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Ardova’s Q1 scorecard shows good start to 2021

Ardova Plc has released its unaudited results for the three months (Q1) ended March 31, 2021. Ardova Plc has released its unaudited results for the three months (Q1) ended March 31, 2021. The Group’s Q1’21 result at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited shows profit before income tax (PBT) of N1.198billioncompared to N580.303million in the corresponding Q1 period of 2020. Though the group revenue decreased in Q1’21 to N41.986billion as against N52.051… Don’t miss another story Become a BusinessDay Subscriber today. For insights, facts, figures, and access to opportunities.Options starting from N1000 Monthly Subscribe Now Already a subsriber? Login Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now. Subscribe

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Analysis: Iron ore is saving Australia's trade with China. How long can it last?

Now, one commodity is almost single-handedly keeping the trade relationship afloat: iron ore.Australia is the world's largest producer of iron ore, mining more than 910 million metric tonnes in the 2019-2020 financial year, according to the Australian government, almost twice as much as its nearest competitor Brazil.Iron ore is a vital component in the production of steel, and with China embarking on a $500 billion infrastructure spending spree to help the economy recover from the pandemic, Beijing's need for it has never been greater.Diplomatic relations between Australia and China fell into a deep chill one year ago, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic which threatened to challenge Beijing's narrative of the viral outbreak.The Chinese government said Morrison's request was "political manipulation," and since then Australian exports to China have faced growing barriers to entry. Overall Chinese investment in Australia plunged 62% in 2020.But experts said that unlike wine and coal, it would be tough for China to find new sources of iron ore any time soon. That means Australia's largest source of trade revenue may be secure."Australia is the largest iron ore producer in the world and on the other hand China is the largest steel producer in the world," said Heiwai Tan, professor of economics at Hong Kong University Business School. "It isn't that easy for them to get into a new round of trade wars over this particular product."The mining boomFor more than two decades, China and Australia have helped rapidly grow each others' economies through a soaring trade in raw resources, especially iron ore and coal.In 2000, at the beginning of China's economic boom, Australian exports to the country were just over 6 billion Australian dollars ($3.6 billion). Fifteen years later, China is Australia's largest trading partner by far in terms of exports and total value of trade -- overtaking Japan, the US, South Korea and New Zealand -- with exports of almost 92 billion Australian dollars ($74 billion).Some economists claim the mining boom in Australia helped the country avoid recession during the global financial crisis in 2008.The trade has remained strong over the years, despite rising political tensions between Beijing and Canberra — including new legislation designed to limit foreign interference, introduced by Australia in 2017.By 2019, almost two-thirds of China's iron ore came from Australia, more than it imported from Brazil, South Africa and India combined, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.At the same time, iron ore made up almost a quarter of Australia's entire exports in 2019, 81.7% of which went to China.The lack of diversity in Australia's exports leaves it vulnerable to any major impact on its main sources of revenue, experts said. And while there could be other markets for the country's iron ore, they might take time to develop."China's making up around four-fifths of Australian iron ore exports, so what that tells me is we don't have too many other destinations that we do business with in a big way," said Sean Langcake, principal economist at BIS Oxford Economics in Sydney.But economists said while Australia may eventually locate new buyers for its iron ore, it would be much more difficult for China to find new sources of iron ore to power its economy.Alternate sourcesExperts said Australia's iron ore has two main advantages for Chinese buyers: it is high quality and reliable.Australia produces a higher amount of hematite iron ore than any other country, which contains a larger quantity of usable iron than itabirite or magnetite. According to lobbying group the Minerals Council of Australia, hematite usually contains more than 50% iron compared to as low as 16% in magnetite.Economist Langcake said it was easier and cheaper to process ore with a higher iron content, making it more attractive to steel producers.In a report released in February 2021, the Minerals Council estimated that Australia has more than three times as much magnetite resources as its nearest competitors Brazil and India. China is believed to have none."With China still experiencing significant growth and new frontiers expanding in South and East Asia, Australia's standing as a low-cost, reliable supplier of quality iron ore puts it in a strong position to continue as a provider of choice for global steel makers," Minerals Council chief executive officer Tania Constable said in a statement.At the same time, experts said Australia was a regular and reliable supplier of iron ore to China, partly due to its stable political system and economic environment.A report from the United States Geological Survey in 2017 found that while Brazil and India's iron ore production has risen and fallen over time, Australia's has reliably grown every year from 2000 to 2015.While Brazil seems like it would be a natural alternate source for China's iron ore, its production has been damaged over the past decade due to a series of disasters which have disrupted major mines.In 2015, mining company Samarco had to pay $6.2 billion to the Brazilian government after a dam collapsed at one of its sites, burying a village and killing 19 people. Four years later, another dam burst at an iron ore mine in southeast Brazil, killing 270 people when it flooded the workers' cafeteria and dozens of homes under a wave of toxic sludge.Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital in Australia, said Brazil's poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021 has also set back production, while Australia had mostly brought the disease under control."It is virtually impossible for China to replace Australian iron ore in the short term," Oliver said. "They'd still have a short fall ... It took a long time for Australia to build up so it will take a long time for other countries to do [the same]."'Economic losses and political gain'Even the valuable trade hasn't been able stop calls from both countries to diversify their iron ore business.In March, an Australian parliamentary committee released a report calling on the government to prioritize finding "opportunities for Australia to diversify its export markets.""India, Vietnam and Indonesia, in particular, present valuable opportunities for Australian businesses. As such, ensuring access to these markets should continue to be a priority for the Australian Government," the report said.Over the past year, Chinese state-run media has been pushing for Australia to be cut out of the iron ore trade. In April, the state-run tabloid Global Times reported that Chinese companies were exploring opportunities to export iron ore from Africa.It quoted an expert who said that Australia's move to help the United States "contain China" had "seriously lowered Chinese companies' favorable assessment of Australia."Both Langcake and Oliver said it was likely both China and Australia would look to diversify their trade relationships slowly over the coming decades, given the growing political divide between the two countries.But with the iron ore trade likely to continue as a major driver for economic growth in both China and Australia, the two countries might be stuck with each other for the foreseeable future.Tan, from Hong Kong University, said diplomatic ties between the two countries could only deteriorate so much when they were still linked by iron ore."It's really a calculation between economic losses and political gain ... I think there would be some overall constraints on how far they can go," he said. "I remain optimistic."

