Issue 179 - 17.05.2021
17.05.2021

China’s Belt and Road projects benefit recipient countries

In a virtual meeting with a group of African students in late April, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked a question, implicitly, about China: “Are they bringing their own workers with them, or are they giving jobs to people in the country where they’re making investments?”

Blinken seemed to be suggesting that Chinese projects and investments in the continent do not provide benefits to locals. This view has been prominent in the media and commentary.

Certainly, it is possible to find individual examples of Chinese projects which have shipped in Chinese workers and not been involved in the local community. 

However, the available evidence suggests that Chinese overseas economic engagement has become much more localised. Chinese firms are providing jobs, exports, budgetary revenue (through taxes) and technical expertise.

Gone are the days when large infrastructure projects, built by Chinese labour, formed the backbone of China’s economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific or elsewhere. In short, these projects are giving emerging economies what they want.

There is significant research evidence of Chinese company localisation across global emerging economies.

I published a journal article last year which showed every major Chinese company in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had localised their workforce over the last ten years. Kyrgyzstan was then a democracy, and Tajikistan is an opaque autocracy – localisation occurred in both countries due to cheaper local wages and pressure from governments and society.

The speed of localisation varied depending on the type of project. Companies focused on short-term construction localised more slowly than those focused on longer-term investments.

Similar patterns have been shown around the world. McKinsey conducted field surveys at more than 1,000 Chinese companies across eight African countries. The surveys found that “89 per cent of employees were African, adding up to nearly 300,000 jobs for African workers”.

Antoine Kernen and Katy Lam similarly found in 2014 that Chinese state-owned enterprises in Ghana intended to “hire as many locals as possible”.

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins surveyed 20 Chinese manufacturing firms in Nigeria and reported an average of 85 per cent local hires. Another study found that at a large Chinese-owned mine in Peru almost all employees were local except for a small number of foreigners.

The studies mentioned also found that wages and local government and societal pressure were the key drivers of localisation, and that localisation tends to increase over time. In many emerging economies, the biggest challenge to hiring more locals is a lack of skilled labour.

The preponderance of research also finds that Chinese firms provide significant training in China and on-site to overcome this.

Problems still exist. Language and cultural differences are challenges in many workplaces. A large pay discrepancy often exists between locals and Chinese employers.

In the years I have been following this issue in Central Asia, the discussions in communities with large Chinese projects have shifted – from there being no local jobs to the need for ensuring the rights of locals employed by Chinese firms.

To be clear, local and Chinese workers can be badly mistreated by Chinese employers.

A 2019 survey of Cambodian and Chinese construction workers on Chinese projects in Sihanoukville found that Chinese workers earned four-and-a-half times that of their Cambodian colleagues, with tough conditions for both groups of workers. The research did not identify the percentage of local workers, but there were a significant number.

Another article points out that there is “little difference between Chinese and non-Chinese enterprises with regard to working conditions and labour rights for Cambodian workers”. They all treat local workers poorly.

Sure, there are exceptions to local hiring. For example, in Laos, the subcontractors building the Kunming-Vientiane railway hired many locals, but as the project ran into financial troubles, they found that locals were less likely than Chinese employees to continue working while wages remained unpaid.

Nonetheless, the broad trend towards employment localisation is clear.

In Central Asia – often a bellwether for Chinese economic trends elsewhere – no major road, rail or hydrocarbon power plant deal funded by Chinese loans has been signed since 2015.

Instead, there are joint ventures to build industrial capacity geared towards exports, often to Russia and Turkey (the Chinese market is usually saturated with such products). This is combined with gradual market access concessions on the Chinese side – Kazakh and Russian barley were granted market access just as China was blocking Australian barley.

This trend has been reflected elsewhere. A Boston University team showed a dramatic reduction since 2016 in new Chinese policy bank loan commitments to other countries.

There was debate around whether all projects had been captured in the data – a common difficulty for a database of China’s loans overseas.

My view is the trendlines are correct, even if there are difficulties with the data. Rhodium found global lending by China’s policy banks to other states is down, while lending by Chinese commercial banks internationally has held up through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of this shift is organic, with companies leaving increasingly competitive and expensive conditions in China. Beijing and recipient governments have latched onto this and in certain places, such as Kazakhstan, are working on joint industrialisation policy plans.

