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The One Stock That Can Protect You From California's Unfolding Drought Disaster

If you live on the East Coast like we do, we’re betting you are paying only passing attention to the California drought.

That’s a mistake.

You see, we’re talking about a three-year water shortfall that is historic in scope.

And the potential implications are terrifying…

  • Featured Story

    Natural Gas Companies: Exporters Stymied by Permit Delays

    Just days after Forbesexplained how American natural gas exports will positively change the world, the U.S. Energy Department released news that could delay natural gas companies seeking to export the fuel.

    The DOE announced it will temporarily halt granting new licenses for companies to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) until an economic study is completed later this fall.

    Despite finishing in January the first part of a critical study on the impact of LNG exports on U.S. energy production, prices, and consumption, the rest remains incomplete. Until this section is finished and evaluated by members of Congress and executive officials, the DOE will also suspend assessments of proposed export sites.

    "The second part of the study, which will assess the broader economic effects of increased natural gas exports, is ongoing," Energy Department spokesman William Gibbons wrote in a release Wednesday. "We expect to be able to release the comprehensive study results late this summer."

    The DOE has delayed permits and assessments of proposed sites mainly due to worries from Congressional members. Congress remains concerned about the long-term U.S. energy security and the potential that natural gas prices could increase dramatically as exports begin.


    To continue reading, please click here...
  • Exports

  • Controversial House China Tariff Bill Will Take America Down the Wrong Road The U.S. House of Representatives this week overwhelmingly passed a bill that would enable the Obama administration to impose punitive tariffs on almost all Chinese imports into the United States - a controversial move that's intended to punish China for refusing to revalue its currency.

    The House China tariff bill faces opposition in the Senate and from the Obama administration and isn't expected to become law. Let's hope that reluctance continues to hold: This bill is little more than a political con job and is quite possibly the stupidest thing that Washington could do right now.

    Not only will this touch off a war the United States literally cannot afford to fight, but it's going to hamstring millions of already cash tight Americans by raising the cost of living dramatically while further eviscerating our already fragile gross domestic product (GDP).

    Let me show you why...

    To understand the hidden costs of the China tariff bill, please read on...

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  • China Trade Surplus Reignites Tensions Over the Yuan China in August posted its third straight trade surplus of more than $20 billion, putting friction with the United States over the nation's currency back in the spotlight.

    Exports rose 34.4% in August and imports climbed a greater-than-expected 35.2%, leaving the country with a $20.03 billion surplus, a customs bureau report showed Friday.

    But a sustained trade gap with the United States could embolden American lawmakers who are pushing to penalize China for what they consider unfair trade practices.

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  • July's Narrowing Trade Gap Lifts Hope for U.S. Economic Recovery The United States in July posted the biggest drop in its trade deficit in 17 months, as imports plunged and exports shot higher, according to a government report that could lift hopes for the economic recovery.

    The U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 14% to $42.78 billion from a downwardly revised $49.76 billion the month before, the Commerce Department reported yesterday (Thursday).

    U.S. exports expanded 1.8% to $153.33 billion - the highest level since August 2008 - from $150.57 billion in June. Imports registered their biggest decline since February of last year, falling 2.1% to $196.11 billion from $200.33 billion in June.

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  • How to Profit From the Russian Wheat Shortage Russian wheat farmers have a tough life.

    Having grown up on a working farm in Oregon, I understand this all too well. Those days taught me a lot about hard work and patience. Four decades later, as I read news stories about the current travails of Russian wheat farmers, the memories of getting up on wet winter mornings for the pre-dawn goat milking - or having to drive a tractor when I was only six years old - engender a lot of empathy for the difficult challenges the wheat farmers face.

    Wild fires are racing through unharvested wheat fields, the result of a Russian heat wave that has destroyed more than one-fifth of that country's wheat crop. In addition to causing the farmers considerable pain, the crop losses have caused wheat prices to double this summer.

    This has spawned an export ban in Russia, which effectively removes the third-largest exporter in the world from the market. It's also created a major profit opportunity for U.S. investors.

    Let me explain.

    For strategies that will help you profit from the Russian wheat shortage, please read on....

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  • Drought Forces Russia to Ban Grain Exports Russia yesterday (Thursday) banned grain exports after unrelenting heat left the country with its worst drought in at least a half-century.

    Wheat rose to a 23-month high after Russia, the world's third-largest grower, announced a ban beginning Aug.15 that will last through the end of the year. Corn and rice prices also surged yesterday after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said a ban on those grains would be "appropriate" in light of skyrocketing prices.

    Domestic grain prices gained 19% last week, faster than at the peak of the global food crisis in 2008. The ban includes wheat, barley, rye, corn and flour exports, according to the government decree that also set aside nearly $1.2 billion for stricken farmers.

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  • Money Morning Mid-Year Forecast: Why China's Economy Will Exceed Expectations in the Second Half of 2010 The rapid growth China's economy experienced in the first half of the year was a blessing and a curse. It helped propel the world out of a disastrous recession, but it forced policymakers into action to prevent overheating - which scared off many investors.

    But the fact is that while most of the world was struggling to keep the engine of economic recovery from sputtering to a halt, China spent the first half of 2010 with its foot on the brake. And now that the Red Dragon has reigned in growth, the second half of 2010 will likely look very different from the first.

    Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald says nearly everyone felt the first quarter's 11.9% growth in Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) was "too hot." But the 10.3% growth China saw in the second quarter will likely be topped in the second half.

