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Iron Ore Sinks as ‘Peak Steel’ Call, Supply Angst Rattle Market

Iron ore has been dragged back into the $60s after getting hit by a barrage of bad news, with persistent concern about rising global supply, fresh questions about the outlook for demand in China, and a warning from Australia’s central bank that the top buyer may be nearing peak steel. The benchmark spot price for ore delivered to Qingdao slumped 10 percent in the past four days, ending at $68.85 a dry metric ton on Tuesday, the lowest since July, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd. The sell-off in the commodity, ...

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Analysis: Tata Steel, TKS tie-up of steel titans may shake up iron ore, coal trade

Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp’s widely anticipated move to work toward tying up their European steel businesses may lead to changes in met coal and iron ore procurement and supplier strategies, with a shake-up in volumes from another potential giant group set to rival ArcelorMittal. A combined group, set to be headquartered in Amsterdam, along with ArcelorMittal of Luxembourg, would increasingly dominate Atlantic demand to two buyers, from three, in certain steel raw material segments such as iron ore pellets and pellet feed, high-grade fines, and in met coal for US ...

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Germany’s Jan-July gas imports up 20 pct, costs up 37 pct

Germany imported 20.3 percent more natural gas in January through July compared with a year earlier, while higher crude oil prices – to which the contracts are linked – meant that costs rose by 37 percent, official data showed. The January-July gas import bill was 12.6 billion euros ($15.10 billion) on volume of 2,688,462 terajoules (TJ)*, data from trade statistics office BAFA showed. Germany mainly imports gas from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark. BAFA no longer provides a breakdown of supply from each country, but Russia is the ...

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Taiwan Formosa buys Dec 2017-Dec 2018 naphtha flat to price formula

Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp has agreed to buy 1 million tonnes of naphtha for December 2017 to December 2018 delivery flat to its own price formula, on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, traders familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. This was sharply higher from $8 a tonne discount to Japan quotes on a C&F basis it paid last year for open-specification naphtha delivering between January and December 2017 to Mailiao. Formosa’s own price formula is based on OPIS price assessments, a recent switch in the way it prices naphtha. “Supplies are not as abundant ...

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Japanese ferrous scrap prices, East Asia bulk HMS unchanged on week

Japanese scrap export prices stayed stable during the week with the maintained bid price by a South Korean mill while Japanese domestic prices rose slightly, sources in Tokyo said. S&P Global Platts assessed Japanese H2 grade ferrous scrap export price at Yen 32,500-33,000/mt ($292-$296/mt) FOB Tokyo Bay Wednesday, unchanged from last week’s assessment. On September 15, South Korea’s leading electric arc furnace mill Hyundai Steel submitted its bid at Yen 32,500/mt FOB for H2 material, unchanged from its previous bid on September 8. Hyundai’s bids for Shindachi grade were Yen ...

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Wheat firms on bargain-buying, ample supplies cap gains

Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday with prices supported by bargain-buying and expectations of lower production in Canada although abundant world supplies limited gains. Corn was little changed after falling almost 2 percent in the past two sessions as harvest of a large U.S. crop will boost supplies. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.3 percent to $4.44-1/2 a bushel by 0248 GMT, corn was unchanged at $3.48-1/4 a bushel and soybeans were up 0.3 percent to $9.68 a bushel. “Both Chicago and ...

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EU wheat extends gains on bargain buying, activity low

European wheat extended gains recorded in the previous session on Wednesday, supported by bargain buying by industry players as prices have fallen near production costs, traders said. However, activity remained low with small volumes traded. December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext, was 0.6 percent higher by 1613 GMT to 163.00 euros a tonne for less than 13,000 lots (650,000 tonnes). “(Coverage) needs are there but the volumes exchanged remain thin and the range unchanged,” a Euronext trader said. Prices have stayed between 155.00 and 165.00 euros since mid-August. Looking to ...

