Posts Tagged ‘OECD’

STEEL … “ECONOMIC POINTER TO GLOBAL RECOVERY”

Steel, the backbone of infrastructure, has shown wild swings in its prices globally. Steel long prices in NCDEX have shown volatile movement from  January’10 till April’10 this year as prices which were trading around Rs 29000 per tonnes in January’10 plunged below Rs 24000 per tonnes in mid February’10 but it again jumped above Rs 29000 in the beginning of April and again melted nearly to Rs 25000 per tonnes tracking jittery stock market and European debt crises. Greek financial crisis is likely to impact the global economy and industry in Europe thereby denting the demand in this favorite destination of steel flat products.

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On the domestic front due to recovery in automobile, consumer goods and infrastructure sector finished steel registered a growth of 9.2% in March 2010 as against a negative result of 1.8% in March last year. The rise in input costs (iron ore prices shooting up by over 90% and coking coal prices rising by around 55%) coupled with steady demand is the prime reason for the prices recovery. But the rise in steel products prices, especially flat products is bound to affect the prices of the end user industries like automobiles, air conditioners, refrigerators and so on, leading to further inflation in India.

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The basic raw material of steel, the coking coal, has acute shortage of premium quality and the demand is mostly met through imports in India. Generally, India exports iron ore mainly to China but in recent days it has been seen that India is importing iron ore and the demand for Iron ore is increasing here. The share of total Chinese iron ore imports has decreased, from 22.92% in 2006, 20.73% in 2007, 20.51% in 2008, to 17.71% in 2009. Going forward, the increasing demand for iron ore in India will stimulate the Indian government and enterprises to invest in the steel industry.

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According to Indian Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh “Government is aiming to achieve a 120 to 125 million tonnes of steel production in the country by 2011-2012 with major chunk being provided by the public sector” India is both importer and exporter of steel. During the month of January and February 2010, India imported 510,000 mt of steel products from China, up 351.57 percent year on year basis. In the years 2006 to 2009, China imported 74.78 million mt, 79.53 million mt, 91.04 million mt and 107 million mt from India, marking respective increases of 9.08%, 6.36%, 14.47% and 18.08% respectively..

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Outlook: According to World Steel Association the apparent steel use will increase by 10.7% to 1,241 mmt in 2010 after contracting by -6.7% in 2009. This represents an improved figure over the Autumn 2009 forecast for both 2009 and 2010. With these projections, world steel demand in 2010 will exceed pre-crisis levels of 2007. In 2011, it is forecasted that world steel demand will grow by 5.3% to reach a historical high of 1,306 mmt. The resilience of the emerging economies, especially China, has been the critical factor enabling the earlier than expected recovery of world steel demand.

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The outlook of the global steel industry in 2010 looks positive based on the below written reasons:

First, Chinese steel production and demand are likely to continue their relentless rise. Government stimulus packages from China to increase consumer demand for cars and home appliances have supported the demand. Perhaps, more importantly, the state is funding massive construction in the West of the country and immense infrastructure projects for rail, road and bridges in the East. This could lift steel output to above 600 million tonnes in 2010.

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Second, Indian steel manufacturing will reach an “all time” high this year, after another peak outturn in the previous twelve months period. New record steel production rates are also likely to be set in several other countries, including, Turkey and several Middle Eastern countries.

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Most of the steel boom will come from the developing nations of the World. However, manufacturing activity in many of the industrialized countries is starting to improve. This will add to the rise in steel production this year.

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According to world steel association “Global steel output in 2010 is forecast at 1,350 million tonnes. This represents an 11.1 percent increase on the anticipated 2009 outturn, which in turn, will be 8.4 percent below the figure recorded in the previous twelve months”.

According to industry and government officials at the OECD’s Steel Committee, the global steel industry is recovering faster than expected from the recession but the strength and timing of the upturn varies across regions and further improvements are expected in the short term although it may take years for some parts of the sector to fully recover.

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Finally steel long in NCDEX may remain sideways in near term considering the jittery situation in euro zone and tumbling stock markets. But it is expected to show recovery faster than expected as seen in recent past and the prices can scale higher towards Rs 28000 in third quarter of this year after taking support at Rs 22000- 23000 per tonnes.

Weekly Update 31st May – 4th June

Markets posted gains in the week gone by as the investors felt that stocks are battered down harshly in the short run. Buying came in Asian stocks on speculation that China will rein its effort to cool its economy as European debt crisis threatens a global recovery. Concerns also rose that the banks in Spain may face further losses after IMF urged Spain to do more to overhaul its ailing banking sector. The regulator is pushing ailing banks to merge with stronger partners.

