China mulls lifting coal ban as Aussie trade war backfires big

Via Morgan Stanley: Increasing noise on possible policy reversal: Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) reported yesterday that the Chinese government was in the preliminary stages of lifting its informal ban on Australian coal imports, but that such a move would still need to be approved by senior leaders. There has been no official comment on the article.


Aussie coal booms despite China blockade

Via Westpac: December saw a sharp increase in coal exports with volumes from Newcastle at a 4 month high; Dalrymple/ Hay Point at a 6 month high and Gladstone at 1yr high. This jump in volumes brings the total for 2020 to 364mt, down 5% versus 2019 and 3% versus 2018. Exports in Q42020 were


Daily iron ore price update (the bust)

Iron ore price for January 18, 2021: Spot is firm. Paper took off. Rebar has not updated. Looking forward, Clive Russell has the right idea: At the same time Beijing opened the stimulus taps, there were supply concerns, particularly in number two exporter Brazil, and third-ranked South Africa, as mines and transport systems were hit


The death of coal comes to Asia

Via the AFR: Policy changes flagged by politicians and government departments in Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and a full moratorium on new coal plants in the Philippines, may result in just 25 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-power projects getting built this year. That is an 80 per cent reduction from the 125GW planned five years ago,


Can China replace Australian iron ore?

Via SCMP: Brazilian port operator Grao Para Multimodal’s executive director, Paulo Salvador, knows there is plenty of untapped high-grade iron ore in northern Brazil, but a mix of bureaucracy and limited capital have stymied efforts to begin production for years. Across the states of Para, Piaui and Tocantins, there are at least three mines amounting


Goldman’s 10 reasons for a new commodity super cycle

Via Goldman: 1) OPEC and Georgia help neutralize near-term risks. The events of last week substantially reduced the downside risks to our bullish commodity narrative — a fact reflected in the rise in oil and copper alongside the sharp decline in gold. First, Saudi Arabia agreed to a unilateral production cut that neutralized current lockdown


China trade war on itself sends LNG prices mad

Via Argus: Strong consumer demand, lower-than-expected temperatures across northeast Asia and a severe shortage of prompt LNG supplies and spot tanker availability have combined to send northeast Asian spot LNG prices to an all-time high — just nine months after hitting record lows. The front half-month ANEA price surged to $21.785/mn Btu for first-half February


How long can China keep building 14k skyscrapers per year?

That’s the question that has plagued me for ten years. Via James White of Lessep Investment Management, at the AFR: If China’s annual residential property sold was built in Eureka Towers (14,000 of them) and one constructed every 65 metres, it would line the Hume Highway from Sydney to Melbourne. In terms of population, 14,000


A quiet warning on iron ore

A sensible suggestion from Matt Canavan: We should apply a levy on exports of iron ore to China. The funds raised can be used to compensate the Australian industries harmed by China’s actions. Our exports of iron ore to China amount to $85bn a year. So even just a 1 per cent levy would raise


Daily iron ore price update (choked)

Iron ore prices for December 8, 2020: Spot at new highs. Paper flamed out. Steel ahs not updated. Some explanation of recent price strength from Robert Rennie: Our bulk shipping activity models point to surprisingly weak November iron ore exports at 70mt, down from 76mt in October. Given the strength of Chinese iron ore imports


ABARES: Agribusiness income to surge despite China

Via Bloomie comes ABARES outlook for 2020/21: The value of its agriculture production is forecast to gain 7% in 2020-21, an upward revision from the September estimate of no change. This is supported by a winter crop that’s on track for its second-largest harvest, a promising rainfall outlook and elevated livestock prices. Value of agriculture