Industy News

Natural Rubber Output Up 13 Per Cent Last Year

BINTULU, Jan 28 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s natural rubber production rose 13 per cent to 970,000 tonnes last year compared with an output of 857,000 tonnes registered in 2009, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok Friday.

“In 2010, the natural rubber industry earned the country RM33 billion in revenue, which was an increase of 32 per cent, when compared with the RM25 billion raked by the country in 2009,” he said when officiating the Malaysian Rubber Board’s research station 68 kilometres from here. (read more)

Global natural rubber prices to remain firm

The bullish trend in natural rubber prices could continue at least till April due to the tight supply situation. Until April, a further tightness in supply will be seen due to the seasonal wintering of trees. However, from May until the year-end, supply would be back to normal, provided there are no major calamities. During wintering, production of natural rubber is known to fall.

The NR supply is expected to increase, but at a rate lower than five per cent this year. Even this is on the assumption that the weather will be normal and uprooting of aged trees will be low. Production by the ANRPC countries is expected to increase to a maximum of 9.87 million tonnes (mt), up 4.8 per cent from last year. This is in the event that the annual uprooting of rubber trees is at two per cent of the total area under cultivation. (read more)

Rubber Products May Cause Contact Allergies

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have warned that products made of rubber may cause allergies not directly but through the formation of new substances during contact with skin.

In particular, interaction between molecules in rubber and on the skin’s surface produce isothiocyanates, which are compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables. According to university researcher Kristin Samuelsson, they are also powerful allergens. (read more)

Oil Rises Most Since 2009 on Concern Egyptian Unrest to Spread

Oil surged the most since September 2009 as unrest in Egypt raised concern that protests would spread to major oil-producing parts of the Middle East.

Crude gained as much as 4.8 percent after a day of clashes between police and protesters demanding an end to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime. The unrest in Egypt followed an uprising that led to the Jan. 14 overthrow of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. (read more)

Egypt clashes push up oil, gold futures

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The spike for oil and gold futures prices is directly linked to the violent protests in Egypt, Bill O’Neill, a principal at Logic Advisors in New Jersey said. For oil, it’s fear of contagion to neighboring oil-rich countries. For gold, it has spurred flight-to-safety buying. (read more)

Oil Is Up, But This Oil Company Is Getting Hammered On The Egypt News

Apache shares are down over 8% this week, with a 4% drop today. The escalating events in the region have brought the oil producers’ status into question

Apache, the largest oil and gas company in Egypt, has been a presence in the region for over 20 years.

As of the third quarter of 2010, 20% of the Houston-based company’s oil and gas production came from its operations in Egypt. It also gets 25% of its total cash flow from its operations there. (read more)
Crude oil prices top $87

NEW YORK, Jan. 28 (UPI) — Crude oil prices topped $87 per barrel Friday on a rise in the U.S. gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.

The nation’s economic output in the first of three estimates came in at 3.2 percent, lower than the 3.5 percent expected but higher than the third quarter’s 2.6 percent climb.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil checked a week-long slide and turned higher, adding $1.46 to $87.10 per barrel. Home heating oil prices gained 0.15 cents to $2.6566 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices rose 0.87 cents to $2.4219 per gallon. Henry Hub natural gas prices rose 2.7 cents to $4.346 per million British thermal units. (read more)
OIL FUTURES: Egypt Unrest Sends Oil Prices Surging

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Oil prices surged Friday after anti-government protests intensified in Egypt, touching off fears that the unrest that has swept much of the region could spread to other oil-producing countries.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery rose $3.61, or 4.2%, at $89.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange gained $1.63, or $1.7%, at $99.02 a barrel. It earlier touched a 16-month high of $99.63 a barrel. (read more)

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