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Global Steel Demand to Slow Down on Chinese Economy Woes

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) released its April 2019 Short Range Outlook (SRO). worldsteel forecasts global steel demand will reach 1,735 Mt in 2019, an increase of 1.3% over 2018. In 2020, demand is projected to grow by 1.0% to reach 1,752 Mt. Commenting on the outlook, Mr Al Remeithi, Chairman of the worldsteel Economics Committee said, ‘In 2019 and 2020, global steel demand is expected to continue to grow, but growth rates will moderate in tandem with a slowing global economy. Uncertainty over the trade environment and volatility in ...

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Rio Tinto cuts 2019 iron ore shipment guidance as it deals with cyclone damage

Mining giant Rio Tinto has cut its 2019 iron ore shipment guidance as it continues to deal with issues caused by a cyclone which had hit Western Australia during the January-March quarter, the company said in its quarterly report Tuesday. “Our iron ore business faced several challenges at the start of this year, particularly from tropical cyclones. As a result, and following the continuing assessment of damage at the port resulting from the cyclones and other minor disruptions, 2019 guidance for Pilbara shipments is reduced,” the company’s chief executive J-S ...

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Shanghai steel slides ahead of Q1 GDP data

China’s steel futures ended a three-day winning streak on Tuesday after hitting a 7-1/2-year peak in the previous session, as cautious investors waited on the release of GDP data. Benchmark Shanghai rebar prices were down 1.1 percent at 3,780 yuan ($563.55) when the market closed at 0700 GMT. It jumped to a multi-year high of 3,843 yuan on Monday. Hot-rolled coil futures dipped 1.1 percent to 3,695 yuan a tonne. Despite some losses, steel prices have been supported by firm demand from downstream sectors, while expectations that Beijing and Washington ...

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OPEC: Summer oil market outlook

The performance of product markets typically follows seasonal patterns, with refining margins recovering during the driving season in the Northern Hemisphere. Last summer, refinery margins across the globe saw some support, but exhibited only a mixed performance year-on-year. US refinery margins showed solid gains in the summer months of 2018 compared with the previous year, averaging $5.63 higher. This was mainly attributed to robust diesel demand, as well as strong gasoline exports and operational adjustments that contributed to higher margins. US diesel inventories reached record lows during the summer and ...

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Oil’s Facing Odds of Demand Worsening Before Getting Better

Oil’s march back toward a four-year high is now facing some roadblocks in the form of demand in Asia, though the path may clear to allow further gains later this year. While the current rally in global benchmark prices to over $71 a barrel will put pressure on government finances in Asia’s import-dependent nations, the level of fiscal stress typically doesn’t determine their crude purchases. Instead, the volume of shipments is influenced by the state of demand for fuel from industries and consumers in the world’s biggest oil-consuming region. In ...

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In 2018, the United States consumed more energy than ever before

Primary energy consumption in the United States reached a record high of 101.3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2018, up 4% from 2017 and 0.3% above the previous record set in 2007. The increase in 2018 was the largest increase in energy consumption, in both absolute and percentage terms, since 2010. Consumption of fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—grew by 4% in 2018 and accounted for 80% of U.S. total energy consumption. Natural gas consumption reached a record high, rising by 10% from 2017. This increase in natural gas, ...

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Russia’s Gazprom Neft sees global oil deal ending in mid-2019

Gazprom Neft , the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, expects the global oil deal between OPEC and its allies to end in the first half of the year, a company official said on Tuesday. Vadim Yakovlev, first deputy CEO of Gazprom Neft, said the global oil alliance should still remain in place, at least in the form of coordination between the world’s top global oil producers. “In our current-year forecasts, we assume the deal will be effective until the middle of the year. In that case, our oil ...

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South Korean LNG imports tumble 20% in first quarter

South Korea’s LNG imports plunged 20% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the country’s latest customs data, amid a mild winter and abundant gas stocks. The world’s third largest importer of liquefied natural gas saw volumes decline to 10.37m tonnes in the first three months of the year, down 2.6m tonnes year on year. Imports in March collapsed the most, dropping to 2.77m tonnes, down 35% relative to March 2018. “The lower imports were attributable to warmer than normal weather during winter and high inventory levels in North ...

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Iran’s oil exports hit new 2019 low so far in April – sources

Iran’s crude oil exports have dropped in April to their lowest daily level this year, tanker data showed and industry sources said, suggesting buyers are curbing purchases before Washington clamps down further on Iranian shipments as expected next month. The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers. Those sanctions have already more than halved Iranian oil exports, the country’s main source of revenue. Shipments are averaging below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) so far ...

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China needs further reforms to make growth sustainable, greener and more inclusive

The Chinese economy continues to slow as it rebalances, with headwinds including trade frictions and the weakening global economy undermining exports and creating new uncertainties. Policy should focus on long-term strategies to move the economy towards greater domestic consumption and services, enhancing economic efficiency and ensuring that future growth is sustainable, greener and more inclusive, according to a new report from the OECD. The latest OECD Economic Survey of China looks at the factors behind the economic slowdown as well as policies that can boost the quality of future growth ...

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China’s faster fiscal spending supported economy in first quarter – ministry

China’s fiscal spending increased 15 percent during January-March from year ago levels to support economic growth, and local governments quickened their bond issuance for key projects, the finance ministry said on Tuesday. For the whole of 2018, fiscal spending rose 8.7 percent from 2017 levels, according to finance ministry data. “The relatively strong fiscal spending provided forceful funding support for implementing major national development strategies, pushing reforms in key areas and improving people’s livelihood,” Hao Lei, a finance ministry official told reporters in a briefing. Hao said that faster issuance ...

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UK wage growth at new decade high as employers hire in the face of Brexit

British workers’ pay grew at its joint fastest pace in over a decade as employers extended their hiring spree, adding to signs that uncertainty about Brexit is prompting firms to take on workers rather than commit to longer-term investments. Contrasting with other sluggish readings of Britain’s economy, total earnings, including bonuses, rose by an annual 3.5 percent in the three months to February, official data showed, in line with a Reuters poll of economists. That was the joint highest rate since mid-2008 although in the month of February on its ...

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Al Ruwais Port offers new free storage period

Mwani Qatar has started introducing the new free storage period at Al Ruwais Port from April 14. The move comes within the framework of supporting the private sector, offering new incentives to customers as well as enhancing the role of the port, which is Qatar’s northern gateway to trade and one of the most important ports to meet the increasing needs of the domestic market of foodstuff, meat and fresh and chilled produce. Under the new increase, the company’s customers will get double the previously free storage days at Al ...

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It’s not just pipelines: Sea ports could see marine traffic reviews after Ottawa’s directive on $2B Vancouver terminal

n an echo of the criticisms that stalled the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, opponents of a $2-billion container terminal near Vancouver are calling on the federal government to delay hearings on the project, arguing regulators have failed to account for the environmental effects of increased marine traffic that would result from the development. Several First Nation communities and one private-sector firm are calling on regulators to delay hearings scheduled to begin May 14 after Environment Minister Catherine McKenna issued a directive last month that ordered officials to include marine shipping ...

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ECRL resumption to have positive spillover effects on ports

The resumption of the East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) project will have its spillover effects on ports in Malaysia, specifically for Kuantan Port and Port Klang. The ECRL project will resume with a new price tag of RM44 billion, a 32.8 per cent reduction from the initial cost of RM66 billion. Commencement of construction work is expected to start soon with the revised date of completion delayed two years to 2026. A 40km reduction has also been made to the route connecting Kota Bharu to Port Klang, shortening the route ...

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