metal per annum, is likely to be commissioned by November 2010.

In addition to increasing the capacity of its existing unit, the steel major is in process of setting up greenfield projects in Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

While in Jharkhand it proposes to invest about Rs 42,000 crore for a 12 million tonne integrated steel plant, in Orissa it intends to pump in nearly Rs 22,000 crore for a 6 million tonne unit.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRON ORE, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

INFLATION DIPS TO 8.98 % (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 13, 2008

Friday, Nov 14, 2008

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Contrary to the expectations of both economic analysts and policy planners, the rate of inflation dipped sharply to 8.98 per cent for the week ended November 1 from 10.72 per cent in the previous week, thanks mainly to lower prices of non-administered petroleum products, certain food items and other commodities such as metals.

The earlier-than-expected slide in the wholesale price index-based inflation to single digit after a gap of 21 weeks should bring comfort to the authorities. For, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) can now take further steps to ease money supply so as to catalyse growth in the economy which is experiencing a severe slowdown in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The fall to single digit has come as a pleasant surprise to many top economists who had projected that the inflation rate would slide below double digits only by early next year.

Apart from others who had voiced similar views in the recent past, it was only earlier this week that Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) chairman Suresh Tendulkar said: “Inflation seems to be on the decline as international commodity prices are coming down and the domestic harvest is good. Early next year, inflation would be in single digit.”

What aided the sharpest-ever fall in WPI inflation in over five months was the slump in prices of various petroleum-based fuels such as naphtha, aviation turbine fuel (ATF), furnace oil and light diesel oil as global crude prices plummeted from $145 a barrel in July to the prevailing $56-60 a barrel.

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Posted in AGRICULTURE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDIA, INFLATION, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, PETROL | Leave a Comment »

COPPER SHED 6 PER CENT OVERNIGHT AS BLEAK ECONOMIC PROSPECTS FANNED RENEWED CONCERNS ABOUT DEMAND DESTRUCTION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 13, 2008

November 12, 2008

Article from: Reuters

The slide in copper and most other industrial metals in London and New York came one day after a Carvings on yellow copper. Cairo, 9th November 2008Chinese stimulus plan sparked a broad-based rally in the complex.

“The market is basically trading as if the Chinese package is not sufficient, at least not at the moment, to provide support,” said Jesper Dannesboe, senior commodity strategist at Societe Generale.

Copper for December delivery dropped US10.40 cents, or 5.9 per cent, to settle at $1.6480 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s COMEX division.

Yesterday, the metal — often seen as a key gauge of real economic activity — jumped more than 11 per cent to $US1.89 on China’s $US586 billion ($855 billion) fiscal package.

Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange fell to a session low of $US3622 per tonne, before closing at $US3640. It also surged 11 per cent yesterday, closing at $3875.

At the end of October, it hit its lowest level in more than three years at $US3590 per tonne.

“I am not surprised to see base metals give up their gains today,” said Catherine Virga, senior base metals analyst with CPM Group in New York. “The fundamentals have not been strong with inventories up day after day, and broader market sentiment down.”

Stocks of copper in LME-registered warehouses rose another 4625 tonnes to 265,475 tonnes — their highest since March 2004.

In November alone, they are up more than 27,000 tonnes.

“We are increasingly of the view that the current environment is disastrous and that the market may not be factoring in how bad it is going to be over the next three months,” said analyst Max Layton at Macquarie Bank.

The World Bank slashed its 2009 economic growth forecast for developing countries and offered new financing of more than $US100 billion over the next three years to help them cope with the global financial crisis.

Also, Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain said the global economy was in a deep slowdown and would not recover quickly, while the environment recalls 1929, the advent of the Great Depression.

China’s imports of copper showed a rise in October but analysts did not see the trend continuing near term.

The world’s top consumer of copper imported 231,212 tonnes of unwrought copper and semi-finished copper products, versus September’s 213,782 tonnes, customs said.

In the same month, China exported 47,622 tonnes of unwrought aluminium, down from 64,851 tonnes in September.

“We saw some arbitrage flows in September and October, and it’s one of the reasons why imports were firm,” said Yingxi Yu, an analyst at Barclays Capital.

CPM Group’s MsVirga agreed, adding that since the end of October the market had shifted to where the LME copper price regained its premium over the Shanghai price.

“The data since late October suggests weaker reported imports, especially for the month of November,” Ms. Virga said.

LME aluminium fell $US42 or 2.1 percent to $US1948, shrugging off announcements by a number of producers about plans to cut production or re-evaluate expansion plans.

Alcoa was the latest to cut aluminium production, announcing a 350,000-tonne-per-year global reduction.

Australia’s Alumina, a joint venture partner with Alcoa, suspended expansion plans for Australia’s Wagerup alumina refinery until market conditions improve.

Lead was down $US85 at $US1270 a tonne, tin dropped to $US14,150/14,200 from $US14,675 and zinc ended at $US1110 from Monday’s $US1100/1,105.

Nickel fell 6.7 per cent, or $US775, to $US10,725.

Reuters

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in ALUMINUM, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COPPER, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, LEAD, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, TIN, ZINC | Leave a Comment »

STEEL PRODUCTION HALTED AT ARCELORMITTAL PLANT IN CLEVELAND (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

2 Nov 2008, 1113 hrs IST, AP

CLEVELAND: Steelmaking is on hold at the ArcelorMittal plant in Cleveland due to a drop in business.

Both blast furnaces were idled this week, and the company plans to offer voluntary layoffs with partial pay starting next week. About 1,450 union members work at the plant.

Mark Granakis, president of the United Steelworkers local in Cleveland, says there could be as many as 400 job reductions.

ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Katie Patterson says updated information could come on Wednesday when the company announces third quarter earnings.

Jobs for those who remain at the plant will include maintenance and completing work on existing inventory. The hot strip part of the mill, where slab is turned into coil, continues to operate.

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Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

BOLIVIAN MINES HALT AS METAL PRICES PLUMMET – Bolivian Zinc, Silver Mines Fall Silent As Global Crisis Sinks Metal Prices

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

POTOSI, Bolivia, Oct. 30, 2008

(AP) Falling mineral prices have Bolivian miners digging in the hard Andean earth for a humbler means of survival: potatoes.

The global financial crisis is driving a decline in metal prices that has idled thousands of miners here in recent weeks _ just in time for the Southern Hemisphere’s spring planting season in nearby rural villages once all but abandoned during a recent mineral boom.

“They can no longer earn anything in the mines, but at least they can plant their crops so they have something to eat,” Roman Rodriguez, spokesman for the Potosi state Federation of Mining Cooperatives, told The Associated Press recently.

The price of zinc, Bolivia’s largest export after oil and gas, has dropped nearly a third in the last month, and is 70 percent off its peak in late 2006. Falling prices for silver, tin and lead have also hit the key mining industry hard in this poor Andean nation.

The Potosi federation reported this week that 80 percent of region’s mining cooperatives have halted operations until zinc and silver prices recover. In the state’s colonial capital, whose treeless, rust-colored hills tower 13,300 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level, a work force of 25,000 miners has been cut in half. Those still working have seen daily paychecks drop from more than $20 to about $7.

Another telling economic indicator is the disappearance of more than a dozen Hummers that mine owners once drove through the city’s narrow streets. Miners here say many of the vehicles were sold for cash at a swap meet.

President Evo Morales has announced $5 million in zinc subsidies to help keep mines open, and his government is considering similar funds for other minerals.

The money aims to appease the estimated 80,000 members of independent miners’ cooperatives, a volatile political bloc known for showing up at street protests with hardhats and dynamite.

“The government will do everything possible to prevent more cooperatives from halting operations,” mining director Freddy Beltran said Tuesday.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘CBS NEWS’ (USA)

Posted in BOLIVIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, LEAD, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, PRECIOUS METALS, SILVER, TIN, ZINC | Leave a Comment »

COMMERCIAL METALS COMPANY REPORTS $0.55 EPS FOR FOURTH QUARTER INCLUDING A RECORD $0.78 EPS LIFO EXPENSE; OPERATIONAL RESULTS EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 30 – PRNewswire-FirstCall

Commercial Metals Company (NYSE: CMC) today reported net earnings of $232.0 million or $1.97 per diluted share on net sales of $10.4 billion for the year ended August 31, 2008. This compares with net earnings of $355.4 million or $2.92 per diluted share on net sales of $8.3 billion last year. The annual results included after-tax LIFO expense of a record $209 million or $1.78 per diluted share. This compares with after-tax LIFO expense of $33.3 million or $0.27 per diluted share last year. At year end, our LIFO reserve totaled $562 million. LIFO is an inventory costing method that assumes the most recent inventory purchases or goods manufactured are sold first which in periods of rising prices results in an expense that eliminates inflationary profits from net income. Changes in LIFO are not write-downs, write-offs or market adjustments. They are changes in cost components based on an assumption of inventory flows.Fourth quarter net earnings were $63.5 million or $0.55 per diluted share on net sales of $3.1 billion. This compares with $104.7 million or $0.86 per diluted share on net sales of $2.3 billion for the fourth quarter last year. The current year quarter included a record after-tax LIFO expense of $90.9 million or $0.78 per diluted share compared with after-tax LIFO income of $5.7 million or $0.05 per diluted share in last year’s fourth quarter.

Management had projected an earnings range of $0.90 to $1.00 per diluted share assuming no LIFO effect for the quarter. Actual earnings per diluted share were $0.55 with a LIFO expense of $0.78 per diluted share. Operationally, the Company exceeded its projection by a range of $0.33 to $0.43 per diluted share. The LIFO expense arose from fourth quarter surges in scrap purchase costs. These costs were still in scrap inventories and as a component of finished goods at year end. There were also significant inventories in transit for our domestic steel marketing business.
Selling, general and administrative expenses in the fourth quarter included $10.6 million of costs associated with the investment in the global deployment of SAP software compared to $9.4 million in last year’s fourth quarter. For the year ended August 31, 2008, the amount expensed was $53.7 million as compared to $33.8 million last year; project to date we have expensed $88.7 million. Other SAP costs of $83.1 million have been capitalized since inception of the project, of which $49.9 million has been capitalized in the current year and $13.9 million in the current quarter.
The effective tax rate for the quarter was 22.8% compared with last year’s 26.6%, and for the whole year was 31.1% compared with fiscal 2007 at 31.9%. The lower rate was due to a geographic shift in earnings (higher profits in Poland which has a lower tax rate).

General Conditions

Murray R. McClean, Chairman, President and CEO, said, “The quarter continued the upward volatility in ferrous scrap pricing, and steel finished goods pricing outpaced ferrous scrap pricing resulting in metal margin expansion. Management had anticipated a softening of ferrous scrap prices which did occur, but not until the end of the quarter. The increased prices plus in-transit inventories led to yet another enormous LIFO charge. The record LIFO expense of $0.78 per diluted share was the third quarterly record in succession. Though the LIFO charge affords the Company a significant tax deferral, it does mask the underlying strong markets. The continued upward trend in metal pricing propelled our Americas Recycling segment to an all-time quarterly earnings record. For the second quarter in succession, the Americas Mills segment had increases in tons melted, rolled, and shipped. Continually escalating prices waylaid the Americas Fabrication and Distribution operations with a staggering LIFO charge and further margin compression. In the International Mills segment, our mill in Poland was the star performer while we continued the turnaround in Croatia. Our International Fabrication and Distribution segment set an all-time fourth quarter earnings record.”

Americas Recycling

According to McClean, “Adjusted operating profit of $52.9 million represented the second consecutive time the segment set an all-time quarterly earnings record. It was aided by a small pre-tax LIFO income of $5.1 million compared to LIFO income of $9.3 million in last year’s fourth quarter. Ferrous scrap prices advanced during the quarter, peaking in July and beginning to tail by quarter end. Pricing was supported by continued strong international demand, record iron ore prices, and reduced prime scrap availability due to a slowdown in U.S. manufacturing. Ferrous operations accounted for almost 90% of the segment’s profitability. The average ferrous scrap sales price for the fourth quarter compared to last year’s fourth quarter increased $233 per short ton to $450 per short ton, while shipments (including the units that formerly were reported under the old Domestic Mills segment) increased 11% to 782 thousand tons. Nonferrous pricing advanced a more modest 7% compared to the prior year fourth quarter, but was dropping as the quarter ended. Chinese demand weakened during the quarter and, combined with a rebounding U.S. dollar, drove nonferrous shipments down 14% to 79 thousand tons versus last year’s fourth quarter. We exported 33% of our nonferrous scrap material during the quarter.”

Americas Mills

McClean said, “With demand strong and scrap prices rising, our Americas Mills segment’s tons melted, rolled, and shipped all exceeded last year’s fourth quarter. Prices increased each month of the quarter (softening only in late August) leading to a pre-tax LIFO expense of $40.2 million compared to income of $135 thousand in the prior year fourth quarter.

“Our steel mills adjusted operating profit of $45.1 million was down 14.7% compared to the prior year fourth quarter on the heels of a $41.5 million pre- tax LIFO expense compared to a negligible amount last year. Metal margins were 11% higher at $390 per ton, necessary to keep pace with higher costs for utilities, freight, and alloys. The price of ferrous scrap consumed rose a stunning 87% compared to last year. Our average selling price was up $247 per ton to $838 per ton while the average selling price for finished goods was up $227 per ton to $866 per ton. Margins were affected by a 131% increase in alloys and an 86% increase in energy. Combined, these two additional costs accounted for another $29.8 million in costs this quarter compared to the fourth quarter of last year. Sales volumes increased 15.1% to 631 thousand tons. Rebar shipments rose 29%, and merchant tonnage rose 6%. Included in the sales volumes were 120 thousand tons of billets of which 22 thousand tons were exported. Total export tonnage was 33 thousand tons. The price premium of merchant bar over reinforcing bar averaged $158 per ton. On a quarter-to- quarter basis, tonnage melted for the fourth quarter was up 34% to 618 thousand tons while tonnage rolled was 546 thousand tons, an increase of 45%. During the quarter we received the last required environmental permits that allowed us to begin construction of our micro mill project in Arizona and to date have invested $63 million of the expected $165 million total cost. Hot commissioning is expected in September 2009.

“Our copper tube mill reported an adjusted operating profit of $4.1 million, substantially below last year’s $11.1 million as slowing demand and sliding prices took their toll. The mill recorded a pre-tax LIFO income of $1.3 million compared to a pre-tax expense of $636 thousand in last year’s fourth quarter. Pounds shipped fell 8% to 12.8 million pounds. The average copper selling price decreased 12 cents to $4.53 per pound and metal spreads fell 69 cents per pound. The cost of copper scrap decreased 57 cents to $3.67 per pound. Copper tube production decreased 35% to 9.7 million pounds compared to last year’s fourth quarter.”

Americas Fabrication & Distribution

McClean added, “The segment continued to suffer the negative consequences of rapid upward price escalation — titanic LIFO charges and margin compression. Adjusted operating loss was $68 million compared to $36.1 million income in last year’s fourth quarter. Pre-tax LIFO expense was $100.9 million, a quarterly charge for one segment larger than any consolidated year’s expense in CMC’s history, sinking the profitability for the quarter. The comparable LIFO number last year was income of $0.4 million. The composite average fab selling price (excluding stock and buyouts) increased 7% to $1,146 a ton, not enough to match the increase in steel finished goods prices compared to the backlog pricing as we entered the quarter. When considering operations absent the enormous LIFO charge, our construction services, structural fabrication, and post plants had improved earnings over last year’s fourth quarter; rebar fabrication profitability fell slightly, but joist and deck were off substantially. The bright spot for the segment was our domestic steel import and distribution operations that saw a significant increase in profitability compared to last year on the strength of strong contributions from pipe, SBQ, and flat rolled. During the quarter, we completed the acquisitions of ABC Coating and Reinforcing Post-Tensioning Services which added 300 thousand tons annually to our rebar fabrication capacity.”

International Mills

McClean said, “This segment was our star performer for the quarter. Adjusted operating profit of $57.1 million was an all-time quarterly record and dwarfed last year’s fourth quarter profit of $21.7 million. CMCZ (Poland) benefited from strong domestic and regional markets that allowed it to maximize profits with substantial billet export sales without significant finished goods import competition. CMCZ achieved a fourth quarter (and all- time quarterly record) adjusted operating profit of $63.0 million. For the fourth quarter, tons melted were 395 thousand, 20% above last year’s 330 thousand; rolled tons equaled 266 thousand against 240 thousand last year; and shipments totaled 424 thousand tons (an all-time quarterly record) including 177 thousand tons of billets versus 58 thousand tons last year. Average selling prices increased 29% to PLN 2,091 per ton (including 42% billets) from PLN 1,620 per ton (including 18% billets). The cost of purchased scrap entering production increased 51%. The average metal margin increased by PLN 13 from PLN 727.

“The turnaround at CMCS (Croatia) continues with improvements in quality and productivity. Average sales prices were higher in the fourth quarter versus the third quarter of this year, and tonnage was up slightly. Sales of seamless tube continue to improve and our backlog is building. We rolled 21 thousand tons and sold 20 thousand tons for the quarter. Our adjusted operating loss was $5.9 million.”

International Fabrication & Distribution

“Following its all-time quarterly record earnings in the third quarter, the International Fabrication and Distribution segment set a fourth quarter adjusted operating profit record of $35.7 million, a 47% increase compared to the prior year fourth quarter,” according to McClean. “With global supply of certain raw materials tight, our ores and minerals division set a fourth quarter record for sales and operating profit, finishing its best year ever. Both our Australian import business and our service center and warehouse operations had strong quarters. Other geographies started the quarter strong, but tailed by the end; Europe began the quarter with bullish business as prices climbed toward record levels. But during the quarter, sudden drops in scrap prices, an extended summer end holiday period, and the beginning of Ramadan adversely affected operations. Niche product offerings in Germany and the UK did perform well. Asian demand weakened on the combined effects of a strengthening U.S. dollar, declining oil prices, tight liquidity, and the Beijing Olympics. Our fab shops in Poland and Germany were profitable led by our newly acquired wire mesh operation, P.H.P. Nike, which added annual capacity of 100 thousand tons.”

Financial Condition

McClean said, “Our financial position remains strong. In August, we issued $500 million of ten year notes due in 2018. The notes have a coupon rate of 7.35%; the effective interest rate is 7.29% after netting interest rate hedges. We had a current ratio of 1.9, contractual borrowing capacity of $372 million under our revolver, and $200 million unused capacity under our domestic accounts receivable securitization program at August 31, 2008. Our coverage ratios remain strong, both on domestic borrowings as well as the separate borrowings of CMCZ. Long-term debt as a percentage of total capitalization was 41.5% without consideration of cash or cash equivalents.”

Outlook

McClean continued, “The turmoil in global financial markets, the uncertainty of the effects of government intervention, the imminent change in the U.S. administration and a loss of confidence by both consumers and investors clouds our outlook. In the short-term we will face headwinds until such time as confidence and credit/liquidity issues are stabilized. Long-term we continue to see strong demand for steel and related products as the emerging economies urbanize/industrialize. Global infrastructure projects should continue to be a key driver of demand.

“Fiscal 2009 will be a challenge to many businesses, including CMC; it is a call to execution; execute our capital plan to lay the groundwork for future growth; execute our cash flow plan; execute our contracts and demand our counterparties do likewise. CMC is organized to withstand the downturns well and to emerge a stronger company able to take advantage of the inevitable opportunities such volatile times provide.”

McClean added, “Four major projects already underway will comprise most of our capital spending for fiscal 2009. Our micro mill in Arizona will be substantially completed this fiscal year; we will continue the development of our new flexible rolling mill in Poland scheduled for completion in January 2010; we will upgrade our melt shop and caster in Croatia; and we will continue the rollout of SAP. These projects, combined with normal maintenance capital expenditures, should total less than $450 million for the fiscal year.

“We anticipate first quarter LIFO diluted net earnings per share between $0.35 to $0.45. We foresee substantial LIFO income as prices dramatically decrease, a minimum of $50 million pre-tax income effect for the quarter. In periods of declining prices, customers typically withhold orders waiting to see signals that the market has bottomed. This will translate into lower volumes in most segments. We will adjust our production to meet demand, manage inventories, and maintain metal margins; downtime will be devoted to maintenance and upgrades. There are bright spots — fabrication operations will benefit from lower finished goods prices, easing their margin compression. Forward order books for certain Distribution operations should result in good profitability. Overall, our dedicated employees, vertical integration, and geographic dispersion will see us through this difficult time.”

Conference Call

CMC invites you to listen to a live broadcast of its fourth quarter/year- end 2008 conference call on Thursday, October 30, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. ET. The call will be hosted by Murray McClean, Chairman, President and CEO; and Bill Larson, Senior Vice President and CFO, and can be accessed via our website at http://www.cmc.com or at http://www.streetevents.com. In the event you are unable to listen to the live broadcast, the call will be archived and available for replay within two hours of the webcast. Financial and statistical information presented in the broadcast can be found on CMC’s website under “Investor Relations.”

Commercial Metals Company and subsidiaries manufacture, recycle and market steel and metal products, related materials and services through a network including steel minimills, steel fabrication and processing plants, construction-related product warehouses, a copper tube mill, metal recycling facilities and marketing and distribution offices in the United States and in strategic international markets.

The Outlook section of this news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the outlook for the Company’s financial results including net earnings, product pricing and demand, production rates, interest rates, inventory levels, impact of acquisitions and general market conditions. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as the company or its management “expect,” “anticipates,” “believe,” “ought,” “should,” “likely,” “appears,” “projected,” “forecast,” “outlook,” “will” or other words or phrases of similar impact. There is inherent risk and uncertainty in any forward-looking statements. Variances will occur and some could be materially different from management’s current opinion. Developments that could impact the Company’s expectations include solvency of financial institutions and their ability or willingness to lend, extent of government intervention and its effect on capital markets, construction activity, difficulties or delays in the execution of construction contracts resulting in cost overruns or contract disputes, metals pricing over which the Company exerts little influence, interest rate changes, increased capacity and product availability from competing steel minimills and other steel suppliers including import quantities and pricing, court decisions, industry consolidation or changes in production capacity or utilization, the ability to integrate acquisitions into operations; global factors including political and military uncertainties, credit availability, currency fluctuations, energy and supply prices and decisions by governments impacting the level of steel imports and pace of overall economic activity, particularly China.

(Short Tons in Three months ended Fiscal year ended
Thousands) 8/31/08 8/31/07 8/31/08 8/31/07

Domestic Steel Mill Rebar
Shipments 285 220 1,135 972
Domestic Steel Mill
Structural and Other
Shipments 346 328 1,393 1,278
CMCZ Shipments 424 309 1,434 1,366
Total Mill Tons Shipped 1,055 857 3,962 3,616

Average FOB Mill Domestic
Selling Price
(Total Sales) $838 $591 $691 $566
Average Cost Domestic
Mill Ferrous Scrap
Utilized $448 $239 $350 $233
Domestic Mill Metal
Margin $390 $352 $341 $333
Average Domestic Mill
Ferrous Scrap Purchase
Price $409 $209 $329 $211
Average FOB Mill CMCZ
Selling Price
(Total Sales) $982 $580 $744 $542
Average Cost CMCZ
Ferrous Scrap Utilized $630 $321 $441 $302
CMCZ Mill Metal Margin $352 $259 $303 $240
Average CMCZ Ferrous
Scrap Purchase Price $533 $286 $396 $268

Fab Plant Rebar Shipments 295 239 1,061 1,014
Fab Plant Structural,
Post, Joist and
Deck Shipments 175 190 665 581
Total Fabrication Tons
Shipped 470 429 1,726 1,595

Average Fab Selling
Price (Excluding Stock
& Buyout Sales) $1,146 $1,073 $1,064 $982

Domestic Scrap Metal
Tons Processed
and Shipped 871 802 3,391 3,220

BUSINESS SEGMENTS
(in thousands)
Three months ended Fiscal year ended
8/31/08 8/31/07 8/31/08 8/31/07
Net Sales:
Americas Recycling $657,707 $469,911 $2,189,719 $1,800,647
Americas Mills 576,118 407,859 1,966,270 1,539,663
Americas Fabrication
& Distribution 844,535 721,606 2,874,594 2,586,776
International Mills 400,133 190,675 1,155,671 777,208
International
Fabrication &
Distribution 1,180,594 774,837 3,780,916 2,762,542
Corporate,
Discontinued
Operations and
Eliminations (512,611) (280,946) (1,539,792) (1,137,820)
Total Net Sales $3,146,476 $2,283,942 $10,427,378 $8,329,016

Adjusted Operating
Profit (Loss):
Americas Recycling $52,869 $33,758 $145,751 $113,037
Americas Mills 49,236 64,002 207,756 259,368
Americas Fabrication
& Distribution (67,978) 36,139 (67,471) 100,032
International Mills 57,108 21,716 96,838 112,379
International
Fabrication &
Distribution 35,729 24,293 124,338 73,709
Corporate and
Eliminations (24,736) (24,938) (99,348) (79,598)

COMMERCIAL METALS COMPANY
Fourth Quarter and Year Operating Results (Unaudited)
(in thousands except share data)

Three months ended Fiscal year ended
8/31/08 8/31/07 8/31/08 8/31/07

Net Sales $3,146,476 $2,283,942 $10,427,378 $8,329,016

Costs and Expenses:
Cost of goods
sold 2,836,715 1,975,739 9,325,724 7,167,989
Selling, general
and administrative
expenses 209,494 156,386 707,786 583,810
Interest expense 15,978 10,331 58,263 36,334
3,062,187 2,142,456 10,091,773 7,788,133

Earnings from
Continuing
Operations Before
Income Taxes and
Minority Interests 84,289 141,486 335,605 540,883

Income Taxes 19,626 37,271 103,886 172,769

Earnings from Continuing
Operations Before
Minority Interests 64,663 104,215 231,719 368,114

Minority Interests
(Benefit) (2) (76) 538 9,587
Net Earnings from
Continuing Operations $64,665 $104,291 $231,181 $358,527

Earnings (Loss) from
Discontinued Operations
Before Taxes (2,016) 1,126 1,706 (4,827)
Income Tax (Benefit) (894) 698 921 (1,731)
Net Earnings (Loss)
from Discontinued
Operations (1,122) 428 785 (3,096)

Net Earnings $63,543 $104,719 $231,966 $355,431

Basic Earnings (Loss)
per Share:
Earnings from Continuing
Operations $0.57 $0.88 $2.01 $3.04
Earnings (Loss) from
Discontinued
Operations (0.01) – 0.01 (0.03)
Net Earnings $0.56 $0.88 $2.02 $3.01

Diluted Earnings
(Loss) per Share:
Earnings from Continuing
Operations $0.56 $0.86 $1.96 $2.95
Earnings (Loss) from
Discontinued
Operations (0.01) – 0.01 (0.03)
Net Earnings $0.55 $0.86 $1.97 $2.92

Cash Dividends per
Share $0.12 $0.09 $0.45 $0.33
Average Basic Shares
Outstanding 113,878,939 118,735,742 115,048,512 118,014,149
Average Diluted
Shares
Outstanding 116,251,800 121,925,891 117,685,753 121,681,730

COMMERCIAL METALS COMPANY
Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets (Unaudited)
(in thousands)

Fiscal year ended
2008 2007
Assets:
Current Assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $219,026 $419,275
Accounts receivable, net 1,369,453 1,082,713
Inventories 1,400,332 874,104
Other 228,632 82,760
Total Current Assets 3,217,443 2,458,852

Net Property, Plant and Equipment 1,154,322 767,353

Goodwill 84,837 37,843

Other Assets 289,769 208,615
$4,746,371 $3,472,663
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity:
Current Liabilities:
Accounts payable – trade $838,777 $484,650
Accounts payable – documentary letters
of credit 192,492 153,431
Accrued expenses and other payables 563,424 425,410
Income taxes payable and deferred income taxes 156 4,372
Notes payable 31,305 –
Current maturities of long-term debt 106,327 4,726
Total Current Liabilities 1,732,481 1,072,589

Deferred Income Taxes 50,160 31,977
Other Long-Term Liabilities 124,171 109,813
Long-Term Debt 1,197,533 706,817

Minority Interests 3,643 2,900

Stockholders’ Equity 1,638,383 1,548,567
$4,746,371 $3,472,663

COMMERCIAL METALS COMPANY
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)
(in thousands)
Fiscal year ended
2008 2007
Cash Flows From (Used By) Operating Activities:
Net earnings $231,966 $355,431
Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to
cash from (used by) operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization 135,069 107,305
Minority interests 538 9,587
Asset impairment charges 1,004 3,400
Provision for losses (recoveries) on
receivables 4,478 (370)
Share-based compensation 18,996 12,499
Net loss on sale of assets 749 474

Changes in Operating Assets and Liabilities,
Net of Effect of Acquisitions:
Accounts receivable (287,052) (39,695)
Accounts receivable sold 45,348 115,672
Inventories (414,556) (10,381)
Other assets (177,510) (89,332)
Accounts payable, accrued expenses,
other payables and income taxes 395,987 (22,179)
Deferred income taxes (4,379) (10,603)
Other long-term liabilities 5,906 29,482
Net Cash Flows From (Used By) Operating
Activities (43,456) 461,290

Cash Flows Used By Investing Activities:
Capital expenditures (355,041) (206,262)
Purchase of interests in CMC Zawiercie
and subsidiaries (169) (62,104)
Proceeds from the sale of property, plant
and equipment & other 1,791 1,470
Acquisitions of other businesses, net of
cash acquired (228,422) (164,017)
Net Cash Flows Used By Investing Activities (581,841) (430,913)

Cash Flows From Financing Activities:
Increase in documentary letters of credit 39,061 11,718
Short-term borrowings, net change (1,427) (62,088)
Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt 596,669 400,504
Repayments on long-term debt (6,053) (72,282)
Stock issued under incentive and purchase plans 8,910 10,849
Tax benefits from stock plans 10,982 16,894
Treasury stock acquired (172,312) (59,169)
Cash dividends (52,061) (39,254)
Net Cash From Financing Activities 423,769 207,172

Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash
and Cash Equivalents 1,279 1,007

Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash
Equivalents (200,249) 238,556
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of Year 419,275 180,719
Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Year $219,026 $419,275

COMMERCIAL METALS COMPANY
Non-GAAP Financial Measures (Unaudited)
(in thousands)
This press release uses financial statement measures not derived in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures are provided below.

EBITDA:

Earnings before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization.

EBITDA is a non-GAAP liquidity measure. It excludes Commercial Metals Company’s largest recurring non-cash charge, depreciation and amortization. As a measure of cash flow before interest expense, it is one guideline used to assess the Company’s ability to pay its current debt obligations as they mature and a tool to calculate possible future levels of leverage capacity. EBITDA to interest is a covenant test in certain of the Company’s note agreements.

Three Months Year
Ended Ended
8/31/08 8/31/08

Net earnings $63,543 $231,966
Interest expense 17,210 59,488
Income taxes 18,732 104,807
Depreciation and amortization 38,475 135,069
EBITDA $137,960 $531,330

EBITDA to interest coverage
for the quarter ended for the year ended
August 31, 2008: August 31, 2008:

$137,960 / 17,210 = 8.0 $531,330 / 59,488 = 8.9

Total Capitalization:

Total capitalization is the sum of long-term debt, deferred income taxes, and stockholders’ equity. The ratio of debt to total capitalization is a measure of current debt leverage. The following reconciles total capitalization at August 31, 2008 to the nearest GAAP measure, stockholders’ equity:

Stockholders’ equity $1,638,383
Long-term debt 1,197,533
Deferred income taxes 50,160
Total capitalization $2,886,076

Other Financial Information

Long-term debt to cap ratio as of August 31, 2008:
Debt divided by capitalization

$1,197,533 / 2,886,076 = 41.5%

Total debt to cap plus short-term debt ratio as of August 31, 2008:

($1,197,533 + 106,327) / (2,886,076 + 106,327) = 43.6%

Current ratio as of August 31, 2008:
Current assets divided by current liabilities

$3,217,443 / 1,732,481 = 1.9

SOURCE Commercial Metals Company

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Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, USA | Leave a Comment »

UC RUSAL SUGGESTS SETTING UP METAL RESERVE (Russia)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

RBC, 31.10.2008, Moscow 09:54:09

UC RUSAL approached Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin with a proposal to create a strategic state metal reserve to give an impetus to the Russian processing industry and stabilize metal prices, RBC Daily wrote today. To shore up the aluminum market and prevent a fall in aluminum prices, the company suggested that intergovernmental agreements be signed with a number of countries to cut metals production by 10 percent for the next two years.

The same idea is propounded in the letter of UC RUSAL’s General Director Alexander Bulygin addressed to Alexei Kudrin offering steps to stem the crisis in the Russian metal processing industry. In his letter, Bulygin notes that due to the crisis, the Russian metals industry could be forced to lay off 1.2m people, lose RUB 1 trillion (approx. USD 37.68bn) in export proceeds from high value-added products, and fail to contribute RUB 200bn (approx. USD 7.54bn) in taxes to the federal budget. UC RUSAL sees a state metals reserve as a way to stanch the crisis, as it will not only work to diversify government investment, but will also help stabilize metal prices.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ROS BUSINESS CONSULTING’

Posted in ALUMINUM, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, RUSSIA | 1 Comment »

METAL PRODUCTION DECLINES AS PRICES DIP

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 30, 2008

30 Oct, 2008, 0533 hrs IST,MV Ramsurya, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: The slowdown in global economy due to the liquidity crisis has affected among all sectors, the metals industry such as steel plants-an integral part of the metals sector-are currently mulling production cutbacks and price cuts, a reminder of the situation way back in 2000 when the industry faced its worst crisis ever. The impact isn’t limited to steel alone; the non-ferrous industry including aluminium and copper has also seen a sharp reduction in prices although this industry hasn’t so far indicated any move toward a cut in production.

While it is reliably learnt that primary steel producers such as JSW Steel, Essar Steel and Ispat Industries have been exploring product rationalisation options, they haven’t commented on the issue officially so far. The companies however have gone ahead with production cuts in their overseas units as the situation is more grim in the US and Europe where the liquidity crisis has squeezed out demand. Locally the companies are learnt to be actively exploring options to cut production by about 10% to 20%.

Although the slowdown has affected most companies, those making commercial grade were more affected compared to those that have a ‘versatile’ product basket. This is because prices of the base-grade steel like hot rolled coils, has come down sharply by almost $350 per tonne in the past 45 days. The volatility is less in higher value products made by larger companies such as Tata Steel.

The fall in prices has been attributed to both the credit squeeze and a fall in Chinese demand. “In China, production has fallen drastically because of slowing demand,” said JSW Steel finance director M V S Seshagiri Rao. For example, China used to make 45 million tonnes of steel every month till July, which is equal to about 10 months of total production in India.

“That has come down to 41 million tonnes in China and is likely to fall further,” added Mr Rao. Tight cost-control measures has tightened corporate spending on fixed assets and metal consumption in China, say international reports. According to Indian steel industry executives, some Chinese steel mills are cutting output. It is estimated that 1.25 million to 1.3 million tonnes of hot rolled coil production will be lost because of current out-ages at large steel mills. Some companies have stopped production of low-value-added products such as slab, rebar and wire.

The state-run NMDC, which supplies most of the iron ore requirements to Indian steel companies, is likely to meet Japanese steel buyers. “We will take a decision on fixing ore prices anytime, it could be after the meet in Japan or before that also,” said chairman Rana Som. The state-run ore supplier is likely to revise price upward as “long-term contract prices are lower than spot prices,” said Mr Som.

In the non-ferrous sector also, the situation is not very different. The Anil Agarwal-controlled Vedanta Resources on Tuesday said that its copper cathode production at Tuticorin has fallen by 13.4% to 149,000 tonnes. Although this is due to a planned 26-day maintenance shutdown in the first quarter and stabilisation issues in the second quarter, the slowdown in demand could have some impact in the near term. “There is a slowdown for sure,” says Vedanta finance director Tarun Jain. “All asset classes, including metals, have gone in for a de-rating and the liquidity crisis is affecting everybody.”

In aluminium, last week there was a steep price fall leading to most aluminum smelters in the world operating at a loss. A recent Macquarie Research report says that most base metals prices fell sharply last week – nickel was down 28.7%, copper fell by 28.5%, zinc was down 18.6% and aluminum by 11.5% as “the market is factoring in a sharp downturn in global demand for the next 12-18 months. “The recent fall in Index of Industrial Production numbers shows an output contraction. Mr Rao said that the government should take measures to address the issue.

“It is majorly caused by the liquidity issue…so this needs to be sorted out first. Industry should be given assistance on working capital and on letters of credit. Trade is dying out and that is dangerous for the industry,” he added.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘INDIA TIMES’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »