Sugar, Oil & Gas and Crude Steel

• A few days after the government allowed trading in wheat futures again, the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) has banned trading in sugar futures till December 31 fearing that it could create inflationary pressures on the commodity. The FMC blow comes even before a new government has come to power and taken charge. In fact, after the ban on wheat was lifted, the market was expecting that the ban on tur and urad too would be lifted. 

• According to the International Energy Agency, an energy advisor to 28 industrialized countries, more than 50 major oil and gas projects have been deferred or cancelled because of the global economic crisis since October. The IEA estimated that spending on oil and gas exploration and production will total around $375 billion this year, down about $100 billion, or 21%, from a year ago. 
• World crude steel production for the 66 countries reporting to the World Steel Association was 89 million metric tons (mmt) in April. This is 23.6% lower than in April 2008. Production for the first four months of 2009 was 354 mmt, a 22.7% decrease over the same period of 2008.

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