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India’s Nov steel production falls 3% on year amid weak demand

India’s crude steel production for November fell to 8.92 million mt, down 2.9% year on year and 1.8% lower against October, provisional data released earlier this week by the Joint Plant Committee showed. Likewise, finished steel production in November fell to 7.80 million mt, 7% lower than in November 2018 and 5.4% down from October 2019, JPC data showed. “The month post festive season is historically a lean month for the automotive industry. Consumer demand, especially for passenger vehicles, typically picks up in the year-end that is in December,” Veejay ...

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Crop Windfall Slips Away in Blow to Argentina’s New Leader

Alberto Fernandez takes over as Argentina’s president Tuesday with hopes of bolstering exports to spur growth and pay debts. But no sooner than the wheels start turning on his four-year term, he faces a speed bump from the crop industry, which accounts for more than a third of shipments. Drought has ravaged the wheat and barley crop on the Pampas growing belt that rakes in key export revenues over the new-year period. Wheat is chiefly sold to Brazilian millers. Barley goes to Saudi Arabia for camel feed. And most of ...

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India: Iron ore shortage looming large, may push prices from April 2020

Iron prices are set to increase from March 2020 as the Odisha government annuls three rounds of bids called in to auction 20 iron mines whose leases are expiring in March. The fresh bid documents were released on December 6 with original timelines maintained. In an attempt to stop cornering of mines by one single bidder, the Government has banned multiple bids from the same company, including its affiliates. The Government had invited bids for auctioning iron ore mines in three rounds, putting up 29 blocks under the hammer, 9 ...

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China iron ore surges to over 4-month high as supply uncertainties loom

Iron ore futures in China rose to their highest in more than four months on Tuesday on supply uncertainties expected to emerge during the first quarter of next year. The most traded iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, for May 2020 delivery, jumped as much as 3.2% to 662 yuan ($94.05) per tonne, the highest since Aug. 7. It closed up 1.3% at 650 yuan per tonne. Prices for spot cargoes of benchmark iron ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China [SH-CCN-IRNOR62], also tracked robust ...

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Coal prices set to extend fresh 3-year lows

European front-year coal prices have slipped to fresh three-year lows as abundant supply and weak regional demand – amid unseasonably mild weather and still competitive gas-burn margins – weighed heavily on the market. The API 2 front-year contract traded last down USD 0.20 from Friday’s close at USD 60.15/t, after earlier touching its lowest on a rolling basis since December 2016, of USD 59.75/t. Closer in on the curve, the front quarter dropped USD 0.37 to USD 56.50/t. It earlier reached its lowest since late August, of USD 56.15/t. A ...

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Australia’s miners boosted as Chinese stimulus hopes send iron ore surging

Speculation surrounding increased Chinese infrastructure investment saw iron ore prices surge to fresh multi-month highs on Monday, helping to boost Australia’s listed iron ore miners in early trade on Tuesday. “The Chinese politburo once again mentioned a boost to infrastructure spending as a way of supporting growth next year,” ANZ senior commodities strategist Daniel Hynes told clients. “The meeting of Chinese leaders also failed to mention any constraints on housing, signalling a milder policy tone for the sector.” Commonwealth Bank energy and commodities analyst Vivek Dhar told clients the remarks ...

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Value of Australian agricultural goods to fall for 3rd straight year amid drought

Australia on Tuesday said the value of its agricultural goods will fall for the third straight year, a milestone last seen six decades ago, as a drought wilts crops and leaves dams dry. The value of all farm products will total A$61 billion ($41.4 billion) during the 2019/20 season, a fall of about 3% from last season, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said. The impact on rural exports would be even greater with agricultural export earnings to fall 8% to A$45 billion, it added. ...

