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Group Moves 500 Cattle to Lagos by Rail

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Cattle farming

Two weeks after the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture introduced a Farm-to-Market scheme, the movement of cattle by rail has commenced with the first 15 wagons of 500 cattle transported from the North to Lagos.

The scheme is to ensure a low-cost and efficient transport link between agricultural producers and consumers across the country.

NIRSAL is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide incentives including bank guarantees for agric projects.

Specifically, the group said the cattle were moved from Zamfara to Lagos.

The cattle train take off was witnessed by the Governor of Zamfara State, Yari Abubakar, officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Central Bank of Nigeria and representatives of international development partners and finance institutions.

Also present were representatives of banks, other private sector players, livestock traders, among others.

The journey, the first to be undertaken in over 40 years, is expected to last about two days with the final stop at Oko-Oba in Lagos.

It signals the beginning of the livestock transportation component of NIRSAL’s Farm-to-Market scheme.

According to the latest figures released by NIRSAL, the total value of the North East-Lagos cattle trade market alone is estimated at N324bn per annum.

This does not include the North/South-East cattle trade or the trade in small ruminants such as sheep and goats.

Overall, NIRSAL estimated the total live animal trade between the North and South to be from N850bn to N950bn per annum.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director, NIRSAL, Abdulhameed Aliyu, said under the scheme, NIRSAL, in line with its mandate, would provide bank guarantees for the financing of critical requirements involved in the movement of the cattle including logistics and equipment.

According to him, the project is a culmination of two years of intensive work by NIRSAL and Connect Rail Services Limited.

Abdulhameed said, “What we have witnessed today is the culmination of this rigorous and consistent effort to demonstrate that agric in Nigeria can be innovative and business-oriented.

“The transportation component launched today is only the first part. The next phase of NIRSAL’s effort for the commercial development of the livestock value chain will include the creation of business models and specific financing products for the ranching and trading components of the value chain.”

The scheme, according to him, is projected to reduce the cost of transporting cattle from the North to the South by over 20 per cent, minimise injury and death of cattle while in transit and preserve 100 per cent of their value so that livestock breeders can get good price for their produce at the destination markets.

The Zamfara State governor, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Ibrahim Mohammed, said the scheme would enable cattle rearers to have access to wider markets.

He also said, “Railway offers a more convenient means of moving goods across the country.”

Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Connect Rail Services, Mr. Edeme Kelikume, said the company was excited at the magnitude of the scheme and the massive impact it would have on the economy.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Posts 2% Gain for the Week Despite India Virus Surge

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices steadied on Friday and were set for a weekly gain against the backdrop of optimism over a global economic recovery, though the COVID-19 crisis in India capped prices.

Brent crude futures settled 0.28% higher at $68.28 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude advanced 0.29% to $64.90 per barrel.

Both Brent and WTI are on track for second consecutive weekly gains as easing restrictions on movement in the United States and Europe, recovering factory operations and coronavirus vaccinations pave the way for a revival in fuel demand.

In China, data showed export growth accelerated unexpectedly in April while a private survey pointed to strong expansion in service sector activity.

However, crude imports by the world’s biggest buyer fell 0.2% in April from a year earlier to 40.36 million tonnes, or 9.82 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest since December.

In the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, jobless claims have dropped, signalling the labour market recovery has entered a new phase as the economy recovers.

The recovery in oil demand, however, has been uneven as surging COVID-19 cases in India reduce fuel consumption in the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer.

“Brent came within a whisker of breaking past $70 a barrel this week but failed at the final hurdle as demand uncertainty dragged on prices,” said Stephen Brennock at oil brokerage PVM.

The resurgence of COVID-19 in countries such as India, Japan and Thailand is hindering gasoline demand recovery, energy consultancy FGE said in a client note, though some of the lost demand has been offset by countries such as China, where recent Labour Day holiday travel surpassed 2019 levels.

“Gasoline demand in the U.S. and parts of Europe is faring relatively well,” FGE said.

“Further out, we could see demand pick up as lockdowns are eased and pent-up demand is released during the summer driving season.”

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Commodities

Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange to Commence Gold Trading

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gold bars

With the admission of Dukia Gold’s diversified financial instruments backed by gold as the underlying asset, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is set to commence gold trading.

According to Dukia Gold, the instruments will be in form of exchange-traded notes, commercial papers and other gold-backed securities, adding that it will enable the company to deepen the commodities market in Nigeria, increase capacity, generate foreign exchange for the Nigerian government to better diversify foreign reserves and create jobs across the metal production value chain.

Tunde Fagbemi, the Chairman, Dukia Gold, disclosed this while addressing journalists at Pre-Listing Media Interactive Session in Lagos on Thursday.

He said, “We are proud to be the first gold company whose products would be listed on the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange. The listing shall enable us facilitate our infrastructure development, expand capacity and create fungible products.

“This has potential to shore up Nigeria’s foreign reserve and create an alternative window for preservation of pension funds. A gold-backed security is a hedge against inflation and convenient preservation of capital.”

“As a global player, we comply with the practices and procedures of London Bullion Market Association and many other international bodies. Our refinery will also have multiplier effects on the development of rural areas anywhere it is located,” he added.

Mr Olusegun Akanji, the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, Heritage Bank, said the lender had created a buying centre for verification of quality and quantity of gold and reference price to ensure price discovery in line with the global standard.

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Crude Oil

Oil Nears $70 as Easing Western Lockdowns Boost Summer Demand Outlook

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Crude oil

Oil prices rose for a third day on Wednesday as easing of lockdowns in the United States and parts of Europe heralded a boost in fuel demand in summer season and offset concerns about the rise of COVID-19 infections in India and Japan.

Brent crude rose 93 cents, or 1.4%, to $69.81 a barrel at 1008 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 85 cents, or 1.3%, to $66.54 a barrel.

Both contracts hit the highest level since mid-March in intra-day trade.

“A return to $70 oil is edging closer to becoming reality,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

“The jump in oil prices came amid expectations of strong demand as western economies reopen. Indeed, anticipation of a pick-up in fuel and energy usage in the United States and Europe over the summer months is running high,” he said.

Crude prices were also supported by a large fall in U.S. inventories.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group reported crude stockpiles fell by 7.7 million barrels in the week ended April 30, according to two market sources. That was more than triple the drawdown expected by analysts polled by Reuters. Gasoline stockpiles fell by 5.3 million barrels.

Traders are awaiting data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday to see if official data shows such a large fall.

“If confirmed by the EIA, that would mark the largest weekly fall in the official data since late January,” Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.

The rise in oil prices to nearly two-month highs has been supported by COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in the United States and Europe.

Euro zone business activity accelerated last month as the bloc’s dominant services industry shrugged off renewed lockdowns and returned to growth.

“The partial lifting of mobility restrictions, the expectation that tourism will return in the near future, and the lure of the psychologically important $70 mark are all likely to have contributed to the price rise,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

This has offset a drop in fuel demand in India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, which is battling a surge in COVID-19 infections.

“However, if we were to eventually see a national lockdown imposed, this would likely hit sentiment,” ING Economics analysts said of the situation in India.

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