Thursday, September 02, 2004

Strike at Southern: Reuters reports on the pay strike by 1,500 workers at Southern Peru Copper Corp. "which lifted copper futures in New York when it began, went into a second day on Wednesday with the two sides deadlocked and no talks scheduled," according to Clemente Trujillo, a union leader from the Toquepala mine. NOTE: Southern spokesman Guillermo Vidalon said, "There is no deal since the unions are violating the collective agreement that runs until 2007 ... there is absolutely no justification for the strike." ALSO: "There was no immediate comment from Peru's Labor Ministry." CLAIM: Trujillo said production had been cut to "more or less 30 or 40%" because Southern had brought in contract workers. DEMAND: Eleutorio Huamani, a Cuajone union representative, explained "Our main demand is a rise in salaries of 5.2 soles a day ... which would be 156 soles a month added onto the 2,000 soles gross that staff earn and the 1,650 soles average of other workers." An updated Reuters story says that the "workers will meet on Thursday to decide their strategy after the Labor Ministry declared their pay strike illegal," according to Elmer Gallegos, secretary general of the union at Southern's Cuajone pit. ALSO: "Labor Minister Javier Neves told Reuters the legal process required the strike to be formally declared illegal twice before the company could fire workers." NOTE: "Southern President Oscar Gonzalez ruled out any pay rise, saying the company had raised salaries by 29% over the past three years, four times the rate of inflation."

Las Bambas Effect: Times of London and the Independent report that the Las Bambas sale has driven up the price of shares in Monterrico Metals "to a new all-time high yesterday in a rumour-driven frenzy, bringing mixed blessings to two top Framlington fund managers."

Taxing Mining? Reuters reports that "oponents of a controversial mining royalty in Peru have collected the signatures needed to ask the country's top court to quash the tax and will start proceedings as soon as a pay strike in the judiciary is resolved," according to the Jose Miguel Morales of the National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy, a group representing Peruvian mining companies. The SNMPE said "it had collected the 5,000 signatures needed for a ruling by the Constitutional Court, Peru's highest tribunal, which can declare the royalty illegal on constitutional grounds."

Camisea Work Gets More Resources: Dow Jones reports that Transportadora de Gas del Peru SA "signed a long-delayed contract with the Inter-American Development Bank for $75 million in a 14-year direct loan," for their work in the Camisea gas line, according to an IDB official. ("TGP has the 33-year downstream concession to transport natural gas from the Camisea project to Peru's coastal regions.") NOTE: "But given the success TGP has had in raising cash elsewhere, the IDB hasn't signed a contract for the previously approved backing of a $60 million syndicated loan, the so-called "B" tranche, the IDB spokesman said." ALSO: "Regional lender Andean Development Corp. said separately Monday that it signed a 14-year loan agreement for up to $75 million with TGP." ALSO 2: "Separately, TGP said it signed a 15-year contract to provide Empresa de Generacion Termoelectrica Ventanilla SA with 2.2 million cubic meters of gas a day."

LBerenson Previewed: The Washington Post offers a piece by Lucien Chavin on the Lori Berenson case reporting that "the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is expected to rule early this month on whether ... [she] received a fair trial under Peru's anti-terrorism laws." NOTE: "Government attorneys said they expected to lose the case, with a retrial ordered. Berenson, 35, imprisoned since November 1995, was accused of collaborating with the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, a small rebel group that is now defunct." ALSO: Unnamed "analysts said freeing Berenson would be political suicide for Toledo." CITED: Ms. Berenson in a "recent interview"; and Marcos Ibazeta, the judge who presided over Berenson's 2001 retrial.

Peruvian Wine: Reuters runs an updated version of its story on the wine industry (and includes at least one photograph) which includes Tacama, Tabernero, Santiago Queirolo and Ocucaje but tries to place the blame for contemporary problems on Velasco's nationalization efforts. CITED: Carlos Rubini's Ocucaje "which currently imports Chilean and Argentine grapes to make its wine, is planting grapes again"; Pedro Olaechea's Tacama, "one of the best-selling wines in Peru and perhaps the best known abroad and has so far focused on producing small batches of high-quality wines. ... Tacama's Gran Blanco white wine, rated by British wine writer Hugh Johnson as one of Peru's best, is a mix of Chenin, Semillon, Sauvignon and Ugni Blanc grapes, not the single grape variety often found in France." Tabernero's Francisco Rotondo and their "semi-sweet Borgona wine, which is proving very popular in the United States. The Borgona grape is a Peruvian specialty with a strawberry-like flavor that goes down well with people who are learning to drink wine, according to export manager Patrick Gubbins." FINALLY: "Experts say Peru is unlikely to ever challenge the $670 million-a-year wine export revenues of Chile because it has so few wines. Peru's total wine sales are $20 million today. 'The difference is that Chile has 200 good wines. Peru has just three or four,' said wine critic Cristina Vallarino, who buys wines for Peru's leading supermarket chain E. Wong."

