COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

OUTPUT SETS RECORD

AT TOKYO ELECTRIC

TOKYO - Peak electricity output at Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co. hit 58.03 gigawatts Tuesday, setting a record high for the second time this year, the company said in a release.

Tepco's previous record peak output was reached Friday, when Japan's nine major power firms' total peak output also hit a record high.

The metropolitan areas Tepco serves are still under a persistent heat wave, creating constant air-conditioning demand. Tuesday's high temperature in Tokyo was 35.3 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), lower than Friday's 36.3 degrees (97 Fahrenheit).

Tepco's power supply capacity Tuesday was 60.88 gigawatts, with 2.85 gigawatts, or about 5 percent, of spare capacity at the time of the peak load.

SOUTHERN CO. EXTENDS

BID FOR BRITISH UTILITY

LONDON - Southern Co. said Tuesday it is extending its offer for South Western Electricity PLC, a British utility, until Aug. 21.

Southern said in a statement that as of Monday it had received acceptances for 1.1 percent of outstanding shares in South Western, which is also known as SWEB. Southern held 11.2 percent of the shares before July 11, when the offer period started.

Since July, Southern has bought a further 3.2 percent of SWEB's shares, taking its holding to around 14.4 percent.

SWEB had rejected a $14.43-a-share takeover offer that values the company at about $1.6 billion.

Maurice Warren, SWEB's chairman, said his company continues to advise shareholders to reject the bid and "not to allow Southern to buy SWEB on the cheap."

Southern was unchanged at $21.50 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

COTTON GROWERS FEAR

FARM POLICY PROPOSAL

WASHINGTON - U.S. cotton growers voiced concerns about a legislative proposal known as the "Freedom to Farm Act" that would cap and phase down USDA crop subsidy payments, while providing farmers much more control over their planting decisions.

''It would be a disservice to American agriculture and to Americans at large to make fundamental changes in farm policy without carefully considering all the consequences," the National Cotton Council said in a prepared statement.

''Agriculture can meet its fair share of spending cuts without sacrificing the U.S. cotton industry's international competitiveness and jeopardizing the long-term viability of our industry," the council said.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., introduced the Freedom to Farm Act in Congress last week.

The plan saves $13.4 billion over seven years - as required under the Republican plan to balance the budget by 2002 - by capping farm subsidy payments at $7.6 billion in fiscal 1996.

SDI EXPECTS FUNDING

FOR MILL BY YEAR-END

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Steel Dynamics Inc. should get financing for its planned cold-rolling mill by the end of the year, pushing up its construction by two years.

Keith Busse, president of the Butler steel mini-mill, said cold-mill construction should start a month or two after he finishes raising $180 million. That project will add an additional 175 jobs to the site.

The cold mill, which will finish the flat-rolled steel produced by SDI, originally was part of the second phase of what is now estimated to be a $640 million project. Now, the second phase has been split, with financing for the other major piece, a scrap-iron substitute facility, being pursued separately.

Mr. Busse thinks money will be raised for the scrap substitute plant during the first half of next year. The plant might be built at a different site, he said.

SDI is a start-up mini-mill that will produce steel from scrap iron.

US COFFEE ROASTINGS

DOWN SO FAR THIS YEAR

NEW YORK - U.S. 1995 coffee roastings through July 29 reached 9.405 million 60-kilogram bags, down from 9.665 million in the same period of 1994, according to data compiled by Complete Coffee Coverage.

Roastings for the week ended July 29 stood at 345,000 bags, up from 340,000 in the same week of 1994.