Mark Latham Commodity Equity Intelligence Service

Wednesday 1st March 2017
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    China's total energy consumption up 1.4 pct in 2016

    China's total energy consumption grew 1.4% to 4.36 billion tonnes of standard coal in 2016, Reuters reported on February 28, citing preliminary calculations published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

    Total energy production was down 4.2% compared to the previous year at 3.46 billion tonnes of coal equivalent, the NBS said in its annual statistical bulletin.

    The share of coal in China's total energy consumption mix stood at 62% over 2016, compared with 64% in 2015.

    Environmental group Greenpeace said the data indicated that China's total carbon dioxide emissions were steady in 2016, driven largely by a 1.3% decline in coal consumption over the year.

    China appeared virtually certain to overachieve its 2020 climate targets, "if the rapid shift to clean energy and away from over-reliance on polluting industries continues", the report cited Greenpeace as said

    Greenpeace expected a further 1% drop in carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, according to the report.

    China has introduced targets and standards to improve industrial energy efficiency in a bid to cut pollution and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The country's economic slowdown has also had an impact on overall consumption.

    The government far exceeded its targets to eliminate 250 million tonnes of coal and 45 million tonnes of steel capacity last year.
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    China Said to Order Steel, Aluminium Curbs to Fight Pollution

    China has ordered curbs on steel and aluminium output in as many as 28 northern cities during the winter heating season as it steps up its fight against pollution, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

    The cuts include halving steel capacity in four major cities, including top producer Tangshan in Hebei province, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The other cities are Shijiazhuang and Handan in Hebei, and Anyang in the neighboring province of Henan.

    The plan calls for cuts in aluminum capacity of more than 30 percent across 28 cities, and by about 30 percent for alumina capacity, according to the people, who cited an order issued late last month by authorities including the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the National Development and Reform Commission.

    The plan doesn’t specify which heating season -- which typically runs from November to March -- will be affected by the curbs, nor a figure for the total capacity involved. A draft of the order circulated in January.

    ‘Huge Losses’

    “The cities mentioned in Hebei have 70 to 80 percent of the province’s total capacity,” Yu Chen, an analyst with consultancy Mysteel Research, said by phone from Shanghai. “A 50 percent cut will lead to huge production losses, which may lead to short-term tightness in steel supply,” he said.

    “It won’t have an immediate impact, though, given the current heating season is ending soon,” said Yu. “The full impact will also depend on the detailed measures taken by local governments to implement the order.” Steel reinforcement bar in Shanghai rose 2.1 percent to 3,542 yuan a ton.

    “These measures, if well executed, could bring potential upside risk to aluminum, alumina and steel prices in China,” analysts led by Jack Shang at Citigroup Inc. said in an emailed note. They could lead to a 5 percent loss in the nation’s total aluminum production, 9 percent in alumina and 3 percent in steel, the analysts said, assuming a four-month halt.

    China is the world’s top producer and consumer of the metals. U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa Corp.’s chief executive officer said earlier that China’s aluminum curtailments could be a “game changer” for the market if implemented. Aluminum in Shanghai added 3 percent, the biggest gain since Nov. 10, to 14,180 yuan a ton.

    Calls to the environmental ministry’s news department weren’t answered. The NDRC, China’s top economic planning agency, didn’t respond to a fax seeking comment. Air pollution peaks in winter due to coal-fired heating.

    The plan follows a directive last week in which China ordered steel mills in northern Hebei province and Tianjin municipality to curb output to ensure air quality during the annual parliament meeting in Beijing this month.

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    China Feb official manufacturing PMI rises to 51.6

    The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to a three-month high of 51.6 in February, compared with the previous month's 51.3, showed data from the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) on March 1.

    That was the seventh consecutive month above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction, and up 2.6 percentage points from February last year, the NBS data showed.

    That indicated that activity in China's manufacturing sector expanded in February as industrial firms continued to benefit from higher sales prices and a recovery in demand fuelled by a construction boom.
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    Bringing Blockchain Technology to the Grid

    Blockchain technology—the technology underpinning the Bitcoin virtual currency—is being discussed as one of the most potentially disruptive technologies since the Internet. Blockchains are a combination of information technology, cryptography, and governance principles that enables transactions to occur without the need for a third party to establish trust between transacting parties.

    To put it another way, in today’s transactions a number of human processes and institutions—such as banks, lawyers, regulators, brokers, and utilities—are paid to establish trust. Blockchain technology replaces these institutions, making it possible to conduct transactions without a third-party intermediary.

    At Rocky Mountain Institute, we believe that blockchain technology has the potential to play a significant, potentially game-changing role in the global electricity system’s transition to a more secure, resilient, cost-effective, and low-carbon grid.

    Blockchain Technology and the Electric Grid

    In the face of aggressive growth in distributed energy resources (DERs)—such as rooftop solar, demand response, and electric vehicles—governments, utilities, and other stakeholders from across the globe are experimenting with new ways to better regulate and manage the electricity grid. These experiments currently face four main issues regardless of their geography:  

    Controlling demand is difficult: Customers are concerned about privacy and sometimes loathe to share data—let alone allow third parties to control DERs that they own.
    Tracking flows of energy is imperfect: Energy markets and markets for the attributes of energy (e.g., renewable energy credits) can be expensive to run, can be subject to double spending, and can usually be accessed only via intermediaries.  
    Not everyone can participate in the grid’s evolution: In developed economies, only large, sophisticated businesses are able to enter into off-site power purchase agreements for renewables. In emerging economies, access to capital is a major barrier to accessing DERs and renewable energy, even if these technologies are capable of generating cost savings.
    Putting customers and DERs first is challenging: The entire grid was originally designed from the top down, making it challenging to put customers and DERs first.

    Although it is not yet 100 percent clear how, blockchain technology may be capable of solving these challenges:  

    Blockchains provide privacy, enhance cybersecurity, and are a low-cost way of managing DER-focused transactions at the edge of the distribution grid.
    Blockchains provide a more transparent and, at the same time, a more secure way of tracking energy flows than the status quo.
    Blockchains enable small-scale and low-credit customers to participate in business models focused on DERs and renewable energy.
    Blockchains are a key enabler of balancing and managing the grid from the bottom up versus today’s top-down approach.

