Rubber Update

Rubber plantation in Kerala, India.

Margins of rubber glove firms pinched

High latex cost and weak US dollar have started to hurt the profit margins of rubber glove companies such as Supermax Corp Bhd and Latexx Partners Bhd, based on their recent quarterly results.

Most analysts, however, are still positive on Hartalega Holdings Bhd, which makes more synthetic rubber gloves than the natural rubber variant. (read on)

Ministry Looks At Replanting Rubber To Meet Increasing Demand

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 (Bernama) — The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry will propose to the cabinet plans to replant 40 hectares of rubber trees per year to meet the current strong demand.

Its Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said his ministry would also propose 13,000 hectares of new plantation a year to increase rubber production level. (read on)

FDA Warning About Powdered Gloves

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Recommended Warning for Surgeon’s Gloves and Patient Examination Gloves that Use Powder. This draft guidance recommends use of a warning statement on labels for powdered medical gloves, specifically surgeon’s gloves (21 CFR 878.4460) and patient examination gloves (21 CFR 880.6250) (medical gloves that use powder). The FDA said it is concerned about the potential adverse health effects from powdered medical gloves and is recommending that the labeling for medical gloves that use powder provide a warning related to those potential health effects. (read on)

Bonds yields fall as investors focus on $100 oil

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Bond yields are continuing their pullback, as political upheaval in Libya dominates headlines and pushes oil prices above $100 a barrel.

Civil unrest in Libya has entered its 10th day, fueled by citizens protesting dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year reign and high unemployment. Libya is Africa’s third-largest oil producer and sits atop the continent’s largest reserves. (read on)

Eni, Marathon Most Exposed to Libya

The unrest in Libya is raising concerns over spare capacity — the country produced about 1.56 million barrels per day in December 2010.

The stocks most exposed to Libya in production terms are: Eni (ticker: E) with 12% [of total production]; Marathon Oil (ticker: MRO) with 12%; OMV Group [traded in Vienna] with 10%; and Hess (HES) with 5%. (read on)

Analysis: Europe’s refiners struggle to replace Libyan oil

(Reuters) – The loss of Libyan oil is a heavy blow to European refiners who face a costly struggle to replace the easy-to-refine crude because of a shortage of matching grades.

Violent revolt in Libya as Muammar Gaddafi clings to power has shut down as much as three-quarters of its output, according to some estimates. (read on)

Yen, Swiss Franc Gain as Concern on Libya Fuels Safety Demand

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — The Swiss franc climbed to a record against the dollar and the yen strengthened to an almost three- week high as the uprising in Libya drove oil to a 29-month high, spurring demand for the safest assets.

The dollar reached the lowest in three weeks versus the euro amid speculation the European Central Bank will raise interest rates before the Federal Reserve. The yen breached 82 per dollar for the first time since Feb. 8 as U.S. Treasury yields traded near three-week lows, dimming the attraction of dollar-denominated assets. Currencies of commodity exporters such as Australia and Canada climbed. (read on)

US STOCKS – Futures down as oil prices rally on Libyan turmoil

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday, signaling another down day on Wall Street, as oil continued to rally on turmoil in Libya, denting investor sentiment.

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 soared 3.6 percent a barrel to above $101 on mounting fears the unrest in Libya that has cut more than one-quarter of the OPEC-member’s crude output could spread to other major producers in the region, including top exporter Saudi Arabia. For details, see [ID:nLDE71N009] and [O/R] (read on)

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