|Day's Range||108.900 - 109.900|
The United States said on Thursday that a U.S. Navy ship had "destroyed" an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the vessel, but Iran said it had no information about losing a drone.
The delightful Canadian riches-to-rags comedy was content to fly under the cultural radar. Then Netflix happened.
Iran said on Thursday it had seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel in the Gulf, and the U.S. military commander in the region said the United States would work "aggressively" to ensure free passage of vessels through the vital waterway. The United States blames Iran for a series of attacks on shipping in the world's most important oil artery since mid-May, accusations Tehran rejects but which have raised fears the long-time foes could stumble into war.
The concept of a carbon budget is dead simple: figure out how much CO2 humanity can pump into the atmosphere without pushing Earth's surface temperature beyond a dangerous threshold. The 2015 Paris climate treaty enjoins the world to set that bar at "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) in order to avoid an upsurge in killer heatwaves, droughts and superstorms made more destructive by rising seas. Only a 1.5C cap above pre-industrial levels, for example, could prevent the total loss of coral reefs that anchor a quarter of marine life and coastal communities around the globe, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a landmark report.
(Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s biggest oil refiner is looking to buy a wider variety of U.S. crude grades in a move that would reduce its reliance on supplies from the conflict-prone Middle East.SK Trading International Co. is considering heavier oil grades from the Gulf of Mexico and Canada as well as ultra-light crude from shale fields if prices are competitive, Chief Executive Officer Suh Sokwon said in an interview. The unit is the trading arm of SK Innovation Co., Korea’s top refiner.American crude is grabbing a bigger slice of Asia as U.S. sanctions crimp supply from Venezuela and Iran, and flaring tensions in the Persian Gulf after tanker attacks and vessel seizures are adding further uncertainty for buyers in the world’s largest oil-consuming region. While some nations are seeking to beef up protection for ships navigating the Arabic Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, SK said the actual impact on energy flows has been minimal so far.“We are on the threshold of a new era where American producers will rush to Asia to find customers,” said Suh, who was appointed as the head of SK Innovation’s trading arm seven months ago after more than 30 years of working for the company. “It would take time, but once we have enough understanding and trust in different types and quality of U.S. crude, it is even possible for us to consider committing ourselves to term contracts.”See also: Infected U.S. Shale Oil Is Being Turned Away by Asian BuyersA spate of tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman ratcheted up risks of importing oil from the Middle East, home to OPEC’s top five drillers, just as sellers in America hone in on Asia as a key destination for their fast-growing exports. SK is in talks with its government for assistance on insurance and security for its shipments, and in the event of soaring risks and supply disruptions, the company will seek approval to tap into the state’s oil reserves, said Suh.The U.S. plans to brief foreign diplomats based in Washington this week on a new maritime security initiative to protect shipping in the Middle East. In May and June, six tankers were attacked just outside the Gulf. While Iran has been blamed for attacks on merchant shipping, it has denied responsibility.Oil ReplacementFrom heavier crudes to ultra-light oil known as condensates, American grades are increasingly able to displace some supplies from the Middle East. That’s providing more supply options to Asian refiners including SK, which currently buys about 4 million barrels of U.S. crude per month. South Korea’s imports from the U.S. hit a record of 13.6 million barrels last December, with latest purchases at about 11.5 million barrels in May.In early-May, when Donald Trump’s administration opted for a hardline stance on Iran sanctions and a zero-tolerance approach to oil purchases, SK slashed its imports of South Pars condensate and in turn imported alternative feedstock such as light oil from U.S. shale fields and Kazakhstan, while soaking up more naphtha from other nations.See also: U.S. Wish for Zero Oil Imports From Iran Granted by S. KoreaFor heavier grades, Suh said higher official prices by Middle Eastern sellers were also eating into processing margins for companies such as SK, leading to operating rate cuts by refiners across Asia. Producers have been raising their offers due to a steep backwardation in benchmark Dubai oil prices, when near-term cargoes are costlier than delayed ones.