Energy

Prices and Use Will Soar, Report Says

Global energy needs will surge 50 percent by 2030, and prices will rise if capacity is not significantly increased, the International Energy Agency said in its 2005 World Energy Outlook.

There are sufficient oil and natural gas reserves to meet those needs, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East, but about $20 trillion in new investments is needed to bring those supplies to the consumer market, the agency said.

New energy sources will increasingly be needed to meet demand in growing economies such as China and India.

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will also climb, by 52 percent in the same period, the Paris-based agency projected.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Roche to Increase Tamiflu Production

Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding said it will increase production of Tamiflu to make 300 million treatments of the antiviral drug annually by 2007 to meet government orders as fears of a flu pandemic rise.

Roche said the increase would mean a tenfold rise in production from 2004, when a decision was made to start boosting production.

Orders for the antiviral drug have soared as health experts have been pinning their hopes on Tamiflu in case the bird flu that has spread from Asia to southeast Europe mutates so that it could pass easily between people. While there is no human vaccine for the spreading strain of bird flu, scientists think Tamiflu may help humans fight a mutated virus.

TRADE

E.U. Faults Chinese Coke-Export Curbs

China must end curbs on exports of coke, a processed form of coal used as fuel by steelmakers, the European Union's trade chief said in comments that may signal the renewed threat of a World Trade Organization complaint. The E.U. put off a complaint last year when the Chinese government pledged to make changes in 2006 to a coke-export license and quota system that safeguards supplies for a domestic economy that is growing more than 9 percent -- the fastest of any major economy.

U.S. Industry Backs Chinese Textile Pact

U.S. textile industry officials expressed support for a plan to limit imports of Chinese textiles and clothing over the next three years. Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations, said the expected trade deal meets the industry's key demands for protection against a flood of Chinese imports.

Industry officials said the agreement would take effect Jan. 1 and last through the end of 2008. The deal would cover 34 clothing and textile categories, including 14 that the U.S. industry considers sensitive because there is still significant U.S. production, including trousers, shirts, underwear and bras.

Talks Must Go Beyond Agriculture, Officials Say

U.S. and European Union trade chiefs said global trade talks must focus on more than agriculture if they are to succeed in boosting the world economy.

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said he would "stand together" with E.U. Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson in insisting at a meeting of five key World Trade Organization members that they should talk about trade in manufactured goods and service industries as well as agricultural subsidies and tariffs.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.