BRIC+ News & comments

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Billy T, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting personal account of return visit (after 18 years) to four Chinese cities by an Indian-American lady. Here is its start:
    BTW, Beijing is planning to convert some subway (world's largest system, I think) lines into magnetic levitation trains for higher speed and less noise. China has had the world's only magnetic line (Beijine to is airport, 9Km as I recall.) in routine operations for more than a decade.
     
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Caption was:
    "Visiting Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (2L) and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev (2R) oversaw the signing of 38 agreements, including
    a deal to open a yuan-ruble swap line worth 150 billion yuan ($24.5 billion) From:http://news.yahoo.com/china-russia-seek-international-justice-041607348.html
    More to come more speifically related to ending dollar's rule, (If I can find that article again)>
     
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Sao Paulo has only 4.5% of its reservoir water capacity left and it is too low to flow out. Drought in the NE is even worse, so the Amazon rain forest is now significant net source of CO2.*

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    [/url]

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    * lack of rain is "double whamee" for the environment as normally Brazil gets more than 85% of its electric power from hydro-electric dams, but now less as fossil fuel use increases. What will be the huge environment problem is if the Amazons burns - pumping up soot to the top of the Hadley cell circulation - They cover ~1/2 of Earth's solar cross section and clouds there typically are clean - albedo of about 2/3 that could become 1/3 to double the solar absorption!

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    Note updraft pumps droplets and soot up to nearly 50,000 feet.
    Less than one drop of fine soot per 100 drops of water turns cloud to strong absorber as clouds "reflect" sunlight by more than 100 scattering scattering, more than half by less than 7 degree bend - Forward scatter very dominate, and for photon to get out of cloud it must "random walk" 180 degrees reverse to it entry.
     
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I. e. Over subscribed by nearly a factor of two.
     
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  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Now China has less than its trade balance dollars to get rid of each year for first time.
     
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    First it was greatest market for cars, soon for airplanes - progress, I guess can't be stopped.

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    The currently selling single aisle C919 has just completed 100+ hours of test flights but that is just the beginning:

    "... SHANGHAI - China is seeking suppliers to develop its own wide-body passenger plane over the next decade, industry executives said, expanding its ambitions and rivalry with Boeing (IW 500/13) (BA) and Airbus (IW 1000/47).

    The proposed aircraft -- tentatively called the C929 -- would be state-backed Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC)'s largest, according to suppliers that have held discussions with the firm. It would be a substantial advance on the smaller 158-168 seat narrow-body C919 it is currently developing and the 78-90 seat ARJ21 regional jet, which is undergoing test flights.

    The C929 could carry several hundred passengers at a time on journeys across Asia -- to take flight after 2020, possibly in 2023. "
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2014
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    As if lack of H2O in major reservoirs were not enough, falling oil prices, growth slowing, especially in China, Brazil is cursed with socialist government and a corrupt one ceasing the wealth of the country. Here are the facts:

    In 2006, Petrobras discovered 8 billion barrels of oil under 22,000 feet of ocean, rock, and salt. Within two years of that massive oil discovery, shares of Petrobras would peak above $70 a share, valuing the company around $295 billion. Today, Petrobras shares are trading under 7 dollars. The company is worth around 40 billion dollars. And the reason has very little to do with current oil prices.

    The Brazilian government owns ~70% of Petrobras, and it is milking it for all it's worth. Petrobras has been mismanaged by the government and bilked by politicians and contractors. For instance:

    •In 2010, Petrobras paid 43.5 billion dollars to the Brazil government for the rights to the Buzia offshore oil field, which has 5 billion barrels of oil. Petrobras has spent another 200 billion dollars developing the field and now has to pay another 1 billion dollars for permission to exceed its original production agreement (yes, it has to pay to pump more oil).
    •In 2010, the Brazilian President demanded that Petrobras sell gasoline below costs to keep inflation in check. Petrobras lost 8.4 billion dollars at its refineries division that year.
    •Petrobras lost billions of dollars on an oil refinery in Pernambuco and spent 1 billion dollars on a plant in Texas — signed off by Rousseff — that was sold two years later at a markdown of 80%.
    •Last month, Brazilian police arrested officials at construction companies that allegedly formed a cartel to win contracts, including 59 billion reais (23 billion dollars) of work from the oil producer.
    •Former senior executive Paulo Roberto Costa was just arrested as part of a massive fraud investigation. He claims 12 Brazilian senators, 49 federal deputies, and at least one governor had allegedly received money diverted from the public utility. Police estimated those involved embezzled around 4 billion dollars.

