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Local Production Suffers Setback on Dollarisation of Raw Materials

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  • Local Production Suffers Setback on Dollarisation of Raw Materials

The Federal Government’s efforts at diversifying the economy and reducing dependence on importation are being undermined by value-chain operators, farmers and providers of key raw materials who would rather export raw commodities for foreign exchange than sell to local producers at market prices.

The hot chase for forex by farmers and other raw material providers outside of government control will lead to higher prices, especially as scarcity and demand from neighbouring countries put pressure on local supply.

Local manufacturers say raw commodities like cotton, grains and natural gas, among others are being offered to local manufacturers at prevailing international market prices and payment being demanded in foreign exchange even as the materials are being harvested and produced domestically.

Operators noted that successes recorded by government intervention in some key industries might be eroded if access to raw materials was not guaranteed. This means that consumers may pay more for even locally-produced goods if the ugly trend is not checked.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, had raised the alarm that the country currently risks famine from early next year due to the huge export of the country’s grains to attract foreign exchange, even when local demands have not been met.

With the exception of organisations that deployed out-grower schemes to develop their value-chain capacity, other operators have had to depend on imports subject to availability of foreign exchange or depend on open market where prices are arbitrarily determined by farmers and value-chain operators.

The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs, explained that manufacturers have begun to look inwards for raw materials sourcing since access to foreign exchange has become limited. The idea of ‘looking inwards’ for raw materials is to sustain operations, leading to poor capacity utilisation. He argued that suppliers’ penchant for across-the-border sales is frustrating manufacturers looking to source raw materials locally.

Manufacturers are worried that government, which recently reported glut in grains and farmers’ inclination to sell to foreigners, has not evolved an efficient interventionist policy to mop up the excess and guarantee future supplies in event of famine.

The Ministry of Agriculture could not confirm immediate plans to revive marketing boards. The Guardian could not reach Minister Audu Ogbeh on his mobile phone. His media aide, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, instead offered to provide details on Monday (today). Marketing board is a stop-gap mechanism to ensure supplies and stabilize price between planting seasons.3w

The President of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), Mrs. Grace Adereti, canvassed the revival of the Commodities Board as a measure to ease textile manufacturers’ access to raw materials for production.

Lamenting the present situation, Aderetin said: “When we contacted the farmers, they said that they are not ready to supply to us at the price negotiated by the ginners. Further inquiry showed that farmers based their price on what they will generate from exporting the cotton. They want to sell at 40 cents per kilogramme of cotton.

“If we accede to the price, our output will become uncompetitive considering the infrastructural deficit in the country, which affects the cost of production. We are in a fix. Some factories have suspended production because they do not have cotton for production.

“In the past, there was a market board and government had control over the price of cotton. We want the government to intervene in this matter and save manufacturers. We have the machinery and the workforce and we are ready to produce, but we are hindered by the present situation.”

The Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, decried the lack of a fiscal policy framework to guide operations in the real sector.

According to him, if the fundamentals are not right, backward integration will not work as so many linkages in the value-chain are missing.

“We need to build capacity of investors in the value-chain for backward integration to be successful. Except for the big manufacturers with huge capacity, it could be too much for industrialists to embark on the process with little or no support. Government needs to embark on a holistic and integrated approach as some of the raw materials are not easy to get as it is being described”, Yusuf said.

The Director-General of NTMA, Hamma Kwajaffa, also alleged that rivalry among government agencies contributed to the challenges hindering the growth of the textile industry.

“The former Minister of Agric initiated the creation of the cotton corporation, but he had a rivalry with the Minister of Trade that said establishing the corporation falls within his domain. That was how the whole matter was stalled at the Federal Executive Council.

“The absence of regulation makes everyone to fix prices that they want across the value chain. If you go to Chad, you cannot just buy cotton. It is regulated by their government. We will prefer that local usage of cotton is given preference before export,” Kwajaffa said.

The Chairman, MAN Gas Users Group, Dr. Michael Adebayo stated that dollarisation of materials needed for production is a disincentive for local producers, adding that the trend has affected gas pricing, with many operators struggling to keep their factories running.

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

Brent Crude Rises to $69 on IEA Report

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Oil prices rose after the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA)  closely-watched Oil Market Report, with WTI Crude trading at above $66 a barrel and Brent Crude surpassing the $69 per barrel mark.

Prices jumped even though the agency revised down its full-year 2021 oil demand growth forecast by 270,000 barrels per day (bpd) from last month’s assessment, expecting now demand to rise by 5.4 million bpd. The downward revision was due to weaker consumption in Europe and North America in the first quarter and expectations of 630,000 bpd lower demand in the second quarter due to India’s COVID crisis.

The excess oil inventories of the past year have been all but depleted, and a strong demand rebound in the second half this year could lead to even steeper stock draws, the IEA said yesterday, keeping an upbeat forecast of global oil demand despite the weaker-than-expected first half of 2021.

However, the upbeat outlook for the second half of the year remains unchanged, as vaccination campaigns expand and the pandemic largely comes under control, the IEA said.

Moreover, the global oil glut that was hanging over the market for more than a year is now gone, the agency said.

“After nearly a year of robust supply restraint from OPEC+, bloated world oil inventories that built up during last year’s COVID-19 demand shock have returned to more normal levels,” the IEA said in its report.

In March, industry stocks in the developed economies fell by 25 million barrels to 2.951 billion barrels, reducing the overhang versus the five-year average to only 1.7 million barrels, and stocks continued to fall in April.

“Draws had been almost inevitable as easing mobility restrictions in the United States and Europe, robust industrial activity and coronavirus vaccinations set the stage for a steady rebound in fuel demand while OPEC+ pumped far below the call on its crude,” the IEA said.

The market looks oversupplied in May, but stock draws are set to resume as early as June and accelerate later this year. Under the current OPEC+ policy, oil supply will not catch up fast enough, with a jump in demand expected in the second half, according to the IEA. As vaccination rates rise and mobility restrictions ease, global oil demand is set to soar from 93.1 million bpd in the first quarter of 2021 to 99.6 million bpd by the end of the year.

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Crude Oil

OPEC Expects Increase In Global Oil Demand Raises Members’ Forecast on Crude Supply

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The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) yesterday lifted its forecast on its members’ crude this year by over 200,000 bpd and now expects demand for its own crude to average 27.65mn bpd in 2021.

This is almost 5.2mn bpd higher than last year and around 2.7mn b/d higher than an earlier estimate of the group’s April production.

According to the highlights of the organisation’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), OPEC crude is projected to rise from 26.48 million bpd in the second quarter to 28.7 million bpd in the third and 29.54 million bpd in the fourth quarter of the year.

The report also indicated a fall in Nigeria’s crude production from 1.477 bpd in February to 1.473, a difference of just about 4,000 bpd before rising again in April to 1.548 million bpd, to add 75,000 bpd last month.

OPEC stated that its upward revision of members’ crude was underpinned by a downgrade in the group’s forecast for non-OPEC supply, which it now expects to grow by 700,000 bpd to 63.6mn b/d against last month’s report’s projection of a 930,000 bpd rise to 63.83mn bpd.

The oil cartel projected that US crude output would drop by 280,000 bpd this year, compared with its previous forecast for a 70,000 bpd decline.

On the demand side, OPEC kept its overall forecast unchanged from last month’s MOMR, stressing that it expects global oil demand to grow by 5.95 million bpd to 96.46 million bpd this year, partly reversing last year’s 9.48mn bpd drop.

Spot crude prices fell in April for the first time in six months, with North Sea Dated and WTI easing month-on-month by 1.7 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

On the global economic projections, the cartel said stimulus measures in the US and accelerating recovery in Asian economies might continue supporting the global economic growth forecast for 2021, now revised up by 0.1 percent to reach 5.5 percent year-on-year.

This comes after a 3.5 percent year-on-year contraction estimated for the global economy in 2020.

However, global economic growth for 2021 remains clouded by uncertainties including, but not limited to the spread of COVID-19 variants and the speed of the global vaccine rollout, OPEC stated.

“World oil demand is assumed to have dropped by 9.5 mb/d in 2020, unchanged from last month’s assessment, now estimated to have reached 90.5 mb/d for the year. For 2021, world oil demand is expected to increase by 6.0 mb/d, unchanged from last month’s estimate, to average 96.5 mb/d,” it said.

The report listed the main drivers for supply growth in 2021 to be Canada, Brazil, China, and Norway, while US liquid supply is expected to decline by 0.1 mb/d year-on-year.

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Crude Oil

Oil Rises Over Concerns of Fuel Shortages

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Oil prices rose on Tuesday, as lingering fears of gasoline shortages due to the outage at the largest U.S. fuel pipeline system after a cyber attack brought futures back from an early drop of more than 1%.

Brent crude futures rose 35 cents, or 0.5%, to $68.67 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 49 cents, or 0.8%, to $65.41.

Benchmark gasoline futures prices rose 1 cent to $2.14 a gallon.

On Monday, Colonial Pipeline, which transports more than 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, said it was working to restore much of its operations by the end of the week.

Right now there’s a generalized anxiety premium being built into prices because of Colonial and it’s keeping a floor under the market,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Fuel supply disruption has driven gasoline prices at the pump to multi-year highs and demand has spiked in some areas served by the pipeline as motorists fill their tanks.

Traders booked at least four tankers to store refined oil products off the U.S. Gulf Coast refining hub after a cyber attack that knocked out the pipeline, shipping data showed on Tuesday.

North Carolina, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation issued waivers allowing fuel distributors and truck drivers to take steps to try to prevent gasoline shortages.

OPEC on Tuesday raised its forecast for demand for its crude by 200,000 bpd and stuck to its prediction of a strong recovery in global oil demand this year as growth in China and the United States counters the coronavirus crisis in India.

Meanwhile, the rapid spread of infections in India has increased calls to lock down the world’s second-most populous country and the third-largest oil importer and consumer.

India’s top state oil refiners have already started reducing runs and crude imports as the new coronavirus cuts fuel consumption, company officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

On the bullish side for crude, analysts are expecting data to show U.S. inventories fell by about 2.3 million barrels in the week to May 7 after a drop of 8 million barrels the previous week, a Reuters poll showed.

Gasoline stocks are expected to have fallen by about 400,000 barrels, analysts estimated ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday and the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

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