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Iron ore to leap even higher
This year’s iron ore rally is expected to continue due to the weakening US dollar and supported by Chinese growth, Prestige Economics president Jason Schenker says. Schenker made a bullish call toward the end of last year, which to date has proven right, Bloomberg reports, saying iron ore would trade at around $60 a tonne, with an average price of $US55 this year. At the time of publishing the price sits at $US53, and is expected to hit $US62 in 2017, and $US72 in 2018, Schenker said.
Iron ore’s price has sky-rocketed this year, breaking three years of declines and stagnation thanks to increasing steel demand, in part from China’s property boom and restocking by Chinese steel mills, coupled with historically low port stockpiles levels. This comes after iron ore reached a three month high of nearly $62 per tonne on Monday, despite increased shipments through Port Hedland in July.
Figures from The Metal Bulletin Index note the import price of 62 per cent iron fines at the port of Qingdao added almost a dollar to $61.56 a tonne; creating an average price of $61.28. This increase came at the same time as Port Hedland’s latest shipping figures which showed a July throughput of 39Mt, nine per cent more than the same time last year. Iron ore exports were at 38.7Mt, a 10 per cent increase from the previous year. Iron ore delivered to Qingdao reached $US59.36 a dry tonne on Thursday, a 36 per cent increase in 2016, The Metal Bulletin recorded. These increases came as China’s daily steel output rate hit a record, and steel product shipments recorded near all-time highs.
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Iron ore to leap even higher
This year’s iron ore rally is expected to continue due to the weakening US dollar and supported by Chinese growth, Prestige Economics president Jason Schenker says. Schenker made a bullish call toward the end of last year, which to date has proven right, Bloomberg reports, saying iron ore would trade at around $60 a tonne, with an average price of $US55 this year. At the time of publishing the price sits at $US53, and is expected to hit $US62 in 2017, and $US72 in 2018, Schenker said.
Iron ore’s price has sky-rocketed this year, breaking three years of declines and stagnation thanks to increasing steel demand, in part from China’s property boom and restocking by Chinese steel mills, coupled with historically low port stockpiles levels. This comes after iron ore reached a three month high of nearly $62 per tonne on Monday, despite increased shipments through Port Hedland in July.
Figures from The Metal Bulletin Index note the import price of 62 per cent iron fines at the port of Qingdao added almost a dollar to $61.56 a tonne; creating an average price of $61.28. This increase came at the same time as Port Hedland’s latest shipping figures which showed a July throughput of 39Mt, nine per cent more than the same time last year. Iron ore exports were at 38.7Mt, a 10 per cent increase from the previous year. Iron ore delivered to Qingdao reached $US59.36 a dry tonne on Thursday, a 36 per cent increase in 2016, The Metal Bulletin recorded. These increases came as China’s daily steel output rate hit a record, and steel product shipments recorded near all-time highs.
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India Court Lifts New Delhi's Diesel Ban
India’s highest court allowed registrations of large diesel vehicles in New Delhi while introducing a new levy on purchases, lifting a ban automakers including Toyota Motor Corp. and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. panned for hurting demand. A 1 percent levy will have to be paid to register the vehicles in the national capital region of the country, reported BloombergQuint, a partnership between Bloomberg and Quintillion Media in India, citing the decision Friday of the Supreme Court in New Delhi. Mahindra’s Executive Director Pawan Goenka said the automaker is “very relieved,” while Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz rejected the levy’s premise that its vehicles pollute the environment.
Although the decision will pave the way for sales of large diesel sedans and sport utility vehicles to resume in one of the country’s biggest auto markets, the additional charge may discourage some buyers. Toyota had said the ban curtailed sales growth, while market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. said it wasn’t in favor of additional levies. “Hope this decision will put all controversy surrounding diesel fuel behind us,” Mahindra’s Goenka said in a statement. “We will be able to focus on the more important task of making our vehicles compliant with Bharat Stage 6 norms by April 2020.”
