Author Archives: Bessie Wiza

While the rest of the world is trying to com to grips with the European Union’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) – which calls for the levying of charges on non-E.U. products in relation to their embedded carbon footprint — China, on the other hand, is currently grappling with a slightly different energy-related issue.

A massive heat wave in some parts of the country coupled with a shortage of coal because of China’s spat with chief supplier Australia has sent coal prices soaring.

Want more from MetalMiner? We offer exclusive analyst commentary in our weekly updates – all metals, no sales fluff. Sign up here.

China to ramp up coal production

coal pile

ShiningBlack/Adobe Stock

Now, China, the world’s biggest consumer of coal, plans to add almost 110 million tons (MT) per year of advanced production capacity in the second half of this year to meet the rising demand of coal.

This Economic Times reported China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that around 400 MT of coal mining capacity is under review for the government’s approval. Another 70 MT capacity is also under construction, and would be launched in a phased manner.

What’s more, China’s state planner has asked power plants to build their coal inventory to the equivalent of at least seven days of consumption by July 21. News agency Reuters said the Chinese government was trying its best to ensure electric supply to the coal-fired plants amid surging power consumption from industrial and residential users.

In the first half of 2021, China has already added over 140 MT of coal mining capacity.

Eleven provinces registered record-breaking power load a few days ago, the Economic Times reported, as the heat wave led to higher use of electricity. In the first six months of 2021, power consumption rose by 16% from a year earlier, the report added.

Old coal

While simultaneously augmenting coal capacity, the NDRC has come down on outdated coal capacity. Where once there were 10,000 coal mines in China in 2015, now there are about 5,000. The NDRC has been urging coal miners to set up advanced mining capacity and ramp up output.

China’s average daily coal consumption has gone up to over 2.2 MT at key power plants in at least eight provinces in China as of July 15, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post quoted the NDRC, which said China will release over 10 MT of coal from its state reserves.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

China’s efforts to curb carbon emissions from the steel manufacturing process have slowed down its steel production.

But only to a degree.

However, a new report now shows that almost all the major steel mills in its steelmaking hub, Tangshan in Hebei province are back online.

A report by industry portal mysteel.com, citing its field survey, said the furnaces were firing again — albeit at 70% — according to this news report.

See why technical analysis is a superior forecasting methodology over fundamental analysis and why it matters for your steel buy.

Tangshan steel mills come back online

Tangshan steel plant

junrong/Adobe Stock

In fact, Tangshan’s mills contribute about 14% of China’s raw steel output. Furnaces are running at a lower rate because of China’s stringent new emission standards. Only those mills meeting these conditions are going full blast, according to the news report.

China remains the world’s No. 1 steel producer with over 1 billion tons of crude steel production. However, Beijing has been trying to cut greenhouse gas emissions to meet the country’s pledge to bring its emissions to a peak before 2030.

In the first five months of this year, the country’s crude steel output reached 473.1 million tons, the World Steel Association reported. The five-month output total marked an increase of 13.9% year over year.

Read more

India’s steel story continues to grow in 2021. New plants are being commissioned and major steel companies are reporting growth in production, too.

India’s leading producer, Tata Steel, for example, has reported in the current quarter of fiscal year 2022, production of 4.62 million tons against 2.99 million in the same period last year.

Are you prepared for your annual steel contract negotiations? Be sure to check out our five best practices.

India’s steel highs and lows

India

Zerophoto/Adobe Stock

In March-April 2020, India’s steel capacity utilization plunged as a result of the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

But now, things are changing for the better, according to production reports, uptake reports and analyst forecasts.

The World Steel Association (WSA) reported India’s production rose by almost 47% in May this year.

Read more

A year ago, China fired the first salvo across Australia’s bow by amending iron ore screening provisions.

This was perceived by the rest of the world as Beijing targeting Australian iron ore supply because of the latter’s support for a probe of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, now is a good time to analyze how things stand on the iron ore supply situation.

In fact, not just iron ore supply, but the frosty relationship between the two countries has also affected commodities trade in things like coal and barley, to name a couple.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

China-Australia tensions and iron ore

bulk cargo iron ore

masterskuz55/AdobeStock

In May this year, China suspended economic dialogue with Australia. The Australian government, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is not budging yet. However, China continues to be Australia’s biggest trading partner.

What has irked the Chinese even more is the Morrison government’s increasing closeness to some of the Western powers, particularly the United States. a move that the Chinese have called,“a Cold War” mindset, the AP reported.

So where does all this leave the global iron ore supply?

Also, can the Chinese really ignore supply from Australia?

Read more

By the end of this month, Central Asia’s largest wind farm, located in Kazakhstan, will become fully operational.

In the process, it will also stamp China’s authority of being a green energy powerhouse in the region.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Wind farm to come online in Kazakhstan

wind power and solar power installations generation

lovelyday12/Adobe Stock

According to a news report by Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, the wind farm located in South Kazakhstan near the city of Zhanatas is an example of how the Belt and Road initiative is transforming Kazakhstan’s energy supply. The Belt and Road initiative, which China launched in 2013 is a global infrastructure project that sweeps over 70 countries around the world.

