China's Thermal Coal Futures Rally on Tight Import Policy
Lion Group to Study Steel Mill
According to reports, Malaysian conglomerate Lion Group is considering plans to build a $7b steel mill in Vietnam as part of its regional expansion. A Lion Group company has teamed up with Vietnam's state-owned Vinashin to conduct a feasibility study of the project, it said in a statement to the stock exchange late Tuesday. Once the feasibility study is completed and approvals are obtained, a consortium will be formed to undertake the steel plant project, said Lion Corp., the group's main investment holding company in Malaysia. The facility is earmarked for completion in the next 10 to 15 years, the statement said. Source: International Herald Tribune
Iron Ore Price Surges to New Annual High
The Steel Index (TSI) daily iron ore reference price hit its highest level in 12 months on Dec. 18, reaching $107.4 per dry metric tonne. This reference price, for 62% Fe content fines CFRFO China port, represents an 82% increase since March, when the price dipped to $59.1/dmt. The price hit its previous high in August, before falling back sharply to $76.1/dmt in September. Since then prices have been volatile, with this week alone seeing an increase of 5.2% despite falling freight rates on the key routes into China. “In my opinion, the levels we’ve seen in the spot market this week are as a result of tightness in supply and continued Chinese demand. I don’t see the market correcting for a least another week or two,” saif Jerry Yu a Hong Kong based trader.
Vinashin Scraps $1b Contract
The State-owned Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (Vinashin) has decided to scrap plans to invest $1 billion in a $5 billion steel mill joint venture with 's POSCO, as part of the government efforts to curb rising inflation. The planned POSCO-Vinashin Steel Complex, located on a 970 hectares area of land in the central province of Khanh Hoa's Van Phong Bay, formed part of the Asian steel giant's ambitious goal to link a `steel belt'' from its home-turf, India, China and Vietnam. Source: Korea Times
S.Korea Dongkuk Cuts Rebar Prices
According to a Reuters report, South Korea's third-largest steelmaker, Dongkuk Steel Mill, said on Dec. 1 it would cut prices of rebar by 11 percent to bring prices of its construction steel in line with that made by a rival. Its local peer Hyundai Steel said on Nov. 28 it would cut prices of rebar by 11 percent, its second price cut in a month, due to weakening demand from the construction sector and falling prices of raw materials such as scrap metal. (Source: Reuters)
Iron-Ore Ship Rates Rise as China Spends
Iron-Ore carrier daily rates rebound as China spends US$158-billion. Iron-ore ships are poised to earn more than operating costs for the first time this year as rates rally on speculation Chinese steel mills will accelerate imports because of a 1 trillion-yuan ($158 billion) building program, reports Bloomberg Business News. Capesizes, each carrying 160,000 metric tons of ore, will earn $12,500 a day in the fourth quarter, according to the median of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, compared with $4,459 on average since the end of June as assessed by the Baltic Exchange. Source: Bloomberg
U.S.-Flag Lakers Start 2010 Strong
A rebounding steel industry has helped the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet get off to a positive start in 2010. Cargo moved in U.S.-Flag lakers in January totaled 2.4 million tons, an increase of 156 percent compared to a year ago. The bulk of those cargos was iron ore for steel production. Shipments topped 1.8 million tons, an increase of 196 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. There has been a steady increase in operating rates at the nation’s steel mills, and most of the iron ore consumed at domestic mills is shipped on the Great Lakes. Coal cargos also registered a significant increase. The 495,000 tons carried in January represent an increase of 65 percent. The fleet is now in winter lay-up.
More Ships to Bangladesh Shipbreakers
Chittagong-based ship-breakers imported 42 large-sized recyclable ships in February and March this year at a cost of US$ 45 million, according to Jasim Khan's news report in the Financial Express. Industry sources said the ships will be able to supply about one million tonnes of MS rod -- a major construction material -- against the annual national demand for four million tonnes. The government earlier suspended import of recyclable ships for about a year to reduce related accidental and environmental hazards. Later on, it introduced new rules for ship breaking, and formed a Ship Breaking Cell at the Ministry of Industries to implement the rules.
