Steel Markets and the Global Economy

British Steel is in the hands of receivers (again). This once mighty producer can still be viewed as a canary in the coal mine, indicating when circumstances for everyone else are turning toxic. The perilous situation of the UK’s steel industry is in part about the state of the UK, but to what extent do its fortunes, and indeed the elastic fortunes of the Capesize market this year reflect the condition of the global economy and the steel industry that builds the world? Global steel production, according to the World Steel Association, fell by 2% quarter on quarter in the first three months of this year to 155.0 Mn Tonnes, after a fall of 1% in the last quarter of 2018. Production in Q3 of

Indian Elections Cannot Disguise Economic Worries

India’s general election has taken place in seven phases over the last several weeks, making it the biggest exercise in democracy in history. Exit polls suggest that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and its coalition partner the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will win a clear majority when official results are announced on 23rd May. The historical performance of exit polls has been patchy, largely because the size of the electorate and the contrast of state versus national issues are difficult to capture in small samples. Still, most observers suggest that Mr Modi will get another term even as the Indian economy has softened in 2019 so far. I

Sustainable Shipping, and Supposing in the Straits

I’ve attended several conferences so far this year that address issues around ‘sustainable’ shipping. Before I go any further, it might be a good idea to define sustainability. I suppose it relates to three areas: the design of the ship; propulsion systems and emissions; and waste products from the ship including the ship as a waste product itself. Beyond our own industry groups like BIMCO, Intercargo, Intertanko, etc., there are of course a number of NGOs focused on this issue, such as the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, the Clean Shipping Initiative, the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020, the Carbon War Room, the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative, the Clean Shipping Coalition and its memb

Definitely Sell In May This Year (Macro Macchiato 06/05/19)

Here’s the TrumpTweet in full: For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars.... ....of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No! Let’s gloss over for now the economic logic of tariffs being responsible for great economic results in the US

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