    Petrobras has sold 51 billion dollars in bonds over the last five years to yield-starved global investors — nearly a quarter of all corporate bonds emanating from Brazil and the most of any emerging-market company. What should have been the best of times for a major oil company was really just an opportunity for politicians to line their pockets. And now that they have saddled the company with 150 billion dollars in debt, oil prices have crashed.

    Oh, and U.S. bond giant PIMCO owns 6.45 billion dollars in Petrobras debt. Mutual fund giant Fidelity owns another 3.75 billion dollars. How will Petrobras pay its debt? How will Brazil fund its government now that it has destroyed its best asset in Petrobras? As you might guess, this is not an isolated event. What do you think Putin is doing with Gazprom in Russia? Or Maduro in Venezuela with PDVSA?
    --------------------
    Following is a well known joke:
    St Peter to God:
    Why are you being so kind to Brazil? No earth quakes, no hurricanes, lots of fertile rolling land with abundant rain for crops; every imaginable mineral, incluing oil, in great supply; beautiful mountains and beaches, etc.?
    God replying:
    I'm not. Wait until you see the people I put in charge there.
     
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  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    110-metre-high dam makes the Danjiangkou reservoir. {I. e. slightly taller than one and a fifth American football fields are long, but a small dam compared to world's largest: China's Three Gorges Dam.}

    To carry the flow over one river in Henan province, Chinese engineers built a 12 kilometre aqueduct -- the longest in the world. The water uses a 7.2 kilometre-long tunnel to go beneath the Yellow river -- China's second biggest waterway -- described in official reports as "the most enormous river crossing project in human history".

    After decades of planning and at least 33 billion dollars of investment, over a billion cubic metres of water is projected to flow to the capital every year, through more than 1,200 kilometres of channels and pipes -- the distance from London to Madrid. Another 8.5 billion cubic metres -- equivalent to 3.4 million Olympic-sized swimming pools -- will reach provinces along the way.

    {I have other posts on the South-North water project, which I call the "half Nile" as it moves slightly more than half the Nile's annual flow half the Nile's exceptionally long length. - A water transfer by man, about ten times greater than #2.}

    Water availability per person in Beijing is on a par with Middle Eastern countries such as Israel, threatening economic growth, the key source of support for China's ruling Communist party. China's government says the project, which will ultimately have three routes and an estimated $81 billion total cost, will solve a chronic shortage in China's northern cities.

    Looking over the Yellow river in 1952, Communist China's founding father, Mao Zedong is reported to have said: "The north of China needs water and the south has plenty. It would be fine to borrow some if possible." At a time when a single word from Mao could launch a project, studies were swiftly begun ...

    {There were pauses due to lack of funds, and more pressing problems, like people starving with forced formation of collective farms - far way Beijing sending fleets of tractors to plow muddy fields etc. Farming MUST be locally managed. Except for inserts in curly brackets like this one, the above text is from: http://news.yahoo.com/doubts-giant-china-projects-water-reaches-capital-034005462.html with some re-arrangement by Billy T.}

    However, China learned from its mistakes.* Also China can do multi-decade before first benefit projects that US Congress will not fund as 90% of the members who would need to increase debt or taxes will no longer be trying to get re-elected when ANY first benefit is realized.

    This is why the US's serious water shortage in the SW, especially California, will be much more extensively solved, with greater environmental damage, via energy-hungry water desalination plants. Their "benefits" can be available in less than 3 years after the ground-breaking ceremony.

    * Despite adverse soil and water conditions, China has the world's highest yield per acre wheat production! Beating even Canada, in part because has longer growing season. The Chinese government still owns almost all farm land, but continued the rights of the peasants inefficiently working it for decades; however about a decade ago, the CCP allowed them to lease their right of use to giant and efficient "agro-corporations." Now these ex-pig farmers** are moving to the new cities at rate of more than a million per month.

