Abans Group Commodity World Round Up

21 Mar – 25 Mar

1 . Nickel turmoil is back 

24 March 2022

When nickel prices skyrocketed in early March, the LME intervened, suspending buying and selling and cancelling billions of dollars in transactions, a move that enraged many traders and investors. When the market reopened, it dropped, and it is now down around 63 percent from its all-time high, but up 53 percent this month. On Thursday, the price of a tonne of coal increased to $37,235. Nickel futures on the London Metal Exchange were locked at the price limit by Thursday afternoon, extending a period of unparalleled market turbulence.

Source: Reuters

2 .Copper may be too relaxed about Russian supply threat

24 March 2022

Copper appears to be less vulnerable to a Russian supply disruption than other industrial metals, such as nickel, which has been shattered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a major copper producer, with annual refined production of over one million tonnes, accounting for around 4% of global output. It also exports a lot of unwrought metal and copper wire, but it doesn't have the same clout in Western supply chains.

Source: Reuters

3 .Australian alumina ban will squeeze Rusal and aluminium

22 March 2022

The decision by Australia to ban alumina shipments to Russia tightens the raw material supply for Russian aluminium giant Rusal even more. The Australian government's prohibition, which was rushed through to prevent a Russian-bound alumina cargo from leaving this week, does not specifically mention Rusal, but it is a de facto sanction on the Russian aluminium giant. For over a year, visible aluminium stocks have been progressively declining to close supply-chain gaps. The total LME inventory has dropped to 704,850 tonnes, the lowest since 2007.

Source: Reuters

4 .Copper market in 92,000 tonne deficit in Dec 2021 -ICSG

22 March 2022

The global world refined copper market showed a 92,000 tonnes deficit in December, compared with a 123,000 tonnes deficit in November, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in its latest monthly bulletin. For the 12 months of the year, the market saw a shortage of 475,000 tonnes compared with a 484,000 tonne shortfall a year earlier, the ICSG said. World refined copper output in December was 2.110 million tonnes, while consumption was 2.202 million tonnes. 

Source: Reuters

5 .LME has no current plans to ban Russian metal from its system

22 March 2022

The London Metal Exchange has no current plans to ban from its system metal from Russian producers, such as nickel and copper from Norilsk Nickel or aluminium from Rusal, it said on Tuesday, despite calls from some members to do so. Russia supplies about 10% of the world's nickel, 6% of its aluminium and around 3.5% of its copper. A ban on Russian metal could lead to shortages and further price surges at a time of rising inflation around the world. According to three sources, the LME's Copper Committee - which largely comprises producers, consumers and brokers - last week voted for the exchange to ban new deliveries of Russian copper into the LME system.

Source: Reuters

6 .Putin wants 'unfriendly' countries to pay for Russian gas in roubles

23 March 2022

President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that Russia will seek payment in roubles for gas exported to "unfriendly" countries, sending European gas prices soaring amid fears that the move will deepen the region's energy crisis. Russian gas contributes for over 40% of total European gas consumption. This year, EU gas imports from Russia have ranged from 200 million to 800 million euros ($880 million) each day. Major banks are hesitant to sell Russian assets, complicating Putin's request even more.

Source: Reuters

7 .U.S. refiners turn to Middle East for fuel oil after Russia import ban

24 March 2022

U.S. refiners have begun snapping up fuel oil cargoes from the Middle East this month after U.S. President Joe Biden banned Russian oil imports over the country's invasion of Ukraine, shipping data showed. The United States last year imported about 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of different types of fuel oil and other feedstocks that mostly went to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries to supplement heavy crude oil, according to market research data. Russia last year accounted for just under half of U.S. fuel oil imports, Mexico for 20% and the Middle East about 5%, according to data from research firm Kpler. Middle East supplies are set to make up at least 17% of April U.S. fuel oil purchases, according to preliminary Refinitiv Eikon tanker tracking data.

Source: Reuters

8 .OPEC warns EU over market consequences of banning Russian oil

25 March 2022

OPEC has warned the EU that if European countries follow through on their threat to prohibit Russian oil imports, global energy markets will be destabilised. Russia is one of the world's top three crude producers, exporting more than 7 million barrels per day of crude and finished products. The oil market has tightened as a result of Western sanctions targeting Russia's financial sector as a result of the war, prompting European purchasers to seek other supply. With further disruptions to Russian oil flows, some traders have predicted that prices might rise to $200/b or more. So far, around 2 million b/d of Russian crude and 700,000 b/d of product shipments have been affected, according to S&P Global analysts.

Source: hellenicshippingnews.com