Construction of the plant started in 2019. The fact that the pandemic did not slow down the project marked a commendable feat, said Guo Qiang, the plant’s general director.

The wind farm has a 100 megawatts capacity. Furthermore, it will power 1 million homes with clean electricity when all 40 wind turbines come online.

Each turbine tower weighs over 300 tons and is nearly 150 meters tall, comparable to a 50-story building.

Read more

The Atlanta-based aluminum firm Novelis announced it is partnering with China’s leading universities to conduct research into the innovative use of aluminum.

The partnership between Novelis’ Shanghai Customer Solution Center (CSC) and the Tsinghua University Suzhou Automotive Research Institute (TSARI), confirmed by way of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will drive research and development of aluminum products to promote a “low carbon, sustainable future.”

Novelis is a subsidiary of India’s Hindalco Industries Ltd. The company accounts for almost half of Hindalco’s consolidated revenue.

Furthermore, with operations in 10 countries, Novelis is one of the largest aluminum recyclers in the world. It reported U.S. $11.2 billion in net sales for the most recent fiscal year.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Novelis in China

aluminum sheet

maskalin/Adobe Stock

However, Novelis already has a significant presence in China.

Back in May, for example, the aluminum major announced that it would supply Nissan with a sustainable, lightweight aluminum body sheet for the all-new Qashqai SUV and create a closed-loop recycling system in Europe.

Read more

China’s increased appetite for iron ore has become a problem for neighbor India.

In the first four months of 2021, ore exports from India increased by 66% to 22.42 million tons (MT). As much as 90% of this went to China, according to Business Today.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

India’s iron ore problem

India iron ore barge

natmat/Adobe Stock

China is the largest consumer of iron ore. The country imports about 70% of the world’s production. Last year, it imported a record 1.17 billion tons.

The spike in iron ore exports is becoming a problem for Indian steelmakers, as they are struggling to get this critical raw material. Some have now demanded that the government ban iron ore exports from India.

Read more

China’s “zero tolerance” warning to commodity speculators over the weekend sent prices of some metals and iron ore tumbling.

A meeting held on Sunday between at least five government departments, including the the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), concluded that the fight against hoarders and speculators leading to soaring commodities prices would be taken to the next level.

Want MetalMiner directly in your inbox? Sign up for weekly updates now.

Beijing aims to control runaway prices, warns commodity speculators

China map

Zerophoto/Adobe Stock

Bloomberg reported the government had also threatened severe punishment for violators indulging in excessive speculation and fake news in the trading of commodities including iron ore, steel and copper.

The NDRC summoned top metals producers to the meeting in Beijing.

Let’s not forget that China is the largest consumer of some of these commodities, like iron ore and copper. The prices of these commodities have surged this year, as the global economy partially recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, that has led to renewed demand for manufactured goods.

Read more

electric vehicle charging

kinwun/Adobe Stock

Clean energy vehicles, such as electric vehicles (EV), are not really 100% “clean.”

That is mostly because of the environmental toll of mining.

Such mining generates incredible amounts of waste. Furthermore, it leads to damage of nearby flora and fauna.

By 2040, mineral demand for clean energy technologies will likely quadruple. That’s a cause for worry for environmentalists because of the likely impact on the ecosystem.

But now, two companies, the Vancouver-based The Metals Company and the Danish company Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have got together to mine the deep seas for these resources, a lesser destructive alternative to surface mining.

Together, these companies recently unveiled designs for seafloor mineral collector robots and carbon-neutral vessels.

You want more MetalMiner on your terms. Sign up for weekly email updates here.

Deep sea mining

The Metals Company is a seafloor polymetallic nodules exploration firm. With BIG, it aims to design a next-gen processing plants to supply battery metals.

Read more

leighton collins/Adobe Stock

After a better-than-expected performance by India’s Tata Steel in the fourth quarter and the full year, the company has put its plan to sell off its Southeast Asian business on the backburner for now.

In both earnings and cash flows, Tata Steel reported one of its best performances, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Tata Steel profit jumps 79.7%

The steelmaker’s consolidated net profit rose 79.7% over the preceding quarter, while operating profit rose 48% sequentially.

Its consolidated sales volumes rose 0.43% quarter over quarter to 4.67 million tons. For the full year, it reported 17.31 million tons, up from 16.97 million tons in fiscal year 2020.

The company also managed to reduce its debt by 28% compared to the previous fiscal year.

While presenting its results, Tata Steel said its Southeast Asia business is performing much better now. As such, instead of going ahead with the plan announced in 2019 to spin it off, it had decided to focus on running it.

That portion of the business includes NatSteel Singapore, NatSteel Vietnam, and Millennium Steel Thailand.

Read more

1 2 3 71