New INEI #s: Reuters reports that "bucking a recent upward trend, Peru's consumer price index dipped 0.01% in August, helped by lower food and drink costs," according to INEI. NOTE: "Peru's CPI rose 0.19% in July this year and increased 0.01% in August of last year." A seprate Reuters piece details the new INEI numbers and reports that "output in Peru's agriculture and key mining sector fell again in July compared with a year earlier, but fishing production kept up its fast growth rate." ALSO: "Mining production, which generates half of Peru's exports, fell for the third straight month by 1.93% in July compared with the same month a year ago. ... But fishing output, a major foreign exchange earner for the Andean nation, jumped 58.76% in July, compared with a year earlier, INEI said, without explaining the surge."

Exporting Legally: Eye for Transport reports that "Exel has announced that its freight management office in Lima, Peru, has received official certification from the Business Anti-Smuggling Coalition (BASC) - one of the first freight forwarding organisations in Latin America to receive this important certification." According Exel's station manager in Lima, Patricia Lema, “This important certification ensures that all of our customers' shipments from Peru into the United States comply with international security and commercial trade standards and procedures.” NOTE: "During 2003, Exel's freight management office in Lima managed approximately 195 tons of seafreight from the Port of Callao and 520 tons of airfreight shipments from Lima Airport to New York, Miami and Los Angeles, on behalf of its customers. While Exel works with organisations in multiple sectors throughout Peru, the majority of the company's operations are concentrated in the textile industry serving US-based businesses."

Number One Horse: Thoroughbred Times reports that Comando Intimo "was elected Peru’s 2003-2004 Southern Hemisphere season Horse of the Year, champion horse, and champion three-year-old male by the Asociacion de Criadores de Caballos de Carrera del Peru on August 26. Campaigned by Freddy Chirinos’s Stud El Castillo, Comando Intimo has won five of 13 starts over two seasons, including wins in the Clasico Alfredo Benavides y Alfredo Benavides Diez Canseco and Clasico Marina de Guerra del Peru."


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Las Bambas' Price - US$121,000,000: The Associated Press and Reuters reports that Switzerland's Xstrata "won the auction to develop Peru's huge Las Bambas copper deposit on Tuesday with a bid of $121 million," according to ProInversion. NOTE: "The winning bid was the highest over a $40 million base price. The company must now either invest at least $1 billion in the project or build a 50,000 tonne-a-day processing plant. It must also pay a 3% royalty calculated on the value of net annual revenue from the sale of mineral mined. Peru reckons the project will boost gross domestic product by 1% point a year when up and running and turn it into the world's No. 4 copper producer from fifth now." ALSO: "Fourteen companies had originally prequalified for the sale. But on Monday only three companies besides Xstrata presented bids: Australia's BHP Billiton, Phelps Dodge of the United States, and Brazil's Vale do Rio Doce." The AP gets two quotes favouring the mine by two locals, "highland Indian Christian Huillca" and a 23-year-old, "who hails from a family of seven and is studying to become an elementary school teacher and who says, "What we want is development, education." An updated Reuters story has some more detail and several sources includeing Minister of Energy and Minies Jaime Quijandria ("there is potential for a mine at least the size of Antamina"), Xstrata's Corportate Manager Julian Rooney ("We hope to start drilling from the first year and to begin production as quickly as possible"), National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy Jose Miguel Morales ("I don't think anyone expected it to be so high. I thought it could double (the base price), not triple it"), Zenobio Maldonado, mayor of the nearby town of Chalhuahuacho ("As a town mired in the past we ... are convinced [the auction] will bring development"), and Valentin Roque, a peasant leader in the Cotabambas province ("some locals had walked for days across snow to protest the sale").

2005 Budget: Reuters reports that Peru's government has proposed authorizing up to $2.65 billion in new foreign debt next year, according to the 2005 draft budget submitted to Congress. The bill also said the government proposed internal financing operations of up to 3.866 billion soles (US$1.11 billion), including the issue of bonds up to 3.77 billion soles."

More LAN Flights: The Miami Herald summarizes a Lan Peru press release saying the company "has added four weekly flights from Miami to Lima and is now offering 11 flights per week from Miami International Airport to Peru. The added flights depart Miami on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with an immediate connection to Buenos Aires. Lan Peru also has another flight to Lima that departs Miami daily."

Teaching English in Lima: The Guardian has an uneven narrative by Natalie Clark on teaching English in Lima which is part travelogue (combis, Collca) and part cultural survival. Though the paper puts the piece in their 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language' section, Clark spends little time on that theme and drifts toward architectural criticism and political commentary among other things. NOTE: "At the end of the first month teaching I was called to the office of my language centre and reprimanded for having too many students who had failed the cycle and was told to alter their scores." ALSO: "Other mornings I found the buses would be on a diversion because parts of the road were on fire- but fires controlled by marshals." FINALLY: "I soon realised that every Peruvian I met had an overwhelmingly negative opinion of their country because of its history of dictatorships, poverty and the memory that over a decade ago terrorism was rife."