“Crack margins have bottomed out in June,” Suh said. “Gasoil and low-sulfur fuel oil profits in particular will only improve from here on as the market awaits stricter shipping fuel regulations to kick in,” he added, referring to new rules known as IMO 2020 which mandates the use of less polluting marine fuel with 0.5% sulfur from January 1, versus a 3.5% sulfur content currently.In light of a more challenging climate and increased competition, SK may finalize of fuel sales deal with a company in Southeast Asia this month to lock in demand for its output, according to Suh, without elaborating on details of the agreement. SK is also testing out a new in-house optimization tool that takes into account real-time market dynamics, helping it choose the most profitable crude grade.IMO 2020The shortage of very low sulfur fuel oil, or VLSFO, in 2020 is still deeply underestimated and shipowners will struggle to find fuels that are both stable and compatible, Suh said. In light of this, SK was among the first movers with its investment in a new desulfurizer unit at its complex in Ulsan that’ll remove the impurity from heavy fuel. The addition can make 40,000 barrels a day of low-sulfur gasoil and fuel oil, on top of SK’s existing oil-blending venture off Singapore which will expand from 23,000 barrels a day currently to 90,000 barrels by mid-2020.Apart from ramping up its VLSFO output, profits from making marine gasoil -- another fuel that can be blended into high-sulfur fuel oil to create an on-spec product -- from crude is also set to rise to at least $18 a barrel in the months ahead, versus the current margin of about $15. Gasoil margins were at $15.44 a barrel in Singapore, Asia’s refining hub, at 11:35 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg fair value.“If you can’t produce qualified fuels that shipowners can trust, you will soon be out of business,” Suh said. “Our long experience in refining and offshore blending will definitely set us apart from other players.”(Adds gasoil processing profit in 13th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Heesu Lee in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Serene Cheong at email@example.com, Ben SharplesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
India lowered import taxes on an additional 400,000 tonnes of corn to 15%, the government said on Tuesday, to offset a rise in the price of animal feed in the country following a drought last year. India allowed imports of 100,000 tonnes of corn at the concessional tax rate in June. The additional 400,000 tonnes of imports were permitted at the same rate following a request from the poultry industry, the government said in a statement.
(Bloomberg) -- As the second half gets under way in earnest, What to Watch offers a guide to prospects and pitfalls for commodities to the year-end, including oil, gas, gold, iron and copper. Outlooks for wheat, corn and soybeans are also weighed, plus ship fuel as new rules on lower-sulfur content loom.After taking a knock last year, raw materials had a mixed first half, with a gauge of spot prices climbing about 7% even as the U.S.-China trade war rumbled on and macro-economic data pointed to a slowdown. Crude rose as OPEC and Russia pressed on with output curbs, iron ore took off after a supply hit, and gold had an upswing. Bad weather has roiled major crops.Some of the drivers will carry over from the first half, especially the trade dust-up between Washington and Beijing. That fight could now bleed into currency policy. Central-bank easing, including potential cuts from the Federal Reserve, will be a big theme, and there’ll be testimony this week from Chairman Jerome Powell. U.S.-Iran tensions may escalate. So what’s in store?Wild RideOil endured a roller-coaster ride in the first half as investors navigated concerns about demand, the impact of rising U.S. production, tighter sanctions on Iranian exports, and targeted cutbacks by OPEC and allies including Russia. After climbing as high as $75 a barrel in late April, Brent futures ended June at about $67, up 24%, to post the strongest first-half performance since 2016.OPEC and its backers agreed on July 2 to prolong the cuts into early 2020, and the extent of compliance will play a major role in crude’s performance over the rest of 2019. Progress in U.S.-China trade talks, if any, may be an even bigger factor, affecting how investors view consumption. But it’s Iran that could be the ultimate wildcard, with the OPEC member threatening to disrupt shipments in the Persian Gulf as the Trump administration tightens sanctions. The median analyst forecast calls for $70-a-barrel Brent in the fourth quarter.Sitting PrettyGold bulls have plenty to cheer as prices closed the first half near a six-year high. With growth concerns taking center stage, central banks are turning more dovish. Prospects for lower rates and fresh stimulus suggest the rally still has room to run, even as a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report on Friday took some steam out of the rally. The outlook has aided miners including Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Goldcorp Corp. in a rapidly consolidating industry.Adding to gold’s upswing are trade and geopolitical tensions, which have invigorated demand for havens and fed inflows into bullion-backed exchange-traded funds. Unless there’s a definite resolution to the U.S.