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Miners regain sparkle as commodity prices rebound

Increased Chinese spending on housing and hopes of an infrastructure bonanza in the US and India are driving a recovery in resources giants, analysts said, with major miners raking in huge profits. A slowdown in the global economy, particularly in the world’s top consumer China, and a supply glut hammered prices in recent years, pushing many firms to the brink of collapse and forcing others to slash jobs and spending. But with Beijing rediscovering its appetite for key metals — and the economy showing signs of stabilising — optimism is ...

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Vale Sheds Invisible Shackles

Have a look at the share-price performance of these five mining companies. One is controlled by a shadowy influence network of Latin American politicians, while another is managed by a group of red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalists beside an Alpine lake. The trouble is, which is which? Politics Ain’t Everything If you’re not seeing much evidence of the dead hand of the state weighing on any of those stocks, that’s because Vale SA is as well-run a company as the other big miners. (Glencore Plc, based in the Swiss canton of Zug, is ...

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As China hits peak iron ore, miners look elsewhere for growth

China has reached peak iron ore usage, which will force lower-grade producers such as Fortescue Metals Group to offer increasingly large discounts to steel mills, according to participants at China’s main iron ore industry conference. Peak iron ore was not supposed to happen for at least another decade, but Greg Pan, the chief executive of diversified miner and steel mill owner China Hanking Holdings, said there would be little to no growth in demand for foreign iron ore from mainland steel mills this year and the trend of imports displacing ...

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US corn inspected for export rises 25% on week: USDA

The amount of US corn inspected for export in the week ended Thursday rose 25% week on week to 1.461 million mt, US Department of Agriculture data showed. The amount of corn inspected was 98% higher than the 739,488 mt inspected for export a year earlier, according to the USDA’s weekly Federal Grain Inspection Service report. In the 25 weeks since the current marketing year began on September 1, the total amount of US corn inspected for export is 25.901 million mt, 75% above the previous marketing year and already ...

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China iron ore, steel resume rally amid steel curbs, demand pickup

Iron ore and steel futures in China jumped more than 4 percent on Monday, resuming their rally, amid planned curbs in steel production in key areas and a pickup in seasonal demand. Rebar prices pushed to a fresh three-year high and iron ore neared a record peak, as both commodities benefited from China’s efforts to tackle a steel glut and boost infrastructure spending. The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 4.7 percent at 3,610 yuan ($525) a tonne at 0320 GMT after rising as far as 3,648 ...

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China Said to Probe Speculation in Commodity Futures Rally

China’s top economic planner is investigating whether speculation has distorted commodity futures prices, due to concerns that the recent rally will drive inflation higher, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The National Development & Reform Commission this month questioned futures brokers on whether distortion had occurred, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The agency is worried over the potential impact on producer and consumer prices, they said. China tightened rules and raised fees on commodities trading last spring, as it ...

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Fortescue, Apollo Bid for $1.5 Billion Wesfarmers Mines

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. and Apollo Global Management LLC are among bidders for Wesfarmers Ltd.’s Australian coal operations, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Apollo submitted an indicative offer for Wesfarmers’s stakes in the Curragh and Bengalla mines by a deadline around the end of last month, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Fortescue bid for Curragh, which produces mostly metallurgical coal, according to the people. The suitors are now studying detailed information on the assets, which could fetch as much ...

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Copper steadies ahead of Trump speech

Copper steadied on Monday as markets awaited further clues on U.S. infrastructure spending from U.S. President Donald Trump this week, though production stoppages at the world’s two biggest copper mines lent support. The metal hit its highest since May 2015 on Feb. 13 on news of a strike at BHP Billiton’s Escondida copper mine in Chile, and a contractual dispute that halted operations at Freeport-McMoran’s Grasberg facility in Indonesia. That has continued to support copper within $100 of this month’s peak, but the metal took a breather on Monday after ...

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Asia alumina: Australia ticks up 50 cents/mt to $349/mt FOB

The Platts Australian alumina daily assessment ticked up 50 cents/mt on Monday to $349/mt FOB. Although Australian alumina has become too pricey for a large number of Chinese smelters, there has been a steady drip of buying among other consumer, trader and producer market participants worldwide, in the last couple of weeks. A producer reported the sale last Friday, of a 30,000 mt lot at $349/mt FOB Western Australia, LC at sight, or $349.50/mt LC at BL plus 10 days deferred payment, for shipment in the second-half of March. Additionally, ...

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Wheat eases for third day on supply pressure, soybeans extend gains

Chicago wheat futures slid for a third consecutive session on Monday to hit a near one-week low, with lack of demand for U.S. shipments amid abundant global supplies weighing on the market. Soybeans rose for a second session, underpinned by slow selling by Brazilin farmers while corn edged higher, snapping two sessions of gains. The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract lost 0.3 percent to $4.46-3/4 a bushel by 0345 GMT, after earlier touching its lowest since Feb. 21 at $4.45-1/2 a bushel. Wheat closed down 1.2 percent on ...

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Pricing holds key to launch of private coal mining in India

The extent of pricing freedom for private commercial coal miners is likely to be revealed by India’s Coal Ministry next month. According to a government official, the Ministry will, at the end of March, publish the framework for opening the coal mining sector up to private miners for the first time since 1973, and is expected to give indications on the pricing methodology that private coal miners will need to follow. However, no clarity is available yet on whether coal produced by private miners will be up for merchant sale ...

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Procurement Activity Remains Unsettled In Emerging Steel Markets

According to MEPS, Russian trading houses expressed reservations over the necessity of the latest round of price hikes. The majority stress that the initiative is unsustainable and does not reflect real demand. End-users are exhibiting little urgency to purchase material, even with discounts granted. The Indian steel market has been unsettled by pre-budget expectations, weak market fundamentals and volatile raw material costs. Attention is being paid to the negotiation of coking coal and iron ore contracts. The outlook for the Ukrainian market is unchanged. Long product steel sales fell and ...

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India: Tough times ahead for domestic steel producers

It is going to be tough for domestic steel companies to maintain their toplines in coming quarters. With local demand for the industrial commodity not picking up on expected lines and government protection measures to phase out soon, primary producers could come under pressure to cut product prices going ahead. “If local demand continues to remain sluggish post March, then it is going to be a big problem for the steel producers,” Nitin Johari, chief financial officer at Bhushan Steel told Business Standard. “At present, steel demand is subdued but ...

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China Steel hikes prices amid rising material costs

China Steel Corp yesterday raised steel prices by 6.9 percent for deliveries in the second quarter of this year to reflect soaring raw material costs. The nation’s largest steelmaker said in a statement that it would raise the prices for all products by an average of NT$1,396 per tonne, with an increase of NT$1,495 per tonne for benchmark hot-rolled steel products and a rise of NT$1,600 per tonne for hot-dipped galvanized steel items. “The price hikes are in line with an upward trend in raw material prices,” executive vice president ...

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Brazil’s Vale sees iron ore price above $80/tonne in 2017

Brazilian miner Vale SA expects the global price of iron ore to average above $80 per tonne in 2017, on the back of increasing steel demand and a smaller rise in new production entering the market, the company’s executive director of ferrous minerals said. “2017 will be a strong year, the demand for steel is higher than 2016 and the new supply entering the market is less than in 2016,” Peter Poppinga said on a call to discuss fourth-quarter results for the world’s largest iron ore producer. Poppinga said Vale ...

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