COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

NORTH KOREA WEIGHS

CAMBODIAN RUBBER DEAL

PHNOM PENH, Vietnam - North Korea is considering a proposal to invest in a 20,000-hectare (49,500-acre) rubber estate in Cambodia's remote northeast, government spokesman Sieng Lapresse said on Wednesday.

Mr. Lapresse told a news conference that Cambodian Agriculture Minister Tao Seng Hour had been informed of North Korea's interest during a recent meeting with the country's ambassador.

Mr. Lapresse said Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, also had proposed taking a lease on 2,000 hectares (4,950 acres) in Kandal province for "various crops."

No further details of the discussions were given.

HEAT INCREASES PRICES

FOR ELECTRICITY IN WEST

LOS ANGELES - Hotter weather in the Northwest and Southwest is helping spot electricity prices along the West Coast continue their recent upward trend.

In addition, slowing stream flows are cutting into hydroelectric generation, market sources say.

"The weather is also drier now, so inflows are tapering off," one Northwest trade source said. "The snowpack is starting to disappear. From here on out, we are into a dry trend until the fall."

A trader in Northern California said buyers were beginning to shop around more aggressively for spot supplies now that the Bonneville Power Administration is raising its offers amid a dearth of surplus hydropower.

Sources said they expected the market to maintain this firmer tone in coming weeks.

INDONESIA ORDERS

RICE FROM INDIA

SINGAPORE - Indonesia has ordered about 700,000 metric tons of Indian rice for July-February delivery at about $250 a metric ton f.o.b, according to an official at the All India Rice Exporters Association.

The rice for export to Indonesia will be long-grain grades, the official said from New Delhi.

The first shipment left the south Indian Port of Kakinada last week, the official said.

But he said India may not supply all the rice Indonesia has booked, since Indian exporters so far have received letters of credit for 400,000 metric tons.

''We have not received letters of credit for the remaining 300,000 metric tons of rice to be delivered," the official added.

Indonesia, which is usually self-sufficient in rice, has been forced to import this year due to a spate of bad weather, and a resultant severe rice shortage.