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Mining veteran wants to build a $1bn battery metals giant

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2018 South African mining veteran Brian Menell wants to build a battery material giant to help challenge China’s domination of the nascent industry. It’s still early days for his privately funded company, TechMet, which controls just a handful of assets from Canada to Rwanda. But he’s raising more... 

Shake-up at US energy regulator raises specter of coal bailout

By: Bloomberg     26th October 2018 An untimely resignation has given one Kentucky Republican a second shot at saving coal. Neil Chatterjee, former energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has been tapped to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after Chairman Kevin McIntyre stepped down this week due to... 

South Africa welcomes product exclusion for some steel, aluminium products from Section 232 duties

By: Simone Liedtke     24th October 2018 Following an announcement that the US Department of Commerce has granted product exemptions for certain aluminium and steel products, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies on Wednesday welcomed the positive developments as a step towards normalising trade relations between South Africa and... 

US EPA withdraws proposed Obama-era rule change for uranium mining

By: Reuters     21st October 2018 The US Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday it has withdrawn a regulation proposed in the last days of the Obama administration that aimed to tighten health and safety compliance rules for uranium miners. On January 19, 2017 - a day before Donald Trump took office as president - the... 

Clash over Trump tariffs heats up with barrage of WTO litigation

By: Reuters     19th October 2018 Disputes over US tariffs and retaliatory moves by other states have sparked 12 requests for adjudication at the World Trade Organization, signalling an escalation in global trade tensions. The agenda for an Oct. 29 meeting of the WTO's dispute settlement body on Friday confirmed the legal moves,... 

Alibaba’s Jack Ma to speak at Ramaphosa’s Investment Conference dinner 

By: Terence Creamer     18th October 2018 Chinese tech sensation Jack Ma will deliver the keynote speech at a dinner to be hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa on October 26 as part of the inaugural South Africa Investment Conference. The conference will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Gauteng, from October 25 to 27, in... 

SA HIPPO in big demand for USA Coal Mines

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th October 2018 Due to President Donald Trump insisting that USA international companies, such as General Motors, bring their manufacturing activities back to the USA it is expected that a shortage of electrical power would be experienced. Several USA coal mines that have been closed for the last 20 years, most... 

Opec sees weaker demand for its crude next year as rivals surge

By: Bloomberg     11th October 2018 Opec is under intense pressure right now from consumers to ease prices by pumping more crude, but for 2019 it sees a more doubtful picture. The cartel cut its estimate for global demand for its crude next year due to weakening economic growth and higher output from rivals, notably US shale... 

Gold gets ignored as global equity rout fails to fire up havens

By: Bloomberg     11th October 2018 Equities are plummeting, President Donald Trump says the Federal Reserve’s gone ‘loco’ and the trade war’s heating up, yet traditional havens in times of trouble such as gold are not getting any love. The biggest selloff in equities since February rolled through Asia and into Europe on Thursday,... 

IMF cuts world economic growth forecasts as import tariffs, emerging market issues bite

By: Reuters     9th October 2018 The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, saying that trade policy tensions and the imposition of import tariffs were taking a toll on commerce while emerging markets struggle with tighter financial conditions and capital outflows. The... 

Turkey puts import quotas on steel – WTO filing

By: Reuters     8th October 2018 Turkey will introduce quotas on the amount of steel it imports from Oct. 17, with an additional 25% duty on any imports above the quotas, it said in a filing published by the World Trade Organization on Monday, blaming a surge in imports. It said it had begun investigating the case for emergency... 

WTO cuts world merchandise trade forecasts for 2018 and 2019

By: Reuters     27th September 2018 World trade growth is likely to be slower than previously thought in 2018 and 2019, although the direct economic effects of a trade war that has blown up this year have been modest so far, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Thursday. The WTO forecast world trade in goods would grow by... 

Uranium import probe threatens US nuclear power industry - group

By: Reuters     27th September 2018 US nuclear power generators urged the federal government against taking action in a dispute over imported uranium, arguing tariffs or quotas would increase costs for the struggling industry and possibly cause some reactors to shut, according to a statement emailed on Wednesday. The US Department... 

