Connect with us

Stocks

Stocks fly high, Ukraine tensions, bitcoin bulls return

US stocks climb  US stocks are rallying as supply chain issues improve, mega-cap tech stocks will lead the charge as global growth outlooks get upgraded, and as South Africa continues to see mild COVID cases. The post-Thanksgiving panic appears to be…

Published

on

US stocks climb 

US stocks are rallying as supply chain issues improve, mega-cap tech stocks will lead the charge as global growth outlooks get upgraded, and as South Africa continues to see mild COVID cases. The post-Thanksgiving panic appears to be over and many investors are scrambling to get back in this stock market.

While bottleneck issues are from over, it appears some progress is being made.  A Port of LA executive noted that the domestic supply chain is becoming more fluid.

FAANG and Tesla stocks got hit hard on both global growth concerns and after the Fed turned hawkish.  While optimism is high that the Omicron won’t lead to widespread lockdowns in the US, some restrictions could threaten the outlook and allow the Fed to wait a month before accelerating its taper plan.

In South Africa, the news is still mostly positive after Mediclinic said, “a lower percentage of admitted Covid-19 patients require intensive care and ventilation.”  South African epidemiologists noted that there are still concerns that South Africa is seeing an increase with reinfections, which implies past reinfection is not providing much protection and the data is limited with vaccinated patients.

Ukraine

President Biden and Russian President Putin had a discussion for over two hours, covering a wide range of topics from the escalating tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, hacking attacks, Iran, and another round of Russian-US strategic stability.

President Biden delivered a clear warning that if a military escalation in the Ukraine occurs, that would be met with strong economic sanctions and other responses.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin bulls are scaling back in, as most traders remain optimistic that this week’s grilling of crypto CEOs on Capitol Hill will not yield any immediate landmark legislation.  Fears of a dead-cat-bounce appear to be over and many traders are targeting a return to the USD 55,000 to USD 60,000 trading range within the next couple of months.

The end-of-year bullish calls of USD 90,000 or USD 100,000 were a bit too optimistic, but that is how the cryptoverse works.  Next year, we will quickly know if those frothy targets will later get justified.  The biggest risk for bitcoin no longer seems to be regulation, it is if investors decide to go big on altcoins.

Read More

Continue Reading

Stocks

Graphite Outlook 2022: Demand from Battery Segment to Remain High

Click here to read the previous graphite outlook. Graphite is an essential raw material used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and as sales of EVs grow, market watchers believe demand for the metal will surge. Despite discussions about battery chemistry

Published

on



Click here to read the previous graphite outlook.

Graphite is an essential raw material used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and as sales of EVs grow, market watchers believe demand for the metal will surge.

Despite discussions about battery chemistry changes, many experts think graphite will remain a dominant element in EV batteries for at least the next decade. Both synthetic graphite and natural graphite, in the form of the intermediate product spherical graphite, are used in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries.

Here the Investing News Network (INN) looks at the key trends in the graphite market in 2021 and what the graphite outlook is for 2022.


Graphite trends 2021: Shipping and power cost challenges


After a tumultuous 2020 in which supply chains were put to the test as economies shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, graphite kicked off 2021 on a bright note.

In early 2021, prices for natural flake graphite were slightly higher than expected as a result of unexpectedly strict environmental investigations and closures in China, Suzanne Shaw of Wood Mackenzie told INN back in July.

“There was also considerable shipping disruption early on in the year with containers and vessels not where they should be as routes reopened post-COVID,” she said. “Limited availability was prioritized for higher-value cargos, with lower-value raw materials flows disrupted. This situation subsided through Q2.”

Pricing was relatively flat during the first six months of 2021, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence data.

“Prices for +100 mesh flake concentrate, across all purities, have moved upward by around 5 to 10 percent year-to-date, while pricing for all other grades has moved less than 5 percent so far this year due to continued structural oversupply in the graphite market,” Miller told INN at the end of H1. “Moreover, the global shipping situation at the moment is hindering upward price pressure.”

Prices took a turn in August, jumping on the back of the energy crisis, which hit producers and disrupted output. Battery grades were particularly hit by rising power costs as both the manufacture of synthetic graphite and the processing of spherical graphite from natural flake are known for their high levels of energy consumption.

In terms of supply, Chinese production was expected to ramp up to meet rising domestic battery demand, as there is still a lot of overcapacity in China.

“However, the overall trend is that China is showing less appetite on the raw material side and investing in higher-value downstream industries rather than exploration/mining across most mineral sectors,” Shaw said at the end of H1. “It will continue to increase its own imports of flake graphite.”

