China in focus — Expenditure on Russian imports hits $6bn in April

China in focus — Expenditure on Russian imports hits $6bn in April
China’s coal imports surged by around 50 percent between March and April to reach 4.42 million metric tons. (Shutterstock)
Short Url
Updated 22 May 2022

China in focus — Expenditure on Russian imports hits $6bn in April

China in focus — Expenditure on Russian imports hits $6bn in April
  • The People’s Bank of China has reduced its five-year loan prime rate by 15 basis points

RIYADH: China spent a significant sum on Russian imports despite Western countries drifting away from purchases.

Coal imports in the country almost doubled between March and April.

In addition to this, Apple Inc announced that it intends to boost production outside the Asian country due to slowing production and slumping demand.

Meanwhile, The People’s Bank of China has cut its five-year loan prime rate to help alleviate the country’s struggling housing market.

·China has spent a total of $6 billion on imports from Russia during the month of April including oil, gas, and coal. Liquified natural gas imports surged 80 percent when compared to a year ago to reach 463,000 tons, Bloomberg reported, citing Chinese customs data. On the other hand, crude imports increased 4 percent year-on-year to reach 6.55 million tons. 

·China’s coal imports surged by around 50 percent between March and April to reach 4.42 million metric tons, CNN reported. This comes despite Western nations cutting off supplies from Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine. In addition to this, the Asian country is set to benefit Russian suppliers by removing import tariffs on all types of coal. 

·Apple Inc. has announced that it intends to boost production outside of China, Reuters reported, citing the Wall Street Journal. This comes as lockdown restrictions hindered production as well as demand in the Asian country last month. Among the countries short-listed by the firm are India and Vietnam, both of which already entail sites of Apple production. 

·The People’s Bank of China has reduced its five-year loan prime rate by 15 basis points — as opposed to analysts’ projected cut of five basis points - to stand at 4.45 percent, CNN reported. This comes in an attempt to levitate the tumbling housing market affected by the country’s slowing economy. This cut poses the second and largest reduction in 2022. 


Oil Updates — Crude bounces back; OPEC general-secretary dies; US investors form venture eyeing Venezuelan oil

Oil Updates — Crude bounces back; OPEC general-secretary dies; US investors form venture eyeing Venezuelan oil
Updated 14 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude bounces back; OPEC general-secretary dies; US investors form venture eyeing Venezuelan oil

Oil Updates — Crude bounces back; OPEC general-secretary dies; US investors form venture eyeing Venezuelan oil

RIYADH: Oil prices rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday before paring some gains as investors piled back into the market after a heavy rout in the previous session.

Brent crude futures rose as much as $3.08, or 2.9 percent, to $105.85 a barrel in early trade after plunging 9.5 percent on Tuesday, the biggest daily drop since March. 

It was last up 92 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $103.69 a barrel at 0243 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate crude climbed to a session high of $102.14 a barrel, up $2.64, or 2.7 percent, after closing below $100 for the first time since late April. It was last up 46 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $99.96 a barrel.

OPEC general secretary Mohammad Barkindo dies at 63

OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo has died at Abuja, Nigeria at the age of 63, Arab News learned.

He will be buried in his home town Yola, a source confirmed.

The news of Barkindo’s death was confirmed by Mele Kyari, managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

In a tweet, Kyari described Barkindo’s departure as a great loss to his immediate family, NNPC Nigeria, OPEC and the global energy community.

US investors form venture to pursue oil and gas projects in Venezuela

Two US investment funds on Tuesday said they formed a joint venture with a Venezuelan firm to pursue oil and gas exploration and production projects in the US-sanctioned South American country.

Gramercy Funds Management and Atmos Global Energy said their joint venture would work with an arm of Inelectra Group, a Caracas-based firm that holds a stake in the Gulf of Paria East oil project off Venezuela’s eastern coast, where it found oil in 2001.

US companies are barred from doing business with Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA, a policy begun in 2018 by the Trump administration and continued under US President Joe Biden.

The companies did not disclose the size of their investment in the oil venture. Spokespeople did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Any effort is subject to approvals by the US and Venezuela, the companies said.

Ali Moshiri, a US executive and former chief of Chevron Corp’s Latin American operations, set up an investment fund in 2019 to pursue energy projects in Venezuela. The partners aim to “contribute to balancing oil supply and demand,” he said in a statement.

The oil effort “will be beneficial to US interests in the region and the US economy by lowering fuel prices for American consumers,” said Matt Maloney, a partner at Connecticut-based emerging market investor Gramercy.

(With input from Reuters) 


Commodities Update — Gold slowly climbs up; grains fall on recession fear; copper slides

Commodities Update — Gold slowly climbs up; grains fall on recession fear; copper slides
Updated 1 min 11 sec ago

Commodities Update — Gold slowly climbs up; grains fall on recession fear; copper slides

Commodities Update — Gold slowly climbs up; grains fall on recession fear; copper slides

RIYADH: Gold found temporary respite on Wednesday after touching a near seven-month low in the previous session, as the dollar paused for breath after a blistering surge to 20-year highs.

Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,770.27 per ounce by 0330 GMT. 

US gold futures also firmed 0.3 percent to $1,769.10.

Silver drops

Spot silver dipped 0.1 percent to $19.27 per ounce, while platinum was down 0.7 percent at $859.52. 

Palladium slipped 0.2 percent to $1,929.35.

Grains fall

Chicago corn futures lost more ground on Wednesday, with prices trading near a multi-month low reached in the previous session on worries around a global recession.

Wheat eased, while soybeans ticked higher.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade lost 0.8 percent to $5.73-3/4 a bushel as of 0252 GMT, while wheat gave up 0.6 percent to $8.02-1/2 a bushel.

Soybeans added 0.3 percent to 13.19-1/4 a bushel.

Copper dips

Copper prices fell on Wednesday to their lowest since November 2020, weighed down by a robust US dollar and threats to demand from heightened fears of a global recession and renewed lockdowns in top consumer China.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 2.5 percent at $7,483 a ton, as of 0440 GMT, its lowest since November 27, 2020.

The most-traded August copper contract in Shanghai dropped 5.5 percent to $8,582.76 a ton by the midday break.

(With inputs from Reuters)


Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite
Updated 06 July 2022

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical’s profits down 37% as raw material costs bite

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Advanced Petrochemical Co. saw its profit decline by 37 percent during the first half of 2022, hit by higher raw material prices.

The Jubail-based company’s profit dropped to SR274 million ($73 million), compared to SR436 million for the same period a year earlier, according to a bourse filing.

The decline was propelled by a rise in propane and outsourced propylene prices by 51 and 20 percent, respectively, and a decrease in profit share from its South Korean unit SK Advanced Co. by SR75 million.

This was coupled with an increase of 174 percent in offshore logistics costs, despite a 24-percent higher sales volume.

Sales of the Saudi-listed petrochemical producer surged to SR1.68 billion during the six-month period.

In a separate announcement, Advanced Petrochemical said it will distribute a cash dividend of SR142.53 million at SR0.55 per share for the second quarter of the year on Sept. 18. 

 


TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell

TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell
Updated 57 min 3 sec ago

TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell

TASI falls to its lowest level in 2022 as fear grips the market: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's main index, TASI, fell 0.77 percent to 11,257, its lowest level at the opening bell in 2022 amid rising investor concerns of a possible global recession.

This was also weighed down by a 3.01 percent slump in Saudi Tadawul Group and a 1.31 percent decline in Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market.

Chemicals maker Petro Rabigh slid 1.62 percent, while Advanced Petrochemical Co. shed 1.52 percent, after reporting a 37 percent decline in profit for the first half of 2022, hit by raw material costs.

In the banking sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi dropped 0.50 percent, while the Saudi National Bank declined 0.45 percent.

Saudi British Bank, which was voted the best bank in 2022, lost 0.73 percent of its share price.

The National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, known as Bahri, gained 2.94 percent to lead the gainer, following the completion of its SR3.9 billion ($1.04 billion) sukuk offering.

This was followed by Tanmiah Food Co. gaining 2.33 percent, following its agreement to sell two subsidiaries to US Tyson for SR262.6 million.

The parallel market, Nomu, started Wednesday’s session flat, reaching 21,140 points.

In the energy sector, West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $101.33 per barrel and Brent crude was trading at $105.15 per barrel as of 10:27 a.m. Saudi time.


US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m

US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m
Updated 06 July 2022

US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m

US food company Tyson to buy Tanmiah subsidiaries’ stakes for $70m

RIYADH: Tyson International Holding Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York-listed Tyson Foods, has reached an agreement to acquire equity stakes in two of Tanmiah Food Co.’s subsidiaries for SR262.6 million ($70 million).

Tyson will acquire 15 percent of shares in Agricultural Development Co. and 60 percent of shares in Supreme Foods Processing Co., according to a bourse filing.

In partnership with Tyson, Tanmiah will double its production capacity and develop new halal products for the international market, expanding its product portfolio and enhancing its supply chain and procurement processes.

The agreement with Tyson will also strengthen and boost the Tanmiah brand in the Gulf Cooperation Council and other regions.

With SR20 million in registered capital, Agricultural Development Co. rears and produces broilers, feed mills, and operates hatcheries. It also raises fresh chicken.

Supreme Food Processing Co. produces pre-prepared chicken and beef products. It has a registered capital of SR8.6 million.