Wed, Mar. 18, 2:57 PM
- Fortescue Metals (OTCPK:FSUMF -7.2%) earlier today pulled a proposed $2.5B debt sale, highlighting an iron ore market in deepening distress as prices closed at six-year lows.
- "Rather than lowering the interest cost, we understand the funding cost for the proposed $2.5B secured note was likely to be 8.5%-9%; hence why the offering was pulled," according to Citigroup analysts.
- Fortescue, the world's fourth largest iron ore miner, made the decision to pull the bond issue as iron ore prices fell by 5% to US$54.50/ton, driven down by a rapid expansion in supply by the miner as well as rivals BHP Billiton (BHP +1.2%), Rio Tinto (RIO -0.2%) and Vale (VALE -0.6%); stock prices had been much lower before today's Fed announcement.
- Analysts expect iron ore prices to fall even further as BHP and Rio press ahead with mine expansions in coming years and China’s economic growth slows.
- Also: CLF -3.9%.
Tue, Mar. 10, 8:28 AM
- BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) iron ore boss Jimmy Wilson is out in defense of the company's strategy of boosting iron ore output at a time of falling prices and global oversupply.
- "If we pull back our volume, that volume will be filled by other companies... We [would] be penalizing, in essence, our shareholders," Wilson argues, signaling no change of course from BHP even as prices drop.
- "The big guys are saying: ‘We’ve got huge margins, so we’ll keep pumping out iron ore because we’re still making money’,” says a top economist at Westpac Banking.
- Iron ore prices have cut in half over the past year as rising supply from new and expanded mines outpaces demand from steelmakers.
- Premarket: BHP -3%, VALE -2.7%, RIO -1.4%.
Mon, Mar. 2, 5:19 PM
- Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) -3% AH after agreeing to sell ~$800M of stock to fund its purchase of an additional supply of gold from a Vale's (NYSE:VALE) Salobo mine in Brazil.
- SLW says it will use the proceeds of the offering to fund its acquisition of an additional 25% gold stream from the mine, which is in addition to the 25% of the mine's gold production SLW acquired in 2013.
- The deal raises SLW’s production and cash flow profile by adding expected average gold production of 70K oz./year for the first 10 years and 60K oz./year over the first 30 years.
Thu, Feb. 26, 8:59 AM
- Vale (NYSE:VALE) -2.6% premarket after posting below consensus Q4 earnings, as iron ore prices fell by nearly half and the Brazilian currency weakened vs. the dollar.
- Vale reported a Q4 loss of $1.85B, far worse than analyst expectations for a $740M loss, which impacted lower than expected FY 2014 net income of $657M; Vale wrote off almost $2B in fertilizer, iron ore, coal and nickel assets during the quarter, including a $1.05B charge on the fertilizer business in Brazil.
- Q4 EBITDA tumbled by two-thirds to $2.19B and fell 41% for the full year to $13.35B, the lowest figure since the 2009 global recession.
- Strength in Vale's base metals division helped to cushion the fall in iron ore prices, with EBITDA up 54% to $2.52B; Vale became the world's largest producer of nickel in 2014.
- Because cash generation has not been enough to cover Vale's $4.2B in dividend payments and $11.98B in capital spending, the company has been seeking to cut costs, find partners and sell assets, which CFO Luciano Siani says will intensify moving forward.
Tue, Feb. 3, 10:24 AM
- Copper prices are on track for their biggest gains since September on speculation that China would use stimulus measures to jump-start its economy and boost demand for the metal.
- Rising oil prices and Chinese stimulus speculation “have changed the focus to the upside and the short-covering has done the rest,” says Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen, adding that “energy is such a big and important part of the commodity sector, and the somewhat improved sentiment there also helps other” raw materials; aluminum and nickel also are rising to multi-week highs.
- "We’re in this perverse world where bad news is good news,” says BNP Paribas analyst Stephen Briggs, and "a lot of people are thinking China’s going to join the rest of the world and lower interest rates or [offer] some kind of monetary response."
- Raw materials companies are off to a strong start today: FCX +5.8%, BHP +3.9%, RIO +2.4%, VALE +3.9%, SCCO +3.4%.
- ETFs: JJC, DBB, JJN, JJU, JJT, CPER, BOM, RJZ, BOS, LD, BDD, JJM, FOIL, NINI, CUPM
Fri, Jan. 23, 11:18 AM
- Iron ore miners are broadly lower after Goldman Sachs becomes the latest global bank to deliver a dismal outlook for the steel-making ingredient, forecasting an average price of $66/metric ton this year from an earlier estimate of $80.
