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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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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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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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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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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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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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Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel agree to forge Europe’s No. 2 steelmaker

Germany’s Thyssenkrupp and India’s Tata Steel struck a preliminary deal on Wednesday to merge their European steel operations in a 50-50 joint venture to create the continent’s No.2 steelmaker after ArcelorMittal. The deal will not involve any cash, Tata Steel said, adding that both groups would contribute debt and liabilities to achieve an equal shareholding and remain long-term investors. The companies say they need to consolidate to address overcapacity in the European steel market, which faces cheap imports from China and elsewhere, subdued demand for construction and inefficient legacy plants. ...

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Russia to supply 600,000 T of wheat to Venezuela

Russia will supply around 600,000 tonnes of wheat to Venezuela in the current marketing year ending next June, Russia’s agriculture minister told Reuters, deepening the Kremlin’s support for Venezuela’s troubled economy. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro agreed a grain supply deal in May, providing a lifeline to the South American country which has faced soaring bread prices in recent years and queuing at bakeries has become common. The supplies to Venezuela will be carried out as part of commercial contracts between Russian and Venezuelan state ...

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NMDC’s total iron ore production at 13.18 mn tonnes

NMDC’s total iron ore production stood at 13.18 million tonnes whereas its sales stood at 14.99 million tonne up to the month of August 2017, according a BSE filing by the company on Tuesday. Production and sales in the Chattisgarh sector stood at 8.12 million tonnes and 9.32 million tonnes, respectively, whereas in Karnataka sector, production and sales were at 5.06 million tonnes and 5.67 million tonnes, respectively. NMDC was trading at Rs 132.70 per share, down by Rs 0.50 or 0.38% as at 1204 hours on Tuesday, on the ...

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Iron ore hits 2-mth low in China as steel prices sag amid smog fight

Chinese iron ore futures fell to their lowest level in nearly two months on Wednesday, pressured by weaker steel prices and an environmental campaign by Beijing that has restricted operations of sinter facilities. Some local governments have restricted the use of sinter plants, which process smaller iron ore particles such as fines into lump, to improve China’s air quality. The bulk of China’s iron ore imports are fines. “But it doesn’t affect the operations of blast furnaces, so mills can opt to use lump or pellets more than fines,” said ...

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Hedge funds bet on bright future for metals

Hedge fund investment in the metals industry is at its highest since 2011, according to investment data, a sign that investors are hoping to profit from a rise in prices that have spent years in the doldrums. The investment by hedge funds follows a broader inflow of money into industrial metals, where prices are rising after production cutbacks helped to reduce a supply glut. That oversupply crisis led to the closure of some specialist metals hedge funds, including those run by Apollo Global Management and Hall Commodities. The metals industry’s ...

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