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Ramaphosa gets a global Madiba moment, while SA ponders Denel's next step

By: News24Wire      28th January 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa has finished off his first official state visit to India on a good note, celebrating and inviting "real, ethically driven" Indian businesses to invest more in South Africa. A visibly fatigued Ramaphosa, following Team South Africa's stop at the World Economic Forum in... 

IMF sees weakest global growth in three years as Europe slows

By: Bloomberg     21st January 2019 The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for the world economy, predicting it will grow at the weakest pace in three years in 2019 and warning fresh trade tensions would spell further trouble. In its second downgrade in three months, the lender blamed softening demand across Europe and... 

IEA sees oil demand growth defying economic slowdown for now

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2019 Global oil demand remains on course to be stronger this year than in 2018 as a boost from lower fuel prices counters slowing economic activity, according to the International Energy Agency. “We have seen prices fall very significantly since the peak at the beginning of October, and that is... 

Reflections on global conventions in a postliberal order

By: Saliem Fakir     18th January 2019 I was in Sharm-El Shaik, Egypt, in November at a gathering of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of the Conference of the Parties (COP). This enclave of holiday resorts is characterised by daily jostling by tourists mostly from Kiev. At least four flights a day come and in out of the... 

Alcoa beats profit estimates on strength in alumina segment

By: Reuters     17th January 2019 Top US aluminum producer Alcoa Corp beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, buoyed by strength in its alumina segment, but shares slipped after the company did not provide a closely watched profit measure for the full year. The company's shares were down 1.6% in extended... 

EU countries clear steel import curb until July 2021

By: Reuters     16th January 2019 The European Union (EU) will limit imports of steel into the bloc following US President Donald Trump's imposition of metals tariffs after EU governments backed the plan in a vote on Wednesday. It means that all steel imports will be subject to an effective cap until July 2021 to counter concerns... 

EU populist eyes $1bn for defence and wants trump to pay

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2019 A populist on the European Union’s frontier with Russia says he needs $1-billion to bolster the military. And he wants the US to pay. Mart Helme’s EKRE party is hot on the heels of Estonia’s two biggest political groups before March elections, campaigning on an anti-immigration and tax-cutting... 

Senate advances measure to keep sanctions on Deripaska companies

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2019 The Senate advanced a resolution to block the Treasury Department from lifting sanctions on three Russian companies linked to oligarch Oleg Deripaska, with 11 Republicans aiding Democrats in a rare split with President Donald Trump. The 57-42 vote to take up the measure Tuesday came shortly... 

Mnuchin defends lifting sanctions on firms tied to Putin ally

By: Bloomberg     11th January 2019 Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin signaled he won’t back down from plans to lift sanctions on three companies tied to an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin even as he said the Trump administration would consider delaying the move to accommodate concerns raised by lawmakers. Mnuchin denied... 

EU expected to clear steel import curb after Trump tariffs

By: Reuters     9th January 2019 European Union countries are expected to next week approve a scheme to limit imports of steel into the bloc following US President Donald Trump's imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium entering the United States. The vote on Jan. 16 would put in place an effective cap on steel imports for... 

Copper demand to outstrip production – Fitch

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th January 2019 Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a unit of Fitch Group, expects the global copper market will see a persistent undersupply over the coming years, as global consumption, driven by China’s power and infrastructure sectors and increasingly by rising electric vehicle production, continues to outpace... 

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... 

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