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Copper trades near a 2-year low, but ‘birth of an epic bull market’ draws near

Copper recently touched its lowest price level in more than two years, reflecting investors’ worries about muted economic growth and the temperamental trade dispute between the U.S. and China. As supplies of the red metal tighten, however, analysts think commodities traders could overcome concerns about the economy, prompting copper prices to move higher. “The current stagnant-to-declining copper price is accurately reflecting a slowing global economy,” says Brent Cook, an economic geologist and co-editor of the newsletter Exploration Insights. “The numerous central bank [interest] rate cuts support this conclusion as well.” ...

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Paris wheat steady with euro help, mills snap up German crop

Euronext wheat inched higher on Friday as a weaker euro helped the market hold above contract lows struck this week after a surprisingly high U.S. corn crop forecast and rising expectations for the European wheat harvest. December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext was up 0.50 euro, or 0.3%, at 173.25 euros ($192.2) a tonne by 1546 GMT. The Paris benchmark had hit a life-of-contract low of 170.75 euros on Tuesday, sapped by a slide in Chicago corn after Monday’s unexpected increase to the U.S Department of Agriculture’s harvest outlook, despite ...

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U.S. corn, soy, wheat futures rise but post big weekly losses

U.S. corn, soybean and wheat futures rose on Friday on a technical rebound as traders evened up positions after the grains market posted sharp declines during the week. The heavy weekly losses – corn posted its biggest weekly drop in percentage terms since June 2016 – stemmed from a surprise boost to the corn harvest outlook from the U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday. “We took it pretty hard from this crop report on Monday and we had a rough week and I think we are just getting a little bounce ...

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Why gold’s ‘strong undercurrent’ has some analysts eyeing $2,000 an ounce

Gold has benefited from a spate of supportive factors over the past few months, and some bulls now see the precious metal making a climb to a record high of $2,000 an ounce. It will need more fuel to make that move, however, and the timeline for that rally remains uncertain. “There has been a strong undercurrent of demand for gold,” said Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter. “Even as short term factors like the China trade dispute may come and go, longer-term investors are confident that the issues of ...

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Philippines’ top high-grade nickel ore miner set to shut down – government official

The Philippines’ top exporter of high-grade nickel ore is expected to shut its mining operations soon as ore deposits at a project in the nation’s southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi are nearly depleted, a ministry official told Reuters. SR Languyan Mining Corp will shut “most likely” later this year, said Jaynul Ali Sambarani, head of mines and geoscience services at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The closure will likely reduce the Philippines’ monthly exports of nickel ore to top metals consumer ...

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Corn Bounces Ahead of Crop Tour

–Corn for December delivery rose 2.6% to $3.80 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, as traders have pivoted their focus to next week’s Pro Farmer crop tour to get more insight on 2019/20 crop health. –Soybeans for November delivery rose 1% at $8.79 3/4 a bushel. –Wheat for September delivery rose 0.4% to $4.70 3/4 a bushel. HIGHLIGHTS Hitting the Road: Big selling among managed money investors appears to have subsided ahead of ahead of the Pro Farmer crop tour next week. “It is hard ...

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Grain Highlights: Top Stories of the Day

TOP STORIES: Corn Bounces Ahead of Crop Tour Corn for December delivery rose 2.6% to $3.80 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday, as traders have pivoted their focus to next week’s Pro Farmer crop tour to get more insight on 2019/20 crop health. Big selling among managed money investors appears to have subsided ahead of ahead of the Pro Farmer crop tour next week. “It is hard to imagine that the tour is not going to find a lot of yield problems when they get ...

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Analysis: China’s rising steel output in balance with domestic property demand

China’s apparent consumption of crude steel over January-July rose 8.9% on year to 526.76 million mt and will be robust enough to absorb the surge in domestic steel production this year, according to S&P Global Platts estimates. The consumption growth rate grew in tandem with new property construction starts, suggesting that strong domestic demand was the core driver behind soaring steel output this year. China’s loosening of environmental protection constraints on production, along with steel capacity expansion, have also contributed to steel output rising by around 10% to date in ...

