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Showing posts from February 25, 2015

EURO MARKET : What Europeans think of each other ...

Polls apart

May 15th 2013, 17:02 BY J.S.

IT IS not hard to find reasons why disaffection with the European Union might be growing within Europe. GDP in the euro area has declined for the sixth successive quarter and unemployment is running at record levels in many countries. Germany resents bailing out profligate neighbours and its relationship with France, which has just slipped into recession, is at a low ebb. In Britain, the Conservative prime minister faces one of the periodic uprisings from within his party against membership of the EU. Nonetheless, it is sobering to see a new survey on public opinion in Europe by the Pew Research Centre confirming much of this disgruntlement, and more besides.

When people in eight countries were asked about monetary union and EU membership, fewer were in favour of either than they were when asked a year ago. But it was a question on attitudes to one another that was arguably most revealing, exposing lingering stereotyping, some historical mistrust …

The West Coast port strike will squeeze the trade deficit



AP Photo/Ben Margot

Shipping companies and a powerful dock workers' union in West Coast ports reached a tentative deal last Friday after a nine-month slowdown.

In a note Tuesday, Goldman's Kris Dawsey wrote that although an agreement has been reached, shipments slowed in January, and likely February.

 The US international trade balance for January, out March 6, may send the trade deficit to its lowest level in a year.

"The case for a narrower trade deficit in January was already strong, in our view, given the suspicious jump in real petroleum imports in December and the continued drop in petroleum import prices through January," Dawsey wrote. 

"Adding in the effect of port disruptions, our preliminary forecast for January is a large $8.6bn improvement in the nominal trade deficit to -$38bn."

Dawsey continued: "However, any 'benefit' from the smaller trade deficit will probably begin to reverse by the end of March, by which …

Fairtrade sales fall for first time in foundation's 20-year existence

Ethical trading scheme’s drop of nearly 4% reflects consumers’ reluctance to pay extra as cheaper alternatives are presented by chains such as Aldi and Lidl

Fairtrade works to protect farmers in developing countries but as the price of commodities such as sugar drop, its products seem more expensive by comparison. Photograph: Alamy

Sarah Butler

Sunday 22 February 2015 19.01 EST
Last modified on Monday 23 February 2015 03.31 EST

Sales of Fairtrade goods have fallen for the first time since the ethical trading scheme was founded 20 years ago as cash-strapped consumers tighten their belts.

The slide of almost 4%, after years of double-digit growth, reflects wider troubles in the grocery market as shoppers put less in their baskets and turn to cheaper chains such as Aldi and Lidl in a bid to save money. While the discount supermarket chains do stock some Fairtrade goods, these make up a much smaller proportion of their sales than in some of the more mainstream supermarkets.

The retail sales value…

Maersk Line's $2.3 billion profit lifts group to earnings record

Greg Knowler, Senior Asia Editor

| Feb 25, 2015 5:57AM EST

Munkebo Maersk, the line's 14th Triple-E vessel, is part of the 2M Alliance with MSC that will be fully operational by the end of March.

HONG KONG — Maersk Group made a record net profit of $5.2 billion in 2014, up 38 percent on the 2013 result and driven by a strong performance by Maersk Line, which reported a profit of $2.3 billion.

The liner shipping division earnings were 50 percent up on those of 2013, with the fourth quarter alone delivering a profit of $655 million, more than double the result of the same quarter in 2013, Maersk Group CEO Nils Andersen said in an earnings call.

He said the group was very satisfied with the result and predicted that Maersk Line would beat the underlying profit this year. The carrier plans to improve its competitiveness through unit cost reductions and the full roll out of the 2M Alliance that Andersen said allow Maersk Line to match the 3-5 percent increase in global demand for seaborne c…

BAD FOR BUSINESS : Fed chief warns against grafting currency rules onto trade deals

By: Reuters | Feb 24 2015 at 04:57 PM | International Trade

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen warned Congress against a bid to crack down on currency cheats and said adding currency rules to trade deals could hobble monetary policy.

Lawmakers have introduced legislation allowing firms to seek compensation for currency weakness overseas and some are also fighting to include a currency chapter in upcoming trade deals such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Yellen said while it was inappropriate to seek an edge over trading partners by devaluing currencies, she would “really worry greatly”about including sanctions against currency manipulation in trade deals.

Easy monetary policy to stimulate growth, including the Fed’s low ultra-low interest rates and massive asset purchases, could weaken exchange rates but was not currency manipulation, Yellen said.

“I would really be concerned by a regime that would introduce sanctions for currency manipulation into trade agreements when it…

JAXPORT welcomes consolidation of Crowley’s Jacksonville operations

By: AJOT | Feb 23 2015 at 05:05 PM | Ports & Terminals

JAXPORT’s Board of Directors unanimously approved an expanded, long-term lease with Crowley Liner Services Inc., a subsidiary of the 123-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, a privately held family and employee-owned company headquartered in Jacksonville and operating here since 1975. 

Under the agreement, Crowley will relocate its Puerto Rican service from its private terminal along Jacksonville’s harbor to JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal and expand its current leasehold in preparation for deployment of the company’s two new revolutionary LNG-powered Commitment-Class ships.

The new facilities lease agreement becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2017, for a term of 20 years plus two 10-year mutual renewal options, and calls for Crowley’s current 12-acre Talleyrand leasehold to be expanded to 50 acres.

“This agreement clearly reinforces our commitment to the Puerto Rican trade lane and our valued partners who serve the island—both c…