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Energy and commodities highlights: Steel and sanctions, war on plastic, EU coal power decline

Summary:
The effects of Iran sanctions and the US-China trade spat were showing in several Asian commodity markets in late May. Market sources told S&P Global Platts that major steel billet buyers in Thailand and Indonesia were avoiding Iranian material in favor of sources like Russia, Vietnam and Malaysia. The shift in purchasing patterns has caused offers for Russian billet to rise by about /mt, or 2%, over the past two weeks. US President Donald Trump on May 8 imposed sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors. The move followed sweeping sanctions on Iranian oil that aim to bring the country’s exports of the commodity to zero. The US State Department on May 30 reiterated its policy to bring purchases of Iranian oil to zero, despite earlier speculation that enforcement

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The effects of Iran sanctions and the US-China trade spat were showing in several Asian commodity markets in late May.

Market sources told S&P Global Platts that major steel billet buyers in Thailand and Indonesia were avoiding Iranian material in favor of sources like Russia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The shift in purchasing patterns has caused offers for Russian billet to rise by about $10/mt, or 2%, over the past two weeks.

US President Donald Trump on May 8 imposed sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors. The move followed sweeping sanctions on Iranian oil that aim to bring the country’s exports of the commodity to zero.

The US State Department on May 30 reiterated its policy to bring purchases of Iranian oil to zero, despite earlier speculation that enforcement would be less rigid.

Meanwhile, tensions between China and the US have benefited Australian LNG exports. China imported a record 2.79 million mt of LNG from Australia in April.

GRAPHIC OF THE WEEK

US oil and natural gas rigs fell by 13 to 1,061 for the week ended May 29, continuing a downtrend that has been prevailing since November, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics data.

Energy and commodities highlights: Steel and sanctions, war on plastic, EU coal power decline

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LISTEN: WAR ON PLASTIC FAILS TO DENT OIL DEMAND

S&P Global Platts’ Capitol Crude podcast talks to Boston Globe reporter Janelle Nanos about her attempt to rid plastic from her life, and Rob Stier, senior lead for global petrochemicals with S&P Global Platts, about why bag and straw bans have yet to substantially impact demand.

ELECTRICITY

EU plans indicate 58% fall in coal-fired generation capacity by 2030: green groups

There will be around 60 GW of installed coal capacity in the EU in 2030, a fall of 58% from 143 GW now, according to Member States’ draft National Energy and Climate Plans, climate campaign groups CAN Europe and Sandbag said May 29.

COAL

Atlantic coking coal demand hit by latest ArcelorMittal, Europe steel cuts

Atlantic met coal and met coke markets are facing potentially lower spot activity from a further weakening in European steel demand. ArcelorMittal’s decision to widen steel output cuts into Northwest Europe, and British Steel’s insolvency, are bruising sentiment on US met coal sales.

METALS

Japan’s Showa Denko to halt aluminum can output for non-alcoholic drinks

Japanese rolling mill Showa Denko plans to stop production of aluminum cans for non-alcoholic beverages in June 2020, amid high competition from plastic bottles.

THE LAST WORD

“Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation.”

– Mike Hawes, chief executive of the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, on the impact of Brexit. Data from the organization showed the UK produced 45% fewer autos year on year in April.

The post Energy and commodities highlights: Steel and sanctions, war on plastic, EU coal power decline appeared first on Platts Insight.

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