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India bans wheat exports

India bans wheat exports thumbnail

India banned wheat exports on Saturday — days after saying it was targeting record shipments this year — as a scorching heat wave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high. The government said it would still allow exports backed by already issued letters of credit and to countries that request supplies “to meet […]


The world has a major crude oil problem; expect conflict ahead

The world has a major crude oil problem; expect conflict ahead thumbnail

Media outlets tend to make it sound as if all our economic problems are temporary problems, related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In fact, world crude oil production has been falling behind needed levels since 2019. This problem, by itself, encourages the world economy to contract in unexpected ways, including in the form of economic […]


EIA Predicts $103 Crude

Consumption

Brent crude oil prices are on track to average $107/bbl in the second quarter and $103 in the second half of this year, with low inventories creating the potential for “significant price volatility,” according to the latest projections from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Brent spot prices averaged $105 in April, a $13 sequential decrease, […]


California Energy Officials Warn of Blackouts This Summer

Consumption

California energy officials on Friday issued a sober forecast for the state’s electrical grid, saying it lacks sufficient capacity to keep the lights on this summer and beyond if heatwaves, wildfires or other extreme events take their toll. The update from leaders from three state agencies and the office of Governor Gavin Newsom comes in […]


Europe ratchets up preparation for Russian oil embargo next week

Europe ratchets up preparation for Russian oil embargo next week thumbnail

European Union countries are likely to approve as early as next week a phased embargo on Russian oil, officials say, sealing a long-postponed measure that has divided the bloc’s members and highlighted their dependence on Russian energy sources. It has taken weeks for EU countries to agree on the contours of the measure, and intensive […]


Ugo Bardi: Our Ruin Will Likely Be Rapid

Ugo Bardi: Our Ruin Will Likely Be Rapid thumbnail

During the first century of our era, the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote to his friend Lucilius that life would be much happier if things would only decline as slowly as they grow. Unfortunately, as Seneca noted, “increases are of sluggish growth but the way to ruin is rapid.” We may call this universal […]


World could run out of food in the next 27 years

World could run out of food in the next 27 years thumbnail

THE world could run out of food in just over 27 years, a sociobiologist has claimed. To be precise, we have exactly 27 years and 251 days left, from April 24, according to the doomsday scenario, if the calculations are accurate. Former Harvard Professor Edward Wilson, who died in December 2021, said previously we would […]


2022 Oil Demand Expected to Stay Below 100MM Barrels Per Day

Consumption

In a new report sent to Rigzone this week, Standard Chartered forecasted that overall 2022 global oil demand will stay below 100 million barrels per day. In the report, the company projected that demand will increase from 97.5 million barrels per day (MMbpd) in 2021 to 98.9 MMbpd this year. Looking at specific quarters, the […]


EU companies will pay for gas in rubles

EU companies will pay for gas in rubles thumbnail

The European Commission said Friday that EU companies may be able to comply with Russia’s proposed gas payment system, without running afoul of sanctions against Moscow. Shortly following the war in Ukraine, President Putin issued a decree mandating that Russian gas exports to “unfriendly” nations be paid for in rubles. Several EU leaders pushed back […]


How China’s food security challenges shape its decisions at home and abroad

How China’s food security challenges shape its decisions at home and abroad thumbnail

I still recall my astonishment, as part of research inside the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation grouping, after discovering that China leads the world in fruit and vegetable production but loses up to half of what it produces through wastage between the farm and the kitchen table. That equates to about a quarter of all the fruit […]


Cooking-oil chaos exacerbates a looming world hunger crisis

Consumption

The world’s supply of cooking oil — already squeezed by war — is getting smaller. Two months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended global agricultural trade, Indonesia is set to ban exports of cooking oil in the wake of a local shortage and soaring prices, adding to a raft of crop protectionism around the world. […]


The “Doomsday Preppers” Were Right

The “Doomsday Preppers” Were Right thumbnail

For years, there was a great debate about what the future of our society would look like.  The irrational optimists kept assuring us that we would never suffer any serious consequences for decades of incredibly foolish decisions, and they kept promising that a new golden age of peace and prosperity for humanity was just around […]


The Global Fertilizer Shortage Means That Far Less Food Will Be Grown All Over The Planet In 2022

Consumption

I never imagined that I would be writing so much about fertilizer in 2022.  When I was growing up, there were only two things that I knew about fertilizer.  I knew that it helped stuff grow and I knew that it smelled bad.  But these days, experts are telling us that a global shortage of […]


Food and fertilizer fears

Consumption

Are we on the verge of a fertilizer production, trade and supply crisis? Some usually sober and authoritative voices seem to think so. Events have certainly collided this autumn to create an increasingly toxic operating environment for the industry. The dizzying upwards spiral in fertilizer prices, crippling supply and logistical constraints, and the European energy […]


We will continue to buy Russian oil, says India FM

Consumption

As pressure from western nations mounts on India to shun cheaper Russian oil, New Delhi has staunchly defended its right to scour for “good deals” to satiate its energy appetite. At the same time, it has pointed out Europe’s growing purchases of petroleum products from Moscow despite the Ukraine war. In a categorical statement suggesting […]


How War, Oil and Ships Are Building a Hunger Crisis

Consumption

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, food prices had been rising around the world, driven by the higher shipping costs, energy inflation and labor shortages that have followed in the pandemic’s wake, along with extreme weather. Global food prices are at all-time highs, with a benchmark UN index soaring more than 40% over the past two […]


French Grid Manager Asks Users to Reduce Consumption on Monday

Consumption

France’s electricity grid manager asked businesses and households to cut consumption as a cold snap pushes demand higher at a time time when around half of the country’s nuclear reactors are offline. RTE requested that households run dishwashers and washing machines over the weekend rather than on Monday to help reduce the load and requested […]


Biden planning to tap oil reserve to control gas prices

Biden planning to tap oil reserve to control gas prices thumbnail

President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve, according to two people familiar with the decision, in a bid to control energy prices that have spiked as the U.S. and allies have imposed steep sanctions on Russia over […]


Will China Buy Russian Natural Gas and Oil Exports in the Wake of Ukraine?

Consumption

Ever since the U.S. the European Union, and other nations imposed sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, outside observers have wondered whether—and to what extent—China will help Russia weather the blows to its economy. Energy features prominently in such discussions for several reasons. First, Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer and its […]


Farmers on the Brink

Consumption

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower It was a spooky time to be out at sea off the US East Coast on Halloween in 1991. A strong storm system over the maritime provinces in Canada merged with the […]


Are there limits to economic growth?

Are there limits to economic growth? thumbnail

Fifty years ago this month, the System Dynamics group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge had a stark message for the world: continued economic and population growth would deplete Earth’s resources and lead to global economic collapse by 2070. This finding was from their 200-page book The Limits to Growth, one of the […]


There are not enough BTUs

There are not enough BTUs thumbnail

Let me hear you say “Rebirth!” Y’all not ready for it. Y’all ready for it? Rebirth Brass Band, The Main Event Change is here. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the West’s response have initiated a change in global commodity balances. Supply is being forced offline. Demand is shifting in response and in some cases manifests […]


Worst-case oil forecast upped to $240 a barrel

Consumption

Some experts predict the price of oil could reach $240 a barrel this summer if Western countries roll out more sanctions on Russian oil exports. And the high prices could lead to a global recession as soon as this year. “If more Western countries join the U.S. and impose oil embargoes on Russia, it would […]


Russian energy dominance over Europe and what it means amidst the Ukraine crisis

Russian energy dominance over Europe and what it means amidst the Ukraine crisis thumbnail

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has delivered massive shocks to the European energy markets and as the situation escalates, uncertainty is likely to fuel further disruptions. Here’s an infographic representation of how European countries are dependent on Russia for their energy requirements. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy prices have skyrocketed, leaving many […]


How high will gas prices go?

How high will gas prices go? thumbnail

America’s average price for a gallon of gas has cracked $4 for the first time since 2008 amid global supply fears, and it’s hurtling fast toward an all-time high. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the global energy market, causing ripples pretty much everywhere: Natural gas prices also hit record highs Monday in both the […]


Global food supply at risk from Russian invasion of Ukraine

Global food supply at risk from Russian invasion of Ukraine thumbnail

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens global food supplies, Norwegian fertiliser maker Yara International said on Tuesday, adding that the international community needed to reduce its dependence on Russian raw materials for agriculture. Ukraine and Russia are both major exporters of some of the world’s most basic foodstuffs, together accounting for about 29% of global wheat […]


Oil rockets to $113, gas hits record on Ukraine conflict

Consumption

Oil prices soared Wednesday above $113 per barrel and natural gas spiked to a record peak, as investors fretted over key producer Russia’s intensifying assault on Ukraine. European benchmark Brent North Sea oil struck $113.02 per barrel, the highest level since 2014, while New York-traded WTI hit a 2013 peak at $111.50. Later Wednesday, traders […]


US doesn’t have ‘many good options’ to fight energy inflation

US doesn’t have ‘many good options’ to fight energy inflation thumbnail

President Joe Biden ordered “profound” new sanctions targeting Russia Thursday after its invasion of Ukraine, saying Russian leader Vladimir Putin “chose this war” and his country will bear the consequences. The sanctions target Russian banks, oligarchs and high-tech sectors, but they stop short of imposing restrictions on energy supplies from Russia, the world’s third largest […]


The lifestyle of the rich is driving climate change faster than you think

The lifestyle of the rich is driving climate change faster than you think thumbnail

The top 10% of the world produce nearly half (48%) of global GHG emissions. On the other side of the coin, 50% of the world population, sitting at the bottom of the pyramid, contributes to merely 7% of global GHG emissions Shafiqul Alam. Sketch/TBS The technical responses, i.e., clean and efficient technologies, appear to be […]


Are Oil Prices Headed Back Above $100 A Barrel?

Consumption

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened 2022 at about $75 a barrel (bbl). Last week, the price rose above $90/bbl for the first time since 2014. That was also the last year the price of WTI was above $100/bbl. To recap, in the first half of 2014, oil prices spent most of the […]


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