Madagascar Struggles In Restoring Mining Industry; Raw Steels Numbers Climb Out of Flat Spell

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Madagascar’s next president will face quite a challenge attempting to restore the mining industry. He “will struggle with low metals prices and distrustful companies as he seeks to revive a mining industry that was the main source of foreign investment until a 2009 coup cut flows to a trickle.”

“The primary risk is that neither of the two candidates clearly wins a mandate on December 20, prolonging political turmoil. But both say they aim to restore mining, which five years ago attracted $8 out of every $10 in foreign direct investment to the Indian Ocean island.”

“Madagascar’s deposits of nickel, titanium, cobalt, iron, coal and uranium as well as its hydrocarbon prospects had previously encouraged foreign firms to queue for deals. Among them, Rio Tinto began mining ilmenite, an ingredient used as pigment in paints, paper and plastics.”

In metal pricing news…

Chinese steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India were range bound. The price of Chinese slab gained 0.3 percent. The price of Chinese HRC saw little movement.

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The steel billet cash price remained essentially flat on the LME at $240.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the steel billet 3-month price held steady around $240.00 per metric ton.

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The US HRC futures contract 3-month price held steady yesterday, remaining around $652.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract showed little movement on Monday, hovering around $666.00 per short ton.