Australia, India Seek to Boost Critical Mineral Partnership

Indian Commerce Minister Goyal said India and Australia are looking for an increased trade partnership in critical minerals to help them achieve their goals to reduce carbon emissions, as part of a broader trade deal. “India is short of critical minerals. Australia has a large reserve of critical minerals that go into electric vehicle (EV) batteries, which isn’t fully processed or manufactured presently,” Goyal told a news conference after meeting Australia’s trade and tourism minister, Farrell.

Critical minerals, along with space technology and opportunities in the digital sector, will be key areas of the planned deal, Farrell said.

The two ministers’ meeting followed a summit in New Delhi on Friday between Indian Prime Minister Modi and his Australian counterpart Albanese.

The two nations hope to complete by year’s end an ambitious, comprehensive trade deal that has been stuck in negotiations for over a decade.

It would expand on a free trade deal the two signed last year, the first between India and a developed country in a decade. The Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement came into effect in December, removing duties on 96% of Indian exports to Australia and 85% of Australian exports to India.

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Russia, Unable to Access Half of Its Reserves, Seeks Chinese Support

Russian Foreign Ministry said it was looking for China’s support against Western economic sanctions, which crippled the country’s economy following its invasion of Ukraine. The United States has warned Beijing not to provide an economic lifeline to Russia. The foreign ministry said the West’s sanctions have prevented the country from accessing $300 billion of its $640 billion in gold and foreign currency reserves. 

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European Union foreign ministers agreed on Wednesday to for an eighth sanctions package on Russia and increase weapons deliveries to Ukraine after Putin ordered the country’s first mobilization since World War II. The decision was made during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, where the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers are present. 

EU Values LNG Reference Price at €55.21 per MWh

European Union regulators have assessed a new reference price for LNG at €55.21 per MWh, as part of the bloc’s plans to impose a cap on benchmark gas prices in the event of a surge similar to last year after Russia cut off supplies. The reference is based on global LNG prices and will be used together with the European gas price to trigger a cap should prices rise to a certain level. Both global and European prices are currently trading well below such levels. 

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