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Commodities News

Up-to-date news on raw materials


FT Mercati provides subscribers with a dedicated commodities news bulletin to stay up-to-date.
Here is a selection of the latest news:

7/12/2024

SUMMARY OF MAIN FERRO-CHROME INDEX OF 10-7-2024

SUMMARY OF MAIN FERRO-CHROME INDEX OF 10-7-2024
1. Ferro-chrome lumpy Cr benchmark indicator, charge basis 52% (and high carbon), Europe, = 1.48 $/LB;
2. Ferro-chrome 50% Cr, delivered Europe, = 1.18 – 1.31 $/LB;
3. Ferro-chrome 50% Cr import, cif main Chinese ports, = 1.00 $/LB.

7/12/2024

MEXICAN PRESIDENT STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF BRAZILIAN STEEL IMPORTS FOR MEXICAN INDUSTRY

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that imports of steel and aluminum from Brazil are key for Mexican industry at a press conference on Thursday July 11, and stressed the importance of trade accords in place with the US and Canada for his country’s expanding auto industry.
“For a very special situation, the steel and aluminum from Brazil is required and we have a very strong relation with Brazil, and it was agreed that Brazil was to have a special treatment in the case of the imports of steel…and aluminum that could have a Brazil component,” Lopez Obrador said.
The volume of imported steel products into Mexico from Brazil fell from 232,398 tonnes in Jan-June 2023 to 188,484 tonnes in Jan-June 2024. The dollar value fell from $186 million in January-June 2023 to $131 million in January-June 2024, according to Comex Stat, a trade database from Brazil's Industry, Development and Trade Ministry (MDIC).
This number includes steel products such as semi-finished (slab, billet), long steel (wire rod, reinforcing bar and sections) and flat steel (hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil, hot-dipped galvanized coil and plate).
The production of automobiles in Mexican plants rose 5.2% in the first half of 2024 compared with a year earlier, according to figures from Mexican statistical agency Inegi, published on Tuesday July 9.

7/12/2024

ZINC MINES PRODUCTION: UP AND DOWN

The Cerro Los Gatos zinc mine in northern Mexico increased its output by 29% in the second quarter of 2024, the company announced.
The Cerro Los Gatos (CLG) mine is 70% owned by Gatos Silver. It produced 19.1 million lb of zinc concentrate in the second quarter of 2024, up from 14.8 million lb in the corresponding period in 2023.
The company attributed this increase in zinc production to “higher throughput, higher grades and higher recovery.”
Meanwhile, zinc production at Vedanta’s Gamsberg and Black Mountain mines in South Africa were both down significantly in the second quarter, the India-based mining company announced.
Gamsberg produced 26,000 tonnes of mined metal in the second quarter of 2024, down by 24% from 49,000 tonnes in the corresponding period last year, due to lower milled volumes and poorer zinc grades.
Meanwhile, Black Mountain produced 11,000 tonnes of mined metal in April-June, down by 41% year on year from 19,000 tonnes, due to lower throughput and feed grades.
Vedanta’s production in India improved slightly, however.
This is the challenging zinc concentrate market: these production results come at a time when the zinc concentrate market is facing significant challenges due to tightness in the market, resulting in falling treatment charges (TCs).
Fastmarkets’ twice-monthly assessment of the zinc spot concentrate TC, cif China, was $(10)-20 per tonne on June 28, its lowest level since Fastmarkets launched the assessment in September 2014.
A string of zinc mines have closed or suspended production in the past year, most recently the Dugald River mine in Australia, which has announced a suspension of production for two months.
Despite these challenges, there were some signs that the tightness in the concentrate market would ease in the second half of the year.
The Kipushi mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was expected to restart production in the third quarter of 2024 and was expected to produce 250,000 tonnes per year of zinc concentrate.

7/12/2024

BASKET OPEC PRELIMINARY PRICE

OPECNA, the news agency of OPEC, announced the OPEC Basket preliminary price
11 JULY = $ 86.11 /b (up from previous daily value)
(The OPEC Reference Basket (ORB) introduced on 16 June 2005, is currently made up of the following: Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia , UAE and Venezuela.

7/12/2024

JAMALCO PORT DESTROYED BY HURRICANE BERYL; PRODUCTION TO BE DELAYED FOR WEEKS

Jamaican alumina and bauxite producer Jamalco’s refinery has been significantly damaged after being hit by Hurricane Beryl last week, sources told.
Jamalco is a joint venture between Century Aluminum and Clarendon Alumina Production Limited. It has an annual production capacity of 1.42 million tonnes of alumina.
The category 5 Atlantic hurricane hit Jamacia and other parts of the Caribbean late last week, wreaking havoc across the region.
Infrastructure, including the port, has been severely damaged as a result of the hurricane.
Delays to production are expected to last for several weeks due to the extent of the repair required.
“Jamalco’s pier is down for at least four weeks due to Hurricane Beryl; no vessels can be loaded from Jamalco’s port,” one source told .

7/12/2024

A LOOK AT THE TIN SITUATION

International Tin Association (ITA) observed that after a month of price consolidation in June amid a broader retreat in base metals, tin has surged in July.
LME 3-month price closed at $35,007 yesterday, just short of the near two-year high reached in late April and already up 6.5% this month. Speculative interest for tin is also holding firm while long positions in other metals have been pared back.
Indonesian supply continues to be an industry focal point and despite an improvement in exports last month, they stay significantly down year-on-year. Spot demand in the physical market remains muted while the semiconductor market gains momentum, global sales were up 19.3% year-on-year in May.