Commodities

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The Australian Winter Crop report has been revised down by 12% from the June forecast by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) as drought plays havoc with conditions and forecasts.

Australian lithium producer Talison Lithium announced that its plans to double its production at its Greenbushes facility in Western Australia. The expansion for $382 million will raise capacity to around 1.95 million tons per year and expected to start work in 2019.

The much heralded driverless AutoHaul Iron Ore Trains have made their first delivery since Rio Tinto was approved for autonomous delivery back in May at a cost of $940 million. The 280 km trip carrying 28,000 metric tons was completed Tuesday.

The old saying Australia was built on a sheep's back may have lost its impact but still today Australia produces around 60% of  apparel wool (< 24.5 um) and 90% of fine apparel wool (<19.5 um) the Independent Review of Australian Wool Innovation showed. 

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) publish the Commitments of Traders (COT) reports with a breakdown of open interest for futures and options on futures markets. More specific, disaggregated  reports (DCOT) came after the GFC in 2008.

Mining company Australian Mines will export 40kg of battery-grade nickel sulphate and 4kg of battery-grade cobalt sulphate to Korean partner SK Innovation. This is an Australian record for the export shipment of each ore putting Australia in pole position for electric vehicles..

Australian Newcastle spot thermal coal prices hit $120 for the first time since 2012 this week.  Asian countries continuing strong consumption and spot market buying by Japanese utilities to meet demand through the rest of 2018 are pushing prices higher.

The Australian Chief Economist’s outlook for global commodity prices, demand and supply projects coal to overtake Iron ore as Australia’s largest export earner in 2018-19 generating $58.1 billion ahead of $57.7 billion from iron ore.

Australia replaced South Africa and Brazil as the major exporter of iron ore to India for the 2017-18 fiscal year ended 31 March after being a marginal supplier for the past several years. Fortescue Metals exported the majority of the ore with over 2mn t of medium-grade fines since January 2018.

Australian Swiss mining giant Glencore PLC announced a massive $5.6 billion restructuring of its troubled Congo copper company, Katanga Mining last week which resolved the fiery dispute with Congo’s state-run mining companies massive debt load.

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