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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

MARKET HIGHLIGHTS


PROPERTY PULSE

50 CAVILL AVENUE is located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, the primary tourist and commercial district of Queensland's Gold Coast. The 21-story building comprises 17,000 sq m of Grade A space, and its typical floor plan is 706 sq m. It is the sole prime office block in the area, and is near top quality restaurants, shopping centers and public transport. The Department of Social Security recently renewed its lease at 50 Cavill Avenue for 1,893 sq m. Leasing terms: space of 65 sq m up; asking annual rentals from $146 to $232/sq m net; incentives include rent holidays and/or fit-out contributions; 3-year lease or longer.
Market commentary: Leasing in Surfers Paradise's prime office market has been strong as owners adopt aggressive marketing campaigns. Vacancy rates improved from 19.3% to 18.6% in the March quarter. Prime rental levels have remained steady in the period. Annual net rental ranges between $100-$200/sq m. Reduced stock availability continues to buoy prime yields to 8.0%-9.0% compared with 8.5%-9.5% late last year. Sales were sluggish in the period. To revitalize Surfers Paradise, the Queensland state government in early March announced a $13.8m. project to divert a large amount of traffic from the city center. Shopping malls, streets and lanes along the beach have been refurbished by the City Council into a shady mini city.

COMMODITY CLOSE-UP

COFFEE prices rollercoastered over the past month. Market participants turned jittery as analysts warned of heightened frost risk in Brazil this winter. Coffee fell back as latest forecasts for warmer weather eased concern that an early freeze would slash output from the world's biggest grower. The run-up in May was strong since prices were so depressed earlier. Brazil has been exporting heavily in recent months as its competitiveness was enhanced by the devaluation of the real in January. Brazilian exports in the year ending this June are estimated to hit a record 22m. 60-kg bags. World production in 1999/2000 is forecast at 104.5m. bags, down 2% from the previous year's record high, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Brazilian crop in the new year is expected to drop 26% to 26.5m. bags as coffee trees are mostly in the off-year of the normal biannual production cycle. But the decline will be offset by increased outputs by other key producers. World consumption is pegged at 103m. bags a year.


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