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Malaysia palm oil stocks fall to three-month low in November, exports down – MPOB

Malaysia’s palm oil inventories fell to a three-month low in November as a seasonal decline in production curbed yields in the world’s second-biggest producer, while exports dropped due to slowing purchases by top importers. Stockpiles slid to 2.26 million tonnes, down 4.1% from the previous month, industry regulator the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said on Tuesday. This compares with a Reuters survey forecasting reserves to drop 5.7% to 2.22 million tonnes. “MPOB data showed higher end stocks than most forecasts,” a Kuala Lumpur-based trader said, adding that it should ...

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S.Korea shuts down 10 coal-fired power plants to curb pollution

South Korea has shut down 10 coal-fired power plants on Tuesday as part of its anti-pollution campaign, the energy ministry said. * The shutdown comes after the government said last month it would idle up as much as 15 coal-fired power plants between December and February, while its remaining plants are expected to supply sufficient power. * In a statement late Monday, the energy ministry said 41 coal-fired power plants would operate at 80% capacity. * South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, operates about 60 coal-fired power plants, generating about 40% ...

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S.Africa mining companies cut production due to power shortages

South African mining companies Harmony Gold, Impala Platinum, and Sibanye-Stillwater have been forced to cut production since Monday due to power shortages, they said on Tuesday. “There are very few underground mines that operated overnight and will be operating normally today,” said a spokesman for the Minerals Council, an industry body. Harmony Gold called off its underground shifts, saying it would resume as soon as state power company Eskom could provide assurance power supply would be more reliable. Impala Platinum has shut production at its Rustenberg and Marula mines owing ...

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Nickel weakness showing no sign of easing

Nickel has fallen from grace in recent weeks, having been the sector darling for much of 2019, leading to talk about how low the metal can head before bottoming out. Nickel had been riding high throughout the year on supply fears related to an export ban from the world’s number one producing nation Indonesia. It was detached from other base metals, which were persistently dogged by the on-going China-US trade spat. Nickel, which started the year at $10,670/mt, hit a high of $18,850/mt in September. However, the Indonesian ban then ...

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Nippon Steel may cut more blast furnaces to reduce costs

Japan’s top steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp may close more blast furnaces as part of plans to reduce domestic facilities to cut costs, said a senior executive, as falling demand and lower Asian steel prices eat into its annual profit forecast. The world’s third-biggest steelmaker has 15 blast furnaces across Japan with two due to be shut by around March 2024. Any further closures would reduce capacity and could undermine its presence in the growing, but highly-competitive Asian markets. “Our goal is to bring down fixed cost to a proper level,” ...

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Commodity Tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

Oil markets are digesting the latest OPEC announcement on production cuts this week, while regional LNG prices converge and nickel continues on a bearish streak, in S&P Global Platts editors’ pick of energy and commodity trends. 1. OPEC, allies agree to new oil output cuts at eleventh hour What’s happening? OPEC, Russia and nine other allies delivered a new production cut deal November 6, just hours after it appeared their pact was close to unravelling. OPEC+ will deepen collective output cuts by 503,000 b/d to 1.7 million b/d from January ...

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Soybeans near 2-week high on Chinese buying; wheat eases for 2nd session

Chicago soybean futures gained for six consecutive sessions on Tuesday, as Chinese purchases boosted hopes of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing, even as expectations of a record crop in Brazil capped gains. Wheat slid for a second session as ample world supplies weighed on the market. The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade was up 0.2% at $8.99-1/4 a bushel by 0313 GMT, having firmed 0.9% on Monday when prices hit a Nov. 22 high of $9.04 a bushel. Corn gained 0.1% to $3.76 a ...

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China stainless steel production inched up 0.7% in November

Production of stainless steel in China inched up in November, after two consecutive months of decline, as 200-series producers recovered from maintenance. SMM data showed that 2.42 million mt of stainless steel was produced in China last month, up 0.71% from a month ago and 8.11% from a year ago. The recovery from maintenance boosted production of 200-series by 3.24% on the month to 797,000 mt, while production of 300-series shrank 2.15% to 1.17 million mt as Zhangjiagang Pohang and Delong at the end of the month began annual overhaul ...

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