BHP Billiton’s Henry: Iron Ore Prices Will Sink Further This Year

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Mining giant BHP Billiton said the 31 percent drop in the price of iron ore in the international market may not be the last. It anticipated further declines in the price of the key steel-making ingredient in the coming months, according to BHP Billiton President of Marketing Mike Henry.

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“What we’re seeing today in the marketplace is within the range of expectations that we’ve had,” Henry said.

He added, “We’ve been saying for a long period of time now that growth rates in China will begin to slow, that you would see steel intensity slowing at an even greater rate than GDP declines, and at the same time you’d see a lot more low cost supply coming to market that would bring prices down.”

The cash price of steel billet saw the biggest increase at 1.3 percent on the LME, finishing at $395.00 per metric ton for Friday, July 4. The 3-month price of steel billet saw little movement on the LME at $400.00 per metric ton.

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Chinese steel closed mixed yesterday. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($135.22) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.61) per dry metric ton. Following three days of little change, the price of Chinese HRC rose by 0.3 percent to CNY 3,390 ($545.70) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal held steady at CNY 1,390 ($223.75) per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $638.00 per short ton. After a couple of days of improving prices, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract held steady at $662.00.

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