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ICIS News

SHIPPING: Global container rates moderate, decreases seen on Asia-S America trade lane

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Average global rates for shipping containers moderated this week, and market players in Latin America have even seen decreases in costs from Asia, but rates to the US East Coast are likely to remain elevated as deployed capacity remains tight. Rates on the World Container Index (WCI) from supply chain advisors Drewry edged higher by 1% over the week, as shown in the following chart. Rates from Shanghai to the US East Coast rose by 2.5% over the week while rates from China to the US West Coast rose by less than 1%, as shown in the following chart. Drewry expects freight rates to remain high until the end of the peak season. Rates from online freight shipping marketplace and platform provider Freightos are slightly higher to the West Coast and slightly lower to the East Coast when compared with Drewry's assessments. Judah Levine, head of research at Freightos, said the convergence of peak season demand, strained capacity on continued diversions away from the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and congestion at Asia ports are keeping upward pressure on rates. Kyle Beaulieu, senior director and head of ocean Americas at Flexport, said in a webinar this week that congestion has eased a bit over the last month at key Asian ports, especially Singapore. But still, Beaulieu said deployed capacity was 91% in June and 94% so far in July. He said general rate increases (GRIs) were largely successful for 15 June and 1 July, but that GRIs set to take effect on 15 July have been cancelled. He said there are no real signs of relief for the Asia-USEC trade lane as capacity is expected to remain tight. For the near term, he expects the Red Sea diversions to support higher rates, and those higher rates to continue being spread across all trade lanes. A trader told ICIS this week that it is seeing softer rates from Asia to South America. Rates from Asia to South America were flat to lower this week according to ocean freight rates analytics firm Xeneta and as shown in the following charts. Additional reporting by Bruno Menini

12-Jul-2024

July WASDE projecting higher corn production but a decrease in soybean output

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is projecting higher corn production but a decrease in soybean output according to the July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. In the monthly update corn production for 2024-2025 is forecast up by 240 million bushels on greater planted and harvested area from the June Acreage report, with yield unchanged at 181.0 bushels per acre. The current outlook is also calling for larger supplies, greater domestic use and exports, and slightly lower ending stocks. Corn beginning stocks are lowered 145 million bushels, mostly reflecting a greater use forecast with exports raised by 75 million bushels based on current outstanding sales and shipments to date. Feed and residual use is up 75 million bushels based on indicated disappearance in the June Grain Stocks report. Total use has also been lifted 100 million bushels with increases to both feed and residual use and exports based on larger supplies and lower expected prices. With use rising slightly more than supply, ending stocks are now being projected down by 5 million bushels. The July WASDE revealed that the season-average farm price received by producers is lowered by 10 cents to stand at $4.30 per bushel. For soybeans production is projected at 4.4 billion bushels, which is a decrease of 15 million bushels based on expected lower harvested area. Harvested area, forecast at 85.3 million acres in the June Acreage report, is now down 300,000 acres from last month with the yield forecast unchanged at 52.0 bushels per acre. With slightly lower beginning stocks, reduced production and unchanged use, ending stocks for 2024-2025 are projected at 435 million bushels, which is a decrease of 20 million bushels from the June WASDE. The update showed that the season-average soybean price is forecast at $11.10 per bushel, down 10 cents from last month. The next WASDE report will be released on 12 August.

12-Jul-2024

Europe ethylene spot prices turn firmer on demand, feedstock, looming cracker turnarounds

LONDON (ICIS)–European ethylene spot prices have firmed week on week on the back of better-than-expected demand amid higher feedstock values and an increasing focus on upcoming planned cracker maintenance outages. Spot deals this week have been reported at discounts of 32-35% on the pipeline, prior deals had been at discounts of around 38-39%. Producers say they have received several requests for additional volume offtakes in July. This is being attributed to a combination of factors: Improved sentiment from domestic PVC players following the imposition of tariffs on imports ex-Egypt and the US Continued high container freight rates which are restricting some derivative imports Recent hurricane-related production and logistics disruptions ex-US Firmer month-on-month naphtha values which is likely to drive discussions for the August contract reference price settlement Planned cracker maintenance due to get underway from September particularly that due in Germany with alternative supply flexibility likely to be limited at that time due to pressure issues on the ARG pipeline. With crackers having been run at rates closely aligned with contractual demand – still very much below normal albeit better than in 2023 – there is not too much flexibility for additional volumes at short notice. “Many will have assumed that ethylene supply would always be plentiful,” a source said, “and now they find that it is not the case.” Cracker operators have avoided as far as possible marginal tonne production as spot appetite has been extremely low unless at deep discounts to the prevailing contract price. Crackers are underutilised, so in theory, there is space to ramp up. But with August around the corner and few indications at this stage how long this better-than-expected demand will be sustained, sources assume producers will be reluctant to ramp up production in July. Thumbnail photo: Flooding in Houston, Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Beryl on 8 July 2024, one of the causes of firming ethylene prices. Source: Carlos Ramirez/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

