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Shanghai steel rebar pares early gains on glut concerns

Chinese steel rebar erased all early gains to trade lower on Friday, as concerns over an increasing supply offset a firm demand outlook that was supported by falling stockpiles. Steel product inventory at Chinese traders dropped for a sixth straight week in the week to Nov. 16, down 284,700 tons from the previous week at 8.61 million tons, according to data compiled by Mysteel consultancy. That marked the lowest level since late November 2016. Stocks of construction steel rebar declined 5.6 percent to 3.17 million tons, the data showed, while ...

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USDA says nearly $840 million in aid paid to farmers to date

U.S. Department of Agriculture has paid out nearly $840 million to farmers to date as part of a promised $12 billion aid program rolled out by President Donald Trump last July to offset losses from the imposition of tariffs on American exports. A total of $837.8 million to date has been paid out with the top five commodities being soybeans, wheat, corn, dairy and hogs, USDA told Reuters. The five states that received the highest amount of aid were Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Indiana and Minnesota. The aid delivered remains a ...

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Singapore’s Wilmar may invest in soybean production in Russia

Singapore-listed commodity trader Wilmar International Ltd may invest in soybean production and processing and transhipment of soybean concentrates in Russia’s Far East, a regional ministry said on Thursday. Wilmar’s long-term investment programme in the Far East has been developed with Russian support, the ministry for the development of the Far East said in a statement, summing up meetings between officials and potential investors on the sidelines of a regional conference in Singapore, which President Vladimir Putin attended this week. The ministry said the potential long-term investment as part of the ...

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Coal stocks in a third of NTPC plants close to nil

Coal supply shortage continues to haunt NTPC, the country’s largest power generator, with latest government data showing 31% of the company’s coal-based capacity is running with ‘hand to mouth’ coal stock. As on November 12, six major NTPC power plants, with a combined capacity of 12,480 MW, have fuel stock of ‘zero’ days, data from the Central Electricity Authority show. NTPC’s 2,980 MW Sipat plant in Chattisgarh, 2,340 MW Kahalgaon unit in Bihar, 2,100 MW Farakka station in West Bengal, 2,400 MW Kudgi unit in Karnataka, 2,000 MW Simhadri plant ...

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China to offer financial support to improve coal mine safety

China will offer financial support to improve safety at coal mines in 2019-2020, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on Friday. * That comes after several fatal accidents at coal mine in the country. * The NDRC did not give the total amount of money it will put into the improvements, which are to include equipment upgrade and infrastructure construction. * Money will only be given to new projects that have not finished being built or to projects that have not finished safety renovations. * ...

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BHP reveals details of train derailment but questions remain

A statement from BHP detailing results of a preliminary investigation into its November 5 Pilbara train derailment has raised more questions about the incident. On Friday BHP WA Iron Ore president Edgar Basto revealed the driver stopped the train to check a disconnected braking system control cable. Several brake failures followed. “The train began to move after the driver had disembarked to carry out an inspection, becoming what is termed a ‘rollaway’ train,” he said. “Our initial findings show that the emergency air brake for the entire train was not ...

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Karnataka may cancel NMDC’s Donimalai mine lease in levy dispute

The government of Karnataka on Friday warned NMDC Ltd that it will cancel the lease of its Donimalai iron ore mine if the state-owned miner refuses to pay an additional levy on the sale of its ore. Karnataka’s threat to cancel the lease stems from a dispute between NDMC, India’s biggest iron ore miner, and the state government over its decision to impose an 80 percent premium on ore sales from Donimalai. Karnataka levied the premium when it renewed NDMC’s license for Donimalai on Nov. 2. NMDC contested the 80 ...

