Copper slips but Indonesia mine blockade lends support
Copper eased on Friday after posting the strongest gain in six weeks the session before, with losses capped by supply concerns as a blockade of the Grasberg mine in Indonesia entered its fifth day.
“Copper may have got a little ahead of itself overnight and what we’re seeing is a bit of a pullback,’’ a trader said. “But supply out of Indonesia is still a factor.’’
Workers began blocking a road into the Freeport-McMoRan Inc mine on Monday to protest against a settlement reached with other employees at the end of a previous dispute.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange stood at $5,833 a tonne at 0410 GMT versus $5,850 in the last London close. The contract rose 3.2 per cent on Thursday, the biggest daily gain since early February.
The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 2 percent to 42,260 yuan ($6,829) a tonne.
Traders said indications that the US Federal Reserve was less likely to act aggressively in raising interest rates than anticipated was also boosting the sentiment for base metals.
Aluminium was fetching $1,784 a tonne, up $4, despite signs of oversupply dragging on the market.
Japan’s aluminium premiums for April-June contract shipments were mostly set at $380 per tonne, down for the first time in six quarters on higher inventories and slumping spot premiums.
LME nickel slipped $30 to $13,740 a tonne, though traders said the metal was still finding support from trade data showing a global nickel surplus fell by 70 per cent between December and January.
Paradip Port achieves all-time high throughput
Paradip Port has achieved a record cargo throughput of 68.05 million tonnes (mt) till March 18, thereby surpassing the last fiscal’s total traffic of 68 mt. This is the highest-ever traffic handled by the Port in a financial year, highlighted an official statement.
The Port management is confident of achieving the target of 69 mt fixed by the Ministry of Shipping for the current financial year 2014-15, and the facility retaining the 2nd position amongst the Major Ports in terms of throughput.
By March 18 in the last fiscal, the Port had handled 65.45 mt of cargo. The growth this year is, therefore, 4 per cent.
During the current financial year up to the said date, thermal coal traffic increased by 20.78 per cent, coking coal 11.56 per cent and fertiliser raw materials by 10.66 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year.
Mr M. T. Krishna Babu, Chairman of Paradip Port Trust and Mr N. Vaiyapuri, Deputy Chairman, appreciated the cooperation and support extended by all stakeholders in achieving this record throughput, including the Union Ministry of Shipping, the government of Odisha, East Coast Railway authorities, stevedores, exporters and importers, steamer agents, the District administration, Trustees of the Port, Port users, trade unions and media representatives along with all the employees and others connected directly or indirectly with the overall development of the Port, the statement informed.
Indian HRC import levels remain unmoved though booking eludes market
Import market of HRC has been window into the happening in International market giving a feel of the global sentiment as well as its impact on the Indian domestic market. We have been tracking the movement on weekly basis to keep our readers abreast with the happenings. It has been our endeavor to provide importers as well as domestic mills updated information to take buying decisions and accurate pricing.
It learnt that Japanese and Korean mills are making discreet offers to end users at USD 415 per tonne CFR India for cold rolling grade with buyers finding interest. Since imports from Korea and Japan are subject to preferential duty under the FTA these rates are equivalent to USD 385-390 per tonne CFR for imports attracting 7.5% import duty. Some bookings have been reported at these levels but it cannot be taken as market trend.
Chinese mills are resisting any decline maintaining the offer levels close to USD 405 per tonne CFR for rolling grade and USD
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ArcelorMittal Galati to produce over 2 million tonnes of steel in 2015
Nine O’Clock cited Mr Bruno Ribo GM of Arcelro Mittal Galati as saying that ArcelorMittal Galati plant’s steel production has grown ever since last summer and the upward trend is maintained this year too and will surpass 2 million tonne in 2015, up by 300,000 tonne YoY.
According to Mr Bruno Ribo, the aid offered by the government in the form of energy regulations was welcomed but is not enough for the steel plant to be able to cover its investments, which total EUR 40 million this year.
He said that “In what concerns the energy case, we can say we were able to avoid a catastrophe. There were some good decisions such as the green certificates waiver, but there are a great deal of other measures that have to be taken in order to keep long-term investors such as us and in order to ensure an advantage for us, a competitive framework in order to work in Romania. Since Q3 and Q4 of last year the plant has registered a positive operational result, however the financial profit continues to be in the red. This means that ArcelorMittal can cover its expenses by itself, but ArcelorMittal Group supports the plant in Galati by allocating the sums needed for investments, which stand at over EUR 40 M this year. So, in conclusion, we can state that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are still in the tunnel, and we will have to continue and even accelerate the plant’s transformation.”
A new production line for galvanized steel sheet, an investment in the steel coating line, another in the hot rolled steel machine for thick sheets, and a new production line for demineralised water are some of the investments that will be made in 2015.
According to the general manager, a steel worker employed in the Galati plant currently produces 300 tonne of steel per year, while a similar worker employed in a different plant produces 700 tonne of steel per year, while the highest production is registered in ArcelorMittal’s plant in Belgium where a steel worker produces 1,000 tons of steel per year.
In order to enhance its productivity, the Galati plant is turning toward producing and selling galvanized steel sheet for roofs, a product that Romania currently imports in proportion of 96%.
This post was written by Atlantic Admin