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Another 10MT of iron ore off the market as Vale halts Alegria mine

Brazil’s Vale has halted operations at the Alegria iron mine in the Mariana complex of Minas Gerais state, which may remove up to 10 million tonnes of iron ore a year from the market. The preventive measure, said the world’s top iron ore producer, was taken after a stress test failed to guarantee stability of the mine’s structures. Vale noted it would restart production when new studies are completed and their results are conclusive. What’s unclear is what “structures” Vale is referring to. Based on data provided by Brazil’s regulator, ...

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Med ULSD cargoes dip to 3-month low vs NWE on prompt length, soft demand

Mediterranean cargoes of ultra-low sulfur diesel weakened to a three-month low versus Northwest European ULSD cargoes as prompt length and soft demand put pressure on cash differentials in the Mediterranean, while supply in NWE looked more balanced. Platts assessed CIF Mediterranean ULSD cargoes at a $5.25/mt premium over the front-month ICE low-sulfur gasoil future Thursday, down from a $6.25/mt premium Wednesday, while CIF NWE cargoes of ULSD were assessed at a $5.75/mt premium, up from a $5/mt premium. This represents the lowest value of CIF Med cargoes versus CIF NWE ...

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India’s crude oil imports from Iran, Venezuela come under US pressure

India is negotiating with the US for exemptions from “extended sanctions” to maintain its current level of crude oil imports from Iran, but the country is also under pressure from the US administration to halt all crude purchase from Venezuela. According to officials here familiar with ongoing negotiations, India has reduced crude oil purchase from Iran since the US administration imposed sanctions on Iran, but is seeking an extension of exemptions granted earlier to maintain its current lower level of 1.25-million tons a month crude purchase from the Persian Gulf ...

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Rio Tinto’s chief sees ‘lots of opportunities’ despite China’s slowing growth

The head of mining giant Rio Tinto says he isn’t worried about China’s slowing growth — and he sees “lots of opportunities” in the world’s second largest economy. “There is no doubt that the Chinese economy is still slowing down, but it is as expected. Even growing 6, and 6 and a half percent, is a massive number,” CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques told CNBC’s Eunice Yoon at the China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday. Compared with growth rate of Europe, the U.S. and Canada, China’s projected expansion of 6 to ...

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Chinese scrap recyclers adapt new strategies amid import ban

Chinese scrap recyclers have been adopting new strategies since the government placed restrictions on imports of low-grade material, market sources said. China imported 71,100 mt of copper scrap in February, down 52% year on year, General Administration of Customs data showed. On December 31, the government banned imports of category 7 copper scrap and other low-grade scrap. Category 7 copper scrap consists of used cables, waste motors and other hardware waste with up to 30% copper content. China’s copper scrap imports hit a peak of 5.6 million mt in 2007. ...

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CBOT crop futures settle mixed, corn higher on China buying

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) agricultural futures settled mixed on Friday, with corn rising over confirmed purchase from China and severe flooding that hit U.S. Midwest. CBOT corn contract for May delivery was up 2 cents, or 0.53 percent, to close at 3.7825 dollars per bushel. May wheat was down 0.5 cent, or 0.11 percent, to settle at 4.66 dollars per bushel. May soybeans were down 6.75 cents, or 0.74 percent, to close at 9.0375 dollars per bushel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday morning confirmed sales by private ...

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Paris wheat comes off 3-week high, market eyes Saudi barley tender

Euronext wheat futures ended little changed on Friday, easing from an earlier three-week high as technical resistance countered support from adverse U.S. weather and brisk French exports. Benchmark May milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled up 0.50 euro, or 0.3 percent, at 189.50 euros ($214.00) a tonne. The contract had earlier climbed to 190.75, its highest since Feb. 27, supported by a weaker euro and strength in Chicago corn and wheat futures linked to flood damage in the U.S. Midwest. But the Euronext benchmark stalled in the face of chart ...

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Coal miners on rampage

The government has again demonstrated how pathetic it has been in coping with the environmental problems caused by abandoned coal-mine pits, which have increasingly become death traps for children and polluted food crops with acidic water in Kalimantan. Those huge black holes have even become an environmental time bomb because provincial and regency administration leaders who often treat mining firms as cash cows for their political interests seem reluctant to enforce the mining regulations on compulsory reclamation. General mine director general Bambang Gatot told a meeting with the Commission VII ...

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EU bases planned Indonesian palm oil restriction on 2015 data

In response to Jakarta’s objection to a European Union bill that would cap the use of palm-oil-based biofuels in the region, the bloc explained that the regulation was not meant to target specific biofuels or feedstocks, but was based on deforestation data from 2008 to 2015 that showed large a proportion of the deforestation was associated with palm oil. The EU said that the bill was supported by a report based on the best available scientific data from 2008 to 2015, which showed that palm oil has been associated with ...

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Kazakhstan to export 2.2 million tonnes of wheat in 2019

Kazakhstan recorded a record high wheat harvest in 2018 and exported 4.9 million tonnes of wheat. The country plans to export 2.2 million tonnes of wheat this year, opening new countries for export. “Today, we have 10.5 million tonnes of grain, of which 3.7 million tonnes is kept at grain-receiving enterprises, 462,000 tonnes at flour-grinding enterprises and 6.3 million tonnes at farms. We have 8.3 million tonnes of wheat, including 690,000 tonnes we need for food needs, 1.6 million tonnes we need for seed needs, 128,000 tonnes for industrial processing. ...

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India’s Reliance says not breaching U.S. sanctions against Venezuela

India’s Reliance Industries , operator of the world’s largest oil refining complex, on Friday said in a statement it was not breaching U.S. sanctions against Venezuela. The company said its recent fuel exports to Venezuela were agreed to before Washington imposed sanctions in January, and that they were meant to settle Reliance’s crude oil imports from Venezuela. Reliance said it has been in “continuous communication with the US Department of State regarding its activities in Venezuela” since the imposition of sanctions. The State Department referred a request for comment to ...

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High imports from China push up Singapore light distillate stocks

Commercial onshore light distillate stocks in Singapore, the region’s largest oil trading hub, rose for the second consecutive week in the week ended March 20, as gasoline imports surged to a four-week high. Stocks of light distillates were seen up 1.19% week on week to 16.71 million barrels in the week ended March 20, data released late-Thursday from Enterprise Singapore showed. Enterprise Singapore has defined light distillates to include gasoline and blendstocks such as naphtha and reformate, but not gases like LPG. The increase in inventories was led by a ...

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Grain markets walled off from flood impacts by mountains of supplies

A massive supply of grains has shielded the futures markets from the impact of flooding in the U.S. Midwest so far, with traders largely shrugging off this week’s reports of destroyed storage bins, swamped elevators and questions about if waters will recede in time for planting. The problem is grain glut that has long weighed over commodities markets, said Tom Grisafi, a market advisor at commodity brokerage Advance Trading. “If we lost 50 million bushels of beans, would it matter?” asked Grisafi. “If 100 million bushels of corn were gone, ...

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Australia’s coal bonanza at risk as Chinese import ‘ban’ spreads

The number of Chinese ports restricting or delaying Australian coal imports has continued to rise, threatening to end the export bonanza that is bloating federal coffers and signalling possible painful long-term structural change to the economy. In an ominous development for Australia’s trade balance and federal budget, traders and buyers in China reported on Thursday that the hold-ups for Australian shipments that began in February have spread from the northern port of Dalian to Fuzhou in the south-eastern Fujian province and Rizhao in Qingdao. Industry news agency Platts reported one ...

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Australia’s Ichthys to make condensate cargo shipment as scheduled despite approaching cyclone: Inpex

Australia’s Ichthys project will make a condensate cargo shipment from a floating production, storage and offloading facility in the coming days as scheduled despite an approaching cyclone, an official with project operator Inpex said Friday. France’s Total is scheduled to lift a condensate cargo on the Aframax vessel Sebarok Spirit over March 24-25 from the FPSO Ichthys Venturer, according to shipping fixtures. S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow showed that the Sebarok Spirit is scheduled to arrive at the FPSO on Saturday. Category 3 tropical cyclone Trevor is intensifying ...

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