BMTI Dry Bulk Commodity News (4 Mar 2020)

In February of this year, Ukraine produced more than 2.55 Mt of coal, just 0.2% less than expected. This is according to statistics from the Coal Miners Union of Ukraine in reference to data released from the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry. In the year to date, asserts the miners union, mining enterprises of all forms of ownership have produced a combined 5.20 Mt of coal or 103% of the target.

After steadily declining for about a month, Russian wheat prices are starting to stabilize, market ob­servers report, with competition from other area producers being lessened in recent days as the euro-USD exchange rates rebalances. Prospects for the year ahead are favourable for Russia with the Black Sea crop now expected to hit 83-87 Mt of Russian wheat, surpassing even last year’s output and far surpassing the 26-28 Mt expected in neighbouring wheat producing country, Ukraine. Weather trends remain positive for Russia’s harvest, claims SovEcon, with precipitation over recent days reported in the Central, Volga and southern regions of the country.

The coronavirus is a “wild card” for new dry bulk demand, says Wood Mackenzie, having undermined Chinese economic sentiment and potentially putting a break on expected steel demand in China, which will in turn have an impact on iron ore and coal demand on the global market. Metallurgical coal us­age is likely to be lower in March-May than previ­ously expected, says the analyst, although any effect on iron ore demand is likely to be “relatively low”.

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