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Monday, April 07, 2008

News You Can Use for Monday


Grains Gone Wild These days you hear a lot about the world financial crisis. But there’s another world crisis under way — and it’s hurting a lot more people. I’m talking about the food crisis. Over the past few years the prices of wheat, corn, rice and other basic foodstuffs have doubled or tripled, with much of the increase taking place just in the last few months. High food prices dismay even relatively well-off Americans — but they’re truly devastating in poor countries, where food often accounts for more than half a family’s spending.

Run on Rice Prompts Exporters to Pare Sales Rivaling Credit Market Seizure From Cairo to New Delhi to Shanghai, the run on rice is threatening to disrupt worldwide food supplies as much as the scarcity of confidence on Wall Street earlier this year roiled credit markets.

China, Egypt, Vietnam and India, representing more than a third of global rice exports, curbed sales this year, and Indonesia says it may do the same. Investigators in the Philippines, the world's biggest importer, raided warehouses last month to crack down on hoarding. The World Bank in Washington says 33 nations from Mexico to Yemen may face ``social unrest'' after food and energy costs increased for six straight years.


Yuan Gains to Post-Peg High as China Allows Appreciation to Curb Inflation The yuan rose to the strongest since the end of a dollar link in 2005 on speculation China will accelerate its pace of currency appreciation to help stem inflation at an 11-year high.

Dollar Bottom Proves Elusive as G-7 Meets, Futures Traders Double Bear Bet Optimism for a dollar rebound that pervaded the currency market at the start of the year is fading.


Crude Oil Rises to One-Week High as Investors Seek Hedge Against Inflation Crude oil advanced for a second day, rising to its highest in more than a week in New York, as a weaker dollar drew investors seeking a hedge against inflation.

OPEC Is `Doing its Best' to Stabilize Crude Prices, Qatar's al-Sada Says OPEC is doing its best to stabilize oil prices that are being led higher by speculation and political events in producing and consuming nations, Qatar's minister of state for energy and industry affairs said.

Posco Agrees to Tripling in Coking Coal Prices, Sets Record for Benchmark Posco, Asia's third-biggest steelmaker, agreed to a tripling in benchmark contract prices for coal, setting a record for the steelmaking material after floods in Australia reduced global supplies.

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