    ** Pig-Farmers, is no slur - China did and still does raise more hogs than the rest of the world combined does - pork is the favorite meat in China, and consumption is rapidly growing with the increasing wealth (real purchasing power) of the average Chinese - why China buys so much corn grown in the US mid-west.
     
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  13. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Billy T I would like you to comment on the "Colder War" and how China is doing in this new conflict between the West and Russia. One reason for the new Russo-western tension is the language barrier between the two sides. How many Russians know English well enough to be able to get both sides of the issue very well is a thing I wonder about. English speakers should have more options to get information in this case. There is propaganda on both sides, but knowing just Russian would seem to be a disadvantage.
     
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think language skills are limiting for most Russians who go to universities - I think 90% of them read English fluently and 60% can converse in English. I.e. 20 to 30 times higher percentage than Americans who know Russian at that level.

    At Cornell as an undergraduate, I had an intensive course in Russian. It focused on spoken Russian. The alphabet was not even presented until the second term. We had two afternoon labs of 3 or 4 hours duration with a native speaker to about 8 students and two hour classes in larger groups each week - 8 to 10 contact hours each week! About 5 years later at JHU, Russian was one of the two languages (German the other) I used to meet the Ph. D. language requirements. Years later, while traveling in Hungry, I spent a more than an hour with two Russian soldiers - Me on the Hungarian side of the border & them on the Russian side. (We could and did shake hands.) They were tank operators. When we parted, they took the metal pin from their caps showing a tank and their rank and gave them to me. All I had to give them was a pair of US quarters.

    They were just "county boys," never went to university, but their English was as good as my failing Russian - we spoke in a mixture. They were well informed on world events. We agreed that if more people to people interactions occurred there would be less tension between our countries. I later, but on a train in Hungry still, spoke with University of Moscow Economics student. She was very pretty, so I let slip that I worked on US Navy ship defenses. Unfortunately she was not a KGB "honey trap" - just convinced from her summer job experience of the damage central planning* was doing to USSR. Her English was perfect.

    * here is post about her and why she knew the USSR was going to be in big economic trouble:
    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/the-economics-of-the-soviet-union.115014/#post-2973399
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2014
  15. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks. If the understanding of English is that good I venture a guess that it's an ethical understanding lag that has them supporting the new military tension between their country and the West. I think of Iraq and the USA. In the early 1990s hen the 1st war was underway, public support was pretty high for that first War. By the time of the second war, the US public had wisened up ethically, but by how much, I'm not sure because GWB still got reelected for a second Presidential term. But his margin of public support in terms of popular votes was small, largely because of his Iraq War.
     
  16. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Russians are a proud people and with considerable justification, think that Mother Russia and her dominated lands have been raped by the west. I.e. after losing more soldiers and population than all the non-German west in WWII to defeat Hitler, those dominated lands included the three Baltic states, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovak and the now separate eastern part Slovian, Hungry, Romania, Ukraine, & Bulgaria, with Yugoslavia, under Tito unified (not the five current small nations) and neutral or leaning to Russian, have all been lost. Modern Russia is but a shadow of its former self. -Tough to accept for a proud people.

    To better appreciate what a great injustice the Russian people feel, imagine all the US west of the Mississippi was now controlled by China. In Putin's recent annual address he said he would not let the US and NATO pull any more of the teeth and claws of the Russian bear. You forget, perhaps that it was a violent (few dozen deaths) mainly western supported revolution that over threw the elected, pro-Russian government in Ukraine.

    The average Russians strongly supports Putin - thinks justice and "ethics" are on their side. They are like that TV character who yelled out of the window: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more." They think NATO and the US have been immoral for a few decades, one-by-one stealing with power and money (better economy) what was their greater Russia - they know WWII did not damage the US (actually made it much stronger - more factories and larger work force with women added) but they suffered terribly - many starving / factories destroyed. For about 1000 days Leningrad was isolated, with the population burning furniture to fight the bitter cold, and boiling their belts and shoes for food but they would not let the Germans take their city. Many Russians think the US was immoral to exploit their WWII losses and steal the loyalty of the lands they once controlled.

    I am not justifying Putin's acts but trying to get you to understand the ethics are not as one sided as you seem to believe. I am not one to say: "My country, right or wrong." With a military budget about 10 times larger than Russia, and a growing ring of bases around Russia, you can understand, it you try, why Putin is popular, despite the hardships these proud people must bear.
     
