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U.S. crude stockpiles fall as refiners ramp up output -EIA

(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped more than expected as refiners increased activity heading into the summer driving season, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories (USOILC=ECI) fell by 5.9 million barrels in the week to April 9 to 492.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.9 million-barrel drop.

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Nornickel to boost production at Finnish nickel refinery

(Mining Technology) - Nornickel plans to increase production at its nickel refinery in Finland due to the surging demand for battery raw materials in the European market. Mainly powered by renewable energy, the Harjavalta plant uses sulphuric acid leaching for nickel semi-products to enable hydrometallurgical production of high purity nickel.

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Biostimulants Earn the Spotlight in Agriculture

(Crop Life) - Predicting the future is rarely a safe activity. Look no further than last year. Anyone's prognostications for 2020 were ripped to shreds by the appearance of COVID-19. That said, here is a prediction for the rest of 2021 and beyond: The industry will see continued interest in and the growth of biostimulants.

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India and United States collaborate on AI in agriculture

(Future Farming) - The United States allows India to use its AI technology in order to increase foodgrain production. India and the United States have launched the U.S. India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) Initiative. This was announced by the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), which is an is an autonomous bilateral organisation – jointly funded by the governments of India and the U.S. – that promotes science, technology, engineering and innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry.

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How Agricultural Nanotechnology Will Influence the Future of Farming Sustainability

(AZO Nano) - The agricultural sector is dealing with enormous challenges such as rapid climatic changes, a decrease in soil fertility, macro and micronutrient deficiency, overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and heavy metal presence in the soil. However, the global population increase has subsequently escalated food demand. Nanotechnology has immensely contributed to sustainable agriculture by enhancing crop production and restoring and improving soil quality.

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Dry Bulk Shipping Rates Are Surging and the Rally Isn't Over

(gCaptain.com/Bloomberg) - For a glimpse of how quickly and unevenly economies are recovering from the pandemic, look no further than the market for shipping raw materials. Rising demand for everything from soybeans to steel has sent the cost of hauling dry goods soaring more than 50% this year. Manufacturing, which first picked up in China, is now accelerating elsewhere, and countries are stepping up commodity purchases to rebuild stockpiles after running them down during lockdowns that slowed port operations and hit economic activity globally.

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Quantum Computation of Dominant Products in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

(aip.scitation.org) - Quantum chemistry simulations of some industrially relevant molecules are reported, employing variational quantum algorithms for near-term quantum devices. The energies and dipole moments are calculated along the dissociation curves for lithium hydride (LiH), hydrogen sulfide, lithium hydrogen sulfide, and lithium sulfide. In all cases, we focus on the breaking of a single bond to obtain information about the stability of the molecular species being investigated.

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ALMA Detects Volcanic Gases in Atmosphere of Io

(SCI-News) Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers from India have detected acetone, disulfur monoxide, and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io. Io is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter and the fourth-largest moon in our Solar System.

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AAR: Rail Traffic 'Rebound'

(Railway Age) - Taking into account last year's pandemic-related rail volume drop, "rail traffic has clearly rebounded" and "recent signs of strength in manufacturing are good signs for railroads, too," Association of American Railroads Senior Vice President John T. Gray noted in the AAR traffic report for March 2021 and the week ending April 3, 2021.

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OPEC+ Shows Confidence in Economic Recovery With Oil-Supply Hike

(Bloomberg) - OPEC+ expressed growing confidence in the global economic recovery by agreeing to increase oil production gradually in the coming months.

Before Thursday’s meeting, the cartel had been widely expected to maintain its cautious stance by rolling over the current supply cuts, just as it did last month. Yet Saudi Arabia and its allies showed they are more convinced now that fuel demand is on a firmer footing after a yearlong beating from the coronavirus.

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Sulfur surprise in soybeans

(Agriculture.com) - If soybeans could talk, they’d tell you anti-pollution legislation works. These laws – first passed in the 1970s – squelched sulfur-containing acid rain fueled by industrial emissions. Applications of fertilizer containing sulfur (S) previously benefited only crops grown on sandy soils, as atmospheric S would leach through them.

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Now-resolved Suez Canal blockage shows value of Arctic shipping route, Russia says

(Bellona.org) - While hundreds of ship and tankers were blocked from passing through the Suez Canal by a stranded container ship, Russia’s Energy Ministry wasted no time reminding the world of the Northern Sea Route, the 6,000-kilometer sea artery joining Europe and Asia through the Arctic said to lop days off conventional cargo passages.

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Canada finalizes critical minerals list

(CIM Magazine) Thirty-one: that is the number of minerals that Canada has identified as “critical minerals.” Addressing the virtual Prospector’s and Developer’s Association of Canada Convention on March 11, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan read out the newly formed list and called critical minerals “essential to the economic and energy security.”

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Suez Canal Blocked After Giant Container Ship Gets Stuck

(The New York Times) CAIRO — Trying to convey the sheer scale of the nearly quarter-mile-long container ship that has been stuck in the Suez Canal since Tuesday evening, some news outlets compared it to the length of four soccer fields. Others simply called it gigantic. But the main thing to know was this: After powerful winds forced the ship aground on one of the canal’s banks, it was big enough to block nearly the entire width of the canal, producing a large traffic jam in one of the world’s most important maritime arteries.
Related Story: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/suez-canal-blocked-weeks

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Canadian Pacific Railway acquires Kansas City Southern railway for $25 billion

(KTTN) The Associated Press reported Canadian Pacific Railway’s acquisition of Kansas City Southern is a $25 billion deal in cash and stock. The sale creates the first rail network linking the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Railway officials say Kansas City, Missouri will be designated as the new U.S. headquarters for Canadian Pacific Kansas City, or CPKC. The combined company would operate about 20,000 miles of railway, employ 20,000 people and generate annual revenue of about $8.7 billion.

