COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

PAKISTAN'S RICE SUPPLY

EXPECTED TO HIT A LOW

WASHINGTON - Pakistan's 1995-96 (November-October) rice ending stocks are expected to drop to a historical low of around 500,000 metric tons, the U.S. agricultural attache in Islamabad said.

In a report dated Sept. 27 but released Friday, the attache attributed the low ending stocks forecast to expectations for a small 1995-96 rice crop in Pakistan, along with a continuation of brisk exports.

The attache forecast the 1995-95 crop at 3.21 million metric tons, down 6.9 percent from the previous year because of flooding in rice-producing areas, which will cut harvested area 4.5 percent from the previous year.

Nevertheless, the attache said Pakistan's export forecast remains at a historical high of 1.5 million metric tons because of the current pace of contracts and estimated commitments.

SCOTTISH POWER WINS

MANWEB TAKOVER FIGHT

LONDON - Scottish Power announced it won the takeover battle for Manweb, saying it obtained more than 60 percent of the regional electric company under its UK1.13 billion ($1.79 billion) offer.

"Accordingly, Scottish Power has declared its increased offer unconditional as to acceptances," the company said.

Scottish Power, which offered shareholders about UK10.02 ($15.86) in cash and paper or 990 pence in cash, had already secured a stake of 28 percent of Manweb by Thursday.

Manweb, which distributes electricity in northwestern England, had tried to remain independent with a UK590 million ($934 million) defense package.

It was the only one of six of Britain's regional electricity companies that was fighting a hostile takeover bid, as the sector continues to buzz with merger activity.

CODELCO RAISES PRICE

OF CATHODE BY 31.6 PERCENT

TOKYO - Codelco-Chile's premium for copper exports in 1996 to Japan, including transportation, has been set at $50 a metric ton over the London Metal Exchange price of copper cathode, a 31.6 percent increase over 1995, according to the Japanese agent for the company.

Codelco announced late last month that it raised its universal sales terms of 1996 grade A cathode delivery, comprising a $30-a-metric-ton premium basis on the average LME price for the month following the contractual month of delivery, up from $18 this year.

Transportation costs are added to the universal sales term for shipment to consumers around the world.

Toshisada Sichri, Japan agent for state-run Codelco, said Friday that 1996 transportation terms to Japan have been set at $20, unchanged from this year.

Japan annually imports about 125,000 metric tons of copper cathode from Chile, mostly under long-term contract.

ARABIAN OIL LIKELY TO GET

EXTENSION ON EXPLORATION

TOKYO - Japan's Arabian Oil Co. and Saudi Arabia are likely to extend by 30 years Arabian Oil's crude-oil exploration rights, due to expire in 2000, in the former neutral zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, company officials said.

The Tokyo-based company is Japan's biggest oil producer. The Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti governments each own 10.9 percent of it.

It has a large oil field discovered in the former neutral zone between the two Middle East countries.

In June, the company submitted to the Saudi Arabian government its draft of an agreement to extend the exploration rights by 30 years, the officials said.

Saudi King Fahd expressed a readiness to do whatever he could for the 30- year extension when he met with Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in Saudi Arabia last month, they said.

Arabian Oil has also obtained the consent of the Kuwaiti government to extend for 30 years its exploration rights in the region.