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Column: Resource-rich Australia shows the strangeness of any super commodity cycle | Instant News

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – For those looking for evidence of a new commodity supercycle, and for those skeptical of a sustainable resource boom, Australian government forecasters have covered it.

An autonomous truck prepares to load iron ore at Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) Chichester Hub Australia, which includes the Christmas Creek iron ore mine, in the Pilbara region, southeast of the coastal city of Port Hedland in Western Australia, 29 November 2018. REUTERS / Melanie Burton

The government’s latest Quarterly Resources and Energy Report, released on Monday, describes how some commodities surged during last year’s coronavirus pandemic, as well as how the gains were not comprehensive and may not be easily sustained.

The headline that caught the media’s attention was that the country’s resource and energy exports would hit a record A $ 296 billion ($ 226 billion) in the fiscal year to June 30, 2021.

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of iron ore, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coking coal, which is used to make steel.

Indonesia ranks second behind Indonesia for thermal coal and third in copper ore shipments, and is a major producer of aluminum and alumina, the raw materials used to make refined metals.

Australia is also the third largest gold producer in the world and the largest net exporter of precious metals, and is a major supplier of battery metals such as nickel and lithium.

The outstanding performance for the country’s resource sector this fiscal year was driven largely by the top iron ore exports, which were estimated at A $ 136 billion, or just under half, of the total export value, according to a report compiled by the Office. Chief Economist of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

This is up from the A $ 104 billion iron ore exports in fiscal 2019/20, which was achieved at higher volumes (up 4%) and prices (up 41%).

The massive boom in iron ore revenue is largely a story fabricated in China, the world’s largest importer of steel spent on boosting its economy after being hit by the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Chinese impact can be seen in several other Australian commodities, with copper export revenues up 20% to A $ 12 billion despite volumes shipped slightly lower.

However, it should be noted that apart from iron ore and copper, only the export value of gold increased in 2020/21, to A $ 29 billion from A $ 25 billion.

Australia’s other major resource and energy exports have declined, including LNG, crude oil, alumina, aluminum, zinc, lithium and both types of coal.

Lower prices for most of the fiscal year were largely to blame, although these have started to recover over the past few months.


Much of the commodity super cycle story is built around high demand for resources from China, coupled with a synchronous boost from many other parts of the world as countries act to increase growth through infrastructure spending.

There are also expectations that supply for key commodities will struggle to keep pace, given weak investment spending by producers in response to sharp falls in prices in the early stages of the pandemic.

The Australian government report lends credibility to the demand side of the supercycle vision, but only for the commodities most exposed to China’s industrial strengths, namely iron ore and copper.

While others, including battery metals, are also showing signs of recovery, energy products have been underpinned by temporary factors, such as a reduction in producer production in the case of crude oil and a cold northern winter for LNG.

Where the report becomes more interesting is in its long-term view, which doesn’t see much of a demand-driven super cycle, with Australian energy resources and exports expected to rise to A $ 321.1 billion by 2025/26, a growth rate. a combined annual rate of only 1.7%.

It’s going to be a solid, unspectacular result, albeit far from being a supercycle story.

Digging into the breakdown shows that the commodity reports are expected to be most correlated with the energy transition, with export revenues from lithium expected to surge by about 440% from the current fiscal year to A $ 5.4 billion in 2025/26, while nickel will nearly double fold. to A $ 6.5 billion, and copper up 33% to A $ 16 billion.

In contrast, iron ore, this year’s star to the end of June, is expected to fade by then to A $ 104 billion – the same level as in 2019/20 – while LNG will remain relatively stable and both coal values ​​will decline. .

Overall, the report points out two things, first that the evidence for the emerging commodity supercycle is somewhat mixed, and second that while some commodities are likely to perform well in the coming years, profits will not extend to all.


