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Glencore says signs labour pacts at most of its Australian coal mines

Global miner Glencore on Friday said it had reached new labour agreements with workers at 13 of its coal mines in Australia, ending months of negotiations over wages and benefits. The agreements are in the process of being finalised and include each of Glencore’s Hunter Valley collieries in New South Wales state, representing one of the world’s single biggest sources of thermal coal sold into export markets. However, 190 workers remain locked out of Glencore’s Oaky North metallurgical coal mine in neighbouring Queensland state, with operations being run at close ...

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Billionaire’s Mine Financing Hurdles Fuel Bondholder Jitters

The Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises Ltd. is learning how one financing problem can lead to headaches for debt investors elsewhere as it tries to secure money for one of the world’s biggest coal mines. Three of China’s largest banks this week ruled out any involvement in financing the mine in Australia’s Queensland state. That fanned investor concerns about debt elsewhere in the company’s businesses in the South Pacific nation. Dollar bonds from wholly owned unit Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty — which oversees a deep water port on the coast ...

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India: Thermal coal slides 9%, traffic yet to recover at major ports

Coal traffic shipments, especially thermal coal, are yet to pick up at major ports. The signs of recovery in coal volumes, which were supposed to begin from the second half of this financial year, are still not in sight. Thermal or steam coal cargo shipped through major ports saw de-growth of nine per cent during April-November. In the same period, coking coal traffic moved up 2.27 per cent, reveals data by the Indian Ports Association. The slide in thermal coal cargo was due to a lesser volume of imports. Imports ...

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METALS-Stronger China demand prospects fuel copper’s rise

Copper prices rose on Friday after data showing a jump in Chinese imports of the metal fuelled expectations of stronger demand from the top consumer, but gains were capped by a rising dollar. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.3 percent at $6,587 a tonne at 1115 GMT from an earlier session high at $6,617.50. China’s unwrought copper imports in November, at 470,000 tonnes, were up more than 40 percent from the previous month, a sign that winter production restrictions are driving up shipments. “The November data ...

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Weekly US coal production surges to highest total in three months

US coal production totaled an estimated 15.6 million st in the week ended December 2, up 11.6% from the prior week and up 8.8% from the year-ago week, US Energy Information Administration data showed this week. It was the largest weekly estimate in three months. Production this year topped out at an estimated 17 million st in the week ended August 19, then largely declined. Platts Analytics estimates that utility coal stockpiles stood at 140.1 million st as of last Thursday; the five-year average for the month of November is ...

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GRAINS-Wheat faces biggest weekly loss in 4 months as abundant supplies weigh

Chicago wheat futures ticked higher on Friday as the market took a breather after falling for the last four sessions with prices on track for the biggest weekly decline in four months on pressure from ample supplies. Soybeans were little changed, having climbed to a three-month high earlier this week as the market was supported by strong demand and concerns over dryness in Argentina. The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade is down 3.7 percent this week, the biggest slide since the week ending on Aug. 4. ...

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Iranian Iron Ore’s Difficult Relationship With China

There is a never-ending competition for supplying raw steelmaking materials and this is at its fiercest in China as the world’s largest producer and consumer of iron ore. Iran, however, is missing out on the competition and is wholly dependent on Chinese imports. “Iran is currently the seventh largest iron ore supplier to China—a three-step drop compared to its 2013 heyday,” Keyvan Jafari Tehrani, a member of the board and the head of international affairs at Iranian Iron Ore Producers and Exporters Association, said. “Naturally, Iran has a meager share ...

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Nippon Steel says coking coal prices to stay above $200/T through end-March

Australian premium coking coal futures in Singapore have surged nearly 30 percent from a November low of $174 to above $220 a ton in the first few days of December. “The recent jump reflected tighter supplies in Australia,” Toshiharu Sakae, Nippon Steel’s executive vice president, told Reuters in an interview earlier this week. Slower output at some Australian mines following cyclones earlier this year and renewal works of some loading facilities at a Queensland port lent support to the prices, Sakae said. Demand from other steel-producing countries is also supporting ...

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Chinese iron ore and coke futures dive on steel demand concerns

Chinese coke and iron ore futures fell further in afternoon trading on Thursday, amid growing concerns that steel demand in the world’s top producer will decline as winter kicks in. Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange had tumbled 7.5 percent to 494.5 yuan($74.77) a tonne by close, and coke had hit a downward limit of 8 percent to 2,008 yuan a tonne. Coal dived 7.4 percent to 1,258 yuan a tonne. “The physical market starts weakening today.” Stronger-than-expected demand from the construction sector due to a warm start to ...

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Vale sees 2018 iron ore prices not much lower than this year

Brazilian miner Vale’s chief executive said he does not expect iron ore prices to be much lower next year compared with 2017. Speaking at an investors’ event in New York, Fabio Schvartsman also said the company would do everything to resume operations as soon as possible at the Samarco mine, a joint venture with BHP Billiton that has been closed since a tailings dam collapsed in 2015, killing 19 people. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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JSW Steel Snaps Worst Losing Streak In Two Decades Even As Iron Ore Price Worries Remain

JSW Steel Ltd. snapped its longest losing streak since May 1997, but rising iron ore prices may continue to weigh on the company’s performance. The Sajjan Jindal-led company will be the worst hit among steelmakers as it has no captive resources and purchases iron ore from the open market, according to IIFL Wealth Management. Prices of iron ore, an essential raw material for steel, have been on the upswing and are set to clock fifth straight week of gains. Meanwhile, Shanghai Steel prices gained 5 percent in the last 10 ...

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Wheat eases for 4th session, soybeans up on Argentina dryness

Chicago wheat futures slid for a fourth consecutive session on Thursday, hitting the lowest in more than two weeks as abundant supplies weighed on the market, with the latest data from Canada showing higher than expected production. Soybean edged higher, rising for a fourth session out of five as concerns over dryness in Argentina supported the market. The decline in wheat was unsurprising given slow U.S. exports, said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “The catalyst seems to have been a higher estimate of Canada’s ...

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South Africa: Mining production sees 5.2% increase in October

Mining production increased by 5.2% year-on-year in October 2017, according to the most recent findings from Statistics South Africa. The largest positive contributors were iron-ore, which contributed 2.4 percentage points and coal, which contributed 1.5 percentage points. Seasonally adjusted mining production increased by 3.4% in October compared with September, following month-on-month changes of -6.8% in September and 5.4% in August. Seasonally adjusted mining production also increased by 2.3% in the three months ended October, compared with the previous three months. Platinum group metals (PGMs) and iron-ore were the largest positive ...

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Vale cuts nickel output but is positive on long-term demand

Brazilian miner Vale SA dialed back its nickel output forecasts for the next five years on Wednesday, although the world’s top producer of the metal praised its longer term prospects on likely soaring demand for electric cars. Vale cut its nickel output estimate by 15 percent to 263,000 tonnes next year and said it was still seeking an investor for its New Caledonia nickel mine. However, Vale wants to “preserve its nickel optionality” ahead of an expected boom in electric vehicles in the next decade, said Jennifer Maki, executive director ...

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Steel market conditions bullish but investors not buying it

Steel shares have been volatile in recent weeks, although the general trend has been downward. This may seem a bit surprising considering that market conditions support a bullish case for steel producers. Iron ore prices are striking a strong bullish stance. As of 4 December, the price of imported ore at Qingdao, China, was up by 8% over a week ago, and was up by a fifth from a month ago. Chinese steel prices are increasing with rebar prices hitting a three-month high this week. The main driver of rising ...

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