Prices in Japan didn’t rise in February, reinforcing just how far the nation remains from reaching the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent inflation goal.
Japan’s consumer prices excluding fresh food didn’t budge for a second consecutive month, as forecast. Stripping out energy and food costs, the gauge rose 0.8 percent from last year, according to a statistics bureau report on Friday.
Time is ticking for Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who is forecasting inflation will accelerate to reach 2 percent in about a year. Even with the central bank’s adoption in January of a negative interest rate alongside the BOJ’s already unprecedented asset purchases, prices aren’t rising.
Kobayashi expects consumer prices excluding fresh food will drop by as much as 0.5 percent in May or June, and the bank will probably have to add stimulus in July, he said.
There is little sign of inflationary pressure in Japan. The economy contracted last quarter, wage growth is slow, the yen has strengthened — driving down import prices — and although oil has risen about 10 percent this year, its price is still about half of what it was at the end of February 2015.
The price gauge Kuroda often cites is also showing weakness. The BOJ’s own price index, which excludes energy and fresh foods, is forecast to remain at 1.1 percent in February, down from 1.3 percent in December.
Crude Oil Dips Slightly on Friday Amid Demand Concerns
On Friday, global crude oil prices experienced a slight dip, primarily attributed to mounting concerns surrounding demand despite signs of a tightening market.
Brent crude prices edged lower, nearing $83 per barrel, following a recent uptick of 1.6% over two consecutive sessions.
Similarly, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude hovered around $78 per barrel. Despite the dip, market indicators suggest a relatively robust market, with US crude inventories expanding less than anticipated in the previous week.
The oil market finds itself amidst a complex dynamic, balancing optimistic signals such as reduced OPEC+ output and heightened tensions in the Middle East against persistent worries about Chinese demand, particularly as the nation grapples with economic challenges.
This delicate equilibrium has led oil futures to mirror the oscillations of broader stock markets, underscoring the interconnectedness of global economic factors.
Analysts, including Michael Tran from RBC Capital Markets LLC, highlight the recurring theme of robust oil demand juxtaposed with concerning Chinese macroeconomic data, contributing to market volatility.
Also, recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi militants have added a risk premium to oil futures, reflecting geopolitical uncertainties beyond immediate demand-supply dynamics.
While US crude inventories saw a slight rise, they remain below seasonal averages, indicating some resilience in the market despite prevailing uncertainties.
Nigeria’s Petrol Imports Decrease by 1 Billion Litres Following Subsidy Removal
Nigeria’s monthly petrol imports declined by approximately 1 billion litres following the fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported.
The NBS findings illuminate the tangible effects of this policy shift on the country’s petroleum importation dynamics.
Prior to the subsidy removal, the NBS report delineated a consistent pattern of petrol imports with quantities ranging between 1.91 billion and 2.29 billion litres from March to May 2023.
However, in the aftermath of Tinubu’s decision, the nation witnessed a notable downturn in petrol imports, with figures plummeting to 1.64 billion litres in June, the first post-subsidy month.
This downward trend persisted in subsequent months, with July recording a further reduction to 1.45 billion litres and August witnessing a significant decline to 1.09 billion litres.
August’s import figures represented a decrease of over 1 billion litres compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
The NBS report underscores the pivotal role of the subsidy removal in reshaping Nigeria’s petrol import landscape with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company emerging as the sole importer of fuel in the current scenario.
Despite higher petrol imports in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year, the decline in June, July, and August underscores the profound impact of subsidy removal on import dynamics, affirming the NBS’s latest findings.
Nigeria’s Oil Rig Count Soars From 11 to 30, Says NUPRC CEO
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, has announced a surge in the country’s oil rig count.
Komolafe disclosed that Nigeria’s oil rigs have escalated from 11 to 30, a substantial increase since 2011.
Attributing this surge to concerted efforts by NUPRC and other governmental stakeholders, Komolafe highlighted the importance of instilling confidence, certainty, and predictability in the oil and gas industry.
He explained the pivotal role of the recently implemented Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which has spurred significant capital expenditure amounting to billions of dollars over the past two and a half years.
Speaking in Lagos after receiving The Sun Award, Komolafe underscored the effective discharge of NUPRC’s statutory mandate, which has contributed to the success stories witnessed in the sector.
The surge in Nigeria’s oil rig count signifies a tangible measure of vibrant activities within the upstream oil and gas sector, reflecting increased drilling activity and heightened industry dynamism.
Also, Komolafe noted that NUPRC has issued over 17 regulations aimed at enhancing certainty and predictability in industry operations, aligning with the objectives outlined in the PIA.
Billionaire Watch4 weeks ago
MacKenzie Scott Sells Off $10.4 Billion Worth of Amazon Shares
Naira4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate January 26th, 2024
Forex3 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate February 1st, 2024
Company News4 weeks ago
UAC Posts N12.7 Billion Profit Before Tax in 2023
Forex3 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate February 2nd, 2024
Education4 weeks ago
WAEC: Over 8,000 Candidates Register for First Series of Computer Based-WASSCE in Nigeria
Banking Sector3 weeks ago
CBN Accuses Banks of Hoarding $5 Billion in Foreign Currencies
Forex4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate January 30th, 2024