COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

AUSTRALIA LIFTS FORECAST

FOR WHEAT PRODUCTION

SYDNEY, Australia - The Australian Wheat Board has raised its 1995-96 (October-September) estimate of Australian wheat production to 16.9 million metric tons (18.6 tons), up 900,000 metric tons from its previous estimate.

Western Australia's estimated production was increased to 7 million metric tons from the previous official estimate of 5.8 million metric tons due to excellent crop conditions in Australia's west.

This has more than offset a downward revision in Queensland wheat production to 1 million from 1.3 million metric tons, as lack of rain begins to reduce yield potential.

Production estimates for New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have remained static at 4.7 million metric tons, 2 million metric tons and 2.2 million metric tons, respectively.

SPAIN, ITALY TRY TO BUY

GAS FROM NORWAY

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - The Norwegian gas negotiating committee GFU is talking with Spanish and Italian companies that want to buy gas beginning in the year 2000, the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv reported Tuesday.

Italian gas company Snam wants to purchase at least 6 billion cubic meters of gas each year from 2000. GFU will begin talks with Spanish Enagas in the fall for the annual sale of 4 billion cubic meters of gas from the same period.

Norway has previously talked with Italy, but no deals were made.

The GFU said the current talks were more promising, but new buyers must be willing to pay prices that are in line with Norway's main customers in France and Germany.

GLITSCH GETS PATENT

FOR SEPARATION PROCESS

TIANJIN, China - Tianjin Petrochemical Industrial Corp. said it assigned a patent for separation of cobalt-manganese from oxides to Glitsch Co. of the United States, which will use it in an India-based petrochemical project this year.

The firm said the technology, developed over 10 years, raises the conversion rate and quality of products and prevents blockage of pipelines and equipment, thus prolonging their life.