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Iron ore miners are awash with cash, but see different futures: Russell

Major iron ore producers are awash in a sea of cash, and are likely to remain so despite a recent retreat in the price of the steel raw material. Where they diverge is what they think will be the next big drivers of profit. Rio Tinto RIO.AX, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, posted record first-half profits on July 28, with underlying earnings almost tripling to $12.17 billion from the same period a year earlier. The surging profits were largely built on the back of the rise in iron ore ...

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Commodity tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

Iraq’s oil production forecast tops this week’s charts to watch as the country’s standoff against international oil companies may put its capacity expansion plans at risk. Also worth following this week are falling iron ore prices, waning fuel-switching capacity in the US, rising gas prices in Europe and a firm North Sea crude demand. 1. Iraq’s oil capacity expansion plans at risk What’s happening? International oil companies are trying to flee Iraq’s unattractive oil assets. The standoff between IOCs and Iraq over the management of some of the country’s biggest ...

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Bleak crop prospects likely to keep spring wheat supplies tight, prices firm

The prevailing dry and hot weather conditions across top producing countries are limiting the production prospects for spring wheat, raising concerns of tightening global supplies for the high protein-content wheat. Canada, Russia and the US are the world’s top producers and exporters of spring wheat globally, and all three countries have been witnessing severe dryness and drought-like conditions. In Canada — the largest grower of spring wheat — extreme heat and drought conditions are having a devastating effect on wheat crops grown in the Prairies region, while the neighboring regions ...

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Palm rebounds on production concerns, sliding exports cap gains

Malaysian palm oil futures rebounded on Tuesday, helped by lingering concerns over tight production, but gains were capped by data that showed export shipments fell in July. The benchmark palm oil contract FCPOc3 for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained 65 ringgit, or 1.58%, to 4,185 ringgit ($991.24) a tonne by the midday break, after plunging 5.7% in the previous session. The contract is recovering from Monday’s sell-off on concerns over tightness in production, said Paramalingam Supramaniam, director at Selangor-based brokerage Pelindung Bestari. “Until and unless production ...

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Base metals fall as Delta variant sparks recovery concerns

Industrial metals declined on Tuesday as a surge of the Delta coronavirus variant across the world raised doubts of a sustainable global economic recovery. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 fell 0.4% to $9,667 a tonne by 0250 GMT, aluminium CMAL3 was down 0.4% to $2,603.50 a tonne, nickel CMNI3 dropped 1% to $19,320 a tonne and zinc CMZN3 shed 1.4% to $3,007 a tonne. The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 fell 1% to 70,870 yuan ($10,961.09) a tonne, nickel SNIcv1 dropped 1.5% ...

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Coal India Apr-Jul offtake rises 28.4% year on year

In a reflection of growing demand, state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) has registered a 28.4% year-on-year growth in coal offtake for the first four months of the current financial year. “The company also clocked a robust 30.7% growth in supplies to power sector during April-July’21 with a whopping 39 million tonne (MT) increase over same period year ago,” CIL said in a statement on Monday. This was on account of higher demand from the power sector, with India’s electricity demand growth on an upward trajectory after it had dipped during ...

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Mining: Digitisation can wait no longer

The Centre’s new regime wherein mines are being allocated via the auction route under a revenue-sharing model has come as a wind of change for the sector. With mines being bagged after quoting hefty premiums, industry players must push digitisation to optimise core processes and cut costs if they are to ensure proper return on investment. Zero pilferage, and proper distribution and end use through digitisation are becoming necessary to boost revenues and protect the bottomline. Mining companies like Coal India, Tata Steel Mining, JSW Steel, Hindustan Zinc, and NMDC, ...

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China steel futures dive 6% on concerns of changes in steel output

Chinese ferrous futures fell on Monday, with steel rebar and hot rolled coils both plunging some 6%, after Beijing updated its stance on carbon reduction work, raising worries of an adjustment in output cuts. A Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping on Friday said China should avoid “campaign-style” carbon reduction efforts. While there were some places blindly launched projects with high emissions and energy consumption, there were others that “over-reacted” and made emission-cut plans too early, state media Xinhua said in a commentary, adding that such attempts could affect ...

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China’s utilities face rising H2 coal bill as mine safety checks crimp supply

China’s coal buyers are bracing for prices to rise in the second half of the year, from already near-record levels, as Beijing’s drive to boost domestic mine safety cuts into local output even as booming imports may be reaching their natural limits. Beijing is striving to strike a balance between increasing supplies to cool record prices that have squeezed its coal-reliant utilities while improving mine safety. In July, local media reported more than 20 mines in major coal hub Shaanxi province were shut for safety checks after a flooding accident. ...

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Analysis: Europe’s steel-raw materials spread slips in July after Q2 record

The European hot-rolled coil steel to raw materials price spread edged lower in July as higher coking coal, iron ore pellet and scrap prices limited gains from record monthly HRC spot prices. The Northwest European HRC-steel raw materials spot spread moved down to Eur758/mt ($900/mt) in July from Eur761/mt in June, according to estimates by S&P Global Platts on Aug. 2. In the second quarter, the European HRC spread averaged a new record high Eur695/mt, up 61% from Q1, on the back of higher steel prices. A recovery in steel ...

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India’s crude steel output up 21.4% at 9.4 MT in June: Worldsteel

India’s crude steel production rose by 21.4 per cent year-on-year to 9.4 million tonnes (MT) in June, according to the World Steel Association. The crude steel output was 6.9 MT steel in the same month a year ago. “The production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 167.9 MT on June 2021, an 11.6 per cent increase compared to June 2020, ” the global industry body said in its latest report. China remained the global leader in the production of steel in June, registering 1.5 ...

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Russian wheat prices up on worsening crop outlook

Russian wheat prices rose last week due to a worsening outlook for the country’s crop and stronger markets in Chicago and Paris, analysts said on Monday. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loading from Black Sea ports for supply in August was $254 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $6 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said in a note. Another consultancy, Sovecon, recorded a $10 rise to $255 per tonne of wheat. Barley was up $10 at $224, it said. IKAR ...

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Copper advances on weak dollar, Chile supply threat

Copper prices rose on Monday as a weak dollar and a potential strike at Chile’s Escondida, the world’s biggest copper mine, supported prices. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 rose 0.3% to $9,760.50 a tonne by 0627 GMT, while the most-traded September contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 dipped 0.3% to 71,470 yuan ($11,057.65) a tonne. The dollar hovered just above a one-month low, making greenback-priced metals cheaper to holders of other currencies, as traders eyed U.S. jobs data due later this week. The Union of workers ...

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Shortages continue to disrupt US stainless steel market

Inventory levels across the US stainless steel sector are extraordinarily low. While steel usage rebounded quickly following the pandemic-induced slump, steel production resumed at a much more gradual pace. This resulted in a substantial imbalance between supply and demand developing in the market. Buyers report that, in several grades and sizes of stainless steel flat products, no material is available in the United States. US producers, Outokumpu and North American Stainless, have struggled to match output with demand. Purchasing managers are now placing orders for deliveries in the final few ...

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Soybeans drop for 2nd session on improved U.S. weather

Chicago soybean futures slid for a second straight session on Monday, and corn ticked lower, pressured by rains in parts of the U.S. Midwest. Meanwhile, wheat rose on expectations of lower world output. “(Soybean and corn) prices in the futures market are easing a little but people are still cautious,” said one Singapore-based grains trader. “In the physical market there is not much change. I think the market wants more evidence of improved crop output before further reduction in prices.” The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade ...

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