Commodities

China's strategic stockpiling sways global copper market

TOKYO -- China's veiled yet substantial moves on the copper market are making it difficult for watchers to read the direction of prices. In early October, copper was trading around the $6,600 level per ton on the London Metal Exchange, about a fi...

  • Oil exporters hit by falling crude prices, supply issues

    DUBAI -- Falling crude oil prices are threatening oil-reliant economies around the world, as the benchmark North Sea Brent price hovers at its lowest level in about four years. Crude oil prices have already fallen below fiscal break-even points for R...

  • China moves to protect its coal producers and the environment

    BANGKOK -- China, the world's biggest consumer of coal, is set to shake up the seaborne market for the commodity with a series of new taxes and policies, partly designed to help struggling domestic producers compete against cheap imports from Indones...

  • Tokyo Steel to slash prices as inventories build up

    TOKYO -- Tokyo Steel said Monday that it will cut prices on all its products in November in what will be its first price reductions in more than two years. The Tokyo-based company commands a 20-30% share in the market for H-beams, which are used ...

  • Rush of new mines drags copper ore prices lower

    TOKYO -- Copper ore prices are falling as a host of new mines churns out an excess supply of the red metal. The spot price of copper ore is currently around $1,750 a ton, down 8% from the end of last year. Ore production in the first six months t...

  • Japan expects 70% of its LNG to come from North America, Australia by 2020

    TOKYO -- Most of Japan's liquefied natural gas imports will be coming from Australia and North America by 2020, government estimates show. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also sees Japan relying less on the Middle East and Southeast A...

  • Asian construction materials prices dragged down by China

    TOKYO -- With real estate investment in China slowing, the effect on prices of construction-related materials is spreading. Sluggish sales prices are also a reason Japan has had difficulty increasing construction materials exports despite the wea...

  • Rio Tinto CEO confident M&A not needed

    SYDNEY -- Sam Walsh, CEO of Anglo-Australian resources giant Rio Tinto, says he is not looking to conduct major mergers or takeovers anytime soon. For now, the priority is "to develop what I have, and materially increase returns to shareholders." ...

  • Global copper demand still strong despite glut, higher costs: Sumitomo Metal Mining chief

    TOKYO -- International prices of major commodities, such as copper and crude oil, have been falling recently. In light of global demand for copper and other natural resources, concerns remain over whether the downward trend is casting uncertainty...

  • Rubber slump prompts call for stronger international cartel

    KUALA LUMPUR -- As the price of rubber tumbles, Malaysia has called on producing countries not to sell natural rubber at less than the production cost of $1.50 per kg, and to convene a ministerial level meeting next year to address the problem. ...

  • Palm oil prices on the rise internationally

    TOKYO -- International prices for palm oil, widely used in products ranging from detergents to confections, have climbed since the Malaysian government adopted policies promoting exports. Futures prices on the benchmark Malaysian market now stand...

  • Fukushima marine products starting to recover as locals play up safety

    TOKYO -- Fish catches are gradually recovering off Fukushima Prefecture, three and a half years after the devastating nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Despite the impact of contaminated water from the accident, local...

  • Ginga Petroleum to open plastics-trading market in Singapore

    TOKYO -- Singapore-based energy broker Ginga Petroleum will open a market for trading plastics in the city-state as early as this month. The company will provide trading services for derivatives related to basic materials used in plastic containe...

  • Uranium prices rebound on supply concerns

    TOKYO -- The international spot price of uranium has firmed up considerably due to concerns about supply disruptions in Russia and Kazakhstan and as Japan moves toward restarting some nuclear reactors. The benchmark U.S. price of yellowcake, a wi...

  • Prune prices climb due to drought, reduced planting

    TOKYO -- International prune prices have risen due to smaller acreage and a drought in the prime growing region. Prunes produced in the U.S. state of California are selling for around $2.50 a pound, 30% more than at this time last year. The 2...

  • Nut prices rise on drought, increased health awareness

    TOKYO -- Nut prices are rising as poor rainfall in production areas and an increased global demand for nuts have helped lift prices. Almonds are selling for around $4.8 per pound (453 grams), a 16% rise from a year earlier. Walnut prices are arou...

  • Russia boosts gold reserves to soften sanctions

    MOSCOW -- Russia, holder of the world's fifth largest stash of foreign currencies, is increasing its gold purchases. One reason for this is the country's increasing wariness of the dollar and euro now that Russia has come under U.S. and European sanc...

  • Asian coffee demand one factor behind jacked-up bean prices

    TOKYO -- Coffee beans are trading at relatively high prices, and Asia's growing demand for java means that may not change anytime soon. A gloomy harvest outlook in Brazil, the world's No. 1 bean grower, pushed up the benchmark contract in New Yor...

  • Naphtha prices sink to 17-month low in Asia

    TOKYO -- The decline in the price of naphtha, a key feedstock for plastic and other petrochemical products, is accelerating in Asia due to lower crude oil prices and a flood of supplies pouring in from Europe. The Asian spot price was recently $8...

  • China's rare-earths exchange feeding price spikes

    TOKYO -- In 2010, China squeezed Japan's supplies of rare-earth metals in the wake of a dispute over a collision between a Chinese fishing vessel and a Japanese coast guard ship in September of that year. The incident took place off the Senkaku Islan...