12-Jul-2024

VIDEO: Europe R-PET pellet price range narrows on SUPD-driven demand

LONDON (ICIS)–Senior Editor for Recycling, Matt Tudball, discusses the latest developments in the European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) market, including, Colourless flake prices rise in Italy Food-grade pellet (FGP) price range narrows on improved demand FGP proactive buyers move to secure volumes ahead of Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) implementation in January

12-Jul-2024

ICIS ANALYSIS: Extreme summer heat in Japan threatens to beat last summer’s record

LNG-to-power demand surges in early July Coal availability improving but remains lower on year Temperatures retreat from peak but high temperatures still expected SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Record-high temperatures have pushed up power demand, which could prompt Japanese power utilities back in the spot market for additional LNG volumes. The weather outlook indicates the hottest temperatures may have passed for now, after peaking at 36C in Tokyo on 8 July. However, high probability of above-average temperatures remains through to the first half of August. A sustained heat wave would like drain LNG storage and trigger restocking demand in the autumn. Preliminary generation data for the first ten days of July indicates higher gas-fired generation compared to last year and relatively sluggish coal dispatch. POWER DEMAND An ongoing heatwave pushed power consumption in the first week of July up by 5% compared to the same period last year and 6% from the 2018-22 average. The increase in demand was even more pronounced in the first half of the current week, at 10% above the 2018-22 average. The current weather forecast shows closer-to-average temperatures in the next few days before pushing higher again later in the month. STORAGE LNG storage for power generation remains relatively stable but fell below 2m tonnes for the first time since April in the week ended 7 July. At 1.98m tonnes, this is down by 0.1m tonnes compared to 9 July 2023, and still in average territory. However, further pressure could increase the need for replacement volumes in late summer and autumn. NUCLEAR Shikoku Electric’s 890MW Ikata 3 is scheduled to go offline for maintenance from 19 July to 30 September. Kansai Electric’s 826MW Takahama 1 and Kyushu Electric’s 890MW Sendai 1 are scheduled to return from maintenance in late August. Nuclear availability is forecast 14% lower on year in August. COAL Coal plant availability has been improving since June but is still likely to fall 1% short in July compared to the same month last year. Tohoku Electric’s 1GW Haramachi 2 is now scheduled to restart on 24 July, five days earlier than previous scheduled.

11-Jul-2024

INSIGHT: Brazil’s new gas deals with Bolivia ‘historic step’ for chemicals – Abiquim

