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Shanghai steel rebounds from 5-wk low, iron ore hits 6-wk high

Shanghai rebar steel futures rebounded on Friday from a five-week low as investors piled back into Chinese commodities markets in anticipation of a pickup in demand after the Lunar New Year holiday. The recovery in rebar fueled a rise in steelmaking raw materials iron ore and coke to multi-week highs, and came along with similar gains in copper, aluminium and nickel. The most-active rebar contract for on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 1.8 percent at 3,949 yuan ($623) a tonne, after earlier hitting 3,841 yuan, matching Thursday’s five-week trough. ...

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Weekly US coal production rises despite low natural gas prices

Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 15.57 million st in the week that ended February 17, up 2.8% from the prior week, but down 4% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday. This was the second strongest year-to-date estimate behind the estimate for the week that ended February 3 at 15.87 million st. EIA expects natural gas prices to moderate in the coming months, based on a forecast that production will reach a record 80.3 Bcf/d in 2018. With less-expensive gas, utility buyers are not ...

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Queensland’s Goonyella met coal rail reopens despite bad weather forecasts

Australia’s Aurizon rail network reopened its key Goonyella met coal rail line despite the weather bureau still forecasting “unstable weather” ahead for the next few days. Aurizon Network, which operates the coking coal rail network in Queensland, temporarily shut its key Goonyella rail line for 12 hours to 18:00 local time Wednesday, citing signaling and electrical failure due to storms. An Aurizon representative told S&P Platts it had reopened some sections of the Goonyella line Thursday, with its maintenance crews continuing to inspect the remaining sections of the system, which ...

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Thailand’s Banpu profit soars on higher coal prices, tops estimates

Thai coal miner Banpu Pcl’s full-year net profit surged more than 250 percent to $343 million and beat estimates, boosted by higher coal prices. Banpu was estimated to post a profit of 9.1 billion baht ($289.1 million) for 2017, according to a Reuters poll of 9 analysts. Coal sales revenue, 91 percent of total sales, reached $2.6 billion in 2017, up from $2 billion a year earlier, from its Indonesian and Australian mines. “The resilient demand for coal coupled with limited supply in the region continued to support coal prices,” ...

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FEATURE: US Commerce recommendation on Chinese steel tariff raises worries of retaliation against US soybeans

The US Department of Commerce’s recommendation to impose a tariff on Chinese steel imports has sparked worries that China may retaliate against US soybean imports, sources have told S&P Global Platts. “It is a general concern that the current administration is playing a risky game that could greatly affect the agriculture market,” a source said. “It has become a question of, What if?” The US Department of Commerce released a number of recommendations Friday following its investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act. Among them was a 53% ...

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U.S. copper stocks sprint to record high, reflecting transport costs, weak demand

Record high stocks of copper in land-locked Arizona and Utah are a reflection of soaring transport costs in the United States and weak demand for the industrial metal produced in the Americas, copper industry sources say. Trading sources added that stocks in these two locations are likely to keep rising until prices are high enough to offset costs of transporting the copper. Copper stocks held in warehouses registered with COMEX in the United States stand at 228,428 tonnes, up from below 90,000 tonnes at the start of 2017. Specifically, stocks ...

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Anglo-American 2017 thermal coal production for export falls

Miner Anglo-American PLC reported a drop in export thermal coal production for the seaborne market from its operations in Colombia and South Africa, the company said. South African sales volumes dropped 3% to 18.6 million mt with continued productivity improvements at underground operations more than offset by a self-enforced 100-hour safety stoppage at all operations, the company said in an earnings statement. Anglo-American said the thermal coal market had experienced the positive price effects of Chinese domestic coal production rationalization, which supported coal imports into China and lifted seaborne pricing. ...

