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Trump’s threat on steel import tariffs already spooking buyers

President Donald Trump’s pledge to safeguard US steelmakers from cheap overseas shipments is already working even as hopes fade of an imminent announcement of measures. At least that’s what Cliffs Natural Resources Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves says is happening as buyers shy away from imported steel in case the White House hands down restrictions that would invoke retroactive penalties. The ensuing increase in demand for domestic metal is allowing US producers to push up prices, he said in a telephone interview. “We are seeing that happening right now,” said ...

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Miner Vale to look toward copper after 2nd-quarter miss

Brazilian miner Vale SA said it would seek out fresh copper mining options and stop expanding nickel production capacity after second-quarter net income plunged on forex losses, rising costs and weaker iron ore prices. Net income tumbled 99 percent to $16 million from $1.1 billion a year earlier, far below an average estimate of $421 million. The world’s largest iron ore miner kept making slow progress on cutting net debt, which slipped 3 percent in the three months through June to $22.12 billion – still a far cry from a target of ...

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Drought slashes U.S. spring wheat yield prospects: tour

Hot and dry weather during the growing season slashed yield prospects for U.S. hard red spring wheat to the lowest in nearly a decade, scouts on an annual crop tour said. The Wheat Quality Council tour pegged the 2017 U.S. hard red spring wheat yield at 38.1 bushels per acre (bpa) following the three-day tour of North Dakota, the top spring wheat state, and adjacent areas in Minnesota and South Dakota, That was down from the tour’s 2016 forecast of 45.7 bpa, the prior five-year average of 46.8 bpa, and ...

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Nippon Steel forecasts annual profit to rise 72 pct on higher product prices

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, Japan’s biggest steelmaker, forecast on Friday its recurring profit would rise 72 percent for the year ending in March 2018 as it passed on higher material costs to customers by raising prices. The world’s fourth-largest steelmaker by crude steel output said that recurring profit – pre-tax earnings before one-off items – will increase to 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) from 174.5 billion yen the previous year. That was roughly in line with a mean estimate of 303.7 billion yen among 15 analysts surveyed by ...

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Glencore lowers 2017 output targets after first half dip

Glencore cut its 2017 output targets after changes in what it extracts at some of its mines, rainfall and maintenance hit production in the first half of the year. The global miner and trader said copper output for the six months fell 9 percent and nickel was down 10 percent, while zinc production jumped 13 percent and coal rose 4 percent. At its Antamina mine in Peru, Glencore shifted its focus to ore containing a combination of copper and zinc instead of purely copper which led to a rise in ...

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India’s steel mill court bankruptcy proceedings widen

An Indian court has allowed bankruptcy proceedings to be initiated against more steel mills, continuing a process that has disrupted coking coal sales amid doubts over the company’s credit quality. The National Company Law Tribunal, India’s designated bankruptcy court, has asked the creditors of steel producers Monnet Ispat, Bhushan Steel, Bhushan Power & Steel and Electrosteel Steels to reach a debt restructuring agreement within 180 days. Liquidation proceedings will get underway if no agreement is reached and ratified by the court within this period. The tribunal has appointed administrators to ...

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French wheat, barley harvest advanced last week despite rain

The harvesting of wheat and barley crops in Francehad reached its latter stages by July 24, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday, keeping this year’s harvest at an above-average pace despite rain last week. In a weekly crop report, FranceAgriMer estimated that 85 percent of the soft wheat crop had been harvested by Monday, up from 63 percent a week earlier. The median date for soft wheat harvesting so far was 12 days earlier than the average of the past five years, it said. Farmers in the European Union’s biggest ...

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SunCoke’s Q2 coal handling volumes total 5.2 million st, up 23%

SunCoke Energy’s coal handling volumes increased to 5.2 million st during the second quarter, up 22.9% from the year-ago quarter, the company said. For the first half of 2017, tons handled totaled 10.9 million st, up 27.8% from the same period in 2016, the Lisle, Illinois-based company said in an earnings presentation. SunCoke, which owns and operates the Convent Marine Terminal in Louisiana along with terminals in West Virginia and Virginia, took advantage of increasingly improving export dynamics to boost coal handling revenues. Improving export dynamics have included higher delivered ...

