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Materials and Metals

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  • BHP Billiton slashes shale drilling amid oil crash Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 | 4:52 PM ET

    MELBOURNE, Jan 21- BHP Billiton said on Wednesday it would cut its shale drilling spend over the next six months as it looks to meet its promise not to cut dividends in the face of a collapse in iron ore, copper and oil prices. The world's biggest miner said it would pare the number of rigs it is using to 16 from 26 by June 2015 and would update the market on its revised...

  • SYDNEY, Jan 21- BHP Billiton said on Wednesday iron ore output climbed 16 percent to 56.35 million tonnes in the December quarter, fueling concerns big mining houses would continue to saturate an already over-supplied global market. Iron ore prices have dropped to around $68 a tonne from $135 a year ago. Analysts estimate oversupply had reached as much as 60...

  • LONDON, Jan 20- As the dust settles after last week's copper capitulation, attention is inevitably turning to the implications for producers, particularly those perched precariously at the top end of the cost curve. With London benchmark copper trading below the $6,000- per tonne level for the first time since 2009, the potential exit of higher-cost mines is...

  • JAKARTA, Jan 20- Freeport-McMoRan Inc could lose its permit to export copper concentrate from its massive Indonesian mine in West Papua, the country's mining minister said on Tuesday, unless it can show progress in developing a new copper smelter this week. "Freeport hasn't confirmed the location," Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said told...

  • CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 20- Canada's oil sands companies are perilously close to operating at a loss after six months of plunging crude prices, yet many say they have no plans to cut production at their vast projects in northern Alberta. On the contrary, Syncrude and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd are planning to boost production, in the expectation economies of...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 20- China's steel production grew at it slowest rate in more than two decades in 2014 as a cooling economy in the world's largest producer curbed demand and the government moved to tackle overcapacity and pollution. The low growth rate suggests China's authorities have had some success in efforts to lower production and close polluting plants,...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 20- China's December crude steel output rose from the previous month, government data showed on Tuesday, as steel mills resumed production after enforced cuts in northern regions. Steel output in the world's largest producer jumped 7.6 percent to 68.09 million tonnes, the highest since August, and climbed 1.5 percent from a year ago, data from the...

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 20- China's December crude steel output rose 7.6 percent to 68.09 million tonnes from the previous month, government data showed on Tuesday, as steel mills resumed production after enforced cuts in northern regions. Steel output in the world's largest producer also climbed 1.5 percent from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 19- Three workers were seriously hurt in an explosion on Sunday at Petrobras' 323,000- barrel-a-day Landulpho Alves Refinery outside the northeastern city of Salvador, the second serious accident at Brazil's second-largest refinery in a week. The union will stage a wildcat protest strike until Tuesday morning, Cedro Silva, a director of...

  • *Workers suffered burns to 10-75 percent of bodies. RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 19- Three workers were seriously hurt in an explosion on Sunday at Petrobras' 323,000- barrel-a-day Landulpho Alves Refinery outside Salvador, Brazil, the second serious accident at Brazil's second-largest refinery in a week. Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as state-run Petrobras is formally...

  • *Zambia to choose new president Tuesday after Sata's death. NDOLA, Zambia, Jan 19- Zambia's copper industry, the spluttering motor of one of Africa's fastest-growing economies, has been at the heart of campaigning for Tuesday's presidential election and poses a big headache for the country's next leader. Zambia averaged 6-7 percent growth over the last decade...

  • MELBOURNE, Jan 19- BHP Billiton Ltd may be forced to slash its planned $4 billion spending this year on U.S. shale wells and book writedowns on its shale assets as it battles plunging prices for its biggest earners iron ore, oil and copper. Other candidates for cuts in its $14.2 billion capital and exploration spending plan could be its longer-dated projects like...

  • LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 19- The new year has started positively for Asian coal, with prices rallying from a 5-1/ 2 year low, Chinese imports jumping to the highest in 11 months and renewed merger and acquisition interest. The spot price of thermal coal at Australia's Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark, rose to $62.91 a tonne in the week ended Jan. 16, up 3 percent from...

  • LONDON, Jan 16- Dr Copper is back in the headlines. This week's dramatic collapse in global copper prices has generated all sorts of dire warnings about what Dr Copper is telling us about the global economy. After all, he's called Dr Copper for a reason, right?

  • LONDON, Jan 16- Oil prices may have further to fall and a rebound could take some time, despite increasing signs that the downtrend will end, possibly in the second half of this year as North American supply growth slows, the West's energy watchdog said on Friday. Crude oil prices have fallen almost 60 percent over the last six months with both of the world's crude oil...

  • Jan 15- Monsanto Co. received final U.S. approval on Thursday for herbicide-tolerant crops to be used with a new herbicide the company says will fight problematic weed resistance on farm fields, but critics say will only worsen the problems. Monsanto is still waiting for final approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for the herbicide it designed to...

  • USDA approves Monsanto's new GMO soybeans, cotton Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 1:21 PM ET

    Jan 15- Monsanto Co. received final U.S. approval on Thursday for herbicide-tolerant crops to be used with a new herbicide the company says will fight problematic weed resistance on farm fields, but critics say will only worsen the problems. Monsanto is still waiting for final approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for the herbicide it designed to...

  • *China bonded premiums climb $5 to $85- Shmet. LONDON, Jan 15- Copper rose on Thursday on a mix of bargain-hunting, short covering and hedging by consumers, a day after its biggest slide in more than three years, but more losses were expected. Some traders saw sellers emerging above $5,650, with buyers lurking around $5,500- 5,450.

  • *Beiersdorf, H&M boosted by strong sales reports. LONDON, Jan 15- European shares rebounded on Thursday, boosted by a bounce in mining and oil companies, as well as by strong sales at retailer H&M and Nivea cream-maker Beiersdorf. Copper climbed after hitting its lowest level since January 2009.

  • China's Qingdao shakeout to limit impact of copper rout Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 | 3:17 AM ET

    *Forced copper sales seen unlikely after Qingdao shakeout. MELBOURNE/ SHANGHAI Jan 15- Banks are tightening up lending to Chinese metals traders after a copper price plunge to five-year lows, but don't expect forced sales of the metal after smaller players were weeded out during a major financing scandal last year, bankers and traders said.

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