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Column: Indian coal imports soar as Australia wins market share – Russell | Instant News

(Opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)

FILE PHOTO: A worker sprays water over a pile of coal at Mundra Port Coal Terminal in Gujarat state, western India, April 2, 2014. REUTERS / Amit Dave

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – India’s coal imports have risen in recent months to near pre-pandemic levels, but the market share of cargo supplying countries has shifted, mainly due to China’s dispute with Australia.

India imported 17.56 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal in January, according to ship and port tracking data compiled by Refinitiv.

This was down slightly from December’s 17.74 million tonnes and 18.02 million in October, but slightly above November’s 17.54 million.

Overall, the past four months have shown that India’s desire to import coal has returned, having taken a hit in the middle of last year when the government locked down the South Asian country as part of efforts to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

India’s imports in January were also only 2.6% lower than 18.02 million tonnes from the same month in 2020, while December was 2.1% below December 2019 levels.

The economic blow caused by the lockdown, imposed last March, began to show in coal imports in May, when only 10.3 million tonnes were released, which fell further to 8.81 million in June, the lowest since Refinitiv. started tracking in January. 2015.

However, in October, imports were almost at pre-pandemic levels, as demand for electricity rose as the economy restarted and demand for steel also recovered as construction and infrastructure spending recovered.

India is the second largest coal importer in the world after China, and China’s influence is felt in the Indian coal market.

China has imposed an effective ban on imports from Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coking coal used to make steel, and the second-largest shipper of thermal coal used in power generation.

China is unhappy with Australia over a range of issues, including Australia’s call for an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and China’s response to the initial outbreak.

This has led to a series of trade actions by China against Australia, including bans or tariffs on coal, barley, meat, wine and tourism, among other goods.

Ironically, China is spending more than ever on imports from Australia, given its reliance on iron ore and liquefied natural gas, two commodities that demand high prices and Australia is the world’s biggest exporter.

But while Australian coal exporters have closed out of China, they have made inroads in India, with imports from Australia hitting a record high of 6.75 million tonnes in January, according to Refinitiv.

This is up from 6.32 million tonnes in December, 5.06 million in November and 5.49 million in October.

Cumulatively, the past four months have been the strongest for Australian coal imports from India since Refinitiv began its assessment in January 2015.

January imports were also up 81% from 3.72 million tonnes recorded in the same month in 2020, and about 301% above the 2020 low of 1.68 million in June.

India traditionally buys coking coal from Australia given its limited domestic reserves with these higher energy levels, but in recent months India has started buying thermal coal in increasing volumes.

Australian thermal coal exports to India totaled 1.87 million tonnes in December 2020, up 450% from 340,000 tonnes in December 2019, according to data from commodity price reporting agency Argus.


While Australia is gaining market share in India, the loser is Indonesia, which has given up its status as the biggest supplier to India.

India imported 5.42 million tonnes from Indonesia in January, down from 5.74 million in December, 5.82 million in November and 6.75 million in October.

Imports from Indonesia have recovered from a pandemic lows of 3.51 million tonnes in June, but are still well below historical levels, with January 2020 being 26.5% below 7.37 million tonnes from the same month a year earlier .

However, Indonesian exporters may not be overly concerned as they have largely filled the void in China caused by restrictions on imports from Australia.

Another factor to note is that India is effectively importing more energy in the form of coal, given that Australia usually supplies more energy coal than Indonesia.

This means that Indian coal imports are more or less stable in terms of volume, but the more cargo is sourced from Australia, the total amount of energy imported will likely increase.

It is also likely that what the market is going through is more of a permanent change in dynamics, as there is no sign that China will relax its ban on Australian coal, and even if it does, trade relations could break down to the point where it is. hard to fix.


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America’s Cup graphic: Sir Russell Coutts and Sir Ian Taylor of Animation Research in a copyright dispute | Instant News

Graphics used by Sir Ian Taylor Animation Research’s company during a pre-Christmas racing broadcast.

Sir Russell Coutts’ sailing interests have warned that if the graphics used by Sir Ian Taylor’s Animation Research for the pre-Christmas races were used in broadcasting the 36th America’s Cup, the High Court alleges copyright infringement would be filed.

The warning shots fired by two companies led by Coutts – Oracle Racing and F50 League LLC traded as SailGP – had consequences for how the upcoming Prada Cup and America’s Cup were broadcast.

A legal notice alleging copyright infringement during a pre-Christmas race over the graphics used in what is known as the LiveLine system of the augmented reality broadcast was sent to Animation Research Limited (ARL) and two other parties on December 23.

Taylor – most recently knighted for his work including pioneering the development of the world’s leading real-time 3D visualization for major sports broadcasts starting with Virtual Eyes for the America’s Cup – said he was “deeply disappointed” that his New Zealand counterparts served his company in a way violates copyright notices that could “seriously impact coverage of the upcoming Prada Cup and the Copa America itself”.

Sir Russell Coutts.
Sir Russell Coutts.

In response to the Herald’s question, Sir Russell Coutts said, “We are only trying to protect IP [intellectual property] which we’ve invested millions of dollars in developing over the last decade.

“We prefer not to be forced to protect our rights through legal process, but like all copyrighted material, it must be licensed for use by commercial entities.

“We have asked that the current Copa America organizers avoid breaches by revising their charts, or paying a license fee accordingly.”

Taylor claims the two Coutts-led companies claim copyrights based on the ARL image created in 1992 and which has been used at every Copa America since then – including in 1995 when Coutts famously created the “Cup of America, Cup of New Zealand”.

“We have submitted the chart for events where he also raced against New Zealand, starting with him winning the Cup from New Zealand with Alinghi (Switzerland) in 2003 and then winning it from Alinghi for BMW Oracle (USA) in 2010,” said Taylor.

Oracle Racing and SailGP believe that the intellectual property associated with Animation Research’s graphics has been transferred to event organizers at previous America’s Cup regattas.

Oracle Racing and SailGP are at the center of rival high-tech screen series, spearheaded by billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Coutts, the most successful helmsman in America’s Cup history.

Their goal is to use the LiveLine graphics – whose copyright they claim – during the series.

Sir Ian Taylor, founder of Animation Research.  Photo / Provided
Sir Ian Taylor, founder of Animation Research. Photo / Provided

Taylor confirmed to the Herald that he wrote to Coutts on December 7 last year detailing Animation Research technology that had been contracted to provide broadcasting of the 36th America’s Cup.

Taylor said he approached Coutts late last year offering to share the new technology ARL had developed. He said he didn’t hear back until shortly before the first pre-Christmas regatta began, during which Coutts advised he had some concerns about ARL’s plans, but didn’t share what those concerns were.

“Next we heard from him was an official letter arriving on December 23, just as we closed for Christmas, with a January 5 deadline for our response. It would be fair to say that made our plans a bit of a mess.”

Earlier, the record contender began talks with Coutts, asking about securing a license to use the LiveLine system in an upcoming American Cup series.

It was finally rejected by the challenger.

The Coutts-led company said that if Animation Research wants to continue using what it claims is a copied image, they are willing to discuss the appropriate license terms.

Taylor admits the LiveLine chart is a significant step forward.

Taylor claims what Coutts creates is based entirely on the universally acclaimed 3D ARL Virtual Eye graphic display as ultimately making sense for cruising.

“We were really surprised because it was one step forward in telling the story of the Copa America.”

Taylor said for the 36th America’s Cup, ARL is adapting its own package of augmented reality graphics that it uses in other sports, including golf and cricket, to bring the technology to screen as well.

“Technology has advanced significantly since 2017 in Bermuda.”

Taylor said the outcome of the action under threat was that ARL would now put forward the ideas they plan to launch around the Copa America defense and apply them to the Prada Cup, which takes place this weekend in Auckland.

“That means having to bring some of the team off their vacation but there is no way we want this Kiwi show in Waitematā to be compromised in any way,” said Taylor.