Bank of America sees gold topping $1 300 on fiscal deficit

By: Bloomberg     24th September 2018 Gold is set to surge over the next year as concerns deepen about the widening US. budget deficit and a tariff-driven trade war starts to damage the country’s economy, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Bullion could average $1 350/oz in 2019 as corporate tax reforms worsen the US... 

US backs protecting Yellowstone’s northern gateway from mining

By: Reuters     23rd September 2018 New mining claims should be banned for 20 years on more than 30 000 acres north of Yellowstone National Park to preserve scenery, wildlife habitat, waterways and outdoor recreation that fuels tourism in nearby Montana towns, the US Forest Service said Friday. The recommendation to withdraw 30... 

Goldman backs commodities as trade war fury now met with shrugs

By: Bloomberg     21st September 2018 Commodity bull Goldman Sachs Group says raw materials are poised to gain into the end of the year as investors have now become used to trade-war tensions, growth in top economies remains strong, and consumers who’d put off purchases in recent months start buying again. Copper jumped. “This week... 

The industrialisation debate in SA – what are the lessons?

By: Saliem Fakir     21st September 2018 Manufacturing has been in slow decline in the past decade or so. The sector has always been treated as a useful link between mining and higher-value beneficiation. Light and heavy industrialisation were, and in some respects still are, at the core of South Africa's industrial base. Before the... 

US iron miner helps launch ad campaign to sing tariff praises

By: Bloomberg     14th September 2018 Some US companies have reacted to the divisive issue of metal tariffs by saying as little as possible. Cleveland-Cliffs, on the other hand, has not only publicly backed the levies, now it’s putting up money to sing their praises. The US iron-ore producer says it’s deploying a promotional... 

Iran says it plans to boost ballistic, cruise missile capacity

By: Reuters     3rd September 2018 Iran plans to boost its ballistic and cruise missile capacity and acquire modern fighter planes and submarines, the Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted a senior Defence Ministry official as saying on Saturday. News of the military development plans came a day after Iran dismissed a French call... 

Gold's dismal run sets half-decade mark as dollar and stocks win

By: Bloomberg     31st August 2018 Gold is set for a fifth straight monthly decline, the longest losing run in half a decade, as the dollar gets a twin boost from trade tensions and the Federal Reserve’s path for higher interest rates, while inflation remains stuck in hibernation and US equities notch record after record. Bullion... 

IMF supports South African land reform provided it's 'rules based'

By: Reuters     30th August 2018 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave its full backing to South Africa's land reform plan on Thursday, as long as the highly contentious process is transparent and based on the constitution. The Fund's senior resident representative in South Africa Montfort Mlachila told Reuters that the... 

US–China trade tensions to shackle copper prices

By: Reuters     29th August 2018 Copper prices have recovered from a recent rout, but the possibility of the trade dispute between the Washington and Beijing escalating and its potential to crimp demand in China, the world's top consumer, is expected to cap gains. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange at $6 100 has... 

South African farmers play chicken with Trump tariffs

By: Reuters     29th August 2018 Herman Pretorius is just the kind of white South African farmer US President Donald Trump expressed concern for when he barged into the country's delicate land reform debate by ordering an investigation into the "large-scale killing of farmers". But for the greying, bespectacled 58-year-old,... 

Mexico's next leader says NAFTA deal preserves energy 'sovereignty'

By: Reuters     28th August 2018 Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador welcomed a deal between Mexico and the United States to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that he said preserved Mexican "sovereignty" in the energy sector. The U.S.-Mexico deal was announced by US President Donald Trump... 

Linde, Praxair try to save $83bn merger after antitrust blow

By: Reuters     22nd August 2018 Industrial gases giants Linde and Praxair are in talks to try to salvage their $83-billion merger after US competition regulators demanded they sell assets that generate more than $4.3-billion in sales. Linde said on Wednesday the divestments were expected to reach a level that would allow either... 

