AustraliaStay updated with Business News, Pakistan news, Current world news and latest world news with Business Recorder..http://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia.htmlMon, 27 Apr 2015 09:03:21 +0000SRA Framework 2.0en-gbAustralian coal prices jump 10pc as storm halts shipmentshttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/239228-australian-coal-prices-jump-10pc-as-storm-halts-shipments.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/239228-australian-coal-prices-jump-10pc-as-storm-halts-shipments.htmlimageSINGAPORE: Australian coal cargo prices soared 10 percent this week after a huge storm hit the country's east coast, forcing the Newcastle export terminal to stop all ship movements, while meteorologists have warned that another storm was gathering off the coast.

The cyclonic storm, which is lashing Australia's east coast for a third day and has been declared a catastrophe, has destroyed houses, cut power to more than 200,000 homes and caused millions of dollars of damage in Sydney and other cities.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned that a second storm cell was gathering off the coast north of Sydney, packing gale force winds of up to 100 km per hour (62 miles per hour) and heavy winds hitting the coast.

Australia's Newcastle coal terminal, the world's biggest, is on Australia's east coast, around 100 km north of Sydney, and the port authority said that it had stopped all ship movements due to the storm.

Prices for coal cargoes delivered next month from Newcastle soared 10 percent since the beginning of the week to $68 a tonne as traders expected export delays.

Newcastle coal prices are now at a premium of $8.20 a tonne to European coal (ARA), up from parity at the middle of April.

Beyond the storm in Australia, however, analysts said that market fundamentals in coal remained weak.

"The market is yet again facing the situation of weakening demand in both the Atlantic and the Pacific and stubbornly high supply," commodity brokerage Marex Spectron said.

"The supply of Russian coal has depressed the ARA prices for months," it added. European API2 2016 coal futures were last settled at $56.90 a tonne, near 10-year lows.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri)AustraliaWed, 22 Apr 2015 05:40:41 +0000
Shanghai nickel slides 3pc on China construction worrieshttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/237458-shanghai-nickel-slides-3pc-on-china-construction-worries.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/237458-shanghai-nickel-slides-3pc-on-china-construction-worries.htmlimageMELBOURNE: Shanghai nickel slid 3 percent on Wednesday, echoing losses in London, on concerns that China's struggling construction sector would corrode demand for the stainless steel ingredient.

"Clearly the market is seeing the general weakness in the Chinese steel market as having a future impact on speciality feed markets as well - nickel has been suffering as a consequence," said strategist Daniel Hynes at ANZ in Sydney.

"If it continues, then zinc is vulnerable as well."

The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange had skidded 2.9 percent to 93,950 yuan ($15,153) a tonne by 0704 GMT, following similar losses in London in the prior session.

Sentiment has turned increasingly bearish due to China's struggling property sector, a big user of stainless steel in construction, and closures of regional steel mills due to pollution concerns.

London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel climbed 1.5 percent, after losses of more than 3 percent on Tuesday when it tumbled towards six-year lows of $12,310 struck on April 1.

Benchmark LME copper cut losses to trade flat at $6,065 a tonne, after a 1.4 percent gain in the previous session.

Signs of Chinese consumer demand have emerged, with stocks of cheaper, non-exchange deliverable copper brands in Shanghai warehouses dropping quite quickly, said a source at a trade house in Shanghai.

"When demand is picking up, you do see end users picking up cheap material ... in a week or two we'll start to see the deliverable brand inventories start to decline, and that may lead to stronger bonded premiums."

Physical prices for spot copper on China's domestic market have also flipped to a premium against front-month ShFE prices this past week, another sign of brightening demand. Mixing the picture, however, bonded premiums for copper slipped $10.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was flat at 43,460 yuan ($7,010) a tonne.

German industrial orders unexpectedly dropped in February, partly because companies got fewer major contracts, after bookings already plunged in January, suggesting manufacturers had a subdued start to 2015 in Europe's largest economy.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin)AustraliaWed, 08 Apr 2015 13:13:02 +0000
Wilmar warns of potential Australian sugar production shortfallhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/237341-wilmar-warns-of-potential-australian-sugar-production-shortfall.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/237341-wilmar-warns-of-potential-australian-sugar-production-shortfall.htmlimageSYDNEY: Australia's sugar production during the 2014/15 season may miss official estimates as a result of recent dry weather across the northeast coast of the world's third-largest raw sugar exporter, Wilmar International Ltd said on Wednesday.

Much of Queensland, which accounts for more than 95 percent of the Australian sugar cane production, received less than half the typical levels of rain between January and March, Wilmar said.

Australian sugar production relies on rains during the first few months of the year when rainfall is at its heaviest.

Less Australian output would support global sugar prices, which fell to more than six-year lows in March on ample supplies.

Benchmark raw sugar futures settled up 0.23 cent, or 1.8 percent, at 12.77 cents a lb. Total volume exceeded 216,000 lots, more than double the 250-day average, preliminary Thomson Reuters data showed.

John Pratt, executive general manager north Queensland at Wilmar International, said the possible production shortfalls would not be evident for another couple of weeks, but he was concerned by the threat of more unfavourable weather.

"The El Ni?o pattern that is forecast would impact on probability of rainfall in the medium to long-term, so we will continue to monitor the situation and the potential impact on the harvest," Pratt said.

Australian sugar production during the 2014/15 season, which started July 1, was last month estimated to hit an eight-year high of 4.7 million tonnes.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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parvezjabri@yahoo.com (Parvez Jabri)AustraliaWed, 08 Apr 2015 05:37:40 +0000
Nickel cuts weekly losses on technical, physical buyshttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/236369-nickel-cuts-weekly-losses-on-technical-physical-buys.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/236369-nickel-cuts-weekly-losses-on-technical-physical-buys.htmlimageMELBOURNE: London nickel climbed nearly 2 percent on Thursday on technical buying, sparked after traders brought more into China following a steep price drop earlier in the week.

Traders have stepped up imports of nickel and related products into China this week, after domestic nickel pig iron (NPI) plants shut due to a crackdown on pollution, and global prices fell to six-year lows, industry sources said.

NPI is used in the production of stainless steel and as a cheaper alternative to refined nickel and ferronickel in China.

"We are going to see more NPI and ferronickel cutbacks later in the year. The pollution issue will be a much bigger deal than a lot of people think," said Sydney-based AME Group analyst Matt Fusarelli.

Slowing economic growth has damped the country's demand for metals like nickel and copper, dragging on prices. Companies struggled in China and much of the rest of Asia in March, suggesting central banks may have to resort to more stimulus.

Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME)

jumped 1.9 percent to $12,950 a tonne by 0726 GMT on Thursday, stretching a recovery from six-year lows of $12,310 struck in the previous session. It was still facing a weekly loss of 2.4 percent.

A trader said buy stops were triggered when prices breached the $12,700 level. "I am not bullish," he said.

Still, AME Group expects prices to recover to $15,000-16,000 in the second half.

The new Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) contract, which was launched last week, ended up 3.5 percent, trimming the week's drop to 5 percent. Reflecting an improvement in demand, premiums for Shanghai bonded nickel jumped $20 to $135.

Copper was little changed near its two-week lows as traders showed little urgency to lock in stocks given sluggish demand growth, instead squaring positions ahead of a four-day Easter weekend in some countries.

"We're expecting relatively flat demand growth in China this year," said AME's Fusarelli. AME Group sees China copper demand at 11.3 million tonnes this year.

LME copper traded at $6,050 a tonne after closing little changed in the previous session. Prices on Wednesday fell to their weakest since March 20 at $5,952.50 a tonne.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange finished up 0.3 percent at 43,520 yuan ($7,023) a tonne.

Chinese investment funds, whose bearish views on copper helped push the price to multi-year lows in January, are divided on the metal's future direction, with some closing out short positions while others increase their shorts.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin)AustraliaThu, 02 Apr 2015 11:48:57 +0000
London copper drifts ahead of Easter breakhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/236346-london-copper-drifts-ahead-of-easter-break.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/236346-london-copper-drifts-ahead-of-easter-break.htmlimageMELBOURNE: London copper drifted towards two-week lows on Thursday as traders showed little urgency to lock-in stocks given sluggish demand growth in top consumer China, instead squaring positions ahead of a four-day Easter weekend in some countries.

Companies struggled in China and much of the rest of Asia in March, suggesting central banks may have to resort to more stimulus. Slowing economic growth in China has dampened industrial demand for copper, keeping a lid on prices.

"We're expecting relatively flat demand growth in China this year," said analyst Matt Fusarelli of minerals consultancy AME Group. AME Group sees China copper demand at 11.3 million tonnes this year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had eased 0.2 percent to $6,035.50 a tonne by 0131 GMT, after closing little changed in the previous session. Prices on Wednesday fell to their weakest since March 20 at $5,952.50 a tonne.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange traded flat at 43,360 yuan ($7,000) a tonne.

LME nickel slipped 0.4 percent 12,660 a tonne, having plumbed fresh near six-year lows on Wednesday at $12,310 a tonne, before closing up 2.5 percent.

Traders are stepping up imports of nickel and related products into China, after domestic nickel pig iron (NPI) plants shut due to a crackdown on pollution, and global prices fell to six-year lows, industry sources said.

"We are going to see more NPI and ferronickel cutbacks later in the year. The pollution issue will be a much bigger deal than a lot of people think," said Fusarelli.

AME Group expects prices to recover to $15,000-16,000 in the second half.

Reflecting an improvement in demand for nickel, premiums in Shanghai bond jumped $20 to $135, data showed.

U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year in March and factory activity hit a near two-year low, fresh signs that economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin)AustraliaThu, 02 Apr 2015 11:29:22 +0000
London copper steadies as consumers baulk at higher priceshttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/235485-london-copper-steadies-as-consumers-baulk-at-higher-prices.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/235485-london-copper-steadies-as-consumers-baulk-at-higher-prices.htmlimageMELBOURNE: London copper steadied on Monday as last week's run up in prices blunted consumer buying, while liquidity thinned ahead of a holiday-shortened week in many countries.

Buying from top consumer China has been tepid, with an initial gauge of Chinese factory health in March suggesting industrial activity has not picked up pace.

"The recent moves in base metals prices were a combination of supply outages and a bit of short-covering," said analyst Joel Crane at Morgan Stanley in Melbourne.

"Until we see evidence of a sustained pick up in Chinese industrial activity, we think there's very little upside."

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was trading little changed at $6,052.50 a tonne by 0134 GMT, after 1.9-percent losses in the previous session. Copper prices last week hit their highest in nearly three months at $6,294.50 a tonne.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.9 percent to 43,530 yuan ($7,006) a tonne.

Volumes were thin ahead of a string of data, including an official gauge of China's March factory health and a U.S. jobs report that could impact the timing of its first hike in interest rates, as well as Easter holidays across the globe.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the U.S. central bank would likely start raising borrowing costs later this year, but emphasized the return to normal interest rates would be gradual.

Eroding support for copper prices, heavy rains in Chile's northern desert regions last week forced some of the world's top copper miners to suspend operations, but by Friday, many were restarting.

World No. 1 copper producer Codelco produced 1.672 million tonnes of copper in the full-year 2014, a 3.1-percent rise from a year earlier, the Chilean state-run company said on Friday.

Reflecting improving investor sentiment towards copper, hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish bets in copper futures and options in the week ended March 24, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed.

In other metals, Shanghai nickel sagged 2.6 percent, tracking losses in London on Friday, amid lacklustre stainless steel demand.

