Category Archives: Business

The latest news of the International economy, economies of Europe, Asia, US. Business News, World Market News, World Business, Global Business Trade

Germany has record-high gas prices for household consumers

According to German online price comparison portals, the cost of gas for domestic consumers in Germany has risen to record levels.

According to DW, the Deutschlandfunk radio broadcaster reported this on September 20.

A typical household with a consumption of 20,000-kilowatt-hours will have to pay an average of 1,516 euros for gas, according to data from the portal Check24. The price comparison service Verivox cites a figure of 1,299 euros. Prices have not been this high since July 2015.

The reason for such a jump is said to be the rapid increase in purchase prices. Among the reasons is the low level of gas reserves in underground gas storage in Europe due to the limited supply of gas by pipeline and in liquefied form. Just over a month is left before the transition from pumping to withdrawal from the underground gas storages, and the level of stocks does not exceed 70%.

It is expected that the price of heating with gas will continue to rise in the future, including due to plans to raise the tax on CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.

As a reminder, a group of MEPs from various political groups in the European Parliament called on the European Commission to investigate Gazprom’s role in the natural gas price hike, saying they suspect market manipulation.

A new reason for the rise in food prices in the world has been named

A 10-year record rise in fertilizer prices was cited as the new reason for the rise in food prices, Bloomberg reports.

The price of three major groups of fertilizers — potash, phosphate, and nitrogen — is at a 10-year-high, seriously affecting global food inflation.

Corn will be hit the hardest by higher prices. About 20 percent of its growing costs come from fertilizer. A poor corn crop will result in higher feed costs, ultimately leading to higher meat prices. Juices and carbonated beverages could also rise in price because corn is their main ingredient. Corn crops are expected to decline to 36.8 million acres in 2022 from the current 37.8 million.

One factor in the rise in fertilizer prices is adverse weather conditions. Constant storms at the end of summer 2021 on the Gulf Coast in the U.S. prevented the import and export of products. It also temporarily shut down plants in the region, including the world’s largest nitrogen complex owned by CF Industries Holdings. At the same time, the company was forced to close two plants in Great Britain because of gas prices. Yara International ASA, one of the world’s largest fertilizer suppliers, also said high natural gas prices will force it to cut about 40 percent of its ammonia production in Europe.

On top of that, transportation is getting more expensive. According to one executive at Quest Products, a company that helps bring new products to market, including pesticides and fertilizers, freight is about 15 percent of the purchase price of the product. Political measures are also affecting the price increases.

Global food prices have reached a 60-year-high. In August 2021, they rose 33 percent. The reasons are record droughts, labor shortages, and problems in the supply chain.

The world’s largest cinema chain will start accepting cryptocurrency

The largest cinema chain AMC Entertainment will begin to accept several types of cryptocurrency as payment. The network’s director Adam Aron announced this in his Twitter account.

“Cryptocurrency enthusiasts, you probably know that AMC cinemas will be accepting bitcoins by the end of 2021. I can confirm today that when we do, we will similarly accept Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash,” Adam Aron wrote.

It became known in August that the network’s most popular currency, Bitcoin, would be available to pay at movie theaters. The new payment option will be available by the end of this year. AMC is going to provide all of its cinemas with the necessary technology to accept cryptocurrency. Management of the network hopes that payment in digital coins will increase sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

Accepting cryptocurrency as payment will begin and American mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage. The company’s customers will be able to pay their mortgages in bitcoins by the end of 2021. Like the AMC cinema chain, the firm also hopes to accept other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum.

However, experts question the viability of using cryptocurrencies in everyday transactions. “People aren’t buying bitcoins to spend them. To me, it’s still not a very established currency in the sense that it’s more of an investment for the future or something we might want to have in the future,” said Swissquote Bank senior analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

El Salvador was the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender. After that, the rate of the most popular cryptocurrency collapsed and protests began in the country. Citizens are worried about the high volatility of bitcoin, as well as the possibility that digital coins can be used for fraudulent transactions. The government of El Salvador promised that it will make the use of cryptocurrency safe and protect citizens from rate hikes. At the time of publication, bitcoin was worth $47,900.

Taliban announced the restoration of the work of banks

The new head of the central bank of Afghanistan, Mohammad Idris, said that the banking sector is in “good condition and complete security”. The government is trying to assure local businesses that financial life in the country will recover, despite the loss of foreign exchange reserves of the central bank, writes Bloomberg.

“Given the economic situation in the country, all banks […] and companies, including retailers, will soon again conduct operations in the usual manner and on a regular basis and conduct their business with full confidence, “Idris said in a statement on the official website of Da Afghanistan Bank. However, after the banks opened in August, the Central Bank ordered them to limit the number of withdrawals to $200 per week for each client.

Idris ‘ statement came a day after the Taliban requested additional humanitarian assistance from the international community. The United Nations has announced that it is ready to provide more than $1.2 billion in emergency aid to Afghanistan to allow the country to recover from two decades of war.

After learning about the seizure of power by the Taliban, the International Monetary Fund and other Western organizations suspended programs to support the Afghan economy, which is very dependent on foreign injections. They explained their decision by saying that they cannot transfer funds until the new government has received international recognition. In addition, the Taliban were denied access even to the country’s national reserve — the United States froze the assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan on the accounts of its banks.

Despite the Taliban’s assurances about the normalization of the financial sector, experts are wary about the future of the Afghan economy. At the end of August, former German diplomat and UN official Hans-Jakob Schindler, who worked on sanctions against the Taliban, said that the country’s prospects are “terrible” and the economy is threatened with the collapse in the coming weeks. Residents are faced with a sharp jump in food prices and are forced to worry about how to feed their family and pay for housing.

Oil prices rise because of a new hurricane in the U.S.

Tropical Storm Nicholas has strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale and will soon hit the U.S.

Global oil prices for benchmark grades are rising moderately as a new hurricane approaches the Gulf of Mexico, while oil producers in the region have not yet recovered from Hurricane Ida. This is evidenced by trading data on Tuesday, September 14.

Thus, November futures on Brent grew by $0.58 (0.79%) to $74.09 per barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. By the end of Monday trading, these contracts grew by $0.59 (0.8%) to $73.51 per barrel, the highest level since July 30.

The price of WTI futures for October grew by $0.58 per barrel to $71.03 per barrel at NYMEX. Those contracts rose $0.73 (1.1%) to $70.45 a barrel on Monday, the highest since August 3.

The spread between current Brent and WTI contracts is now $3.06 in favor of Brent.

The day before it became known that Tropical Storm Nicholas will soon hit the US states of Louisiana and Texas, although the US has not yet recovered from Hurricane Ida.

And today, the U.S. National Hurricane Watch reported that Storm Nicholas has strengthened to a Saffir-Simpson Scale Category 1 hurricane. At the moment, the maximum wind speed within the elements is 33.3 m/s. The hurricane is about 75 km southwest of the port city of Freeport and is moving northeast at about 17 kph.

US President Joe Biden has already signed a decree declaring an emergency situation in the state of Louisiana due to the approach of Nicholas and ordered to provide local authorities with federal aid.