Norway Oil Output May Drop 6% in 2011, Gas Rise 2.5%, Oil Directorate Says – Norwegian oil production will fall 6 percent this year, its 11th annual decline, as the world’s seventh-largest crude exporter struggles to maintain output after 40 years of pumping from aging North Sea fields. Production will fall to 98.3 million cubic meters in 2011, or 1.7 million barrels a day, from 104.4 million cubic meters in 2010, the Stavanger-based Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said today. Gas output is expected to rise to 109.1 billion cubic meters from 106.4 billion cubic meters, the agency said. “The fact that the companies on the Norwegian shelf are not able to achieve a maximum exploitation of our fields poses a challenge,” “Although our recovery rate is among the best in the world, we are still not satisfied. If we manage to recover just 1 percent more, this would mean revenue in the hundreds of billions for Norway.”
2010 Year-End Foreclosure Report RealtyTrac® today released its Year-End 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows a total of 3,825,637 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on a record 2,871,891 U.S. properties in 2010, an increase of nearly 2 percent from 2009 and an increase of 23 percent from 2008. Foreclosure filings were reported on 257,747 U.S. properties in December, a decrease of nearly 2 percent from the previous month and down 26 percent from December 2009 — the biggest annual drop in foreclosure activity since RealtyTrac began publishing its foreclosure report in January 2005 and giving December the lowest monthly total since June 2008. “Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity — triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings,”
Begich: As The Arctic Melts, Let’s Drill, Baby, Drill – Yesterday, Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) said that the rapid warming of the Arctic because of oil pollution means that more Arctic drilling should commence. Begich was responding to the presidential oil spill commission’s report, which recommended new drilling around Alaska, subject to stronger standards. The Democratic senator from the state most changed by global warming pollution used the commission’s report to emphasize his desire for more “Arctic development“: As many of us have been saying for years, more resources and research are needed for Arctic development as warming temperatures make far north resources more accessible.
Corn Surges to 30-Month High After USDA Cuts Supply Estimates — Corn surged to the highest price in almost 30 months after the U.S. government lowered forecasts for domestic inventories, tightening global food supplies after adverse weather slashed harvests. Wheat also climbed. March-delivery corn rose as much as 1.7 percent to $6.42 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest price for a most-active contract since July 2008. The grain was at $6.3675 at 12:20 p.m. Paris time, adding to yesterday’s 4 percent jump. The U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its estimate of the country’s 2010 corn harvest, forecasting a global production deficit of 20.1 million metric tons, 17 percent more than it expected in December. Corn stocks in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, will fall to 745 million bushels (18.9 million tons) before this year’s harvest, the smallest since 1996, the USDA said
CMBS delinquencies rose 79% in 2010: Moody’s -The number of delinquencies within the conduit/fusion space of commercial mortgage-backed securities rose 79% in 2010, ending December at 8.79% up from 4.9% a year earlier, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Analysts said the rate also climbed 16 basis points last month from 8.63% in November. While the rate continues to increase, it slowed considerably during the second half of last year. And the average monthly rate of change was slightly lower than 2009 despite greater volatility and large increases early in 2010. Moody’s expects new CMBS issuance of about $37 billion in 2011 and projects its delinquency tracker to end this year between 9.5% and 11%. The rate of delinquencies should moderate as the "capital markets continue to heal and the flow of loans into special servicing is slowing."
Producer Prices in U.S. Increased 1.1% in December on Fuel – Wholesale costs in the U.S. rose in December by the most in 11 months, led by higher prices for commodities such as fuel and food. The producer price index increased 1.1 percent from November, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The so-called core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, climbed 0.2 percent, in line with estimates. An improving outlook for the world’s largest economy and rising demand in fast-growing emerging markets like China means producers are paying more for raw materials.
`Huge’ Chile Inflation Concerns Prompt Switch to Rate Increase Predictions – Economists are abandoning forecasts for Chile to end seven months of interest-rate increases after the central bank’s $12 billion plan to weaken the peso sent inflation expectations soaring to a two-year high. Policy makers will raise rates to 3.5 percent at their meeting today, according to the median forecast of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. On Jan. 10, the median prediction was that the central bank would keep borrowing costs unchanged. Investors increased bets on inflation expectations, as measured by Chile’s swaps market, to the highest since 2008.
Brown Budget May Cost Los Angeles County $2 Billion — Los Angeles County may face $2 billion in additional costs under the budget proposed by California Governor Jerry Brown, according to a report. The nation’s largest county, with more than 10 million residents, may see state welfare funding cut for more than 37,000 families and a shift of 13,550 felons from state prisons to county jails under the proposed budget, according Ryan Alsop, assistant chief executive officer. The county’s assessment of the proposed spending plan’s effects was released today. “The realignment the governor is proposing is a great big cost-shift,” Alsop said today in a telephone interview. “You can understand why we’re a little bit nervous about what’s happening. The cost-shift without the additional revenue would bankrupt all counties in California.”
Wisconsin Suffers as Build America Bonds Demise Raises Costs: Muni Credit – Wisconsin, whose 2011 tax revenue is forecast to increase 4.7 percent, is paying two-thirds more to borrow money this week than in an August sale of taxable Build America Bonds as it returns to the tax-exempt market. Wisconsin is selling $429 million in tax-free debt this week with yields of 3.75 percent on bonds maturing in May 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Last year, its sale of Build Americas included 10-year securities priced to yield 3.45 percent. Minus the 35 percent federal subsidy on interest costs, Wisconsin paid 2.24 percent, Bloomberg data show.