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Why can’t China kick its coal habit?

China is stuck between a fossil fuel-dependent past and a future powered by renewable energy. The country today generates 53% of the world’s coal-fired power. At the same time, it is the world’s leading manufacturer of, and market for, solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. Whether China can free itself from its decades-old addiction to coal will determine not just its own environmental future, but also—and more crucially—Earth’s prospects in the face of the gathering climate crisis. China’s leaders began to recognize the need for change in the early ...

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Wheat rebounds on supply concerns, soybeans firm

Chicago wheat futures bounced back on Wednesday as concerns over supplies from top exporters Russia and the United States supported prices. Soybeans gained ground, although better-than-expected crop conditions and forecasts for rain across the U.S. Midwest kept a lid on prices. “Some consumers are balking at higher prices for now. And that has few traders worried perhaps the gains have been too much, too soon,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, referring to global wheat prices. “We are a little skeptical of that, the ...

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The Commodities Feed: Iran tensions

Energy Worries continue to grow over the spread of the delta variant in China, which has weighed heavily on oil prices in recent days. While daily cases are still low, the government is taking a strict approach to stop the spread. A number of cities are now in lockdown. And travel restrictions have been imposed. ICE Brent neared US$71/bbl at one stage yesterday, although made a comeback after reports of a tanker hijacking off the coast of the UAE. There are suggestions that the hijacking could have been carried out ...

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U.S. crude oil inventories down last week: API

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a decrease of 0.879 million barrels of crude oil in the U.S. crude oil inventories for the week ending July 30. API reported a decrease of 4.728 million barrels of crude oil inventories for the previous week ending July 23 while the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a fall of 4.1 million barrels. Oil prices fell on Tuesday as concerns over weaker demand amid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections continued to weigh on the market. The West Texas Intermediate for September ...

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Riding the oil price rebound: Gulf states to accelerate asset sales

Saudi Aramco and other Gulf oil producers are following in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi with plans to raise tens of billions of dollars through sales of stakes in energy assets, capitalising on a rebound in crude prices to attract foreign investors. The moves, in a region traditionally possessive of its refineries, power plants and pipelines, highlight the pressure on petrostates to raise funds to diversify their sources of revenue and to bolster national finances hit by a recent slump in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. After selling a ...

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Nigeria’s Petroleum Bill Could Boost Long-Term Oil Production

The passage of Nigeria’s proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) could have positive long-term effects for both Nigeria’s public finances and oil & gas production, but the impact will depend on details of implementation, and the bill is unlikely to have a significant near- to medium-term impact on Nigeria’s creditworthiness, says Fitch Ratings. A harmonised version of the long-deliberated PIB completed its passage through both houses of parliament on 16 July. If signed into law by the president, as we expect, the PIB could boost oil-sector investment, helping to stabilise the ...

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Production of Permian Basin to recover completely by 2022 from COVID-19 slowdown, says GlobalData

Permian Basin, the largest oil producing basin in the US, was the most affected play in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic times. However, production of crude oil and natural gas from this play is likely to exceed the pre-pandemic levels by 2022 amid market recovery from the pandemic, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. According to GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Permian Basin in the US, 2021 – Oil and Gas Shale Market Analysis and Outlook to 2025’, the Permian Basin is producing about 4.6 million barrels of oil ...

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U.S. Natural Gas Prices Flying Through Summer 2021

Unpredicted and up about a third since early-June, U.S. Henry Hub natural gas prices have been soaring this summer to over $4.00 per MMBtu. Prices this time last year during the crush of Covid-19 were just $1.85. The August NYMEX gas contract just expired at $4.04, the highest monthly expiration since December 2018. After 2020 brought us the lowest gas prices in over 30 years (~$2.10), the U.S. Department of Energy reports that we are seeing the highest summer gas prices since 2014. The market has even shrugged off highly ...

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EU Fit-for-55 to Accelerate Energy Transition in Many Sectors

The EU Commission’s proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, ‘Fit-for-55’, will increase regulatory pressure and costs related to emissions from domestic production and imports into the EU, affecting companies across a wide spectrum of industries, Fitch Ratings says. We consider regulatory shifts a crucial factor that can influence credit risks and ratings. Predictable regulatory changes communicated well in advance typically lessen impact as issuers have time to prepare to comply. We expect the implementation lead time for the EU’s ‘Fit-for-55’ proposals, and the reasonable clarity around ...

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China: Success of nation a boon for foreign companies

For many multinational corporations, the China story in recent decades has been a win-win result. International businesses have expanded their reach to capture vast market opportunities, while China has grown in economic strength and enhanced the welfare of its 1.4 billion people. Many of the success stories of these foreign companies have dovetailed with the first centenary goal set out by the Communist Party of China of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. “One of the key factors behind this centenary accomplishment is the strong leadership of the ...

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In a world redefined by the pandemic, where is globalization headed?

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain …” The catchy song is a nostalgia of the end of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the epoch of “globalization.” From the 15th century onward, globalization has undergone four accented phases – the sea trade, Pax Britannica, Pax Americana, and the current stage featuring co-competition led by the U.S. and China. As contention in an increasingly digital and “smart” world threatens to upend these relationships, we ...

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China: Backing for industry to boost innovation

China’s efforts to strengthen industry and supply chains will also boost the resilience of its scientific and technological innovation, and motivate companies to overcome technological bottlenecks, experts said. Qiao Biao, deputy head of the China Center for Information Industry Development, a Beijing-based think tank, said a more resilient and flexible industry chain is an important foundation for the growth of China’s economy, as uncertainties continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “China’s efforts to ensure the stable operation of industry and supply chains will contribute to the whole world, given the nation’s ...

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U.S. hiring may have slowed in July amid COVID surge -data

High-frequency data indicate U.S. hiring slowed in July – not held steady as widely expected – with particular softness among states that ended federal unemployment benefits and areas where the COVID-19 Delta variant is raging. Payroll firm UKG said growth in employees across a wide set of industries grew 1.1% from mid-June to mid-July, coinciding with the period when the federal government employment survey is conducted. That was about half the 2% rate of growth seen between May and June, ahead of a blockbuster June national jobs report showing 850,000 ...

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Container ship long-term charter rates climb to record highs amid vessel shortages

Container ship operators are paying increasingly high charter rates for longer periods as they seek to capitalize on significantly high rates in the container freight spot market amid unprecedented demand. Container ship charter rates sank to multiyear lows in June 2020 as a result of bleak carrier outlook and premature returning of chartered vessels as the coronavirus outbreak presented a major demand risk. But as community lockdowns and social distancing unexpectedly boosted consumer spending on goods, charter rates rebounded and broke through to fresh all-time highs at the start of ...

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AP Moller Maersk- Buy: Not done yet; 4Q could surprise on the upside

Solid 2Q21 results … On 2 August, Maersk reported revenue of USD14.2bn, with underlying EBITDA of USD5.1bn (up 26% q-o-q) and underlying EBIT of USD4.1bn (up 33% q-o-q). In 2Q, containers volumes handled grew 15% y-o-y while average freight rates jumped 59% y-o-y and 14% q-o-q. We have been arguing for sequential improvement given how strong freight rates have been (It ain’t over yet, 26 July 2021). The company is set to publish full 2Q earnings on 6 August 2021. … and improved, but still conservative, FY21e guidance: Maersk lifted ...

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