New LME Iron Ore Contract Could Fail As Steel Billet Prices Increase

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The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, recent buyer of the London Metals Exchange, wants to introduce a new LME iron ore contract to leverage China’s seemingly insatiable iron ore hunger, reports Reuters — but that’s unlikely to smooth over the problems that LME customers have had with the existing steel billet contract.

On July 5, 2012, however, the day’s biggest mover on our daily steel price index was the 3-month price of LME steel billet, which saw a hefty 7.5 percent increase to $393 per metric ton. At $383, the cash price of steel billet finished the market day up 5.1 percent on the LME.

Chinese steel prices and raw materials inputs were mixed for the day.

The high and low prices of iron ore 58% fines from India ranged between $130 and $135 per dry metric ton. Chinese slab closed 0.5 percent lower, and the price of Chinese HRC steadied below $650 per metric ton following two days of dropping prices.

The US HRC futures 3-month price saw little change in its price yesterday at $620 per short ton. For the fifth day in a row, the US HRC futures contract spot price remained essentially flat at $620 per short ton.

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