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Iron ore is surging, but not all producers are joining the party

While iron ore prices have surged to a five-year high above $100 a tonne, not all producers of the steel-making ingredient are sharing in the bounty. It’s no surprise that Brazil’s Vale is struggling. After all, it is largely the reason for iron ore’s stellar run, with the spot price of 62 percent ore delivered to China MT-IO-QIN62=ARG, as assessed by Argus Media, ending at $100.65 a tonne on Tuesday, up 38.1% this year. It was the fatal tailings dam burst at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine, near ...

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BHP dark on thermal coal’s future

BHP says it has no appetite for new investments in thermal coal, regardless of how lucrative those investments may be, but has also signalled it is unlikely to invest in commodities like lithium and cobalt. The hardening of BHP’s attitude toward the type of coal used for power generation was revealed in a slide pack published ahead of a strategy briefing by chief financial officer Peter Beaven. BHP chief financial officer Peter Beaven. Wayne Taylor The presentation declares that the decarbonisation of the energy sector will see thermal coal ”phased ...

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Dalian iron ore hits record high as bullish outlook persists

China’s iron ore futures jumped to a new record high on Wednesday, fuelled by a persistently bullish outlook as steel mills look to source raw material after running down stocks. The most-traded iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange climbed as much as 4.1% to 733 yuan ($106.08) per tonne, the highest since contracts were launched in 2013. It closed up 3.4% at 728 yuan a tonne. Steel mills have been operating at low inventory levels and only purchasing hand-to-mouth from ports due to high raw material prices. Market ...

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India’s thermal coal output seen growing 4.3% annually till 2028: Report

Fitch Solutions on Tuesday said India’s thermal coal output is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.3% by 2028. “In absolute volume terms, China and India will have the largest impact on the global coal market balance,” Fitch Solutions Macro Research said in a report. It further said the surge in Chinese imports that occurred over 2015-2017 as a result of dramatic domestic production curbs was a temporary phenomenon. “We forecast thermal coal production in China to stagnate at 0.5% growth per annum from 2019 onwards, but ...

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European coal terminals near full capacity

Coal inventories at northwest European import terminals are nearing full capacity amid slack generation demand, with some spot vessels now being turned away, according to port sources. A mild winter coupled with high levels of renewable power generation and a utility preference for gas – due to more attractive generation margins – has resulted in the bulging port stocks. Stocks at four key Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) dry bulk terminals were assessed this week at 7m tonnes, marginally below early April’s multi-year high of 7.27m tonnes, but nearly 50% ...

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British Steel goes into liquidation after failing to secure loan

British Steel, the country’s second largest steel producer, has collapsed after failing to secure emergency government funding, jeopardising some 25,000 jobs, Britain’s Official Receiver said on Wednesday. The High Court ordered the compulsory liquidation of the company, adding its staff have been paid and will continue to be employed as the liquidator oversees the continuing operation of the main site in Scunthorpe, northern England. Owned by investment firm Greybull Capital, British Steel employs around 5,000 people, mostly in Scunthorpe, while 20,000 more depend on its supply chain. Britain’s opposition Labour ...

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Analysis: Lower US steel tariffs likely to offer little relief to Turkish rebar

The US’ surprise halving of tariffs on steel imports from Turkey to 25% sparked bullish sentiment on Turkish scrap and rebar prices, but the impact of additional sales to the US is likely to be limited. Bullish reaction to the news is largely based on export figures before the US safeguards on Turkish steel in 2018. The US imported 664,000 mt in 2017 and 1.38 million mt in 2016. However, the remaining 25% import tariff on Turkish steel combined with the complete elimination of tariffs on steel imports from Canada ...

