Work Delays Again at Essar in Nashwauk; LME Steel Billet Down

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Looks as though there is another delay at Essar Steel in Nashwauk. “Construction companies building the new $1.7 billion Essar Steel Minnesota taconite plant in Nashwauk have slowed work again as Essar continues to search for money to complete the job,” reports Duluth News Tribune.

“Essar said the number of construction workers on the job is about half of what it was in recent months, down to about 74 from an average of 150 to 200.”

“The slowdown was downplayed Monday by Essar officials who said it was just a matter of working with its contractors to reduce construction activity to only critical tasks until Essar finds additional money.”

“The slowdown will continue ‘over the next few months until better weather and additional financing arrives to springboard a major increase in on-site activity,’ the company said in a prepared statement to the News Tribune. ‘We continue to appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience.’”

In metal price news for steel…

Dropping 2.8 percent on the LME, the steel billet cash price was the biggest mover on Wednesday, January 22, closing at $350.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet was unchanged on the LME at $355.00 per metric ton.

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Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India was range bound. The price of Chinese HRC held steady. The price of Chinese coking coal saw little movement.

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After holding steady for the past few days, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract fell 0.4 percent, closing at $672.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price showed little movement yesterday, hovering around $629.00 per short ton.