    To unlock this value and help accelerate blockchain technology development in the electricity sector, RMI and Grid Singularity—an Austria-based blockchain technology developer—formed the Energy Web Foundation (EWF).

    EWF is a nonprofit foundation with one high-level goal: to unleash the potential of blockchain technology in the energy sector. To achieve this goal, EWF focuses on defining blockchain use cases, building a blockchain platform for the energy sector, incubating an ecosystem of stakeholders, and educating the public.

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    Oil and Gas

    OPEC Exports Rebound in February

    As the trading range of WTI and Brent remains narrow - and narrowing - the pressure is building for a breakout, like a kettle boiling on a stove. Hedge funds are confident it is going to pop to the upside, boosting bullish bets to a record. Meanwhile, producers have been taking the opportunity to hedge their future production - signalling their conviction that the next price move is to the downside (as well as signalling they are risk averse).  

    Although fundamentals remain on the back foot, with US inventories at a record and the globe still dealing with a flood of OPEC exports ahead of last month's production cut, the expectation of a tightening market is convincing the bulls this market is going higher. With our ClipperData indicating that OPEC has ramped up exports in the last month to pre-agreement levels, the bullish case is less compelling.

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    Saudi Product Exports

    We highlighted last week that one of our key themes here at ClipperData for the first half of this year is the de-stocking of product inventories, given they are at such an elevated level. Another theme we are keeping a keen eye on is that of refinery output from OPEC kingpin, Saudi Arabia.

    This is because we suspect that Saudi is looking to supplement lost revenues from the OPEC production cut by exporting more products. This theory is endorsed by Saudi Arabia's refinery output, which reached 2.96 million barrels per day in December, the highest since records began in 2002:

    We can see in our ClipperData that as Saudi refinery output increases, so do product exports. Export loadings so far this month of gasoline and distillates are up to 1.5 million barrels per day, tracking above year-ago levels, and seemingly on course to make a new record in the coming months.

    Exports going forward may not only be aided by higher refinery output, but also by higher prices. It was suggested yesterday that Saudi is considering a 30 percent increase to retail gasoline prices, starting in the second half of the year. This effort to encourage more mindful consumption would likely quell gasoline demand growth going forward, leaving more to be pushed out onto the global market.

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    OPEC compliance with oil curbs rises to 94 percent in February: Reuters survey

    OPEC has cut its oil output for a second month in February, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, allowing the exporter group to boost already strong compliance with agreed supply curbs on the back of a steep reduction by Saudi Arabia.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is cutting its output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1 - the first such deal since 2008 to get rid of a glut. Non-OPEC countries pledged to cut about half as much.

    Previous OPEC cuts have been mired in mass cheating by its members, making strong compliance by OPEC this time a positive surprise for the market, with prices trading above $55 per barrel -- up from $35 a year ago.

    Top exporter Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are hoping the cuts will help oil rise a bit further to around $60, five sources from OPEC countries and the oil industry said, to boost exporters' income and industry investment.

    "If compliance is high by OPEC and non-OPEC, then I think prices will reach $60," said an OPEC delegate. "If it was higher it would be better, but $60 is fine."

    In January, OPEC delivered 82 percent of the promised cuts, according to a Reuters survey and over 90 percent according to OPEC's own report.

    The International Energy Agency has said it was impressed with OPEC's compliance, calling it a record level.

    In February, supply from the 11 OPEC members with production targets under the deal has averaged 29.87 million bpd, down from a revised figure of 29.96 million bpd in January and 31.17 million bpd in December, according to the Reuters survey.

    Compared with the levels the countries agreed to make the reductions from, in most cases their October output, this means the OPEC members have cut output by 1.098 million bpd of the pledged 1.164 million bpd, equating to 94 percent compliance.

    The Reuters survey showed Saudi Arabia's output fell slightly in February from an already deep reduction in January taking the total curb achieved to 744,000 bpd, well above the target cut of 486,000 bpd.

    Thus, Saudi Arabia continued to compensate for the weaker adherence of other members, including Algeria, Iraq, Venezuela and even its key ally the United Arab Emirates, which cut output by 33,000 bpd -- well below the target reduction of 139,000 bpd.

    Iraq trimmed exports from its southern ports in February, boosting its compliance, the survey found, and shipping schedules suggest exports may fall more in March.

    UAE officials and industry sources say the UAE will move closer to its OPEC target in coming months, improving average compliance during the six-month duration of the supply cut rather than focusing on month-by-month performance.

    Iran's production was up slightly in February versus January even though the country is effectively excluded from output cuts. Nigeria, which is also excluded from cuts, raised output while Libya was flat month-on-month.

    OPEC announced a production target of 32.5 million bpd at its Nov. 30 meeting, which was based on low figures for Libya and Nigeria and included Indonesia, which has since left the group.

    The increases in February mean OPEC output has averaged 32.19 million bpd, about 440,000 bpd above its supply target adjusted to remove Indonesia.

    The Reuters survey is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Thomson Reuters flows data, and information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consulting firms.
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    China to issue non-state crude oil import licenses to 5 refiners

    China will issue non-state crude oil import licenses to five refiners, including China National Chemical Corp and four independent refiners, the country's commerce ministry said on Tuesday.

    The four independent refiners are Shandong Shenchi Group, Shandong Jincheng Petrochemical Group, Shandong Qingyuan Group and Hebei Xinhai Group, the Ministry of Commerce said on its website.
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    Iraq's Kurdistan negotiates $3 billion oil pre-payment deals

    Iraq's Kurdistan has agreed new deals to borrow $3 billion from trading houses and Russian state oil firm Rosneft that will be guaranteed by future oil sales to strengthen its fiscal position as the semi-autonomous region fights Islamic State.

    Kurdistan's natural sources minister Ashti Hawrami told Reuters the new deals had been concluded in recent weeks. The region also negotiated grace periods of between 3 and 5 years for repaying the debt.

    Trading houses have been pre-financing Kurdish oil exports for the past two years after the government in Erbil decided to start independent oil exports via Turkey's Mediterranean terminals. Rosneft said last week it would join them. .