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Earlier this week, the head of Brazil’s chemical producers’ trade group Abiquim accompanied President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during his official visit to Bolivia and returned with deals which could potentially increase and liberalize natural gas supplies to Brazil. The chemicals industry in Brazil consumes around a third of all-natural gas available, according to Abiquim. Prices in the largest Latin American economy, however, are considerably higher than in the US, the other large economy in the Americas. Therefore, natural gas supplies – how to increase them and how to make them more affordable – has been on Abiquim lobbying agenda for some time now. Nearly a year ago, Brazil’s minister for energy and mines, Alexandre Silveira, was the star guest at an Abiquim event presenting a study on how to increase supplies. At the time, Silveira thanked them for the kind invitation but he came to basically say the government had little to do and it should be the private sector leading the effort. Truth be told, Brazil’s cabinet has much to say and much it could do about energy. The rather overwhelming and dominant position of Petrobras – a ministry in all effects, with its CEO always handpicked by whoever is the president – gives the energy major a key role in what Brazil's energy landscape looks like. Its interest in natural gas has always been very limited, injecting the supplies it gets from crude oil production back into the system. However, Abiquim and Petrobras earlier this year signed an agreement to explore joint projects on natural gas supplies. In June, Abiquim said in an interview with ICIS there would be news on that front within weeks, but nothing has been announced yet. One year on since Silveira attend that event in Sao Paulo, it seems industrial trade groups come and go in Brasilia’s corridors of power as they please. The current left-leaning administration and manufacturing companies have a common goal, expressed in different wishes: the former, more and better paid manufacturing jobs to please Lula's Workers Party (PT) core constituency; the latter, higher sales and profits, and improving their competitiveness can be an important part of that. Thus, this week Lula invited to go to Bolivia with him trade groups or associations representing sectors directly affected by Brazil’s high natural gas prices. Among them, Abiquim’s head, Andre Passos, with whom ICIS will publish an interview next week. Never shy in using strong words, Abiquim said the week’s agreements in Bolivia represented a “historic step” for Brazilian chemicals which could come to partly fix its competitiveness problem. “The visit to Bolivia is in line with the objectives of the Gas Para Empregar [Gas for Jobs] program and could represent an immense short-, medium- and long-term opportunity for the natural gas market, with the possibility of even using gas from Argentina through Gasbol [pipeline connecting Bolivia’s fields with Brazil’s south and most industrialized states],” said Abiquim. “Based on the conversations held, it will now be possible to start rounds of negotiations for the contracting of Bolivian and Argentine gas without the participation of Petrobras, which will be essential to increase competition in the gas market, enabling greater liquidity, and even helping to make natural gas from the pre-salt viable.” Abiquim added that Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy was “essential in making this moment a reality” and in helping private players to make progress on being able to directly contract gas in Bolivia. In Brazil, the Ministry for Energy and Petrobras are the two decisive voices in energy policy. Abiquim’s diplomatic words thanking the ministry is just another way of saying they are pleased to see Petrobras losing the nearly full control it has had in issues related to the natural gas supply from Bolivia. This, of course, occurs as Abiquim's largest member and commanding voice is Brazilian polymers major Braskem, of which Petrobras owns 36.1%. A GIANT SEEKING GASBrazil has for several years been importing natural gas from Bolivia, via the pipeline Gasbol, which links the producer’s fields with Brazil’s southern and more industrialized states. Gasbol is the longest natural gas pipeline in South America with 3,150 kilometers (1,960 miles). According to Brazil’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, Bolivia is Brazil's main supplier of natural gas supplying two thirds of its imports. Meanwhile, natural gas represents 86% of Bolivia's exports to Brazil. Regarding natural gas, the trip this week aimed at easing access to that gas for Brazilian private sector players, until now quite constrained in what they could purchase given that natural gas bilateral trade has practically been a state-controlled affair via Petrobras. That was one of Brazil’s delegation legs, led by trade groups such Abiquim, Abrace Energia representing energy consumers, trade group for industrialists in Sao Paulo state FIESP, Abvidro representing the glass sector, and Aspacer and Anfacer, both representing the ceramics industry. Brazil’s minister for energy and mines, Alexandre Silveira, and Petrobras’ new CEO, Magda Chambriad, were also part of the delegation. While the company she now presides over may lose the upper hand in natural gas trade with Bolivia, Chambriad said – according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ press office – that the new natural gas production areas in Bolivia are going through the environmental licensing phase and could start up as soon as 2025. “The increase in gas supply to Brazil translates into lower prices in the country,” concluded the ministry. As it normally happens, many of the deals signed this week will be worth only the paper they are written in in some years’ time. However, they could be meaningful if just a few of them were to be implemented: the Bolivian Ministry for Hydrocarbons and Energy, in charge of all areas mentioned so far, published this week as many as 12 press releases on as many agreements. For example, and again related to Brazil’s thirst for natural gas, private companies had conversations about potential imports from Argentina but via the Bolivian Gasbol. MERCOSUR – AND MILEILula went to Bolivia after having visited Paraguay for a summit of Mercosur, the trade bloc formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay and which this year welcomed Bolivia as a member. However, Argentina’s Javier Milei refused to participate in the summit, perhaps for the best. He has insulted Lula so many times and in so colorful manners that it may be hard to try and establish any personal relationship – the two have never met face to face. To make his preferences clear, instead of attending the Mercosur summit, Milei went to Brazil’s state of Santa Catarina for an international event of right-wing and far-right figures. “No political rift will prevent dialogue with our Argentine brothers and sisters,” said Silveira before travelling to the summit, quoted by the public news agency Agencia Brasil. But increasingly more people are wondering what Mercosur’s future will look like. Despite Lula and his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez good intentions when Spain was the holder of the EU’s rotatory presidency in 2023, both leaders were unable to push their sides to conclude the free trade deal between the two blocs, which has been in the making more than 20 years. The financial weekly The Economist also wondered this week about the bloc’s importance, highlighting Milei’s absence. In an opinion-ed article – those without byline which would represent the publication’s view – it said that the host’s rebuffs to Mile for not attending may well fall in deaf ears. “It was an especially pointed snub. Skipping the twice-yearly get-together of the presidents of Mercosur, Milei chose instead to speak to the hard right at a Conservative Political Action Conference in Brazil … The reality is that Mercosur is no longer so important. Even the host, Santiago Peña of Paraguay, admitted that ‘Mercosur is clearly not going through its best moment’,” said the article. “Milei has never formally met Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president, whom he slags off as ‘corrupt’ and a ‘communist’ (Brazil’s supreme court quashed Lula’s conviction – and he is a socialist). But political incompatibilities go back further: Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s former leader, and Alberto Fernández, Milei’s Peronist predecessor, similarly shunned each other.” THE FIGURES In 2023, trade flows between Brazil and Bolivia totaled $3.31 billion, with a surplus of $278 million for Brazil, according to official figures. Bolivia was the 35th main destination for exports and the 30th country of origin for Brazilian imports. Brazil was the main destination for Bolivian exports and the second country of origin for its imports. The main products exported by Brazil to Bolivia were those from the steel sector (iron and steel, bars, angles, and profiles, 6.1% of the total), and passenger cars (3.8%). The main products imported by Brazil from Bolivia were natural gas (86%) and chemical fertilizers (4.8%). Insight by Jonathan Lopez