This is the next phase of BRI, underpinned by Chinese commercial funding for joint ventures in third states. These types of projects naturally lend themselves to local hiring and projects that produce exports.

China is not simply being altruistic towards emerging markets. This is an intentional play to build dependence on China (by providing genuine benefits, not creating debt traps), as well to boost China’s domestic economy.

None of this will be easy for Chinese firms. Domestic economic and political conditions in many emerging economies render the development of large export industries hard. But China and Chinese firms are listening to local requests, and adjusting their activities accordingly.

By Dirk van der Kley for CNA (Singapore).

China, Pacific

17.05.2021

Chinese lander touches down on Mars in pre-set zone

China’s Zhurong rover has stuck a successful landing on the surface of Mars, according to state media, in the culmination of the country’s first independent mission to the Red Planet after the ship departed from Earth last summer.

The unmanned lander reached its destination on Mars’ Utopia plain on Saturday, Xinhua...

China’s Zhurong rover has stuck a successful landing on the surface of Mars, according to state media, in the culmination of the country’s first independent mission to the Red Planet after the ship departed from Earth last summer.

The unmanned lander reached its destination on Mars’ Utopia plain on Saturday, Xinhua...

17.05.2021

International community casts vote of confidence in Belt and Road

Adjei Peter Junior banged an African drum and danced to the exciting rhythm, with the surrounding crowd drawn to the intriguing musical instrument.

It was not the scene of a party. Rather, the manager of Ghana Opace Group was using the dance to promote the company's products such as drums and...

Adjei Peter Junior banged an African drum and danced to the exciting rhythm, with the surrounding crowd drawn to the intriguing musical instrument.

It was not the scene of a party. Rather, the manager of Ghana Opace Group was using the dance to promote the company's products such as drums and...

17.05.2021

China's New Silk Road combines ambitious goals with various challenges

Over the weekend, China pledged tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure financing and development aid, and elicited support from scores of countries to promote economic integration and free global trade through the creation of what Beijing is calling a "new Silk Road."

Twenty-nine heads of state and representatives of more...

Over the weekend, China pledged tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure financing and development aid, and elicited support from scores of countries to promote economic integration and free global trade through the creation of what Beijing is calling a "new Silk Road."

Twenty-nine heads of state and representatives of more...

17.05.2021

China in process of transforming international education

When Australians think of international education and China, they typically consider the country as a source of international students — Australia’s largest. But China is now one of the leading host countries of international students in the world.

China’s level of international education policymaking over the past...

When Australians think of international education and China, they typically consider the country as a source of international students — Australia’s largest. But China is now one of the leading host countries of international students in the world.

China’s level of international education policymaking over the past decade, backed up by strategic priorities, has been unprecedented.

My...

17.05.2021

Multibillion-dollar investments inked at Silk Road expo

A host of cooperation deals involving investments of 158.3 billion yuan ($24.6 billion) were signed at the Fifth Silk Road International Exposition, which closed Saturday in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The deals cover 72 key projects in fields including education, modern agriculture and high-tech industry.

The five-day expo attracted...

A host of cooperation deals involving investments of 158.3 billion yuan ($24.6 billion) were signed at the Fifth Silk Road International Exposition, which closed Saturday in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The deals cover 72 key projects in fields including education, modern agriculture and high-tech industry.

The five-day expo attracted...

17.05.2021

China's patent grants, applications grow in B&R countries

More than 4,200 Chinese patents were granted by 26 countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative in 2020, up 19.3 percent year-on-year, sources with the National Intellectual Property Administration said Thursday.

China's published patent applications also saw an increase of 17.1 percent year-on-year, reaching 6,198 in 22 Belt and Road...

More than 4,200 Chinese patents were granted by 26 countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative in 2020, up 19.3 percent year-on-year, sources with the National Intellectual Property Administration said Thursday.

China's published patent applications also saw an increase of 17.1 percent year-on-year, reaching 6,198 in 22 Belt and Road...

17.05.2021

China's power use up 13.2% in April

China's electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, expanded 13.2 percent year-on-year in April as the country's economy continued to resume growth, official data showed.

Total power use came in at 636.1 billion kWh last month, according to the National Energy Administration.

In April, power consumption by the primary and secondary...

China's electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, expanded 13.2 percent year-on-year in April as the country's economy continued to resume growth, official data showed.

