There has been a lot of press about the recent Trump deal allowing state-owned companies in China to enter into long-term contracts with U.S. LNG exporters. It is expected that this agreement will disrupt the global LNG market by giving China the power to negotiate lower prices with Qatar and other top LNG suppliers that currently control pricing. Some analysts have also predicted that it positions the U.S. Gulf Coast for an LNG boom that could include facilities expansion, increased trade, and new Chinese investments.
New digitally-enabled technologies – 3-D printers used in production, smart products connected through the Internet of Things (IoT), and data tools and analytics across the value chain – are changing how companies design, produce, and service products and equipment. Digital technology connects people and machines in a new “digital thread” that spans across the value chain, enabling companies to draw insights from vast new sources of data. Experts predict that over 20 billion smart machines will be connected by 2020.
The agriculture, metals and energy markets are characterized by geopolitical instability, complex supply chains, and volatile prices. To prosper from the continually-changing dynamics of these markets, companies engaged in commodity trading and risk management (CTRM) need the ability to make fact-based decisions as quickly as possible.
In the past few weeks, we have explored the tremendous benefits the Internet of Things can bring to your business. From sensors on livestock that alert farmers to problems to smart machinery indicating when maintenance is due, IoT data improves operations and decreases costs – sometimes even saving lives. You will face some obstacles implementing IoT technology, but careful planning can help you avoid them.
It may be a surprise to many people (as it was to me) that Mother’s Day is celebrated in numerous nations across the world including Norway, Venezuela, Tunisia, Taiwan, Lebanon, Armenia and Serbia. While the date and traditions of the celebrations vary, flowers are a popular gift for moms in many countries including the United States, Canada, France, Argentina and the United Kingdom. It also might come as a surprise that there’s a good chance the vibrant flowers delivered to mom’s doorstep in New York, Québec or Paris started their journey thousands of miles away.
If you’re involved in concentrates trading, you’re well aware that assay management is a critical but often challenging part of the trading lifecycle. You have to deal with payable metal content that not only differs for each element and trade, but that changes throughout the lifecycle as different assays are provided by the supplier and customer. And then there is the complex settlement process, which can take months thanks to the standard assays, counterparty assays, self assays, provisional assays and other various assays.
The Internet of things (IoT) is the connection of physical devices – including vehicles, machinery, and buildings – embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity to collect and exchange data. To get the most value from the abundance of information collected, you need a plan to efficiently and effectively aggregate, store, and analyze all of the data.
By 2020, experts predict that knowledge will double every 12 hours – primarily due to the explosive growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner predicts that the Internet of Things will include 26 billion units installed by 2020, generating more than 400 zettabytes (400 trillion gigabytes) of data each year. This influx of information enables smart companies to analyze data in real time and react quickly and efficiently to challenges and opportunities.
Traceability is the ability to follow an item — animal, plant, food product, or ingredient — from one point in the value chain to another. Today, many consumers are demanding products originate from sustainable and socially acceptable suppliers, are grown using specific procedures, and meet consumer expectations for healthy food. The ability to trace a commodity from origin to end consumer is now a requirement in CTRM solutions.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported in November of last year that they believe peak demand will occur sometime after 2040, with most of the increased demand during the period coming from China and India. In BP’s 2017 Energy Outlook, released earlier this year, the company notes that a broad consensus of experts are predicting peak demand to occur sometime between 2025 and 2040; but they also note that there is considerable uncertainty surrounding that forecast.