China oil imports, Nigeria elections and Venezuela sanctions: Commodity and energy news highlights

 The Lunar New Year brings shifts in supply in demand patterns across commodities, and 2019 was no different. Chinese oil imports saw a strong year on year increase in January,  but February figures are likely to be weaker due to the vacation. Meanwhile, steel markets were braced for pent up demand as China went back to work. Ferrous markets continued to focus on the fallout from Vale’s catastrophic iron ore dam failure, with far-reaching Brazilian legislation now responding to the disaster. Neighboring Venezuala is still in the grip of political turmoil, meanwhile, with consequences for global oil trade flows and supply chains further downstream. HIGHLIGHT Analysis: New Brazil laws seen significantly impacting Minas Gerais mines output New state and Brazilian federal government legislation restricting the use of tailing dams may have a significant and permanent impact on iron ore production in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, the country’s biggest producer, with both market and political implications, state government and iron ore market sources say. GRAPHIC OF THE WEEK Factbox and infographic: PDVSA sanctions affect flows, accelerating output declines Click for full-size infographic OIL Podcast: Nigerian election puts focus on country’s energy future The February 16 Nigerian election pits incumbent President Muhammadu… continue reading

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