Trump proposes unwinding Obama's coal-plant pollution curbs

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2018 President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday unveiled its plan to dramatically weaken carbon dioxide limits on coal-fired power plants by shifting most of the regulatory burden to states in a further assault on the Obama climate legacy. The Environmental Protection Agency’s "Affordable... 

Sweden's Granges halts plans for US aluminium joint venture

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Sweden's Granges put on ice on Friday plans to form an aluminium manufacturing joint venture in the United States with Japan's Mitsubishi Aluminum Co, saying that the project was less attractive in "current circumstances". It did not specify what circumstances it was referring to though a Granges... 

Trump says his steel tariffs will save the US industry – WSJ

By: Reuters     16th August 2018 President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his tariffs on foreign steel are saving the US industry and he predicted that in the future American steelmakers will mostly face domestic competition, the Wall Street Journal reported. In a 20-minute interview with the newspaper, Trump said some people... 

Threat of contagion in emerging markets deepens commodity risk

By: Bloomberg     13th August 2018 When Thailand devalued its currency two decades ago, few in global commodity markets took note. Within a year, the crisis morphed into an emerging-market rout that eviscerated the price of everything from crude oil to copper. Fast forward to today and Turkey is presenting a similar challenge. The... 

Tipping point?

By: Terence Creamer     10th August 2018 The dust has well and truly settled on of the tenth Brics summit, hosted in Johannesburg last month. While the event was generally viewed as positive from a South African perspective, it failed to capture the popular imagination. Most public interest centred on whether Russia’s strongman... 

Should we worry about Chinese generosity?

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     10th August 2018 Back in March, former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson became the umpteenth Western big gun to urge Africans to beware of Chinese generosity on the continent, which has taken the form of freebies such as the African Union headquarters in Addis Abba, Ethiopia – built at a cost of $200-million... 

Gold may hit $1 300 by end of year, ICBC says

By: Bloomberg     6th August 2018 Gold’s plunge to the lowest level in more than a year may be close to ending, and prices could climb back to $1 300 by December, according to ICBC Standard Bank. Bullion is set to average $1 26/oz in the third quarter and rise further in the following three months as interest rate increases are... 

Japan steelmakers shrug off US tariffs in earnings but warn on automobile duties

By: Reuters     2nd August 2018 Japanese steelmakers reported little fallout in their first-quarter earnings from the US import tariffs on steel, but they all voiced growing concerns over possible US duties on automobiles which could hurt a wide range of Japan's industries. US President Donald Trump ordered a national security... 

Turkish steel makers eye exports to West Africa amid US tariff setbacks

By: Reuters     31st July 2018 Turkish steel makers are looking to expand in West Africa and other emerging markets in response to tariffs and planned quotas which threaten their sales to the United States and the European Union (EU), a senior sector official said. Namik Ekinci, board chairperson for the Turkish Steel Foreign... 

SA HIPPO applauds trade minister for dissolving SABS board

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th July 2018 Dr Rob Davies, the South African minister of Trade and Industries dissolved the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Board on 28 June 2018 and placed the SABS under administration owing to SABS failing to exercise its fiduciary duties in terms of the Standards Act and the Public Finance... 

G20 agriculture ministers slam protectionism, pledge WTO reforms

By: Reuters     30th July 2018 Agriculture ministers from the G20 countries criticized protectionism in a joint statement on Saturday, and vowed to reform World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but did not detail what steps they would take to improve the food trade system. In the statement, they said they were "concerned about... 

Global steel output jumps in H1 as strong margins tempt mills to ramp up

By: Reuters     26th July 2018 Global crude steel output, a gauge of economic health, rose 4.6% in the first half of this year versus the same period last year, as strong margins prompted mills in major producing countries to ramp up, industry data showed on Thursday. Crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to... 

WTO chief sees trade war ending in political talks

By: Reuters     26th July 2018 The nascent global trade war will have to be ended by a political agreement between world leaders, because continuing down the current path will only damage the global economy, the head of the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday. WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said that world leaders... 

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