February 1, 2022

Dubai Becomes New Switzerland for Traders of Russian Commodities

A security officer changes the currency rates on an exchange office poster August 27, 1998. Russia’s central bank suspended foreign exchange trade of the rouble on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange on Thursday after opening trade showed the currency was headed for a sharp drop. Sign reads “No Currency” meaning the bank will velocitytrade review not sell foreign currency. A trader looks at figures at the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange August 17, 1998. Russia announced an effective devaluation of the rouble and a 90-day moratorium on some foreign debt repayments on Monday in response to a crisis of confidence in the government’s ability to defend the currency.

What does the Harlequin say about Kurtz?

Character Analysis The Harlequin

The Harlequin says of Kurtz, ‘This man has enlarged my mind’; like Marlow, he finds Kurtz's voice fascinating, shocking, and compelling.

You may change your billing preferences at any time in the Customer Center or call Customer Service. You may cancel your subscription at anytime by calling Customer Service. Trafigura has said its 10% stake in Vostok Oil is a passive shareholding in which it has no operational or managerial input. Trafigura first announced March 2 it was “reviewing options” over its equity stake in the Vostok Oil venture as pressure mounted on Western companies to distance themselves from Russian investments in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Since 2012, when Russia joined the WTO, EU-Russia trade relations have also been framed by WTO multilateral rules. Until February 2022, Russia was one of the main trade partners of the European Union. But so far Western sanctions have not obstructed Putin waging war on Ukraine.

On June 2022, EU leaders addressed the challenges around rising energy prices. In 2020, the EU was Russia’s first trade partner, accounting for 37.3% of the country’s total trade in goods with the world. 36.5% of Russia’s imports came from the EU and 37.9% of its exports went to the EU. Sometimes, because of tight commercial interdependence between adversaries, barring essential trade could undermine the sanctioning country’s ability to conduct war. The Geneva-based oil trader said in April that volumes of Russian oil handled “will diminish significantly in the second quarter as current term contractual obligations decline” and that it planned to “retreat from the Russian market”.

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Although the oligarchs initially helped Ukraine’s biggest businesses restore their productive capacity, jump-starting the economy, they quickly began using their connections to stifle competition. Corruption was endemic and the economy struggled to grow or diversify beyond producing basic commodities and equipment like steel, iron ore and mining equipment. In 2006, for example, base metals made up 43% of exports, followed by mineral products at 10% and chemicals at 8.8%. Little-known merchants including Paramount Energy & Commodities SA and Coral Energy Pte. For taking on the risk, the companies can make $20 million or more on one cargo depending on the size of the tanker, according to traders. A group of under-the-radar commodity traders are cashing in on Russian oil, stepping in to buy and transport crude to customers as their bigger rivals retreat from the market.

What is the irony in Heart of Darkness?

The greatest irony in Heart of Darkness is the transformation of Mr. Kurtz from a civilized whitemen into a savage. In his early life Mr. Kurtz was a man of sound sense and enlightened outlook upon life.

The country long ago became adept at import substitution, schooled by the waves of sanctions that have hit it since the Kremlin’s illegal 2014 annexation of Crimea. No one doubts there will be lasting harm to Russia’s economy from sanctions. Russia’s industrial production dropped by 1.7 percent year-on-year in May. And there will be severe lost economic opportunities from the estimated 300,000 Russians who’ve fled and chosen political exile, many of them IT workers. Demetra, one of the largest grain traders in Russia, has supplied 60,000 tonnes of wheat to Algeria, it said in a statement on Wednesday. Have moved to ban Russian energy imports, but European countries with a high dependency on Russian supply, like Germany, have been reluctant to follow.

But since Timchenko sold his shares in 2014 to Gunvor’s Swedish partner Torbjorn Tornqvist, the company’s footprint in Russia has shrunk. Thanks to the common agricultural policy , the availability of food, feed and fertiliser is not a major concern in the EU. The EU is largely self-sufficient and its single market can be expected to prove its role in absorbing shocks, ensuring food security for EU citizens and guaranteeing income support for European farmers.