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Corn gains for 8th session as rains stall U.S. corn planting

Chicago corn futures rose for an eighth straight session on Wednesday as U.S. farmers are unlikely to finish planting this year following excessive rains, resulting in tighter world supplies. Wheat gained ground after closing lower on Tuesday with short-covering by funds expected support prices. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade had risen 0.3% to $3.95-1/4 a bushel by 0224 GMT, after hitting a one-year high on Tuesday. Wheat added 0.2% to $4.79-3/4 a bushel and soybeans were up 0.6% at $8.27-1/4 a bushel. “Weather forecasters now ...

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India: Delay in auction of iron ore mines could hit steel production

A delay in auction of iron ore mines, whose licences are expiring by March next year, could hit steel production significantly in the country, a report has cautioned. Licences of 288 merchant mines, of which 59 mines are under operations, will expire by March next and if the auction of the mines is delayed it could significantly affect the steel production, the report by rating agency India Ratings (Ind-Ra) said. Majority of these 59 blocks are iron ore mines situated in Odisha and Karnataka with around 85 million tonnes of ...

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Copper slips as trade tensions overshadow Peru mine concerns

London copper prices slipped to their lowest in almost four months on Wednesday, as concerns over potential renewed supply disruptions at MMG Ltd's Las Bambas mine in Peru were offset by U.S.-China trade tensions. Reuters reported on Tuesday that an indigenous community had imposed a road blockade at Las Bambas, citing a representative of the public ombudsman office said. An earlier blockade at Las Bambas in March and April disrupted the mine's copper concentrate exports and boosted prices. Other metals also lost ground in the Asian afternoon session, with Shanghai ...

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Analysis: Shorter planting window, unfavorable weather pose challenges for US corn

The unusually slow pace of corn plantings because of inclement weather has raised concerns that overall acreage and crop yields in the United States would fall to an extent that will squeeze supplies from the world’s biggest producer and put upward pressure on global prices. Market concerns have been visible in recent price movement on the Chicago Board of Trade where the most active corn futures traded 1.6% higher on Monday to reach an 11-month high of $3.94 a bushel. The contract has risen over 7% in the last one ...

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India set to plant more land with soybean crops as prices rally

India is set to grow soybeans on more land in the 2019 crop year as higher prices for the oilseed push some farmers to switch from cultivating competing commodities such as cotton and pulses, an industry official and dealers told Reuters. Increased production of India’s main summer-sown oilseed could help the world’s biggest vegetable oil importer trim costly purchases from Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia and Malaysia. It could also help boost Indian exports of animal feed ingredient soymeal to places such as Bangladesh, Japan, Vietnam and Iran. “At current prices, soybeans ...

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Soybean farmers fear China tariffs could shut down business for good

The economic outlook for soybean farmers is dire. Trade Opens a New Window. is the lifeblood of the U.S. soybean industry, and right now it is ebbing away as soybean growers are unduly caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war Opens a New Window. . Many of us are wondering whether we will be able to remain in business past this year. We have already endured ten months of tariffs, and as this planting season begins, we fear that the latest rise in tensions could indefinitely delay an ...

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Shanghai steel rises on prospects of downstream demand

China’s steel futures edged up on Tuesday despite the concerns over escalating tension between the world’s top two economies, as investors expect stronger steel demand from property market. Although the costlier trade war had weighed on financial markets across countries, Chinese steel futures still managed to make some gains, supported by better-than-expected demand from property sector. “Downstream steel demand (manufacturing and construction) remains firm, with the latest construction data reflecting improving construction activities,” Hui Heng Tan, research analyst from Marex Spectron, said in a note. Average new home prices in ...

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Analysis: Platts China Steel Sentiment Index slumps to 12.79 points in May

The outlook for China’s steel market has fallen to a four-year low, with the seasonally slower period expected to dampen new orders and steel prices, according to the latest S&P Global Platts China Steel Sentiment Index or CSSI, which showed a headline reading of just 12.79 out of a possible 100 points in May. The headline CSSI, which measures the outlook for new steel orders over the coming month, fell by 12.89 points from 25.68 in April. It was the lowest reading since February 2015, and the third consecutive monthly ...

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