China Iron Ore Imports Rise in September

Published: 3 October, 2016 14:36

Chinese iron ore imports rose in September, according to Reuters data, as the country’s steelmakers ramped up output in the face of global trade tensions about the country’s steel exports.

Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Forecasts data showed 82.5 million tonnes of iron ore, which is used in steelmaking, arrived at Chinese ports in September – up 2.5 percent on August and not far off July’s near record levels.

The data, based on ship tracking and port figures, does not completely tally with official Chinese customs figures, but typically doesn’t vary from them by more than 4 percent. China, which consumes some two-thirds of global sea-born iron ore, will release official trade figures for last month on Oct 8.

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World’s Gold Miners Stick Close to Home in Hunt for More Metal

Published: 19 September, 2016 15:10

The world’s biggest gold miners are taking a cautious approach in their hunt for bullion, spending more money to explore around existing mines rather than new territory in a strategy that may have short-term gains but risks future production growth.

Top producers are relying more than ever on small companies to do the heavy lifting of searching for new deposits and increasingly taking 10 to 20 percent equity stakes in the junior miners.

Exploring close to home is more cost efficient and improves the odds of discoveries. But the chances of making major new finds are limited, diminishing global gold output, which is expected to decline by nearly 9 percent in the next three years.

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G20 Pledges to Tackle Global Steel Glut

Published: 5 September, 2016 18:51

G20 leaders have pledged to work together to address excess steel capacity that has punished the global industry with low metal prices for years while raising tensions between China and other major producers.

A statement from the White House said that leaders at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, eastern China, on Monday (September 5) accepted that overcapacity in steel and other industries is a global issue that requires a collective response.

Proposals for the formation of a global forum that would seek a global solution and report back to the G20 next year underscore the growing resolve to support a sector that has long been grappling with chronic oversupply and sluggish demand.

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Oil Prices Fall on Rising Iraq Output and Doubt Over Producer Prospects

Published: 29 August, 2016 06:22

Oil prices fell early on Monday (August 29) as output from Iraq rose and as Iran said it would only cooperate in upcoming producer talks to freeze output if fellow exporters recognised its right to fully regain market share.

International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were trading at $49.54 per barrel at 00.43 GMT, down 38 cents from their previous close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 43 cents at $47.21 a barrel.

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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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