Saturday , August 8 2020
Home / The Barrel Blog (page 5)

The Barrel Blog

Iron ore’s growing appeal: investor participation and market development

Once in a generation a new graduate joins the elite circle of globally recognized and traded commodities. Julien Hall, head of metals pricing, APAC at S&P Global Platts, and Fiona Boal, head of commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices, look at the interplay between physical and financial iron ore markets. Now widely viewed as the second most important commodity behind oil, the evolution of iron ore has mirrored the transformation of China. One of the least volatile commodities in 2020,...

Read More »

Agriculture markets eye normality as countries ease export restrictions

The global food supply chain, as well as demand for agricultural products, faces an unprecedented threat from the coronavirus pandemic. Livelihoods have been destroyed and economies dragged down, while prices of basic foodstuffs soared and countries imposed measures to limit exports and shore up domestic supply, albeit mostly for a short duration. “This is a very peculiar situation for the Food and Agriculture Organization,” Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist with the UN agency, told...

Read More »

Don’t write an obituary for shipping’s dirtiest fuel

High sulfur fuel oil, once the cheap staple diet of the shipping industry, has been usurped by an abundance of low-cost, premium quality bunker fuel. That’s led to seafarers freezing orders for equipment to remove the sulfur from HSFO and maximizing compliant fuels. But don’t write off shipping’s dirtiest fuel as shippers play a waiting game over the oil price recovery. The COVID-19 driven collapse in oil demand has led to the spread between HSFO and very low sulfur fuel narrowing to less...

Read More »

Commodity Tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

US-China tensions have bubbled up again, and commodity markets could be caught up in the turmoil, not least LNG. Aviation activity and jet fuel are also in the mix this week, along with corn fundementals in North and South America, and UK solar power. 1. US LNG exporters face new test as China tensions resurface   What’s happening? The US move to no longer recognize Hong Kong’s independence from mainland China could lead to new tariffs and a potential collapse of the Phase 1...

Read More »

COVID-19 speeds up global manufacturing, steel production shift

Global manufacturing was in the doldrums for much of last year, pulled down by weak demand in key consumer-driven segments amid ongoing trade tensions and slower economic growth. Countries such as Japan, South Korea and Germany that rely on exports found it tougher to sell to overseas customers, while the downturn in auto sales in the United States exemplified what was happening to the sector internationally. When the coronavirus outbreak hit in early 2020, it was akin to kicking...

Read More »

Consultation period helps clear air on implied duty-unpaid premium, explain difference from Midwest premium

Market feedback is critical to any organization, but particularly for price reporting agencies such as S&P Global Platts. Market dynamics – the factors that drive supply and demand and ultimately, pricing – should play out unfettered in any truly free-market economy. Both of those themes were clear in the feedback gathered during a recent market consultation regarding Platts’ implied duty-unpaid US Midwest P1020 aluminum transaction premium. For background, Platts launched the implied...

Read More »

Oil is down but not out: signs of recovery as lockdowns ease

Giant pillars holding up oil markets have suffered cracks since the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through the global economy. Demand has collapsed and prices have tumbled, but there are reasons to believe the worst of these tremors have passed. Crude has survived the seismic shock waves and can fuel the recovery. Dated Brent – the physical benchmark used to price two-thirds of the world’s oil – has more than doubled in value since hitting a 21-year low in April. The measure of...

Read More »

US election and climate policy: Biden platform points to carbon price with broad coverage

With former Vice President Joe Biden now the presumptive Democratic nominee in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, a better sense of US climate policy under a potential new Democratic administration is now taking shape. While Biden has said that he would recommit the US to the 2015 UN Paris Agreement on climate change, additional domestic policies will be necessary to meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) target that the US originally committed to under this agreement, of a 26-28% cut vs. 2005...

Read More »

Low bunker fuel prices bittersweet for shipowners as global trade volumes fall

The shipping industry, skating on razor-thin margins, is drawing solace from cheaper bunker fuel prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But the jury is still out on whether this will offset weaker shipping demand, which has infected key routes globally after decimating those in Asia. As the coronavirus pandemic takes the chair out from under global oil demand, marine fuel price surges from the IMO 2020 rules are a distant memory for the maritime industry – even though they only took...

Read More »

Insight Conversation: Jim Rogers, chairman, Beeland Interests

Jim Rogers is chairman of Singapore-based Beeland Interests, the owner and sponsor of the Rogers International Commodity Index. The index, also known as the RICI, is a composite, US dollar-based total return index designed by Jim Rogers in the late 1990s, and represents the value of a basket of commodities consumed globally, ranging from agricultural commodities to energy and metals. Rogers spoke to S&P Global Platts Senior Editor Sambit Mohanty on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic...

Read More »