Egypt Independent: Business-Main news en Egypt buys 4.328 million tonnes of local wheat since April 15 <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Egypt&#39;s government has bought 4.328 million tonnes of local wheat since the start of the season on April 15, the minister of supply said in a statement on Saturday.<br /><br />The agriculture ministry said in a statement last week that the government was committed to receiving all the wheat from farmers who wished to sell until the season ends.<br /><br />Supply Minister Khaled Hanafi later said the local wheat buying season would end in mid-June this year.<br /><br />The agriculture ministry has said the pace of procurement has accelerated since a decision by the government to open additional storage space.<br /><br />Farmers are being paid a fixed price of 420 Egyptian pounds ($47.30) per ardeb (150 kg) of wheat after Egypt abandoned plans to pay farmers global rates for their crop this year.<br /><br />The higher fixed price, well above global market rates, is meant to encourage farmers to grow wheat but has led to smuggling involving the sale of cheaper imported wheat to the government falsely labelled as Egyptian.<br /><br />Egypt&#39;s wheat harvest begins in April and runs through July. Last year, the government said it procured a record 5.3 million tonnes of the grain, up from 3.7 million the year before.</p> Sat, 28 May 2016 15:21:00 +0000 Reuters 2469975 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/03/07/504802/wheat.jpg GDP growth for H1 2015-2016 4.5 pct from 5.5 pct last year <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span class="focusParagraph">Egypt&#39;s economy grew 4.5 percent in first half of 2015/2016 fiscal year, down from 5.5 percent growth in the previous year, the country&#39;s planning minister said on Saturday.</span></p><p><span class="focusParagraph">Total GDP for first half of fiscal year 2015/2016 was 1.4 trillion Egyptian pounds ($158 billion) in the first half compared with 1.275 trillion pounds in the same period last year, the minister said.</span></p><p><span class="focusParagraph">Second quarter growth for 2015/2016 was 3.8 percent from 4.3 percent a year earlier, Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi told a press conference.</span></p> Sat, 28 May 2016 11:33:00 +0000 Reuters 2469963 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/04/24/1755/planning_minister_ashraf_al-araby.jpg G7 vows growth efforts as Japan's Abe warns of global crisis <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The Group of Seven industrial powers pledged on Friday to seek strong global growth, while papering over differences on currencies and stimulus policies and expressing concern over North Korea, Russia and maritime disputes involving China.<br /><br />G7 leaders wrapped up a summit in central Japan vowing to use &quot;all policy tools&quot; to boost demand and ease supply constraints.<br /><br />&quot;Global growth remains moderate and below potential, while risks of weak growth persist,&quot; they said in a declaration. &quot;Global growth is our urgent priority.&quot;<br /><br />Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, talking up what he calls parallels to the global financial crisis that followed the 2008 Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, said the G7 &quot;shares a strong sense of crisis&quot; about the global outlook.<br /><br />&quot;The most worrisome risk is a contraction of the global economy,&quot; led by a slowdown in emerging economies, Abe told a news conference after chairing the two-day summit. &quot;There is a risk of the global economy falling into crisis if appropriate policy responses are not made.&quot;<br /><br />In the broad-ranging, 32-page declaration, the G7 committed to market-based exchange rates and to avoiding &quot;competitive devaluation&quot; of their currencies, while warning against wild exchange-rate moves.<br /><br />This represents a compromise between the positions of Japan, which has threatened to intervene to block sharp yen rises, and the United States, which generally opposes market intervention.<br /><br />The G7 vowed &quot;a more forceful and balanced policy mix&quot; to &quot;achieve a strong, sustainable and balanced growth pattern&quot;, taking each country&#39;s circumstances into account, while continuing efforts to put public debt on a sustainable path.<br /><br />Abe has stressed the need for flexible fiscal policy to sustain economic recovery, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been sceptical about public spending to boost growth.<br /><br />The G7 called global industrial overcapacity, especially in steel, a &quot;pressing structural challenge with global implications&quot;.<br /><br /><strong>North Korea, &#39;Brexit&#39; worries</strong><br /><br />The G7 demanded that North Korea fully comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions and halt nuclear tests, missile launches and other &quot;provocative actions&quot;.<br /><br />The group condemned Russia&#39;s &quot;illegal annexation&quot; of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The declaration threatened &quot;further restrictive measures&quot; to raise the costs on Moscow but said sanctions could be rolled back if Russia implemented previous agreements and respected Ukraine&#39;s sovereignty.