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Commodity Tracker: 4 charts to watch this week

August 19, 2019

In this week’s pick of commodity and energy market trends, gold and copper prices send signals about the global economy, and US oil infrastructure build-out affects the price relationship between WTI and Brent crude prices, S&P Global Platts editors report.

1. Gold and copper track diverging paths as economies stutter

What’s happening: Gold is rallying in the face of a deteriorating economic outlook, while copper is getting hammered on the same metrics. Copper has fallen from a 2019 year-to-date high of $6,608.5/mt in April, to trade around $5,750/mt currently. Gold is trading around seven-year highs at some $1,520/oz. “Doctor Copper” has traditionally been a barometer for the overall health of the global economy, while gold remains a safe haven in choppy waters.
What’s next: A

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Commodity tracker: 6 charts to watch this week

August 5, 2019

The impact of air freight demand on jet fuel, a rally in Australian heavy crude prices, US soybean exports, buoyant silver, and bearish natural gas markets are all in the sights of S&P Global Platts’ editors this week. Here’s our weekly selection of unfolding commodities and energy market trends.

 1. Stalling demand for air freight could hit jet fuel

What’s happening? A recent slide in global demand for air freight could be a harbinger of weaker jet fuel, despite current strong levels on resilient spot demand. While global air passenger traffic has grown every month since the 2008 financial crisis, air freight demand is contracting, according to data from the International Air Transport Association. Air freight demand fell 3.4% year-on-year in May, the seventh consecutive month of

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Commodity tracker: 4 charts to watch this week

July 29, 2019

The impact of Rhine water levels on oil product shipments, policy risk and volatility in nickel prices, and the state of European and US natural gas markets are all in the sights of S&P Global Platts’ editors this week. Here’s our weekly pick of unfolding energy and commodities market trends.

1. Rhine water levels start to affect oil product barge loadings

What’s happening? Water levels are beginning to affect loadings of clean oil product barges to carry product to the Upper Rhine. In some instances, barge loadings were heard at below 50% of capacity, at 1,200 metric tons for a 2,500 mt barge going to Basel. This “short loading” of barges, combined with increased demand amid worries about a worsening situation on the Rhine, has driven barge freight rates to a four-month high.

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Commodity tracker: 4 charts to watch this week

July 1, 2019

S&P Global Platts editors’ pick of unfolding commodities trends. This week, oil markets await updates on OPEC supply in the second half of the year, while LNG flows could shift on diverging regional prices. Gold is in the spotlight following a spike in late June, and European carbon prices are nearing winter fuel-switching levels.
1. Will OPEC and allies extend supply cut agreement?

What’s happening? OPEC and its allies are gearing up to extend their 1.2 million b/d in production cuts beyond the first half of the year. The oil market has been caught between global economic growth concerns and likely increased US supply on one hand, and sharp falls in Iranian and Venezuelan production and continued Saudi supply restraint on the other. Heightened geopolitical risks around trade disputes,

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US power policy grapples with renewables growth, capacity gaps

March 27, 2019

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Power Markets conference in Las Vegas, April 8-10, 2019, The Barrel presents a series of articles on the global and US electricity sectors. Platts’ US generating fuels news team report on policies at state and federal level that will have consequences for energy security and the transition to renewables.

As the US power industry contends with reliability concerns due to low electricity prices, rapid renewables growth and baseload generation retirements, policymakers are scrambling to offer solutions.

Regulators are also trying to work out how to best incentivize adequate generation capacity additions, and how to ensure compensation of existing power plants and other resources operating in competitive markets.

The current challenges

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Mixed outlook for European petrochemicals in 2019 as market digests new trade flows

February 27, 2019

US-China trade tensions were in the spotlight last year
across commodity markets, and the petrochemicals sector was by no means

Antidumping duties introduced by China on the imports of
some origins of styrene – used to make packaging and other plastic and
synthetic rubber products – altered trade flows significantly. One result has
been an increase in trading activity within Europe.

Growing plastics and fibres demand was behind supply
tightness in paraxylene and its entire supply chain in another trend that is
poised to continue. Meanwhile other products may have to grapple with continued
oversupply – including the gasoline additive MTBE and key feedstock benzene.

In a recent webinar, S&P Global Platts analysed the
prospects for the European aromatics sector in

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