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AQS to hot-test Algeria’s Bellara melt shop in September: official

Algeria Qatar Steel’s works at Bellara, in Algeria’s Jijel province, will start testing at its first melt shop in September, a company spokesperson told S&P Global Platts Thursday. The melt shop has a capacity of 1.1 million mt/year. The facility currently imports billet, but once its two melt shops are in operation it will produce its own steel, leading to fewer imports of semi longs into Algeria. A second melt shop with the same capacity has already been built and is expected to come on stream by the firstquarter of ...

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Gold falls 1% as equities rise, but eyes 3rd weekly gain

Gold fell 1% on Friday hurt by an uptick in equity markets and the dollar, but fears of a slowing global economy and lack of clarity on the U.S.-China trade war kept bullion above the $1,500 level, putting it on track for a third straight weekly gain. Spot gold was down 1% at $1,508 per ounce as of 11:10 a.m. EDT (1510 GMT), but is up 0.7% so far this week. U.S. gold futures fell 0.8% to $1,518.50. “The dollar index is strengthening quite a bit, equity futures are coming ...

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Turkish army pension fund to buy British Steel

Turkey’s military pension fund has reached a tentative deal to buy British Steel out of insolvency. The Turkish Armed Forces Assistance Fund (known as Oyak) says it plans to take over British Steel, which employs 5,000 people, by the end of the year. British Steel owns the Scunthorpe steel works where 3,000 people work and it employs another 800 on Teesside. But the firm was put into compulsory liquidation in May after rescue talks with the government broke down. Another 20,000 jobs in the supply chain were put at risk ...

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Russian steel group Mechel expects debt repayment deal soon

Russian coal and steel producer Mechel expects to reach an agreement with its main creditors in the near future about pushing back its debt repayments, the company said on Thursday. Mechel, which has been in restructuring talks with its lenders for several years, has already asked banks to push back its debt repayments to 2024-2026 from 2020-2022. “We are approaching the period of our main debt’s maturity in accordance with loan agreements we made with lender banks in 2016,” Mechel chief executive Oleg Korzhov said in a statement. But Korzhov ...

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Second corn crop harvest in Argentina 90% complete as of Wednesday

Harvesting of the second 2018-19 corn crop in Argentina was 90.1% complete as of Wednesday, with about 43.722 million mt of corn collected from 5.23 million hectares, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said Thursday. Last year, about 94% of the sown crop had been harvested by this time, yielding 29.26 million mt of corn from 4.85 million hectares, according to the exchange report. In Argentina, early corn is normally planted in September-October and harvested in April-May, while late or second corn planting starts in early December and is harvested in ...

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National Australia Bank forecasts modest recovery in Newcastle thermal coal prices in coming quarters

National Australia Bank is forecasting steady growth in thermal coal prices though to July-September next year after a retreat in the current quarter, but prices are not expected to return to the levels seen earlier in 2019, National Australia Bank said Wednesday in its monthly Minerals and Energy Outlook. The Australian bank expects the FOB Newcastle price basis 6,000 kcal/kg NAR to average $68/mt over July-September, down from $78/mt in the previous quarter, then rise steadily to average in $78/mt FOB Newcastle over July-September next year. Prices were then tipped ...

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EC reduces quota increase in steel safeguard review

The European Commission has reduced the planned increase in tariff-free steel quotas to 3% from 5% across all product categories, noting that 2018 was a record year for shipments to the EU. The announcement, published Wednesdayon the EC website, followed a review of market safeguard measures imposed February 2. “This less-pronounced liberalization means that the total quotas available during the third period will be limited to 31.6 million tonnes, i.e. 1.5 million tonnes below the distorting 2018 record,” the EC stated. “Moreover, this adjustment will fully preserve the liberalisation effect, ...

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