Indonesia’s ore export ban a hard blow to China Nickel Resources

China Nickel Resources, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, had to admit publicly how badly it is suffering from  the Indonesian government’s sudden ban on all ore exports, including iron and nickel ore.

The ban, started in January 2014, forced China Nickel Resources to halt operations at almost all of its core businesses, including a special and stainless steel and nickel-chromium alloy plant in central China’s Henan province, as well as its nickel smelter in east China’s Jiangsu province.

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Much ado about … an OPEC editorial

An editorial in OPEC’s latest Bulletin caused much excitement and contributed to a price rally on oil markets on August 31. The oil producer club said it stood “ready to talk to all other producers” but emphasized that this had to be on “a level playing field.”

But there’s nothing new here. OPEC has regularly stated its willingness to talk to other producers and the editorial seems merely to reiterate this.

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Low oil prices are painful, but volatility is insult to injury

As if the recent oil price dive to the lowest level in six years wasn’t enough to keep industry nerves on edge, the current price volatility is proving just as hostile to producers as sliding margins.

After bottoming out in late January at $45/b, NYMEX crude had recovered to $60/b by May, in a correction now widely seen as premature as it was overcooked. Bears pointed to the stubborn and growing glut of global oil supply hanging over the market.

If the rebound was quick, the subsequent fall has been just as dramatic and the double-dip in oil prices has been more severe than many predicted.

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Prospect of new pipeline capacity in Louisiana rattles rail, barge operators

Louisiana could be the site of the next wave of pipeline expansions, which might be a boon for refiners there, but other midstream players could find themselves on the outside looking in, depending on the origin of the crude on the lines.

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Discussing the costs of disaster for offshore US oil : Regulation and Environment

In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation and Environment, Gary Gentile asks if the risks associated with ultra-deepwater oil production endeavors are properly disclosed to shareholders.

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Friday night lights, provided by petrochemicals

Many athletes, from Pop Warner to the NFL, participate in American football each fall. Petrochemicals play a vital role in the game, from the plastics in the equipment used to play the sport to the artificial turf to the souvenirs and cups used for beverage consumption every game. In honor of the return of football season and the games that will be played across the country tonight, let’s take a look at the plastics that make up the typical football uniform, field, and ball.

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Molybdenum oxide: Some of the same woes, different low prices

About year ago, on August 21, 2014, Platts daily dealer molybdenum oxide assessment was at $13.15/lb. In fact, throughout August 2014 the price stayed above $12.95/lb, which seems unimaginable now when oxide struggles to hold above $6/lb.

Today, interest for purchasing oxide powder is increasingly slow and prices are being held back by the lack of spot purchasing. But when we look back at the same time a year ago, was it that different? Traders and producers were telling us that summer trade was thin, similar opinions we hear today.

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An inroad for US crude export supporters on national security — maybe

The national security argument for lifting the US’ long-standing restrictions on oil exports appears to be making some headway.

Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who in June had signed a letter to President Barack Obama saying unfettered US oil exports would harm American consumers, last week said he would support the “strategic export of American oil to allied countries struggling with supply because Iranian oil remains off the market.”

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The order is rapidly fadin’ and China’s steel industry faces new pressures

China’s all too apparent slowdown is all the rage. The Shanghai Composite lost more than a fifth of its value over the five days to Wednesday August 26, with record one-day plummets witnessed Monday and Tuesday.

China’s steel industry, which in recent years seemed to become untouchable as it shipped product the world over, is now gaining more attention from importing countries and soon could also feel the crunch of recent market changes.

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A tip for Trump — tax Mexico for its gasoline and diesel imports from US

Disclaimer: This post in no way, shape or form is an endorsement for or against Donald Trump or any other presidential candidate, for that matter. Nor is it an endorsement of this made-up “wall tax.”

By now, you know the spiel. The Republican front-runner for US president, businessman Donald Trump, insists he is going to have a wall built on the US-Mexico border and he is going to make Mexico pay for it. But how? Here’s an idea for Mr. Trump – one of the first places to look is refined products.

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