Posts Tagged ‘China’

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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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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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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Surge in China’s refined nickel imports continues in July

Last month we noted that China’s refined nickel imports increased a staggering 250% in June to 38,545 mt from 11,014 mt in June 2014, and stated that China may well continue to increase refined nickel imports over the rest of 2015. This trend was confirmed in July, with China customs data showing the country imported 46,362 mt of refined nickel in July, up 20% on month and up 162% on year from 17,666 mt in July 2014.

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Weak iron ore market sends miners far afield in China

The persistently weak outlook for iron ore and steel has forced some Chinese miners to get creative to stay in business.

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The Oil Big Five: No slowdown for oil

High summer can often be seen as a slow period, when the heat and prospect of a holiday can make it hard to work up the effort to make news. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is in full force, and luckily for us, news is also heating up in the world of oil.

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Base metals come to terms with China’s ‘new normal’ in July

In July, base metals faced two dominant headwinds in the form of the Greek debt crisis and the China stock market crash that saw metals test fresh multi-year lows on the London Metal Exchange. This led to a number of investment banks adjusting their short-term and long-term price forecasts as they focused on the likely impact of the rebalancing of the Chinese economy and its projected slower growth — what China’s Premier Li Keqiang has coined the ‘new normal.’

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Asia drawing better purchase terms for Mideast crude as competition intensifies

There is little doubt that additional crude oil supplies from Iran will intensify competition among Middle Eastern producers, which are already fighting to secure their share of Asia’s dynamic markets against the influx of barrels from western hemisphere suppliers that can no longer rely on the US market.

Tehran’s July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers will eventually lead to additional flows of Iranian oil onto world markets, but oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has already said the thrust of the marketing focus will be on Asia, where Iran has been able to maintain a foothold in the four key consuming countries.

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As Rosneft turns to Asia, will spot crude oil sales in the East decline further?

Russian giant Rosneft’s recent deals in Asia suggest it is potentially shifting the balance of its crude oil sales in the region — one of its most important export markets — from a spot tender basis to long term contracts and significantly reducing the amount of Russian crude that enters the spot market in Asia.

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Nickel imports in China nab a massive increase

China’s imports of refined nickel increased by a staggering 250% in June to 38,545 mt compared to 11,014 mt in June 2014. Quarter on quarter, China’s refined nickel imports increased by 236% in Q2 to 79,911 mt from 23,813 mt in Q1 2015. If this upward trend continues, China could import over 207,000 mt of refined nickel this year — a potential increase of 60% on last year’s total of 129,980 mt.

So, what’s behind the increase in China’s appetite for refined nickel?

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