Which way? Metals

Discussion in 'Commodity Futures' started by themickey, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. themickey


    1 hr ago – 11.34am
    China tightens rare earths regulatory controls
    Luke Housego

    China plans to increase its control over the trade in rare earths, a category of critical minerals dominated by the country.

    The pro-government Global Times reported on Friday night that authorities in China had released draft regulations that expand regulatory controls to the "whole industrial chain and supervision".

    The source cited by the Global Times was China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

    The story included comment from a rare earths industry association representative, which noted: "The draft can be seen as a regulation to further strengthen management, standardise the order of the industry, the core of which is total volume control. The quota control actually started in 2006."

    The strategically significant rare earths industry has been in focus for governments looking to diversify sources of supply away from China.
    #41     Jan 17, 2021
  2. themickey


    Forrest reveals plan to replace coal with 40,000 green steel jobs
    Brad ThompsonReporter Jan 22, 2021 – 7.15am

    Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says the time is right for Australia to develop its own big steel making industry using the nation’s vast iron ore resources and emerging green technologies.

    Dr Forrest said Fortescue, which ships almost all its iron ore to customers in China, would start building Australia’s first “green steel” pilot plant this year and a commercial-scale plant within the next few years.

    Andrew Forrest says such a move could create more than 40,000 jobs in Australia. Trevor Collens

    He said capturing even 10 per cent of the world’s steel market could create more than 40,000 jobs in Australia, and that was more than enough to replace those set to be lost with the demise of the coal industry.

    Dr Forrest revealed the Fortescue steel-making plans in the first installment of the Boyer lecture series for the ABC due to go to air on Saturday.

    Australia’s richest man, who owns 36 per cent of the $76.45 billion iron ore miner, said it was trialling two ways of making green steel.

    Dr Forrest said Australia made barely any steel but had the potential to become a big steel producer rather than just an exporter of iron ore.

    “We just dig up the iron ore, process it and export it,” he said in the pre-recorded lecture.

    “ In some ways, that’s a blessing. Blast furnaces, where most steel is made, generate 8 per cent of global (greenhouse gas) emissions because coal is used in the process.

    “ Now imagine if we could find a way to make green steel – zero-carbon steel – in Australia.”

    No longer a pipedream
    Dr Forrest said it was no longer a pipedream, because enterprising businesses around the world, such as Thyssenkrupp in Germany and Japan’s Nippon Steel, were already figuring out the technology.

    He said one option was to replace coal in the furnace with green hydrogen. The other, more radical approach, was to scrap the blast furnace altogether and “just zap the iron ore with renewable electricity”.

    “Fortescue is trialling both methods” he said. "We aim to start building Australia’s first green steel pilot plant this year, with a commercial plant in the Pilbara, powered entirely by green electricity from wind and solar, in the next few years.

    “Australia is in an absolutely unique position to scale green steel. Our neighbours and customers want to phase out carbon pollution by 2050, and coal – the most carbon-intensive of the fossil fuels – will be phased out, too.”

    Dr Fortescue said Australians could look at the phase-out of coal and other measures to lower emissions as a national setback, but he saw it as an opportunity.

    “We produce over 40 per cent of the world’s iron ore,” he said. "Our potential green energy and hydrogen resources are immeasurable. And the timing is right.

    “If Australia were to capture just 10 per cent of the world’s steel market, we could generate well over 40,000 jobs – more than what’s required to replace every job in the coal industry.

    'So much more valuable'
    “Not any old jobs, but similar jobs, using similar skills. Construction workers, mechanics, electricians, engineers – all of the sectors that’ll be hit when coal is phased out.

    “And we would also produce a product that is so much more valuable than either coal or iron ore – green steel.”

    Dr Forrest said he was volunteering to “drive this industry and protect the jobs of fellow Australians, as our nation makes this critical transition”.

    “I call on other leaders to do the same,” he said. "The immediate and multiplier impact on the Australian economy, if we get this right, could be nothing short of nation-building. We stand to lose tens of thousands of jobs if we don’t do this, but we stand to create hundreds of thousands of job if we do."

    Dr Forrest, who spoke exclusively to The Australian Financial Review this week about his battle with COVID-19 as he led a Fortescue touring party that visited 47 nations in search of renewable energy assets, also used the lecture to elaborate on plans to become a global green energy giant first outlined at the company’s annual meeting in November.

    He said Fortescue had “locked in” almost 300 gigawatts of power, or almost four times what Australia can produce.

    Fortescue has targeted hydro-electricity projects and geothermal with the ultimate aim of being able to produce a huge 1000 gigawatts of zero-emissions energy.

    Dr Forrest hailed green hydrogen as the key to slashing emissions and halting global warming.

    “The green hydrogen market could generate revenues – at the very least – of $US12 trillion by 2050 – bigger than any industry we have now,” he said.

    “And Australia, with characteristic luck, is sitting on everything it needs to be the world leader – but only if it acts fast.

    “The question isn’t whether or not green hydrogen will become the next global energy form ... it’s which company has the resilience to take the risk and truly test green hydrogen at a global, industrial scale?

    “The board and I decided that Fortescue would be that first mover.”
    #42     Jan 21, 2021
  3. themickey


    China eyes bolstering control of rare earths as national strategy
    • [​IMG]
      Neodymium is displayed at the Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co. factory in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China, in May 2010. | BLOOMBERG
    • Jan 17, 2021
    BEIJING – China has unveiled a draft bill designed to strengthen control of rare earths, vital to the production of high-tech goods such as hybrid cars and mobile phones, officials have said.

    The draft bill, released to the public on Friday, said the Chinese government will manage the process from mining to exports of rare earths as a national strategy, as tensions with the United States have been escalating over state-of-the-art technologies.

