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Germany’s 2019 hard coal imports fell 14.7% – importers

Germany imported 40.2 million tonnes of hard coal last year, 14.7% less than in 2018 due to competition from renewables and gas, and as the steel industry curbed usage, importers said. The total was comprised of an estimated 7.4% lower intake of coking coal for steelmakers, who purchased 11.5 million tonnes and a 15.5% fall in purchases of coke, a related product, of 1.9 million tonnes, lobby group VDKI said at its annual meeting. Thirdly and most significantly, purchases by coal-to-power generators, the biggest user group, fell 17.4% to 26.8 ...

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Analysis: Egyptian LNG exports more than double in 2019 to 4.8 Bcm despite autumn lull

Egyptian LNG exports more than doubled year on year in 2019 to 4.8 Bcm of gas equivalent, data from S&P Global Platts Analytics showed this week, despite a slowdown in supplies over the autumn. Total exports last year from Egypt’s only operational LNG plant — the 7.2 million mt/year (10 Bcm/year) Shell-operated Idku facility — increased by 151% compared with the 1.9 Bcm supplied in 2018. A total of 50 cargoes were exported from Idku last year compared with just 20 cargoes in 2018. The sharp rise comes despite no ...

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The Dog That Didn’t Bark: What Soybean Prices Say About Trade Deal

In an 1892 mystery story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes figures out what happened to a missing racehorse named Silver Blade by observing a dog that didn’t bark in the night. Likewise, sometimes what doesn’t happen in markets can be a clue to something significant. In the case of the recently signed U.S. trade deal with China, the dogs have been notably quiet in Chicago’s agricultural futures markets. Despite China’s commitment to buy more American farm products, prices haven’t gone up — a sign that investors and traders ...

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Most volatile commodities of 2019: what are they and where to next?

Commodities are real natural materials that can be bought or sold on the exchanges. They have natural restrictions that affect pricing, while financial instruments can be created from figures on a spreadsheet. However, like any other world market, commodity prices fluctuate in response to political, financial, or any other relevant events with high economic significance. For example, during this fall, the most volatile commodities were mainly affected by the US-China trade war. Commodity market review: what has actually been happening? Over the past few years, commodity prices have been a ...

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MMi Daily Iron Ore Index Report January 20 2020

A quiet trading day at the ports as most market players have already started their holidays. DCE iron ore futures rose slightly the sporadic

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Chinese demand for U.S. LNG unlikely to surge as long as tariffs remain

Chinese purchases of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) are unlikely to surge, despite an agreement for China to buy more U.S. energy supplies, because tariffs on gas from the United States remain in place, analysts and traders said. Under a Phase 1 trade deal between the world’s two largest economies signed this week, China has committed to buying an additional $52.4 billion worth of U.S. energy supplies, including LNG, over the next two years. But a 25% tariff imposed by China on U.S. LNG, which has pushed the price of ...

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Das cargo trade continues to demonstrate weakness for lights

A 500,000 barrel full-sized cargo of March-loading Das Blend crude was traded in the Platts Market on Close assessment process on Friday, down from Thursday’s traded level to demonstrate a weaker market for light sour crudes toward the end of the week. Total offered the cargo, with a loading period of March 1-25, and B/L Month pricing terms during Friday’s Platts MOC. Total’s offer came down to a discount of 65 cents/b to the grade’s official selling price toward the end of the MOC, and was bought by Trafigura. Total ...

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Asian palm oil buyers lag behind in global green push: survey

A survey of major palm oil buyers on their pledges to help curb deforestation shows that a quarter, mostly based in Asia, have yet to make commitments to purchase sustainable supplies, green group WWF said. The scorecard, now running for a decade, looked at 173 major buyers of the vegetable oil, including retailers, consumer goods firms and food companies, in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Each company was assessed according to their pledges to source sustainable palm oil and deforestation polices in their supply chains, ...

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China speeds up infrastructure funding, should support steel demand

China has accelerated the issuance of local government special bonds since the start of January, in an effort to speed up infrastructure construction to offset downward pressure on China’s economic growth. Steel demand generated from the infrastructure sector is expected to pick up after China’s Lunar New Year holidays over January 24-30, with stronger momentum than in early 2019. As of January 14, China has issued Yuan 334.465 billion ($48.7 billion) of local government special bonds, compared with Yuan 141.2 billion issued in the whole month of January 2019, according ...

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U.S.-China deal creates much uncertainty over Brazil’s soybean business

China finally placed a dollar value on its planned boost of U.S. agricultural purchases during Wednesday’s trade deal signing ceremony, something it was previously unwilling to do, validating some of the earlier unconfirmed figures cited by the U.S. side. Soybeans stocks are seen in Rio Verde, Goias state, Brazil January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Roberto Gomes There are still many important details that are unclear to market-watchers, such as the specific breakdowns by commodity, but another large unknown lurking in the background is how the newly inked agreement will impact trade ...

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Is Northeast Asia finally tackling its coal dependency as air quality deteriorates?

Over the 14 years I spent living in Beijing, the question I was asked most was how I coped with the air quality. Fortunately, Beijing’s notorious pollution never really affected my health (I ran my personal best marathon time in the city in 2014 during some serious haze), and in recent years the city’s government has made major efforts to improve the situation. The result is a marked improvement in air quality. Credit where credit is due, though clearly policy efforts in Beijing and across China need to continue as ...

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WA’s cyclone threat to support higher iron ore prices

Iron ore prices are likely to remain elevated above $US90 a tonne for weeks as cyclone-related disruptions in WA crimp supply and Chinese steel mills continue re-stocking ahead of the country’s traditional new year celebrations. WestBusiness understands Rio Tinto had to suspend ship-loading at both its Dampier and Cape Lambert ports in the Pilbara early this week because of big seas associated with tropical cyclone Claudia. It is believed loading at both ports has resumed but an industry source suggested the temporary outage could cost the mining giant 2 million ...

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China pledges to buy more US met coal in Phase-1 trade deal

A Phase-1 trade agreement signed between the United States and China saw Beijing pledge to buy more metallurgical coal in the next two years from the US. China plans to boost its imports of US energy sources, including liquefied natural gas, crude oil, refined products and coal — including metallurgical coal — by $18.5 billion in 2020 and $33.9 billion in 2021. This is part of the interim trade deal where China has agreed to purchase $200 billion worth of US goods and services over the next two years. Market ...

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US may become majority source for China’s crude imports after trade deal

The first phase trade deal between the US and China will need China to heavily expand purchases of US crude oil, and that could mean potentially over 60% of China’s additional crude imports in 2020 will be grabbed by the US, according to ICIS analysts. Under the phase one deal signed on Wednesday, China will increase imports of US energy products by $52.4bn in two years, with around 35% ($18.5bn) for 2020 and some 65% ($33.9bn) for 2021. That gives energy a share of 26% in the total $200bn of ...

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What happens if China really does try to buy $52 billion of U.S. crude, coal, LNG?

The problem for energy markets isn’t whether China can actually buy the amount of crude oil, coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) it has apparently committed to under the trade truce with the United States. The real issue is what happens if Beijing tries and succeeds? The terms of the deal imply an absolutely massive increase in Chinese imports of U.S. energy, and if this actually comes to pass, it will have serious disruptive effects across global markets. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed a ...

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