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  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Some photos for post 769 - China's "half Nile" water project:

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    Part of more than 1,200 kilometres of channels, tunnels and pipes

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    High officials, no doubt, watching on 27 December 14 as the slush gate opens to let water flow into the Beijing water distribution system for the first time. The dream that started with planning in beginning of 1952, is now reality!

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    One end of a 7.2 kilometre-long tunnel to go beneath the Yellow river. 18 wheel tractor Trucks could pass inside each -one halling dirt out other going in for more.
     
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  18. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not intending to be misconstrued as being one sided and taking the West's side here. The West has access to journalism from a diversity of countries that speak English that have different perspectives. It's hard to get rounded viewpoints in just Russian, by comparison. That was basically what I meant, and you made the case that it wasn't factoring as I thought, and I'm accepting your case as satisfactorily made, even though I can't say I'm convinced that it's not a disadvantage in getting a rounded perspective.

    As an aside not unrelated to the above, I know a Russian who once he learned English, left Russia after Putin got into office. It was one thing that influenced my viewpoint.

    On the pride thing, I consider the good form of it to just be proud of one's own accomplishments and not collectively in any social setting. Maybe in a family unit it can sometimes be okay though.

    Appreciate the long-tern events perspective. These goings-back-in-time to try to correct injustices usually go back to a convenient stopping point. These things actually go back so far and have so many facets that no one can really tell who is right or wrong in particular cases. To do it truly, maybe we have to go back to the beginning of life itself, when the process of predation developed on earth with the earliest life forms. When I speak of ethics it is in light of the predatory nature of life itself, and humans having been able to overcome that nature among ourselves to ever-increasing degrees is what has allowed us to form the widespread societies that we have. Much of this progress has hinged on our ability to determine why it is beneficial to focus on more worthy goals like curing diseases while setting aside the desire to get even and knock the other guy back in doing so. The tables tend to keep turning around and around when people are hurting others by choice.
     
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    To elte We seem to basically agree. I was wrong to understand your post as form of "my country, right or wrong." I agree that wrongs of the past fade in importance with the passage of time (and all those who personally were wronged die off). It is unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) that land occupied by a more primitive people will be taken over by a more technically advanced one. The American Indians bow was no match for the gun - Their source of meat and tent hides was decimated by men harvesting only the Buffalo's tongues.

    I have access to two of the world's best news papers, published in Sao Paulo, if you don't mind half of their news being a day late. They each have small staff of full time paid foreign correspondent and 100 or more regular contributing "stringers." If something significant or interesting is say the Bangkok times, it will be in their issue the next day. Thus, you get ALL biased slants on ever story. That is why, I'm more neutral on Putin - he is doing what he thinks is correct and just and what average Russian thinks is long over due. (Trying to restore the Bear's teeth and claws.) About what has happened to Mother Russia's empire, they are "Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore." At the very least, they want half of Ukraine returned into the Russian sphere - think it an outrage that paid "Nazi thugs" killed dozens and took control of Kiev forcing the elected president to flee for his life.

    As they say: one man's 'freedom fighter" is another man's "terrorist." For example, David Ben-Gurion who later became Israel's first prime minister blew up part of the King David hotel, killing a few. That was where most of the British administrated stayed and it worked - soon there after, the British Foreign Office drew up boundaries for the new state of Israel - much smaller than it is today. The BFO made the boundaries of most of the countries in the middle east - intentionally mixing different ethnic and Moslem faiths so the resulting countries would fight amongst themselves and be easier to control. Still working well in Iraq & Syria.

    The BFO made mistakes. Oil was discovered in Kuwait which was part of Iraq, so they cut if off as a separated state.That also reduce Iraq's shore line on the Persian Gulf by bout 95% - one British gun boat could sink any unauthorized ship trying to leave. I have an old Rand-McNally "standard atlas" with copyright of: MCMLI (1951?) that shows this all. Wonderful thing - old maps - they don't "adapt" to the modern needs for what is "truth."

    As I recall, there were many rich Arabs living in London which they gave the new country too. Sent them there on same ship that was delivering their 40 new Rolls Royce limos. Same trick US used to take over ALL of Iran, but the Shaw was taken by CIA plane from his villa, just outside of Paris.

