Mark Latham Commodity Equity Intelligence Service

Thursday 10th November 2016
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    The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.

    For the first time since before World War II, Americans chose a president who promised to reverse the internationalism practiced by predecessors of both parties and to build walls both physical and metaphorical. Mr. Trump’s win foreshadowed an America more focused on its own affairs while leaving the world to take care of itself.

    The outsider revolution that propelled him to power over the Washington establishment of both political parties also reflected a fundamental shift in international politics evidenced already this year by events like Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union. Mr. Trump’s success could fuel the populist, nativist, nationalist, closed-border movements already so evident in Europe and spreading to other parts of the world.

    In Germany, where American troops have been stationed for more than seven decades, the prospect of a pullback seemed bewildering. “It would be the end of an era,” Henrik Müller, a journalism professor at the Technical University of Dortmund, wrote in Der Spiegel. “The postwar era in which Americans’ atomic weapons and its military presence in Europe shielded first the west and later the central European states would be over. Europe would have to take care of its own security.”

    Which brings us to an important question: Was Donald Trump just good enough to beat a bad Democratic opponent on Tuesday, or does he deserve far more credit? Could he, for instance, have competed with the vaunted Obama machine? The answer, somewhat shockingly, is yes. A review of vote totals in the past two elections reveals that Trump 2016 would have defeated Obama 2012 in the electoral college.

    Read more at:
    Image title(MGL: The result is profoundly shocking to those outside the US, mobile outages in the UK surged.)

    Image titleRural vs Urban divide.
    MogIA, an artificial intelligence system and election predictor, has successfully predicted its fourth election in a row.

    Pollsters and election modelers suffered an industry-shattering embarrassment at the hands of Donald Trump on Tuesday night.

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    Dutch rightist Wilders expects Trump boost for Europe's populists

    Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders said Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election was a sign that the West was living through a "patriotic spring" that would boost support for populist parties in Europe like his own.

    Wilders, whose anti-immigration, anti-Muslim Freedom Party tops polls ahead of next year's parliamentary elections, said mainstream politicians had lost the trust of voters in the West by ignoring the issues they cared most about.

    "Trump winning proved to me that people are fed up with politically correct politicians who are concerned and involved with issues that regard themselves but not those that are important to the public," he said.

    German AfD Leader Petry Says Trump Vote ‘Encouraging’ for Europe
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    Another poll: Italy referendum

    Oh look, another poll: Italy Referendum: ‘Yes’ 47.9%, ‘No’ 52.1%: Euromedia Poll

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    China jails 49 for catastrophic Tianjin factory blasts

    Courts in north China's Tianjin Municipality on Wednesday sentenced 49 people to prison, including 24 company managers and staff members as well as 25 government officials found guilty of various crimes that led to the city's warehouse blasts, which killed at least 165 people in August 2015.

    The suspects were tried by The Second Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin and nine other grass-roots courts from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9. As the rulings were made on Wednesday, all suspects agreed with the verdicts and expressed remorse, sources with the Higher People's Court of Tianjin said.

    On Aug. 12, 2015, a series of explosions ripped through a warehouse of Ruihai Logistics Co. Ltd. (Ruihai Logistics) in Tianjin Port, leaving 165 people dead, eight missing, and 798 injured. The blasts also damaged 304 buildings, 12,428 cars, and 7,533 containers, incurring economic losses amounting to 6.87 billion yuan (1.01 billion U.S. dollars).

    The court found Yu Xuewei, chairman of Ruihai Logistics, guilty of bribing port administration officials with cash and goods worth 157,500 yuan (23,333 U.S. dollars) to obtain a certificate to handle hazardous chemicals at the port.

    Yu was convicted of illegal storage of hazardous materials, illegal business operations, causing incidents involving hazardous materials, and bribery. He was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.

    The deputy chairman and general manager of Ruihai Logistics and three other employees of the company were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 years to life. Seven Ruihai Logistics staff members directly responsible for the incident were sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison.

    Eleven people with a safety evaluation company that provided Ruihai Logistics counterfeit safety reports were also jailed.

    Twenty five officials, including head of Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission Wu Dai, were sentenced to prison terms lasting from three to seven years for dereliction of duty, abuse of power, and accepting bribes.
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    Dr Copper speaks!

    Mr Market in action:

    Image title

    Missed this!

    Explanation: Trump is pro-growth. Leftist anti-growth agenda being torn up. Tax cuts are #1 on the agenda. Tax simplification on the agenda. Trump has no special interest groups to pander too. You could see something really radical hit the deck. (Paris is going to have a complete hernia. )

    Meanwhile: marginal Chinese metal beneficiation capacity under all sorts of stress here. (Trucks+ Smog)
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    Oil and Gas

    OPEC Deal Becomes More Urgent, Harder to Agree After Trump Win

    OPEC was already struggling to finalize a deal on production cuts this month. And then Donald Trump was elected President of the U.S.

