BHP Billiton's Coking Coal Business Under Fire as Prices Tanking

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BHP Billiton Ltd. will have a tough time with lower coking coal prices in the nearer term if slack demand keeps up.

According to Bloomberg via Mineweb, “Coking coal prices for the third quarter settled at $145 a metric ton, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., down from $172 during the three months to June 30 and the lowest since 2009 when prices were agreed annually.”

RELATED: Check out MetalMiner’s recent analysis of the metallurgical coal market and prices.

However, on MetalMiner’s weekly steel and raw materials price index, the Chinese transactional coking coal price remained essentially flat from the previous week.

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Rising 18.8 percent on the LME to $190.00 per metric ton made the 3-month price of steel billet this week’s biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI®. The steel billet cash price increased 3.6 percent over the past week to $145.00 per metric ton on the LME.

Chinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The prices of iron ore 58% fines from India remained pretty quiet. Chinese slab prices were off slightly, a few dollars per metric ton from a week ago. The price of Chinese HRC rose 1.1 percent after falling 1.4 percent during the previous week.

US shredded scrap saw a 0.5 percent decline over the past week. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price fell 0.5 percent last week, settling at $628.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw a 0.5 percent drop this week, closing at $645.00 per short ton.

Korean steel prices were flat for the week. Korean steel scrap remained unchanged for the week. Prices for Korean pig iron closed flat as well.

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The Raw Steels MMI® collects and weights 13 global steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into global steel price trends. For more information on the Raw Steels MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.