Iron ore exports to China at risk

Original article by Michael Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 26-Jun-20

Chinese research firm MySteel states that China’s demand for steel fell by between five and six per cent in the first half of 2020, but should improve in coming months with more infrastructure projects being initiated. MySteel’s chief information officer Xu Xiangchun says Chinese steel mills might look to alternative sources for iron ore if there is a perception among the Chinese public that Australia is ‘difficult’, while China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute president Li Xinchuang says it is important that China diversifies its iron ore supplies.

CORPORATES
MYSTEEL.COM LIMITED, CHINA METALLURGICAL INDUSTRY PLANNING AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Boom times back for iron ore

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 22-May-20

Adrian Prendergast of Morgans Financial says continued strong demand from China could see the iron ore price rise above $US120 a tonne. Reduced output by Brazilian iron ore group Vale is also likely to boost the price of the steel input; Prendergast notes that Vale’s shipments have totalled just 91 million tonnes so far in 2020, and it will have to ramp up production to meet its revised full-year guidance of 310 to 330 million tonnes. Meanwhile, Australian iron ore miners have downplayed the impact of China’s new rules for inspecting iron ore imports, stressing that they had been planned for some time and were implemented after extensive consultation.

CORPORATES
MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, VALE SA, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Towering infernos of cash

Original article by Brad Norington, Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-May-20

Citigroup has forecast that the value of office buildings in Australia’s major CBDs could fall by more than 15 per cent in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Demand for centralised office space is likely to fall if the shift to working from home is sustained once the crisis abates. This in turn could put downward pressure on office rents. Meanwhile, JLL has forecast that the total amount of vacant office space across the nation’s CBDs will rise from 1.46 million square metres prior to the pandemic to about 1.88 million square metres by the end of 2020.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, JONES LANG LASALLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

China pays more for iron ore

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 19-May-20

The iron ore price has risen by more than 13 per cent since the end of April, and futures pricing suggests that further gains are likely. The price of the steel input has been resilient during the coronavirus pandemic, due to factors such as continued strong demand for iron ore in China and the fact that major producer Brazil has been hit hard by the virus. Citigroup’s analysts expect the continued strong price of iron ore to result in the resources sector paying out $14.4bn in dividends for 2019-20. The banking sector in turn is tipped to pay out $14.7bn.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Beijing options limited to Australian iron ore

Original article by Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 15-May-20

China imported 62 per cent of its iron ore from Australia in 2019, compared to only 21 per cent from Brazil. However, a report in a state-owned Chinese newspaper has raised the possibility that China could replace iron ore from Australia with iron ore from Brazil as part of the growing trade tensions. However, Glyn Lawcock of UBS notes that the global iron ore market is very tight at the moment. Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines expects Chinese demand for Australian iron ore to continue to rise.

CORPORATES
UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

China unlikely to target iron ore in virus blame game

Original article by Sarah Turner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 13-May-20

Commonwealth Bank commodity strategist Vivek Dhar does not expect China to reduce imports of Australian iron ore despite the growing trade tensions between the two nations. He contends that China is too reliant on iron ore from Australia, noting that 85 per cent of its iron ore imports are sourced from Australia. Dhar adds that exports of commodities such as coal are at greater risk, as they can be sourced more easily from other countries. Analysts also expect any economic stimulus measures in China to boost demand for steel, and therefore iron ore.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Price collapse burying 31pc of coal mines

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 16 : 11-May-20

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a sharp fall in demand from major thermal coal buyers such as Japan and India. This has in turn seen the price of top quality coal from New South Wales and Queensland falling by 27 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. Rory Simington of Wood Mackenzie estimates that about 31 per cent of Australia’s thermal coal exports are unprofitable at current prices. He adds that a significant proportion of Australia’s coal output is sold via long-term contracts. However, the recent price falls will eventually flow through to future contracts.

CORPORATES
WOOD MACKENZIE

Full steel ahead for Fortescue as China draws down ore stockpiles

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 6-May-20

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines expects demand for iron ore to remain strong due to China’s urbanisation policy. China produced 234.5 million tonnes of crude steel in the March quarter, which is 1.2 per cent higher than the same period in 2019. Gaines says that any additional economic stimulus in China would further boost demand for steel, and therefore iron ore. Meanwhile, Gaines is confident that Fortescue’s application to increase its export capacity at Port Hedland by 20 per cent will be approved.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

CSL to step up flu vaccine production

Original article by Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 15 : 20-Apr-20

CSL subsidiary Seqirus will produce an additional two million doses of the influenza vaccine, amid strong demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Danielle Dowell of Seqirus says the company is set to supply a record number of flu shots during the 2020 flu season, and stresses that consumers should call their pharmacy or medical clinic ahead of time to ensure that the vaccine is available. The federal government will provide 13.5 million free flu shots via its National Immunisation Program. The flu vaccine does not provide protection against the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL, SEQIRUS PTY LTD, SIGMA HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX SIG, AUSTRALIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED – ASX API

Virus shorts electricity demand

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 16-Apr-20

RepuTex has forecast that demand across Australia’s national electricity market will fall by 22.5 per cent in May due to the coronavirus lockdown. The consultancy also warns that wholesale electricity spot prices could fall below $40 per megawatt hour, which in turn could result in high-cost coal-fired power stations operating at a loss. The wholesale spot price has already fallen to around $45/MWh in most states, although RepuTex says this could rise to around $60/MWh in June if lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

CORPORATES
REPUTEX AUSTRALIA PACIFIC PTY LTD