- Hebei province, China's biggest provincial steelmaker, said it plans to eliminate a total of 60 million tons of steel capacity by the end of 2017 to ease pollution. In 1H 2013, 5 to 7 cities in Hebei were China's most polluted cities in monthly rankings.
- China exported 6.14 million tons of steel in August, up 16.1% month on month and up 44.8% year on year, according to customs figures. Steel exports had fallen month on month for 3 straight months. The average steel export price plunged in August to $804/ton from $857/ton in July. China imported 1.23 million tons of steel in August, up 2.5% from a year earlier.
Oil & Gas
- China's shale gas output is expected to total 200 million cubic meters this year, the Ministry of Land and Resources said, adding that no large-scale blocks have been developed in China for abstracting shale gas.
- Thermal coal prices in Qinhuangdao dropped by another 5 yuan to 530 yuan/ton in the week through September 15, JPMorgan said in its China Coal Market Watch report. The report expects any coal price rebound to be muted by idled capacity, policy headwinds and off-peak demand in September and October given low port inventories and Daqin rail maintenance.
- Hebei province said it plans to eliminate a total of 40 million tons of coal consumption in by the end of 2017 to ease pollution. In 1H 2013, 5 to 7 cities in Hebei were China's most polluted cities in monthly rankings.
- China will shut down small mines and impose tougher regulations on the production of rare earth minerals such as molybdenum and tungsten, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said. There are 90,000 metal and nonmetal mines in China, of which 95% are small in size. China closed 4,435 such mines in 1H 2013, or 86% of the annual shutdown target.
- China's structural shortage in copper, declining industry grades and rising capital expenditure intensity are expected to keep copper prices at an elevated level in the medium term. In the near term, JPMorgan said in a research report. Rising global and China purchasing managers' index and the 4Q peak demand season should act as near term catalysts for a sector re-rating.
- Chinese companies signed deals with American agriculture exporters on September 16, buying 4.82 million tons of soybean valued at $2.8 billion. Delivery of the soybeans starts October 1. China, the world's biggest soybean importer, bought 59.5 million tons from overseas last season, including 21.5 million tons from the US.
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