jerryking + commodities   91

Firms That Bossed Agriculture for a Century Face New Threat: Farmers - WSJ
August 15, 2018 | WSJ | By Jacob Bunge

On any given day, Cargill’s global network may handle up to 20% of the world’s food supply, company officials estimate. Crops like corn, soybeans, wheat and canola remain the fuel for much of the empire.

“It’s the root of the Cargill company,” said Marcel Smits, Cargill’s chief financial officer. Still, he said, “it’s clear that everybody in the industry has had a difficult time over the past few years.”

Among the shifts: low crop prices, farmers with more capacity to store their grain and competition for crops from livestock operations and ethanol plants. Venture capital-backed startups are developing services that scan a wider range of grain buyers or connect farmers directly with food makers.

From 2012 to 2017, Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s ADM -0.33% profits in its grain merchandising and handling division fell 39%. Profits from Bunge Ltd.’s BG -0.26% similar agribusiness division dropped 76%. Cargill’s annual profits fell three out of those years, and the company has pointed to struggles in its own grain business as a factor......

A deeper technology effort is advancing inside Cargill’s corporate campus west of Minneapolis, where Justin Kershaw, the company’s chief information officer, is overseeing a multimillion-dollar investment in data science. The company is hiring technicians and building a “digital labs” unit that can knit together satellite imagery, weather-sensor data and artificial intelligence to get an early read on creeping droughts and places where foodstuffs may run short, he said.

Cargill expects the data-crunching unit to show how the company can run its own trading and logistics operations more profitably, Mr. Kershaw said. But Cargill also will use it to develop crop-planning and futures-market services for farmers.
ADM  agriculture  Bunge  Cargill  commodities  consolidation  grains  farming  threats  food_crops  informational_advantages 
august 2018 by jerryking
Commodity trading enters the age of digitisation
July 9, 2018 | Financial Times | by Emiko Terazono.

Commodity houses are on the hunt for data experts to help them gain an edge after seeing their margins squeezed by rivals......commodity traders are seeking ways of exploiting their information to help them profit from price swings.

“It is really a combination of knowing what to look for and using the right mathematical tools for it,” ........“We want to be able to extract data and put it into algorithms,” .......“We then plan to move on to machine learning in order to improve decision-making in trading and, as a result, our profitability.” The French trading arm is investing in people, processes and systems to centralize its data — and it is not alone.

“Everybody [in the commodity world] is waking up to the fact that the age of digitisation is upon us,” said Damian Stewart at headhunters Human Capital.

In an industry where traders with proprietary knowledge, from outages at west African oilfields to crop conditions in Russia, vied to gain an upper hand over rivals, the democratisation of information over the past two decades has been a challenge......the ABCDs — Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Company — all recording single-digit ROE in their latest results. As a consequence, an increasing number of traders are hoping to increase their competitiveness by feeding computer programs with mountains of information they have accumulated from years of trading physical raw materials to try and detect patterns that could form the basis for trading ideas.......Despite this new enthusiasm, the road to electronification may not come easily for some traders. Compared to other financial and industrial sectors, “they are coming from way behind,” said one consultant.

One issue is that some of the larger commodities traders face internal resistance in centralising information on one platform.

With each desk in a trading house in charge of its profit-and-loss account, data are closely guarded even from colleagues, said Antti Belt, head of digital commodity trading at Boston Consulting Group. “The move to ‘share all our data with each other’ is a very, very big cultural shift,” he added.

Another problem is that in some trading houses, staff operate on multiple technology platforms, with different units using separate systems.

Rather than focusing on analytics, some data scientists and engineers are having to focus on harmonising the platforms before bringing on the data from different parts of the company.
ADM  agribusiness  agriculture  algorithms  artificial_intelligence  Bunge  Cargill  commodities  data_scientists  digitalization  machine_learning  traders  food_crops  Louis_Dreyfus  grains  informational_advantages 
july 2018 by jerryking
Algos know more about us than we do about ourselves
NOVEMBER 24, 2017 | Financial Time | John Dizard.

When intelligence collectors and analysts take an interest in you, they usually start not by monitoring the content of your calls or messages, but by looking at the patterns of your communications. Who are you calling, how often and in what sequence? What topics do you comment on in social media?

This is called traffic analysis, and it can give a pretty good notion of what you and the people you know are thinking and what you are preparing to do. Traffic analysis started as a military intelligence methodology, and became systematic around the first world war. Without even knowing the content of encrypted messages, traffic analysts could map out an enemy “order of battle” or disposition of forces, and make inferences about commanders’ intentions.

Traffic analysis techniques can also cut through the petabytes of redundant babble and chatter in the financial and political worlds. Even with state secrecy and the forests of non-disclosure agreements around “proprietary” investment or trading algorithms, crowds can be remarkably revealing in their open-source posts on social media.

Predata, a three-year-old New York and Washington-based predictive data analytics provider, has a Princeton-intensive crew of engineers and international affairs graduates working on early “signals” of market and political events. Predata trawls the open metadata for users of Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, Reddit and other social media, and analyses it to find indicators of future price moves or official actions.

I have been following their signals for a while and find them to be useful indicators. Predata started by creating political risk indicators, such as Iran-Saudi antagonism, Italian or Chilean labour unrest, or the relative enthusiasm for French political parties. Since the beginning of this year, they have been developing signals for financial and commodities markets.

The 1-9-90 rule
1 per cent of internet users initiate discussions or content, 9 per cent transmit content or participate occasionally and 90 per cent are consumers or ‘lurkers’

Using the example of the company’s BoJ signal. For this, Predata collects the metadata from 300 sources, such as Twitter users, contested Wikipedia edits or YouTube items created by Japanese monetary policy geeks. Of those, at any time perhaps 100 are important, and 8 to 10 turn out to be predictive....This is where you need some domain knowledge [domain expertise = industry expertise]. It turns out that Twitter is pretty important for monetary policy, along with the Japanese-language Wiki page for the Bank of Japan, or, say, a YouTube video of [BoJ governor] Haruhiko Kuroda’s cross-examination before a Diet parliamentary committee.

“Then you build a network of candidate discussions [JK: training beds] and look for the pattern those took before historical moves. The machine-learning algorithm goes back and picks the leads and lags between traffic and monetary policy events.” [Jk: Large data sets with known correct answers serve as a training bed and then new data serves as a test bed]

Typically, Predata’s algos seem to be able to signal changes in policy or big price moves [jk: inflection points] somewhere between 2 days and 2 weeks in advance. Unlike some academic Twitter scholars, Predata does not do systematic sentiment analysis of tweets or Wikipedia edits. “We only look for how many people there are in the conversation and comments, and how many people disagreed with each other. We call the latter the coefficient of contestation,” Mr Shinn says.

