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24/06/21

Urea paper markets rise on India tender rumours

Urea paper markets rise on India tender rumours

Amsterdam, 21 June (Argus) — Urea derivatives have reversed their downwards trajectory and moved back in line with physical prices today, driven by rumours that the Indian government may float a purchase tender next week. Middle East urea swaps rose to $340-350/t fob basis bids and offers for July-August contracts, up from $325-335/t fob at the start of the week. Chinese domestic urea futures also jumped later in the day, with the July contract up by as much as 1.82pc on the 20 June close, before settling up by 0.79pc at Yn2,160/t. The August contract was up by 2.19pc late in the afternoon trading session, before falling sharply to close up by 0.95pc at Yn2,130/t. Rumours of a potential tender to buy in India, the largest global urea importer and second-largest consumption market, appear to be the key driver of the bullish sentiment in the paper markets, reversing the downwards trend throughout most of this week. The tender's timing, if confirmed, would be contrary to most expectations, given that there is plenty of urea availability in India, with inventories climbing to more than 11mn t at the end of May, buoyed by strong domestic production. And the monsoon rains so far this season have lagged the long-term average by 17pc. But a tender issuance would imply that the government expects a potential surge in demand in July-September. Urea prices at major fob origins jumped by 27-28pc from early May to mid-June, but the resumption of production in key supply-market Egypt, following a gas shortage, weighed on physical prices this week to 20 June, pressuring levels by $5-10/t in most markets. By Harry Minihan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update


24/06/21
News
24/06/21

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update

Adds comment from an EU official in paragraph six London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. An EU official confirmed receipt of the US letter to Argus and said the commission would reply in due course. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem and Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Nigeria adds more oil blocks to 2024 licensing round


24/06/21
News
24/06/21

Nigeria adds more oil blocks to 2024 licensing round

Lagos, 21 June (Argus) — Nigeria's upstream regulator NUPRC has added 17 oil blocks to its 2024 licensing round and removed five, leaving the total on offer at 24, double the original number. The 17 additions are all deepwater blocks and have been added as a result of new data acquired. "We had indicated that the total number of blocks we are putting on offer is 12. Actually, our intention was to do more but we were constrained by availability of data," NUPRC chief executive Gbenga Komolafe said. Newly acquired data became available between 7 May and 11 June, leading to the round's offer being expanded, Komolafe said. Five blocks on the original list of 12 — PPL 3008, 3009, 267, 268 and PML 51 — have been withdrawn because of "ongoing litigation", according to NUPRC. The regulator did not elaborate on the litigation. It previously said that PPL 3008 and 3009 were formerly OPL 321 and 323, respectively, with the name change reflecting compliance with the provisions of petroleum industry legislation that came into effect in 2021. The blocks are located in the western Niger delta, close to the 44,000 b/d Abo field floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility operated by Italy's Eni. Nigerian upstream operator Oando, which is in the process of acquiring one of Eni's three Nigerian subsidiaries for an undisclosed amount, has a 30pc working interest in OPLs 321 and 323 through its subsidiary Equator Energy. According to Oando, South Korea's KNOC is operator of a joint exploration work programme for the two blocks, which were awarded in Nigeria's 2005 licensing round before becoming the subject of litigation involving the Nigerian government, the operator and Oando's subsidiary. Meanwhile, PML 51, PPL 267 and PPL 268 are new blocks carved out from the former OML 122, NUPRC said. The shallow water OML 122 block, east of the Shell-operated Bonga field, has long been the subject of litigation and is listed on the website of local upstream firm Peak Petroleum as its sole asset. An industry source told Argus that the withdrawn oil blocks were included in the 2024 licensing round after the regulator enforced forfeiture rules against the companies previously linked to them. But legal challenges are not surprising, the source added. At the launch of its 2024–26 regulatory action plan in January, NUPRC said enforcement of "drill or drop provisions" in the 2021 legislation is one of its main commitments. Nigeria plans to conclude the 2024 licensing round with ministerial consent and contracting in January 2025. NUPRC has pushed back the deadline for submissions of pre-qualification documents from 25 June this year to 5 July and the start of data access and evaluation from 4 July to 8 July. By Adebiyi Olusolape Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Japan's Hokuriku starts biomass co-firing test runs


24/06/21
News
24/06/21

Japan's Hokuriku starts biomass co-firing test runs

Tokyo, 21 June (Argus) — Japan's utility Hokuriku Electric Power started coal and wood pellet co-firing test runs in April, the company said today. Hokuriku has been conducting co-firing test runs using coal and imported wood pellets at the 700MW Tsuruga No.2 unit in Fukui prefecture since April, with the 700MW Nanao-Ohta No.2 unit in Ishikawa prefecture to follow suit. The company also plans to increase biomass co-combustion rates at these two major coal-fired power plants to 15pc by the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, which means a total of 210MW of capacity and 1.5mn MWh/yr of output based on biomass-fired generation. Hokuriku expects its increased biomass co-firing rates to reduce CO2 emissions by 1mn t/yr compared with emissions from coal-firing for the same output, although it did not disclose the volume of wood pellets that will be burned. The company has been co-firing with coal and domestically-produced wood chips at Tsuruga since 2007 and at Nanao-Ohta since 2010, but its total biomass ratio was under 1pc. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation


24/06/21
News
24/06/21

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation

London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. The US authorities are understood to not have received a formal reply to the letter from the commission yet. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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