Total power use came in at 636.1 billion kWh last month, according to the National Energy Administration.

In April, power consumption by the primary and secondary...

17.05.2021

China's use of FDI surges 38.6% Jan-April

China's actual use of foreign direct investment surged by 38.6 percent on a yearly basis to 397.07 billion yuan ($61.55 billion) in the first four months of 2021, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday.

The FDI volume also represents an increase of 30.1 percent over the same period in 2019,...

China's actual use of foreign direct investment surged by 38.6 percent on a yearly basis to 397.07 billion yuan ($61.55 billion) in the first four months of 2021, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday.

The FDI volume also represents an increase of 30.1 percent over the same period in 2019,...

17.05.2021

China’s FDI set to expand at a strong pace

Foreign direct investment in China is expected to grow at a strong pace this year, thanks to the country's moves to further expand its domestic market and the robust growth of its services sector, said officials and business leaders.

Their remarks came after the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that...

Foreign direct investment in China is expected to grow at a strong pace this year, thanks to the country's moves to further expand its domestic market and the robust growth of its services sector, said officials and business leaders.

Their remarks came after the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that...

17.05.2021

Steady financial sector support buoys China’s real economy

Though new bank loans and money supply growth moderated in China during April, the country's real economy saw stable development thanks to strong support from the financial sector, experts said.

The broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, or M2, increased 8.1 percent on a...

Though new bank loans and money supply growth moderated in China during April, the country's real economy saw stable development thanks to strong support from the financial sector, experts said.

The broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, or M2, increased 8.1 percent on a...

17.05.2021

China equity posts weekly gains on financial, healthcare boost

China stocks climbed on Friday to end the week higher, as financial and healthcare firms gained, leading a rally in Asian markets as U.S. Fed officials allayed inflation fears.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 2.4% to 5,110.59, while the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.8% to 3,490.38 points. For the week, CSI300...

China stocks climbed on Friday to end the week higher, as financial and healthcare firms gained, leading a rally in Asian markets as U.S. Fed officials allayed inflation fears.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 2.4% to 5,110.59, while the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.8% to 3,490.38 points. For the week, CSI300...

17.05.2021

China's number of new investors moderately up in April

The number of China's new investors grew in April at its slowest pace in 13 months, hit by a lack of upside momentum for the stock market and persistent worries over policy tightening.

The number of new investors for the A-share market increased by 1.7 million in April, or 3.1% year-on-year,...

The number of China's new investors grew in April at its slowest pace in 13 months, hit by a lack of upside momentum for the stock market and persistent worries over policy tightening.

The number of new investors for the A-share market increased by 1.7 million in April, or 3.1% year-on-year,...

17.05.2021

China's builders slow construction material purchases on surging steel prices

Chinese builders have slowed purchases of steel-based materials after prices soared to record highs, but the top steel-consuming construction sector is expected to remain well supported until the rainy season slows activity from June, trade sources said.

The most-traded contracts for construction-grade steel rebar and wire rod on the Shanghai Futures Exchange...

Chinese builders have slowed purchases of steel-based materials after prices soared to record highs, but the top steel-consuming construction sector is expected to remain well supported until the rainy season slows activity from June, trade sources said.

The most-traded contracts for construction-grade steel rebar and wire rod on the Shanghai Futures Exchange...

17.05.2021

Japan’s Omron has fingers on pulse of China market

Japanese industrial automation giant Omron Healthcare is betting big on China as a market with increasing growth potential, according to its top executive.

Kazunori Tokura, executive vice-president of Omron Healthcare China, said that the country has surpassed other economies to become the largest market for the 88-year-old company, accounting for around...

Japanese industrial automation giant Omron Healthcare is betting big on China as a market with increasing growth potential, according to its top executive.

Kazunori Tokura, executive vice-president of Omron Healthcare China, said that the country has surpassed other economies to become the largest market for the 88-year-old company, accounting for around...

17.05.2021

New opportunities in the South Caucasus after the 44-day war for China’s BRI

The entry of the South Caucasus into the modern system of international relations coincided with the transformation of China into one of the major participants in the international economy. The process of disintegration of the USSR, which accelerated in the second half of the 1980s, and the independence of the...

The entry of the South Caucasus into the modern system of international relations coincided with the transformation of China into one of the major participants in the international economy. The process of disintegration of the USSR, which accelerated in the second half of the 1980s, and the independence of the...

