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Canada makes 3 additions to critical minerals list

  • Market: Fertilizers, Metals
  • 10/06/24

High-purity iron, phosphorus, and silicon metal were added by the Canadian government to the country's critical minerals list.

In an analysis of the 2021 list and possible additions, the update kept all 31 minerals from the original list and added high-purity iron, phosphorous, and silicon metal.

High-purity iron ore is used in "green" or low-carbon steel. Phosphorus is a fertilizer and can also be used in Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries. Silicon metal is used to manufacture chips and semiconductors.

Canada reviews minerals recognized as critical every three years with its first list published in 2021. The list is intended to guide public policy and signal government priorities, according to the government.


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19/07/24

India's June NP/NPK output and sales up, imports down

India's June NP/NPK output and sales up, imports down

London, 19 July (Argus) — India's output of NP/NPK fertilizers rose on the year in June, while domestic sales climbed sharply, but imports fell. June NP/NPK production rose by 4.9pc on the year to 917,400t, as imports decreased by 5.4pc to 264,000t, provisional government data show. Sales under India's direct benefit transfer (DBT) system reached 1.343mn t last month, up by 51pc year on year. The data for trade and production imply total NP/NPK stocks in India of just over 5.168mn t at the end of June, down by 3.1pc on the month and 1.6pc on the year. Domestic NP/NPK production in April-June — the first three months of India's 2024-25 financial year — reached almost 2.512mn t, up by 2.9pc on the corresponding period of 2023-24. April-June DBT sales were up by 42.1pc on the year at 2.185mn t, while imports decreased by 20.1pc to 709,000t, the data show. India's import market for complex fertilizers has been in a quiet phase as participants focus on a pricing-based impasse around DAP . A resolution of the DAP situation should in turn lead to a rise in import activity around NPS and NPK grades, including key formulae 20-20-0+13S and 10-26-26. Prices for these products are set to climb in next business, in line with a general firming of the global market for complex fertilizers. By David Maher Indian NP/NPK stocks, output, imports, and DBT sales Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Indian DAP stocks fall by 430,000t in June


19/07/24
News
19/07/24

Indian DAP stocks fall by 430,000t in June

London, 19 July (Argus) — A major lack of DAP imports into India has caused stocks to fall by over 400,000t in June, according to Fertilizer Association of India (FAI) data, with Argus estimating stocks are currently at 2mn t. Imports have slowed considerably because of the current maximum retail price and subsidy in India, which effectively makes importing above $500/t cfr uneconomic. But global prices are way above this level. Chinese fob prices at $580/t imply landed costs close to $600/t cfr India, while neighbouring Pakistan has paid above this level over the last few days. Reports emerging from India on 18 July suggested that the government was mulling a special subsidy on DAP of 3,000-3,500 rupees/t ($36-42/t) to plug some of the shortfall. India produced 343,600t of DAP in June, imported 273,000t and sold 1.05mn t. Stock draw/build, equivalent to production plus imports minus consumption, was thus at -430,000t. Cumulative production fell by 15pc on the year to 1mn t for April-June for the kharif season so far, with imports down by 48pc at 1.12mn t, and sales also falling by 11pc to 1.93mn t. Imports are at around 376,000t, comprising tonnage from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, show Argus line-up data for July so far. This would bring imports for kharif so far to nearly 1.5mn t for April-July, compared to 2.7mn t in the same period of 2023. By Mike Nash Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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India’s MRAI urges zero import duty on Al scrap


18/07/24
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18/07/24

India’s MRAI urges zero import duty on Al scrap

Mumbai, 18 July (Argus) — The Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) has urged the government to remove import duties on aluminium scrap in its budget to be presented on 23 July. "Among the key challenges faced by the Indian aluminium recycling industry is paying [a] 2.5pc import duty on aluminium scrap," MRAI said in a letter to India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. "It is a key raw material for aluminium recycling and the government should make it zero until the quality material is available in sufficient quantity in the domestic market." The government has a duty to create a level playing field between primary and secondary aluminium producers, said MRAI president Sanjay Mehta. "If customs duties are applicable on import of scrap, then commensurate export duties on the basis of total cost to country on primary products should also be levied." India does not have sufficient supplies of good quality metal scrap to support its recycling industry and relies heavily on imports. The current import duty system, coupled with the lack of aluminium scrap in India, reduce Indian producers' competitiveness in global markets because most other countries have no import duty on metal scrap. This could decelerate the country's effort to achieve its sustainability goals, added MRAI senior vice-president Dhawal Shah and the managing director of CMR Green Technologies Mohan Agarwal. India imported 1.83mn t of aluminium scrap in 2023 with more than a quarter coming from the US. Europe, the Middle East and north Africa are its other key suppliers. By Deepika Singh Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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China's Sunwoda plans $275mn battery plant in Vietnam