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries faces increasing urgency to take measures that will support oil prices as Trump’s surprise victory threatens to deepen a market sell-off, said UBS Group AG. Yet the uncertainty arising from the President-Elect’s policies -- from climate change to the U.S. shale industry and sanctions on Iran -- will make resolving differences between producers even harder.

    “The pressure on OPEC to come up with a deal only increases in the wake of Trump’s victory,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS in Zurich. “Even though the oil market is rebalancing, the political uncertainty in the short term leaves oil prices vulnerable to downside, that makes it more urgent for OPEC to act.”

    Oil prices had already retreated 15 percent since late October on growing doubts that OPEC can finalize the Algiers accord at its Nov. 30 meeting while almost a third of its members refuse to lower their output. Crude prices initially slumped to near $43 a barrel in New York on Wednesday after Trump, a real-estate mogul and reality television star, was elected, but later erased losses as a global selloff of risky assets abated.

    Policy Questions

    The result is “bearish for the emerging markets, which drive oil-demand growth” because Trump has vowed to scrap international trade agreements in Latin America and Asia, according to consultant FGE. His surprise win could also weaken prices by aiding a revival in U.S. shale oil production. Harold Hamm, the chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc. who has advised Trump on energy policy, is “solidly pro-domestic oil and gas development,” FGE said.

    Trump’s various policy positions could either support or weaken oil prices, making it more complicated for OPEC to conclude a deal, said David Hufton, chief executive officer of brokers PVM Group Ltd. in London.

    The next U.S. president is likely to treat climate change agreements “skeptically” and moves towards limiting carbon dioxide output are “likely to slow or reverse,” potentially boosting demand for fossil fuels, according to FGE. Trump has also said he would undo last year’s nuclear accord with Iran, potentially reversing increases in the Islamic Republic’s oil exports, said RBC Capital Markets.

    OPEC Disputes

    Equally, Trump’s election may have little impact on either the market or OPEC’s negotiations, said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London. The new president won’t take office until January, and any new policies will first need to be approved by Congress, he said.

    “The pressure to reach a deal was there ahead of the U.S. presidential election,” Tchilinguirian said. “The outcome of the race doesn’t change that.”

    OPEC aims to finalize how much each member should reduce output after agreeing in principle to a joint cut to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels a day in September. The accord already faced a number of hurdles, with key producers including Iran and Iraq arguing they should be exempt because of their production losses in recent years from war and sanctions. Both have disputed the output estimates OPEC intends to use as the basis for any accord.

    The complications only increase with Trump on the way to the White House, according to PVM’s Hufton.

    “There’s a bit of fog coming down -- it just adds a bit more uncertainty, for OPEC and everybody else,” Hufton said.
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    Iran crude, condensate exports to hit 4-mth low in Nov -source

    Iran's crude oil exports are set to fall 7.5 percent in November to a four-month low, a source with knowledge of its preliminary tanker schedule said, as low seasonal demand in Europe takes the edge off its post-sanctions export bonanza.

    Iran's oil exports typically hit a low around October or November each year, reflecting peak refinery maintenance seasons in Europe and in Asia.

    Overall, OPEC's third-largest producer has been regaining market share at a faster pace than analysts had projected since sanctions were lifted in January, with its exports of crude and condensate hitting a five-year high of at least 2.60 million barrels per day (bpd) in September.

    Iran's sales of crude and ultra light oil condensate are set to fall for a second straight month to 2.37 million bpd in November from 2.56 million bdp in October, according to the source who is familiar with Iran's export situation.

    Compared with a year ago, Tehran's November crude exports are set to rise 118 percent, according to the source.

    Iran's current oil output is almost 4 million bpd, and its exports have reached 2.4 million bpd, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company was quoted as saying by the oil ministry's news agency last week.


    Iran's crude and condensate exports to Asia this month are likely to total 1.93 million bpd, up nearly 100,000 bpd from October, but exports to Europe look set to fall to 433,000 bpd from 613,000 bpd in October.

    Usually, the United Arab Emirates loads around 50,000 bpd to 145,000 bpd of Iranian condensate each month, but there are no loadings for the Middle East this month, the first time in at least two years.

    Loadings headed for China will jump 35 percent from October to 669,000 bpd. But India will load slightly more at 674,000 bpd, retaining its status as Iranian oil's top buyer for the second straight month.