“My real hope is that we can forget about this and do something together that will benefit this sport that Russell has contributed so much to.”

Taylor and two others sent a lengthy response to Oracle Racing and SailGP on Friday evening after the original January 5 deadline was extended, but at this stage the matter has not been resolved.

What the Sir Russell Coutts company claims
LiveLine is an augmented reality system in the scope of racing, which involves the use of a field graphic overlaid on live footage of racing action on water, complemented by real-time data obtained from multiple sources including onboard sensors.
The system is protected by a US patent and the company led by Coutts has claimed copyright on a related graphics package that has the key elements: Off-track borders; ability to display written material within borders; a ladder or frame and a number placed under the parallel line to reflect the boat’s direction and distance to the next mark.

Sir Ian Taylor’s response
The company led by Coutts claims copyright to the three elements we use in our Virtual Eye graphics pack.
The first is a closed border, basically a playing field governed by the rules, the second is a grid of parallel lines showing where the boats are connected to each other and the buoy markers, and finally the sponsor’s name is lying on the water.

Sir Ian Taylor says the concept that Sir Russell Coutts claims to copyright claims is a concept that Animation Research shared with him in March 2010. Image / Supplied
Sir Ian Taylor says the concept that Sir Russell Coutts claims to copyright claims is a concept that Animation Research shared with him in March 2010. Image / Supplied

We’ve been doing most of this since 1992 and have done it at every Copa America since then.
Due to this threat we had to take our staff on a day off to implement a new package to be used for the Games. [the America’s Cup defence], but now we will introduce it for the Prada Cup so that the fans are not harmed by this action.


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Australia shows that the reality of renewable energy trumps gas expectations: Russell | Instant News

(Opinions expressed here are those of the author, columnist for Reuters.)

FILE PHOTOS: The Fortescue Metals Group logo adorns their headquarters in Perth, Australia, 11 November 2015. REUTERS / David Gray

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Australia is turning into an example of what happens when markets leave policymakers, with renewables attracting investment dollars even as a conservative government clings to its vision of a natural gas future.

Two recent announcements underlined that Australia is moving towards an energy future where renewable energy plays the biggest role, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s proposed gas-based recovery may turn into a white elephant.

Fortescue Metal Group FMG.AXThe world’s fourth-largest iron ore miner built from scratch by billionaire Andrew Forrest outlined his plans on Wednesday to become a global renewable energy giant.

Forrest said his company has so far committed A $ 1 billion ($ 731 million) to build a portfolio of renewable energy assets, including green hydrogen and ammonia, and has a target of having an installed energy capacity of 225 gigawatts (GW).

“With scale and innovation, we will be able to increase the supply of green hydrogen and green ammonia to deliver low-cost energy reliably on an industrial scale to customers around the world,” he said at the Fortescue annual meeting.

A second example is the attempt by the state government in Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state and home to Melbourne, to build a 300 megawatt battery as part of an effort to build electricity capacity.

“With climate change resulting in hotter summers, peak electricity demand is increasing. At the same time, the aging coal fired generators in Victoria are becoming increasingly unreliable, resulting in the need for additional capacity to ensure the state’s electricity supply, “the state government said in a statement on its website.

“This additional capacity will lower electricity prices for all Victorians and provide significant net benefits for Victoria, far exceeding project costs,” the government said.

There are two key messages to unlock in that statement.

The first is that coal-fired power plants, which have long been a mainstay of the Victorian, and even Australian electrical systems, are now considered old and unreliable.

Second, installing the battery, which will be the largest in Australia, will result in lower and profitable electricity prices.


This cuts the argument from Morrison, who heads the federal-Liberal-National coalition government, and proponents of the gas-fired recovery that renewable energy cannot provide adequate reliability and will be costly.

The federal government’s gas-fired recovery plan rests on subsidizing the transport of natural gas from remote areas where it is found to major urban centers on Australia’s east coast.

