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November 27, 2013

Growing concerns to #oil supplies if #Venezuela finally implodes - @FT #MasterEnergy

Nervous oil traders fixated on Venezuela risk -
The political instability is threatening to hit production at PDVSA, the state oil company, which is the country’s main source of export revenue and the regime’s cash cow.

...analysts at Citigroup called Venezuela “probably the biggest bull risk to the oil market in 2014 outside of the MENA [Middle East and north Africa] region”.

“The current regime is looking increasingly unstable, with rampant inflation, shortages of food and other basics. In the event of a coup the country’s production could collapse as it did back in 2002 [when PDVSA workers went on strike],” the bank’s analysts added.

The second concern is more prosaic – cash. Since 2007 China has committed to lend Venezuela more than $40bn, which has helped keep the economy afloat. But traders say PDVSA is struggling to supply the more than 300,000 barrels a day of exports required under the agreement, while still generating export revenues by selling elsewhere.

“It is a matter of time before Venezuela defaults on its loans to China and without more cash the government will struggle to pay wages and there will be chaos,” says one senior trader, who says the market should be factoring in a significant reduction in Venezuelan output next year.
Alberto Cisneros, a former senior executive at the company, warns of a “vicious circle of debt” as PDVSA is forced to borrow money to fund the government, but is unable to invest in production.

Read the whole article online here:  Nervous oil traders fixated on Venezuela risk -

November 20, 2013

#Honduras, #Peru sign cooperative pact for #mining development

Let's just hope this means Honduras will go the way of Peru- not the other way around...

Honduras, Peru sign cooperative pact for mining development

Honduras is striving to share Peru’s expertise as a mining nation, particularly in programs that encourage foreign mining investment in Peru.
Author: Dorothy Kosich
Posted: Wednesday , 20 Nov 2013

The governments of Peru and Honduras have signed a technical cooperation agreement for the development of their respective mining sectors.

The signing ceremony was led by the Minister of Energy and Mines of Peru, Jorge Merino Tafur, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Honduras, Mireya Corrales Aguero.

The Inter-Institutional Agreement on Cooperation between Honduras’ Institute of Geology and Peru’s Energy and Mines Ministry aims to promote and encourage knowledge sharing by both countries.

The objective of the agreement is to establish the framework of technical cooperation to promote and develop joint programs and projects in the mining sector, which contribute to the growth and development of mining, said Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.

“For Honduras this agreement is extremely important,” said Mireya Aguero, stressing how mining extraction not only benefits the country, but should also evolve as a true development center that benefits communities.

Secretary of Finance of Honduras, Wilfred Cerrao, said the mining expertise of Peru especially “in the aspect of social responsibility is impressive,” and will prove useful for Honduras.

On the same day that Peru and Honduras signed the mining agreement, the two countries also signed an agreement lifting Visa requirements for their respective citizens.

Honduras, Peru sign cooperative pact for mining development - POLITICAL ECONOMY - Mineweb

The MasterMetals Blog

November 15, 2013

#Gold`s inexorable move east - a #chart says it all

this flow can also be marked in the volume of the metal being converted from London Good Delivery bar-form into smaller, 'Asian consumer-friendly denominations of kilo-bars and below...
Further proof of the yellow metal's journey east comes in the form of a graph from the World Gold Council.

Chart demonstrating gold's inexorable move east


Author: Geoff Candy
Posted: Thursday , 14 Nov 2013 
The graph below is from The World Gold Council's latest Gold Demand Trends report and is appropriately titled West to east.
The Council makes the point in its commentary that this flow can also be marked in the volume of the metal being converted from London Good Delivery bar-form into smaller, 'Asian consumer-friendly denominations of kilo-bars and below'.
According to the WGC, "Eurostat show exports of gold from the UK to Switzerland for the January – August period grew more than tenfold, to 1,016.3t.1 This compares with a total of just 85.1t for the same period in 2012."
This trend is something Mineweb has watched with interest over recent years; the graph below is just further proof of just how sharply the move is happening.