    Kurdistan says it needs to export oil independently as Baghdad has not paid Erbil its budget share just as the region needs money to fight Islamic State and host Syrian refugees.

    Baghdad has said it would sue buyers of Kurdish oil, arguing that the central government was the only legal exporter. The new Baghdad government has softened its stance, however, as it cooperated with Erbil against Islamic State in Mosul.

    "This helps our economic independence although it is important to understand that this cannot be achieved just by oil revenues and higher oil prices. We also need to press on with our economic reforms," Hawrami said in an interview in London.

    "We have learnt a lot from the oil price shock, the costs of fighting ISIS, and the burden of some 1.8 million refugees coming to our territory... Reform is a must – we have a lot of debts to deal with."

    He declined to name the trading houses but market sources have previously identified Vitol, Petraco, Glencore (GLEN.L) and Trafigura as buyers of Kurdish barrels. Last week, Glencore confirmed it had concluded deals for Kurdish oil. The other trading houses do not comment on their dealings with Kurdistan and Rosneft did not give any details on the size of the deal.

    Hawrami said the deals would serve as a hedge against an oil price slide for several years. Previous deals with trading houses have usually lasted 6-12 months.

    "It is also positive for the traders as they don't have to renegotiate their contracts every six months," said Hawrami.

    "It strengthens our fiscal situation. It means we can pay more regularly to the international oil companies working in Kurdistan and we can invest some money in expanding our oil infrastructure," he said.

    Kurdistan's finances suffered badly during the oil price slump of 2015-2016 and it has accumulated several months of arrears to producers such as Genel (GENL.L), DNO (DNO.OL) and Gulf Keystone (GKP.L) due to tight revenues and supply glitches.

    "This year we want to avoid repeating this. I'm confident we will do better. We know the producers’ needs and plans. We are prioritizing not to fall behind again," Hawrami said.


    Hawrami said the arrival of Rosneft in addition to trading houses to the marketing of Kurdish barrels was good news for the region as it gave Erbil its first big end-user and opened up new markets - Rosneft has refineries in Germany and India.

    "We hope Rosneft’s deal will become a ground breaker for other majors," he said adding Rosneft was also looking at exploration blocks in Kurdistan.

    He also said relations with Baghdad were improving.

    "We didn't hear any negative comments from them after the deal with Rosneft. They know we are selling our oil. And actually if we help each other rather than hindering progress, we can both achieve better prices as buyers will not be able to seek unreasonable discounts."

    He also said the fact that Erbil was now selling some barrels for Baghdad from the northern Kirkuk field was evidence of improving relations.

    "In reality, Baghdad has given us some share of oil to export. So we have an arrangement that we both honor. We have real cooperation and we hope to build on that," he said.


    Kurdistan's existing pipelines can handle just over 650,000 barrels per day of exports and more investments are needed to bring that capacity to 1 million bpd, including upgrading of pumping stations, said Hawrami.

    He said pipeline capacity should be expanded by the year-end but production would not start rising until next year.

    "We have to be mindful about supply and demand. You tell me what the oil price is going to be and I will tell you when we could reach 1 million bpd of output. Investments have dried up in the last two years because of the oil price crash and attacks by ISIS," he said.

    Kurdistan is planning to offer some 20 blocks of land for exploration to investors. The region took some blocks back from investors after discovering they did little exploration, said Hawrami without naming the companies.

    Some operators relinquished blocks as they were disappointed with what they found, including U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) which has given back three blocks out of six over the past year.

    Hawrami said he did not see this as a set back.

    "Exxon has concluded that they will continue working on 3 blocks while on another three the potential reserves were simply not big enough for them. Those blocks could suit other firms. We are now looking to farm them out," he said.

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    BP strategy update: ‘time to get back to growth’, says CEO

    BP is focusing “squarely on the future” with plans for growth based on $55 dollar oil, according to chief executive Bob Dudley.

    The head of the supermajor said it had been on a “long and hard road” in recent years with the fallout from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and the two year slump in global oil prices.

    But having weathered the storm, Dudley said it is now time for “evolution not revolution”.

    The CEO and his management team are setting out strategic plans to the year 2021, with plans for business growth based on oil remaining at current prices of around $55 a barrel.

    Management teams are to travel to London, Edinburgh, New York, Dallas, Houston, Paris and Frankfurt to update investors personally on the fine details of the strategy this week.

    Dudley said: “In six years we have fundamentally reshaped and built a very different BP. We are now stronger and more focused – fully competitive and fit for a fast-changing future.

    “We have proven financial discipline, clear plans in action and have built a distinctive portfolio which gives us a strong platform for growth, now and into the future.

    “Striking a balance between short and long-term value, our recent acquisitions and agreements have strengthened this even further.

    “We can see growth ahead right across the group. While always maintaining our discipline on costs and capital, BP is now getting back to growth – today, over the medium term and over the very long term.”

    BP’s five year strategy forecasts that both upstream and downstream businesses will grow.

    In the upstream, growth is expected to come from a continuing series of major higher-margin project start-ups.

    The downstream expects to deliver strong marketing-led growth.

    This will be “underpinned by BP’s continued focus on safe and reliable operations, increasing efficiency, simplification and modernisation”, said the firm.

    Production ramping up from new upstream projects is also expected to deliver an improvement in BP’s operating cash flow through the second half of 2017.

    BP intends to maintain its existing “financial frame” throughout the five years to 2021.

    Organic capital expenditure, which excludes acquisitions, is to be kept within a range of $15-17 billion a year.

    Brian Gilvary, BP chief financial officer, said: “Last year we delivered our targeted $7 billion reduction in cash costs a year early, and capital spending was $8.6 billion lower than its peak in 2013 – without damaging our growth pipeline.

    “We will continue that tight focus on costs and capital discipline and seek further improvements throughout the Group.

    “We expect this combination of continued cost discipline with the growing cash flow from our core businesses – and the recent portfolio additions – will steadily drive down the cash balance point of the business.

    “Over the next five years we expect this to fall to around $35-40 a barrel for the Group overall.”

    BP said it expects to increase returns over the next five years assuming a stable oil price.
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    Eni posts Q4 profit

    Italian oil and gas company Eni on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter profit as oil and gas prices rose.

    Eni reported an adjusted net profit of 459 million euros ($484 million) for the fourth quarter as compared to an adjusted net loss of 301 million euros in the same period a year ago.

    This is the Italian company’s first quarterly profit in the last 18 months.

    In the quarter under review, Eni generated 3.2 billion euros in cash, up from 1.3 billion in the previous quarter.

    “The 2016 results mark the successful conclusion of a radical transformation process,” Eni’s Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi said.

    “Over the past three years, Eni has restructured to withstand one of the most complex environments in the history of the oil industry, while strengthening its growth prospects and preserving a robust balance sheet,” Descalzi added.

    Descalzi said that the company plans to propose at the next annual general meeting the distribution of a cash dividend of €0.8 per share in 2016.

    “Looking to the future, we are able to reaffirm our progressive remuneration policy, in line with the expected improvement of commodity prices and our own financial performance,” he concluded.
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    Ukraine's Naftogaz warns of natural gas transit risk on 'record low' pressure

    Russian gas flows to Europe via Ukraine have been put "at risk" by a sudden drop in pressure at a major entry point from Russia into the Ukrainian system, Ukraine's state-owned Naftogaz Ukrayiny said Tuesday.

    In a statement, Naftogaz said there had been a "significant" drop in pressure in the Russian gas transmission system at the Sudzha gas metering station.

    This, it said, "puts at risk the stability of gas supply in the European direction."

    A spokesman for Gazprom said Tuesday the company saw "no risk" of disruption to its transit supplies to Europe in terms of the allegations made in the Naftogaz statement.

    Instead, it said, "the risk to supplies lays with low stocks of gas in Ukraine's underground storage facilities."

    Gazprom has repeatedly raised concerns that Ukraine has not pumped enough gas into its storage facilities to meet demand through the end of the winter, putting at risk transit to Europe.

    Naftogaz said the pressure at Sudzha had fallen to a "record low" of 49.7 atmosphere (atm) compared with the 60 atm stipulated in the gas transit contract between the two parties signed in 2009.

    Naftogaz also said Gazprom was "consistently" exceeding the maximum fluctuation limit for daily gas withdrawal at exit points from the Ukrainian system, which is set at 4.5% for the Uzhhorod point, according to the transit contract.

    "In some days of February, the fluctuations were twice higher than the limit," Naftogaz said.

    "Furthermore, in certain periods of this month, the quality of Russian gas supplied to Ukraine's gas system for transit deviated from the contract conditions."

    Despite this, Naftogaz said it was maintaining "secure gas supply to the EU."

    "All orders of Russian gas importers are currently being fulfilled in full and on time," it said.

    Naftogaz said it and the European Commission were concerned about the alleged failure by Gazprom to fulfil its contractual obligations.

    "Explanations and remedy of the violations in performance are expected from Gazprom for the sake of secure gas supply to European consumers," it said.

    Gazprom and Naftogaz are currently embroiled in a major arbitration dispute, with claims from both sides adding up to more than $70 billion over prices, supply obligations and transit terms from the 2009 contract.
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    Hoegh LNG eyes Australian FSRU project

    Norway’s Höegh LNG is looking at the possibility to provide a floating regasification unit (FSRU) to an LNG import development in Australia, according to Chief Executive Sveinung Støhle.

    During the company’s fourth-quarter results conference call, Støhle said that “we are in the initial stages on this project and we firmly believe that an FSRU will be realized, and maybe even more than one.”

    According to Støhle, project start-up for this project could be expected in 2019.

    The CEO did not reveal any other details on the import development.

    Australia’s second-largest power and gas retailer, AGL Energy said earlier this month it was progressing with its plans to build an LNG import terminal in the southeastern part of Australia to help deal with a potential gas supply shortage in the region.

    AGL is developing an import facility despite the fact that Australia is on its way to becoming the world’s largest exporter of the chilled fuel. The country has currently seven operating LNG export developments and three more under construction.

    AGL expects to make a final investment decision on the LNG import project by June 2018.

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    Shell takes FID for Kaikias deepwater project. Opts for subsea tie-back to Ursa

    Royal Dutch Shell and Japanese Mitsui Oil Exploration have each taken the final investment decision to execute phase one of the Kaikias deepwater project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

    The project is done through Shell’s subsidiary, Shell Offshore, and Mitsui’s wholly owned subsidiary, MOEX North America LLC .

    Shell is the operator and has an 80% working interest. MOEX NA, which owns the remaining 20% working interest, bought its stake from Shell last December.

    According to Shell’s statement on Tuesday, Kaikias is an attractive near-field opportunity with a competitive go-forward break-even price below $40 per barrel. It will produce oil and gas through a subsea tie-back to the nearby Shell-operated Ursa production hub.

    “Kaikias is an example of a competitive and capital efficient deep-water project using infrastructure already in place,” said Andy Brown, Upstream Director of Royal Dutch Shell.

    “The team has done a great job to reduce the total cost by around 50% by simplifying the design and using lessons learned from previous subsea developments.”

    The project will be developed in two phases with phase one expected to start production in 2019. The first phase of development includes three wells which are designed to produce up to 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) at peak rates.

    Kaikias is located in the prolific Mars-Ursa basin approximately 210 kilometers (130 miles) from the Louisiana coast and is estimated to contain more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent recoverable resources.
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    Trump gives overview of policy, but no specifics on energy goals

    In an address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump did not utter the word energy, or delve deeply into energy policy debates. But Trump touched on areas of interest to the sector, including efforts to turn back regulation, advancement of a trillion dollar infrastructure plan and speeding development of oil and natural gas pipelines.

    In his speech, Trump did not directly discuss energy and never said the words oil nor natural gas, and made only a brief mention of the elimination of a coal mining regulation, which he said "threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners."

    On energy and energy-related policy, Trump mainly spoke of his efforts over his first five weeks in office, including two memos he said "cleared the way" to build the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and another memo calling for the Commerce Department to develop a plan within 180 days requiring all pipelines within US borders to be made with US materials, including iron and steel.

    Trump Tuesday called that forthcoming plan "a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel."

    Trump talked about his administration's efforts to repeal federal regulations and pushed for reform of US trade policy.

    "We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers," Trump said. "I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be fair trade."

    Trump also mentioned a $1 trillion infrastructure plan he wants Congress to approve, which he said will be based on "Buy American and Hire American" principles.

    "To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States -- financed through both public and private capital - creating millions of new jobs," he said.

    Recounting some of the executive orders he has issued to begin culling federal regulations, he said: "We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job crushing regulations."

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    API sees rise in US crude and gasoline inventories

    U.S. stockpiles rose 2.5 million barrels in the week to Feb. 24, according to a report from trade group the American Petroleum Institute. Gasoline stockpiles rose unexpectedly and distillate stockpiles fell more than expected, the API said. Crude declined slightly on the report.
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    Genscape reported build at Cushing

    Genscape reported build of >800k bbls of crude at Cushing,

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    RSP Permian, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2016 Financial and Operating Results,

    RSP Permian, Inc. today reported financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2016, year-end 2016 proved reserves, 2017 guidance and 2018 and 2019 production outlook.  In addition, the Company filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and posted an updated presentation on its website at

    Highlights for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016:

    4Q16 production increased 48% to 35.8 MBoe/d (71% oil, 88% liquids), compared to 4Q15
    Full year 2016 production increased 39% to 29.2 MBoe/d (73% oil, 89% liquids), compared to 2015
    4Q16 net income of $1.4 million, or $0.01 per diluted share. Adjusted net income, which does not include certain items, was $13.4 million, or $0.10 per diluted share
    4Q16 adjusted EBITDAX increased 22% to $90.5 million compared to 4Q15
    4Q16 cash operating expenses of $9.11/Boe, 23% below 2015 average of $11.85
    4Q16 development capital expenditures of $95.5 million
    Full year 2016 development capital expenditures of $294.2 million
    Entry into the Delaware Basin with previously announced $2.4 billion acquisition of Silver Hill Energy Partners, LLC (“SHEP I”) and pending acquisition of Silver Hill E&P II, LLC (“SHEP II”), expected to close March 1, 2017
    Maintained strong year-end liquidity position and balance sheet, pro forma closing of SHEP II with $109 million of cash and no borrowings outstanding under revolving credit facility

    Amended and restated credit facility, extending maturity date to December 2021, increasing borrowing base to $1.1 billion upon closing SHEP II, and increasing lender’s commitments to $2.5 billion

    Pro forma proved reserves increased by 78% to 283 MMBoe(1) (70% oil, 88% liquids) over 2015
    Achieved low drill-bit finding and development cost of $4.05/Boe with an 848% reserve replacement ratio and a 684% organic reserve replacement ratio(2)

    Recent Midland Basin Well Results

    Mask 1004/1005 two-well pad in Midland County: Two 9,500′ lateral wells, targeting the Lower Spraberry and Wolfcamp B formations, flowed naturally producing almost 200,000 Boe before being put on electric submersible pump (“ESP”) and establishing peak 30-day average rate of 2,932 Boe/d (73% oil)
    Spanish Trail 344 two-well pad and Spanish Trail 341 two-well pad: Four 6,500′ lateral wells, with two wells each targeting the Wolfcamp A and Wolfcamp B formations, established a peak 30-day average rate of 6,212 Boe/d (79% oil) and produced in excess of 250,000 Boe in less than 60 days

    2017 Guidance and 2018 and 2019 Production Outlook

    Average net daily production range of 53.0 – 57.0 MBoe/d in 2017, an 82% – 95% increase over 2016
    Development capital expenditure range of $625 – $700 million (drilling, completion, infrastructure and other) with drilling and completion of $575 – $625 million and infrastructure and other of $50 – $75 million
    30%+ annual production growth profile in 2018 and 2019 with cash flow neutrality beginning in 2018 at $55 oil
    Expanded hedge profile covering 55% of 2017E oil production and 64% of 2017E natural gas volumes at the midpoint. Entered into basis swaps to protect Midland–Cushing differentials and began layering in 2018 oil hedges
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    Painted Pony Announces 4.9 TCFE of Proved Plus Probable Reserves, 102% Increase

    Painted Pony Announces 4.9 TCFE of Proved Plus Probable Reserves, 102% Increase

    Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd. is pleased to announce strong finding and development (“F&D“) costs, the third consecutive year of per Mcfe cash cost reductions, a 95% increase to funds flow from operations for 2016, further decreases in per-well capital expenses, and record-high production volumes during the fourth quarter of 2016.

    2016 Reserve Highlights:

    Increased Total Proved (“1P“) reserves by 31% to 2.7 Tcfe at year end 2016 from 2.0 Tcfe at year end 2015;
    Increased Proved Developed Producing (“PDP“) reserves by 102% to 484 Bcfe
    (80.7 MMboe) from 240 Bcfe (40.0 MMboe);
    Increased Proved Plus Probable (“2P“) reserves 7% to more than 4.9 Tcfe at year-end 2016 from 4.6 Tcfe at year-end 2015;
    Generated a finding, development and acquisition (“FD&A“) PDP recycle ratio of 2.0 times and a 1P recycle ratio of 2.6 times, inclusive of changes in future development capital (“FDC“);
    Reduced 2P FDC by approximately $300 million or 9% to $2.9 billion at year-end 2016 from $3.2 billion at year-end 2015 as a result of improved well cost structure;
    Realized reductions in 2P FDC exceeded capital spent in 2016, which resulted in negative 2P FD&A and 2P F&D costs;

    Increased PDP before tax net present values at December 31, 2016 discounted at 10% (“NPV10“) by 119% to $7.04/share in 2016 from $3.23/share in 2015;
    Replaced 579% of 2016 production volumes through PDP reserve additions of 295 Bcfe (49.2 MMboe);
    Achieved a 1P NPV10 value/share increase of 65% to $22.92/share at year-end 2016 from $13.92/share at year-end 2015;

    2016 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Production Highlights

    Increased fourth quarter 2016 average daily production volumes by 144% to 220.2 MMcfe/d (36,695 boe/d) over fourth quarter 2015 average daily production volumes of 90.3 Mcfe/d (15,043 boe/d);
    Averaged annual daily production volumes of 139.2 MMcfe/d (23,204 boe/d) during 2016 and a 49% increase over 2015 annual average daily production of 93.6 MMcfe/d (15,604 boe/d);
    Natural gas liquids (“NGL“) production volumes increased 416% to 3,177 bbls/d during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 616 bbls/d during the fourth quarter of 2015;

    2016 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Highlights

    Increased funds flow from operations during the fourth quarter of 2016 by a factor of 10 times to $26.5 million ($0.26/share) compared to $2.6 million ($0.03/ share) during the fourth quarter of 2015;
    Realized commodity price discount to AECO daily spot price was reduced to 6% during 2016 compared to a 22% discount to AECO daily spot price during 2015;
    Reduced annual cash operating costs (royalties, operating expenses and transportation costs) by $0.32/Mcfe (24%) to $1.04/Mcfe in 2016 from $1.36/Mcfe in 2015, and;
    Realized pre-tax income, of $8.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2016, before unrealized non-cash hedging losses.

    Attached Files
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    Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG Train 3 produces commissioning cargo

    Cheniere’s produced the commissioning cargo from the third LNG train at its Sabine Pass liquefaction and export project in Louisiana.

    Commenting on the company’s financial results, president and CEO Jack Fusco said the third liquefaction train at the Sabine Pass facility produced its commissioning cargo in January.

    Commissioning activities began in September 2016, with the third liquefaction train receiving gas from the Transco pipeline in January.

    The company is developing up to six trains at the Sabine Pass terminal with each train expected to have a nominal production capacity of approximately 4.5 million tons per annum of LNG.

    The first two trains have already been completed and commissioned with the facility shipping 24 cargoes during the fourth quarter of last year.

    The overall project completion percentage for trains 3 and 4 was approximately 95.5 percent, which is ahead of the contractual schedule.

    Based on the current construction schedule, Cheniere expects to reach substantial completion for train 3 in the first quarter of 2017 and train 4 in the second half of 2017.

    Cheniere added that the construction of its second LNG export project near Corpus Christi, Texas, has reached 49.2 percent completion, ahead of contractual schedule.

    The facility will have three liquefaction trains with a nominal capacity of 4. mtpa of LNG each. The completion of the two trains is expected in 2019.

    Cheniere Energy posted a fourth-quarter 2016 net income of US$109.7 million, from a net loss of $291.1 million in the corresponding quarter in 2015.

    The loss for the full year 2016 was at $610 million, narrowing from a net loss of $975.1 for the previous year.

    Speaking of the fourth quarter results, Cheniere’s President and CEO Jack Fusco said the financial results have been driven by nearly a full quarter of LNG production from the first two trains at Sabine Pass liquefaction and export project in Louisiana.

    “Transition and execution will remain central themes for Cheniere in 2017, as we expect Trains 3 and 4 at Sabine Pass to begin commercial operations
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    Alternative Energy

    Codelco's lithium assets lure big sector companies: CEO

    International and domestic companies have expressed interest in partnering with Codelco, the world's biggest copper producer, to develop its lithium assets, the Chilean state-owned company's chief executive said on Tuesday.

    In a wide-ranging interview, CEO Nelson Pizarro said Codelco was sticking to a shrunken capital expenditure program to revive and expand its copper assets unveiled last year amid weak copper prices, despite a rebound in prices by nearly a third since November.

    Pizarro also said he expected "more difficult" labor negotiations at Codelco's flagship El Teniente mine early next year as workers' demands for higher wages and benefits clashed with the company's need to invest in its aging mines.

    Codelco is due to make its decision by the end of March on a partner to help it develop its lithium assets, Pizarro said on the sidelines of the BMO mining and metals conference. Companies had until Feb. 3 to state their interest.

    Lithium, a small but irreplaceable component of rechargeable batteries used in electric cars and mobile phones, is one of the hottest commodities with prices more than doubling in the past 18 months. Most of the world's lithium is produced in Australia and Chile.

    "The big players in the industry are interested," Pizarro said.

    He declined to say whether Chile's SQM, one of the world's biggest lithium producers, was in the running.


    Despite an unexpected rebound in copper prices late last year, Codelco was sticking to its reduced $18 billion capital spending program through 2020 to rejuvenate and expand its aging copper mines, cut from an initial $25 billion when prices slid.

    "It doesn't change," Pizarro said of the $18 billion plan, adding that the previous, costlier capital program had been "almost impossible" to carry out due to the management time it required. The new plan has staggered investments rather than carrying them out simultaneously, delaying some projects.

    Pizarro said Codelco's aim was to maintain production at around 1.7 million tonnes a year despite declining grades and to keep reducing cash costs, which have fallen by 23 percent to an estimated $1.26 a pound over the past three years.

    Pizarro said he expected copper prices to average around $2.40-$2.50 a pound this year. Copper was last trading at $2.71 a pound.

    Chile's government last year asked Codelco to study the lithium production potential of its Maricunga and Pedernales salt flats.

    Codelco was nationalized in the 1970s and returns all its profits to the state, providing a key source of income to the Chilean government. It is funded by a combination of government financing and debt issuance.

    Attached Files
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    El Niño may be fast-tracking to arrive by summer

    The path to another round of El Niño in 2017 appears to be shortening, as tropical Pacific Ocean waters have been warming at a substantial rate.

    Weather forecasters have been eyeing for a couple of months a possible return this year of El Niño, which normally comes around every two to seven years and last occurred in 2015/16.

    The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is one of the most widely followed long-term indicators of climate, as both its warm and cool phases can trigger varying effects on weather patterns globally.

    El Niño, which is associated with warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) along the equatorial Pacific, is known to bring volatile weather to some parts of the world and is closely watched by agricultural and energy markets. Some notable impacts include droughts in Southeast Asia and heavy rains and erosion along the Pacific coasts of North and South America.

    La Niña, the cool phase of ENSO, just concluded its six-month run last month. In the last several weeks, remnants of the colder waters have been all but eliminated.

    In the week centered on Feb. 22, the SST anomaly was positive 2.3 degrees Celsius in the Niño 1+2 region, the easternmost of the four Niño regions, directly off the coast of Peru. Warming in this region sometimes precedes the onset of El Niño).

    To put this into perspective, since weekly record-keeping began in 1990, the only other instances that featured warmer SST anomalies in this region occurred during the mega-El Niños of 2015/16 and 1997/98, as well as the moderate-to-strong El Niño in early 1992.

    The week centered on Jan. 25, 2017, also recorded a 2-degree anomaly, so the latest value is not necessarily an outlier. But if this trend eventually translates into a full-on El Niño later in the year, the outcome would be unprecedented.

    A record-breaking El Niño surfaced in mid-2015 and lasted through early 2016, after which SSTs dropped off and gave way to the relatively weaker La Niña event to cap off the year.

    But following the previous occurrences of strong El Niño – 1997/98, 1982/83, 1972/73 – the warm cycle did not appear again until three or four years later. So the possible return of El Niño this year would present a unique situation against which there is not much comparable data.


    This month for the first time, El Niño is the most favored scenario over neutral or La Niña conditions starting in July or August, according to the International Research Institute and the U.S. Climate Prediction Center. The probability for El Niño between August and October stands at 51 percent, while the chance of neutral is at 38 percent.

    But some models are calling for El Niño’s arrival a bit earlier based on the progression of the SSTs in recent weeks.

    Monday’s run of the CFS version 2 model, maintained by the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction, shows steady El Niño conditions – SST anomalies of at least 0.5 degree Celsius – for most of the Northern Hemispheric spring and then a moderate to strong event in place by the summer).

    The projections of the CFSv2 should be considered with caution, however, as the models are run each day with a shifting 10-day period of initial model conditions, meaning the output can be highly dependent on a small segment of time. However, other models have been increasingly leaning toward both El Niño and its earlier onset.

    The latest chart of international ENSO forecast models compiled by IRI and CPC has shifted in a warmer direction compared with the previous update, and several models suggest that El Niño could be comfortably in place as early as May.

    The forecast trends are starting to show a divergence between the statistical and dynamical models, the latter of which is based on the actual atmospheric and oceanic state rather than historical tendencies.

    Since the dynamical models are now mostly calling for El Niño by the start of Northern Hemispheric summer, this gives confidence that environmental conditions are indeed turning favourable for the quicker return of the warm cycle.
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    Base Metals

    Peru to cut red tape in bid to spur mining exploration

    Peru will introduce new rules this week that will aim to turn around the Andean country's three-year slump in mining investment by eliminating permit requirements for exploration projects, the energyand mines minister told Reuters on Monday.

    Ahead of a visit to Toronto for the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, Gonzalo Tamayo said the recent rally in some metal priceshas not spurred enough interest in exploration activity to ensure a robust pipeline of future mines.

    "We want to reactivate exploration," Tamayo said in a brief interview. "The level of claims isn't growing at the rhythm we'd like. It has to be faster."

    Tamayo said the government was evaluating changing current rules so that exploration projects do not have to submit the same detailed environmental and archeological studies as proposed mines.

    Instead, companies prospecting for new mineral deposits would only have to submit affidavits about the potential impacts of their plans that could be subject to supervision later.

    "Exploration is less invasive," said Tamayo.

    Safety regulations might also be revised to eliminate unnecessary and costly training sessions, but without raising the risk of accidents, Tamayo added.

    Peru surpassed China as the world's second-biggest copperproducer last year thanks to surging output from MMG's new Las Bambas mine and Freeport-McMoRan's expanded Cerro Verde mine.

    But years of weak mineral prices have dried up interest in building new, large-scale mines in Peru, which is also a leading zinc and gold producer. Mining investments dropped by double digits annually between 2014 and 2016, and the central bank said it expected a 1.1% contraction in 2017.

    Tamayo declined to estimate how much time or money junior miners might save on securing permits under the forthcoming rules, which he said would not apply to projectsthat have already been submitted for approval.

    Tamayo acknowledged that President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's six-month-old government is not the first to vow to slash red tape but said it was committed to doing all it could to make it easier for mining companies to work in Peruin coming years.

    The government is also in the process of creating a new office in the cabinet to prevent social conflicts that have derailed mining projects in Peru in the past.
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    Russia proposes creating aluminium OPEC: Trade Minister

    Russia is proposing the creation of an OPEC-like organisation for the global aluminium industry, TASS news agency quoted Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying on Monday.

    Russia's Rusal was overtaken by China's Hongqiao as the world's biggest aluminium producer several years ago, as Rusal cut back its production capacity due to a fall in prices.

    Manturov told reporters about the idea of an aluminium-making group on the sidelines of an economic conference in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.

    OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, unites some of the world's largest oil producers. Its members, together with non-OPEC oil producers such as Russia, agreed to reduce oil production and support global prices in 2016.

    "It is currently at the stage of a proposal," Manturov told reporters.

    "At the first stage" of creating such an organization for aluminium, participation of officials such as industry ministers "would be enough".

    "What is more important is that all governments, which are the main producers and exporters of primary aluminium, agree on principles of single policy in the area of standards and technology," the minister said.

    Rusal, controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, was not available for immediate comment. Shareholders include trading giant Glencore and Russian businessmen Viktor Vekselberg and Mikhail Prokhorov.

    Rusal's 2016 production rose one percent year-on-year to 3.685 million tonnes and is expected remain stable in 2017.
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    Steel, Iron Ore and Coal

    China Jan coking coal imports surge 85.5pct YoY

    China imported 6.23 million tonnes of coking coal in January, surging 85.5% year on year and up 6.3% from last December, the second straight rise on monthly basis, showed the latest data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

    Value of the imports totaled $1.04 billion in January, rising 365.5% from the preceding year and up 27% month on month.

    Major suppliers of the steelmaking material included Australia and Mongolia in January. China imported 2.82 million tonnes of Australian coking coal in the month, increasing 67.6% from the year-ago level and up 36.3% from December.

    Tangshan and Cangzhou in China's Hebei province logged sharpest increase of coking coal imports from Australia in January, as some steel mills that had been conducting maintenances for long started to resume production, and many steel makers replenished stocks before the Spring Festival holidays amid bullish outlook toward the future market.

    In January, Hebei province imported 914,000 tonnes of coking coal from Australia, soaring 248.9% from the month prior; Liaoning province in eastern China also saw a marked increase in coking coal imports from the country.

    By January 23, coking coal stocks at survey steel mills stood at 6.62 million tonnes, up 14.7% from early January.

    China imported 2.58 million tonnes of coking coal from Mongolia in the month, surging 154.4% year on year but down 16.6% month on month. The decline was mainly due to a reduction of 17.6% from last December in Inner Mongolia coking coal imports to 2.47 million tonnes in the same month.

    China's imports of Canadian rose 40.4% from the month prior to 410,000 tonnes in January, while imports from Russia increased 15.1% month on month to 320,000 tonnes. China imported 110,000 tonnes of coking coal from the U.S., against none in last December.

    China exported 140,000 tonnes of coking coal in January, down 8.8% year on year, and the value increased 81% from a year ago to $25.46 million.

    Attached Files
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    Fortescue denies making a bid for Wesfarmers’ Curragh assets

    Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals has refuted claims that it is bidding for ASX-listed Wesfarmers' Curragh coal assets, in Queensland.

    Wesfarmers in November 2016 announced that it was evaluating “strategic options” for both of its coal assets in Queensland and New South Wales, with the miner reportedly placing a price tag of A$2-billion on the assets.

    Media reports suggested that Fortescue had made a play for the 8.5-million-tonne-a-year metallurgical and 3.5-million-tonne-a-year thermal coal operations.

    However, the miner on Monday said the reports were incorrect.

    We are focused on debt repayment and capital flexibility, investment in the long-term sustainability of our core iron-ore assets, creating low-cost future growth options and delivery of returns to our shareholders,” the company said in a statement.

    Attached Files
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    China voices disquiet over new EU anti-dumping move on steel

    China expressed concerns on Tuesday over what it said was increasing protectionism after European Union regulators imposed new duties on steel imports from the world's biggest producer.

    The European Commission is seeking to protect EU steelmakers while avoiding tensions with Beijing, which it sees as a possible ally against protectionism and climate change.

    It imposed definitive anti-dumping duties of between 65.1 percent and 73.7 percent on imports of heavy plate non-alloy or other alloy steel from China on Tuesday, confirming provisional tariffs set in October.

    This prompted a statement from China's Commerce Ministry calling on Europe to treat Chinese companies "fairly and impartially", adding it was ready to strengthen communication with the EU to tackle issues in the industry.

    The companies named in the Commission's ruling included Nanjing Iron & Steel Co Ltd, Minmetals Yingkou Medium Plate Co Ltd, Wuyang Iron and Steel Co Ltd and Wuyang New Heavy & Wide Steel Plate Co Ltd.

    The EU executive said it acted after an investigation found Chinese companies to be heavily dumping their products on the EU market by selling them at well below half of the price on the producers' home market.

    "The Commission has responded forcefully and quickly to unfair competition, while at the same time ensuring that the rights of all interested parties have been protected," the Commission said in a statement.

    Eurofer, which represents the European steel sector, said the Commission had found clear evidence of dumping.

    "Tens of thousands of steel jobs have been lost in Europe over the past few years, and dumping, particularly demonstrably from China, has been one of the causes," it said in a statement.

    The EU has strengthened its policy against what it considers unfair competition for its steel industry, and said its new approach had allowed it to decide on trade sanctions more quickly than in the past.

    It said on Tuesday it has 41 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures in place, 18 of which are on products from China.

    Also on Tuesday, Europe's second highest court backed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties imposed by the EU nearly four years ago on imports of Chinese solar panels.
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    China's key steel mills daily output gains 3.56pct in early Feb

    Daily crude steel output of China's key steel mills gained 3.56% from ten days ago to 1.72 million tonnes over February 1-10, according to data released by the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

    The country's total crude steel output was estimated at 2.25 million tonnes each day on average during the same period, climbing 12.5% from ten days ago, the CISA said.

    By January 10, stocks of steel products at key steel mills stood at 14.41 million tonnes, up 1.82% from ten days ago, the CISA data showed.

    Steel products stocks in the country had been trending up since February this year, signaling strengthened market sentiment.

    In mid-February, rebar price increased 6.2% from ten days ago to 3,562.6 yuan/t; wire price climbed 5.1% from ten days ago to 3,638.1 yuan/t, showed data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

    Steel prices robustly rebounded after the Chinese Spring Festival holidays, attributed mainly to improved demand spurred by the loose credit policy and lower-than-expected inventories as most steel mills had not yet resumed production.

    However, industry insiders dismissed the rebound as unsustainable, as increased profit may lure more steel makers to resume production, which will lead to surplus supply and downward prices again.
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    China's Feb stainless steel output regains momentum after Lunar New Year

    China's stainless steel production has regained momentum in February after Lunar New Year holidays trimmed output in January, Yujing Liu, analyst at Chinese consultancy Antaike, said Tuesday.

    China's stainless steel production was expected to rebound to 2.2 million mt in February from 2.1 million mt in January due to strong stainless steel prices, Liu said. December production was 2.2 million mt, Liu added.

    January output dipped due to plants closing for Lunar New Year holidays.

    Chinese stainless steelmakers Baowu Steel and Taiyuan Iron & Steel this week rolled over March ferrochrome purchase prices from February at Yuan 9,500/mt ($1.05/lb) and Yuan 9,300/mt, respectively.

    Monthly Chinese mill purchase prices had been falling since December. February-March prices are down 12% from Yuan 10,400-10,800/mt in December.

    Ferrochrome suppliers agreed positive momentum has returned and said March stainless steel output in China may exceed that of February.

    Most Chinese major mills were producing at near full capacity in February and raw material orders for March-April deliveries started to pick up from last week, sources said.

    "Chinese stainless steel customers were calling for supplies much earlier than we expected; they said February production was higher than they initially expected," said one ferrochrome supplier source.

    Official production data from the China Special Steel Enterprise Association or CSSC shows China produced 24.9 million mt of stainless steel in 2016, up 15.7% year on year.

    Output totaled 5.2 million mt in the first quarter, 6.5 million mt in Q2, 6.3 million mt in Q3 and 6.8 million mt in Q4.

    The organisation does not break down production data by month.
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