Is Egypt about to ignite the collapse…?

17 08 2013

Over the past few months, I have written a few entries on Egypt, because I see it as the catalyst for the collapse.  it’s a far more important nation than Syria, straddling the Suez Canal as it does.  As I predicted back then, it appears that the brown stuff has finally hit the fan there, the Pharaohs would not be impressed…..  And then along comes this news item (which is hardly surprising):

A number of international companies are suspending operations in Egypt as three days of violent clashes make the streets unsafe in Cairo.

AB Electrolux, General Motors Co., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Toyota Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp., BASF Corp. and others shut down factories and offices and told thousands of workers to stay at home

Violence in Egypt has left nearly 700 people dead since Wednesday after riot police razed two Cairo encampments where supporters of President Mohammed Morsi protested his ouster.

The standout for me is Royal Dutch Shell…..   no prizes for guessing why

Further from Reuters…:

“To ensure the safety and security of our staff, Shell offices in Egypt are closed for business today and into the weekend and business travel into the country has been restricted. We will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt,” he said in a statement.

Among other big oil companies operating in Egypt, BP had no immediate update to provide. A spokesman for BG, whose offshore LNG operations account for about a fifth of its production and which pulled out 100 expatriate staff and dependents in July, said there was no change to report.

I think this will turn out to be serious news.  All the signs point to civil war and a soon-to-be non-functional nation which must import almost all of its food.  Oil may well be creeping back towards $130 soon, and that’s the price around which things really get screwed up everywhere.  From DW News…….:

As violence in Egypt continued, oil became more expensive again on international markets on Friday.

Benchmark crude for September deliveries rose by 12 cents to $107.45 (80.47 euros) per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract already surged by 48 cents to close at $107.33 a day earlier.

Brent crude, a measure used to price imported crude by many US refineries, rose by 5 cents to $109.77 per barrel, reflecting market experts’ concerns about the political and economic situation in Egypt.

The impact of this won’t be felt until Monday, and that’s probably Monday in Europe and the US….   Watch this space.  Might be a good weekend to fill the car too!