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Strike at Southern: Reuters reports that "1,500 workers at Southern Peru Copper Corp are set to begin an indefinite strike for higher pay at midnight on Monday that could paralyze production," according to Clemente Trujillo, a union official at the company's Toquepala mine. NOTE: "The two sides are scheduled to have talks at the Labor Ministry in Lima on Tuesday at 10 a.m." ALSO: "A walk-out by the 1,500 workers at Peru's Toquepala and Cuajone copper mines would halt copper production, as the miners make up 85% of operating staff, [according to] Elmer Gallegos, secretary general of the Cuajone mines. The strike threat jolted copper markets, lifting COMEX copper futures in New York on Thursday and Friday." ALSO: "Workers had previously said the strike was also in protest at a proposal to merge Southern Peru with Minera Mexico, another unit of Grupo Mexico, but Trujillo said that demand had been dropped because the company had said it would not mean job cuts if it went ahead."

Las Bambas Auction: Reuters reports on the nine top copper companies lined up "to bid for the vast Las Bambas deposit in Peru -- long touted as one of the greatest of all projects in this mineral-rich nation -- but locals vowed protests. The sale of the Las Bambas copper project -- at a site discovered in 1911 high in the Andes southeast of Lima and expected to need investment of at least $1.5 billion -- was delayed from June amid a controversy over a royalty charge on mining operations." Although 14 companies had originally prequalified for the sale, SNMPE President Jose Miguel Morales said only Swiss-based Xstrata Plc, Australia's BHP Billiton, Phelps Dodge of the United States, Rio Tinto and Brazil's Vale do Rio Doce "had accredited representatives for the auction as of Friday." NOTE: "Some 600 peasants have ridden across the Andes to Abancay, capital of the Apurimac department where Las Bambas is located, to protest the sale along with 90 local leaders, according to Juan Amache, head of a local citizen's group." CITED: CONACAMI, a lobby group protesting the impact of mining.

New Budget Numbers: Reuters reports that Peru's government "would submit to Congress a 2005 budget worth 49.387 billion soles (US$14.2 billion) slightly above forecasts and a jump from last year," according to Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero. ALSO: "The Economy Ministry said in a statement the budget was 12% higher than the original budget plan for 2004. The 2004 budget rose to 45.563 billion soles after the government hiked the sales tax and introduced a banking transaction tax."

Peruvian Wood To China: TimberWeb cites a new report on Peru's exports that shows "China is now a major market for Peruvian timber."

Montanans in Peru: Montana's Billings Gazette reports on seven college students who travelled to Peru through ProPeru, a service corps operating under the auspices of its parent organization, ProWorld. The organization's mission is to provide cross-cultural experiences by blending service, community development and academic study." NOTE: "What the students earned in perspective, the Peruvians gained in sweat labor. The Rocky group spent much of its time involved in projects that would better the region around Urubamba, a mountain village not far from Cuzco. ... One of their assignments was to build a greenhouse - vivero - to nurture native saplings. The vivero was constructed next to the village's small hospital."


Monday, August 30, 2004

Southern to Merge? Reuters reports that Southern Peru Copper Corp said a merger with a subsidiary of its parent company Grupo Mexico "would bring 'big benefits' -- a claim contested by union leaders who have threatened a strike this week unless the company hikes pay and rejects the merger plan." CITED: Union leader Elmer Gallegos who said that "miners want an 8 percent pay rise, above Peru's annualized inflation rate of 4.61 percent, to take their pay to 81 soles ($24) a day." ALSO: Southern's President Oscar Gonzalez told Reuters in May a merger would create a company "that is worth double what Southern is worth right now."


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Beer Wars: Reuters picks up a story in the Peruvian press about Colombia's Bavaria denying having sold its share in Peru's only beer maker, Backus to Belgian-Brazilian powerhouse Interbrew-Ambev. Said a Bavaria press release, "Bavaria categorically denies that Union de Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston has been sold to AmBev or to any other company. Bavaria reiterates its confidence in Peru and its strong interest in continuing to strengthen its operations in the country and in the region." NOTE: "Interbrew and Ambev completed their merger last week. The companies said the new group will be called InBev and will surpass Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. to become the world's No. 1 brewer in volume terms. AmBev announced in February 2003 that it was entering the Peruvian market with a production plant and distribution network."

NYT Travel Correction #2: The New York Times added another correction to their travel story last week on the trains to Machu Picchu. "An article on Aug. 15 about a train trip to Machu Picchu in Peru referred incorrectly to the accessibility of the Inca ruins there. Hikers who camp overnight on the Inca Trail can reach the site by sunrise; it is not necessary to stay at the guest lodge nearby to do so."

LHorna Loses in Finals: Reuters reports on Luis Horna's victory over Paradorn Srichaphan in the Long Island Cup 1-6 6-4 7-6 "in a dramatic semi-final on Saturday." Later today, the Associated Press and Reuters reported that Horna lost to Lleyton Hewitt6-3, 6-1 in the TD Waterhouse Cup final.

Cienciano at Miami: The Miami Herald reports that Peruvian clup Cienciano will play the Argentine Boca Juniors at Lockhart Stadium next month.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?