The most-traded DCE I2401 iron ore contract closed down 0.4% at 861 yuan/mt today. Iron ore traders’ shipment enthusiasm was average, and some were cautiously waiting. The overall market transaction atmosphere today was sluggish. Transaction prices of PB fines in Shandong were concentrated in the range of 929-940 yuan/mt, down 5-15 yuan/mt compared with yesterday, prices in Tangshan area were 950-960 yuan/mt, 0-10 yuan/mt lower than yesterday’s prices…Full story
Lithium prices are plunging around the world, but the slump is particularly glaring in China, where the key battery metal is trading at a big discount versus the US.
After a buying frenzy sent global prices soaring though last year, they’ve since plunged as electric vehicle demand disappoints and supplies are expected to remain ample. Yet despite the broad rout, futures in the crucial Chinese market are about a third cheaper…Full Story
Asia is currently experiencing its most significant hydropower crunch in decades, with China and India, the two countries that account for approximately three-quarters of Asia’s power generation, witnessing sharp declines.
As a severe power crunch roils China’s northeastern industrial heartland, senior officials face mounting pressure from alarmed citizens to ramp up coal imports thick and fast in order to keep lights on, factories open and even water supplies flowing.
With electricity shortages sparked by scant coal supply crippling large sections of industry, the governor of Jilin province, one of the hardest hit in the world’s no.2 economy, called for a surge in coal imports, while a power company association said supply was being expanded “at any cost”.
News organisations and social media carried reports and posts saying the lack of power in the northeast had shut down traffic lights…Full Story
Iron ore’s roller-coaster ride in 2021 shows no signs of easing, with prices ending an unprecedented slump to move sharply higher as investors monitor simmering debt troubles at China Evergrande Group.
The developer’s onshore property unit said it reached an agreement with yuan bondholders on an interest payment, offering some relief after fears over Evergrande’s financial stability sparked a global flight from risk. China’s central bank also boosted short-term cash into the financial system, helping steady commodity markets.
In Singapore, iron ore futures climbed more than 15%, surging back above $100 a ton from their lowest close in 16 months. Events around Evergrande spooked the market earlier in the week and the steelmaking material was already oversold, said Atilla Widnell, managing director of Navigate Commodities…Full Story
Seaborne coal has become a quiet winner among energy commodities, lacking the attention of higher-profile crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG), but enjoying strong gains amid rising demand.
Both thermal coal, used in power plants, and coking coal, used to make steel, have rallied strongly in recent months. And in both cases the driver has largely been China, the world’s biggest producer, importer and consumer of the fuel.
There are two elements to China’s influence on seaborne coal markets in Asia; robust demand as the Chinese economy rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic; and Beijing’s policy choice to ban imports from Australia…Full Story
Iron-ore, one of the hottest commodities in the early days of the raw materials rally, has now become the most volatile as bulls and bears joust over the trajectory of prices.
In a series of wild swings, the ore that fuels China’s vast steel industry surged to a record, collapsed into a bear market and then returned to a bull market in the space of about a month. Its gyrations in the past 30 days mark the mineral as the most volatile of the two dozen most traded commodities around the world.
Iron ore is being buffeted largely by confusion over how government policy will affect demand from steel mills in top consumer China.
China wants to cut steel production but control prices, and to reduce investment but maintain employment, said Tomas Gutierrez, an analyst at Kallanish Commodities Ltd. “As policy shifts to keep the desired balance between these goals, the outlook for steel will improve or worsen…Full Story
Bloomberg with help by Jason Rogers, Winnie Zhu, and Dan Murtaugh
China’s efforts to control raw materials costs could include price limits on its runaway coal market, underscoring the government’s tough stance on taming inflation.
Beijing is considering imposing a cap on the price of thermal coal as it struggles to contain stubbornly high energy costs ahead of peak demand over the summer. The move would be the latest in a largely successful campaign across commodities that began in April to prevent inflationary pressures harming the economy.
One idea under discussion for coal is to limit the price at which miners sell, according to people familiar with the plan, who declined to be named because the matter isn’t public…Full Story
Prices have rallied 34 per cent so far this year as miners struggle to meet robust demand from the nation’s economic rebound.
Prices have rallied 34% so far this year as miners struggle to meet robust demand from the nation’s economic rebound. Safety and environmental inspections, mining accidents and an unofficial ban on Australia coal has disrupted supply and tightened the market. A recent worsening in diplomatic relations with Australia has also given the raw material another boost.
“The market has been unusually explosive,” said Huatai Futures Ltd. analyst Wang Haitao. Inspections in major coal-producing regions have been rife with corruption investigations in Inner Mongolia, overproduction probes in Shaanxi province, and environmental checks in Shanxi province. …Full Story
Expensive freight rates for chartering Panamax and Supramax bulk vessels have forced traders with iron ore and pellet cargoes from East Coast India to China to opt for bigger Capesize ships in a rare move, sources said.
The East Coast India-to-China route is usually dominated by smaller bulkers given the stem sizes traded on this sector are largely 50,000-55,000 mt.
The sharp rise in hiring Supramax class ships, which are typically in the 52,000-57,000-dwt range, have seen charterers combining three 50,000-mt (plus/minus 10%) stems to ship them on a Capesize.
Time-charter rates on Supramax ships have been heard fixed around $31,000/d for a tonnage opening in Chittagong for a trip via East Coast India to China, while the voyage charter rate was heard indicated in the $20-$22/mt levels for a 55,000-mt (plus/minus 10%) iron ore cargo from Paradip to China…Full Story