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Japan to exit Russian coal earlier than planned -PM Kishida

Japan will stop importing Russian coal earlier than currently planned and seek to diversify its energy supplies, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday. He gave no further details. He also said he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed to take a resolute stance on the Ukraine crisis and to oppose any attempt to change the status quo in the South and East China Seas. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ju-min Park, writing by Elaine Lies)

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China removes import tariffs on various coal grades to secure supplies

China has removed import tariffs on various coal grades as part of its efforts to maintain adequate supplies amid global disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to a government document seen by S&P Global Commodity Insights April 28. The tax cut will be effective from May 1, 2022 till March 31, 2023, the document read. The tariff has been reduced to zero from 3% earlier for unformed anthracite, coking coal, unformed lignite and briquette lignite, according to the document. Tariffs for other bituminous coal, other unbridged coal and similar ...

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Australia’s 2022-23 wheat output seen 20% lower on year to 29 million mt: USDA

Australia’s wheat output is likely to decline sharply on the year in marketing year 2022-23 (October-September) due to an anticipated drop in sowing area and yield on account of rising fertilizer costs, the Canberra attache of the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Services said. According to the report dated April 27, Australia’s wheat output in MY 2022-23 is seen falling 20% on the year at 29 million mt, from a record 36.3 million mt projected for MY 2021-22. The area under the crop is also likely to decline to ...

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Brazil’s Vale first-quarter net profit falls 19.6%, but beats expectations

China’s steel inventories hit a 13-month high April 20 as the country’s steel production continued to climb steadily in the wake of weak demand amid the latest COVID-19 resurgence. Domestic markets have a mixed steel demand outlook for the coming weeks, as pandemic uncertainty looms over the industry. Some sources said demand could rebound strongly when the spread of COVID-19 is contained, tackling oversupply, while some others said a demand rebound would be modest and short-lived unless a stronger stimulus is introduced. China’s daily crude steel output increased 0.4% from ...

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GRAINS-Wheat up 43% in three months as tight global supply lifts prices

Chicago wheat futures eased on Friday, although the market was poised for a third straight monthly gain as tightening global supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underpinned prices. Corn was set for a fifth monthly gain as support stemmed from forecasts of more showers, which will further delay planting in the rain-soaked U.S. Midwest. “There is no reason for wheat prices to decline,” said a senior executive with an international trading company. “We are seeing supply constraints as well as strong demand.” The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board ...

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Oil extends gains as supply fears outweigh China lockdowns

Oil prices rose for a fourth day on Friday as fears over Russian supply disruption trumped COVID-19 lockdowns in China, the world’s biggest crude importer. Brent crude futures rose $1.60, or 1.5%, to $109.19 a barrel by 0912 GMT after gaining 2.1% in the previous session. The front-month June contract expires later on Friday. The more active July contract rose $1.48 to $108.74. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained $1.01, or 1%, to $106.37 after advancing by 3.3% on Thursday. Both contracts are set to finish up on the week ...

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China processed record amounts of crude oil in 2021 but exported less gasoline and diesel

China processed record amounts of crude oil in 2021 to meet rising domestic consumption of petroleum products. In the second half of the year, China processed slightly less crude oil and began exporting significantly less gasoline and diesel than in the first half of the year to ensure sufficient domestic supply. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, China processed a record 14 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil in 2021, a 4.6% increase from 2020. Crude oil processing in China was particularly high in the first half ...

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Sinopec expects China’s oil demand to recover in Q2, positive growth in 2022

China’s Sinopec Corp 600028.SS expects demand for refined oil products to recover in the second quarter as COVID-19 outbreaks in the country are gradually controlled, and sees full year oil consumption reaching positive growth. Asia’s biggest oil refiner has cut its refining runs since the second half of March and is maintaining an “optimal” refinery operation ratio of around 85%, compared with 92.6% earlier in the year, Sinopec officials said at a briefing on Thursday. Cities across China, including the financial hub of Shanghai, were put under lockdowns following a ...

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Russia’s gas supply cuts in Europe could fuel more US coal-to-gas switching

The US power market may be in for another wave of coal-to-gas switching this summer as potential replacement fuel demand from Western Europe drives global coal prices higher. The price pressure could come following a recent but potentially extended suspension of natural gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria, and potentially other Western European countries, by Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom. In recent years, the continued retirement of coal-fired generating capacity in the US has already forced many domestic power generators to become “price takers” in the US gas market. Last summer, as ...

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China tech rally takes Asia shares to best day in six weeks in tense markets

Asian shares were set for their best day in six weeks on Friday led by Chinese tech stocks after reports of a possible resolution to the Sino-U.S. audit dispute, giving investors much needed respite from worries of a global economic slowdown. Still, a key regional share index was set for its worst month in nine as the Ukraine war and expectations for aggressive U.S. rate hikes in coming months have added to the anxieties, propelling the safe-haven dollar to near 20-year peaks. Hong Kong listed tech stocks .HSTech rose as ...

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Dollar pulls back, still set for best month since 2015

The dollar edged down from its recent 20-year high on Friday but was still on track for its best month since 2015, having been boosted by a combination of expectations for U.S. rate hikes and growth concerns in China and Europe. In the final trading day of a seismic month for currency markets, major currency pairs pulled back slightly from their recent trajectories as global markets stabilised and a Chinese tech rally put Asian shares on track for their best day in six weeks. At 0741 GMT, the dollar index ...

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EU considering removal of all trade barriers to Ukraine exports

To help boost war-ravaged Ukraine’s exports to the EU, the European Commission proposed April 27 to suspend for one year its import duties on all Ukrainian exports to the bloc, it said on its website. The proposal would also see the suspension for one year of all EU anti-dumping and safeguard measures in place on Ukrainian steel exports. It now needs to be considered and agreed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. “The EU has never before delivered such trade liberalisation measures, which are unprecedented ...

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China struggles for options as COVID threatens economic goals

China’s policymakers are struggling to find ways to ward off an economic slowdown that threatens job losses in a politically sensitive year, as COVID-19 lockdowns disrupt supply chains and jolt businesses. Beijing is sticking with an economic growth target of around 5.5% this year and plans to create more than 11 million new urban jobs, policy insiders say. However, analysts say that goal will become harder to achieve unless China eases its zero-COVID policy, which it has shown few signs of doing. Stability is vital for 2022, with a twice-a-decade ...

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The economic war against Russia is getting hot

Markets have stabilized following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, as if the bombs and missiles won’t derail the global economy. But the economic war running parallel to the shooting war is getting hotter, warranting more attention than investors may be devoting. Much of the analysis of Russia’s war in Ukraine focuses on brutal land battles for terrain as invading and defending forces fight village-by-village in eastern and southern Ukraine. But just as important are multinational efforts to choke the Russian economy, by slashing the energy revenue that funds Russia’s ...

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Beijing tightens COVID screening to prevent Shanghai-like chaos

Beijing closed some public spaces and stepped up checks at others on Thursday, as most of the Chinese capital’s 22 million residents turned up for more mass COVID-19 testing aimed at averting a Shanghai-like lockdown. Most people in the commercial hub were one month into stressful home isolation, struggling to meet basic needs. But there was hope on the horizon as the number of new cases declined further and officials said their focus was shifting towards boosting vaccinations among the elderly. Fears were growing, however, that China would be trapped ...

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