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February    2011
To know the road ahead, asking those coming back


Referendum in Sudan , political unrest in Tunisia , trouble brewing in Egypt said to be taking shape almost on the lines of Tunisia , floods in Australia , Brazil and some parts of Europe, terrorist attack in Moscow , January made enough news for the anxious readers.

Now that Sudan set for a historical split, the natives in the south of the country appeared more than happy on the developments. People want peace and prosperity. The referendum voting pictures spoke more than words. Men in formal suits and well groomed, lined up to vote for freedom. Confident of a new beginning, better life, the natives appeared well set to live a good life. The new country will set eyes on western style development politico, backed by a decent share of oil resources. Best of luck.

News of rising water levels in Europe, Australia and wherever, gives increasing warning levels of what is to come on the weather front. Unheard weather patterns are becoming more frequent and this time than ever, the forewarnings that were cold shouldered, are proving right.

Tunisian unrest news echoed the discontent among the people, particularly the youth. Countries in the horn of Africa appears to going for a big change.

Social networking sites and blogs are now turning into transparent and real news making / sharing platforms than the newspapers and TV channels, where contents may be subject to filtering by lobbyists and vested interests.

The future for real news, in all likelihood, will be from blogs and the growing umpteen number of networking sites. Even when a lobby of newspapers cartel can make a twisted story from pressure, the blogs are free, therefore more dependable. The new generation mass opinion making mechanism is set to reform public opinion campaigns.

Let us not ignore this media. It will give you what really happens and opinions of what you and me feels.

The team at Mirage


Reducing unemployment levels in the US continues with a positive note, aiding the consumer confidence and overall economic situation. Unemployment levels touched the lowest at 9.4 % as the year closed, its lowest for the whole year.

Some economists are of the opinion that if the stimulus packages, that were acting as growth catalysts, are taken off by major economies at this stage would adversely growth in 2011. Many quarters feel that the fighting spirit against recessionary trends are in many ways, waning off. This is cited as a major concern, particularly at a time when oil prices are increasing and inflation is seen expanding to many economies.

Oil prices are on the fence sitting mode with disproportionate increases any time, as speculative tendencies are foreseen by the trade. Though the increases are bound to be temporary with the OPEC ready to pump up more oil to contain the prices at reasonable levels. A mindset of USD 100 Per barrel is something oil producers want to happen.

Meanwhile the World Central Bank governors meet commented on the strengthening world markets, however also raising apprehensions on the current developments in emerging economies where inflation remains uncontrolled. The report observed that should the current year agricultural production fault due to unseasonal rains and altered weather patterns,, the situation would take catastrophic shape for those economies.

Political unrest from unemployment and rising prices have already disturbed many economies around the world. In china, inflation is a cause for concern, where government is still hopeful that it can tame price rise without resorting to harsher economic measures.

In the UAE, construction sector is still struggling to come out of the trench. The third quarter of 2011 is reported to the waiting period as more buoyancy returns. Whereas in all fairness, as rightly pointed by leading economic studies, 2012 is the year to see a revival of the industry as a whole.

Charter rates for coal movements were affected badly through January following the worst floods in Australia . The largest supplier of Coal , Australia is a major market for bulkers. The fall in rates were sharp with vessels trailing to find employment.

Charter hire for cape size ships fell 36 percent during the second week averaging $12,500. In general the dry bulk market suffered from the losing streak, for most part of January, according to Baltic Dry Index.

On the wet trade, a glut of tankers to move an estimated 2 Million barrels kept rates at check through the month of January.

Some reports indicate that ship orders during 2009 were the lowest when the global economy was at the peak of recession. However 2010 witnessed new tonnages entering the trade and 2011 continuing the trend. These new tonnages, projected at around 14 per cent of the global tonnage now in operation of bulkers and about 8 percent for tankers and containerships, are bound to keep the rates lower than the expected fair yields of revenue for carriers. Whereas industry sources also anticipate new entries to slow down in 2012, that would see a balance in supply and demand, resulting in better times for freight yields.

However in tandem , as world economy grows with developing countries as China , India and Brazil in the lead, the demand for shipping space will see steady growth from 2013, according to industry observations.

Container traffic is slated to grow at around 11 percent in 2011 from increased trade outputs. A good news for the liner trade indeed.

The Chinese port of Shanghai claimed to have beaten the Singapore port's performance in container throughput for the year 2010. Shanghai port exceeded the Singapore figures by over 500,000 Teus, totaling at 29.05 Million Teus. The economic recovery and the six month long World Expo is reported to have aided the performance to rank as the busiest container port in the world.

In the Middle East, the congolomerate Dubai World reported steady gains made by its operations across the globe, as among the top three largest port operator in the world.

History attributes the origins of Sugar to the Indian Sub continent. Until then, the only known sweetener in the world was honey. Now granulated sugar is among the most extensively traded commodity in the world.

In ancient times, the natives of the Asia chewed sugarcane to extract the sweet cane juice, that was much before crystallization techniques were known to man. It was during the great Gupta Empire when cane juice was supposed to have crystallized, enabling it to be transported and stored easily. The Gupta period is said to be golden age of the Indian Sub Continent, for its prosperity, scientific and artistic achievements.

It is believed that the trading range of the Guptas extended far into South East Asia and Pacific rim countries., that are also known for sugar plantations and sugarcane of different varieties..

Traders carried sugar along with other commodities to far off lands, trading the merchandise that eventually grew in popularity. Chronicles record that there were at least two Chinese missions to master the crystallization techniques.

During the Muslim Agricultural Revolution in the Middle East , this technique was adopted for sugar production. The period saw sugar being used as sweetener for desserts and sweetmeats. The expansion of Arab empire across the old world saw cane cultivation given due importance. Some parts of Western Europe were also covered after the conquest of Iberian Peninsula in the 8 th Century.

During the times of Christopher Columbus, the Europeans took to the New World, including countries in the South America . Soil conditions being more ideal in those places, countries took to sugar cane cultivation, which put them as the biggest producers of sugar.

The mass colonization of the Caribbean region, gave it an exemplary status for large sugar cultivations. With time, the French colony known as Saint-Dominguez and Jamaica became the major sugar producers in the world.

The entry of crystallized sugar into the Europe witnessed a rapid in change in food habits. Jams, Candy, sweet beverages and the like. This directly impacted on the sugar market, leading to more investments, labour requirements, making sugar a lucrative business as well.

On the darker side, exponential demand for sugar also promoted slavery in the New World , as the industry was the most labour intensive. Literally the entire workforce were indentured slave labour in the Caribbean and parts of South Amerrica .

Today, more than 170 Million tones of Sugar is traded globally, literally sweetening the world. Thanks to the Indians, we need not chew sugar cane to get a taste of sweet.

February Highlights

Sweetening the World

Business expositions in February  

                  Events in February

     World Cancer Day                           Valentine'sl Day
      4 February 2011 
                        14 February 2011     

                 International Mother Language Day
                   21 February, 2011

Celebrity & Famous Birthdays in February
Bob Marley 06 February, 1945

Paris Hilton - 17 February 1979

Franklin D. Roosevelt - 22 February, 1732


Powerful Surya Namaskar
(Salutation to Sun - The Universal Powerhouse)

Since ancient times Indians worshipped the Sun ( Solar Energy) and this exercise form is an extension of fitness regime followed by the people. Surya Namaskar benefits skeletal, muscular and ligament flexibility, making them supple for any kind of involuntary movements. 


Business events in Dubai- February 2011

CABSAT Middle East
8 Feb - 10 Feb, 2011
Middle East Electricity Exhibition
8 Feb - 10 Feb, 2011
Gulf Food Exhibition
27 Feb- 02 Feb 2011
Aircraft Middle East 2011
27 Feb - 28 Feb,2011


Unique Monuments

Brihadisvaram or The Big Temple,
Tanjore, South India

The 1000 year old temple is built by Raja Raja -I of the Chola Dynasty. It just took about six years to build, despite its size and intricate crafts it is adorned with.

The temple is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.



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Associate Organisations:

V L Global, India
Capital Index Inc, BC, CA
Benchmark Maritime
Himalaya Group