Rio Tinto's H1 Profit Crashes, Burns; Steel, Iron Ore Prices in Lull

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As Rio Tinto Plc (NYSE: RIO) made 71% lower profit in the first half of 2013, one shouldn’t look any further than the iron ore market.

The company blamed lower commodity prices, higher taxes, and a writedown on a US copper mine damaged by a landslide, according to this article. But signs are afoot that iron ore prices could swing back in the latter half of this year – it all depends on China’s demand situation, and if it worsens.

On our daily index, Chinese steel and raw material prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India remained unmoving in a tight range. The price of Chinese HRC saw little movement. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

The cash price of steel billet saw little movement on Thursday on the LME, closing out around $120.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the steel billet 3-month price held steady around $145.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw little change in its price on Thursday at $616.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract held steady on Thursday, remaining around $642.00 per short ton.

Don’t forget to read July 2013 MMI analysis before August’s report comes out next week!