World food prices hit 10-year peak — FAO

World food prices hit 10-year peak — FAO
The FAO’s cereal price index rose by 2.0 percent in September, led by a near 4 percent increase for wheat prices. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 08 October 2021

World food prices hit 10-year peak — FAO

World food prices hit 10-year peak — FAO
  • On a year-on-year basis, prices were up 32.8 percent in September
  • FAO project record global cereal production in 2021 to be outpaced by consumption

PARIS: World food prices rose for a second consecutive month in September to reach a 10-year peak, driven by gains for cereals and vegetable oils, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also projected record global cereal production in 2021, but said this would be outpaced by forecast consumption.
FAO’s food price index, which tracks international prices of the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 130.0 points last month, the highest reading since September 2011, according to the agency’s data.
The figure compared with a revised 128.5 for August. The August figure was previously given as 127.4.
On a year-on-year basis, prices were up 32.8 percent in September.
Agricultural commodity prices have risen steeply in the past year, fueled by harvest setbacks and Chinese demand.
The FAO’s cereal price index rose by 2.0 percent in September from the previous month. That was led by a near 4 percent increase for wheat prices, with the UN agency citing tightening export availabilities amid strong demand.
“Among major cereals, wheat will be the focus in the coming weeks as demand need to be tested against fast rising prices,” FAO Senior Economist Abdolreza Abbassian said in a statement.
World vegetable oil prices were up 1.7 percent on the month and showing a year-on-year rise of about 60 percent, as palm oil prices climbed on robust import demand and concerns over labor shortages in Malaysia, FAO said.
Palm oil futures have rallied further in early October to hit record highs as a surge in crude oil markets has lent further support to vegetable oils used in biodiesel.
Global sugar prices rose 0.5 percent in September with concern over adverse crop weather in top exporter Brazil partly offset by slowing import demand and a favorable production outlook in India and Thailand, according to FAO.
For cereal production, FAO projected a record world crop of 2.800 billion tons in 2021, up slightly from 2.788 billion estimated a month ago.
That would be below world cereal use of 2.811 billion tons, a forecast revised up by 2.7 million tons from a month earlier mainly to reflect increased wheat use in animal feed, FAO said in a cereal supply and demand note http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/csdb/en.
Global cereal stocks were expected to ease in 2021/22 but would still be at a comfortable level, FAO added.


Alibaba, JD.com investors promote shift to Hong Kong market

Alibaba, JD.com investors promote shift to Hong Kong market
Updated 11 sec ago

Alibaba, JD.com investors promote shift to Hong Kong market

Alibaba, JD.com investors promote shift to Hong Kong market

RIYADH: Some of China's biggest tech firms are seeing investors boost their proportion of Hong Kong-traded shares away from American Depository Receipts (ADR), as tougher US regulatory oversight and elevated bilateral tensions darken the prospects for such firms on Wall Street.

Nine Chinese companies that have a US primary listing, and either secondary or dual primary-listed status in the Asian financial hub have seen an increased proportion of Hong Kong shares in the past year, according to Bloomberg calculations based on exchange data available through January 2021.

Alibaba Group and JD.com led the pack, with the conversions doubling, Bloomberg reported.

ADR holders can hand their US shares back to the depository bank to record the transfer, which then exchanges them into Hong Kong-listed shares at a specified ratio.

“In the case of forced ADR liquidation or restrictions for investors to trade ADRs in the US, most foreign investors would still be able to keep their exposure to these stocks via their Hong Kong listings,” said Jessica Tea, investment specialist at BNP Paribas Asset Management Asia.


Two new firms to join Saudi Exchange’s parallel market on Tuesday

Two new firms to join Saudi Exchange’s parallel market on Tuesday
Updated 8 min 30 sec ago

Two new firms to join Saudi Exchange’s parallel market on Tuesday

Two new firms to join Saudi Exchange’s parallel market on Tuesday

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s stock market is to see two new company listings on Tuesday, Jan. 18, the Saudi exchange, Tadawul, announced in a filing.

Alwasail Industrial Co. and AME Co. for Medical Supplies will debut their shares on Nomu, Saudi bourse’s parallel market.

Alwasail Industrial’s final offer price was set at the top of the indicative range, at SR19 ($5.06) per share.

This came in line with the completion of qualified investors’ book-building by FALCOM Financial Services Co., where the offering was 16.2 times covered.

Based in Buraydah, Alwasail manufactures plastic pipes to support irrigation systems, water, gas, communications, and sewage projects.

AME Co. for Medical Supplies’ IPO prospectus was issued in late December last year, financial advisor Aldukheil Financial Group said in a bourse statement. The price guidance per share was set at SR50.

