Sunday, March 28th, 2010
Energy and Natural Resources Market Diary (3/29/2010)
The China automobile market has been booming while the rest of the world has struggled during the crisis. After an extended period of production cuts, we should see a bounce in production in these regions.
- U.S. domestic steel mill utilization increased to 71.1 percent for the week ending March 20 versus 70.9 percent in the previous week. Quarter to date utilization has averaged 67.3 percent versus 62.8 percent in the 4Q09.
- Finished steel prices continue to rise strongly, with World Steel Dynamics’s latest Steel Benchmarker bi-weekly price report showing increases in all regional product markets covered – hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil, plate and rebar in China, Europe and the U.S. – ranging from 7 percent to 12 percent over the last month. The world export prices for hot-rolled coil is now reported at US$635 per tonne free-on-board port, from less than US$600 per tonne in late February.
- Japan’s crude oil imports fell 5.7 percent to 17.87 million kiloliters in February from a year earlier, according to a preliminary trade report released by the finance ministry.
- China’s February copper imports fell 12 percent compared with the previous month.
- Teck Resources Ltd., the second-largest seaborne exporter of steelmaking coal, said global supplies will be crimped this year as Chinese imports may be near a 2009 record and exceed 30 million metric tons. “The seaborne market looks very tight for 2010 and probably beyond because it will take some time for the major producers, including ourselves, to increase production,” Teck CEO Don Lindsay said. Chinese imports of coking coal touched a record 34 million tons last year, he said.
- Temasek Holdings Pte., Singapore’s state-owned investment company, is “fairly bullish” about mining investments and is seeking opportunities in Africa, Mongolia and in the rest of the world. The company, which manages about S$172 billion ($123 bn) worth of investments, will work with “strategic” partners, including companies and private equity investors, Nagi Hamiyeh, managing director of investments, said today in Singapore.
- Chinese aluminum demand is expected to increase by 20 percent in 2010 to 17 million metric tons, according to Chinalco vice president Liu Xiangmin.
- China’s molybdenum consumption may grow 13 percent to 61,200 tonnes and production may each 90,000 tonnes according to China Molybdenum Co.
- BHP has announced that its key Hay Point metallurgical coal terminal will be closed for a further 3 to 6 weeks following damage from cyclone Ului. Adding this to the recent supply issues, the met coal market looks even tighter, with great potential for spot prices to rise strongly in the near term.
The New York Times reported that the United Mine Workers of America is calling for a boycott of BP PLC’s gas stations after the oil giant’s CEO called it unwise for U.S. policymakers to try to save coal jobs. In an interview the CEO said, referring to House climate legislation, “the coal sector was disproportionately favored in the first go at this. It’s about creating jobs. We’ve got to find a better way to create jobs than preserving coal jobs.”
Tags: Automobile Market, Chinese Imports, Commodities, commodities update, Crude Oil Imports, Domestic Steel, Don Lindsay, energy, Export Prices, Finance Ministry, Hot Rolled Coil, Kiloliters, Market Diary, Million Metric Tons, Natural Gas, Natural Resources, Product Markets, Regional Product, Steel Dynamics, Steel Mill, Steel Prices, Steelmaking, Temasek Holdings, Will Take Some Time, World Steel Dynamics
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Saturday, April 19th, 2008
April 19, 2008 – Murray Pollitt, President of Pollitt and Co. Inc., provides an excellent account of the history of gold. If you’re wondering about the importance of gold throughout financial history, this piece is a must read. Here is an excerpt:
In normal circumstances a Central Bank can increase money supply in a nanosecond. A supermarket can increase the supply of oranges in a day or two. A mine, steel mill or oil refinery with surplus capacity can increase output in a few weeks. General Motors can increase the supply of Silverado trucks in a few months, and a farmer can increase the supply of wheat in a year. It may take two or three years to build a ship or to expand an industrial facility. But to build a greenfield oil refinery or generating plant, timing is anybody’s guess. Ten years would not surprise. Ditto for a new gold mine.
Click below for the complete story.
Gold 2008, by Murray Pollitt, P. Eng
Thanks Mr. Pollitt.
Tags: Commodities, Currency, Economy, farmer, General Motors, Gold, greenfield oil refinery, Metals, Murray Pollitt, oil, oil refinery, Pollitt and Co. Inc., president, Silver, Silverado, Steel Mill
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