The lead time for Twitter, Wiki or other social media signals varies from one market to another. Foreign exchange markets typically move within days, bond yields within a few days to a week, and commodities prices within a week to two weeks. “If nothing happens within 30 days,” says Mr Lee, “then we say we are wrong.”
algorithms  alternative_data  Bank_of_Japan  commodities  economics  economic_data  financial_markets  industry_expertise  inflection_points  intelligence_analysts  lead_time  machine_learning  massive_data_sets  metadata  non-traditional  Predata  predictive_analytics  political_risk  signals  social_media  spycraft  traffic_analysis  training_beds  Twitter  unconventional 
november 2017 by jerryking
Africa Bruised by Investor Exodus - WSJ
By MATINA STEVIS
Feb. 21, 2016 5:30 a.m. ET

Fund managers say assets in African nations are being punished because of their disproportionate reliance on resources and failure to use the commodity boom of recent years to industrialize their economies. In Angola, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, oil counts for more than 90% of export revenue, while copper counts for more than 70% of export revenue in Zambia.

“There’s a reaction to a year ago, to the euphoria of new investors coming into Africa,” said Stuart Culverhouse, an economist with Exotix, a London-based frontier fund and advisory firm. “They are trying to get out now, and they are being quite indiscriminate.”

The upshot is that frontier investors are moving their money from Africa to Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam; net energy and commodity importers which have shown more commitment to industrialization.
Africa  investors  private_equity  commodities  China  Barclays  exodus  frontier_markets  natural_resources 
february 2016 by jerryking
Too much stuff, with no one to buy it: Is this the future economy? - The Globe and Mail
Scott Barlow
Too much stuff, with no one to buy it: Is this the future economy?
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 02, 2016

University of California professor Brad DeLong’s “Economics and the Age of Abundance” highlighted the new economic study of global production growth – a new-ish school of thought that attributes much of the economic malaise in the developed world to a technology-driven “too much of everything.....The economic challenges of abundance, however, go far beyond commodities. There’s too many mutual funds, television channels, cereal brands, auto companies (China hasn’t even started exporting cars and trucks yet), land-line telephones, clothing brands, taxis, department stores and, if we’re being honest, journalism. Technology and its ability to increase productivity are to blame for virtually any major market sector beset with poor profit margins and layoffs. ....... The larger problem, and I suspect Mr. DeLong would agree, is that technology increases efficiencies and reduces the need for labour. A dystopian future in which anything can be produced quickly and cheaply, except everyone’s unemployed with no money to spend, is easy to envisage without considerable structural change in the economy.

Unemployment is the most severe outgrowth of abundance and low profitability ....... ......
abundance  economics  economists  Colleges_&_Universities  structural_change  developed_countries  dystopian_future  oversupply  technology  commodities  over_investment  scarcity  innovation  China  productivity  deflation  manufacturers  outsourcing  unemployment  job_destruction  job_displacement  downward_mobility  hollowing_out  books  developing_countries 
february 2016 by jerryking
Canada beware: We are suffering a great depression in commodity prices - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL BLISS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

The Great Depression of the 1930s used to be understood as a worldwide structural crisis that was partly an adjustment to the great expansion of crop acreage and other primary industries undertaken to meet the demands of the First World War. Unfortunately the history of those years now tends to be viewed through the distorting lenses of economists fixated on monetary policy and financial crisis management.

They thought that the crisis of 2008 might become a replay of the 1930s. For the most part they have not realized that it is today’s global depression in commodity prices that has eerie echoes of the great crack-up. If it’s true that we have overexpanded our productive capacity to meet the demands of Chinese growth, and if that growth is now going to slow, or even cease, then history is worrisomely on the verge of repeating itself....One sign of the beginning of wisdom is to be able to shed illusions. Make no mistake. Right now, the world is experiencing a great depression in commodity prices, led by the collapse of oil, that represents an enormous shrinkage in the valuation of our wealth. As a country whose wealth is still highly dependent on the returns we can get from selling our natural resources, Canada is very vulnerable. In a time of price depression, our wealth bleeds away.
'30s  adjustments  commodities  commodities_supercycle  economic_downturn  Great_Depression  historians  history  illusions  Michael_Bliss  natural_resources  overcapacity  pricing  overexpansion  slow_growth  wisdom  WWI 
january 2016 by jerryking
Former Xstrata boss Mick Davis a slimmer, trimmer predator - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 13 2015 | The Globe and Mail | by ERIC REGULY - EUROPEAN BUREAU CHIEF
LONDON.

Mick Davis runs X2 Resources, which has 10 employees and zero assets other than $4-billion of investor capital, some of it from Canadian pension funds, sitting idly in the bank.

X2 was launched a year ago and has been shopping for mining assets or operating companies, but has come up short....Mr. Davis is wealthy. He recently donated £1.1-million ($1.5-million) to David Cameron’s Conservative party to support its re-election bid in the May general election. He admits he doesn’t need to launch X2 to support his lifestyle, though he would like to donate more money to his charities. What’s really driving him is the urge to build once again....Xstrata began life in 2001 as a small lump of coal assets discarded by Glencore. Big Mick had emerged as the industry’s premier predator. “What motivates me is to be able to create and build,” he said back then. “If you’re going to be productive in your time in this world, you have to add to it. I have the capability of adding commercially.”....Commodities recovered shortly after the 2008 financial crisis, then went into a long slump that continues today – copper is down more than 15 per cent in the past year, iron ore by 50 per cent. The culprit was not waning demand, Mr. Davis explains; it’s still rising, albeit at a slower pace. Instead, it was epic miscalculation by the corporate captains and the investors who threw money at them. When prices were strong, the biggies invested fortunes in new mines and smelters and all the ports, ships and railways that went with them. These projects were vast, expensive and took many years to build.

All that new production is now hitting the market like a sledgehammer.
Xstrata  Mick_Davis  mining  Glencore  Eric_Reguly  miscalculations  Second_Acts  commodities  private_equity  mergers_&_acquisitions  natural_resources  X2  entrepreneur  privately_held_companies  overcapacity  overexpansion 
march 2015 by jerryking
The Big Mystery: What’s Big Data Really Worth? - The CFO Report - WSJ
October 13, 2014 | WSJ | By VIPAL MONGA.

