Posts Tagged ‘China’

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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The Oil Big Five: The second half begins

The beginning of July is the beginning of the second half of the year, and just over the weekend I was looking at a calendar and marveling that we’d arrived here already. We started this feature a little over a year ago, but especially within the past 12 months, the oil industry seems like it’s been taking us all on a roller-coaster ride. On July 1 of last year, for example, Dated Brent was assessed by Platts at $110.46/b, but on July 1 of 2015 it was assessed at $61.67/b. Today, we’re attempting to pull out some highlights from the most recent part of that wild ride.

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Of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax, of cabbages and steel

It’s rare that commodity markets are as strange as the topsy-turvy world encountered by Alice in Lewis Carroll’s novel Through the Looking Glass. But in the last few days prices in China have been behaving very strangely indeed. In Carroll’s book a Walrus famously declares to his companion the Carpenter that the time has come for them to “talk of many things: Of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.”

It’s not the shoes and sealing-wax that people have been talking about recently in China, but rather the price of cabbages — and steel.

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London loses golden touch as China’s build-up of bullion continues apace

London, the traditional home/hub of the world’s gold trade, could be slowly losing its grip on power as more and more of the world’s physical gold moves from London’s vaults to Asia, chiefly China.

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The low-down on base metals: prices remained under pressure in June

In June, base metals remained under pressure with the Greek debt crisis overshadowing sentiment and contracts traded on the London Metal Exchange testing fresh multi-month, and in some cases, multi-year lows.

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Europe voices concerns over China’s increasing aluminum exports

A significant increase in Chinese aluminum exports to Europe over the first four months of 2015 has seen industry concerns grow as China looks to step up lobbying for market economy status (MES) by the end of 2016. It’s a move that would make it much harder for Europe to protect itself against low-price Chinese exports.

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Oil demand is recovering, but are we susceptible to irrational exuberance?

The world seems to be using more oil now that it is 40% cheaper than a year ago and especially so in countries enjoying some economic growth momentum.

Depending on who you are listening to, the US, China, India and the Middle East are cited as the main drivers of demand growth in 2015, with consumption in Japan and the Eurozone improving from a low base last year, in line with their economic recovery.

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Steelmakers seek safety in numbers against Chinese imports

The Western world’s steelmakers have joined together to effectively tell China to back off, urging their home countries to take action against the world’s largest steelmaker.

In a joint statement by 10 mill trade associations, steelmakers in the Americas and Europe took China to task for destabilizing the global steel market.

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Metals markets start countdown to St Leger Day, looking for a price lift

In May, base metals struggled to hold onto initial gains seen at the beginning of the month. Copper hit a one-month low at the end of May with the three-month price sliding to $6,083/mt, while aluminum was at its weakest in 14 months at $1,738/mt, having hit a five-month high earlier in May at $1,937/mt. In fact, aluminum joined nickel as the worst performing LME contract of the month.

This weakness has brought into question whether the old and oft-repeated trader mantra — to sell in May and go away, don’t come back ’til St Leger Day — had once again become a predominant feature of the market.

So what was behind the weaker price performance in May?

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