11-Jul-2024

INSIGHT: After Beryl, US chems may see 11 more hurricanes

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The conditions that helped make Beryl become a hurricane before hitting Texas chemical plants will persist through the rest of the season, with meteorologists forecasting 11 more forming in the Atlantic basin. Conditions are already conducive for hurricanes even though the peak of the season does not happen until the late summer. Beryl still disrupted chemical operations even though it was a relatively weak hurricane when it made landfall in Texas. The next hurricane could disrupt global chemical markets if it damages terminals and ports on the Gulf Coast. BERYL'S KNOCKS OUT POWEREven though Beryl was a Category 1 hurricane – the weakest class – it still caused more than 2 million outages in Texas. Many of the disruptions that Beryl caused to the chemical industry were because of power outages. A roughly equal number of disruptions was caused by companies shutting down operations as a precaution. Other disruptions were attributed to bad weather. PORT DISRUPTIONSBeryl's other major effect was on ports. The ports of Corpus Christi, Freeport, Texas City and Houston had shut down. Beryl caused Freeport LNG Development to shut down its operations. CONDITIONS THAT MADE BERYL SO POWERFUL WILL PERSISTBeryl illustrates the destructive potential of a weak Category 1 hurricane that travels through parts of Texas that host critical powerlines and ports. The meteorology firm AccuWeather estimates that total damage and economic loss caused by Beryl was $28-32 billion. Beryl was remarkable because, prior to making landfall in Texas, it had become a Category 5 hurricane, the most powerful class under the Saffir-Simpson scale. It was the first time that such a powerful hurricane had formed so early in the year, something that US meteorologist attributed to exceptionally warm ocean temperatures. The surface temperatures at sea are already close to what is typical during the mid-September, the peak hurricane season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After Beryl made landfall in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, it weakened into a tropical storm before passing over more warm water in the Gulf of Mexico. There it strengthened rapidly and became a hurricane once more before hitting Texas. The warm waters that contributed to Beryl's strength will persist and should soon be joined by La Nina, a weather phenomenon that also makes hurricanes more likely. METEOROLOGISTS RAISE HURRICANE FORECASTEarlier this week, the hurricane forecast for this year was raised by meteorologists at Colorado State University's Tropical Weather & Climate Research. The following compares the center's latest hurricane forecast to its update in June and to the average for the years 1991-2020. July June Average Named Storms 25 23 14.4 Named Storm Days 120 115 69.4 Hurricanes 12 11 7.2 Hurricane Days 50 45 27.0 Major Hurricanes 6 5 3.2 Major Hurricane Days 16 13 7.4 Source: Colorado State University Like NOAA, Colorado State University (CSU) noted that extremely warm sea surface temperatures and a possible La Nina are making it more likely for hurricanes to form and strengthen. THE NEXT HURRICANE COULD CAUSE MORE DAMAGEThe next hurricane can prove to be a bigger logistical headache for railroad companies. Beryl had caused only brief disruptions at BNSF and Union Pacific (UP). Beryl's path did not threaten US oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. The next storm could threaten those wells, causing several energy producers to shut in production. Damage to Gulf Coast oil, ethane, LPG and LNG terminals could disrupt energy markets if the outages last long enough. Texas and the neighboring state of Louisiana are home to most of the nation's LNG export capacity. Prolonged outages at LNG terminals could lead to an oversupply of natural gas in the US because producers could lose an outlet to ship out excess capacity. Prices for natural gas could consequently fall. Prices for ethane tend to follow those for natural gas, so they would also fall in the event of a supply glut. Texas ships ethane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to crackers all over the world. If the next hurricane damages those terminals and leads to a prolonged shutdown, it could have global repercussions by interrupting shipments of feedstock to crackers. In the US, it could cause prices for those products to plummet, especially for propane. US midstream companies are already trying to ship out as much LPG as possible because production has been so prolific. Over the years, US producers have exported increasing amounts of polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). If the next hurricane damages those plants, then it would have a direct effect on global petrochemical markets. Insight by Al Greenwood Thumbnail shows a distribution transformer of a power line knocked down by Beryl. Image by Reginald Mathalone/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