17.05.2021

New air cargo route opens between China and Moscow

A cargo plane filled with 32 metric tons of general merchandise, mechanical and electrical equipment and accessories departed from Harbin Taiping International Airport for Moscow, Russia, at 9:50 pm on Monday.

The flight marked the official launch of a new cargo-only route from Harbin to Russia, the Harbin bureau of commerce...

A cargo plane filled with 32 metric tons of general merchandise, mechanical and electrical equipment and accessories departed from Harbin Taiping International Airport for Moscow, Russia, at 9:50 pm on Monday.

The flight marked the official launch of a new cargo-only route from Harbin to Russia, the Harbin bureau of commerce...

17.05.2021

China Eyes High-quality BRI Cooperation with Kazakhstan

Chinese State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that China and Kazakhstan should continue to advance their Belt & Road Initiative Cooperation and other cooperative projects in the post-pandemic era.

Wang made the remarks as he met with visiting Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar...

Chinese State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that China and Kazakhstan should continue to advance their Belt & Road Initiative Cooperation and other cooperative projects in the post-pandemic era.

Wang made the remarks as he met with visiting Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi for the...

17.05.2021

China looks to Turkmenistan for more gas

China is looking to Turkmenistan to expand natural gas supplies as it cuts back on Australian energy imports.

Wrapping up a meeting with his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov and the country’s deputy prime minister Serdar Berdymukhamedov in Xian on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said cooperation on natural gas was...

China is looking to Turkmenistan to expand natural gas supplies as it cuts back on Australian energy imports.

Wrapping up a meeting with his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov and the country’s deputy prime minister Serdar Berdymukhamedov in Xian on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said cooperation on natural gas was...

Eurasia

17.05.2021

China looks to Central Asia on security to create Safe Silk Road

China has sought to step up cooperation with Central Asian nations on security, amid concerns in Beijing over a potential resurgence of terrorism in neighbouring Afghanistan as the US withdraws its troops from the country.

Beijing fears it could pose a threat to its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure...

China has sought to step up cooperation with Central Asian nations on security, amid concerns in Beijing over a potential resurgence of terrorism in neighbouring Afghanistan as the US withdraws its troops from the country.

Beijing fears it could pose a threat to its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure projects in the region, and that...

Europe

17.05.2021

UK exports to China resume dynamic trend in Q1 2021

UK companies are seeing a significant rise in exports of goods and services to China, in spite of the ongoing deterioration in political relations between the two governments. Indeed, China as a trading partner for the UK, overall, in terms of both imports and exports of goods and services is...

UK companies are seeing a significant rise in exports of goods and services to China, in spite of the ongoing deterioration in political relations between the two governments. Indeed, China as a trading partner for the UK, overall, in terms of both imports and exports of goods and services is...

17.05.2021

Danone completes sale of Mengniu stake, will expand presence in China

Food and beverage conglomerate Danone SA has finalized the sale of its approximate 9.8 percent stake in China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd on Thursday as the French company concentrates its efforts on health-focused and fast-growth categories in the Chinese market.

The transaction is valued at HK$15.4 billion ($1.98 billion) and settlement...

Food and beverage conglomerate Danone SA has finalized the sale of its approximate 9.8 percent stake in China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd on Thursday as the French company concentrates its efforts on health-focused and fast-growth categories in the Chinese market.

The transaction is valued at HK$15.4 billion ($1.98 billion) and settlement...

17.05.2021

Nestlé to expand presence of ice cream featuring Cantonese culture

Global food and beverage giant Nestlé would accelerate market expansion of its newly Cantonese-featured ice cream through continuous innovation in production, research and development and brand culture, according to a senior company executive.

"The Chinese market has strategic importance for Nestlé, and Cantonese ice cream is a strategically important category for...

Global food and beverage giant Nestlé would accelerate market expansion of its newly Cantonese-featured ice cream through continuous innovation in production, research and development and brand culture, according to a senior company executive.

"The Chinese market has strategic importance for Nestlé, and Cantonese ice cream is a strategically important category for...

South Asia, Middle East

17.05.2021

China scores in win-win diplomacy with South Asia

China-South Asia interactions are being enriched day by day due to Beijing’s integration drives underpinned by the Belt and Road Initiative, its investments in infrastructure for connectivity, and its comprehensive plan involving trade, tourism, science, technology, health, and education to boost economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.

