Power regulator says tariffs likely to increase
Mumbai: An increase in power tariffs in India is inevitable given the sharp rise in coal prices, the head of India’s central electricity regulatory commission told reporters on Thursday.
Indian power utilities have been scouting oversees for coal assets to fuel the burgeoning power demand from Asia’s third largest economy, with state-run Coal India , the world’s largest coal miner, unable to fulfill the entire domestic demand.
Global thermal coal prices have been trading at around $120 a tonne, more than 20 percent higher than prices a year ago when prices were below $100 per tonne. (Reuters)
India, Indonesia negotiate rice trade deals
New Delhi/Jakarta : Indonesia, the world’s third-biggest rice consumer, has asked India for supplies of the staple food grain after floods hit top rice exporter Thailand, potentially disrupting shipments.
India, the world’s second-biggest producer and consumer of rice, is willing to sell 500,000 tonnes from government stores as warehouses are overflowing after bumper harvests.
But it has also sought a cut in Indonesia’s export tax on crude palm oil, which threatens to hurt local refiners. India is the world’s biggest vegetable oil importer.(Reuters)
Sugarcane agitation: Sharad Pawar meets Maha CM
Mumbai: Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday met Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan here in the backdrop of ongoing protests by the sugarcane farmers demanding higher price for their produce, sources said.
The close door meeting assumes significance on the account of ongoing demonstrations by the farmers from Pawar’s home town Baramati in Pune district demanding higher rates for the sugarcane produce.
The agitations are being spearheaded by Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna MP Raju Shetty.
The meeting triggered speculations over continuation of the alliance between Congress and NCP in the forthcoming municipal council elections.
The civic polls to 27 Zilla Parishads, 196 municipal councils, 305 Panchayat Samitis and 10 municipal corporations to be held in December and early next year.(PTI)
China says sanctions no “fundamental” answer on Iran
Beijing : China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that sanctions cannot “fundamentally” resolve the Iran nuclear issue, after Western leaders urged expanded sanctions against Iran over a UN watchdog report that Iran has worked to design atom bombs.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing that sanctions were not a “fundamental” answer, but Beijing has used similar words before, when it ultimately voted for United Nations Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for its disputed nuclear activities.
Hong warned on Wednesday against turmoil in the Middle East from action over Iran’s nuclear programme, but declined to comment on the possibility of new sanctions following the UN report. Veto-wielder Russia indicated it would block new measures at the UN Security Council.
As permanent members of the Council, China and Russia have the power to veto proposed resolutions. (Reuters)
Australia urges breaking up Doha into small pacts
Honolulu: Australia wants World Trade Organization members to recognize that reaching a comprehensive deal in decade-old world trade talks has become impossible and to focus instead on a series of smaller pacts, the country’s top trade official said on Wednesday.
“We have come to the view that the Doha round can’t be completed in one big lot,” Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson said on the sidelines of this week’s meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
Australia is proposing that nations agree at next month’s WTO ministerial meeting in Geneva to split the negotiations covering manufactured goods, services and agriculture and several other matters into “their component parts and delivering them as they are ready to be delivered, rather than making them all conditional upon each other,” Emerson said.
He argued reviving and eventually reaching a deal in the Doha round was the best thing countries could do to restore global economic growth.(Reuters)
China October imports surge as exports wilt
Beijing: China’s imports surged in October as exports grew at their slowest rate in months, suggesting efforts to tilt the economy towards domestic demand may be offsetting the external weakness that has dragged on economic growth this year.
Customs figures showed import growth of 28.7% year on year in October, well ahead of the 23.0% forecast and far in excess of September’s 20.9 % growth rate.
Headline growth in exports meanwhile was its most sluggish in eight months, but strip out the traditionally volatile month of February and October’s growth of 15.9% was the slowest since November 2009 when they shrank.(Reuters)
OPEC to invest in new supplies even as demand slows down
Dubai : OPEC, a grouping of 12 countries that controls 80% of the world’s oil reserves, has said its members will invest in boosting crude supply to meet rising consumption despite the European financial crisis and slowing global economy.
In its World Oil Outlook, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it increased its estimate of supplies in 2011.
World oil demand is expected to rise to 92.9 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2015, up 1.9 million bpd from last year’s forecast, according to the report.
Actual oil demand averaged 86.8 million bpd in 2010.
However, the report cited an array of challenges for the global economy, such as waning monetary stimulus, the euro zone debt crisis and signs that the emerging countries which are expected to drive oil demand are not immune to worsening economic conditions.
“All this has led to heightened downside risks for the world economy,” OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al Badri said in the report.(PTI)