Japanese and South Korean steel mills have agreed to pay Brazilian miner Vale do Rio Doce 65% more for iron ore this year. Japan's Nippon Steel and South Korea's Posco said they would pay Vale 78.90 US dollars a ton from April.
China's trade surplus soared 22.7% in January as the economy continued to boom despite efforts to cool the rate of growth, official figures have shown. The gap between what China exports and what it imports grew to 22.7 billion US dollars last month, 15.9 billion a year earlier.
Soaring international cereal prices and freight rates are projected to increase import bills for the world's poorest countries 35% for the second year running affecting the most vulnerable populations, points out FAO in its latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.
Fifty-three countries and the European Community have begun discussions in Rome on how to better protect fragile deep sea fish species and habitats from irresponsible fishing practices.
China has experienced its first defeat at the World Trade Organization (WTO), in a case referred to restrictions on the importation of foreign-made car parts. Upholding a complaint from the European Union, Canada and United States, the preliminary WTO finding agrees that current Chinese practice is protectionist.
An initial estimate shows that Euro zone economic growth dipped last year to 2.7%, but still easily outpaced the US economy for the first time since 2001. The rate marked only a marginal slowdown from 2006 when the Euro zone economy grew by 2.8%. The US economy slowed to 2.2% in 2007.
Mining giant Rio Tinto expects commodity prices to remain historically high in 2008 and well beyond in spite of the US economic slowdown, said on Wednesday chief economist Vivek Tulpule.
The Commonwealth Secretariat said this week it will work alongside the Government of Maldives to establish maritime boundaries that are consistent with international law
The current La Niña weather pattern is expected to strengthen and continue through the middle of the year, bringing wetter conditions to Australia and the western Pacific and a drier climate to the Americas, the United Nations World Meteorological Agency (WMO) reported Tuesday.
Six major United States banks are taking part in an initiative to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, JP Morgan Chase, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo are those taking part in Project Lifeline.