“Data is worthless if you don’t know how to use it to make money,” said Laura Martin, an analyst with Needham & Co. Information on individual users loses value over time as they move or their tastes change, she added. That makes data a perishable commodity and more difficult to value at any given moment.
massive_data_sets  valuations  data  Kroger  monetization  Nestlé  P&G  Nielsen  perishables  commodities  shifting_tastes 
october 2014 by jerryking
Glencore’s Glasenberg Makes His Boldest Move Yet - WSJ
By ANDREW PEAPLE and ALEXIS FLYNN in London and RHIANNON HOYLE in Sydney CONNECT
Updated Oct. 7, 2014
Glencore  mining  traders  Rio_Tinto  commodities 
october 2014 by jerryking
Former Xstrata CEO raises $2.5-billion for new company - The Globe and Mail
ERIC REGULY
- EUROPE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT

X2’s goal is to create a mid-tier mining and metals group. The company consists of a small office in central London and five executive partners, all of whom worked with Mr. Davis at Xstrata. They include Trevor Reid, who was Xstrata’s finance director, Thras Moraitis, Andrew Latham and Ian Pearce. Mr. Pearce, of Toronto, was the CEO of Xstrata Nickel, formerly Falconbridge Ltd., the Canadian nickel miner bought by Xstrata in 2006 for about $22-billion (Canadian).

With ample funding in place, X2 is expected to move quickly on the acquisitions front. The company won’t say where it is looking, though the team has intimate knowledge of the mining scene in Australia, Canada and South Africa. Mr. Davis is a South African and was the chief financial officer of Australia’s Billiton before its merger with BHP in 2001.

X2 will consider buying operating companies or assets that are being discarded by the big players such as BHP, Rio Tinto and Anglo American, which overpaid for assets before the 2008 collapse in the belief that the upward commodities cycle was unstoppable. They have taken billions of dollars of writedowns in the past couple of years.

ROME — The Globe and Mail

Published
Monday, Mar. 31 2014,
Mick_Davis  Xstrata  Eric_Reguly  mining  natural_resources  commodities  overpaid  commodities_supercycle 
april 2014 by jerryking
Peter Munk: A mining magnate nears the end of his golden reign - The Globe and Mail
ERIC REGULY - EUROPE BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT

KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Mar. 15 2014,
Eric_Reguly  Peter_Munk  Glencore  Xstrata  John_Thornton  Canada  Barrick  mining  moguls  entrepreneur  commodities 
march 2014 by jerryking
Traders Seek an Edge With High-Tech Snooping - WSJ.com
Dec. 18, 2013 | WSJ | By Michael Rothfeld and Scott Patterson.

A growing industry uses surveillance and data-crunching technology to supply traders with nonpublic information.

Genscape's clients include banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, hedge funds including Citadel LLC and large energy-trading outfits such as Trafigura Beheer BV. Surveillance and analysis of the oil, electricity and natural-gas sectors can run Genscape clients more than $300,000 a year.
surveillance  data_driven  slight_edge  traders  hedge_funds  sleuthing  Genscape  sensors  commodities  corporate_espionage  competitive_intelligence  scuttlebutt  due_diligence  market_research  exclusivity  investment_research  research_methods  LBMA  nonpublic  primary_field_research  banks  Citadel  oil_industry  natural_gas  snooping  alternative_data  informational_advantages  imagery  satellites  infrared  electric_power 
december 2013 by jerryking
Case Study: Edgy Ad Campaign, With Hefty Digital, Traditional PR Support, Helps the Pistachio Come Out of Its Shell
Timeframe: March - Dec. 2009

In early 2009, life wasn't all it was cracked up to be for the pistachio. In March of that year, the FDA issued a precautionary, voluntary recall for the green nut for...
product_recalls  public_relations  commodities  branding  brands  transparency  crisis_management  FDA  marketing  Lynda_Resnick  social_media  funnies  contests  virality  from notes
december 2013 by jerryking
DESIGN: Brand design--the antidote to category camouflage
Jan 9, 2009 | Marketing Week | Andy Black.

As budgets are cut and tough questions are asked, design can make a difference by getting a brand noticed, standing out from the competition and engaging ...
branding  brands  design  commodities  advertising  hard_questions  from notes
december 2013 by jerryking
Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Final Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2006-2007 Crop Year for Tart Cherries
Mar 23, 2007 | The Federal Register / FIND72.

==============================================

Aggregate demand for tart cherries and tart cherry products tends to be relatively stable from ye...
commodities  agriculture  farming  brands  branding  from notes
december 2013 by jerryking
Co-op Delivers Atlantic 'Gold'
Anonymous. Canadian Grocer119.9 (Nov 2005): 12.


John Harvie, CEO of Co-op Atlantic, says development of the Rochdale Gold demonstrates the forward-looking, consumer-sensitive character of today's...
potatoes  innovation  agriculture  commodities  brands  branding  retailers  from notes
december 2013 by jerryking
Canadian business, heal thyself
Oct. 18 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Jeffrey Simpson.

, the lessons BlackBerry/RIM once followed still seem urgent for the Canadian economy: research, innovation, productivity improvements, global perspective beyond the United States.

On Oct. 1, the Council of Canadian Academies summarized seven years of studies into Canada’s capacities in science, technology, innovation and productivity, releasing a report, Paradox Lost (the title must have come from the fertile brain of the brilliant Peter Nicholson, a member of the advisory group), that laid it on the line.

The government has been doing its part, especially in funding university research, the council concluded – although more money would always be welcome. What’s lacking is an “aggressively innovative business sector.”...Canadian companies rely excessively on U.S. innovation. They are content either to play an upstream role (extracting resources) or as subsidiaries of foreign companies. Too many Canadian businesses settle, the council reported, for a “profitable low-innovation equilibrium” (a fancy way of saying second-best) that conditions Canadian business’s behaviour and ambitions.....This problem of lagging innovation and inadequate R&D coincides with four major trends that will slow Canadian growth. First, the United States is in relative decline. Second, the growing global appetite for commodities means environmental challenges and volatile price swings. Third, scientific revolutions in fields such as genomics and nanotechnology will shape business and social life, but Canadian firms are behind the curve in both areas. Fourth, our aging population will be a drag on economic growth (and government revenues).
Jeffrey_Simpson  R&D  innovation  economic_stagnation  resource_extraction  America_in_Decline?  commodities  volatility  aging  complacency  Peter_Nicholson  aggressive  beyondtheU.S.  genomics  nanotechnology  productivity  paradoxes  laggards 
october 2013 by jerryking
'Big Mick' returns to mining - and he's hungry for acquisitions
October 1, 2013 | Globe & Mail | ERIC REGULY.

Mick Davis is back in the mining game....Mr. Davis, older, leaner but still hungry, along with a few former Xstrata executives, has launched X2 Resources, a private company that has raised $1-billion (U.S.) and plans to raise more. The goal is to give it the firepower to pounce on mining assets that the X2 executives consider undervalued in a market that has lost its love for commodities....Mr. Davis is bullish on commodities and thinks the selloff that sent mining company values plummeting is overdone, although he does not see a return to the "explosive" demand that turned mining companies such as Xstrata into some of the biggest wealth generators of the pre-2008 era. "We still have a lot of conviction about the resources industry," he said. "We're seeing ongoing demand in the developing world and the rise of consumer markets there."