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South Africa’s Eskom to revise coal contract strategy

South Africa’s cash-strapped power utility Eskom said on Friday it had revised its coal strategy to revert coal supply to long-term fixed-price contracts and extend contracts for “cost-plus” mines. Eskom, which has warned of possible power outages after low coal stockpiles, said it would in the short term purchase four million tonnes of coal for immediate supply to recover all power stations to above the minimum required level by the end of March 2019. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Alex Winning Editing by James Macharia)

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Vale Holds Talks to Expand World’s Biggest Open-Pit Iron Mine

Vale SA is holding talks with Brazilian officials about expanding the world’s largest open pit iron-ore mine to meet growing Chinese demand for the high-grade ore. The Rio de Janeiro-based company recently sat down with regulators to discuss expanding its $14 billion mine located in the Amazon rainforest, which hasn’t even reached capacity yet. At the meeting, Vale mentioned the possibility of increasing ore-processing infrastructure and the railway that hauls the steel-making ingredient to port, Brazil’s federal environmental agency Ibama said in an email. While the project known as S11D ...

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GRAINS-U.S. soybean prices steady amid hopes for U.S.-China trade talks

U.S. soybean futures steadied on Friday after two days of gains, supported by expectations that the United States and top soybean buyer China, now tied in a tit-for-tat tariff war, will resume trade talks. Corn futures were similarly little changed, while wheat was marginally higher. FUNDAMENTALS * Soybeans for January delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade were nearly flat at $8.88-1/4 a bushel by 0140 GMT. * An expected meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina ...

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Asia-Pacific coal set to slump on China import restrictions

Asia-Pacific coal prices face further losses as China on Thursday imposed stricter restrictions on imports and the market remained well supplied. Broker Global Coal’s benchmark Newcastle [Australia] index was last assessed at USD 104.64/t, up by 1.8% from a week ago, but still close to last week’s six-month low of USD 102.84/t. China’s Zhengzhou front-month thermal coal futures contract settled 1% lower on the week at CNY 616.80/t (USD 88.90/t). Earlier today, reports emerged that China’s National Development and Reform Commission has placed more stringent restrictions on coal imports until ...

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Commodities Are Sending a Distressing Signal

Oil markets are sending a powerful message. After reaching a four-year high in early October, the price of crude has collapsed by more than 25 percent. This move is about more than just the ups and down of global supplies and whether OPEC and other producers can adjust. More importantly, it seems to speak to waning demand, which is worrisome. These developments suggest the synchronized growth that the global economy has enjoyed in recent years is likely to be replaced by a generalized slowdown. Just take a look at the ...

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China coal production rises 7.6% in October

Chinese coal production in October rose by 7.6% on the year to 9.8m tonnes/day (305m tonnes), further alleviating any near-term need to increase imports, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Thursday. In response – and amid high stocks and government restrictions on imports – Chinese coal and lignite imports last month fell in October to a five-month low of 744,000t/day, Montel reported. Domestic output in the first 10 months of the year was meanwhile a marginal 1.6% higher than in January-October 2017, at 2.9bn tonnes, the data showed. “For ...

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Weak steel margins drive demand for high grade fines down

Weak steel prices and tightening margins drove demand down for high grade fines as mills prioritized on lowering production costs. S&P Global Platts assessed the 65% Fe Iron Ore Index at $93.80/dry mt CFR North China Wednesday, down $0.65/dmt from Tuesday. The spread between the 65% Fe and 62% Fe iron ore indexes was at $19.25/dmt, lower by $2.20/dmt on the week. “High grade fines like Carajas fines will only be utilized more if mills are confident in sustainable strong steel margins as the ratio of high grade fines in ...

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US coal carloads at eight-week low of 84,532: AAR

US coal carloads dropped to 84,532 in the week ended November 10, down 4.4% from 88,399 a week earlier and the lowest since 83,783 in the week ended September 15, the Association of American Railroads said. The 84,532 was also 0.7% lower than the year-ago week and nearly flat from the 2018 weekly average of 84,560. However, it was the seventh week in the last eight weeks to track higher than the corresponding week of 2017. Coal carloads represented 15.4% of all the traffic on US railways, down from 15.8% ...

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