    South Korea is set to take 368,000 bpd in November, down from 379,000 bpd in October. Japan is lifting 156,000 bpd of crude, down 31 percent. Taiwan, which has been buying from Iran every other month, will lift about 2 million barrels in November.

    Turkey is lifting 133,000 bpd in November, down 31 percent from the previous month. Greece is lifting around 2 million barrels, and Spain and Italy are loading about 1 million barrels each.

    Iran is also pushing about 2 million barrels of crude into its offshore storage this month, the source said.
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    Rosneft sells 20% of huge field to Beijing Gas

    Rosneft PJSC agreed to sell 20 percent of its Verkhnechonsk oil and gas field in Siberia for about $1.1 billion to Beijing Gas Group Co in a deal that may give the Russian producer access to China's natural-gas market.

    "The competences and capabilities of our partner in the key distribution market will generate significant synergies from our joint operation," Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin said in a statement on Monday. Sechin and Beijing Gas Chairwoman Li Yalan signed the agreement-outlined back in June-during a meeting in St. Petersburg.

    The sale will help Rosneft manage the largest debt load in Russia's oil industry. It has accumulated total debts of more than $40 billion, mainly from its $55 billion acquisition of TNK-BP in 2013.

        This year it also agreed to buy Russian oil producer Bashneft PJSC and Indian refiner Essar Oil Ltd. While the Verkhnechonsk deal will bolster the balance sheet, it also helps Russia boost energy ties with China, after trade between the two countries declined last year.

        This deal, with one of China's largest distributors of natural gas, gives Rosneft a strategic partner in exploiting the unit's reserves of the fuel. Rosneft gains the possibility of accessing China's local gas market, including end-customer
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    PetroChina starts up new LNG storage tanks

    According to Reuters, PetroChina has started up new LNG storage tanks at two receiving terminals in preparation for winter demand.

    Reuters reports that the company recently began operating a tank with a capacity of 200 000 m3 – in addition to pipelines and regasification facilities – in Rudong, eastern Jiangsu province, China.

    These new facilities in Rudong are reportedly part of a second phase expansion project, which has increased the company’s handling capacity from 3.5 million tpy to 6.5 million tpy. Following the expansion, Rudong has a total of 680 000 m3 of storage capacity.

    In addition to this, Reuters reports that PetroChina has started test running a new storage tank at its Dalian terminal. This is expected to double the facility’s receiving capacity to 6 million tpy.

    The company reportedly said that it would increase its gas supply this winter by 7% compared to the year before. It said that it would do this by slightly increasing imports, as well as by pumping more from onshore domestic fields, such as Longwangmiao.

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    Large increase in US lower 48 oil production

                                                            Last Week  Week Before  Last Year

    Domestic Production'000............... 8,692            8,522           9,185
    Alaska .................................................. 517              510               526
    Lower 48 ................. ......................... 8,175           8,012            8,659
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    Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending November 4, 2016

    U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged over 15.8 million barrels per day during the week ending November 4, 2016, 369,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 87.1% of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased slightly last week, averaging about 10.5 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging 4.8 million barrels per day.

    U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 7.4 million barrels per day last week, down by about 1.6 million barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 7.6 million barrels per day, 5.3% above the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 500,000 barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 107,000 barrels per day last week.

    U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 2.4 million barrels from the previous week. At 485.0 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.8 million barrels last week, but are well above the upper limit of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories increased while blending components inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.9 million barrels last week but are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories fell 1.3 million barrels last week but are near the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 7.0 million barrels last week.

    Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged about 20.1 million barrels per day, up by 1.5% from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 9.1 million barrels per day, down by 2.1% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged above 4.0 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up by 1.0% from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied is up 5.1% compared to the same four-week period last year.

    Cushing unchanged

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    Cheniere authorized to advance Sabine Pass Train 3 commissioning

    Cheniere’s Sabine Pass liquefaction project has been authorized to introduce feed gas and refrigerants into Train 3 and stage 2 OSBL facilities for commissioning.

    However, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission noted in its letter on Tuesday that this authorization does not grant introduction of natural gas or process fluids into areas not identified in the request.

    In a recent report, Cheniere informed that the construction of Sabine Pass trains 3 and 4 is 91.8 percent complete and ahead of contractual schedule, with substantial completion expected in 2017.

    Following the completion of maintenance and repair works at Sabine Pass that began in September, Cheniere restarted liquefaction activities at both Train 1 and Train 2.
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    Oklahoma regulators target more disposal wells following Cushing quake

    The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) on Tuesday said it was implementing an action plan that shuts or reduces volumes from 58 wastewater disposal wells in the Arbuckle formation of Oklahoma following Sunday's magnitude 5.0 earthquake.

    In a statement, the state's oil and gas regulator said that under the new directive, it will require seven wells to shut by Nov. 14 with an additional 47 more to reduce volume by Nov. 21.

    Four wells in the impacted area have already been shut as part of an October directive. The 47 wells that must reduce volume had already made a 40 percent reduction following an earlier directive.

    Wastewater injection wells have been tied to a massive increase in seismic activity in the oil and gas producing state, which has naturally occurring fault lines.

    The wells are needed to dispose of saltwater, a normal byproduct of drilling.

    According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), the state has been recording 2-1/2 earthquakes daily of magnitude 3 or greater, a seismicity rate 600 times greater than before 2008.

    The regulator said that Tuesday's plan was only an initial response, and that a broader plan is underway that will encompass more disposal wells in the Arbuckle. The current plan focuses on areas six, 10 and 15 miles (9.5, 16 and 24 km) from the location of the quake.

    The latest earthquake occurred just two miles (3.2 km) west of Cushing, Oklahoma, a small city of 8,000 people that is also the largest oil hub in the United States. It came just two months after a 5.6 quake, the strongest on record in the state.

    The increased frequency of earthquakes in the state has raised concerns about the safety of hub's pipelines and tanks, which holds some 60 million barrels of oil and is the delivery point for the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures contract, making it a crucial fixture of the U.S. oil market.

    Some terminal operators, including Enterprise Products Partners and Magellan Midstream Partners, briefly suspended operations following Sunday's tremor but were up and running normally by Monday and reported no damage.

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    Alternative Energy

    Trump win stokes fears over climate change goals, hits renewable stocks

    Donald Trump's election as U.S. president triggered fears that his view that global warming is a hoax might lead other nations to scale back ambitions under a landmark climate change deal, while renewable energy stocks fell on world markets.

    Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton cast a dark cloud over delegates attending a 200-nation meeting in Marrakesh being held from Nov. 7-18 to celebrate the start of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming last Friday.

    Trump has threatened to tear up the Paris accord for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, worked out in two decades of tortuous negotiations by countries as diverse as China, Pacific islands and OPEC oil producers.

    Some delegates expressed concern that Trump, who in the past has dismissed climate change as a hoax, could cause other nations to reconsider their position on global warming. Trump has also said climate change was an invention by China and wants instead to promote jobs in the U.S. fossil fuel industry.

    "We will have a lot more hurdles," said Ian Fry, head of the delegation of Tuvalu, a Pacific island state which fears rising sea levels, adding Trump's victory could have a "domino effect on other nations".

    The Paris Agreement allows all nations to set national targets to slow climate change and some could scale those back. The Marrakesh talks are also meant to start writing a "rule book" to oversee the pact that might be less stringent without the United States. There are no sanctions for non-compliance.

    But many nations vowed to push ahead despite Trump with the sweeping plan to phase out net global greenhouse gas emissions between 2050 and 2100 by shifting from coal and oil to cleaner energies such as wind or solar power.

    "No change," Japan's delegation chief Shigeru Ushio told Reuters of Japan's policies. He noted that the agreement says it will formally take four years for any country to pull out of the agreement - the length of Trump's presidential term.

    On markets, Trump's victory drove down renewable energy stocks. Shares in Vestas (VWS.CO), the world's biggest wind turbine maker, were down 6.2 percent in mid-morning, while German peer Nordex (NDXG.DE) traded 6.6 percent lower.


    Many delegates expressed hopes Trump as president would accept mainstream scientific findings. A U.N. panel of climate scientists says it is at least 95 percent likely that man-made emissions are the main cause of rising temperatures since 1950.

    Average global temperatures this year are set to be the hottest in records dating back to the 19th century, beating 2015. "Even Donald Trump cannot do anything about the laws of physics," Laurence Tubiana, France's climate ambassador, said.

    She told Reuters she was betting "all countries will stick to the Paris Agreement" as rising temperatures were damaging the global economy with more heatwaves, floods and droughts.

    Campaigners for more action on climate change were shocked. The United States is the number two greenhouse gas emitter behind China.

    "This is a dark, dark day," said Jesse Bragg, of Corporate Accountability International. "My heart is absolutely broken," said Becky Chung of SustainUS.

    Among statements about climate change, Trump asked in a January 2014 Tweet amid a cold snap: "Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?"

    Overnight, at one Marrakesh hotel, environmentalists and climate scientists huddled around a television expecting a Clinton victory. Their mood descended into a stunned silence as the result became clear.

    Other renewable shares were also hit. Spain's Gamesa (GAM.MC), which is being merged with Siemens (SIEGn.DE), and Portugal's EDP Renovaveis (EDPR.LS).

    Still, Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, a European forum for 128 investors with more than €13 trillion of assets, said changes towards greener growth were "irreversible".

    "Renewables have already overtaken coal as a global power source, electric vehicles are the growth segment of the auto industry and jobs are being created in clean energy sectors faster than any other," she said.

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    Trump Seen as ‘Wildcard’ for Ethanol Makers as Oil Refiners Jump

    Investors are betting that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory may herald changes to a contentious law that forces American refiners to use ethanol.

    Shares of U.S. independent refiners surged, including CVR Refining LP, owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a critic of the biofuel mandate, which climbed the most ever. Meanwhile, renewable fuel producers such as Green Plains Inc. and Renewable Energy Group Inc. tumbled. Credits that regulators and oil companies use to track compliance with the law also plunged.

    The 2007 energy law that calls for escalating amounts of renewables in America’s fuel supply helped to stoke a battle between biofuel, agriculture and petroleum interests, among others. Refiners complained of burdensome compliance costs after an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to increase volumes earlier this year. In September, Trump’s campaign published a fact sheet calling for the elimination of the system of buying and selling the biofuel blending credits, before later re-issuing it with that language deleted. Trump has said that he supports ethanol.

    “I don’t think it’s as crystal clear,” Aakash Doshi, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “We see Trump as a bigger wild card” given his stated support of oil and natural gas, overall, he said.

    RINs Trading

    Icahn, a backer of Trump, has called trading of Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs, which requires refiners to buy credits to meet biofuel blending requirements, a "rigged" marketplace. The current system has added hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to refiners that don’t own retail arms. There’s also been allegations of malfeasance.

    A group of refiners was said to have warned the Obama administration that plants may be forced to shut because of the burden placed on independent fuel makers.

    "The government shouldn’t be going in and deciding what business should go out of business as the EPA does in the refineries," Icahn said by phone Wednesday, in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "They should not be doing that, but they should be going in and helping you in a lot of ways."

    Shares of CVR Refining jumped 26 percent to $8.55 in New York. Green Plains sank 4.2 percent to $24.

    Credit Costs

    Valero Energy Corp. said last month it expects to spend as much as $850 million this year on RINs. CVR Refining said its cost could be as much as $250 million.

    RINs tracking ethanol use for 2016 have more than doubled to 91 cents in the past year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Ethanol credits dropped as much as 16 percent Wednesday. RINs tracking biodiesel have increased about 59 percent in the past year to 95.5 cents, data show.

    “RINs continue to be an egregious tax on our business,” Jack Lipinski, CEO of CVR Refining, said Oct. 27 on a conference call with analysts. “I would predict that small refiners, merchant refiners, will be pushed to the brink and maybe even into bankruptcy in the future.”

    CVR Refining declined comment. PBF Energy Inc., Alon USA Energy Inc. and HollyFrontier Corp. were among refiners that saw gains Wednesday.

    Waiver Use

    The Trump administration could use waivers to reduce costs for refiners to comply with the program, said Timothy Cheung, a vice president at ClearView Energy Partners in Washington.

    Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association, both Washington-based biofuel trade groups, cited Trump’s public support of the mandate and said they expect to work with his administration to boost domestic and export demand.

    “Donald Trump’s victory increases the odds that the Renewable Fuel Standard will be reformed,” Rob Barnett, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Washington, said. “Trump spoke favorably of the RFS during his campaign, but many Republican lawmakers in Congress have been pushing both repeal and reform bills.”

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    UK outlines £580m CfD budget plans

    The UK Government has outlined plans for £580 million of funding for its Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme.

    As part of the auction, low carbon electricity generators are incentivised for the power they produce.

    The application process for £290 million of annual funding will open in April 2017 for projects to be delivered in 2021/22 or 2022/23.

    The second CfD allocation round will support “less established” technologies, including offshore wind, anaerobic digestion (AD) with or without CHP, biomass with CHP, advanced conversion technologies with or without CHP, wave, tidal and geothermal energy.

    The draft strike prices for delivery in 2021/22 per megawatt hour are £105 for offshore wind, £125 for advanced conversion technologies, 140 for AD, £115 for biomass, £310 for wave and £300 for tidal.

    For delivery in 2022/23, the strike prices per megawatt hour are £100 for offshore wind, £115 for advanced conversion technologies and £135 for AD plants.

    For biomass, it is £115, £300 for wave and £295 for tidal power.

    A price for geothermal projects will be set out following a consultation.

    A maximum of 150MW – equivalent to a budget of £70 million – will be applied to “fuelled” biomass technologies.

    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expects the second CfD auction to result in enough renewable electricity to power around one million homes and cut emissions by 2.5 million tonnes a year from 2021/22 onwards.

    Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “We’re sending a clear signal that Britain is one of the best places in the world to invest in clean, flexible energy as we continue to upgrade our energy infrastructure.

    “This is a key part of our upcoming Industrial Strategy, which will provide companies with the further support they need to innovate as we build a diverse energy system fit for the 21stcentury that is reliable while keeping bills down for our families and businesses.”

    Support for remote island wind projects have been left out as BEIS is seeking views on “whether they should be treated differently to onshore wind projects more generally”.
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    SMA Solar sees limited impact from Trump victory for now

    SMA Solar, the world's largest maker of solar inverters, sees no immediate impact on its key U.S. business from Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election there, its chief executive said on Thursday.

    SMA Solar makes nearly half of its sales in the Americas region, which includes South and North America, and has steadily grown its local business on the back of incentive schemes that have favoured utility-scale solar installations.

    Renewable stocks declined on Wednesday, hit by concern that Trump's declared focus on fossil fuel-based energy sources will come at the expense of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy.

    "(Trump) has never made a secret of the fact that he doesn't think much of renewable energy," SMA Solar CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon said in a statement after presenting forecast-beating third-quarter results.

    Urbon said that the current U.S. incentive programmes were passed jointly by Democrats and Republicans in Congress, adding that the situation should not be overestimated at the moment.

    The company, also Germany's largest solar group, reported third-quarter operating profit (EBIT) of 21.13 million euros ($23.12 million), up 4 percent year-on-year, and also beating the 13.5 million Thomson Reuters estimate.
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    SolarCity third-quarter installations top view, costs fall

    A Solar City logo is seen on the side of a company vehicle in San Diego, California, U.S., November 2, 2016.REUTERS/Mike Blake

    Rooftop solar company SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O), which hopes to be acquired by Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O), said installations exceeded expectations in the third quarter but would come in at the low end of the company's forecast for the year.

    SolarCity, backed by Tesla founder Elon Musk, said it installed 187 megawatts (MW) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, exceeding its forecast of 170 MW. For the year, it expects installations of 900 MW, a 3 percent increase over 2015. In August, the company forecast full year installations of 900 to 1,000 MW.

    Revenue rose to $200.6 million from $113.9 million.

    SolarCity is known for its no-money-down financing schemes that allow homeowners to pay monthly fees for solar power and avoid tens of thousands of dollars of upfront costs. But investors have worried that the company has been burning through cash to finance its growth, which has slowed over the last year.

    Yet cash at the end of the third quarter was $259.3 million, up sharply from $145.7 million at the end of the prior quarter. Total liabilities rose to $6.68 billion at the end of September from $6.35 billion at the end of June.

    As the cost of solar panels has plummeted in recent years, consumers have become more interested in owning their solar systems rather than leasing. This allows them to claim a lucrative federal tax credit.

    SolarCity said it struggled earlier this year because it was leasing installations to customers rather than offering loans so that customers could own their systems. The company started offering loans in the second quarter, and said loan and cash system sales represented 23 percent of gross residential MW booked in the third quarter. Loans and system sales are expected to become a larger portion of SolarCity's business heading into 2017, the company said.

    Sales costs per watt, which were stubbornly high at the beginning of this year as the company spent more to win customers, fell 18 percent from the second quarter to 58 cents, a penny below the 59 cents it reported a year ago.

    Net income attributable to shareholders was $53.2 million, or 48 cents per share. The company had posted a loss of $19.1 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.

    SolarCity agreed in August to a $2.6 billion takeover offer from Tesla. Shareholders in both companies are scheduled to vote on the deal on Nov. 17.
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    SunPower posts smaller quarterly loss; to cut costs

    SunPower Corp, the No. 2 U.S. solar panel maker, reported a smaller quarterly loss, and the company said it would initiate cost-cutting programs.

    The programs are expected to improve margins and reduce 2017 annual operating expenses to about $350 million, SunPower said on Wednesday.

    Net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to $40.5 million, or 29 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 2, from $56.3 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

    The company, majority owned by French energy giant Total SA , said revenue jumped 91.8 percent to $729.3 million, largely helped by higher revenue from its power plant business.
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    Precious Metals

    Row over Romania's land of Dracula and gold spills onto new international stage

    A battle over plans to build a huge gold mine in Rosia Montana, a Romanian village boasting intact Roman mining shafts and 18th century houses, has moved to an international stage, sparking residents' fears that the projectcould be resurrected.

    Sitting atop one of Europe's largest gold deposits, Rosia Montana has for 15 years been at the centre of a battle between villagers and Canada-listed mining company Gabriel Resources.

    Gabriel Resources said the $1.5-billion project to build Europe's largest gold mine would provide a major boost for Romania's lagging economy and create hundreds of jobs for the Transylvania region - the legendary home of Dracula.

    But local residents fear the mine would destroy historic Rosia Montana, surrounding hillsides, and pollute the local environment with cyanide used in the mining process.

    Opposition to the mine sparked nationwide protests in 2013 described as the biggest since the early 1990s anti-communist marches and, facing pressure from locals and international environmentalists, the government blocked the mine.

    Gabriel Resources has now moved the fight to the World Bank's international arbitration tribunal to seek a reported $4-billion in compensation - about 2% of the Romanian economy - for the stalled project.

    Residents struggling to keep abreast of developments fear Gabriel Resources and Romania's cash-strapped government - which faces an election in December and has a minority stake in the project - are working together to keep locals out negotiations.

    Alburnus Maior, the campaign group set up by Rosia Montana villagers, fears Gabriel Resources is using a back door to try to revitalise the project while the government delays decisions that would block the mine.

    "International arbitration breaches the right of local communities to decide for themselves what kind of development they want," said Eugen David, a farmer and head of Alburnus Maior who counts actress Vanessa Redgrave among his supporters.

    "It also ignores the rulings of national courts, thereby creating a parallel justice system that is accessible only to foreign investors," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    David said the villagers had been unable to access any documents related to the tribunal process, concerned the mining company and government were blocking access.

    But Gabriel Resources Chief Executive Jonathan Henrysaid issues of transparency and production of documents were a matter for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) which began on September 23 to hear the case. No second hearing is yet set.

    "It is the tribunal that sets up the process regarding transparency after consulting with the parties," Henry told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    This is not the first time the massive gold project has hit world headlines.

    The battle first took an international twist about a decade ago when highlighted by Swiss-born journalist Stephanie Rothwho moved to Romania to fight plans for a Dracula theme park.

    She stumbled across Gabriel Resources' plan and alerted the likes of Redgrave with appeals even made to Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, who is a strong supporter of Transylvania's natural environment and heritage.

    But the new international battlefield is the ICSID in Washington, DC, which is empowered to settle international disputes about investment and is underpinned by a multilateral treaty signed by more than 150 countries.

    An ICSID spokesman said the first hearing only involved debate on "provisional measures" and legal process.

    Marcos Orellana, a lawyer from the Centre for International Environmental Law who specialises in international commercial arbitration, was an observer at the first hearing and said arrangements made it hard for the public to follow the case.

    He said the hearing was only transmitted on closed circuit TV inside the building although the tribunal can broadcast hearings live on the internet - if the parties allow - and PowerPoint presentations were not made available.

    "It is reasonable to conclude that Romania agreed with the company that access should be restricted (and) that the Romanian government did not want its citizens to have access to the hearing," he said.

    The hearing comes as Romanian central bank governor Mugur Isarescu this month kept interest rates on hold, warning that the 2017 budget plans were a risk for the economic outlook.

    Earlier this year he said he had never "in 25 years seen bigger dangers to Romania's economic and financial stability".

    The ICSID spokesman confirmed to the Thomson Reuters Foundation that all the arrangements for the hearing, including using CCTV and a prohibition on recording the hearing, were made "in consultation with the (two) disputing parties".

    He said so far the parties involved in the dispute - the miningcompany and the Romanian government - had not "authorised" publication of "any of the documents so far submitted to or issued by the tribunal".

    Alburnus Maior originally requested documents relating to the case from the tribunal, stating it needed to see the papers to submit its arguments.

    The ICSID spokesman said the documents would be published on its website once the two parties agreed to make them public.

    A spokesman for Romania's Ministry of Finance told the Thomson Reuters Foundation it was the ICSID's responsibility to release information and that it could not make a unilateral decision to release the documents.

    This was echoed by Henry from Gabriel Resources.

    Villagers have taken action previously to access documents related to the mining project.

    Alburnus Maior asked the Romanian Ministry of Finance in 2015 to make court documents public with the request lodged in a court in Cluj-Napoca, the unofficial capital of Transylvania.

    The court ruled in favour of the villagers but the ministry has since lodged an appeal and no papers have been forthcoming.

    This start to the tribunal - and several moves by the government to drag its heels on some other key decisions - has made villagers and activists fear the mining project could gain ground again.

    David said villagers' fears were further fuelled when Gabriel Resources issued a press release during the September tribunal hearing welcoming a Romanian decision to withdraw a tax claim for $13 million.

    The Romanian tax authority confirmed to the Thomson Reuters Foundation that it had given up its claim for the money and it would reassess Gabriel's tax records.

    "The company has always stated it remains ready to explore an amicable resolution of the dispute that includes development of the project," Henry said in the statement.

    Residents also say they want to see progress on an official application to make Rosia Montana a UNESCO World Heritage site that would iron clad its protection.

    The government has put the village on a tentative list but confirmed it has yet to complete the official application.

    Activists worry too that legislation to ban cyanide-based mining in Romania, sent by the parliament to the government for a legal opinion last year, has not yet received the green light.

    Roth, who won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her support for Alburnus Maior, said she feared arbitration might conclude with a compromise that would let the mine go ahead.

    "As long as the government refuses to learn by listening to the tens of thousands of citizens who took the streets for Rosia Montana during Romania's autumn, mistrust, injustice and instability will prevail," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
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    Base Metals

    Milpo expects to produce about 260,000 tonnes of zinc this year

    Peruvian miner Milpo expects to produce about 260,000 or 265,000 tonnes of zinc this year, maintaining output levels from recent years, the company's president said on Wednesday.

    Victor Gobitz said the Lima-listed company, controlled by the Brazilian group Votorantim, expects to start producing copper from its $300 million project Magistral in 2021 after receiving a construction permit, likely next year.

    Gobitz said Milpo's production of lead, silver and gold are on track to rise by an unspecified amount from its operations in the region of Pasco as new areas are being tapped. He added that Milpo will likely report better results next year as he expects metal prices to improve.

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    China inspectors hit Aluminum!

    Chinese Smelters Again Under the Gun as Beijing Launches Second Round of Environmental Inspections

    ·         Business

    ·         China


    09 November 2016 by Staff

    A second round of environmental inspections put China’s aluminium capacity in the state’s crosshairs yet again, resurrecting fears that punitive capacity shutdowns may be in the offing.

    Xinhua reported earlier this week that the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China initiated a new round of inspections in October, sending out ten teams of inspectors to evaluate the progress of clean-up operations and the administration of environmental laws in twenty provinces. The targeted provinces include the homes of China’s aluminium industry – Shangdong, Guangdong, Hunan, and Jiangxi. The inspections are to focus upon plants that are less than two years old (specifically plants that were built before January 1, 2015) and that previously passed environmental inspection.

    Environmental enforcement in China’s industrial sector has been spotty at best, but there are now legitimate concerns that significant swaths of capacity may be in serious jeopardy. Two of Xinfa’s smelters in Shandong province were fined CNY2 million earlier this summer for emissions infractions, and China Hongqiao was issued notices of fines and ordered to cease production on over half of its 5.9 million metric tons of capacity over the course of this year.

    Industry experts have taken notice of the increasing focus on environmental enforcement, and some wonder if this could ultimately lead to significant permanent capacity closure in China.

    “I don’t know exactly what they are looking at this time around, but it’s clear that there will be more inspections and that they will look harder each time,” a seasoned aluminium expert told Metal Bulletin. He went on to say that such actions will put the provincial government in a tight spot as it will be forced to choose between mandates from Beijing and local economic interests.

    In addition, industry associations like the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association will likely step in and insure that smelters bring down pollution levels and fall in line with environmental standards, he explained.

    “I would call CNIA to lead an audit on emission monitoring equipment to see if aluminium smelters have been equipped with such environment monitors, and if the equipment is operating and finally if it is achieving results,” he concluded.

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    Steel, Iron Ore and Coal

    China may extend coal mine working days to 330

    China may allow advanced coal mines to operate 330 working days untill the end of March, when winter heating ends. previously the extension ended on December 31st


    Attached Files
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    China exchanges hike fees for coal coke and coking coal again

    Three commodity exchanges have increased fees to dampen down speculation   

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    Apollo-led buy of Anglo mines is off

    The Anglo board had votes down the deal that valued the assets at more than $2 bln. said one source. The proposed deal had been part cash and partly a mechanism to lock in any future price rises.

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    NRDC calls for boosting rail coal transport

    China's top planner calls fpr more transport of coal by rail for power generation to guarantee stable power supply.
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    China's steel exports down 14.6% on year

    China exported 7.7 million tonnes of steel products in October, falling 14.6% on year and 12.5% on month, showed the latest data from the General Administration of Customs.

    Total exports of steel products edged up 0.7% on year.

    China's steel exports have been falling since July as domestic consumption increases.

    Trade conflicts have also impacted the numbers.

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