China's Dalian Exchange adjusts high-grade iron ore delivery standard

Date Sep 13 2017 18:16:40 Source:Thomson Reuters

BEIJING, Sept 13 (Reuters) - China's Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) said on Wednesday it will adjust the quality standards for deliveries of iron ore in order to meet market demand for high-grade ore.

    The new standards lower the allowable amount of sulphur, lead, zinc and arsenic in the 62 percent iron ore deliverable under the iron futures contracts on DCE, according to a statement on the exchange website.

    The bourse also declared a premium of 1 yuan ($0.1531) per tonne for deliveries of iron ore with iron content higher than 62 percent and a 1.5 yuan per tonne discount for deliveries below that threshold.

    The new standards will be effective starting with the September 2018 iron ore futures contract. 

    In August, the DCE issued a statement saying it wanted to  attract more standardised iron ore for delivery. 

    China's intense anti-pollution campaign, which has shuttered hundreds of steel plants producing low-quality products, has prompted mills to use more high-grade iron ore. 

    The higher quality ore produces more steel for each tonne that is processed and reduces emissions as less coke is used during smelting. 

    Strong demand has driven the spot price of iron ore with 62 percent iron content  .IO62-CNO=MB  higher. Prices have climbed 43 percent from the middle of June to $76.37 a tonne on Tuesday, according to Metal Bulletin.  

Edited by SHMET

German cartel authorities investigate Austria's Voestalpine

Date Sep 13 2017 18:16:22 Source:Thomson Reuters

VIENNA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Austrian specialty steelmaker Voestalpine  VOES.VI  said Germany's antitrust regulator raided its headquarters in Linz on Tuesday as part of an investigation into steel producers. 

    Germany's competition watchdog last week widened its investigation into suspected violations of antitrust laws in the industry, with ArcelorMittal  MT.AS  and Salzgitter  SZGG.DE  confirming searches at some of their subsidiaries. 

    The investigation expands a cartel office inquiry already covering makers and sellers of stainless steel, car manufacturers and suppliers, as well as firms in the forging sector. 

    "The reason for the inspection is the suspicion of anti-competitive practices in the market for heavy plates," Voestalpine said, adding that it took the allegations seriously and was supporting the authorities in their work.

    A spokesman for Voestalpine said it could not provide further information at this point as it did not have any more details.   

    The Austrian company is involved in another investigation by German authorities into possible fixing of alloy surcharges, which dates back to November 2015. 

    Voestalpine was also one of four companies fined in 2012 for fixing the price of railway tracks in Germany. 

Edited by SHMET

Australia's Newcrest restarts output at part of quake-damaged gold mine

Date Sep 13 2017 18:16:06 Source:Thomson Reuters

Sept 13 (Reuters) - Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd  NCM.AX  on Wednesday said it had restarted production at a second part of its flagship Cadia gold mine, which was damaged in an earthquake in April.

    Australia's largest independent gold miner said output had started in Cadia's 'Panel Cave 1', with production there expected to return to normal levels by the end of next March.

    In April, an earthquake forced the company to suspend operations at the mine in eastern Australia, cutting production by half in the June quarter. Output at 'Panel Cave 2' began in July. 

    The continued suspension of some mining activity at Cadia - the company's biggest and lowest-cost source of gold - led to a 55-percent fall in gold output at the mine in the June quarter from the previous quarter.

    Earlier this year, Newcrest had estimated production from Cadia in the September quarter to be above the June quarter, but said it would remain below pre-earthquake levels.

    Remediation and upgrade work at the 'Panel Cave 1' is ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of December, the company said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday.

    Shares in Newcrest edged up in early trading on Wednesday, roughly in line with broader markets in the country. 

Edited by SHMET

Copper comes under pressure from selling by funds

Date Sep 13 2017 18:15:47 Source:Thomson Reuters

SYDNEY, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Copper prices lost more ground on Wednesday after an early rally faded under pressure from commodity funds selling out of positions.

    Commodity traders said the presence of funds offloading copper overnight re-emerged late in the Asian day. 

    Commodity funds had been active on Tuesday cutting positions on bets that prices had peaked, at least in the short term, after LME warehouse stocks climbed by more than 10,000 tonnes.  


    Also, London metals remained "overly exposed" to a stronger U.S. dollar, which was enticing holders of other currencies to sell out of positions, said a Perth-based trader. He declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak with media.


    * LONDON COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  CMCU3  had slipped 0.5 percent to $6,629 a tonne by 0700 GMT, adding to a 1.2-percent loss racked up the previous session.

    * SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange  SCFcv1  fell 1.3 percent to close at  51,000 yuan ($7,812.62) a tonne.

    * COPPER STOCKS: Copper stocks in LME approved warehouses rose by 10,300 tonnes to 218,725 tonne, the latest LME data showed. 

    * LEAD RISES: ShFE lead  SPBcv1  continued to recover from Monday's one-month low, climbing more than 3 percent and leading the market's gainers on supply concerns in China. 

    "Lead's been a bit oversold in some investors' eyes given the fundamental outlook looks positive, and that's brought out some speculative (buying) interest," the Perth trader said.

    This week Chinese lead producer Haicheng Chengxin Nonferrous Metal Co suspended output after an equipment failure at its 100,000 tonne-per-year smelter in the northeastern Liaoning province. 

     * TIN FIND: China's Hunan province said on Tuesday it had confirmed the presence of almost 90,000 tonnes of tin ore and over 12.9 million tonnes of fluorite in a region that is part of a prolific mining belt in the south of the country. 

    * LME ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium  CMAL3  on the LME was off a touch at $2,132.50 a tonne, barely holding on to gains from the previous session. ShFE Aluminium  SAFcv1  closed down   0.09 percent. 

    * ZINC, NICKEL: ShFE Zinc  SZNcv1  ended down 0.70 percent, while ShFE nickel  SNIcv1  finished up 0.51 percent. Nickel, used in steelmaking, was benefiting from a second straight day of firmer Chinese steel prices.


Edited by SHMET

China steel, iron ore slip on profit-taking; traders restocking

Date Sep 13 2017 18:15:27 Source:Thomson Reuters

MANILA, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Iron ore futures in China closed marginally lower on Wednesday as investors locked in gains after prices jumped more than 3 percent, retreating with steel prices even as traders build stocks to cash in on peak season demand.

    Steel demand in China, the world's largest consumer, picks up in September and October after the summer lull as construction activity increases.

    The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange  DCIOcv1  ended 0.4 percent lower at 534 yuan ($82) a tonne after rising as far as 552.50 yuan intraday.

    The most-active rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange  SRBcv1  eased 0.2 percent to close at 3,914 yuan per tonne after advancing as much as 2 percent earlier.

    Traders have started ramping up buying of steel and iron ore for the peak demand season, ANZ analysts said in a note.

    Stockpiles of construction steel product rebar among Chinese traders stood at 4.2 million tonnes on Sept. 8, rising from a seven-month low of 3.7  million tonnes in mid-July, according to data tracked by SteelHome consultancy.  SH-TOT-RBARINV 

    And falling inventories of iron ore at China's ports point to mills stocking up on the raw material. 

    Port inventory dropped for a sixth straight week to 133 million tonnes on Friday, the lowest since early May, SteelHome data showed.

    Apart from long steel products like rebar, demand for flat products or those used in manufacturing has also been rising. Major Chinese steelmaker Baoshan Iron and Steel  600019.SS  announced on Tuesday that it would lift prices for its flat steel products for October bookings.

    "We expect flat steel prices to stay strong in the second half of 2017 from resilient auto demand, low industry inventory and supply decline from the upcoming winter production cuts," Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note.

    Chinese authorities have ordered major key steel producing areas such as Hebei province to cut output by up to half during winter to fight smog.

    Iron ore for delivery to China's Qingdao port  .IO62-CNO=MB  increased 2.5 percent to $76.37 a tonne on Tuesday, according to Metal Bulletin.  

Edited by SHMET