Rio Tinto Posts Record Iron Ore Profits in Half-Year Filing

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Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto announced forecast-beating half-year figures and struck a bullish tone on the outlook for iron ore, its most important commodity, the Financial Times reported.

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Rio said record production from its Australian iron ore mines, reduced capital expenditure, favorable currency movements and cost savings had offset lower raw material prices in the first half of 2014.

Rio’s underlying net profits before tax increased by 21 percent year-on-year to $5.1 billion through the end of June, beating analysts’ consensus expectations of $4.8 billion. Rio increased its interim dividend payment by 15 percent to 96 cents. Revenues were virtually unchanged year on year at $24.34 billion.

The steel billet cash price closed Wednesday, August 6 at $410.00 per metric ton, halting its three-day flat run on the LME with a 2.4 percent drift. The 3-month price of steel billet saw little movement on the LME at $425.00 per metric ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.13) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($134.51) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 3,380 ($547.75) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 1,390 ($225.26) per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price held steady yesterday, remaining around $641.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract held steady around $675.00 per short ton.

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