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US LNG exports fall under domestic scrutiny as it continues to interfere with Nord Stream 2

The US government in November added a new Russia-linked company and two vessels to its list of entities under sanctions related to Nord Stream 2, fuelling further volatility on European spot gas markets. The US has consistently attempted to stop Nord Stream 2 from being built, citing the pipeline’s potential to stifle Europe’s diversity of supply while its own LNG exports were gaining momentum globally. The sanctions that put in jeopardy a nearly €5bn investment by European companies into the pipeline are covered by the US Protecting Europe’s Energy Security ...

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China’s Zhejiang Hangjiaxin, Russia’s Novatek sign framework agreement for long-term LNG supply

China’s Zhejiang Hangjiaxin Clean Energy has signed a framework agreement with Russian energy company Novatek’s Asian subsidiary for a long-term LNG supply deal, the Chinese city gas distributor said Dec. 2. Under the agreement, Novatek will ship LNG cargoes to the Hibiki LNG receiving terminal owned by Saibu Gas in Kyushu, Japan, and Hangjiaxin will then ship the LNG to its Jiaxing LNG terminal in eastern Zhejiang province using small and medium-sized LNG vessels, Hangjiaxin said in an announcement on its social media platform. This innovative trade model opens up ...

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Carbon brakes aluminium supply response to booming prices: Andy Home

China, the world’s largest aluminium producer, is still running short of primary metal. The country imported another 140,000 tonnes in October, bringing the year-to-date total to 1.27 million tonnes. Multiple Chinese smelters have been ordered to reduce or curtail production as provincial governments try to meet quarterly energy usage and efficiency targets. China’s national output of aluminium peaked in February, when it was running at an annualised rate of 39.7 million tonnes. The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) estimates it was 38.5 million tonnes in October. The call on metal from ...

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Steel, aluminum demand to see boost on passage of long-awaited US infrastructure package

The long and winding road to reach a bipartisan deal on US infrastructure spending has finally come to an end, with the domestic steel and aluminum industries expected to see a boost to demand in the coming years as projects take shape. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden Nov. 15, marks the largest investment in US infrastructure since the Federal Highway Act of 1956. The bill allocates $1.2 trillion in infrastructure spending over a period of 10 years, including $550 billion in new ...

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New Capacity Roundup – November 2021

Here is a selection of the major steelmakers’ latest production and capacity investments announced this month. Europe Ovako has ordered a new continuous casting line for SBQ grade round billet, to be installed at its plant in Smedjebacken, Sweden. The equipment, expected to enter service in the first quarter of 2022, will produce billet up to 120mm in diameter. Italian steelmaker, Arvedi, has announced that it plans to install a hot dipped galvanising line and a colour coating line at its Servola facility, in Trieste. The new equipment will have ...

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Wheat set for worst week in nearly 3 months on supply outlook

U.S. wheat futures held steady on Friday but were on track for their biggest weekly drop in nearly three months on expectation of ample global supplies. FUNDAMENTALS * The most-active wheat futures on the Chicago Board Of Trade Wv1 were down nearly 3% for the week, the biggest weekly fall since Sept. 10. * Wheat was up 0.2% by 0238 GMT, adding to Thursday’s 3.1% jump. * The most-active soybean futures Sv1 were down nearly 0.5% for the week, heading for their second straight weekly fall. * The most-active corn ...

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OPEC sets vote on next secretary general for January

OPEC plans to convene a special meeting in early January to vote on its next secretary general, after Dec. 1 talks did not reach a consensus on a successor to incumbent Mohammed Barkindo, whose tenure is set to expire in July after six years, delegates said. The next secretary general will be taking over as the producer group and its allies, including Russia, should be close to fully tapering their historic output cuts implemented through the pandemic, though remaining COVID-19 hotspots and the emerging omicron variant could set back the ...