- Goldman is at least the fifth bank this month to lower estimates, citing rising seaborne supplies and weaker demand growth from China; just last week, Citigroup cut its iron ore forecast to $58 in 2015, down from its earlier $65, and UBS lowered its target to $66 from $85.
- Low-cost expansions likely will continue as major producers are still mining iron ore at a profit, which would expand the global seaborne surplus from 47M tons this year to 260M tons by 2018, Goldman says.
- Iron ore miners: VALE -8%, BHP -3%, RIO -3.6%, CLF -7.6%.
- Copper miners: FCX -2.6%, SCCO -2.4%, TCK -2.6%.
- Steel companies: X -6.3%, MT -7.1%, AKS -3.2%, NUE -1.2%, STLD -3%, CMC -3.8%, TMST -2.4%.
- Earlier: Goldman gives in on mined commodities
Wed, Jan. 14, 12:39 PM
- Citi cuts price targets for iron ore to $58 for 2015 and $62 for 2016, down from its prior estimates of $65 for both years, and lowers its outlook for thermal and met coal.
- Citi warns its downwardly revised forecast means it now expects earnings for major mining companies will fall by 9%-21% for 2015 and by 3%-16% in 2016.
- Rio Tinto (RIO -2.5%) is the exception, as Citi sees earnings rising 7.1% this year and 10.6% next year due to the company’s greater exposure to the weaker Australian dollar.
- The firm cuts its price target for Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF -7.2%) by 8% to £3.60 from £3.90 and sees earnings falling 21% and 16% respectively in 2015 and 2016.
- Citi says it is still bullish on the sector, but warns that metals and mining companies will only slowly grind higher over the next few years.
- Also: BHP -4.5%, VALE -5%, FCX -12%, SCCO -4.9%, TCK -9.7%, CLF -4.4%, CENX -9.1%, MT -4.2%, X -4.9%, NUE -3.4%, STLD -2.6%, BTU -9.8%, ANR -8.8%, ACI -8.9%.
Wed, Jan. 14, 10:28 AM
- Freeport McMoRan (FCX -10.8%) sinks to a 52-week low as copper prices fall 4.5% to collapse to 2009 levels, though it is off overnight lows after prices were down nearly 9% at one point in London.
- Other big global miners also are sharply lower: SCCO -7.3%, RIO -2.5%, BHP -4.4%, VALE -3.8%, CLF -5.8%.
- Concerns over a supply glut and slowing consumption in China have weighed on copper prices in recent months; copper is often seen as an omen for the global economy because it is used in a wide array of construction and manufacturing activities, so today's precipitous drop explains much of the weakness in global equity markets.
- The iPath Dow Jones UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEARCA:JJC) is trading so heavily that nearly 60% of the average full-day volume traded in the first 10 minutes this morning.
- ETFs: CPER, CUPM, DBB, BOM, RJZ, BOS, BDD, JJM, RGRI, UBM, BDG, USMI, HEVY
Wed, Jan. 14, 7:57 AM
- Mining stocks look headed for sizable losses, as copper prices sink to five-and-a-half year lows and the World Bank lowers its forecast for global economic growth.
- Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY) -11.5% in London trading, Antofagasta (OTC:ANFGF) -7% in London, Anglo American (OTCPK:AAUKF, OTCPK:AAUKY) -9.5% in London, Vedanta (OTCPK:VDNRF) -18% in London, Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) -4.3% premarket in the U.S., VALE -2.9%, FCX -5.1%, CLF -2.6%.
- BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) -7.5% in London and -5.5% U.S. premarket after S&P Capital IQ downgraded shares to Hold from Buy, expecting "weaker commodity prices to increasingly impact on group profits as hedges expire and see currency headwinds from a stronger [U.S. dollar]."
- ETFs: XLB, XME, SLX, COPX, VAW, UYM, CU, IYM, HAP, IRV, MXI, SMN, GNR, GUNR, PICK, MATL, FXZ, PYZ, CRBQ, RTM, CCXE, FMAT, GRES, SBM
Dec. 1, 2014, 11:38 AM
- BHP Billiton (BHP -1.5%) iron ore president Jimmy Wilson said this weekend that plunging iron ore prices had been anticipated given their forecasts that supply growth would exceed the growth in demand, and signals there will be no slowdown in the drive to boost production by global iron ore producers.
- “Even the iron ore price where it is today can induce more volume,” Wilson told Australia’s Nine Network, and "if that volume doesn’t come from our business, it’s going to come from other businesses around the world and other countries around the world.”
