Over the last few years, regulatory uncertainty has become almost a fixture of European energy markets. Unfortunately, the impact of Brexit on the wider whole energy market is even less certain. With just over a year until Britain leaves the EU, the whole process seems bogged down in a regulatory quagmire with no real progress on the key political issues that will determine the rules for how Britain’s wholesale energy market will interact with that of the remaining members of the EU.
Coffee is a $100 billion industry, with more than 500 billion cups of coffee consumed worldwide each year. That number is predicted to continue growing as coffee consumption increases in developing nations; however, coffee supply is facing a global crisis – climate change.
Renewable Energy Group (REG) is used to being a global leader. Founded as a single biodiesel facility in 1996, the company has sold over two billion gallons of biomass-based diesel fuel and built a strong network of state-of-the-art biorefinery production facilities. Today REG is a global force in advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals.
Four years ago, Mexico ended the 75-year monopoly of state oil company Pemex and replaced Mexico’s state-owned utility company. The Mexican government established its first independent power producer market; encouraged investment, innovation, and competition from around the world; and liberalized the value chain from energy generation to storage facilities and petrol stations.
In 2013, Gartner elaborated a concept that they called the “digital business” and defined it as “…the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds…promis(ing) to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business and things that disrupts existing business models.”
Global commodity markets are more complex and volatile than ever. Commodity market participants can no longer afford to wait days or weeks to understand market changes, analyze alternatives, and make decisions. The key to making the most profitable decisions lies in the data businesses are generating, but current systems cannot analyze the volume, variety, and velocity of data generated in a timeframe that is useful.
If you follow technologies serving the commodities markets, you will have likely heard of ‘blockchain’. And if you have heard of it, but are still confused about what it might mean for your particular niche of the industry, you’re probably not alone. These days, it seems that many experts, both inside and outside the industry, are holding up blockchain as the panacea to improve any number of commercial processes, from wholesale trade enablement to retail inventory tracking, and everything in between. If one listens to the buzz, you could certainly conclude that blockchain is the Swiss army knife of commerce…but, is it?
Historically, information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) have developed along separate paths. Today, these two paths are converging, especially at organizations in the manufacturing, commodity, and energy sectors. This convergence is transforming the supply chain, enabling a smarter, more dynamic, more efficient supply chain through data and advanced analytics.
The benefits of using big data and advanced analytics to make better decisions are widely accepted. Making an informed choice is better than using intuition or continuing on your current path and hoping you are on the right one. The more data you have, the more analysis you can do, and the more accurate your assessment of your choices is. But timing matters.
Copper and Iron Ore stockpiles across the world have risen steadily in the last 12 months. Recently there has been news of record levels of iron ore stockpile in China. Apparently there’s enough Iron Ore to build 13,000 Eiffel Towers. As for Copper inventories, one can look at how stockpiles have increased at LME registered warehouses. If one adds increase in bonded copper stocks held in free trade zones in China, to this mix – it will be easy to see how Copper stockpiles have risen over the last 12 months.