August 20, 2018
U.S. Steel to Invest $750M in Indiana
United States Steel Corporation plans to make significant upgrades at its Gary Works plant through a $750 million asset revitalization investment that will increase efficiencies and position the facility for long-term success in Indiana. Read more.
Crude-By-Rail Could Save the Permian Boom
Crude-by-Rail (CBR) has been a savior for North American producers seeking higher returns for heavily discounted crudes caused by a lack of pipeline take-away capacity. Read more.
Local Economists Declare the End of Houston's Oil Bust
The Greater Houston Partnership has declared the end of the oil bust. The majority of Houston's largest energy companies reported profits in the second quarter as U.S. crude oil prices topped $70 a barrel, the organization reported, and bankruptcies within the industry have slowed considerably since their 2016 peak. Capital spending on exploration this year is expected to reach the highest level since the start of the recovery. Read more.
Alcoa Requests Reprieve from Aluminum Tariffs
Alcoa would seem to be in prime position to benefit from President Trump’s aluminum tariffs. The 130-year-old American aluminum producer has in recent years faced stiff competition from overseas. Read more.
All-Time Low Spare Capacity Could Send Oil To $150
While the oil market and analysts are trying to guesstimate how much Iranian oil the U.S. sanctions will stifle later this year, they all agree that the return of the sanctions is the market’s key bullish driver as well as the largest ‘known unknown’ for oil prices later this year and into 2019. Read more.
August 17, 2018
US Coal Exports to Stay Strong as Uncertainties Linger
New coal power plants outside the US, along with infrastructure constraints and domestic sales quotas in some countries, are helping to keep the worldwide supply and demand balance tight, coal market participants said yesterday at the Coal Market Strategies Conference in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. Read more.
Thyssenkrupp Expands Auto-Grade Steel Production
Thyssenkrupp AG (TKA.XE) is planning to invest in a new production line at its Dortmund plant that would nearly double the site's total output and boost its production of automotive-grade steel, according to papers published in a local government gazette on Saturday. Read more.
Port Gets $2.5M Grant for Container Shuttle Services
The Port of New Orleans has received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration to aid in the port’s current container-on-barge shuttle service, while launching an additional service on the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal. Read more.
FBI Eyes Plethora of Cyberthreats Along the Mississippi
“Every time that we have a vessel that travels up or down the Mississippi River there’s a vulnerability: that that vessel or persons on those vessels may in fact be doing harm to our systems,” said Rommal. “And that affects the national economy and affects the entire United States.” Read more.
Rusal's Profit Rockets Despite US Sanctions on Russian Aluminium Giant
Russian multinational Rusal's quarterly profit surged thanks to higher market prices for aluminium, despite sanctions imposed by Washington. Recurring net profit of Hong Kong-listed Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer outside China, was up 75 per cent from a year ago in the second quarter, but 17 per cent lower than this year's first quarter, the company said on Monday. Read more.
August 15, 2018
Oxy Selling Midstream Assets, Terminal to Houston Cos.
Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) is selling several of its midstream assets in two separate deals to Houston-based companies financed by a San Antonio-based venture capital firm. Read more.
Contenders in the Race to Build Crude Oil Export Terminals Off the Texas Coast
Much like their heated competition to build new crude oil pipelines from the Permian to the Gulf Coast, midstream, logistics and trading companies are jockeying to construct the first new export terminal capable of fully loading Very Large Crude Carriers — Trafigura joined the fray earlier this week. Read more.
Alabama Port Looks to Add to Its $22.4 Billion Economic Impact with Expansions
The Alabama State Port Authority is one of the largest economic engines for the state and wants to build on its $22.4 billion economic impact. The 4,000 acres that make up the state docks have multiple complexes that handle everything from auto parts to coal and from poultry to pine. But the port could be doing more, according to Jimmy Lyons, director and CEO of the Port Authority. Read more.
From Desert to Delaware
Sharjah is a glimmering city-state carved from the desert, the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates and the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. And soon, within weeks, a company based in Sharjah could control one of the most strategically located marine ports in the United States. Read more.
SA Private Equity Firm Backs Deal to Buy Port Corpus Christi Crude Oil Export Terminal
San Antonio-based EnCap Flatrock Midstream LLC is providing funding for a company to buy a crude oil export terminal at Port Corpus Christi. Houston-based Moda Midstream LLC has agreed to buy the Oxy Ingleside Energy Center and related assets from Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY), the buyer announced Wednesday afternoon. Read more.
August 14, 2018
China Coking Coal Buyers Race US Tariff Deadline
Chinese coking coal buyers are rushing to take delivery of US cargoes before the implementation of a 25pc tariff next week that will effectively end the spot trade. Read more.
MARAD Awards $4.8 Million for Marine Highway Projects
Nearly $5 million in grant funding awarded this week will help enhance existing marine highways serving ports in Louisiana, Virginia, New York and Connecticut, and support the development of new container-on-barge services in Kentucky and Rhode Island. Read more.
Shipping-Fuel Rule Change Cuts Demand for Canadian Oil
New rules limiting the amount of sulfur allowed in shipping fuel is expected to cut demand for both high-sulfur fuel oil and the sour crude that yields it. In Canada, that could extend -- or worsen -- the biggest price slump in nearly five years. Read more.
Everybody Wants Some - CITGO's Future in the Wake of a Key U.S. Court Ruling
On Thursday, August 9, a U.S. District Court judge approved a request by a Canadian mining company to seize shares of a subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) that controls CITGO Petroleum Corp. Read more.
Steel Imports Drop for First Time in Year Under Weight of Tariffs
For the first time in a year, the value of iron and steel imported into the United States has declined, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Friday. At the same time, a broad swath of articles made from iron and steel products grew at the slowest pace in a year. Read more.
August 10, 2018
AK Steel Among Steel Giants Objecting to Metal Tariff Exemption Requests
AK Steel is one of several American steel manufacturers that have successfully objected to hundreds of requests by American companies that buy foreign steel to exempt themselves from President Trump’s stiff metal tariffs. The New York Times reported West Chester Twp.-based AK Steel is one of three steel manufacturers that have successfully objected to hundreds of requests to the Commerce Department. Read More.
Analysis: US LNG Export Demand Faces Steep Ramp Up
Natural gas demand from US LNG export terminals is set to double over the next year as a spate of new liquefaction projects now nearing completion enters service. Read More.
CGB Wraps Up Soybean Plant Expansion at Indiana Port
The Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. (CGB) announced yesterday it has completed a $32 million expansion of its soybean processing plant at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon. Read More.
US Judge Authorizes Seizure of CITGO
A U.S. federal judge authorized the seizure of Citgo Petroleum Corp. to satisfy a Venezuelan government debt, a ruling that could set off a scramble among Venezuela’s many unpaid creditors to wrest control of its only obviously seizable U.S. Read More.
Amid Growing Demand for Organics, New Perdue Chicken Products Might Expand Market
Consumers want to buy organic food but often can’t because it’s too expensive. Perdue Foods, the Salisbury-based chicken giant, aims to break that price barrier with a new organic brand it’s launching at a time when organic food is growing nearly six times as fast as the overall food market. The poultry producer’s new line of frozen breaded chicken nuggets, strips and tenders, called Simply Smart, debuts nationally in early October. Read More.
August 9, 2018
China Drops US Crude from Tariff Retaliation: Update
China will impose a 25pc tax on most US commodity imports beginning on 23 August — but it is exempting crude from its retaliatory measures to US tariffs that go into effect the same day. Read more.
Consol Energy Sees Record Coal Production, Sales in Q2
The Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based company said during its quarterly earnings call that its three mines — Bailey, Enlow Fork and Harvey — in the state produced a record 7.7 million st of coal in Q2, up from 6.7 million st in the first quarter of 2018 and 6.8 million st in the year-ago quarter. Read more.
Ford Calls Rising Steel, Aluminum Prices ‘Significant Headwind’
Ford began the year by warning that rising costs for raw materials like steel and aluminum, coupled with unfavorable exchange rates, would add $1.6 billion to its costs this year. Read more.
Petcoke Markets Said to be Flat on Summer Lull, Chinese Tariffs Loom
The Indian petcoke market remains at an impasse as buyers are holding back anticipating a correction, while stronger freight rates are keeping landed costs high, sources said this week. Read more.
Uniper’s Power Generation H1 Earnings Rise, Plans Coal-to-Gas Conversion
Uniper’s first-half European power generation earnings rose 31% on the year on the back of tax reductions on hydro and nuclear in Sweden as well as capacity market payments in the UK and France, the Germany-based energy company said Tuesday. Read more.
August 7, 2018
Crude Advances After Saudi Restraint Sparks Renewed Supply Fears
Crude closed at the highest in a week after Saudi Arabian production cuts heightened concerns about tightening worldwide supplies. Read more.
Billions at Risk for Gulf Coast as China Threatens LNG Tariffs
China is proposing a 25 percent tariff on imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas as part of an escalating trade war that could hinder an emerging industry that is attracting billions of dollars in investment to the Gulf Coast. Read more.
US Steel Stumbles as Flat-Rolled Demand Rises
US Steel expects higher prices to boost its third-quarter profit after falling in the second quarter as costs related to the restart of its Granite City Works helped offset stronger flat-rolled demand. Read more.
Little Rock Port Authority Reports June Shipping
The Port of Little Rock and its stevedore Logistic Services, Inc. worked the third largest number of barges in a single month. Read more.
FERC Orders Work Stopped on Mountain Valley Pipeline
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late Friday ordered all work to stop on the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, dealing a blow to a project partly owned by EQT Corp. that has already seen its operational date slip into early next year. Read more.
August 6, 2018
Race is on to Build Texas’ First Offshore Oil Export Terminal
The global commodities trading firm Trafigura Group will announce Monday that it plans to build the Texas Gulf Terminals Project in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast from Corpus Christi. An offshore terminal would avoid port traffic and float in waters deep enough to handle the largest ships. Read more.
Russia’s MMK Reports Highest Earnings Since 2008
MMK, one of Russia’s biggest steelmakers, said on Thursday its second-quarter core earnings soared to their highest in a decade thanks to an improved sales mix, stronger prices and a lower cost of sales. Read more.
Oil Steady Amid Trade War Concerns, Signs of Tight Inventory
Oil was steady as concerns over the fallout from the U.S.-China trade dispute and higher supply from OPEC balanced some signs of tightness in the market. West Texas Intermediate futures slipped 0.4 percent, and are little changed this week. Read more.
US Utility Coal Stockpiles Continue to Decline; Markets Not Alarmed
Utility coal stockpiles stood at 128.4 million st at the end of May, according to the most recent US Energy Information Administration data, released last week. The figure was down 20.9% from the year-ago month, and down 23.7% from the five-year average for the month. Read more.
Blockchain Will Revolutionise Global Trade and Transport
On January 18th, 2018 shipping and logistics giant Maersk and IBM announced their intent to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology. Read more.