This week, oil markets will be watching the Persian Gulf intently after a British tanker was caught up in tensions over Iran. Meanwhile, the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is to begin its annual two-week maintenance shutdown on Tuesday, and proposals for changes to the EU's steel imports safeguards system are due Monday. Finally, Barrick Gold has until July 19 to sweeten its offer for UK-based Acacia Mining.
this week's highlights: Oil and distillates markets watch the seas and the skies; the EU debates metals imports and climate policy; a key Russia-Europe gas link closes; and the deadline is approaching for a takeover in the gold industry.
The oil markets will be watching the Persian Gulf intently this week after a British tanker was caught up in tensions over Iran, raising fears about security of shipping in the region and increasing the cost of maritime insurance.
These tensions are compounding supply uncertainty caused by the onset of the US hurricane season.
Traders say European diesel and jet fuel prices for the week ahead are rising on the prospect of logistical issues caused by extreme weather along the US Gulf Coast.
And it won't be just oil product traders who will be watching the prospects for imports.
Proposals for changes to the EU's steel imports safeguards system are due Monday under a review with results to be published in September and any revisions taking effect October 1.
The review has developed into a battle between traders - who favor a greater liberalization of steel imports - and European mills, represented by steel association Eurofer, who are strongly advocating a tightening of the rules.
Steel mills as well as whole swathes of European industry will look to Brussels again on Tuesday when the European Parliament votes on the next European Commission president.
Sole candidate Ursula von der Leyen wants to raise the EU's target for cuts in carbon emissions by 2030 to 50% of 1990 levels from 40%.
She also wants to extend the EU's Emissions Trading System to aviation, shipping and potentially road transport.
This would cap EU oil demand and boost demand for alternative fuels.
On Thursday Germany's climate cabinet is set to debate a national carbon tax on sectors outside the ETS.
Germany's 2030 climate targets are to be set down in law, with key decisions expected in September.
The EU's 50% reduction target takes us to our social media question for the week: How achievable is a 50% reduction in CO2 by 2030? Tweet us your replies with the hashtag #PlattsMM.
Moving back to fossil fuels, the 55 billion cubic meters a year Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is to begin its annual two-week maintenance shutdown on Tuesday, reducing the capacity of the strategic gas link to Europe to zero until July 30.
The shutdown will force Russian gas giant Gazprom to supply its customers through increased flows via Ukraine and from its storage sites in Europe, which could have a bullish impact on prices.
During last year's two-week maintenance, Gazprom flowed gas via Ukraine almost at the route's maximum capacity, while its own storage facilities in Austria and Germany switched from injections to withdrawals to help meet customer nominations.
Finally, in precious metals, major Canada-based gold miner Barrick Gold has until July 19 to sweeten its offer for the 36.1% of shares it doesn't already own in UK-based Acacia Mining.
In what has become an acrimonious process, Barrick's latest offer stands at 196 pence a share.
That's dismissed as undervalued by Acacia's hedge fund shareholders, who are holding out for 271 pence.
Acacia is still operating profitably at its gold mining operations in Tanzania, despite a government ban on gold concentrates exports and the imprisonment of some of its employees on alleged tax evasion charges.
These are matters Barrick would like to see resolved.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead.