The spike in US bond yields since mid-April in tandem with the strengthening of the dollar sparked a retrenchment of capital flows to emerging markets (EM), accompanied by a sell-off of assets in some cases. Argentina and Turkey suffered from strong and potentially disruptive exchange rate depreciation pressures in May, with financial markets calming down only after bold domestic policy moves (interest rate hikes in both countries and, in the case of Argentina, a decision to seek a new loan from the International Monetary Fund - IMF).
The launch of an oil futures contract on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) cannot be merely seen as a “technical” or secondary event, as it foreshadows what global commodities markets will become in a few years. The Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) and the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) have, indeed, seen their trading volumes increase significantly over the past decade thanks to steel and iron ore, which could suggest that the move is, in fact, not that unprecedented. In terms of the volume of traded contracts, these two exchanges compete with the two giants of the sector: the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). While this statistic is not fully representative of their actual respective activities – based on an open-interest analysis, i.e. the number of contracts that have been bought or sold and not yet subject to resales or buy-backs offering strikingly different conclusions – it still fully reflects their economic significance, at least at the local level. Notwithstanding, the point isn’t this.
Le lancement d’un contrat à terme pétrolier sur le Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) ne saurait être vu comme un évènement « technique » ou secondaire tant il préfigure ce que seront dans quelques années les marchés mondiaux de matières premières. Le Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) et le Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ont certes vu leurs volumes de trading augmenter considérablement sur la dernière décennie grâce à l’acier et au minerai de fer, ce qui pourrait laisser à penser que l’initiative n’est, en définitive, pas inédite. En nombre de contrats traités, ces deux bourses concurrencent, en effet, le Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) et l’Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), les deux géants du secteur. Même si cette statistique n’est, il est vrai, pas pleinement représentative de la réalité de leurs activités respectives — une analyse en termes d’open interest, i.e. le nombre de contrats ayant été achetés ou vendus et n’ayant pas encore fait l’objet d’une revente ou d’un rachat offrant des conclusions singulièrement différentes —, elle témoigne pleinement de leur importance économique, sur le plan domestique du moins. L’essentiel n’est cependant pas là.
Household, community-, or national-level stability in income, consumption, or assets, and the supporting foundations thereof are a neglected area of analysis and concern among economists and policymakers. Household- and firm-level investment decisions are clearly made with regard to a variety of factors, including but not exclusively the macroeconomic environment that sets the framework for other decisions. Economists typically disregard such diversity of factors when they approach stability either only at aggregate levels or based on micro-foundations of hyper-rational agents and smooth/efficient market adjustments.
Sans surprise, le West Texas Intermediate et le Brent, les deux grandes références de prix du brut, ont entamé depuis fin septembre une valse dont les mondes économiques et politiques observent avec attention les différents mouvements. Leurs prix ont bondi d’environ 15% entre le 27 septembre et le 10 octobre, atteignant alors plus de 50 USD/bbl, avant de replonger ensuite sur le mois suivant pour toucher leur plus bas niveau depuis deux mois. Dernier développement en date : un nouveau rebond depuis le 14 novembre faisant repasser le Brent et le WTI au-dessus du seuil des 45USD/bbl (graphique 1).
Africa is endowed with an abundance of renewable (forestry, water, wind, solar) and non-renewable (extractives, oil, gas, minerals) natural resources. It is estimated that the continent accounts for about 7% of global oil reserves, 7% of natural gas, 20% of land area, 9% of renewable water resources and 17% of forests. The continent is also home to the largest or second largest world reserves of bauxite, cobalt, industrial diamonds, manganese, phosphate rock and platinum group metals, among other.
Recent years have witnessed several governments’ discussions about the sustainability and adequacy of the current energy strategies. The latest Conference of Parties (COP) 21, was another occasion to try to move to a binding and universal agreement on climate, with an end goal of maintaining global warming bellow 2°C. The reason is that a large portion of the international community seems to be reaching a consensus that moving from fossil fuels is becoming a pressing necessity. Yet, while many countries have started the process of developing green/renewable energy initiatives, progress is still slow and the full adoption of such energies seems out of reach at least in the short run. In this context, experts have been trying to promote natural gas as another credible and short term fossil fuel alternative. They consider that natural gas (at least at an initial stage) can fit in the energy mix that countries aim for in the context of energy transition. However, while natural gas presents several advantages, there are still obstacles that restrain its mainstream distribution, such as the volatility and asymmetry of prices, the geopolitical nature of the market, the expensive CAPEX requirements, the low number of market players, the logistical difficulties and the regulatory gap/vacuum, among other factors.
Suriname is facing twin - external and fiscal - deficits that originated in the commodity price slump of recent years. In response, the Surinamese government started a four-pronged adjustment program in August 2015 to adapt to new circumstances.