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By John Helmer, Moscow Last Thursday the government in Beijing struck a new blow against the domination of global commodity markets by countries allied with the US in the sanctions war against Russia. The measure announced is a 3% to 6% tariff to be imposed on coal imports to China, commencing on October 15. Australia, [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Reports from the Moscow headquarters of United Company Rusal, indicated last week that in an arrangement with Glencore Xstrata, large volumes of unsold metal are being stocked off the market in Estonia and other locations, and are not counted in the worldwide stockpile count of the London Metal Exchange (LME). The [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Igor Zyuzin’s desperately indebted steel and coal-mining group Mechel is negotiating the sale of a 25% shareholding stake in Mechel Mining, his coal division, for $1.25 billion. That’s a fraction – maybe half — of what it was worth two years ago. Would such a loss of capital value, and the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow At your peril, the one thing you must never say to a ranking Israeli intelligence officer, even one in mufti or retirement, is that he is suffering from a superiority complex. For the clinical symptoms of the affliction include conceptual deafness, ideological blindness. These stem from the frontal-lobe idea that the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow After more than forty years, the last great Soviet state secret is out. And in its wake, a sensitive Chinese state secret, too. Russian geologists reported over the weekend that the Popigai crater on the border between the Krasnoyarsk and Sakha regions of north eastern Siberia, formed by the 100-kilometre wide [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The fight by China Inc. to keep control over the flow and price of manganese into Chinese refineries, and out of the hands of pesky international shareholders, has moved into Round-3 after Rounds 1 and 2 turned into bruising knockdowns. OM Holdings (OMH) — a Singapore-based manganese miner and metals refiner [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When the gravy train to China starts running, it can be educational for investors in the greater Sino-Russian iron-ore market to slow down, and patiently study how Australians, rivals of the Russians and other iron-ore suppliers, behave when the brakes are off – and the regulators appear to be going in [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A decade ago, when Oleg Deripaska trusted Gulzhan Moldazhova, his principal money-changer, to negotiate with China, the authorities in Beijing were reluctant to agree to permitting what was then called Russian Aluminium (Rusal) to open a representative office in Beijing. Until then Rusal had exported aluminium to China through international traders [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Just four months since the first Russian crude oil started pumping into Daqing, the northeastern Chinese oil town, the Russian pipeline company Transneft has charged the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) with violating their supply contract, and is threatening to open court proceedings in London.

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By John Helmer, Moscow It’s nearly time for the peonies to bloom in China. But not for Oleg Deripaska’s plantings, at least not this season. According to sources at Deripaska’s electricity company, Eurosibenergo, the Chinese government has so far refused to approve the investment of state-controlled funds by China Yangtze Power Company (CYPC) in Eurosibenergo, [...]