Emission Rules
The government in January said it will impose tighter vehicle emissions rules four years early, skipping a transitional step offered in other countries to combat worsening air pollution. The charge will be on top of fresh levies imposed in the government’s annual budget on new passenger vehicles. The ban on diesel engines 2 liters or larger imposed in December hit sales of some models and prompted the introduction of gasoline variants and smaller diesel engines. Mahindra has introduced smaller engines for its popular SUVs as well as new compact models with variants powered by gasoline. Local deliveries jumped 13 percent in the April-July period, compared with an 8.5 percent decline in the year-earlier period.
While Toyota’s sales expanded at a slower 1.6 percent pace, its deliveries of Innova multipurpose vehicle have climbed 38 percent with the introduction of a new version in May. The automaker this month started selling a gasoline-powered Innova Crysta. Mercedes-Benz posted sales of 6,597 units in India in the January-June period, down 0.9 percent from a year earlier, according to statements on its website. The company has the technology to switch its entire fleet to BS 6 by 2018 and said the introduction of compatible fuel will be the “best viable option to curb pollution,” the German automaker said in a statement Friday.
“Lifting of ban on bigger vehicles in the national capital region is a good move because this step alone will not address the emission issue,” Abdul Majeed, partner at Price Waterhouse, said in an e-mailed statement. “We need to figure out holistic solutions in the automotive sector by replacing old vehicles on the road, promoting environment friendly vehicles as well as significantly improving public transport.”
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India Is Cutting Oil Deals Worldwide
In May, shortly before he spoke to Congress in Washington, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Tehran to sign a deal with the leaders of Iran and Afghanistan to develop a port on the Gulf of Oman, with India providing $500 million in financing. “Iran has prioritized expanding relations with those states that stood by its side when it was under sanctions,” Tehran-based political analyst Mostafa Khoshcheshm said on Iranian state television in May. India, though pressured to buy less oil from Iran, stayed close to the country during the sanctions. The port deal strengthens ties between Iran and India, which accounted for almost a third of Iran’s oil exports in March.
The prime minister is looking north, too. India’s largest oil company, state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), completed a $1.3 billion purchase of 15 percent of Vankor, one of the biggest Russian oil fields to go into production in the past 25 years. Three other companies—Oil India, Indian Oil, and Bharat Petroleum’s Bharat PetroResources—on June 17 agreed to buy 23.9 percent of Vankor. The rest is owned by Russia’s top oil company, state-controlled Rosneft.
The Indians aren’t finished. Indian companies are considering buying a stake in Rosneft itself, Dharmendra Pradhan, the country’s oil minister, told reporters in New Delhi on June 23. With Indian investment in Russian oil projects reaching up to $6 billion, strong bilateral relations “will ensure India’s energy security for a long term,” he said. By taking stakes in overseas projects, India also ensures local companies benefit from the money spent on imported oil and gas.
For Modi, securing a reliable supply of oil and gas is a “foreign policy priority,” says Ashok Sharma, an international-relations fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Australia India Institute. India “can’t afford not to focus on energy security.” The previous government had similar goals, but Modi has made them a higher priority, says Dhruva Jaishankar, a foreign policy fellow at Brookings India, a New Delhi-based affiliate of the Brookings Institution. “You have seen the government be very aggressive,” he says.
Demand for oil is growing faster in India than anywhere else. It jumped 400,000 barrels a day in the first quarter, to 4.4 million barrels, accounting for almost 30 percent of the increase in worldwide consumption, the International Energy Agency said in May. Driving that thirst is India’s growing car market: Domestic vehicle sales rose 5.6 percent in the year ended in March, to more than 20 million, helping propel a 14.5 percent increase in gasoline purchases. The IEA expects the country to account for 25 percent of global demand from 2013 to 2040.
India imports more than three-fourths of its oil and about 40 percent of its gas, putting pressure on the rupee and the trade deficit. By 2022, Modi wants to reduce import dependence by 10 percent, so he’s offering attractive terms to foreign companies to drill off India. “Entrepreneurs who have capped their wells in Alberta or North Dakota will be looking at this kind of story with a greater amount of interest,” says Atanu Chakraborty, head of India’s oil-regulating Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. Even so, the country still needs imports. “India just doesn’t seem to be blessed, or cursed, with large deposits of oil and gas,” says Brookings India’s Jaishankar.
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