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World food price index jumps in Nov to almost...

December 3, 2020: World food prices rose for a sixth month running in November, hitting almost a six year high with the index posting its biggest monthly increase since July 2012, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 105.0 points last month, versus a slightly revised 101.0 in October.

The October figure was previously given as 100.9.

The Rome-based FAO also said in a statement that worldwide cereal harvests remained on course to hit an annual record in 2020, even though it trimmed its forecast for a third month running.

Vegetable oil prices led the upward charge in the overall index, surging 14.5% month-on-month, thanks largely to a rally in palm oil prices tied to a sharp fall in global inventories. [POI/]

The cereal price index posted a more modest 2.5% rise in November from the month before, some 19.9% above its value a year earlier. Wheat export prices were pushed higher as a result of "reduced harvest prospects" in Argentina, while maize prices were lifted partly by lower crop forecasts in the United States and Ukraine. Rice prices held steady.

Average sugar prices increased 3.3% from October amid fears of a future shortfall in global production as poor weather hit crop prospects in the European Union, Russian and Thailand. [SOF/L]

The dairy index climbed 0.9% on the month to a near 18-month high, driven in part by firmer butter and cheese prices.

The meat index also pushed up 0.9%, ending a run of nine consecutive monthly declines, but is down 13.7% on the year.

FAO revised down its forecast for the 2020 cereal season for a third month running, cutting it to 2.742 billion tonnes from a previous 2.75 billion tonnes. However, this still represents a record high and is 1.3% above last year's level.

"Looking further ahead, planting of the 2021 winter wheat crop in the northern hemisphere is underway, and sowings in several major producing countries are foreseen to increase driven by remunerative prices, although recent dry weather could curb planting expansions and hinder yields," FAO said.

The forecast for world cereal utilisation in 2020/21 was put at 2.744 billion tonnes, little changed from the previous estimate and up 1.9% from the 2019/20 level.

The forecast for world cereal stocks by the close of seasons in 2021 was 866.4 million tonnes, down 9.6 million tonnes from the previous estimate posted last month.

"At this level, the global cereal stock-to-use ratio would decline from 31.8 percent in 2019/20 to 30.7 percent in 2020/21, a five-year low but still a relatively comfortable level," FAO said.

Reuters

European stock markets steady at open

Dec 03, 2020: European stocks steadied at the open Thursday, as traders weighed Covid vaccine hopes against rising infections and uncertainty surrounding a post-Brexit trade deal, OPEC oil output and US stimulus package.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index edged up 0.1 percent to 6,468.54 points.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index dipped 0.1 percent to 13,298.34 points and the Paris CAC 40 eased 0.1 percent to 5,580.26.

AFP/APP

OMCs post highest ever monthly sales since Sep’18

December 3, 2020 (MLN): The overall sales of Oil and Marketing Companies (OMCs) for the month of November 2020 witnessed a growth of 21%YoY to 1.72 MTs as compared to 1.42 MTs in the same month of last year, bringing industry volumes for 5MFY21 to 8.16 MTs, up by 11% YoY.

 To note, the November’s sales figures are the highest ever monthly sales of pertoleum products since September 2018.

On a sequential basis, OMCs’ volumetric sales remained relatively flat, posting a meek rise of 1% MoM from 1.69 MTs.

The YoY growth in sales of OMCs is driven by High Speed Diesel (HSD) demand which improved by 29% YoY to 802 MTs. According to Topline Securities, the pickup in HSD volume is largely attributable to continued restrictions on the border due to COVID-19 which is restricting inflow of smuggled product and overall pick-up in economic activity following improvements in COVID-19 situation.

In addition to this, the sales of Motor Spirit (MS) and Furnace Oil (FO) also posted notable growth of 20% YoY and 18% YoY to 693 MTs and 170 MTs, respectively.

According to Fortune Research, MS continued to post impressive sales numbers for the 4th consecutive month and its current monthly sale is even higher than 5-year average MS monthly sales of 0.62 MTs. The growth was largely supported by impressive car and motorcycles sales during growth FY21TD, lower retail prices by approx. 12% against same period last year and lifting-off of lockdown restrictions resulting in resumption of inter-city travelling.

On monthly basis, growth in sales volume is linked to 20% MoM incline in HSD and 1% MoM jump in MS. On the other hand, FO volumes declined 41% MoM.

Cumulatively, during 5MFY21, industry volumes surged 11% YoY, accredited to surge in FO, HSD and MS sales which jumped by 31%, 13% and 8% YoY respectively.

Company- wise, BYCO posted the largest volumetric growth of 97% YoY in sales of petroleum products, driven by 7.3x YoY increase in FO sales. This was followed by 33% YoY rise in Shell’s volume and 15% YoY increase in PSO volumes. The strong consumption of HSD was the major contributor in increasing Shell’s and PSO’s sales volume.

With regards to market share, PSO grasped the biggest market share of 44%, down by 1ppts MoM, while BYCO’s market share improved by 2ppts MoM to 7%.

On the other hand, APL’s share dropped to 8% from 10% in the previous month. while SHEL and HASCOL maintained its market share at 8% and 5% in Nov’20 respectively.

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OPEC+ to meet for talks on output policy

December 03, 2020: The group of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, will meet on Thursday over a possible extension of production cuts over the coming months.

The meeting via video call, scheduled to be held later in the day, was postponed from Tuesday and comes as the oil market recovery remains fragile amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the upcoming talks, "key players in the 23-nation alliance are making diplomatic efforts to resolve a dispute -- centered around Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- over how much crude to pump in the new year," Bloomberg News reported.

As investors await the group's key decision on output policy, analysts warn that "if their pact breaks down, prices would sink again," the report said.

AFP/APP

Air Link Communication submits its prospectus for proposed IPO

December 03, 2020 (MLN): Air Link Communication Limited (Air Link or the Issuer), a leading distributor of mobile phones such as Apple, Samsung, TCL, Techno and Huawei in Pakistan has applied to the Exchange for revalidation of PSX’s approval earlier granted on February 24, 2020 to the Draft Prospectus of the Issuer.

In this regard, JS Global Capital Limited, the consultant to the Issue /Lead Manager, has updated the contents of the Issuer’s Prospectus and has resubmitted the same to the PSX for its approval.

According to the notice issued to Exchange, Air Link shall be issuing 90 million ordinary shares (consisting new issue of 60 million ordinary shares and an offer for sale of 30 million ordinary shares) at a floor price of PKR 65 per share using the 100% Book building Method Details about the Issuer and the Issue can be reviewed through the attached Draft Prospectus of Air Link.

Moreover, the Draft Prospectus of the company is being placed on the PSX website for seeking public comments.

Copyright Mettis Link News

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