LME Wants Iron Ore, Coking Coal Contracts as Billet Prices Down, Futures Up

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LME steel billet prices dropped while Chinese and US steel futures prices gained — however, the bigger story emerged in steel’s raw materials inputs markets.

The London Metal Exchange, now under ownership of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited , wants to begin offering iron ore, coking coal and iron ore shipping contracts, HKEx CEO Charles Li told Reuters on Friday.

“This is by virtue of our proximity to China and understanding of China, but on the other hand creating a mutual venue for the supply side of the business,” Li reportedly told Reuters in an interview.

On Oct. 19, 2012, the day’s biggest mover on MetalMiner’s steel price index was the cash price of steel billet, which saw a 1.5 percent decline on the LME to $335.00 per metric ton. Following two days of rising prices, the LME steel billet 3-month price dropped 1.4 percent to $345.00 per metric ton.

Chinese steel closed mixed last Friday. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India held steady in a pretty tight range. The price of Chinese HRC gained 0.8 percent, while the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract inched up 0.8 percent to $640.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract has been on the decline for 8 days and is now at $592.00 per short ton.

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