Aluminium premiums continued to slide, falling $5 to $320-340 for bonded warehouse material in China, the lowest in more than a year.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin)AustraliaMon, 30 Mar 2015 11:07:42 +0000
London copper off 2-1/2 month peak on slightly firmer dollarhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/234387-london-copper-off-2-12-month-peak-on-slightly-firmer-dollar.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/234387-london-copper-off-2-12-month-peak-on-slightly-firmer-dollar.htmlimageMELBOURNE: London copper slipped on Wednesday from more than two-month highs hit the previous session as the dollar firmed, but expectations of falling mine supply supported prices.

The dollar clung to modest gains early in the session, partly after U.S. consumer prices rebounded in February keeping the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates this year.

A stronger dollar erodes the purchasing power of buyers paying with other currencies.

Copper demand from top consumer China is picking up only slowly after Lunar New Year.

"We see 0.5 percent demand-growth for copper this year, the lowest since 2006 ... it's not looking like there will be robust demand-growth from consumers," said analyst Matthew Fusarelli at AME Group in Sydney.

He added that AME sees a 410,000-tonne surplus this year, but said that could dwindle on supply threats.

"I think copper this year will do better than many expect."

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had slipped 0.7 percent to $6,105 a tonne by 0304 GMT. It ended the previous session little changed after stretching to $6,203.50 a tonne - its highest since Jan. 05.

LME copper surged more than 10 percent trough-to-peak over the week to Tuesday and prices are entering a higher band of consolidation, underpinned by the 100-day moving average at 6,120.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange also sagged 0.7 percent to 43,590 yuan ($7,020) a tonne.

Reflecting subdued demand, front-month Shanghai futures prices were trading almost level with benchmark prices, down from more than 500 yuan higher in late February.

Euro zone businesses ramped up activity in March as the European Central Bank started printing money to spur economic growth, while a slowdown among Chinese factories fuelled expectations of more monetary stimulus.

With no end in sight to a drought that has blighted Chile for the last several years, the government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs, the country's president said.

The drought is hampering copper output in the world's top exporter and driving energy prices higher.

Elsewhere, Malaysia plans to reach a solution with London Metal Exchange (LME) over a new goods and services tax on metals traded or stored in the country's bonded zones before an April 1 deadline, the deputy finance minister said on Tuesday.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin)AustraliaWed, 25 Mar 2015 10:59:04 +0000
London copper comes off 2-1/2 month high after China flash PMIhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/234075-london-copper-comes-off-2-12-month-high-after-china-flash-pmi.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/234075-london-copper-comes-off-2-12-month-high-after-china-flash-pmi.htmlimageMELBOURNE: London copper hit the highest in more than two months on Tuesday, as a weaker dollar fuelled chart-based buying, before giving back most of its gains after a weak reading on factory health in top consumer China.

Activity in China's factory sector dipped to an 11-month low in March as new orders shrank, a private survey showed, signalling persistent weakness that will likely add to calls for more policy easing.

"People are still questioning the strength in demand. But if I was a Chinese consumer, I would be trying to stockpile as much as possible at these low price levels because they are only going higher given the dollar," said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance in Sydney.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange jumped to $6,203.50, the loftiest since Jan. 5, before easing to $6,139 a tonne by 0230 GMT, up 0.3 percent.

A break above $6,300 may trigger some panic-buying by consumers, said a broker in Hong Kong.

Also of note, LME open interest remained near record highs, reached last week.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange also struck its highest since early January before easing to 43,900 yuan ($7,074) a tonne, still up 1.4 percent.

Uncertainty over the U.S. economy is also persisting. The Federal Reserve is "widely expected" to begin raising interest rates this year though the policy path remains uncertain, the central bank's second-in-command said, while data showed U.S. home resales rebounded modestly in February.

Meanwhile, the dollar dipped against the euro and yen on Tuesday, succumbing to downward pressure from lower U.S. debt yields.

Demand for nickel pig iron (NPI) in China has not picked up as strongly as expected after the Lunar New Year holidays, Chinese industry sources said, while China's refined nickel imports jumped by a third in January to more than 10,000 tonnes.