    For post telling how the CIA assisted in killing more than 50,000 whose crime was to want a return to democracy and quite possibly why 9/11 that killed small fraction of that number was chosen as the date, see: http://www.sciforums.com/threads/usa-torture-report.143347/#post-3253162

    Don't hold your breath while waiting for the rich and powerful countries to discover "ethics."
     
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  20. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Billy T I appreciate the mea culpa. It's courageous on here.

    Indeed, we wouldn't fare well by holding our breath until the nations with the power get their ethics straightened out.

    About land getting taken over by outsiders, the best course now is to try to move forward as a global community with more humane policies.

    I agree those Roman numerals can be hard to figure out. I think it's 1951 also.

    It turns out true that we weren't very different in the way we interpret things in the geopolitical world.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    At $370 each, you can buy two of XIAOMI's supper phones instead of one iPod6+ and still have part of the iPod6+ cost in your pocket! You may not know of XIAOMI, but they are the world's third largest maker of cell phone. (Sold only in Asia now, but they recently hired a top executive form Google to oversee their expansion into US & EU markets.)
    Expand data block below to see XIAOMI's battery life is four times greater! It is thiner, lighter with dual cameras and has high quality bigger screen too!
    facts from Computerworld.com IMO, Apple's slide down will accelerate to "rapidly down the tube" when XIAOMI's better new phone is available in the west.

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    $270 price one has less memory (16 GB, I think)
     
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  22. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Chinahas passed the US as world's greatest trader (both import & exports separately) China's top 10 trading partners in 2014 (data in dollars):

    No 1 European Union: 615.14 billion, up by 9.9% year-on-year
    No 2: The United States: 555.12 billion, up by 6.6% year-on-year
    No 3: Association of Southeast Asian Nations: 480.39 billion, up by 8.3% year-on-year
    No 4: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: 376.09 billion, down by 6.2% year-on-year
    No 5 Japan: 312.44 billion, staying flat year-on-year
    No 6 The Republic of Korea: $290.49 billion, up by 5.9% year-on-year
    No 7 China's Taiwan region: $198.31 billion, up by 6% year-on-year
    No 8 Australia: $136.9 billion, up by 3% year-on-year
    No 9 Russia: $95.28 billion, up by 6.8% year-on-year
    No 10 Brazil: $86.58 billion, down by 4% year-on-year

    China's economic growth may be as high as 7.3 percent in 2015, partly due to lower cost for growth from dropping commodity prices, an expert said.
    All above from: 18 Jan 2015 issue of http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/[/url
     
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  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    A group of people water their horses at the Jaguari Reservoir near Sao Jose dos Campos in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 13, 2014. Dry conditions also threaten Brazil’s cane crops in central Minas Gerais, Bahia and Espirito Santo, where rains through Jan. 13 were about 15 percent of normal since Dec. 31, said Drew Lerner, the president of World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas.
    From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-...nd-cold-save-a-few-commodities-from-rout.html
    Where title of article is: Drought, Floods and Cold Save a Few Commodities From Rout

    Article includes:
    "Dry weather in Brazil, the top grower of coffee and sugar cane, sparked {price} advances for both crops. "Last year, prices surged 50 percent as output fell following the worst drought in eight decades. Unusually heavy monsoon rains in Malaysia sent palm oil to the highest since July.

    Yields will drop again with soil moisture averaging 65 percent to 70 percent below normal in the past 30 days, said Donald Keeney, a meteorologist at Gaithersburg, Maryland-based MDA Weather Services. Dryness will persist in central and northern Minas Gerais and southern Bahia this month, he said. “God help us if the typical heavy rains of March don’t come,”* said Luiz Eduardo de Paula, president and owner of H. Commcor, a broker in Sao Paulo. “There won’t be drinking water, so can you imagine what will happen to the production of coffee. The sky will be the limit for prices.”

    * God seems to be on vacation now. With no significant rain Sao Paulo's main drinking water reservoir fell last week from 6.3% of capacity to 5.9% during the normally "rainy season"! It is so hot (Record for Sao Paulo of 35.9C = 103.1F and for sea-level Rio of 50C = 122F !) that water vapor does not condense into rain.
     
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