EU challenges Russian export restrictions on wood at WTO

The events that led to the annexation were largely inspired by a desire on the part of Ukrainians to form closer economic and political ties to Europe and end corruption. An agreement forged in 2013 to more closely integrate Ukraine into the European Union was abruptly dropped a few days before it was to be signed, and the government signaled it planned to align more closely with Russia. Massive street protests ensued, which eventually drove the pro-Moscow president from power in what became known as the Maidan Revolution.

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Russia’s revenues from oil and gas continue to increase andare predictedto hit $285 billion this year, thanks partly to high- sales to Asian markets, which make up for the deeply discounted prices Russia has been selling at. Indian dealers have been making large profits selling on the Russian crude oil to Western concerns, according to reports. Miners fell the most, tracking a near 12% plunge by Polymetal after it published poor earnings results, while Severstal closed 3% lower after as it announced it won’t disclose financial results for Q1 or Q2 of this year. Gazprom shares dropped 2% after resuming gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream I pipeline, remaining at the 40% capacity that was in place since supply was suspended. Oil services providers followed the downward trend, with Lukoil and Rosneft dropping over 1% each.

Vitol said it had agreed to sell its shares and was “in the process of completing the legal formalities” for the sale. Vitol said in April it would not enter into any new Russian crude and products transactions. The MOEX Russia Index is a major stock market index which tracks the performance of the 50 largest and most liquid Russian companies from 10 main economy sectors, listed on The Moscow Stock Exchange. “This is a clear escalation of risks in gas markets,” analysts at MUFG said in a research note Thursday, describing the Russian ban as a “major turning point for European gas markets.” U.S. goods imports from Russia totaled $22.3 billion in 2019, up 6.8% ($1.4 billion) from 2018, and up 22.3% from 2009. It’s still unknown how many civilians Russia’s war in Ukraine has killed, and there’s no knowing when the destruction will end.

The EU’s imports were worth €158.5 billion and were dominated by fuel and mining products – especially mineral fuels (€98.9 billion, 62%), wood (€3.16 billion, 2.0%), iron and steel (€7.4 billion, 4.7%), fertilisers (1.78 bn, 1.1%). They were led by machinery and equipment (€19.5 billion, 19.7%), motor vehicles (€8.95 billion, 9%), pharmaceuticals (€8.1 billion, 8.1%), electrical equipment and machinery (€7.57 billion, 7.6%), as well as plastics (€4.38 billion, 4.3%). A dealer trades at Moscow International Currency Exchange July 3, 1998. Russian share prices have been under heavy pressure in recent weeks as the government fights a major financial crisis triggered partly by Asia’s economic woes and partly by domestic problems including a shortfall in tax revenues.

Following further Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the European Union has adopted extensive sanctions on the Russian economy . Since 2014, the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and its destabilising role in eastern Ukraine have seriously affected EU-Russia relations. As a result, some of the policy dialogues and mechanisms of cooperation, including in the area of trade, have been suspended. Since 1997, the EU’s political and economic relations with Russia have been based on a bilateralPartnership and Cooperation Agreement. The trade-relevant sections of the PCA aim to promote trade and investment, as well as to develop mutually beneficial economic relations.

Dubai Becomes New Switzerland for Traders of Russian Commodities

As a native of Ukraine and economics professor, I’d like to provide a primer on the Ukrainian economy, how much it has changed since it was a Soviet republic and the consequences of Russia’s war. Vitol’s revenues almost doubled last year to $279 billion as global demand for oil bounced back after economies reopened from their pandemic lockdowns. The company traded 7.6 million barrels of crude and other oil products a day last year, according to its website. EU leaders underlined that EU sanctions against Russia allowthe free flow of agricultural and food productsand the delivery ofhumanitarian assistance.

You can access all of your notes and highlights by logging into your account. VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer’s Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right. Ukraine’s economy began to shift radically around 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and fomented insurrections in the eastern part of the country. Yuriy Gorodnichenko does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Punitive economic sanctions on Russia appear to be having the reverse effect to what was intended. They seem inadvertently to be helping the Kremlin rather than hindering it, while in the meantime hurting Western economies, risking a political backlash from European voters and erosion of support for Ukraine. Vitol has a stake in Vostok Oil, a vast oil and gas oil project in the Arctic in Russia.