11-Jul-2024

Global crude demand slows in Q2, China consumption contracts – IEA

LONDON (ICIS)–Global crude oil demand slumped to 710,000 bbl/day in Q2 2024 as China’s post-pandemic economic rebound ran its course, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. Representing the slowest quarterly increase since the closing months of 2022, the period saw Chinese demand decline in April and May, the agency said in its July monthly oil market report. Global oil demand gains are expected to hover below one million barrels/day in 2024 and 2025 as tepid consumption growth, vehicle electrification and energy efficiency measures weigh on purchasing. Total supply increased by 150,000 barrels/day to 102.9 million barrels in June as easing maintenance levels and increasing biofuels output offset a fall in Saudi production, the IEA added. Saudi Arabia output fell to 8.85 million barrels in June from 9.03 million barrels the previous month, according to IEA data, leaving the Kingdom’s total excess capacity at 3.26 million barrels/day. Despite weak demand growth, pricing firmed slightly in June, with Brent crude futures priced around $86/barrel at the end of the month, and remaining around the $85/barrel mark in trading this week. This increase was driven in part by OPEC+ coalition signals that the schedule for unwinding production cuts would depend on market conditions, easing fears of a sudden surge in supply. Petrochemical sector demand for oil was sluggish during the quarter, the IEA added, but other signs point to potential early improvements for manufacturing in Europe. “Demand for industrial fuels and petrochemical feedstocks was particularly weak. By contrast, Q2 delivery data of gasoil and naphtha for OECD economies came in higher than expected, potentially signalling a budding recovery in Europe’s ailing manufacturing sector,” the IEA said. Despite the industrial input uptick, overall demand continues to trend slower, the agency added. “For next year, the call on OPEC+ crude tumbles… as demand growth continues to slow and non-OPEC+ output continues to expand. After the hot summer, cooler trends are set to prevail.” Thumbnail photo: An oil rig off the coast of China's Hebei province. Source: Xinhua/Shutterstock

11-Jul-2024

Brazil’s inflation third monthly rise in June pours more cold water on interest rates cuts resumption

