Articles in Category: Commodities

Popular investor inclination may be that after such a dramatic fall, the oil price has to bounce back, that investor sentiment on the downside was an overreaction.

That inclination might also say after a chance for reflection has been allowed, prices will recover.

But the reality is all we can reliably expect is a period of intense volatility.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals coverage here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: U.S. housing starts; aluminum mills taking steps to make their operations more green; iron ore prices; and the European steel sector.

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Just as we were about to go to press with an article on the surprising resilience of seaborne iron ore and coking coal prices in Asia, the market in Asia closed yesterday with heavy falls – they beat us to it.

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Supply disruptions and what looks like an overly optimistic assessment of likely stimulus measures have supported iron ore and coking coal, despite the collapse of just about all other commodity prices.

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How will the coronavirus outbreak and oil price volatility impact metal prices in 2020 and how can industrial metal buying organizations be prepared for what’s ahead?

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This past Friday, the MetalMiner team hosted a pop-up webinar on that very subject, “Managing Metal Price Volatility: How the Coronavirus Will Impact Metal Prices Throughout 2020,” featuring MetalMiner CEO Lisa Reisman, MetalMiner Editor-at-Large Stuart Burns and Vice President of Business Solutions Don Hauser.

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This morning in metals news, Turkey has objected to the E.U.’s steel safeguards at the World Trade Organization (WTO) level, copper prices continue to plummet and Chinese iron ore prices took heavy losses Monday.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals coverage here on MetalMiner, including: the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on share prices and commodities prices; a look back at Norsk Hydro’s 2019; precious metals prices’ plunge; Moody’s releases a coronavirus heat map; and “negative oil” prices.

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Various reports hit the news feeds today quoting a deliberately headline-grabbing statement by Paul Sankey, managing director at Mizuho Securities, in which he is reported as saying, “Oil prices can go negative.”

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That is, they could as a combination of Saudi Arabia (and Russia) flooding the market with increased oil and the market running headlong into COVID-19-induced curtailment of activity that is suppressing consumption, which combined will create the perfect storm of excess supply.

In reality, inventory levels are already rising.

CNN quotes Sankey, who said global oil demand is only around 100 million barrels per day.

However, the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could crash demand by up to 20%.

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This morning in metals news, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. and Canada have mutually agreed to close their shared border to non-essential traffic, Indian steel stocks have gotten a boost this week and Chinese iron ore futures made gains.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the coverage here on MetalMiner, including: Tesla’s reported interest in cobalt-free batteries; the oil price crash; falling aluminum prices; supply-chain challenges amid the COVID-19 outbreak; Trump’s travel suspension; and global cobalt mine production:

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The initial reaction to the collapse in oil prices this week, initiated by Saudi Arabia’s unilateral declaration that it would open the spigots and flood the market with oil while simultaneously heavily discounting prices, was followed by optimism in some quarters.

That optimism came with the thought that lower oil prices would aid economies struggling with supply chain and worker attendance challenges as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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Certainly, lower oil prices will help level balance of payments deficits run by some heavy oil consumers, like India and China. Even Europe, which is a net oil importer, will benefit to varying degrees.

But the size of the price fall will also prove a mixed blessing causing acute pain in other areas, not least among the major players themselves.

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