Mr. Davis built his career on this "stronger-for-longer" theory that was centred on he belief that urbanization in China, India and some parts of sub-Saharan African would send the prices soaring for the copper used in everything from plumbing to the coal burned in electricity plants....In a statement, Jim Coulter, TPG's founding partner, said it invested because "the X2 team has an impressive track record of building metals and mining platforms around the world."
Eric_Reguly  Mick_Davis  Second_Acts  Glencore  staying_hungry  mining  commodities  private_equity  mergers_&_acquisitions  TPG  natural_resources  X2  Xstrata  entrepreneur  privately_held_companies  urbanization  China  India  sub-Saharan_Africa  investment_thesis  undervalued  developing_countries 
october 2013 by jerryking
A new challenge for the new Mandelas
Jun. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Doug Saunders.

Most of this improvement is propelled by the continent’s extremely rapid economic growth. Economies and real incomes have grown about 5 per cent annually for most of the past decade, and are now beating China and are projected to grow even faster in the coming years. At least some of this is reaching the people: Three out of four Africans now own a cellphone, a significant possession in poor countries.

All this being said, there is a disturbing lack of more lasting progress on the ground. It has become popular to claim that there are now 300 million “middle-class consumers” in Africa, almost a third of the population. This is not true in any meaningful way.

“Across Africa,” Ghanaian businessman Bright Simons wrote recently in the Harvard Business review, “incomes are rising fastest among those engaged in brokering trade in goods and services across fragmented markets … These people are rarely well-educated, though, and they share none of the cultural traits seen in the West and Asia as prerequisite to middle-class life.” Meanwhile, young and educated Africans are unable to earn anything close to the incomes that would be considered “middle class” elsewhere.

In other words, almost nobody in Africa is actually middle class: most countries are sharply polarized between a very wealthy elite and a poor who, while rising just above the level of hand-to-mouth poverty, are still unable to purchase more than the most rudimentary goods....Africa’s problems are largely self-created. Much of the continent’s new wealth comes from resource extraction (which is twice the size of any other industry). But, with a few important exceptions, governments remain unable or unwilling to keep much of this wealth within their borders or use it to create other, more lasting economies.

Now that Africa is close to solving the old problems of absolute poverty and democratic stability, it needs to overcome the new challenge of creating a real middle class – a challenge that will require another generation of Mandelas.
Doug_Saunders  Africa  middle_class  movingonup  natural_resources  resource_extraction  commodities  cultural_values  leaders  politicians  fragmented_markets 
june 2013 by jerryking
Africa’s stocks beckon, but there's a hitch - The Globe and Mail
Apr. 30 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAVID BERMAN.

Mohamed El-Erian, best known as the chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC, the $2-trillion (U.S.) asset manager, gushed over Africa in the latest issue of Foreign Policy.

He argued that the region is moving beyond its reputation as an operations base for multinational commodity producers and is now seeing economic diversification in the form of homegrown small-and medium-sized enterprises.

The World Bank, he noted, reckons that these firms add 20 per cent to Africa’s gross domestic product and generate some 50 per cent of new jobs in sub-Saharan Africa.

“These successful businesses are giving rise to internationally competitive companies, thereby providing access to global markets, new business models and technologies, and higher wages and salaries,” Mr. El-Erian said in the article.

Published
Tuesday,
Africa  commodities  investing  Mohamed_El-Erian  Nigeria  SMEs  stockmarkets  sub-Saharan_Africa 
may 2013 by jerryking
Eastern Promises
February 16, 2008 | G&M | by JOE FRIESEN AND MARCUS GEE ,
Joe_Friesen  Marcus_Gee  pulses  India  China  commodities  farmland  agriculture  farming 
march 2013 by jerryking
Why we’ll never see a $20 barrel of oil again
Mar. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAMBISA MOYO -- author, most recently, of Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World....As long as China's commodity demand grows at a higher rate than global supply, prices will rise. And the rapid economic growth that China's leaders must sustain to lift people out of poverty -- and thus prevent a crisis of legitimacy -- places a floor under global food, energy and mineral prices....The economic fundamentals of supply and demand remain the key factors in driving the direction of commodity prices and determining whether the commodity super-cycle will persist. In practical terms, this means that oil prices, for example, are more likely to hover near $120 (U.S.) a barrel over the next decade, rather than $50; and we’re unlikely to see a $20 barrel of oil ever again.
oil_industry  commodities  China  China_rising  Dambisa_Moyo  books  commodities_supercycle 
march 2013 by jerryking
True innovation doesn’t flow from a pipeline
Feb. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Konrad Yakabuski.

... If the oil companies can’t ship raw Canadian resources using that 150-year-old technology, they will rely on an even older one – rail. And if not rail, they might just float their bitumen on barges down the Mississippi.

Huckleberry Finn might have marvelled at this inventiveness, but it doesn’t quite cut it as a 21st-century national strategy for wealth creation. Yet our frantic obsession with exporting minimally processed bitumen is sucking up all the oxygen in the national conversation. Getting Alberta’s oil to market is “the most important economic issue” facing the country, says former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice. There is “no more critical issue facing Canada today,” adds Enbridge chief executive Al Monaco.

In fact, the most critical issue facing Canada today may just be figuring out why we find ourselves in this situation. Raw resources can be a tremendous source of income, but they are volatile, and we’ve always known that overreliance on them is a recipe for economic stuntedness. As Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney says: “Real wealth is built through innovation.”

Innovation is not wholly absent from Canada’s oil patch. But it’s hardly a first line of business. You’d think it would be a top priority, given the vexatious characteristics of Alberta bitumen, the oil sands’ distressing environmental footprint and the Canadian industry’s growing global image problem. Even in boom times, however, the Canadian oil and gas industry spends a piddling proportion of its revenues on research and development......Last week, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that the coming boom in global shale oil production could slash the price of crude by $50 (U.S.) a barrel over the next two decades. “One effect will be to cut the need for expensive, environmentally destructive extraction techniques like the Arctic and tar sands,” the head of PwC’s oil and gas team told Reuters.... the real issue facing Ontario is its failure to make the shift from making low-tech goods to advanced manufacturing, the only kind that can support middle-class wages. Governments have showered the industry with tens of billions of dollars trying to make Canadian firms more innovative, to little avail. Cash-strapped and fed up, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty slashed R&D tax credits in last year’s budget. The result will be even less innovation, as domestic companies cut back and foreign-owned firms shift R&D elsewhere.