    The United States and other major economies, including European countries and Japan, depend on rare earth imports from China, the world’s dominant supplier of the materials.

    In 2010, China restricted exports of rare earths to Japan, when the two nations were at odds over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

    Beijing’s latest move could affect such countries’ companies, given that many of them manufacture their products by purchasing goods like rare earths from China, analysts say.

    In December 2020, meanwhile, China enforced a new law aimed at prohibiting exports of the nation’s cutting-edge technologies and products that could be diverted to military use.
    #43     Jan 22, 2021
  4. themickey


      • Silver traders ask who wrote Reddit posts to spark a run-up
    FILE PHOTO: An employee places ingots of 99.99 percent pure silver on a cart at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant. (REUTERS)

    Silver traders ask who wrote Reddit posts to spark a run-up
    1 min read . Updated: 02 Feb 2021, 08:51 AM IST Bloomberg

    After a surge in silver futures to the highest in almost eight years, traders are still trying to solve a mystery: Who penned the Reddit posts that ignited this staggering run-up in prices -- and why were they taken down?

    After a surge in silver futures to the highest in almost eight years, traders are still trying to solve a mystery: Who penned the Reddit posts that ignited this staggering run-up in prices -- and why were they taken down?

    The two posts on Reddit that prompted investors to pile into the iShares Silver Trust, known as SLV for short, were put up last week by the user jjalaj30. The user appears to have created the account nine months ago and has only written in the WallStreetBets forum twice -- after investors on the board sent GameStop Corp.’s shares soaring. The posts have since been removed.

    Some Reddit users are speculating as to whether the user behind them was just trying to game the markets. Others wondered whether the poster could’ve been part of a pump-and-dump scheme -- or working on behalf of some hedge funds that might have infiltrated the now-famous WallStreetBets forum. Plenty still have come to the author’s defense, saying they’re none of the above.

    Further fueling speculation was a report by CBS that moderators of the online forum, responsible for sending shares of GameStop Corp. and other companies soaring, had detected a significant amount of recent “bot activity." Citing a spokesperson for the group, CBS said moderators were doing their best to remove the computer-generated posts.

    Replying to the original Reddit thread on silver, one user wrote: “BAN NEW ACCOUNT, attempt of pump and dump." Another user called the original poster a “hedge fund shill." Others pointed to a separate Reddit thread suggesting hedge funds stood to gain the most from silver’s surge.

    “I think the Reddit legion did spark this unusual rally, but I am a little dubious about the more intricate conspiracy theories," said Tai Wong, director of metals trading at BMO Capital Markets.

    On if the posts were part of a hedge fund pump-and-dump scheme, Wong said “it’s a convenient narrative that shows how diabolical the speculators and hedge funds are, but it would be a risky move that would open an operator to charges of market manipulation -- a highly undesirable outcome."

    Silver comments began dominating the Reddit board on Wednesday, and spot silver and the iShares Silver Trust both soared after. Silver futures broke past $30 an ounce on Monday as the retail investor frenzy swept into other markets, before sliding as much as 3.2% on Tuesday.
    #44     Feb 2, 2021
  5. themickey


    Glencore 2020 coal, copper production met guidance
    Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 2:58 a.m. ET
    By Jaime Llinares Taboada https://www.marketwatch.com/story/g...uidance-2021-02-03-24855857?mod=mw_latestnews

    Glencore PLC on Wednesday reported that its 2020 coal and copper production was in line with its guidance.

    The FTSE 100 Anglo-Swiss mining and oil company produced 106.2 million metric tons of coal last year, down from 139.5 million tons in 2019 and at the lower end of the 106 million-112 million tons guidance range.

    Copper output fell to 1.26 million tons from 1.37 million, meeting the 1.23 million-1.28 million guidance range.

    Glencore's zinc production increased 9% in 2020, but cobalt output declined 41%, lead was down 7%, nickel fell 9%, and ferrochrome plunged 28%.

    Precious metals production rose last year compared with 2019, with gold up 3% and silver up 2%.

    In addition, oil production on an entitled interest basis decreased 29% to 3.94 million barrels.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
    #45     Feb 3, 2021
  6. themickey


    Hmmmm, Coal, copper, cobalt, lead, nickel, ferrochrome, oil - all down.
    Zinc, gold, silver up marginally.
    Not looking encouraging when metal prices in general increasing.
    #46     Feb 3, 2021
  7. Nine_Ender


    Oil at $55.45, Silver $27.10, Nat Gas $2.80. These are big levels that seem to have been ignored by a lot of traders as they get distracted chasing IT performance or trying to guess tops in indexes if that's their thing. Gold is range bound and somewhat constrained when broader markets are doing well and creating other trading opportunities. However, Gold miners might be the best value play out there just out of favour needing a catalyst to get some eyes.
    #47     Feb 3, 2021
  8. treeman


    I have gold, silver, and oil going to heights that would make current levels seem cheap. As of right now, gold is building a classic accumulation that typically ends up in a cup and handle structure. Does that mean it’s imperative it unfolds that way? No. But it’s a pretty chart from where I’m sitting. And silver has had even more accumulation.
    #48     Feb 3, 2021
  9. themickey


    #49     Feb 8, 2021
  10. Nine_Ender


    I rebought HudBay Minerals Friday added some more today. I am however even more bullish on Gold stocks in the next 2-3 weeks. Stocks didn't move much today except CXB ( oversold gold miner ) and ELD ( new permits in Greece ) look really good. My plan is to sell Silver miners on strength and beef up my gold/copper plays into earnings dates. May revisit Silver idea if Silver breaks $30.
    #50     Feb 8, 2021