China

Increased trade tensions could squelch US crude flow to China

Escalation of trade tensions between the US and China is likely to further dampen US crude flows to China, at time when China was seen stepping back into the US market following a cooling-off period. Although crude oil imports are not included in the latest round of China’s tariff increases to US goods announced on May 13, the heightened tensions between the two countries has been enough to put the

African swine flu impact spreads over Chinese economy, global commodity prices

Bacon could soon be off the fried breakfast menu. African swine flu is sweeping across South East Asia and threatening to spread even further after decimating some pig farmers in China, which consumes more pork than any other country. The virulent disease is now creating a domino effect for commodities markets, farmers and consumers. HSBC’s closely watched aggregated commodity price index of 20 key resources gained 2% last month, with

Iron ore markets digest impact of Vale tailings dam disaster

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Here, Jun Kai Heng looks at how iron ore buyers and sellers are adapting to tightened supply of specific products, following the accident at one of Vale’s Brazilian operations in January. On January 25, a Vale tailings dam in Brumadinho, part of its

Chinese steel output rises relentlessly despite plant closures

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Paul Bartholomew and Jing Zhang take an in-depth look at China’s steel production in recent years, and the likely trajectory in 2019. Just a few years ago, market updates from major iron ore producers Rio Tinto and BHP routinely stated that they expected

Energy and commodities highlights: Trade wars, US LNG development, energy digitalization

Commodities and financial markets spent the past week watching for progress in US-China trade talks, but there was no firm outcome ahead of a May 10 deadline, leading to a further escalation of US-imposed tariffs. Without a resolution, a scheduled hike in tariffs kicked in on US imports of $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, from 10% to 25%. Talks were expected to resume on Friday, May 10, but China

US steel sector thrives as mills move up quality ladder

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. In this feature, Nicholas Tolomeo, Michael Fitzgerald and Joe Eckelman report on changing approaches to steelmaking in the US, as companies target higher-quality steel products. When it comes to raw materials, steel mills in the US are developing expensive tastes. Of all the major

Iron ore trade growth fuels demand for derivatives and competition between Asian bourses

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Here, Joseph Tong and Petter Kolderup investigate the growth of iron ore derivatives trading, and rising competition between two leading bourses, Singapore’s SGX and Dalian’s DCE. In order to become the second-largest economy in the world, China has built up its infrastructure

Global steel industry watches for outcome of Indian elections

The swearing in of Narendra Modi as the 15th prime minister of India on 26 May 2014 brought a renewed sense of enthusiasm and vigor to the nation, against the promise of “ache din” – good days – in the future. Five years on, as the world’s largest election is underway in the country, feelings about the current political situation are complicated, but what is certain is that the world

Insight from Shanghai: China’s shift in language signals private sector in the ascendant

In March, China’s elite gathered in Beijing for the annual “two sessions” meeting of China’s legislative bodies, the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the People’s Political Consultative Conference. While much of what happens at the two sessions is at best marginalia for all but the most dedicated of China watchers, the key themes of the meeting and the government Work Report that outlines policy, priorities and targets for the coming

Insight from Shanghai: China’s international crude contract marks first birthday

It’s now a year since China took the first steps to opening up its mainly domestic futures market to the world with the launch of the Shanghai crude oil futures contract. It was the first of three to be “internationalized” last year – the other two were the existing iron ore and PTA futures contracts. But Shanghai crude was different to those in that it was a new contract, hosted