Commodities

Iron ore miners wonder who will crumble first

BANGKOK -- Iron ore prices are down almost 40% this year, and many miners hope it has hit bottom. But recent events show that their problems may only get worse. Some weaker players are already failing, and experts forecast years of over-supply caused...

  • Japan's newly opened LNG market faces many challenges

    TOKYO -- Many challenges remain for Japan's first liquefied natural gas exchange, which began trading last Friday. The most important of these is attracting more participants to the market. For now, however, electricity and gas utilities and other LN...

  • East Asia to go easy on endangered Japanese eel

    TOKYO -- Three months after the Japanese eel was designated an endangered species, a quartet of East Asian governments have agreed to scale back farming in 2015 and may consider further reductions starting in 2016 to forestall a ban on trade. Rep...

  • Asian petrochemical prices down amid weak Chinese demand

    TOKYO -- Prices of petrochemical products are dropping in Asia on cheaper crude oil and naphtha as well as sluggish demand for construction materials caused by the weak Chinese housing market. The spot price of naphtha, the primary feedstock for ...

  • Tokyo LNG market debuts quietly

    TOKYO -- Japan's first exchange for liquefied natural gas opened Friday amid hopes that prices set there will eventually become the benchmark for Asia. Buy and sell orders were displayed on the online trading screen, but no LNG changed hands on t...

  • Rising dollar sends commodities prices down across the board

    TOKYO -- Prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities traded internationally have been pushed down by a stronger greenback, with crude sliding to a 17-month low and gold sinking to its weakest level in eight months. Investors have been sellin...

  • Vale chief sees iron ore prices recovering by year-end

    TOKYO -- Prices for iron ore have continued to fall due to a glut but will likely rebound this year, the head of Brazilian mining giant Vale told The Nikkei on Tuesday. Prices will probably recover to between $95 and $100 per ton by year-end, Pre...

  • LNG exchange set to open in Tokyo

    TOKYO -- Trading of liquefied natural gas will start here as early as Friday, an initiative pushed by the Tokyo Commodity Exchange and others that could help bring down LNG prices in Asia. In the initial stage, 17 companies, including Tokyo Elect...

  • Container fares to US West Coast up 34% from late June

    TOKYO -- Container fares for shipments from Asia to the U.S. West Coast are on the rise, riding the swell of a recovering U.S. economy. The spot price for West Coast-bound deliveries, which account for 70% of all shipments to the country, stands ...

  • Nickel prices hit 2-month high on possible Philippine embargo

    TOKYO -- Nickel prices climbed to the highest in nearly two months Thursday on the London Metal Exchange, rising 10% from mid-June to about $19,400 per ton over concerns that the Philippines may ban exports of the metal. A bill to bar mineral ore...

  • US East Coast-bound shipping rates on the rise

    TOKYO -- Container fares from Asia to the U.S. East Coast are rising in light of brisk demand bolstered by spending by the American middle class. Prolonged labor negotiations on the U.S. West Coast are also steering container ships to the East Co...

  • Iron ore prices seen falling 10% in October-December quarter

    TOKYO -- The price Japanese steelmakers pay for iron ore in the October-December period will likely drop more than 10% from the prior three months, for a third straight quarterly decline. Japanese prices are calculated from spot prices of Austral...

  • China onions' prices spike in Japan after pesticide found

    TOKYO -- The import price of Chinese-grown onions is surging in Japan on reduced supplies after excessive amounts of an agrochemical were detected in them last month. The price now stands at about 80 yen (76 cents) per kilogram, up 50% from July ...

  • Global supply glut puts coal producers under pressure

    BANGKOK -- It has been a tough year for commodities, particularly large-volume bulk commodities, but none face as much of a challenge as coal. Prices for both thermal coal and metallurgical coal for steelmaking have languished for the past two to...

  • Expected glut pushes iron ore price to 2-year low

    TOKYO -- The spot price for iron ore has dropped to a near two-year low of $89 per ton from mounting anticipation of a supply glut, as a leading Australian miner prepares to boost output. The spot rate for the benchmark 62%-grade iron ore has sli...

  • Gold: A tale of two countries

    TOKYO -- People in India are buying more gold even as demand levels off in China, which overtook its neighbor last year to become the world's biggest consumer of the precious metal. In India, gold sells at a premium, partly determined by domestic...

  • China loses its luster as big cotton producer

    TOKYO -- China's presence as a major cotton producer is diminishing due to the low quality of its cotton and scaled-back production. The country is the world's largest producer of cotton, but the quality of Chinese cotton is lower than that of th...

  • China's copper appetite becoming difficult to assess

    TOKYO -- Although China is increasing its imports of copper ore, it is difficult to gauge the impact on global copper prices and the country's outlook for copper demand. Cooper prices at the London Metal Exchange took turbulent swings when China ...

  • Short supply sends frozen shrimp prices higher

    TOKYO -- Frozen shrimp prices are on the rise as supplies have taken a hit from a disease outbreak in Thailand and other producer countries. These high prices are also due in part to purchases made by U.S. and European buyers who bought on a temporar...

  • Smartphone demand breaks fall in NAND memory prices

    TOKYO -- Large-lot sales prices of NAND flash memory chips stayed flat for a third consecutive month in July, thanks to brisk demand from smartphone manufacturers. The benchmark price of 64-gigabit chips came to $3.05. NAND prices had been on the...