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General news

  • According to a new report in the Nature Climate Change journal falling fossil fuel demand, driven by increased consumption efficiency and adoption of low carbon technologies, could cost the world’s economy up to $4 trillion. The loss is due to the mis-match between investment in new fossil fuel projects and forecasted drop off in demand.
  • The UK Government has confirmed that plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport are to go ahead, but only if the UK’s air quality obligations are not compromised.

Agriculture

  • French farmers have been reacting to Total’s plans to import palm oil for its biofuel plant. Farmers have been blocking access to three refineries over concerns regarding the implication importing palm oil would have on the local oil seed industry.
  • Two of Russia’s leading agricultural forecasters have cut their estimates for Russia’s 2018 grain harvest as a result of unfavourable weather conditions in key growing regions. SovEcon and IKAR have flagged cold wet conditions in the regions of Serbia and the Urals as the main reason for a reduction in the forecasted grain crop for this year from 126.2m to 119.6m.

Metals

  • Following Trump’s sudden withdrawal of support for a G7 communique, Angela Merkel has said that the EU will implement counter-measures against US steel and aluminium tariffs, similar to Canada’s response. Although the withdrawal of support isn’t the termination of the transatlantic partnership between the US and Europe, it is being viewed by Europe as a need to relieve its dependency on the US.
  • Copper prices have eased as concerns about supply disruptions from the Escondia mine in Chile recede. Support for prices remains in the form of a softer dollar with copper for 3-month delivery on the LME now at $7,234/tonne.

Energy - UK 

  • It has been announced that the UK Government is engaging in talks with Japan’s Hitachi-owned Horizon Nuclear Power about the building of a multi-billion pound nuclear power station in North Wales. The Wyfla Newydd project would have a capacity of 2.8GW, enough to power around 5m homes.

Energy - International

Oil

  • An increase in Russian output and rise in US drilling activity to its highest in over 3-years has put pressure on oil prices with analysts expecting the ramp up in US output to offset OPEC supply cuts. Brent is currently at $76.11 and WTI at $65.49.

Other

  • According to the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), the world’s renewable energy capacity increased by 178GW in 2017. The increase in renewable capacity has predominantly come thanks to the increase in cost-competitiveness of renewable initiatives.
  • FTSE Russel has also said that the global green economy now holds a market share of a similar size to that of the fossil fuel sector.
  • The suspension of the building of new facilities and a slash to government subsidies have sent shares in Chinese solar stocks downwards.
  • CRE, the French energy market regulator, is recommending a 6.5% increase in natural gas prices, effective from July 1st. The recommendation to the government is being justified by the increase in infrastructure usage costs incurred by operator Engie.