18/07/24
News
18/07/24

China's Sunwoda plans $275mn battery plant in Vietnam

Singapore, 18 July (Argus) — Major Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer Sunwoda plans to build a 2bn yuan ($275mn) battery plant in northern Vietnam's Bac Giang province. The site is expected to produce consumer battery cells, system-in-package and batteries, said Sunwoda. Capacity was undisclosed but the site is expected to generate around $1bn/yr of revenue, according to an official portal by Bac Giang Provincial People's committee. Northern Vietnam houses sites of multiple major technology and semiconductor firms including Apple, Foxconn and Samsung, but unannounced or short-notice power cuts have affected production bases in the region. Power outages in Northern Vietnam during May-June 2023 disrupted production and were estimated to have shaved 0.3pc off the country's GDP, according to a 2023 report by World Bank. But the province has "overcome the power supply difficulties", said the current chairman of the Bac Giang Provincial People's committee chair Le Anh Duong. The power supply lines and stations for manufacturing plants in the province have been strengthened, Duong said, adding that the province is looking at upgrading its electricity transmission system and prioritising the allocation of electricity output to key manufacturing companies. Sunwoda will be on its power supply priority list if Sunwoda goes ahead with the investment, said Duong. Rising market barrier pressure and overseas demand prompted major Chinese battery firms to expand overseas in an attempt to deal with geopolitical curbs. Disclosed overseas investment from China's lithium-ion battery sector totalled Yn565bn as of June, according to Chinese research institution EV Tank earlier this month. By Joseph Ho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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EU fertilizer industry calls for support: Q&A


17/07/24
News
17/07/24

EU fertilizer industry calls for support: Q&A

London, 17 July (Argus) — As the EU gears up to install a new European Commission for 2024-2029, LAT Nitrogen's chief executive officer Leo Alders tells Argus political support remains necessary to tackle a range of challenges threatening EU industry, including subsidised US ammonia production with carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), and the EU's 'unrealistic' goal of cutting net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 90pc by 2040. But Alders sees growing political "goodwill" to help EU industry against cheap fertilizer imports from Russia, which are used to fund the country's war against Ukraine. Edited highlights follow. What does the fertilizer industry want from the next European Commission? Clear points are effectively releasing emissions trading system (ETS) funds for converting the industry to green fertilizers. We also want carbon sequestration to be allowed as it is in the US. And we need a policy on nutrient efficiency, which has never really happened. For us, too, spillage is not the desired objective. The international context, too, is important. Grey ammonia produced in Europe could move to the same cost levels as US blue ammonia with subsidised CO2 sequestration. If or when that happens, then Europe will see massive imports of US blue ammonia. We think that by 2027 or 2028, volumes coming out of the US will grow exponentially. That's a trend that we think is unstoppable. The underlying issue, of course, is that energy in Europe is at higher price levels than on any other continent. We need to stay in Europe with our production capacity. But the threat is there. Are 90pc GHG cuts by 2040 feasible for you? When discussing the ETS measures, the carbon border adjustment mechanism, and so on, we took a positive approach as an industry. And we go alon g with the zero [carbon] target for 2050. That's all right. But now the [2040] target is not official, more a desired milestone that emissions will be cut by 90pc by 2040. As an industry, we think that target is totally unrealistic and cannot support it. That's a clear point of view. Converting to a green industry will require massive capital. Technologically, it takes time to do all of this. Is the ETS working well for the fertilizer industry? Proceeds from ETS certificates go partly to national budgets and partly to the EU budget. That's all nice. But our industry needs to invest massively to complete the transition. We pay massive amounts of money for CO2 certificates. There was the promise that national and EU levels would subsidise decarbonisation projects from the ETS. In reality, we've seen very few subsidies materialising. So we actually have a counter-proposal: why not allow the industry to park the money for green investments? In theory, the national level is obliged to reinvest 50pc of ETS income back into the industry. The reality is different. Isn't the EU still wary of prohibitive €100-150/t tariffs on Russian fertilizers? A ban on Russian fertilizer imports would require unanimity. Tariffs, though, require majority support among EU states. That seems feasible. At least 15 states appear to support the idea. There is actually no supply issue. We don't have any issues replacing Russian volumes. There may be a possible time element and rebalancing in the first three or four months. But after that, the European industry would be fully capable of supplying our farms. So political support is growing? More and more people understand how Russian gas is being transformed into fertilizer. They've understood that routing gas to Europe is becoming more and more difficult. The EU has been totally unsuccessful in pushing back against Russian urea, so Russia is building some 650,000 t/yr in extra capacity, expected on line next year or thereafter. As an industry, we don't want to be shutting down units in Europe because of cheap subsidised Russian fertilizers. And then, what happens if one day Russia decides to cut or weaponise fertilizer supplies? By Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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