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Waterways become climate-neutral transport routes of the future

E.ON, Rotterdam Port Authority and DeltaPort Niederrheinhäfen are partnering up to create conditions conducive to switching inland shipping in Germany and Europe from diesel to battery and/or hydrogen drives. The companies agreed today in Essen to develop an infrastructure so that freight and passenger ships with climate-neutral propulsion can exchange battery containers or refuel hydrogen in the ports. The partners’ goals include climate protection, improved air quality and the long-term optimization of logistics costs. The pilot concept will initially focus on the German inland DeltaPort location in Voerde and Wesel, ...

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Goods barometer signals further weakening of trade in first quarter of 2020

World merchandise trade growth is likely to remain weak in early 2020, according to the WTO Goods Trade Barometer released on 17 February. The real-time measure of trade trends now reads 95.5 — less than the 96.6 recorded last November and well below the index’s baseline value of 100. This below-trend performance could be reduced further by a new global health threat. The Goods Trade Barometer provides information on the current trajectory of world merchandise trade relative to recent trends, based on best-available forward-looking data. It does not account for ...

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China iron ore hits 3-week high on rate cut, lower port stocks

Iron ore futures in China extended gains to a fifth straight session on Monday, underpinned further by data showing a drop in stocks of the steelmaking raw material at the country’s ports, and after the central bank cut its medium-term lending rate. China’s port inventory of imported iron ore dipped to 130.65 million tonnes, as of last Friday, from 131.1 million tonnes a week earlier, SteelHome consultancy data showed. That was 9% down from 143.60 million tonnes a year ago. The Dalian Commodity Exchange’s most-traded iron ore contract ended up ...

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Chinese steel mills mull output cuts due to coronavirus: Platts survey

More than a third of Chinese steel mills are considering cutting steel production due to rising inventories, a shortage of raw materials and weak downstream demand caused by the coronavirus, according to a recent S&P Global Platts outlook survey. The survey found that 35% of survey participants had already trimmed steel output or were planning to, while 23% said their operations were running normally so far. Some mills had wanted to bring forward maintenance of their steelmaking operations – which is a proxy way of reducing production – but were ...

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India: Why mine auction policy needs a relook

The auctioning of mining leases in Odisha has begun and is almost half way through. The current auction of mining leases marks the end of the existing regime and the beginning of a new, anxiety-laden era. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act was amended in 2015, extending the life of leases of both merchant and end-users. The mining leases of merchant miners, expiring on March 31, 2020, are to be re-allotted through auction, for which the Government of Odisha has invited bids through the tendering process. The government’s ...

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India in talks with Russia for long-term import of crude oil

India and Russia have finalised the broad contours of an ambitious government-to-government agreement for long-term import of crude oil by India from Russia’s Far East region. The pact is likely to be inked during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit in October for the annual summit talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, diplomatic sources told PTI. The pact is set to help the two countries achieve their target of taking the volume of annual bilateral trade to $25 billion from current $11 billion. When asked about it, Russian Deputy Chief of ...

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Russia’s oil export duty to fall to $66.9/T in March

Russia’s oil export duty is expected to fall to $66.9 per tonne in March from $78.5 per tonne in February, the finance ministry said on Monday. The duty level is calculated by the finance ministry and is based on the monitoring of seaborne Urals URL-E URL-NWE-E crude oil prices. The ministry made its calculations for the March export duty from prices recorded between Jan. 15 and Feb. 14. The discounted rate for crude produced at newer fields in eastern Siberia, fields operated by Lukoil in the Caspian Sea and Gazprom ...

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Key wind-assist propulsion installation starts North Sea operations

During the docking of the MV Ankie of Jan van Dam Shipping in January 2020 at the Royal Niestern Sander shipyard, the first retrofit eConowind Ventifoil wind-assist system was installed, six months after signing the contract. “The good and close cooperation between eConowind, Van Dam Shipping and Niestern Sander resulted in a pioneering project, which was completed within the planned installation period”, states Bart Volgers. The modular Ventifoil units are in the form of wings with vents and an internal fan that use boundary layer suction for maximum effect. This ...

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Oil traders rent S.Korean storage after virus hits China demand

Several top trading houses have rented millions of barrels of crude storage in South Korea this month to hold excess oil supplies after the coronavirus outbreak dampened demand in China, the world’s largest importer, trading sources said. Supplies in the region are piling up after Chinese refineries cut output by about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) over just two weeks. Trading firms Trafigura, Glencore and Mercuria as well as the trading division of French oil major Total have rented close to 15 million barrels of storage tanks from South ...

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China’s Jan natgas consumption sees first contraction in 2 years

China’s natural gas consumption in January saw its first year-on-year contraction in at least two years, data compiled by Chongqing Petroleum and Gas Exchange, a government-backed energy trading platform, showed on Monday. Last month, the country consumed 31.6 billion cubic metres (bcm), down 1% from a year earlier. The decline was stoked by a 14% fall in demand from industrial users and a 10% drop from power utilities, offsetting an increase from city gas users and chemical producers. Several analysts have cut their forecasts for gas demand in China, the ...

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China will start destroying cash collected in areas with high exposure to the coronavirus

China’s central bank in Guangzhou announced it will destroy cash collected by hospitals, buses, and markets in coronavirus-afflicted areas to curb the outbreak’s contagion, financial news outlet Caixin reported Saturday. The People’s Bank of China ordered all paper currency with high exposure to the outbreak withdraw cash for either destruction or disinfection, according to Caixin. Commercial banks were told to place banknotes from infected areas aside, clean them, and hand them to the central bank. The coronavirus continues to spread around the world and most heavily hit China’s population. The ...

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China cuts medium-term rate to soften coronavirus hit to economy

China’s central bank cut the interest rate on its medium-term lending on Monday as policymakers sought to ease the drag to the businesses from a coronavirus outbreak that has severely disrupted activity. The move is expected to pave the way for a reduction in the country’s benchmark loan prime rate (LPR), which will be announced on Thursday, to lower borrowing costs and ease financial strains on companies hit by the virus epidemic. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it was lowering the rate on 200 billion yuan ($28.65 billion) ...

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MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 17/02/20

Stocks in Latin America edged higher on Monday, led by Brazil’s Bovepsa,

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Canada’s Trudeau stresses the need for peaceful end to pipeline protests

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday called for a peaceful solution to end rail blockades by indigenous rights groups protesting the construction of a natural gas pipeline. Indigenous communities across Canada have blocked key rail lines for nearly two weeks to oppose construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, which has forced Canada’s biggest railroad, Canadian National Railway Co, to shut operations in eastern Canada. Trudeau, who called off a planned Barbados trip to resolve the escalating pipeline protests, told his top cabinet ministers that this “urgent ...

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Euro struggles near three-year low as traders fret about economic slowdown

The euro struggled near 3-year lows on Monday as investors worried about weakening growth in the region, while Chinese efforts to limit the damage from a coronavirus outbreak appeared to calm markets, with the yuan and Australian dollar supported. Monday is light on economic data but traders are looking to a German business sentiment indicator due Tuesday and flash purchasing managers indexes on Friday for further evidence on the state of the euro zone economy. Last week data showed in particular that momentum in Germany, the region’s powerhouse economy, was ...

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