This may also involve the government building its own gas-fired power plant near Sydney’s largest city, given that no private sector generator currently has plans to build such a plant, mainly citing the absence of a lucrative business case.

What Morrison hasn’t elaborated on is the extent to which subsidies are needed to make natural gas “cheap” enough to compete with renewables in the Australian power market.

Given that most natural gas is located in remote basins thousands of kilometers (miles) from major cities on the east coast, it is likely that these subsidies will need to be large, and long-lasting, for the fuel to be competitive.

There’s an old saying that anything can be made to work if there is enough taxpayer subsidies to do it, and it seems like this is the path Morrison is looking to follow.

It is likely to be expensive for taxpayers and worse than if the same money was invested in increasing use of renewable energy, powered by battery storage or pumped hydro, or even powered by gas-fired peak power plants.

But the most damning reaction to Morrison’s gas-based recovery plan has been how markets ignore it and move on.

Edited by Richard Pullin


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Dadeville’s teammate at Anfernee Jennings, the coach expects great things in the NFL | Blitz Preparation | Instant News

When the time came for Anfernee Jennings as Dadeville Tiger, there was no shortage of stories about her athletic prowess from people who knew her well at the time.

Whether it’s taking the key to the weight room from his coach at the weekend, moving to the middle of the midline of the game to thwart Tallassee’s rushing attack or getting off the line so fast that an opposing midfielder never even enters his set pass, Jennings gives many moments that make the people around him were impressed.

The memory made people who spent so much time with him in Dadeville excited about what would happen after the New England Patriots chose an outside linebacker in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

“We are like family. We grew up on the same road, so I have known him from birth,” said former Dadeville midfielder Tamarcus Russell. “He is just a hard worker. We always work hard. Where we came from Alabama, we were very physical people. On the field, we are cruel people, but outside the field he will be a great man. On the field, he’s a different animal. “

Grow the game

As veteran head coach, Richard White from Dadeville has learned how bad it is to place new students on the university team when Jennings became a freshman in 2011.

White said that he and his assistant coaches were always hesitant to bring in ninth graders among the big kids for fear that they “lost their strength” – being controlled by the stage and not playing to their potential. Players must approach the situation carefully, and they must also be talented enough to survive.

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for Jennings to prove that she was ready to face the challenge. He amazed his coaches from the start with his work ethic, and before long a Clemson coach offered him a scholarship just from looking at him.

“You kind of want to take them slowly, put them there against more men their age at that time and then work against some older men and see how they handle it. He can do that, “White said. “He can fight juniors and seniors in our team and can hold him. He gets his little back whipped every now, but for the most part he can handle it himself. We saw then that he would be special. “

“Sometimes with eighth grade students when they are truly athletic – especially when they dominate – they can go to university and think (it will be easy). He didn’t really do that, “said Matt Harrison, Jennings defensive line coach at Dadeville.” He worked hard and realized that he had to really push himself to be the best he could. Of course, he did that. He finally maybe play 50 percent of the time (in its first year). “

Jennings showed a natural talent as a graduated player, even as a freshman, but with that appeared curiosity and desire to become better. Rod Crayton, who is a defensive midfielder Dadeville two years older, remembers he routinely asks seniors when he tries to sharpen his skills.

Jennings was surrounded by star talent in defense, and before long he showed that he was the next. As a sophomore, he was credited with mentioning the respectable All-State in the Tiger’s 10-win army, and at that time it was clear he would only get better. He collected 171 tackles in total, 43 in a hurry quarterback and seven sacks as a junior, which led to the All-State first honors team.

In March 2014, Jennings decided to go to college. Personal visits from Alabama head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator at the time, Kirby Smart, really caught the attention of Jennings, and despite ongoing efforts from Clemson and actual accusations from Arkansas, he was committed to Crimson Tide.

Still, his success did not make Jennings satisfied.