“Canada’s problem,” says Robert Atkinson, the author of Innovation Economics, “is that it’s not Germany, which has a much better engineering innovation system, and it’s not the U.S., which has a very good system of science-based entrepreneurship. You’re mediocre in both.”
Keystone_XL  pipelines  crossborder  oil_industry  Mark_Carney  Ontario  innovation  oil_patch  wealth_creation  books  natural_gas  natural_resources  fracking  shale_oil  hydraulic_fracturing  Konrad_Yakabuski  oil_sands  complacency  mediocrity  commodities  volatility  cash-strapped  national_strategies  environmental_footprint 
march 2013 by jerryking
A fresh approach to growth
October 13, 2010

In Canada, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables and packaged salads represent nearly 20% of the total produce available in grocery stores. The industry is worth an estimated $14 billion a year in North America.

“Perishable commodities are as unpredictable as the stock market,” Karr says. “It’s a complex business because there are so many variables that are impossible to control, such as weather and growing conditions. In my world, you always need a contingency plan.”
fresh_produce  Canada  entrepreneur  salads  OPMA  fruits  vegetables  perishables  commodities  unpredictability  weather  contingency_planning  grocery 
february 2013 by jerryking
Chipotle, Panera Gaining Fast on McDonalds - WSJ.com
Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, so-called fast-casual restaurants, have posted solid results even as traditional fast-food chains like McDonald's and Yum

Chipotle facing a lot of higher food costs.
web_video  McDonald's  Panera  Chipotle  fast-food  commodities  fast-casual  Tex-Mex 
february 2013 by jerryking
Cargill Beats Back Co-Op on Hedges - WSJ.com
February 5, 2013 | WSJ | By CAROLYN CUI.

Cargill was hired as Autauga's marketing agent, which included helping the cooperative place hedges. Waudware??
hedging  commodities  Cargill 
february 2013 by jerryking
U.S. Crop Tour Draws Global Crowd - WSJ.com
August 26, 2012| | By IAN BERRY and OWEN FLETCHER
U.S. Crop Tour Draws Global Crowd
Increased Foreign Participation Reflects Price Volatility, International Demand.... the four-day Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, which took place last week, and similar excursions by the increasingly high stakes of agricultural commodities and the chance to gain intelligence that could give them an edge on competitors.

The increased foreign participation in the crop tours comes amid higher volatility in corn, wheat and soybean futures markets in recent years and the heightened globalization of agriculture. The U.S. farm boom stems in part from the expansion of the middle class in China, which has led to increased meat consumption, fueling more demand for grains and soybeans to feed livestock.
commodities  food_crops  pricing  volatility  slight_edge  agriculture  futures_markets  high-stakes  market_intelligence 
january 2013 by jerryking
Food in 2013: Pay more, waste less - The Globe and Mail
SYLVAIN CHARLEBOIS

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Dec. 31 2012,
food  pricing  droughts  commodities  food_crops  Sylvain_Charlebois 
january 2013 by jerryking
Global grain prices set for bumper year in 2013 - The Globe and Mail
Kevin Allison

Reuters Breakingviews

Last updated Tuesday, Dec. 18 2012,
grains  commodities  food_crops 
december 2012 by jerryking
ICE Has Expanded Aggressively - WSJ.com
December 20, 2012 | WSJ | By LESLIE JOSEPHS And JACOB BUNGE.

In 2008, as the credit crisis revealed risks lurking in off-exchange markets for byzantine derivatives such as credit-default swaps, ICE struck a deal with a consortium of banks to form a clearinghouse to back up credit derivatives. The move anticipated regulators' mandate to clear such contracts to reduce systemic risk represented to the broader financial system.
bourses  commodities  derivatives  financial_system  clearinghouses  futures_markets  IntercontinentalExchange 
december 2012 by jerryking
The comeback commodity
April 25, 2002 | Supply Management | Andy Aitken
palm_oil  commodities  oilseeds  Malaysia  Indonesia  fats  Cargill  ADM 
december 2012 by jerryking
For strong stomachs
Oct. 25, 1990| Commodity Futures | Carl Goldstein
palm_oil  commodities  Malaysia 
december 2012 by jerryking
How to Feed Nine Billion
From the December 2012 · TheWalrus.ca By Evan Fraser, Andrew Rimas •

Droughts, commodity speculation, and growing demand are placing an unprecedented strain on our global food system. Can we avoid a full-blown crisis?
supply_chains  food_crops  commodities  droughts 
november 2012 by jerryking
Driving ideas to success with plan for profit
Spring 2008 | alumni gazette | Paul Wells.

High commodity prices have made it fashionable in Ottawa lately to think of Canada as an emerging natural-resources superpower. But ideas remain a cleaner, more durable and renewable resource than anything you can dig out of the ground, and there has never been a better driver for the production and distribution of ideas than the disciplined application of the profit motive.
Paul_Wells  UWO  alumni  ideas  entrepreneurship  Rotman  Roger_Martin  Ivey  commodities  natural_resources 
september 2012 by jerryking
Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink
June/July 2007 | Canadian TREASURER | by David Dewan.

50% of water is lost in transmission in many U.S. cities because of poor infrastructure. That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Clearly, demand will far exceed supply. However, we humans are a resourceful bunch, and necessity is the mother of invention. This is why we recommend investments in all facets of the global water industry. For example:
* water technology;
* filtration & purificatiun;
* environmental services;
* engineering;
* consulting:
* irrigation;
* packaged water;
* utilities;
* pipelines & distribution;
* hydroelectricity:
* water rights, and
* instrumentation & measurement components.
water  investing  commodities  infrastructure  environmental_services 
august 2012 by jerryking
I Think I Can, I Think I Can... - WSJ.com
March 12, 2007 | WSJ | By GEORGE ANDERS.
Successful entrepreneurs believe they can make a lot of money, even when they don't. But can that confidence be taught?

We had one of those prodigies in our high school. Andy was clever, funny -- and constantly in trouble with the principal. His grades were mediocre, but he made a lot of money (and provided jobs for the rest of us) by running a snack bar on site that sold hundreds of candy bars a week.

Within a decade of graduation, Andy was making more than $1 million a year as a commodity trader in Chicago. Ever since, he has been a major player in the capital markets, creating firms and darting into new trading areas. Meanwhile, classmates with much better grades have opted for the safe obscurity of a windowed office inside a major law firm.
confidence  entrepreneurship  inspiration  parenting  traders  commodities  capital_markets  George_Anders 
august 2012 by jerryking
Wealth Creation in the 21st Century
October 9, 1995 | Forbes ASAP | William Davidow.
In the information age, much of the wealth will be created by those who add layers of intangible cpaital on top of commoditized goods and services....The rapid pace of technological change will reshape many of the institutions that are so familiar and create new ones. My guess is that much of the wealth in the future will be created by companies and individuals who build differentiated products and services by assembling commodity layers in unique ways and adding value to them.
wealth_creation  21st._century  technological_change  semiconductors  software  commodities  commoditization  value_creation  layer_mastery 
july 2012 by jerryking
Drought sends grain prices soaring
Jul. 19 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by CARRIE TAIT AND PAV JORDAN.
commodities  grains  food_crops  weather  pricing  farming  agriculture  droughts  corn 
july 2012 by jerryking
Emerging Investors in Africa: Africans - WSJ.com
July 5, 2012 | WSJ | By PATRICK MCGROARTY
Emerging Investors in Africa: Africans
As U.S. and Europe Scale Back Amid Global Crisis, Intra-Continent Investments Are on the Rise.

