Severe floods in Queensland, Australia

Brisbane, Australia faces a ‘postwar’ scale rebuild after “raging floodwaters” “devastated” three quarters of the state of Queensland. The damage affected homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, roads, sewers and drainage systems. Insurance claims are expected to reach A$1bn.  173 people died. The mining industry was disrupted and lost at least A$2.3bn ($2.3bn) in sales. Meanwhile in […]

Japan’s first iron ore swap agreed

Mitsui, the Tokyo-based trading house, announced it has signed the country’s first ore swap, with Credit Suisse. The swap allows Mitsui, which acts as a middleman between iron ore miners such as Vale of Brazil, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton and the Japanese steelmakers, “to hedge the price of the commodity, avoiding the volatility of […]

Oil and gas prices no longer connected

The Financial Times recently ran a piece by one of its Alphaville reporters, showing a chart produced by Reuters, and used by Reuters, energy market consultant Nick Campbell at Inenco: The interesting point about the chart was that UK gas prices were no longer linked to oil prices. Historically, UK gas prices have apparently been linked […]

Iron ore derivatives set to “take off”

An interesting example of how our financial system works is playing out before our eyes. And it reveals a likely future for peak oil. Yesterday buyers and sellers of a basic physical commodity, iron ore, announced that they had agreed a new approach for setting prices. The changes had two main parts. First, prices will […]