China steel stockpiles a worrying sign

Original article by Simon Evans, Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 3-Mar-20

There are reports of growing stockpiles of steel in China, which accounts for around half of the world’s production. Stockpiles have increased because construction companies and other steel users in China have been in partial shutdown due to the coronavirus, and the growing stockpiles have sparked concern of a knock-on effect to Australian iron ore miners such as Fortescue Metals Group and BHP. However, Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines says the coronavirus has not impacted on its shipping schedule at this stage, while she notes that Chinese steel mills are still operating.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL

Shortage of housing to hit big cities

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 & 34 : 13-Feb-20

A new report from Charter Keck Cramer has warned that the recent slowdown in apartment developments means that Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will face a housing supply shortage by the end of 2021. Dwelling approvals across Australia fell by 18.5 per cent in calendar 2018, to the lowest level since 2012; all three east coast cities recorded a decline in apartment developments for the year. Rob Burgess of Charter Keck Cramer says the looming housing shortage will put upward pressure on rents.

CORPORATES
CHARTER KECK CRAMER

Seeds of next LNG glut already being sown

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 9-Jan-20

Growth in Asian demand for LNG slowed to 2.1 per cent in 2019, amid a global oversupply. However, Bernstein Research forecasts that the glut will end in the second half of 2020 as Asian demand rebounds and a five-year expansion of global output comes to an end. Bernstein also cautions that another oversupply could emerge in the mid-2020s, with a number of new LNG projects slated for coming years. The firm anticipates that projects to be approved over the next 18 months will boost global production by about 70 million tonnes a year.

CORPORATES
BERNSTEIN INVESTMENT RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, OIL SEARCH LIMITED – ASX OSH, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION, ENTE NAZIONALE IDROCARBURI SPA, INPEX CORPORATION, TOTAL SA

Iron’s endless summer keeps on keeping on

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 43 : 21-Dec-19

Shares in Fortescue Metals Group are trading at an 11-year high, boosted by factors such as continued strong demand for iron ore in China and supply disruptions in Brazil. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto’s shares have regularly traded above $100 in 2019, and the stock has not fallen below $35 in the last decade. Demand for iron ore has defied expectations over the last 10 years. The price of the steel input peaked at almost $US190 per tonne in 2011; its fall to around $US80/tonne in subsequent years prompted some observers to forecast that the iron ore boom was over. However, Australia’s iron ore exports reached a record $77bn in 2018-19 and could top $81bn in 2019-20. Likewise, some experts forecast that China’s annual steel production will exceed one million tonnes for the first time in 2020.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, VALE SA

China appetite for ore strong, says Fortescue

Original article by Brad Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 16-Dec-19

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Elizabeth Gaines is upbeat about the outlook for the iron ore price in 2020. She says the benchmark price will continue to benefit from inventory restocking ahead of the Chinese New Year, while she does not expect the price gap between benchmark iron ore and the lower-grade ore produced by Fortescue to widen much. Fortescue received 89 per cent of the benchmark price during the September 2019 quarter, after the gap had widened significantly in mid-2018.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

New report finds govt must build at least 20,000 affordable homes a year

Original article by Euan Black
The New Daily – Page: Online : 11-Dec-19

The Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute has warned that the shortage of affordable rental housing has risen since 2011 and will continue to worsen in coming years. The AHURI estimates that the shortage of affordable homes for the lowest 20 per cent of income earners now tops 212,000. The lead researcher, Swinburne University’s Professor Kath Hulse, says that neither the public or private sector are building enough affordable homes. The AHURI has concluded that the federal government needs to build at least 200,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN HOUSING AND URBAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE, SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Port logjams threaten coal demand: Tata Steel

Original article by Luke Housego
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 5-Dec-19

Tata Steel MD T.V. Narendran says India will continue to source the bulk of its coking coal from Australia; however, he warns that India will seek other sources of coking coal if action is not taken to address bottlenecks at Queensland’s coal shipping ports. Narendran notes that India currently imports about 50 million tonnes of coking coal a year, and this will grow significantly amid expectations that the nation’s steel production will double over the next decade.

CORPORATES
TATA STEEL, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE CHIEF ECONOMIST

Base metals set to rebound in 2020: Ausbil

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 18 : 11-Nov-19

The price of copper remains below $US6000 per tonne on the London Metals Exchange, having reached a low of $US5,610/tonne in early September. However, Ausbil portfolio managers are upbeat about the outlook for copper and other base metals in 2020; they say indications that the US-China trade war is stabilising should be enough to prompt manufacturers to begin restocking their raw materials inventory.

CORPORATES
AUSBIL INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, LONDON METAL EXCHANGE LIMITED

First-home buyers surge back for a foothold as market rises

Original article by Nila Sweeney, Larry Schlesinger
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 7-Nov-19

Real estate developers note that their recent land releases in new housing estates have attracted strong demand among people who are buying their first home. Nigel Edgar of Frasers Property says first-home buyers now account for 35-45 per cent of its sales, compared with just 15 per cent when the residential market was at its peak in 2017. Likewise, Luke Fryer of Metricon says sales to first-home buyers increased by 25 per cent in the three months to September. Off-the-plan apartments are also attracting interest among first-home buyers.

CORPORATES
FRASERS PROPERTY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, METRICON HOMES, HIGHLAND PROPERTY GROUP, VIRGATE, WOLFDENE, BIS OXFORD ECONOMICS PTY LTD, JINDING DEVELOPMENTS

No market for new uranium mines: Cameco

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 20 : 6-Nov-19

Canada-based Cameco will produce just nine million pounds of uranium in 2020; instead, the bulk of the uranium it supplies to customers will be sourced from the spot market. CEO Tim Gitzel says there is no economic case at present for the construction of new uranium mines, given the large amount of uranium that has been stockpiled. The spot price of uranium averaged $US25.68 a pound in the September quarter, which is well below the long-term price that is required for Cameco’s mines in Australia to be viable.

CORPORATES
CAMECO CORPORATION, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, ENERGY RESOURCES OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX ERA, PALADIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX PDN, DEEP YELLOW LIMITED – ASX DYL