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Brazil’s annual rate of inflation rose over the 4% mark in June as the Brazilian real depreciated and prices for food and health services rose strongly, the country’s statistics office IBGE said on Wednesday. Brazil’s annual National Consumer Price Index (IPCA in its Portuguese acronym) rose in June to 4.23%, up from May’s 3.93%. In May, inflation had already risen partly after severe flooding in Rio Grande do Sul caused generalized food price rises in the southernmost state. Financial analysts had already warned in May than higher-than-expected price rises could prompt the central bank to halt interest rates cuts for the rest of 2024, hoping to contain the latest upticks in inflation. On Wednesday, June further uptick prompted some of them to suggest there were growing chances there would not be any cuts to interest rates until 2026. THREE MONTHS ON THE MARCHAs well as the increase in the annual rate of inflation to 4.23%, the IPCA also rose month on month, with monthly inflation at 0.21%, down from May’s 0.46%. Prices for food consumed at home rose by 0.47% in June, compared with May, and prices for health service rose by 0.54%. Transportation prices fell 0.19% in June, month on month, airfares posting the sharpest drop, down 9.88%. Fuel prices had mixed changes, with gasoline and ethanol prices rising, while diesel and vehicle gas prices fell. Gray columns: forecast Source: IBGE via Trading Economics At the beginning of 2024, there were expectations that inflation would seasonally rise in the second half of the year, but the increases have materialized sooner and stronger than expected. Petrochemicals-intensive manufacturing companies insist high interest rates continue to be a drag in their sales, as consumers shy away from big ticket purchases of durable goods, posting them until borrowing costs come down. RATES AT 10.5% UNTIL 2026?On Wednesday, financial analysts, most of whom were assuming the central bank would resume its monetary policy easing in early 2025 once the latest upticks in inflation had been contained, have now turned more pessimist. UK-headquartered Capital Economics said it was “hard to see any scope” for cuts to the Selic, the main benchmark, in 2024 but added there was even a “growing risk” there will not be cuts in 2025 either. In June, the central bank’s monetary policy committee (Copom) decided to keep the Selic unchanged at 10.5% after several cuts in a few months since August 2023, when it peaked at 13.75%. SELIC Source: Banco Central do Brazil via Trading Economics In June, investors’ weariness about President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva intentions to increase public spending, potentially widening the fiscal deficit, spooked currency traders and the real (R) depreciating over the month. It reached a low on 2 July at $1/R5.70, although it has recovered since to around $1/R5.41 on Wednesday afternoon. The current fiscal deficit – and the prospect of it widening – was not helped by public spats, first, between members of Lula’s coalition cabinet nor by the President’s remarks criticizing the central bank and its president, quite outside the norm not to interfere with the institution’s independence. In the end, Lula’s comments and his ministers’ public disagreements on fiscal targets may have caused the cabinet’s main wish – lowering rates to increase consumption and jobs in manufacturing – caused the exact opposite effect. “The recent weakness in the real and mounting fiscal concerns means that there is no chance that Copom will restart its easing cycle at its meeting later this month. Rates are likely to be left unchanged throughout this year and there is a growing risk of no cuts next year either,” said analysts at Capital Economics. “Of some comfort to Copom will be that the strength in core services inflation in May unwound … And more to the point, higher headline inflation will compound concerns at the central bank, particularly given the worsening fiscal position and recent fall in the real.” REAL VERSUS DOLLAR Source: Trading Economics  Earlier in the week, before June inflation figures came out, economists surveyed by the central bank every week had already turned pessimistic as well about inflation falls slowing down and cuts being cut less than previously expected. However, they do still expect cuts in 2025 – on average, they expect the Selic to close 2025 at 9.50%, although that was an increase from their expectations a month ago. They now also expect inflation to end up higher both years – at 4.02% in 2024 and 3.88% in 2025. Expectations for GDP growth remain practically unchanged at 2.10% for 2024 and 1.97% for 2025. Expectations for the dollar/real exchange rate also remain practically unchanged, with the economists surveyed by the central bank expecting the real to close 2024 and 2025 at $1/R5.20. BRAZIL GDP Quarter on quarter Source: IBGE via Trading Economic  Focus article by Jonathan Lopez

10-Jul-2024

Storm Beryl damage, economic loss to US estimated at $28-32 billion

LONDON (ICIS)–Total damage and economic loss in the US from Storm Beryl amounted to $28-32 billion, according to meteorology firm AccuWeather. Beryl hit the Texas coast as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday, with sustained winds around 80 mph (130 km/h), intense rainfall and dangerous storm surges. AccuWeather said its estimate included damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure, facilities, roadways and vehicles as well as power outages which results in food spoilage and interruption to medical care. It reflects damage that has already occurred and expected damage yet to happen as Beryl, now a post-tropical cyclone, continues its path through the Midwest toward northern New England. “The estimate also accounts for the costs of evacuations, relocations, emergency management, and the government expenses for clean-up operations,” AccuWeather said in a statement dated 9 July. “It also includes the long-term effect on business logistics, transportation, tourism as well as the tail health effects and the medical and other expenses of yet unreported deaths and injuries.” Last year’s Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall into the Big Bend of Florida, caused $18-20 billion in total damage and economic loss; damage from Hurricane Ian in 2022 was $180-210 billion; and Hurricane Harvey, which hit a similar area of Texas in 2017, totalled $230 billion, AccuWeather added. Click here to view the ICIS topic page on Storm Beryl news Thumbnail photo: Stranded vehicles in Houston, Texas, on 8 July. Source: CARLOS RAMIREZ/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

10-Jul-2024

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