Producer prices surge by 27%

Ghana’s producer inflation rose sharply for a second month in February to 27.1 percent year on year from 23.3 percent in January. This was due mainly to a price hike of 55.7 percent in the utilities sector and depreciation for the cedi against the dollar of about 12 percent this year. Inflation as measured by Ghana’s producer price index (PPI) has nearly doubled over the past two months from 15.3 percent in December. It is watched as an advance indicator of Ghana’s consumer inflation, which rose to a fresh three-year high of 14 percent last month. Philomena Nyarko, the government statistician, said producer prices increased 2.9 percent month on month, marking a slowdown from a 7.2 percent monthly rise in January. – Reuters


Dangote’s sales of cement surge

Full-year profit at Dangote Cement rose 39 percent as sales in the local market surged, Nigeria’s largest company reported yesterday. Net income for the 12 months to December last year rose to 201.9 billion naira (R13.1bn) from 145.1 billion naira a year earlier, the company said. Revenue rose 29 percent to 386.2 billion naira as sales in Nigeria increased 28 percent to 13.3 million tons. The continent’s biggest producer of the building material has production capacity of 20.3 million tons across three Nigerian plants. It plans to expand into 13 other nations on the continent, bringing total capacity to more than 60 million tons by 2016. “As the Nigerian cement market grew by a strong 15.6 percent, we managed even better growth,” chief executive Devakumar Edwin said. – Bloomberg


Coast surveyed for oil and gas

Somalia is conducting offshore oil and gas surveys in hopes of attracting explorers such as Royal Dutch Shell. It plans to hold a licensing tender next year once Soma Oil and Gas, funded by Russian billionaire Alexander Djaparidze, has completed the seismic study, according to Abdullahi Haider, a federal government adviser. Somalia, with no proven reserves, had been in talks with Shell about resuming work suspended at the start of the country’s civil war in 1991, said Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, an adviser to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. “This time next year we could have the possibility of seeing major oil companies coming in,” he said. – Bloomberg