    The reasons for that are simple:

    "From an investment perspective, the single biggest concern right now is how hard and for how long the Chinese government will keep tapping on the brakes," says Fitz-Gerald. "I personally don't think it's going to be too much longer - an easing sometime in the third quarter now seems realistic."

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  • China's Exports Surprise Contradicts the Critics Chinese exports in May posted a 50% gain over last year, blowing away estimates and suggesting that the risk of a Chinese economic slowdown is overblown, Reuters reported, citing anonymous sources.

    China's official export numbers will be reported tomorrow (Thursday) as part of broader trade data, but had been expected to rise 32% year-over-year after recording 30.5% growth in April.

    Chinese economic figures are often leaked widely in markets and government circles ahead of their official release, and are sometimes subject to last-minute revisions.

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  • Decline in U.S. Natural Gas Imports is Causing Panic in Leading Exporting Nations The world 's biggest natural gas exporters met today (Monday) in Algeria and agreed to index gas prices to oil as shrinking U.S. natural gas imports are causing a global supply glut.

    "All ministers agreed and supported that we continue our efforts to achieve indexing gas to oil," said Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko.

    The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) members include Russia, Iran, Qatar and eight other nations that hold two-thirds of the world 's gas reserves. They 've watched gas prices fall nearly 50% in the past two years. Current gas prices of $4 per million British thermal unit (BTU) are about 20 times lower than oil, but are usually around 10 times lower than oil.

    U.S. natural gas prices have fallen 28% since December as an increase in the U.S. shale rock gas supply has reduced the need for U.S. natural gas imports. Shale rock gas is retrieved from tight rock formations and its U.S. boom led the country to extract more gas than Russia last year for the first time since 2001.

    Russia 's energy giant Gazprom has a five-year plan to take 10% of the U.S. natural gas market share, but U.S. shale gas exploration has put a damper on that goal.

    "The influence of shale gas raises the prospect of change on gas markets," Russian Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev told Reuters. "We have a problem with shale gas. This is not only my position, but the position of Gazprom as well."

    As the United States becomes a less reliable consumer, gas suppliers aren 't having much luck replacing the lost business.

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  • Indonesia Catching China's Eye It's an open secret that Indonesia's economy is on the rise. In the spirit of March Madness, it's something of a sleeper. That's why China, which is always looking for promising new investments, is looking to make inroads there.

    Indeed, China's appetite for commodities makes Indonesia - with its close proximity and abundance of natural resources - an ideal partner.

    PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE ADR: PTR), Sinopec, Sinosteel, Minmetals and China Investment Corp (CIC) - Beijing's $300 billion sovereign wealth fund - are all aggressively scouring South East Asia's largest economy for takeover targets and joint venture partners, the Live Trading News reported.

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  • U.S. China Currency Dispute Heating Up The heated debate between China and the United States over the value of its currency intensified yesterday (Thursday) when a senior Chinese trade official warned that further appreciation of the yuan could put many of its exporters out of business - something China can't afford.

    Those remarks came shortly after a key International Monetary Fund (IMF) official flatly stated that the currency is severely undervalued.

    China's Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told The Wall Street Journal in an exclusive interview that the profit margins on many Chinese export goods were less than 2% and any further increase in the currency's value would endanger more exporters' survival.

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  • China's Exports Surged by 46% in February, Adding to Currency Pressures China exports in February rose for the third month in a row, beating forecasts and putting added pressure on government officials to rein in stimulus spending and loosen currency policies.

    Exports in February jumped 45.6% from a year earlier after a 21% advance in January, the customs bureau reported today (Wednesday) on its Web site. 

    Seasonally adjusted imports in February rose 6.3% from the previous month, reversing January's 0.9% drop and narrowing the Red Dragon's trade surplus, indicating domestic demand remains strong despite government efforts to slow lending.

    Analysts say the February data is hard to interpret since... To continue reading, please click here...
  • South Korea's Exports Rise, but Future Looks Murky Year-over-year exports from South Korea rose for the first time in 13 months amid higher shipments to two of the world's largest economies. However, future sustainability of the export-based economy is made uncertain by questions surrounding the removal of global stimulus measures. Overall shipments rose 18.8% to $34.3 billion in the first 20 days of November, Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy said yesterday (Tuesday). Roughly one-third of shipments were to the stimulus-backed economies of China and the United States, where exports increased by 52% and 6.1%, respectively. Read More...
  • Japan’s Exports are Halved by Crisis, Boosting the Odds for a Drop in the Yen By Jason Simpkins Managing Editor Money Morning Japan's exports were cut nearly in half last month as the global downturn crushed demand for the country's electronics and automobiles, a development that increases the odds that the Japanese yen could be poised for a tumble. Japanese exports fell by 45.7% in January from a year ago […] Read More...
  • With Falling Exports, China Encouraging Shipping Industry Overhaul By Mike Caggeso Associate Editor Money Morning China's January exports fell 17.5%, the fastest pace in nearly 13 years and worse than most preliminary forecasts. Shipments to the United States fell 9.8%. And exports to China's largest trading partner, the European Union, fell 17.4%. China exports fell a slight 2.8% in December. China imports also […] Read More...
  • U.S. Exports Not the Saving Grace Analysts Had Hoped By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly grew in February, as surging imports overwhelmed a rush of record high exports. A widening trade gap is the opposite of what most analysts anticipated, as a weak dollar and slackening demand were supposed to have made trade the one bright spot in what is […] Read More...