Even as overall foreign investment into Africa has contracted, a cohort of homegrown companies has mounted an unprecedented expansion drive. Investment between African countries has almost doubled in the past five years, to 13% of new projects started on the continent last year, according to a report on foreign direct investment released Thursday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

African companies are heading into the rest of Africa in an unprecedented investment drive that has cushioned a pullback from the West and signaled the emergence of homegrown multinationals.

The companies behind those investments are chasing high growth rates in fast-developing markets, many of them buoyed by resource exports. Oil in Angola and Nigeria, copper in Zambia and coal in Mozambique have each attracted tens of billions of dollars over the past decade. Over the period, the continent's supermarket chains, construction companies and banks have expanded rapidly.
Africa  FDI  South-South  commodities  South_Africa  Nigeria  investors  high-growth 
july 2012 by jerryking
Review & Outlook: Africa and 'Obama's Embargo' - WSJ.com
July 18, 2011|WSJ | editorials

The world is in the midst of a commodity boom, but in a mineral-rich and desperately poor corner of Africa exports of tin, tantalum and tungsten have fallen by more than 70% since last summer. These are not the effects of war or natural disaster—although the region suffers from all of that and more—but rather of what local small-time miners are calling "Obama's embargo."

The African miners are basically right about the source of their troubles, though if they want to be more specific with the blame they might also call it the McDermott embargo, after the Democratic Congressman from Washington state. Jim McDermott is one of the architects of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform bill's Section 1502, which is supposed to ensure that tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sourced from central Africa is "conflict-free," the latest trendy cause supported by those who claim to care about the welfare of ordinary Africans...the logistics of guaranteeing this on a large-scale are daunting, and many suppliers find it easier to leave central Africa entirely. A case in point is the procurement policy of the H.C. Starck group, which affirms that it rejects all raw materials from the region, "even if we are offered material with allegedly official certifications from other state authorities."
Africa  embargoes  mining  atrocities  editorials  commodities 
july 2012 by jerryking
What makes Mick Davis stand out -- strong nerves
27 Mar 2007 | The Globe and Mail pg.B.2. | Eric Reguly.

Canadian mining bosses should get out of the office more often...For Canadian (mining CEOs) when the price rises sharply, visions of price collapse immediately fill their heads, and for good reason. The last downward cycle was so brutal that the mining companies were lucky to come out of it alive. They totally misjudged the current cycle, though. The Canadian CEOs should have spent less time on the golf course and more time watching stockpiles of nickel (and copper, zinc and lead) in Shanghai, Mumbai, Taipei and Seoul disappear like beer at Oktoberfest....Xstrata CEO Mick Davis and the intelligence gatherers at Glencore International, the commodities trader that controls 35 per cent of Xstrata, endlessly traipse around the planet to pick up information on reserves and supply and demand. They feed the data into a black box, which rattles and shakes and spits out a range of eye-popping numbers. Then Xstrata runs out and buys nickel companies when nickel prices are outrageously, unsustainably, stupidly high, or so everyone else thinks. Then the company and its shareholders make obscene amounts of money....CVRD and Inco have been spectacularly right, the Canadians spectacularly wrong. The result is a Canadian nickel mining industry with no nickel miners left of any size. Falconbridge, Inco and LionOre have been eradicated as independent, home-grown names. Investors who sold Inco and Falconbridge left fortunes on the table...The Xstrata lads didn't just get smart on price forecasts. They also figured out how to treat the hedge funds: Respect but don't fret about them. The hedgies pump volatility into the system. When commodity prices fall, say, 10 per cent, share prices might fall by double that amount as the hedgies head for the tall grass. As a CEO, you need strong nerves to endure such violent up and down movements. Mr. Davis has strong nerves and it has paid off. Many other mining bosses look at the hedge funds with fear.
CEOs  commodities  commodities_supercycle  Eric_Reguly  Glencore  inventories  lessons_learned  market_intelligence  Mick_Davis  mining  price_forecasts  scuttlebutt  sellout_culture  stockpiles  volatility  Xstrata 
june 2012 by jerryking
Trader Hits Jackpot in Oil, As Commodity Boom Roars On - WSJ.com
February 28, 2008| WSJ | By ANN DAVIS.
Mr. Hall Bet Early On Market Shift; Buoying Citigroup.

Profiles Andrew J. Hall, an enigmatic British-born trader who, in 2003, anticipated an important shift in the way the world valued oil -- and bet big....Mr. Hall's bet -- that long-term and short-term energy prices would soon abandon their historical relationship with one another -- looked like a long shot when he made it....Around 2003, Mr. Hall became convinced big structural changes were looming in the oil markets. For more than a decade, oil had ranged from $10 to $30 a barrel. But growth in demand was starting to outstrip growth in supply. And the once-sleepy economies of China and India were starting to compete for that fuel.

To place his bet, he focused on what was then a stagnant corner of the commodities world: The extremely long-term market in which traders buy and sell oil to be delivered years in the future.

Futures are contracts to buy or sell a product later on, at a price agreed upon today. Back in 2003, oil for future delivery was considerably cheaper than oil in the "spot," or current, market. For instance, a barrel of oil for delivery in 2005 was as much as 20% cheaper than spot oil....A key to Mr. Hall's success, says a friend, Thomas Coleman, a Louisiana oil-storage executive and fellow art collector, is an ability to block out the noise of the crowd. When Mr. Hall "locks in on an idea, he'll take it to the extreme," Mr. Coleman says.
Citigroup  Phibro  traders  oil_industry  hedge_funds  big_bets  commodities  collectors  pattern_recognition  structural_change  extremities  commodities_supercycle  ratios  noise  turbocharge  extremes 
june 2012 by jerryking
Jeffrey Immelt has a cure for Canada's 'resource curse' - The Globe and Mail
SHAWN McCARTHY - GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTER

TORONTO — From Saturday's Globe and Mail (Correction included)

Published Friday, Mar. 30 2012
============================
the oil exporter curse, which pushed up the exchange rate, making it cheaper to import finished goods than produce them. a country’s once thriving [fill in the blank e.g. textile industry] becomes a pale shadow of itself.
Jeffrey_Immelt  GE  Canada  natural_resources  commodities  resource_curse 
june 2012 by jerryking
Warning: The boom out West is both a lure and a trap
April 26, 2008 | Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON.