Meanwhile, on the synthetic graphite front, the market could be driven into a deficit as a result of increasing demand from the lithium-ion battery and downstream EV sectors worldwide, Roskill, which was acquired by Wood Mackenzie, reported back in August.

“From a performance perspective, EV automakers prefer synthetic graphite, citing its superior fast charge turnaround and battery longevity,” a November Fastmarkets report reads. “Synthetic graphite, however, is costly, power intensive and environmentally unfriendly, with supply centered in China at odds with North American and European automakers’ desire for more localized supply.”

Graphite outlook 2022: What’s ahead


At the end of last year, analysts were expecting demand from the battery segment to continue to grow on the back of increased EV sales, with growth opportunities for both synthetic and natural graphite.

According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence data, demand for natural graphite from the battery segment amounted to 400,000 tonnes in 2021, with that number expected to scale up to 3 million tonnes by 2030. Meanwhile, demand for synthetic graphite reached about 300,000 tonnes in 2021 and it’s expected to increase to 1.5 million tonnes by 2030.

“We do expect recycling to plug some of these gaps, but this isn't really likely to reach the necessary scale until post 2030,” Miller said in a December webinar. “So at the moment, the focus is really on synthesizing and mining this material as quickly as possible to meet the demand that we might see into the future.”

By volume, graphite is one of the most important elements in any electric vehicle battery ― there is between 50 and 100 kilograms of graphite, whether synthetic or natural, present within each vehicle.

“We can really see the sector growing progressively to around 15 times the demand we see today by 2030, outpacing moderate growth and demand from industrial applications,” Miller said.

That said, it's important to note that only certain types of natural graphite supply are relevant to and able to be qualified for the lithium-ion supply chain.

“This is really the biggest challenge in using natural graphite as a battery input,” Miller said. “This has the potential to exclude further capacity from projects in development.”

The expert explained that if all planned supply reached the market, it would have the potential to balance out demand up to 2029 to 2030, but with these limitations on which material can be qualified, the story takes a different direction.

“The primary limitation here is the mesh size inputs for the battery supply chain must be fine to medium flake,” Miller said, adding that consistency and high purity, somewhere around 94 to 95 percent carbon, is also key. “Flake graphite for the lithium ion supply chain must have low levels of impurity in order to avoid compromising the quality and longevity of the end product.”

According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, today, synthetic graphite anodes make up the majority of market share and approximately 57 percent of the anode market.

“Going forward, we do expect this to shift in the direction of natural graphite anodes to around a 50-50 balance for a multitude of reasons,” Miller said. His reasons include tight graphitization capacity, higher costs for synthetic graphite anode material and also the environmental shortcomings of the synthetic graphite supply chain at the moment.

Graphitization is the process of producing synthetic graphite from carbon-rich, oil-derived feedstock raw materials, and this process is energy intensive.

“In China, graphitization capacity has been mainly located in Inner Mongolia, a province which has some of the lowest energy costs in the country and where other high-energy metal producers, such as ferro-chrome smelters, are based,” Fastmarket reports. “But Inner Mongolia was the first in the firing line when the 2021 energy crisis unfolded.”

This resulted in reduced production and unpredictable cost increases for synthetic graphite, and the reason why many battery manufacturers in China could turn to natural graphite instead.

Looking ahead at how overall demand for graphite will perform, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence expects the battery segment to challenge industrial applications as the leading end-market for graphite demand. Over the next decade, anode demand will grow at an average of 27 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

“Unlike some of the other critical mineral markets, there is still time for both the natural and synthetic graphite market deficits to be redressed — so long as adequate funding is provided for junior miners in the near term,” Miller said.

Commenting on price performance, Fastmarkets maintains the view that both flake and spherical graphite prices will trend stable to higher in the near term.

“The only potential reprieve we see for graphite prices would be if the power constraints diminish EV lithium-ion battery production, and in turn reduce demand for graphite anodes sufficiently to stem the upward pressure on graphite prices,” analysts said.

Another key trend for graphite investors to watch in the new year is how western automakers keep up with China, which has become the dominant player in all steps of the anode supply chain.

Interestingly, before 2021 came to an end, US-based Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) made a move to secure graphite supply from top graphite producer Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR).