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US Treasury Secretary Geithner said that US, China along with India, Brazil and other emerging economies are experiencing stronger recovery as compared to earlier anticipation and are positioned well to face the challenges from the European Nations. The OECD revised India’s GDP growth forecast for 2010 to 8.2% from its earlier estimate of 7.3%. It also raised the growth forecast for 2011 to 8.5% from its earlier estimate of 7.6%. The OECD also said that underlying inflationary pressures are likely to persist given the strong outlook for demand. IMF pegged India’s GDP growth forecast at 8.75% in calendar 2010 and 8.5% in calendar 2011 on expectations of strengthening of domestic demand. Back at home, RBI in order to ensure optimum liquidity in the system so that the public and private sector credit demands are met, eased credit lines for the banks.

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Banks can now borrow additional 0.5% of their net demand and time liabilities from the Central Bank under the repurchase agreement till 2 July 2010. In addition, RBI said that as an adhoc measure, banks can seek a waiver for any shortfall in maintenance of the prescribed 25% Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) while availing the temporary facility. This step is taken by the RBI in view of the temporary liquidity pressure in the market because of the 3G auction and advance tax payments in the coming days. Talking about the much awaited Indian monsoon, the arrival is expected to be delayed by three days after tropical cyclone laila stalled its progress.

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Inspite of the big rally in last three days, overall trend of world stock markets is still down. Even the base metal commodities including Crude saw a rally but could not sustain at higher levels. Rupee which had crossed 47.70 levels intraday week came down to 46.30. Volatility is expected to remain high. Nifty faces resistance between 5100-5150 levels and Sensex between 17000-17200 levels.

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Persistent fear about the European region’s sovereign debt situation may keep buying intact in bullions. Commodity market is still volatile and jittery as crisis is still looming over EU nations. However, satisfactory first-quarter economic figures from the prominent Asian countries viz., China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia will try to offset steep decline in base metals and energy complex.

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Furthermore, the week is full of event risk as well as many nations are coming with their first quarter GDP data, if any improvement occurs, it will stimulate buying in base metal and energy section. Dollar index, which is on track to give its best monthly performance since October, 2008 is likely to trade in a range in short run.

CRUDE OIL …. “Can It Continue The Recovery With Same Pace In 2010”

Crude oil, which is the  lifeblood of the economy, has shown stunning recovery in this year as prices have merely doubled from low of $35 to nearly $80. Thanks to the dose of economic stimulus packages which revived the global economy to come out of recession and hence the traders sentiments in crude oil turned in favour of bulls. But the million dollar question is that can crude continue this recovery in medium term. But as of now it seems that the speculative upside and downside rally is over which was seen when it rocked higher toward $147 and then plunged to $35. From here on, the key fundamentals of supply and demand will be the driver of crude prices.

In the year 2009 dollar weakness was the prime reason for the swift rally in crude oil prices. As crude oil is considered as other asset class and massive flow of hedge funds supported the crude oil prices.

Stunning recovery worldwide after a severe recession and the improvement in expected GDP figures by IMF also kept bulls interested.

Now as the global economy is slowing limping back to normal which is suggested by various economic indicators but still the skepticism of pace of recovery is questionable which will further guide the crude movements.

It is important to remember that current pricing on crude oil is influenced by world demand, not just U.S. demand. The Asian economies are improving; China’s economy expanded by 8.9% in the third quarter. Global macro economy will be the key driver of the crude oil prices in times to come.

Crude oil is primarily a transportation fuel. So increase in crude oil usage in transportation will get boost as the global economy continue to recover.

Oil has risen by 79 percent this year on signs that global economy is recovering from its worst recession since World War II, stoking fuel demand amid output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

OPEC countries kingpin Saudi Arabia, also believes that $75 per barrel is a fair price for both consumers and producers. In September meeting, OPEC members said they were content with the direction in which prices were heading. While voicing worries about high oil stock levels globally, they decided to hold production steady and focus on compliance factor with existing production quotas. The lack of production discipline, however, appears to continue. According to latest OPEC report group’s production averaged 26.52 million barrels per day in October, a 50,000 barrel per day increase from September.

Recently OPEC, supplier of about 35 percent of the world’s crude oil, revised its estimate for 2010 global demand growth by 750,000 barrels or 0.9% to 85.07 million barrels a day. OPEC in September agreed to maintain output quotas at 24.845 million barrels per day, will hold its next meeting in Luanda, Angola, on December 22.