Jennings made it her mission to get better before that fall – her senior year – that caused work to continue to improve and become stronger. He did both, eventually getting 30 pounds, increasing his max bench to 315 pounds and squatting down to 515, and reducing his 40-yard run time to 4.6 seconds.

Harrison believes Jennings took the example given by the Dadeville players before him as motivation to do as much work as possible before his final season.

“He sort of led the accusation and kept the accusation away from the old people to ensure that he was in every training and training session during the summer. We will give them say four days off in the summer, but I don’t remember him losing time. “If I take them anywhere, he is the first on the bus even though he has 20 or 30 scholarship offers,” Harrison said. “He listens to me about his diet, and then on weekends he will get the key, and he and a group of people will go there and work on agility and speed, then work on defense games and work on their hands and then offensive games and running routes . “

Even with high expectations around him, Jennings excelled in his final years with the Tigers. He led Dadeville with 156 tackles in total, 12 sacks, eight pass deflections, one forced to fail and 58 quarterbacks rushing as key players in defense who only gave 11.6 points per match.

Even though the Tigers only won seven matches, they topped the state champions Leeds in the regular season thanks to an excellent game from Jennings and finally reached the second round of the playoffs.

White remembers the special drama from Jennings’s last postseason. In Dadeville’s first-round battle with Trinity, White watched in amazement as Jennings was on the opposite side of the field as the ball temporarily opened before turning on the jet and chasing the ball carrier in no time.

What is extraordinary by most players is just a regular game from Jennings.

“That’s just the way he is able to deal with and fight,” Harrison said. “His toughness, his steadfastness, not wanting to lose and being a leader in his senior year, let me know he will eventually turn into a soccer player like he is now.”

Pairs and Leagues

Jennings became a great defender with Crimson Tide, but that didn’t come without some setbacks that could easily frustrate his efforts to stand out.

Jennings watched her first year in Alabama be postponed due to back surgery, but she returned strongly and contributed to the freshman shirt season and her second season. The second season, however, ended abruptly in the semifinals of the University Football Playoff thanks to a knee injury that was also accompanied by damage to the arteries and blood clots.

Despite suffering an injury that could have injured his left leg – or even his life – Jennings showed no setbacks in the 2018 season, played in all 15 Crimson Tide matches and ended the year with 50 total tackles – including 13 for defeat – 5.5 sacks, one interception, two recovery failed and one touchdown.

Jennings finished her college career strongly in 2019. While serving as Alabama’s defensive signal caller, she recorded 83 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, one interception and one forced failure. His game earned him the All-SEC first team award and helped him become a semifinalist for the Butkus Award given to the nation’s top linebackers.

“God, have mercy, that boy has overcome many things,” White said. “His work ethic keeps him steady – it is a grind shoulder. He wagged everything he did. He is always someone you might ignore. He succeeded well. Here again, they talk about him probably not going to be in a higher round, and I’m just telling you – someone will steal here in the pro rank. They just don’t realize the work ethic this child has, how hard he will work and what this game means to him. “

Jennings always shows humility even with many of his achievements. Harrison said he talked to Jennings about his performance after almost every other Alabama game, and the two would discuss what he needed to do better and how to make it happen. Russell said that Jennings not long ago returned to Dadeville and spoke with several students to show them that they could realize whatever they dreamed of.

Jennings never forgot his roots after becoming a must-have candidate and then played on the national championship team. Now that his NFL aspirations have taken him to one of the league’s major franchises, those at home are just waiting for him to become a household name.

“I feel like he is improving to take advantage of the situation he is giving, and I feel like any team that chooses him will definitely get someone who will come there, work hard and take advantage of everything,” Crayton said. “He will do what he can to be the best he can for the organization.”

“I’m really proud of him, and I know that will happen. I can see something in him for a long time,” Russell said. “He will be the vocal leader from anywhere on the field, and I can see him developing that role as captain in the NFL in his first two years. I think he will be the captain. “


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