"Metals trade data has been symptomatic of the softness in manufacturing activity, with consumers keeping purchases to a minimum due to uncertainty over future demand," said Jefferies.

It expects imports to continue in March, given weaker LME prices and the Chinese market having tightened due to NPI production cuts due to low prices and environmental clampdowns.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin)AustraliaTue, 24 Mar 2015 11:01:03 +0000
Copper bounces from 2-week low as bank news sparks short-coveringhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/230874-copper-bounces-from-2-week-low-as-bank-news-sparks-short-covering.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/230874-copper-bounces-from-2-week-low-as-bank-news-sparks-short-covering.htmlimageMELBOURNE: London copper bounced off early two-week lows on Monday after some Chinese banking stocks soared on hopes Beijing would grant more brokerage licences, which forced copper shorts to cover and offset the impact of gloomy Chinese imports and a strong dollar.

China said it was considering issuing banks with brokerage licences as part of financial reforms, which sent stocks of banks up sharply.

The gains in metals came despite the dollar's strength after Friday's jobs report showed U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February, which for some investors made a Federal Reserve interest rate rise more likely in June.

Commodities were further unsettled by weak trade data out of top user China at the weekend, said analyst Daniel Morgan of UBS in Sydney.

"China's start to the year feels a tad soft specifically on copper and coal," he said, adding that the full picture for Chinese demand wouldn't be clear until late April, given this year's unusually late Lunar New Year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded up 0.6 percent at $5,778.50 by 0836 GMT, after it earlier slipped to $5,714, its weakest since Feb. 24. Prices shed 1.5 percent on Friday.

The most traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange pared losses of more than 1 percent at one point to end down just 0.2 percent at 42,300 yuan ($6,754) a tonne.

"The market may have been a touch short on copper as there have been stops triggered to help fuel the rally," said a trader in Singapore.

China's exports picked up in the first two months of 2015, propelled by February's exceptionally strong performance that was inflated by the timing of Lunar New Year, while a slide in imports pointed to persistent weakness in the economy.

China's imports of commodities eased again in February, as the Lunar New Year holiday took a bite out of shipping volumes, preliminary customs data showed on Sunday.

Copper imports, at 280,000 tonnes in February, slowed by nearly a third from January and were down more than a quarter from a year earlier.

"While the slowdown in opportunistic buying we first noticed in January appears to have continued, weak demand from the manufacturing and construction sectors also appears to have contributed to the fall," ANZ said in a note.

"However, in light of the increasing supply-side disruptions being reported in February, we remain of the view that buying will pick up over the coming months."

Elsewhere, output at the Pelambres mine of Chilean copper miner Antofagasta Plc has been reduced by about 5,000 tonnes in the past week due to protests by local villagers, Pelambres said.

Reflecting a more optimistic view on copper prices, hedge funds and money managers switched to a net long position of 998 contracts in the week to March 3, adding 1,341 contracts, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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imad_kueconomist@yahoo.com (Imaduddin)AustraliaMon, 09 Mar 2015 17:37:24 +0000
Wheat extends gains into third session, near one-week highhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/228953-wheat-extends-gains-into-third-session-near-one-week-high.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/commodities/australia/228953-wheat-extends-gains-into-third-session-near-one-week-high.html

imageSYDNEY: US wheat futures rose for a third consecutive session to hover close to a one-week high as the grain drew continued support from concerns about potential damage to US supplies.

May wheat rose 0.6 percent to $5.16 a bushel, having closed up 2.5 percent on Friday when prices hit a one-week high of $5.17-3/4 a bushel.

Chicago Board Of Trade May soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $10.33-1/4 a bushel, having firmed 0.5 percent on Friday when prices hit $10.38 a bushel, the highest since January 12.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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nasir_only4u@hotmail.com (Nasir Ahmed)AustraliaMon, 02 Mar 2015 07:29:21 +0000