Anger in the Delta Keeps Nigeria’s Crude Oil Offline

Published: 22 August, 2016 12:26

Oil companies and even Nigerian officials are losing faith in a deal anytime soon with militants who have slashed the nation’s oil output, casting doubt on a production recovery in what is typically Africa’s largest oil exporter.

In the six months since the first major attack on Nigeria’s oil – a sophisticated bombing of the subsea Forcados pipeline – dozens of attacks have pushed outages to more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the highest in seven years.

Talk in the country has shifted from ceasefire optimism, and oil companies’ assurances that repairs were under way, to hedged comments from the government and radio silence from oil majors.

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Oil Rises on Talk of Producer Action, but Excess Looms

Published: 15 August, 2016 12:44

Oil prices rose on Monday (August 15) to their highest in nearly a month, with benchmark Brent crude trading more than 10 per cent above the start of August, as speculation intensified about potential producer action to support prices in an oversupplied market.

Brent crude oil futures rose to a high for the month of $47.67 a barrel on Monday (August 15) before dipping back to $47.10 per barrel at 0943 GMT, up 13 cents from their last settlement, and 11.3 per cent above the last close in July.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose to a high of $45.15 a barrel before dipping to $44.63 a barrel, still up 14 cents from their last close. WTI has gained more than 7 per cent in August.

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Indonesia to Hold Coal Output Steady Despite Price Rally

Published: 8 August, 2016 08:01

Indonesian thermal coal miners will be unable to ramp up output this year due to logistical and debt constraints, despite a strong price rally in recent months, the Indonesian Coal Mining Association said.

Global thermal coal prices have risen sharply on an unexpected jump in imports from top consumer China as it curbs local capacity, as well as demand from other emerging Asian markets and even developed economies, particularly South Korea.

However, Indonesian coal producers that slashed output in recent years due to slumping prices are not expected to be in a position to quickly boost output, association chairman Pandu Sjahrir told news agency Reuters.

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Strategie Grains Cuts EU Rapeseed Crop Estimate Once Again

Published: 1 August, 2016 12:35

Consultancy Strategie Grains cut its estimate for the European Union’s rapeseed harvest for the third month in a row on Monday (August 1) due to lower than expected yields in major producing countries where harvesting is in full swing.

It said the EU should harvest 20.7 million tonnes of rapeseed this year, a forecast revised down by 570,000 tonnes from last month, and now nearly 6 per cent below 2015.

Strategie Grains mainly cut its estimates for France, Germany and Poland due to lower yields. The cuts were only partly compensated by smaller rises in Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Lithuania.

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Chinese Steel Futures Swing to Losses on Week Demand

Published: 25 July, 2016 09:15

Chinese steel futures swung to losses after a moderate gain on Monday (July 25) as cooling demand in flood-hit regions outweighed output cuts in a key industrial region.

Spot steel prices in some northern regions fell after the floods interrupted transportation and sales as well as hit demand, despite a mandated output cut in Tangshan, a key steel producing area, traders said.

“The positive news is a bigger output cut, particularly for coking plants, in Tangshan, but demand has also been hit by floods in some regions. The market could be volatile this week,” said Yu Yang, an analyst with Shenyin & Wanguo Futures in Shanghai.

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Gold Falls and Oil Firms as Markets Shrug Off Turkey Coup

Published: 18 July, 2016 12:43

Gold slid one per cent on Monday (July 18) as investor jitters calmed following the failed coup attempt in Turkey, while oil prices edged higher with the turmoil unlikely to hit energy supplies.

Copper fell for a second session on pressure from a stronger dollar while corn prices jumped, underpinned by forecasts of hot-dry weather potentially reducing U.S. crop yields.

Turkey widened a crackdown on suspected supporters of a failed military coup, taking the number of people rounded up in the armed forces and judiciary to 6,000, and the government said it was in control of the country and economy.

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Oil Price is Stabilising Even as Iran Plans to Boost Crude Exports

Published: 11 July, 2016 10:04

Oil markets will remain stable this year even as Iran plans to keep boosting crude exports to regain the market share it lost due to sanctions, according to a senior official at state-run National Iranian Oil Co.

Iran exports about 2 million barrels of its daily output of 3.8 million, said Mohsen Ghamsari, NIOC’s director of international affairs. The country has regained about 80 percent of the market share it held before the U.S. and European Union tightened sanctions on its oil industry in 2012, he said.

Sanctions were eased in January, and Iran plans to double crude exports.

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Chinese Commodities Rally on Hopes of Stimulus to Boost Economy

Published: 4 July, 2016 08:25

Chinese commodities from nickel to cotton surged on Monday (July 4) on hopes Beijing will unleash more stimulus to prop up a sluggish economy, brightening the outlook for raw material demand.

An official survey on Friday (July 1) pointed to China’s weak manufacturing sector in June with export orders and inventories falling and factories shedding more workers.

“There are headwinds in the domestic market and exports and for the government to achieve its macroeconomic targets they need to focus on more stimulus in the second half of the year. That will be good for commodity demand,” said Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong.

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Oil Prices Rise As Brexit Shock Fades and Norway Strike Looms

Published: 29 June, 2016 07:06

Oil rose on Wednesday (June 29) as financial traders poured money back into commodities following the initial shock of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and as a potential strike in Norway and crisis in Venezuela threatened to cut supply.

Brent crude futures were trading at $48.84 per barrel at 0422 GMT, up 26 cents from their last settlement. U.S. crude was up 35 cents at $48.20 a barrel.

Both oil benchmarks had climbed on Tuesday (June 28) after markets shook off some of the initial shock from the referendum in Britain in which most voters elected to exit the EU.

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Oil Prices Steady Following Brexit Vote but Worries Over Refined Products Glut Looms

Published: 27 June, 2016 10:44


Oil prices steadied on Monday (June 27) as market participants better absorbed the shock of last week’s vote in Great Britain to leave the European Union and as analysts said Brexit would have a limited impact on global fuel demand.

Brent crude futures were up 17 cents at $48.58 a barrel by 0844 GMT and U.S. crude was up 2 cents at $47.66 a barrel.

Both crude benchmarks closed down around 5 percent on Friday (June 24) amid plunging global financial markets as results from a referendum defied bookmakers’ odds to show a 52 percent to 48 percent victory for the campaign to take Britain out of the EU.

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