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ICL (ICL) Reports Acquisition of South American Plant Nutrition Business from Compass Minerals (CMP) for $402M

(Street Insider) ICL (NYSE: ICL), a leading global specialty minerals and specialty chemicals company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP) América do Sul S.A., which includes the South American Plant Nutrition business of Compass Minerals – after a planned carve-out of the existing water treatment and chemicals businesses – for approximately R$2,207 million (~US$402 million, based on a Brazilian real-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate of R$5.4951/US$1.00). This amount includes the assumption of approximately R$600 million (~US$109 million) of net debt and is subject to customary post-closing adjustments. In addition, the transaction includes an earnout of up to approximately R$88 million (~US$16 million).

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Refinery rained oil onto Virgin Islands community that awaits cleanup a month later

(Seattle Times) Two hours after midnight in this island paradise, a cloudy vapor rose from a massive oil refinery and floated over nearby homes as quietly as a ghost. The fine mist of oil and water from Limetree Bay Refining rained down on the community of Clifton Hill, showering the slick mix onto cars, gardens, rooftops and cisterns filled with rainwater that residents use for daily tasks.

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U.S. transport chief to testify on infrastructure push

(Reuters) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will testify March 25 before a key U.S. House panel on the Biden administration's infrastructure push. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio said Buttigieg will testify as lawmakers are working on a "transformational surface transportation reauthorization legislation". As a candidate, President Joe Biden pledged to invest $2 trillion in fixing highways, bridges and airports; building climate-resilient homes; wiring cities for broadband internet; encouraging the manufacturing of fuel-efficient cars and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

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European companies announce more clean fuel projects

(S&P Platts) - Finnish refiner and clean fuels producer Neste has identified Rotterdam in the Netherlands as the most likely site for its new "world scale" renewable products refinery, it said March 15. Neste also said a final investment decision for the project will be made either by the end of this year or early in 2022. "Based on the thorough studies and calculations, the overall cost of the investment is significantly lower in Rotterdam. Our decision relies on ensuring our future competitiveness and our renewables growth strategy execution," said Neste President and CEO Peter Vanacker.

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In numbers: how mining came to be Australia's most profitable sector

(Mining Technology) - Mining remains Australia's single largest sector, and a bastion of stability and profitability amid the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic. We investigate the statistics behind the industry's recent meteoric rise to see how it has secured such a position of dominance and stability.

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Member News

Shell to Let Shareholders Vote on Shift to Cleaner Energy

(WSJ) - LONDON-- Royal Dutch Shell PLC detailed a first-of-a-kind shareholder vote over its pivot away from oil, asking investors to endorse its energy transition strategy in a nonbinding vote next month.

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Rio Tinto achieves battery grade lithium production at Boron plant

(Investing News) - Rio Tinto has commenced production of battery-grade lithium from waste rock at a lithium demonstration plant at the Boron mine site in California, United States. The demonstration plant is the next step in scaling up a breakthrough lithium production process developed at Boron, to recover the critical mineral and extract additional value out of waste piles from over 90 years of mining at the operation.

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Mosaic, AgBiome collaborate to develop biological plant nutrition products

(Agriculture.com) - Ag input suppliers are betting big on microbial solutions for plant nutrition, and the Mosaic Company is one of the latest to enter the fray.
Last week, Mosaic – a producer and seller of phosphate and potash crop nutrients – entered into a strategic collaboration with AgBiome, a company with one of the world’s largest collections of diverse microbial communities. The goal is to discover, develop, and launch biological solutions to enhance soil fertility, the companies said in a press release.

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Two Mosaic Products Earn Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer Designation

(Agriculture.com) - The Mosaic Company announces that two of its products, MicroEssentials and Sus-Terra fertilizer, are now labeled as Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEF) as defined by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO).

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Hempel Acquiring Wattyl Australia, New Zealand

(Coatings World) Hempel A/S said it signed a purchase agreement to acquire Wattyl – one of Australia and New Zealand's leading manufacturers of paint for the decorative and protective segments with a turnover of €150 million and 750 employees – from The Sherwin-Williams Company.

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Shell to License Tech for New Refinery

(Rig Zone) PT Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia (PT PRPP) has signed a licensing and basic engineering agreement to apply Shell Catalysts and Technologies processes at a new refinery in Tuban, Java Timur, Indonesia, Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) reported Wednesday

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CSX, Union Pacific caution about bad winter weather

(Freight Waves) Bitter cold and strong winter storms could impact rail operations over the next several days, according to service advisories from several U.S. Class I railroads.

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U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determinations on Phosphate Fertilizer Imports from Morocco and Russia

Yahoo Finance - February 9, 2021
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced its final determination that phosphate fertilizer imports from Morocco and Russia are unfairly subsidized. Commerce calculated a subsidy rate of 19.97 percent for Moroccan producer OCP. In the Russia investigation, Commerce calculated rates of 9.19 percent and 47.05 percent for PhosAgro and EuroChem, respectively, and a rate of 17.2 percent for all other producers/exporters

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Oil May Not Be Chevron's Largest Business in 20 Years

CNN Business - February 8, 2021
While oil and gas will certainly be needed for decades to come, the oil and gas division may not be Chevron's top business in 20 years, although it will still be a very big part of the U.S. supermajor's operations, chief executive Michael Wirth told CNN Business in an interview published on Monday.

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TSI Member Companies Earn Railroad Safety Grand Slam Award

The NAR Grand Slam Award is presented annually to companies that are exemplary shippers of hazardous materials. An award winner must have been recognized by at least four Class I railroads and have had zero non-accident releases involving their shipments the previous calendar year. HJ Baker Sulphur LLC and ExxonMobil Corp received the award for calendar year 2019.

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