Coal giant Glencore set for ‘calamitous’ profit slump

CRIB NOTES AUG 17-21: Commodities rout accelerates, OPEC poised to boost oil supply,  UK slashes GHG emissions

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg (Pic: FT/Flickr)

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg (Pic: FT/Flickr)

By Ed King

GLENCORE – Tough times for the world’s  top supplier of seaborne thermal coal. A slowing Chinese economy and crashing oil prices saw shares fall a record 15% last week, after CEO Ivan Glasenberg outlined £500m new spending cuts. This week it’s expected to reveal what the Sunday Times ($) describes as “calamitous” fall in profits. Coal prices have fallen 50% since 2012.

NORTH SEA – Equally tough news for UK hydrocarbon companies and more signs of pain as oil prices stay low. Wood Group contractors, which manages rigs for BP and Shell, is to reveal this week it has axed thousands of jobs in a bid to maintain its margins. Price of a barrel of Brent crude has fallen from a high of $115 a barrel in 2014 to less than $50. Analysts say around 40,000 could eventually lose their jobs

OPEC – And the worse is still to come, reports Bloomberg. The cartel comprising some of the world’s top oil producers – OPEC – could boost production to 33 million barrels a day, up from 32.1m in July. As Iran contemplates life without the tight sanctions that have blighted its economy for the past decade, it could ramp up production to 500,000 barrels a day.

UK CO2 – Is on the wane, according to new figures from the department of energy. Greenhouse gas emissions are set to fall 2.9 million metric tons a year in 2015. “This year there were greenhouse-gas inventory methodological improvements to landfill emission calculations relating to methane formation, flaring treatment, decay rates and landfill gas-engine efficiency,” said the report.

IPCC RACE – Who will be the next head of the UN’s climate science panel? With 8 weeks to go the 5 candidates are pumping out tonnes of greenhouse gases as they fly the world lobbying for votes. Megan Darby has the story.

PARIS CALLING – Win a trip to COP21 courtesy of the UN’s climate body. The catch is you need to be 18-30 and able to produce a snappy 3-minute video explaining why you want to go. The deadline is August 17.

EL NINO – The class of 2015 could be among “strongest on record” says US weather agency NOAA.

EGYPT HEATWAVE – The Middle East is a hot place at live at the moment – unusually so even for the summer say some regional experts. In the past week 93 have dies in Egypt. Temperatures above 115F. Several hundred in hospital from heat exhaustion. The health ministry has told residents “not to leave home except for extreme necessity,”

GERMAN COAL – Over a thousand activists stopped the diggers at Europe’s biggest source of CO2 emissions, entering the open-pit lignite mine Garzweiler on Saturday, forcing the giant excavators to stop and blocking mining infrastructure in the Rhineland. “No matter the outcome of the climate negotiations in Paris this year, people are building power to accelerate the unstoppable energy transition and keep the fossil fuels we simply cannot burn in the ground,” said Payal Parekh, Global Managing Director.

DJIBOUTI – Has released its UN climate plan. (aka its INDC). We’re talking emission cuts 40% on 2030 levels. It could do more if it gets help from the Green Climate Fund.

AUSTRALIA – 58% of voters believe the government is doing too little on climate change, according to a new poll commissioned by Fairfax Media. The results are bad news for PM Tony Abbott. If an election had taken place this weekend his government would have faced a 36-seat electoral wipeout.

Key dates: It’s a quiet week as politicians and their minions take a break from running the world. Make a note for August 24 – that’s when our first in a series of podcasts looking at the COP21 Paris talks is released. As ever, if you have a story please get in touch: [email protected].

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