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Dry weather diminishes outlook for global grain crops – IGC

The International Grains Council cut its forecasts for 2017/18 global corn, wheat and barley crops after prospects took a hit from dry weather in several countries. “Because of overly dry weather, including in North America, the EU and Australia, the outlooks for global corn, wheat and barley harvests are revised lower,” the IGC said in a monthly update, adding rains would likely be too late to reverse damage in some areas. The IGC cut its forecast for the global corn crop by 5 million tonnes to 1.02 billion tonnes, driven ...

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Iron’s Jekyll-and-Hyde Moment Shows This Rally’s `Dangerous’

Iron ore’s latest rally has run beyond fundamentals and there’s a risk of a sharp reversal as prices tumble back below $50 a metric ton next year, according to Westpac Banking Corp. Senior Economist Justin Smirk, who says the raw material has something of a split nature. “Most commodities are pretty Jekyll-and-Hyde,” Smirk said in an interview. “Iron ore does fit that trend. Hyde is meant to be angry, Jekyll is meant to lovely and nice,” he said, referring to the principal character in Robert Louis Stevenson’s 19th century classic ...

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China steel futures drop back on weak demand outlook

China’s steel rebar futures eased after a three-day gain, sliding nearly 2 percent due to underlying concerns about a weak demand outlook amid increasing output at mills. “When the heat wave across the country is gone, demand may not see a strong rebound despite a seasonal increase in activity,” said analysts at Orient Futures in a note. Construction work typically slows during periods of hot summer weather, picking up again when temperatures cool in the fall, before the onset of winter. The China Meteorological Administration said on Wednesday that more ...

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Goldman’s Now Bullish on Iron Ore This Year – But Not Next

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its iron ore forecasts after better-than-expected demand in China raised prices, but warned that it remains bearish on next year amid prospects for plentiful mine supplies and a worldwide glut. The three-month forecast was raised to $70 a metric ton from $55, and the year-end target increased by $5 to $60, according to a report from analysts including Yubin Fu and Max Layton received Thursday. Next year, prices are still expected to drop, it said. Iron ore has surged in recent weeks to top $70 ...

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Brazil’s Vale net income plunges on FX, asset writedowns

Brazil’s Vale SA second quarter net income slumped from the same period last year, missing estimates, crimped by a weaker currency and writedowns on the value of several assets, the world’s largest iron ore producer said on Thursday. In a securities filing, Vale said net income totaled $16 million, far below an average consensus estimate of $421 million and the $1.106 billion reached in the second quarter last year. Net profit reached $949 million when adjusted for foreign exchange impacts and one-off items, above the $784 million reached in the ...

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Egypt wheat reserves enough for 6 months after buying spree

Egypt’s strategic wheat reserves are sufficient to last for six months, a supply ministry official told Reuters following a string of large purchase tenders intended to boost stocks after a smaller local harvest than in the past few years. The world’s largest wheat importer’s strategic reserves stand at 4.6 million tonnes, supply ministry spokesman Mamdouh Ramadan said. Egypt has been buying up a lot of wheat on international markets this month, with state grain buyer GASC booking 1.25 million tonnes in July, or about 20 percent of its 6.2 million ...

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Iron ore from Cassinga, Angola, may begin to be explored this year

The iron ore deposits operation in Cassinga may be resumed this year, with negotiations between Angolan iron and steel company Ferrangol and a foreign company at an advanced stage, the Angolan minister of Geology and Mines said recently. Minister Francisco Queiroz, quoted in the Jornal de Angola newspaper, added that negotiations with “a large world-class investor” are going well and that soon company representatives will have to return to the country to carry out an additional survey. “We hope that the project will start soon,” he added, adding that everything ...

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