It expects to have stopped transporting Russian crude by the end of the year. European policymakers have pushed back on Putin’s demand, saying it violates existing contracts already agreed in dollars or euros. Europe is still weighing a full ban on Russian imports, despite its broad reliance on Russia for energy.

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Germany has indicated it could wean itself off of Russian oil by the end of the year. A Russian trader watches as his colleague speaks on a phone during a morning session at the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange September 23, 1998. The rouble fell in the last few weeks but stabilised in recent days and stands around 15.80 to the dollar in electronic trading on MICEX. Russian dealers trade during a morning session at Moscow’s International Currency Exchange July 14, 1998. International lenders threw Russia’s economy a $22.6 billion lifeline on Monday in a resounding vote of confidence in the government’s planes for dealing with an acute financial crisis.


Ukraine’s economy continues to operate despite the battering the country is getting from the Russian military. The price of Brent crude, the global benchmark, soared in early March to briefly pass $139 a barrel — a 14-year high — but has since fallen back down to around deriv broker review $107. Under its new CEO Gary Nagle, Glencore is also downscaling its Russian asset portfolio. Among the other big traders, Swiss duo Glencore and Gunvor — once among the leading Russian offtakers — have both shrunk their volumes to a fraction of what they once were.

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In the early days of the war, Ukraine’s central bank estimated total output dropped by half. The government estimates Russia has already destroyed well over US$500 billion in economic assets. Substantial damage to airports, seaports and bridges has crippled the country’s infrastructure and ability to trade with other countries. The cumulative impact of this widening embargo could be higher oil prices globally as buyers scramble to replace supplies. Russia is the world’s second-largest crude oil exporter, behind Saudi Arabia, and accounted for 14 percent of global supply last year, according to the IEA.

Energy prices and security of supply

A number of producers and traders have announced plans to exit their Russian operations. Shell completed the sale of its retail stations and lubricants businesses in Russia to Lukoil May 25. Glencore has said it is reviewing its minority stakes in state-owned Rosneft and the parent company of Russian aluminum producer Rusal. Independent commodity trader Trafigura said July 13 it has sold its 10% stake in Russia’s giant Vostok Oil venture to a privately-held, Hong Kong-based trading company Nord Axis for an undisclosed sum.

But it’s likely that another victim of the invasion may be Ukraine’s economy and the progress it has made transforming from an unbalanced Soviet economy into a diversified modern one. Ukraine also plays a critical role in the production of neon, an inert gas that is a key component for lasers used in making chips. Another key growth industry in Ukraine has been information technology, which made up 26% of export revenues in 2020. And Russia was Ukraine’s top trading partner, buying 56% of all its exports.

What does ivory symbolize in Heart of Darkness?

Some of the men, especially Mr. Kurtz, get so worked up in gaining ivory that all other morals and sensibility is lost. Therefore, it is apt to claim that ivory symbolizes greed and evil.

Demetra Trading is part of a holding with the same name, in which VTB consolidated stakes in several Russian Black Sea grain export terminals and Russia’s largest grain railcar owner Rustranscom. “Algeria traditionally imports grain from France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Argentina and has high quality requirements,” Roman Kron, head of Demetra Trading, said in the statement. It was also to this destination for Demetra, controlled by Russia’s second largest bank VTB. The escalation sent the Dutch wholesale gas contract for the day-ahead, a benchmark for Europe, up more than 20% Wednesday. “If Russia shuts off the gas and oil, Europe is going to be scrambling this winter to maintain heating, and just maintain their economies,” he said.

For the heavyweight traders that have a global presence and are dependent on multibillion-dollar credit lines from Western banks, the risks of doing business in Russia will increase as the war drags on, multiple trading sources say. They stressed that the ability to move stored grain out of Ukraine before the following harvest was needed both for Ukrainians and to ease international markets. Meanwhile, soaring energy prices are compounding a serious cost-of-living squeeze for Western households, fueling inflation.

Market Data

Switzerland has for decades been home to middlemen helping to match Russian producers with buyers all over the world. Now, a ratcheting up of sanctions is prompting a migration to the emirate in the Persian Gulf. Our systems have detected unusual traffic activity from your network.

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