-China trade conflict and the complex standoff over Iran, these risks will support further gains. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has raised its 12-month forecast to $1,475 an ounce from $1,425. Spot prices were last at about $1,406, up 9.6% this year.Tough TimesAfter a strong start to 2019 fueled by expectations for robust demand and tight mine supply, copper has sputtered, barely managing to eke out a gain in the first six months. The metal has slid about 11% from a nine-month high reached in April as concerns over the impact of the U.S.-China trade war and the prospect of slowing global economies deterred investors.Bulls are counting on resilient demand to bring supply concerns back to the fore. Copper use is expected to top production by 189,000 metric tons this year, according to the International Copper Study Group. Codelco, the world’s largest miner of the metal, said last month Chinese demand remains solid and the recent rout wasn’t justified. Goldman Sachs expects China grid investment, housing completions and potential infrastructure stimulus to help boost prices in six months to $6,700 a ton, 12% higher than at the end of June.Shocks and OreIron ore was the standout winner among commodities in the first half as benchmark prices soared more than 60% to the highest since 2014. The rally was driven by tighter supplies from Brazil and Australia coupled with roaring Chinese demand, benefiting miners including Rio Tinto Group and BHP Group. All grades of ore have surged, although spreads have narrowed.After such a jump, this half may be trickier territory for bulls. Supplies may recover some ground, especially from Brazil, and investors will track port holdings in China for signs the drawdown has run its course. Most market watchers now expect prices to ease. Among them, Morgan Stanley predicts a fall to $90 a ton in the fourth quarter as part of Vale SA’s halted supply restarts, China’s output rises and demand slows. After futures sank on Friday as China’s top steel group said gains were overdone, they’re now rebounding.Wheat’s Up?Wheat’s had a tumultuous first half, sinking to a 15-month low in May before a rally in corn helped the grain make up its losses. Crops are now being harvested across many of the major exporters and signs point to bulging bins in the coming months, with Russia forecast to keep its rank as the top shipper.Still, wheat prices could get a fresh boost if U.S. flooding drags on and hampers the rival corn crop. The two grains vie for use in livestock feed rations, which could give wheat a fresh demand boost if corn supply dwindles. Rabobank Group pegs Chicago wheat futures at $5.35 a bushel in the fourth quarter, slightly higher than current prices.Rain PainFor soybeans and corn, the first half was all about disruptions. The U.S.-China trade war lingered over the market. Tariff fears intensified as President Donald Trump’s threats to tax Mexican goods spurred promises of retaliation. But while those tensions eased, the weather kept getting worse for Midwest farmers, with condition ratings for both crops at the lowest since 2012. The relentless rain fired up the corn market, with futures surging 18% in May alone.Soybeans also got a weather boost, albeit less than corn. With plantings under threat, oilseed prices regained some of their trade-war losses and funds backed away from bearish wagers. The sad state of affairs in U.S. crops will be on display, with the government scheduled to update conditions, release export inspections and deliver a monthly supply and demand report that will predict how the planting woes will affect exports and domestic use. On Thursday, closely held agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. will tell investors how it has been navigating the American spring deluge and trade war with China.Whither the Weather?Natural gas bulls are hoping for a little help from the weather gods after a first half that saw prices crash globally as a flood of liquefied cargoes hit the market. Asia and Europe saw prices plummet about 50%, while they sank more than 20% in the U.S. The main culprit is new plants in Australia and U.S., led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s offshore Prelude project, boosting supply faster than demand can catch up. As storage tanks in the top buyers in Asia began to fill, cargoes were re-routed to Europe until it, too, reached glut status.The oversupply has driven prices so low that the new LNG plants in the U.S. may have to temporarily stop producing this half until winter weather revives demand. If that doesn’t happen, though, things could be even worse next year, Citigroup Inc. analysts including Anthony Yuen said last month. “A mild 2019-2020 winter could be disastrous for global gas pricing in 2020,” they warned.The Final CountdownNext year marks the start of rules on ship fuel designed to drastically cut down emissions of sulfur, and this half will be dominated by preparations for the sweeping change by shipowners, ports and producers. The upgrade requires refineries to churn out completely new fuels that will start being heavily used for the first time on a global scale in the fourth quarter as owners get ready.Counter-intuitively perhaps, until early June prices for the kinds of supplies used in most parts of the world today (that will mostly be prohibited) actually rose compared with the fuel that will allow owners to comply. That was in large part driven by lower output of heavier crudes from the likes of Venezuela -- depriving refineries of supplies that they process to make heavy bunker fuel for ships. More recently though, premiums for the lower-sulfur product have begun rebounding, and it’s the spread between compliant and non-compliant grades that’s set to become more important over the rest of the year.For the DiaryClick here for oil marketsClick here for gas marketsClick here for metals marketsClick here for agriculture marketsAnd for the global stage, click here\--With assistance from Dylan Griffiths, Luzi Ann Javier, Michael Hirtzer, Megan Durisin, Alaric Nightingale, Krystal Chia, Dan Murtaugh and James Attwood.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Nussbaum in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ranjeetha Pakiam in Singapore at email@example.com;Joe Richter in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Phoebe Sedgman at email@example.com, Jake Lloyd-Smith, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The future of privacy coins relies on technologists getting the governance setup right. Here are both sides of the zcash debate.
Gary Saykaly joined Lakefront to head up the new practice as senior vice president of Trucking & Freight Derivatives. Saykaly, based in Atlanta, is a former freight broker with 25 years of experience in commercial real estate and investment banking. Lakefront, founded in 1997, trades many classes of commodities and futures contracts, including currencies, energy, livestock, metals, grains, softs, and indexes.
The European Union and South American bloc Mercosur agreed a free-trade treaty on Friday, concluding two decades of talks and committing to more open markets in the face of a rising tide of protectionism. The two regions launched negotiations exactly 20 years ago and intensified efforts to reach an accord after Donald Trump's presidential victory led the Europeans to freeze talks with the United States and seek other global trading allies.
Countries of the G20, a club of the world’s largest economies, are giving the coal industry three times as much money in subsidies as they did a few years ago, according to a new report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Together, the G20 bloc accounts for nearly 80% of global emissions, and its energy choices affect the global race to zero emissions. Rich countries have used subsidies to drive down the cost of desirable technologies, such as solar and wind power.
Allowing Facebook to mint its own coin would turn it into the greatest monopoly in history, argues Signature Bank's chairman.
Facebook is seeking a data professional to work on its crypto wallet Calibra, as well as a policy specialist to help with regulatory hurdles.
There are more than 9 million dairy cows in the United States, and the vast majority of them are Holsteins, large bovines with distinctive black-and-white (sometimes red-and-white) markings. When researchers at the Pennsylvania State University looked closely at the male lines a few years ago, they discovered more than 99% of them can be traced back to one of two bulls, both born in the 1960s. “What we’ve done is really narrowed down the genetic pool,” says Chad Dechow, one of the researchers.
Last week witnessed several of India’s festering, usually ignored problems exploding into prominence. Here are three issues that made it to the news—not in a meaningful enough way to be of widespread public interest but adequate, at least, to be dragged into the public eye. Millions nationwide abandoned their homes because villages ran out of water—in Chennai, the four reservoirs supplying the city ran dry—as drought ravaged a quarter of India and water tables sank lower than ever.
Fresh off releasing the white paper for its Libra coin, Facebook is looking to hire a finance program manager in blockchain.
“I got a little getting even to do,” Simpson says. The Twitterverse has not been welcoming. Here's a look at what figures from his 1995 trial have been up to on Twitter.
A report from 2001 found PFAS—a dangerous class of chemicals—in milk, meat, and apples in the US. Word of the study only surfaced this week.
Joe Biden may have an ethanol problem. The former U.S. vice president has pledged support for advanced biofuels as part of his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Biden, a former U.S. senator from Delaware, was considered instrumental in orchestrating the blending cuts as a way to help struggling refineries on the East Coast deal with rising compliance costs under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a 2005 law requiring oil companies to blend increasing volumes of ethanol and other biofuels into fuel, Reuters previously reported.