Rio Tinto Reports Big Increases; Steel Billet 3-Mo Up 22.4% for Week

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Rio Tinto isn’t slowing things down. The company “reported big increases in the production of iron ore and other minerals in 2013, betting China’s massive economic growth will provide a ready market for decades to come,” reports Reuters.

“Despite some current signs of weakening demand, Rio and rivals BHP Billiton, Brazil’s Vale and Australia’s Fortescue Metals aim to add more than a combined 150 million tonnes of iron ore production this year, more than fourth-ranked Fortescue’s total 2013 output.”

“‘These big miners have the lowest costs in the industry. This gives them the capacity to feed into perhaps a stronger iron ore market in the future,’ said David Lennox, a mining analyst with Fat Prophets in Sydney.”

In metal price news for steel…

The 3-month price of steel billet saw the largest increase this week on the weekly Raw Steels MMI®, rising 22.4 percent on the LME to settle at $355.00 per metric ton. The steel billet cash price rose 18.6 percent on the LME to $350.00 per metric ton after falling 1.7 percent during the previous week.

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Chinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India was range bound. The week finished with no movement for Chinese HRC. The price of Chinese slab dropped 0.3 percent this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices. Chinese coking coal saw a 0.7 percent decline over the past week.

The US HRC futures contract spot price rose 0.7 percent to $675.00 per short ton after falling 0.7 percent during the previous week. US shredded scrap prices ticked up 0.5 percent over the past week. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract fell 0.3 percent to $633.00 per short ton after rising 0.3 percent the week before.

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Korean steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of Korean steel scrap decreased, a 3.0 percent decline from the previous week. Korean pig iron remained unchanged for the week.

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.