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Japan Disaster Shakes Global Raw Materials Trade

As for the ingredients used to make steel, the global trade in iron ore and coking coal will likely see a falloff in demand, though not a drastic one, said Jeffrey Landsberg, analyst and founder of Commodore Research, which tracks dry-bulk shipping and the iron ore market for industry clients as well as investors.

Meanwhile, 10 of Japan's 55 nuclear reactors were offline as of Sunday, Landsberg wrote in a report Monday. About 33% of the nation's electrical needs come from nukes. That means the country will need to boost production at other forms of power plants, including coal (20% to 25% of Japan's electrical generation) and natural gas. Imports of thermal coal by the island nation will likely see an increase. An earthquake in 2007, Landsberg noted, resulted in the country's largest nuclear plant being idled for nearly two years, which lifted thermal coal imports by about 15%.

As for liquefied natural gas, Japan was already the world's largest importer of the product. Specialist LNG shippers saw their stocks rise sharply Monday. Tsakos Energy (TNP - Get Report) was up nearly 6% to $9.93, while Golar LNG (GLNG - Get Report) was jumping 7.8% to $20.10, having earlier touched $20.53, a 52-week high.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Scott Eden.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/ScottEden.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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MT $9.99 -0.10%
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TNP $8.03 0.00%

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