Asia shares, commodities firm on recovery bets; A$ hit by China move

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares rose on Thursday and commodity prices held near multi-year highs as investors switched to cyclicals amid hopes of a...

Higher commodity prices and vaccines to buoy EMFX vs. U.S. yields

JOHANNESBURG — Emerging market currencies will find support from higher commodity prices and domestic vaccination rollouts this year, despite turbulence in U.S. Treasury yields that could diminish their appeal, a Reuters poll found. Just last week Treasury yields in the United States rose again as traders and investors inferred the Federal Reserve’s tone in last […]

Technology

India c.bank allows fresh moratorium for small borrowers as COVID-19 cases spike

MUMBAI — India’s central bank asked banks on Wednesday to let certain borrowers have more time to repay loans, among other support measures, amid a major second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country that has led to strict lockdowns in several states. The moratorium will be available to individuals and small and medium enterprises […]

MercadoLibre Earnings Miss, Revenue Beats In Q1

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Melinda French Gates Receives Billions in Shares From Cascade

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Fitness

Some commodity producers lagging the rallies in red-hot metals: Russell

May 6 – The global rally in commodities has seen some like copper and iron ore probe record highs, but when it comes to the companies producing natural resources the gains in their share prices have been largely lagging and uneven. Benchmark London copper futures came within a whisker of their all-time high on Wednesday, […]

Union seeks federal mediator’s help in Exxon refinery lockout -sources

HOUSTON — The United Steelworkers union has requested that a federal mediator help resolve a 5-day-old lockout of about 650 workers at an Exxon Mobil Corp oil refinery, said people familiar with the matter. The oil company on Saturday barred USW Local 13-243 members from its Beaumont, Texas, plant, citing the union’s refusal to call […]

EarthRenew Announces Impressive Power Production Revenue for Q1 2021 and Renews Approval to Operate Power Generation Facility

Highlights: EarthRenew generated a total of $505,097 in revenue, with a 83% gross margin in Q1 2021 Settlement revenue is an estimated $382,928 Fortis Option M payments for January and February 2021 totalled $122,169 TORONTO, May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EarthRenew Inc. (CSE: ERTH; OTCQB: VVIVF; Frankfurt: WIMN) (“EarthRenew ” or the “ Company ”), a Canadian […]

Hospital visits for substance use increased during the first months of the pandemic

TORONTO, May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — More Canadians required hospital care for harm caused by substances such as alcohol, opioids and stimulants between March and September 2020, compared with the same period in 2019, according to new preliminary data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). There were close to 81,000 hospital stays […]

S.Korea police raid anti-North Korea activist office over propaganda leaflets

SEOUL — South Korean police raided on Thursday the office of an anti-North Korea activist group that said it had released balloons into the North last week carrying dollar bills and leaflets denouncing the government in Pyongyang. Such releases, though banned by a recent law, can provoke condemnation from the North, which last year blew […]

Gaming

Some commodity producers lagging the rallies in red-hot metals: Russell

May 6 – The global rally in commodities has seen some like copper and iron ore probe record highs, but when it comes to the companies producing natural resources the gains in their share prices have been largely lagging and uneven. Benchmark London copper futures came within a whisker of their all-time high on Wednesday, […]

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U.S. solar jobs fell 7% in 2020 on pandemic, efficiency gains

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South Africa: ANC in power struggle over corruption allegations

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Aluminium rises on supply woes as China-Australia tension escalates

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Gold gains on subdued bond yields; U.S. jobs data in focus

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Oil prices rise as U.S. crude oil inventory draws down

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Oil Up Over Huge Draw in U.S. Crude Supplies Draw but Fuel Demand Worries Continue

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