Fresh manifestation...

China-South Asia interactions are being enriched day by day due to Beijing’s integration drives underpinned by the Belt and Road Initiative, its investments in infrastructure for connectivity, and its comprehensive plan involving trade, tourism, science, technology, health, and education to boost economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.

Fresh manifestation of China’s diplomatic...

17.05.2021

Chinese firms outpace regional counterparts in securing supply chains

*Mainland Chinese businesses and their Asia-Pacific neighbours are increasingly directing their focus towards supply chains and investments closer to home as fears over trade disputes and protectionism rise, according to a poll by multinational law firm Baker McKenzie.

Among Chinese business owners, most are sticking close to the reliably large Chinese...

*Mainland Chinese businesses and their Asia-Pacific neighbours are increasingly directing their focus towards supply chains and investments closer to home as fears over trade disputes and protectionism rise, according to a poll by multinational law firm Baker McKenzie.

Among Chinese business owners, most are sticking close to the reliably large Chinese...

17.05.2021

China urges APEC fellow members to embrace inclusive growth

China is calling on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies to explore new rules to advance inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, a senior government official said on Friday.

APEC needs to accelerate regional integration, so that growth can benefit all groups. It is crucial to further liberalize and...

China is calling on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies to explore new rules to advance inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, a senior government official said on Friday.

APEC needs to accelerate regional integration, so that growth can benefit all groups. It is crucial to further liberalize and...

17.05.2021

New oil pipeline to boost China's influence in Middle East

Egypt is a highly strategic partner in the Middle East, and the China-Iran bloc is looking to expand influence in Africa through the extension of a current oil pipeline that runs from Iraq to Jordan.

Central to the expansion of Chinese and Russian influence via Iran into the space in the...

Egypt is a highly strategic partner in the Middle East, and the China-Iran bloc is looking to expand influence in Africa through the extension of a current oil pipeline that runs from Iraq to Jordan.

Central to the expansion of Chinese and Russian influence via Iran into the space in the...

17.05.2021

Turkey-China trade increases as Belt and Road project grows

Turkey and China have managed to further develop and diversify their growing trade relationship despite the Covid-19 pandemic as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1971, and since then, their ties have intensified on political, cultural, and economic levels.

Their trade...

Turkey and China have managed to further develop and diversify their growing trade relationship despite the Covid-19 pandemic as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1971, and since then, their ties have intensified on political, cultural, and economic levels.

Their trade...

Africa, Americas

17.05.2021

New Hapag-Lloyd East Africa service links China with Kenya and Tanzania

The new East Africa Service 3 (EAS3) will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania with very competitive transit times. It will arrive for the first time in Kenya and Tanzania next week enabling our customers to enjoy even better connectivity between Asia and East Africa....

The new East Africa Service 3 (EAS3) will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania with very competitive transit times. It will arrive for the first time in Kenya and Tanzania next week enabling our customers to enjoy even better connectivity between Asia and East Africa....

17.05.2021

Colombia moves closer to China

The country that was not long ago described by then-candidate Joe Biden as the keystone of U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, one that most IR textbooks will tell you has for decades been guided in its foreign policy by a doctrine of respice polum or looking to...

The country that was not long ago described by then-candidate Joe Biden as the keystone of U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, one that most IR textbooks will tell you has for decades been guided in its foreign policy by a doctrine of respice polum or looking to...

17.05.2021

Brazil mulls entering China’s New Silk Road

The figures touted by the official propaganda are impressive: 70 participating countries, $ 690 billion in investments and a long belt connecting East Asia to Europe, Africa and, more recently, the Latin America.

From different angles, the New Chinese Silk Road – officially the Belt and Road Initiative – had everything...

The figures touted by the official propaganda are impressive: 70 participating countries, $ 690 billion in investments and a long belt connecting East Asia to Europe, Africa and, more recently, the Latin America.

From different angles, the New Chinese Silk Road – officially the Belt and Road Initiative – had everything...

17.05.2021

US goods exports to China rebound

US goods exports to China rebounded strongly in 2020-growing by nearly 18 percent-propelled by the Asian country's market openings, tariff exclusions and early recovery from the pandemic, the US-China Business Council said on Wednesday.