- Bernstein analyst Paul Gait recently said: "If BHP do not value the products that they mine but are quite happy to dump them on the market whatever the price, then it is hard to see why anyone should value the company associated with such activity."
- Also: RIO -0.2%, VALE -3.4%, CLF -7.6%.
Nov. 21, 2014, 10:06 AM
- Petrobras (PBR +7.2%) and Vale (VALE +9.6%) surge higher in anticipation that Brazil may appoint a new market-friendly finance minister today, perhaps signaling a shift away from the leftist, interventionist policies blamed for Brazil's stagnant economic growth in recent years.
- One of three reported finalists for the job is University of Chicago-trained Joaquim Levy, CEO of Bradesco Asset Management, an arm of Banco Bradesco (BBD +4.9%); he is considered a fiscal hawk who helped Brazil obtain its investment credit grade in a previous stint at treasury secretary.
- The other contenders are said to be central bank president Alexandre Tombini and Nelson Barbosa.
- Also: ITUB +3.8%, BSBR +2.9%, GOL +4.6%.
- ETFs: EWZ, BRF, BRXX, EWZS, BRZU, BRAQ, BZQ, BRAZ, BRAF, UBR, BRZS, DBBR, FBZ
Nov. 21, 2014, 9:13 AM
Nov. 18, 2014, 12:49 PM
- Iron ore extends its tumble deeper into five-year lows as declining home prices in China add to worries that an economic slowdown in iron ore's biggest buyer will deepen and exacerbate an oversupply.
- Ore with 62% content delivered to Qingdao, China, has retreated 47% YTD to $71.80 a dry ton, and Citigroup thinks prices may drop to less than $60/ton next year as output rises further and demand remains weak; China’s bad loans climbed in Q3 by the most since 2005, while new-home prices declined, adding to speculation the cooling economy will weaken further.
- VALE -2.9%, RIO -1.9%, BHP -1.1%, CLF -6%, X -1.4%, AKS -1.9%.
Nov. 11, 2014, 12:52 PM
- Vale (VALE -2.5%) tumbles to eight-year lows after Citigroup recommends selling the stock on falling expectations for iron ore prices.
- Citi's global commodity team downgrades shares to Sell from Neutral as it cuts its forecast for iron ore prices in 2015 and 2016 by 19% to $65/ton.
- Citi sees Vale generating $7.5B in operating cash flow next year, which the firm says is insufficient to cover planned investments, and expects the company to defer maintenance capex, sell more assets and increase net debt.
Nov. 7, 2014, 10:58 AM
- Iron ore prices cap their biggest weekly decline in more than five months and its third straight week of losses amid an expanding global surplus.
- Ore with 62% content delivered to Qingdao lost 4.7% this week to $75.84/dry metric ton, data from Australia's Port Hedland showed record iron ore exports last month, and steel mill closures ordered by China this week to curb air pollution for a global summit also was seen hurting demand.
- Iron ore has lost 44% YTD as producers including Vale (VALE +3.2%), BHP Billiton (BHP +3.7%) and Rio Tinto (RIO +2.6%) expanded supplies, and ABN Amro's Ben Cheung does not expect the oversupply situation to be alleviated next year.
- Vale, which is seeking to boost output by 50%, this week opened its $1.4B port in Malaysia where its Valemax vessels can unload cargoes for onward shipping to clients in Asia in smaller vessels.
Oct. 30, 2014, 7:59 AM
- Vale (NYSE:VALE) -6% premarket after reporting a surprising Q3 net loss due a sharp depreciation in the Brazilian real and the lowest iron ore prices since 2010.
- Vale posted a $1.44B Q3 loss from a net profit of $3.5B a year earlier and analyst consensus expectations for a $1.49B net profit, hit by $2.68B in foreign exchange and monetary losses on debt and derivatives; EBITDA fell 48% Y/Y to $3B.
- Vale’s average sales price for iron ore plunged 36% Y/Y to $68.02/ton from $109.93.
- Produced a record 85.7M metric tons of iron ore but inventories rose by 9.3M tons, as protests that closed its main railroad in northern Brazil contributed to stockpiles.
- Since ferrous metals, mostly iron ore, account for nearly two-thirds of Vale’s sales, Q3 net revenues sank 27% Y/Y to $9.06B, the company's lowest revenue since Q1 2010 and below expectations of $9.65B.
- Says it completed construction of its 30M tons/year Teluk Rubiah distribution center in Malaysia, which will allow it to cut costs in Asia, and began operations from its Serra Leste iron ore plant at the Carajas complex in Brazil.
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