<br /><br />The G7 also expressed concern over the East and South China Seas, where China has been taking more assertive action amid territorial disputes with Japan and several Southeast Asian nations.<br /><br />Without mentioning Beijing, the G7 reiterated its commitment to the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes and to respecting the freedom of navigation and overflight. The group called for countries to refrain from &quot;unilateral actions which could increase tensions&quot; and &quot;to settle disputes by peaceful means&quot;.<br /><br />China was not pleased with the G7 stance.<br /><br />&quot;This G7 summit organised by Japan&#39;s hyping up of the South China Sea issue and exaggeration of tensions is not beneficial to stability in the South China Sea and does accord with the G7&#39;s position as a platform for managing the economies of developed nations,&quot; Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in Beijing. &quot;China is extremely dissatisfied with what Japan and the G7 have done.&quot;<br /><br />The G7 also called large-scale immigration and migration a major challenge and vowed to increase global aid for the immediate and long-term needs of refugees and displaced people.<br /><br />Referring to Britain&#39;s referendum next month on whether to leave the European Union, the G7 said an exit &quot;would be a serious risk to global growth&quot;.<br /><br />The leaders pledged to tackle a global glut in steel, though their statement did not single out China, which produces half of the world&#39;s steel and is blamed by many countries for flooding markets with cheap steel.<br /><br />On climate change, the G7 said they aim to put into effect by the end of the year the Paris climate agreement, in which almost 200 nations agreed a sweeping plan to end global dependence on fossil fuels to limit rising temperatures.<br /><br />The G7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.</p> Fri, 27 May 2016 13:11:00 +0000 Reuters 2469936 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/27/504802/abe.jpg Saudi Aramco says discovers new fields, to continue energy investments <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Saudi Arabia&#39;s state oil giant Aramco discovered new oil and gas fields last year and the kingdom is committed to continuing investing in its energy sector to meet future demand, its new energy minister said.<br /><br />Khalid al-Falih, who was appointed energy, industry and mineral resources minister on May 7 and is also Aramco&#39;s chairman, said that despite low oil prices, the company has reached record levels of oil production and gas processing.<br /><br />&quot;Declining investments by energy producers raise concerns about another cycle of supply constraints and therefore more market volatility,&quot; Falih said in Aramco&#39;s 2015 annual report.<br /><br />&quot;Saudi Arabia ... is committed to sustaining its investments in hydrocarbon-based energy to meet future demand and power sustainable economic growth at home and around the world.&quot;<br /><br />His comments are a further sign that Saudi Arabia, the world&#39;s largest oil exporter, does not intend to restrict supply as it battles for market share with other top producers.<br /><br />Aramco, the world&#39;s largest oil company, which is preparing a stock market listing to sell a small portion of its shares, has discovered three new oil fields, it said in the report. They are Faskar, offshore in the Arabian Gulf near the Berri field; Janab, east of the Ghawar field; and Maqam, in the eastern Rub&rsquo;al-Khali.<br /><br />It has also found two new non-associated gas fields - Edmee, located west of Haradh, and Murooj in the Empty Quarter.<br /><br />The company pumped an average of 10.2 million barrels per day in 2015, a new all-time record. Its exports averaged 7.1 million bpd, up from around 6.8 million bpd in 2014.<br /><br />Saudi Aramco remained the No. 1 one crude supplier to six major Asian countries - China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and India - it said in the annual report. Asia accounted for 65 percent of its total oil exports; an increase from 62.3 percent a year earlier.<br /><br />&quot;Despite competition from shale oil, the company&rsquo;s exports to U.S. markets maintained their level of 1 million barrels per day,&quot; Aramco said.<br /><br />Aramco&#39;s CEO told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that the company is gaining market share and pushing for greater efficiency.<br /><br />As part of efforts to maximize revenues and expand market share Aramco is building new refineries to secure long-term agreements to sell its crude.<br /><br />It said its crude oil and condensate throughput to its domestic wholly owned and joint venture refineries rose 9 percent in 2015, mainly due to the commissioning of its new Jubail refinery, known as Satorp, and the full operation of its Yanbu Sinopec refinery, Yasref.<br /><br />Its exports of refined products rose 38 percent last year.<br /><br />Aramco said it was moving ahead with its program to explore for gas in the shallow waters of the Red Sea as well as unconventional gas.<br /><br />Its crude oil reserves were stable at 261.1 billion barrels in 2015, while gas reserves rose to 297.6 trillion standard cubic feet from 294 trillion standard cubic feet in 2014.</p> Fri, 27 May 2016 12:49:00 +0000 Reuters 2469931 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/11/505021/aramco.jpg