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Soybeans face 3rd week of gains as Argentina drought hits supplies

Chicago soybean futures rose for a fourth consecutive session on Friday, with the market set for a third week of gains as a severe drought in parts of Argentina’s oilseed producing regions is expected to reduce production. Wheat edged higher but the market is facing its first weekly loss in six weeks on improved weather across U.S. southern Plains and abundant global supplies. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade is up 2.3 percent this week, the third straight weekly gain. Soybeans on Thursday hit a high ...

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Combined coal stocks held by China’s six key power generators rise

Combined coal stocks held by China’s six key coal-fired power generators in southern and eastern China totaled 9.993 million mt on February 22, up 14.9% over the Spring Festival holidays from 8.695 million mt on February 8, according to figures released by port operator Qinhuangdao Port on Thursday. The six key power generators are: Zhejiang Power, Shanghai Power, Guodian, Datang, Huaneng and Guangdong Power which is better known as Yudean. Based on the current coal consumption rate, the stocks are able to cover 23 days of consumption at the six ...

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What Happens When China’s Steel Curbs End? Here’s BHP’s Take

Steelmakers in China are about to get back to business full-time. When unprecedented winter supply curbs lapse in the coming weeks, BHP Billiton Ltd. forecasts mills in the top producer will step up output, boosting run rates through the second quarter to make up for curtailments. The resumption will be gradual as provinces step back from curbs designed to fight air pollution, according to Chief Commercial Officer Arnoud Balhuizen, who presented the outlook from the world’s largest miner for commodities including iron ore and steel. At present, the restrictions are ...

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Strong South African coal bids boost markets amid tight supply

Colombian coal arbitrage to India opening CIF ARA prices gain $5 over two days South African coal markets continued to be in tight supply Tuesday, helping Atlantic physical prices gain $1 despite quiet activity during the Chinese holiday period. A bid and offer was heard for April-loading at $99/mt, respectively, for FOB Richards Bay 6,000 kcal/kg NAR coal, a day after an April-loading cargo traded at $98/mt. A trading source said trading activity was originating from a single source. “No one else is paying anywhere near this level,” one trade ...

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Positive closing of the Latin American steel market during 2017

The figures of production, consumption and trade market during 2017, closed with increases compared to the previous year, reflecting the recovery of the Latin American steel industry. The steel consumption rose 4% and the steel crude and finished production grew 7% and 4%, respectively versus 2016. The regional consumption is supplied by 30% of steel imports, growing one percentage point above 2016 (31%). The trade balance of the region remain negative, despite during 2017 the deficit in tons decreased 2% vs 2016. Production Crude steel. Latin American and the Caribbean ...

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Shanghai rebar falls after China returns from break, but outlook bright

Chinese steel futures dropped nearly 2 percent on Thursday as investors returning from a week-long Lunar New Year holiday sold off the commodity, which at one point touched its weakest level in five weeks. Construction activity in China may only get into full swing next month with many workers still away, traders said, but the outlook for steel demand was mostly firm. The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as far as 3,841 yuan ($605) a tonne, its weakest since Jan. 18. The construction steel product closed down ...

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The MEPS Global Steel Price Escalates 16 Percent Year-on-Year in February

The upward trend in global steel values continued in February – with North American and European flat product steelmakers securing a vast proportion of their tabled price hikes, owing to improved market fundamentals. From MEPS research, in February, many North American and European steel buyers report that rising international selling figures aided the latest price advances. Domestic steelmakers were given the opportunity to lift values, in the absence of competitively priced alternatives, notably from Far East suppliers. Steel manufacturers, in China, took advantage of government closures of local induction furnaces ...

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Goa will fight mining ban in court of law

The Goa government may file a review petition against the cancellation of 88 mining leases by the Supreme Court earlier this month, Public Works department minister Sudin Dhavalikar hinted. The Minister’s statement came amid attacks from the MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other parties, who alleged that the state’s coalition government is not doing enough to tackle the crisis. “We intend to fight the battle in court of law,” said Dhavalikar, who is standing in for ailing chief minister Manohar Parrikar, in response to the concerns raised ...

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