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Rising steel prices could add heft to Tata Steel’s profits, but they must sustain

Things are falling in place for Tata Steel. As both production normalises and demand continues to upswing, the steel sector is now on a better footing than before. The street expects Tata Steel Ltd to post better operating profitability in Q3. The scrip is trading close to its 52-week high with 38% gains till date in November. An improvement in its troubled European operations is also on the cards. Steel spreads could improve to record levels in Europe, thanks to lower inventory levels and rising steel prices. Tata Steel’s European ...

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Copper: China October trade snapshot

Imports of copper concentrate in October fell by 21% MoM to 1.69mln tonnes, and total imports in the first 10 months have registered a small gain year-on-year. According to SMM reports, the reduced imports last month were chiefly due to rejected shipments due to high fluorine content concentrate from Indonesia. Year-to-date, Chile remains the largest copper concentrate supplier to China, accounting for 35%, with exports to China growing by 3% YoY to 6.4mln tonnes. However, imports from Peru, the second-largest supplier to China, have decreased by 19% to almost 4mln ...

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Copper touches highs not seen since Jan 2014

The London Metal Exchange three-month copper price continued to trade comfortably above $7,000/mt as the bulls continued to circle the metal. Since the pandemic lows seen back in March, when copper went down to around $4,370/mt, the industrial metal has been powering forward. Early on in the session Nov. 25 the metal hit $7,360/mt — levels last seen in Jan. 2014 — and then gave back some of those gains. A number of factors have helped copper gains, including supply-side issues, a weaker dollar, record-breaking US stock markets and demand ...

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Renewables in most of Asia Pacific to be cheaper than coal power by 2030

Wood Mackenzie’s latest report shows most markets in Asia Pacific can expect to see cheaper levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for renewables compared to coal by 2030. Across the region, new investments in renewables power are expected to be 23% lower cost than coal power on average by the end of the decade. Currently, renewables power costs about 16% more on average compared to coal power but has been at a discount to gas-fired power since 2019. Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Rishab Shrestha said: “Today, India and Australia are the ...

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Fitch Ratings 2021 Outlook: Indonesian Coal Improving

Fitch Ratings expects Indonesian coal selling prices and volumes to improve in 2021, which should support a modest improvement in credit metrics. Fitch assumes a recovery in the Indonesian 4,200kcal coal prices to USD32.5/tonne in 2021 from USD27/tonne in 2020. The improvement in prices started to materialise in late 2020 as Fitch expected. Fitch also expects aggregate volumes of the Fitch-rated miners to increase by about 6% in 2021, compared with the drop of 3% in 2020. Furthermore, most Indonesian coal miners have curtailed mining costs in 2020 due to ...

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Weekly US coal carloads total 63,032, down 16.7% on week: AAR

Weekly US coal carload originations totaled 63,032 in the week ended Nov. 21, up 4.3% from the previous week, but down 16.7% from the year-ago week, Association of American Railroads data showed Nov. 25. Originations totaled more than 2.7 million in the most recent week, down 25.8% from the year-ago period. The five-year average for carloads in week 47 is 81,811, leaving the most recent week at a 23% deficit. Coal produced 11.8% of total US traffic, the highest percentage in seven weeks. Canadian coal carload originations totaled 8,058, up ...

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Iron ore futures close higher

Iron ore futures closed higher on Thursday in daytime trading at the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE). The most active iron ore contract for January 2021 delivery gained 18.5 yuan (about 2.8 U.S. dollars) to close at 897 yuan per tonne. On Thursday, the total trading volume of 12 listed iron ore futures contracts on the exchange was 1,262,477 lots, with a turnover of 109.2 billion yuan. As the world’s largest importer of iron ore, China opened the DCE iron ore futures to international investors in May 2018. Source: Xinhua

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S Korea to shut up to 16 coal-fired power plants for December-February

South Korea will close down up to 16 coal-fired power plants for three months from December, out of its 60 coal power plants in total, to help reduce air pollution, a potential boot for LNG demand and imports, the energy ministry said on Nov. 26. “A total of 9 to 16 coal-fired power plants will be shut from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 as part of efforts to reduce fine dust emissions in the winter period,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement. “The scope of ...

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Scrap metals to remain underutilised despite availability and rising demand

Scrap metals demand growth is expected to outpace primary metals over the next two decades. However, it will remain underutilised compared to its overall availability, says Wood Mackenzie. Consumer and investor pressures demanding recycled content are starting to change the market. Policies that mandate greater recycling rates are also driving cleaner and more reusable scrap collection. Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Renate Featherstone said: “Governments across the globe generally share a focus on keeping reusable materials out of landfills. These should, in theory, lead to greater scrap availability and use. However, ...

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Coal Country Can Retool Itself To The New Energy Future

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute came out with a really interesting study on how Coal Country can, and must, redefine itself in the energy future that is emerging. While decarbonizing the economy is a driving force for decreasing the use of fossil fuels, the steadily decreasing use of coal in America has occurred because of the favorable economics and unanticipated abundance of natural gas through fracking, and will continue regardless of climate policies or environmental regulations, which have played only a small role. The world is a different matter. ...

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Center-South Brazil sugar production at 37.66 million mt, a spike of 44.46% on year: UNICA

Center-South Brazil produced 1.24 million mt of sugar in the first two weeks of November, with cumulative production since the start of the season on April 1 reaching 37.66 million mt a jump of 44.46%, or 11.59 million mt, year on year, according to data released Nov. 25 by industry association UNICA. Sugar production in the first half of November was 9.52% above the average of market expectations in an S&P Global Platts survey published on Nov. 25, prior to the official numbers. In the first half of November, 20.33 ...

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Rio Tinto Stock Rises 80%; Is It Still Undervalued?

Despite an impressive rise of 80% from its March lows of this year, at the current price of $65 per share, Rio Tinto stock (NYSE: RIO) still has some upside left. RIO stock rallied from $36 to $65 off its recent bottom, compared to the S&P 500 which increased 60% from its recent lows. The stock has been able to beat the broader market in the last 8 months on the back of recovery in iron ore prices with the US government announcing a string of measures along with stimulus ...

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A harsh reality in coal country – with or without Trump

Colstrip, Montana, has been a poster child for the kind of coal mining community that looked to Donald Trump to bring back the industry and save their town. But four years later, on the eve of a Joe Biden presidency, the only thing that’s clear is that saving coal – and Colstrip – was never going to be that simple. On Wednesday, 4 November, the day after a US presidential election without a definitive winner, Jason Small sat on the darkened patio of the Whiskey Gulch Saloon contemplating his own ...

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Analysis: Shocked by sacred sites blast, investors press mining firms to revamp heritage oversight

Rio Tinto’s destruction of sacred Indigenous rock shelters in Australia this year has dismayed and galvanised a swathe of investors who want big changes in how mining firms manage heritage issues and have begun to tell them so. They have stepped up communication with mining companies both in volume and frequency, putting them on notice to improve accountability and risk management, according to Reuters interviews with two dozen major investors and corporate governance advisers. Such engagement is nothing to be sneezed at, they add. “(For) many of the most influential ...

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India’s love affair with coal cools as pressure grows on sector

Funding for coal projects in India has plunged for the second straight year, new figures showed Tuesday, as the world’s second biggest coal importer weans itself off the dirty fuel. Research was released showing a drop in investment days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed the country’s commitment to exceeding its targets under the Paris climate agreement. India has the world’s fourth-largest reserves of the fossil fuel and its cities are often shrouded in coal-induced smog, but Modi on Sunday told a virtual G20 summit that the South Asian giant ...

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