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China April LNG imports up 4.3 pct on mth, Jan-April up 58 pct

China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose 4.3 percent in April from a month earlier to 3.39 million tonnes, Chinese customs data showed. LNG imports for the first four months were 15.75 million tonnes, the data showed, an increase of 58 percent from the same period a year ago as state refiners stepped up purchases to cover expected strong growth in demand. China exported 1.82 million tonnes of diesel in April, compared with 2.37 million tonnes recorded for March. April kerosene exports were at 1.2 million tonnes, versus 1.34 million ...

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China to allow 11 non-state firms to import crude oil

China’s Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday published the names of 11 private refineries with a plan to allow them to directly import crude oil. The ministry said it has examined the firms’ applications and found them in accordance with requirements. The refineries are located in the provinces of Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Henan and Hubei. China is one of the world’s largest oil buyers. Over 60 percent of its oil comes from imports. Crude imports are dominated by state-run giants Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corporation and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. ...

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In the black: Asian flour mills turn to Black Sea region for wheat

Asian flour millers are set to buy record volumes of wheat from Black Sea producers in 2018 as traditional supplier Australia faces a second year of drought and as demand continues to grow around the region, traders said. Millers in Asia have in the past month or so booked up to 1 million tonnes of new-crop Black Sea wheat for shipments starting in August, two of the traders said, with a wave of similar deals expected to follow. Surging Black Sea wheat sales to Asia threaten to curb Australia’s dominance ...

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Iran’s May LPG export program falls 100,000 mt to about 400,000 mt

Iran’s LPG shipments lifted or due for lifting in May fell almost 100,000 mt from April to 400,700 mt, after rising for the past two months, as some refineries in the country were shut for spring maintenance, shipping sources said this week. Ahead of the maintenance during the Iranian spring, which started around late-March till end-June, Iran’s LPG exports had hit 520,000 mt in January, the most since the previous Western sanctions were removed in January 2016. Exports eased to 400,000 mt in February, before rebounding to 440,000 mt in ...

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Japan’s Osaka Gas may sign new long-term LNG supplies to boost trading

Osaka Gas may sign new long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts as Japan’s second-biggest city gas supplier boosts its trading operations amid a shake-up in the Asian market for the fuel, a senior official said. The comment signals there may be a willing buyer of long-term supplies in Japan, where utilities have been spurning such contracts because of a ready availability of the fuel on a short-term, or spot, basis, excess supplies and falling demand. The resistance to long-term contracts among buyers in Japan, the world’s biggest importer of LNG, ...

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Chinese iron ore and steelmaking prices May 24 2018

China’s spot iron ore prices at ports edged downwards as the pessimistic attitude dominated among market players.

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China signals to state giants: ‘Buy American’ oil and grains

China will import record volumes of U.S. oil and is likely to ship more U.S. soy after Beijing signalled to state-run refiners and grains purchasers they should buy more to help ease tensions between the two top economies, trade sources said on Wednesday. China pledged at the weekend to increase imports from its top trading partner to avert a trade war that could damage the global economy. Energy and commodities were high on Washington’s list of products for sale. As the two sides stepped back from a full-blown trade war, ...

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EU’s Corn-Buying Spree Is Boosting Rare Trade With South Africa

Europe’s hunger for corn is giving South Africa a surprising destination to sell more of its record crop. Africa’s top corn grower typically doesn’t export much to the European Union due to the long shipping distance and uncompetitive cost. But last year’s big harvest has cut prices, and should help South Africa ship more to the EU than in the previous six years combined, according to Strategie Grains. The increased trade comes as EU imports surged 41 percent this season amid strong demand for animal feed and cheap grain from ...

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China Inc returns to U.S. soybean market as trade tensions ease

China’s state grain stockpiler has returned this week to the U.S. soybean market for the first time since early April, a sign Beijing is preparing to resume purchases as trade tensions between the world’s top two economies ease, two sources said. The renewed interest in the oilseed, used in animal feed, follows Beijing’s pledge at the weekend to buy more U.S. goods from its top trading partner, including agricultural products. China made the pledge to avert a trade war that could damage the global economy. As the two sides stepped ...

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China’s thermal coal futures fall after government intervention

China’s most active thermal coal futures prices fell more than 4 percent in morning trading on Wednesday, on track for the biggest one-day drop since November 2016, following news of government intervention to cool the red-hot market. Thermal coal futures fell to 588.8 yuan ($92.37) per tonne by 0250 GMT, extending a more than 3 percent fall in the overnight trading session as investors rushed to close out long positions and pile on short bets. Reuters reported on Tuesday that China’s state planner ordered utilities this week to stop stockpiling ...

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Iron ore quality differentials evolve as market fundamentals shift

Since January S&P Global Platts quality differentials for the gangue elements such as alumina, silica and phosphorous have evolved to reflect changing market fundamentals. The alumina differential soared 100% from $1.50/dmt in January 2018 to $3.00/dmt in May 2018. Phosphorous has also seen large increases from a steady $1.30/dmt throughout the last quarter of 2017 to $2.50/dmt on May 18, where it has remained. The most extreme moves have been seen across both silica differentials, but especially the high silica band of 6.5-9%, which collapsed from $7.00/dmt in January to ...

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Shanghai rebar falls to 1-month low on glut worries, technical selling

China’s construction steel rebar futures fell to a one-month low on Wednesday, as supply glut concerns continued to weigh on market sentiment, offsetting the impact of overcapacity inspections. The most-active rebar contract for October delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 1.4 percent at 3,531 yuan ($553.44) a tonne, having earlier touched 3,511 yuan, its lowest since April 23. Worries over a supply glut came as the utilisation rate at steel mills rose to 70.17 percent last week, a level seen before winter curbs took effect in early November, ...

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The selloff in Chinese steel and bulk commodity futures is getting even uglier

The selloff in Chinese steel and bulk commodity futures is getting even uglier. Here’s the scoreboard as at the mid-session break on Wednesday. SHFE Rebar ¥3,514 , -1.90% DCE Iron Ore ¥452.00 , -1.63% DCE Coking Coal ¥1,168.50 , -5.19% DCE Coke ¥1,953.50 , -4.64% The October rebar contract in Shanghai is currently down 1.9% at 3,514 yuan, a one-month low. It has been as high as 3,705 yuan just four sessions ago. The weakness in steel prices is also weighing on iron ore, coke and coking coal prices, its ...

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China’s Sinopec to boost U.S. crude oil imports to all-time high – sources

Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, will boost U.S. crude oil imports to an all-time high as part of efforts by China to reduce its trade deficit with the United States, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The company’s trading arm Unipec has bought 16 million barrels, or about 533,000 barrels per day, of U.S. crude to load in June, they said, the largest volume ever to be lifted in a month by the company. “The government has encouraged us to lift more U.S. crude,” one of the ...

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South African coal prices kept high on unclear outlook

Uncertainty continued to cloud the South African coal market Tuesday as reports of national utility Eskom needing to purchase material typically dedicated to the export market, coupled with supply tightness and a strongly bid index, had sources uneasy on the sustainability of current high price levels. Platts FOB Richards Bay 5,500 kcal/kg NAR 7-45 day price had been on a strong run since the end of March, recently peaking at $89.60/mt on Thursday, from $76.10/mt at the end of March. The record price levels had met with consumer resistance in ...

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