Dung Quat Zone Attracts $5b
The Dung Quat Economic Zone in the central province of Quang Ngai has to date attracted 103 projects with a combined capital of over $5b, according to the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of the zone’s management board. In 2006 alone, twenty projects were licensed in the zone, capitalized at over $1.1b, $832,of which came from foreign-invested projects. Among major new projects were a $1b steel mill by Taiwan’s Tycoons Group, a $260m heavy industrial complex by the Doosan Group of South Korea, and PetroVietnam’s $2.5b Dung Quat oil refinery. The zone, however, is still facing several challenges, said the centre. Technip, lead contractor of the refinery project…
Mack Manufacturing Self-Contained Scrap Handlers
Mack Manufacturing developed the original five-tine orange peel grab to help scrap handlers and steel processors to hold and retain larger loads more efficiently. Specifically designed for electric overhead cranes moving scrap in steel mills, the OPSISCH-350-5 grapple is a completely self-contained electric drive unit, ready for operation with a large 3.5 yard capacity. The grapple’s heat-treated alloy steel construction combines light weight for high efficiency and lift capacity with rugged strength, including heat-treated steel pins and shafts sized to ensure maximum service life.
Capesize Rates Take a Huge Dive
Freight rates for Capesize ships have been hammered this week, falling by the biggest margin seen in over four years, brokers said. London shipbroker SSY said this represented “the largest single week fall,” since it launched its Capesize indices in January 1997. The fall was caused, said SSY, by the fact that few bookings had emerged for ships to carry iron ore cargoes to Japanese steel mills at the end of March and start of April. This followed a spike in activity over the last few weeks as steel mills rushed to book ships for cargoes bought before higher commodity prices take effect on April 1. On the benchmark Atlantic basin ore route from Tubarao to Japan, freight fell by $1.1 per ton during the week to reach $9.1 per ton on Monday.
DW: Cyclical Steel Ride Continues
Since 1990, steel has been used in the construction of some of the world’s biggest thrill rides but in recent years it is the steel market itself that has seen all the dips and climbs of a high speed rollercoaster. As the global shipping industry went through a major build cycle between 2002-2007 demand for steel plate grew over 350%, placing a significant strain on existing mill capacity and driving prices and profitability higher and higher. However, the inevitable investment…
US-flag Lakes Cargo Volumes Dip in May
U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.5 million tons of cargo in May, a decrease of 12.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. The May float was also 5 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.7 million tons, a decrease of 12.4 percent compared to a year. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.4 million tons, a decrease of nearly 28 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago.
US-flag Lakes Cargos Down Almost 10% in July
U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.85 million tons of cargo in July, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reports. The July float was also 9 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.6 million tons, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.7 million tons, a decrease of 25 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 10 percent compared to a year ago. Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 40.4 million tons, a decrease of 5 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargos are up 4.8 percent, but coal cargos have dipped 27 percent.
US-flag Lakes Cargo Volume Dips in September
U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.1 million tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). The September float was also 8.7 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.3 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.8 million tons, a decrease of 14.3 percent. Limestone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.5 million tons, a decrease of 15.2 percent compared to a year ago.
US-flag Lakes Cargos Down in October
U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 8.8 million tons of cargo in October, a decrease of 9.2 percent compared to a year ago, and 10.2 percent below the month’s five-year average, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). October was also the sixth consecutive month in which cargos trailed the previous year. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.4 million tons in October, an increase of 5.3 percent compared to a year ago. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.3 million tons, a decrease of 43 percent, LCA said.
U.S.-Flag Lakes Cargos Up Nearly 7%
U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 8.4 million tons of cargo in November, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to a year ago. However, the November float was 6.7 percent below the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.7 million tons in November, an increase of 29.6 percent compared to a year ago. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.2 million tons, a decrease of more than 20 percent. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2 million tons, a decrease of nearly 10 percent compared to a year ago. Year-over-year U.S.-flag carriage stands at 76.2 million tons, a decrease of 4.5 percent. Iron ore cargos are up 6.6 percent, but coal loads have dipped 25.8 percent.
U.S.-Flag Fleet Moves Less Cargo
Reduced demand for domestically-made steel and uneven demand for stone from the construction industry again produced a shortfall in U.S.-Flag carriage on the Great Lakes in August. Cargo movement in U.S. bottoms totaled 12,761,930 net tons, a decrease of 8.3 percent. The season-long slump has now left a gap of 6.2 million tons between the end-of-August totals in 1999 and 1998. Steel mill-bound iron ore cargo slipped below six million tons in August, as several ore carriers were withdrawn from service. For the season, the U.S.-Flag ore float stands at 33.2 million tons, a decrease of 10.9 percent. Coal loadings in U.S.-Flag lakers increased slightly in August, but the season-to-date total remains slightly behind last year's pace.
China Iron Ore Imports Rise in September
Chinese iron ore imports rose in September, according to Reuters data, as its steelmakers ramped up output in the face of global trade tensions about the country's steel exports. Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Forecasts data showed 82.5 million tonnes of iron ore, which is used in steelmaking, arrived at Chinese ports in September - up 2.5 percent on August and not far off July's near record levels. The data, based on ship tracking and port figures, does not completely tally with official Chinese customs figures, but typically doesn't vary from them by more than 4 percent. China, which consumes some two-thirds of global sea-born iron ore, will release official trade figures for last month on Oct 8.
Global Materials Services Acquires Arrow Terminals
Global Materials Services LLC (GMS) has acquired Arrow Terminals, Inc. of Sewickley, Pa., an operator of marine terminals. Arrow operates seven domestic river terminals in Industry, Pa.; Chicago, Ill.; Houston; Decatur, Ala.; Mingo Junction, Ohio; and Follansbee and Brooklyn Junction, W.V., which are engaged in material handling and processing operations for ferroalloy and other bulk products. Arrow also provides on-premise logistics services at steel mills and other plant sites. GMS operates seven other river terminals, five on the Mississippi River and two on the Arkansas River. These terminals provide warehouse and distribution services for steel and bulk shippers, including trucking to customer plant sites.
Reduced Ore Float on Lakes
With the nation’s steel mills cutting production and banking blast furnaces, iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes fell significantly in November. The trade totaled 4.9 million net tons, a decrease of 11 percent compared to both a year ago and November’s 5-year average. Shipments will erode even further in December. Since mid-November, 10 U.S.-Flag lakers have laid up early, including a 1,000-footer that is dedicated to the iron ore trade. In total, 12 U.S.-Flag lakers have been withdrawn from service, and at least two others are slated to end their seasons in the next few days. The crisis in steel came on quickly. As a result, for the year, the Great Lakes iron ore trade remains ahead of last year’s pace.
Thailand, Burma, Sign Dawei Port Development Agreement
Presidents of Thailand & Mynamar (Burma) agree on port development for deep-sea port to enable Malacca Strait bypass route. Thailand and Myanmar agree to set up a joint committee to follow up on economic cooperation that includes linking Myanmar's future Dawei deep-sea port with the Thai Eastern Seaboard. The deal came at the end of talks between Myanmar President Thein Sein and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House in Bangkok. Dawei, in southern Myanmar, is a key project for Thailand's economy, especially trade, more than for Myanmar, because it would cut travel time to the West for Thai goods (as well as goods from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam), allowing ships from the Indian Ocean to bypass the Malacca Straits.
November Ore Shipments Up on Great Lakes
Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes reached their highest level so far this year in November. The trade totaled 4.6 million net tons, an increase of 27 percent over the preceding month. The upturn reflects higher operating rates at the nation’s steel mills that, in turn, have required the sailing of some U.S.-Flag lakers that had been idled. The most recent reactivation was on November 25 when the American Republic returned to service. The vessel was designed specifically to shuttle iron ore on the twisting Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. Comparisons with a year ago and the month’s five-year average illustrate the depth of this recession. November loadings were six percent off the pace of a year ago, and nearly 14 percent behind the month’s five-year average.