"But the hardest thing in politics is to think ahead, way ahead. The No. 1 question every government in these provinces should ask is:
Can't we do better?

Better means transforming more raw materials in Canada, wherever possible. Better means thinking not just of a Western gateway as a
transportation system, but as a way of putting industries and people together to add value to what is shipped.

Better means not just drilling and scouring, but figuring out how to lead the world in sustainable development, so that when China and
India and others decide they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Canadian companies and governments can show them how, and sell them the technology and know-how.

Better means making universities even better than they are, because using today's money to invest in tomorrow's minds is the best investment for when the commodities boom weakens. "
Jeffrey_Simpson  Ontario  federal-provincial_relations  politics  Alberta  equalization_payments  commodities  value_added  Colleges_&_Universities  beforemath  dissatisfaction  from notes
june 2012 by jerryking
Data as a Renewable Commodity and Profit Center — Jason Kolb dot Com
June 6, 2011 | Jason Kolb.com | By Jason Kolb.

One of the reasons I love data is because there’s so much potential for mining real value from it, especially when you combine it with other, new data sources. In fact it acts a lot like a traditional commodity such as copper or wool in that someone produces it, and then someone else buys the raw material and makes something new from it. It’s unique from traditional commodities, however, in that it doesn’t get used up at all when it’s used to create something new–this makes it particularly interesting from an economic point of view.

In addition, anyone can make it, it doesn’t get used up, and the industry of using data to create new and valuable things is still so young and ripe for profit-making. In fact I think it’s one of the areas that America needs to focus on if its economy is to recover because for the most part it’s still virgin territory and it’s going to create a lot of economic value. What I really don’t want to see is foreign companies being the first to capitalize on the data as that would suck most of the value out of our economy, just what we don’t need right now.
data  commercialization  renewable  commodities  metadata  Factual  Infochimps  data_scientists  information_sources 
june 2012 by jerryking
Hot Commodities
May 2004 | Robb Report Worth |by John Fried.

When you invest in say, copper, you have to determine whether there is too much supply of copper or too little. You have to figure out how many copper mines are being opened and how many are dpelted. Once you uncderstand those dynamics, you invest. If you inves tin the stock of a copper company, you have to look at those samle macro issues as well as corporate fundamentals. You have to worry about management, balance sheets, continuing practices, and how well the board of directors handles its pension plan . You have to worry about the overall mood of the stock market, the U.S. economy, and well as foreign economies. To me, cutting out the middle man is a lot easier....As a savvy commodities investor you must pay attention to the macro fundamentals--supply, demand, inventories--as well as the mood of the market in order to find your sell sign.
Jim_Rogers  commodities  investing  China  water  gold  market_sentiment  pay_attention 
may 2012 by jerryking
Even Dairy Farming Has a 1 Percent - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
March 6, 2012
to accommodate global trade rules and diminishing political support for agricultural subsidies, the government allowed milk prices to follow market demand. People in other parts of the world — notably China and India — also became richer and began demanding more meat and dairy products. Animal feed, especially corn and soybeans, became globally traded commodities with all the impossible-to-predict price swings of oil or copper. Today Robert can predict his profit or loss next month with all the certainty that you or I can predict the stock market or gas prices. During my visit, Robert said that his success this year will be determined by, among other things, China’s unpredictable economic growth, the price of gas (influenced, of course, by events in Iran and Syria) and the weather in New Zealand (a major milk exporter), where a drought can send prices skyrocketing.

There are ways to manage, and even profit from, these new risks. The markets offer a stunning range of complex agricultural financial products. Dairy farmers (or, for that matter, anybody) can buy and sell milk and animal-feed futures, which allow them to lock in favorable prices, hedge against bad news in the future and so forth. There’s also a new product that combines feed and milk futures into one financial package, allowing farmers to guarantee a minimum margin no matter what happens to commodity markets down the road.
farming  risk-management  agriculture  dairy  hedging  risks  soybeans  commodities  futures_markets  bad_news 
march 2012 by jerryking
Go west, young Canadians - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 09, 2012

The country’s economic, demographic and political power are all shifting. Western power has already begun to change our national values. Stephen Harper’s majority was no fluke. He was elected by a new coalition of westerners and voters in the suburbs of Toronto. These people prefer CTV to the CBC. They think Ottawa and government should matter less, and they seldom think about Quebec at all. This is an epochal shift.
demographic_changes  Alberta  Quebec  population_growth  population_trends  Margaret_Wente  commodities  oil_industry  Saskatchewan  natural_resources 
february 2012 by jerryking
Rival CEOs Face Test of Cooperation - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 3, 2012 | WSJ | By JOHN W. MILLER And DANA CIMILLUCA

Rival CEOs Face Toughest Test Yet of Cooperation

In 2003, Xstrata, under Mr. Davis, bought an Australian copper and coal company named MIM Holdings Ltd. In regulatory filings at the time, MIM estimated the price of its "coking" coal for steel production at $45 a ton. After closing the $2.9 billion acquisition, Xstrata arranged to sell its coal through Glencore's trading arm.

By analyzing mine production data, ships and ports, Mr. Glasenberg, a former coal trader, and his lieutenants at Glencore figured out that Asian steelmakers were heading for a shortage of coal. So, Xstrata refused to sell its coal at the benchmark settlement price of $56 to $59 a ton negotiated by the market leader at the time, BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance.

After months of holding out, furious Indian, Japanese and Korean steelmakers caved in and agreed to pay $135 a ton.
Glencore  Xstrata  CEOs  mining  commodities 
february 2012 by jerryking
Forget Stocks—Chinese Turn Bullish On Booze and Caterpillar Fungus - WSJ.com
JANUARY 30, 2012 |WSJ | By DINNY MCMAHON.

Forget Stocks—Chinese Turn Bullish on Booze and Caterpillar Fungus
Investors Chase Returns in Strange Places; A Wild Ride in 'Roaring Yellow River'...With Chinese stocks falling, real-estate markets flat and bank deposits offering measly returns, Chinese investors have been looking for help in strange places. Besides traditional medicinal products, they are plowing money into art-based stock markets, homegrown liquors, mahogany furniture and jade, among other decidedly non-Western asset classes....The problem for Chinese investors is that returns have evaporated from more traditional markets. Real estate was once China's favorite investment, but government efforts to contain price increases and keep housing affordable have led to price stagnation and even declines in some cities. China's major stock exchange in Shanghai is down almost 20% since the beginning of 2011. Bank deposit rates are lower than the pace of inflation, meaning savers effectively pay banks for the privilege of handling their money.

"There really are very few investment channels," says Ren Jun, a 30-year-old media entrepreneur with investments in contemporary art, antiques, gold and silver. "That's why I'm kind of forcing myself to be brave in trying new options."
China  investing  investors  personal_finance  financial_planning  asset_classes  diversification  art  collectibles  commodities  alternative_investments  antiques  furniture  collectors 
january 2012 by jerryking
Clouds looming over Asian commodities -
13 Aug 2011 | Financial Times pg. 8. | by Kevin Brown
ProQuest  palm_oil  commodities  Cargill  food_crops 
august 2011 by jerryking
Sprott CEO: International foray will drive expansion
July 21, 2011 | | TIM KILADZE
Describes growth of its business as 'slow and steady' and vows the firm will stay true to its roots in precious metals
Eric_Sprott  asset_management  Sprott_Inc.  commodities  precious_metals 
july 2011 by jerryking
THE BIGGEST GROUPS ARE ILL WITH INEFFICIENCY
April 06 2011 | FT | Luke Johnson
● Sunk cost fallacy:
● Groupthink:
● An obsession with governance:
● Institutional capture: the phenomenon whereby mgmt. end up running an
enterprise for their own benefit, rather than for the real owners. Also
known as the principal/agent problem.
● Office politics: self-destructive infighting for power within large
businesses is endemic, and perhaps the biggest value destroyer of all.
● Lack of proprietorship:
● Risk aversion: in large corporates, the punishment for management
failure is greater than the rewards for success. So, rational
individuals pursue cautious strategies to avoid damaging their career
prospects. (aka "playing it safe")
● The burden of history: many older companies have legacy issues such as
pension scheme deficits, union contracts, inefficient equipment and so
on.
● Anonymous mediocrities: there is nowhere to hide in a small company –
if you can’t deliver, you’re out.
● Commodity products: large companies need large markets,
playing_it_safe  start_ups  inefficiencies  size  groupthink  Luke_Johnson  large_markets  large_companies  bureaucracies  risk-aversion  mediocrity  owners  office_politics  commodities  self-destructive  brands  legacy_tech 
april 2011 by jerryking
Commodities Report: Mining Start-Ups Look for Northern Exposure - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 30, 2010 | | Phred Dvorak. The Toronto bourse
estimates Canada has snagged more than a third of the world's equity
financing by mining companies during the past 10 years, and 55% in the
first three-quarters of this year.

The flow of mining deals comes amid a boom in commodities prices that
has pushed gold and copper to records and silver to near 30-year highs.
Canada  Canadian  mining  finance  start_ups  TSX  stockmarkets  TMX  commodities  commodities_supercycle  bourses 
november 2010 by jerryking
20 Small Businesses of the Future: Water Trader - BusinessWeek
Water Trader
The Idea: Water becoming scarce

Stage: Bottled water already a billion-dollar business

It has been said that water is the oil of the 21st century. But humans
don't need to drink a liter or two of oil every day. Early signs of
coming conflicts over water are already apparent around the world and in
the U.S., where the Southwest is ever-thirsty. Dickson Despommier, a
professor of microbiology at Columbia University, says water issues are a
coming tidal wave, especially considering the amount of water needed
for agriculture. "People will actually make a choice: I could drink this
water, or I could let my plants drink this water," Despommier says.
"It's going to be the subject of conflicts and wars."
small_business  water  scarcity  commodities  traders 
november 2010 by jerryking
If You Can Bet on the Rain, Watch out for Rainmakers - NYTimes.com
November 5, 2010 | | By STEPHEN J. DUBNER. the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange began selling futures contracts on rain. As this
Marketplace report points out, the Merc — best known for selling
agricultural commodities and futures — “already sells futures for
temperature, frost, snow — even hurricanes.” As the Merc’s Tim
Andriessen told Marketplace, “There’s really no science or art in terms
of long-term forecasts so that uncertainty is actually what makes an
opportunity for products like this.” Andriessen argues that “any
business affected by weather — from farms to concert venues — could find
rain futures beneficial. If that concert is rained out, the
organization running the show could still make money.”

That makes sense, doesn’t it? Most of us buy insurance of one form or
another. And such an offering seems impervious to human intervention.
That’s a key component to setting up a fair betting market: the outcome
can’t be influenced by any of the bettors.
weather  commodities  traders  futures_markets  human_intervention 
november 2010 by jerryking
FT.com / Companies / Financial Services - Louis Dreyfus considers options for reinvention
September 23 2010|FT| By Javier Blas. When Léopold
Louis-Dreyfus, the 18-yr-old son of a farmer from Alsace, started in
1851 buying wheat from local farmers and selling it in a market town, he
could not have dreamed how his grain trading business would grow over
the next 150 years (remaining family-owned and expanding into a
conglomerate including cereals, ships and weapons).Today, Louis Dreyfus
Commodities, still controlled by descendants of Léopold, is one of the
world’s largest agricultural commodities trading houses, rivalling
competitors such as Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland, New
York-based Bunge and Minneapolis-based Cargill. The four, known because
of their initials as the industry’s “ABCD”, dominate global flows of
agricultural raw materials. The French family-owned group is considering
a radical change of ownership, exploring options, including an initial
public offering or the sale of a stake to long-term investors.
family-owned_businesses  agriculture  commodities  conglomerates  food_crops  Cargill  Louis_Dreyfus  ADM  grains  traders  options  reinvention 
september 2010 by jerryking
Book review: The Sugar King of Havana - WSJ.com
AUGUST 3, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By EDUARDO KAPLAN. A Master Of Sweet Deals
The remarkable life of a sugar tycoon in pre-Castro Cuba. Reviews The Sugar King of Havana By John Paul Rathbone
Penguin Press, 304 pages, $27.95
book_reviews  Cuba  sugar  commodities  moguls 
august 2010 by jerryking
Driving ideas to success with plan for profit
March 31, 2008 | Western News | By Paul Wells, BA'89.
Research works best when its only spur is the curiosity and energy of
thoughtful investigators with the tools to follow hunches. But the
product of their work - ideas - is likeliest to leave the lab when it is
pulled out by entrepreneurs who have an eye on the market. It's
important to get that balance right. It's pointless to fund only
research that looks likely to pay off. You can't know which ideas will
pay off. But new ideas won't go anywhere without competent managers to
implement them. Roger Martin at the University of Toronto's Rotman
School of Management has persuasively demonstrated that if Canada has
fewer high-tech industries than the United States, it's not because
we're doing less science, it's because we have a smaller
university-trained management class. Western's Ivey School of Business
is a big part of the solution, not part of the problem.
UWO  Ivey  Rotman  Roger_Martin  Paul_Wells  curiosity  commodities  natural_resources  research  R&D  entrepreneurship  commercialization  management 
may 2010 by jerryking
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