The hurricane season in the US has also remained quite in this year as no major hurricane hit the US refineries. Hurricane season generally starts from June 1 and lasts through November.

In a nutshell crude oil will not see one sided movement and will remain volatile in the year 2010. Dollar index has been under lot of pressure in the year 2009, which has given support to the crude oil prices but as the dollar index is expected to show some recovery in first quarter of 2010 that can exert pressure on crude oil prices.

OECD demand of energy is slated to increase in the year 2010 and will give support to the crude prices. China energy demand is also expected to rise in the year 2010 and that will keep the prices supported.

So overall the prices in the next year can remain in the range of $55-85.

Global M&A Deals to Fall 56% in 2009: OECD

Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are projected to decline 56% in 2009 compared to last year due to sharp declines in such activities in rich and emerging markets including India.

However, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stated that the expected decline in M&A activities this year would be the largest year-on-year decline since 1995.

Meanwhile, the estimate is based on an OECD analysis of data for international M&A activities up to November 26, 2009 where the projected decline is primarily due to a 60% fall in value of cross-border M&A by firms based in the OECD area, to just $454 billion in 2009 from over $1 trillion last year.

Moreover, there has been a decline in M&A activities into and from major emerging economies while International M&A activity by firms based in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa fell by 62% to $46 billion in 2009 from $121 billion in 2008.

Additionally, it is said that such activities into these countries is anticipated to slide by almost 40% to little over $80 billion in 2009 from just under $140 billion last year while M&A investments have been severely hit by the financial turmoil, which has resulted in tight credit flow.

On the other hand, the latest international investment estimates suggest that total foreign direct investment into the 30 OECD countries will fall to $600 billion in 2009 from a 2008 total of $1.02 trillion.

China pips Germany to Become World’s No.1 Exporter

China is world’s No. 1 exporter

China has become the world’s largest exporter surpassing Germany, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has said.

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China piped Germany—which held the No. 1 slot since 2003—by a slim margin of $10 million after exporting goods worth $521.7 billion in the first half of 2009.

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The latest figures have put China and Germany in a desperate race to establish themselves firmly at the zenith in 2009-end and in 2010.

Independent experts, including a WTO economist, have said it’s still too early to say that China would remain ahead of Germany by the end of 2009.

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But elated Chinese economists have predicted that the country will continue to grow and never give up this special position which it has achieved for the first time.

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China will surpass Japan to become the world’s second-biggest economy this year if the exchange rate factor did not come in the way, as expected by experts.

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China’s exports to all its 12 major trading partners have risen rapidly in the past two years.

China’s share in the trade of these 12 countries, including the US and European countries, climbed from 16.2% during the first quarter to 19.3% in early 2008.

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The WTO had predicted last July that China would pass Germany as the largest exporter in 2009.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the ratio of China’s foreign trade to global trade will increase from the current 8.7% to 10% when the global economy recovers.

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However experts have a piece of advise for Chinese exporters that their is need for them to shift their focus to emerging markets—instead of the US and Europe—to enhance their competitiveness.

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China has become the world’s largest exporter surpassing Germany, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has said. China piped Germany—which held the No. 1 slot since 2003—by a slim margin of $10 million after exporting goods worth $521.7 billion in the first half of 2009.

The latest figures have put China and Germany in a desperate race to establish themselves firmly at the zenith in 2009-end and in 2010. Independent experts, including a WTO economist, have said it’s still too early to say that China would remain ahead of Germany by the end of 2009. But elated Chinese economists, including Li Daokui of Tsinghua University, have predicted that the country will continue to grow and never give up this special position which it has achieved for the first time.

“The figure is not surprising, thanks to the nation’s growing economic strength. And possibilities are high that the momentum will continue,’’ Li was quoted in the official media as saying.

China will surpass Japan to become the world’s second-biggest economy this year if the exchange rate factor did not come in the way, Cai Haitao, inspector of the department of policy research under the ministry of commerce, was quoted in the official media as saying.

China’s exports to all its 12 major trading partners have risen rapidly in the past two years. China;s share in the trade of these 12 countries, including the US and European countries, climbed from 16.2% during the first quarter to 19.3% in early 2008.

The WTO had predicted last July that China would pass Germany as the largest exporter in 2009. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the ratio of China’s foreign trade to global trade will increase from the current 8.7% to 10% when the global economy recovers.

Cai advised that Chinese exporters need to shift their focus to emerging markets—instead of the US and Europe—to enhance their competitiveness.