But US services exports to China, which include travel, education and financial services, declined 3 percent in...

US goods exports to China rebounded strongly in 2020-growing by nearly 18 percent-propelled by the Asian country's market openings, tariff exclusions and early recovery from the pandemic, the US-China Business Council said on Wednesday.

But US services exports to China, which include travel, education and financial services, declined 3 percent in...

Markets

17.05.2021

Greenback resumes downfall as US inflation concerns persist

The U.S. dollar edged lower against major currencies on Friday after a report that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in April and as fears of accelerating inflation receded.

The greenback was down half a percent against a basket of currencies, last at 90.341, retracing most of the gains made earlier this...

The U.S. dollar edged lower against major currencies on Friday after a report that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in April and as fears of accelerating inflation receded.

The greenback was down half a percent against a basket of currencies, last at 90.341, retracing most of the gains made earlier this...

17.05.2021

Stock markets post gains on bug battle confidence

Global stocks rose as the dollar dipped on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve officials said there would be no imminent move to tighten monetary policy in the world's biggest economy.

The bounce, extending a late recovery in the prior session, interrupted a three-day rout for stocks globally, amid market jitters over...

Global stocks rose as the dollar dipped on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve officials said there would be no imminent move to tighten monetary policy in the world's biggest economy.

The bounce, extending a late recovery in the prior session, interrupted a three-day rout for stocks globally, amid market jitters over...

17.05.2021

Brent tops $68/b on ailing US dollar

Oil prices rose on Friday, reversing some of the previous day’s sharp losses as stock markets strengthened and the U.S. dollar slipped, though gains were capped by the coronavirus situation in major oil consumer India.

Brent crude oil futures were up $1.23, or 1.8%, at $68.28 a barrel by 1349 GMT...

Oil prices rose on Friday, reversing some of the previous day’s sharp losses as stock markets strengthened and the U.S. dollar slipped, though gains were capped by the coronavirus situation in major oil consumer India.

Brent crude oil futures were up $1.23, or 1.8%, at $68.28 a barrel by 1349 GMT...

17.05.2021

Cool spring keeps North Sea natural gas prices up

British and Dutch gas prices mostly rose on Friday morning as forecasts for cooler than normal temperatures for May combined with low European gas stocks to lift most contracts.

The British day-ahead contract was up 0.5 pence at 69 p/therm by 0917 GMT. The British weekend contract was up 4.75 pence...

British and Dutch gas prices mostly rose on Friday morning as forecasts for cooler than normal temperatures for May combined with low European gas stocks to lift most contracts.

The British day-ahead contract was up 0.5 pence at 69 p/therm by 0917 GMT. The British weekend contract was up 4.75 pence...

17.05.2021

Bulls return to bullion, other precious metals

Gold extended its gains on Friday, buoyed by a dip in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields after data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in April.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,838.05 per ounce by 1:44 p.m. EDT (1744 GMT), heading for a second week of gains. U.S. gold futures...

Gold extended its gains on Friday, buoyed by a dip in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields after data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in April.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,838.05 per ounce by 1:44 p.m. EDT (1744 GMT), heading for a second week of gains. U.S. gold futures...

17.05.2021

Base metals settle lower on financial woes

Copper prices fell on Friday, with the London contract set for its first weekly decline in more than a month, on worries of tightening credit that could potential cap demand for the metal.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.7% to $10,271 a tonne by 0706 GMT, down 1.4%...

Copper prices fell on Friday, with the London contract set for its first weekly decline in more than a month, on worries of tightening credit that could potential cap demand for the metal.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.7% to $10,271 a tonne by 0706 GMT, down 1.4%...

17.05.2021

US wheat, maize futures partly recover from earlier sharp drop

Chicago corn rose on Friday, recouping some of its heavy losses a day earlier, as the market set a bigger-than-expected supply outlook from the U.S. government against crop stress in Brazil and sustained Chinese demand.

Wheat tracked the rebound in corn while soybeans also bounced after tumbling with cereals on Thursday...

Chicago corn rose on Friday, recouping some of its heavy losses a day earlier, as the market set a bigger-than-expected supply outlook from the U.S. government against crop stress in Brazil and sustained Chinese demand.

Wheat tracked the rebound in corn while soybeans also bounced after tumbling with cereals on Thursday...