Headquartered in Jeddah, the company belongs to the Kingdom’s healthcare sector.


Al-Rajhi Bank gets green light to complete acquisition of Ejada Systems

Al-Rajhi Bank gets green light to complete acquisition of Ejada Systems
Updated 12 min 45 sec ago

Al-Rajhi Bank gets green light to complete acquisition of Ejada Systems

Al-Rajhi Bank gets green light to complete acquisition of Ejada Systems

RIYADH: Al-Rajhi Bank received the green light on completing an acquisition of Ejada Systems Company Ltd, according to Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition's approval on Sunday.

The completion process came as an extension to the bank of the future strategy, which was launched by Al-Rajhi Bank in 2020.

As a result of the process, the bank has fully acquired the company after obtaining the required approvals from regulatory entities, according to Al-Rajhi Bank’s release.

The bank aims to develop its digital capabilities with the latest technologies that will contribute to its digital transformation, to provide the best financial solutions.

CEO of the Bank, Waleed Al-Mogbel, clarified that the deal will contribute to the development of products and services provided to customers, especially in the digital banking services.

Ejada is an information technology services provider in MENA, providing its clients with the ability to maintain and increase its competitiveness through innovative technical solutions.

 


World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound

World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound
Updated 36 min 5 sec ago

World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound

World Bank favorably revises 2022 Saudi growth forecast to 4.9% on oil rebound

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s economy is set to grow by 4.9 percent this year due to a strong rebound in the oil sector which will induce stronger exports, the World Bank said in a report.

In its Global Economic Prospects report, the international organization upwardly revised the expansion rate by 1.6 percent compared to its June forecast.

In addition, non-oil activities are also expected to strengthen from higher vaccination rates and rising investments. However, the Bank trimmed its 2023 growth forecast by 0.9 percent to 2.3 percent.

With oil prices expected to average around $74 per barrel, coupled with a strengthening demand, the Gulf Cooperation Council economies are set to grow by 4.7 percent this year and by 3 percent in 2023.

Looking at the MENA region as a whole, the international lender favorably altered the region’s growth expectation by 0.8 percent to 4.4 percent in 2022, saying that both oil exporters and importers would benefit from a weakening pandemic and a fall in oil production cuts.

Yet, the World Bank said that uncertainties remain high, especially with a falling fiscal support. As for next year, MENA is set to grow by 3.4 percent.

Other risks that face the region include: resurgence in COVID-19 cases, climate disasters and changes to oil prices. 


UAE and South Korea sign agreements in defense, hydrogen cooperation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, meets with President Moon Jae-in at Expo 2020 Dubai. (WAM)
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, meets with President Moon Jae-in at Expo 2020 Dubai. (WAM)
Updated 16 January 2022

UAE and South Korea sign agreements in defense, hydrogen cooperation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, meets with President Moon Jae-in at Expo 2020 Dubai. (WAM)
  • The UAE is the first leg of the South Korean president’s tour that includes stops in Saudi Arabia and Egypt

LONDON: The UAE and South Korea signed several agreements on Sunday during President Moon Jae-in’s official visit to the Emirates to attend the “Day of Korea” ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, praised relations between the two countries and their keenness to further boost bilateral ties in various areas, Emirates News Agency reported.
“The strategic partnership between the UAE and Korea provides many opportunities to enhance cooperation in various fields, including economy, trade, food security, health, culture, space, energy and tourism,” he said, adding the Emirates is South Korea’s top trade partner in the region.
The volume of non-oil trade between the two countries reached $4.8 billion in 2020.

“Prominent strategic projects such as the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant are proof of the depth of relations between the two friendly nations,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “We also appreciate the active participation of the South Korea pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.”
During the meeting, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the UAE's Ministry of Defense and South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration on medium and long-term cooperation in the fields of defense industries and technology.
UAE’s Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun) signed an MoU with Korea’s LIG Nex1 Co. and two MoUs with Hanwha Systems Co.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed three agreements with a number of Korean entities, and they include a framework agreement between ADNOC and the Export-Import Bank of Korea.
A joint study agreement was signed between ADNOC, the Korea National Oil Corporation and SK Gas on hydrogen, and another agreement between ADNOC and KNOC on ammonia cargo.
“During the next phase, we plan to draw up plans to further expand cooperation in areas of common interest, as well as explore development opportunities in priority sectors,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
Moon will meet Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday and the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf on Wednesday, when he is expected to announce the resumption of Gulf free-trade talks. He will meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo on Thursday, South Korean news agency Yonhap said.