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South Africa Sees No Hurry for New Coal and Gas Projects

South African programs to add coal and gas power generation from independent providers should wait until policies are updated and the nation’s future needs are clearer, said Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi. The government is also seeking a “middle ground” with developers in a program to add renewable-energy projects, she said in a phone interview Tuesday. Kubayi announced earlier this month that the long-delayed contracts must be signed by the end of October, but not before pricing was renegotiated to make the deals more attractive to state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings ...

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Steel exports up by 16 pct in Jan-Jul 2017 YoY; imports fell by 18 pct – TCUD

According to the Turkish Iron and Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD), in the first seven months of 2017, Turkish steel exports increased by 16 pct to 11.2 mln tons as compared to similar period last year, but steel imports dropped by 18.1 pct despite an increase of more than 15 pct in July. In July 2017, Turkish steel exports increased by 4.5 pct YoY to 1.25 mln tons. Flat products exports continued to increase significantly by 111.6 pct to 341,000 tons. Billet exports also grew by 181.1 pct to 35,700 tons ...

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Japan August rolled copper output down 0.3 pct y/y

Japan’s output of rolled copper products fell to 68,215 tonnes in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, down 0.3 percent from a year earlier, preliminary data showed on Wednesday. The figure represents a 2.7 percent decrease from July, the Japan Copper and Brass Association said. Below is a monthly rolled copper products’ data (in tonnes): Aug Aug/July July July/June June May April OUTPUT (SEASONALLY ADJUSTED) 68,215 -2.7% 70,082 0.6% 69,679 66,197 67,449 SHIPMENTS – – 69,366 -4.3% 72,493 66,360 69,911 INVENTORIES – – 35,285 4.1% 33,890 33,452 33,096 Source: Reuters ...

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Ghana: Wheat import increases by 160%

Ghana imports on the average 55,000 metric tonnes of wheat flour annually for local consumption. Ministry of Food and Agriculture data shows that since 2004, there has been 160 percent increase in the volume of the commodity imported annually. The foreign exchange requirements for wheat grain and wheat flour imports have ranged between US$118 and US$214 million between 2007 and 2013, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Should a 10% wheat substitution in the flour composition be considered, this would translate into between US$11 and 21 million of ...

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Refractories, steel mills feeling the burn of higher raw material costs

The tight supply of carbon graphite electrodes is having a considerable follow-on impact in the refractory market with prices of feedstocks to manufacture the furnace-lining bricks having more than doubled this year, according to refractory suppliers. “The price of fused magnesia from China is up nearly 175% from January 2017 and dead-burned magnesia is up about 150% depending on the grade,” Jason Borgesi, senior director of global procurement for Pittsburgh-based HarbisonWalker International, told S&P Global Platts Tuesday. Borgesi said about 60% of the world’s natural magnesite reserves are in China ...

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Brazil’s Vale to meet debt target before implementing new growth plans -exec

The new growth strategy being evaluated by Brazil’s Vale would only be implemented once the company meets its debt reduction targets, an executive director for the world’s largest iron ore producer said. The company is also interested in investing in the electricity sector itself or through a joint venture, including potentially bidding for Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais hydroelectric projects, said Clovis Torres, an executive director who oversees legal issues and human resources. Vale is concerned, however, over legal issues related to auctions, which have been marred by disputes after ...

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Australia watchdog takes aim at LNG exporters

Australia’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday the country’s east coast gas exporters have not done enough to shore up local supply, in a warning shot ahead of a decision by the government on whether to curb LNG exports in 2018. The comments by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims hint at what the watchdog may recommend to the government, which is due to decide by Nov. 1 whether to limit LNG exports, based on reports from the commission and the Australian Energy Market Operator. “The gas supply outlook ...

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This could mark the end of the 2017 iron ore boom

The iron ore price fell a little over 4% overnight which could weigh on shares of the miners that produce it. And if the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest call proves correct, there could be more pain on the horizon. The iron ore price has proven far more resilient this year than many in the market expected. In turn, that has had a positive impact on the local economy and likely played a role in boosting the value of the Australian dollar against a basket of other major currencies. However, ...

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