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US gas stocks look tight
LONDON: US natural gas stocks look somewhat tight after low prices this summer worked off the excess stocks that built up in the first half of the year. Current stocks are in line with the five-year seasonal average but that may not be enough given the increase in exports and the number of additional combined-cycle power plants that have become operational in 2017. The last two winters have been exceptionally mild; if this
 
 
China’s lead supply chain looks stressed out
LONDON: Rising price, tightening time spreads and plunging warehouse stocks. The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) lead contract is showing all the signs of a classic bull market. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the futures market is accurately reflecting acute stress along the length of the country’s physical supply chain. Within a tightening global raw materials market, China’s lead production sector has come in
   
LME copper stocks on a roller-coaster ride
LONDON: Here we go again on the London Metal Exchange (LME) copper stocks roller coaster. Headline LME inventory jumped 46 per cent to 304,350 tonnes over the course of last week. Live on-warrant inventory surged by 87 per cent to 217,500 tonnes, a level last seen in July. Which is when the previous LME stocks surge took place. Last week’s inflow was, in fact, the fifth copper “arrivals event” on the exchange in the space of a
 
 
China’s rubber appetite fails to boost prices amid over-supply
LAUNCESTON: Pop quiz. Of the major commodities where China is the world’s biggest buyer, which has seen the largest increase in imports so far this year? The answer is rubber, both natural and synthetic, with imports of both up 24.3 per cent in the first eight months of the year to 4.45 million tonnes, compared to the same period in 2016. This is a higher growth rate than China’s imports of crude oil, which are up 12.2 per
   
Hedge funds crowd in to bet on diesel and petrol
LONDON: Hedge funds continue to wager on a shortage of refined fuels driving prices higher, even as US refineries gradually restart operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane-related flooding caused extensive disruption to the major US refining centre along the Gulf of Mexico in the first half of September. But most Gulf Coast refineries have begun to restart and should be fully operational within the next few
 
 
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