The ASX-listed company will process graphite from its Balama mine in Mozambique in its Louisiana plant, and will supply the EV maker with anode graphite material for an initial four year period. Tesla also has an option to offtake additional volume subject to Syrah expanding its capacity beyond 10,000 tonnes per year.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Read More

Continue Reading

Stocks

VIDEO — Eric Nuttall: Oil in Multi-year Bull Market, Supply Crisis Coming

Eric Nuttall: Oil in Multi-year Bull Market, Supply Crisis Coming

youtu.be

Supply and demand fundamentals show oil is in a multi-year bull market with a supply crisis in the works.That’s according to Eric Nuttall, partner and senior portfolio manager…

Published

on



Eric Nuttall: Oil in Multi-year Bull Market, Supply Crisis Coming youtu.be

Supply and demand fundamentals show oil is in a multi-year bull market with a supply crisis in the works.

That's according to Eric Nuttall, partner and senior portfolio manager at Ninepoint Partners. He manages the firm's Ninepoint Energy Fund, which he said was the best-performing energy fund of 2021.

"The risk/reward for me in the sector is incredible," he told the Investing News Network in an interview. "My biggest challenge is everything looks good — large caps look good, small caps look good. Oil looks good, natural gas looks good. Services look good, offshore drilling looks good — everything looks good."


Nuttall said supply-side factors are key for oil right now, and explained that there are three main baskets to keep in mind: US shale, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the rest of the world.

Looking at 2022, he said US shale is no longer experiencing hypergrowth, meaning that production will grow, but will no longer exceed global demand growth. Meanwhile, OPEC is getting close to using up its spare capacity.

"By the end of this year I believe we will exhaust OPEC's spare capacity, and that will be the most bullish catalyst for oil in easily the last decade," Nuttall said during the conversation.

The "rest of the world" category includes major oil producers like Shell (NYSE:RDS.A,LSE:RDSB) and BP (NYSE:BP,LSE:BP), which Nuttall said have invested insufficiently in new production since 2014, and as a result will effectively post no growth until the end of the decade.

In terms of what that means for prices, Nuttall said it's tough to give a 2022 forecast due to variables like COVID-19, but he thinks oil will be "well in excess" of US$80 per barrel this year, with a shot at making it to US$100. Looking out further, he sees a new all-time high of US$140 to US$150 in the cards for oil.

"I feel very confident that we're in a multi-year bull market for oil. Energy stocks, despite the run, still in my opinion represent a generational opportunity due solely to energy ignorance — people frankly are clueless in terms of how oil is used and how long it's going to take to displace," he explained.

"We will all be consuming oil for the rest of our lifetimes, and yet that fear of peak demand is leading to a reality of peak supply. The writing is on the wall: We're heading towards an oil supply crisis."

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Read More

Continue Reading

Stocks

Unilever is not giving up on GSK’s consumer business

Shares of Unilever plc (LON: ULVR) slid 4.0% on Monday after the British multinational said it was still interested in buying GlaxoSmithKline plc’s (LON: GSK) consumer business. GSK continues to reject Unilever’s proposals So far, GSK has rejected…

Published

on

Shares of Unilever plc (LON: ULVR) slid 4.0% on Monday after the British multinational said it was still interested in buying GlaxoSmithKline plc’s (LON: GSK) consumer business.

GSK continues to reject Unilever’s proposals

So far, GSK has rejected three of Unilever’s proposals, including the most recent one that was valued at $68.25 billion. While shareholders aren’t sure if Unilever should spend so much on the acquisition, the London-based company is convinced GSK’s consumer segment is a “strong strategic fit”.

The acquisition would create scale and a growth platform for the combined portfolio in the U.S., China and India, with further opportunities in other emerging markets.

If Unilever fails to strike a deal, GlaxoSmithKline will list its consumer business on the stock exchange as it had originally planned.

As a separate, publicly-traded company, this unit could be valued at roughly $100 billion, which is why Bluebell Capital Partners’ Marco Taricco also sees Unilever’s bid as “underwhelming”.  

Will Unilever bump up its bid?

The U.S. pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer Inc, has a 32% ownership stake in GSK’s consumer unit. The two companies are likely to open negotiations with Unilever if it bumps up its bid. A source familiar with the matter said:

Right now, there is more value in a spin-off. But if Unilever is ready to go north of $82 billion, then a dialogue could start.

If Unilever indeed makes such an offer, it will be one of the largest deals on a global scale since the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic. But Quilter Cheviot’s Chris Beckett thinks it’s unlikely to happen.

Given vocal investor concern of late and Unilever’s share price reaction this morning, this could prevent a higher offer from materializing.

The post Unilever is not giving up on GSK’s consumer business appeared first on Invezz.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending