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Chinese iron ore posts first weekly loss in four on demand worries

Chinese iron ore futures marked their first weekly fall in four on Friday as the widening economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic darkened the demand outlook for the steelmaking raw material and steel products. However, expectations for supply disruptions in the wake of lockdowns across the world to contain the contagion limited iron ore’s losses. Iron ore’s most-traded May contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended a volatile session 0.2% lower at 659 yuan ($93.20) a tonne and lost 1.5% this week. The Singapore Exchange’s front-month April contract slipped 0.5% ...

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Asia’s coal markets diverge on quality lines as coronavirus hits India

Asia’s seaborne coal market is increasingly diverging between higher-quality Australian coal, where prices are holding up despite the economic shock being caused by the coronavirus, and lower-quality Indonesian fuel, which is losing ground. The price of Australian benchmark Newcastle thermal coal futures traded on the Intercontinental Exchange ended at $66.35 a tonne on Wednesday, down slightly from the prior day but up from the low so far this year of $65.15 on March 9. The contract, which covers coal with an energy value of 6,000 kilocalories per kilogram (kcal/kg), has ...

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Global Steel Industry Downturn as COVID-19 Disrupts Supply and Demand

It is said that time flies over us but leaves its shadow behind. There is certainly a grey cloud hovering over the steel industry, this month. We are in unprecedented times. Steel mills, in all regions, are shutting plants or cutting production – either voluntarily or enforced by national governments. Ordinarily, reduced demand would result in steel price reductions. However, many of the steel price references, published in MEPS International Steel Review, have held up, during most of March. Steel manufacturers are closing their facilities and workers are being sent ...

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BHP’s iron strength amid rout

BHP’s business has been resilient to the crisis so far, with the miner reporting on March 19 there had been ”no material impacts on our operations or supply chains”. Although shares in the miner have fallen more than 36 per cent because of its exposure to weak oil and copper markets, its iron ore and coking coal divisions have been among the few industries to benefit from higher prices on the back of virus-related transport restrictions in China. Almost 55 per cent of BHP’s revenue was generated from sales to ...

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China’s infrastructure push unlikely to support near-term nonferrous metal prices

China’s decision to speed up “new infrastructure” projects, such as 5G networks and charging stations, are unlikely to reverse the downtrend in nonferrous metals prices in the near-term, market sources said. The measures will ultimately help boost demand for nonferrous metals but the upside is unlikely to be felt until the coronavirus outbreak outside of China is controlled or smelters, both in China and overseas, significantly cut production, sources said. China’s local governments earlier this month outlined plans for new infrastructure projects to offset the economic impact of the outbreak ...

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IGC forecasts record world grains crop in 2020/21

The International Grains Council (IGC) forecast record world grains production in the 2020/21 season while warning projections were tentative until the progress and duration of the coronavirus pandemic becomes clearer. The inter-governmental body, in its first full assessment of the 2020/21 season, projected world grains production would rise to a record 2.22 billion tonnes, up 2% from the prior season. Transport restrictions related to the pandemic could hamper the distribution of farm supplies such as seeds and fertilisers and disrupt spring fieldwork, the IGC said in a monthly update. However, ...

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Argentine grains port workers request exports be suspended due to pandemic

A labor union representing Argentine grains port workers on Thursday asked the government to suspend exports, a move that would put upward pressure on world soy prices and hobble the country’s main source of revenue as it seeks to avoid default. The URGARA union, which represents inspectors who check the quality of grains before they are loaded onto ships, said the coronavirus pandemic was severe enough to justify suspending port activities in the world’s No. 1 exporter of soymeal livestock feed and No. 3 supplier of corn and raw soybeans. ...

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Soybeans set for best week in 6 months on production shortfall worries

U.S. soybean futures rose on Friday as concerns that the coronavirus pandemic will slow production set the oilseed on track for its best week in nearly six months. Corn edged 0.4% lower but remained on course to post gains of around 1%, while wheat was set to finish the week up 5% for second straight week. The most active soybean futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade were up 0.5% at $8.84-3/4 a bushel by 0416 GMT after closing little changed in the previous session. Soybeans are on course to ...

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Full throttle: China is back to work and iron ore will be in demand

China is cranking up the factories again and a number of market commentators are tipping the Asian behemoth will soon start rolling out more significant stimulus measures to ignite its economy. Beijing’s direction of $US500bn ($845bn) towards capital investment in response to the 2008 financial crisis provides a strong hint of what’s to come. As has happened in the past, China’s stimulus injections have led to a massive ramp up in infrastructure projects. This is good news for a number of commodities, starting with iron ore. While China’s Manufacturing Purchasing ...

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Iron ore supply shock to offset EU demand collapse: analyst

The iron ore sector is about to face a supply shock which should limit its expected second quarter price fall even as steelmaking activity wanes in Europe, analysts at broker Jefferies said Wednesday. “Supply disruptions (from COVID-19 production curbs) in India, South Africa and Canada alone will temporarily impact as much as 120 million mt/year of iron ore supply, which equates to 8% of seaborne supply and would be similar in magnitude to the peak of the 2019 supply shock following the Brumadinho tailings dam disaster and weather-related disruptions in ...

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Rio Tinto raps Australian lobby group for coal support

Rio Tinto (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) said on Thursday it had found several cases where Australia’s biggest mining industry body advocated for thermal coal in contravention of 2015 Paris climate goals, as it released a review of its membership in industry groups. Rio Tinto laid out its expectations for the industry associations that it funds last April to ensure that their policy on climate change and energy advocacy was consistent with the miner’s own, as well as the Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. ...

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India’s crude steel output grows 1.5 per cent to 9.56 million tonnes in February: worldsteel

India’s crude steel output increased by 1.5 per cent to 9.56 million tonnes (MT) in February this year, according to global industry body worldsteel. The country had produced 9.42 MT steel in the same month a year ago, World Steel Association (worldsteel) said in its latest report. Global crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the association was 143.29 MT in February 2020, a rise of 5.4 per cent, compared to 154.46 MT in May 2018, it said. India produced 9.56 MT of crude steel in February 2020, ...

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India’s steel sector faces challenges from coronavirus, Beijing’s export incentives

Like in other countries, the outbreak of COVID- 19 and the subsequent lockdown threatens to disrupt India’s steel production. What’s more, there are reports coming in now that Indian steel companies will face even more competition from rivals in China in this state of crisis, adding to the woes of the former. The Economic Times reported Beijing was hiking export incentives on the primary infrastructure alloy by a third to help cushion the impact of demand destruction at home and overseas. The move by China to increase export rebates on ...

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China’s bulks: the sentiment gap between steel and coal widens

China seems to be containing its local coronavirus situation, with imported cases now posing the greater threat. While quarantine measures remain tight in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai – China’s busiest points of entry – economic activity is resuming in lower-risk regions. Market sentiment for steel is optimistic, with production picking up and inventory finally running down. However, the coal market remains gloomy with weak market fundamentals, bringing both thermal and metallurgical coal prices down. In this article, analysts Nuomin Han, Zhai Yu, Simon Wu, Zhilu Wang and Ti ...

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China iron ore futures extend gains on supply deficit fears

Chinese iron ore futures edged higher on Thursday on supply concerns as coronavirus-containment measures across the world intensified, but the uncertain demand outlook for the steelmaking raw material and steel products capped gains. The most-traded May iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended up 0.7% at 662 yuan ($93.40) a tonne. Supply concerns also supported spot prices. The benchmark 62% iron ore bound for China, the biggest buyer of the raw material and which accounts for more than half of the world’s steel output, was well above $80 ...

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