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In 2020, the value of energy trade between the United States and Canada declined

In 2020, the value of U.S. energy imports from Canada totaled $58 billion—accounting for more than one-fifth of the value of all U.S. imports from Canada. The value of U.S. energy imports from Canada fell by 31% in 2020 compared with 2019, and the value of U.S. energy exports to Canada fell 34%, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Crude oil and petroleum products combined accounted for 89% of the value of all U.S. energy imports from Canada in 2020. U.S. energy imports from Canada in 2020 were ...

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US spot gas, futures prices tumble as seasonal demand underwhelms

Cash natural gas prices at hubs in every US region were down sharply in Dec. 1 trading as mild weather pushed residential-commercial heating demand to multiyear lows, underwhelming US gas markets. New England gas prices were among the hardest hit with Boston’s Algonquin city-gates dropping nearly $3 on the day to just $4.99/MMBtu. Further south, prices at New York metro-area hubs Transco Zone 6 and Texas Eastern M3 were down about 45-50 cents, both trading comfortably below $4/MMBtu. In the US Midwest, cash prices at Chicago’s NGPL Nipsco hub were ...

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The important, but not yet urgent impact of central bank digital currencies

Here’s why it matters Why do central bank digital currencies, CBDCs, matter? Well, central bankers and policymakers cite a variety of reasons. The importance attached to those also varies considerably between countries. Among the most prominent are: • the declining use of banknotes and coins, necessitating authorities to look at digital alternatives; • the need to maintain “monetary sovereignty” in the face of privately issued, non-domestic currency-denominated “stablecoins”; • improving financial inclusion; • supporting the international role of the domestic currency in a geopolitical context. The focus of most projects ...

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China’s services activity expands at slower pace in November, shows private survey

Activity in China’s services sector expanded at a slower pace in November amid rising inflationary pressures and continuing small-scale Covid-19 outbreaks, a private survey showed on Friday. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 52.1 in November from 53.8 in October, but remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. The readings in the private survey, which focuses more on small firms in coastal regions, tallied with those of an official survey, which also showed the expansion in the services sector lost ...

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Yellen says cutting some tariffs on Chinese goods could ease price pressures

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that lowering Trump-era tariffs on imported goods from China through a revived exclusion process could help ease some inflationary pressures, but would be no “game-changer.” Yellen told the Reuters Next conference that she thinks the tariffs of up to 25% on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of annual imports from China “do contribute to higher prices in the United States.” “And the Trump tariffs that were put in place, some of them create problems without having any real strategic justification,” she added. Previous ...

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EU fiscal rules should offer realistic debt reduction, be more growth friendly – ECB

The European Union should change its fiscal rules to make them more supportive of growth and investment in fighting climate change and digitalisation as well as to make the rules on debt reduction more realistic, the European Central Bank said. In a written contribution to a debate on the upcoming reform of EU fiscal rules, called the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), the ECB said the rules should be simplified, more transparent and predictable. “It would help if rules were less complex and less reliant on the unobservable output gap, ...

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China expected to exceed economic target

Despite the threats posed by COVID-19 variants and supply constraints, China is on track to achieve economic growth well above its target this year with a controllable inflation level, officials and experts said. Vice Premier Liu He said China’s economy has continuously recovered this year and its full-year GDP growth is projected to exceed the expected target. Indicators of growth, employment, prices and international payments have overall remained at a normal level since the beginning of the year, Liu said on Tuesday while addressing the Hamburg Summit via a video ...

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Lifting GSP shows global recognition of China’s economic success

Starting from Wednesday, Chinese exports to 27 EU members, the UK, Canada, Turkey, Ukraine, and Liechtenstein will no longer enjoy the preferential tariff treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), and Chinese Customs will stop issuing GSP certificates of origin for shipments to the 32 countries. While a few countries still retain the preferential tariff treatment for China, overall, the era of GSP treatment for China in global trade has come to an end. The change may deprive some Chinese exporters of certain tariff preferences, but that won’t overshadow ...

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